Book Signing: Meeting Victoria Aveyard

Heeeey, what’s up, guys. I know I haven’t posted here in months, but when you’re struggling with work and real life shit while dealing with depression, blogging is the last thing on your mind. I’m sorry. 😦

However, I’ve been picking up the pieces of my life and trying to work myself out of depression, step by tiny step.

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What Dory said.

Anywaaaay, one of the things that convinced me to get out of bed was attending a book signing. I haven’t attended any book events before, except a private Meet the Author event with Eros Atalia that was sponsored by my friends’ company book club (and they let us non-co-worker friends join! :D).

Last year, I read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and thought it was great. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I saw this poster at National Book Store.

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Yaaaaaaaaas!

NBS requires that you buy the books from their branches (aka no other book stores, duh XD) to join the event. So when the second book, Glass Sword, came out, I grabbed a copy as soon as I saw it on the bookshelves. (Also I really, really wanted to know what happened next!!)

I went to the Manila book signing, which was held at National Book Store’s Glorietta branch on March 6, 2016. Registration started at 10 am and the event started at 2 pm.

Because I’m a noob, I had no idea that going to the mall late would mean I’d almost miss out on the event. I didn’t know people had camped out in front on NBS since the night before. X’D I arrived at the mall around 11:30 and was surprised by all the people lined up inside and outside the store.

I had no idea that they’d only be accommodating a certain amount of people, which, in this case, was 1200 people. Well, I did think that was possible (otherwise every author who signed books would have no more hands lol) but I didn’t expect there to be so many people right away?? I pretty much underestimated the power of fandoms here in the Philippines. XDDDD

I ended up being the 955th person in line to register. After registration, I had some lunch then came back to wait for the event to start. There was sooooo many people and the space for the event was sooo small, idk how 1200 people (or more, since parents were accompanying their kids lmao) managed to fit in.

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Sooooo many people lol. Spot Victoria in the background! lol

The event started a little bit after 2 pm, with an introduction and a Q&A portion. The host asked a few questions and three fans were given the chance to ask questions.

I didn’t get much from the Q&A because I was in the back and couldn’t see anything #shortpeopleproblems and people kept screaming (fans are so passionate here haha) but here’s what I learned:

  • Victoria loves mangoes.
  • When asked if she was #TeamCal or #TeamMaven, Victoria said she was #TeamMare because the books are so much more than just which guy Mare ends up with. (Which I heartily agree with. Also, I lol’d so much at the question because no author would ever answer that properly because that would give away one of the important plots????)
  • Victoria’s ultimate female character is Princess Leia. YAAAS STAR WARS FTW PEOPLE

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#queen

  • She’s currently writing the third book in the series but can’t say what the title is because the last time she said anything, she got yelled at for giving away important information X’D

The actual book signing took place right after Q&A and it was pretty organized! They’d call 20 people (based on their numbers during registration) to line up every 5-10 minutes (I think) and each person got to meet Victoria and get a picture with her. There were NBS staff members assigned to take registration numbers, ready the books for signing, and take pictures for each fan. I thought it was pretty neat! Kudos to NBS for making everything easier and faster for everyone 🙂

The entire book signing took around 6 hours, and I admire Victoria for being so nice and friendly throughout it. She took 2-3 short breaks and would go back right away to signing books and answering a question or two from each fan. When it was my turn, I asked how her hand was and she answered, “Oh, the hand’s okay! It’s the cheeks that hurt.” 😄

Thanks for being great and accommodating the entire time, Victoria!

Aside from the actual book signing, NBS also had several giveaways on Twitter. They gave away Epic Reads posters and Advanced Reader Copies of several books, which I thought was really nice.

I won twice, but I only claimed one because I saw the other tweet waaay too late. My phone battery was drained before they tweeted a second time so…I only got one ARC. T___T (Which, funnily enough, I read and finished while waiting for my turn at the signing hahahahaha). I emailed NBS yesterday though, and they said I can claim it at the NBS Glorietta branch staring on March 13. Yay!

I won an ARC yaaaaaas 😂 Thank you @nbsalert #QueenofHeartsManila #VictoriaAveyardinPH

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(I know this book’s already published but hey, it was still nice)

It was a really great day, though. I didn’t mind waiting so much because I was busy people watching and reading and checking social media. 😄 But, just in case there are a few noobs out there like me, here’s a few tips:

  1. Go to the bookstore early! Not necessarily camp-out-imma-sleep-here-early, but maybe an hour before the mall opens? It’s better to be early so you get a sure slot (and also so you can go home early looool)
  2. Make sure all your gadgets are charged! My phone was dying when it was my turn but I had a digital camera with me so that was okay. But I missed claiming my second ARC because I had killed off my mobile data to save battery life :(((
  3. Bring a charger. You know, just in case your battery drains faster than expected. You can always hang out at Starbucks or any other place that lets you charge your phone while waiting.
  4. If you’re the 500th person or more in line, you can leave for 2-3 hours and just come back so you don’t get bored. Haha. If you miss your turn, the staff will let you line up anyway, so it’s okay 🙂
  5. Bring water! And food! Especially if you’re going to camp out. Or if you’re going to have to wait a long time for your turn. Bring a book too! (Save battery life and read physical books! Lol)

I felt really overwhelmed by all the people, especially all the kids (I felt so old lmao #titasofmanila) and my social anxiety started kicking up and I almost went home once or twice. But waiting was well worth the wait. Winning an ARC and meeting an author I admire was definitely an awesome experience.

Mission accomplished 👍 #latergram #VictoriaAveyardinPH

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There’s another book signing this weekend, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to go! ;___; There’ll only be 350 slots for registration and I probably won’t be camping overnight at the bookstore (because, again, I’m old and cranky and I really need my sleep on weekends after an exhausting week at work haha) but….maybe Lady Luck will smile on me and let me join, eh? *crosses fingers*

Have you ever been to a book signing? Was it a crazy experience like mine? X’D

 

The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning

18664342Title: The Fever Series

Author: Karen Marie Moning

Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Mystery

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary:

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death—a cryptic message on MacKayla Lane’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed—a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae.

I’m reviewing the entire series as a whole because I binge-read it and I have too many feels + it would be too spoilery to review them all. Haha. Also I honestly lack the skill to express just how good this series is so I made this list of reasons why it is amazing and why you should definitely read it:

  1. I read six books in this series in a week. Which is saying something considering how short my attention span is lately. 😄  To be honest, I’ve seen a lot of praise for this on Goodreads. I was hesitant to start the series though, because the cover of Darkfever (at least the first one I saw on Goodreads heh) looked like something from the New Adult genre and I wasn’t in the mood to read NA. But now I’m really, really glad I read the series because it was so much more than I ever expected. 
  2. The characters. Ms. Moning is an excellent writer who gives us well-written, complicated characters that you just can’t help but love and cheer for. The main characters, Mac and Barrons, are the epitome of everything I hate in characters. Mac is that silly, spoiled, weak, selfish girly girl who whines a lot. Barrons is a douchebag who is possessive and violent and the ultimate alpha male. Despite that, I love them. I’ll admit I was pretty annoyed while I read Darkfever, but they grew on me. It’s amazing. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I love them so so much that I am already dying for the next book, which doesn’t come out until next year. RIP me. I particularly love Mac soooo much, she’s an excellent example that female characters CAN be as tough as nails (ala Katniss Everdeen) AND enjoy fashion/shopping/painting your nails/etc too. Because being feminine doesn’t mean you’re weak! The Unseelie King is another fave, but I refuse to say anything else because everything is potentially spoiler-ish. Lol.
  3. The world-building. Even if for nothing else, read it for the magnificent world Ms. Moning has created. My mind was blown away by the different courts and kinds of Fae she created. I want to live in this world, even if it’s only so I can meet Barrons i’m so shallow lmao Just keep those fecking Shades away from me! I’m afraid Ms. Moning has upped my standards to impossibly high levels for urban fantasy and Fae-related stories because this is probably the best Fae-related plot I’ve read.
  4. Excellent writing. I’m super super glad there were three public holidays last week because I spent them all hiding underneath the sheets while reading the books. I couldn’t put them down, even when I was freaking out because the Shades are so scary and and my brain was frantically wondering if they’re nomming on me now in the dark? but who cares because I need to know who killed Alina and what the hell Barrons is and how Mac is going to survive all this shit?? Also can I just say that it is super, super awesome how Mac gets into shit and she always gets out of it herself instead of Barrons or V’lane or some other guy swooping in to save her?? Mac is awesome, guys.

Confession time: Okay, fine, I skipped Iced because Dani’s way of talking annoys me so I don’t know if I can survive a whole book of “fecks” and “dudes” but I will attempt to read this eventually!! I mean, I love Dani but I can only stand her in small doses :(((( I’m hoping this will change when I get around to reading Iced. X’D

 

Train Man by Hitori Nakano

382980Title: Train Man

Author: Hitori Nakano, Bonnie Elliot (Translator)

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Humor, Romance, Japanese Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary:

An instant bestseller when it was first published in Japan, Train Man became a multimedia sensation, generating a smash-hit TV series, a blockbuster film, and multiple manga series. Now here’s the novel that started it all.

Boy–bashful and not overly brave–defends girl from obnoxious drunk on a Tokyo train. Girl sends boy a thank-you pair of pricey Hermés teacups. Boy’s a geek and doesn’t know what to do next. End of story for most nerds–but this one turns to the world’s largest online message board and asks for help, so for him it’s just the beginning. This matchless love story is told through a series of Internet chat room threads.

As Train Man, our hero charts his progress and unveils each new crisis–from making conversation to deciding what to wear on a date and beyond–in return, he receives advice, encouragement, warnings, and sympathy from the anonymous netizens. And Train Man discovers the secret to what makes the world go round–and proves we really do live in a universe where anything can happen.

Let me say this outright: Train Man is definitely not a book for everyone.

It’s one of the geekiest books I’ve ever read, as it deals with a guy who meets a girl and tells people about it on an online forum. The aforementioned guy isn’t the normal drop-dead gorgeous male lead you usually find in books, but rather, he’s a normal otaku (or geek, in English) who is shy and awkward and seems to spend an abnormally large amount of time telling his woes to the internet. This person is me

Train Man is told in the form of an online forum where people comment, usually a line or two, one after the other. You have no clue who these people are. There aren’t really any names since, well, this forum deals with anonymous people talking to each other. The story revolves around this guy who is fondly called Train Man by the commenters, because he defends a girl from a drunken idiot on a train and receives a pricey gift as a thank you. Because he’s awkward and clueless, he proceeds to run to the internet for help on how to deal with this.

Every time our hero posts an update, people comment and give advice or sympathy. With each update comes a barrage of comments. Some are trolls, some warn him to be cautious, but a lot of people offer advice and encouragement and sympathize with our hero.

I can see why most people dislike this book. If you’re not familiar with forums, it can be very confusing to read. If you’re not a person who spends a lot of time on the internet (aside from Facebook), you might find it strange that people communicate this way. Why would people even talk to complete strangers, let alone trust their advice, about their problems? They don’t even know each other. There are barely any names (if any). If you want to respond to a comment, you refer to the comment’s number (Comment #525, for example). It probably seems really silly to most people. 😄

But that, I guess, is the beauty of the internet. It gives us the bravery to say and do things we wouldn’t dare in real life. It gives us the power to be something more than we could ever dare or hope to be in real life. Sure, there are terrible people on the internet (people far worse than trolls, definitely), but Train Man gives us an excellent view of how people communicate and help each other out despite knowing virtually nothing about each other.

I find Train Man quite humorous and entertaining because I’ve been on several online forums myself. I’ve met many people online and retained friendships with them, some for years now. It’s amazing how a common interest or cause can unite people and cause a bond between them, no matter how far apart they are. It probably sounds silly to say that some of the best or most interesting people I’ve ever met are people I’ve never seen or met. I only know them by their usernames and avatars and the way they express themselves on the internet.

Sure, I could be talking to some creepy old fat white guy who lives in a basement (or, maybe I am one of those creepy men and you have no clue about it! OOO: ) but no one would ever know. Unless I started stalking people, I guess. (Don’t worry, I never would I’m too lazy anyway lol) I do think it’s interesting that how you look doesn’t matter at all when you’re on the internet discussing games or books or whatever. It’s the way you think and how you share stories and interact with other people, and I find that a very wonderful thing.

Train Man is the story of the internet. Of geeks, of awkward introverted people like myself who like the anonymity and can openly share things without the fear of being judged your whole life. Train Man is also a love story, but what speaks the loudest to me is the kindness and compassion of people in the story. In a world where I am constantly annoyed and frustrated by how horrible people are to each other, this book serves as a reminder that not everyone is horrible/apathetic. That there are people out there who care, or will care if you share your story with them. These are the same people who will defend you against trolls and bullies and other idiots. It really is amazing.

Rook by Daniel O’Malley

10836728Title: Rook (The Checquy Files #1)

Author: Daniel O’Malley

Genre: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Mystery 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

“The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her. She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own. In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined. Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, THE ROOK is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.

“The body you are wearing used to be mine.”

It’s an intriguing start for a book, one that wanna makes you read on. Unfortunately, the info dumps in the first half of the book that so conveniently spell out everything for our amnesiac heroine almost put me to sleep. I almost DNF’d this because I kept falling asleep in the middle of a looong explanation about someone or something related to the Checquy.

Now, I’m not a hater of info dumps. I’ve read and loved many books, such as Feed and Ready Player One, that have a lot of information thrown at you. I quite like explanations, really, because it helps me understand the characters and the world they live in better. So I guess Rook was an exception. Sometimes the explanations were so long that I wanted to just throw the book away. I honestly don’t know how Myfanwy managed to read and absorb so much of that huge purple encyclopedia binder she carried around in such a short span of time.

I actually managed to completely miss an important plot twist because I was skimming some parts out of sheer boredom. I only realized it when people started getting murdered and I went back and reread stuff to get what was happening. Lol.

Another thing about the info dumps was they would pop up just as things were getting exciting. Here we have Myfanwy struggling in the present with some Chequy problem and just as it’s starting to get good, bam! Hello information from past self, let’s just fall asleep for a while. Instead of making me highly anticipate what the explanation was about and how it would help Myfanwy in her present sticky situation, it just made me close the book and go to sleep. Oop.

Despite all my whining, don’t let that put you off this book. I really enjoyed the humor throughout the book. It was quite entertaining and probably the sole reason why I slogged through the first, very slow part of the book.

The Chequy, which is a supernatural CIA-ish branch of the British government, and the people working for it were all interesting and, despite the info dumps I did not really enjoy, it’s quite an amazing organization. It doesn’t hurt that people have weird, random powers that ranged from really creepy to super cool.

Another intriguing thing that kept me reading is Myfanwy, both her past and present self. Past Myfanwy was a brilliant but passive administrator who had excellent organization skills. Present Myfanwy maintains that brilliance but drops the passive nature along with the loss of her memory. It was quite intriguing (and amusing, if a bit baffling) to see how an amnesiac managed to fool a whole branch of CIA-ish people into thinking she was quite all right WHILE trying to sniff out a traitor. Although sometimes it just wasn’t that believable that she managed so well and barely anyone was suspicious, especially since she started acting quite different from her past self.

The second half picks up the pace and makes up for all the complaining I had during the first half. A lot of shit happens, including people getting killed, creepy supposedly imaginary organizations come to life, not to mention Myfanwy meets her estranged sister.

There’s quite a lot going on in this book, which is surprising when I remember the first half, but the British humor is so on point here. I looove it so much. Despite the fact that Rook is a book filled with gore and murder and crazy shit going on (and a skinless man to boot!), it was quite surprising because I wasn’t really expecting it to be so…dark. I suspect Myfanwy’s humor and sort of laidback attitude throughout the whole ordeal influenced me into not really expecting horrific murders to happen lol. Or at least, read descriptive paragraphs of how people were being murdered. Heh.

I’m looking forward to reading the second book in this series, if only so I can enjoy more of that dark humor and to learn more about the Chequey and their creepy yet interesting enemy, the Grafters. 😀

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Misadventures at the 36th Manila International Book Fair

I recently decided to impose a book ban on myself because I’ve been buying a lot of books lately and I’m running out of space. There are books everywhere: on my bed, under my bed, on chairs, in cabinet drawers, tables, etc. I haven’t even read half of the books I’ve hoarded so I figured it was a good time to stop.

August book haul. Damn all those sales lol. This is why I'm now on a book ban! 😄 #bookwormproblems

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Case in point: my August haul. I clearly have a problem lmao 😄

This all seemed like a very good idea at the time….until I remembered the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) happens on September 16-20 this year.

The MIBF is the country’s biggest and longest-running book fair. It’s an annual event that occurs every September at the SM Mall of Asia Convention Center, and all the publishing companies and bookstores have their own stalls and there’s a ton of events and discounts and books, books, and more books. It’s every bookworm’s vision of paradise.

Aaaand of course I chose to impose my book ban this month. Well done, self. Perfect timing. It probably would have been fine if only social media wasn’t filled with pictures of all the glorious books you could find at the fair (I’m looking at you, Fully Booked! *sobs*) at discounted prices. And the workshops I totally want to attend. And all kinds of giveaways going on. My friends have all gone and showed pictures of their book hauls too, of course.

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me right now and every day until the book fair ends

However, I finally gave in and went to the book fair despite repeatedly telling myself I am NOT going to go under any circumstances because I’ll definitely cave in and buy something.

So how did I end up going? I heard National Book Store would be giving out advanced reader copies during MIBF. This morning, I was barely awake when I checked Twitter and saw they were giving away ARCs of The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness to the first 25 people who would come to their booth and give them the secret message. Lol.

My friend Patti works nearby and managed to snag a copy after I shared the tweet in our group chat. Naturally, my friend Rhoda and I are envious people so we decided to sneak out and go to the book fair during lunch time and hope we could get our own copies.

The trip was a disaster. You know how Murphy’s Law always bites you in the ass when you’re desperate for something? We got on the wrong rides because we were way too excited to get there as soon as possible and ended up going on a longer route lmao, there was traffic and we kept getting held up at stoplights. We’d left an hour or two after the announcement, so there was a huge chance all the ARCs were gone….well, you can say there was a lot of internal screaming and freaking out going on while we were headed to the book fair. 😄 We also managed to make fools of ourselves at the NBS booth because…how exactly does an awkward person approach the staff and mumble an odd phrase? Especially when there are so many people around? There were so many people walking around and a group was signing up for an event at the customer service counter and I felt like freaking out because I didn’t want to say anything in front of all those people. Social anxiety sucks, dude. XDDDD What if all the ARCs were gone? We’d have totes wasted all that time and effort AND looked dumb.

But hey, turns out it was all worth it. \o/

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My first physical ARC! Woo! #achievementunlocked

Turns out we were the 11th and 12th people to claim an ARC so all our worrying and freaking out was for nothing. Haha.

Then it started raining hard when we were headed back, then the sun came up by the time we reached Rhoda’s office. WTF universe 😄 We were also gone for 3 hours thanks to traffic and rain and our own general awkwardness. Oops.

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I feel it’s important to note that I technically did not break my book ban because I didn’t buy this. And we left right away after grabbing our copies because we had to go back to work so I didn’t get to look around the book fair. The convention center is huge though and there are sooo many stalls and books!! All those Filipino publishers……sob.

The MIBF is still underway! Head over to the book fair at the SM MOA Convention Center while you can! The entrance fee is 20 pesos. Or you can stop by any Fully Booked branch, they’re giving away free tickets 😉

Now I just have to suffer through 2 more days of agony while everyone else mocks me with their pictures and books and experiences….

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Have you ever been on a book ban? Are they really this agonizing? How do people manage to keep away from all the tempting books anyway?? :((( I’d love to hear other people’s experiences! 🙂

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De-stressing with Adult Coloring Books

Adult coloring books have become quite the crazy lately around these parts. I’ve seen a lot of variations in book stores, and it’s amazing how fast they get sold out. I managed to snag a few on a couple of impromptu shopping sprees last month (RIP wallet) and dang, the artwork is sometimes so pretty that I kinda don’t want to color it because my coloring/shading/blending skills kinda suck. I end up leafing through the pages and admiring the beautiful details instead. 😄

I don’t think I can properly rate coloring books so I’ve written mini-reviews instead about the ones I’ve got so far. These are the coloring books I’ve managed to get my hands on: (more…)

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

17251093Title: The Casual Vacancy

Author: J.K. Rowling

Genre: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Drama, Mystery

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary:

A big novel about a small town…

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations?

A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

I started reading this a long time ago, then put it aside because it just wasn’t interesting to me at the time.

I guess sometimes you just need the perfect timing and place to enjoy a book. This sat for so long on my to-read list before I considered reading it again. And I am SO glad I did.

I’m glad I didn’t read this book when it was released. All that hype, all that excitement for the very first book released by JK after Harry Potter? I’d probably have been disappointed.

See, the important thing here – which probably most reviewers have already said – is that you should NOT expect this to be like Harry Potter. At all. Because it isn’t. There is no magic, no spells and mystical creatures and flying motorcycles and such. This is a book about how one man’s death can affect many lives in a small town. It’s about ordinary people.

But it’s an extraordinary book.

It somewhat reminds me of the show Broadchurch. Except Broadchurch deals with the tragic murder of a child. The Casual Vacancy deals with the death of one man, no foul play whatsoever. But oh, how his death influences the lives of so many.

Like Broadchurch (at least, imo), The Casual Vacancy starts out a bit slow. Persevere if you feel like giving up after a few pages..continue reading because the pieces all fall together eventually. Or set aside the book for another time, like I did, and you’ll definitely realize the beauty of this book.

What I’ve gathered from this book is that it’s really amazing how significant each person is in the universe. You may think you’re not really anyone important, that no one would ever miss you if you disappear. But this book can prove you wrong. We’re all connected, in one way or another, whether in a good or bad way.

Warehouse Sales are Awesome!

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Books for Less is having a month long warehouse sale this August. The sale’s open to all everyday from 9 am to 6 pm, except on Mondays.  All the books they’re selling are worth 20 bucks each, whether it’s hardbound, paperback, etc. It’s definitely a steal so once payday rolled around, I made sure to visit their warehouse at Pasig City.

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Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan

1431558Title: Smaller and Smaller Circles

Author: F.H. Batacan

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Suspense, Filipino Literature

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

Smaller and Smaller Circles is unique in the Philippine literary scene – a Pinoy detective novel, both fast-paced and intelligent, with a Jesuit priest who also happens to be a forensic anthropologist as the sleuth. When it won the Carlos Palanca Grand Prize for the English Novel in 1999, it proved that fiction can be both popular and literary.

F.H. Batacan has a degree in Broadcast Communication and a master’s degree in Art Studies, both from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. She has worked as a policy researcher, broadcast journalist, web designer, and musician, and is currently a journalist based in Singapore. She previously won a prize for her short story “Door 59” in the 1997 Palanca awards, and her work has appeared in local magazines, as well as in the online literary magazine Web del Sol.

Smaller and Smaller Circles is one of those rare one-of-a-kind books that you discover by some lucky stroke of fate and treasure for a lifetime.

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Ordering from Book Depository

Last month, I gave in to impulse and shooed away my fears about ordering things online because I badly wanted a hard copy of Uprooted after reading the first few pages. The book ended up being amazing all through out, so I have absolutely no regrets for ordering it right away, even though I hadn’t finished reading the book yet.

I decided to order from Book Depository. I’ve known about the site for a while now, and it’s especially appealing because they offer free shipping. Considering I live halfway around the world from their location (UK), I think that’s definitely a winner. There was a discount on Uprooted, too, which made it hard to resist. I’m a sucker for sales. Lol.

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