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January Treats

Kasisimula pa lang ng taon, may mga January treats na agad.

Late last year, I came across a friend’s Wall in FB. He’s selling books (2nd hand, outdated editions, and even brand new titles) in Facebook.

Matagal ko na siyang friend sa FB, pero kung bakit ngayon ko lang napansin ang mga libro at ang mga binebenta n’ya – ay hindi ko alam.

Ang alam ko lang, the moment I started browsing his books and photos, wala na kong tigil kapipili at pamimili.

Tutal, patapos na noon ang taon….pwedeng pwedeng gumastos!

Mura ang mga books n’ya. Magaganda ang titles at hard-to-find ang iba. Talk about having an online Bookay-Ukay.

Ayaw ninyong maniwala?

Eto ang mga napamili ko:

The Road (Cormac McCarthy)

THE ROAD is a post-apocalyptic novel by Cormac McCarthy — the tale of a journey taken by a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blasted by an unnamed cataclysm that destroyed all civilization and, apparently, most life on earth.

My very first read for 2012. Nakakaiyak, nakakalungkot, pero refreshing. Intensely detailed and amazingly poetic.  I never thought that I’d get to enjoy such a genre at the start of the year. A must-read for parents and young adults alike. No wonder this book is considered one of McCarthy’s best, yet.

Don't Know Much About Literature (Kenneth Davis and Jenny Davis)

From Homer to Harry Potter, from Chaucer to Charlotte’s Web , Don’t Know Much About Literature is a compelling compendium of history’s most influential literary works and writers. I already scanned the copy, and noticed how this book could be an easy, yet comprehensive read.

Focus on Hitchcock (Edited by Albert LaValley)

I know that I’m lucky to have a copy of Albert LaValley’s FOCUS ON HITCHCOCK. I’ve been wanting to understand Hitchcock’s depth and techniques ever since I started collecting his masterpieces on DVD. FOCUS is a collection of essays from the Master of Suspense, himself and other critics (like Andre Bazin, Robin Wood and Raymund Dugnat). There’s also a chapter that transcribed some of his more important interviews during his first few years in Hollywood.

Surprisingly, FOCUS is also an easy read. There may be a few technical terms, but an experienced reader can go through the essays rapidly.

One thing that like about the book is it’s scene-by-scene analysis of the Cornfield Chase in NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959); an iconic sequence shot during daytime and in a vast exterior, however done intricately.  Critics have been raving about it. I have always wondered what made the shots extraordinary.

Here’s a sampler:

Analysis of the Plane Cornfield Chase Sequence in NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)

But now that I have read the essay and the analyses, I’m an expert na. Laban ka?!

Here’s a draft of the most famous shot in the sequence:

Analysis of the Plane Cornfield Chase Sequence in NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)

If some of you are not familiar with what I’m talking about, here’s a photo of the actual shot from the film.

Plane and Cornfield Chase Most Famous Shot (North by Northwest, 1959)

Taray diba?


The Reader (Bernhard Schlink)

Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, Bernhard Schlink’s THE READER is a mesmerizing novel of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany. When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover–then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

I have seen the 2008 film version of this book, and I was immediately hooked. Yes, Kate Winslet performance as Hanna was superb (highly deserving of the Academy Award for Best Actress), but the story was much more a bait for consideration.

Can’t wait to start this one.


1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die

From Ancient Egyptian frescoes to the Renaissance masters, from French Impressionists to American Abstract Expressionists, this highly browsable guide embraces all cultures and every style of painting from 4,000 BC to the present. A visually arresting reference for art lovers and students, it provides a truly comprehensive worldwide gazeteer of paintings organized chronologically by date of completion. Each entry includes the history of the painting, information about the artist or artistic movement, the current location of the painting (all are on view to the public), as well as other details. The works are also indexed by artist and by title, making for easy cross-referencing. Included are popular paintings, key works that are the most breathtaking for their extraordinary power and beauty, paintings that were turning points in the history of art, and rediscovered masterpieces, making Coffee Table Book an art museum in itself.


The Upside of Turbulence (Donald Sull)

Traditionally, leadership has been equated with vision. We look to leaders in business and government to have the genius to know the future and lead the rest of us to where that vision becomes a reality. We look for goals to beckon us and rely on strategic plans to guide us, all the while knowing how unreliable and unpredictable the future might be. Emerging realities (the financial crisis of 2008, the rise and fall of oil prices, the creative destruction of the Internet, for instance) often distort and destroy established maps. How do we plan when plans become irrelevant? Through his celebrated career as a professor of business and a medicine man to companies big and small, Donald Sull has studied how best to reconcile this paradox. The essence of leadership, in the deep logic that underpins this book, relies on a leader?s flexible tenacity to plot a course that can withstand and even be propelled by the complexity and dynamism that the modern business terrain contains. Based on a decade of research, historical case studies, and intensive work with established enterprises and start-ups, this book lays out the fundamental logic of opportunity and provides a series of practical steps to translate insight into action.

I’m wondering how this book will help me this year. Nonetheless, it’s good to know that I have a non-fiction title like this on my list. Makes me want to immediately skip a few fictions to start this one.

And lastly…

Signed Copy of Off the Cuff (Carson Kressley)

Carson Kressley is the most recognizable name in men’s fashion today. With a legion of fans who hang on his every tip and quip, Kressley has single-handedly made it cool for the average guy to care about clothes. In OFF THE CUFF , Carson makes over the tired men’s style guide with an edgy, hilarious romp through every man’s closet: from socks to scarves, from jeans to leather jackets, from the dreaded pleated khaki to the classic pink oxford. Trading trends for timeless style, OFF has a unique personality and physique and lets readers in on Carson’s best-kept secret: that the only thing sure to stay in fashion is the man who wears what’s right for him. Vibrantly illustrated with full-color photographs, and written with Carson’s signature wit and irreverence, OFF is what Queer Eye fans have always wanted: Carson in their closet – and in my case – in my bookshelf!

And take note; what I got from Andy was a Signed Copy!

Off the Cuff (Signed Copy)

All these I got from Andy’s FB. He’s been selling books since God-knows-when, but I’m glad I still had the chance to virtually grab some of the best titles from his shelf.

But the best part of it is, I got THE ROAD, DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT LITERATURE, THE READER,  and 1001 PAINTINGS for less than Php 1,000!

Oh yes, murang-mura!

The rest; I won in a Virtual Raffle where I got Php 500 worth of Virtual Gift Certificates last Christmas!

Amazing, eh?

If you’d like to browse on Andy’s books and available titles, just click here. I assure you, he has something in his shelves  that will catch your fancy.


By the way, speaking of literatures, early this month, I have formed a Shakespeare Group. Sa office lang naman. As inspired by Gary Schmidt’s WEDNESDAY WARS (which was one of my best reads last year), I have encouraged five friends to take on the challenge of reading a Shakespeare play each month.

Sino-sino? Sina; Jary, Domeng, Emcie, Lei and Michi.

We have agreed to meet every last Friday of the month for a discussion.

This month’s selection?

William Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

I’d be facilitating this month’s discussion on the 27th. After which, we’d draw lots to know who’ll facilitate in the coming months.

I’d be posting the event and sharing with you the photos, once we’re done with the activity.

Seems like 2012 is a Read-Much year, isn’t it, jellicle readers?

Like, like!!!

PS. I just hope, Daniel finishes 13 Reasons Why this year. (fingers crossed)



Tags : alfred hitchcockandy batangantangbernhard schlinkbookbook salebookscarson kressleycary grantcormac mccarthyfacebookfilm reviewsfilmslifescoopliteraturenorth by northwestoff the cuffrandomreadingthe readerthe road
Orly S. Agawin

The author Orly S. Agawin

Orly has been writing for The Jellicle Blog since 2008. He is a training and development consultant by day and an art enthusiast by night. He lives in Parañaque with his mom.

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