Book Haul: Secret Santa Edition

Every year, my online book club (YAckers) has a Secret Santa gift exchange. And because we all love books, we tend to focus on those as gifts. I’ve previously posted my haul from past Secret Santas (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) so I thought it would be nice to keep up with the tradition. These are the books I received:


And I also took a picture of books I received from past Secret Santa exchanges that I still haven’t found time to read:


Sigh, so many books, so little time! I find it interesting that most of the books I received from my fellow YAckers are fantasy titles. I guess we know what’s our favorite genre. I also have a box of Ferrero chocolates from the office Secret Santa (which I think isn’t that interesting haha) but that’s it for this year. Are you guys participating in any form of Secret Santa this year?

Book Haul – Christmas 2015 Edition

I rarely receive books for Christmas, or even for my birthday. I usually only get books when I join bookish Secret Santa events. Most people tell me that they don’t give me books as gifts because they don’t know what to get for me. So it feels like a special treat whenever I get books for Christmas. In 2015, I got several of them! Which was why I thought I should put up a post to mark the occasion.

On the last work day of the year, right before I flew home to Manila, I got these two:

Christmas 2015 - SG haul 1

When I was in Manila, I was able to attend a bookish meet up and got the following:

Tweedle Book Cafe - book haul

Sadly, I had to go back to Singapore for work. But I did have some lovely snail mail waiting for me when I got back:

Christmas 2015 - SG haul

While on vacation in Manila, I bought a few graphic novels (Ms. Marvel, The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium, Halina Filipina and Maktan 1521). I received The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1 from a friend, and used the Kinokuniya gift vouchers I received from our office Secret Santa to buy Soppy and Giant Days.

Christmas 2015 - graphic novels

For someone who doesn’t usually get books for Christmas, this really is quite a haul! Here are the titles I was lucky enough to receive:

Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
What You Wanted by Mina V. Esguerra
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, Clayton Cowles
Soppy by Philippa Rice
Giant Days by John Allison, Lissa Treiman

Thank you, Donna, Estara, Kim, Mina, Gene, Nellie and my office Secret Santa for these books! I’m really grateful for the generosity. 🙂 I’ve already started reading the first Elantra book and Soppy. Looking forward to reading the rest of the titles in this pile.

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?

2014 YAckers Secret Santa

My online book club now has a tradition of having a Secret Santa for its members. Since I post my 2012 and 2013 book hauls, I wanted to be consistent and post about what I got this year too. A few weeks ago, I got a mysterious package that contained this gorgeous postcard-themed scarf:

YAckers Secret Santa 2014 - postcard scarf

Photo taken using Instagram.

Isn’t it beautiful? The fabric is also soft and I have a feeling it will be comfortable when I finally get the chance to use it. Turns out this lovely present is from my good friend Michelle! Since I’m such a big fan of postcards, I think it’s a perfect gift. Thank you, Michelle. 🙂

Since I looked back on previous book haul posts for YAckers Secret Santa, I wanted take note that I still haven’t read Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor and The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. Sigh, the TBR pile just keeps expanding. I hope I’m able to go get to these soon!

How about the rest of you, have you joined any book club or book blogger Secret Santas? Or have you received any books for Christmas?


Edited to add (December 25, 2014):

I was pleasantly surprised when Michelle sent me the ebook edition of Greenglass House by Kate Milford to go with the scarf as her Secret Santa present. I’ve already started reading it since I heard that it’s a story set during Christmastime. Thanks again, Michelle. 😀

YAckers Secret Santa 2014 - ebook

Book Haul: YAckers Secret Santa

I’m sorry for the radio silence for the past few days. There’s so much going on ever since I’ve been back in Singapore that I haven’t had a chance to update the blog. I thought I’d post a quick update on a package that was waiting for me when I got to the office last Tuesday. I knew it was from the YAckers Secret Santa and I was excited to see what was inside:

YAckers Secret Santa 2013

YAckers Secret Santa 2013_2

YAckers Secret Santa 2013_3

It’s a package from Angie! Thank you so much for the lovely books and chocolates, Angie. I’ve already started on the Godiva chocolates and they’re yummy. I’m looking forward to reading these two books. 🙂 This reminds me that I still haven’t finished reading the books that I got from last year’s YAckers Secret Santa.

What about the rest of you, did you get some nice books for Christmas?

12/12/12: A Day of Books and Shirts

It’s December 12, 2012! I wasn’t planning on putting up a post today until I dropped by the post office after work. I got a notice to pick up a package that couldn’t fit into the mailbox. I thought it was my latest Threadless order but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn’t! Turns out, it’s a package from my YAckers Secret Santa.


I know I haven’t talked about YAckers here on the blog, I was waiting for my first book discussion with them before bringing it up but the Secret Santa came first so here we are. Basically, it’s a YA book club with awesome members. Check out the YAckers site for more info and feel free to go through the list of books that have been YAcked. I’m so glad I was able to join the Secret Santa. Anyway, these are the contents of the package when I opened it up:

2012 YAcker Secret Santa2

I already had a smile on my face when I saw these because I wasn’t expecting to get several books. Let’s take a moment to appreciate how nicely wrapped the books were:

2012 YAcker Secret Santa3

Penguins and hearts! Aaaaaaaaaand here are the books inside:

2012 YAcker Secret Santa

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews
Soho Teen 2013 sampler

I had a huge grin by the time I opened the presents. Many, many thanks to my YAcker Secret Santa, Janice! You know me so well, my friend, because I’m super excited to read all of these. 😀 The three books are on my wishlist and I’m curious about the Soho Teen sampler. Isn’t Janice a amazingly generous person? This the first Christmas gift that I’ve received this year and I’m more than happy with this surprise package. It really made my day.

Even better, my Threadless order also got delivered tonight. These shirts got added to my growing collection:

Threadless shirts

Always yes to more bookish shirts. I need to wash and iron these so I can wear them right away. Guess what shirt will I be wearing when I watch The Hobbit this weekend? What about the rest of you, have you started getting any bookish gifts?

Book Blogger Holiday Swap Package

I signed up for this year’s Book Blogger Holiday Swap and really had a lot of fun putting together the package for my Santee. I saw a package waiting for me when I got home yesterday and I had a feeling it was for the Holiday Swap. Little did I know that my Santee is also my Santa – fellow Filipino book blogger, Maricar of Blackplume! So it really is just a swap for both of us. (Click here to see her post about the package that I sent). Here are the contents of the package that I received:

I admit I got excited when I saw that there’s an Accessorize item included in there. That’s my favorite accessories store! I’m thrilled that Maricar included a necklace in the package. The two books that she gave me are I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. Yay, I’m so happy I got a pretty, pretty hardcover of I’ll Be There! The paperback cover for that book isn’t as nice as the hardcover design.

And because I love the necklace, here’s a closer look with I’ll Be There in the background:

It has a notebook pendant with a ribbon, a tiny flower and a pencil too. What’s great is that the book opens and closes, isn’t that cute? This is what it looks like when it’s open:

THANK YOU so much, Maricar! If you can’t tell based on this post, I loved the package and I appreciate all of the thought and effort that you put into it. 😀 I hope you like the package that I sent too. What about the rest of you who joined the swap, what did you guys get? Or are you still waiting for the package to arrive?

Book Blogger Holiday Swap

It’s that time of the year again! Sign ups for the yearly Book Blogger Holiday Swap are now open. Click here to learn more about it. I had so much fun putting together the package for my Santee – I included this shirt:

And several used books that I thought my Santee would enjoy. I also loved the package that I received. So it’s not surprising that I signed up again this year. But instead of giving my Santa my super long wishlist on Goodreads, I decided to pick several titles and just list them down. Some of these have been featured in my Want Books meme. I’m posting the list here to remind myself NOT to buy these books until I get my Holiday Swap package:

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart
A Straight Line to my Heart by Bill Condon
Foxmask by Juliet Marillier
I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Northlander by Meg Burden
The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee
A Knot in the Grain by Robin McKinley
Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith
Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund
Elfland by Freda Warrington
There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff
Blankets by Craig Thompson

Seeing as I got my package January of this year and that these are my most wanted books, it’s sort of a book buying ban, yes? Who else is planning to sign up? 🙂