01 February 2009

back after a 2-year hiatus

Well, I've been lazy, I admit.

I've pretty much abandoned this blog for 2 years. A lot has happened since then: breaking up with two boyfriends (ugh, 2007 totally sucked), a major operation involving the removal of a dermoid cyst in my right ovary, my dad's death (so many things I should have said and done for him, and I feel grieved, just thinking how I wasn't really that good a daughter), very stressful fundraising goals in UNICEF, cross-training exercises to lose weight and feel healthy once more, casual dating, etc. I'd like to gloss over the details for now and start again with a clean slate.

Basically, i just want to go back to writing. At least, as a sort of cathartic exercise to ensure that I'm maintaining a good command of the English language, which I love to pieces. Haha. I'm not pretentious; I've never considered myself to be a good writer even though other people think otherwise. I gotta love them for thinking that way. But I've always felt that those who can't write, just read--and I honestly believe I fall solidly under that category.

And the most appropriate thing for me to do, as my way of returning from this dreadful no-writing state, is to come up with a list of books to read/finish this 2009.

It's a running list by the way. I'm an impulsive book buyer, and I tend to buy books that aren't on the original list, so this list isn't really carved in stone:

1. My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk. I've been so silly. Started this book 2 years ago and I haven't gotten around to finishing it.
2. Atlas Shrugged: Centennial Edition by Ayn Rand. Read a dog-eared mass market paperback copy of this back in college and didn't really appreciate it. I bought this edition in KL last year, and it's been sitting on my office desk, screaming to be read.
3. Patience and Fortitude by Nicholas Basbanes. Okay, I'm a complete nerd for wanting to read this. But honestly, any bibliophile would have read any of Basbanes' works on the printed word.
4. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. Not done with this book yet, and I probably won't finish anytime soon. The book is as mad and as excruciatingly long as Frodo's journey to Mordor, but necessary for me to accomplish as well.
5. The History of The Hobbit: Part One: Mr. Baggins by John D. Rateliff. If you've managed to read J.R.R. Tolkien's numerous drafts of The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings (and his son Christopher's dry commentaries on the said drafts) like I have, you can basically read anything. Harhar.
6. The History of The Hobbit: Part Two: Return to Bag-End by John D. Rateliff.
7. The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology by Joseph Campbell. Joseph Campbell rocks. Joseph Campbell is the bees' knees--next to J.R.R. Tolkien, of course.
8. The Final Solution: A Story of Detection by Michael Chabon. Saw a copy of this in Borders, KL and I totally regret not buying it. Now I can't seem to find a copy here in Manila. Drat.
9. Natural Flights of the Human Mind by Clare Norall
10. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I bought an amazingly good secondhand copy in RCBC Plaza's Books for Less branch at a really cheap price. A good book find always counts as a small victory.

This list actually constitutes my backlog. Some of these books are on my office desk to remind me that I gotta finish them before I even have the right to buy new ones. Obviously, I plan to read more than 10 books this year, but the ones mentioned above are my priority reads.

A good friend once told me that the mark of a serious reader is that he/she will always have a decidedly huge backlog of books (that pretty much cheered me up and made me feel less guilty about the pile-up of books on my desk). And according to Philip Roth, a reader is not one that just reads a lot, but obsesses over what he/she is going to read.

Yup, that's me alright.


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