Celebrating All Fathers

Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers and father figures out there! Today I thought it would be interesting to talk about fathers in some of my favorite books. Fatherhood comes in different shapes and sizes, and no father (or parent for that matter) is perfect, but we live and we learn.

Here are three books I really liked that also made me think a little differently about fathers:

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

In The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, Samuel Hawley is dedicated to his child, Loo. The father and daughter have a charming relationship; they move around from place to place that all they have is each other. But Hawley isn’t the type to talk much, and Loo is flabbergasted when, at some point, Hawley decides that it’s time to settle down.

This is a story in which father and daughter are putting down roots despite a mysterious past that is finally catching up to them.

Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel

In Last Night in Montreal, the father takes a kind of a backseat because the plot is all about Lillia. She spent much of her childhood moving from place to place with her father without really knowing why, but it seems she has taken their lifestyle to heart. Fast forward to adulthood: Lillia has gotten so used to moving around with her father that she cannot stay in one place for too long. She leaves hurt ex-lovers behind as she creates new beginnings with each move.

There are more characters involved in this story, and it’s made all the more interesting because Lillia cannot remember her life before she and her father began their life on the road. This is a great story about obsessing over things and uncovering the truth.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, we find that Oskar’s father has passed away tragically. The story is set a year after the incident, and Oskar must come to terms with grief and loss. (He and his father were very close, and we get glimpses of Oskar’s father through recollections.) This is a story about family—how its members cope and move forward. Although the father is no longer present, Oskar’s remaining family will make it through the rain work.

(This is the book that officially made me a fan of Jonathan Safran Foer, so I made it a mission to grab Here I Am when it was released.)

This One’s for You—Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s Mother’s Day! If you haven’t sent your mom a nice text or call or bouquet yet, there’s still time. I’m really glad my Mother’s Day orders were delivered to my mom and my aunt first thing in the morning (at 8:30am as opposed to the estimated time slot of between 9am to 7pm—I’m quite relieved), so they had the pleasure of receiving the bouquet while having morning coffee.

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, here are five reads I would share with my mom:

My mother has a fun and fiery spirit, and I thought she would enjoy lighthearted books with happy endings. Although most of the female characters in the books are a little on the reserved side, I think she would appreciate the grace in which they conduct their operations.

Let me give a quick reason for each book—I’ll dedicate one sentence per book:

  • Tina from The Assistants is scrappy—she found an opportunity and grabbed it.
  • Anne, who is just trying to be her best self, is entangled in some fun drama in By the Book.
  • The community of Broken Wheel is a bit odd but well-meaning all the same.
  • Crazy Rich Asians—the book—has more crazy and more glamour than it did in the movie.
  • Conscious Business has some good points when it comes to self-awareness.

I hope all the mothers out there enjoy their day! I am proud to say that I no longer incur late fees from the library, which my mom never gave me a hard time about.

Bookish Plug: I wrote an entry on By the Book! It’s here.

Until Next Time, Books without Borders

My sister and I have this thing I like to call Books without Borders, in which I share books with her whenever I visit her. I’m taking a rather awkward stopover in Toronto for a few weeks before I fly back to Manila—let’s call 2019 a year of travel, a sabbatical—and I’ve rounded up another batch of books to share with her.

I usually limit the number of books I take with me because, well, they’re heavy. As I was packing and shipping all my other belongings away, I decided to hold on to five books that I’ll be reading and sharing this summer. (This is also going to be our last Books without Borders for a while, at least until I find my bearings.)

Books without Borders, Spring 2019

The first two books are nonfiction policy books that have been on my bookshelf for quite a while. Since I’ll have a lot of time (and brainpower, really) on my hands, I thought I’d get through them during this trip. I’m also bringing a Murakami book I’d been meaning to read for the past year. I love reading Haruki Murakami; my favorite book of his is Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but I heard a lot of great things about The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle as well, so I am excited to finally have time to read this! (I normally do not read Murakami if I’m in a “busy season” at work.)

Dryer’s English is a book I picked up recently (using my used book trade from Green Apple Books). As the little perfectionist that I am, I’m excited to read this book to refresh my knowledge. I’ve always loved writing, and I take pride in my writing. I had an amazing English teacher during my freshman year of high school who made me fall in love with the technical aspects of writing (diagrams!!!), so my little nerdy self is quite happy about having found this book.

The last book, Suggestible You, was one I almost packed and shipped away in a box. As I posted about the books I was packing, one of my friends expressed interest in reading Suggestible You, so I lent it to her (I love sharing books and recommendations) as long as she returned it before I flew out. Unfortunately, she didn’t have time to read the book, so she returned it to me last week—after I sent out my box, so it’s coming with me on my trip!

I also placed holds on several library Kindle books, so I’ve lots to read!