BBAW Post: Yay for Book Bloggers!

It’s time for Book Blogger Appreciation Week again! I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last BBAW. I had fun participating in the daily topics and the other activities so I decided to sign up again this year. It’s going to be a busy bookish week because we’re having the first ever Filipino Reader Conference on Wednesday as well. Anyway, in today’s introductory posts, we’re requested to highlight a couple of bloggers that have made book blogging a unique experience for us. I’ve met so many awesome individuals through the blogosphere and I want to mention all of them but I guess I have to settle for the ones that are in my blogroll (check out the sidebar). I feel like they’re the bloggers that I get to interact with the most, through blog comments, Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads and I usually get my recommendations from them. It doesn’t hurt that I think we have similar taste in books. I would seriously love to meet all them in person but I have no idea if I’ll be able to do that. Even if several bodies of water separate me from these bloggers, they’re all very real to me and I consider them friends.♥ They’re all excellent bloggers so please drop by and check out their blogs if you’ve never heard of them.

Sabrina of About Happy Books
Angie of Angieville
Holly of Book Harbinger
Charlotte of Charlotte’s Library
Kristen of Fantasy Cafe
April of Good Books and Good Wine
Nomes of Inkcrush
Nic of Irresistible Reads
Janice of Janicu’s Book Blog
Brandy of Random Musings of a Bibliophile
Michelle of See Michelle Read
Chelle of Tempting Persephone
Capillya of That Cover Girl
Ana and Thea of The Book Smugglers

Whew, hope that list wasn’t too long for you guys. But wait, I’m not done yet! This post wouldn’t be complete if I don’t mention some of my fellow Filipino Book Bloggers. I actually get to meet these guys in person and I love our meet ups and discussions. It’s funny because not all of them read the same kinds of books that I do but we always manage to talk about so many things when we meet in person. It also makes me happy that I get to borrow books from some of them because lessening the number of books that I buy is a good thing, right? So if you’re curious about other Filipino bloggers, please browse through this list:

Tarie of Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind
Charles of Bibliophile Stalker
Honey of Coffeespoons
Chris of Ficsation
Aldrin of Fully Booked .Me
Aaron of Guy Gone Geek
Tina of One More Page
Paolo of Rocket Kapre
Jason of Taking a Break
Celina of The Bookkeeper

I could go on and on but there’s not enough space for all the bloggers that I interact with so I’m sorry if I missed anyone. If you participated in today’s BBAW topic, feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments section. Happy BBAW, everyone! πŸ™‚


ReaderCon Filipino Friday: Introduction

I’m participating in the Filipino Friday memes in preparation for the Filipino Reader Conference. If you’re a Filipino reader, feel free to join the weekly meme! It’s a way for all of us to interact and to involve even those who won’t be able to make it to the actual ReaderCon event. To my blog followers not based in the Philippines, I think I’ll mostly talk about things that you already know about me but I still hope you wouldn’t mind seeing my posts. This week’s topic is a getting-to-know-you kind of thing and we basically need to introduce the reader we are. I’ve always been a fan of epic fantasy and when I started the blog, I mostly read books under that genre. But then I quickly realized through blog and Goodreads friends that there are so many awesome books from other genres and I’ve expanded my reading tastes since then. Now I read all sorts of contemporary fiction (both adult and young adult), fantasy (fairy tale retellings, historical fantasy, epic fantasy and urban fantasy although not YA paranormal romance), magic realism, a bit of sci-fi and some historical fiction. I have a list of favorites that you can view here.

My comfort reads are books by my favorite authors: Megan Whalen Turner, Robin McKinley, Sherwood Smith, Kristin Cashore, Eva Ibbotson, Elizabeth E. Wein, Juliet Marillier, Ilona Andrews and Melina Marchetta. Or if I feel like a reading slump is about to happen, I’ll pick up something fun and light by Julie James or Jennifer Crusie. Let me know if you’ve read any of their books, I love chatting about my favorite authors. πŸ™‚

In no particular order, here are some of the best books that I’ve read in 2011:
Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Unsticky by Sarra Manning
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell

And before I end this post, I think the ReaderCon’s co-presenters and sponsors deserve a shout out. Thank you, Vibal Publishing House, Inc., Primetrade Asia (organizers of the Manila International Book Fair), Flipside Digital Content and Scholastic Philippines.

Other places where I can be found: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Goodreads. What about the rest of you, what kind of reader are you? πŸ™‚

In My Mailbox: Scholastic Edition

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. This meme is about books that you received or bought during the week.

I think I’ve been successful in trying to curb my book buying urges as proven by my lack of In My Mailbox posts the past couple of weeks. I received a couple of free books this weekend and I wanted to make a post to share the titles as well as thank those who gave the books.

The lovely Kristen of Fantasy Cafe was kind enough to send me an ARC of Eona by Alison Goodman when she found out that I’m interested in reading it as soon as I finish Eon. Thank you, Kristen, for sending it all the way to the Philippines! πŸ™‚ The Returning by Christine Hinwood is a book that I ordered from the Book Depository because it comes highly recommended by two of my favorite authors: Megan Whalen Turner and Melina Marchetta. I’ve seen lukewarm reviews but I’m still curious about it.

Photo taken by Tarie

Joyce and Roselle of Scholastic Philippines organized a dinner for book bloggers last Friday and as always, it’s nice to meet in person with other book bloggers to talk about bookish things. I met Ron, Leia and Meann for the first time. Other familiar faces there were Blooey, Tarie, Tina and Aaron. It was also the first time that I received actual review copies (not counting galleys) from a publisher and I’m so excited to read the books that I got.

The bags were personalized and I think they based their choices on the kind of books that we read so thank you, Joyce and Roselle, for being so thoughtful! Tarie and I got Linger because we’ve already read Shiver while Tina got the two Wolves of Mercy Falls books. Aaron didn’t get any of the paranormal YA books because he isn’t interested in those while Blooey got Beauty Queens because she already has a copy of Linger. It makes me happy that publishers are now paying attention to local book bloggers.

Numbers by Rachel Ward
Numbers 2: The Chaos by Rachel Ward
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Clarity by Kim Harrington
The Cry of Icemark by Stuart Hill
Blade of Fire by Stuart Hill
Last Battle of the Icemark by Stuart Hill
Mockingjay leather bookmark

Let me know what you think of these books if you’ve read them already. What books did you get in your mailbox?

Other accounts of the Scholastic dinner:
Tarie of Into the Wardrobe
Tina of One More Page

ArmchairBEA: Nurturing Relationships

Today’s ArmchairBEA topic is all about “relationships you’ve formed with a particular publisher, author, blogger, or bookstore.” Since I already mentioned in the post featuring international bloggers that I don’t really receive review copies from publishers, I thought I’d write about relationships with fellow bloggers and authors instead. I mostly interact with authors through Twitter. It’s the main reason I signed up for it. If I loved a book and gave it a glowing review, I’d mention the author in my tweet and sometimes, they’d reply or even retweet what I said. That kind of thing always makes my day. So if you’re a book blogger who still doesn’t have a Twitter account, go and sign up!

When it comes to relationships with fellow bloggers, I’d like to bring up the Filipino Book Bloggers group. I’ve mentioned this group in my other ArmchairBEA posts but I just wanted to say that our meet ups every other month are really a lot of fun. Our meet ups usually start in the afternoons but then we’d move on to explore the nearest bookstores in the area and we’d end up having dinner eventually. Even though only a handful of these bloggers share my reading tastes, like Tina, Celina and Aaron, I still think it’s a great idea to actually meet book lovers in person and talk about anything and everything book-related.

When it comes to international book bloggers, I feel like I always mention the same people but I can’t help it! They’re really the ones who influence my reading and blogging habits and I feel like they’ve become friends even if we only communicate through the interwebs: Holly of Book Harbinger, Janice of Janicu’s Book Blog, Michelle of See Michelle Read, Angie of Angieville and Nomes of Inkcrush. If you haven’t heard of these ladies, you better check out their blogs. Whenever they recommend a book, I’m always tempted to grab a copy as soon as I can. I also appreciate that both Holly and Michelle comment on most of my posts; Janice and Angie have sent me copies of out of print books that I really wanted to read but were not available in the Philippines (Clockwork Heart from Janice and The Road Home from Angie); and Nomes has introduced me to so many excellent Aussie authors. I would really love to meet all of these girls and so many other blogging buddies in person. Maybe sometime in the future when I have a US visa and enough money to go to NYC for BEA. πŸ™‚

Latest Filipino Book Bloggers Meet Up

The Filipino Book Bloggers had a meet up last Saturday, May 14. It was a very casual meet up, mostly just chitchat about books and introductions of some new members who decided to drop by. We didn’t discuss any serious topics like we did in previous meet ups and there was an informal book swap where people exchanged books that they were willing to pass on. As always, it was a lot of fun to talk about books in person and I’m glad that these meet ups are becoming a regular thing.

My friend Ian dropped by to take some pictures. Here’s our makeshift sign:


Tina looks like she’s teasing Aaron about something:


Jason and Celina, I wonder what they were talking about here?


And Tarie, who was the only one who got there on time:


Just realized that we forgot to take a picture of the whole group. Thank you to everyone who attended and for the first timers, it was nice meeting you all. πŸ™‚ You can see the rest of the pictures here and also Tarie’s post about the event.

March 12 FBB Meet Up

The March 12 Filipino Book Bloggers meet up held at Libreria Pilipinas. Thank you for coming – Aldrin, Ruby, Aaron, Celina, Ren, Kristel, Blooey, Mina and her husband, Mike. Had a great time, as always! Of course, we talked about books while munching on popcorn, eating doughnuts and drinking coffee. So many topics were discussed that I wasn’t able to keep track of everything but off the top of my head, some of them were:

  • e-publishing vs. traditional publishing
  • the Nook vs. the Kindle and e-reading in general, including ebook piracy
  • local publishing and local books
  • discussions about genres – YA and romance
  • how most of us would love to go to BEA or Comic Con
  • retail therapy and book hoarding
  • blogging and how it relates to you personal life

I hope the others decide to post their own account of the meet up so they can discuss some of the topics that I missed. We also had a book swap, similar to the rules of the white elephant gift exchange. Each blogger bought a favorite book and we all promised to review the book that we received (no deadline though so anytime during our lifetime). I got Paper Towns by John Green from Aaron. Can you guess what are the books that I brought for the swap?

It’s always fun to meet in person with bookish people and just talk about anything book-related. As an added bonus, I got to meet one of my favorite local authors – Mina V. Esguerra, who I interviewed in this post. Her husband, Michael A.R. Co, is also a writer and now I want to read his work as well! Here’s a fan girl picture:

Again, thanks to everyone who was able to attend and to those who weren’t there, we missed you guys! Let me know when you want the next meet up to be so we can schedule it.

Other accounts of the meet up:

FBB Invades FFP’s Best and Worst Meet Up

Thank you to the folks of Flips Flipping Pages for inviting the Filipino Book Bloggers to take part in their Best and Worst 2010 Reads event held at Libreria in Cubao X. I won’t be able to name all of the attendees because there were so many of us. The afternoon started off with food, of course, then we all trooped to the bookstore. I was actually surprised that we all fit inside Libreria and that we were able to discuss all of our best and worst reads in a reasonable amount of time. Each person had one minute to say something about the best and worst book that he or she read in 2010. Some of the choices were surprising, some were not but overall, it was interesting to see what appealed to other readers and why. After the sharing, there was a book swap, which was a lot of fun and something that I hope to recreate in the next Filipino Book Bloggers’ meet up. Overall, a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I think it’s always a good thing when I get to talk about books with other people. πŸ™‚

Here’s a group pic that I grabbed from Rhett:

Chasing Adarna

I know I’ve mentioned Filipino Book Bloggers several times already here on my blog but I’m just so excited because the site got a makeover this weekend. To those who don’t know, Filipino Book Bloggers is a site that I created to encourage all Filipino book bloggers around the world to come together and get to know each other better. As long as you’re Filipino and you blog about books, you’re welcome to sign up.

I already wrote about this over at Filipino Book Bloggers but I just wanted to share this with my blog readers as well. My friend, Ronjo Solis has graciously designed an artwork for the site’s banner, entitled Chasing Adarna. Click on the link to check it out. Here’s the full version of the image, click to embiggen and see the details:

So, what do you guys think? Gorgeous, right? πŸ™‚ Here’s Ronjo’s explanation about the artwork:

The main focal point of the artwork is the kids soaring through reading. We are at our highest and our happiest when we do the things we love. Kids well represent that sort of pure happiness, so that’s what I thought to draw. πŸ™‚ The text in the book spine is Alibata for Filipino = Pilipinu.

I definitely agree with what Ronjo said, we are at our happiest when we do what we love and I know that in most of our cases, that’s when we read. I love the artwork and message behind it, how it represents the idea that we can soar through the skies (or wherever we want to go) using our imagination and the books that we read. It’s like a magic carpet ride, only instead of a magic carpet, we have the magic of books. I also like that the kids in the artwork look Filipino and that Ronjo used Alibata (a pre-Spanish Philippine writing system) for the book spine.

Calling All Filipino Book Bloggers

I just created a Filipino Book Bloggers directory. Click on the link to find out more about it.

I’ve noticed that Filipino book bloggers are increasing in number and I wanted to have one site which I can regularly come back to whenever I want to explore these other blogs. It doesn’t matter what genre you focus on or where you’re located, just as long as you’re a Filipino book blogger, you’re welcome to join. πŸ™‚ I hope to have a more comprehensive list as word spreads around.