Armchair BEA 2014: Introductions & Defining Literature

Designed by Nina Reads
Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from? 

Hello everyone, this is Myrtle a.k.a. Ayanami Faerudo, the proprietress of Whatever You Can Still Betray. I’ve been sharing my love of books for close to four years now and meeting fellow book bloggers from the comfort of my bed here in the Philippines.

What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year? 

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, written by Rae Carson, had been passing under my nose for at least a year. I’ve been seeing a lot of people gush about that series that I decided that I have to give it a go. Coincidentally, last year the last book of the series came out and I breathed a sigh of relief that I wouldn’t wait for years to know what happens next if ever I love the first one.

And I did. Those three books were my companions during and after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in our province. No electricity, low supplies of food and petrol… to what did I turn to? These books. 

Earlier this year, HBO had been showing The Help almost daily. I was curious and decided that I should give it a try. I enjoyed it so much that I went and got myself a copy of the book, from which the movie was based and was written by Kathryn Stockett. I highly recommend this one.

Share your favorite book or reading related quote. 

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 books would you bring? Why? What 3 non-book items would you bring? Why?

This is assuming that the island is teeming with vegetation and animals, right?
 o Books 
  • How to Survive on a Deserted Island 
  • How to Make Sturdy Boats Out of Materials Found on a Deserted Island 
  • Living in the Jungle: A Guide to the Flora and Fauna 
I don’t know if these books are written. Well, there was a book on How to Survive on a Deserted Island. Why these books you ask? Because I want to survive and live and eventually get out of there. Favorite books would only get me so far and they won’t help much when you’re fighting for your life.

  o Non-books 
  • First-aid kit – one should always assume that you’re going to get injured one way or the other. 
  • Serrated knife – to cut things, to defend myself. 
  • Rope – handy for climbing, for strapping yourself to a tree branch to avoid predators and as the Lorien elf said, "Never travel far without a rope! And one that is long and strong and light. Such are these. They may be a help in many needs," which made sense if you think long and hard about it. 
What book would you love to see as a movie? 

The 5th Wave is said to be a greenlit project so there’s that. I would love for the Blood of Eden books to be made into movies. Those books would translate well to the screen. 

There you have it folks, a little glimpse of me. Let's all be green with envy as others go to New York!
Defining Literature

Literature, as it is more commonly perceived - that body of work written by the literary greats of the past, was not really practiced in my early academic years. In my schools, we almost never focused on prose and poetry, tragedies and short stories and novels and short stories. Our classes focused more on grammar and reading comprehension, spellings and punctuation.  We did some learn about our Philippine literature but, as naive as I was, I never thought about it being "literature", not as posh and grand as the works of Marlowe and Keats. And in our English classes we didn't have our teacher moaning about Orpheus and Eurydice. Oh, I have seen the literature classes as depicted by Hollywood in movies and from what I've seen I envied the kids because they were learning something aside from the formal grammar that's not quite used in everyday speech and I also didn't envy them because I'd be bored and I won't be forced to write essays dissecting the feelings of Hamlet.

That was why I dreaded my Literature class in university because oh man, this is going to be so hard and boring. I really associated literature with that particular niche of snooty classics and such. But, lo and behold, despite my terror professor (dreading her calling on me), I enjoyed my literature class (despite cringing about my grade because I really sucked at dissecting prose and poetry despite my love for reading) and with each class and discussion, I appreciated the written word more and more and that class honed my reading skills and ability to read past the surface of words. I passed that class and raved about the novel we were forced to read, The State of War by Ninotchka Rosca.

I still thought of literature as The Taming of the Shrew.

Perhaps we have always associated the word "literature" with the works of literary greats because they were the ones that we gave literary merit and recognition. It was not some years after that I realized that literature is really that: any written work. Plays, novels, short stories, poems, limmericks, academic articles, blog posts, comics, news articles and even the little scribbles on the corner of notebooks. 


  1. I'm so glad to stop by and visit, thanks to Armchair BEA! Your blog is beautiful and I loved learning about you. Happy posting this week!

  2. I realize that I haven't visited your blog in a while...I like what you've done with it.

    I hope you have a great week....and your quotes are lovely.


  3. Hi Ayanami! I absolutely love meeting new bloggers all over the world! I read The Girl of Fire and Thorns a couple of years ago but haven't finished the series. I very much enjoyed the first one though! And The Help - best book about what life in the south of the US was like during the 1960's with segregation.

    Enjoy your week of Armchair BEA!
    Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

  4. Hi Ayanami, so nice to meet you! I a cheerleader for Armchair BEA this year because I love to meet new-to-me book bloggers. I really enjoyed The Help, both the book and the movie. I have to admit that I resisted it for awhile. I don't know if its my inner snob or what, but sometimes I avoid reading books that are really popular only to finally read them and love them. Hope you have a great week!

  5. Visiting your blog via ABEA; my YA mystery / thriller, FERAL, will release in August with HarperTeen.

  6. Hi Ayanami! It's nice to meet you.

    I’ve been seeing a lot of people gush about Rae Carson's series too. It's on my to-be-read list. I really enjoyed The Help - both the movie and the book. It was cool to find someone else with the nickname Skeeter :-)

    I hope that things are better in your province now.

    What are you looking forward to the most during Armchair BEA this week?

    1. Meeting new people and the Twitter parties!

      It's nice to meet you, Skeeter!

  7. Welcome to Armchair BEA! I loved the movie The Help but have yet to read the book.

  8. I love your blog! And I would love to see the Blood of Eden books too. I wonder who would play Allie?

  9. I like the books you are taking with you to the island! Practical for sure! Hope you are enjoying ABEA!

  10. I really loved The Help! Great to meet you!

  11. Oh my gosh I LOVE your books for the island:

    How to Survive on a Deserted Island
    How to Make Sturdy Boats Out of Materials Found on a Deserted Island
    Living in the Jungle: A Guide to the Flora and Fauna

    LOL...good stuff!

    Like you, I've taken part in more this year than in years past and I had a blast. And it is sounding like I best get on with reading Fire and Thorns!


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