As a countdown to our 1st ReaderCon, I'm joining the other Pinoy bloggers in doing this Filipino Friday meme. Every Friday, we're asked to share our answers on different questions, and this week, it's all about introducing the kind of readers we are.
I read everything. Back when I was a Literature major and fancied myself a writer, a college professor told me that I had to be more discerning with my choices. The rationale behind it was that if I read good books, I was likely to write better. I really didn't listen. I cannot imagine not reading things that interest me. So yeah, now I guess I'm a reader and not a writer, and I'm cool with that!
Fantasy: I read Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsinger when I was about nine or ten. My older cousins, who were into Pern and Terry Brooks' Shannara, thought it was a good idea for me to add some fantasy into my reading choices and I was hooked. I finished most of the Pern series in grade school, was hooked on Dragonlance, checked out every fantasy-related YA book from the school library (mostly Lloyd Alexander, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, John Bellairs, Susan Cooper, Fay Sampson). In high school, I moved on to JRR Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin, William Goldman, Peter S. Beagle, David Eddings, Mercedes Lackey, Robert Jordan, Frank Herbert, Ray Bradbury, Orson Scott Card (okay, obviously I began reading sci-fi as well). I went through doorstoppers like crazy. Still do. In college, I read George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Terry Pratchett, Stephen R. Donaldson. Post-college: China Mieville, Ellen Kushner, Robin Hobb, Neal Stephenson, Jeff Vandermeer, Jack Vance, H.P. Lovecraft, Iain Banks, David Mitchell, Sergei Lukyanenko. Hay naku, tama na, di ako matatapos. What was the question again? Sorry, I really tend to ramble when it comes to fantasy stuff. Sell me anything and I'd buy it.
And the rest, quickly now.
Asian Literature: I love books by Haruki Murakami, Banana Yoshimoto, Yukio Mishima, Dai Sijie, Ma Jian, Anchee Min. I also enjoy Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy, and Orhan Pamuk. I wish I can read more from Southeast Asian authors (I'm only halfway through my first Indonesian book).
YA: I used to read as many of the American Newbery winners and honor books as I could: The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Johnny Tremain, Strawberry Girl, The Westing Game, and Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. My favorite authors were EL Konigsberg, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, and Katherine Paterson. I still read YA fantasy like Shannon Hale and Patricia McKillip but thanks to my teenage sister, I read more of the contemporary titles now.
Romance: I devour Regency bodice-rippers and chick lit. Recently discovered Julia Quinn and I'm loving her books to bits. This was all thanks to reading Sweet Dreams on the sly in fourth grade and then graduating to Sidney Sheldon by the time I was a freshman in high school.
Poetry: Should that count here? Too late, I'm answering anyway. Luisa Igloria, Eric Gamalinda, Edith Tiempo, Billy Collins, Wislawa Szymborska, William Carpenter, Philip Levine, Ted Kooser, Pablo Neruda, and Rumi.
My favorite authors, in no particular order: Peter S. Beagle, Haruki Murakami, Harper Lee, Ellen Kushner, Kelly Link, George R.R. Martin, Terry Pratchett, Umberto Eco, Banana Yoshimoto, Erle Stanley Gardner, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Georgette Heyer, Elizabeth Hand, Patricia McKillip, Patrick Ness, Lloyd Alexander. I think our Filipino genre writers rock. Yvette Tan and Crystal Koo are among my (many) favorites.
Here are some books I'd read over and over again:
LM Montgomery's Anne of Green Gable series and The Blue Castle
Eva Ibbotson's The Morning Gift
Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Terry Pratchett's Night Watch, The Truth, and Soul Music
Sharon Shinn's Summers at Castle Auburn
Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Wendy Mass' Every Soul a Star
... and should shoujo manga count?
Finally you'll have to forgive me if not all of these books were released in 2011; they just happen to be a list of fabulous books that I've managed to read this year:
David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas
Peter S. Beagle's Sleight of Hand
Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls
Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others
Sara Zarr's Sweethearts
David Markson's Reader's Block
Guy Gavriel Kay's The Lions of Al-Rassan
Benjamin Tammuz' Minotaur
Whew! Probably my longest post ever (and I'm hoping I don't get too long-winded next time). But if we happen to have common favorites and you'd like to chat, let me know. I hope I'll see you at ReaderCon. :)
The ReaderCon is presented together with Vibal Publishing House, Inc, and sponsors Primetrade Asia, Flipside Digital Content, and Scholastic.