Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is goals and resolutions for the coming year. Here are some of mine:

Participate in more Top Ten Tuesday topics. There are so many interesting topics for Top Ten Tuesday that I wanted to participate in but I kept missing them because of various reasons like working overtime and then crashing when I get back to the flat. I should find ways of preparing posts in advance.

Read more physical books from my own TBR pile. I have a pile of unread physical copies both in Manila and in Singapore. During my first year in Singapore, I kept bringing back books whenever I went to visit Manila because I find it comforting to have a full bookshelf where I’m based. But I need to be better about reading them! It’s just so much easier for me to read ebooks nowadays because I usually bring my Kindle with me wherever I go.

My bookshelf in Singapore

My bookshelf in Singapore

Buy ebooks instead of paperbacks and hardcovers. This is connected to my earlier point – I need to stop buying print copies to keep my physical TBR pile from growing. I don’t have a permanent place in Singapore because I’m just renting a room in a flat and I keep moving when the lease ends so it’s such a pain to pack and unpack books whenever I move.

Read more Filipino fiction. I’m making an exception in buying physical books when it comes to Filipino fiction. I would happily buy books written by Filipino authors to show my support. I’ve bought several of them during my current vacation and I’m looking forward to reading them.

Visit other blogs and leave more comments. Back when I had more time for blogging, I used to read all of the posts in the blogs that I follow and comment as much as I can. I haven’t been able to do that for ages but I do visit blogs when I see links shared on Twitter or Facebook. I’m going to try and visit and comment on more blogs next year because I know how fun it is to receive blog comments.

Reread more old favorites. I’ve reread some of my favorite books in the past few months and I should try to do that more often in 2015.

Host another blog event focusing on a favorite author. I LOVE promoting books written by favorite authors, which is why I’ve hosted events like Amour et Florand, EWein Special Ops, Marchetta Madness and Queen’s Thief Week. If time permits, I would love to do a similar event next year. Two authors I would love feature are Robin McKinley and Ilona Andrews.

Keep posting bookstagram pictures. I love Instagram and it’s a lot easier for me to post pictures of books rather than publish a blog post. It’s also fun for me to interact with bloggers and authors on Instagram. If you have a smart phone, I think it’s a good social network to sign up for because it’s pretty easy to use. I also re-post some of Instagram pictures here on the blog to brighten up my posts.

Instagram - December 2014

Visit one of the places from my Top Ten Places I Want to Visit Because of Books. I would love to make this happen but I’m not sure if it’s possible. I really, really want to visit Europe again next year but I have no concrete plans yet. I still need to find friends to travel with.

Keep blogging without pressure. We all know that blogging takes a lot of time and effort. We keep doing it because we love reading and we want to share the experience. Since I moved to Singapore, I’ve been having a difficult time balancing reading and blogging with everything else that I needed to do like work and chores. There are times when I’ve considered stopping for good but then I feel like I would miss blogging too much. So I just need to keep my no pressure policy and just blog whenever I have the time and inclination for it.

Those are my goals and resolutions for 2015 related to reading and blogging. What are some of yours?

Top Ten Blogging Confessions

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I thought this week’s topic is such a fun one. I’m not sure if the things I’ve listed here can all be considered confessions or if they’re just random facts about me. In any case, I had fun coming up with this list and would be interested to know if any of you share my sentiments in any of these things.

1. I have ARC envy from time to time. I can’t help it, it’s hard to wait for books that you want to read right away. So when I see other bloggers sharing pictures or tweets of books that I’m dying to read, I get jealous. Then I have to remind myself that I have so many good books waiting to be read from my own stash.

2. I also get jealous of all the author and book-related events or conferences that are held in other countries. Even Manila has started getting more author events organized by major bookstores (e.g. Stephanie Perkins in the Philippines). If Megan Whalen Turner or Elizabeth Wein or Melina Marchetta ever have a Manila event, I’m definitely booking a flight to see them. Sigh, I can’t even remember the last time I attended a book event.

3. I want a new Kindle. My trusty Kindle Touch is just about to turn 2 years old and it’s still working fine so it wouldn’t be very practical to get a new one. I love that I’ve brought my Kindle with me on my travels (it’s been to Manila, Singapore, Los Angeles, Paris, Barcelona, Aix-en-Provence and Milan) but I really want a Kindle Paperwhite. Mostly for the convenience of having a lighted device.

A shot of my Kindle on the train on the way to Milan. I was reading Thorn by Intisar Khanani

A shot of my Kindle on the train on the way to Milan. I was reading Thorn by Intisar Khanani

4. I tend to ignore the paperbacks and hardcovers in my TBR pile. I’ve become really bad at reading the physical books that I have just because my Kindle is so easy to carry around in my purse. But I still enjoy buying and receiving physical books and I like the comfort of having a bookshelf full of books so now I have quite a number of unread titles. I really should make more of an effort to read these paperbacks and hardcovers, maybe alternate them with ebooks.

5. I measure the prices of things based on books. For example, if I’m considering buying something – let’s say a pretty necklace or a cute dress – and it’s more expensive that what I would usually spend on a thing like that, I would think to myself, “This is expensive, I could buy *insert number of books here* with this price.”

6. Whenever I buy a purse or handbag, I have to check and make sure that at least my Kindle or one book will be able to fit into it. Even if I don’t really get a chance to read during the day, I just feel more comfortable having a book with me.

7. My mood is affected by what I read in the sense that I’m in a good mood when I’m in the middle of (or just finished) a really good book. I also feel a bit lost when I’m not reading anything or if I’m not really enjoying what I’m reading.

8. I used to unfollow people on Twitter but now just use the mute button. I check my Twitter and Instagram feeds on a daily basis so I unfollow or mute people for several reasons: I may find their tweets or posts annoying or I’ve replied to their tweets but they’ve never responded – I mean I get when famous authors don’t respond but for fellow bloggers? I just feel like it’s not a good thing when I’m not able to have a conversation with that person.

9. I feel like I already spend a significant chunk of time on my blogging and yet it’s never enough. I spend a lot of my spare time on reading and blogging because they are my main hobbies. But even though I do that, I’m still behind on blogging in the sense that I don’t get to review all of the books that I read and I don’t get to post as often as I would like. Back when I had more time in my hands, I would also read and comment on all of the posts of the bloggers I follow but nowadays, I’m not able to do that anymore.

10. I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about what got me to start a book blog. Prior to starting my own book blog, I had a personal blog and was a lurker in LiveJournal communities. My friends kept telling me that I should review books because I enjoy reading so much, and I just kept saying that I’m a reader and not a writer. I was in awe of some of the book blogs that I discovered and felt that I wouldn’t be able to come up with something similar. But then I also started seeing other book blogs that were poorly maintained and realized that I could do better (I’m sorry if that sounds mean!) and that pushed me to start my own blog.

WWW Wednesdays: November 20

WWW Wednesdays

WWW WEDNESDAYS… is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next.

Yay, it’s Wednesday and the middle of the week. Just a few more days until the weekend. I’m looking forward to this weekend because I’ll be seeing two movie adaptations: Catching Fire on Friday and then Ender’s Game on Saturday. I hope I’ll be able to squeeze in some reading time as well. So here’s a quick mid-week update care of WWW Wednesdays.

The Boneshaker

I just finished reading The Boneshaker by Kate Milford, which we are discussing in the YAckers book club. I had a hard time getting into it because I found the first half slow but things picked up towards the end. But by that time, I just wasn’t invested in the characters so I didn’t like it as much as I was expecting. Still, check it out if you’re a fan of MG fantasy because it might be something that you’ll enjoy.

Welcome to Envy Park

I just started reading Welcome to Envy Park by Mina V. Esguerra, a Filipino chick lit novella, on my Kindle. It’s always fun to read Mina’s books because I can relate to the characters. Even more so for this one because the MC worked for five years in Singapore and is now back in Manila. I’m liking it so far. I’m also in the middle of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak but I have the paperback and I usually leave my copy at the flat. Since I do most of my reading on the train, I haven’t made that much progress on it. This made me realize that I’m really using my Kindle a lot more these days so maybe I should get more ebooks rather than physical copies in the future.

For Darkness Shows the Stars

As for my next read, I haven’t really decided what to pick up next. I think I’ll just go with what I feel like. If I’m in the mood for fantasy, maybe For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, followed by Across the Star-swept Sea. Or the Touchstone trilogy by Andrea K. Höst. If I’m in the mood for contemporary YA, I’m considering Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (since I enjoyed reading Fangirl), Girl Defective by Simmone Howell and Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller. As you can see, there are way too many tempting options in my TBR pile. But I think having a hard time deciding what to read next is a good problem to have so it’s all good. 🙂

What about the rest of you – what book have you just finished, what are you in the middle of and what are you planning to read next? Have you seen Ender’s Game or Catching Fire? If yes, what did you think of it?

WWW Wednesdays: November 6

WWW Wednesdays

WWW WEDNESDAYS… is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next.

I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday because I’m ready for the weekend! Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to post a quick update by participating in WWW Wednesdays.

Truly

Yesterday, I finished reading Truly by Ruthie Knox, a contemporary romance novel that was made available in serial form. It’s one of my favorite romance reads this year and the whole book is now up on Wattpad if any of you would like to check it out. Before that, I finished read the two volumes of the Saga graphic novel series by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples that are currently out. Another really good read! Hopefully I can review them soon.

The Scarlet Pimpernel

I’m in the middle of The Scarlet Pimpernel on my Kindle. This title has been recommended several times for fans of Megan Whalen Turner’s writing and I decided to bump it up since I’m curious about a retelling of it (Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund). I also started Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, which was supposed to be my Halloween read but I haven’t been able to get back to it.

The Boneshaker

I’m planning to start on The Boneshaker by Kate Milford because the YAckers will be discussing it this month. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I wanted to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak before the movie comes out and I still haven’t done that. Although I haven’t seen an announcement on when the movie will be released in Singapore.

What about the rest of you, what book have you just finished, what are you reading and what are you going to read next?

Want Books: In My Mother’s House

Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted here at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now. Everyone is free to join, just grab the image above. Leave a comment with a link to your post so I can do a roundup with each post.

In My Mother's HouseI don’t get to read as many books written by Filipino authors as I would like to and I think this is mostly because I enjoy reading certain genres and there aren’t a lot of Filipino books that fall under those. Also, I’m not much of a short story reader so even if a book is in a genre that I’m interested in, I’m less likely to read it if it’s an anthology. So whenever a Filipino title grabs my attention, usually because it’s highly recommended by friends, I want to read it. This is the case with In My Mother’s House by Joni Cham, which my friend Chris loved (see her review here).

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

An honest and insightful exploration of the complex, sometimes tortured, relationship between an immigrant Chinese mother and her Philippine-born daughter.

In My Mother’s House guides us across a minefield of personal, familial, and cross-cultural trauma to that place made safer by the finality of death and the possibility of forgiveness and re-birth.

The book is only available in Central Books and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit one of their branches the last time I was in Manila. I’ll try to drop by and get a copy of this when I come home from Christmas. What about you, what book is at the top of your wishlist?

WWW Wednesdays: October 16

WWW Wednesdays

WWW WEDNESDAYS… is a weekly event where you share (1) What you’re currently reading, (2) What you recently finished reading, and (3) What you think you’ll read next.

The blog has been really quiet since last week because I flew to Manila for the weekend. Whenever I go back home, I rarely have enough time to go online and update the blog. I thought it would be a good idea to do WWW Wednesdays this week to let you guys know what I’ve been reading.

The Chocolate Heart

Last book I finished: The last full-length novel that I finished was The Chocolate Heart by Laura Florand. I always enjoy reading Laura’s Amour et Chocolate novels and this one was no exception. It was a really good read, I hope I find time to review it soon.

Fangirl

Currently reading: I’m in the middle of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and I’m liking it so far! Even though I don’t read or write fanfiction, I can totally relate to how Cath is such a fangirl. Here’s a non-spoilery snippet that I liked:

“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one. Cath would move into the World of Mages in a heartbeat.”

The Book Thief

Planning to read next: I’ve had my copy of The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak since 2007 and I still haven’t read it! The movie will be released soon and I want to watch it so I need to bump this up the TBR pile. If I end up loving Fangirl, I might be tempted to follow it up with Rainbow Rowell’s other YA novel, Eleanor and Park.

What about the rest of you, what have you just finished reading, what are you currently in the middle of, and what are you planning to pick up next?

In My Mailbox: The Mary 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.

For the past two weeks, I was able to acquire five actual books, four of which were written by someone named Mary.

The King Must Die by Mary Renault
The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault
My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart
The Gabriel Hounds by Mary Stewart
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Not included in the picture because it’s an ebook, Interim Goddess of Love by Mina V. Esguerra:

All of them have such pretty covers, don’t they? The Mary Renault books were recommended by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Wein, and I’m really excited to read them. I bought the two Mary Stewart books because I want to collect all of her romantic suspense novels. Five Flavors of Dumb is a gift from a good friend of mine, fellow Filipino book blogger Tina of One More Page. Thank you, Tina, for the belated Christmas gift! 🙂 Here’s another bookish gift that I received from Celina:

It’s a leather bracelet that says “READ” and I love it. Thank you, Celina! I’ve already used it. I know it’s not book-related but I also received this postcard from a friend who’s visiting Paris, I think it’s the first postcard that I’ve gotten from France:

Sigh, it’s only the first month of the year and I’ve managed to buy several books. Note to self: read these books before buying new ones. Let’s see if I can read the books in my TBR pile instead of steadily increasing its number. What about the rest of you, what books did you get this week?