Chachic's Book Nook


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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 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:

โ€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.โ€

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?


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#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy โ€“ Week 2 Round Up

Second week of posting about Filipino books! I’m glad I was able to keep this up for another week. Week 1 round up can be found here. All posts are from Instagram. Again, I hope this will encourage other readers to become interested in featuring or reading Filipino books… thereโ€™s still more than half a month for everyone to join #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy.

Day 8:

"I looked at his plate. The chocolate cake crumbs looked so forlorn, scattered and stark on the white porcelain. If it were me eating, I'd scrape the plate clean. I wouldn't want food to feel the way I was feeling now: forlorn and undesirable." – Choco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera . . . Really enjoyed reading this Filipino YA novel, which is also available internationally through Amazon. Included in this shot are Gryphon Tea's Pearl of the Orient and Martin's Marvelous cookies. . . . #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy #ChocoChipHips #AgayLlanera #romanceclass #youngadult #Filipinoromance #Filipinoauthor #SupportFilipinoauthors #WeNeedDiverseBooks #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #bookworm #bookphotograph #indie #bookandtea #tea #teatime #teacup #cookies #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

 

Day 9:

Happy Birthday, Singapore! For today's #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy post, I had to choose a book that has (loose) ties to SG. @minavesguerra's Welcome to Envy Park has a main character who worked in SG for several years before moving back to Manila. I have gifted this book to most of my girlfriends who have worked in SG. . . . I chose to take this pic in front of the historic Fullerton Hotel because it's one of my favorite structures in SG, the old central post office that got converted into a hotel. Also, this shot can be called buwis Kindle at smartphone shot. Medyo katakot malaglag sa river. . . . #WelcometoEnvyPark #MinaVEsguerra #ChicManila #romanceclass #romance #Filipinoromance #Filipinoauthor #SupportFilipinoauthors #WeNeedDiverseBooks #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #bookworm #bookphotograph #indie #Kindle #ebook #TheFullertonHotel #SingaporeRiver #ExploreSingapore #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

 

Day 10:

 

Day 11:

"When I first developed a love for this kind of storytelling, cameras were much larger. Today I was wrapping my palm around a digital video camera so small that I kept it on a chain around my neck so it wouldn't accidentally get knocked out of my hand by a gentle breeze." – Falling Hard by @minavesguerra . . . I don't have a video cam so I had to make do with my (barely used) point and shoot. Falling Hard was previously published as The Harder We Fall and is a fun new adult romance between a film major and a rugby player. . . . #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy #FallingHard #TheHarderWeFall #MinaVEsguerra #AddisonHill #newadult #romanceclass #romance #Filipinoromance #Filipinoauthor #SupportFilipinoauthors #WeNeedDiverseBooks #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #bookworm #bookphotograph #Kindle #ebook #camera #Canon #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

 

Day 12:

"She liked air. The very idea of it. Of something ever present, always needed, but virtually invisible. Now, one could LIKE something, on a philosophical level, that much, without having to put herself through an evinronmental science degree, do internships, move to New York City to take a job as an air quality consultant, but that was Lindsay Kresta. Admittedly she took things too far sometimes." ๐ŸŒฌ๐ŸŒฌ๐ŸŒฌ – Fallen Again by @minavesguerra . . . I forgot to do a #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy post yesterday so I have two for today! "Air" is a little difficult to take a pic of so I went with this shot. . . . #FallenAgain #NeverJustFriends #MinaVEsguerra #AddisonHill #newadult #romanceclass #romance #Filipinoromance #Filipinoauthor #SupportFilipinoauthors #WeNeedDiverseBooks #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #bookworm #bookphotograph #Kindle #ebook #air #trees #window #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

 

Day 13:

You know you're a book nerd when you bring three paperbacks to brunch, not because you're reading them but because you want to take a nice pic for #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy. I'm probably not the only one who does that, right? ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ’ Thanks to my good friend @dementedchris for copies of these Visprint pretties. I've only read Cover Story Girl but definitely planning to read the other two! . . . #SavetheCake #StellaTorres #VintageLove #AgayLlanera #CoverStoryGirl #ChrisMariano #Visprint #romanceclass #romance #Filipinoromance #Filipinoauthor #SupportFilipinoauthors #WeNeedDiverseBooks #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #bookworm #bookphotograph #paperbacks #TWGcafe #TWGtea #cafehoppingSG #IonOrchard #flowers #bouquet #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

 

Day 14:

The book that started it all! I was introduced to @minavesguerra's writing through Fairy Tale Fail. I bought it based on a rec by @storiestotell, read it in one sitting and kept recommending it to all my friends after.๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ“– I remember my kabarkada @chuchayed read it on my Kindle while we were hanging out in Starbucks one time. I could TOTALLY relate to Ellie, more so because I was the same age as she was when I read the book. And Lucas is an awesome hero. Ellie's thing is traveling and planning hypothetical trips so I included bits of stuff from my own travels in this shot. No major trip for me this year though. Sad. ๐Ÿ˜” . . . #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy #FairyTaleFail #MinaVEsguerra #ChicManila #romanceclass #romance #Filipinoromance #Filipinoauthor #SupportFilipinoauthors #WeNeedDiverseBooks #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #bookworm #bookphotograph #indie #Kindle #ebook #travel #passport #postcards #stamps #bookmarks #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on


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#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy – Week 1 Round Up

It’s been a week since #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy started (find out more about the event here) and I wanted to do a round up of the posts I’ve made on Instagram. I have been posting a pic of a book written by a Filipino author everyday, and so far, I think I’ve done a good job of finding a background or object that goes well with the story. It’s been fun to come up with these shots but I have no idea if I’ll be able to keep up with a post a day. Let’s see how it goes.

I’ve realized that I can embed Instagram posts on WordPress so I’m trying it out now, instead of uploading the pics from my phone like I used to.

Day 1:

Truffle ramen and a Filipino romance set in Japan. Perfect combination, right? While truffle fries are pretty common in SG, this is the first time I've tried truffle ramen and it was delicious. Thanks to @jambitzz for the heads up. August is #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy so I will be reading and posting about books written by Filipino authors during this month. Anyone can join and use the hashtag. If you've been planning to read Filipino books, then now is the perfect time to do so! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ“– some titles can even be requested on Overdrive. . . . #BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor #CPSanti #romanceclass #Filipinoromance #Filipinoauthor #SupportFilipinoauthors #romance #WeNeedDiverseBooks #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #Kindle #ebook #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #bookworm #bookphotography #reading #KanshokuRamen #truffleramen #ramen #truffle #SGfood #SGeats #SGfoodie #IGSG #foodstagram #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

 

Day 2:

My second #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy post features my most recent read, Beginner's Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los Reyes. This Filipino romance came highly recommended by Courtney Milan. While I didn't love it as much as she did, I found it to be sweet and cute in a really nerdy way. Full review up on my blog (link in my bio). Kaya, the main character in the book, loves matcha lattes. My go-to place for matcha is St. Marc's Cafe. . . . #BeginnersGuideLoveandOtherChemicalReactions #TalkingNerdy #SixdelosReyes #romanceclass #romance #Filipinoromance #Filipinoauthor #SupportFilipinoauthors #WeNeedDiverseBooks #Kindle #ebook #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #bookworm #bookphotography #StMarcCafe #matcha #matchalatte #cafehoppingSG #cafe #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

 

Day 3:

 

Day 4:

 

Day 5:

Today's #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy post is @minavesguerra's Wedding Night Stand, a novella set during a wedding just outside Manila. I really enjoyed this and liked the MCs, Andrea and Damon. I was happy with where this book ended, but the couple's story is continued in a longer book called What You Wanted. . . Thanks to my SG BFF @nj_reyes for the assist in this shot. You know you have a true friend when she willingly looks for a bridal shop with you, just for the sake of a bookstagram. . . . #MinaVEsguerra #WeddingNightStand #ChicManila #newadult #romanceclass #romance #Filipinoromance #Filipinoauthor #SupportFilipinoauthors #WeNeedDiverseBooks #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #bookworm #bookphotograph #Kindle #ebook #wedding #bridalgown #fashion #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

 

Day 6:

Mocha, lemon tart and @minavesguerra's What You Wanted, the book that continues Andrea and Damon's story from Wedding Night Stand. This is probably the foodie-est out of all of Mina's books, and I approve!โ˜•๐Ÿฝ Check out this snippet about Damon, which was why I chose to take a pic of the book with coffee: "Damon's mealtimes where freakishly long, but he always ended them with coffee… Coffee meant he had digested, exhausted all topics of conversation, and was ready to go do something else." . . . #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy #MinaVEsguerra #WhatYouWanted #ChicManila #romanceclass #romance #Filipinoromance #Filipinoauthor #SupportFilipinoauthors #WeNeedDiverseBooks #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #bookworm #bookphotograph #indie #cafehoppingSG #SGfood #SGdesserts #ExploreSingapore #TiongBahruBakery #coffee #mocha #latteart #lemontart #bookandcoffee #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

 

Day 7:

"We talk about how Paris is a city built for both lovers and loners; about how it can be both familiar and new, how she can feel like home but never get old. We talk about museums and the gardens, the bridges and the streets, and wonder how every corner can be so darn pretty. I love how the conversation is growing. It's full of twists and turns that we have no problem following – and it's been so long since I talked to a man this way, in a coffee shop, while wearing nice clothes. I feel so full, and I know it's not because I had way too many cookies."๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“–๐Ÿ—ผ – Loveless. Childlesss. Clueless by @mirenbflores . . . I know the Kindle cover in this shot is a little too light, but it's so difficult to get a clearer pic. Sometimes, it can be frustrating when the book cover on Kindle isn't as nice as it is on a physical copy. Makes bookstagramming more challenging! . . . #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy #LovelessChildlessClueless #MirenBFlores #romanceclass #romance #Filipinoromance #Filipinoauthor #SupportFilipinoauthors #WeNeedDiverseBooks #bookstagram #instabooks #IGreads #bibliophile #booknerd #bookblogger #bookworm #bookphotograph #bookquote #indie #postcards #Paris #ChachicsBookNook

A photo posted by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

 

These pictures are bigger than what I’m used to posting on the blog, but I like that it’s linked to my original Instagram post. I also couldn’t find a way to center the pics so they’re all on the left.

If you’re interested in featuring or reading Filipino books, there’s still lots of time for you to join #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy.๐Ÿ™‚ I would love for more readers (both Filipino and non-Filipino) to read books written by Filipino authors.


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#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy 2016 โ€“ time to read Filipino books!

It’s that time of the year again! Today marks the start of #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy, a campaign that was launched last year and will be celebrated again this year. August is Buwan ng Wika in the Philippines, which is the month dedicated to celebrating the Filipino language. To coincide with this, a campaign is being hosted by Edgar Calabia Samar (Twitter, Facebook), author of the Janus Silang series, to encourage people to read Filipino books. #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy can be roughly translated as โ€œMonth of Filipino Authorsโ€ or even “Month of Filipino Books”. Anyone can participate by using this hashtag on various social media platforms โ€“ Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. So if you’ve been meaning to try reading a Filipino book, this is the perfect time to do so!

There’s an overview of the campaign, which you can read over here (it’s written in Filipino). And interestingly, I was briefly mentioned in there:

BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy - Chachic's Book Nook

The caption can be translated to “observe Chachic’s Book Nook’s elaborate preparation for pictures”. Hahaha! I think it’s awesome that I got a shout out. I did a round up of my #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy posts last year, which you can view here. I will mostly be posting on Instagram with links shared on Twitter and Facebook, but I’m planning to do a round up on the blog as well.

BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy2016

Since the title of the campaign is in Filipino, I believe the main goal is to encourage Filipino readers to pick up titles by Filipino authors. But I am also hoping that non-Filipino readers would be interested in picking up Filipino books. There are loads of books by Filipino authors that are written in English. In fact, those are the type of books that I’m planning to read this month. Some of them can even be requested from Overdrive. So come and join the fun.๐Ÿ™‚


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Cover Reveal: Iris After the Incident by Mina V. Esguerra

Iris After the Incident is the latest book in Mina V. Esguerra’s Chic Manila series, and will be released on August 5. These are books set in the Philippines that have some overlaps (e.g. cameos of characters) but each can be read on its own. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know that I’m a strong supporter of Mina’s books. My reviews of her Chic Manila books can be found here, and all my other posts about her books can be found here. The cover for Iris After the Incident was just released today! Cover design by Tania Arpa, photography by Pach R. Urrea and features one of the shots from #romanceclasscovers. I think it’s awesome how Mina keeps trying to properly represent her characters through her book covers. She has partnered with Filipino fashion bloggers for some of her other covers, and the photo for Iris After the Incident was from a shoot specifically intended for Asian/Filipino book covers. How cool is that? I really like the simple and clean design of this cover, and it seems like the photo matches the book description well. The cover makes Iris look like she’s at a turning point in her life. I still need to read the book to find out if the cover is a good fit for the story… looking forward to it!

Iris After the Incident

Which moment has defined your life so far?

Whether she likes it or not, Irisโ€™s life has been divided into two: Before the Incident, and After the Incident. Something very private was made very public, and since then life has been about recovering from being shamed, discovering her true friends, and struggling to find a new normal.

Two years into this new life and she finally connects with a guy again. He lives in the apartment down the hall, heโ€™s hot, and he doesnโ€™t look at her that way. He doesnโ€™t know what happened. But he also wonโ€™t give her his name, not right awayโ€”which has to mean heโ€™s got something to hide too.

Iris wants to start over. Should she do that with the only person who will understand, or is this the same idiotic decision that got her in trouble in the first place?

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