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literature

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” they say, but I can’t help disagreeing with this phrase…at least in its literal sense.  As an art enthusiast, I enjoy looking at book covers.  A beautiful cover stands out in a shelf and makes me pick it up and explore more about it–the story, the author and of course, the book cover artist.

I am currently reading John Green’s “The Fault in the Stars”.  The book is definitely one of John Green’s bests because of its tragic yet realistic theme (no wonder it was a #1 New York Times bestseller); and its artwork cover did the novel justice…

…and the artist behind it is New York graphic designer, Rodrigo Corral.  You may not be familiar with him but I’m pretty sure you have seen his works on the shelves.  Corral had art directed/designed conspicuous book covers such as  Junot Diaz’s “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” and “This is How You Lose Her” (i love this cover), James Frey’s “A Miliiion Little Pieces”, and even the Olsen Twins’ “Influence”.

                      

 

but what made Rodrigo Corral famous were his book cover artworks for Chuck Palahniuk’s novels.  He has been designing Palahniuk’s book covers since 1999 such as:

survivor

Survivor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

choke

Choke

lullaby

Lullaby

Diary

Haunted

Rant (And also one of my personal favorites)

Pygmy

Pygmy

Tell All

Tell All (pretty typography right there)

 

His cover designs reflect his creativity and professionalism at the same time.  His design process involve reading the novel several times to get its big idea and then illustrate things that would interpret it.

More of his artwork covers here.

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Okay, so I just finished reading a very original novel entitled Room by Emma Donoghue 10 seconds ago and it was so remarkable that I have to write a review about it right away…like now.

Room is a story about an innocent five-year old boy named Jack (the narrator) who grew up in an 11×11 foot room with his Ma.  The thing is, Jack never knew what goes beyond the walls of that small room.  His world is only limited to what he sees inside–Wardrobe, Bed, Rocker, Rug, etc.  He sees the trees, ocean and other kids like him on TV but for Jack, they are unreal.  Jack calls Room a home but for Ma, it is a prison but Ma loves him so much that although impossible, she tries to raise him like a normal kid.  At the first few pages of the story, we follow the daily routine of Jack and his Ma inside the Room.  Everyday, they eat cereal, play games, exercise (which Jack calls Phys Ed), watch TV and read books.  They do the same things over and over again.  The way Jack tells their routine inside that small room makes me a bit claustrophobic (hands down to Ms. Donoghue for making the narration so effective).  Imagine, for “Phys Ed”, Jack would just run back and forth on Bed, or play games on top of the table.  His Ma knows that Jack is not getting any younger and she has to find their way out and escape from the room where Old Nick held them captive for years.  The novel reminds me bits of Rapunzel, Tarzan and The Diary of Anne Frank.  Okay, I really want to tell you more about it but I don’t want to spoil you.

Some thought it was disturbing…yes, Jack and his Ma’s situation in the Room is, but what makes the novel beautiful is that it was told by a child’s innocent point of view which makes it light.  For a five-year old kid, Jack was pretty clever and his wittiness and imagination puts color and optimism in their gloomy situation.

It was a truly moving story about love.  After reading the book, I appreciated more my family, the things that I have, my existence and the fact that I can live in this world freely.

Probably one of the sweetest and sincerest poem I’ve read.

HAVING A COKE WITH YOU 

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

by Frank O’Hara

 

I fell in love with the poem so I was inspired to make a poster of it.

It’s Saturday night once again and I have a new set of playlist that goes well with my saturday night mood.  I just finished reading Coelho’s The Witch of Portobello and I feel like I’m in the mood for dancing! If you had read the novel, you must agree with me.  I don’t know, I just feel like putting on some good music and sway wherever my feet will take me.  Come on, we dance around in our rooms alone once in a while, especially when our favorite song is being played.  Admit it, we get to enjoy being ourselves whenever we dance.  As Paulo Coelho wrote in the said novel, “When you dance, you can enjoy the luxury of being you.”

 

So here’s my playlist…this is me.

 

 

Intro – The XX

Love Out of Lust – Lykke Li

Sadness is a Blessing – Lykke Li

Never Give You Up – The Black Keys

Your Arms Around Me – Jens Lekman

Under the Sheets – Ellie Goulding

Rolling in the Deep – Adele

No One – Alicia Keys

Dog Days are Over – Florence + the Machine

I am Not a Robot – Marina and Diamonds

You’ve Got the Love – Florence + the Machine

 

 

 

I grew up knowing Tim Burton’s films–from Edward Scissorhands (1990) to Alice in Wonderland (2010).  He is known for his dark-themed and not-so-child-friendly fantasy films (his works kind of freaked me out when I was a kid), but I do believe in his talent and creativity which are out of the ordinary.  I like him as a director but I can say that I am more of  a fan of his poems and drawings.  Tim Burton wrote a poetry book entitled “The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories”.  As expected, the book has a dark-touch to it but hilarious at the same time. Aside from Oyster Boy’s mishaps, here are some of my personal favorites.

The Girl With Many Eyes

One day in the park
I had quite a surprise.
I met a girl
who had many eyes.

She was really quite pretty
(and also quite shocking!)
and I noticed she had a mouth,
so we ended up talking.

We talked about flowers,
and her poetry classes,
and the problems she’d have
if she ever wore glasses.

It’s great to now a girl
who has so many eyes,
but you really get wet
when she breaks down and cries.

——————————–

Stick Boy and Match Girl in Love

Stick Boy liked Match Girl,
He liked her a lot.
He liked her cute figure,
he thought she was hot.

But could a flame ever burn
for a match and a stick?
It did quite literally;
he burned up quick.

They sure are funny, but most of his stories are melancholic and end in despair.

I got this from a site but i suggest you to buy a copy 🙂

After being done with school, I felt like being thrown out into the wilderness, facing the unknown alone.  I imagine someone telling me, “Well kid, you’re on your own now.”  That’s when I realized I’m pretty not yet ready.   What I learned in 16 years of schooling is NOT enough.  I need to understand more about the world.

Graduation doesn’t end the education.

And these realizations made me pick up a book and educate myself.  From then on, I started to become a full-time reader.  Yeah, I read a lot even before, but not as often as now where I have all the time in the world (bum for short haha)

Right now, I’m halfway through with Murakami’s Dance Dance Dance.  I have a couple of Paulo Coelho books lined up but I still made a book-list:

If you have any good book recommendations, please do tell. I’m dying to hear all about them 🙂