Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books Goes to: San Pablo

Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog, a literary fiction nominated for 2009 Man Asian Prize literary, is a puzzling book. Inspired by non-linear plots of Murakami, and other authors cited in this work, the book is a surprise in itself. When I first read it, I wasn't able to put it down. I kept of looking and looking and try to solve its questionable episodes (so-called as such since you cannot simply build a plot in this novel) - but at the end, I felt betrayed. Egay Samar left me hanging. And I felt frustrated, since there is no resolution or whatnot. 

Maybe this frustration - echoed with my life episodes that left hanging - gave Egay a clue to give this message to me, as he wrote his dedication to my copy of the first edition by Anvil publishing.

Kay Ella, 
Kung bakit madaling makalimot ang Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog ng lagi nating pagkalunod sa nagdaan.
Sinasadya ang lahat. 
-Egay :)

Anyways, I don't feel angst-y anymore, or I shall not express my frustration for not getting the ending that I wanted to. For this is another story.

Actually, the Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books is a book club in goodreads that loves field trips. We treat each other like students major in Philippine literature and appreciating the life and works of each and every author. This time around, we went to the countryside~ to the town where Egay Samar grew up - San Pablo, Laguna.

San Pablo is a quiet town, but also famous for its enchanting seven lakes. We went to the most famous twin lakes - Yambo and Pandin. And of course, we went swimming to that huge basin of 100+ feet deep.

No, I am not making you feel envious - I want you to come and do the same. Join us, in learning the book, the author, and its associated activity - the field trip. :)

The twin lakes of Pandin and Yambo

Other shots of the peaceful Pandin

Book-lovers with author Egay Samar
And we have to have photos of us swimming - JUST BECAUSE :)

And photos of sailin' - maybe for their facebook profile pages, haha

And this, actually not for profile page, but because readers say that I looked more of a volleyball varsitarian, rather than a lake swimmer. Maybe I was one of the Diwata?
Egay said that Tilapia is abundant here in San Pablo, maybe that's why Ayban took a pose
The discussion, the gush, and the nails!
And the last photo where we are dry and happy and interested with Orange and Egay's love-life from yesteryears 

Oh how I wish we can do this often. :)
Photos are owned by Doni Oliveros. You may see his wide selections of 1001-books-before-you-die here


Am I This Masochist?

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (Sleeping Beauty, #1)The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. Roquelaure

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

The first was... oh. A twist in a fairy tale.
Next goes the WTF moments.
Then goes the "I don't even" gasps.
Afterwards you go "MEH" with all recycled stories and VERY LONG STORYTELLING NONSENSE.
Finally you close the book disappointed at everything.

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Thematic Read for July 2013

I invest tears in reading. 
A friend told me Matrons do the same. 
That is why in my book club I have the title - The Matronic Reader

The first thematic reading for this year is about the mothers - and because of lack of time, or maybe, I was busy doing the field trips with the classmates, I have a spillover read. URGH.

This time around, to reinforce my "matronic reading skills", I am into exploring the depths of the sentiments of the characters who are having suicidal tendencies / episodes. I am into getting to know how depressed is one with these depression phases, and how do they find resolve or release - by ending their own life. 

So say hello to Laslas Genres.

The laslas girl group started this year, planning to have this month-long fest as our own way of participating World Suicide Prevention. Knowing that this occasion happens every September 10th of the year, we decided to do them in advance and immerse ourselves by reading two books - in Buddy-Reading form. Buddy-reads is the simultaneous reading of the online participants of the same book for a prescribed period, and posting their comments online. 

We were through with the first novel - Jay Asher's Th1rteen R3asons Why and onward we go with starting with the second novel - Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak.

Th1rteen R3asons Why is about Hannah Baker's recorded tapes passed on to Clay Jensen, a man considered one of the reasons why the former took suicide. Speak is about Melissa Sordino's silence and monologues, trying to forget the traumatic experience of one incident that drives her away from her own social world.

Here are their synopses:

Th1rteen R3asons Why.Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
Speak. Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

May the Lord grant me time to read the second book on the list, and able to share my sentiments with the laslas girls. :)


Love is Portrayed via Paradox

The Secret Language of Love: A Visual Treasury of Love Through the AgesThe Secret Language of Love: A Visual Treasury of Love Through the Ages by Megan Tresidder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A treasury of knowledge and principles taken from the philosophies - from the ancient times to the contemporary, the Secret Language of Love is a bucketful of insights taken from different angles.

On a perspective of a writer, Megan Tresidder started the compilations about love from its anatomy and dimensions, to the language itself - and ended it with how people designed it - or building the archetype of love.

From our need to our perceptions of it, the writings filled with poems and portfolios, and pictures that we all adore. Amorous and heartfelt, the writings give a take not only of how love is desired and hated at the same time, and how one can aspire for love, yet we take them for granted.

It contained also the paradoxes of love - from our affiliations with fairytales, to narcissim, and to giving ourselves for the sake of the beloved. I really wanted to quote all of them, but quoting her words will spoil you, as you wished to see the epistles with your own eyes and reflect on your own, immersing in the phases of your own love story, may it be glorious or unfortunate.

what I liked the most is how she ended the book with Tolstoy's lesson imparted to the future generations -
"Tolstoy reminds us that ultimately lovers cannot forget the real world in which they have to live."

For the ultimate paradox of love is that we tend to forget everything once we felt it. And it is not just when we felt it - it is also once we decide to feel it, prioritizing it above everything else.

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Book Trip: Manila Noir Book Launch

We are the laslas girls
And we wanted an emotional mess.
Ergo, we welcome the "Noir feel".

The laslas girl group started this year, when all of us wanted to explore the books having themes of depression and suicide. Ella, being the matronic reader, wanted to explore the depths of having these emotions and able to reflect the insights and moments of the characters. She invited Tricia - the girl who is an avid fan of this genre, able to read Girl, Interrupted and able to share her feelings about it. Cary and Anna joined too, as they would like to be immersed in the same feel.

We started to read Jay Asher's first novel, Th1rteen R3asons Why and giving ourselves two-week reading window. BUT WE FAST-READ INSTEAD, finishing the whole book in one week. And as part of the bonding, we met and joined to the book launch last Saturday. 

Laslas girls (from left to right): Anna, Tricia, Cary and Ella. The man in the middle is Jayson!

Manila Noir, a part of the Akashic Book Series, had its first launch last July 6th at National Book Store Glorietta 1.  Gathering all these award-winning Filipino writers and contributed their piece of dark and gothic noir-feel, they made this anthology known to the Philippine market, via Anvil Publishing. The good thing about the anthology is that they introduced a fiction in a graphic form - introducing Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo's Trese into the international market.

Introducing the noir feel - the laslas girl group are instant fans of Manila Noir, and decided to invite every reader to appreciate the anthology soonest. We are to open a buddy read online, having free-posting as the basic rule.

Ella is late, because she slept the whole morning - with the staple reason of tremendous workloads. She came just about the time Jessica Hagedorn introduces the works of prized writers. But she registered late, having the rest of the laslas girls the greater opportunity to sign their books at an earlier time. That's why she became impatient and - yea, irate - of waiting for her turn. Imagine her other girl friends able to see the writers earlier than her. And they HAVE PHOTOS WITH THEM.

Ella is irate. I should mark this blogsite as iamirateella.com, shouldn't I? :P

I hope we girls can finish the book soonest and have another set of girl-bonding, bringin the noir feel, having emo-emo messy moments, and just talk and laugh and feel depress about it. We shall have our own blades soon. AHAHAHAHA.

But first, we put up another thread for another book - Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak - another first novel of the author - with the same depressed theme. This, marked as to read, and then the Manila Noir. We promise!

Photos are owned by Tricia and Aenna. Follow Tricia's photo-journal here and Anna's rants and raves here.

PS: I just found my other pictures in facebook - and so I shall post them here. Thanks Anna!

An irate episode - They have numbers 39, 40 and 41 while I got 86. Talk about being late.

Emir and Ella, the irate lady 

Nearing completion - Ella had her turn and they signed the book. YAAAY!