Book Haul: An ARC, Ebooks and Postcards

Time for another Book Haul post! It’s been raining the past couple of days here in Manila so the weather’s perfect for curling up in bed with a good book. I was pretty bummed when I requested Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass over at NetGalley and got denied because I kept hearing good things about it. Luckily, my good friend Janice volunteered to send her extra review copy:

I was pleasantly surprised that the package arrived after only two weeks. Thank you so much for sending it, Janice! And for the pretty For Darkness Shows the Stars bookmark – that’s another book that I’m planning to read soon. I’m also looking forward to reading these ebooks:

My Life Next DoorSecond Chance Summer

Easy by Tammara Webber
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Adorkable by Sarra Manning
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

I also received a couple of postcards this week so I thought I might as well include them here instead of coming up with another post. Here’s the first stash:


The grumpy kid in the upper left is from fellow Filipino book blogger Chris of Ficsation, she sent it from Japan. The Miss Saigon postcard is from Vietnam, a friend sent it while on vacation. The one at the bottom is from my postcard pen pal Steph from Korea. These postcards are making me want to visit the countries where they came from! Would love to go to Japan, Vietnam and Korea someday.

These two are from author Elizabeth Fama and they’re related to her upcoming novel, Monstrous Beauty:

postcards from Elizabeth Fama

Thank you for the lovely postcards, ladies! What about you, got any books or postcards recently?

Book Haul: Hazel Osmond

I got home yesterday and there were two postcards and a package waiting for me:

The postcard on the left is from a fellow Postcrosser, she said she chose that design for me because she couldn’t get philatelic stamps. The postcard on the right is from a friend of mine from Hangzhou, China. Wondering what’s inside the package? Check it out:

It’s a copy of The First Time I Saw Your Face by Hazel Osmond! I thoroughly enjoyed Hazel Osmond’s debut novel, Who’s Afraid of Mr. Wolfe, and I’m really looking forward to reading this one. And look, it’s a signed copy:

Thank you, Hazel, for sending a copy of your latest novel. What about the rest of you, got any snail mail lately?

Postcard Love: FSCC Postal Heritage Walking Tour

Every third Sunday of the month, Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club hosts a free Postal Heritage Walking Tour. My friend and I decided to check it out today because we’re both interested in collecting postcards.

FSCC Postal Heritage Walking Tour

Tour guide is Mr. Lawrence Chan:

Mr Lawrence Chan

The tour started in Liwasang Bonifacio, across from the Manila Post Office.

Liwasang Bonifacio

Here are pictures of one of the most beautiful buildings in Manila – the Manila Post Office (no, this isn’t where I pick up the packages that I receive):

Manila Post Office

Philpost Mailman Statue

Manila Post Office_Inside

Manila Post Office_Hallway

What is a Stamp

Some old Philippine stamps that I picked up:

Old Philippine Stamps

I have no idea why I ended up buying these when I’m not even really a stamp collector. I got sucked in by how pretty they looked. I used to have a small collection when I was a kid but I’m not even sure where my old stamp album is right now. Snippets of the lecture, vintage Philippine stamps and postcards:

Vintage Manila Postcard

Postcard Love: Hong Kong Edition

I’m back from Hong Kong! I was so excited for this trip because it’s my first out of the country trip this year and the first stamps on my shiny new passport (I got it renewed late last year). Also, it’s my first time in Hong Kong. I haven’t done a Postcard Love post in a while and I thought it would be nice to do one about my trip. Let’s start with these free ad postcards from our hostel, I included a map of Hong Kong in the picture:

Here are a bunch of touristy postcards that I bought and sent while I was there:

We went to Hong Kong Disneyland and it was a lot of fun! Wish we got to spend more than a day there because we weren’t even able to explore the whole place. I wanted to get a lot of souvenirs but they were expensive so I only ended up getting a postcard set and some of those coin press souvenirs. Also, I thought it was great that visitors could send postcards inside Disneyland – too bad they didn’t have special edition Disney stamps to match the postcards.

Hong Kong Disneyland souvenirs

Here’s a closer look at the coins:

Hong Kong Disneyland coin presses

And the Disney postcards inside the set:

Hong Kong Disneyland postcards

When I got back from the trip, I found these lovely postcards waiting for me at home:

May 24 Postcards

One from my friend when she traveled to Cambodia, one from Australia care of my good friend Nomes of Inkcrush and two from Scotland! Here are the stamps:

May 24 Postcards Stamps

Guess who sent the Scottish postcards? They’re from one of my favorite authors ever, Elizabeth Wein! I think this is the first time that I’ve received a postcard from an author. Yay, I now have her signature:

EWein postcard

Maybe I should insert these postcards in my copies of her books? πŸ˜€ I also dropped by a bookstore on our last day in Hong Kong but I thought I’d come up with a separate post for that. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you’ve received any snail mail recently.

Book Haul: Guys, Girls and Postcards

Remember my post about Mina V. Esguerra’s latest book? I won a copy of it! Got the package from Mina last Friday:

Mina V. Esguerra's books

That Kind of Guy by Mina V. Esguerra
Lucas ♥ shirt (Lucas is the swoon-worthy main character in Fairy Tale Fail)

signed copy of That Kind of Guy

Thank you so much for this, Mina! I already finished reading That Kind of Guy this weekend and I hope to review it soon. I had lunch and dinner with friends in Fort last Saturday so I was able to squeeze in a visit to Fully Booked’s branch there:

Fully Booked bookstore purchases

I used the last of the gift certificates (GCs) that I received for my birthday and I’m kind of sad that I don’t have bookstore GCs anymore but yay, new books:

Fully Booked purchases

Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairly in a Ship of Her Own Making by Cat Valente
Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
Will Barnet book of postcards

All three of these books were the last pieces left so I felt like I was meant to get them! I’m sure I’m not the only one who rationalizes book purchases that way. I’ve been wanting a copy of Girl in the Arena for a while now so I decided to grab it while it’s still available. I’ve also heard good things about Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland and I love that it has chapter illustrations:

Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland illustration

So I’m not even familiar with Will Barnet’s work but I decided to buy the postcard book because I went through the artwork and I liked what I saw. It contains 30 postcards but I don’t think I’ll be sending them out anytime soon.

Will Barnet postcards

It was a pretty good weekend, book-wise. Also went out for dinner last night with the family – our Mother’s Day treat for my mom. Belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! πŸ™‚ How was your weekend? Were you able to buy any books?

Book Haul: Bitterblue, Borrowed Books and Snail Mail

This week’s book haul post includes one of my most anticipated titles in 2012: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. I loved both Graceling and Fire so I feel like I’ve been waiting for YEARS for this beauty to be released. And it is beautiful, I’m planning to take pictures of the illustrations included inside so I can post them here. I was also able to borrow two books from my good friend Celina: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand and Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. This reminds me that I need to post a review of Unearthly soon.

I also picked up a little package from the post office today, check it out:

Yes, my lovelies, that IS mail from the Queen of Aussie YA: Melina Marchetta. Remember when I organized Marchetta Madness back in March? This post briefly mentions a soundtrack for The Piper’s Son. Well, the soundtrack that I received is a playlist for my two favorite Marchetta novels: Jellicoe Road and The Piper’s Son. I think the picture shows the list of songs clearly but here’s a list:

Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors by Editors
Samson by Regina Spektor
How to Make Gravy by Paul Kelly
Here If You Want by The Waifs
London Still by The Waifs
The Blower’s Daughter by Damien Rice
Flame Trees by Cold Chisel
Your Ex-Lover is Dead by Stars
One Crowded Hour by Augie March
Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel
Flame Trees by Sarah Blasko
Better Days by Pete Murray
Am I Not Pretty Enough by Casey Chamber
Crazy Train by The Waifs
Opportunity by Pete Murray

The Piper's Son Australian edition with a guitar

I love it! Currently listening to it right now and I suspect I’ll discover some favorites in this soundtrack. Thank you so much, MM. πŸ™‚ You can also check out my friend Jo’s post about Mackee’s Music over at Wear the Old Coat. She talks about the same soundtrack and includes more details about the songs.

Last but not the least, I got some lovely postcards the past few days. The pretty Penguin postcard in the middle is from my pen pal Capillya of That Cover Girl. One is from my officemate when he traveled to Milan and the rest are from Postcrossing.

What about the rest of you, did you get any books recently? What about postcards? πŸ™‚

In My Mailbox: February 29

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.

Woohoo, our super slow internet connection at home (we’ve been having problems with our provider) finally let me post something on the blog! I haven’t done an In My Mailbox post in a while but since I received books the past few days, I thought it would be a good idea to consolidate everything into one post. It’s always nice to get something in the mail, isn’t it? Even if it’s just a postcard. So imagine my delight when I got several packages. Last week, I got Book Depository packages and some postcards:

Inside the packages are my Postcards from Puffin set and my physical copy of Code Name Verity:

Then I got another package from the lovely Michelle of See Michelle Read:

Thank you, Michelle. I knew you were sending me a copy of Whiskey Road but I was pleasantly surprised by all the goodies that you included. Love the Valentine’s card and the Julie James bookmarks. πŸ™‚ Last but certainly not the least, I got a package from one of my favorite authors today:

It’s the Aussie edition of The Piper’s Son! Ahhh, it looks even better in person. I’ve been wanting to grab a copy of this because of the gorgeous cover. I also can’t wait to read The Gorgon in the Gully. I have a feeling reading about Jonah Griggs’ little brother will make me want to reread Jellicoe Road. What’s even better is both books are signed:

THANK YOU so much, Melina Marchetta! I will treasure these books and put them in the highly prized section of my bookshelf, maybe next to my signed copies of Megan Whalen Turner’s books? What about the rest of you, what books and goodies did you get this week? πŸ™‚


Edited to add: got another package and postcard in the mail today! Yay, my pre-ordered copy of Sarra Manning’s latest adult title, Nine Uses for an Ex-Boyfriend, finally arrived. The awesome bookish anime postcard is from fellow postcard+book lover Alexa. Thank you, Alexa!

Postcard Love: Postcards from Puffin

I ordered the Postcards from Puffin set from the Book Depository and I was so excited when it finally arrived almost four weeks after my purchase. So many pretty postcards inside, I knew I had to take pictures and share them with the rest of you. Most of the postcards pictured here are the ones that I want to keep for myself.

Box looks nice, doesn’t it? This is what it looks like when you open it:

It includes three Roald Dahl postcards:

Descriptions of the cover designs:

This is what the back of the postcards look like, “nuffin like a Puffin!”

I’ve seen these 2008 Puffin classics in bookstores and I like the designs in this edition:

Little Women has two postcards, I think it’s the only one that had a duplicate:

Two old school Narnia postcards and The Hobbit:

Retro classics:

Other titles I liked (I was surprised that Diary of A Wimpy Kid got included in this set):

All sorts of cute puffins:

Other postcards that I want to keep even though I haven’t read these books:

So, so, so. Don’t you think this is a lovely set of postcards? If you’re planning to buy Postcards from Puffin, I hope I managed to convince you with these pictures. Now I just need to decide what postcards I’m willing to part with so I can send them to book blogging buddies. Sigh, so hard to choose.

Postcard Love: Griffin and Sabine

Since I’ve never reviewed the Griffin and Sabine trilogy, I thought talking about the books would be perfect for a Postcard Love post. If you’re a book lover and you enjoy reading epistolary novels, then I have a feeling that Nick Bantock’s series is something that you’d really like. If you love both books AND postcards then you probably won’t be able to resist getting your own copies of these lovely books. Here’s the summary from Goodreads for some background information:

It all started with a mysterious and seemingly innocent postcard, but from that point nothing was to remain the same in the life of Griffin Moss, a quiet, solitary artist living in London. His logical, methodical world was suddenly turned upside down by a strangely exotic woman living on a tropical island thousands of miles away. Who is Sabine? How can she “see” what Griffin is painting when they have never met? Is she a long-lost twin? A clairvoyant? Or a malevolent angel? Are we witnessing the flowering of a magical relationship or a descent into madness?

I love the format of these books. They include beautifully illustrated postcards and letters inside actual envelopes so the reading experience is an interactive one. Let me show you what I mean through pictures. It starts with this postcard:

This is what you see when you turn the page:

And the next one:

Let’s move on to the letters in actual envelopes that I mentioned. This is how they look like:

Some other postcard designs that I loved:

Yes, I did become a little trigger happy in taking pictures for this post. All of these pictures are from the first book, Griffin and Sabine. Maybe I can take pictures of the sequels for another post. Anyway, I don’t want to reveal too much and ruin the reading experience for those who haven’t had a chance to go through these books. I hope the pictures that I posted give you enough of an idea of what’s inside. Have I made you curious enough to look for the books the next time you’re in a library or a bookstore? I really think they’re perfect for postcard-loving bookworms. Have you read the books in this series? Let me know what you think if you’ve read them!

New Blog Feature: Postcard Love

I recently discovered that there are postcard blogs out there. It shouldn’t be surprising because postcards are awesome – I love to send and receive postcards. I’ve talked about how I love postcards several times here on the blog and actually thought of making my own postcard blog. I realized that I don’t get enough postcards to sustain that and this book nook keeps me pretty busy. Since most of the recipients of my postcards are book blogger friends, I thought it would be a good idea to just start a new blog feature highlighting postcards. I’m keeping it simple by calling it Postcard Love. I have no idea how often I’ll be putting up Postcard Love posts, I guess it depends on whenever I have anything I’d like to talk about.

For my first Postcard Love post, I thought I’d talk about bookish postcards. I’ve been wanting to order this Postcards from Puffin set for a while now and finally gave in and included it in my latest Book Depository order. I hope it gets here soon:

They also have Penguin and Ladybird sets that I’m interested in:

I also found some bookish postcards in Etsy. I really want them but they’re kind of pricey and I think I’ll just end up keeping them for myself instead of sending them out to friends if I order them. Here’s something called Paper Chase:

And here’s Warning Signs from the same designer:

Here’s a Book Lovers Postcard Collection:

A set of Nancy Drew postcards:

A fabric postcard of a library:

Postcards featuring book photographs:

A Book Ninja postcard:

From the same designer, Peace, Love, Books:

Love this Penguin spoof, There’s More to Life than Books:

Something called Muse of the Undiscovered:

I think Etsy will bankrupt me if I ever decide to sign up. Find anything you like in this post? If you decide to buy some of these postcards, I wonder if you’d be willing to send one to me? πŸ˜› Let me know what you think of my new Postcard Love feature!