Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tagged by shafts_of_sun

Rules: Post your five favorite books of all time and the reasons why you love them. :-)

In the order which I bought them:

[1] Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs – Back when I was still very much into astrology, I found this book indispensable because it described each sign in several ways: how to recognize, the man, the woman, the child and the boss/employee. Plus Linda Goodman wrote each description so fluidly and vividly, it didn’t read like a zodiac manual. It was a poetic ode to the stars.

[2] Different Seasons by Stephen King – During my “Stephen King” phase, this was the book that I read and reread most often. It is a collection of four novellas, and it is a testament to the quality of the stories that the first three were made into well-received movies: “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” into 1994’s The Shawshank Redemption, “Apt Pupil” into 1998’s Apt Pupil, and “The Body” into 1986’s Stand by Me.

[3] Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco – Like Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time,” this was one book that I had to stop, reflect on what I just read, re-read it again to make sure I read it right, and then see if I understood it right. Reading it should have been slower than usual, but I remember plowing through it chapter by chapter. That’s how gripping and fascinating it was. And like with Hawking’s book, I felt a little smarter when I finished reading Eco’s book. (FYI I did not, and still don’t, get all of the references that Eco tossed into the book. A lot of them I just tossed by the roadside as I plowed towards the ending. It didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book, though. But I suppose some uber-geek with all the time, encyclopedias and Google-access is now deliriously drunk over every minutiae of Eco’s book.)

[4] A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket – This marks the start of my kiddie literature stage. When I read about the Events, there were already six books out in the bookstore. I bought all and started reading them one right after the other. They were hilarious, inventive and relentlessly unfortunate. By the fourth book the unrelenting misfortune of the Baudelaires was tiring and depressing. Tip: never read these books back-to-back; take a break between books.

[5] Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer – Imagine a teenage criminal genius going up against the Fairefolk—who’re actually more technologically advanced than magical—and you get a series that’s a cross between James Bond, Harry Potter and Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators. I heard there were plans for developing this series into a movie, but so far zip. What I especially like is the fact that the titular character is unapologetically flawed—he’s amoral, proud and full of himself—and obviously not one of the good guys from the start.

I won’t tag anyone. Just feel free to write down your own list if you want.

* * * * *

P.S. – Oh my stars and garters! I completely forgot a sixth book for my list. I first read this book back when I was in grade school; I remember borrowing it more than once from the library between grades 5 and 7. But I only bought a copy for myself a few years ago.

[6] A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle – The very first book that I stumbled upon on my own (as opposed to a required reading) that I fell head over heels in love with. It had elements of science fiction and fantasy with some religion thrown in to boot. The three immortal beings, Mrs Who, Mrs Which and Mrs Whatsit, reminded me of the three witches of Macbeth or Hecate. Meanwhile, it also had the lead characters traveling through time and space via tesseract, and fighting an evil disembodied brain called IT. It was also one of the first books I read that I wanted it made into a movie. (They did make it into a Disney movie, but I remember seeing parts of it and thinking how much it sucked compared to what I had imagined the movie in my mind.)


chino said...

sosyal... hehehe.. naweiweirduhan ako kay stephen hawkings... ang sexy kasi nia in that wheelchair e.. hahahahahaha

anyhoo... what are you reading now? ako Lolita..

Nelson said...

1. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez -- I was blown away with this sweeping saga, especially with the character Melquiades.

2. "A Cry to Heaven" by Anne Rice -- Forget vampires and witches--cross-dressing castrati rule!!!

3. Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling -- I can just read them over and over again.

4. "Eyes of the Dragon" by Stephen King -- I used to like his Dark Tower series (I think the series reached apex with "The Wolves of the Calla" and the last book really, really sucked!), but this one is a whimsical tale with comedy, horror, intrigue and fantasy all mixed in one great read.

5. Griffin and Sabine Trilogy by Nick Bantock -- This is a very multi-layered story with beautiful calligraphy, art and collage merged with intrigue, mystery and romance. Another trilogy that followed this is not so good, and the original three books are still the best.

Runners-up: "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand; Mordant's Need books ("Mirror of Her Dreams" and "A Man Rides Through") by Stephen Donaldson; and "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes

It's too bad I haven't been reading anything worthwhile nowadays -- puro chick lits ang inaatupag ko ("The Devil Wears Prada", etc).)