It has been, gulp, more than 2 months since I last blogged. Nothing much has happened, really. It’s the same old me. I still travel. I still watch movies and the latest episodes of my favorite TV shows but, same as blogging, it has temporarily taken a backseat in lieu of my active social life (haha) and reading books. To my surprise, I completed 20 books this year. Eleven of which I am seriously recommending. Here’s the list.
Becoming a Man by Paul Monette. An autobiographic coming-out tale of a gay man. Monette’s prose is a joy to read.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. A dark coming-of-age tale of a girl during WWII who steals books and whose foster parents take in a Jew hunted by the Nazis.
A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. A sequel to A Game of Thrones. This time kings battle to lord over the Seven Kingdom’s. What’s terrific about Martin is that he does not like preserving the status quo – he kills off major characters if he wants to. I’m not saying someone dies in the book. Perhaps on the second sequel?
The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. A non-fiction book about the history of cancer where Mukherjee depicts cancer cells as constantly-evolving antagonists.
One Day by David Nicholls. A love story that is not purely a love story about a man and a woman who meet at the end of their college years and follows them as they age, burn bridges, reunite, and finally get separated again.
Freedom by Jonthan Franzen. Franzen’s prose reminds me of Dostoyevsky’s but without the latter’s melodramatic storyline. The way he writes his characters’ train of thought and his keen observation of a person’s mannerism and idiosyncrasies is like physically getting into the character’s mind.
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. HBO made a terrific adaptation of this book early this year. This book is even better.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. The first book of The Millennium Trilogy about a convicted journalist and an internet hacker who investigate the disappearance of a girl. A multi-layered plot like no other. The Swedish film adaptation was pretty good. Critics are saying the David Fincher-directed adaptation is even better. Can’t wait.
The Passage by Justin Cronin. A post-apocalyptic survival tale of a government project gone awry.
Room by Emma Donoghue. A clasutrophobic tale about a woman and her child who is imprisoned on a room with no chance of getting rescued. Think Tom Hanks and his volleyball in ‘Castaway’ but without the beach.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. It’s difficult to describe the plot of Egan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. What I can describe is it’s about how our lives interact and that we really cannot predict that what someone is now is what someone will be years, or perhaps, even decades from now.
Next: My Travels of 2011