Chachic's Book Nook


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New Release: Sasharia en Garde by Sherwood Smith

Sasharia en Garde is a duology that was previously published as two books: Once a Princess and Twice a Prince. I read these two books before I started the blog and loved them. Naturally, I want to spread the word about them. I have a review that I posted way back in 2010. The duology has been redesigned and released as one book, the way it was meant to be. Sherwood Smith talks about her writing process for these books in this Goodreads post. I have fond memories of reading Sasharia en Garde so maybe I should revisit these characters. I remember that the writing had a similar feel to Crown Duel (one of my all time favorite novels) so be sure to check these out if you enjoyed reading that book.

Sasharia en Garde

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

First published as two books— Once a Princess, and Twice a Prince — this romantic fantasy has been published as one book, as first intended. It is set in the same world as Crown Duel, to which Sasha’s mother, Sun, was once swept away by a real prince.

But not to happily ever after. Her prince vanished, and a wicked king took the throne. Since then, Sasha and Sun have been hiding on Earth, both training in martial arts until Sasha is tricked into going back to Khanerenth.

She’s more than ready to kick some bad-guy butt, but is the stylish pirate Zathdar the bad guy? Or artistic, dreamy Prince Jehan, son of the wicked king?

Meanwhile Sun is determined to cross worlds to save her daughter. She might not have been a very good princess, but nobody messes with Mom!


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#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy – let’s read more Filipino books!

BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy

August is Buwan ng Wika in the Philippines, which is the month dedicated to celebrating the Filipino language. To coincide with this, a campaign has been launched by Edgar Calabia Samar, author of the Janus Silang series, to encourage people to read Filipino books. #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy can be roughly translated as “Month of Filipino Authors”. Anyone can participate by using this hashtag on various social media platforms – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

I’m going to take this chance to read more books written by Filipino authors. I actually have quite a few of them in my TBR pile, I just haven’t found time to read them yet. So far, I’ve made two posts on Instagram for this campaign: Una and Miguel by Lilledeshan Bose and Shine by Candy Gourlay. I plan to do a round-up towards the end of this month.

Of course it feels like the target market for this campaign is Filipino readers but I’m hoping that this will also encourage non-Filipino readers to pick up books by Filipino authors. I wrote a list of some of my recommended titles for TTT last month. Or feel free to ask me for recommendations if this is something you’re interested in!


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Impromptu SG Indie Bookstore Hop

Last weekend, I did an impromptu bookstore hop. I’ve been meaning to visit Littered With Books ever since I saw pictures of it pop up on my Instagram explore page. I finally got to do so last Saturday.

Here are pictures of Littered With Books, located in the Tanjong Pagar area:
Littered With Books 1

Littered With Books 2

Littered With Books 3

Littered With Books 4

I bought one of these canvas bags from the store, which brings my bookish tote bag collection to a grand total of two.

Littered With Books 5

I’ve always loved this quote because books + travel ♥♥

On Sunday, I met up with friends for brunch at Forty Hands cafe and since we were already in the area, we dropped by Books Actually and Woods in the Books.

Forty Hands

Brunch at Forty Hands. Poached eggs with mushroom and spinach. Bacon. Mocha.

BooksActually - July 2015

BooksActually - July 2015 - corner

BooksActually - July 2015 - cats

Cats of BooksActually

BooksActually - Math Paper Press

Books published by Math Paper Press.

Last but not the least, we dropped by a bookstore specializing in children’s books:
Woods in the Books - July 2015

It was a fun weekend because I got to visit these three indie bookstores even though I didn’t plan it. What about you, have you visited any nice bookstores lately?


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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.)
________

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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