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Seafoam Sparks
curious caravans, wallflower disguises
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Wallflower Disguises
Salutations! I am Reese, and I have too many feelings.
Tatooo Vegas

It's mostly about boys in here. I'm sorry.



21st-Feb-2017 05:13 pm - Lo-lee-ta
F You Very Muchly


I finally finished Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. It was one of those books I purchased from MIBF last year, and it was one of the first books I picked up since. I just never got around to finishing it last year because I got sidetracked by other books. I used a white envelope from Fairmont hotel as a bookmark, and as I was reading through it, I was rubbing down the sharp corners of the envelope the way I used to as a child. I thought this was interesting to note.

Thoughts on Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov:

I've been itching to finish this book just because I haven't finished a substantial piece of literature this year. Haha! All I've finished so far are manga volumes (which al have been great, but I've sorely missed my fiction) + Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue (which was a wildly entertaining non fic, but yeah I missed all the action).

I'm not one to exhibit very strong feelings about controversial things like politics or current events or sexism or feminism or any other isms for that matter. I will not talk about how this book is basically a whole tome to pedophilia and incest - which are obviously very serious and sinister issues. The book is what it is.

I loved Nabokov's writing style. I didn't think he would be an easy read, for some classics tend to carry that stereotype of being terribly hard to get through. Nabokov churns out his words almost effortlessly, and he never seems to run out of beautiful ways to describe dastardly situtaions and the distrubing thoughts that consumed him day in and out. What's interesting about him is, even if he IS crazy and unstable and driven by madness and passion + YES he is a sick old man who fell in love with a 12 year old girl and proceeds to have his way with her... you as a reader, will find yourself EMPATHIZING with him all throughout the book. To a point that you're almost rooting for him to suceed in his sick exploits, are cheering him on in his plan to drug Lolita (Dolores Haze) and molest her in bed. You remain to be self-aware though, that these things that you're reading about ARE NOT RIGHT, and it's not like you're being converted into thinking otherwise - AND YET. You feel for Humbert Humbert just becasue of his LANGUAGE. The way in which he writes will sweep you off your feet ; will almost "justify" his wrongdoings just because he has been artful and repentant in his prose... I found myself in a huge moral dilemma and that was one thing I greatly appreciated about the novel. I started this book knowing what I know to be right, and yet I found myself almost in connivance with this protagonist-antagonist Humberto. It's quite an emotional rollercoaster.

And as for Lolita - the 12 year old nymphet, the stubborn tease. I didn't know that she insinuated and even encouraged their incestuous relationship (at least at the start of the book). That was so surprising. I don't think I've ever read a young character from a book be so aggressive and "impure" - excuse me for the word. But she knew she had the power to get Humbert all worked up, and she used that to her favor by withholding sexual pleasures in exchange for candy or new clothes, or a bicycle, or a trip to the movie theater. She is flighty and moody and a crude brat. She curses like a sailor, she puts her feet up on dashboards and spreads her legs in couches to be comfortable. She has a way of subtley teasing all the men around her with her seeming innocence - and she revels in the attention that is being given to her. Although she lived an obviously unconventional and distrubed childhod. Her mother passed early, leaving her to the hands of his pedophiliac stepfather of only a month without much choice. She was shuttled from city to city and didn't really get the chance to experience a proper school setting in all its childish games and spelling drills and whispered questions of puberty during recess or in between class periods. She suffers a tragic life, as well a a tragic ending. Her misery so tangible, I can almost smell it.

I highlighted this book like crazy. I went through a pink Frixion highlighter that dried out on me and that's when I knew how pretty yet impractical the Pilot Frixion line can be. I had to shift from pink to purple (which was really more of a dull gray to me in actuality) and this annoyed me slightly (I chose pink because I like assigning pink to girly things, and obviously Lolita was going to be a story of a girl / woman more than the man).

The book is littered with a lot of beautiful lines, but it leaves you with a distinct aftertaste. It's not exactly sweet or bitter, but it's just there. At the end of it all, you are left to mourn for the characters that lived, more than those that died. It seems like the characters all have led miserable lives, spinning a yarn of ill thoughts and bad decisions around themselves and deciding never to unravel.

The whole time, I was both waiting and fearing for retribution. When will Humbert and Dolores get caught? Surely people are trying to find them? Surely there might have been one onlooker who got suspicious? Will they ever be punished for their incestuous relationship? Did I want that kind of suffering for them, even? Did I really want them to go to jail? Or did I just want them to make up, say sorry, promise to never err again, and live quiet lives serparately without having to pay the price of the sin? Does wanting that make me an evil person? I don't know.

There are so many questions that I have for this book. I'm glad I finaly got to read it and finish it, but it has left me with a buzz in the head, kind of like when you've had your first alcohol in a while and your body is not used to it. From here, I plan to now read S by JJ Abrams - it's a book I've been wanting to read for a while. But this is the kind of book that demands commitment (google it and you will see how elaborate it is); it even demands to be read twice or thrice. Or maybe (after I get to watch Arrival tonight), I'll go ahead and read the rest of Ted Chiang's stories (as recommended by ampersandals. I don't know. But it was great to feel this engaged, this disturbed, about another piece of litereature again.

I've already downloaded a collection of ebooks by Nabokov and am excited to read him beyond the curtains of pedophilia and lust and incest.

Let me know what you thought, if you've ever read this book.

Alice
So after 3 years of waiting, it is finally here. A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Netflix version. The TV adaptation. When news first broke back in 2014, everybody I knew from high school linked me to that article, knowing how obsessed I was in this book series. ASOUE consumed me and my waking days, so much so that I had a notebook (ASOUE merch) that detailed all my findings about the mysteries surrounding the VFD and the Baudelaires. I also had my future house plans drawn up and had wings dedicated to each of the Baudelaire orphans. Since it wasn’t as merchandise heavy as Harry Potter, I made sure to buy EVERYTHING related to ASOUE. It wasn’t a lot, but I was still missing an ASOUE themed magic eight-ball which was out of stock on Amazon. I almost purchased an autographed copy of The Bad Beginning for 100 pounds, and I’m kind of regretful I didn’t… But needless to say, I was OB-SESSED.

Now here I am in New Zealand, in Matakana which is essentially a province. My cousin is getting married in a few hours and I’m still up at 2 am. I have a shitty internet connection here with a maximum bandwidth of 4gb. Netflix isn’t loading a single second from the series, so I had to find streams that would work but nothing ever did. Until I took a chance on a torrent that had zero seeds as of the time I downloaded it, and after a few minutes, seeds grew to around 2,000 +. After an hour and a half of waiting, I finally got to download Episode 1. Just one. But that’s more than enough for tonight!

Anyway, here’s my lengthy review of the series based on the FIRST EPISODE only. I will write a review per episode. At least, I will try. Because that is how much I am devoted to this series.

Okay. Here we go.

Overall:

The series is visually stunning. Even though they decided to heavily use CGI to support the graphics and world-building (to the point that it looked almost cartoony and intentionally unrealistic in some parts) - I still didn’t care too much. The whole thing is eye candy. It’s a balance of saccharine and macabre and the entire 40ish minutes or so was very screencap-pable.

The theme song

I don’t like it. Was it still made by The Gothic Archies? I never liked their music although it certainly has that vaudeville (what is the right term) tone to it. I wish I could’ve pitched a theme song. I feel like a melancholic music box tune would work? I’m just so detached from the theme song - it doesn’t excite me at all. It seems like its only purpose is to make possible viewers reconsider their decision of watching the series (in theme with the reverse psychology marketing strategy) but I imagined the opening sequence to be more compelling and engaging (much similar to the “fake / fanmade” ASOUE trailer Eleanora Poe released in Youtube).

I really REALLY loved Thomas Newman’s work on the ASOUE 2004 movie’s OST so I really wanted to see more of that (or at least something similar) in an expanded manner. Granted, I’d love to make a song inspired by the series after I wrap this first season up. I’m definitely going to.


The characters

Violet, they say is a spitting image of Emily Browning. I have to say I agree, but that wasn’t exactly the first or second thing that came to my mind when I saw her. Having seen her acting, I just fell in love with her. I think the Violet in the film WAS too grown up, was too moody, was too gothic - but since it’s the Violet I grew up with, I couldn’t find anything wrong with her until I finally had someone else to compare her to. First off, I love Malina’s speaking voice. It’s deep and intentional - she does sound very wise for her age. I love how she is believably good natured and positive, yet realistically reacts to glum and dire situations that call for disgust or anger or shock. In the film, Violet was too stoic and indifferent about everything (even when she was about to get married to Cound Olaf for heaven’s sake!), Klaus was the one reacting to things, though in an entirely unconvincing manner. This Violet is cute, smart, and super likeable. I love her.

Klaus sounds exactly like what book Klaus should sound like. As a teenager, i was blinded by Liam Aiken’s charms therefore I was led to believe he was amazing as Klaus. But this Klaus (Louis Hynes) is so believable. He looks smart. He sounds smart. He talks rapidly as if trying to catch up with his brain. He’s reactive, he’s stubborn, he’s resentful in appropriate times - just as I would imagine a middle child would be. He raises his voice when the situation calls for it. He grits his teeth in irk when he’s annoyed. In short, these kids are not merely there to please all the grown ups and avoid trouble. They really are kids stuck in an unfortunate situation after unfortunate situation - and THEY ARE MAD! They are fricking mad! I love how believable these kids are. At first, I had my doubts when I first saw the few photos because Violet & Klaus appear to be much younger than their movie versions are - although much more faithful to the book ages (14 and 12/13). Perfect casting for me.

Sunny is cute but I don’t like how the sounds she make never match her lip movements. I know it’s a lot to ask from a baby, but COME ON! Also, the way she bites things and how she shivers like some sort of grizzly bear when she does it is frightening to me to be honest. I think there could’ve been so many better ways to execute that without it being disturbing…

Justice Strauss by Joan Cusack is spot on. I think that’s really how I imagined Justice Strauss in my head. The thing I appreciated about her is she wasn’t just a dismissible character in this first episode at least. She was given ample backstory for you to root for her. She’s not as clueless as the movie and the book made her out to be. She’s a lonely woman longing for a family, and her efforts to nurture the children can be much more appreciated knowing that. I love her little moment with the children when she showed them her beautiful private library, as well as at the back of the train when she said that the word “mitzvah” meant “blessing” and that sharing a meal with a new family is just that.

NPH as Count Olaf - predictable. When I found out, it made so much sense. The thing that weirds me out is, they really used the 2004 film as a backbone of this series. A LOT of aesthetic elements from the movie was taken from the book (esp Count Olaf’s manor) and even his demeanour + dark humour was almost directly lifted from Jim Carrey. There were a lot of lines repeated, similar angles reshot, and I can safely say the movie served as a huge jumping off point for the series. They didn’t have to start from scratch. Essentially, the used the beautiful 2004 movie as framework for the new series, and enhanced it more knowing what they know now.

I am lukewarm about Olaf now. He has made me chuckle out loud while watching though. He definitely has funnier and smarter lines this time around. The only thing I fear is that he might stick too much to the Jim Carrey version that I cannot differentiate them the way I can distinctly tell Richard Harris’ Dumbledore from Michael Gambon’s. But as the series will progress, I am optimistic to see how NPH goes form disguise to disguise. I’m especially excited about his portrayal of Shirley, a character from Miserable Mills we haven’t seen in the movie. His makeup is so convincing and NPH as an ugly, vile receptionist is downright scary, it gives me the chills.

Mr. Poe, Mrs. Poe, Edgar and Albert - the kids were an unexpected touch. They were twins in the book, I believe. I didn’t expect to see faces to those three other characters in Mr. Poe’s family so that was a nice surprise. Surpreeez!

The wardrobe

IS GREAT! While I’ll forever be in love with movie Violet’s wardrobe with the ball skirt and fishnet sleeves, let’s be honest. That outfit was very impractical for a day in the beach (and she never got to change her outfit too, except for the wedding?). The wardrobe here is so much more faithful to the books, and very age appropriate without being ordinary. The cut and collar of Violet’s dress is crisp and sweet + you can see little whales speckled in its sparse navy pattern.

I didn’t notice what Klaus was wearing but the only important thing for me is that he has glasses and that’s good enough for me. That was the biggest, most fatal mistake the movie made.

Sunny wears baby clothes and I am okay with that. In the movie, Sunny wears this cute but ridiculous goofy dress that seemed heavier than she was. It had buckles around her arms, which looked gorgeous but come on, would a baby really wear that? To the beach??

Lemony Snicket

I still prefer the Jude Law narration just because it was so compelling, so full of heart in contrast to Warburton’s neutral, newscaster-y manner of narrating. He doesn’t emphasise on the right words, and I’m still trying to find the dramatic pauses in between his sentences for effect - but he doesn’t give that away for some reason - maybe in a great effort to veer away form the 2004 incognito version of Snicket. I am still lukewarm about him, though I think giving Snicket a face is the right decision. I cannot wait to see him interact and converge with the actual happenings in the series itself.


The story + story telling

I think Netflix made a very wise decision in giving the books 2 episodes each. I think it’s just the right amount of time to give each book justice but I do not know how feasible this format is as the series progresses and grows into more eventful stories. I am very optimistic that ASOUE would be around for at least a Season 2 (but goddamn they better FINISH THIS THING OR ELSE) as they’ve already cast the Quagmires and that makes my heart sing an opera.


The easter eggs

I AM IN LOVE WITH THE EASTER EGGS. One of the best things about this book series as I was reading them is the delight I got from finding all the possible easter eggs I can find and delving into each egg in full detail. I’ve learned so much about poetry an literature because of all the obscure references Snicket would throw around (starting with the first book, Edgar and Albert Poe was a shoutout to Edgar Allan Poe) etc etc. I didn’t expect the last scene to be in some sort of an underground tunnel / abandoned subway with all the last names of the people in the VFD. Snicket, Quagmires, Anwhistle, Spats (omg), Montgomery, Orwell, Strauss, FERNALD (which isn’t a last name, but I already know to be Olaf’s hook handed man from Book 11). It seemed as if Snicket was in an underground tunnel that led to their hideout, and each home had a trap door that led directly to that passageway. This is exactly the type of visual and detail missing in the books, as the series just gave up on a lot of the mysteries it introduced for the sake of ending it with a very underwhelming bang. I feel like Snicket knows his misgivings and is trying to remedy that through solving all the mysteries and tying all the loose ends via television form.

ALSO, GASP. I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I JUST SAW at the ver end of Episode 1. The series implies that both Baudelaire parents are ALIVE, and being held captive. This is one thing never mentioned in the books, as the parents are just entities that float around in the children’s minds.

ALSO, the dad is played by Will Arnett. HAHAHA I love it although I can never see him play a role outside of Gob Bluth.

I AM SO EXCITED FOR EPISODE 2 AND THE REST OF THE EPISODES. I AM SO EXCITED TO REWATCH EVERYTHING WITH MY SISTER ON TV WHEN I GET HOME. AHHHH!
16th-Dec-2016 01:03 pm - Moana and Kimi No Na Wa
Alice
I decided to watch Moana and Your Name on the same day, with an hour and a half gap between each. I was really intending to watch Your Name with Denice, but since she had caroling practice until late afternoon (and I still haven't seen Moana, and she has), I messaged Miko (my neighbor / bassist) to ask id he was down to watch with me. Good thing he just woke up and was game for something spontaneous.


MOANA

It was really my intention to avoid hearing any sort of Moana related music before I watched the movie. It's just my general rule (save for Wicked, which I listened to before I watched haha, for how can you avoid Wicked songs). I feel like music written for theater / film needs to be experienced hand in hand with the visuals, at least at the very first encounter. And I was glad I waited. The Moana soundtrack was breathtaking. It reminded me of Brave, only with actual SONGS sung by characters. I love anything that incorporates new cultures in songs. One of my most favorite soundtracks was of Pocahontas, and that had a LOT of great songs about community and togetherness and "working for a certain cause" (Virginia Company and Mine, Mine, Mine, anyone?). It didn't have that laid-back, light-hearted feel like the Hawaiian infusions in Lilo and Stitch, but this felt more aged, more serious. The song of the voyagers gives me goosebumps. Thinking about it gives me goosebumps. Every time the grandmother shows up as a string ray was an experience for me. I loved the visuals. I loved how there were moments of almost total darkness during times when Moana would be alone in the middle of the ocean. I almost never see that in Disney films and I'm thankful for those moments.

Other stuff, because I cannot articulate myself anymore in sentences:

  • I believe Squirt from Finding Nemo makes a cameo?


  • Moana's relationship with Mauri reminds me so much of my dear friend Argee, who's currently in the States. It's like a comfortable support system with lots of sarcasm and humor in between. I really identified with that part of the movie.


  • I keep stressing out about Moana losing the heart because her necklace SEEMS to be the type of DIY island shiz that opens EASILY, especially when you're SWIMMING in the ocean. Wala man lang lock or clasp of some sort...

  • I was looking for more power in Moana's voice. I guess Disney movies made me expect exaggeratedly sweeping vocals, but this is a minor comment


  • I didn't expect I'd like Moana as much as I did. The story line is simple but it made me feel for Moana. Her responsibility to her people is immense and not a lot of young girls would respond well to that (and would probably go out to the water to rebel, instead of saving the community)


  • I did not understand SHINY as a song. Melodically, I couldn't follow it. I don't understand how a crab (I keep calling it a snail in my head) could get a feature song, and it felt so disconnected from the whole OST, which I suppose was the point, but still... I skip this all the time on iTunes.


KIMI NO NA WA / YOUR NAME

I've heard SO many good things about this movie and since the Internet knows me as someone who loves Japanese stuff, a lot of people on Twitter recommended this movie to me as well. I meant to download it (sorry hehe) but when I found out they were releasing it on theaters, I jumped at the chance, thinking how there's almost never an anime movie available for watching on the big screen, let alone a Makoto Shinkai film.

I loved 5cm per second, but it was SO FULL OF DRAMA, and the romance was cloying. I particularly loved Act 2 of the story (Cosmonaut), which highlighted the unrequited love of Sumida for Takaki (girl falls in love with handsome guy classmate, but guy classmate is still hung up over some girl). That was so real for me. It also features one of my favorite scenes in an anime movie (the konbini scene).

Anyway. People hyped this movie up so much. They told me it was the best thing. They told me I would cry buckets of tears. I REALLY should've already learned my lesson. In the past, every time a movie has been built up, I always OVEREXPECT. Like I do in all aspects of my life haha. But yeah, I didn't know what I was watiing for. I wanted to cry. I was ready to cry the way I heaved when watching Tada Kimi Wo Aishiteru. But I didn't?

Needless to say, it was a BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL movie. Makoto Shinkai is known for creating hyper-realistic environments and that shines through with every rained-on pavement and pastel colores, comet streaked sky. It was such a poignant movie, the twists surprisimg, you're at first confused whether to feel happy or sad or absolutely horrified at the tragedy unfolding before you. TAKI is notably handsome, by the way (I felt like I just had to put it out there).

Though I respond better to simpler, slice of life anime with more relatable struggles (Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Only Yesterday) - this movie was still amazing. I tleft me at a trance when I was walking out of the theater. The whole Itomori disaster alluding to the natural phenomena that had already destroyed parts of beautiful Japan in the past gives it a haunting touch of reality.

I read this soemwhere and I couldn't forget it:

"Your Name" forces us to ask how much of ourselves we lose whenever a memory slips away, and why crises which once felt monumental can come to seem trivial just a few years later.

And it's so true. And sad at the same time. And you know that feeling of strong attachment and almost supernatural attraction towards something you cannot explain?

AS Taki puts it: "Why does the memory of a town that does not exist wring my heart so?"

I wonder how this was originally written in Japanese. As it translates in English, it's already so beautiful. I have no other words to say.
17th-Nov-2016 06:42 pm - Gilmore Girls
Sailboats
I don't know why it took me so long to watch Gilmore Girls. I remember buying a box set in Quiapo when I was in high school. I asked the vendor if it covered Season 1 to 7 and of course to make the sale he just muttered a quick yes. Upon getting home, I was playing fast forward S7 and I had no clue what was going on, so all intentions of watching the series has been forgotten. I didn't know much about it save for Alexis Bledel's captivating blue eyes and the sheer amount of romance that could be expected. 4 days ago, I rediscovered it again (thanks to my friend's Netflix account and idle time while working on some collages for Din Tai Fung's new Fort branch).

I love it? I am in love with the mother-daughter story arc, am captivated by the unreal-ness of Rory Gilmore and how goody goody studious she is, am captivated by Lorelai as a mom who is scatter-brained and silly and sarcastic but always well-meaning and full of love. I love how Chad Michael Murray is here. I envy Rory's built in charm and beauty that stands out from a mile away. I am envious of the buddy buddy relationship that seems to only exist between mothers who get pregnant early with a daughter.

I'm on my last episode of Season 1 and here are my thoughts so far:


1) Dean is boring (but good looking, fine). And there is no way Rory (and Dean) is reading all of those classics like a speed reader in between her highly competitive Chilton education

2) Despite his bad boy image, I am rooting for Tristan and Rory just because I am a predictable lady who likes a good "bad boy". Also because he is Chad Michael Murray and we go way back (read One Tree Hill)

3) I don't like the guys in Lorelai's life. Luke is rugged, Max is too professor-y, and they really aren't both attractive to me. Spare the beautiful Lorelai. Nobody's good enough for you (so far).

4) Stars Hollow (the name) as a town sounds so dreamy but super fictional

5) I like the Chlilton uniform and I wish private schools here in the PH adopted the same preppy vibe with the ties and the plaid skirts and the vests and the socks and the loafers. Instead we're stuck with horrendous uniforms and prescribed ankle sock lengths and plastic belt buckles

6) Rory needs to chill out

7) I am not finding Lane endearing and I hate how their family is being portrayed as the typical Asian. Her mom is always grouchy and all about the money. She is Korean in the series but I suspect teh actress that plays her Mom is JAPANESE. How could they?

8) I hate MAX MEDINA aka current boyfriend of Lorelai. Even if he's an English professor and reads a lot of books, does not mean YOU'RE GOOD ENOUGH.

9) Jared Padalecki kisses in this most intense way that it almost offends me. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable watching him and Rory.

10) PARIS is BONNIE WINTERBOTTOM OF HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. When she first appeared in Ep 2, I was racking my brains to find out where I'd seen her first because THAT LONG ASS FACE is unmistakable. It wasn't until I talked to my friend (a guy who has watched the entirety of Gilmore Girls) that he told me where she was from and it CLICKED. I can't believe I wasn't able to tell the first time. Her face bothers me. She looks like a surf board. Idk if I'm just being mean or I just really have the natural talent of matching people up with their counterpart objects.

You're welcome.
15th-Sep-2016 11:26 am - New Acquisitions Vol. 1
Sailboats
I went to the Manila International Book Fair this year on its first day, and I decided to invite my good friend Ace, someone who I know will enjoy going as much as I would. I try to not miss MIBF every year, even though I don't particularly have specific things to buy, the atmosphere of it is electric. The feeling that everybody else has baskets of books they want to purchase (and how they're so willing to spend hard earned money on BOOKS) just makes me smile.

This year, I had a general list of things I want to purchase, but I only got two to three from that list. The rest of the books I wanted were either not yet available / still hasn't arrived / just doesn't exist in the Fully Booked arsenal.

Anyway, here are the titles I walked away with:

FULLY BOOKED

  • Atlas Obscura - it's a wonderful book about the weird, hidden, mysterious places in the whole world. It is divided into continents and every country gets at least one mention. It's a delight to peruse, also they got a lot of famous people to do the reviews (Neil Gaiman, Lena Dunham, Guillermo Del Toro, Philippe Petit! etc) and just the fact that these people have the same book on their bookshelf is an amazing fact in itself. It's especially handy for all my future travels as I am sure to see one or two wacky places in every country I go. Last night, I read about the Oregon Vortex and literally got sucked in a researching frenzy after encountering it in the book. I proceeded to watch Youtube videos of people experiencing the place and delved into the Wikipedia article to find out more. The book is amazing, also expensive, but hey!


  • Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine - it's just coz I want to get as much Adrian Tomine books as I can and I've never seen a copy of Shortcomings locally.


  • Deep Dark Fears by Fran Krause - it's a simple comic book that illustrates the author's irrational fears, which I can very much relate with. The drawings are charming and I like the premise of the book, so I bought it on impulse. The book makes me giggle a lot, which should be a good thing, I suppose.


  • This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki - I've always wanted to get this book because of the illustration (and also a lot of people recommended it to me) so I finally got it. I believe the tandem are cousins, and that's somehow comforting to know.


  • The Elements of Style - Strunk, White, Kalman - My first encounter with this book was in high school. My friend had a beautiful, red hardbound edition with the Kalman illustrations and it always puzzled me how a book about grammar and language could be so beautiful. I saw the same edition a couple of times in NBS but never picked it up. But recently, I've been watching a lot of Maira Kalman interviews and when I saw this on the MIBF shelf, I immediately picked it up. It seems serendipitous for it to reappear at a time I've been reacquainting myself with the artist. And what better book to buy for myself than a simple rule book of the English language? If I were my own boyfriend, this would be a perfect gift for me to make me love myself forever -  if that sentence made sense...


NATIONAL BOOKSTORE

  • Around the World in 50 Years by Albert Podell - I saw this in NBS Greenbelt and wanted to get it because who doesn't want to read about a man's adventure across the globe? I like a good travel story, and this seems like such a grand way to live life. To see the world and write about it.


  • Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine von Radics - I haven't seen this book anywhere here so I got it, even though the cover was too flimsy for its 600+ price tag. I read Clementine von Radics on Tumblr and I think she's great, and supporting artists and writers I discover online has always been a worthwile investment for me. For the same reason, I spend way too much in art bazaars, buying all the zines and stickers of my favorite illustrators.


  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur - I always see this in Fully Booked but I finally gave in. I don't think I'll ever have the heart to purchase a real Lang Leav book (although they look so pretty) because I'm not a fan of her style (she always sounds needy and fragile) but this seems like a good buy. I browsed through the poetry and I liked it. I also liked the crude illustrations that accompany some pages. I consider buying these two poetry books as my "research material" (hoping I can get away with it) since In Case You Come back, I'm happy to report, gets a part two for next year! I need to ~brush up ~ you know...


  • If On A Winter's Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino - my prized purchase! I didn't know they had this available here. I recently bought Calvino's The Complete Cosmicomics and I'm thoroughly enjoying his style. I love eccentric old men who write the same way. His storytelling is engaging and kooky and I know that this book is particularly crazy in format (David Mitchell sings praises about it). I downloaded an ebook of it before but never really read it because the ugly digital cover puts me off. But I think this book was meant to be read on paper anyway, and I'm glad coz I finally got my highlighter and baptized the book with subtle blue streaks. I think highlighting books (with a mild, "erasable" highlighter) will be a new habit of mine. (It depends which books, though haha). I encounter a lot of amazing lines every time I pick up a book and most of the time I just write them down on my notebook, but there's somethign satisfying about highlighting text (but again, it depends on the kind of book... if the paper is too precious or if it's a fucking Harry Potter or ASOUE, I wouldn't dare...). It makes you remember better, I suppose. Or makes you feel more scholarly?


STUFF I ALSO PICKED UP BUT THOUGHT TWICE ABOUT:


  • Religion for Aetheists by Alain de Boton - it seems like a perfectly good read, although honestly Alain de Boton intimidates me quite a bit. I do dream of collecting most of his books, but I'm not sure if I am capable of understanding them...?


  • The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Boton - in the same vein, I also picked this book up (the cover looks magnificent) but again, I'm not sure if I'll ever have the capacity to comprehend what he's really saying. I also really want to get The Art of Travel, but if I can't stand it over the weekend, I'll be back this Sunday for our book signing of In Case You Come Back, and I might just purchase the whole lot. Bahala na. I just want to be pretentious.


  • Stories of Your Life and Other Stories by Ted Chiang - I picked this up because ampersandals mentioned it to me, and I think I remember her saying how hard it is to get an actual copy of the book (or I might be remembering it wrong) but I decided against it because again, I didn't know if his style would be something I'd "get". If Amanda comments and persuades me to go get it, then I probably will this Sunday. We'll see!


  • Harry Potter Artifact Vault - I'm just out to collect all the companion books of the HP films. I got the Harry Potter Page To Screen book 2 years ago and it's a DELIGHT to read. It's terribly heavy and it's definitely a book you need to read while lying flat on your stomach because otherwise, the sheer weight of it can crush a ribcage or two. I just want to buy the priciest stuff in MIBF so I can take advantage of the discounts.


  • Harry Potter : The Complete Set (trunk) - I don't really NEED this, coz I have all the books, but starting young I  read the first three books on paperback and immediately realized that I have to get the succeeding copies right at the release date, hence having all hardbound versions of the book from 4 to 7 (except for 6, because I read that in Europe and decided to just wait for the paperback so I don't have to lug around a heavy book in the tour bus like an impractical book worm). The allure of just having a complete, pristine set in a paper trunk is too irresistable, but it costs about Php 8k, and my game plan is to just collect the rest of the hardbound books from book sales until I complete them. I am also stupidly missing the dust jacket for Order of the Phoenix. I really do not know why I didn't start taking more care of my HP books when I was growing up, and it makes me want to kick myself.


  • Kikomachine Komix - I really enjoy these comic books, Manix Abrera is hilarious and they come at a very cheap price. I was going to buy a handful but I found out they only accepted cash payments when I asked (and when I asked, I didn't realize it was Lles from college who was manning the table so we hugged and exchanged pleasantries). Anyway, I didn't have enough cash on me so I just decided to come back for them on Sunday. It's fitting too, since I'm meeting Manix soon for a joint project / launch thing and I cannot wait to get him to sign all my (new) comics.


Anyway, that's about it for my MIBF recap. I might walk away with more titles by the end of this week, so STAY TUNED! Also I've been writing a lot on my LJ, also on my actual journal which I keep in a Midori Passport notebook. Writing is something of a solace for me nowadays, and I like the fact that nobody is really reading this journal save for probably 2 people. That makes me write more, somehow.

Currently reading: Italo Calvino. I'll let you know how it goes :)
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