2013 Must-Have Books

I almost forgot to come up with this list because of my recent sort-of blogging slump. Thank goodness for archives, though, because I checked my posts during January and found my 2012 Books I Can’t Wait to Get My Hands On list. In order to keep up with tradition, I am coming up with a list for 2013 so I can remember which books to pre-order for myself and use laser labels (assuming I have them, that is).

Besides, it’s fun writing this list.

Image from we heart it

Image from we heart it

And here we go.

Iscariot by Tosca Lee (February 5). I’ve heard of this book around…2009? Early 2010? And finally, it’s coming out. I am so, so excited for this. I loved Demon and Havah, and when I heard that Tosca is writing a book about Judas Iscariot, I knew I had to get it. I actually have a galley of this already, but I am so, so getting a print copy because it’s Tosca. And I’m pretty sure she’s going to tear my heart apart again with this one.

Iscariot by Tosca Lee

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Required Reading 2013: January

Aaaaand we’re back! It’s that time of the month were we pick books that we want to read for the rest of the days until the next month comes in. :) With that, I bring back my personal reading challenge, Required Reading. Yay!

Required Reading is a reading challenge that is really about getting some books off the Mt. TBR. Just as the name of the challenge meant, Required Reading is about choosing some books that must be read within the month. It doesn’t have to be the only books you read in a month, but they should be read (or at least, started) before the said month ends.

I had some rules on this last year that really applied to me, but in case other people want to join me, here are the rules:

  • Books chosen for the challenge should be in the current TBR pile as of the month of the Required Reading post. So if you decided to join at March, the books you choose for the month should be in your TBR pile as of February.
  • Galleys and ARCs can be included.
  • Posting reviews aren’t necessary (but don’t you want that out of the way, too?).
  • I’ll be posting a theme every month but you don’t have to follow that. You can choose a theme for yourself if you want to — what’s important is the books that you put there are books that you want to get to reading.
  • Lastly: have fun. If you don’t finish a book, it’s okay! If you finish it, then…feel free to reward yourself with something. Like a new book. :D

Feel free to join anytime, or skip months if you may. This is just a fun challenge, and nothing to be pressured about. Okay? Okay. :)

Required Reading: January

I feel like January is the best time to set reading goals and pick books to read, and I honestly had to resist the urge to pick the 52 books that I plan to read for the rest of the year and go do other things, like check the best selection of custom lapel pins. I felt like choosing them in advance since 52 feels like an easy number compared to say, 100, and I kind of like being OC about it. But since I also like winging it, I had to stop, and had to be content with choosing books for the first month.

I wasn’t so much in touch with the blogging world at the last part of the 2012, but I was in tune with what my friends in the book club are reading. So for January, I’ve decided to go for a Recommended Books from several friends for my list. I trust their tastes, so I’m hoping I would like these books too.


  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – Recommended by my book club. This is our group’s book of the month. It’s going to be fiery discussion, yes?
  2. Life of Pi by Yann Martel – recommended by several friends in the club who liked it. Also reading this now to prepare for the movie. I’ve been wanting to read this one since college but I never got myself a copy. I’m honestly looking forward to getting to know the tiger.
  3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – You know, I wouldn’t have decided to read this if our book club did not put up a Support Group for this chunkster. I was checking the threads one day and I saw bits of their discussion, and I felt inclined to join. Angus gave me a copy, so there is no turning back. I’m pretty sure this will spillover to February. Also, yes, I am reading this for the movie, but like I said, I don’t think I’ll finish it on time. :D
  4. Ghostwritten by David Mitchell – Recommended by the Mitchell Mafia in the book club. :D I really enjoyed Cloud Atlas last year, and I’m really looking forward to reading more Mitchell this year.

I wanted to add a fifth one, but I realize that Les Miserables will probably take up most of my time, so I will take it easy. :) I’m reading three at the same time, and I hope I don’t get lost! :D

Share your reading list for January (or posts to your January reading list) in the comments! :)

Say hi to the Required Reading Gang! :D

2013 Reading Goals and Challenges

Happy New Year! Before the first day of 2013 officially ends, I thought I’d put this post up now before I work on my 2013 wish list and my first Required Reading for 2013. Oh, and of course, catch up on the reviews. :) I still plan on writing reviews for the other books I read in 2012, promise!

Image from we heart it

Image from we heart it

The start of the year is always the best time to join challenges, yes? 2012 saw some sort of change in my reading habits, so I’m adjusting my goals for this year to fit those new habit and preferences more comfortably. Because I believe that there should be no pressure when it comes to something like reading, plus I feel that 2013 will be a busy year for everything else in my life. I’m taking advice from people like Dr Hauschka…no wait, I meant, general advice from everyone else to take it easy and just enjoy reading. :)

So! Here are my reading goals and challenges for 2013. :)

52 Books

I am lowering the number of books I plan to read this year significantly because like I said, I’ve don’t read as fast as I used to. I blame my social life for that. Also, I’m starting to venture to other genres, and I tend to read and absorb instead of just read through. So I’ll take it easy with the number and just aim for 52 books — 1 book a week. :) Should be easy enough.

5 Classics

As usual, there’s the 5 classics book goal for the year. I only got to 2 in 2012, but I hope to finally reach 5 this year. Well, okay, I got to 5 in 2011, but three of them were children’s classics and two were rereads, so I hope this year, I would tackle new ones. :)

4 Chunksters

I’m trying to embrace the reality of doorstoppers, and you know, not fear very thick books. Heh. I read 2 of them last year, and I want to read more of them in 2013. I intend to read one every quarter, and so far, here’s my list:

  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin

20 Filipino Books

I was surprised that I got to more than 20 Filipino books this year. I thank the Filipino ReaderCon and author friends and friends from local publishing houses for this, because I got access to more local fiction. I look forward to more of that this year. :)

Required Reading 2013

I will still be doing Required Reading for 2013, especially since other friends have started doing it, too, with their own variations sometimes. It helps me when I plan what books I will read in the month. Watch out for my first Required Reading post this week!

The Reread Factor

I enjoyed rereading several books last year, mostly because they’re less pressure reads and I find that rereading old favorites give me comfort and fresh insight on why I liked the book when I first read it. I will still do this every now and then, but I won’t be setting a goal or counting them anymore. I will probably post about them sometimes, though.

I thought of setting some blogging goals, but quite honestly, I think the blogging has taken a bit of a back seat in the past year. I will still post reviews and some of my features, but there are no specific goals for the blog just yet. I think, in 2013, I will just enjoy my reading and not be too pressured to always blog. :)

Are you planning to join challenges this year? I’m curious! Share them in the comments so we can encourage each other as 2013 unfolds. :) Happy new year, everyone!

2012 Book Report

We’re down to less than 30 hours left for 2012, and I think I’ll spend my last day being sappy/sentimental about the last day of a very good year. I also feel that I may not be able to finish another book until tomorrow, so here’s my 2012 book report. :) How was my 2012 reading year?

Image from we heart it

Image from we heart it

Total books read: 103
Total pages read:
Total print books: 69
Total ebooks:
Total audiobooks: 2
Total rereads: 8
* Includes 160 pages from Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares and 15 pages from Life of Pi

Written by male authors: 38*
Written by female authors: 67*
* Books written by a male and a female author count twice

Reviews written: 90

5 stars – 16
4 stars – 51
3 stars – 28
2 stars – 7
1 star – 1
Did not Finish – 0

2011 Challenges Status:
2 out of 4 books for Chubby Chunkster Challange
3 out of 5 classics for 2012
26 out of 20 books for 20 Filipino Books
8 books for The Reread Factor
28 books for Required Reading

Compared to 2011, all my numbers seem lower, except for the Filipino books. I feel a bit disappointed that I only got to 103 books — my original unwritten goal (at least, my first Goodreads challenge) was 150, but sometime around middle of the year, I started lagging behind. Then I lowered the total number to 120, and then finally lowered it to a solid 100. Oh, and I hardly dented my TBR — I didn’t even make it reach less than 100 books! I think my lowest is 115? I didn’t buy as many books this year, but somehow, I think I acquired more! Strange, isn’t it?

But even if I read fewer books this year, and I read slower now, I think it’s still a good reading year. I read 12 books for our book discussions, and 2/3 of it are books that I normally do not read. I’ve explored so many genres and authors this year that I have started moving away from my usual YA fare, and I have actually started roaming around the other shelves in the bookstores that I normally ignore. I am really excited for this, because I feel like I’m growing up as a reader. Have you ever felt that, too?

As for other bookish things, there’s the United We Read ReaderCon and the very bookish TFG year that made 2012 a very, very bookish year indeed. I kind of sucked at blogging, so I’m sorry about that. There are just some times when blogging has to take a bit of a back seat, but I promise to try harder next year. Oh, and I also said goodbye to Astrid the Kindle 2, but I’m getting a new reading toy very soon (Paperwhite ♥) and I cannot wait to read more books on that!

So that’s 2012 in reading. :) I have about a third of my 2013 reading plan somewhere in my head, because a part of me likes winging things, so I may leave some of my book selections next year to chance. Or, my mood.

I hope you all had a great 2012, and here’s to more bookish adventures in 2013! Happy new year, everyone!