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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • April 25, 2006


    Season of Good News & Birthday Gift

    Bits of good news from my friends and family keep flooding my mailbox. After Fernando found out his wife Maria is pregnant, my cousin Yanny in Hong Kong announced her becoming a mother in September. My other cousin Frank will tie the knot with Stephanie in October, a week after Weizhu and Patricia walking down the aisle. I realize, after the initial jolt of joy and excitement, people from my generation are all moving forward and unveiling a new chapter of their lives: engagement, marriage, and parenthood. While the celebration might be ephemeral, behind these festivities is laden a lifetime commitment that transcend the understanding of all outsiders. I wish them all happiness and joy, and love.

    So I went out to dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant with Fernando and Maria, little JD (isn't he adorable? Fernando, you need to change your blog profile because JD is no longer 3 months old...), Fernando's mom and dad and his nephew Anthony. The giant fish tank immediately captured 7-years-old Anthony's attention, who observed so raptly and claimed the fish speaks English and understands sign language! He complained about the smelly (probably the fish sauce that is quintessential of Vietnamese marination) food and spent most of the time keeping the fish's company. JD demonstrated his craving of my imperial roll and BBQ pork with zealous thrashing of his arms and legs in his cradle.

    This year for his birthday I've been going out of my mind to figure what I should get for Fernando. The avid reader would not mind a giftcard from Borders, which sounds convenient but at the same time lacks the personal touch. Then an idea came to my rescue as I was walking down toward Union Square before hopping on BART. I darted into Borders, located the phone-book-sized 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die in the literary criticism section, and wrote my dedication on the front page in the train.

    A preliminary leafing of the giant reveals I have read some 250 books listed. Not too bad eh? Dr. Peter Boxall covers a century of memorable writings with selection of seminal works that are key to understanding and appreciating the written word. Nowhere and nobody, after all, can be inclusive of all the reading tastes of bibliophiles. This book doesn't cover and do justice of some of my favorite works like the ones I elaborated in the previous post on reading and books MEME. Well...I'm contented to see the glow on his face as Fernando eagerly and assiduously flipped thorough the pages of his newest acquisition to the book collection.


    Anonymous iliana said...

    So only 751 more to go right? :) What did you think of the book?

    And, that little JD is a cutie!

    4/26/2006 7:16 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    I love it! No doubt it's more than a book-list type of books...very insightful comments on some of the most influential writers and pieces of writing.

    751 more to go from that list...but infinitely many more... :)

    4/26/2006 4:32 PM  

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