Monday, August 22, 2011

Books In Brief

I've been reading too many books to bother writing about them, so briefly, here's a summary of what I've been reading:

The Pen / O.Henry Prize Stories 2010

Another Strand find. I've been reading more short stories while trying to write my own, so this was a good book for me to read. My favorites in this collection were Ted Sanders's Obit and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie's The Headstrong Historian. But I probably learned the most from Preeta Samarasan's Birch Memorial.

Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov

I bought this book because it appeared on the list of books that Zadie Smith once assigned to her class. It started off slow, but it got good towards the middle. I whiled away an afternoon in a barangay captain's house in Masbate finishing this book. And yes, I lost track of my surroundings. It was that good.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

I wouldn't have tried to re-read this book if I hadn't seen the compelling trailer for the first episode of the TV series. I'm glad that I did. My sister was trying to get me to read this a long time ago. I flipped to a random page and found it boring. What was I thinking? Game of Thrones is a fantasy novel that pays attention to the nuances -- the contrast in the attire of a lord and his men, the humor in a dwarf almost being spurred into a battle charge but deciding against it. Its vision of Westeros is grim, gritty and utterly real. I'm going to keep on reading the series, although I'm in a bit of book fatigue three-fourths through the second book in the series, A Clash of Kings. Sometimes it gets annoying how Martin keeps on shifting POVs. I skimmed all five books just to find out what happened to Arya.

No comments: