Tag Archive for Book Reviews

Book Launch: The Kobayashi Maru of Love by Carl Javier

Carl Javier has been an Avalon.ph customer and friend for almost ten years. He writes fiction, nonfiction, and criticism.  His first book was And the Geek Shall Inherit the Earth, a collection of essays about being a geek and the crazy experiences that come with that. His upcoming book, The Kobayashi Maru of Love, is going to be launched on Sept. 6 (launch details in the poster image below).

Here’s a short e-mail interview with Carl.

Avalon.ph: So what exactly is The Kobayashi Maru of Love?

Carl: The Kobayashi Maru was the test that no one was meant to pass in Star Trek. I recently went through a bad break up and I thought, if there’s something that geeks are supposed to be bad at, it’s the whole love game. So I decided to write a book about the breakup and then getting back into the dating scene. But it’s fun and funny and playful, despite it being about some sad stuff.

Avalon.ph: Is this book that’s just for geeks, or for everybody?

Carl: I think that geeks will appreciate it because of the references and I really tried to play around with stuff that geeks love. And much like my first book, I tried to write it so that it’s about geeky stuff, but it’s something that I think anyone can appreciate it. Plus, I think writing about love, whether geeky or not, makes it something that might appeal to just about anyone.

Avalon.ph: Describe the journey of this book from idea to print. Which part is the hardest?

Carl: I was taking my break up very hard and I found myself writing about it. Then I decided to just write about all the stuff I was going through, and before I knew it I had written enough to fill up a book. Then I tried to find a publisher for it, before coming to the idea of self-publishing it. I worked with my friend Adam David, who designed the book and helped me through the process, since he self-published his first book (and won a big time award for it too!) The hardest part was really finding the money that would fund the publication. Writing it was hard, emotionally because I was really putting it all out there. But turning it into a book was a real struggle because at the same time I was learning how to be an indie publisher. It was a very exciting experience, and I hope it shows in the book when people read it.

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Thank you Carl!

Website: Lumpen Culturati: Pop, Culture, Criticism
Follow him on Twitter: carljavier

The Kobayashi Maru of Love by Carl Javier (both covers), signed by the author, is now available on Avalon.ph.

Carl Javier is finishing his MA in Creative Writing at UP Diliman, where he received his undergraduate degree in English Studies major in Creative Writing. He was a fellow for the UP National Writer’s Workshop, the Dumaguete National Writer’s Workshop, and the UP Advanced National Writer’s Workshop. His work has been published and anthologized in various books and publications. His first book, And the Geek Shall Inherit the Earth, was published by Milflores in 2009. His next book Geek Tragedies will be published by UP Press.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides -Book Review on Radio Jam88.3

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, from the bestselling author of The Virgin Suicides. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Jam 88.3FM: Shelve-It – the book lover’s haven on radio hosted by DJ Lana will feature and review this book on November 13, Thursday at 8:00pm.

Copies of the book will be given away at the end of the show, courtesy of Avalon.ph. Tune in!

The Runes of the Earth by Stephen Donaldson -Book Review on Radio

The Runes of the Earth by Stephen Donaldson– The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

Jam 88.3FM: Shelve-It – the book lover’s haven on radio hosted by DJ Lana will feature and review this book on Thursday, October 23 8:00pm.

Copies of the books will be given away at the end of the show, courtesy of Avalon.ph.  Tune in!

Shelve-It: Book Review on Radio on Jam 88.3 FM

Shelve-It – the book lover’s haven on radio, features book reviews and other literary features hosted by DJ Lana every Thursdays around 8:00pm on Jam 88.3 FM.

Upcoming books to be reviewed are Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros, The Bobby Gold Stories by Anthony Bourdain and The Green House by Mario Vargas Llosa.

Copies of the books will be given away at the end of the show, courtesy of Avalon.ph.  Tune in!

Book Review: The Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella

The Shopaholic series: the New Fashionista Bible

If I were to choose among my pile of chick literature for my favorite, I would say that the Shopaholic series tops the list. Rebecca Bloomwood, the series’ main protagonist, takes you to a never-ending ride of shopping trips and funny escapades that her spendthrift ways bring about. The books are as shallow as any chick literature would be, but the type of superficiality that Kinsella’s books offer differ from the usual nonsense blabbering of other chick literature protagonists. Confessions of a Shopaholic gives you a never-ending ride of shopping galore, with Rebecca’s sweet and exciting romance with Luke Brandon, the multimillionaire PR representative, as a bonus. The second installment, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, portrays Rebecca as an even more avid shopper as she goes to New York for the first time. I have read four out of the five installments, and my favorite would have to be the third one so far. Shopaholic Ties the Knot is beautiful because we see a more mature (but definitely still an extravagant) Rebecca as her once-budding romance with Luke becomes permanent and even more enchanting. This kind of chick literature is a good break from the classics and other heavy reading, so it is perfect for the summer or for escaping the tiring demands of work. But its shallowness is not so that it will make you cringe at every page. The superficiality is served through witty writing that British authors are so famous for, and Kinsella does not exaggerate or fail in her insertion of humor throughout the stories.

The Shopaholic series is something I always recommend to my friends because it is a light read, yet it does not go overboard in its superficiality. Though Rebecca’s spending habits and her tendency to avoid and ignore her monthly bills might be a little too much, and irksome at its worst, there is still that sensible touch to the whole series that prevents me from dismissing it as a mere novel-version of Vogue. Personally, ever since I have read the book, I have developed a renewed sense of fashion style. Reading about Rebecca’s fashion predicaments, the constant name-dropping of high-end fashion labels, and the vivid depiction of shopaholic must-haves that Rebecca espouses indirectly made me aware of fashion what-nots and know-hows. Such examples would be the Hermés scarf that Luke gave her in Confessions of a Shopaholic or the Angel bag that she “just had to buy??? in the third installment. So, if you want some delightful chick literature to read, then the Shopaholic series is the way to go. Not only does Rebecca take you to a different level of fashion and sensibility as she traverses modern-day life with style and sophistication, but the series actually makes you realize the difference between an outfit from the ordinary jeans-and-shirt get-up.

Purchase your copy of this book on Avalon.ph