Chachic's Book Nook


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Holiday Book Haul

I think I may be allergic to the office. I went back to work on Tuesday and then I got a fever and a sore throat that evening. I kept going to the office and just slept as early as I can at night but I lost my voice yesterday evening so today, I gave in and went to the doctor to get a medical certificate so I could take the rest of the day off to rest.

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While I was able to take a nap this afternoon, I wasn’t able to get any reading done. In fact, I should be getting ready for bed now but I wanted to squeeze in a quick post about my book haul during the holiday season. The order is kind of a mess but these were the books I acquired:

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Last Friday's brunch meet up with Filipino readers and authors: Celina, Chris, Mina, Honey and Kim

Brunch meet up with Filipino readers and authors: Celina, Chris, Mina, Honey and Kim

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Some other books I bought/downloaded for free, but were only posted on Litsy and not Instagram so I can’t embed them here:
Dark Horse by Michelle Diener
The Future Chosen by Mina V. Esguerra
Big Rock by Lauren Blakely
The Art of Deception by Stephanie Burgis
Alex + Ada Volume 3 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

I was also very excited to receive these review copies of my anticipated books:

Not my usual bookstagram, I initially posted this on Litsy then Ilona Andrews herself shared retweeted my tweet about this so I thought might as well share it here: I'm a small time blogger so I rarely get approved for review copies. It was such a surprise when I got approved for an advanced copy of White Hot! It was like receiving a Christmas present. Devoured it, loved it, got a book hangover. I didn't want to leave the world so I went back and reread Burn for Me (again). One of my favorite reads in 2017, full review closer to the release date.๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ“– . . . #WhiteHot #IlonaAndrews #HiddenLegacy #BurnForMe #AvonBooks #romance #urbanfantasy #bookhangover #bookblogger #reviewcopy #bookstagram #instabooks #bibliophile #IGreads #IGbooks #Litsy

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

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A new Laura Florand is always something to be happy about. She's one of my favorite romance authors. I've loved all of the other titles in her La vie en Roses series set in Grasse, France, featuring a family in the perfume business. I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy this one too. I couldn't resist taking a pic of A Crown of Bitter Orange with this bottle of orange blossom EDT (I bought the cologne version). Maybe I should have done this for Once Upon a Rose and A Wish Upon Jasmine too? ๐Ÿ“–๐ŸŒน FYI, Once Upon a Rose is on sale for just 0.99usd now. Such a good bargain! . . . #LauraFlorand #ACrownofBitterOrange #LavieenRoses #romance #bookblogger #reviewcopy #bookstagram #instabooks #bibliophile #IGreads #IGbooks #Litsy #ChristineLhuillierParfumerie #fragrance #perfume

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

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When I woke up this morning, I saw the notification that @berkleyromance approved my NetGalley request for Julie James' latest novel. Thank you!!๐Ÿ“–๐ŸŽ‰ One of my most anticipated titles in 2017 because she writes the best romantic banter.๐Ÿ’– I'm always surprised (in a good way) whenever I'm approved for a review copy because as an international reader/blogger, my default expectation is to be rejected.๐Ÿ˜‚ @fantaghiro23, we were just talking about this book yesterday! . . . #JulieJames #TheThingAboutLove #BerkleyRomance #romance #bookblogger #reviewcopy #bookstagram #instabooks #bibliophile #IGreads #IGbooks #Litsy #NetGalley #Kindle #bookandlunch #CafeBreton #cafehopping #foodstagram #Manilafoodie #foodieManila

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

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I feel like this moment of my book blogging experience should be highlighted because I have review copies by my favorite authors: Ilona Andrews, Andrea K. Host, Julie James, Laura Florand and Lucy Parker! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve already read White Hot and In Arcadia (short review on Litsy) but I’m having a difficult time choosing which one to prioritize among the remaining three. Now I just need Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner and The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein and I’ll be all set. ๐Ÿ˜€

I was also able to pass on some of the physical books that I have in my Manila bookshelf to friends when we had a get together. I really feel bad that my books have just been sitting neglected on my shelf and they’re aging fast because of heat and humidity. I feel better that they’re now with people who would potentially enjoy reading them. I think I’ve culled like half of my bookshelf back home, I’ve mostly kept signed books and the ones that I plan to reread.

I hope this post wasn’t too confusing with its mix of Instagram and Litsy links. As you can see, I’ve tried to be active on other social media sites but I know it’s also a good idea to consolidate all of those posts here on WordPress. I’m off to rest! What about you, have you received or bought any books recently? ๐Ÿ™‚


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Best of 2016

Happy New Year! ๐Ÿ˜€ I think we can all agree that 2016 was a difficult year on so many levels. There was so many things happening on an international scale, as well as in the Philippines (which still affects me a great deal even if I’m based in Singapore for work). On a personal front, I resigned from my previous job and started a new one. It hasn’t been smooth sailing and I’ve been struggling with having a sense of belonging. Of course, all of these have affected my reading and blogging life, which is why I haven’t been posting as much as I would want to. I’m still online on a daily basis but it has been easier for me to constantly update the social networks that I have on my phone such as Litsy (username: Chachic), Twitter and Instagram. Going forward, I think this will continue for a while. It’s just so much easier for me to check, update and reply on my phone. My laptop has been acting up and it’s been a pain to open it up and go online. Plus real life stuff happening has made everything harder. The struggle is real!

Anyway, I have a tradition of posting my favorite reads for the previous year whenever the new year rolls around, I’m a few days late but it’s still within the first week of 2017! You can check out my previous posts through these links: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. In no particular order, here are the books that I loved in 2016 (linked to my reviews if I have them):

a-darker-shade-of-magic a-gathering-of-shadows The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms the-broken-kingdoms

a-promise-of-fire magic-binds master-of-crows

Act Like It Summer Skin In the Middle of Somewhere Out of Nowhere

Amulet The Stonekeeper Monstress fresh-romance

It’s safe to say that I read more than I blogged in 2016. ๐Ÿ˜› That’s seven speculative fiction titles, four contemporary romance and three graphic novels. It’s funny because the easiest genre for me to get into is contemporary romance but it looks like the books that stand out more for me are fantasy titles. I think my sweet spot is fantasy with a well-written romance. In addition to these, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you would know that I’ve been trying to read and promote books written by Filipino authors. I haven’t read that many of them this year but the ones I enjoyed reading have been:

Beginner's Guide - Love and Other Chemical Reactions Iris After the Incident

Thatโ€™s 2016 for me. How was yours? What were your favorite reads from the past year? ๐Ÿ™‚


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Christmas 2016

The 25th of December is almost over in this part of the world but I just wanted to put up a quick post to greet all of you a very Merry Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚ Maligayang Pasko! I just traveled from Singapore to Manila yesterday and it’s so good to be home just in time for Christmas. I’ve mostly been spending time with my family but I plan to meet up with some friends in the coming days. I hope all of you are having a festive and joyous holiday season, filled with good food and great books. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here are some Christmas-related pics:

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Merry Christmas, everyone! Maliyang Pasko sa inyong lahat! ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿฐ

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

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In keeping with a tradition I started last year, I’ve bought books written by Filipino authors to give as Christmas gifts to friends:

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Author Guest Post from Thessa Lim

Hello, bookish friends! Today, I have a guest post from Filipino author Thessa Lim. Both Thessa and I are based in Singapore (and also studied in the same university) but we’ve yet to meet. Hopefully we can do that soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ She has recently launched her debut contemporary novel in her Of Heads and Hearts series. I’ve received a review copy of it but because of my huge TBR pile, I have no idea when I’ll be able to read or review it. But because I’m always interested in promoting Filipino authors, I invited her over on the blog to give all of you a better idea of what her life as a writer is like. Please give Thessa a warm welcome!

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All in a Dayโ€™s Work
By Thessa Lim

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Since I’ve published my first novel, people have been asking me how I find the time to write. At first, it might seem like a writer is able to set a whole day simply and purely for writing. He would just drive to a nice cafรฉ and write effortlessly as inspiration runs loose in his head. But a lot of writers maintain day jobs and have families to tend. And so here goes my version of a working-mother-slash-writerโ€™s day.

thessa-lim-3The Early Morn Apparition โ€“ My day as a writer does not start at eight a.m., with me lounging next to my laptop, having a slice of toasted baguette and a cup of hot cocoa on hand. It starts at three a.m., which is when I usually rouse into some state of consciousness after having put my little boy to sleep five hours back. My husband is out like a light too. Yes! I position my Lenovo Yoga at the foot of the bed, sit on my sonโ€™s little blue chair, turn on my book light, and start working. I look pretty much like a White Lady staying by peopleโ€™s bed at night, but my husband knows better. So if he somewhat awakens while my mouse goes a-clicking, he doesnโ€™t scream. Although it is spent in semi-darkness, this is my writerโ€™s me time. Itโ€™s like gold.

thessa-lim-2The Lunch Hour Rush โ€“ I grab my tablet, hurry out of the office, and head to the nearest cafรฉ. While silently condemning the customer before me in the queue for taking time with his order, I check that my favorite spot is free. I then quickly chope it. Later, I settle down at the table and take a bite out of a cheap eat from the menu. Didnโ€™t I just have this the other day? I scan the food list again for more scrumptious offerings. I see the prices. Thisโ€™ll do. Nomnomnomnom.

thessa-lim-5The Final Fix at EOD โ€“ I step onto the stationโ€™s platform. Two trains going in opposite directions whizz by. I glance at the clock. Fifteen minutes before I definitely have to head homeโ€”this window is good enough. I sit on a bench. After ten trains have come and gone, Iโ€™ve either edited half of a chapter or added in a couple of paragraphs. I then squeeze into a train with the rest of the throng and continue tapping on my deviceโ€™s screen, like a freaking nerd who wonโ€™t give it a rest, balancing the gadget so that I could work on it without hitting other people.

I reach home, where my husband and son would be โ€” my two other great joys.

My days are hectic, tiring. And while I look forward to more leisurely days, Iโ€™m grateful that Iโ€™m inspired, able to write, and able to publish.

This is my writerโ€™s daily grind. Whatโ€™s yours like? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thessa is the author of the book Of Heads and Hearts in the Metro, a new adult fiction for women set in modern-day Philippines. The book, which revolves around the struggles and triumphs of four Filipinas and which is the first installment in the Of Heads and Hearts series, reveals the life-saving element of friendship and the intricate dynamics within it. To know more, visit her website at http://www.thessalim.com or like her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ThessaLimOfficial.

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Ten Books I Wouldnโ€™t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I made a similar list last year so I thought it would be fun to do it again. I was already back home in Manila when I did this Top Ten Tuesday topic last year but now I have to work until the end of the week before I can fly home. Counting down the days until I’m off to the Philippines for the holidays! Getting back to the topic on hand, I’ve already received two books from my book club’s Secret Santa but we all know that it will always be nice to get more books as gifts. These are the books that I wouldn’t mind receiving for Christmas:

Ancillary Justice The Keeper of the Mist The Start-Touched Queen rose-and-thorn heroine-complex

the-q Cloudwish tell-the-truth-shame-the-devil where-we-left-off-2 oracles-moon

These are basically the books that are at the top of my wishlist. What about you, what books would you like to receive this Christmas? ๐Ÿ™‚


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Book Haul: Secret Santa Edition

Every year, my online book club (YAckers) has a Secret Santa gift exchange. And because we all love books, we tend to focus on those as gifts. I’ve previously posted my haul from past Secret Santas (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) so I thought it would be nice to keep up with the tradition. These are the books I received:

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And I also took a picture of books I received from past Secret Santa exchanges that I still haven’t found time to read:

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Sigh, so many books, so little time! I find it interesting that most of the books I received from my fellow YAckers are fantasy titles. I guess we know what’s our favorite genre. I also have a box of Ferrero chocolates from the office Secret Santa (which I think isn’t that interesting haha) but that’s it for this year. Are you guys participating in any form of Secret Santa this year?


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Litsy Addict

litsy-logo

I signed up for Litsy when it first became available for Android and I’ve been having fun with it ever since. I know I keep mentioning it here on the blog so it’s high time that I write another post about it. Given how much I enjoy shooting bookstagram shots, I knew it was likely that I would get addicted to Litsy. While I don’t want to call this a review for the app, I did make a list of reasons why I think Litsy is awesome and also the things about it that bug me:

Pros:
– Unlike Instagram, it’s an app specifically made for book-lovers, everyone on it is a reader. One issue I have with Instagram is that the people I follow and also my followers on it are a mix of real life and bookish friends but because it’s a public account tied to my blog, I usually just post book or food-related pictures instead of personal updates. At least with Litsy, I feel like my posts are more relevant to my followers there
– You can link your posts to book titles, which you can then click to see what other people have said about them
– There are a whole slew of hashtags that can be used like #Recommendsday every Wednesday or #BlameitonLitsy if you pick up a book because of Litsy or #SignedSundays on Sundays. I like having prompts like these to make it easier for me to decide what to take pics of!
– Other hashtags I use: #romantsy, #bookandtea, #bookandcoffee, #bookandbrew, #bookanddinner and one that I created: #bookanddessert
– #LitsyFeature is a hashtag that everyone can use if you’re interested in being featured on their Instagram page. One of my posts has been featured here
– URLs are clickable whenever you want to link to something like a blog post or an Amazon link to a book
– The app doesn’t count the number of posts you make, which for me is a good thing because I can post as much as I want and not worry about flooding my followers with too many book pics. I take pics of all sorts of books – my current reads, books I just bought, books I’m thinking of buying (whenever I visit the bookstore), books that I’ve read and would recommend, books that have been in my TBR pile for ages and I still haven’t read, and so many other books! Just whatever I could think of ๐Ÿ˜›
– Instead of number of posts, the site counts your “litfluence” which increases based on other people reacting to your post (e.g. liking, commenting, adding the book to their stack)
– It’s a mobile app that I can easily update on the go, so it’s much easier to post on it than here on WordPress. My personal laptop has been acting up lately so that’s also why it’s been difficult for me to blog. With an app like Litsy, I don’t have to put in as much effort but I still get to interact and chat with fellow book nerds
– There’s a 451 character limit on posts, including reviews, which is a good way of making sure everything posted is succinct and to the point. This means each of the posts in my feed won’t be too long, and it also makes it easier for me to write a review for a book because it’s a short post!
– I get to meet new bookish friends that I’ve missed meeting through all my other bookish social networks. Always a good thing in my eyes. ๐Ÿ™‚ And it never fails to make me happy when one of them picks up a book based on my recommendation
– I’m being followed by romance authors Eloisa James and Julia Quinn! Okay sure, they follow a lot of people there but it’s still a pretty big deal for me. I will never get tired of being able to connect with authors (who are rock stars for a reader like me). If you know of any other authors who are on Litsy, please feel free to let me know
– I’m also followed by Filipino romance authors Mina V. Esguerra, Ana Tejano and Miren B. Flores but we all follow each other on Twitter so that’s not a surprise. ๐Ÿ˜€ I hope more #romanceclass people join the fun on Litsy so we can talk more about their books

Litsy screenshot

Here’s my current litfluence

Cons:
– Not a lot of people have it or if they do, they’re not updating their accounts. I need more bookish friends to be on it! If more of my bookish Twitter or Instagram friends become active on Litsy, that would be awesome. I would also be open to following more people who either read the same kinds of books that I do or who post pretty book pics (because come on, who doesn’t like seeing beautiful book shots? ๐Ÿ˜› )
– Cross-posting to other social networking sites is done manually. There isn’t a way to link your sites together and cross-post automatically
– I can’t link to my Litsy profile, only to individual posts. So I usually just mention my username whenever I want to spread the word about my profile. Even on this blog’s sidebar, I only have the Litsy logo and my username
– I can’t embed my Litsy posts here on WordPress, which I can do with Instagram posts. If I could, I would have probably done weekly recaps of my Litsy posts. I could have also added Litsy pics to this post!
– Their database is still being updated, so there are times when I have to manually ask for books to be added so I can tag them. But there are ways to work around this, such as tagging another book by the same author
– The editing tools for pics (e.g. brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.) aren’t as good as the options in Instagram

Like I said, this isn’t really a review of the app but just me sharing my thoughts about it. The issues I have with it are minor and you can probably tell from what I’ve said that I love using the app. I’m sure I’ll remember some things I’ve forgotten to include once I hit publish on this post, but I’ve been sitting on a draft of this for a while now so I want to put it up. Are you on Litsy? If you are, what’s your username? If you aren’t, what’s holding you back from signing up? ๐Ÿ™‚