Beige Turtleneck: Forever 21 | White Skirt: Miss Selfridge | Bag: Louis Vuitton | Heels: Coach | Belt: Chanel (same as here) | Necklace: Forever 21 | Bangles: Hermes, Cartier, Tiffany | Watch: Daniel Wellington (same as here)
I’m pretty sure a lot of you may already know this little tidbit about me, which is pretty obvious, I think (considering that I talk about it a lot on my twitter/facebook/ask.fm accounts), but I really like to read. I just needed to state it to establish the entire thought of my entry. I enjoy reading, a lot… in fact, I don’t think life is worth living if I were to lose good material to read. I can’t imagine living in a communist country where my reading materials are controlled and monitored–just saying. My love affair with books started when I was in Kindergarten, my good friend introduced me to the Goosebumps series, and before I graduated to second grade, I practically finished the entire library of R.L. Stine’s creations (at least, the age appropriate ones). You can say that “Books” were my first love.
I moved on to the Sweet Valley Franchise later on, followed by a bit of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, but ultimately what got me hooked was the Harry Potter franchise during fifth grade. Yes, I’m a huge Potter fan, I watched the first movie 11 times (and around 5 times on the cinema). Also, it was important to note that when I was 12, my PC broke during the summer and in an attempt to make me focus on my academics as I was entering High School, my mom refused to have it fixed until I reached a certain GPA for my first semester (this was back in the day where we didn’t really need that much computer work done for school)–to entertain myself, I would borrow 3 Classical books (think Jane Austen) a week and devour them greedily. I won the school’s Bookworm award that year (it’s usually given to people with the most books reflected on their library card for the total year during English month in February or something) and consequently, the remaining 3 years I was in High School. Despite my computer being repaired after my first semester (because I did get that GPA), I was able to cultivate that hobby of reading (I also read fanfiction so my computer was an integral tool to reading).
Now I’m in my mid-twenties and let me tell you, reading books are still a fixture in my life. No, I’m not the picky reader where I feel the need to touch pages with my fingertips–I’m not that overly dramatic, I’m just an ordinary girl with a slightly extraordinary life, made all the more “extraordinary” with books!
So I’ve been asked this question, via email and via ask.fm–sometimes in my twitter: “What books can you recommend?” There are tons of books I can give to people who want to read but of course, I also want to recommend books that have made an impact to who I am as a person. I’ll narrow down my list and post it after my style photos.
Anyway, I wore this outfit for the last week of work last year–yes, it’s a bit late but hurrah for consistency and frequency of posting, still. I just matched it with this content because I figured, if I were to write a book someday or have my own column that’s more serious in tone (not like the one I have on Manila Bulletin or Inquirer’s 2Bu) then I’d totally wear a serious, no non-sense, semi-pretentious, but still totally “me” outfit like this one. Here are some more photos:
So now we’re back in this section, as promised, I will reveal the top 5 books that helped shaped up my life in some way. I wanted to initially do 10 but I figured I needed to downsize. If I were to do 10, then I’ll be guilty for not including a whole other set and will most likely end up doing 20 or more so this way, this allows me to prioritize which books I’d want to really share. Rest assured, I won’t be including the books I mentioned above or the YA novels I’ve been yakking about a lot on my social media accounts (John Green stuff, Perks of Being a Wallflower, etc). Instead, I’ll give you books that you’ll most likely have to ask the cashier in bookstores to find for you… just for variety. Anyway, here you go:
1. Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
I read this book when I was 18 and maybe that was the perfect time to read it considering I was old enough to understand existentialist crap and I was at a pessimistic age… that said, this will always be my favorite book. To say that it “blew my whole perspective to epic proportions” wouldn’t do the narrative any justice! I love that it talks about perceptions, and how it does touch on “love” but not on a romantic level–I don’t mean it to be platonic or filial, just that he touches on the subject in a very realistic and accurate way, about how it isn’t at all perfection, rainbows, but rather… I wouldn’t say that it’s a choice but that it’s a necessity to compensate for some sort of emptiness or ineptitude. Ahhh, it’s a very profound book and I can’t really articulate the need for people to read it without going over the whole story but it’s a great read if you’re mentally prepared for it. I would have to say that at some point, I detested all characters but managed to love the whole narrative, the whole writing style, and just the lessons on life and how certain factors can affect the way we see things and the way we act on things.
2. Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Truth be told, I picked this book up on an Airport bookstore during one of my travels–I did so because it was thin, I was single, and I wanted to read something “profound.” Also, I’m the type of reader who gets insanely attracted to a book by just the title–nevermind that the summary hints a bit on Pedophilia. Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I bought it but somehow, I have this strange streak with the books I read (and end up liking) and they’re always insanely depressing, talking about an “unfulfilled life.” This book got a lot of flack for talking about a 90-year-old man whose only ever slept with prostitutes then suddenly gets saddled with a 14-year-old virgin… but that’s a very shallow understanding of the book. I guess I was able to stomach it because I figured, on the slightest chance that this somewhat modern retelling of “sleeping beauty” can be taken as possible satire to promote women empowerment but more than that, it was just a book that talked about making good memories as a way of achieving immortality or life longevity.
3. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Okay, something a little less daunting and can be found in the Young Adult Novels section… Daniel Handler’s “Why We Broke Up.” When I said that I ventured into reading the Series of Unfortunate Events, I never would have, in my wildest imaginations, fancied a guess that Daniel Handler was the man behind this childhood favorite of mine. When I found out, it all made perfect sense–the witticisms, the sarcasm, there were obvious similarities! A lot of people find his writing style to be annoying–it’s too artsy, to whatever, but I love it. This book though, is a little bit more mature… it’s not exactly light reading as it does have depth for a book catered to teens, but it is also slightly depressing in a “realistic” sort of way. It goes through the life cycle of a relationship and essentially hormonally charged emotional responses from the young narrator.
4. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
I found this book when I was 15, left behind by a Dutch foreigner, in a resort in Bantayan Island, Philippines. Bantayan is an untouched Boracay and our family’s been visiting that place since I was wee–we’ve land there and it’s the absolute perfect setting to drown yourself in books and Pina Colada. It’s just a set of personal essays written about the author’s most humiliating experiences in life… not something to be taken seriously but the tone is very ironic, sarcastic, witty, and in a sense, comedic. It also happens to be largely fabricated and not at all accurately factual but hey, creative license! I think it’s a book you either love or hate or love to hate or hate to love, whichever, personally, I just liked it for the giggles and for the imagery. It’s not very profound, to be honest, his other books are but they also happen to be less funnier, but it somehow helped me nail my tone as a writer. It was his book that made me say: “I want to write in the bitchiest way possible and here’s a guy who’s good at it.” Also, I was 20 when I last re-read this and I have no plans to re-read it anymore, so do forgive me if this one isn’t your cup of tea.
5. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Among all the classical authors I’ve read, I’m quite fond of Oscar Wilde. Apart from gravitating towards books that were profound and depressing, I also gravitated towards books that satirized narratives and Oscar Wilde was a pro at it. This was the first book that I read from him–of course, my favorite from Wilde is a toss up between this and The Picture of Dorian Gray but the latter does talk about vanity and beauty’s ephemerality so I chose the former. How funny is it though that my boyfriend’s real name is “Ernesto” and he was called by his grade school friends as “Ernest.” Irrelevant funny fact aside, although it is a classical novel, it is a fairly light read–with nuances and commentaries about society, and if you know the biography of Oscar Wilde’s life, then you would know why he wrote his book and who he was directing certain things at. All else, give it a try, or if you’re too lazy, I think they adapted this into a movie (I haven’t seen it though).
That’s about it! And before I forget, if you want to win a set of Nivea Wipes packs, head on to my previous entry and join the very easy contest. I swear, they are a must-have for your face regimen!