Read It: Slade House

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Slade House by David Mitchell

 

“People are masks, with masks under those masks, and masks under those, and down you go.” 

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Read It: We Are Okay

We Are Okay

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

“Tragedy, heartbreak, betrayal, these are all things that change a person. If we endure them and we aren’t changed, then something is wrong.”

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Read It: American Gods

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman

 All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.

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Read It: A Dog’s Purpose

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A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Late post.

I was assigned to moderate our book club’s required reading for October (first time to moderate solo – yay!) and thought about a topic or genre that hasn’t been discussed before. I was contemplating on humor or pets but since I am fond of dogs, I chose the latter.

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Read It: Fahrenheit 451

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I was looking for a small book to read for our trip to China and decided to get Fahrenheit 451 on a whim. It was small and compact, and it was inexpensive. Hehe. I was actually thinking that if by chance I lose this book during the trip, it would totally be okay for me. But of course, the chances of me losing a book would be very slim.

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel documenting the enlightenment of Guy Montag, a fireman living a bland life, who is responsible for destroying and burning books which are considered illegal. He has never questioned why they burn books until one day he meets Clarisse, an odd teenage neighbor who questions life’s eccentricities that makes him wonder the purpose of doing what they do. Out of curiosity, Guy steals a book from one of their burning sessions and starts reading, questioning the reasons for burning books. As a fireman, he is not supposed to defy their responsibilities as guardians of their community by making sure that all printed materials are turned to ashes. Guy’s little rebellion does not go unnoticed and he is then pursued for breaking the law.

Honestly, one of the main questions I had while reading the novel was why the heck would they ban and burn books in the first place?! When Bradbury was writing the books, maybe he was thinking of the future possibility of books being banned or deemed with no value? Anyway, the way he thought of the future was not off the mark. To be fair, a lot of people nowadays would rather sit in front of their screens and do whatever with their handheld gadgets. People have been taken over by their obsession with technology and most people are too busy to actually go outside. But the difference with Bradbury’s vision with our reality is we still give value to our history and the printed works. Montag’s world was too into the present and the future that they refuse to even acknowledge the past. They’re too afraid to relive the history of the world and too obsessed with escaping what was written in the books. They’re afraid of knowledge and would rather live in a world of fiction and slapstick entertainment.

I’m glad that Bradbury’s vision for the future did not come true. I’m happy to still have a shelf full of books and not be afraid of having them burned down by firemen because I’d still prefer a book over a Kindle.

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Read It: The Complete Persepolis

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The Complete Persepolis

by Marjane Satrapi

Finally! Some free time to write. The past few months have been quite a challenge. There have been changes in my schedule so it was a bit hard to adjust to the not so freelance life (more on that next time). I am trying to fix how I can still do the things I love despite the additional work load and until now, it’s still on a trial and error phase. Hehe.

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is a graphic autobiography of the author. It narrates the life of Marjane’s childhood, growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution to her coming of age while studying in Austria and then going home to her family in Iran. Her experiences as a child were cute and innocent, and shows her creativity, her awareness to the current issues and how she expresses her stand on these. Growing up, I guess she is very fortunate to have been brought up in a well-off family. During her rebellious teenage years, she was quite hard-headed and ended up getting into an argument with her school principal. Gripped with fear for Marjane’s actions, her mother decides to send her to Austria to attend a French school. Her experiences in Austria and away from her family has helped her discover a lot about the world outside her home country and learn more about other cultures.

I liked the flow of the story. The timeline was clean and precise (no jumping timelines) and it felt like the events unfolding were being told by a friend. The language was candid and pretty much made reading easy. The graphics were okay – average. It was not some flamboyant artwork crammed in small pages. It was simple, readable and showing a comic reality of Marjane’s life. Overall, it was not as moving as other biographies I have read maybe because I consider her privileged at some point. I haven’t watched the movie but I’ll be adding it on my to-watch list.

On a side note, one thing I hate about reading graphic novels is how fast I finish reading the book. Haha. Graphic novels are quite pricey and when I begin reading and realize that I’m almost halfway through the book, it makes me think that I should slow down to make my money worth for a few more days. Hahaha. But that’s just me. How about you? Do you feel the same way when reading graphic novels?

 

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Read It: The Complete Maus

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The Complete Maus

by Art Spiegelman

 

Graphic novels are quite pricey and as much as I want to have the luxury of collecting a shelf full of them, I try to pick a few titles to add to my collection (huhu, the woe of a lowly reader). Fortunately, a good friend was able to buy me some books during her trip so I was able to add some to my very little graphic novel shelf. Continue reading

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