Ta da da dum…

Got a lovely surprise delivered to the office yesterday!

Ta da da dum…

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One of Our Thursdays is Missing

(book review first published in today’s Manila Bulletin, Students and Campuses Section)

The latest installment of British author Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, “One of Our Thursdays is Missing,” hit bookstore shelves this month, four years after the last novel in the series was released.

Preceded by “The Eyre Affair,” “Lost in a Good Book,” “The Well of Lost Plots,” “Something Rotten,” and “The First Among Sequels,” “One of Our Thursdays is Missing” is the much-awaited follow-up in the comic fantasy series starring Thursday Next, a literary detective who has the rare ability to “jump” into the BookWorld.

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Have you read a banned book lately?

One last post for Banned Books Week, this time an article that was published in today’s issue of Manila Bulletin:

Banned Books Week!

By BLOOEY SINGSON, Contributor
October 1, 2010, 3:13pm

MANILA, Philippines – The last week of September is Banned Books Week, an annual event spearheaded by the American Library Association (ALA) to celebrate the freedom to read.

Founded on the principle of intellectual freedom, Banned Books Week draws attention to the threats of censorship by showcasing over a hundred books that have been subject to banning, challenge, or any attempt to restrict the access of others.

Banned Books Week is a constant reminder of the importance of “the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular,” and the power of literature to shape minds.

Banned Books Week encourages people to pick up one of the banned books on the list, to think for themselves, and allow others to do the same.

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The Mockingjay has landed!

(first published in Manila Bulletin)

The long wait is finally over for fans of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, as “Mockingjay,” the final installment in Scholastic’s hottest property since Harry Potter, was released worldwide this week.

Since “Mockingjay” was announced in December 2009, fans have kept an eye on the countdown clock as they held their breaths on the fate of the series heroine, Katniss Everdeen, and the nation of Panem. Much of the fandom is based online: fan pages, countdown counters and badges, miles of fan fiction, online book clubs and book discussions, and blog tours.

“Mockingjay” has been so highly anticipated that even those in the literary circles were scrabbling about for advance copies, but to no avail. Scholastic kept it under wraps, more closely guarded than “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” that furor ensued all over the internet when Andrew Sims, administrator of Harry Potter fan site mugglenet.com, tweeted that he got ahold of a copy nearly two weeks before the release.

And when a video of Suzanne Collins reading the first few paragraphs of “Mockingjay” was posted on the internet one day before the release, fans all over the world hung on to her every word.

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Judging a book by the cover

I have a confession to make: I judge books by the cover.

I can’t help myself — I trawl through dozens of bargain books several times a week, and I browse through book covers to “separate the wheat from the chaff,” so to speak, especially if I don’t recognize the book title or the author. And then when the cover captures my fancy, that’s the only time I’ll scan through the rest of the data: title, author, and the blurb.

It saves a lot of time, and the method has worked for me so far.

Another confession, and this is freakier: when I’m in a big hurry, I even judge books by the spine! I can actually spot the spines of certain book series I collect off the bat, I’ve practiced the cursory scan enough times to pick out the books I like!

And another confession — when I really like a book, I collect different covers that I like, which is how I came to amass a collection of over a hundred Harry Potter books in different languages!

Because I’m totally engrossed in reading book 3 of the Millennium trilogy, I’ll leave you with an article I wrote for Manila Bulletin Students and Campuses section this weekend. Feel free to add your thoughts on the subject in the comments section!

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