An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Location: Philippines

Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

30 June 2007

End of June

I'm really getting into the habit of reporting what books I finished reading. So here are the books I have finished reading between April and June 2007:
Telling Women’s Lives by Linda Wagner-Martin
Aguinaldo’s Breakfast by Ambeth Ocampo
Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster
Shelter by Jayne Anne Phillips
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Here At The New Yorker by Brendan Gill
How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
The Strange Case of the Walking Corpse by Nancy Butcher
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (a rereading)

And here are the books I bought within the month of June 2007:
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt
The Music Lesson by Katherine Weber
The Good Men by Charmaine Craig
Death and Nightingales by Eugene McCabe
Silent War by Victor N. Corpus
A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate Turabian
Ulysses by James Joyce
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I seem to gauge my levels of sensitivity and perceptiveness by the kind of book that I am reading. Something like Telling Women's Lives tend to make me a little more secretive, a little more rebellious in analyzing things. Something like Here At The New Yorker makes me just a little bit more ironic, and my sense of humor tends to veer towards the dry. I have just begun reading Possession: A Romance, though, so I'm not yet sure what effect it will have on me. My writing is also very much influenced by what I am reading. For instance, I have written "Tepid Water" years ago after reading Diary of a Mad Housewife by Sue Kauffman, and I have written an unpublished story, my very first, called "The Library" while reading Don Quixote. Would it be an oversimplification to say that I am the sum total of what I read and write? If I were to take every single book I have read and written, would they form the exact same me?

Incidentally, I first began to discuss my reading lists in June of last year, although an even earlier post discussed only my "top fives". Lately my my reading has taken a more serious turn, so it was only appropriate that I would have this pile coming to me.

And now here I am, at the end of June, with yet another pile. With every pile of books I read I open vistas of myself that I have never thought existed. Sometimes books connect with each other in my sensibility, so in my mind there live sagas of peoples and worlds and times beyond anything that I have ever read in one single book. Maybe someday I can find the fortitude to write these stories.


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