The enhanced community quarantine imposed in the entire Luzon island here in the Philippines could be a blessing for me. Obviously, it will help alleviate the exponential increase of Covid-19 cases. On a more practical note, it has helped me save; I had to cancel my Japan trip. Moreover, it also kept me from buying more books! Haha. But before the imposition of the ECQ, I was able to snag some titles (unfortunately, because books are life).

Here are my purchases for the month of March. Happy reading everyone and always keep safe!


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Title: Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
Author: Olga Tokarczuk
Translator: Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publishing Date: 2019
No. of Pages: 274

Synopsis: “In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying the poetry of William Blake, and caring for the summer homes of the wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is only amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina is certain that she knows whodunit. A deeply satisfying thriller cum fairy tale, Driver Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a provocative exploration of the murky borderland between sanity and madness, justice and tradition, autonomy and fate.”


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Title: Flights
Author: Olga Tokarczuk
Translator: Jennifer Croft
Publisher:
Riverhead Books
Publishing Date: 2018
No. of Pages: 403

Synopsis: “Incomparably original, Flights interweaves reflections on travel with an exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration. Chopin’s heart is carried back to Warsaw in secret by his adoring sister. A woman must return to her native Poland in order to poison her terminally ill highly school sweetheart. A young man slowly descends into madness when his wife and child mysteriously vanish during a vacation and just as suddenly reappear. Through these brilliantly imagined characters and stories, interwoven with haunting, playful, and revelatory meditations, Flights explores what is means to be a traveler, a wanderer, a body in motion not only through space but through time. Where are you coming from? Where are you going? we call to the traveler. Enchanting, unsettling, and wholly original, Flights is a master storyteller’s answer.”


American-Dirt-by-Jeanine-Cummins

Title: American Dirt
Author: Jeanine Cummins
Publisher:
Flatiron Books
Publishing Date: 2019
No. of Pages: 378

Synopsis: “Lydia Quixano Perez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy – two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away form their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride La Bestia – trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books of our times.”


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Title: Lost Children Archive
Author: Valeria Luiselli
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Publishing Date: 2019
No. of Pages: 350

Synopsis: “In Valeria Luiselli’s fiercely imaginative novel, a mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and girl, driving form New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. As the family travels west, through Virginia, to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas, their bonds begin to fray: a fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can almost feel beneath their feet.

Through sons and maps and Polaroid camera’s lens, the children try to make sense of both their family’s crisis and the larger one engulfing the news: the stories of thousands of kids trying tor cross the southwestern border into the United States but being detained – or getting lost in the desert along the way.

A breathtaking feat of literary virtuosity, Lost Children Archive is timely, compassionate, subtly hilarious, and formally inventive – a powerful, urgent story about what it is to be human in an inhuman world.”