Everything is Illuminated

I’ve long been intrigued by Jonathan Safran Foer; I’ve heard so many people raving about him. So when I saw there was a 2-in-1 hardcover volume with both Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close at National Book Store (so pretty!), I figured it was time to start reading at least one of his novels.

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Back to the Underland

Last month, I blogged about how much I loved Suzanne CollinsUnderland Chronicles after I read the first three books right before Mockingjay was released. I must confess the series took me by surprise; way before I discovered the Hunger Games series, I’d been seeing the Underland Chronicles in the bookstores and never really thought of picking them up. Then I managed to forage two books out of the bargain bins, and when I finally decided to read them, I found them utterly engrossing!

I read straight on from books 1-3: Gregor the Overlander, Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, and Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods. I had trouble finding copies of the next books in the series, Gregor and the Marks of Secret and Gregor and the Code of the Claw so I momentarily had to stop reading the series, but some wonderful friends at Scholastic (yay, thanks Ms. Joyce and Ms. Roselle!) gifted me with books 4 and 5, and as soon as the craziness of the past couple of weeks subsided, I happily dug into the remainder of the Underland Chronicles.

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Suzanne Collins Marathon

Still counting down to Mockingjay!

In an attempt to slake my excitement over Mockingjay, I brought out all the Suzanne Collins books in my possession (and bought one more) and have been reading voraciously for the past five days. I started with Gregor the Overlander, the first book of the Underland Chronicles last Friday, but I didn’t have book 2  yet so I decided to reread Hunger Games and Catching Fire on Saturday. By Sunday, I was already reaching for the copy of Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane that I’d bought the day before. And then I started reading Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods yesterday, and now I’m out of the Underland Chronicles, so the marathon’s on hold (at least until I can find myself copies of Gregor and the Marks of Secret and Gregor and the Code of the Claw).

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Beatrice and Virgil

Life of Pi
by Yann Martel will always be a memorable book for me, after we read it for the first Flips Flipping Pages book discussion in 2008. I was really sad when my brothe r borrowed my copy of the book and it ended up getting eaten by termites at his college dorm, but I got a surprise from bookish friend Triccie who gave me a deluxe illustrated edition for my birthday last year.

I enjoyed Life of Pi for its rhetoric on perception and Martel’s intelligent humor, which came unexpected for me — I wouldn’t have picked it up if not for my book club’s discussion. I also enjoyed Tomislav Torjanac’s vibrant illustrations.

I got to review Martel’s new novel Beatrice and Virgil recently, and found that I really enjoy Martel’s writing. Read on for my review, first published on Manila Bulletin.

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World War II Challenge Wrap-Up


I successfully finished the War through the Generations World War II reading challenge this December, but I haven’t been able to blog properly in the last ten days or so, with the holiday rush. Hopefully this entry still makes it.

For 2009, I’ve read:

1) The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

2) Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

3) Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

4) Night by Elie Wiesel

5) Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

6) Maus by Art Spiegelman

This month, I finished Stones in Water by Donna Jo Napoli, and A Separate Peace by John Knowles.

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