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Unwrapping my book loot from Book Duke

The book package arrived earlier than I expected. The last time Mx. Book Duke and I arranged our payments and delivery was on Sunday afternoon, when Mx. informed me the books were shipped already. I expected to wait for a minimum of three business days, but the shipping option is really here to up the ante; the loot arrived one day advanced.

Most of what I purchased are thick-ass books, 11 in all. Mx. Book Duke told me my order is eight-kilo heavy, I said sure, I can use it as a weight for my non-existent, but strong biceps. That’s how nerds work out.

11 books: eight authors. Out of the eight authors, two are translated works. Not a fan of labeling genres, but for the sake of differentiation, these are graphic novels (4), novels (5), poetry collection, and a nonfiction. Nonfiction or a conversation or an interview. See, my nonbelief on genres are showing. Four blue books, three brown ones, a white, a green against beige, a black, and a beige-black-light blue. I did not intend to choose books based on cover, but it’s weird to acknowledge that the colors are conventionally tied to decay. Ask James Joyce.

As you may have noticed, these are strange choices, for the reason that I want to diversify my mini-library. In that way, I would be able to do the book activity I fancy for so long: a monthly thematic reading. On my list are: Graphic Novels/Comix Month, Books Gifted to Me Month, Haruki Murakami Month, Filipino Works Month, and Notre Dame of Marbel University (NDMU) Library Month. Still have to plot the schedule, but I would be prioritizing the NDMU Library Month (because the books are due on October) and Books Gifted to Me Month (it’s getting nearer to Christmas, baka naman, Benefactors).

With hushed, excitable noontime voice, I unwrapped the three parcels of books with the help of my officemate’s scissors.

So here:

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

“Virtuosity” is what Michiko Kakutani used to describe David Foster Wallace’s A supposedly fun thing I’ll never do again. I scanned the blurbs section of the book, and virtuoso and its variations are invoked many times. And funny. And Pynchon. And tour de force.

I first encountered the novel after watching Liberal Arts, before watching How I Met Your Mother, after being identified with Ted Mosby’s character.

I sure had fun reading Consider the Lobster, because who would have thought a cute discussion on eating lobsters would escalate into rumination of ethical choices? Well, I do not have a plan on reading it yet. I guess I’d be alive for long, and I’m planning to give my Infinite Jest an edgy experience by buying an audiobook (only if the narrator is rated well in Amazon).

For now, the book with 1079 pages will still serve its purpose as my weapon of choice. I’d put it on my bedside in case a killer breaks into my room, or a zombie apocalypse comes into fruition (we have talked about this already in our course on ethical leadership. Endless possibilities). I’d hack my enemies, right through their nose and eyes.

Black Hole by Charles Burn

I nearly lost hope when Amazon does not have a Kindle book for sale. Even Book Depository’s deals would drain the fuck out of me. I never thought twice on buying it at Book Duke despite the graphic novel’s dark cover.

It’s set in Seattle, Washington, where Kurt Cobain died by suicide. It’s the hometown of Mommy Jinkx Monsoon too!

Revolver by Matt Kindt

Seriously, Seattle kids, what’s with Seattle? This graphic novel, according to its synopsis, is also set in Seattle of avian flu and materialism and destruction of infrastructure and carpet of bombs.

I bought this book because of its publisher, Vertigo. I trusted Vertigo after reading Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.

Sounds like there’ll be blood and band-aids in this book. Hold tight.

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Do you remember this, Kloyde? This graphic novel is shelved in your tiny pretty heart.

I have read this book actually in one day, on my iPad. Nothing really made me type ‘save’ on Book Duke’s account, except that I just want to see how reading Blankets on a paper is different from the one on the screen.

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Yep. I bought two copies of the book. I’m that kind of boy. Sentimental.

I’d be giving this to a friend. Let’s see.

Selected poems by E. E. Cummings, edited by Richard S. Kennedy

This book deserves a separate essay. I wrote an undergraduate thesis on E. E. Cummings employing a stylistic analysis. I could have written it better now. To make up for the restrictive and academic tone of academic writing, I will someday have fun explicating his poems.

My writing project/analysis will involve a deal of video recording myself and I tried reciting ‘anyone lived in a pretty how town’ this week, and I sucked. I can’t stomach hearing my own voice. I will have to practice poetry reading, I think. I will Juan Miguel Severo/Alfonso Manalastas the house down. Or maybe pay a DJ to read the poems and I’ll lip sync.

Flex time: I know my undergraduate thesis is not the best, but during that time (between 2013-2016), I am flattered to know the rebellious nature of the English majors. One is prohibited to bring home a copy of an undergraduate thesis, so it makes me wonder that my friends tell me they saw my thesis in boarding houses. What sorcery, English majors? What sorcery?

03 by Jean-Christophe Valtat

Among the books I ordered, it’s the one I am completely clueless about. It’s translated from French, it involves a teenager, it involves Flowers for Algernon, and it involves suburbs. So I hope. I am expecting a masturbation scene. Don’t frustrate me, please.

Absolutely on music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa by Haruki Murakami

My writing style fixates on musical allusion, so stubby fingers were quick to save this. Murakami is known for his surrealist, not of this earth worldbuilding, like Kafka on the shore. But actually, I very much enjoyed his realist novel Norwegian wood. What I talk about when I talk about running is also well-written for me.

The contents discuss more on socially constructed high-tier music genre, like classics and jazz, so I don’t know. I’m an just an average Joe reveling on Taylor Swift. I don’t think I’d read them chronologically, because I’d jump to Interlude 2: The relationship of writing to music, then Interlude 1: On manic record collectors.

The book comes with a stamp of Houston Public Library and Friends of the Houston Public Library. Dibs on this!

Oprah’s Book Club Presents A Summer of Faulkner: William Faulkner’s As I lay dying, The sound and the fury, and Light in August

Let’s start first with Oprah. I believe I am an Oprah Winfrey baby, as a 90s kid. I remember watching her talk show every night, and my favorite segment is the Oprah Book Club. She would give the audience a free copy of a book in each month. They’d invite authors, like Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou. Gayle King sometimes would join the club. With my impressionable mind, I thought people I see on TV are smart people. And books are as cool as toys or a mobile gadget. I’d never forget the time she interviewed Eckhart Tolle. I forgot what they talked about, but I remember laughing at the name (in Filipino, tuli means circumcision).

The set of Faulkner books are bundled with a box slightly torn, but I’m not mad. I have been looking for a physical copy of As I lay dying when I started spiraling into depression and suicidal thoughts. I’m thrice happy because there are two more books coming with it, with only 500 pesos.

I random opened a page of As I lay dying. On it writes “My mother is a fish.” Can’t wait for it.


Thanks Book Duke for selling books I have been looking for! I will surely buy again!

What books have you unwrapped/unboxed this month? 🙂

Keep on reading, my gang. I believe that book nerds will save the world from zombie apocalypse.


Join the Conversation


  1. I purchased a lot of books from Book Duke as well. Through them, I have discovered the delight in reading New York Review books. Very reliable bookseller that has never failed me. 🙂 Glad you had some wonderful purchase from them as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Carl (Am I right?)! This book haul is something new for me, as someone who has trust issues over online selling. I was wide-eyed while opening my parcels. Yes, I’d surely buy again in Book Duke, and I miss holding a book, being ultra-reliant on my Kindle reader. Looking forward to your posts soon. I like being surrounded with readers, like a book club of sorts.


  2. Nice collection, especially the William Faulkner books. I haven’t read many of E.E. Cummings poetry (his poetry has too weird of rhythm for my tastes), but I do love “Somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond.” That is a beautiful poem!

    Liked by 1 person

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