Comics and Chocolates Haul

My favorite bookstore in Singapore is Kinokuniya because they have the best stocks. I signed up for membership last January and I have been steadily increasing the size of my TBR pile because if it. They have a marketing trick that works well on me – members get a 10% discount on regular days and a 20% discount on special sale dates. I think sales happen at least once a month? In any case, I’m always tempted to buy books whenever there’s a sale because I want to take advantage of the bigger discount. So this was my comics and chocolates haul last Thursday:

Comics and Chocolates Haul - July 2016

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda
The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

The dark chocolates are from La Cure Gourmande – the four on the left are mint ganache, the middle ones are dark chocolate ganache and the last four are pear-flavored. As for the books… I have been hearing good things about Monstress ever since the first issue was released. I didn’t want to start reading a graphic novel per issue so I had to wait for Vol. 1 to be released. I saw The Last Dragon in a previous bookstore visit and marked it as something I would come back for because I like standalone graphic novels. As for The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, I’ve had the first two volumes since January but still haven’t read them yet! So many books, so little time. I had not anticipated how much real life will be sucking time away from reading.

I also bought an ebook yesterday based on a recommendation from romance author Courtney Milan (you can see her tweets about it here).

Beginner's Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions

Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions (Talking Nerdy #1) by Six delos Reyes is a Filipino romance novel that has a nerdy heroine. I’ve had it on my wishlist for a while but I one clicked it after I saw the rec for Courtney Milan because I don’t want to get left behind in supporting a fellow Filipino!

I really should stop buying more books when I still have SO MANY in my TBR pile but it’s so hard to resist. To be fair, I’ve already finished reading (but not reviewing) the last two books in my previous book haul post. I could use that as my excuse for buying more this time. What about you, have you acquired any new books lately? Have you read any of the titles included in this post? Let me know what you think of them if you have.

V.E. Schwab Book Haul

I survived my first week at the new job! To reward myself, I went to the bookstore and bought two books from this shelf… can you guess which ones they are? πŸ™‚

Kinokuniya bookshelf - taken with Samsung S7

If you guessed A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab then you’re absolutely right! I keep hearing good things about both books from friends so I’ve been wanting to check them out. I know I keep saying I need to buy books in ebook format to save space, but the Kindle editions for these are still pretty pricey, and the UK paperback editions cost just a few more dollars so might as well get physical copies for the prettiness.

V.E. Schwab books

I hope I get to read these soon. Although I’ve heard that the second book ends on a cliffhanger. Maybe I should have waited for all three books to be released before getting the series? Oh well, too late now. πŸ˜›

As an aside, I finally switched from a Samsung S3 to an S7 Edge. The bookshelf pic above was the first one I posted on Instagram using the new phone. I got my old phone when I first moved to Singapore and had it for almost 4 years. I’m loving the upgrade, including having a way better phone camera. So expect nicer shots from me!

Book Haul: World Book Day

Argh, I’m such a book addict. I already went book shopping last month and I haven’t even read the books from that stash and yet I ended up buying more books this weekend. I blame Kinokuniya for having another sale to celebrate World Book Day. It’s so hard to resist buying books when there’s a 20% discount. Here was yesterday’s book haul:

World Book Day 2016 haul

How cute is that latte art with the lion and peacock? Anyway, since the picture may not show the titles clearly, these were the three that I got:

Alex + Ada Amulet The Stonekeeper Seconds

Seconds was a belated birthday gift for my friend. She asked me what I wanted and of course I said books! We went to the bookstore and she let me choose a title that I wanted to read. I’ve been eyeing Seconds for the past few months so I thought it would be a good choice.

Have you read any of these? If yes, what did you think of them? How did you guys celebrate World Book Day? πŸ™‚

Belated Birthday Book Haul

Last March 29 was my birthday and I bought a few books leading up to it. Birthdays are always the perfect excuse to buy books for myself. πŸ™‚ There was a Kinokuniya members’ sale in March so I took advantage of the 20% discount and bought these:

Lazarus and Shortcomings

Because I was able to buy books during the sale, I wasn’t planning to purchase anything else on my birthday. But I ended up dropping by the bookstore to buy some watercolors for my coloring books. I saw my friend try them out and it looked a lot more fun than using colored pencils. Aaand it wasn’t just watercolors that caught my fancy, I saw this newly released graphic novel with watercolor artwork so I decided to grab it too. Seemed like a fitting choice:

5,000km per second

My graphic novel haul:
Lazarus, Vol. 1: Family by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, Santiago Arcas
Lazarus, Vol. 2: Lift by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, Santiago Arcas
Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine
5,000 km Per Second by Manuele Fior

Next, three generous friends pooled their money to give me an Amazon gift card worth USD100. Woohoo! Let’s see how long it will last. πŸ˜› So far, I’ve already bought and read these:

Bryony and Roses

In the Middle of Somewhere

Kindle purchases:
Bryony and Roses by T. Kingfisher
In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish
Out of Nowhere by Roan Parrish (currently reading but not included in the pictures)

Those two last shots just show how much I love tea and desserts. And that last pic is a little bit funny because of the contrast of the smexy book cover versus the dainty tea cup and cake.

It’s Sunday night in this part of the world and as usual, I’m in denial that the weekend is over. I’ll try to squeeze in a little reading time before going to bed. Hope you all had a good weekend! If you’ve made any recent book purchases, feel free to mention them in the comments.

Book Haul: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

On Friday night, I had my favorite ramen (Ippudo) for dinner and (Laduree) macarons for dessert. Since I was in the same area as Kinokuniya’s most well-stocked branch, I decided to drop by for a visit. And after 3.5 years of living in Singapore, I caved and bought a discount card. So I’ll get 10% off on every purchase, and 20% off on special sale dates. I should have done this sooner! I kept holding off because I mostly buy ebooks for myself. The only physical copies I buy are gifts for friends, or graphic novels that I want to read. Since I foresee a lot of graphic novel purchases in my near future, I thought a discount card would be a good purchase. I think Kinokuniya’s graphic novel section is pretty up to date, I was able to find copies whenever I went there to look for certain titles, such as Saga, Rat Queens, The Wicked + Divine and Giant Days. I wanted to take a pic of their shelves but the store was about to close so

book haul - Jan 29, 2016

Last Friday’s impulse buy:
Kinokuniya’s privilege card
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 2: Squirrel You Know It’s True by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

I also saw two other graphic novels series that have new issues. But since I don’t want to start the (expensive) habit of buying per issue, I’m going to wait until Vol. 1 is released for these two:

Monstress Cry Havoc

And two other titles that I wanted but didn’t get because they’re too pricey for me:

Seconds The Sculptor

I need to read the graphic novels that I already have before I buy more! What about you, any recent impulse buys?

Pratical Guide to Christmas Gift Giving

My friends in real life always say that even if they wanted to give me books as presents, they never know what to get for me. Aside from not knowing what title I would enjoy reading, they also have no clue whether I already have a copy of a particular book. I do keep my Goodreads shelves updated but I don’t think my friends would think of checking that site since they don’t have accounts there. I’ve mentioned several times that I would be happy to receive bookstore or Amazon gift cards but some friends refuse to give gift cards, saying that it’s equivalent to just handing money over (I don’t see why that’s a bad thing when it’s money that would be allocated for buying books). I think for them that takes out the fun in gift giving?

Of course, the best way to get a good gift idea is to just ask me directly. Which is what one of my Singapore-based friends did. One of the days we were out together, I brought her to the bookstore and gave her five books that I wanted. We’re both into graphic novels so those were the ones I gave her. I then asked her to choose a title that she would be interested in borrowing. And viola! She has then bought and given me a gift that we’re both happy with:

Christmas 2015 - Nellie's gift

Yes, I know what’s inside but the bookstore offered to gift wrap it for free so it’s nicely covered until I read it. I’m going to suggest this practical gift buying procedure to any friend who wants to buy books for me. πŸ™‚ What do you guys think, do you agree that it’s a good idea? Do you have any other tips regarding this topic?

Christmas Shopping – Singapore Edition

As I mentioned in one of my posts last week, I love the Christmas season. It doesn’t really start feeling like Christmas is near until I start my Christmas shopping. I think it’s a lot of fun to browse around malls, go into stores with Christmas carols playing on their speakers, and try to decide what would make great gifts. This year, I’ve decided that I’ll mostly be giving books as gifts. I was at the bookstore the other day and was able to get Christmas-themed board books for my newborn godson:

Christmas 2015 - Kinokuniya books for Adrian

The bookstore offered free gift wrapping services and I think their Christmas gift wrappers are adorable. These two titles are inside:

Dream Snow Little Santa

I hope my godson enjoys these books! Or I guess I should say, I hope his parents enjoy reading these aloud to him. Another bookish shopping experience that I enjoyed was putting together a Secret Santa package for my book club. This has become a tradition that I’ve participated in for the past three years (the Secret Santa haul I got from previous years: 2012, 2013, 2014). Of course I can’t share the contents so here’s a preview instead:

Christmas 2015 - YAckers Secret Santa

That gift bag is from Kikki.K, the same store where I’ve been getting my planner for the past few years. Fingers crossed that my YAckers Santee will like the stuff I put inside! Now I just need to drop by the post office during the hours that they’re open.

For my friends back home, I’m planning to buy Filipino titles. I was thinking Filipino romance titles (lots of new releases this year) for my girlfriends, Filipino graphic novels for guy friends, and Filipino kiddie books for my godsons. And for those, I wouldn’t be able to start buying them until I’m in Manila. So watch this space for another bookish Christmas shopping update!

What about the rest of you, have you started your Christmas shopping? Planning to give any books as gifts?

Saturday Book Haul: October 10

Yesterday, I dropped by the library and today, I dropped by the bookstore. Tonight’s book haul:
Book Haul - October 10, 2015

Three Filipino romance titles published by Visprint, which my friend Chris Mariano got for me:
Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano
Save the Cake by Stella Torres
Vintage Love by Agay Llanera

Three books from Kinokuniya:
Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Funny story, my friends and I met up for dinner because they needed to pass along these books. Basically, they were kind enough to serve as book mules when they had a recent trip to Manila. After having dimsum for dinner, it was decided that we’ll drop by Kinokuniya because they’re having a weekend sale. I wasn’t really planning on buying anything, except maybe consider getting adult coloring books and colored pencils. But I was surprised when I found out that they had copies of Archivist Wasp – I didn’t think it would be available in Singapore. I couldn’t resist grabbing a copy because of its gorgeous cover, and also this review from The Book Smugglers. I was also surprised that the bookstore had copies of Nimona, and even Lumberjanes (which I resisted). I’ve been meaning to read more graphic novels so I had the perfect excuse to buy Nimona and This One Summer, I’ve heard good things about both of them.

My friends also bought books that they wanted so we all left the bookstore with heavier bags and lighter wallets. I haven’t even read the books from my previous hauls, and here I am getting new ones. What about you guys, have you visited bookstores lately? What are the books that you’ve recently bought or received?

Sunday as a Book Godmother

I’ve been sick since Friday because of the haze in Singapore. Haze is pollution caused by forest fires in the region. These fires are deliberately done to clear the forests for commercial use. And the haze spreads out to nearby countries. The haze has reached hazardous levels and was bad enough that schools cancelled their classes last Friday. I’ve tried my best to get as much rest as I can over the weekend, but sadly, I still feel like crap. I only ventured out of the flat to grab dinner and tonight, I also dropped by the bookstore to pick up some books for my friend’s baby shower next weekend. Books were in their gift registry so being the self-proclaimed Book Godmother that I am, that’s what I decided to get for them.

Kinokuniya - book haul - Sept 27 2015
These were the titles I grabbed:
Kinokuniya - book haul gift wrapped - Sept 27 2015
Kinokuniya - book haul baby books  - Sept 27 2015

I actually got four books but I wasn’t able to take a shot of all the titles because the bookstore was about to close. So here’s a list:
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee
Oh, Baby, the Places You’ll Go! by Tish Rabe, Dr. Seuss
There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! by Dr. Seuss
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, Anita Jeram

I think this is the first time I’ve seen and read All the World and was pleasantly surprised by how lovely it was. I might consider getting another one for my toddler godson back in Manila. Dr. Seuss books and Guess How Much I Love You are staple titles for me, and I’ve gifted these to my other godsons before. Aside from these, I also got some Filipino kiddie books during my last trip home:
NBS - book haul - Sept 27, 2015
Ang Palasyo ng mga Duwende / The Palace of the Dwarves by Christine S. Bellen, Albert Gamos
Ang Pitong Tanga /The Seven Idiots by Christine S. Belen, Ruben de Jesus
Ang Prinsipeng Unggoy / The Monkey Prince by Christine S. Belen, Hubert B. Fucio

While my friends IRL rarely check my book blog unless I send them a specific link, I still need to keep my fingers crossed that my friend won’t see that titles that I got for her baby prior to next weekend!

I didn’t get any books for myself during this bookstore visit, but I was tempted to join the adult coloring book bandwagon. I just didn’t have enough time to browse and choose a good one:
Kinokuniya - Sept 27, 2015 - adult coloring books

Well, I hope you all had a much nicer weekend that I did! I’m going to go to bed soon and I’m hoping I’ll feel better tomorrow because this upcoming week will be super busy at work. If you have any recommendations for kiddie board books or adult coloring books, feel free to let me know.

Book Haul: Kinokuniya Part 2

Kinokuniya was having a sale last weekend and since my flatmates are members, I went with them to see if I could take advantage of the 20% discount. I know I keep harping on how expensive books are here and I usually rather buy copies in Manila for UK or US editions that are also available there. So when bookstores have sales here, I usually aim for books that I can’t get back home or through Book Depository like Aussie titles. Most of the ones I wanted were out of stock but it made me happy that Paper Chains by Nicola Moriarty was there.

book haul - paper chains

I’ve been wanting to read Nicola Moriarty’s books for a while now and I’m glad I will finally be able to try her writing. I got an extra copy to swap with my friend Maggie of Young Adult Anonymous, I know she’s a fan of Aussie fiction as well.

I was walking around the bookstore, trying to decide what else to get and I was just thinking that it would be great if I could find books similar to Laura Florand’s since I enjoy reading her books so much. Lo and behold, The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan pops up! I knew it was a sign that I should grab a copy. It’s rare for me to buy a book just based on the cover and synopsis because I usually rely on reviews from fellow book bloggers. Let’s see if this lives up to my expectations.

book haul - loveliest chocolate shop in paris

That’s a French-themed postcard made out of washi tape right beside the book. What about the rest of you, have you bought or borrowed any books lately?