• The glory of simultaneous half-read books

    Karen Kunawicz

    Karen Kunawicz

    It all started last December. My good friend Dindi Gallardo was one of the first to get on a book meme bandwagon where, if you were tagged, you were supposed to make a list of 10 books that have stayed with you throughout the years. For many of my friends I  shared the meme with, 10 was not enough.

    Then I realized, I have not spent enough time lately with good books, the thing du jour being series downloads. So I started picking up books and reading them all at the same time. Of course I’m nowhere near finishing the selected gems but here they are:

    1.Kingdom Come by Alex Ross and Mark Waid. To further appreciate what my friends Glenmarc “Flash” Antonio, Gerard “Supes” Sison and Tim ‘Bats’ Villasor do as members of Justice Ph, Kingdom Come presents a world where the big superheroes have “retired” and maintained a low profile, while their offspring and a new generation of super-powered beings are causing more chaos than balancing out the scales of justice. My friend Marco “Catman” Montecillo was with me at the graphic novel section of Fully Booked and told me this was essential. A sentiment apparently echoed by almost every other comic book geek who was shocked I let 17 years go by without reading it.

    2.Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I picked this book up in the late ‘80s but never quite finished it. But Dindi mentioned it in her list and lo and behold, despite having moved homes three times, my yellowed copy has stayed with me. So I am in the middle of finding out how Florentino Ariza’s undying love for his Fermina Daza survives the test of several decades. Of course everyone can relate to how the physical symptoms of lovesickness can be like the symptoms of cholera: “Los síntomas del amor son los mismos del cólera.”

    3.H.P. Lovecraft Goes To The Movies: The Classic Stories That Inspired The Classic Horror Films. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to read Lovecraft. I had some free time and since I do fancy a good radio drama, I clicked on a link my friend Carlos Hubilla posted for the five-part radio broadcast of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness on BBC Radio, read by Richard Coyle and enjoyed it thoroughly.  This was my first and belated dip into Lovecraft and the book is a great collection of short stories to feed my continuing fascination for a man whose horror stories continue to inspire and influence horror films and fiction of today. I can also sense the influence in turn, another of my favorites, Edgar Allan Poe, had on him.

    4. The Summer Solstice and Other Stories by Nick Joaquin. I found this book at the airport when I realized I left my Dance with Dragons at home. Again another one of those—why haven’t I picked you up before? Joaquin paints a wonderful picture of Manila / the Philippines and it’s folks of an era gone by. And nothing says girl power like the Summer Solstice.

    Happy New Year, everyone. Pick up a book—or books.


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    1 Comment

    1. Karen, based on your fascination with Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera,” I’m sure you’ll love Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s “The Shadow of the Wind” as well. I’d say both authors and both novels are very much of the same literary mold.