Saturday, January 24, 2015

Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I luckily bought this book at a cheap price (again) from another local seller in, for 300.00 php! I learned about this book from reading various articles about 100 bestselling or best novels of all time. It may be in 2nd to the top or within the 100 top list. The ranking are coming from reputable sites so it's a deciding factor why i bought the book.

The Great Gatsby Book Details:

Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald | Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
ISBN: 9781434442017
Originally Published: 1925
First Published by: Scribner's (now owned by Barnes&Noble)
Genre: Classic Fiction
Publisher: Wildside Press
Publication date: April 25, 2013
Format: Hardback
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.56 (d)

The Great Gatsby Characters:

  • Nick Carraway
  • Tom Buchanan
  • Daisy Buchanan
  • Jay Gatsby / James Gatz
  • Jordan Baker

Setting: Long Island, US

(See review and more details below; may contained spoilers)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Book Review: The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

This is my second Haruki Murakami book. First of his book i read was Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage (click link to see review).

I have no plans to buy this book because they're releasing a paperback format since it was announced. But i change my mind the time i learned Aklatan online bookshop is selling this for almost half-price than the local retail price of 695.00 php! I say "Why not?"

About Aklatan: It's one of the online bookshop I always eye for interesting books. Further note, they upload new book arrivals every Sunday at 8:00 PM.

The Strange Library Book Details:

Title: The Strange Library
( Japanese: ふしぎな図書館 | Fushigi na toshokan )
ISBN: 9780385354301
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Published Date:
Format: Paperback
Original Language: Japanese
Translated to: English
Translated by: Ted Goossen
Art Direction and Design: Chip Kidd
Form: Novella, Children's Novella
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Short Story


Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review: Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco

I bought this book back April 10, 2010 in National Bookstore located at Glorietta 5 during the author's book launching. I'm happy it was signed by the author Miguel Syjuco himself. I learn about the book from 2008 Palanca Awards and latter it won Man Asian Literary Prize too. That's my deciding factor why i bought it.

Eventually after i got home, I forgot to read it because of hefty school work. It's almost 4 years already and it's just this month, while cleaning my bookshelf, I notice this book and decided to read it.

Signed Ilustrado novel by Miguel Syjuco. Photo from Instagram post by Literateknolohitura's Otakore.

I expect, It would be a great book to read because it won prestigious awards but let's find out if it really is with my book review (continue by clicking the 'Read more' or scroll down).

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Book Review: Anne Frank - The Diary Of A Young Girl | With An Introduction By Eleanor Roosevelt

I borrowed this from my niece. She bought this book because her school required them to read it for their literature work. I'm already familiar with this book, before i borrowed it from her. The book was banned from some countries due to racial criticism and sexual content. I got curious and good thing my niece had this book and no longer need to spill money from my wallet to buy it myself.

Book Details:

Title: The Diary of a Young Girl (Dutch: Het Achterhuis)
Sub Title: With An Introduction By Eleanor Roosevelt
Original Language: Dutch
Translated to: English
Translated by: B. M. Mooyaart
Preface: Eleanor Roosevelt
Format: Paperback
Page: 283
Publisher: Bantam Books
Original Year of Publication: 1947
Awards: Luisterboek Award (2008)
Genre: Autobiography, History, Non-Fiction
ISBN: 9780553296983

Local Store: National Bookstore, Philippines
Local Price: 265.00 php.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

2014 National Book Award by National Book Foundation

What is National Book Award?

It's an annual literary award from the U. S. It was established in the year 1936 by the American Booksellers Association which latter abandoned during World War II. And in the year 1988, National Book Foundation took over and hosts the said award.

One of the known winner of the National Book Award i know is a book titled "A Fable" by William Faulkner. I haven't read the book. I just heard it from my friend a long time ago and already diminished in my mind.

Here are the seal of National Book Award. Well if you happened to see a book in a bookstore with the following seal, that means it's worth buying and worth reading.

National Book Award Winner Seal
National Book Award Winner Seal | Image Source:

National Book Award Finalist Seal
National Book Award Finalist Seal | Image Source:

For more information on how National Book Awards Work, kindly visit their official page.

What makes me notice this award just now is because my favorite authors are hosting the said ceremony. It's mainly hosted by the author of "A Series of Unfortunate Events", Daniel Handler or also known by his pen name Lemony Snicket. Moreover, Neil Gaiman, which is one of my fave author too, hands the lifetime achievement award to Earthsea author Ursula LeGuin (watch their remarkable speech below):

As author Ursula Le Guin said on her speech:
   "Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art."
I, too, agree with her. I think, her speech gives book publishers a cold sweat. I observed it's true. I observed the market of fiction novels seems to be re-inventing the wheel. The story itself is re-inventing. I will not named the titles here, perhaps on my later post. I understand the traditional marketing practice with this because i am once an online marketing specialist. Metaphorically, we read people's mind for your product to successfully market. Well, as Ursula Le Guin said "Books aren't just commodities".

As it works, publishing house are being dictated by people. From people to sales and marketing, and then from sales and marketing to the author. Authors are losing their freedom to express what they want to write.

The bottom line here is - we need more books with diversity. Re-inventing the wheel could be progressive for us but it would more progressive if we see new published books with a unique story.