In My Mailbox (13): The First Weeks of January

It’s been a while since I did an In My Mailbox post, and it’s not because I went on a book buying ban, but because I was just too lazy to make a post about the stuff I got. I thought I’d be able to make it long into a the new year without buying new books, but alas. Who am I kidding?

So this is a consolidated post for the past three weeks of January, and maybe even some in December. If I can remember what I got back then, of course. :P

In My Mailbox is a weekly book meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren, where bloggers post about what books received that week, be it via  mailbox, library or store.


  1. White Cat by Holly Black – I only got this because Chachic posted a positive review of the book, and see, I’m still easily swayed. It helps that I got the e-galley of the next book from Simon and Schuster, so when I saw this in Fully Booked, I knew I can’t let it go anymore. :P
  2. Some Girls Are by Courtney SummersHolly reviewed this early this week, and well, consider me sold. I love contemporary and I like reading about high school cliques (sans the scandals, of course), and this one got really good reviews. I’m so glad I spotted this one yesterday when we visited Fully Booked after the FBB/Flippers meet up. :)
  3. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta – This was actually the first print book I purchased this year. I saw it in Fully Booked Eastwood and didn’t let it go, forgetting that there was a sale that weekend. Pfft. Ah well. :)


Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal, translated by Soledad Lacson-Locsin. At yesterday’s Filipino Book Bloggers/Flips Flipping Pages meet up, someone had this translation of Noli Me Tangere up for book swap. I have been wanting to get my hands on a translated copy of this novel for a long time now, but I wasn’t sure which was the best translation. This one was what Blooey and the Flippers read last year, and is said to be a really good translation. I got it and no one stole it from me, so…yay. Finally!

Now a little backgrounder: Noli Me Tangere is written by the Philippines’ National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. This is a required reading in high school, but I never really read the novel in its entirety because our copy in high school was the summarized version (no, it’s not abridged, if you’re thinking that’s the term — it was actual chapter summaries that we had to summarize for another report. Hmph). I figure in my life as a reader, I must read this novel at least once in my life. So yay.

The bookmark is one of the giveaways for the Flippers meet-up. :)


  1. Captivating by John and Stasi Elredge – this is a Christmas gift from my friend RE. I’ve read this one in college and it was one of those good books for women that I really liked. My mom has my other copy of this and I don’t even know where it is right now. Haha. I don’t know if I will read this anytime soon, but it’s nice to know I have another copy here to refer to when I need it. :)
  2. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis – this is lent to me by RE, too, and this is the best C.S. Lewis work according to him. This is only a lending copy though. Heh. I have a feeling I’ll like this one, too, and I’ve reserved it for February reading already. Now to find a copy of this one. Hmm.


Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram. I’ve seen this book from Kai‘s blog, and I added it on my wish list for the sheer pink-ness of it. :P I followed the author on Twitter, then on Facebook for her contest and even exchanged tweets with her during NaNoWriMo. I never expected to win because I’m not really lucky with winning, but lo and behold: I was her second winner! :) Thanks, Kelly!

This kind of took its sweet time to arrive at home, and I thought it would be lost in the mail forever, but good thing it arrived just before 2010 ended. :) I love how pink the book really is. :D The book is signed, too:


I got too many ebooks since December. Talk about crazy buying binge? Sort of. :P I also got a ton of e-galleys from Simon and Schuster’s Galley Grab. :D


  • Miss Match and Match Point by Erynn Mangum
  • Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John – loved this!
  • Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen – my physical copy is with some friend, so I splurged on an ebook.
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – loved this, too! Review coming up soon
  • Infinity by Sarah Dessen

For Review:

  • Save as Draft by Cavanaugh Lee
  • Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O’Roark Dowell
  • Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
  • Red Glove by Holly Black
  • Stay by Deb Caletti
  • Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

There is probably more, but I forgot about them.

I know I said I won’t be stressing over my TBR, but I really think I should get to reading the other books that are starting to pile up in the apartment, the ones I acquired before 2010 ended. I really should work on that. I should.

Yeah, I always say that. :P I bet most of you guys do too. :P

Filipino Friday: Goals and Resolutions

Filipino FridayI meant to host Filipino Friday last week, but all the hoopla and celebrations for the turn of the year caught up with me and I totally forgot about it. Ooops. Sorry Chachic!

But anyway, here I am! To those unfamiliar, Filipino Friday is a weekly (or sort of weekly) discussion among Filipino Book Bloggers about anything book or book blogging related. I’d like to start off this year’s discussion with something that I am sure everyone did or is still doing now that the new year is upon us: reading goals and resolutions.

I’m fond of setting goals and resolutions, because I believe in the power of setting one. That’s one of the big reasons why I love the new year because it allows people to start with a blank slate and leave whatever they don’t want to bring into the new year from the past there. I am also slightly nuts about setting challenges for myself, so I am always open to joining challenges that I like, or even some challenges that I am not sure I like them just so I can try to go outside of my comfort zone. So here’s this week’s question: what are your 2011 goals and resolutions as a reader and (Filipino) book blogger? Do you plan to read more books from last year, or do you plan to concentrate on a certain genre only? Do you want to up your stats, your comments or network more? Are you joining reading challenges or are you winging it? Do you plan to buy more books or less? Do you have a reading order ready for the books you will read for January, or even in the next months or the whole year?

I’ve already posted about joining the TwentyEleven challenge, which I hope helps me try new books and genres that I haven’t read before. I’ve also decided not to put a number on the books I plan to read this year after I’ve reached 100 last year — although I wouldn’t mind reading more than the number of books I read last year. I have set other goals for myself, though:

  • Read 5 classics – I’ve been setting a 10 book goal in a year, but I know that I will never reach that number because I read classics too slow. I read 3 last year (5 if you count the C.S. Lewis books, which I am not sure are classics), so this year, I’m aiming for a lower number from 10, but higher from the total I read last year. :)
  • Read at least 20 books by Filipinos – I really enjoyed Project 20:10 last year, and even if I didn’t reach the target 20 books, I’m happy that I tried. I have discovered many good Filipino fiction last year because of that challenge. I want to do that again this year.

As for resolutions? I haven’t set a final list, but here’s what I have from the top of my head:

  • I will embrace my Mt. TBR. No more stressing over the number of books I have or will have. Sure, I still think I have too many, but I will not stress over it anymore. I figure, as long as I can read and love reading, I will not stop getting books, so why fight it?
  • However, I will avoid impulse buys. I am very bad at impulse buys. Book buying is my kind of retail therapy, so whenever I am sad or angry or emotional, I tend to get more books. :P I will try to stop doing that…by doing what, I am not sure yet. But I will avoid impulse buys as much as possible.
  • I will allow myself not to finish books. Best example is the book I posted about yesterday. However, I will only probably do this for review copies, if I really cannot stand it anymore. I will still attempt to finish the books I bought with my own money, no matter how much I end up disliking it. I have very high tolerance, anyway. :P And while review copies are nice (and free), I will not force myself to love the book or finish it if I have lost interest.
  • I will keep on writing honest reviews and find ways to improve my reviewing. I know I tend to ramble on my reviews, so this year I’m going to work on that. :P
  • I will clean out my shelves twice this year. No, not dusting or re-arranging (although I would do that), but I will weed out books that I know will find better homes somewhere. If I know I won’t re-read it anymore, then I can give them to someone who will love it more than I do.
  • I will attend more bookish events this year. I think this is self-explanatory? :)

So what about you? What are your reading/blogging goals and resolutions this 2011? I know some of you have already posted your goals and challenges in your blogs, so feel free to leave a link for them below and I can do a round up here, too. :)

I’m sure most of us agree that 2010 has been a good year for us Filipino Book Bloggers, so here’s to hoping 2011 will be an even better year. :) *cheers*

10 for 2010: Blogging and Reading Highlights

2010 is definitely an awesome year for my reading and blogging, particularly book blogging. After years of trying to figure out a niche blog, I finally found it. :) I realized  that I love reading and writing about books is one of the most fun things I’ve decided to do this year. :)

But there are more, obviously, but it really wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the blog. And for other things. :) Here’s are my Top 10 Blogging and Reading Highlights for 2010. :)

1. Writing for The POC – Talk about a dream come true: getting paid to read and review books. When Pao emailed me to be a contributor for our old section, Pinoy Pop, I was excited to be on board. I really don’t know how qualified I was, but I was glad to be a part of the team. I loved having an excuse to read and review books. I’ve learned so much in writing my reviews when I did my stint at The POC, and I know that it helped me write better reviews. :)

2. Goodreads Second Meet-up – I have been active in Goodreads for the longest time already, but I have never posted much in the groups or interacted with any friends. One day, I just decided to post, and that got me invited to the second meet-up, and the rest is history. :) That was one of the best bookish meet-ups I’ve ever been in.

Mockingjay Launch

3. Mockingjay Launch – Of all my years reading, I realize that I’ve never been in an actual book launch. Mockingjay‘s release finally made me attend one, and I wasn’t just a simple spectator, too. :P I was one of the Live Action Role Players, and while we lost miserably, it was actually quite fun. It was also the first time when the Goodreads and Flippers met, had dinner and coffee and talked about so many bookish things, it was almost like paradise inside CBTL. :D

4. 100 Books – When I set out to read 100 books in a year, I had no idea if I would be able to do it. So when I finally realized that I did do it, I couldn’t be more thrilled. Now I feel like 100 books is such a small amount. :P More next year, perhaps?

5. Getting my Kindle – The ultimate bookish toy. :P Just like the iPod, I never thought that I’d give in and get a Kindle, but after a friend told me how awesome it is, I suddenly had a gadget lust. :p After a lot of thinking, I finally gave in and got one…two days before the new one was released. How fun, right? But still, no regrets. I love my Kindle, and it really is the ultimate bookworm toy. :P

6. Filipino Book Bloggers Meet-ups – I used to be very active with the Filipino blogging community back in 2007, but I stopped attending after some time because I felt that it was too big of a community and I don’t know where I fit in. I was really more of a lurker as I kept on blogging and as I started my book blog. However, I found out that the Filipino Book Blogging community is a very warm and welcoming group. This is where I found out that I truly have found my blogging niche. :D

7. Friends opening book blogs – This year is also the year when my good friends opened their own blogs. I don’t know if I influenced them, but whatever made them start, I’m glad they did. :D Shout out to Grace, Aaron, Ariel, Ace, and Jzhun specifically. :D

8. Winning contests and features – I have the worst luck in contests, and I hardly win the things I really want to win. And then I got a lucky streak: I won Dee’s 100+ Follower Giveaway and then I won a signed Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram (which I hope arrives soon — postal service during the holidays here kind of suck) a few weeks later. I also got featured in Dee’s Blogger Spotlight, and I find it’s very fun to be featured. :)

9. Author comments and replies on blogs and Twitter. I love getting comments on my blogs, but nothing makes me squee more than author comments. And ever since I made my Twitter profile public, I got more follows on Twitter, and I love it when an author replies to me or mentions me, or follows me on Twitter. It makes reading so much more fun and interactive.

10. Goodreads Filipino Group – I must give another shout out to this, even if I mentioned the first meet-up a few numbers back. They’re really some of the best people I met this year, and I am really, really glad I went to the second meet up even if I had no idea who I would meet there. :) Joining this group made me read more, made me appreciate books more and made me write more. :) They’re probably one of the best reading things that happened to me in 2010. (Awwwww)

My bookish family :)

What about you? What are your reading or blogging (or both!) highlights for this year? :) Share them in the comments section!

Check out my other 10 for 2010 posts!
10 Favorite Male Characters
10 Favorite Female Characters
10 Favorite Couples
10 Favorite Authors
10 Most Anticipated for 2011

The Anniversary Giveaway is still ongoing! I’m giving away some of my favorite books in 2010! Every comment you leave is one entry — the more comments you leave, the more entries you get! :) Click the image for the mechanics and the list of prizes!

In My Mailbox (10): Hodge-Podge

It’s been a while since I did an In My Mailbox post, and I’ve been meaning to do one for the past weeks but life has been a little bit hectic lately. So I apologize. Like I mentioned in one of my last posts, we moved to an apartment down the street because our house is being renovated. Moving is a pain when you have so many books, and I realized as I was packing that I do have a lot of books. More than I thought I owned!

This next picture is rather depressing, but I promised my books they’d have a better home once the house is finished by early next year (my parents promised me a bigger shelf in my room). I am planning to let go of some of my books though, but I’ll sort them out soon, probably after NaNoWriMo.

So, my books. In 9 huge plastic bags:

I’m pretty sure my favorite ones won’t be dented in those plastics.

Anyway, so the moving thing kind of stopped me from acquiring books since I really have no place to put it. But…does that stop me? Of course not. Especially when there are ebooks to get and read! And I’m using books as a reward for me to get to certain word counts in NaNoWriMo!

But now you also know why my word count is way behind. Shiny books = procrastination. :P

Anyway, here are the books I got for the past few weeks for today’s In My Mailbox post! In My Mailbox is a weekly book meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren, where bloggers post about what books received that week, be it via  mailbox, library or store.

I guess I should start with the books in picture, first. :)

  1. Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Fully Booked). I gave in to curiosity because I know a lot of people like this and recommend this. The only reason I’m hesitant to jump in this series is because it has 11 books — too much investment, IMHO. But let’s see. Got this as a reward for myself in reaching 12,000 words last week. :P
  2. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (Libreria). I’ve been eying Robin McKinley books in Fully Booked ever since I’ve heard praises about her from Chachic, so I was really planning to buy Sunshine first (the sparkly vampire book LOL). But I never got around to it, then Chachic reviewed her latest book, Pegasus, and she said that she recommends reading other McKinleys first before reading that, especially Beauty and The Blue Sword. Just my luck, I got to visit Libreria earlier with some Filipino Book Bloggers (more detailed accounts of that in Jason‘s and Blooey‘s blogs), there was a copy of The Blue Sword. :) I call that fate. :P
  3. Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly (Fully Booked). This one is an impulse buy, really. I don’t know why I got it, except I know it’s really a reprint of a YA book published in 1942. I guess I was feeling the need to read some contemporary books, and this one just jumped out at me. I know Chris from Ficsation liked this one, so I thought it was worth a try. :)
  4. Skin by Ted Dekker (Book Sale). I’ve been wanting to buy more Dekker books, but some of them are just too expensive. I saw the hardcover of Skin in Booksale, and well…I didn’t let it go. :)

Not in picture:

  • The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell (Book Depository). My first Book Depository order is a zombie book. Not surprising, of course. I’ve been looking for this book for ages but I can’t find it here, so I got it online. And I think I love Book Depository already, especially for hard to find books. :) There’s a more detailed post on how to order in Book Depository in Ariel’s blog if you’re curious.

Ebooks (no more background stories for this one, since I’m a bit tired of writing…plus I don’t think I should explain why I got free ebooks, right? :P):

  • Awaken by Kate Kacvinsky (NetGalley)
  • Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann (Simon and Schuster Galley Grab)
  • The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell (NetGalley)
  • Savannah Grey by Cliff McNish (NetGalley)
  • Deceit by Brandilyn Collins (Amazon)

Pretty hefty mailbox. Of course, I have no idea when I’ll be able to read this, but I think that’s a given already. Mt. TBR, hello!

So, what’s in your mailbox this week? :)

Blogging and Books

I am starting to love all these bookish weekends. It’s probably because I’ve never really had them before. Sure, NaNoWriMo weekends are also times where we discuss books, but we discuss writing and our plots more than we discuss our books, plus my Wrimos and I only see each other a lot during November, so for the rest of the year, I’m pretty much dry with book talk. Thank goodness for making bookish friends. :)

Last Saturday was the first Filipino Book Bloggers meet-up, organized by Chachic who is also the admin of the site. I’m not one to pass up an event like this, and I even dragged some of my friends over to join us (who weren’t really as big of a reader as I am and they don’t keep a book blog…so they were really just there so they could meet and accompany me — my friends are sweet haha). When I got to Starbucks at Shang, I was already a bit late, so there were already three tables of people talking. Pretty soon, more people came, including some of the new bloggers from our Goodreads group. I guess existing bloggers in the group can be pretty influential. ;)

There were lots of discussions everywhere, and as expected, people broke into little groups based on who sat with who. I mostly talked with the people around my side: Aaron, Ace, Jason (nice to finally meet you!), Rezel, Aldrin and Celina. Like what everyone else who’s blogged about the event, there was a major concern/brainstorming done at the other side of the table about publishers and local books and how bloggers can be involved. I didn’t get to hear all of them, but from what I gathered, it was pretty interesting.

I’m no expert with how the local publishing business works or how they market their books, I do have the same woes about not having enough local stuff that I’d want to read. It’s the same woes we have in NaNoWriMo — there just doesn’t seem to be enough local works to read for us to write about local stuff. If there were, then I’d probably have more than 10 in my Project 20:10 list. I hardly read anything local because I feel like they’re all too serious, or in the case of our chick lit, they’re too thin and not worth the price. Most of the Filipino books I see are about dysfunctional families, revolutions, and some socio-political whatever issue that I could read in the newspaper. Thanks, but no thanks. They’re the kind of stuff I’d read in school because it was required of me, but I’m not in school anymore. :|

Why not submit the stuff that I write, then? Well, I would, if they were finished. ^^; Okay, that’s my fault, then, but I know from some friends who have tried to submit their works here from what I hear, it’s kind of hard. I don’t think there is much room for the stuff that my Wrimos usually write here, at least, not that I know of. So if no one’s accepting (or at least, even looking at) the things Filipinos dare to write, what else would we read, right?

I’m not sure I made sense there, and it may need another post to fully clarify. But the idea goes the same for book bloggers. In the US and UK, book bloggers get their share of advanced copies because of the buzz they create before the book is officially out in the market. Based from experience, I think only Summit Books do the same thing, since their marketing person (sorry, I forgot the exact position!) is a blogger, as well. The proof is in the press release I received for Table for Two. Of course I already read and reviewed the book when I received the package, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

Like Michelle, though, I also believe that “good books will promote themselves“. The most recent example I could think of is Mina V. Esguerra‘s My Imaginary Ex. It started with Mina just saying hi to our Filipino Goodreads group, and some reviews of her book and then a lot more people are reading her book from our group. It may not seem big, but it’s a start, right?

Anyway, off with the serious stuff. The other posts I linked below were far more articulate with this issue. It was still a fun afternoon that extended all the way up to night because we had some bookstore hopping to do. This is why I ended up with such a big stash of books yesterday — I was in the presence of very effective book pushers. ;)

Dinner at Sango -- me with the bloggers and my two friends, Toni and Cors


I missed meeting Jasper of and Carl Javier, author of The Kobayashi Maru of Love, because I was late, but I did win a Php 500 GC from, which means I can still buy the Carl’s book from them. :)

It was a fun Saturday, and a pretty successful meet up. I think everyone would agree. :)

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