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Archive for April 2011

[Review] Take That - Take One

This book is a pictorial of the first 6 years of Take That, from 1990-1996. Aptly named Take One [from the first time that they were around], it was a nice look back to some older, never-before-seen photos of the band.

I was not really a fan of them the first time around, so it was quite funny to see most of the photos from when they were *ahem* a spandex, leather-wearing boy band, who appealed to some gays, and other teenagers. I particularly never liked the songs they had back then, until Back For Good came out, which was monumental.

Anyway, I loved the commentaries provided by the band - they were not as many as from Take Two, but nevertheless it gave me an idea of what the lads were thinking of and a brief story at the time that the photos had been taken.

It is a must-have for the TT fans - I initially had second thoughts about getting this book, seeing as I already have Take Two, but I couldn't pass the chance! A little background though - the book was sold out at the Book Depository so I asked a friend of mine from Dubai to get a copy of it. Good thing it was still available there ;)

I would have loved to post some of my favourite photos here but sadly, my computer is acting up. Some of them included photos of Jason reading a fan letter, and uh.. some other photos of Jason. Isn't it obvious he's my favourite? :)

Don't expect too much from this book though. It's not a biography of sorts about the band - if you need an insight of what is going on within TT, read Gary Barlow's My Take book [if you could grab a copy of it as well]

Published: 2009
Available From: Amazon.
Publisher: Penguin books/Michael Joseph
Book was: bought from Dubai
Rating: Excellent photo book - esp if you're a fan of the band[5/5]

Books for Swap

Because my shelves are overflowing and I need to have a new selection of books, I'm going to list down all the books I'd like others to read/appreciate since I'm not going to read them any more.

For me, life is too short to read all my book collections again - so I'm weeding down the ones I'm keeping to those that I really love.

So without further adieu, below are books I'm willing to swap with. If you're interested in any of the books below, feel free to leave a comment below with a book you can swap with. This offer is valid only to Manila residents who can meet up with me. Apologies but I don't have the budget to send books abroad or within the area via courier.

I will update this list as soon as I have other books that I'll let go of :)

Wishlist - any YA/paranormal/fantasy fiction that I haven't read and would love to read. Just state the title of the book you wish to swap something with :)

Books for Swap:

1. Amazing Grace - Tara FT Sering. Almost-new condition.
2. Wish You Were Dead - Todd Strasser [Hardcover]. Almost-new condition.
3. The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan [TP]. Good condition.
4. Bridget Jones Diary - Helen Fielding. Okay condition. [yellowed pages though]. MMP
5. Lord of the Rams: The Greatest Story Never Told - Ronan Smith. Good condition. [You could get this for free]
6. Cause Celeb - Helen Fielding. Okay condition. [yellowed pages though]. MMP

In My Mailbox # 25 The Travel Book Special

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It features bought, borrowed, or received books as well as other cool stuff from the mail.

So, Fully Booked just had a sale at Top Shelf at their The Fort Branch recently. And by god, was it a great sale. Books from P50, P70, and P100. Their original price? It varies. But then I discovered the travel book table and most of the books I got were only P50!

If you know the prices of books in Manila, then you'll know that the travel guidebooks cost around P800 to as high up as P1000+. Definitely out of my budget.

I don't normally buy guidebooks when I travel. I mostly search on the internet and read through blogs and forums to get an idea of itineraries and where to go and build my own trip from there, but how could I resist not buying the below? They are just cheaper! :)

So, here's what I got:
- Directions: Edinburgh.
- Timeout: London
- Timeout: Weekend Breaks in Great Britain & Ireland
- Timeout: London Walks 2
- Lonely Planet: The Gap Year Book
- Eyewitness Travel: Rome

I passed on getting a copy of Lonely Planet: Eastern Europe [I won't be going there anytime soon], Timeout: Lisbon [Portugal- again, won't be getting anywhere soon], Timeout: Berlin [Germany - maybe within the next three years? Maybe?]

There were loads of guidebooks there - I just had to contain myself and NOT buy everything that I see. I had to rationalize that I will only get books that I would read within the near future, and well, there may be other book sales that I could get some of the other books of other places from. :)

Speaking - National Bookstore has a 20% off summer sale. I'm still contemplating if I'll get a copy of the Lonely Planet travel book. But it's just sooo expensive [yes, even at 20% off]

[Review] 39 Clues # 9 - Storm Warning by Linda Sue Park

Summary from Goodreads:

On the hunt for The 39 Clues, Amy and Dan Cahill uncovered shocking information about their past - from what happened the night their parents died to the shattering discovery about their family branch.
But the biggest secret of all remains behind Grace Cahill's alternate will. Now, Amy and Dan are about to discover a long-hidden secret of the Cahils - a secret so dangerous that people died to protect it. Will this be the end of them? Or just the end of everything they think they knew?

Thoughts - This time, Dan and Amy go to the Carribean to search for a clue that was left by a female pirate whose name they found on a locket in China [ooooh]. While Dan and Amy decide not to trust Nellie for most of the trip, they also learn more about their family branch. 

What I truly liked about this book is the background about the Madrigals - what their goals are, where they come from, and who was the founder. Finally, it also revealed who the man in black [or gray] was, and how all the loose ends tie up from the past 8 books. One more book to go, and the conclusion [well, that's what I thought at first, until the Vesper's Rising book came out]

What I don't like about this book - another death/tragedy to happen in the series. *sigh* For a children's book there's definitely a dark side to the series! Anyway, I'm not happy with how the death scene was done. When I was reading it, I was thinking "wait, that's it?? No happy ending?" and wishing that the person who died in the book would magically come back to life near the end of the book and say he/she was just faking their death as part of the hunt. Oh well. I guess some books definitely don't end in happy endings. 

Surprisingly, I cruised through this book quite easily - considering I was rambling about and complaining on my other posts that the series is now too long and is a bit boring. I can't believe I said that.

Can't wait to read book 10 then!

Published: 2010
Available From: everywhere!
Publisher: Scholastic
Book was: Borrowed from a friend.
Rating: Good. [3/5]

In My Mailbox # 24 The Michelle Moran Special

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It features bought, borrowed, or received books as well as other cool stuff from the mail.

This week's In My Mailbox is a special one - dedicated to all the books/stuff I got from author, Michelle Moran!! For those of you who don't know, Michelle Moran is one of my favourite authors. She writes historical fiction and has written four books to date: Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen, Cleopatra's Daughter and her latest, Madame Tussaud.

I read and reviewed Michelle's third novel, Cleopatra's Daughter way back in January 2010 and was more than excited when she sent me an email, asking if I was interested in reading her latest offering, Madame Tussaud - HELL YES!

After a few weeks, I got this letter in the post [picture on the left]. It was handwritten by Michelle and written on a stationery with I presume, Marie Antoinette on the side. Interesting! What's really cool was that the stamp on the envelope it was in was very, very unique! It was designed after the final cover of Madame Tussaud! OMG!!!

So, I was still waiting for the book to arrive in the mail, but before that, Michelle was offering signed bookplates up on her website. I jumped at the chance and signed up for three. It came with a bonus bookplate too! So I got four, one for every book that she has written :) Of course, I stuck one on my copy of Cleopatra's Daughter, and stuck another one [the one with Nefertiti] on my copy of Nefertiti.

But wait, there's more! The same week after I got the bookplates, my copy of Madame Tussaud arrived! I thought it was lost forever in the mail, turns out it was just misdirected to another town's post office.

If you live in the Philippines, you'll know that whenever you receive small parcels via post, you'll have to collect them from your city's pot office and pay a customs fee. I live in a place called Muntinlupa, and the closest post office we have in our city is in Alabang. However, the book was mailed to the Las Pinas post office - around 40 minutes away from my place!

Nevertheless, I asked someone from the house to make the semi-long commute to get the book for me and tadaaaah! It's now on my hands!! I can't believe it! I got an ARC!

But wait, there's more!!  I was browsing on the internet, looking for some used books that I'm looking for, and one of the sites I frequent, Julie's Sari-Sari Store, had Nefertiti up for sale!!

I immediately reserved it [along with a few others on my wishlist], and got the book a day later! What a wonderful surprise!! Now I have 3 books by Michelle and I just need The Heretic Queen to complete my collection. I won't give up trying to find it though! I know it's out there somewhere, and if I can't find it in Manila, there's always the Book Depository!

I'm a happy, happy girl! I can't wait to start reading Madame Tussaud and Nefertiti! Watch out for my reviews soon! And if all goes well, Madame Tussaud and Nefertiti will go with me on my trip of a lifetime. If all goes well :)

All three books pictured below!

So, what did you guys get in your mailboxes? Care to share? :)

Review: The 39 Clues # 8: The Emperor's Code by Gordon Korman

Summary from Goodreads: 

As the race to find the 39 Clues builds to its explosive finish, Amy and Dan must steal a Clue guarded by thousands of the world's best soldiers. With their enemies closing in, the siblings are separated. Together, they almost have a chance, but alone ...Could the search for this Clue spell the end of Amy and Dan?

The first few pages of this book and it made me want to jump on a plane to Beijing [hello budget airlines]. In this book, a certain twist made me more interested than usual: Dan and Amy got separated after an argument about their parents. Oooh! And in this book, we get to see the life of Jonah Wizard, and meet his mom too!

As Dan and Jonah travel around China in search of clues [and supposedly while in search of Amy], Amy is fretting about her brother in Beijing.

This scenario definitely was something I did not expect. And given the clues, we see the humanity behind all of the deceit and the lies.

Did I enjoy the book? Yes. It was quite a good read as well. I immediately launched on the 9th book of the series. Was the book presented or written well? Absolutely. If not, I wouldn't want to jump on a plane to Beijing immediately!

Published: 2010
Available From: everywhere!
Publisher: Scholastic
Book was: Borrowed from a friend.
Rating: Good. [3/5]

24 Hour Readathon April 2011 Updates.


Might as well post an update. So far, I've read 30 pages of Take That - Take One, 5 pages of Shane Lynch's the Chancer, and 5 pages of The 39 Clues # 9 - Storm Warning.

I'm not entirely sure that I could go online at around 9PM Manila time [GMT+8] but I sure hope so! I'm off to watch When In Rome now in Star Movies. It's not everyday that I get to watch movies at home and is a good pick me up. Of course during the commercials, I'll read :) I'll also be off for most of the day tomorrow - I'm going on an out of town trip with my mum! But I'll try my best to make the most of the readathon by reading whenever I can!

Off now, update in a bit! [hopefully]

APRIL 9, HOUR 15 of the FFP Readathon, I've done the following:

- Read a few pages of Take That - Take One and The 39 Clues # 9: Storm Warning.
- Updated the blog - scheduled a review for the 39 Clues # 8: The Emperor's Code

After that, I'll be reading more of Take That - Take One, and 39 Clues # 9. I'm going for lunch now and would be back to update the blog a little bit more. Note to self: I should really take note of the pages I've read within the hour too so I could update the blog more accurately.

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The FFP and Dewey April 2011 24-Hour Readathon.

Apologies for the lack of updates recently. Everything in my life has been hectic, even my social life! Ha Ha! This is my only semi-free Saturday - I just got a new puppy today and I'm spending time at home trying to get him settled in and doing other stuff around the house :)

So, I'm joining both the FFP one [running from April 8th, 9PM-April 9th, 9PM Manila time] and the Dewey one [running from 7PM April 9th to 7pm April 10th].

I can't say that I'll be awake for the whole 40+ hours. I've only just started bits and bobs of reading for the FFP readathon last night from 9PM to 11PM then fell asleep and only woke up at 11AM! Ha Ha!

Here's the books that I'm going to read during the two readathons:

1. Take That - Take One. I finally got my copy and read a few pages of it this morning! Here's to me finishing the whole book :)

2. The 39 Clues # 9: Storm Warning by Linda Sue Park. Because I'm lagging behind on the 39 Clues.

3. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. Woohoo. Rick Riordan <3

4. The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King. My default book. I always include it on my readathons :)

5. DK Sightseeing Guides: Rome. Because my mom wanted me to read it.

6. Time Out Guides: London. Just because :)

I'll also try to update the blog with scheduled posts and reviews! I've really been lagging behind!

So, off to the readathon. I'm excited!!!
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