Finally done with In My Father’s Court and now it’s time for another book. I have my eye on Langston Hughes’s The Big Sea but I should probably give memoirs a break. Instead I’m going to take on Ric de Ungria’s Habagatanon, his book of interviews with six contemporary Davao writers. These just happen to be people I know and am on first name basis with (and I am also in the book, believe it or not.)
This dovetails with a project I’m currently embarking on, a set of interviews with young Davao writers, the first of which is with Genevieve Mae Aquino.
Now that I’ve extricated myself from my social media addiction, I’m slowly regaining the pleasures of reading. My nightly ritual involves taking in a couple of chapters of In My Father’s Court by Nobel Prize-winner Isaac Bashevis Singer before turning into bed. The book has been on my backlog for quite some time. I got it from Book Sale at P60 last year and I went through the first few chapters before putting it away. Now I’m hooked and I have something to look forward to at the end of the day.
In My Father’s Court is Singer’s memoir of his childhood in the Warsaw ghetto. The title refers to his father’s occupation as a rabbi often called to mediate in disputes, what is called the din torah. The stories are episodic, not always with any concrete resolution, very Chekhovian in flavor. That put me off at first, but then the simplicity of style in which the character of the people come forth really won me over. This is a book I’ll be keeping and rereading for a long while.
On a lark I picked up an audiobook copy of Westward the Tide Louis L’Amour. I’m still in the first two chapters but I have to appreciate the deftness with which L’Amour tells a story. He easily shifts between points of view and you hardly notice when he does. I thought he’d be all rip-roaring black-and-white action but there’s a fair bit of social commentary, too. Let’s see if I can see this book to the end.
It’s a book I stumbled into but has been an absolute joy to read. Part travelogue, part memoir, it’s poetic in scope but equally earthy. I feel like I should be reading it in a quiet corner with a hot carafe.