A Year of Magical Reading

Wednesday, December 30, 2020


2020 is a year I fell off a reader's echelon. I am not proud to admit because this is uncharacteristic of me. If you know me long enough, you'll know that I breathe books. And it's a guilt trip too because the reason why I am brave to maintain a website, author a book myself and take courage to submit my pieces elsewhere is because words are my tools of trade. And all of these words that I know, which one of my friends commented with surprise as if I am just picking them from an easily-reached tree, came from my love for books. If you hover to this website under 'Odds and Ends', you can virtually access all the books that I ever owned and I plan of cutting them half by next year so I can buy new titles for 2022. 

Yep, 2022. Because next year, I promise to topple over my TBRs because they are coming for me in a voice that is loud and clear and condescending. I imagine my books pouting and calling me names because I haven't picked them up from the shelves. There is a Japanese word for this- tsundoku which BBC defines as 'The art of buying books and never reading them'. I feel personally attackedt not only because it defines me hook, line and sinker but also I take pride in it as if it's a badge of honor. So I'll try to disentangle myself from the Gordian Knot of unread piles of readable enchantment and embark on a year of magical reading. Think of Eat, Pray, Love but instead of going to 3 key places, Italy, India and Indonesia, to seek for gastronomic pleasure, evangelical fervor and serendipitous love, I'll do it, armchair-travel style, with the books I chose to read every month. 

In fact and there is a swelling of embarrassment here, I only read TWO books this year: Becky Albertelli's Simon and the Home Sapiens Agenda which has a wonderful movie adaptation and Liane Moriarty's Big, Little Lies which I immensely enjoyed enough for me to not binge-watch the TV series it is based from. There are people who even exceeded their personal reading meter this year and sadly I am not one of them. I can't entirely blame this to the pandemic alone because this started waaaaay before it. So this is me trying to bring the mojo back. 

I'll be committed to finally doing this after failed attempts from past years because every single book that I read shall be reviewed for my website so I will never run out of contents for one year! So how will I do this? 

Easy peasy! 

Enter into the fold the 'Wheel of Names'. Since I overused this for my online classes, I decide that this will chart the course that I will take. I gathered 12 books from my pile, with no grand declarations for my selection except that I haven't read them, or started to but haven't really finished yet, to read for 12 months. And because I am still struggling with longform formats for anything because of the distraction that is THE Internet and my self-imposed book-buying ban that will take effect the 1st day of January. I also don't want to pressure myself by joining Goodreads' Reading Challenge because I can't seem to get past February and my own list mocks me, lol. 

So 12 books for 12 months and this will be in this order which I should STRICTLY follow. If, say, a book is not riveting enough, I'll have to wait for the next month to start fresh. I might sell the book that does not hold my fancy because probably it is not for me. So wait for it to be available! 

Let the wheel-turning begin! 


The Hours by Michael Cunningham  (winner of the Pulitzer Prize, published by Picador USA)


Kissing In Manhattan by David Schickler ( published by The Dial Press )


The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney ( published by Harper Avenue) 


Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg ( published by Shambhala) 

*special thanks to Fae Cheska Marie Esperas for gifting this*


The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides ( published by Picador )


The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler ( published by Ballantine Books )

* special thanks to Rizza Pereyra for gifting this*


One Day by David Nicholls (published by Vintage)


Skinny by Donna Cooner (published by Point)


Riverrun by Danton Remoto ( published by Penguin Books) 


Wide Awake by David Levithan (published by Knopf)


Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman ( published by Picador)

and December: 

I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg ( published by Ballantine Books )

So what's your system for your reading journey this 2021? For whatever it is, I wish you'll stick to it ( lowkey advising myself in the process)! 

May the happiest New Year be with you! 

* The title is inspired from Joan Didion's essay collection, A Year of Magical Thinking

Credits: books images were taken from Amazon and Goodreads


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