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On my (new) bedside table.

My parents surprised me with a new bedside table when I got home yesterday evening from Quezon City. Since buying my new single bed, I've settled for this tiny black side table that can barely hold my books, lampshade, and some other stuff I'm too lazy to put somewhere beyond an arms' length when I'm already in bed. (Most of the time all my chargers, notebooks, my iPod and my phone just find themselves lined up on the floor.) I've never really complained, but my parents found it necessary, I guess, to get me a serious bedside table that could adequately contain all my junk and more. But it's not only a bedside table -- it's a bedside shelf! It has different compartments which can hold not only my books but also my reviewers (in case I fall asleep while studying, which always happens, ugh) and for all the other floor-bound junk. I am surprised at how ecstatic this makes me -- I am actually more excited to finish reading all my books now! Funny how a bedside table can change this room.

So without further ado, the books that have just found a new home:

Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. This was the last book I finished reading in 2010, but it's still on the table because -- well, I still like to go through the pages from time to time. It is actually the first Hornby book I've read, because I've always secretly wanted to read High Fidelity first before everything else, but given that the synopsis at the back seemed so interesting, I couldn't resist it. It tells the story of a long-time couple, Duncan, who is an Tucker Crowe obsessed fan, and Annie, his secretly suffering girlfriend. It basically revolves around the premise of how fans read so much into their idols' words and music and create this glorified image of them that it begins to distort not only the artists' real life but also their own. Mostly viewed from the perspective of Annie, who is not really into the whole Tucker Crowe mania, the novel draws its charm from her straightforward and understandable desire to change, to do something, to move. What I particularly liked about the novel was how it used music to really divulge what's inside the human psyche -- it's not unusual for us to get carried away by the music we listen to, and how much we let it affect our lives, unconsciously or not.

Fallen by David Maine. I have always been fascinated at how literature allows itself to be rediscovered by literature. This reverse retelling of the Fall of Man gives us a closer look at how the first people got through the overwhelming waves of human thoughts and emotions, and survived the undiscovered land that is the Earth. I'm only on the third or fourth chapter so far, but it seems promising. I've been wanting this for the longest time, I'm so glad I finally found it at Fully Booked Serendra.

The Complete Novels of Jean Rhys. I must admit that I only heard of Jean Rhys after my CW111 prof told me of her very interesting Jane Eyre retelling, from the point of view of Mr. Rochester's wife. I found a copy of this at Books for Less for only Php 125 and I told myself I just had to buy it. Five books for that amount? Crazy. "Wide Sargasso Sea" is the last novel in the book but it's the first one I'm reading since it got me curious about Bertha's back story -- I am probably one of the rare few who, after reading Jane Eyre for the first time, never really felt for Jane, but rather for the wife. I'm excited to find out how Jean Rhys gives her life and total redemption.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I confess I should've finished this book for our Eng22 class over the break but alas, food, the Internet, and petix time got in the way. I'm almost done though. I'm stunned at how much I've enjoyed reading the novel, especially late at night. The whole idea of this monster coming to life gives me chills, but I am amazed at his eloquence and his charm -- which probably is not surprising, considering that I really do find intellect quite alluring more than anything else.

Cum Laude by Cecily Von Ziegesar. I won't even deny my love for this woman. Gossip Girl (the book series) was so special to me especially during my early teen years because I think the whole ridiculousness/glamour of the Upper East Siders' lifestyles helped rein in much of my anxieties and feelings caused by raging hormones, all while trying to make sense of them. The TV show will never equate to the books for me, and that is because I have so much respect for how Von Ziegesar shaped her characters. Cum Laude is set in Dexter College, a small, exclusive university in Maine, with different kinds of edgy and out-of-the-box students finding their way. I'm in the middle of the book right now and I absolutely missed this kind of prose from the writer -- how her details are able to pack in a lot of meat for the characters, but at the same time, reading through them is so easy and effortless.

The Bro Code by Barney Stinsen. My Christmas gift from Mom! Because she knows how much I love How I Met Your Mother. I've had the audio book for quite a while now, but nothing beats holding the actual thing in your hands. It's legen-- wait for it-- dary! These days I read it with the audio book on my ears. Neil Patrick Harris is awesome. Everything else is irrelevant.

I've contemplated on making a book-related New Year's resolution, but I know I cannot force myself to read a number of books a week or a month; that only makes me not want to read. Besides, with the amount of acads-related readings I have to focus on for most of the year, I don't think I can always get my hands on my new books. So as long as I don't ever run out of books on my bedside table, and that I finish all of them by the end of the year, no matter how many they are, I'm good.