Happy 3, TFG, Part 1: Outreach Activity

I meant to write about this activity sooner, but as always, I wasn’t able to because I have too many things to do after this event happened. It’s kind of good that I got stuck in a reading rut now, so I have some time to blog. But since I don’t feel like writing any reviews just yet, I decided to go back to my recap of this because I want to remember this event, too.

So last April, our book club, The Filipino Group on Goodreads (GR-TFG) celebrated its third year of existence.1 In the past years, we had an extra meet-up time for the anniversary, but this year we decided to do it a little differently because we had too many activities planned and too little time. We decided to move our book club’s outreach activity from February to April, so we’d have more time to prepare and because anniversaries are the best time to give back to the community, right?

This year, our group decided to adopt another community and help build their library. We wanted to focus on teens, and we wanted to share with them our passion for reading by providing them books and spending a day with them. We decided to team up with Kaibigan Ermita Outreach Foundation (KEOF). KEOF is an independent, non-profit NGO that works on taking care of and the development in the urban poor areas in Manila. They have various communities all over Manila, and last April 20, our book club had the chance to meet teens from these areas.

Image from KEOF website

Image from KEOF website

But before that — we had to do a lot of book collection first. I wasn’t with them on their activity last year because I was out of town, so I so I was organizing this without prior knowledge of how it was done before. We formed committees in the group, had several meetings and started collecting books from our members that we will donate to KEOF. So one of our first events was an afternoon of book-covering, since we wanted to make sure the books will last so more kids can read them.

Some of the books we covered that afternoon. :)

Some of the books we covered that afternoon. :)

Our group collected 374 books to KEOF. :) I love how everyone had books to give away, and some of them were even brand new.

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  1. By “existence”, it was more of an offline existence — the club has been alive since 2007 or something, but the first official meet-up happened in April 2010 []

Icon of the Indecisive

Icon of the Indecisive by Mina V. EsguerraIcon of the Indecisive by Mina V. Esguerra
Interim Goddess of Love # 1
Publisher: Bright Girl Books
My copy: review copy from the author

College student Hannah Maquiling, also temporarily working as the Goddess of Love, has had enough of everyone asking for her help when it comes to relationships. It’s her turn to find romance! She deserves it, after serving as matchmaker and confidant to everyone else in Ford River College for the past year. She’s had a crush on handsome senior (and God of the Sun) Quin forever, but he’s destined to fall in love with an extraordinary mortal woman, so she’s figured her chances with him have pretty much dropped to zero.

It’s not like she doesn’t have any options for a classic college romance though. There’s Diego, God of the Sea and Quin’s best friend/enemy. And regular guy Robbie is stepping up, making sure she knows how he feels about her. How hard can it be for a goddess to find someone to love, and be loved in return?

* * *

So at the end Queen of the Clueless by Mina V. Esguerra, I was pretty much sad for Hannah, and I was wondering what will happen next. I won’t explain why I was sad, but if you’ve read a lot of trilogies like I do, second books usually end on a sad/cliffhanger note, so it was kind of expected. I was very, very glad to hear that Mina planned to release Hannah’s third and last book, Icon of the Indecisive, early, because I need to know what will happen next!

Slight spoilers for the first two books starts here! The story opens on Valentine’s Day, the day when Hannah as the Interim Goddess of Love, will become most busy. Hannah is a little bit tired of handling other people’s love problems, and she wants to focus on her own this time around. But since Quin is supposed to fall in love with an extraordinary human girl, Hannah figures may it’s time to give Robbie the Cute Human a chance. But Quin’s acting just a little strange lately. Not to mention there’s Vida, who still hasn’t explained what she did to Hannah, and Diego, who asks strange things of Hannah. How will Hannah ever focus on her own life now? Spoiler warning ends here.

Let’s just say this book had me…er, squeeing more than half the time. Hee. There were many, many things I wanted to ask at the end of the second book, but I’m very glad to report that this third book delivers. Questions were answered here, and loose ends were tied up nicely, with a lot more explanations to what the gods and goddesses can do. I liked that Hannah can do more goddess-y stuff here, and that we get to see her grow more here with her own decisions in life. I like that there’s more Robbie the Cute Human here (because he is a cute human :D), and there’s just a lot more swoon here.

As far as the ending goes…I got the ending I wanted. But it’s not just that, and I liked the message about how these characters will get to that ending. I won’t say anything more, but if we’ve talked about these books lately, then you’ll know why I was very happy with how this ended. Very happy. <3

Okay, I was partially squeeing there, did you notice? I actually got to read the book waaay earlier than the release because Mina asked me to be a part of the Interim Goddess of Love audio commentary (with Chachic, Chris and Meann) that you can download here. Not only do you get to hear us talk, but you also get to hear some juicy trivia about the series. But listen to it after you’re done with the series, because you don’t really want to be spoiled. :)

If you want something cute, light with so many #feels, or if you just want an easy introduction to Filipino fiction with a bit of Filipino folklore, make sure you pick up the Interim Goddess of Love series. And lucky you who won’t have to wait long to see how Hannah’s story ends. :)

Rating:

Other reviews:
The Girl Who Read and Other Stories
Chachic’s Book Nook

Reviews of other Interim Goddess of Love books:
#1 Interim Goddess of Love
#2 Queen of the Clueless

Required Reading: June 2013

May felt like a long month, don’t you think? Well, there were 31 days in the month, so I guess it was long, but it felt like I was out for so many things, and I did so many things…but also wasn’t able to.

So a few things I did in May, which I hope will explain a bit of my absence here:

  • I attended two weddings – one for my brother’s best friend and another for my college roommate. I love weddings. :)
  • Book discussion, as always, and several movies. It was a chill month for the book club, partly because April was so darn busy, but overall, it was a good time to be relaxed.
  • I started (and finished) watching Firefly. And why did I wait this long to watch this series?!
  • I busied myself with writing my novel for Mina V. Esguerra’s romance writing class (aka #romanceclass). I wrote about writing middles and how I kind of hate it, but I reached THE END the other day, and I’m all squee. <3

The reason I wasn’t able to finish all my books for May even if they were mostly thin books is because of the last item in my list — I got so consumed with writing that my mind refused to accept anything that isn’t contemporary romance. So, there. But I did finish most of them!

  1. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (5/5) – Lovely, lovely book about people who became friends over books. :)
  2. Smaller and Smaller Circles by FH Batacan (4/5) – A reread, and I liked it as much as when I read it the first time. :) The discussion was really fun, too. :)
  3. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver (5/5) – Love, love, love. <3 I want to read more Carver after this.
  4. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (4/5) – My second chunkster! I liked how this ended. :)

Four out of six. Not bad.

And now let’s go to June.Required Reading: June

June feels like that kind of month. I don’t know, but I just don’t feel like reading. I feel like it’s a spillover from the last month, and my brain still needs a rest from all the writing. I intended to read two books this month — thick ones, too! — but I decided to push the other one to the next month and just concentrate on our book club’s book of the month:

junerr

So for June, I am only requiring myself to read one book. (If I finish more, then yay)

  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

My good friend Tricia is moderating this discussion for the book club this month, so I am pretty excited. Now if I can only start reading this…

Check out my friends’ reading lists for June, too!