1. One book that changed your life.
Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage. Changed me. And just in the past year. I love it when you find a book that shakes you in the same way those very first books you read as kid startle you awake.
2. One book you have read more than once.
Jeannette Winterson’s Art Objects. Read it again after close to 8 years, and I hated it as much as I had loved it then. To read a book more than once is to revisit an older self, to revise it.
3. One book you would want on a desert island.
A survival book on desert life. How-to books are amazing in the way they have such faith in our capacity to learn. And fail.
4. One book that made you laugh.
David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day. I read this one in the library, where everyone else was quiet, and dead serious, or dead-tired. 7 pm and close to closing time and there I was laughing.
5. One book that made you cry.
Tracing the Essay. Technically a textbook on the history of the essay. Technically, I am the only person I know who has cried over the introduction to a textbook. I wept.
6. One book you wish had been written.
A collection of letters written by Vicente Sotto to the future. In Cebuano. In a Cebuano that I could read and actually understand.
7. One book you wish had never been written.
The Atlas of the Human Body. Imagine if we were not burdened yet by the names of our bodies.
8. One book you are currently reading.
Fetishes, Florentine Girdles, and Other Explorations Into the Sexual Imagination. Because really, when you’re not getting any, you read.
9. One book you have been meaning to read.
Resil Mojares’ Brains of the Nation. Evading it the same way you evade/avoid going to mass because you’re afraid of being in awe, again.