borrowed, bought, given 2018


this year, as far as my choice of books is concerned, has been a varied one for me. the first couple of months, in lieu of it being a new year and all, i wanted to start my reading list right by delving into the secrets of wealth and happiness. what i like to call the “money books” even though most of the time, after reading such books, i reframe my perspective of wealth with the realization that in the end, it’s not all about money. that true wealth could be nothing more than good sleep and peace of mind, depending on how you define it.

for me, wealth is having the people i love around me healthy and happy.

but, see, here’s the tricky thing: you do need some form of financial security to be able to score a certain level of comfort. a lot of the “money books” i’ve read in the past keep talking about setting a specific goal to somehow challenge the mind to reach for it, instead of some abstract objective commonly in the lines of “i want to be rich.”

so, to amend that thought process i myself am guilty of, i have set the price at A$10,778,175. because why not?

there. can’t get any more specific than that, can i? i’ve done the thinking part of the think and grow rich deal so technically, i’m halfway there already. now all i need is to win $1,000,000 in tatts lotto ten times and i’m set for life, provided that i work my ass off to get the other $778,175 to manifest the exact amount the universe owes me.

wow, being rich is a lot of math. no wonder they have accountants to do all the numbers for them.

this year, i also started reading books about writing. ordered about four online from booktopia but only three arrived so i’m never ordering from them again because while customer support was very nice to my emails and promised to send me another copy, that one didn’t arrive either. so that was that.

anyway, i decided to read up about it and spend, i don’t know, about 60 bucks on books rather than on the creative nonfiction seminar that i initially really wanted to join that cost almost $300 scheduled on a day that i was rostered to work.

creative nonfiction. i have decided that that’s my genre. it’s like real life embellished with a bit of poetry to somehow distract readers from the morbid fact that your life is utterly boring.

oh, and i got my local library to buy me that eye book, fixing my gaze. purely to understand how vision works and how the eyes and the brain coordinate with each other so you can watch avatar in 3D without any problem. which is probably the least of raven’s concerns, considering her exotropia. which was why i wanted to read the book in the first place.

her condition saddens me. sure, i worry about people judging her but more than that, i worry about her vision. because nature is so beautiful to only view in 2D. but then again, one of the most renowned artists of all time had the same condition as hers so… maybe it’s not such a bad thing?

when i said my reading list this year was varied, i meant that i included a comic book in it as well. borrowed from my library on a whim, mainly because the graphics looked cool and it kind of reminded me of how much i loved reading archie and mad magazines during my high school days, although the latter happened in college, thanks to my friend, eugenio de cadiz III, who loved his mad magazines so much he covered them with a plastic wrap and strictly instructed me to make sure, under no circumstances, i don’t mutilate the pages in any way. like, i could get hit by a jeepney and be all black and blue but for as long as the skin of his magazines remain in their pristine condition, then it’s all good.

it was a privilege to be given his trust, albeit suspiciously. rest assured i handled those magazines the way archeologists handle the mummified remains of tutankhamun would. bless his soul. no, not the pharaoh’s. henie’s.

the tattooist of auschwitz is a really good book too. i don’t know why i find myself drawn to these types of books but i think it has something to do with humanity’s resilience in the face of atrocity. sure, they’re depressing but at the same time, they can also be very inspiring.


as for shantaram, i have to admit i enslaved myself reading this book for 7 months. yep, that long. not because it’s an awful book, but because it’s friggin’ 933 pages long! for something that’s about 2.5 inches thick, i couldn’t possibly bring it around with me and whip it out when i wanna give the impression that i’m one helluva serious reader. so i left it at home to be read at bedtime, at a leisurely pace, while i dabble with other books in between during the day which are much easier to carry or squeeze into my bag.

it’s a really good book, shantaram. i got it at this book exchange in dandenong, like i said in my post before.

out of all the books i read this year, the one book i wasted my time on was that one endorsed by oprah herself. i usually trust the queen of talk’s recommendations but sadly, this one fell short. the story was a bit too shallow. too cliche. sure, it tackled the issue of HIV in the black community but it was just too… i can’t even find the right word for it… corny? all i got out of that book was my newfound interest in chamomile tea.

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