Chachic's Book Nook


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CNY 2015

CNY 2015

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year to those of you who celebrate it! I don’t really do anything special for CNY but there will be a celebratory lunch and lion dance in our office in the coming days. Also, I got the red packets pictured above. :) Thursday and Friday were public holidays in Singapore but I didn’t make any plans to travel because I have to finish packing this weekend. Moving day is scheduled for March 1. It seems like I just moved into this current flat and now I’m getting ready to leave again. I really don’t like packing and unpacking so it’s been slow going for me. I feel like I’ll never finish! Also, I’m amazed that I have so much stuff when I’ve been in Singapore for only two and a half years. I need to stop accumulating crap.

So this is why I haven’t been able to work on any blog posts even though I want to review three books that I’ve read and loved in 2015 so far:

Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand
Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

I can’t even squeeze in reading time. I apologize for the radio silence on the blog (what’s new, right? Haha I barely update anyway) but it looks like I wouldn’t be able to come up with posts until things have settled down. Hope you’re all having a good weekend and have some fun activities lined up that don’t involve packing (or unpacking).


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Ten Book-Related Problems I Have

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I think any book blogger would have a list of problems related to books. Here are some of mine:

1. I keep staying up late to read books, not just for books that I’m thoroughly enjoying but also for books that I want to finish just so I can move on to the next one. Then I let Future Chachic deal with the lack of sleep and being a zombie at work. (I previously talked about this topic here.)

2. More blog-related than book-related: because of the point above (losing sleep over books), there are nights when I crash right after getting back to the flat at the end of the day. And I miss out on doing blog posts like Top Ten Tuesday even if I originally wanted to participate. This has happened several times.

3. I keep buying books even if I don’t have enough time to read them. The TBR pile just keeps expanding. This also results in another problem which is that I find it difficult to choose what to read because there are so many choices.

4. The heat and humidity in tropical countries (Philippines and Singapore) always makes me worry about foxing in my physical copies. Foxing is when books get age-related spots or turn brown. Even if I stored books inside bookshelves with glass doors, they still age faster than expected.

Foxing

5. My purse is always heavy because I have my Kindle or a physical copy of a book in it. Whenever I ask a friend or my mom to hold my purse for me, they always say something like, “What do you have in here, rocks?”

6. I have this tendency to forget the details of the books that I’ve read, even if I loved the book. I guess this is only natural because I read so much? But one of the reasons why I like having reviews is that it reminds of my thoughts about that particular title.

7. Moving can be a hassle because I have to pack and unpack books. Which I will be doing this coming weekend because the lease is up in our current flat and my friend and I are moving at the end of the month. I don’t even want to think about how I’ll transport my books when I move back home for good.

Moving - suitcase to shelf

8. I need to lose weight. Why is this a book-related problem? Because reading trumps exercising! Sigh, if only reading burned calories, I will be super fit by now.

9. I’m passionate about books and I think it would be great to have a job in the book industry but I don’t see a path to that from where I am currently in my career. Also, I’m that if I do end up in the book industry, will I get tired of books and reading and would want to find a different way of relaxing?

10. I’m currently based in Singapore. I’ve met some awesome bookish people through my blog and I would love to meet them in person but I live halfway across the world from where they are. Also, international shipping is expensive and it sucks that I can’t send as many book packages as I would like to.

What about the rest of you, what are the problems that you have as a reader or a book blogger?


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Favorite Literary Couples VI

Every year on Valentine’s Day, I post a list of fictional couples I’ve loved from books that I’ve read in the previous year. You can check out posts from years past through these links: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. I can’t believe this is the sixth time I’ve created a list like this!


Image from We Heart It

Medair and her love interest from Medair by Andrea K. Host – I’m being purposely vague to avoid spoilers but I just wanted to say that I really loved the slow burn and unexpected romance in this duology. More readers need to pick up Andrea K. Host’s books (one of my fave couples from last year was from her Touchstone trilogy).

Layla and Matt from Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand – I’m a huge Laura Florand fangirl (see Amour et Florand) and she’s one of my go-to contemporary romance authors. Loved this sweet and tentative romance set in the beautiful region of Provence, the first full-length novel in what is sure to be a lovely series.

Nevada and Mad Rogan from Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews – Ilona and Gordon’s books are auto-read for me and they gave me another couple to love in Nevada and Rogan. Love-hate romance filled with banter that will span a whole trilogy? Yes, please!

Rikker and Graham from The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen – I believe this is the first time I’ve read a male-male romance and I adored it. I loved the whole Ivy Series by Sarina Bowen but Rikker and Graham’s bittersweet story lingered with me days after I finished reading the book. These two just went through so much together.

Sidney and Vaughn from It Happened One Wedding by Julie James – It’s always fun to read a Julie James novel because it’s like a chick flick in book form. Really enjoyed the banter in this one and I liked that Sidney is a bit older than the heroines in Julie’s earlier books (and therefore has a different set of problems).

Runners-up for the past year are:
The couples from Virginia Kantra’s Dare Island series because I couldn’t choose just one
Anna and Lincoln from Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer
Reagan and Matt from Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Mili and Samir from A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
Sarah and Patrick from The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand

Who are your favorite fictional couples from books that you’ve read within the previous year? Are you planning to do anything special this Valentine’s weekend? I don’t have anything planned but will definitely try my best to curl up with a romantic book sometime this weekend. Happy Hearts Day, everyone!


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Cover Reveal: Gravity Series by Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series was one of my favorite discoveries last year. I can’t wait to read the next book in that series! In the meantime, Sarina is relaunching her Gravity Series and I’m participating in today’s cover reveal for the three titles. Check out the shiny, new covers for the series as well as all the relevant information for Falling from the Sky.

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Gravity Covers

Here is the description for FALLING FROM THE SKY:

Angsty Vermont snowboarders, anyone?

She’s the woman he doesn’t remember. He’s the man she can’t forget.

Bad boy Hank “Hazardous” Lazarus used to have everything: a gorgeous girlfriend, a career as a freestyle snowboarder and a spot on the US Olympic team. Nine months ago, after a bad crash in the half pipe, he woke up in the hospital, unable to move his legs. Now he’s landed there again, but gravity is not the culprit. With his family pressuring him to try a groundbreaking treatment, Hank self-medicates with too much tequila instead.

Doctor Callie Anders has the courage to restart a patient’s heart with a thousand volts of electricity, yet she’s afraid to risk her own. So she doesn’t confess to the clinic’s newest patient that they met just before the accident, an encounter that he doesn’t remember. Even as their friendship develops, she won’t admit she regrets turning down his dinner invitation, or that her heart stutters every time those inked shoulders roll through the door of the therapy department.

With another Vermont winter coming again, Hank needs a hand out from under the avalanche of his disappointments. If only Callie were brave enough to take the job.

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Purchase at Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/1EY6tyy
Purchase at Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1KivHc9
Purchase at iBooks: http://bit.ly/1KldR8j
Purchase at Kobo: http://bit.ly/1BX4g5E

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“One of the highlights of my 2014 reading year.” — Jane Litte at DearAuthor.com

“4.5 stars. Hank and Callie are an inspiration to love stories everywhere. HOT.” — RT (Romantic Times) Book Reviews

“What a book! I’m always looking for different, inspiring, more in my books and Sarina Bowen delivers every time.” — The Bookish Babe

“Sexy and heartwarming, Falling From the Sky is a story of redemption, trust and falling in love.” — Mandi Schreiner of SmexyBooks

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To celebrate the cover reveal of this series, Sarina is hosting a Rafflecopter GIVEAWAY (open internationally): click here for the giveaway


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Top Ten Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books I Want To Read

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I LOVE reading sci-fi and fantasy (SFF) but I’ve noticed that I’ve been on a contemporary binge in recent months. I should be more conscious about mixing up my genres so I’m focusing on SFF books that I want to read for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post. I’ll even make it easier for myself and choose books that I already have copies of.

Among Others by Jo Walton – I’ve seen other readers raving about this book and that made me excited to grab a copy (and a hardcover at that), which I’ve yet to read.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis – I haven’t tried any books written by Connie Willis and I’ve had my copy of To Say Nothing of the Dog for several years now. I think I put off reading this because I wanted to read more of Dorothy Sayers’ novels first, because I heard someone say that she’s mentioned in this book.

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas – I have the ARC of this, which was passed on by my friend Holly. The sequels have been released and I still haven’t read the first book.

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart – I’ve read Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense novels but I haven’t tried her fantasy yet.

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama – I really feel bad that I still haven’t read this! It’s sitting on my bookshelf, making me feel guilty that I haven’t picked it up.

Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman – I’ve had this duology in my TBR pile for years! I grabbed copies when I started seeing positive reviews from fellow bloggers and I just haven’t found the time to read them.

The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson – I’ve only read one book from Brandon Sanderson, which was Elantris, and I really enjoyed it. I’ve been meaning to read more of his work and The Emperor’s Soul seems like a good choice because it’s a standalone.

Shadows by Robin McKinley – I love Robin McKinley’s writing and it would be interesting to see what her latest book is like.

Fire and Hemlock or Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones – I really need to read more of DWJ’s books. I have so many of them in my TBR pile and I don’t know why I keep putting off reading them.

Dreamer’s Pool or Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier – More Juliet Marillier is always a good thing. I am so behind in reading her recent releases.

I have many more SFF titles in my TBR pile but these are the ones that I can remember off the top of my head. Have you read any great SFF books lately? Or is there a different genre that you would like to read more of?


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Author Matchmaker: Liza Palmer and Laura Florand

So this conversation happened on Twitter:

I love several things about this conversation on Twitter because
– I’m excited for these two new releases. I’ve finished Once Upon a Rose and loved it. Currently in the middle of Girl Before a Mirror.
– it’s always awesome when authors respond to readers on social media
– it’s great when favorite authors read each other’s work

Just something random to be happy about this week. :) Have you had a similar experience with some of your favorite authors on social media?


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Top Ten Places I Want to Read About

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie and we can choose whatever topic we want. I LOVE to travel and I don’t get to do it often enough because of budget and time (meaning vacation days) constraints. Also I keep wanting to go home whenever there’s a long weekend because I get homesick if I stay away from Manila for too long. So because I can’t travel as much as I want, I love reading books that have such a strong sense of place that it feels like you’re right there with the characters. A good example of this is how Laura Florand writes about France. She has such a beautiful way with words that I feel like I’ve been to Paris or Grasse whenever I finish one of her books.

While I have a pretty eclectic taste when it comes to genres, I’m limiting my list to contemporary settings, because I want to picture these places as they are in the present. There are plenty of contemporary books set in the US, UK and Australia so even though I enjoy reading about those countries, I’m not including them in this list. So here are places I want to read more of:

Philippines – Home country, yo! I will never get tired of reading about home. But aside from Manila, I would also like to read about other beautiful places in the Philippines like Palawan, Cebu, Bohol, Davao, etc.

Singapore – I’m working in Singapore so of course, it would be interesting to read books set here. I’ve read some books that are partially set in Singapore but I don’t think they portray the country accurately so that’s a bit disappointing.

Cambodia – I’ve never been to the Angkor Wat and that’s a place that I wouldn’t mind reading more about.

South Korea – While there are a ton of Korean dramas available out there, I haven’t come across a novel that’s even just partially set in Korea.

Japan – Very modern but still steeped in culture makes Japan a great setting. Also, I love Japanese food.

Czech Republic – I’ve been dreaming of going to Prague because I’ve heard from so many people that it’s a gorgeous place.

Germany – I’ve read historical fiction set in Germany but I haven’t heard of any contemporary titles that I can check out. I would love to visit Germany someday, especially Munich (with a day trip to the real life castle that inspired Disney’s version).

Italy – Rome, Venice, Florence, Amalfi Coast. So many scenic locations in Italy that can be the perfect setting for romance novels. And yes, Italian food is also something that I love!

Greece – I’ve been wanting to visit Greece ever since I read Greek mythology when I was in grade school. I think Athens would be lovely. Santorini is a popular tourist destination and also seems very picturesque from what I’ve seen.

Russia – I have a Russian co-worker who constantly talks about his homeland and everything he says just encourages me to visit the country. Also, I’ve tried Russian food and it’s delicious.

If you have recommendations for contemporary titles set in any of these places, feel free to let me know. What about you, what are the places that you would love to read about?

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