Chachic's Book Nook


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Real life update

Things have been pretty quiet here on the blog because I’ve made some big decisions over the past week. While I usually only mention real life stuff in passing over here, my blog does get effected by major changes. The big announcement is that I’ve resigned from my current job. I like to keep my blogging and my professional life separate so I still won’t go into details about my job here. But I’ve had the same job for a little over three and a half years, ever since I moved to Singapore in August 2012. This is not a sudden decision on my part, it has taken me months and endless conversations with family and friends to get to this point. I’ve thought about it long and hard, weighed the pros and cons and everything. It’s not even an entirely happy decision because there’s more than a little bit of sadness mixed in. But I think it’s a good decision, and will hopefully lead to good things for me. The main reason why I chose to go is that I’m no longer happy where I was, for various reasons. I didn’t want to let inertia settle in and just keep doing the same thing because I was comfortable. I’ve decided that I’m ready for a fresh start!

I will be staying in Singapore until I finish serving my notice period, and I can stay another month as a tourist after that. I’ve already started the job hunt here in Singapore, but haven’t found anything yet. I’ve been having a few conversations but nothing concrete has materialized. If I can’t find anything here then I’m fine with going back home to Manila. I can take a bit of a break before starting the job hunt over there. I’m waiting to see how things will unfold, and of course, I’ll share any major announcements if there are any!

Interestingly, I had a job interview this week and I mentioned my blog when asked about what I like to do during my free time. I don’t think I’ve ever done that in an interview before because like I said earlier, I tend to keep my professional life separate from my blog. Maybe I’d say I’m passionate about reading and I enjoy having discussions about books, but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned having a blog. That I post book reviews, participate in online events and reach out to authors and fellow readers all over the world. I decided to bring it up because a good friend said that it’s a great idea to talk about my interests and the things that I do outside of work because those activities also show that I have drive outside of the workplace. Because I’m not being paid to do all these things and yet I put in so much effort because I enjoy doing it. So I should keep doing that in future interviews.

The past week has been very tiring so I’m just trying to have a quiet weekend to recharge. Just catch up on chores and read something good. I’m also hoping I can squeeze in a review but let’s just see how it goes. Hope you’re all having a good weekend so far!


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My Favorite Bookish Instagrammers

I missed this week’s Top Ten Tuesday because work has been tiring me out the past few days and I just don’t have the energy to blog whenever the work day ends. But I love Angie’s take on it, so I’m taking a page out of her book (pun intended) to talk about bookish Instagrammers I follow. Next to Twitter, Instagram is my second favorite social media platform. It’s kind of embarrassing how much stuff I post there. I don’t even care that I have way more shots than followers.😛 I also like how the site lets me share non-bookish aspects of my life like all the coffee, tea and desserts that I have. Of course, I still share book pictures and whenever I do, I check out the hashtags for those titles and authors to see what other bookstagrammers have said about them. And they’re so many bookstagrammers out there and they come up with such creative shots that look amazing. If you’re not on Instagram and you like taking and sharing pics, you should definitely check it out.

Going back to my favorite bookish folk on Instagram, here are screenshots of their profiles:

Instagram - Angie     Instagram - Maggie     Instagram - Kimee

Instagram - Mina     Instagram - Pip     Instagram - Mands

Instagram - Alexa     Instagram - Wendy     Instagram - Jamie

As a bonus, I think most female readers will be able to appreciate this account:
Instagram - Hot Dudes Reading

Do you guys have Instagram? If you do, what are your favorite bookstagram accounts?:)


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Belated Birthday Book Haul

Last March 29 was my birthday and I bought a few books leading up to it. Birthdays are always the perfect excuse to buy books for myself.:) There was a Kinokuniya members’ sale in March so I took advantage of the 20% discount and bought these:

Lazarus and Shortcomings

Because I was able to buy books during the sale, I wasn’t planning to purchase anything else on my birthday. But I ended up dropping by the bookstore to buy some watercolors for my coloring books. I saw my friend try them out and it looked a lot more fun than using colored pencils. Aaand it wasn’t just watercolors that caught my fancy, I saw this newly released graphic novel with watercolor artwork so I decided to grab it too. Seemed like a fitting choice:

5,000km per second

My graphic novel haul:
Lazarus, Vol. 1: Family by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, Santiago Arcas
Lazarus, Vol. 2: Lift by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, Santiago Arcas
Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine
5,000 km Per Second by Manuele Fior

Next, three generous friends pooled their money to give me an Amazon gift card worth USD100. Woohoo! Let’s see how long it will last.😛 So far, I’ve already bought and read these:

Bryony and Roses

In the Middle of Somewhere

Kindle purchases:
Bryony and Roses by T. Kingfisher
In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish
Out of Nowhere by Roan Parrish (currently reading but not included in the pictures)

Those two last shots just show how much I love tea and desserts. And that last pic is a little bit funny because of the contrast of the smexy book cover versus the dainty tea cup and cake.

It’s Sunday night in this part of the world and as usual, I’m in denial that the weekend is over. I’ll try to squeeze in a little reading time before going to bed. Hope you all had a good weekend! If you’ve made any recent book purchases, feel free to mention them in the comments.


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Comments are like chocolate

Blog comments are like chocolate! Which is saying a lot given how much I love chocolate (dark chocolate in particular). I’ve had blog discussions about comments before, but I realized that my posts were in 2011 and 2012 so I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the topic again. I think it’s always fun to receive comments because hey, it’s a form of validation… someone is reading my post and is interested enough to say something about it!:) I think commenting is great in the way that it encourages discussions and conversations with people who read the same kind of books that I do. And for me, that’s what makes blogging interesting. This is why I always reply to the comments that people make in my posts.

Comments are like chocolate

Or like potato chips covered in dark chocolate

Over the years, I’ve noticed that people’s commenting habits have changed. I don’t have any stats to prove it but I feel like I used to receive more comments in the earlier years of my blog. Now that could be due to a number of reasons like some of my blogging buddies going on hiatus. But I also cross-link my posts on Facebook and Twitter, and I’ve noticed that some people are more comfortable leaving a Facebook comment or a tweet rather than writing down a comment on an actual blog post. Totally understandable because it’s easier to do that, especially when you’re on your phone. I also do the same thing when I’m going through other people’s posts while I’m on the go. It also makes it easier for me to reply to someone when they do that, it’s just that it’s more difficult to keep track of the discussion when it isn’t being saved on the blog.

I know that some people tend to prefer to lurk, instead of writing comments. This is also something that I could relate to since I was a lurker before I started my own blog. There are also instances when you’ve read the post but you don’t feel like you have anything substantial to add so you skip leaving a comment. That happens to me too. But I hope visitors and followers of my blog feel like they can comment anytime, even with something random like just saying hi.:)

I also used to comment on other blogs a lot more. Back when I used Google Reader to keep track of blogs that I follow. Nowadays, I usually just leave comments when I have some time to check out the blogs I’m interested in, or to visit other blogs participating in a meme. If you ever come across a blog post that you think I’d be interested in, feel free to share a link so I can check it out.

I’m basically thinking out loud here, and sharing some of my thoughts about blog comments. What do you think about comments? Do you also enjoy receiving and replying to them?


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2016 International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!:) In honor of this day, I would like to share books that I’ve loved that feature some of my favorite fictional ladies. I liked these characters because I feel like they’ve shown their strengths in various ways. Also, these books are written by women. I came up with a list like this way back in 2012, and I know I should have made it a yearly thing but I kept forgetting. I’m glad I remembered to do it today! Since the last time I did this was in 2012, I’m going to include books that I’ve read starting from 2013.

Speculative fiction:
Uprooted Bone Gap Archivist Wasp Black Dog Pure Magic Tempting Danger

Touchstone Trilogy Medair Burn for Me Rat Queens Vol 1 Sass and Sorcery Nimona

Adult Contemporary:
Girl Before a Mirror Nowhere But Home The Chocolate Temptation A Wish Upon Jasmine The Story Guy Big Boy

YA Contemporary
I'll Meet You There Wildlife All I Ever Wanted

What about you, who are some of your favorite fictional female characters?:)


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Cover Reveal: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

I’m a huge fan of Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series so I was thrilled when I heard the news that she has a new series that will be released this year. Yay, for more hockey romance! Trevi and Georgia’s high school romance was briefly mentioned in The Fifteenth Minute (Ivy Years #5), and I’ve been curious about them ever since. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that they’re getting their own book. Both the cover and the premise have made me even more excited to read more about this couple.

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Rookie Move

COMING SEPTEMBER 6th: A sexy new hockey series from Sarina Bowen.

In high school they were the perfect couple — until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold…

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist — his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do — and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast…

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“Romantic and hilarious, Rookie Move will hook you from page one. Nobody does hockey like Sarina Bowen.” – Elle Kennedy, New York Times bestselling author of the Off Campus series.

ForeverNightStands

SIGNED PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY: Sarina is giving away a signed paperback (reader’s choice) and the right to name a teammate in Brooklyn Bruisers #2. WordPress doesn’t allow me to embed a Rafflecopter in a post but if you want to join the giveaway, here’s the link.

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Favorite Literary Couples VII

A few days ago, I posted a list of some of my favorite couples from non-romance books. Today, I’m back to present a list that has become one of my blog traditions. 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, 2015. I’m a bit surprised that this is the seventh version of this list, it doesn’t feel like I’ve been blogging that long! Well, that’s a good thing, right? That means it still hasn’t gotten old for me and I’m having fun.😀


Image from We Heart It

Steph and Grayson from Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra – Filipino romance represent! How can I not love #TeamStayson? Book blogger heroine who’s also an artist but is clueless about what she wants to do with her life, of course I can totally relate to her. Add in a hot rugby player as her hero and I’m one happy reader. This has also been one of my favorite titles to give as a gift to blogging buddies because 1) it’s written by a Filipino author and 2) it has a book blogger (on hiatus) MC.

Lainie and Richard from Act Like It by Lucy Parker – I’m a fan of certain tropes in romance if they’re done well, and Act Like It has two of them which I really enjoyed: a pretend relationship and a brooding, arrogant, Darcy-esque male lead. Plus it has a theater setting and I’m a big fan of musicals. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one, and I couldn’t wait to see what Lucy Parker would write next.

Jess and Damien from A Wish Upon Jasmine by Laura Florand – I am huge Laura Florand fangirl and I love her La vie en Roses series a tiny bit more than her Amour et Chocolat books. I don’t know how Laura does it but she achieves the perfect balance between strength and vulnerability in her characters. I love how Jess and Damien present a tough persona to the rest of the world, but they let their guard down around each other. As always, I also loved the Provence setting of the book and hints of a fairy tale within the story.

Agnieszka and Sarkan from Uprooted by Naomi Novik – I was blown away by the amazing storytelling in Uprooted and it reminded me of some of my favorite authors like Robin McKinley, Juliet Marillier and Diana Wynne Jones. I really enjoyed the development of Agnieszka and Sarkan’s relationship. Sarkan started as a reluctant mentor, and through their various adventures together, he gradually respects and admires Agnieszka. I’m delighted to have discovered another fictional couple in a non-romance book to love. I need to find more of those!

Petey and Finn from Bone Gap by Laura Ruby – Bone Gap was one of my favorite reads last year and while I haven’t written a review for it, I would enthusiastically recommend it to any fantasy or fairy tale retelling fan. I don’t think I’ve read anything like it. Laura Ruby’s writing is definitely unique. I loved the slow burn romance between two complex characters, Petey and Finn, who deserved all the love that they could get.

Runners-up for the past year are:
Skylar and Josh from I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Hannah and Garrett from The Deal by Elle Kennedy
Ellie and Knox from Sacked by Jen Frederick
Amy and Dax from Sleeping with Her Enemy by Jenny Holiday
The couple featured in Soppy by Philippa Rice

Who are your favorite fictional couples from books that you’ve read within the previous year? Did you do anything special this Valentine’s weekend? I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, it was just a usual Sunday for me but I did grab some nice chocolates as a treat. And I’ve been reading romance novels.:) Happy Hearts Day, everyone!

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