House of Leaves

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Our book club’s first unofficial discussion for the year was “House of Leaves” by Mark Z. Danielewski, and I had gotten the book with the intention of joining the discussion last Friday, but I wasn’t able to finish it in time so I stayed home (in fear of discussion spoilers) to make some headway on the book. I did finish it a few days later, and I was well and truly befuddled.

In “House of Leaves,” multiple narratives converge to tell us the strange story of a young man (Johnny Truant) who comes across a manuscript by his old neighbor, Zampano. Zampano has written a study of what appears to be a non-existent film (“The Navidson Record,” a Blair Witch-y documentary by award-winning photographer Will Navidson about a house that is (*gasp*) bigger on the inside, with closets and hallways popping up and disappearing every so often.

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EDSA Reads

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I was only a year old when the EDSA Revolution happened, and what I knew of it, I learned in history class: the Martial Law, the assassination of Ninoy Aquino, the snap elections, the military standoff, and the People Power.

While I have always been thankful to the generation that took to the streets to fight for the freedom that I enjoy as a Filipino today (traffic-geddon notwithstanding :s), I am glad that we have access to materials in commemoration of the EDSA revolution, giving us a chance to revisit this chapter of Philippine history, and read about the stories that should never be forgotten.

In honor of the EDSA revolution, here’s a roundup of EDSA-themed reading: “EDSA Uno: Narrative and Analysis with Notes on Dos & Tres” by Angela Stuart-Santiago, “The Untold Story of Imelda Marcos”/”Imelda Marcos: The Rise and Fall of One of the World’s Most Powerful Women” by Carmen Navarro Pedrosa; “Salingkit” by Cyan Abad-Jugo; “Isang Harding Papel” by Augie Rivera and Rommel Joson, and “EDSA” by Russell Molina and Sergio Bumatay III.

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Call for Entries: PBBY Alcala Prize, Ang INK Applications

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This year’s Alcala Prize, the annual illustration honor given by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), is now open for entries.

The winner, to be awarded on National Children’s Book Day on July 21, will receive a cash prize of P25,000, a gold medal and an opportunity to be published.

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Roundup: Books about Books

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If there’s one thing I love more than books, it’s books about books. For a book lover, there’s always extra pleasure to be derived from books that deal with bookstores and libraries, bookish characters, and paragraphs and paragraphs that wax poetic about books (*sigh*).

I’ve read a bunch of them in the last few months, so I’ve put together some capsule reviews for you. Included in this selection are: “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin; “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore” and “Ajax Penumbra: 1969″ by Robin Sloan; “The Library of Unrequited Love” by Sophie Divry; “The Strange Library” by Haruki Murakami; and “84, Charing Cross Road” by Helene Hanff.

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