Saturday, October 31, 2015

October 2015: What Happened

Hi folks!

October was a work-filled month for me. I'm not going to deny it, I was stressed because of work. Haha! But hopefully, November will be a relaxed one. Here's a short recap of my October blog- and book-wise. :)

Books I Read:
Quanta by Lola Dodge
Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra
Paper Planes Back Home by Tara Frejas
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The Servant Leader by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges

Reviews Posted:
Quanta by Lola Dodge (+ Blog Tour + Characters' Bio)

Bookish Thoughts and Feels:

Other:

-o-

This month of November, I will be putting myself on a book-buying ban, which also includes not accepting blog tours and review requests, until I read at least 10 from my TBR pile.

I will update you of my progress. I've already started reading Gone by Michael Grant which sat on my TBR for about a year. Haha!

-o-

That's all folks!
How was your October?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Buying Ban

Ban: verb \ˈban\
-to forbid people from using (something); to say that something cannot be used or done
- to forbid (someone) from doing or being part of something (Merriam-Webster)

-o-

Book nerds and book lovers, we all know this. Whether self-imposed or imposed by some higher entity, we've been on a book buying ban, (or is currently on one or will be sooner). Because even though our TBR piles are looking more like mountain ranges, we still buy hoard books. And who can blame us, really? With all those new releases and new editions? Sometimes, we just have to have them.

And later on, we will realize that our books don't fit in our shelves anymore, that they have started piling up in 1, 2, 3 and/or 4 corner/s of our room. Then we have to make the decision. We have to stop buying books, at least for some time. We have to face our TBRs and do our best in lowering our glorious pile.

Dramatic huh? Haha! Well, I will be putting myself on a book buying ban. Okay, I've been imposing bans for years now but never really went through with it. Haha! But this time folks, I'm doing it. I'm really doing it. Because 1) I have no shelf space and 2) I have a lot of unread books and the practical me doesn't want that.

I already started my book buying ban this month. I have also started reading books from my pile and some review galleys. This coming November, I will not participate in any blog tours nor accept any review requests until I read at least 10 books from my TBR.

So far, I'm doing good with not buying books. Haha! I just hope I will be able to read more since I'm quite busy with work. I will try to update you folks of my progress. :)

Wish me luck folks! How about you? What are your experiences with book buying ban? Are you currently on one? Let me know! :)

-o-

Have a nice day folks!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde: Book Review

Title: The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1)
Author: Jasper Fforde
Publication Details: February 25th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 2001)
Literary Awards: Locus Award Nominee for Best Science Fiction Novel (2002), Dilys Award Nominee (2003), ALA Alex Award (2003), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2006) (source Goodreads)
Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Fantasy, Mystery
Copy: Paperback bought from National Book Store

Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide (Source: Goodreads).


I was not really planning on reading the Thursday Next series. It was not on my TBR list. I haven't really heard anything about it. But one Warehouse Sale, I chanced upon One of Our Thursdays is Missing and The Woman Who Died A Lot. The synopsis intrigued me so I bought them thinking that there'll be only three books in the series. When I got home, I checked Goodreads. And bam, there are 8 books! Haha! One of Our Thursdays is Missing is actually book 6 and The Woman Who Died A Lot is book 7. Haha!

I bought The Eyre Affair last year but I only read it this month. And folks, I should've read it sooner.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Paper Planes Back Home by Tara Frejas: Blog Tour + Book Review


Title: Paper Planes Back Home
Author: Tara Frejas
Publication Details: February 21, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Romance


When Gianna wakes up on a cloud, she is disoriented yet fascinated. She thinks she's only dreaming until she gets a storm of paper planes—"They're thoughts of people who remember," a man on another cloud tells her—each pleading for her not to leave. The man tells her these planes are the key to get out of there, and while she thinks it's hard to believe, she decides everything is worth trying if it meant finding her way back home.



Before anything else, don't you just love the cover? Look how pretty it is! It would be really, really nice to have a print copy of this book, yeah? Haha!

Anyway, on to my review...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra: Blog Tour + ARC Review


Title: Learning to Fall
Author: Mina V. Esguerra
Publication Details: October 6th 2015 by Flirt Publishing
Genre: New Adult, Romance

“Go out with a stereotypical romance novel hero WHO ISN’T YOUR TYPE.”

Avid reader and art student Steph is participating in a monthly blog challenge to Live Like Fiction, and this was the task for October. When Grayson, former co-captain of her university rugby team, walks into her class, she knows it’s meant to be – she has to go out with this guy. Even if she’s never been attracted to big, hunky, athletic types. With Grayson’s “player” reputation off the field, Steph thinks he’ll be good for one date that’ll be worth blogging about, and that’s it.

But you know how it goes: Soon, it becomes more than just one date – and Steph and Grayson are caught up in “living like fiction.” How long can they keep playing their roles before reality steps in?



I don’t usually read New Adults, but I requested an ARC because of the premise. Learning to Fall follows Steph, a book blogger who took on a challenge to “live like fiction”, do things she wouldn’t normally do, and be someone else for a time. I thought it was interesting and somehow refreshing so I took the chance.

-o-

I liked how the plot does not only revolve around Steph's love life but also around life entering adulthood. I was able to relate to the overwhelming responsibilities after college. Haha! I liked how the author was able to put into the story the struggle of decision-making, of tying everything up for a future one is hoping for and how things will eventually work out in the end.

And of course I was also able to relate to the book blogging bit. While I will never let my blog get in the way of other things, I sure can relate to Steph because book blogging really requires time and effort. I'm not complaining folks (Haha!), it's just the truth. And it's up to the book blogger to prioritize things and organize his/her time. Unlike Steph though, my book blog sometimes take the fall not my "other lives". I'm trying my best, though, to schedule posts ahead of time. Haha!

I was quite uncomfortable with the adult contents, but otherwise, I did enjoy my reading experience. Steph and Grayson are fun to read and get to know. They are easily relatable and inspiring. They reminded me to take chances and to see other things. I also liked how the secondary characters affect the main ones and played a role in their character development.

Told in a first person perspective (Steph's POV), the story is easy to follow and understand. Learning to Fall is a short, easy and inspiring read. It's not just a love story but also a story about trying new things and exploring one’s self and one’s capabilities.



Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor's degree in Communication and a master's degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to "Is this story based on you?" is always, always "No."



Friday, October 16, 2015

Feature & Follow #22: Super Powers


Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is where we, book bloggers, can meet new people and gain followers as well!

-o-

Hi folks!

This week's question is suggested by Jess Time to Read.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

I was asked the same question when I was in college but I can't remember what my answer was. Haha! I can think of many super powers I wish to have, but I will stick to three: Time traveling, flying, and speed. I know they're the typical choices but I also think they are quite practical.

Time traveling- because I love history. I don't wish to interfere with the past, I just want to know what happened and how things were before, not only here in the Philippines but also in other countries. I think understanding the past helps one to understand the present and future better.

Flying- Even though I'm afraid of heights, I think flying is a great experience. Well, at least based on my dreams. Flying, I think, is liberating.

Speed- so that I can get a lot of things done in a day. And guys, with so many books to read, speed will be of so much help.

-o-

That's all folks!
How about you? What would be your super power?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

10 Series I Haven't Read Yet

Hi folks!

Last time in my BTaF post, I talked about the series I have yet to finish. For today's post, I want to share with you my top 10 series I haven't read yet but is on my TBR pile. :)

The Lunar Chronicles

The Throne of Glass series

The 5th Wave trilogy

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children trilogy

Chaos Walking trilogy

Mara Dyer trilogy

Code Name Verity

The Passage trilogy

Gone series

Penryn & the End of Days trilogy

-o-

I don't even want to think of the other series (and the new releases). Haha! Seriously, my TBR is piling up!

What do you think of these titles? Have you read them? No spoilers please! :)

-o-

Have a nice day folks!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Quanta by Lola Dodge: Blog Tour + Review + Characters Bio


Title: Quanta (The Shadow Ravens #2)
Author: Lola Dodge
Publication Details: October 13th 2015 by Ink Monster, LLC
Cover: Art: Ana Cruz; Graphics: Paddy Donnelly
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, New Adult
Copy: eARC through NetGalley


Just because Quanta can see the future doesn’t mean she can change it. She’s spent most of her life imprisoned, feeding her captors information to keep herself alive, but she’s finally reached the endgame and her death creeps closer by the moment.

The son of two senators, Altair Orpheus leads a life of privilege that provides the perfect cover for his side job: working with the rebel Shadow Ravens to undermine the ruling Seligo government. Everything is running like clockwork until he crosses paths with Quanta. As he watches her deftly maneuver through life in a perverse prison, his plastic heart melts. A jailbreak would be suicide, but Tair is willing to sacrifice everything to give her a chance at happiness.

Now Quanta senses a terrifying new future brewing. She and Tair are bound together, but every image of them kissing, snuggling, and acting knee-weakeningly happy is balanced by a much darker possibility. They’ll be picture perfect together, but only until time rips them apart. How can she follow her heart when she’s seen how their love plays out?




I read the first book in The Shadow Raven series, Cipher (review here), about a year ago. I remembered liking that one, so when a review opportunity came, I immediately grabbed it.

Plot/World-Building
A short yet gripping and fast-paced read. Quanta is a companion novel following another Red Helix who is a clairvoyant. Despite the narrowness of the setting, as it's mostly located in the laboratory, I was still able to enjoy the book. I especially liked the time-looping element smartly laced into the story. I did not find it dragging and boring. Instead, I found myself looking forward to what will happen to Quanta and Altair.

I think this is my first read about a clairvoyant character, so I find the theme refreshing. Some parts got a bit weird for me, but still acceptable (? Haha!).

There was an insta-love between the 2 characters (as there is with Cipher). And usually, I don't like that trope. HOWEVER, one plot thread in the Shadow Raven series justified it. The technology is quite hard to believe, but as long as there's an explanation, I'm okay with it. Haha!

Characters
The major characters are okay. I did not see anything amazing or extremely unique about them but they are fun to read and get to know. I was able to feel the right "feelings" for each of them and I was able to relate to them easily.

Among the secondary characters, I liked Cass, Altair's sister. And I think it would be nice to read her story too. Her bio is included below. :)

Writing
I liked the writing style of the author. Written in an alternating, first person POV, the writing style made the characters more relatable.

Despite the seemingly complicated theme, I was able to follow and understand the story. The flow of events is smooth, and no too technical words for my nose to bleed. Haha!

-o-

Overall, Quanta is an enjoyable, action-packed read. More than the entertainment, Quanta is about individuality and making decisions for oneself and for others. I definitely recommend this book and the Shadow Raven series. And I can't wait to read the third book! :)


-o-

Want to know more of Quanta and Altair? Read on for their bios.




Name: Quanta
Hair: Long, black (usually tangled)
Eyes: Gray
Helix Color: Red (unstable)
Family: Unknown
Likes: Sweets, drawing (mostly with charcoal), VR games, elephants
Dislikes: The Seligo, captivity, Darren Waldman
Bio: Quanta was an experiment gone wrong (or right?). She was kidnapped from a lab at birth and raised by Lady Eva and the rebel Shadow Ravens, but she was too valuable to be left alone for long. At ten, she was captured again, and she’s lived the past ten years in captivity. Her unstable DNA gives her the power to see the past and the future. That alone would make her insanely powerful, but her abilities are still evolving… And the Seligo are trying to dig the information out of her any way they can.
Reference Photo: Kiko Mizuhara





The author actually took the time to morph the actors.
Kudos to that!

Name: Altair Orpheus (Tair)
Hair: Dark
Eyes: Brown/gold
Helix Color: Green (science)
Family: Parents Rashad and Mei-Lin Orpheus. Sister Cassiopeia Orpheus.
Likes: Independence
Dislikes: The Seligo, mindless parties, being betrayed
Bio: Altair is elite in every sense of the word. His parents (both senators) basically picked his traits from a catalog and he was trained from birth to be exceptional. He was on the path to fulfilling his promise when an accident changed his point of view. Now he works for the rebel Shadow Ravens, using his research and family connections to dig deeper into the inner circles of government research.
Reference Photo: David Henney + Will Demps + Marlon Teixiera + Clint Mauro (or you can just Google the mentioned actors, and imagine them. Haha!)





Bonus side character!


Name: Cassiopeia Orpheus
Hair: Dark curls
Eyes: Violet
Helix color: None
Family: Parents Rashad and Mei-Lin Orpheus. Brother Altair Orpheus.
Likes: Programming, energy drinks, pizza, trapping idiots in VR room escape games
Dislikes: Helixes, sunlight, her parents
Bio: Cassie is tech genius who’s never fit into the system. She designs games and VR helmets, and spends as much time as possible locked in her workroom. Although she’s not so oblivious that she hasn’t noticed her brother, Tair, acting suspicious. He’s definitely up to something.
Reference Photo: Liya Kebede

-o-




Lola is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University—and hasn’t stopped moving since. When she’s not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can’t melt her, writing or bingeing on anime and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.







Tuesday, October 6, 2015

An Invaluable Literary Collection

As a certified book lover and advocate of reading, I dream of having my own library. A roomful of shelves and books where I can sit around, relax, read and just enjoy the company of books.

I believe that most book lovers, if not all, dream of having in their collection literary pieces by famous authors and personalities, that have become the foundation of literature and art.

Invaluable.com, a premier online auction marketplace, carries quite a selection of antique books and literary collectibles that I am sure every book lovers would love to have.

Here are the few lots I have found while browsing their site.



Beautiful, beautiful covers. I think they would look really great in shelves.



These too. Classic, beautiful and Shakespeare. You really can't go wrong with that. :)



I've always wanted an antique Bible. And look at the cover! :)



I'm a fan of George Orwell, so I'd love to have early editions of his works. :)





The lot contains the other books in the trilogy. :)



I haven't actually read The Princess Bride, but I've heard a lot of good reviews.

-o-
While at it, I also browsed other categories and found these beautiful book-related things.

I love owls!

Lot 26640P: Bird Cage Bookends



Just thinking about my own library with these classic, beautiful pieces makes my heart flutter. *sigh* :)

-o-

Aside from the above pieces, I would also love to have the following in my dream literary collection:

  • First or early editions of C.S. Lewis' works
  • First edition hardbacks of the Harry Potter series
  • First or early editions of George Orwell's works
  • First or early editions of Jane Austen's novels
  • First or early editions of Grimm's fairy tales
  • Vintage Penguin books


And a lot more to be honest. Haha! Aaah! Someday, someday, I'll have my own beautiful library.

-o-

That's all folks!

Don't forget to visit Invaluable. I'm positive you'll find beautiful, invaluable lots to add to your literary collection.





Disclaimer: I was asked by Invaluable.com to write a blog post about those books I want to have in my literary collection. All photos are taken from Invaluable.com.

Monday, October 5, 2015

September 2015: What Happened

Hi folks!

How was your September? Mine was quite eventful because of the book fair, not to mention all the books I bought! :) Here's a short recap.

Books I Read:
The Elite by Kiera Cass
The One by Kiera Cass
Quanta by Lola Dodge

Review Posted:

Shame. I only posted one review. Tsk tsk.

Bookish Thoughts and Feels:

Book Haul:

Photo Diaries:

Book Signing Event:

-o-

There you go folks!

My October will be a very busy one because of work, but I have 3 blog tours coming up and some other stuff. Haha! I am also putting myself on a book buying ban, including ARCs requesting, so hopefully no haul for me this month. :)

How about you? Any plans for October?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Feature & Follow #21: Kiss, Marry, Kill


Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is where we, book bloggers, can meet new people and gain followers as well!

-o-

This week's question is suggested by Watcha Reading?.

Pick three book characters... Kiss? Marry? Kill?

Kiss
Four of Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
And my kiss will not be a romantic one. It'll just be a comforting, caring one, because I think he needs it. Haha!

Marry
Perry of Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi
Because folks, he's smart, charming, responsible and a true leader. :)

Kill
Dolores Umbridge of Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I don't need to explain why. Haha!

-o-

That's all folks!
Who would you kiss, marry and kill?

Have a nice day!