Your week in books#20

  • Any Jonathan Safran Foer fans? Here’s the trailer for the movie adaptation of his second novel, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”. I liked the book, even if some parts were a little gimmicky, but this trailer kind of looks “meh” to me.
  • Other big news over the week: Amazon’s announcement regarding its new line of Kindle devices. Any of you interested in getting either the eInk Kindle, the Kindle Touch, the Kindle Touch 3G or the $199 Kindle Fire tablet? (Source 1, Source 2)
  • I used to read “Asterix” comics when I was a little Bosconian. Today I found out that I am old enough to remember when both of the creators of “Asterix” were still around. (Source)
  • Guy steals Kingsley Amis, James Joyce, and T.S. Eliot manuscripts to get psychological help in prison. I’d say mission accomplished. Or something (Source)
  • Over the past week, one thing that got the comic book blogs buzzing was the reboots of Starfire and Catwoman from the DC comics universe. Several fans objected to the objectification (no pun intended) both the female characters underwent in their reboots. As I am not a regular DC reader, would anyone care to comment if the objections do have merit? Because from what I’ve seen it really seems that they do. (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4)
  • Finally, under the cut you’ll find some of the character posters from the new “The Three Musketeers” adaptation.

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Chapter by Chapter Review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Prologue and Chapter 1


Regular readers (or should  I say reader?) of the blog know that I’ve been waiting for Tyra Bank’s literary debut with the same excitement usually reserved for Christmas, sudden class suspensions, and the birth of one’s firstborn. If I may be allowed to repeat myself: I AM EXCITE.

Over several months, I kept track of any news on her debut. And during the Manila International Book Fair, National Book Store made my dreams come true. There it was, with the eye on its cover smizing back at my face. Yes, there was a little hesitation on my part (I only got my copy on my second day at the MIBF), but I think we all knew it was only a matter of time before I got my hands on it.

I promised that I would make sure that everyone knew all about the adventures of  Tookie De La Creme (!), Myrracle De La Creme (!!), Theopilius Lovelaces (!!!), and Zarpessa Zarionneaux (!!!!), and I thought what better way to do so than through a chapter by chapter review.

Here’s how it’s going to go down: I had initially thought about only posting twice a week, but since the book has 48 chapters (!), that would mean 24 weeks of “Modelland”. As much as that prospect thrills me, I do have a day job and other books to read. So, you’ll get posts on “Modelland” five times a week. Maybe even twice in one day if I can’t help myself.

So sit back, relax, practice your smizes, because this shit is going to go down and it’s going to go down right now.

Continue reading Chapter by Chapter Review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Prologue and Chapter 1

Book to Series Recap: Game of Thrones Ep. 2 “The Kingsroad”

Or, Tyrion’s pimp hand is strong

The last time we were at Chateau Stark, Bran had fallen to his apparent death, or at least that’s what those who didn’t read the book thought had happened. You see, people who only watched the series and didn’t even bother looking at the Wikipedia page of the book “Game of Thrones” was based on have some really weird conversations about this whole shebang.

One person, for instance, had this to say about Ned Stark’s demise: “Maganda pa rin kaya ang next season” The lack of punctuation is totally theirs. Yes, maybe I am expecting too much from people, but Jesus. Jesus.

But anyway, let’s move on. In “The Kingsroad”, we have: The Britney Spears and Kevin Federline of the Seven Kingdoms, bitches galore, and Tyrion Lannister’s pimp hand of awesomeness.

As usual, NSFW all around.

Continue reading Book to Series Recap: Game of Thrones Ep. 2 “The Kingsroad”

Book review: Scott Westerfeld’s “Goliath”

Way back in early 2009, I pretty much didn’t care for Scott Westerfeld or any of his work. I knew of the “Uglies” series, but didn’t really have any desire to pick the books up and add them on my shelf.

It was only in October of 2009 that I became one of the Westerfeld faithful. I had picked up “Leviathan”, piqued by its steampunk cover and the snippet of conversation between Prince Aleksandar of Hohenberg and Count Volger that was printed on its back cover. I read it, gushed about it here, and when “Behemoth” came out, I gushed even more.

And I’m not the only one doing it either. Three years since it first began, Scott Westerfeld’s tale of steam-powered war machines and “fabricated” beasts have won over critics and readers alike. The School Library Journal declared that the “Leviathan” series is “sure to become a classic”; “Leviathan” was even awarded the 2010 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Fiction. Readers haven’t been remiss in showing their appreciation as well, as both “Leviathan” and “Behemoth” have enjoyed stints on the New York Times Bestseller lists.

The series now draws to a close with the publication of “Goliath”. Will this final installment of an excellent series bring the story to a satisfying close? Or will it flounder under the expectations set by the first two books in the trilogy?

Continue reading Book review: Scott Westerfeld’s “Goliath”

Book review: Rachel Ward’s “Numbers”

I’m sure many of you guys remember the furor over the Wall Street Journal essay “Darkness Too Visible“, which declared most of today’s popular young adult work to be much too dark for actual young adults. The controversy that piece generated resulted in #yasaves, a Twitter-powered show of support for young adult works unafraid to toe the line with regards to the subjects of their work and how delicately — or not — to portray them.

I don’t know if #yasaves generated as much as a hubbub in the United Kingdom, but if it did, I’m pretty sure young adult author Rachel Ward would have been one of its staunchest supporters. Her debut novel, “Numbers”, certainly fits the the “dark” YA bill, as it tells the story of two teenagers on a harrowing trek across England after a terrorist attack makes them the object of a police investigation.

Continue reading Book review: Rachel Ward’s “Numbers”

Book review: Alexander Yates’ “Moondogs”

Some of you guys may not know it, but there’s actually been a handful of novels written by foreign authors that are set here in the good old Philippine Islands, specifically here in the slightly dusty Pearl of the Orient, Manila.

Obviously, as someone who’s spent all his life here, these books always fascinate me. How do these foreigners see my city? Do they see it the same way as I do, or are their impressions of the city so wildly different from my own? Can they help me see an aspect of the city I was never aware of before?

For instance, Alex Garland’s “The Tesseract” was such a curious thing to read because while there were snatches of the Manila I know, for the most part it read like an old “edition” of Manila gleamed mostly from pop culture representations. I didn’t hate the book, but I felt like I would have enjoyed it more if the setting felt a little more genuine.

Now along comes Alexander Yates’ “Moondogs”, another “Manila” novel written by a foreigner. Of course I started reading it with a little trepidation. Was this going to be as frustrating a read as “The Tesseract” was?

Continue reading Book review: Alexander Yates’ “Moondogs”

My MIBF loot report#2

Things didn’t let up even during the last two days of the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF). Over the weekend, it seemed like I was still scurrying to and fro either attending talks or interviewing authors. If not that, I was scurrying off the the other end of the metropolis for an entirely different work obligation.

As such, I didn’t really get to check out as much of the other booths at the MIBF. I mostly just hovered at the National Book Store booth as they had some of the most noteworthy events — interviews with Alexander Yates, Samantha Sotto, and Rachel Ward! — and as a result got most of the books I bought there.

Continue reading My MIBF loot report#2

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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Book to Series Recap: Game of Thrones Ep. 1 “Winter is Coming”

Or, When Titties Attack!

Welcome one and all to the first ever Book to Series Recap!

As the title suggests, I will be writing recaps of television series’ episodes. Since my blog is still a book blog, the series has to be one based on a book. My first choice was to do “True Blood”, since it’s currently airing, but I hadn’t read any of  the books and starting now wouldn’t help any since the series finale is airing this Monday.

The next logical choice, of course, was “Game of Thrones”. Not only had I just finished reading the book it’s based on, it just received a boatload of Emmy nominations, including one for Outstanding Drama Series and a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Peter Dinklage.

In “Winter is Coming” , we have: Fremen, winter edition! Hot bastards! Doggie style! and let’s not forget tits, tits, and tits!

(Warning: So much NSFW material under the cut!)

Continue reading Book to Series Recap: Game of Thrones Ep. 1 “Winter is Coming”