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!

Real or not real?

Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsMockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic, 390 pages

“My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.”

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans — except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay — no matter what the personal cost.

Suzanne CollinsMockingjay was probably the most anticipated release of 2010. Tens of thousands of fans all over the world eagerly awaited the conclusion of the bestselling Hunger Games series, a wait made that much more breathless after the cliffhanger ending of Catching Fire. The hype that surrounded this release was almost as if an eighth Harry Potter book had been released, with blog tours, interviews, predictions, midnight release parties and book launches happening across the world as the August 24 release date approached.

I was one of those excited fans. I remember feeling anxious as the week of the release arrived, exchanging predictions with other fans and jointly planning “Mockingjay Leaves” (the book release was on a weekday). I squealed with delight when I saw that the Kindle edition was available the day before the hardcover was released here, downloading the sample and devouring it so I could have an idea how the end would begin. When I finally received my copy I reserved the next few days to reading only Mockingjay.

If you haven’t read The Hunger Games or Catching Fire, the spoiler warning starts here.

“There is no District 12.” These were Gale’s last words in Catching Fire, which left readers wondering what exactly happened to Katniss’ home town. Mockingjay opens with Katniss staring at the ashes of her district, a month after she has been taken out of the arena and had been living in District 13. The rebellion against the Capitol has begun, but cannot go full scale because it’s missing one last ingredient: they need Katniss to be the Mockingjay, the symbol of the movement. Katniss, reluctant at first, eventually agrees. She finds herself smack in the center of a dangerous power play between her enemies and her so-called “allies,” most especially District 13’s President Coin. While she tries to fulfill her role as the Mockingjay, Katniss starts to question the motivations of the people around her – and her own motives as well – finding herself a pawn in a web of manipulation that could cost her life and the lives of the people she cares for.

Mockingjay takes its cue from its predecessors and comes out as another adrenaline pumping read. Collins’ writing is captivating from the start, sucking the readers deep into the even bleaker world that Panem has become, fleshing out the mysterious District 13. Mockingjay’s pacing leaves readers breathless at the end of each chapter as the author dishes out one cliffhanger after another. LA Times compared the action scenes to “a battlefield akin to Iraq” – even the innocent aren’t spared from the carnage and the brutality of war. Click here to read the rest of the review.

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This is a pretty late review, but better late than never. It’s pretty formal since I wrote it for The POC, so more opinions/comments and such right after the cut. Spoiler warning!

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Comic Books and Launches

So it’s been a pretty eventful week for me, but not in blogging because I didn’t really post that much this week compared to last. For a change, I was busy reading, squeeing about certain books, and talking to people face to face.

Yes, I still have a social life, thankyouverymuch. :)

So, what’s been happening the past week (and a day)?

Metro Comicon


Saturday last week, I ventured into the city and out of my comfort zone to tag along with some of the boys from my Goodreads group to attend the Metro Comicon at SM Megamall. Now, I’m really not a comic person, but I recently bought Happyface before that Saturday, so I thought…why not look around? Plus, I was also hoping I’d find a copy of AEIOU or An Easy Intimacy of Us by Jeff Brown (one that I started to want to have after I read the review at Pinoy Pop) there. I have zero knowledge about other comics, but I figure it shouldn’t be that different from when I go and look at books, right?

Well, it wasn’t, really. I didn’t find AEIOU, and I ended up not buying anything after. I still had fun, though, if only because I got to watch some of the boys look like kids on Christmas morning as they had their favorite comic books signed by the writers and the artists. Ace and I were just watching them, then — he was just there to have his friend’s copy of Trese signed, and we were amused at how Jzhun and Ariel looked like how we do when we see books we love and all that. Ah, bookworm quirks. :)

This picture is a bit blurry, but trust me, their eyes were sparkling. ;)

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Do not disturb!

I meant to post a review and a post related to this before this came, but I was too busy. So now, no reviews, no posts until I finish this. :)

Squee with me, come on:

Yay!

Yay!

I’ll be back when I’m done! :) *waves*

Follow Friday / Book Blogger Hop (2)

It’s Friday, and I am so glad that it is! Because tomorrow is Saturday, and I am in need of a break (even if I had a break yesterday – holiday, yo!).

Anyway, this week has been relatively easy, even if I still have a ton of things on to-do list. Next week should prove challenging because I would be acting lead for our team, and it may mean I won’t have time to read and post…except maybe for Wednesday, because it’s Mockingjay release day! (It’s Wednesday here because the release in the US is on Tuesday – timezones and stuff) I. Can’t. Wait. Can I have a Mockingjay Leave, please? I can’t not read that book that week, especially since I’ll be joining the Mockingjay Launch Party next Sunday.

I will probably be busy during the weekend, and I’m hoping to post an IMM post on Sunday, but in case I don’t, here’s my second Follow Friday / Book Blogger Hop post! :)

Permit me to copy my friend Amaterasu’s FF post, and list the books reviews I posted this week. I’m actually quite surprised at the number of reviews I churned out this week — goes to show how fast I read and how much I managed to squeeze in my free time this week!

Look who’s a reviewing machine. :P

This week’s featured blogger for Follow Friday is Joy from Edgy Inspirational Romance! Now this is awesome — she writes Christian romance! :) I am definitely a new follower of Joy now. Lots of people joining the FF, too, see all participants of Follow Friday here. :)

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop at Crazy for Books time, and this week’s question is: How many blogs do you follow?

My Google Reader has about 1000+ entries everyday, and I hardly read them all. I follow so many blogs, and not all of them are book blogs. I try to trim it down to 3 digits every day just so it doesn’t look overwhelming. One day when I’m really bored, I will get through all those unread feeds, promise! Sometimes I end up marking them as all read without reading them, and I miss about reading other stuff, like 5th wheel insurance…but sometimes I just don’t have the time. :| I’m trying to trim down my feeds by unsubscribing to those I don’t read anymore, and I’ve got a long way to go!

As for book blogs, I follow a lot, but I have about twenty or so that I really read and try to comment on. Sometimes the sheer number is kind of overwhelming…but that’s where multitasking comes in. ;)

Happy Friday, everyone!