Fantasy Recommendations

I’ve always admired those booktubers/bloggers that had a ton of books to recommend every month regardless of genre. Romance? No problem. Fantasy? No biggie. Non-fiction? Bring it on. Not only were they voracious readers, but they are also willing to try out enough books from various genres to have a shortlisted pool of books that they could deem as love-its or hate-its.

Now I know for sure I’m not as well read as them, but I’m gonna work on it (hurry up, reading speed!). In the meantime, I’m presenting to you my list of fantasy recommendations because god knows this is one of my most read genres (apart from crime and sci-fi). Let the rambling begin.

1381The Odyssey by Homer

Goodreads, Book Depository

Probably one of the first, if not the first, fantasy books I have ever read. My chancing upon The Odyssey was quite… peculiar. I remember stumbling upon a brightly illustrated book that was shaped and decorated like a box. You guessed it, it was Pandora’s Box. And like Pandora, I was curious and dived into the world of greek mythology with child-like wonder and probably reverence (’em greek gods seemed so… godly to a child who didn’t knew any better). That book lead me to discover the rest of the greek mythology books by that author (the trademark was box shaped books) and eventually, Homer’s Odyssey.

All these might not sound very “peculiar” to you, but the thing is that I’d never found that book again after I returned it to the library. Nor the other books in the series. Fast forward 10 odd years later and even with the aid of goodreads, I still couldn’t find it. Strange isn’t it?

33The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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The father of modern fantasy. The magic and genius of Tolkien was that he was able to extract elements and characters that commonly existed in folklore and legends, each with an already preconceived idea of who and what they are, and gave them new and distinct personalities and characteristics that morphed into our modern definition of folklore. Plus the invention of a totally new language. The man’s a legend I tell ya. Must read for all those who haven’t.

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10 Books I want to read in 2016

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2015 has come and gone, and it’s already the second week of January 2016! Can you believe it? Time just seems to pass by faster and faster with age, no?

You know, I was never one to make resolutions with each passing year. It just seemed so corny to me (and lame too). I mean, why plan for each year when you can plan for each day? But that was the younger self, the one with all the time in the world and freedom to explore her choices. Now that I’m older, its hard to keep track of my personal goals if I don’t write them down somewhere to remind me (age is catching up, that’s for sure). Somewhere that’s not a post-it note slapped onto my desktop, that is.

For 2016, I want to read more diversely in that I want to try different genres, some of which I might have been too scared to give it a shot in 2015. In a sense, I want to step even further away from my reading comfort zones. I want to give a book another chance (another 50 pages more) before I slam it down and say it’s not for me.

I also want to read harder, in that I might be reading more philosophy, socio-critics, and others that were meant for the academic curriculum but sadly didn’t make it into mine. To be honest, I’ve always been afraid to do this because now that I’ve graduated from college, I don’t exactly have the privilege of discussing a text I don’t understand with my classmates and professors (that’s a part of college I’ll always miss). What if I misunderstand a text and nobody corrects me? What if I don’t even understand a portion of the book and there’s nobody to enlighten me? Still, I’m going to give harder texts a try, and we’ll see how it goes from there (crossfingers that I won’t give up too quickly).

So onto the 10 books I want to read in 2016. They’re a mixture of literary fiction, older books, and maybe some popular fiction that I’ve always wanted to check out but didn’t. I see these books as a priority for me to get to in 2016, thought they are not an urgent priority. I believe I will get to them soon, and even if I don’t by the end of 2016, it will be interesting to see how many I’ve (remembered to) read.

As usual, links, short synopses, and my own commentary will be included so onwards and away!

184419The Man Who Was Thurday: A Nightmare by G.K. Chesterton, Jonathan Lethem

Goodreads, Book Depository

 

G.K. Chesterton's 1908 masterpiece, The Man Who Was Thursday, is a metaphysical thriller, and a detective story filled with poetry and politics. Gabriel Syme is a poet and a police detective. Lucian Gregory is a poet and a bomb-throwing anarchist. Syme infiltrates a secret meeting of anarchists and becomes 'Thursday', one of the seven members of the Central Anarchist Council. He soon learns, however, that he is not the only one in disguise, and the nightmare begins…

Recently I had a dream of hiding from my doppelgänger. It started out with me climbing up a huge stacks of books that were stored in a library/safe house of sorts and it was then that I saw someone looking at his/her doppelgänger. God knows why, but I realised then that mine was following me and coming up soon, which resulted in a nightmare of hide and seek.

It could be that this sparked my interest in The Man Who Was Thursday, though I’m not entirely sure if it contains any doppelgängers. Either way I hope to not get any more of such weird dreams any time soon.

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Favorite Books of 2015

I’M BACK!

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Not yet, not really, but I’m trying to ease myself slowly back into the process of reading for leisure.

So, 2015 has been a really, really turbulent year for me. Health issues, inconducive environments, daily tension, but I’m glad that all these troubles have made me more emphatic, more brave to pursue what I want, and to say no to things I do not enjoy and do not like. I’m also thankful to the friends who have stood by me and also, my family (even though times weren’t always sunshine and rainbows). All these of course, is not possible without God’s love and grace, and everyday that I’m alive, I thank Him.

Now, onto the gist of the post. The books that I’ve read this year were an assortment of genres, but those that I really enjoyed were centered around families (dysfunctional or loving), and a strong support group of friends. Probably because I was going through a really difficult phase of my life, i felt that these genres gave me comfort and reassurance when no one else could, and for those reasons, they made it into my favorites list. For a complete list of what I’ve read in 2015, (41 books!!) click here. 

In no particular order:

Stitches by David Small

6407014A grotesquely beautiful graphic novel about silence and the impact miscommunication can have on a family.This book has the rare ability to speak to you without words. Small utilises the picture medium so well that panels come alive even without speech, and unloving stares from behind clouded spectacles feel as if they’re cast upon you, not Small. Anyone can enjoy this book, and undoubtedly a masterpiece in the graphic novel genre.

Displacement: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley

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22488052A lovely memoir about aging and the impact it has on not only the people around them, but also the psyche and mental burden it can pose on the aging. Knisley’s neat, colorful style juxtaposes the heavy and much avoided topic of aging (its costs, healthcare providers, the role of a filial/dutiful child, generation gaps, etc) really marvelously and sets one thinking about their own role in the family. Are you a good child? Are you loving towards your elders who might seem like burdens, but used to take care of you when you were young (and burdensome)? Food for thought without slipping into the detestable abyss of preaching.

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