What I Read (5): Angus

What I Read

What I Read is a semi-regular guest feature in One More Page allows them to talk about what the title says: what they read. I believe that every reader has a unique reading preference and no reader is exactly the same. What I Read explores that idea, where I let the guests talk about their favorite, genre preferences, pet peeves and everything else in between. :)

I promised a series, right? So here’s another What I Read feature for this month, also from another good book club friend: Angus of Book Rhapsody. :)

Angus and I don’t have much books in common. I remember the first time I heard him talk about the books he read, I said, “Oh, serious books.” Hee. We don’t really talk about the books we read but I thought he was such a funny and vibrant person that I always liked seeing him around our book club activities. Then we started the monthly book discussions and now our shelves have more books in common! :) I remember feeling very proud when he finally read his first YA book (mentioned below) and now he’s one of the people who introduced me to David Mitchell’s works. See, even readers of entirely different genres can be get along! :D

But other than being a “serious” reader (haha you’ll see why I kept that label on him there in his interview), Angus is a very good friend, and I’m really honored to have him here on my blog. :)

Hello, Angus!

Hello, Angus!

In ten words or less, what kind of books do you usually read?

Stylistic, serious, thematic, challenging, unconventional, classic, genre-defying, breath-taking, mind-bending, and…

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What I Read (4): Alexa (Code Name: Blue)

What I Read

What I Read is a semi-regular guest feature in One More Page allows them to talk about what the title says: what they read. I believe that every reader has a unique reading preference and no reader is exactly the same. What I Read explores that idea, where I let the guests talk about their favorite, genre preferences, pet peeves and everything else in between. :)

I am so, so, so delinquent with this feature that it’s not even funny anymore. But I did promise to blog more (and look I have been blogging more lately, right?), so I thought I’d pick myself up and work on this. Plus, I am semi-envious of how Monique is so regular with her The Spark Project feature, so I told myself to stop being lazy and start sending emails.

So here’s the first of a series of What I Read guest posts for the next few weeks. Yes, a series — I sent a lot of emails lately. :D But if you want to be featured, you can drop me a line through the contact form or by sending an email to hello[at]tinamats.com. :) You can read other What I Read features here. :D

And now for the feature! This week I have Alexa from Code Name: Blue on the blog! I met Alexa through our book club, but I haven’t really talked to her until after our 5th Face to Face discussion (I think!). I feel especially honored because she first showed up during the Jane Eyre discussion which I moderated (which also meant I wasn’t able to talk to many people because I was too busy). Then we started gossiping/talking almost all the time over Twitter. Sometimes I forget that she’s only 17! :D Her energy is so contagious, and I think you’ll see it in today’s feature. :D

Alexa and I during the 7th Face to Face discussion. Aren’t we pretty? :D

In ten words or less, what kind of books do you usually read?
I look for books that are honest, magical, and/or thought-provoking.

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What I Read (3): Maria

What I Read

What I Read is a semi-regular guest feature in One More Page allows them to talk about what the title says: what they read. I believe that every reader has a unique reading preference and no reader is exactly the same. What I Read explores that idea, where I let the guests talk about their favorite, genre preferences, pet peeves and everything else in between. :)

So…it’s been a while since my last What I Read post. Apologies — it’s been…well, slow, and busy and quite honestly, I forgot about this feature for a while. I meant to have one a month for this, but alas, I’ve missed two months. Oh well. I did say this is a semi-regular feature, right?

Now that the apology is out of the way, it’s time to catch up! For the third installment of the What I Read feature, I have one of my book club friends with me here once again. A year ago, she sent me an email for an interview in her blog during Armchair BEA week. I don’t think we’ve met in person back then — I just knew her from Goodreads and her blog. I got to know her better during one of our book club trips, and we have pretty similar tastes in genres (but not necessarily books). :D I thought of featuring her this month too because she’s the moderator for our Fellowship of the Ring face to face discussion next week.

So without further ado, let’s give it up for Maria! :)

Maria and Jane Eyre

In ten words or less, what kind of books do you usually read?

Books that are adventurous, mysterious, suspenseful, and yes, a little romantic. :D

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What I Read (2): Aaron

What I Read

What I Read is a semi-regular guest feature in One More Page allows them to talk about what the title says: what they read. I believe that every reader has a unique reading preference and no reader is exactly the same. What I Read explores that idea, where I let the guests talk about their favorite, genre preferences, pet peeves and everything else in between. :)

On my second What I Read feature, I am very honored to have one of my closest book club friends on the blog today. I can’t remember exactly who added whom first in Goodreads, but I met him in person in 2010, back when I joined the second Goodreads Filipino group meet up. Our only link back then were YA books, and I remember we talked so much about The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments when we were at Cafe Breton before that meet-up ended. Soon enough, I started calling him the Mighty Evil Overlord (because he is mighty and he can be evil and he is kind of an overlord), and then eventually my adopted little brother because we are on the same wavelength for  a lot of things. That, and I tend to spoil him for some reason — case in point: Christmas 2010, I got him for my Book Blogger Holiday Swap and then also got him for our book club’s exchange gift. Talk about giving too many gifts to one person, yes? :P

Anyway, even if we don’t have the same tastes in YA books, I know that a book will be good if he recommends pushes it to me. If you think I nitpick a lot, well, you haven’t met him. But trust me, his reviews (when he has the time to write them) very trustworthy. He’s one of the few people who can demand me to read a book sooner than I want to (case in point: Paper Towns) and (since we’re on the topic), he’s also probably the biggest Nerdfighter in the Philippines. Probably the biggest Doctor Who fan, too. He’s the blogger behind Guy Gone Geek, although that blog’s a little silent lately, but you can check him out on Twitter, Tumblr and Goodreads. :)

So, let’s give it up for my adopted brother, the Mighty Evil Overlord and my friend (who is celebrating his birthday seven months from now, woot!), Aaron. :)

Aaron (and Zombies) at Alabat Island

Aaron (and Zombies) at Alabat Island

In ten words or less, what kind of books do you usually read?

I seek extraordinary adventures and believable characters when I read.

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What I Read (1): Monique

So I thought after two years of blogging about books and writing reviews and posting stuff about books and basically talking about myself over and over again, it’s time to start opening the floor blog to some guests! Introducing my first semi-regular blog feature, What I Read.

What I Read

In What I Read, I invite a guest to talk about the books they read. Yes, yes, I know everyone does that in their own blogs, but I want to be specific this time. I believe all readers have very different tastes, and what might work for one might not work for another. There are certain things in certain books that could make us extremely happy or piss us off. There are also times when readers ventured out of their comfort zones and found something they really like or something they didn’t like and will mostly likely never revisit again. And I also know every reader has a guilty pleasure in the books they read — that too! :) I want to know all of that. This is a venue to talk just about that – to be as specific or as general as you want to be and not be judged for any of those little quirks that make us readers so different from each other.

The truth is, I’ve been really wanting to write something like this on my blog, but I never had the time until now, and then I thought: why not ask other readers about their own tastes, too? :)

So for the first installment of this feature, I would like to welcome one of my good friends in our Goodreads book club, Monique of Bookish Little Me. We call her Atty. Monique online because she’s a lawyer by profession, and she’s also a mom to a very, very adorable girl, Allie. Monique and I met online first, and she kindly sent me a copy of Ender’s Game when I complained about not finding a copy anywhere (interestingly, after I got what she sent me, I found copies of that book in so many bookstores). We often chat/gossip over Twitter about random things, and we push books to each other a lot. Not all our book tastes match 100%, but I like how varied her library is and how willing she is to try new books even if they’re not her usual picks. :)

Bookish Little MeIn ten words or less, what kind of books do you usually read?

I am a diverse reader; I read anything.

In your most favorite genre, what are the things you like to read about? Any pet peeves?

Right off the bat, I have to say that I really don’t have a most favorite genre because I read practically everything, although I enjoy fiction much more than non-fiction. Majority of what I read, however, can be categorized into general contemporary fiction, which includes paranormal (Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, Charlaine Harris), legal thrillers (John Grisham, Stieg Larsson) and, if you will allow me to sub-categorize, general-general fiction (Kazuo Ishiguro, Yann Martel, Neil Gaiman, Carlos Ruiz Zafon).

Some of Monique's favorite books

Some of Monique's favorite books - "Notice the diversity in genre. ;)"

As for pet peeves, I can’t really say I have any. If I like a book, then well and good; if I don’t, then maybe I’ll rant about how it was a waste of time, and that’s the end of it. Most of the books I pick up, however, come recommended by friends and bestsellers lists (and recently, by Goodreads people), so I’m happy to report that the batting average for the books that I like (as opposed to those I don’t) is pretty high. :)

List the shelves you look at when visiting a bookstore in chronological order.

When I go to a bookstore, it’s not usually to browse; more often than not, I have a specific title or author in mind that I want to check out, and that’s the shelf I head over to first.

However, if I do visit a bookstore just to browse, which is almost always the case when I’m at FullyBooked BHS, I always head over first to the bestsellers section/shelves. Since my taste in books is diverse, I tend to check out the top-selling titles over a specific period, and see which ones catch my fancy (depending, of course, on my mood).

I do, however, loiter around the fiction shelves more than the non-fiction ones.

What’s one genre you’ve never really ventured into? Would you ever try reading it?

The advantage of having diverse reading habits is that there isn’t a genre that you wouldn’t try venturing into. I’ve read YA, high fantasy, romance/chicklit, science fiction, historical fiction, classics, memoirs, children’s books, graphic novels, and yes, even erotica. So I guess it would be safe to say that there isn’t a genre that I haven’t read yet, and if there’s any that I’ve yet to discover, then I would gladly welcome the chance to read it.

Have you ever tried reading a book recommended to you that is outside of your comfort zone? Did you like it or not?

Yes, I have. For me, the most complicated genre – you know, the books that take a while for me to get into, or plots that take a while to get me engaged because of all the seeming peculiarities in the story – is dystopia, and I mean dystopia in general. So for purposes of “comfort zones” and going outside of it, I would consider dystopia as one genre that’s well far from the perimeter of my comfort zone, which is everything else.It doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t try to read dytopian-themed books, and there are in fact books from the genre that I’ve enjoyed, like 1984 and The Giver, to name a couple.

What’s your reading guilty pleasure? Come on, I know you have one. :P

Monique's shelves -- some of them, anyway. :)

Okay, I have to confess: there’s more than one. :D

There are days when I just feel that urge – the need! – to splurge on books, and I usually give in to these urges. Amazon, FullyBooked, Book Sale. Oh thank goodness for these stores. :)) I’ve been trying my best to remedy my book-hoarding ways because I always feel guilty not being able to have enough time to read all the books that collect dust at home (and even in the office), but there are just times that I couldn’t help it; it’s like bingeing on chocolates when you know you’re on a diet. You do know what I’m talking about, right? :D

Another guilty pleasure: buying brand-new copies of books of my favorite authors, even if I know I could get them secondhand.

Another one: I can’t not cover my print books with plastic before reading them, and write/stamp my name on the inside covers, too. Haha. :)

Thanks for your time, Monique! Last time I saw her was last weekend during our discussion of George Orwell’s 1984. I liked hearing her insights on the book, and I was impressed that she actually wrote notes on her Kindle copy and they weren’t the type of notes that I would usually write, too (e.g. OMG THEY DID THAT??? and Okay, where did this come from?). I always enjoy reading her reviews, even if they’re books I haven’t read or even ever plan on reading. :)

I’ll be featuring 1-2 readers every month for What I Read, depending on how busy I am. :D If you’re interested, you can drop me a line through the contact form or by sending an email to hello[at]tinamats.com. :)