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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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. :)

10 for 2010: Favorite Reads

And here is the final 10 for 2010 list for this year, and the hardest one at that. There has just been too many good books in this year that it’s so hard to pick just ten. But I have to choose ten…but that doesn’t mean I can’t have runner ups and honorable mentions. ;) It’s my list, I can do anything I want to. :P

So, the last 10 for 2010, here are 10 of my Favorite Reads in no particular order…and then some. :)

1. Persuasion by Jane Austen – How much do I love this book? I am very glad that I chose this book as my first classic read for this year. I love Anne Elliot, and I want to be her. I don’t have much point of comparison over other Austen books, but this one is really, really good, even better than P&P. :) I cannot recommend this one enough. :)

2. Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews – I fell in love with the Kate Daniels series this year (thanks again to Chachic and Michelle for pushing!), but among the four books out in the series, Magic Strikes is the best one so far. It’s got action, tension and all the yummy hotness of Kate and Curran in all of it. Plus the ending had me all smiling and giggly and that is always very, very good. :)

2. Feed by Mira Grant – This book wasn’t the one that got me started on zombies this year, but it was the zombie book I loved the most. :) This book had me from the cover, and then with the story. I loved how geeky this book is and how emotional it is at the end. I loved the characters, and I loved the theme of the story…and I just really loved every bit of this book! This is one of the books that I got in Kindle, then got in print because I want to have my own copy. I gave a copy away, then I gave one as a gift, and now I’m (sort of) giving this away, too. I love this book that much.

3. Happyface by Stephen Emond – This is one of the impulse buys that I never regretted. I wasn’t a fan of hardcovers, but I am glad I got this one the moment I saw it because there are no copies of this one here. This is one of my favorite contemporary YA reads of the year. Happyface is such a darling character, and you just can’t help but fall in love with him. The plot is simple, but it’s very surprising and heartwarming at the end. I wish there were more copies of Happyface here so more people can read it…but that’s why I’m giving one away, right? ;) Oh, and I still think I look like Gretchen. ;)

4. North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley – This was another impulse buy, but I’ve been seeing this one way before I got it. I am glad I got it, too, because it has such a beautiful story. The story may sound a bit cheesy with all the beauty talk, but it doesn’t only just talk about inner beauty and self-esteem, but also complications of a family and dreams that never came true. Terra’s transformation was very inspiring, and the ending left me feeling very good about myself, and very beautiful. :) Truly a gem.

6. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – I wasn’t planning to read this, and I stopped reading the start for a couple of times, but after I finished the first chapter, I got hooked. Before I Fall is a surprisingly good and powerful novel about life, death, friendship and the choices we make and how they affect people. I finished this book with a wistful smile on my face and tears in my eyes, thankful that I finally gave in and read it.

7. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – This is one of the book that I know I would love, only because the people whose book tastes I trust loved this one, too. After reeling from The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, I needed more dystopia to keep the high going, so I finally read this one. And I loved every bit of it. I know it gets better with the next two books, and I am very excited to read them. :D Soon.

8. Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John – This book wouldn’t have made the list if I didn’t read it on time. If I read it in 2011, this would probably have made it in my 2011 list. :P I love the cover, and the story is just as good as the book. It’s not often you read a YA novel about a band, and it’s even rarer that you read a heroine who was deaf. It’s got diverse characters, a great story and a very rocking ending. :) A book that makes me reconsider my Top 10 is a book that deserves more attention. :D

9. Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra – You know you really love a book when you re-read it and it still gives you the same feeling it did on the first read. You know you love a book when you actually re-read it in the first place, and within the same year, to boot! I re-read Fairy Tale Fail after I finished reading The Maze Runner, and I really needed a pick-me-up after. It definitely picked me up, and it made me wish to have my own Lucas all over again. :)

10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – And like every Best of 2010 books out there, I must not forget about Anna and the French Kiss! This book was an absolutely fun read. After a series of not-so-stellar books, this one just kind of blew my mind. :) I realized a lot of things in this book, particularly: I still love contemporary YA the best, and you can tell a completely ordinary story in an extraordinary way. This is also one of the books that I got on Kindle first, then the hardcover when I found out it’s already available here. That much love, people. That much love. :)

Runners-Up:

  • Paper Towns by John Green – I finished the John Green trifecta this year, and out of all books, I have decided that I liked Paper Towns best. While An Abundance of Katherines was the funniest and happiest, I thought Paper Towns had the better plot and would fare better for a re-read. :) Plus Radar + Ben and the road trip? Priceless.
  • Tall Story by Candy Gourlay – I wouldn’t have heard of this one if not for Pao and Chachic, and I am glad I got this one. Tall Story is a charming story about siblings, Filipino folklore and magic. This is a very heartwarming story, and I am glad this book is available internationally so more people can read it. If you haven’t read it, do include it in your 2011 reading list. You won’t regret it. :)
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman – I wouldn’t have picked this book up if I hadn’t heard good things about it from my Goodreads friends. Perhaps my reaction to this was a bit similar to The Knife of Never Letting Go – I plunged into it ready to love it, and I did. It’s not a very cheerful book being dystopia, but it’s very good and it has a lot of potential for a re-read. :)
  • Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr – I read two of Sara Zarr’s books last year and I loved them, so when I saw she had a new book, I knew I had to read it. Once Was Lost was just as beautiful as her other books, but I think I like this one more because it tackled faith. I loved how simple Zarr’s prose was, and how she tackled sensitive issues with grace. If I may quote my review: “Once Was Lost makes you think, makes you ask, and in the end, makes you believe that no matter what the tragedy is, no matter how hard things are, there will always, always be hope.
  • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan – I read this one fairly recently, and I really liked it. I don’t know if my moods influenced how much I liked it though…but like I said before: any book that has me smiling like an idiot at the last page deserves a recognition. :)

Honorable Mentions:

See, I told you it was too hard. I’m sorry if I overwhelmed you with too many books in this list! It’s just very, very hard to choose. Maybe next year I’ll be more critical, but I’m glad I read so many good books this year. Looking forward to what 2011 had to offer. :)

Now it’s your turn. What’s your top reads in 2010? :)

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
10 Blogging and Reading Highlights

I’m giving away some of my favorite books in 2010 in my Anniversary Giveaway! Get to know the awesomeness that is Feed by Mira Grant, the first book in the Newsflesh trilogy! 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!

10 for 2010: Favorite Authors

One of the many things I like about reading is discovering new favorite authors. They’re the ones you know that whatever book they will release, you’ll automatically get it, and you would still like them even if that new book wasn’t as good as the others (at least until their books just become really bad). 2010 gave me a chance to discover new authors that I haven’t read before, and they’re now added to my list of auto-buys. Not all of these authors have a lot of books out, nor have I read all of their works, but the ones I read for this year impressed me so much that I am looking forward to their next releases. :)

Today’s 10 for 2010 is 10 Favorite Authors (again, in no particular order):

1. Patrick Ness – I’ve heard of his Chaos Walking series  a lot, and I wasn’t really planning on reading it. But boy oh boy, I’m glad I started. Patrick Ness is one of those authors from where awesomeness comes. And this is only me raving about the first book (and the novella). And I absolutely love it that he’s a runner, too.

2. Stephen EmondHappyface is one of my favorite books this year, and I found Stephen Emond very much like him. You guys should totally follow him on Twitter — he’s hilarious. And his Tumblr, too. :) And I’m not just saying this because I’m supposedly the president of his fans club. :P

3. Ilona Andrews – This husband-wife team is probably the best world-building authors I’ve read this year. They made Kate Daniels‘ world so real that I feel like I also lived there at some point while reading. I can’t wait to read the On the Edge series, and of course, the rest of Kate Daniels. :)

4. Mina V. Esguerra – I got to talk to Mina online last year because I asked her for a pep talk for the Pinoywrimos, and this year, she sent me an email about her ebook. I loved Fairy Tale Fail so much that I re-read My Imaginary Ex, and when she announced that she has a new book coming, I stalked the bookstores more often just so I could find it. Mina is now one of my favorite local authors, and she inspires me to finish my other NaNo chick-lits. :D I look forward to reading her future books!

5. John Green – I’ve heard of John Green for the longest time now, but it took me this year to read his books. I now understand why he’s such a staple in the contemporary community. John Green is the male version of Sarah Dessen, only quirkier, funnier and he has he most awesome sidekicks. When oh when are you coming out with a new book?

6. Rachel Hauck – I haven’t been reading too many Christian novels this year, but after I splurged on her books when I saw them on sale on Amazon, I started liking Rachel Hauck more. I was pretty lukewarm on her first novel, but her Lowcountry Romances are fun and sweet. She will definitely be one of my go-to authors if I want something light and sweet and Southern. :)

7. Kristin Cashore – I wasn’t really a fantasy fan at the start of this year, but Kristin Cashore was one of those authors who helped me convert. Much thanks to Adele’s rave reviews over Graceling and Fire, I gobbled up those two books too, and I love her since then. I love the way she writes and what she writes, and when that is probably the perfect combination. :)

8. Carrie Ryan – Her books made me love zombies again. Not everyone liked her books, but she has this way of writing that pulls me inside her world and make me feel what the characters feel and see. I love how thematic her zombie novels are, and how she never used the word “zombie” in her series. :D Someday, I want to write like she does.

9 . Mira Grant – I have professed my love for her zombie book, Feed, so many times in this blog, and I really, really cannot wait for the next book, Deadline. Should I even explain more why she’s here? I am very curious about her other books she wrote with her real name, Seannan McGuire — if only I can find copies of them here.

10. Stephanie Perkins – This author just totally rocked my contemporary world this year. It’s obvious that I love Anna and the French Kiss, and Stephanie is such a cool person online that it’s plus points for her. I cannot wait to read what she comes up with next.

Runner-up:

  • Jackson Pearce – Jackson Pearce is one of those super funny authors on Twitter that I started following before I even read her books. I loved As You Wish, and I liked Sisters Red, and I cannot wait for Sweetly. While I can’t say she’s one of my absolute auto-buy authors, I can definitely say that her books are those that will always have a place in my wish list. :)
  • Tamora Pierce – I’m a late fan, but better late than never, right? Tamora Pierce is like Kristin Cashore’s mom, and I know I should have liked her first, but forgive me for being such a fantasy noob. I now understood why Alanna is a hero for many girls, and why Trebond is such a magical, magical place. :) I look forward to reading her other books. :D

Check out my other 10 for 2010 posts!
10 Favorite Male Characters
10 Favorite Female Characters
10 Favorite Couples

Again, I’m giving away some of my favorite books in 2010 in my Anniversary Giveaway! If you haven’t read a John Green book ever, then here’s your chance to get his third book, Paper Towns for free! 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!

10 for 2010: Favorite Couples

I am a sucker for a good romance. Not a love triangle, mind you, but an honest to goodness believable romance. I was never a fan of the love at first sight thing, nor those romances where the two characters barely know each other and fall in love. I like my romances developed over time, and I like good friendships that serve as a foundation for those romances. Did that make sense?

So today’s 10 for 2010 are the couples that made my toes curl, made my heart beat faster and made me sigh with happiness as I closed the last page of their book (or the latest book, in case it was a series). Here are my Top 10 Couples for 2010.

1. Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth (Persuasion by Jane Austen) – Do I really even have to explain this? :P Austen really knows her couples and even if the language is old or there aren’t many breathtaking moments in her stories. There always seems to be an ultimate breathtaking moment in the story. I mean, how can Anne Elliot say no to a letter that tells her, “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago.” It’s no wonder so many people love Austen.

2. Anna and Etienne (Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins) – Probably my favorite couple of the year. :) These two deserve all the recognition they get because their relationship is one of the most realistic relationships I have ever read about. I like their friendship, I like their witty banter and I like how imperfectly perfect their relationship was. I know the road to getting to the end for the two of them is difficult and often painful, but I wouldn’t mind going through that if it meant having my own Etienne. :)

3. Fire and Brigan (Fire by Kristin Cashore) – Fire and Brigan are like Anna and Etienne in a fantasy world, and then some. Fire was apprehensive of Brigan, and we had no idea what was going on in Brigan’s mind. And then the two started talking. And talking. There’s a certain sweetness in how their relationship developed that makes me smile.

4. Lissa and Kaz (It’s All About Us # 6: The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth by Shelley Adina) – This was one of the couples I squee’d over at the start of the year. I love Shelley’s series, and I love that she ended the series with a full circle, going back to Lissa and how different she is from the first book. And I love how she wrapped up Lissa’s love life here — Kaz is simply perfect for her. Remembering them still gives me the tingles. :) It’s you. It’s me. It’s us. *sigh*

5. Kate and Curran (Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews) – This couple is just…well, hot. The sexual tension between them was sizzling from the moment they met! I love how Curran cared for Kate even while they beat each other up. I love how Kate denied that she liked Curran for a long time until finally giving in and admitting to herself that she’s interested (hmm, reminds me of someone!). I love how the authors take their time in building their relationship. I cannot wait to see what happens next. :)

6. Ellie and Lucas (Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra) – What’s not to love about this relationship? I like how they started out as friends, and how Lucas wasn’t a rebound guy for Ellie. I like how uncomplicated things are for them. I love that they’re both okay with themselves before they got together, and this goes to show that you need to be your own person before being with someone else.

7. Elle and Heath (Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck) – These are two truly broken people: one grieving for the loss of his wife, the other hurt from a broken engagement. I love how these two became a part of each other’s healing and eventually fall in love. These two people are the most prayerful couple I’ve read this year, and even if it’s fiction, their love story has a lot of lessons. :)

8. Ally and Jake (She’s So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott) – This couple is fun. Snarky, and fun and cute. I want them to be together, and it was really good that the author gave us a chance to see both sides of the story. Their love story is cute and fun, and I look forward to the next installment of this series.

9. Eddie and Jane (Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde) – They are the probably the oddest couple in my list, true to Jasper Fforde’s quirky style. They’re not particularly sweet, but I love their team-up and I love how their relationship developed. :) That final twist at the end of Shades of Grey was awesome, even if it seemed like the two are going to go against all odds. Too bad the next book won’t be out anytime soon.

10. Dash and Lily (Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan) – These two almost didn’t make the list only because it took me a while to finish it. But I’m glad I did. They’re not as hot as Anna and Etienne, and their relationship seems highly unbelievable, but they’re such a cute couple that I cannot not include them. There is something so sweet, so fresh, so…innocent about these two that made me love them. And their book has so many quotable quotes that I think I dog-eared so many of it (and incidentally, that’s how Dash’s mom does it too). Super cute. :)

Check out my other 10 for 2010 posts!
10 Favorite Male Characters
10 Favorite Female Characters

Oh, and you do know I’m giving away some of my favorite books in 2010 in my Anniversary Giveaway, right? See why Anna and Etienne are such a lovable couple in Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. 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!