To be real, cuddling up with a book is how I’d really like to spend this cuffing season. With so much more titles and best of the year lists coming out, it’s enough to hole yourself up in a cozy cabin with a steaming mug of hot cocoa and the most delicious book you can get your hands on.
A queer Pinay can dream right?
While I scheme of ways to actually make the above photo a reality for me before the season ends, here are a few notable literary things to tide all of us over:
- The 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Longlist is out! There are familiar titles on the longlist, including some which have been featured on this blog like Brit Bennett and Teju Cole. What can I say? It’s too lit!
- Longreads has also compiled their best story picks for the year, which includes a piece on the beloved writer James Baldwin and gentrification in San Francisco. Go through this list propitiously — it definitely isn’t the time for tl;dr.
- Over at The Millions, Lisa Lucas of the National Book Foundation reviews her Year in Reading for 2016. What exquisite joy it must be to read & revel in the literary world! She mentions a few titles that I’ve been wanting to read, like Jesmyn Ward’s The Fire This Time (Baldwin-esque sighs) but what surprised me was a title she referred to as a “true sparkler of the year”: C.E. Morgans The Sport of Kings. Duly noted.
- If you’re like me, you probably wait for Pamela Paul’s weekly newsletters from The New York Times Book Review to see which books are making waves (or should be making waves), which books are new and notable releases, which books deserve your time and company. I particularly enjoyed reading about Paul’s process of selection as revealed on reddit and compiled by Lithub here: how planning for the best books list starts in January, how it’s an emotional process.
- Lastly, check out the third edition of Nepantla, a journal dedicated to queer poets of color. There is a poem by one of my fave poets — r. erica doyle — in it so don’t miss out on this anthology:
dear trees, please sculpt the byway; dear breeze, whisper a map;
dear magnetic field, make of me a sail in the solar wind,
that I may unwind into the light of my own throat’s longing. (from wander)
I’m currently finishing two books: an advance copy of Han Kang’s Human Acts (to be released in January 2017) and Alain de Botton’s The News: A User’s Manual. I’ve been sick for the past two weeks but I really can’t complain, because laying in bed only means one thing: more time for reading while I’m recuperating.
Also, here’s a preview of next week’s posts on the blog: a lot on classics, like Gabriel García Márquez and Kahlil Gibran. Going back to the classics may be a theme next year, as you can never learn enough from past literary greats.
“Life is too short to read a bad book.”
Pia Cortez is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She runs a book blog called Libromance where she reviews books and publishes literary features with a queer Filipino immigrant lens. She is a contributor at Hella Pinay, an online magazine for Filipino-American women and at New Life Quarterly, a literary magazine based in Oakland, California. She is currently working on her first novel.