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.
Last month, I blogged about how much I loved Suzanne Collins‘ Underland 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.
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).
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.
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:
This month, I finished Stones in Water by Donna Jo Napoli, and A Separate Peace by John Knowles.