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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

entry arrow11:24 PM | James's Stick Comes to Me. (It's Not What You Think, Pervert.)

Why do they call this passing the stick?

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. What book do you want to be?

But baby, I don't want to burn. Okay, if I feel suicidal, I'd be the last copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, so this book would be lost forever. I just heard it is a current bestseller in Turkey, which saddens me about the way things are. It's a wonderful world, but sometimes it's fucked up. It's a good thing I have Julia Glass's wonderful Three Junes on my bedside table to keep me company.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

I had a crush on a headless male mannequin in a Penshoppe show window once. He had the most perfect washboard abs! As for someone more literary... Tom Sawyer. It was a childhood fling.

The last book you bought is...

The Volcano Lover by Susan Sontag. The day after she died. And Michael Ondatje's The English Patient and A.S. Byatt's Possession, when I was on a Booker Prize binge. But I am forcing myself to no longer buy books, to stay away from bookstores, at least for a while. My library is groaning from under all that weight, and I still have a lot to catch up in my reading list. And I could use some of the money to buy me some new DVDs.

Five books you would take to a deserted island...

For something close to my heart: The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt. For something artsy literary: Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. For something spiritual: The Holy Bible-really. For something to occupy the rest of my days: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, to see what the fuss is all about. And for something all pop and sugary, but makes me think of a cerebral Indiana Jones meeting The Da Vinci Code: Katherine Neville's eternally entertaining The Eight.

What are you currently reading?

Oh, God. Here we go... Maria Fres-Felix's Making Straight Circles -- brilliant wit, unassuming prose that surprises. Alice Munro's Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage -- something I can't seem to finish. I don't get her at al. Doris Lessing's Under My Skin -- but I stopped when I saw an interview of her on BBC where she said Africa was so much better colonized by white people. Kapal! Alice Sebold's Lovely Bones -- to find out why this caused such a stir. Donna Tartt's The Little Friend -- which is a lovely disappointment after The Secret History. Haruki Murakami's The Elephant Vanishes -- it was too close to my Tokyo memories, and thus repelled me at first, but it's slowly growing on me. Andrea Barret's Servants of the Map -- because Tim loves her. Jeanette Winterson's Art and Lies and Written on the Body -- because I want to read some sapphic fiction for a change. Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay -- because he is a master storyteller. Ian McEwan's Atonement -- because we share the same name. Jose Montero y Vidal's Cuentos Filipinos -- because I want to see how we lived, in microscopic detail, under the Spanish. Susan Sontag's On Photography -- which is in constant recycle. Anonymous's The Bride Stripped Bare -- because my best friend told me I should read it. Sue Miller's While I Was Gone. Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil -- for research on style. Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- before they release the movie. The 2004 Best American Short Stories -- for tips. And Jonathan Franken's The Corrections -- because I bought it hardbound, and I told Ma'am Susan (Lara) I will finish it, by hook or by crook. There are a hundred more, depending on my mood. Depending on my time.

Who are you going to pass this stick to and why?

Myrza Sison, because I want to know what lovely people read. Timothy Montes, to see what my writing mentor is up to, reading-wise. Susan Lara, to get a glimpse of a great fictionist at work. Gelo Suarez, just to catch up. Kit Kwe, because I love her to bits. Naya Valdellon, because she is my Cheshire Cat. Paolo Manalo, because he is midwife to most of my stories.

[because james passed this on to me]

[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich