Chachic's Book Nook


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Best of 2016

Happy New Year! 😀 I think we can all agree that 2016 was a difficult year on so many levels. There was so many things happening on an international scale, as well as in the Philippines (which still affects me a great deal even if I’m based in Singapore for work). On a personal front, I resigned from my previous job and started a new one. It hasn’t been smooth sailing and I’ve been struggling with having a sense of belonging. Of course, all of these have affected my reading and blogging life, which is why I haven’t been posting as much as I would want to. I’m still online on a daily basis but it has been easier for me to constantly update the social networks that I have on my phone such as Litsy (username: Chachic), Twitter and Instagram. Going forward, I think this will continue for a while. It’s just so much easier for me to check, update and reply on my phone. My laptop has been acting up and it’s been a pain to open it up and go online. Plus real life stuff happening has made everything harder. The struggle is real!

Anyway, I have a tradition of posting my favorite reads for the previous year whenever the new year rolls around, I’m a few days late but it’s still within the first week of 2017! You can check out my previous posts through these links: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. In no particular order, here are the books that I loved in 2016 (linked to my reviews if I have them):

a-darker-shade-of-magic a-gathering-of-shadows The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms the-broken-kingdoms

a-promise-of-fire magic-binds master-of-crows

Act Like It Summer Skin In the Middle of Somewhere Out of Nowhere

Amulet The Stonekeeper Monstress fresh-romance

It’s safe to say that I read more than I blogged in 2016. 😛 That’s seven speculative fiction titles, four contemporary romance and three graphic novels. It’s funny because the easiest genre for me to get into is contemporary romance but it looks like the books that stand out more for me are fantasy titles. I think my sweet spot is fantasy with a well-written romance. In addition to these, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you would know that I’ve been trying to read and promote books written by Filipino authors. I haven’t read that many of them this year but the ones I enjoyed reading have been:

Beginner's Guide - Love and Other Chemical Reactions Iris After the Incident

That’s 2016 for me. How was yours? What were your favorite reads from the past year? 🙂


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Ten Bookworm Delights

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie and I chose to do a topic that I missed a few weeks ago: Bookworm Delights, or random bookish things that make me happy. In no particular order, my picks are:

Book cafes! Of course, I’m a fan of normal cafes where I can hang out and read but book cafes are even better. I have posts about book cafes that I’ve visited both in Manila and Singapore in this tag.

The Reading Room SG - artwork

The Reading Room cafe in Singapore, which I visited last Sunday.

Book sales and bargain books. I’m such a sucker for bargain or discounted books, like I can go crazy whenever Kinokuniya has a 20% store-wide discount. I also tend to one click Kindle editions when they’re just 0.99usd or 1.99usd.

The smell of books. That smell that hits you whenever you walk into a library or a bookstore or really any place that has piles of books. It’s such a comforting kind of smell, and I know it’s been replicated by some perfume and candle brands but I don’t know if they’re any good.

Bookish clothes and accessories. I think it makes every book nerd happy to wear something that represents books that she/he loves. Even better if someone else recognizes it! That has never happened to me though.

Harry Potter time turner necklace

Time turner from Harry Potter

Never being bored during my spare time because there are always books waiting to be read (and a blog waiting to be updated). Being a book blogger is really more of a lifestyle than just a mere hobby, and I know I would find life a bit more difficult to handle if I didn’t have books or my blog to cheer me up.

Having free time to read like when several hours stretch out when I don’t have to do chores or run errands or meet people. Or give up sleep to get some reading done. When you have an ever expanding TBR pile, it always feels like there’s never enough time to read so it feels like a gift when you get pockets of uninterrupted reading time.

Getting meaningful comments on my blog, like the type that can spark discussion or the ones that have book recommendations based on what they’ve seen me talk about. Those are the best kinds of comments and I’m very grateful whenever I receive them.

When someone picks up a book based on my recommendation. It still comes as a pleasant surprise whenever someone mentions that they read a book based on something that I said. And it makes me even happier when someone else enjoys a book as much as I did.

Book-related anticipation. When you’re in the middle of a really good book and can’t wait for the work day to finish. Or when you’re counting down the days, weeks, moths or in some cases, YEARS until the release date of a sequel or a book that you’ve been waiting for. I know I keep saying “I can’t wait!” to read a certain title, but the anticipation is part of the fun.

Having bookish places to visit when on vacation, like bookstores or libraries or the setting of a book. Sometimes, this can even be the highlight of the trip for me.

Aix-en-Provence - Bibliothèque Méjanes

Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix-en-Provence in the South of France

What about you, what are bookish things that you find delightful? 🙂


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BBAW: Staying Connected

BBAW 2016 - CommunityConnection

I didn’t even realize that Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW) got a reboot and is being hosted over at The Estella Society. I’ve joined BBAW in previous years and would have prepared more posts if I found out about it sooner. I’m glad that I found out about it just in time to join today’s prompt: how to stay connected in the book blogging world. Making and maintaining connections is probably the main reason why I blog. I love being part of the bookish community. I love being able to talk about an aspect of my life that my friends in real life and family don’t really understand. I have been blogging since 2010 (yeah, even I’m surprised at how long it’s been), and I’ve used various methods to stay connected with people over the years. Currently, I stay connected through these:

Blog events – This is the first thing that came to mind because hey, I’m writing this post as part of BBAW. Other blog events that I’ve joined are ArmchairBEA, Bloggiesta and online activities hosted by Filipino ReaderCon. I have also organized my own blog events such as The Queen’s Thief Week, Marchetta Madness, EWein Special Ops and Amour et Florand. I would love to organize more blog events but I haven’t been able to do so because real life has been getting in the way.

Meet-ups – I don’t get to do face to face meet-ups as often as I’d like since I moved to Singapore so I think it’s always great whenever I get a chance to meet an online bookish friend in person. I get so jealous of all the bookish events and meet-ups that are held in Manila, if I was still based there, I would definitely show up.

Memes – Nowadays, the only meme I actively join is Top Ten Tuesday. I like TTT because there’s a new topic every week and it also lets me discover new-to-me blogs.

Twitter – I’m on Twitter as @chachic_ because “chachic” is taken. I joined Twitter the year I started blogging, and I didn’t even have a smartphone back then. I thought it was awesome because it let me interact with authors. My day was made whenever an author replied to one of my tweets (actually I still feel that way until now). Also, it’s easier to keep in touch with fellow bloggers on Twitter because I can just check it whenever I have time like every morning while on the train to work. And it’s easy to send a tweet whenever I have a random thought or question that I want to share. Oh and I find out about book bargains on Twitter too, like when Kindle editions go on sale for just USD0.99 or they’re free for a limited time.

Goodreads – I keep my Goodreads profile updated because it helps me keep track of the books that I read and the ones on my wishlist. I always check my Goodreads shelves whenever I need to make a list or an update for the blog.

Instagram – I’m on Instagram as chachickenpie. It’s probably my second favorite social networking site after Twitter. It’s just a lot of fun for me to take pictures and to browse through my friends’ posts. While my Instagram posts are mostly book-related (and tagged with #bookstagram or #instabooks), I also share random pictures of my day-to-day life here in Singapore.

Facebook – I’m not as big of a fan of Facebook but I do have a Facebook page for the blog, where I share links of my blog posts. My book club, YAckers also uses Facebook to have discussions. I’m a member of some bookish Facebook groups but I’m mostly a lurker in those.

Messaging apps like Whatsapp / Viber – Aside from email, I keep in touch with friends through Whatsapp or Viber. I think these apps are more common in the Philippines and Singapore than abroad? They’re basically like texting. I use these apps to keep in touch with some of my bookish buddies who have given up blogging.

Commenting on other blogs – Leaving comments on other people’s blogs used to be the best way to have discussions but nowadays, more and more people are replying on Twitter or Facebook instead. I guess it’s easier for them to leave comments as they click on links shared. I try to reply to all comments that I receive in all platforms, be it WordPress, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I feel like it’s a way to show my appreciation for the comments that I get. LOL I also don’t get that many comments so it’s not a difficult for me to reply to all of them.

Those are the various ways I stay in touch with the book blogging community. Do we share similar ways of communicating? How do you stay in touch with the community?


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Bookish Skirts

On Monday, I received a package that I’ve been waiting for from the UK. I knew right away what it was: the skirts I ordered from Interrobangart.

Interrobangart - package

Interrobangart - skirts

Aren’t they pretty? I think I was browsing on Instagram when I came across the bookish/library skirt. I think every book blogger would agree with me when I say that I like having book-related items of clothing. I really, really wanted that skirt because I’ve always wanted a bookish skirt or dress that I can wear to work. I even considered ordering bookish fabric from Spoonflower but then I realized that it would be a pain to find someone to sew it into a nice dress or skirt. I eventually gave in to ordering from Interrobangart, even though I initially hesitated because the price was more than I would usually spend on a skirt. And since I was going to pay for shipping, I thought why not order another one? The fairy design caught my eye because it is somewhat related to fairy tales. 😛 Plus blue is my favorite color.

I think the last time I ordered bookish clothes was when I had my Threadless phase, back when their shirts were just around USD 9 each and shipping wasn’t too expensive either. I haven’t worn those shirts in ages! Mostly because I’ve gained weight and I look like a sausage in them. 😦 I’m going to think positively and say that I hope I can fit in them again soon.

Do you have bookish items of clothing too? Any tips on where else I can buy them that wouldn’t cost too much? My usual worry is that shipping to Singapore will be expensive.


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Book Haul: SG Book Deals

Last weekend, I posted an announcement of the SG Book Deals warehouse sale and today, I dropped by to check it out. I wanted to go today because it’s the first day of the sale and I was thinking there would be more stocks than any other day. I had to figure out how to get to the place – took the MRT to Bishan and then took the bus – so I arrived there sometime in the late afternoon. I was surprised to see so many people hunting for books! Originally, I wanted to buy kiddie books for my godsons but looks like they ran out of good titles. They said they will replenish stocks tomorrow but I don’t think I would have time to go.

SG Book Deals - August 2015

SG Book Deals - August 2015 - 2

SG Book Deals - August 2015 - 3

They’re having an SG50 promo where you can fill one of these boxes with as many books that can fit into it and just pay SGD50! Of course, people took advantage of this and I saw a lot of them holding boxes while browsing around.

SG Book Deals - August 2015 - 4

I didn’t fill a box but the sellers were kind enough to give me an eco bag while I was browsing. My book haul includes these titles:

SG Book Deals - August 2015 - book haul 1

SG Book Deals - August 2015 - book haul 2

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Mouse Bird Snake Wolf by David Almond and Dave McKean
Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil
Preloved by Shirley Marr
Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart
Blood Storm by Rhiannon Hart
Red Ink by Julie Mayhew
West End Girls by Jenny Colgan
Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend by Jenny Colgan
The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson
Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O’Porter
The Prince Who Walked with Lions by Elizabeth Laird
Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart
Salem Brownstone: All Along the Watchtowers by John Harris Dunning and Nikhil Singh

FYI, I wiped the floor before putting down the books. 😛 I think it looks nicer when you can see all the covers. I thought it was awesome that they had some Aussie YA titles! I also couldn’t resist getting copies of two favorite books, Code Name Verity and A Monster Calls. I don’t have this particular edition of the former and I can always give away copies of the latter.

The sale will last until August 10 so I’m including the details again, in case you want to check it out:
SG BOOK DEALS WAREHOUSE SALE POSTER

Event details:
Date: 1-10 August 2015
Time: 11am to 7pm (Weekends & Public Holiday); 11am to 2pm (Weekdays)
Venue: No. 438 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 1, Singapore 569619 (Opposite Pathlight School, above Rozel Furnishing Store)


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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?