Tag Archives: manila international book fair

Book review: Alissa Nutting’s “Tampa”

Alissa Nutting’s debut novel “Tampa” certainly isn’t lacking when it comes to publicity.

As soon as her book came out on bookstore shelves last July, public opinion was immediately split. While The Daily Beast branded it a “modern ‘Lolita’” and the New York Times gave it a favorable review, The Telegraph called it “fatiguing” and some bookstores in the United States and Australia have refused to stock the book because of its controversial sex scenes.

Here in the country, “Tampa” quietly appeared on bookstore shelves, with copies on display at the recently concluded Manila International Book Fair. While the buzz is yet to arrive here on Philippine shores, I took a look at Alissa Nutting’s debut to see if it really lives up to the hype.

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My post-MIBF report#2

Admittedly, I didn’t spend as much time at the MIBF the way I would have wanted to. Since I was mostly either attending a talk, covering a book launch, or interviewing an author, I often only popped up at the exhibition floor to quickly check if there was anything I wanted to buy before zooming off to another appointment.

Nevertheless, I’ve yet to not enjoy this yearly pilgrimage to the SMX Center. If it’s not the great books that often only make an appearance during the MIBF, there’s the fact that I also get to meet so many people who are as into books as I am. I am with my people.

Also, this year I got my little sister to tag along, and I even bumped into my brother, and we all made a family excursion out of the whole thing. It was a little awesome, especially when I basically bullied my little brother’s girlfriend to buy a book by an author who was also signing at the time. I am a class act.

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My post-MIBF report#1

Unless you were hiding under a rock for the past week or so, you’d have known that the country’s premiere event for bibliophiles, the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), was going on at the SMX Convention Center at the SM Mall of Asia.

Just like all the years I’ve been to this shebang, it’s been an exhausting but incredibly fun few days at the MIBF. I didn’t buy as many books as I did in previous years, mostly because I was flitting around SMX and the metropolis attending various book-related happenings. Is that a good thing? My wallet says yes.

Whenever I actually had time to browse the shelves, it was usually to take pictures or to pick out books that my younger sister has been eyeing for herself. I actually only bought just one book for myself this year!

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My MIBF loot report

We’re past the halfway point of the biggest event of the year for Filipino bibliophiles, and I’m quite proud to say that I haven’t spent myself into the poorhouse just yet. And let me tell you, it’s not because there wasn’t anything worth buying. There was a lot of books I wanted to get my grubby little hands on, but my job — thankfully — got in the way.

For instance, most of my first day at the 32nd Manila International Book Fair was spent in the meeting rooms located on the third floor, listening to the talks during the first Filipino Reader’s Conference. I also got to hover uncertainly around the guys from Flips Flipping Pages and tried not to get too much in Blooey‘s way while I tried to work from the SMX Convention Center.

My second day pretty much looked the same as the first, except the talks I were going to this time around were organized by the University of the Philippines and mostly centered around language, literature, and teaching English in the Philippines.

I didn’t even get to go to the MIBF yesterday, as I had to interview author Alexander Yates early in the afternoon, and then some last minute work requirements forced me to ditch any plans of going to the Mall of Asia and blowing some cash.

The fact that I also had to go back to the office during those first two days also helped out a lot in keeping me above the poverty line as I had no occasion to loiter around and find a book that may just strike my fancy. That doesn’t mean, however, that I didn’t amass myself some loot.

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What’s up at the Manila International Book Fair

You can’t call yourself a Filipino bibliophile if you haven’t at least a passing knowledge of the Manila International Book Fair. Going on for 32 years now, it has become the highlight of every Filipino book lover’s calendar, and it looks like this year’s edition isn’t going to be any different.

Aside from a number of foreign and local authors dropping by and talking to Filipino readers — National Bookstore has already announced a forum featuring authors Alexander Yates, Andy Mulligan, and Samantha Sotto — there are also a lot of other events held simultaneously for those that may want a little time away from the books on sale at the SMX Convention Center.

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