Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 18

What? The chapter title’s “La Lumiere”. I have to use this video.

At the end of chapter 18 I expressed my stupid hope that “Modelland” might somehow free itself from the tight fist of Id!Tyra and take an entirely different direction from what we’ve been getting from the past few chapters. It’s the human thing to do, right? To hope for something better.

Of course, if there’s anything that Tyra Banks has excelled in over the years, it’s crushing whatever hope any of us may have had in our hearts — e.g. Elyse Sewell and Allison Harvard — and then reminding us that she’s the only thing we should focus our attention on.

No, Tookie and the gang aren’t going back home. All that claptrap was for nothing — kinda like ANTM All-Stars — and Tookie and the Bellas are still in Modelland. Let’s just get this chapter over with.

Continue reading Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 18

Book review: Jullie Yap Daza’s “Mistresses Play . . . Men Stray . . . The Wives Stay”

Alright guys, since I’ve had NO internet connection for about two days now — THANKS PLDT — this post will be coming to you from the patchy internet connection of my prepaid internet USB thingie.

Way before Candace Bushnell began writing about the highs and lows of having a relationship in the Big Apple with “Sex and the City”, journalist Jullie Yap Daza was already chronicling the affairs – pun intended – of the Filipino heart.

First published in 1992, “Etiquette for Mistresses and What Wives Can Learn From Them” became a runaway bestseller, going into several editions and now – a decade later – spawning a sequel.

Titled “Mistresses Play…Men Stray…The Wives Stay”, the new book tells even more tales of philandering husbands and the women who suffer them. But with several years having passed since the last installment, do Jullie Yap Daza’s tales of the unfaithful city still hold as much sway as they used to?

Continue reading Book review: Jullie Yap Daza’s “Mistresses Play . . . Men Stray . . . The Wives Stay”

Book review: Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games”

I don’t know what happened, but I only got to read “The Hunger Games” over the weekend.

And it’s not like the “Barsoom” books either, whose existence I only discovered when shirtless Taylor Kitsch started popping up on cinema screens. I already had a copy of “The Hunger Games” even before “Catching Fire” came out, and was around for the whole hoopla around the release of “Mockingjay”.

But for some reason that eludes me until now, these three books never floated to the top of my to-be-read pile. If it weren’t for the imminent release of the film next week, the books would have probably been pushed further and further down the pile.

And now that it’s been buoyed up the pile, it has to contend with the huge buzz that preceded it. I’m not kidding when I say that I expected a lot from this book going in. Will it live up to the hype, or will I just have to cut off al the friends who insisted to me that this was a really great book?

Continue reading Book review: Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games”

Book to movie review: “John Carter”

There’s no better way to get my butt planted on a theater seat than the promise of a half-naked man. And there’s also no better way to make me gloss over any faults your movie may have by having that man half-naked for almost two hours.

So yes, John Carter could have used a little more trimming and a little more exposition. But did I come out of the moviehouse entertained? Of course I did! Who wouldn’t be entertained watching Taylor Kitsch jump stratospheric heights while wearing a skirt. That’s cinematic gold right there.

But this review isn’t just about the movie. Running a little over two hours, did “John Carter” manage to retain most of Edgar Rice Burrough’s “A Princess of Mars”? Or is it going to be a painful two hours for Barsoom purists?

Continue reading Book to movie review: “John Carter”

Your week in books#32

  • All my RL friends know that I’m not averse to a little erotica — or pornography, whatever you want to call it — and it seems that erotica is exactly what’s floating everybody’s boat in America right now. “Fifty Shades of Grey”, an erotic novel that is being described as “Mommy porn” and “Twilight for grown-ups”, has just been bought bought by Vintage Books for a reported seven-figure sum. And yes, it’s the same Vintage that gives us those literary classics with such beautiful covers. (Source)
  • This was all over Facebook and Twitter the past week, but in case you don’t know yet, The Guardian reports that 500 new fairytales have been discovered in an archive in Germany. You can read one of them “The Turnip Princess” over here. (Source)
  • Here’s another discovery for you guys. An archivist stumbles upon a 111-year-old short film that features characters from Charles Dickens’ novel “Bleak House”, making it the world’s oldest Charles Dickens film. (Source)
  • I’m linking to this story on the American Academy of Arts and Letters because of this great Michael Chabon quote: “I knew that when the gray came in it was only a matter of time before my augustness would be recognized.” (Source)
  • Movie adaptation news! Reese Witherspoon just bought the movie rights to writer Cheryl Strayed’s memoir and plans to star as Strayed in the movie adaptation. (Source)
I'm sure you guys can tell who drew this.
  • And just so we go full circle back to erotica, did you guys know that Theodor Seuss Geisel — or Dr. Seuss, as he’s more popularly known — wrote and illustrated a book for adults? And by adults, I mean adults? It was called “The Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts Concerning History’s Barest Family” and it was a humongous flop. Check out the rest of the illustrations over at The Atlantic! (Source)

Book review: Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “A Princess of Mars”

I have to admit that I knew nothing about Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom” books until I saw the first trailer for Disney’s “John Carter”.

Since I am an incredibly shallow person who bases my book purchasing decisions on the abs of the guy on the cover, I immediately sought out a copy of “A Princess of Mars” purely on the strength of a shirtless Taylor Kitsch.

Of course, that buying strategy hasn’t always worked out for me in the past. There’s the sad state of the “Fallen” books by Thomas Sniegoski that I bought a couple of years ago — they are still tragically unread.

It was a good thing this one had a movie coming out, so I had a lot of motivation to finish it. But will this be another book whose purchase I will rue? Or will Taylor Kitsch’s abs prove to be an accurate indicator of literary quality?

Continue reading Book review: Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “A Princess of Mars”

Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 17


“Everyone in the room screamed, their faces melting and warping just like Tookie’s was. Piper’s skin was so raw it was transparent. Her blood was visible, pumping wildly through her face. She resembled a skeleton with muscles and veins, with a thin layer of clear plastic keeping it all together.”

Damn, Tyra. That is some sick shit. Where have you been hiding this? Tyra, this is a gift. You’re good at imagining these scenarios. Turn this book into a gory horror novel and I will love you un-ironically forever and ever.

Continue reading Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 17

Book review: Anne Rice’s “The Wolf Gift”

Over the past few years, Anne Rice and I have been having a little tiff. I mean, she’s mostly unaware of it, but it’s been going on for years. I didn’t touch any of her Jesus books, and her Songs of the Seraphim series didn’t exactly soar in my opinion.

That was why when I heard that she was doing a werewolf novel, I wasn’t exactly gagging for it. Werewolves have been done to death over the past couple of years — just look at your neighborhood bookstore’s young adult (YA) shelves. And after reading her most recent work? I wasn’t exactly confident she was going to bring anything new to the table.

Nevertheless, I still got myself a copy of “The Wolf Gift”, because I’ve been reading her since I was in high school and you just can’t throw all of that away, as much as you want to. I just hoped against hope that I would not be bitterly disappointed yet again.

Continue reading Book review: Anne Rice’s “The Wolf Gift”

Your weeks in books#31

It’s been a while since we’ve had one of these things!

  • Of course, the biggest thing happening in the country this March — at least for fans of YA — is the upcoming visit by bestselling author Lauren Oliver. She’ll be signing books at the Powerbooks at Greenbelt 4 on March 25, 3 p.m. And, five fans may even get to have lunch with her! Details are over at National Book Store’s Facebook page. (Source)
  • Lauren Oliver isn’t the only person that National Book Store is bringing over! As reported by Comic Book Resources, Mark Millar will also be visiting the country in May! (Source)
  • The University of the Philippines is also holding a month-long book sale in celebration of its 47th anniversary! All UP Press titles, bestsellers, and new releases will be sold at a 20 percent discount, and all consigned titles at a 5 percent discount. The book sale runs from March 1 – 31, 2012. The UP Press bookstore is located at E. de los Santos Street, UP Campus, Diliman, Quezon City and is open from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
  • A book blog by the Guardian ponders on what effect the increasing popularity of book trailers has on the books themselves. (Source)
  • Batman is named the greatest comic book hero. Of the top 10 heroes listed, Wonder Woman is the only…woman. (Source)
  • After facing protests from a group called “One Million Moms”, Life with Archie #16 — featuring the interracial gay marriage of character Kevin Keller — flies off the bookshelves. (Source)
  • The New York Times has a really interesting story on The Physical Archive of the Internet Arhive, which seeks to “collect one copy of every book.” (Source)

Book review: Carlo Vergara’s “Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila”

I don’t remember how I first heard about “Ang Kagilagilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah”, but I do know that the moment I laid hands on it I couldn’t put it down.

I read comic books alongside more “serious” material, and one thing I always found lacking in both were characters that my young homosexual self could relate to. The closest character I could latch on to was Storm, because that girl is fierce.


So to see the main character in a comic book be a gay man and a hilarious woman? It was like the Powers-That-Be thought it was about time my childhood was redeemed.

And it seemed like I wasn’t the only one who thought so! Not only did “Ang Kagilagilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah” get turned into a movie (see above clip) and a blockbuster musical, it won its creator Carlo Vergara the National Book Award in 2003. It was just so great for me to see a comic book with a gay sensibility achieve not just mainstream success but also critical acclaim as well.

It’s been a decade since then, and only now has Carlo Vergara come out with “Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila”, the long awaited sequel to his blockbuster work. Will it live up to the standards set by the first book? Or will I just be bitterly disappointed?

Continue reading Book review: Carlo Vergara’s “Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila”