Chachic's Book Nook


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Elizabeth Wein answers a question

Oy, if you’re a Code Name Verity or Rose Under Fire or Black Dove, White Raven fan and you haven’t read the rest of Elizabeth Wein’s books, namely the Lion Hunters series… I’m blaming you for delaying the publication of The Sword Dance, the next book in the series.

Over at Goodreads, EWein answers why this book hasn’t been published yet, even though she finished writing it YEARS AGO:
EWein on Telemakos

The books have been out of print for a while but the ebooks are available through Open Road Media (and they have matching covers)! I’m going to make your life easier and share the links here:

The Winter Prince ebook A Coalition of Lions ebook The Sunbird ebook The Lion Hunter ebook The Empty Kingdom ebook

The ebooks are even free when you have a Kindle Unlimited account. Telemakos deserves more love, people. Go forth and read the books about him.


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Breaking News: Queen’s Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner

This news was shared all over Twitter the other day, but in case you missed it… Monica Edinger has some news about the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner:

… a little bird told me the next two are in the home stretch of being finished and coming out some time in the not-too-far-off future. First the publisher will reissue the original four to bring a new generation of readers to them and then….numbers five and six.

Queen's Thief

This is HUGE! Megan Whalen Turner fans have been wait for YEARS to hear some news about her next book. I’m thrilled that they’re planning to reissue the books to gain more readers but I’m really hoping that the new designs will be just as good as the Vince Natale covers that the series currently has. This series and the community around it means a lot to me. I read the books before I started my blog so I didn’t really write a review of it, but I did host a blog event back in 2012 to celebrate the books and you can read some of the posts here.

If you haven’t read the series and you feel like we have similar tastes in books then I highly recommend that you pick it up. I’m borrowing an image made by my friend Angie when she did her guest post for Queen’s Thief Week:

Queen's Thief Week: Guest Post by Angie of Angieville


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My 2016 Anticipated Reads

I did this list last year and I’m happy to report that I’ve read most of the titles in my list. I think it’s always fun to take note of what new releases we’re all looking forward to in the coming months. In no particular order, these are the books that I can’t wait to read this year:

White Hot The Keeper of the Mist Masks and Shadows Snug Ship A Tangle of Gold The Raven King

Truthwitch The Score Flirty Little Secrets Carolina Dreaming Summer Skin

Titles that don’t have covers yet:
Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The Future Chosen by Mina V. Esguerra

No titles or covers yet but I want the next installments in the following series:
Black Dog series by Rachel Neumeier
La vie en Roses by Laura Florand
The Ivy Years by Sarina Bowen

Are you also planning to read to any of the titles I listed here? What 2016 releases are you looking forward to?


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Best of 2015

Happy New Year, everyone! Ever since I started blogging, I’ve been posting my favorite reads whenever the new year rolls around – you can check out my previous posts through these links: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. In no particular order, here are the books that I loved in 2015 (linked to my reviews if I have them):

Once Upon a Rose A Wish Upon Jasmine Girl Before a Mirror The Deal I'll Meet You There

Pure Magic Uprooted Bone Gap Archivist Wasp Illuminae

That’s five contemporaries and five speculative fiction titles! I’ve also been meaning to read more graphic novels and found a few that I loved in 2015:

Rat Queens Vol 1 Sass and Sorcery Nimona Midnight Tribunal High Tide at Midnight

Midnight Tribunal and High Tide at Midnight are the latest installments in the Trese graphic novel series, one of my favorite Filipino works of fiction. Here are other titles written by Filipino authors that stood out for me this year:

Choco Chip Hips Learning to Fall Loveless Childless Clueless

Speaking of Filipino reads, I made a point of buying Filipino books to give as gifts this past Christmas. I was lucky enough to get most of them signed!

Filipino books as Christmas gifts

Pile of Filipino books as Christmas gifts

2015 has been a good year for reading but not so much for blogging, because I’ve always been behind on reviews. Real life keeps getting in the way so I have missed reviewing some of my favorite reads this year. Let’s see if I can catch up on reviewing some of them in the new year. Keeping my fingers crossed on that.

As for other bookish things, I was delighted to discover that book cafes have been popping up all over Manila and I was able to visit three of them during my trip: Tweedle Book Cafe, Cool Beans Cafe and Book and Borders Cafe.

Tweedle Book Cafe - shelf

In November, I was also able to attend Singapore Writers Festival’s panel on “Instalove” – Romance and the YA Novel, where I got to meet authors Rachel Hartman and Joyce Chng in person.

SG writers fest 2015 - instalove 5

Singapore Writers Festival “Instalove” panelists Joye Chng, Joyce Chua and Rachel Hartman

My travel activities aren’t exactly book-related but I enjoy posting about them on the blog. Earlier this year, I was able to visit: Prague, Kutna Hora, Cesky Krumlov (like the setting of a medieval fantasy), Munich, Neuschwanstein Castle (straight out of a fairy tale), Regensburg.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

After I had my rolls of film developed, I did a Snapshot From a Book post and matched pictures of Prague with quotes from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do the same for the other places we visited because I haven’t come across books set in them. However, it made me happy to be able to meet in Munich my bookish friend Estara. I’ve known Estara for years and I was delighted to finally get the chance to chat with her in person.

Bayerisches Nationalmuseum

We visited Bayerisches Nationalmuseum with Estara

Another notable meet up this year was with Jo of Wear the Old Coat when she had a stopover in Singapore while traveling from Australia to the UK. We had dimsum and loads of jasmine tea for lunch, and played tourists for the rest of the day.

Din Tai Fung lunch with Jo

Din Tai Fung lunch with Jo

It’s always fun for me to have these meet ups because I don’t get to do them as often as I would like. So it’s a special treat when I meet a bookish friend I’ve known for years.

So, so, so. That’s 2015 for me. How was yours? :) What were your favorite reads from the past year?


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Christmas Shopping – Manila Edition

In my previous post about Christmas shopping, I mentioned that I was planning to get Filipino titles to give as gifts to friends. I wanted to support the local writing community and at the same time, encourage my real life friends to read. So I ordered books from Filipino authors even before I flew home to Manila. To make the gifts even more special, I asked the authors if they could personalize the books and they very kindly agreed to do so.

When I got home, a package was waiting for me. It contained five copies of Loveless. Childless. Clueless. by Miren B. Flores:

Loveless. Childless. Clueless gifts

On the same day that I landed, I met up with my friend Chris Mariano, author of Cover (Story) Girl. We had dinner at Cibo in ShangriLa but I was super hungry so I wasn’t able to take any pictures of the food. Here’s a fangirl pic instead:

Chris Mariano fangirl shot

Cover Story Girl gifts

I also dropped by the bookstore in that mall and grabbed three copies of the first installment of the Trese graphic novel series:

Trese gifts

The next day, I met up with authors Mina V. Esguerra, Tina Matanguihan, my friend Kim and newfound friend Jothee at Tweedle Book Cafe (more about that meet up in a separate post). I was able to get the pile of books that I ordered from Mina plus a freebie of What You Wanted:

Mina V. Esguerra books as gifts

Here’s the whole pile of the various titles that I bought:

Filipino books as Christmas gifts

I was really excited to start giving these books as gifts that I didn’t even bother with wrapping them up, since I wanted my friends to see the signature and messages inside as soon as they could. Fellow book blogger Kim was the first recipient:

Kim with Loveless Childless Clueless

Followed by three girlfriends who were thrilled to receive personalized copies of books. I think this is the first time they’ve gotten books specifically signed for them. They were so happy that they took pictures of the books (here, here and here) as well as the messages (here, here and here).

Chuchay, Mich and Ena with gifts

They wanted to start reading the books right away. I made a point of giving them different titles so they can swap and borrow each other’s copies once they’re done. Based on my friends’ reactions, I think I can safely say that my mission has been accomplished. :) Fingers crossed that my other friends will be just as happy with what they’re getting.


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On reading and making friends

Littered With Books 2

Littered with Books, one of the indie bookstores in Singapore

I saw my friend Estara share this quote from author Michelle Sagara on Goodreads, and it just resonated with me:

“Life wears us down around the edges. The stress of life and its neces­sities cracks things. We learn to protect ourselves. We learn not to let so much of the world in, because some­times it’s all too much, and we don’t have the resilience we need to survive it. When we’re six, we make best friends easily. When we’re fifty, we don’t. That’s age and expe­rience for you.

But books are different. We can let books in. We can wrap them up in our hearts. We can approach them as if we’re still young and open. Even so, it’s not as simple. Because we’re not as simple.”

(Source: Michelle Sagara “State of the Writer, sort of, September 2015”)

I love this quote because I can relate to it 100%. I have thought about how difficult it is to make friends as I grow older. Most of the (real life) close friends that I have now were people I met in high school or college. I have met some good friends through work but it gets more difficult to keep in touch after we go our separate ways.

In the blog post where that quote came from, Michelle Sagara was talking about Terry Pratchett and how much his books mean to her. And that’s also something that I can definitely relate to, how some books just have so much meaning for us as readers. Like she said, maybe it’s because we’re a lot more open to letting books (rather than people) into our lives. Maybe that’s why some of the books that we read can hit us hard and make us FEEL. I love having that kind of reading experience. And I also love sharing it with bookish friends I’ve met through my blog. I think the same idea applies – I’m probably more open to making friends with bookish folk because I know all of you can understand a side of me that most of my family and friends in real life would not be able to comprehend. Also, with online friendships, I feel like it’s up to me how much I want to engage. So if I ever feel like I need a break (which I rarely do), I just go offline for a bit.

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled enough for this post. I just really wanted to share that lovely quote. And to remind myself that I need to try reading Michelle Sagara’s books.


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Pratical Guide to Christmas Gift Giving

My friends in real life always say that even if they wanted to give me books as presents, they never know what to get for me. Aside from not knowing what title I would enjoy reading, they also have no clue whether I already have a copy of a particular book. I do keep my Goodreads shelves updated but I don’t think my friends would think of checking that site since they don’t have accounts there. I’ve mentioned several times that I would be happy to receive bookstore or Amazon gift cards but some friends refuse to give gift cards, saying that it’s equivalent to just handing money over (I don’t see why that’s a bad thing when it’s money that would be allocated for buying books). I think for them that takes out the fun in gift giving?

Of course, the best way to get a good gift idea is to just ask me directly. Which is what one of my Singapore-based friends did. One of the days we were out together, I brought her to the bookstore and gave her five books that I wanted. We’re both into graphic novels so those were the ones I gave her. I then asked her to choose a title that she would be interested in borrowing. And viola! She has then bought and given me a gift that we’re both happy with:

Christmas 2015 - Nellie's gift

Yes, I know what’s inside but the bookstore offered to gift wrap it for free so it’s nicely covered until I read it. I’m going to suggest this practical gift buying procedure to any friend who wants to buy books for me. :) What do you guys think, do you agree that it’s a good idea? Do you have any other tips regarding this topic?

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