Kuya John's Reading Year 2018
My friend, Kuya John Dasmariñas, based in Singapore, has spent a great deal of 2018 reading. I'm sharing his favorite reads. This was originally posted on his Instagram, but I'm sharing it now, with his permission.
My Top 7 books based purely on how I felt after reading them; because while details escape you, feelings linger.
7. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen - A comedy on relationships with our family, money, our ambitions and the cruelty of the world we all need to live with. Only an avant-garde writer can curate a plot that resonates with our very own musings we all are embarassed to tell even ourselves or our closest friends.
6. Smaller and Smaller Circles by FH Batacan - Apologies for the cheap analogy, but it's a page turner like Crazy Rich Asians. This first Filipino crime novel in English should be mandatory reading for all secondary students in the Philippines.
5. Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro - The short stories brought to life my introvert predilections towards finding joy in life's ennuis. Best read in an outdoor cafe when you're uncertain between having a cold beer or an iced latte.
4. Flights by Olga Tokarczuk - Best read when you feel like smoking some joint but you're not brave enough to try it. Only a genius can pull off a narrative as elegant as Flights. You are not certain what the author is talking about but you just drift with the prose.
3. Sapiens by Yuval Harari - Professor Harari walks you through the history of mankind and you feel like the most learned man in the house. Amazing how he causes you to marvel at all the major events in history and put your humble little space into perspective.
2. Atonement by Ian McEwan - I finished the novel while I was on a double-decker bus plying the expressway and all I wanted to do was sniff the brown, acidic pages so I could literally take it all in. Yes, it's that good!
1. The Confessions of Saint Augustine - Not to be religious but his written meditations on life just deserve so much appreciation for articulating for us what our innermost beings could not translate into practical, digestible packets of truths. Yes, the old english text needs some getting used to, but once you're immersed into its rhythm, it's like having a spiritual, physical and mental massage, all at the same time!