Thursday, October 18, 2007

Books, tidbits

A billboard on EDSA sponsored by a funeral parlor touting DEATHCARE Week, October 27 to Nov 2, offering a 50% discount on services. One of their action lines is "Serbisyo hangang langit" (service up to heaven). My morbid funny bone was momentarily tickled pink. Hmmm, what about those who head down instead of up? Non-refundable I suppose.

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Google statistics show top word searchers per country. Germany, Austria seem to have a thing for one A. Hitler, although the word Nazi was mostly sought out by folks in Latin America and the UK. For us Pinoys, our top three words? Terrorism, Love, Homosexuality.

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Am in a middle of a schizo reading month, juggling 6 books. The two that I look forward to opening each day though is Fluke by Christopher Moore and a mystery series by Phillip Pullman (he of the Amber Spyglass, Golden Compass trilogy). Fluke (subtitle: I know why the winged whale sings) is best described as a slightly off kilter fantasy/science nerd book about whales and the people who study them. It starts off well enough about the marine biologists who spend all their lives studying the singers - humpback whales who sing whale songs, then turns into semi-espionage thriller of dastardly deeds done to the researchers (with more than a strong splash of anti-military rhetoric) before turning into some form of fantasy where whales are part of a reversed Darwin experiment. Who pray. The prose is constantly cheeky, and the characters are lovable. Plus we want the whales to kick those stupid navy guys' butts. A day or two ago, I came across an article about how military installed sonar booms across the Pacific are the reason why certain whales may be beaching themselves and dying. HA! Truth in science and fiction.

Am starting the Pullman series backwards, accidentally beginning with the 4th in the series. Which is sort of dandy, since the story is individual and distinct, and cannot really be argued in favor of the phrase "suitable for kids". Actually, Pullman writes for an older audience, definitely one more mature, but he gets categorized in the kiddie section because his publishers probably have nothing better to do. Whatever. Go look for his Sally Lockhart series. And if you read The Tin Princess, expect intrigue, espionage, murder, war, heroism.

3 comments:

Katrina said...

I have "Fluke" too! One of those I-know-I-have-too-many-books-and-I-don't-know-when-I'll-read-it-but-it-looks-so-interesting-and-anyway-it's-cheap-'cause-it's-secondhand purchases. ;-)

Well, at least now I know it was worth buying. :-)

Katrina said...

As for the Deathcare Week: I can't believe even funeral parlors have gotten into the game of seasonal promos! So, will relatives of terminally ill people tell them, "Listen, if you have to die, could you be practical and do so while the funeraria has a 50% discount?" ;-D

mtan said...

Lol, exactly! I saw the ad and thought, what kind of anti-church business model is this? Doesnt it sort of promote the thought of practical dying? Save yourself 50% of your death costs!

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