Chachic's Book Nook


12 Comments

Ten Book-Related Problems I Have

Top Ten Tuesday2

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?


21 Comments

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

Top Ten Tuesday2

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?


17 Comments

Top Ten Places I Want to Read About

Top Ten Tuesday2

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?


6 Comments

Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is goals and resolutions for the coming year. Here are some of mine:

Participate in more Top Ten Tuesday topics. There are so many interesting topics for Top Ten Tuesday that I wanted to participate in but I kept missing them because of various reasons like working overtime and then crashing when I get back to the flat. I should find ways of preparing posts in advance.

Read more physical books from my own TBR pile. I have a pile of unread physical copies both in Manila and in Singapore. During my first year in Singapore, I kept bringing back books whenever I went to visit Manila because I find it comforting to have a full bookshelf where I’m based. But I need to be better about reading them! It’s just so much easier for me to read ebooks nowadays because I usually bring my Kindle with me wherever I go.

My bookshelf in Singapore

My bookshelf in Singapore

Buy ebooks instead of paperbacks and hardcovers. This is connected to my earlier point – I need to stop buying print copies to keep my physical TBR pile from growing. I don’t have a permanent place in Singapore because I’m just renting a room in a flat and I keep moving when the lease ends so it’s such a pain to pack and unpack books whenever I move.

Read more Filipino fiction. I’m making an exception in buying physical books when it comes to Filipino fiction. I would happily buy books written by Filipino authors to show my support. I’ve bought several of them during my current vacation and I’m looking forward to reading them.

Visit other blogs and leave more comments. Back when I had more time for blogging, I used to read all of the posts in the blogs that I follow and comment as much as I can. I haven’t been able to do that for ages but I do visit blogs when I see links shared on Twitter or Facebook. I’m going to try and visit and comment on more blogs next year because I know how fun it is to receive blog comments.

Reread more old favorites. I’ve reread some of my favorite books in the past few months and I should try to do that more often in 2015.

Host another blog event focusing on a favorite author. I LOVE promoting books written by favorite authors, which is why I’ve hosted events like Amour et Florand, EWein Special Ops, Marchetta Madness and Queen’s Thief Week. If time permits, I would love to do a similar event next year. Two authors I would love feature are Robin McKinley and Ilona Andrews.

Keep posting bookstagram pictures. I love Instagram and it’s a lot easier for me to post pictures of books rather than publish a blog post. It’s also fun for me to interact with bloggers and authors on Instagram. If you have a smart phone, I think it’s a good social network to sign up for because it’s pretty easy to use. I also re-post some of Instagram pictures here on the blog to brighten up my posts.

Instagram - December 2014

Visit one of the places from my Top Ten Places I Want to Visit Because of Books. I would love to make this happen but I’m not sure if it’s possible. I really, really want to visit Europe again next year but I have no concrete plans yet. I still need to find friends to travel with.

Keep blogging without pressure. We all know that blogging takes a lot of time and effort. We keep doing it because we love reading and we want to share the experience. Since I moved to Singapore, I’ve been having a difficult time balancing reading and blogging with everything else that I needed to do like work and chores. There are times when I’ve considered stopping for good but then I feel like I would miss blogging too much. So I just need to keep my no pressure policy and just blog whenever I have the time and inclination for it.

Those are my goals and resolutions for 2015 related to reading and blogging. What are some of yours?


7 Comments

Book Haul: December 2014 in Manila

I haven’t done a book haul post in ages! Probably because I usually just post on Instagram if I receive books because it’s easier to keep that account updated. Also, I’ve been trying to read more ebooks instead of physical books because I keep moving in Singapore whenever the lease ends and it’s such a pain to pack and unpack paperbacks and hardcovers. I did acquire some books since I landed in Manila for the holidays so I felt that an update was in order.

I have two godsons at the moment, a toddler and an eight-year-old. I try to live up to my title as Book Godmother and I give both of them books for their birthdays and for Christmas. For this year, I grabbed some kiddie books written by Filipino authors for them to enjoy:

Christmas 2014 - gifts for godsons

Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
EDSA by Russell Molina
Isang Harding Papel by Augie Rivera

While shopping for books for my godsons, I also bought some Filipino titles for myself:

Christmas 2014 - books for myself

Mythspace, Volume 1 edited by Paolo Chikiamco
Alternative Alamat: Stories Inspired by Philippine Mythology edited by Paolo Chikiamco
High Tide at Midnight (Trese, # 6) by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo
Shine by Candy Gourlay

Last but certainly not the least, I received a surprise gift from fellow Filipino book blogger Tin of Rabbitin! It was such a thoughtful gift because I’ve wanted a copy of The Merchant of Marvels and the Peddler of Dreams for ages. Also, I usually only receive books at Christmastime from my Secret Santa because friends in real life are pretty clueless on what titles to get for me. They’re worried that they might buy a book that I already have a copy of. So thank you, Tin! :)

Christmas 2014 - gift from Tin of Rabbitin

What about the rest of you, did you give or receive any books as Christmas gifts?


8 Comments

Top New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

I wanted to participate in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic: New-to-Me Authors in 2014 but I’ve been having long days at work lately and I haven’t been able to open my laptop to blog. I did this topic last year and you can see my list here. Since I still want to talk about authors I discovered this year, I’m just going to go ahead and list them even if it’s already Saturday in this part of the world (yay for blogging without pressure).

Open Road Summer with Marina Bay Sands in the background

Open Road Summer with Marina Bay Sands in the background

Susanna Kearsley – I’m glad I finally got to read a Susanna Kearsley novel this year, she’s been on my radar for a while now. I found The Winter Sea a lovely read and I’m looking forward to the rest of her books.

Sarina BowenThe Ivy Series is such an excellent new adult series set in a fictional Ivy League college. I devoured all the books one right after the other and they all have such swoon-worthy romances. Can’t wait for the next installment in the series!

Emery Lord – Emery Lord’s debut novel Open Road Summer is good read that has some of my favorite things in a YA book: road trips, strong friendships, music and (of course!) slow burn romance.

Virginia Kantra – I’m still working on a review for the Dare Island series but I want to take this opportunity to recommend Virginia Kantra’s books to fans of contemporary romance. It’s a great series with a cozy island setting and I loved the strong ties of the Fletcher family.

Rosamund Hodge – I found Cruel Beauty an interesting retelling of Beauty and the Beast and can’t wait to read more from this author.

Linnea SinclairGames of Command was a satisfying sci-fi romance and I’m glad it’s a standalone novel. I’m curious about this author’s other books.

Matcha soy milk with Virginia Kantra's ebooks

Matcha soy milk with Virginia Kantra’s ebooks

There were also some new-to-me authors whom I’ve tried and wasn’t really impressed with but I’m willing to try the rest of their books because other readers have been so enthusiastic about them. Let’s see if I change my mind about them. These authors are:

Mhairi McFarlane
Stacia Kane
E. Lockhart

What about the rest of you, who are some of your favorite discoveries this year?


7 Comments

Retro Friday: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Angie over at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Susanna Kearsley’s writing from some of my book blogger friends. I’ve been curious about her books for a while now so I was thrilled when my friend Heidi sent me a signed copy of The Winter Sea last year. I thought it would be a good introduction to Susanna Kearsley. I picked it up when I was in the mood for a historical fiction novel and I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed reading The Winter Sea.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.

But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her…

The Winter Sea and Mocha

Photo taken using Instagram.

I thought The Winter Sea was a lovely read with excellent characters, an atmospheric setting and unique plot. It’s funny how interested I was in reading a book that is heavily tinged with Scottish history when I know next to nothing about the Jacobite revolution. I had to do a bit of Wikipedia research to get a better understanding of this part of history. I think Susanna Kearsley did an amazing job of making history come alive by intertwining Sophia and Carrie’s stories. It was a pleasant surprise that I wasn’t bored by the historical aspects of The Winter Sea. I thought it was interesting how Carrie’s ancestral memory surfaces as she was wandering along Scotland, doing research for her next novel. She feels the pull of the place and decides that she needs to spend more time in that area. Being near Slains awakens something inside Carrie and she’s able to write about Sophia’s memories. That’s the only supernatural element in the book and I liked how seamlessly it was done. I love how Carrie describes her writing process and how she gets swept away by the stories in her mind. A non-spoilery snippet:

“…I could feel the stirrings of my characters – the faint, as yet inaudible suggestion of their voices, and their movements close around me, in the way someone can sense another’s presence in a darkened room. I didn’t need to shut my eyes. They were already fixed, not truly seeing, on the window glass, in that strange writer’s trance that stole upon me when my characters begin to speak, and I tried hard to listen.”

Carrie’s description of how writing makes her forget about everything else around her is similar to how I feel about some of the books that I read. Whenever I’m engrossed in a well-written novel, I tend to focus on it and ignore my surroundings. I really liked Carrie and Sophia and I was rooting for both of them. I loved that there was a sweet and slow burn romance for both of these ladies because they deserved to have that in their lives. Carrie’s story was more quiet and mellow compared to Sophia’s adventures during a difficult time in history. I was worried about how things will work out and that kept me absorbed in The Winter Sea until I reached the end. I even found the descriptions of the winter sea in Scotland charming, how it was described as kind of desolate but still has its own beauty. I’ve seen The Winter Sea compared to Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I read the latter ages ago and wasn’t impressed. In my opinion, The Winter Sea is a much better read. I’m delighted to have discovered a new historical fiction author to enjoy. I’m already planning to reading the rest of her books. Mariana and The Rose Garden have been suggested as good ones. Although it’s a different kind of historical fiction, this reading experience reminds me a little of when I first found out about Mary Stewart just because it’s a lovely feeling to have an author’s backlist to look forward to.

Other reviews:
Angieville
See Michelle Read
Book Harbinger

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,447 other followers