2018 Reading Challenge

In all my years of browsing the internet, I’ve only come across a yearly reading challenge this December.  I guess it’s because I’ve only taken Pinterest seriously this year.  As I love lists, this one got me hooked, and as soon as the idea entered my head, I immediately wanted to do it.

At first I wanted to follow a ready list, but I soon found there were other similar lists. After I got to comparing a few of them, I decided to “personalise” it.  It may seem like I’m not really taking on the challenge if I tweak it to suit my fancy, but in my defense, each list has at least a couple of items that does not apply to me. Also, I want to spend less money buying books when I have a perfectly good collection of books of various genres that I haven’t read. In any case, 52 books in 52 weeks is still a tough challenge in itself regardless of the titles.  The whole point of this exercise is not only to read as much books in a year but to read as many kinds of books you would not otherwise read if not for the challenge.

So, here’s the final list that I came up with two days before the new year:

o     A book by a Scandinavian author o     A book about a topic you’re passionate about
o     A mystery or thriller novel o     A non-fiction book
o     A Sci-Fi or Fantasy novel o     A book already in your bookshelf
o     A biography or memoir o     A book that was once banned
o     A trilogy o     A book originally published in the year you were born
o     A book you can read in a day o     A children’s novel
o     A poetry book o     A book about native Americans
o     A Pulitzer Prize-winning book o     A foreign book translated into English
o     A book with over 600 pages o     A book by a Nobel Prize-winning author
o     A book you’ve already read once before o     A book about travel
o     A book chosen solely by its cover o     A picture book
o     A book with a six word title o     A book with a colour in the title
o     A book set in a country you want to visit o     A book with the number ‘22’ in the title
o     A book with a green spine o     A book you started but never finished
o     A book of mythology o     A book by an author you love that you haven’t read
o     A book published in 2018 o     A fairytale
o     A book recommended by a friend o     A play
o     A book written in the 1800’s o     A book made into a movie / series
o     An e-book o     A book with nonhuman characters
o     A Young-Adults book o     A funny book
o     A book set in Africa o     A book about adventures
o     A Historical non-fiction book o     A book by Joan Didion
o     A book by a Filipino author o     A book borrowed from the library
o     A book of short stories o     A book on philosophy or religion
o     A novella o     A graphic novel




The Death of the Heart


I think I need therapy after reading this novel. I’m all kind of mentally, psychologically, and emotionally confused. There were moments of greatness, but then on the whole, I wondered whether it was worth it. Maybe it was, who knows; the fact that it’s eliciting this kind of reaction from me perhaps shows that it is one of a kind.  Maybe I needed to read this now; to show, perhaps, that I’m not the only person in the world that overthinks.

oxford bookstore


I’m so happy that we got to spend some time driving around New Delhi before our flight back home.  It was such a busy time that I didn’t think we will still be able to see something of the city.  Thanks to our guide who took us to Connaught Place, and this bookstore which according to him is the oldest one in New Delhi.

I grabbed the opportunity of buying these books that have been forever on my list but never got.  Honestly, I’m proud of myself. Haha! Got books by Indians from India.  I’m sure not many could say the same.  As to reading these anytime soon, that remains to be a dream.

New Delhi, or India for that matter, is probably not the place I would choose to go to for leisure if it were up to me.  My experience there was not exactly the best.  The cuisine wasn’t a favourite, safety was an issue, and the general air not exactly for the faint at heart.  But then leisure was not the purpose.  I did what I went to do.  All in all it was a huge blessing.  I did experience India, the little I saw of its wonders was enough given the time and the pace of our task there.  That’s why I hold on to this moment I went to Connaught Place and saw two bookstores and got some books because this was one of the highlights of my trip.

I dunno if I will ever choose to go back on my own volition. Maybe. Given the money, time and a good country-side spot, maybe.  The air, without the pollution, is cool, and the people have this easy way of bouncing back from bad to good.  It wasn’t all bad, really.  If nothing else, it made me somewhat prouder of my own country.

people’s center and library

People Center and Library is a public library located in Tacloban City.  It encompasses the whole second floor of a two-storey building.  It’s like time stood still in this library.  It was built during the Marcos’ regime and never saw glory again.  It contains a lot of great books, covered in dust, but still in good condition.

After Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit Leyte, the building was used as an evacuation center for the victims.  Sad to say, a lot of them were used for more “practical” uses.  No judgment.  It was a time of chaos and uncertainty.  However, it has remained intact and still contains a lot of treasures which badly need love and affection.  Something can still be done.

My friend Cookee and I decided to volunteer.  We have no idea about book organisation or classification, but we do know how to dust and pile them.  We start where we can.

This is what I will be busy with this year, and, perhaps, in the years to come.





#loveyourlibrary #peoplescenterandlibrary

New Year, New List


This is my very ambitious to-read pile for 2016.  But I’m shooting for big things this year.  This isn’t an impossible task considering that I’ve finished 16 books this year.  I just need to take it out on Plants v. Zombies time.  I think I have more chances of accomplishing this anyway than doing the daily 15-minute planking I said I’ll do this year.

I got some big titles here: books I’ve always wanted to read and searched for years, but sadly remained in my unread pile for so long.  This is hopefully the year I try to match my buying with my reading.

1. The Metamorphosis ~ Franz Kafka
2. The Brothers Karamazov ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
3. Far From the Madding Crown ~ Thomas Hardy
4. The Phantom of the Opera ~ Gaston Leroux
5. Begin to Exit Here ~ John Welter
6. In Cold Blood ~ Truman Capote
7. Can You Forgive Her? ~ Trollope
8. Night Train ~ Martin Amis
9. The Vagina Monologues ~ Eve Ensler
10. The Dolce Vita Diaries ~ Cathy Rogers and Jason Gibb
11. The Rare and the Beautiful ~ Cressida Connolly
12. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao ~ Junot Diaz
13. Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship ~ Goethe
14. The Tin Drum ~ Gunter Grass
15. Sister Carrie ~ Theodore Dreiser
16. Washington Square ~ Henry James
17. Catch-22 ~ Joseph Heller
18. The Professor ~ Charlotte Bronte
19. The Bhagavad Gita
20. The Jungle Books ~ Rudyard Kipling
21. On the Road ~ Jack Kerouac
22. Blink ~ Malcolm Gladwell
23. Thinking, Fast and Slow ~ Daniel Kahneman
24. Cloud Atlas ~ David Mitchell

Oh yeah, Happy New Year! Cheers.