I bought five books before going home. I’m unstoppable. I’m an addict.
With the return of 99-peso hardbacks from US libraries, I snagged good finds from National. You know that I hardly prefer hardbacks but price and book’s condition considered, I could still be flexible. I like browsing through them because I could try authors who have piqued my curiosity by their numerous mass market bestsellers (they’re my literary guilty pleasure, should you be interested to know) by only shelling out 99 pesos; Booksale can also satisfy that with 95 or 80 pesos but many of them are creased at the spines already and I so do not like that.
Speaking of book peeves, I also had to say no to hardbacks with deckle edges. I just cannot take that. I’ve passed on too many good books that were on sale just because they have uneven, ragged edges. I don’t like it at all.
So what books were added to my growing number of fire hazards (God forbid)?
♦ The Dissident by Nell Freudenberger. I can’t remember why I picked this up.
♦ Naked Pictures of Famous People by Jon Stewart. A parody of different issues and concerns through short essays. I have not finished this thin book but what stood out so far were The Recipe (his hilarious take on what goes on during an awards show) and Pen Pals (letters between Princess Diana and Mother Teresa’s foundation).
♦ Dancing Girls by Margaret Atwood. Hailed by many as the woman who started the chick lit genre, though hers are undeniably more mind-evoking. I have to admit I did not quite get the deeper meaning of The Edible Woman, if there is. Her best is still The Handmaid’s Tale. With The Blind Assassin and Oryx & Crake already in my shelf, I just added this one to add to my Atwood collection. Yeah, I’m like that, get used to it.
♦ Duma Key by Stephen King. My childhood literary icon, aside from Sidney Sheldon. I was 8 when I started reading them. I would still swallow anything he writes.
♦ All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. I read this when I was in high school after loaning it from our library. I bought a tattered copy not only to have my own but because of the notes and scribbles on the pages. I still hope I would uncover a great story or put together something interesting from all the writings. My officemate-friend Ben gave me The Basic Kafka with his notes on the yellowed pages (he caught me reading it while at his party, how pathetic can that get?). I bought Capote’s In Cold Blood which also has scribbles on it. The flap even has (name of former owner), May 1969. So under it, I put (my name), October 2007. I’ve been labeling my books that way ever since.
♦ Empire Falls by Richard Russo. Just out of curiosity. Will not hurt to try it for 40 pesos.
♦ French Women For All Seasons by Mireille Guiliano. Her next book after French Women Don’t Get Fat, which I also own (bought during the international book fair in 2006 for 210 pesos) but not have gotten around to reading. I planned to read it before or after Japanese Women Don’t Get Old Or Fat (bought for 120 pesos last year at National’s September sale) but it didn’t happen.
♦ Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde. Pushed by curiosity again. According to Wikipedia (just so I would not rephrase it dumbly), “Fforde’s books are noted for their profusion of literary allusions and wordplay, tightly scripted plots, and playfulness with the conventions of traditional genres. His works usually contain various elements of metafiction, parody, and fantasy. None of his books have a chapter 13.”
The Manila International Book Fair will start on September 12. I only have the following in my to find and buy list:
♦ Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk (Trade or paperback copy only!)
♦ The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman (considered as volume 11 in The Sandman series)
♦ any novel by Ekaterina Sedia
Like I promised, that would bookend (nice!) my book-buying splurge for 2008. I promise that. If I cannot live up to it, I give you the irrevocable permission to burn me alive.