Archive for the ‘livres’ Category

Opulence à l’encre.

February 4, 2012

Opulence in ink. That’s how I always see Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. It’s so rich and thick, like drinking melted Lindor dark truffles, that kind of rich you want to indulge in.

I was browsing through my sister’s books, when I saw her early published edition of the novel. One can tell that it’s been around because it’s semi-moldy, pages are amberish, and the leaves seem frail to touch like thin wafers.

I missed how I felt way back when I first read the novel, so I decided to sulk in a corner, and luxuriate in it.

I suddenly miss NYC.

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Le roi et futur fois.

December 9, 2011

The Once and Future King, by Terence Hanbury White. One of the best there is, and is listed amongst my favorites.

The book crossed my mind the other day when someone mentioned something that prompted me to think of those droppings of the Glatisant (a questing beast in the novel). And for 7 painstakingly-long minutes, I incessantly ransacked my brain for that word, and remembered fewmets (FEWMETS!). Oh the ethereal bliss of solving the inevitable I-know-the-word-but-I-can’t-effin’-remember-grrr moments.

Le Glatisant

I was on leave today, and spent the entire day at home. I was checking out blogs on the net, when I came across my old blog, and read a rather riveting entry I had way back. It’s an excerpt from the TH White novel:

This rabbi, went on a journey with the prophet Elijah, they walked all day, and at nightfall they came to the humble cottage of a poor man, whose only treasure was a cow. The poor man ran out of his cottage, and his wife ran too, to welcome the strangers for the night, and to offer them all the simple hospitality which they were able to give in straitened circumstance. Elijah and the rabbi was entertained with plenty of the cow’s milk, sustained by homemade bread and butter, and they were put to sleep in the best bed, while the kindly hosts lay down before the kitchen fire. But in the morning, the poor man’s cow was dead. They walked all the next day, and came that evening to the house of a very wealthy merchant, whose hospitality they craved. The merchant was cold and proud and rich, and all he would do for the prophet and his companion was to lodge them in the cowshed and feed them on bread and water.  In the morning, however, Elijah thanked him very much for what he had done, and sent a mason to repair one of his walls, which happened to be falling down, as a return for his kindness. The Rabbi Juchanan, unable to keep silence any longer, begged the holy man to explain the meaning of his dealings with human beings.

In regard to the poor man who received us so hospitably“, replied the prophet, “it was decreed that his wife was to die that night, but in reward for his goodness, God took the cow instead of his wife. I repaired the wall of the rich miser because a chest of gold was concealed near the place, and if the miser repaired the wall himself he would have discovered the treasure. Say not therefore to the Lord: What doest thou? But say in thy heart: Must not the Lord of all the earth do right?

I’ve always loved this novel snippet, can’t believe I almost forgot about it.

Will re-read this once am done with Palahniuk’s Fight Club.

Un-Q-Quatre vingt quatre

October 13, 2011

Hardcover version by Knopf Publishing

1Q84. The long overdue anglais translation of Haruki’s latest chef-d’œuvre, by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel. Rubin is one of them best translators around, and not to mention my fave amongst others, which makes me doubly giddy and excited (and ready to pee any moment now).

The release is published in hardcover, by Knopf. Am still waiting for the paperback Vintage edition of 1Q84, granting me ample time to start on Orwell’s 1984. But of course, before that’s even possible, I need to put an end to the Lord of the Rings, am already halfway through the Two Towers.

Express reading: ENGAGED.

Le grand livre d’exercices

May 22, 2011

The Big Book of Exercises, by Men’s Health. And mind you, the guys from MH weren’t the least kidding when they tagged this fitness manual as big. Because it is. Hefty both in size, and in info. And for the first time ever, I was duly enlightened on how muscle growth comes into existence, via micro tearing and muscle-protein synthesis, I was like … “Efff. I didn’t know that.“. This is the shizzz.

It’s got a vast variety of routines, neatly sectioned per major muscle group. It’s like going to a restaurant, and ordering something like … “I’d want to have 3 of those advanced leg extension routines, one variation of chest press, a liberal helping of arm curls, and for my woman’s dessert, I’d like her to have a well defined pair of my glutes. Oh, and also, a solid rock-hard abs to-go please.“. LOL.

I love this book.

Le très, très grand livre du football, et c’est le mien!

September 10, 2010

 

Le livre du fùtbol, par DK.

 

The very, very grand book of fùtbol, and it’s mine! Haha. Been scouting for a really good book on fùtbol for almost a month now. And as if the heavens, stars, and constellations, ultimately realigned,  I finally got one from Fully Booked! It’s just undeniably, lust a first sight. And just like that, I released the tight grasp of my grubby claw on The Scarlatti Inheritance by Robert Ludlum.

As I was paying at the counter, my card got denied twice (curse you for the mass blocking, Citibank!). And then as if fate immediately stepped-in. My friend lent me cash to pay for my book. I even got additional discount for paying in cash. Haha. It’s really meant for us to be together. I call this, my book destiny.

Now where’s my ball.

Le Mosaïque de Parsifal.

September 5, 2010

The Parsifal Mosaic. Just finished this book last night (finally!). It’s, ahm, well, a good book, however the ending was uneventful. Tacky, if I may say. It is so reminiscent of The Gemini Contenders. Riveting plot, very interesting characters, exotic locations. Flaccid ending. Fantastic take-off, wonderful flight, awful landing.

And I hate that Ludlum protagonists, after going through mind-boggling mayhems, somehow managed to stay alive up until the end. I’d love it if the protagonist got skinned alive, then died eventually due to excessive bleeding.

Anyways, the story’s about this US government agent who witnessed the assassination of his lover (also a fellow agent), and then dropped out of service right after that. Months after that dreadful event, he accidentally saw his supposed-to-be-dead lover in a train station in Europe. Alive. And then there, the chase begins. Girl runs for her life. Guy runs after her.

Ludlum’s still the master of spy plots. Bourne rules!

Parsifal

I looked up Parsifal. Almost literal translation of Parsifal (Parzival, or Percival) is Knight of flowers. According to legend (or to the the German poet Eschenbach’s 13th century poem to be exact), Parsifal, in his quest for the Holy Grail, found the spear that was used by a Roman soldier to cut the side of Christ while he was still hanging up on the cross. It was rumored that this spear has the power to puncture deep wounds, but at the same time, can also heal.

And now, I’m off to devouring my next victim, Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I got so worked up that I need to pee.

Pourquoi J’aime Milan Kundera.

August 30, 2010

Milan Kundera

Why I love Milan Kundera. Not a big fan of his (yet), and never read any of his works (yet). But today (as it was due for covering seize des mes livres in plastic) as I was browsing through his novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being, I got to read that Monsieur Kundera is in fact, a Franco-Czech.

Niiice.

I have always thought (well, one of my offbeat bizarre musings) that in my previous life, I was a struggling french artist living in Prague, and Milan Kundera actually IS one! Well, his was the other way round. He’s actually a Czech exiled in Paris. But the slight difference does not matter since he spent most of his life in two of mes villes préférées en Europe. How cool is that!

Pont de Saint Charles avec le chapeau de fedora.

Fun stuff, I noticed that on the book cover is a floating fedora hat in, where else, les fameux Charles Bridge in Prague 🙂 Le livre was originally written and published en français.
And just like that, his book was abruptly tagged next in my book queue list.
I can already tell that I am going to love this book, can’t wait to wolf it all down, verbatim.

Le Norwegian Wood.

August 14, 2010

Like Catcher in the Rye, I never got tired of the story. Somehow I can relate to the protagonist on his stoic (or so it seems) take on life. Every spring when I go on vacation, two books are tucked dans le valise by default. It’s like taking Toru and Holden with me, on a trip.

Just recently I gave a copy of Norwegian Wood to a project teammate. She immediately got hooked to the story (after my nth annoying persistence with her to finally read the book). She’s such a keen observer of the scenes, and of the characters as well, that I got envy and made me read alongside her pace.

This book makes me feel peacefully crestfallen. Every single time. The same thing I feel when things don’t go my way, but decided to shrug it all off, and move on.

Le marathon de livre.

April 26, 2010

(The book marathon)

Nearing my month-long vacation in le fa-bu-lous Nouveau York, it suddenly dawned on me that my targeted book deadline (yes, I do schedule my reading activity as to catch-up with my 200+ book backlog) to finishing The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (by le talentueux artisan Monsieur Murakami) is in 3 days. That’s 3 days of fast-paced reading! Considering that I only read while in transit to/fro work. I need to wolf-down the remaining 150 pages of the 607-page novel within the span of six 1.5 hour commutes.

After Wind-Up, I’d be doing an attempt to climb my literary Everest. Tolstoy‘s War and Peace. Am I prepared for the written journey of epic proportions? Am I book-brave enough to trod the earth of Tsarist Russia, and mingle with the aristocrats?

I am having second thoughts.

In the meantime, I still need to find the answer to Toru Okada’s enigmatic existence. Or is there really an answer to all the questions (question is such an underrated term for my musings)? Haruki, are you playing another one of your bizarre literary pranks? I love it when you make a confused fool out of me.

Le diamant gros comme le Ritz

January 2, 2010

A very interesting short story from the master of opulent novels, F. Scott Fitzgerald. One of the highlights of the story was when Mr. Washington attempted to bribe God with gigantesque diamonds. The scene was so preposterous that air came shooting out of my mouth and nose, producing a sound that somewhat resembles a compressed belch while laughing.


Taschen et art de Renaissance

December 26, 2009

And yet again, I found myself buying books. In my defense, these are in the non-fiction category, not counted as the usual books I buy.

I am a big fan of the renaissance, baroque, and impressionism, and did not realize it until I got my first Taschen book (the one with Botticelli). I love that the artists lived very controversial lives, worthy of TMZ, and E! True Hollywood Stories. And oh crap, they really are immensely good with their craft.

I also found this Taschen book, the complete works of Leonardo da Vinci. Got it from Book Sale for only P1,000 ($20), which in Amazon.com, retails for $70.

It really is a riveting book. Contains a lot of info about the artist, his oeuvres, and gossip-ish snippets concealed as factoids. Haha. Had fun reading this, it’s like taking art appreciation in college all over again. The book also is exceptionally big compared to the other Taschen books I bought, 10 times thicker, not to mention exceptionally heavy. Weighs around 5 lbs.

Twisted Huit et une Moitié, et La Rue à Gandolfo

December 24, 2009

I did a pact with my biblio-obsessive self a few weeks back, that I won’t buy a single book for months. And here I am, with a couple of nouveaux livres!

I am a big Jessica Zafra fan. I love her witty ironies, and her sarcasm take on things. It’s just a laugh fest every time I grab a hold of a Twisted book. I wolfed the book down for an hour, and it was really hilarious! Bought also a copy each for ma sœur X, et ma copine Z.

I saw this book by Robert Ludlum, The Road to Gandolfo. I read the synopsis at the back of the book, and it made me interested with the plot, the promise of a fun-filled reading pleasure. I can’t wait to read this once I’m done with George Orwell’s 1984.

I still am in the hunt for Ludlum’s Bourne trilogy, in the original Bantam covers, already ransacked a book shop one after the other, and still to no avail. I wanted to read the trilogy so badly, but I just can’t read if it’s not the edition I was lusting for. Some weird psycho thing of mine.

Les Gémeaux Adversaire

November 8, 2009

Ludlum, Robert | The Gemini Contenders

(The Gemini Contenders)

Mon premiere Robert Ludlum livre, and I was not a bit disappointed. And this was not even one of the hailed novels of Monsieur Ludlum. It’s the thrill, the suspense, the exotic places, the fascinating characters, and the riveting mystery, that kept me hooked to the story. I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on the the coveted Bourne series, the original Bantam edition (not the ones with Matt Damon’s face plastered on the cover), been looking all over the livre magasin à Manille, but still to no avail. Maybe will look for it next spring in Ville de Nouveau York.

Ludlum, Robert | The Bourne Identity

Original Bantam Ed.

Ludlum, Robert | The Bourne Supremacy

Original Bantam Ed.

Ludlum, Robert | The Bourne Ultimatum

Original Bantam Ed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The plot reminds me so much of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons (The Gemini Contenders was written way before Brown started on his novels, by the way). Even Ludlum’s protaganist, Vittorio, has a female version in Brown’s Angels & Demons, Langdon’s female lead, Vittoria.

Time Août 2009: Corazon C. Aquino

August 22, 2009

cory_aquino_time_august_2009

The Philippines’ Saint of Democracy, President Corazon Cojuanco Aquino, is Time Magazine’s special report for August 2009. I was really crestfallen, devastated, when she died. Although it was quite expected because of her advanced illness, I was praying incessantly all throughout her stay in Makati Medical Center, that she would miraculously recover. It was a sad day for the world for losing one of the best and greatest leaders of the 21st Century. It was even worse for The Philippines, because the Filipinos not only lost an impeccable leader, but also lost a dear mother who loves the nation selflessly.

With all the corruption under Gloria Arroyo’s governance, and with all her (+ the individuals around her) lavish and incessant spending impervious to the poverty and employment problems of The Philippines, President Cory would surely be immensely missed.

Encore des livres pour ce semaine!

August 16, 2009

9780307389831

I bought three books this week: (1) What I Talk About When I Talk About Running —Haruki Murakami; (2) The Godfather —Mario Puzo; (3) Pride and Prejudice —Jane Austen. I was so stressed-out last Thursday, with all the work-related mayhem, so I decided to pay a visit to one of my sanity havens, a bookstore! I literally checked-out all bookstores (around 8 ) there are in the tri-mall area here in Makati, Philippines. I was actually looking for a copy of Freakonomics, and Plato and Platypus Walked into a Bar, but I found the other three instead.

I’m a big big BIG Haruki Murakami fan. Still waiting for the English version of his 1Q84 novel, hope it gets published, and hits bookstores everywhere very very VERY soon. I’m hearing a lot of positive reviews on the book.

Couverture livres avec plastique

August 16, 2009

quot-3c

Can’t think of anything to put in as my initial post. So I decided to write about what I did all Sunday, today. Wrap books in plastic. I’m a HUGE coo-coo when it comes to books (toss your Kindles away guys, reading books printed in actual paper is waaaay better than the digital version). I love love LOVE the way a new book smells, kinda like the scent of a newly baked bread.

The activity was, well, boring. No other way to put it. it is as it is. Boring. But I have  to endure the process of covering my precious livres in plastic to protect them from wear-and-tear.