The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Hardcover, Php555.
Why we got it: We raced through Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind, a gothic novel about a forbidden library. Has someone made a movie of it yet?
Incidentally, we saw the 5-minute trailer for the film adaptation of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Big-budget production by the Wachowski Siblings and Tom Tykwer starring Tom Hanks and Hallie Berry. Eye-popping visuals but our friend Bored noted that the more filmmakers try to create “something you’ve never seen before” the more cliché the result. We loved Cloud Atlas while we were reading it but we couldn’t summarize it for you if we tried. That’s the problem their marketing people have to address: how to explain a story with so many characters from so many eras who seem to have only a tenuous connection to each other. Hence the extra-long trailer.
We’ve also seen the trailer for the Life of Pi adaptation by Ang Lee. Never cared for Yann Martel’s work. Give us The Jungle Book, even the Disney cartoon.
Why Read The Classics? by Italo Calvino, Php549
Why we got it: Ammunition.
“4. A classic is a book which with each rereading offers as much of a sense of discovery as the first reading.
“5. A classic is a book which even when we read it for the first time gives the sense of rereading something we have read before.
“6. A classic is a book which has never exhausted all it has to say to its readers.”
Sorry Please Thank You by Charles Yu, hardcover, Php995
Why we got it: Because we like the cover design, we’re not sure what the title is, and we have a copy of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe that we will get around to reading.
We’re on a streak! In the last two weeks we read four excellent novels in a row: Waiting for Sunrise, Beautiful Ruins, The Age of Miracles, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette, plus some great comics and many dumb ones (New 52 Justice League, we mean you). Everything will be reviewed in time.
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil, hardcover, Php995
Why we got it: Because we sneer at the concept of awards but read the Booker Prize longlist anyway. Life is full of conflict. Also, it’s been compared to Jesus’s Son by Denis Johnson.
All books available at National Bookstores.