Thanks to Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for this meme!

October was probably me trying to keep my expectations low, as I’ve mentioned in my previous post.

(Not only have I not been posting here regularly, but for some reason, I also haven’t been reviewing the vast majority of the books I’ve read. Hopefully, I’ll get back into the groove of things since 2022 will be this blog’s 10-year anniversary!)

I ate at a lot of Filipino restaurants. A part of me justified it by saying it’s Filipino American History Month but I was going to eat them regardless. I should just be grateful that the Philippines (in this case, its cuisine) is finding its way to Portland!

Of course, I also had to do some Halloween stuff throughout the month- like visiting a Halloween-themed book store, completing an Edward Gorey jigsaw puzzle, reading spooky stories, etc. And, I was able to help out a lady give out books for Halloween again. I’ve been coming to her house- which some of the trick-or-treaters have dubbed as the “Book House”- since 2012 and been lucky enough to be part of it every year except last year.

I was able to visit even more bookstores and libraries this past month- including going on another library hop, probably my last one for this year. You can read all about my bookish travels on my other blog.

I also filmed a “Book Haul” video just because. You can watch that here:

Also, it’s that time to nominate your favorite booksellers for the James Patterson Holiday Bonus Program! Deadline is November 15th. You can get more details here: Share in the comments what your favorite independent bookstore is!

So far this year, I’ve read 430 books. The breakdown is:
19- Adult novels
22- Adult non-fiction
31- Graphic novels
55- Middle Grade novels (Goal: 52)
293- Picture Books and Board Books
10- Young Adult novels
of which
77- Nonfiction Picture Books (Goal: 104)
42- Audio Books

I realized I wasn’t doing so bad with the number of books I’ve been reading. Although, I need to ramp up my nonfiction picture books to reach my goal!

And, now, for the book reviews…

I shared a video for a couple book reviews- Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr and Mel Fell by Corey Tabor- that I did part of a book committee I was on. You can watch it here:

My First Pop-Up Mythological Monsters: 15 Incredible Pops-UpsMy First Pop-Up Mythological Monsters: 15 Incredible Pops-Ups by Owen Davey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Was delighted and surprised to see the Philippines Sarimanok included in a pop-up book of mythological creatures.

Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and MeDuran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me by Lorina Mapa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This young adult graphic novel memoir has her coming to terms with her father’s death and recounting her life growing up in the Philippines during the People Power Revolution, the powerful nonviolent movement to oust a dictator from power. (I should look for a book to learn more about that historic event myself.)

I also read a short graphic novel story “The Siren’s Executioner” by the Trese team, Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldismo, part of an online anthology- Ten Years to Save the World. I enjoyed getting a quick glimpse into a Filipino mermaid mythology and, like with all the other stories (I assume since I hadn’t read the others yet but I might since there are other Filipino- and LGBTQ+!- creators in it), has an environmental bent to it. You can read it- and more by others- here:

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented CitizenDear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My #AntiracistReads pick for the month is also a bonus #FilipinoReads selection: Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas.

It’s a memoir of leaving the Philippines for the United States and, despite having grown up there and building a life, he discovers his immigration papers were fake therefore making him an “illegal alien.”

It’s a story of how much sacrifice the parents (and grandparents) of immigrant children make to ensure the next generation has a better future.

It’s a thought-provoking read about who gets to tell the stories of a country and its people and who gets to define who’s allowed to be here or not. I mean it’s not surprising on who and why but it’s mind-boggling to see how it’s still going on.

I appreciated how much help and support he had growing up because I’ve often found myself on the receiving end of other people’s generosity even when they didn’t need to do so. I’m also aware that not everyone has that good fortune bestowed upon them.

Filipino Ghost Stories: Spine-Tingling Tales of Supernatural Encounters and HauntingsFilipino Ghost Stories: Spine-Tingling Tales of Supernatural Encounters and Hauntings by Alex G. Paman
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This was laughably bad- but I read the whole thing because I wanted to have a Halloween read and I didn’t have the energy to read all of Edgar Allan Poe’s works this month.

I did like the glossary of supernatural related terms at the back of the book which only some were mentioned in the actual collection of stories. I would have preferred it more if the book just delved into these terms more.

I also like the publisher since they showcase stories from all over Asia.

You can go to my Goodreads page to see other books I’ve read which I’ve been too busy to review.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

5 thoughts on “My Reading Week #IMWAYR- November 1, 2021 / October Review

  1. I am so impressed with anyone able to give out loads of books for Halloween. Does she work with a program to get so many new books for a mass giveaway like that? I have Dear America on audiobook and hope to get to that one soon. And I’d love to find the pop-up book for my youngest. She’s deeply interested in mythical creatures and this would be a big hit. Thanks for all the shares, Earl!

  2. I enjoyed your Book Haul video! My book club is reading Filipino authors for our upcoming meeting. Our host last month fed us a Filipino feast. I came home and tried to make polvoron, but ended up browning my flour too much. When we are next in Vancouver I’m going to pick some up!
    I enjoyed Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me. Dear America sounds like an important book.

  3. I watched the ‘whole’ video, Earl & loved hearing about your journey for books & supporting booksellers! A Prayer for Owen Meany is certainly a favorite of mine, as is ‘Garp”! I sort of do that visiting, though only visit a few Indies, trying to support them. I love working at my used bookstore & visiting with customers. Thanks for Dear America, on my list!

  4. It’s nice to have you back on #IMWAYR, Earl! Helping give out books on Halloween sounds like a wonderfully fun way to spend the day. I wrote down Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me—it sounds like a compelling read, and I’m always looking for more graphic novels! Dear America sounds extremely powerful as well. And I’m sorry Filipino Ghost Stories was “laughably bad”—although books like that can be kind of fun in a twisted way! Thanks so much for the great post, Earl!

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