Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Reading Inventory

Sometime in early 2006, I posted a list of books I have read in 2005 in this blog. I remember making a promise to continue reading for the succeeding years and listing down the books I have read by the end of the year. But, real life has a way of snatching dreams and holding up promises. In short, I did read a lot in the span of three years but failed to take an inventory of the books and writers I've admired and abhorred.

Now here I am, blogging on Valentine's Day to catch up on a lost promise. Perhaps it will hold little interest to some of my readers, nevertheless, I will fulfill it for my own sake. I am a librarian, therefore, I read.

So here are current books I've digested at the start of the year. After the list, are books I remember reading since 2006. Some I reckon with fondness while a few are mentioned for less pleasant reasons.

January Reading List

1. 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan - Scholastic merges the best of several worlds - reading, gaming and the WWW . The publishing company who gave us Harry Potter is experimenting on an integration of mediums and so far, they have been successful. The series will hold an appeal for both readers and gamers but I find the merchandising too aggressive. It is an exciting read but the online games and the free game cards are for me a turn off. It robs me of the magic that the book is supposed to hold. I doubt if I would read beyond the third book since there will be actually ten books in the series. Riordan is a good writer. Korman tries to sustain what he begun, however, the prize and the merchandise keep me from suspending my disbelief.

2. Firebird Rising; An Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Sharyn November - I like reading anthologies because, it's like eating cookies. You pick two or three pieces from the cookie jar and you munch them one by one. So far, I've read five stories from the anthology and three of these delighted me to the bone. Dianne Wynne Jone's I Give You My Word tells of the power of the written and spoken word. The next time you use a dictionary, you better be sure where to use the word and how to wield its potency. In The House of Seven Librarians by Ellen Klages, I met all the librarian stereotypes and I could not help but cringe. It's a good thing Klages now her library science that she narrates the lives of her seven characters with dignity and respect. It's peppered with library humor too so the librarian stereotypes as described in the story can be overlooked. It's fantasy, besides. My kind has come a long way since.

3. The Tales of Beedle The Bard by JK Rowling - Superb craftsmanship and excellent rendering of conceit!

This month until summer, I have several anthologies to keep me sane and intact. I got Dahl's anthology for a very cheap price on sale and a good friend gifted me with Susan Vreeland's Life Studies. And of course, I will not miss Dean Alfar's Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 4 to be launched at the end of the month.

I am currently half way through the second book in the 39 Clues series and Gaiman's first Newberry, The Grave Yard Book shall soon be lent to me by a dear friend. Ah, to have friends and books!

Now here's a random list of books I have devoured and digested to make up for the past two or three years of missing a reading inventory.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman; The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JKR; Bagets; An Anthology of Young Adult Fiction edited by Pacis and Evasco; Widdershins by Charles de Lint; I Am Messenger and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JKR; Prince Ombra by Roderick Macleish; Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories; Lowry's Number the Stars; For One More Day by Albom; Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman; InkSpell by Funke; The Bartimeus Trilogy by Stroud; The Iron Man by Ted Hughes; The Legend of the Wandering King by Laura Gallego Garcia; PSF Vol. 3 edited by Dean and Nikki Alfar; Maus by Spiegelman; Coelho's Witch of Portobello; Hemmingway's The Old Man and the Sea; Alcott's Little Women; Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice; Dahl's Switch Bitch; Tolkien's The Hobbit; Children of Two Seasons by Lara Saguisag; Enrique El Negro by Pacis; The Faery Reel: Tales From The Twilight Realm edited by Terri Windling; Firebird: Anthology of Sci-fi and Fantasy edited by Sharyn November; The Night Monkeys; The Runaways; A Mouse Called Wolf; The Shredderman Vol. 3; Deltora Quest...and that's all I can remember for now.

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