Best Books I Read in:
Best Books I Read in:
Why There Are Words (WTAW) launches its Betty imprint, dedicated to publishing books by women for everyone, today. Read more about it here.
About Mia Tijam:
Mia Tijam is acknowledged as one of the editors who have advanced Philippine Speculative Fiction and its writers, co-editing with Charles S. Tan the “Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler”. Her work has been published in venues like Philippines Free Press, Expanded Horizons, Bewildering Stories; and anthologized like in Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005-2010, The Farthest Shore: Fantasy Fiction from the Philippines, BRAVURA: An Anthology of 21st Century Philippine Fiction, and In Certain Seasons: Mothers Write in the Time of COVID. Her debut short fiction collection “Flowers for Thursday” was a Finalist in the 40th Philippine National Book Awards.
The first two months of this year, self was zipping through her reading list like nobody’s business: eight books in January, six books in February. The pace slowed to five books in March. Right now, she’s on her second book in April. She’s been enjoying A Girl Goes Into the Forest and moving through it at a very leisurely pace.
Maybe the slowing of her reading pace has something to do with being in Bacolod, Dear Departed Dad’s hometown, where everything slows. It’s the hottest time of the year, but except for one day when self was visiting her cousin’s farm, she hasn’t found the heat unbearable. The heat is part of her reading, it makes staying in her room all day an acceptable choice.
There were two heartbreaking stories, and now here’s a third which is NOT heartbreaking, but which is definitely worthy of mention because it makes her think: What if? What if she ended up in the same situation as the narrator? Her friend’s mother had been dead three days before anyone found her. America is cruel to the old.
The story is “Keeping.”
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.
But who can live in the territory of hindsight with its perfect, monotonous terrain?— from the story “Daylilies” in the Peg Alford Pursell collection A Girl Goes Into the Forest
Just a quick note to say self has found the second heartbreaking story of this collection (the first was Smoke, Must, Dust) and it’s Your Spree in Paris.
It’s taking her a while to get through My Father and His Beautiful Slim Brunettes because it feels like a regular short story — it’s longer, but it also has backstory.
She feels the following passage resonates because she’s reading it in Bacolod, where for endless childhood summer she did nothing but read, whether it was Manong Freddie’s gargantuan comic book collection (How bereft she was to find one summer that his comic books were gone!) or her Tita Tancing’s vast Mills & Boon collection:
The pleasure of sprawling on the living room floor alone reading, undisturbed. Not needing to go anywhere. Of course it didn’t last.
It appears self’s books have been available on kindle for a few years. She never knew!
Two of the four:
The cover of The Lost Language is a detail of a painting by the late, great Filipino artist Santiago Bose.
Really crushing the reading. Blazed through 600 pages of Lady Joker, volume two in two days. What can self say? Detective Yoichiro Goda and his lonely quest to catch the Lady Joker just got under her skin. Even though she was sick as a dog yesterday (Don’t worry, it’s not fun, but at least it’s not covid), she just had to see how it ended. Since he’s been such a lonely, reticent soul, and seemed to be sinking deeper into the well of despond with every encounter with his superiors, she feared he was about to go all Mishima. In fact, at one point, he does start putting his affairs in order, giving away things — like from his long-dead marriage — Oh no!
But, suffice it to say, self was thrilled, THRILLED by that epilogue. Five stars to Lady Joker, volume two!