Book review: Bebang Siy’s “It’s A Mens World”

If you’re a regular teleserye watcher like I am, you’ll know that Philippine pop culture doesn’t have a lot of leeway when it comes to portraying your average Filipina. If you’re not the naive and yet extremely sexual ingenue from “Katorse”, you’re the vindictive femme fatale from “Rubi” — the classic Madonna/Whore dichotomy. I don’t know about you guys, but these two “types” get pretty tiring after a while.

That’s why it’s refreshing to comes across something like Bebang Siy’s collection of essays, “It’s A Mens World”. Written over the course of several years and submitted as a master’s thesis, Siy’s collection is a candid, sometimes funny, and sometimes bittersweet look at the life so far of a Filipino Everywoman.

Continue reading Book review: Bebang Siy’s “It’s A Mens World”

Your week in books#25

  • CATFIGHT! There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the internet in the past few days as Twihards took offense at on-again/off-again Catholic Anne Rice declared that Lestat and Louis from “The Vampire Chronicles” would feel sorry for Stephenie Meyer’s sparkly bloodsuckers. (Source 1, Source 2)
  • More “Twilight” stuff! io9 has four clips from “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn aprt 1”! (Source)
  • In case you’ve spent the past week buried under a particularly large rock, you probably know that bestselling author Nicholas Sparks spent a couple of days here in the country signing books and whatnot, all thanks to the efforts of National Book Store. In fact, the Manila Bulletin will be coming out with a three-page feature on him this Sunday!
  • I’ve managed to be indifferent to ebooks and ebook readers for the most part, but Amazon’s Lending Library kinda softens my stand on them a wee bit. (Source)

  • I’m not really into the zombie genre in general — the most I’ve been into it is my devotion to “The Walking Dead” series — so I don’t really know what to make of “Warm Bodies”, wherein a zombie falls in love with a mortal girl. It’s adapted from a book, so maybe I should check that out first? I’ll probably check this out anyway since Nicholas Hoult is in it. And one final point: Are we going to run down all the supernatural creatures of the world and pair them with humans at this point? (Source)
  • Salman Rushdie write a limerick about Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage. It’s got a lof of Ks in it. (Source)
  • The Prix Goncourt, France’s top literary prize, goes to a biology teacher. (Source)
  • The Guardian has a great slideshow on some of the illustrations that J.R.R. Tolkien did for “The Hobbit”. (Source)
  • Also from The Guardian, a really nice essay about the pleasures of writing your stories in longhand. (Source)
  • The New York Times has put out a list of 2011’s best illustrated children’s books. They aren’t putting up any artwork until the 13th, though. (Source)
  • Finally, check out seven clips from “Immortals”! Semi-accurate Greek mythology! Shirtless Henry Cavill! Shirtless Kellan Lutz! (Source)

Book review: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s “Beautiful Darkness”

Here’s my review of “Beautiful Darkness” that came out last year, pretty much copy-pasted from the website of the paper I write for. A lot of stuff got cut because of space concerns.

Back in 2009, the writing team of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl broke into the field of young adult (YA) literature with a splash, via the publication of their debut novel, “Beautiful Creatures”.

Moody and atmospheric, “Beautiful Creatures” was hailed by critics and readers, propelling it up the New York Times Bestseller list and prompted online retailer Amazon.com to name it the Best Teen Book of 2009.

In “Beautiful Creatures”, readers are introduced to the fictional town of Gatlin, South Carolina, where 16-year-old Ethan Wate has been having terrifying dreams about Lena Duchannes, the niece of neighborhood recluse, Macon Ravenwood.

Throughout the novel, Ethan discovers that Lena comes from a long and powerful line of Casters, supernatural beings who have various magical powers. He also finds out about the centuries-long curse that has plagued Lena’s family: On the night of their 16th birthday, Casters in Lena’s family are “Claimed’’ either by the Light or the Dark – without them having a say in the matter.

By the novel’s end, things have come to a standstill for Ethan and Lena. Lena has avoided being Claimed, but has lost her beloved Uncle Macon in the process. Sarafine, Lena’s mother who is intent on turning her Dark, has escaped and left Ethan with the knowledge that he and Lena can never be together without him ending up dead in the process.

Hanging above all of them is the choice that Lena has to make on her 17th birthday – whether to side with the Light or with the Dark.

Most, if not all, of these conundrums are given a satisfying resolution in “Beautiful Darkness”, Garcia and Stohl’s follow up to “Beautiful Creatures”.

Continue reading Book review: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s “Beautiful Darkness”

Giveaway winners!

Since the long weekend is over and everybody will be returning to the drudgery of work or school, I thought it would lighten the load for everyone if I announced the winners for the two giveaways I held last month.

The first one had a signed copy of Alexander Yates’ great novel, “Moondogs”, while the other one had 10 “The Son of Neptune” gift packs generously provided by National Book Store. Winners are under the cut!

Continue reading Giveaway winners!