In My Mailbox (20): Where did all these books come from?

This is me catching up on a couple of weeks of In My Mailbox posts again. It’s always more fun to post when you have more books to post about, right? :) Plus, I was out of town last weekend and I was just too exhausted to take photos and come up with an IMM post. Anyway, so many books in the past weeks — even I am surprised at my stash. Look:

Wee~

So, what did we get in the past few weeks?


I attended the launch of the fourth (and much-awaited!) Trese graphic novel at Robinsons Bestsellers two weeks ago. I’m not really a graphic novel person, but I loved Trese and I’ve been waiting for the fourth book ever since I finished all three a few months ago. :) The event was a success if you were to judge only with the number of people who attended (dress code was black, apparently :P). I do think it was an overall success because not only was it a full-house event, but also we got our books signed. :)

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In My Mailbox (18): MIBF (or, okay, not really)

It’s been a very bookish week since I arrived from Europe, and I am definitely not complaining. This week was special for Filipino readers because The First Filipino Reader Conference happened last Wednesday, and it was also the 32nd Manila International Book Fair (it’s still happening at SMX now, so if you haven’t been there, you still have time!). If you missed the ReaderCon, you can read what happened at the @PinoyReaderCon twitter (tweeted by yours truly :) ).

However, despite my two-day attendance at the Book Fair (the most I’ve did since I started attending), I did not get any book from the fair itself! I was supposed to, but I was terribly late yesterday and I was just too tired to look for a book (or beads for jewelry making), and most of what I wanted was gone. So this week’s (and last week, actually) stash includes some books I got from Book Depository, a book I borrowed and a book I bought during but outside the Book Fair. :P

The loot

Oh, and a lot of bookmarks, too, from the ReaderCon.

Anyway, the books:

The books

  1. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – yes, I’m jumping into the bandwagon. I got this from National Bookstore in Mall of Asia. I wanted to get the boxed set, but I ran out of them in the Book Fair. I was supposed to get all four books, but man, they’re thick. So I decided to get just the first book for now and I’ll decide later on if I want the others. Again: man, this book is thick. 835 pages!
  2. Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood – borrowed from Chachic! And her personal Aussie library book tour continues. :)
  3. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner – yay paperback! And thanks, Book Depository. :) I had this pre-ordered a few weeks back.
  4. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta – pre-ordered this from Book Depository a few months back, too. :) Thanks to Nomes for the heads up of the paperback edition. Plus, I heard its sequel is coming out soon, so I should bump this up my TBR. :)

Oh, and I also got my blog business cards, which I had printed in a rush just for the ReaderCon. Features Steve Emond‘s drawing, and designed by my lovely friend Jana from Jana Styles. :)

Blog business card!

Talk about taking all the book blogging thing seriously. But hey, this is good for networking, and making friends. :)

I remember those days when I’d go crazy during Book Fair season, but I think I’ve mellowed out. That, and after paying for some Europe bills, I need to be more prudent with my book spending. That, and I really still have too many books in my TBR pile, and I really want to whittle it down further. Is this me maturing as a book hoarder? Gasp.

What did you get in your mailbox this week? :)

On Pre-ordering

So just last week, I realized that I have some 10% discount voucher from Book Depository for their summer sale. I felt bad for not using it, so even if I know there isn’t really anything I want to read now now now, I figure I could use it for pre-orders.

I'm starting to like seeing these buttons. :)

You know I never really thought I’d be pre-ordering any book when I started buying books with my own money. I’ve always seen things like, “Pre-order this from Amazon” and all that, but since shipping is so expensive here, I can never do the pre-order thing. The shipping alone would be more expensive than the book and it’s just not worth it. When Book Depository started shipping here for free, I still didn’t pre-order, thinking I can still wait for local bookstores to get it when it’s out.

Then I remember buying A Monster Calls from Book Depository last April as a prize for one of my birthday giveaway winners. I remember being impressed at the price of the book – less than $10 for a hardbound illustrated book. What a value, right? I decided to order it too, and was I glad I did. Now it’s a whopping $18 in Book Depository.

So now I’m all for pre-ordering books. But only for books that I really, really want. Case in point, my order last week:

Pre-order ahoy!

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins / A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner / How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr - YAY~

All books were 25% off + the 10% off from the voucher. And they’re all books that I want to read. I know it would take a while before I get them, but I’m not in a rush, anyway. I like the idea that I “have” them now, and can read it as soon as its shipped.

I do have some comments on pre-ordering, though:

  • I’m not sure about pre-ordering print books in Amazon, but I think the customer isn’t charged until the book is shipped, right? That’s one thing that makes me raise an eyebrow at Book Depository — you get charged immediately for the pre-order. I’m sure you can request a refund to cancel your order, but I think you still have to email? I don’t know, maybe it’s easier if the customer won’t have to go through that channel to cancel a pre-order.
  • And speaking of Amazon, I pre-ordered some Kindle ebooks a few months ago because there were some books that I can’t wait to have in print. However, pre-ordering Kindle ebooks doesn’t really have much perk as far as discounts are concerned because there are hardly any discounts. The only perk is…well…you get it quick.

So, have you tried pre-ordering? Do you pre-order as much as you can to get more discounts? Have you had pre-order horror stories? What’s the last book you pre-ordered, and why? Any other perks you got from pre-orders other than discounts? I want to know.

Oh and P.S. — I will pre-order John Green’s newest book soon, of course. I wouldn’t want to miss a signed book. :)

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick NessA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Original idea by Siobhan Dowd
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Number of pages: 240
My copy: hardbound, ordered from Book Depository

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming… The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.

* * *

I wasn’t planning to read A Monster Calls soon, because I wanted to save it for my slump days. I heard so many good things about this, but I savored the fact that it was patiently waiting for me on my shelf. But last weekend, after my friend asked if I knew if this book is locally available, I had that urge to pick it up and read it, thinking it shouldn’t take me too long. And if my fellow bloggers were right and this would also make me cry, at least I can do it in the privacy of my own home, right?

It’s 12:07am. Our main character, Conor, wakes up from the nightmare, the one that’s been haunting him ever since his mother had a “talk” with him. He wakes up, thinking someone has called his name, but there was no one in sight, save for that yew tree by the churchyard on a hill near his house. When the yew tree turns out to be a monster, Conor finds himself unafraid, because there were far scarier monsters in his world. The monster is a wild, ancient monster who comes with four stories: three coming from him and the fourth coming from Conor, the truth that he has been hiding for so long.

A Monster Calls is simple, really. It may seem like a paranormal or fantasy book from its title and the blurb and the cover, but it’s really a contemporary novel at its core. I haven’t read any of Siobhan Dowd’s work, and I’ve only read two of Patrick Ness’, but I didn’t really have much doubt over how good this book would be. What surprised me, though, is how this book left me biting back the sobs as I finished it during breakfast on Sunday morning. Sure, The Knife of Never Letting Go made me shed some tears, but this! A Monster Calls had me sobbing. How my chest hurt so much with emotion, and how close it hit to my heart even if I am — thankfully — not in Conor’s position.

But I think that’s the thing. Anyone can easily be Conor. Anyone can easily be in his shoes, think his thoughts and find the same nightmare he wrestles with every night. But the thing is, not everyone can have “monsters” to tell us and help us face truths. I think this is why books like these are so important: in the absence of our own yew tree monster, we get this. We may not wake up with a monster calling our name, but we can always turn to a book like this and find important lessons that would give us strength to face some of the hardest parts of life.

Fans of Patrick Ness will undoubtedly love this book. I haven’t even read the entire Chaos Walking trilogy yet and I am in awe of his writing prowess. If you were turned off by the any one of his previous novels, I urge you to give him another chance and read A Monster Calls. Patrick Ness is an excellent storyteller, and if that is not enough to convince you, maybe the illustrations by Jim Kay will (and these illustrations make this book worth to own in print):

A Monster Calls

Illustrations from A Monster Calls

Suffice to say that this is one of my “This is why I read!” moments. Patrick Ness has successfully made a mess out of my heart once again. There’s a line in the book that perfectly fits what this book is:

“Stories are wild creatures…When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”

And what a havoc this story wreaked, my friends. Beautiful and powerful. I definitely recommend A Monster Calls.

Rating:

Other reviews:
Coffeespoons
Book Harbinger
The Book Smugglers
Ficsation

In My Mailbox (16): Free and Awesome Stuff

 

I got a bunch of books a few weeks ago, but I was too lazy to make an IMM post. I was at home, but I was just plain lazy — sorry about that. :) I got some pretty awesome stuff the past weeks, some of them free, so I figure it’s time to write one. But better late than never, right? :)

Bought:

 

  1. Deadline by Mira Grant (Fully Booked) – I also got the Kindle copy of this one first, but I can’t pass the print one up of course. Like my print copy of Feed, this is mainly for borrowing. :D
  2. The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan (Book Depository) – I ordered this about three weeks ago as a reward for finishing an article. It took a while to get here, and I dropped everything else to read this when I received it. Talk about excited. :) I have a line of people waiting to borrow this already.
  3. Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews (Fully Booked) – I got this at the same time as Deadline but I only got to read it during the rainy weekend. So much Kate + Curran goodness! :)

Won:

  • Audiobook of Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson (won from Helen’s Book Blog) – this is my first audio book ever, which I won during the Twitter party during Armchair BEA. Thankyou so much, Helen! :)

For review:

Last Friday, Blooey invited some local book bloggers for a dinner with some people from Scholastic. It was such a fun night eating and talking about books and blogs and travel and everything else in between. :) It was also the first time I had dinner with publishers and received books for review too! Yay free books (almost as exciting as cool grad gifts). :D

Scholastic Books

  1. Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater – now I’m not a paranormal romance person anymore and truth be told, I have no plans of reading these books. But Chachic and Tarie told me it’s good, so I’m hoping I will like it well enough too. :)
  2. The Cry of the Icemark, Blade of Fire and Last Battle of the Icemark by Stuart Hill – I have no idea what this is about, except that Blooey blogged about it recently. I’m glad they gave us the entire set, though, because at least I won’t have to scramble for the copies. :)

The fun thing is, not all book packages were the same. While I think all of us got all the Icemark books, everyone else got different stuff, depending on what we’ve read. Case in point: Chachic and Tarie got Linger because they’ve already read Shiver, while Aaron didn’t get any of Stiefvater’s books because they’re not his type. Thanks again to Blooey for inviting us and to Joyce and Roselle from Scholastic for the dinner and the books. :)

Photo c/o Tarie

And that’s all for the past weeks’ haul. I have another book buying fast happening now to prepare myself for my big trip this August, so no additions to my TBR unless they’re gifts. Not to worry, anyway since I still have a very big reading mountain to conquer. :D I’ll be back tomorrow for my mid-year recap, so for the meantime, do share in the comment section what you got this week. :)