ReaderCon Filipino Fridays – Week 1

Mark the date, everyone!

I’m going to write more about the 1st Filipino ReaderCon at this year’s Manila International Book Fair in the upcoming days but today is the kick-off of the Filipino Fridays Meme running up to the event. If you can attend the event, PLEASE DO SO. It’ll be good thing to show the publishing and bookselling industry how much of a formidable force Pinoy readers have become.

August 12 – Introduction. Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a Filipino reader. You can talk about the genres that you read, your favorite authors, your comfort reads and your best books of 2011. You can also include links of where other readers can find you online: blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Shelfari, etc.

I’ve only set up this specific blog late last year but I’ve been around, so to speak. Writing about books is something I’ve done for more than half of my life–sometimes professionally, but for the most part, it’s simply a passion. When I’m not working of playing Go, I obsess about my reading progress at Goodreads, where a delightful group of Filipino readers have become a new and exciting aspect of my reading life.

As for favorite books, I love among other titles:

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
All the King’s Men
Invisible Cities
The Prince (yes, Machiavelli’s The Prince)

I seldom reread books–it’s a flaw in my personality, being perpetually anxious about the infinite number of books I’ve yet to read. However, I do have comforting, go-to authors. They are Ray Bradbury, Michael Chabon, Dorothy L. Sayers, Dashiell Hammett and Umberto Eco. I obviously have a penchant mysteries and SFF but I’ll read anything, even the back of cereal boxes.

Recently my stamina for reading have dwindled, and it’s amazing how anxious that made me feel. Being a reader is as much part of my self-identity as family and friends and that kind of relationship with the written word is something I’m not giving up without a fight. Whatever the drudgeries of life, however many distractions and easy entertainments there are in the world today, there’s nothing quite like the simple pleasure of a book, an author’s mind and your own meeting across time and space.

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16 thoughts on “ReaderCon Filipino Fridays – Week 1

    • I don’t know about me knowing more about mysteries, you’ve obviously read a lot yourself! I hope we can talk about that sometime, we can swap recs and anti-recs. :D

  1. I really should bump Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell up my TBR pile. I’ve had my copy since 2007! I think I keep on pushing it back because it’s such a thick book. :P

    Oh hey, Dorothy L. Sayers! I have a used copy of Strong Poison but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Lord Peter Wimsey is pretty popular amongst fans of Megan Whalen Turner’s books so I caved it and got a copy. Other mystery writers that I want to check out are Elizabeth Peters and Deanna Raybourn. Have you heard of them?

    Love the last paragraph in your post! I feel like reading will always be a part of my life and I also get worried when I’m in the midst of a reading slump. Hope an amazing book comes your way soon! :)

    • Yeah, the thickness of Jonathan Strange has been a difficult thing to get over, even with some of my acquaintances. I read it around the time I read my first Naomi Novik book so the Napoleonic theme was very complimentary. Tell me what you think once you’ve read it! :)

      I really love the humor of Dorothy Sayers. Haven’t read Strong Poison but if I remember correctly that’s the book where Wimsey meets Harriet Vane. I love them as a couple. I’m interested in Elizabeth Peters too. Haven’t heard of Deanna Raybourn, I’ll definitely check her out.

      Thanks for the wonderful comment. I think my reading this year has definitely expanded my reading tastes, particularly in non-fiction. I wish my eyes don’t tire so easily though. It’s making me think about trying audiobooks more seriously, but I’m such a newbie about it.

  2. Hope to see you at ReaderCon to chat about books — and Aklan! :P Trust me, you know a lot more about mysteries; I always check the stuff you read. Elizabeth Peters would be fantastic if you like Indiana Jones, while Deanna Raybourn is a mix between romance and mystery set in the Victorian period. :)

  3. Like Chachic, I’ve had my copy of Jonathan Strange for a while now, but I just haven’t had the compulsion to go back to it yet. I’ve read several chapters but it proved quite a challenge. I don’t mind thick books, but maybe I have to get used to Susanna Clarke’s writing style first. I admire you for reading the more difficult authors like Umberto Eco (Foucault’s Pendulum is another challenge I haven’t managed to finish yet.)

    Nice meeting you, Kristel! :)

    • Hi, thanks for visiting! I agree, the writing style for Jonathan Strange can be a challenge but I read from your post that you like Jane Austen and her works have kind of the same vibe? If Umberto Eco is a challenge for you I recommend reading his essays like those in How to Travel With a Salmon. I think I stuck to reading him because I used to spent hours in the library in between classes everyday.

  4. Hi! I’ve got Kavalier and Clay and Jonathan Strange on my favorites list as well. At first, I had difficulty getting through the first few pages of both these books but I’m glad I stuck with it because they really are great reads!

    • Hi Tin, I think we have similar tastes. :) I agree that you really just have to power through the books because they end up becoming very rewarding.

  5. Oh! I really loved that thick book, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell! Especially when Clarke used footnotes :) I have the copy of Chabons Kavalier and Clay, I liked the story but I am still stuck somewhere in the second chapter. I find his sentences flowery but I love his choice of words and how he use it. I’ll go back reading it in the future! :)

    • Some people I know get put off by the footnotes but I really loved them too! I think Kavalier and Clay pics up once the characters begin to collaborate in comics, but Chabon’s prose is very flowery, I agree.

  6. Hey, Kristel! I’ve gone through a couple of reading slumps myself. I find that after a while, it usually sorts itself out. That, and I got to reading books I don’t normally read, like lots of short non-fiction works.

    Oh, I loved Jonathan Strange, too. I agree that it has the same sort of style as Austen. Kind of a Victorian feel to the writing. And yay for Chabon!

    • I just find it weird when I have a long TBR list but i still couldn’t decide which books to read next. But I chalk that up to my own neuroses. :D

  7. Wow! I wish I have a copy of Kavalier & Clay. I’ve been eternally postponing my purchase of it ever since someone claimed to have bought his copy at Books for Less.

    We both have the same flaw (seldom rereading) and the anxiety (the humongous TBR pile).

    • Have you tried Avalon.ph? I think Jasper (the guy who runs it) has a surplus of K&C copies. They’re under 300 pesos, which I think is pretty reasonable.

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