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Archive for March 2011

In My Mailbox # 23

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, I was in no mood to buy new books recently because I just reserved a few ones online which I'll pay for on Monday. Honestly, I feel I am buying books and deal vouchers like it's the end of the world nowadays!

I was in the mall today when I went to my favourite used bookstore. I wasn't expecting anything nice in the pile but there were loads and loads when I was there! OMG. I had to limit my buying to only three books, which are:

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - Got the trade paperback edition. Woot Woot. And for only 180 pesos [around $4 or 2.5 quid]. I was a bit hesitant in buying it because I thought it was fairly expensive, considering it was used, but the condition is impeccable! Plus, it was discussed in my book club a few months [or a year?] back so it definitely must be good!

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray - I am a fan of anything historical fiction and I've been meaning to get a copy of the Gemma Doyle series. And yay! I finally found it! Book 2 only though, but I know that book 1 would turn up eventually.

To Shield the Queen by Fiona Buckley. - It's a historical fiction book. I wasn't initially going to pick this up as well but since it's only for P10, [less than 20c US] I couldn't put it down anymore!

So, some other stuff I saw in the used bookstore that I passed up [because I only limit myself to only 3 books to buy!]

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris - I already have a copy of this book. And I bought it full price, BOO!!!

Perfume by Patrick Suskind - Again, another book I bought full price, only to find it in a bargain bookstore. Gaah.

Paddington - Here & Now by Michael Bond. Already bought a copy of this from another branch of said used bookstore. :)

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd - It wasn't a priority so I had to let it go.

There's also loads of other hist fic books available in that used bookstore that hopefully would still be there when I get a chance to get back [in 3 weeks time!]

So, what did you guys get in your mailboxes this week?

Next week, I feature a special In My Mailbox with Michelle Moran goodies! :)

[Review] The 39 Clues # 7: The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis

Summary from Goodreads: 
It's no longer a game. The body count is rising. Shaken by recent events, Amy and Dan flee to a distant land and trace the footsteps of their most formidable ancestor yet: a military leader of mythic proportions. Yet just as the siblings begin to master the art of ancient warfare, they confront a dangerous enemy that can't be felled with a sword: the truth. With the stakes higher than ever, Amy and Dan uncover something so devastating it changes everything – the secret of their family branch.
Seven books on and I'm still reading the 39 Clues series, trying to find out what will happen in the end. And with it, there is definitely a pattern with these books. One of their family members tries to kill them, unsuccessfuly of course, they fall in a dark area - a cave, or something like that, and someone who they think is an enemy ends up saving them and gives them hint on their family history, and where they come from.

I think that there is a feeling for me that 10 books is just too many to keep my attention level. I dunno, maybe it's just me. I was having mixed feelings about reading the 8th book, but I must press on and finish the series. After all, I want to know what happens in the end [or maybe the books near the end as those in the loop do know that there is another set of 39 clues books coming out].

So, what do I like about this book? Other than the fact that it delves in the subject of apartheid [albeit briefly] and how unjust the world is, it also reveals a huge secret relating to Dan and Amy: their Cahill branch. [And no, I'm not going to reveal a spoiler here].

Maybe I'm getting too old for reading these types of stories, I dunno. But overall, I'm not that impressed with the books anymore. Here's to the 8th book - in hopes that it would change my opinion with the last 3 books I have yet to read.

Published: 2010

Available From: everywhere!
Publisher: Scholastic
Book was: Borrowed from a friend.
Rating: Ho-Hum. [3/5]

[Review] The 39 Clues # 6: In Too Deep by Jude Watson

Summary from Goodreads:

A hint from their parents’ past puts Amy and Dan on the trail of secrets their grandmother Grace would NEVER have wanted them to know. Awful memories begin to crowd in on Amy, just as her enemies circle closer. How far would she go to protect Dan? How much of a Cahill is she prepared to be? Perhaps Grace was right – some secrets are better left buried.
 Thoughts -- Okay, some parts utterly confounded me.  How could a grown adult be that mean to children? Anyway, moving on. With this adventure, Dan and Amy follow a lead their parents had previously taken, and all the while, Amy has to grasp with the fact about her parents being murdered, dealing with flashbacks every now and again.

The Cahill kids definitely don't know who to trust, what with several information being fed to them on a lot of fronts: Isabel Kabra, Irina, and finally, they get to know stuff about Nellie that she never told them.

There are a lot of loose ends in this book, and several characters showed up that I was definitely not expecting. Sure, it provided a lot of personal insights on Dan and Amy's past, but come on, this feels like it's a series of unfortunate events: two kids against the world and all sorts of bad things happen to them, oh wait, they get saved in the end by someone who turns out to be an ally!

Then again, maybe I was expecting too much of a children's book. Or maybe I was just not in the mood to read something of this kind when everything seems chaotic around me. Oh well.

Kind of scary as well that I was reading the next installation of the book [the 7th one] where there was *spoiler alert* a massive tsunami that had killed lots of people from Indonesia and a few days later, there was this massive earthquake and tsunami that had hit Japan. Ooooh. Scary. Made me think twice about completing the 7th book. Ha. Ha.

So overall, not that impressed with book 6, but hey, I need to read book 6 to get through to book 7, don't I?

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

Mar 12 Book Blogger Meetup.

The Book Bloggers - Photo from Chachic









Okay, I know I said I'm slowing down on blogging a few posts back but I found myself with some extra time this weekend so here I am trying to schedule some posts in hope that you guys won't get bored of me not posting anything ^_^

So, last Saturday, Mar 12th, I went to the Filipino Book Blogger meetup at Libreria. I was actually late for around 45 minutes because I was distracted at National Bookstore Cubao, looking for some excellent finds, but walked away with nothing. Booo. I was actually looking for some travel books but they were too expensive for me at the moment.

Anyway, back to the book blogger meetup. It was actually very informal, and we introduced ourselves and our blog. :) There was also a special guest: Mina V Esguerra, author of Fairy Tale Fail and My Imaginary Ex [among others]. Whee. I actually didn't know she was coming, had I known, I would have scoured the local bookstores for a copy of My Imaginary Ex. [although I think it is very very hard to find now].

We munched some popcorn: Cheddar vs Parmesan flavoured popcorn. What is the difference? Hmm.. Love the cheese though. Thanks for the popcorn, Chachic! Thanks for the donuts Celina :) 

So, some topics we discussed - the 24 hour readathon, and how the PH should have a browse-a-thon where people would read as much as they can for an hour, pass an exam, and the winner would get a copy of the book, the losers would pay for the book. Ha. Ha. Fun, given that Filipinos are known book browsers.

Book Piracy - on how photocopying reading materials for school [*gasp* I didn't know it was illegal! I was photocopying my reading notes throughout my university days!] and how it affects sales of authors. Mina was quick to note that if you get pirated, that means you're a best seller, and most people who download stuff for free has the intention of buying a copy eventually [which I guess, is true]

We also had this mini-debate about the Kinsella and Riordan books. Ha ha. Turns out most people didn't love the books that I soo adored. Oh well, everyone has their tastes :) I guess I'm more mainstream and how I rate the books is depending on my emotional connection to what the characters are feeling and/or how the book was written.

There was also one particular discussion that made me laugh out loud: how there was a blogger who "spies" on what the people are reading in a train station somewhere in America, and how the ereader makes it harder for her to check on the titles that people read. [Which, as we all pointed out, would be easier for those who love reading romance novels, and coincidentally, also lead to how romance novels are a girl's guilty pleasure - and the pages that are the most marked/well-read/dog eared in a romance novel are the steamy parts ;)]
Okay, that was some mighty rambling going on.

I also loved how book hoarding was discussed. And which I could so relate. It's like a shopaholic series, although instead of clothes, we all buy books, and we always buy them even if we have multiple books waiting to be read [hey, we will try to read all the books in our pile... eventually].

We also had a book swap - I got Garden Spells and The Guernsey Library and Potato Peel Society :) It was so much fun, also got some books from Aldrin. Thank you :) They are all featured in my In My Mailbox post for this week.

Note to self - I definitely should have some business cards printed. :)


Oh, for other accounts on the meetup, you can visit these:
Chachic
Tag : , ,

In My Mailbox # 22

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.


From a book swap from the Mar 12 book bloggers meet-up: 


Garden Spell by Sarah Addison Allen


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows


**Both from Celine


From Aldrin: ** thank you!! :) **



The Labrador Pact: A Novel by Matt Haig

Slowing down on reading and blogging.

This is a personal post, but something to do with why I am not as consistent right now in my reviews.

Okay, it all started a few weeks ago, when there are a LOT of things happening in my career. I won't disclose it yet, but some of my collagues and close personal friends do know bits and pieces about it. Well, everyday is a different rollercoaster of emotion for me. Sometimes I ride high, sometimes low, and of course, like everything in life, nothing is ever certain. I'm still uncertain about stuff, even if all the people who know keep telling me the opposite.

So, on that note, I have to say that my reading and my blogging has taken a huge hit. Whenever I try to read books now, I feel that I can't concentrate, my mind seems to always wander to that particular what if scenario that I am constantly thinking about.

I know it is not in my personality do delve on things. Normally, I just move on. But something about this makes me feel that I can't... I just can't move on. Why can't I just leave this uncertainty and paranoia behind and just take it as it is?? Oh well.

So there, I will still be posting reviews [whenever I can finish reading books quickly enough]. I am trying to create a blog review for the 6th 39 Clues Book that I just finished, and I'm trying to start on the 7th.

Goodbye to my previous goal of more than 5 books per month. It's already the second week of March and I've only finished a book.

Oh, the above and travel keep me busy most of the time. Ha.Ha.

But if all goes well, looks like I'll have to narrow down my TBR to a few books that I would want to read while I'm not in my comfort zone. That is, if I do get a chance to read.
Tag : ,

In My Mailbox # 21

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.

Bought:

From Book Depository:
My orders finally arrived!! I placed them on the first week of February and it arrived last Friday evening. Hurrah! Hurrah!

The Tree of Seasons - Stephen Gately. [blurb from Goodreads]

When Josh, Michael and Beth Lotts catch sight of some mysterious lights one summer’s evening, they are drawn into a dense forest near their home where no one dares ever go. What they find there is incredible.


The Tree of Seasons is a doorway into another world. There are four kingdoms in this world, each forever stuck in spring, summer, autumn and winter and each with its own ruler. The tree and the world it conceals have existed for hundreds of years and have never been uncovered by anyone, until now.

The Lotts find that peace has been shattered in this magical world. One ruler, who bears a remarkable resemblance to their aunt is intent on power at all costs. She causes destruction and suffering that threaten to tear worlds apart. Josh, Michael and Beth have arrived just in time to take part in the battle that the other three kingdoms have to fight in order to survive.

The Tree of Seasons is a beautiful story of good and evil and a vividly imagined portrait of a world beyond our own.


The Chancer - Shane Lynch
An autobiography of Shane Lynch [also from Boyzone -- I've featured it in an On My Wishlist post a few weeks back and I finally got it!!]

From the used bookstore:

Found myself at my favourite used bookstore chain again when I went to watch the fireworks and do a bit of sightseeing in the Metro. Got myself the following:
Paddington: Here and Now by Michael Bond.
Patience, Princess Catherine by Carolyn Meyer.

Both books for $3! Absolutely amazing!

[Review] Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Info from Goodreads:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?
OH.MY.GOD. Cutest novel I've ever read! I mean, seriously! This is one of those books that almost made me late for work a few times [given that I read her book a few minutes before I'm set to get ready for work]. I literally cannot put it down!

The chemistry between Etienne St Clair and Anna Oliphant is sizzling. I can't turn a chapter without reading about those near-misses or thinking "heck, make a move!" and is literally gave me goosebumps. Aaaah. It's spinetinglingly sweet and fun and well, made me wish that I was Anna! Or maybe in another life, I could be transported to Paris when I was back in high school and still a teenager. It's just good.

The words are very well written that made me feel that I am Anna, I feel what I feel, and I could imagine myself in her place. She is not one of those pathetic heroines where she needs a prince. Oh noes. And oh.my.gosh. St. Clair. The author has been absolutely brilliant in thinking about the St Clair hybrid: French-American, with a British accent! I mean, come on! The author definitely had me at the British accent part [very believable. Loved the die-rections part] and the fact that she made St Clair a mutt and with flaws [hello, small guy?] made him even more loveable!! And the thing is, she made her characters with lots of flaws, and not one of those perfect high school kids. Which made it more realistic and relatable, of course. Love. Love.

For a great pick-me-up book, this is definitely for you. I do adore chick lit books, and my previous favourite was the Shopaholic series. Now, Anna is my favourite favourite chick lit book. And yes, I will pick up the book and re-read it again. When? How about today!

**Note: Thanks Tina for recommending this book. I never imagined it was this good. I do know other bloggers have raved about this book, but I don't normally take other recommendations to heart. Good thing I listened this time! :)

Published: 2010

Available From: everywhere!
Publisher: Dutton
Book was: Won from Tina's contest. Shipped via Book Depository.
Rating: Absolutely brilliant! One of the best books ever! [5/5]

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