I finished reading Chuck Klosterman’s Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto weeks (or months?) ago. It was interesting, although there were parts that I couldn’t fully appreciate because I wasn’t very familiar with the topic (e.g. MTV’s The Real World).
Sometimes when people go nostalgic about the 90s, I feel out of place for reasons like 1) I was literally a kid back then and was therefore too young to appreciate grunge, 2) I’m not from a rich family so those game consoles and polly pockets were unheard of by my purita promdi self, and 3) I wasn’t raised in the US or in Manila so I find some of these pop culture 90s trademark a tad too alienating. But I digress.
I read this book ‘blind.’ Aside from learning via Wikipedia that Jeanette Winterson is lesbian, I had no other knowledge about JW and her works. Consequently, I had no idea what to expect from this memoir.
Reading it, I found out that JW was adopted and had had the misfortune of having an abusive adoptive mother. This book is about her childhood for the most part — how her religious and ‘apocalyptic’ mother had shaped who she is, her sexuality, and the vantage point with which she views the world. The latter pages also explored her search for her biological mother.
And yes, the title is very intriguing. Oo nga naman.
I told Jay I really liked Y: The Last Man and he said, “Try Pride of Baghdad. Same writer.”
I googled Pride and I was like, lions-lions? What?
But today I decided psh, why not?
I didn’t expect it to be short. I didn’t expect it to be sad either.
I almost cried. Almost.
Good read though. 10 our of 10, will read again.
My average, so far, is 1.2 books per month — yep, I’ve read 12 books in the last 10 months. Pretty low considering I went to study full time only in the latter half of the year and my previous job gave me loads of free time.
I don’t regret it though because there were other interesting things that happened early in 2014. For instance, I spent around a month focusing my heart and soul to the World Cup in Brazil and started following the Spanish football league while occasionally tuning in to select Prem matches. I also got interested in a couple graphic novels thanks to Jay.
But the next two months will be crucial if I want to raise my current reading average. Finals are approaching, sure, but I’ve been doing way better than expected. As long as I do the homework and do not show up on exam days unprepared, I’m pretty sure I have the ‘A’s in the bag.
TL;DR At best, a story like this may deserve a spot in GMA 7’s afternoon drama block but definitely not in primetime.
Joyce Maynard’s Labor Day is narrated by Henry, a 13-year old kid who lives with his depressed mother in a semi-secluded part of an American suburb. They go to a grocery store one scorching summer day, then go back home with Frank, a recently-escaped convicted murderer.
We have to suspend our disbelief. Sure, this kid and his mom, Adele, will bring a complete stranger back to their house. Of course they won’t panic the moment Frank’s “WANTED” face appears on TV and the newspapers. Frank tells them his story: he accidentally killed his cheating wife. His baby—who apparently was not biologically his—accidentally drowned because Frank’s senile mother died while giving the poor infant a bath. Frank, therefore, is not a bad person.
TL;DR Junot Diaz writes some crazy awesome immigrant lit, although his female characters are pushed to the margins of this otherwise pleasing collection of short fiction.
I first encountered him in Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a book I can only speak of in superlative synonyms of awesome. I’d even go ahead and say that anyone who didn’t enjoy it is either lying or being a racist (hehehe).
This time, I decided to read Diaz’s short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her. Most of the stories, except for one, is about Yunior, a Dominican Republic native who immigrated to the US as a kid. As the title suggests, the stories in this book mainly focus on capturing the experience of a relationship once it starts rolling downhill.