Chachic's Book Nook


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Shiny, New Kindle Paperwhite

Back in 2010, I got my first ever Kindle. It was a Kindle Keyboard. It died two years later and I got a Kindle Touch to replace it. I thought my second Kindle will last only two years but surprisingly, I’ve had it for almost three years and it’s still doing fine. In that span of time, it’s traveled with me from the Philippines to Singapore. And also to the US and Europe when I’ve gone there for vacations. It’s been a steady companion but I’ve been tempted to get the Kindle Paperwhite ever since it was released. I just felt like having a built-in light on my Kindle would make it easier for me to read. I would be able to read wherever I wanted without worrying about how good the light is. When the Kindle Voyage came out, I couldn’t decide whether I should get that or the Paperwhite. It’s taken me months to finally make a decision! The Paperwhite won when Amazon released a new version towards the end of June, which has an increased resolution.

The arrival of a package containing these brightened up my Monday:

Kindle Paperwhite

2015 Kindle Paperwhite and navy blue leather cover

Real life has been keeping me busy so unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to dive in and play around with my new toy. But I’m planning to read this as soon as I can:

Kindle Paperwhite - Harder We Fall

Roasted hazelnut mocha, banana chocolate bread and an ARC of The Harder We Fall by Mina V. Esguerra

I’m doing my best to buy and read more ebooks because it’s just more practical to do so. Since I’m working in Singapore and I keep moving around because I don’t have a permanent residence here. Also, most of the review copies that I receive are ebooks because I live all the way over in Southeast Asia. So the Kindle Paperwhite is totally a valid purchase for me, right? LOL. Hopefully this new Kindle will last several years too.

What about the rest of you, do you have Kindles or any other kind of ereader? Care to share what your digital reading experience has been like?


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NCBD Blog Tour: Favorite Filipino Children and Young Adult Titles

I found out about the upcoming 32nd National Children’s Books Day from Chrissie’s blog post. I loved that she highlighted Filipino children and young adult titles. There is an ongoing NCBD blog tour and this week’s topic is this:

Hulyo 7-13: Paboritong Aklat
Ano ang paborito mong aklat pambata at pangkabataan? (Kailangang isinulat o iginuhit ito ng isang Pilipino. Maaari namang maglista nang higit sa isa pa.)
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July 7-13: Favorite Book
What is your favorite children and young adult book? (It should have been written or illustrated by a Filipino. Feel free to list more than one.)

NCBD Blog Tour Header

I am so jealous of the titles available to Filipino children and young adult readers today. When I was young, there weren’t as many local books to choose from. But there were a few that I loved. I distinctly remember being a huge fan of books published by the Batibot brand. Batibot was a Filipino kiddie TV show similar to Sesame Street. Some of the kiddie books I read over and over again were:

Sina Linggit Laban kay Barakuda ni Tom F. Agulto & Rene O. Villanueva
Ang Pamilya Ismid ni Ramoncito Serrano & Rene O. Villanueva
Si Inggolok at ang Planeta Pakaskas ni Rene O. Villanueva & Lem Garcellano

Sina Linggit Laban kay Barakuda
Ang Pamilya Ismid
Si Inggolok at ang Planeta Pakaskas

I remember my nursery school even put up a play enacting Sina Linggit Laban kay Barakuda and I was Linggit! Too bad my photo albums are all back in Manila, otherwise I’d try to hunt down a picture.

Nowadays, I try to encourage my godchildren to read by giving them books for their birthdays and during Christmastime. I’ve read several Filipino children’s books while choosing what titles to buy for them. A recent favorite was Ang Bonggang Bonggang Batang Beki, which I discovered through Filipino author Mina V. Esguerra.

Bonggang Bonggang Batang Beki

A few years ago, I attended the Manila book launch of Candy Gourlay’s Tall Story, a middle grade novel partially set in the Philippines. I enjoyed reading it and I’ve recommended it to other people as well. I have Candy’s Shine in my TBR pile and I’m planning to read it soon. These two books are available internationally so I happily recommend them to reader friends who are interested in reading Filipino books.

Tall Story

What about you, what are Filipino children or young adult books have you enjoyed reading?


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Reading makes us strong

I make a point of keeping my blogging life separate from my work life but I just wanted to say that last week was a difficult and demotivating week in the office. I know this will sound vague but basically, there were some big changes that weren’t managed well and that has an effect on morale. Anyway, this quote popped up on my Goodreads app on Friday:

“I feel free and strong. If I were not a reader of books I could not feel this way.” ― Walter Tevis, Mockingbird

I haven’t read any books written by Walter Tevis so I don’t have any context for these lines. But I think they stand well enough on their own and they resonated so strongly with me. I was just thinking that even though I’m bothered by stuff at work, I’m so relieved that I’m in the middle of a good book that is doing a great job of distracting me from my thoughts. Which means reading is indeed making me feel stronger or at least able to handle the situation better. It’s a good reminder of how we should never underestimate the power of a good book.


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Back in Singapore

I’m baaack! I arrived in Singapore last Sunday afternoon and went straight back to work on Monday. Thank you for all your lovely messages in my previous post, I wasn’t able to reply to them because I was already on my way to Europe when that post was published. We had a bit of a rocky start when we missed our connecting flight and our baggage was delayed by a day but overall, it was an amazing trip. The places we visited were beautiful and I was lucky enough to meet one of my online bookish friends, Estara, in person! Will try to do a write up of that day in another post.

Europe 2015 - Kindle

I took advantage of the flights and train travel to read and picked up the following titles:

Love in a Small Town by Zoe York (recommended by Michelle)
Fall Hard by Zoe York
Midnight Captive by Elle Kennedy
Forgotten Suns by Judith Tarr (recommended by Estara, still reading)

Movies watched (on the plane):
Guardians of the Galaxy
Jupiter Ascending

That’s definitely an improvement compared to last year’s trip when I was only able to read one book. When we missed our flight and we were stuck for several hours in the airport in Paris, we had an Amour et Chocolat moment by hanging out at Laduree, where I also kept myself busy by writing postcards to friends. The second picture can reference another Laura Florand series, La Vie en Roses, because we spent some time choosing fragrances in the French artisan perfume store Fragonard.

Europe 2015 - CDG Laduree Europe 2015 - CDG Fragonard

See how we try to relate most things to books? That’s just how book nerds roll. I’m planning to do a write up of each of the cities we visited, just like I did last year but I still need to find time to do all of that. It’s always difficult to get back in the swing of things when your brain is still on vacation mode. I’ve kept my Instagram account fairly updated in case you guys want to see what I was up to. That’s all for now, will check back in again soon.


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I’m Off to Experience Life as Karou

Minus the star-crossed love story and the magical world. In April last year, I said I was off to experience life as a Laura Florand heroine by going to Paris and Aix-en-Provence. It was my first time in Europe and I had an awesome time! You can check up my write-ups of the cities we visited in these posts: Paris, Barcelona (ala Isla and the Happily Ever After), Aix-en-Provence and Milan.

This year, I’m going along a more Daughter of Smoke and Bone path by visiting the fairytale city of Prague with fellow Filipino book blogger Kim. I reread Daughter of Smoke and Bone because of this upcoming trip and took the chance to refresh my memory before picking up Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters. After Prague, we will be visiting Munich. The only book I know that’s set near Munich is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak *cries buckets of tears*. As you can see, I really enjoy reading books set in places that I visit so feel free to recommend some titles if you have any ideas.

We will be flying off this weekend and we’ll be away for two weeks. I won’t be bringing my laptop so no blog posts until I get back. Similar to what I did last year, I’ll do a write-up of the places we visit once I’m back. In the meantime, I’ll be posting pictures on Instagram. :) I’m also bringing my lomo cam but I wouldn’t have those shots processed until a few weeks after I’m back. I will also be bringing my Kindle along with me and I’m hoping I’ll get more reading than done last year. Even though there was a lot of opportunity to read, with the flights and train travel, I only managed to finish one book. I don’t know if it was just because I couldn’t really get into what I was reading or I was distracted and couldn’t focus. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can maximize reading time for this trip.

That’s it for now, see you all when I get back!


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How did you come up with your blog name?

what

This post was inspired by a similar discussion in my friend Sandy’s blog, Pirate Penguin Reads. I got her permission to also talk about how I named my blog because it’s an interesting topic for all bloggers.

I maintained a personal blog on LiveJournal for years and when I started focusing on more book-related topics, I figured it would be a good idea to move to a different platform and start a book blog. I love the layouts and designs of WordPress blogs, I think they look clean and clutter-free. Now I’m not very creative when it comes to naming things so I went ahead and signed up on WordPress with “Chachic” as my username. After that, I had to figure out a blog name that would include my name and would also be related to books. I wanted the URL to match the blog name because I didn’t want to confuse people. I thought about it for a while and even asked some friends if they had any bright ideas and it was actually a friend who suggested I should go for Chachic’s Book Nook because of how it rhymed. I liked how it sounded so I settled on that name.

Not a very exciting story, huh? If I could go back in time and choose a blog name again, I would do it prior to signing up on WordPress so I would have more flexibility in choosing a name. I would have probably chosen Throwing Inkpots as my blog name if that was the case. That’s what my Tumblr blog is called and it’s a shout out to Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series, one of my all-time favorite series. Actually, I just looked it up and it is possible for me to change my WordPress username but then I’ve had Chachic’s Book Nook since 2010 and that’s what people already know. It might create confusion if I change my blog name now (I have no problem changing blog banners though, which I did sometime in 2013).

Some samples of creative book blog names that I love:
The Book Smugglers
Angieville
SpecficRomantic
Inkcrush
Wear the Old Coat

How about the rest of you, care to share how you came up with your blog name?


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Cover Reveal: All For You by Laura Florand

If you have been following my blog for a while then you would know that I have been bibliovangelizing Laura Florand’s books. I have been talking about her nonstop since I discovered The Chocolate Thief back in 2013. Back then, she only had two Amour et Chocolat books that were out. I’ve closely followed her new releases since then and I even organized a blog event about her writing. So it comes as no surprise that I was thrilled to find out that she has a new series in the pipeline. Her newest novel, All For You, features one of the secondary characters in The Chocolate Touch and I’m looking forward to reading more about her! I also think the cover looks great, I love how the color red stands out. I also like how the font in all of her self-published covers have been pretty consistent.

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Laura Florand, bestselling author of the Amour et Chocolat series (The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Kiss, The Chocolate Heart) and the Vie en Roses series (Once Upon a Rose) now brings us her sexiest, sweetest series ever, Paris Hearts. Three young women strive to make their way in the male-dominated world of French haute cuisine. But in Paris, you must always place your heart on the line…

All For You

Some crushes aren’t meant to be
When her older brother’s best friend left to join the Foreign Legion, eighteen-year-old Célie moved on to make a life for herself as a Paris chocolatier. Now, five years later, the last thing she needs is another man to mess up her happiness.

Let alone the same man.

But five years in the Foreign Legion is a long time for a man to grow up, and a long time to be away from the woman he loves.
Especially when he did it all for her.

Half strangers, more than friends, and maybe, if Joss Castel has his way, a second chance…

Release date: May 5, 2015

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Laura FlorandABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Florand burst on the contemporary romance scene in 2012 with her award-winning Amour et Chocolat series. Her international bestselling books have appeared in ten languages, been named among the Best Books of the Year by Romantic Times and Barnes & Noble, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

After a Fulbright year in Tahiti and backpacking everywhere from New Zealand to Greece, and several years living in Madrid and Paris, Laura now teaches Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, this means she primarily teaches French language and culture and does a great deal of research on French gastronomy, particularly chocolate. For more information, please see her website: http://www.lauraflorand.com.

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PRAISE FOR LAURA FLORAND’S NOVELS:

“Chocolate, Paris, and a Greek god for a hero; this delectable confection has it all!” – Library Journal Starred Review

“(Florand) captures the nature of love, its fierce, soul-warming necessity, in a way that will make you as happy as the finest bonbon could.” – Eloisa James, The Barnes & Noble Review, a Best Book of 2013 selection

“Florand outdoes herself with this exquisite confection… painstakingly crafted and decadent as the sweets it portrays, leaving the reader longing for just one little taste.” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Adorable, charming, whimsical.” – Smexy Books

“Florand serves up a mouth-watering tale of slow-burning passion and combustible consummation that’s as perfectly crafted as the hero’s surprisingly complex confections and as silky and addictive as the heroine’s dark chocolat chaud.”– RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars, TOP PICK!, RT Seal of Excellence, RT Reviewers Choice nomination Best Book of 2013

“A delectable summer bonbon.” – NPR Books

“This is one of the cleverest, most persuasive enemies-to-lovers stories I’ve read in a long time.” – Dear Author, RECOMMENDED READ

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