JULY 25, 2020

How I escape: Books


In times like these, we all could use an escape. Here are five book recommendations from five creatives that provide just that.

How I Escape is a series where creatives share the books, films, and podcasts that, as the title suggests, help them escape and take a break from life. This month, we’re diving into the immersive world of books.

Here, we’ve gathered a who’s who of the creative industry to share their current or favorite reads.

Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend

Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend

“Inspired by the memoirs of Frances Conway, this book is about a woman who works for the Office of Naval Intelligence and is offered a top secret assignment to marry a spy and move to the Galapagos Islands just as WWII begins. 

Initially, there were already a few things about this book that piqued my interest; it being a work of historical fiction and its subplot on complicated female friendships.

But I don’t know if it was just because of our current reality in quarantine but what really got me was how deeply I felt her isolation while she watched most of her life pass by.

So when she finally made a bold decision to escape the mundane and start an entirely new life at fifty as a spy on an exotic island, I felt like I was on this vicarious adventure with her.” Gabby Padilla, actor

Pana-Panahon by Aida F. Santos

Pana-Panahon by Aida F. Santos

“As a writer with my own deadlines, I’ve learned that poetry is the best way to get motivated.

Poetry feeds melody into our words, and I can find purpose more easily in the more mundane things — writing a TVC script, expounding on brand voice, making copy revisions — when I’m buoyed by the vibrations and movements of someone else’s rhythm.

I found a lot of that in this anthology of Aida F. Santos’ poetry. I will not pretend that I understood every single nuance in the deep waters of her prose.

But in her three divisions Pagdadalamhati (Mourning), Pagmamahal (Loving), and Pagsulong (Moving forward), I’ve found a hardness of the female voice that I had not heard before — as a feminist poet and revolutionary, Santos’ rhythm reminds me that there are no lines that separate the experiences of the roles we play.

As she says mid-way through her second act, ‘Ito’y hindi paglimot, ito’y paghahanap ng sarili kong nakaligtaan.’” Andrea Ang, founder and growth director

I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved The Romantic Comedy by Erin Carlson

I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved The Romantic Comedy by Erin Carlson

I’ll Have What She’s Having is a breath of fresh air. I’m normally drawn to sadder or heavier reads but with everything going on around us, I felt the need to look for something fun in my stack of books.

Thankfully, a friend gifted this to me for Christmas last year. It’s a non-fiction book that looks closely at the life and work of Nora Ephron in the 90s. As a big You’ve Got Mail stan and basic New York lover, I’ve been enjoying this read a lot.

It also helps, I guess, that I conjure up Tom Hanks’ or Meg Ryan’s voice in my head to read most of the paragraphs.” Mags Ocampo, creative director

Joyful Militancy by Carla Bergman and Nick Montgomery

Joyful Militancy by Carla Bergman and Nick Montgomery

“I know it seems strange to consider a political text a source of relief, but Joyful Militancy by Carla Bergman and Nick Montogomery is a book I find myself constantly going back to when the world feels like too much and higher powers seem insurmountable.

It’s a book that reminds me that the revolutionary impulse, the greater struggle, isn’t just a matter of rage or disgust — it makes room for joy, hope, and a sense of community. And the best part is, the book is free for anyone to read. Give it a quick Google: you’ll find it.” Jam Pascual, writer and musician

Sex And Vanity by Kevin Kwan

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

“I’m currently reading Kevin Kwan’s latest novel Sex and Vanity, and living vicariously through it — and not for the reasons you’d think when you hear that particular author’s name.

Sure, it’s full of the crazy rich decadence that can usually be found in Kwan’s novels, but the characters also spend the first half of the book at a destination wedding on the Amalfi Coast.

And although there are obviously much more important concerns right now (ahem, #MassTestingNowPH), through these characters, we readers get to “experience” all the beach trips, vacations, and weddings that, in the real world, had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. How’s that for total escapism?” Salve Villarosa, YouTuber

Itching to get away? Head over to your favorite bookstore at the nearest Ayala Mall — your next adventure awaits.