29 July 2014


Judging Readers by Their Collections

This Week's Theme:
Authors We Own the Most Books Of

My title is tongue-in-cheek, of course. I know as well as anybody that book buying habits can change over time and that collections can be "curated." (You know who'd have a field day with that word, though? George Orwell.) These days, I tend not to stick to a single author for very long, preferring to choose a new book to read according to how different it is from the book I just finished. But when I was young, my habit was to stockpile as many books as I could by the author I liked most at the moment. It was the first strategy I ever developed for choosing books--and a quick glance at the yellowing, crumbling editions on my shelves will reveal which writers wove the stories of my childhood and youth. But there's no similar "giveaway" for those who left an equally huge impact later on.

Then there were the years I was part of the online Romance community, where reading as many titles as possible by a single author was part of the culture--which, of course, I was determined to assimilate into. (I'm a good immigrant.) Although I don't read much Romance any longer, my holding on to my old books makes it easy for anyone to tell which authors I had "love affairs" with. I'd argue that their disproportionate representation in my personal library no longer says something substantial about me, but neither Alone of The Last Psychiatrist and David Wong of Cracked.com's End Times Report would let me get away with that. =P

Nonetheless, in a world where reading a book and owning a book aren't always the same thing . . . with a market fond of pushing trilogies and series . . . how do we crunch the numbers? To take an analogy from a different medium, a friend of mine one described the TV series LOST as "a great novel": does this mean that all 121 episodes count as one? I could ask these questions all day, but I really ought to get to the point, aye? So while we're working out our answers, here is my list . . .

A Tenner:
Authors Whose Books Take The Most Space in My Personal Collection

28 July 2014


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 98

So what has everyone been reading lately? Thanks to last June's odd mix of Philippine literature and Plato's Dialogues, I've been feeling a little more critical of Philippine society and been adapting my reading accordingly. These days, I'm getting through more non-fiction than usual, the books which keep me the busiest being those which purport to answer the question "What's wrong with the world?"--though not including G.K. Chesterton's What's Wrong with the World. =P

I'm also feeling more tired than usual . . . not because of work, but because of life . . . and I almost decided to put off having another Book Club pick until September . . . before I realised that there happens to be a popular genre I do want to read with others right now, if you all are willing, too. That is, if Dystopian Fiction sounds good to you and you don't mind that my deadline for finishing the readalong is 30 September, please help me to choose from among the following two books by a critically acclaimed author . . .

27 July 2014


Book Boyfriend #4

Meet "The Bad Boy King" and other Book Boyfriends
@ Stuck in Books

It seems that my status as "Sensor Librorum" is still official. Someone at work who knows that I read YA novels recently asked me if the book with today's "boyfriend" would be appropriate for "a mature ten-year-old" girl. Not having been around ten-year-old children for a while, I waffled a bit before finally saying no.

"But I thought you said there was no graphic violence and that the most sexual word in the text was 'kiss.'"

As I explained that you don't even need to kiss if you can play mind games, this post began to take shape. But as you can already tell, I'm looking at today's book boyfriend not from the perspective of someone who might want to date him but from the perspective of someone who would like her daughter to stay away from him . . . for at least a few more years.

23 July 2014


Early Edition: Shooting Accident

This episode gives us one of the more interesting challenges of Season 1. A child shoots his brother with a gun that his mother has been keeping because she fears (with very good reason) that their estranged father will return and try to kill her. What is one who hears the news in advance to do?

As if he heard today's question back in 1995, Gary Hobson says, "I get the gun. I'm in. I'm out." But is it really that simple?

20 July 2014


Children's Programme "Fake" Band Smackdown, Final Winner!!!
(Revisit Round 1, Round 2 Round 3A, the Intermission, Round 3B, and Round 4)

Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem!

What a band, aye? =D I am always in awe of what Jim Henson and his colleagues were able to create on The Muppet Show and their other projects. Of all the "fake" bands in this smackdown, they are the realest because they were so from the beginning. The Monkees may have surprised everyone by becoming real after their first season, but The Electric Mayhem and all the other Muppets topped them by being real in their very first show.  

There's also the winner of the June/July Giveaway to announce. But first, the conclusion to my thoughts on Fred Rogers's belief that it is wrong to blur the lines between fantasy and reality when dealing with children, which I didn't include at the end of last week's post for reasons that I hope will be obvious in a few seconds . . .

19 July 2014


Locus Focus: Take One Hundred and Six!

Whenever I do a themed series for Locus Focus, I try to find four settings for each theme--and for the most part, I succeed. This June and July, I played tour guide in an ancient barrio, a sordid slum, and a modern suburb . . . but I'm afraid that it for the Filipino settings.

I did thing about featuring something from a Filipino movie (as I did last year, in Take Ninety-Seven). But then it dawned on me that there is another "video" setting that I've been appreciating for weeks. It may not fit one theme I've been working, but it totally fits another.

17 July 2014


Theme Thursday 12

The last time I did a Theme Thursday post, I also tried to visit all the bloggers who had participated in it three years ago. Some of the blogs were no longer active, but I left comments for all those which were. It was nice to be reminded of the reason I started doing Theme Thursday posts back then: the show-and-tell aspect of everyone reaching into his current read and pulling out something both similar and different. But it was also a little sad to give old posts some comment love; I felt as if I were writing letters to people whose old diaries I had come across in an attic.

Since I'll be doing that again this week, for the theme from 9 May 2011, I'm bracing myself right now.

This Week's Theme: