Chachic's Book Nook


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Top New-To-Me Authors I Read For the First Time In 2016

Top Ten Tuesday2

This is my first blog post in December (yay, the snowfall is back) because I’ve been on an unintentional hiatus the past few weeks due to work and real life getting in the way. Also, my laptop has been acting up so I haven’t been able to go online on it that much. I’ve been updating Litsy (I’m Chachic over there) and Instagram a lot because I can do that on my phone. But I couldn’t let this week pass by without participating in Top Ten Tuesday because I’ve done this topic in previous years (2015, 2014, 2013). As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. These are the books that introduced me to authors I was delighted to discover this year:

Monstress Amulet The Stonekeeper a-darker-shade-of-magic a-promise-of-fire The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

fresh-romance Act Like It In the Middle of Somewhere the-hating-game romancing-the-duke

Looks like I have a pretty good mix of both fantasy and romance! It has been a pleasure reading these titles and for some of these authors, I’ve read some of their other books after being introduced to their writing. For the debut authors, I’m eagerly anticipating their next releases. What about you, who are the authors you’ve loved who were introduced to you this year?


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October kicked my butt

I can’t believe October has come and gone! It totally kicked my butt. After the short Chiang Mai trip, I went home for a couple of days to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday. She didn’t want a big party so the three of us (together with my brother) had this fancy meal instead:

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Annnd then I got swallowed whole by work. I was super, super busy the past few weeks for a project. So I wasn’t able to do any blogging even though I wanted to. I was still able to read and I’ve been updating both Instagram and Litsy because I’m always online on my phone and it’s much easier to update stuff on those social networks that on my blog. But I miss blogging! So hopefully I’ll be able to work on some posts in the coming days (I said that before the weekend started and Monday is here and I’m still in the middle of this post). Let’s see how it goes.πŸ™‚ I need to do a separate post about Litsy to talk about how I’ve become addicted to it. If you have Litsy, let me know! I’m Chachic over there. For book-related updates, this is my current read and my most recent purchase:

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I also bought these ebooks but Litsy posts can’t be embedded on WordPress so I could only link for now. Okay, I need to wake up early so I’m going to bed soon. Read any good books lately? Bought any titles that you’re excited to read? Feel free to let me know in the comments!


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Queen’s Thief News: Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

What kind of Megan Whalen Turner fan would I be if I didn’t write a post about the latest news that we’ve been receiving about the Queen’s Thief series? It’s just that real life has been keeping me super busy lately (I’m in Manila in the weekend for my mom’s birthday) and I haven’t had a chance to blog until now. Anyway! During the past week, Greenwillow has released the repackaged covers for the earlier books in the series AND FINALLY made an announcement about book five: Thick as Thieves, which will be released May 2017. Behold, the cover from Publisher’s Weekly and the synopsis from Amazon:

thick-as-thieves

Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. Set in the world of the Queen’s Thief, this epic adventure sees an ordinary hero take on an extraordinary mission.

We’ve only waited SIX LONG YEARS for this installment. You can imagine the explosion on Twitter when all the MWT fans found out about this. Mostly all of us speaking in all caps and !!! and general squeeing. Absolutely cannot wait for this! I’m super excited.

Here are the redesigned covers for the earlier books:

the-thief-repackaged queen-of-attolia-repackages the-king-of-attolia-repackaged a-conspiracy-of-kings-repackaged

I must admit that I’m not such a big fan of these new designs. I’ve always thought that the earlier covers designed by Vince Natale were creatively and thoughtfully drawn. I loved that they were relevant to the stories, and that there was a theme of featuring hands and partial faces in all of them. But it’s understandable that redesigns happen in the publishing world and if these new covers manage to attract new readers, well and good!

The Queen’s Thief series is one of my all-time favorite series and I think MWT is a brilliant author. I even organized a Queen’s Thief Week a few years ago to celebrate my love for these books. If you’ve been following my blog and you think we have the same taste in books, then I highly recommend that you read these books if you haven’t had a chance to do so. This series means so much to me, not just because of how much I love the books, but also because I met some of my best bookish friends through this series. I first started being active in the book community when I joined Sounis on LiveJournal, and kept in touch with fellow Sounisians even after moving to WordPress. It’s also one of those series where once I find out that someone is a fan, I immediately want to be friends with them. And I tend to trust book recommendations from fellow MWT fans more. This is how I discovered more favorite authors like Elizabeth Wein. If I find out an author is an MWT fan, I’m also more likely to read their books. Or if I’ve already read their books (like in Melina Marchetta’s case), my view of them goes up even higher. So, so, so. All of that just means that 2017 will be a good year because Thick of Thieves will finally be released!


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Weekend Trip: Chiang Mai

Exactly a month ago, I wrote a blog post about sense of belonging and how that relates to my current job. I wouldn’t say I’m fully integrated into my new office yet, but I’d like to think I’m getting there. Last Thursday to Saturday, our whole office traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand for an office team building trip. I’ve experienced that kind of thing before with my previous office when we visited Bintan Island, Indonesia. I’ve never been to Chiang Mai so I was really curious about it. Also, anything that would help in getting to know co-workers and potentially bonding with them is a good thing for me at this point. Our schedule was packed with office-related activities and presentations, but I was able to join a group that went around the city for a couple of hours. Here are some pics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chiang Mai seems like a beautiful and historical city, I would love to go back and explore more of it. I was in the middle of Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews prior to the trip and I didn’t get much reading done during the trip so I was only able to finish it when I got back, will try to write a review of it soon. I’m still tired from staying up late and traveling though, so not making any promises. If I don’t manage to write new blog posts this week, you can always find me on Instagram and Litsy.


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Litsy on Android

The bookish app Litsy is now available on Android. I found out about it thanks to a heads up from my good friend Brandy. I downloaded it and signed up as chachic over there. It’s described as a combination of Instagram and Goodreads, and I’m trying to see if it would be fun to be an active member over there. I like that it’s more book-focused that Instagram and more visual than Goodreads. I think my main problem with it is that there aren’t a lot of my friends on it (no surprise there given that they just started with Android) but it might get better if more people sign up.

Litsy screenshot

Are you on it? What’s your username? Also, what do you think of it so far?


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Sense of Belonging

My smoked duck salad dinner while working one evening

My smoked duck salad dinner while working one evening

It has been a couple of months since I made major changes in real life and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since then. When I first moved to Singapore back in 2012, I had a very hard time adjusting to living in a different country for the first time in my life and being away from family and friends. It was one of the most difficult experiences that I’ve been through but I have no regrets because I’ve learned a lot, and hopefully, I’ve also grown both on a personal and professional level. When I made the transition to a new job a few months ago, I thought it would be easy to settle into this role. I figured that I’ve adjusted well enough to living in Singapore, and my new job is in the same industry as my previous one. I should have expected that in life, anything new would required an adjustment period! I have been trying to understand why it hasn’t been easy, and I don’t think it’s because of the company, the role, or even my co-workers (everyone has been as polite and professional as they can be). I realized that I can’t really say that I’m happy or comfortable in my current role (yet) because I don’t feel like I belong. Kind of like my presence doesn’t matter because I’m not making a relevant contribution (yet), which leads to feeling insignificant and lonely. This reminded me of a passage from a book that I loved, Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer:

β€œI can’t be the only one faking it. I’m not the only lonely small-town girl drowning in this big city. I’m not the only refugee feeling invisible and alone. I’m not the only one who wants to scream, “NOTICE ME! I MATTER!” Maybe everyone is faking it. Maybe they’re just better at it than I am.”

I know I matter! And I hope that I would start feeling like I do matter professionally in a few more months. I’d like to think that every newbie feels weird and awkward in the first few months, and that will change as time passes. A physical place where I would always feel like I matter is back home in Manila because that is where I’m the most comfortable and where I always feel like I belong. Virtually, I definitely feel a sense of belonging in the book blogging community. I feel like I’ve carved out a niche for myself, and I’ve found people who not only enjoy reading as much as I do but also read the same type of books that I love. I’m definitely not a famous or big time book blogger but it makes me happy to know that there are people who enjoy having bookish discussions with me and there are people who ask me what I think about books before they decide whether to read it. I have way more posts than followers on Instagram but I have a lot of fun taking bookish pictures, and friends have mentioned that they like seeing what I come up with. I’ve had authors respond to tweets or blog posts or emails, and that’s something that never gets old. I find myself lucky that I can even consider some of them friends, because we’ve had enough interaction to get to know each other. I’ve met so many lovely people in this community, and I still keep meeting more! With everything that’s happened in real life, it hasn’t been easy to keep blogging, tweeting or bookstagramming but I will keep doing all of those for as long as I can because I would miss it too much if I stop. I would miss the sense of belonging, the camaraderie, the blog comments, and the book recommendations. While I’m a firm believer of keeping blogging fun and not forcing myself to write a review or a blog post if I don’t feel like doing so, I will do my best to make more of a conscious effort to be an active blogger. For now, I’m here to stay because this is where I matter.


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Ten Books I Think Should Be Required Reading for YA Fantasy Fans

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a back to school freebie and I choose Required Reading for YA Fantasy Fans as my topic. Now I’m not claiming to be an expert on YA fantasy, it’s just that I’m a huge fan of the genre and these are the titles that I think can be used to introduce new readers to it. In no particular order, my picks are:

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Howl's Moving Castle Ella Enchanted QueenOfAttolia

Crown Duel2 The Blue Sword Goose Girl_Alison Jay The Golden Compass Fire

What about you, what book would you include if you had to come up with a required reading list for YA fantasy? Do we share some titles?