Tweedle Book Cafe on a Friday Night

I’m back in Singapore soil but still behind on blog posts so I have a few more Manila-related posts that will (hopefully) go up in the coming days. I’ve been meaning to visit Tweedle Book Cafe again after my initial visit last December. So when friends asked me last Friday where I wanted to meet for dinner, I suggested this place. You know you’re a book nerd when you bring your friends to a book cafe on a Friday night. Woohoo, reading party! I’ve been encouraging them to read more so I wanted them to experience a book cafe. πŸ™‚

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - long table

Dinner (TWG first edition tea, salpicao with egg and kimchi) and signed copies of Agay Llanera’s books:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - dinner

Only Vintage Love is mine, given by Chris Mariano as a gift back when it was launched and recently signed by the author when I met her in person. I’ve yet to read it! The rest are copies I got for my friends Ena, Chuchay and Mich to read and share. These three have inherited and borrowed books from me before, and were also super excited to get signed books as Christmas gifts last year. I love it when real life overlaps with my book blogging life.

Here are #romanceclass books available at the cafe:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - romanceclass

Delicious hot chocolate infused with hibiscus, made in Cebu by The Chocolate Chamber. Served in a pretty tea cup:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - hot chocolate

Last but certainly not the least, I brought books that I wanted to pass on with me. Unread books are sad books so I’ve been passing on physical copies of my books because they just get neglected in Manila while I’m in Singapore. Some of these I’ve read, some I’m not planning to read anytime soon. Most of them have pages that have started foxing (getting brown spots) and yellowing because of heat and humidity, even when they’ve been stored in a bookshelf with a glass cover:

Foxing - donated books

I didn’t want them to waste away so I thought it would be better to pass them on. The upright ones on the left went to my friend Ena, the right-most stack went to my friend Chuchay and the two stacks in the middle were donated to the cafe. You can visit the cafe and read those books if you wanted to.

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - donated books

I think it was a Friday well spent. I was back in Tweedle a week later, but only to drop off more books to be donated. I passed by the cafe right before heading to the airport for my flight back to Singapore. This was the stash I donated:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - more donated books

I’m glad book cafes are becoming more of a thing in Manila. They aren’t as common in Singapore but I believe that’s because Singapore has a pretty good public library system, something that the Philippines doesn’t have. Obviously I want these book cafes to flourish, which is why I will try to keep donating books whenever I can. πŸ™‚

Meet Up with Aussie YA author, Pip Harry

Last Saturday, I met up with Aussie YA author Pip Harry for brunch. I’ve been meaning to blog about our meet up but have been busy with work so I haven’t gotten around to it until now. First, I have to thank another Aussie YA author, Kirsty Eagar, for helping Pip and I connect. I wouldn’t have known that Pip has moved to Singapore if Kirsty hadn’t mentioned it! (As an aside, I’m trying to be patient while waiting for my order of Kirsty’s latest book Summer Skin, I hope it arrives soon.)

Pip and I decided to meet at one of PS Cafe’s branches, she took a pic of the place and posted it here. While I took a shot of the food that I had and the copy of I’ll Tell You Mine that Pip generously gave me, uploaded here. I told her that Filipino YA isn’t as well-developed as Aussie YA so I gave her some Filipino romance instead. We both forgot to take a pic together though!

Pip Harry's signature

We started chatting away the moment I sat down and we barely came up for air. We talked about books, life, and everything in between. We discussed Aussie YA books, of course. Who are the authors we loved, and which titles we’re both looking forward to reading. Some of the authors we talked about: Kirsty Eagar, Melina Marchetta, Vikki Wakefield, Fiona Wood, Justine Larbalestier, Melissa Keil, Ellie Marney, Amie Kaufman, and so many others. She said the community of Aussie YA authors is such a tight-knit and supportive group, which I thought was so nice. I mentioned that the way she describes that community seems similar to how the Filipino romance is developing now. And I also mentioned that I wish that Filipino YA would grow just like Aussie YA did. I also remember she asked me how I first got into reading Aussie YA, so I mentioned book bloggers who got me into it like Nomes and Maggie and a couple of others who have gone on hiatus. I can’t even remember who first recommended it but Melina Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road was my gateway book into Aussie YA. Meeting Pip made me realize that I haven’t been reading that much Aussie YA books lately, which is a shame because I have more than a few of them on my TBR pile. I will try to bump them up! Aside from books, we also chatted about random things about living in Singapore, the Philippines and Australia.

Good food, great conversation and a personalized copy of a book that I’m looking forward to reading… Makes for a fun Saturday, right? πŸ™‚ I hope this wouldn’t be the one and only time that Pip and I would get to meet.

Blogger/Reader Meet Up: Estara

I mentioned in my write-up of the Munich leg of our vacation that I was able to meet up with one of my bookish online friends, Estara. It’s always fun for me to meet an online friend in the flesh! I have been friends with Estara on Goodreads for years. Over the years, we’ve exchanged messages and emails about books and so much more. We share some favorite authors such as Elizabeth Wein, Sherwood Smith and Rachel Neumeier. I always pay attention to Estara’s recommendations because she takes into consideration my reading tastes whenever she recommends titles. She was the one who introduced me to Andrea K. Host and Eileen Wilks.

Kim and I met Estara on a sunny Thursday. We started off with lunch at a lovely Italian restaurant called Cupido. I had a delicious tortellini dish followed by tiramisu:
Cupido tortellini Cupido tiramisu

We then visited Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, the national museum of Bavaria. Estara was kind enough to be our host and tour guide for the whole day! There were so many things to see in the museum and we walked around for several hours, admiring the exhibits.
Bayerisches Nationalmuseum

Some of the interesting things we saw:
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All that walking and admiring tired us out so we had to sit down in a nice, shaded area and have some refreshments, which included this delicious plate of tartufo with fruits:

On top of all that, Estara was thoughtful enough to give me some German goodies:
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It made me so happy that I had a chance to see Estara face-to-face! It was such a lovely day in terms of the weather, the food and the great conversation. I really had a lot of fun.

Estara, danke schΓΆn! πŸ™‚

Previous meet ups with other bookish friends:
Jo of Wear the Old Coat
Liyana of LiyanaLand
Alexa of Alexa Loves Books
Steph and Tarie
Maggie of Young Adult Anonymous
Michelle of See Michelle Read

Blogger Meet Up: Maggie of Young Adult Anonymous

The other day I met up with my friend Michelle of See Michelle Read and yesterday, I was lucky enough to have dinner with another blogging buddy, Maggie of Young Adult Anonymous! I’m thrilled that I was able to meet two lovely ladies during my brief stay here in California. I had so much fun chatting about books with Maggie, no awkward silences at all. We talked about our mutual love for Megan Whalen Turner, some books and series that we recently enjoyed reading, the ups and downs of being a book blogger and so much more. We had dinner at Umami Burger, which I’ve never tried before:

Umami Burger

We both had the truffle burger and shared the thin fries. The food was delicious. Even the umami ketchup was good and I’m not usually a fan of ketchup.

Maggie was nice enpugh to get me a signed copy of The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding when she went to the launch:

The Reece Malcolm List Signed

I can’t wait to read it! I’ve been hearing good things about this book and I love that it’s set in LA. It will probably remind me of my vacation when I read it.

After dinner, we stopped by Downtown Disney because Maggie wanted me to try beignets but unfortunately, the store was closed. We did stop by a Disney store and I was able to get postcards and a keychain:

Disney 2013 postcard

I also took pictures of some of the artwork outside the Lego store:




All in all, a great way to spend time with a bookish friend. Thank you so much for meeting up with me, Maggie! If it isn’t obvious yet, I love hanging out and meeting book bloggers in person. I wish I could do it more often. If I was based in LA, I’d probably get an annual pass to Disneyland and join Maggie’s book club.

Just a note that I wrote this post on the WordPress app on my phone so I apologize if formatting is a bit wonky. I won’t have wifi access the whole weekend so I wanted to put this up before I lose connection from the interwebs.

In My Mailbox: Goodreads Meet Up Edition

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. This meme is about books that you received or bought during the week.

I attended the Filipinos Goodreads group meet up yesterday and was surprised at the number of attendees. Want to know how many people were there? Check out this picture taken by Book Elf:

I was only able to talk to a handful of people but it’s always a good thing when I get to chat about books in person. πŸ™‚ There was table there with a huge pile of books because people brought stuff that they wanted to give away and there was a free-for-all grab after the games and program. I brought some books to get more space on my bookshelf but ended up taking home other books. Here’s the stash:

From the Goodreads people:
Goodreads key chain and book-related pencil
Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto (signed)
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit
Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker

From Celina, who also attended the meet up (the first is a gift while the rest are just borrowed):
The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty
Nightspell by Leah Cypess
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Demon’s Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan

Thank you so much to everyone who brought the books that I grabbed and thanks to Celina for being generous yet again by letting me borrow her copies. πŸ™‚ What about the rest of you, what did you get in your mailbox this week?

Latest Filipino Book Bloggers Meet Up

The Filipino Book Bloggers had a meet up last Saturday, May 14. It was a very casual meet up, mostly just chitchat about books and introductions of some new members who decided to drop by. We didn’t discuss any serious topics like we did in previous meet ups and there was an informal book swap where people exchanged books that they were willing to pass on. As always, it was a lot of fun to talk about books in person and I’m glad that these meet ups are becoming a regular thing.

My friend Ian dropped by to take some pictures. Here’s our makeshift sign:


Tina looks like she’s teasing Aaron about something:


Jason and Celina, I wonder what they were talking about here?


And Tarie, who was the only one who got there on time:


Just realized that we forgot to take a picture of the whole group. Thank you to everyone who attended and for the first timers, it was nice meeting you all. πŸ™‚ You can see the rest of the pictures here and also Tarie’s post about the event.

FBB Invades FFP’s Best and Worst Meet Up

Thank you to the folks of Flips Flipping Pages for inviting the Filipino Book Bloggers to take part in their Best and Worst 2010 Reads event held at Libreria in Cubao X. I won’t be able to name all of the attendees because there were so many of us. The afternoon started off with food, of course, then we all trooped to the bookstore. I was actually surprised that we all fit inside Libreria and that we were able to discuss all of our best and worst reads in a reasonable amount of time. Each person had one minute to say something about the best and worst book that he or she read in 2010. Some of the choices were surprising, some were not but overall, it was interesting to see what appealed to other readers and why. After the sharing, there was a book swap, which was a lot of fun and something that I hope to recreate in the next Filipino Book Bloggers’ meet up. Overall, a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I think it’s always a good thing when I get to talk about books with other people. πŸ™‚

Here’s a group pic that I grabbed from Rhett:

Meet Up With Marianne Villanueva

Photo courtesy of Jason

Last Saturday, December 18, I attended the meet up with Filipino author Marianne Villanueva, organized by Paolo. When Pao initially told me about this thing, I told him that I haven’t read any of her books but that I think it’s always good to meet authors in person. Good thing Marianne brought copies of The Lost Language and she was kind enough to sign them for us. It was a very casual get together, just a bunch of passionate readers and writers, hanging out at Libreria. I can’t even remember all of the things we talked about but off the top of my head, some of the topics we tackled were: Filipino American writers and how most of their work have a common theme, reactions of foreigners to Marianne’s work, updates on what she’s currently working on, reader-author interaction and how that affects the review process, translating foreign books to local dialects, local books and why most of them are collections of short stories instead of full-length novels. I’m sure there’s more but as always, I didn’t take any notes so I can’t remember all of them. Just that I had fun and it felt like we didn’t have enough time to talk about everything that we wanted to discuss. πŸ™‚

Thanks again, Pao (check out his post about it here) for organizing this and of course, Triccie for letting us meet in Libreria. Jason has written his own account of the meet up and Marianne wrote a follow-up post about it, where she answered some of Michelle’s questions.

FBB Meet Up in Libreria

So, so, so. You’ve all heard me talk about Filipino Book Bloggers several times on the blog. Last Saturday, November 13, we had our second meet up, which was held in the wonderful Libreria Bookstore in Cubao X (click on the link to learn more about the bookstore). Thanks again to Triccie for having us. πŸ™‚ Those who attended were: Aaron, Jason, Kenneth, Will, Tarie, Blooey, Peter, Rhett, Michelle, Honey and Tina catched up.

The general consensus after the first meet up was that we should meet in a place more conducive to discussion and that we shouldn’t start with serious topics right off the bat. I’d like to think we were able to accomplish that with this meet up. We started off with the Filipino Friday topic of how blogging and real life overlap. We then proceeded to talk about anything and everything related to the local book blogosphere. I can’t even remember all the topics that we covered but off the top of my head, we discussed – negative reviews and whether we should write them, the local book blogging scene and how we’re all trying to read more books by Filipino authors, plagiarism which Kenneth will discuss next Filipino Friday, idol book bloggers, WordPress vs. Blogger, the advantage of having your own domain, blog stats, blog headers (and how I look like the girl in mine), the popularity of romance novels, reviewing books by a writer friend and many other things. What’s funny is that Libreria customers will come in while we were all discussing and there were times when one of us would stand up to grab a book or refill a coffee cup. Thanks to Kenneth for sponsoring our coffee! πŸ™‚

After the discussions, we headed to Singapore Chicken to have dinner. After which, we did the usual rounds in the bookstores in the area – Book Sale and Fully Booked – then decided to head back to Libreria to have our second dinner and buy more books. We ordered from Bellini’s and had the food sent to Libreria (isn’t it neat that we could do that?) where we proceeded to eat with gusto while still discussing books. Triccie was kind enough to let us open a couple of boxes of books that she has and it felt like opening gifts for Christmas. Here’s a picture of my spinach and ham ravioli with truffle cream sauce:

So I had a book-filled Saturday that was a lot of fun thanks to my fellow Filipino book bloggers and I hope to experience something like this soon! Maybe early next year since I know everyone will be busy with holiday plans in December. πŸ™‚

Other accounts of the meet up:

More pictures can be found here.

First Ever FBB Meet Up

I know I’ve talked about Filipino Book Bloggers here on my blog several times. It’s a site that I created to bring Filipino book bloggers together. Last September 25, we had our first ever meet up! We decided to meet up in Starbucks in Shangrila Mall since it seemed convenient for everyone.

I don’t have an attendance sheet with me so I’m sorry if I forget to mention anyone but I think these were the bloggers who attended – Paolo and Shaps, Kenneth, Jasper, Aldrin and Jansen, Tarie, Honey, Michelle, Gege, Jason, Rezel, Tina, Aaron, Ace, Ariel, Celina and Carljoe Javier stopped by to sign copies of his book, Kobayashi Maru of Love. Thank you all for coming! I think it’s safe to say that the meet up was a success because I wasn’t expecting that many people to attend.

I’m so glad I finally got to meet everyone because I know most of these people through online means and it feels good to put faces behind the names. I’m also happy I got to meet Celina because we exchange messages every day but we’ve only met in person once. Yes, I’m wearing my Queen’s Thief necklace, further proof of my fangirl-ness. Click on any of the pictures to embiggen.

It was funny how the group started with just two tables and then as more people showed up, we kept adding more tables to accommodate everyone. We ended up squished around four small tables. I know the location wasn’t conducive for the kind of discussion that we had because it wasn’t that quiet. Maybe next time, we can go to a restaurant with a function room. I promise I’ll look into it. I just didn’t really expect that we’d have that big of a group.

I’m pretty thankful that there weren’t any awkward silences after the introductions because everyone mostly jumped in and started talking about random things. As expected with big groups, most of us broke off into smaller groups and I’d like to think that we got to know one another a little better with all of the side conversations. The most serious topic that we discussed was something that I’ve tried to bring up in the past two Filipino Friday discussions. I think it all started when Honey wrote her thoughts about the Future of the Book conference. I think it was Paolo who first brought it up during the meet up and then Tarie and Kenneth contributed their thoughts. Basically, we talked about how local publishers see readers as the “imagined public” and they don’t really know that there are a lot of Filipino readers out there, let alone Filipino book bloggers. I think there were some great ideas thrown out. Tarie mentioned that if we want local publishers to pay more attention to us, we should read and review more Filipino books. But we both agreed that most book bloggers already have niche genres and we can’t really force people to read Filipino books if nothing out there interests them. Fortunately for me, there are several Filipino speculative fiction books that I could explore and I know there are still some young adult books out there that I haven’t discovered. In any case, I told everyone that if they do put up reviews of books by Filipino authors, they should send me a link so I can post a roundup during Filipino Fridays.

The meet up started at around 3pm and around dinnertime, there were still a couple of people left so we decided to move to Sango to have Japanese burgers for dinner. After which, we made the rounds in the bookstores in that mall – Powerbooks, National Bookstore and Fully Booked. I don’t know if I should be happy or sad that I wasn’t able to buy anything. But then again, I already bought a signed copy of Kobayashi Maru of Love and I borrowed Paolo’s copy of A Time for Dragons. I had a great time talking about books for most of the day and I think Michelle sums it up quite nicely when she said, “Great to be a Filipino book blogger at this time.”

Jason mentioned that the discussion was pretty serious for a first meet up and that it would’ve been better if we first did a more “getting to know you” type of thing. We could still do that on the next meet up. πŸ™‚ Just let me know when you guys want to have it, I’m thinking we should have another one before the year ends. If a lot of people attend the second meet up, we can break off into smaller groups and then rotate so that all of us will be able to talk to one another.

Pictures from my camera can be found here.

Other accounts of the meet up:
Jason of Taking a Break
Aldrin of The Polysyllabic Spree
Kenneth of Philippine Genre Stories
Michelle of ArtSeblis
Tina of One More Page
Aaron of Guy Gone Geek
Ariel of I am Pinoy Peter Pan
Tarie of Into the Wardrobe