I both these two books in May for two reasons:
1. critical acclaim
2. discounted price
I found Miguel Syjuco's Ilustrado a fun read, with its share of laugh-out-loud moments. I brought it with me to Shanghai and it helped speed up the waiting time at the airport and while in the queue for pavilions at the World Expo. I set about listing the unusual words Syjuco sprinkled into the text, but they ran out early on. The book has an amazing beginning, a somewhat lackluster middle and a good ending. Anybody who has lived in the Philippines will be able to picture it as an interesting film. Having the photo of the author (whose name his protagonist shares) on the back cover makes it easy to visualize.
I felt I needed a bit of magic realism in my life.
A Hundred Years of Solitude is Gabriel Garcia Marquez's epic novel about the Buendia family. The family tree is essential. I do wish they had an updated version of it after every chapter, to prevent spoilers from looking at the complete one. I'm not yet through with the book, but I should get there soon. I'm taking it with me to Busan today.