Thursday, January 30, 2014

The book club's best and worst reads for 2013

Usually, the first meet-up of the year for the book club is a sort of a show-and-tell session. Our January discussion is the time when we talk about our best and worst reads for the last year. It's also somewhat of a book push activity, wherein members talk about their favorite reads and pique other members' interests about these books.

This month, we had our discussion at a university library. I believe it's a first for the book club! Woot! I have to thank my friend, Eric, who allowed us to have our discussion at one of the libraries of the University of the Philippines.

Here are some pics of the January meet-up, dear readers. I hope that this year, you do get to join a book club if you haven't yet. Loads of fun, I'm telling you.

I donated a few books to the library.
They were looking for graphic novels, LGBT reads,
and books about gender sensitivity.
We had to keep the food simple, as we were in a library after all.
So we had bagels! Of different kinds!
I love the 3 kinds of spread: blueberry, sun-dried tomatoes, and bacon and cheese!
Gege prepared the loot for the discussion.
The mug with the book club logo is actually a post-Christmas gift.
Oh, our theme for the discussion was black and white.
The details that went into the prep for the discussion were just awesome.
Yes, we don't do things halfway. Hehehehehe.
We were also given these dainty notebooks.
We were supposed to write down our notes on the members' best and worst reads.
In a way, we're adding to our to-be-read list! Happy book-ish problems!
We also had these cookie sandwiches.
We were just supposed to eat 1, but I believe I had 3.
So what were the best and worst reads of the Flippers? Fortunately, I volunteered to be the scribe for the event, so I was able to take down all of their choices. And now I'm sharing them with you, dear reader! Because I'm a book pusher myself.

Sana went Japanese in 2013.
Her best read was Rashōmon and Other Stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa.
Her worst read was The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco.
Blooey's best read was 1 of the books discussed in our science fiction read-along.
She totally loved Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.
But she dissed She's Dating the Gangster by Bianca Bernardino.
Jewel was excited for the movie adaptation of
John Green's Looking for Alaska, her best read.
Her worst read was a young adult novel too: Veronica Roth's Allegiant.
Jan was the intern at the library who joined our discussion.
His best read was Elie Wiesel's Night.
His worst? E. L. James's Fifty Shades of Gray.
Socs loves Robert Fulghum! His best read was Uh-Oh.
The biography of Steve Jobs was his worst read.
Honey considered two eclectic books as her best reads:
David Rees's How to Sharpen Pencils and Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things.
Her worst read was an erotic novel, Kyra Davis's The Stranger.
It's no surprise that Shani's best read was a fantasy novel.
Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind! I've read it 1 few years ago and loved it!
Her worst read was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.
Marie was totally captivated by Paul Auster's post-modern work, The New York Trilogy.
She didn't mention a worst read though.
Ajie gushed over Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper.
Her worst read was a book club pick though: Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan.
Rhett went gaga over Saga, the wonderful graphic novel by Vaughan and Staples.
It's also one of my best reads for 2013.
His worst read was Rob Sheffield's Talking to Girls about Duran Duran.
One of Lora's best reads was Bebang Siy's It's a Mens World.
Like Ajie, she didn't dig Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan.
Orly Agawin's best and worst reads were a curiosity.
His best read was Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog by Edgar Calabia Samar.
His worst read was Eight Muses of the Fall, the English translation of his best read.
Unlike Sana, Arthur had much love for Umberto Eco in 2013.
His best read was The Name of the Rose.His worst was Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang  by Severino Reyes.
Ever the sci-fi and fantasy geek, Darwin's best read was Reamde by Neal Stephenson.
But he couldn't bear The Unbearable Lightness of Being  by Milan Kundera.
Mitch came just in time to mention her best and worst reads.
She was floored by Carmen Navarro-Pedrosa's unauthorized biography
of Imelda Marcos. Quite a juicy read really.
Gege went local with her best read: Smaller and Smaller Circles by F. H. Batacan.
Her worst read was Dark Origins, an interactive novel by Anthony Zuiker.
When Iya mentioned that her best read was R. J. Palacio's Wonder,
I wanted to hug her! It was also one of my best reads last year.
Her worst read was Surreality by Carissa Villacorta.
And here's the complete tally!
Ooops! Looking at the attendance last Saturday, I missed out on taking a picture of 2 members: Haze and Jeeves. I must've been busy eating! But I did manage to note down their best and worst reads. Haze's best read was Doctor Sleep by Stephen King), and her worst was Talking to Girls about Duran Duran by Rob Sheffield. Jeeves loved Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and hated Pepe: The Lost Years of Rizal by Ron Mendoza.

So there it is, dear readers, our best and worst reads for 2013. There isn't any single book that most of us particularly loved. But 5 of us did say that we didn't like Rob Sheffield's memoir involving 80s music.

Oh, I almost missed Anne!
Her best read was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.
Her worst is no surprise. It's Talking to Girls about Duran Duran.


Anonymous said...

Great post! And I couldn't suppress this: I hate Smaller and Smaller Circles!

Peter S. said...

Hello, angus! Hahahahahaha. Yes, I must admit that it's very polarizing!

Louize Gonzales said...

Wonderful post, Peter! ♥

As much I enjoyed knowing people's best and worst, I am suddenly worried because I was also dared to read The Unbearable Lightness of Being this year. *crossing fingers*

Peter S. said...

Oh, I didn't like that book either, Louize.

Jess@Fairday's Blog said...

This looks like such a fun event! Thanks so much for sharing the pictures with us. :) It was great to look at the list of best and worst books- as I have read some from both sides that people mentioned. Like you, Wonder by RJ Polacio is one of my favorite reads. Amazing story!

Thanks for sharing.

Peter S. said...

Hello, Jess! You're welcome! And thank you for dropping by! Yes, Wonder is wonderful!