Ten(?) books

I just copied this from my comment reply to Jolen’s post, thinking heck okay since this is long enough to be a blog post already, lemme just make a new post as well. So for anyone else curious about what I like reading, here’s a sneak peek into my identity:

1. Super Freakonomics – Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
– Reading this felt like someone took a needle and poked at my brain until it burst open and all my thoughts came spilling out. It’s one of those books that bloat your ego because you now have a cache of relevant random knowledge in your head, but humble you at the same time because half of your preconceived notions are whacked at with a sledgehammer.

2. Protector of the Small series – Tamora Pierce
– Ahhhhhh, this series. I’m a huge fantasy geek (more of a fantasy > sci-fi person) and back in high school, the strong lead with her struggles of making it as a knight in a path dominated by men pulled me in. This is cheating, I know, but I can’t pick a single book of the four that I like the best! So I’ll just name the entire series hahahahahaha

3. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexander Dumas
– Monte Cristo was the very first novel I read as a kid. My uncle gave it to me as a birthday gift in 2nd grade, and I remember skimming through it but not really understanding much. What I understood, I got from the Viggo Mortensen adaptation my family watched soon after. I reread the book a few years later, and ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. I returned to it almost every year, made a book review of it for 3rd year high school literature, made another book review in 1st year college. I just… aaaaaaaaaa.

4. A Ring of Endless Light – Madeleine L’Engle
– Found this in the library when I was a first year in high school and fell in love with L’Engle’s writing. Although I also equally love A Wrinkle in Time and Many Waters, I’m choosing this particular one for the list because of how I kept going back to it every school year. I loved the concept, the communication with dolphins, the idea of non-linear memories, and the use of Henry Vaughan’s poem, The World.

5. Fables – Bill Willingham
– A more recent find, but something I now count as my very favorite graphic novel series. I am a sucker for fairy tales and fairy tale adaptations, and how Fables brought the characters to life and humanized them so realistically… God. I actually found about about this after playing the game adaptation, A Wolf Among Us — which I also very highly recommend!!! It’s dark, gritty, urban, and tells so much of human nature and politics.

6. Forever Odd – Dean Koontz
– Another find from my high school library and the first book of the Odd Thomas novels I read, though it’s the second in the series. I loved the way Koontz told the story, and I love Odd as a character. I remember writing down a number of quotes from this on a few pieces of paper that I kept with me all the time to read back on. My love for this series extended to my attachment to the movie adaptation of the first book, and eventually made me feel a strange connection to Anton Yelchin — I know what they say about crying over celeb deaths, but I really did suddenly start bawling when he died.

7. Razorland series – Ann Aguire
– Of all the strong female lead dystopian novels I’ve read — and I’ve read a lot of them — this is my favorite series. I am cheating again because I’m listing the entire trilogy. It completely drew me in, and this, I think, is the only (dystopian) series where I wasn’t disappointed by any of the individual titles.

8. Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
– Persepolis 1 & 2 are must-reads. I cannot recommend this enough. I regret that I only read this last year; I really wish I read it earlier. Yes, I believe that reading Persepolis earlier would have made a substantial difference in my life.

9. Catch Me a Firefly and Other Stories – Freda Jayme
– I think this time I cheated in an entirely different way in that I took more than a few minutes trying to think of it hahahaha. I remember being in 4th grade and having an amazing adviser. She had a small collection of books on top of a cabinet behind her corner classroom desk and me, having no shame, asked to borrow the interesting-looking yellow one I usually saw her reading during her free time. She let me take it home, I read it, I was enthralled. It was a Philippine short story anthology in English, and I loved all the stories. This book actually stuck to me for years in that I never remembered exactly what the stories were — except that the title story was about fireflies — but the warm feeling of being in love with stories stayed. Just last night I couldn’t take it anymore and posted on FB, asking people for help in remembering the title and mentioning my teacher. Someone linked her new profile and voila! I struck a conversation with her and asked her about it. And that’s the story of how this list item came to be. Omg I’m sorry I’m making this so long hahahahahahahahaha.

10. Basara – Tamura Yumi
– Time for a manga! No joke, manga in general has left a substantial impact on my life. It’s a very valid medium of storytelling and offers a lot of the most wonderful content I’ve ever seen. And Basara, my God, Basara. It’s a long, now-completed manga series, published around 1998, which I guess some people would consider as old. It’s progressive, political, has a lot of relevant messages, speaks against tyranny, just… this is one of my very favorite stories of all time.

Feel free to comment, ask questions, criticize me on my taste, bash, whatever. Happily receiving replies on this (unemployed, looking-for-work, nothing-to-do) end.

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