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Showing posts from September, 2020

Unconventional short stories of Haruki Murakami

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First impressions count, as the trite saying goes. For the most part, I agree. When I get my hands on a book, for instance, I undergo a certain ritual—I gaze at the front cover design, I read the blurb on the back cover, I skim through the table of contents (if any), check the readability of the font size, and finally and most importantly, I read the first two pages of the story. If, during this last procedure, I find the writing style interests me very much and the book passes satisfactorily my other indicators, I will buy the book.   However, confined during the home quarantine, I don’t have any chance at all to meet face-to-face with books, conduct my bookish ritual, and form first impressions. In fact, I was not able to buy any print books for four months (April to July) because of government policies that severely affected domestic and international shipping. When local couriers seem to start getting back on their feet recently, I started browsing local bookstores online. But wi

What I have read (and my favorite books so far in 2020)

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At the start of 2020, I had planned to read 12 books. One book a month. It’s achievable and time-bound. No pressure. I only read 11 books in 2019 after all, so one more book added to the pile makes little difference. What I did not expect was a reading frenzy fueled by, among others, frustrating months of home quarantine as a preventive measure against COVID-19. Turn off the TV. Snub the social media. Take a break from writing. And just read. Read, read, read. One book after another. When I finished reading 12 books in February, I increased my target to 15, then to 20, then to 25. My target now is 50 books by the end of the year. So far, I have finished reading 39 books. That is 15 more books read in 2014 when I was also hit by the reading bug right after I left a stressful eight-to-five job. Apart from my husband, reading comforted me during the home quarantine. Books remind me of my capacity to read, my level of literacy, and the existence of my common sense during the serious pe