Annyeong readers! I hope you are all doing well and are keeping safe from the contagion.

As part of my 2020 reading resolution, I have resolved to do at least one book tag every month. I find book tags a fun thing to do and I managed to complete at least one book tag per month last year. I am hoping to carry on the same this 2020. The world wide web never seem to run out of book tags. For this month’s edition, I am going to do the Ten Bookish Questions Book Tag. Unfortunately, I forgot to note from which blogger I’ve first encountered it; I really do apologize. 

Before I start answering these ten bookish questions, I would like to acknowledge the creator of this book tag: A Books Neverland. I fervently that hope content creators never run out of ideas. I have to stop myself before I go on any further. Here are my answers. I hope you enjoy!


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How many books do you currently own?

I really don’t have an idea for it was some time since I did a book inventory. My excel file shows that my last book inventory was over a year ago, last July 2019. The data shows I have 469 books in my Manila collection (where I work) and about 142 books in my Bontoc collection (my hometown). I have since transferred some of my Manila books to Bontoc because of space restrictions. Despite constantly promising to put a halt to my book buying drive, I simply couldn’t resist the temptation so my collection grew even bigger. LOL. The two-month quarantine helped put a pause on my book buying drive but I have been on a roll since then, i.e. I have been buying more books than I read. 

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Here’s a look at my Manila collection. This picture was taken last April 2018.

How many books are you currently reading?

As many of you would probably know by now, I am a one book-at-a-time type of reader.

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My current read is Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française, a book that is part of my 2020 Top 20 Reading List. It transported me back to the heat of the Second World War in France. I am still at the part where the French denizens are fleeing for the countryside but the details of the pandemonium cause by war reverberated all throughout. I am nonetheless riveted by the story.


Choose a couple of books you read but didn’t enjoy?

Here are some of my latest reads that I am not really a fan of. The major issues I have with them is their lack of plot. In The Dutch House, for instance, Patchett tackles a subject that everyone is familiar with. However, she failed to bring something new to this narrative. It didn’t help that the main narrator is passive and is subservient to the influences of everyone around him.

I must admit, The Starless Sea has a very beautiful language; Erin Morgenstern has proven herself that even in her debut work, The Night Circus. However, this beautiful and descriptive language belie what I find is a lack of plot. Yet again, the romance is too contrived.


 A cover buy?

Back when I was younger, I was more enticed by the cover than the story. Lines like “New York Times Bestseller” is enough to make me purchase a book. Things changed when I started working. I have tried avoiding this type of purchases. I haven’t fully given up on the vice though as I find myself gravitating towards book with amazing cover, like this one from Neil Gaiman:

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I first encountered a copy of the book in late 2019. The eccentric mix of black and blue reeled me in and I placed it on my 2019 Holiday wish list. None, of course, bought me the book so I bought my own copy when the quarantine restrictions in Manila were loosened (it has been tightened again due to the uptick in cases in recent weeks).


A book you own but hate the cover of?

I guess there is no need to explain my choices:

One is too minimalist and the other carries the picture of the author on the cover. I don’t begrudge Uncle Ernest of that though. He is one of the world’s most recognized writers but seeing his picture on the front cover of a book is discomfiting. I have two books I recently bought with James Baldwin’s picture on the cover as well. These books give me the notion of an autobiography.


A book you haven’t read in years?

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I am not sure how to interpret the question. If the question is about books I haven’t reread in years, then my entire list of read books would qualify as I am not a big re-reader. The last time I re-read a book was about a decade ago, back in University days. When classes are suspended due to a typhoon (eastern version of hurricane), I would reread books that I have on hand. However, if there is one book that I want to reread badly, it would be Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. I read a lot of glowing reviews of the book but a lot of the symbols were lost on me the first time I read it. I want to give it a go again.

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If the question is referring to books I own but I haven’t read yet, then Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way would be the runaway leader I bought the book about four years ago but I still haven’t read it yet because I was hoping to buy the complete set first before I start reading it. I am just one book short but I think it is about time for me to start my immersion into Proust’s seminal series, Remembrance of Things Past, or alternatively called as In Search of Lost Time.


A book you will always recommend?

Here’s another difficult question. Hmmm. There is a lot of books I can recommend but it would depend on reader’s taste or mood or what he/she wants to read. Here are some of the books I love that I can recommend.

Individually, I love all of these books. Each has its own distinct flavor and charm. They’re some of the most readable books, even for someone who is about to start taking up reading as a hobby. The last time I was asked this question, I answered David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas but then I realized that it can be a very challenging read. HAHA. Among other books I recommend are J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, and Han Kang’s Human Acts. 

Of these books, I want to emphasize on Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater and Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s Stay With Me. I want to recommend them because I find African books a rarity and African literature a part of literature we rarely delve into. Thankfully, the number of books written by African writers have been on the rise in recent decades. Some works even won prestigious international literary prizes like the Man Booker Prize.


All time favourite book series?

I know. J.K. Rowling is problematic (read: transphobia). However, it is undeniable that her ever-popular Harry Potter Series has tickled the imagination of many. For now, it is my favorite series. I also like Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy.

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Where do you read?

With the quarantine in place, my current reading area is our apartment; there isn’t much space to choose from really. At night time, I go up to the top floor of our apartment building. It is colder there, and less noisier.

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A cup of coffee always comes handy.


What are the last two books you gave a 5 star rating?

Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Patrick Suskind’s Perfume, The Story of A Murderer were the last books I’ve given a five star rating over there at Goodreads. The former is a graphic novel detailing the experiences of the graphic novelist’s parents during the Holocaust. The latter, meanwhile, is literally the story of a murderer, Jean Baptiste Grenouille. It has elements of magical realism and of psychology. It is an eccentric literary piece to say the least.


I hope you enjoyed my answers to the Ten Bookish Questions. If you want to do your own, please feel free to do so, just don’t forget to tag me so that I can go over your answers as well.

That’s it for now! Have a blessed Sunday everyone!