Chachic's Book Nook


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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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Books That Make Me Bibliovangelize

The credit for this post goes to my good friend Brandy of Random Musings of a Bibliophile who also wrote about this topic. I got the word “bibliovangelizing” from professional book pusher Angie and I thought it would be fitting for this post. You know how some books are just SO GOOD that the moment you finish reading them, you just want to share it with the whole world? You want to convince all your friends and everyone you know to read these books? Well, those are the titles that make me want to bibliovangelize by spreading the word about them. That’s one of the reasons why I have a book blog, because it’s the perfect platform for pushing people to read the books that I love. To the point where I won’t shut up about the books and would even organize and host blog events about them. For some of my favorite series, I’m including only one book to represent the series. Click on the covers to check out my reviews (if I have them). Here are my choices, broken out by genre:

Fantasy:
QueenOfAttolia Crown Duel Blue Sword Fire

Howls Moving Castle Son of the Shadows Scorpio Races UK Medair

Urban fantasy:
Magic Strikes Burn for Me

Historical fiction:
The Sunbird Code Name Verity A Countess Below Stairs Nine Coaches Waiting

YA and NA contemporary:

Jellicoe Road Australian cover for The Piper's Son Such A Rush The Understatement of the Year The Deal I'll Meet You There

Adult contemporary romance:
The Chocolate Thief Once Upon a Rose Nowhere But Home Girl Before a Mirror Something About You

Fairy Tale Fail_Summit Carolina Home Big Boy The Story Guy

Sci-fi:
Touchstone Trilogy Silent Blade

I might have missed out on some titles but these are the ones that I could think of while writing this post. What about the rest of you, what are the books that make you bibliovangelize?


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CNY 2015

CNY 2015

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year to those of you who celebrate it! I don’t really do anything special for CNY but there will be a celebratory lunch and lion dance in our office in the coming days. Also, I got the red packets pictured above. :) Thursday and Friday were public holidays in Singapore but I didn’t make any plans to travel because I have to finish packing this weekend. Moving day is scheduled for March 1. It seems like I just moved into this current flat and now I’m getting ready to leave again. I really don’t like packing and unpacking so it’s been slow going for me. I feel like I’ll never finish! Also, I’m amazed that I have so much stuff when I’ve been in Singapore for only two and a half years. I need to stop accumulating crap.

So this is why I haven’t been able to work on any blog posts even though I want to review three books that I’ve read and loved in 2015 so far:

Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand
Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

I can’t even squeeze in reading time. I apologize for the radio silence on the blog (what’s new, right? Haha I barely update anyway) but it looks like I wouldn’t be able to come up with posts until things have settled down. Hope you’re all having a good weekend and have some fun activities lined up that don’t involve packing (or unpacking).

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