Tuesday, March 13, 2012

February Books

Delayed post. Someone's been a busy bee!

Book #1: The Sherlockian by Graham Moore

Photo from here

The mystery genre has a special place in my heart--when I was a kid, I would borrow a Nancy Drew or Bobbsey Twins hardbound book every Friday, to read over the weekend. So, browsing through a bookstore one afternoon, I was drawn to The Sherlockian. When I see a book I haven't heard of, I Google it to check the reviews before purchasing it. And since the reviews for Moore's first novel were mostly favorable, I decided to give it a shot. The back-cover description:

"In December 1893, Sherlock Holmes-adoring Londoners eagerly opened their Strand magazines, anticipating the detective's next adventure, only to find the unthinkable: his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning--crowds sported black armbands in grief--and railed against Conan Doyle as his assassin.

"Then in 1901, just as abruptly as Conan Doyle had 'murdered' Holmes in 'The Final Problem,' he resurrected him. Though the writer kept detailed diaries of his days and work, Conan Doyle never explained this sudden change of heart. After his death, one of his journals from the interim period was discovered to be missing, and in the decades since, has never been found.

"Or has it?

"When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he's about to be thrust onto the hunt for the holy grail of Holmes-ophiles: the missing diary. But when the world's leading Doylean scholar is found murdered in his hotel room, it is Harold - using wisdom and methods gleaned from countless detective stories - who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer."

I've only read a few "adult" mystery stories, and only a couple seemed really plausible to me. The Sherlockian didn't amaze me, but it was an entertaining read that had interesting info about Sherlock Holmes lore and bits about his creator (Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker actually knew each other, for one). And it made me want to read all Sherlock Holmes stories. Hmmm. Project!

Book #2: Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila (Part One) by Carlo Vergara

Photo from here

For the uninitiated, Zsazsa Zaturnnah is about a gay hairdresser who turns into a voluputous superheroine after swallowing a rock from outer space. It was turned into a musical and a movie, and is absolutely hilarious (in case you didn't get that from the plot). And the cool thing is, it was penned by Good Housekeeping's brilliant creative director, Carlo. Which reminds me, I have to get my copy autographed...

This second graphic novel finds Ada (Zsazsa's alter ego) in Manila. Some parts made me laugh out loud; other parts were pretty heavy. It's not just mindless fun, you see--Carlo gives you something to think about. Parts Two and Three are scheduled to be released later in the year.

Book #3: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Photo from here

This American classic is about "a childhood in a sleepy town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it." You'd think it would be hard to get through, but this book was such a pleasure to read. Because of it, there's a new entry in my list of favorite literary characters: Atticus Finch. His character is so awesome that he inspired a bunch of people to become lawyers in real life. While I'm not moved to sign up for law school or anything, I appreciate his brand of parenting. Something to guide me, er, later on.

Book #4: The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

Photo from here

Because any writer worth his (or her) salt should read this. In fact, every member of all the editorial teams at the office were given copies. If you've read it before, read it again. Always helpful.

As for my March reading list...that isn't going so well, still at book number one. Time to speed things up a bit.


  1. We had to read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school and it became one of my favorite books since. :)

  2. I don't remember being required to read it. Hmmm.

  3. Great post about book by Graham Moore. Have you read "The House of Silk" by Anthony Horowitz. I liked it immensely.

    Also recommended is the book "Bending the Willow: Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes" by David Stuart Davies. This book is a must read for fans of the Granada adaptation and/or Jeremy Brett.


  4. We had to read 'To Kill a Mockingbird' in highschool too. I even named a pet fish Atticus, from Atticus Finch... Too bad I can't remember the story. That's the sad part of being "required" to read. Maybe I should re-read it, you know, for pleasure this time... :)


Oh, so sweet of you to drop a line!:)