Nerdy Talks’ Top Reads of 2018

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Another year ended, another year full of adventures through the pages of books.  Though 2018 was not a great reading year for me, I am still pretty satisfied with the 40 books I managed to read this year, and I am happy I found few gems! Stories that will stay with me in this lifetime, without further ado, here are my Top Reads of 2018!

1. Circe by Madeline Miller

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❝I had no right to claim him, I know it. But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.❞ – Madeline Miller, Circe . ••• Just finished reading Circe! As much as I want to prolong the experience and the delight of reading it, I’ve come to the inevitable end – and what a great book! It rekindled my love for greek mythology! Now I crave to read everything greek myth! Pretty sure I will be reading Song of Achilles sooner rather than later. Circe was such a great narrator, I love her weaknesses and imperfections, and love her more because she always came out of it stronger and wiser. No one messes with Circe! Ahhhh new favorite book and new favorite author. I am one happy nerd! 😁 5/5⭐️ ••• Are you planning to read it? Please do!! You will not regret it!🧡 Circe is @bookofthemonth Selection this April! You can still get it!!! ••• #Circe #MadelineMiller #bookofthemonth #botmbookbassador #botm

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Circe is my first Madeline Miller book. And to be completely honest I did not know what to expect. It turned out to be at my advantage,  I kept my expectations at a minimum and so when the book blew me away I was completely head over heels with it. Circe is a greek god I knew next to nothing about, reading it was a mixture of excitement and of curiosity. Reading Circe is getting more out of a 400 page book, it was so condensed, you have to give your undivided attention to fully appreciate everything. And once you already immersed yourself in it, you’ll notice how everything becomes a distant sound, how you entirely space out completely oblivious of the world around you. That’s one thing a good book could give you, and Circe gave so much more than that. Circe is a character driven book, a kind of book I have not read a lot of. I am more of a plot-driven reader, Circe proved to be a breath of fresh air. This book will make you fall in love with Greek Mythology harder than ever! You can check my full review here. And now Madeline Miller is an author I would always be watching out for.

 

2. Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

 

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“In your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out, don’t be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we’d want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste.” – Andre Aciman; Call Me By Your Name ••• Just finished reading this book last night and I was reduced into a crying blob of a mess. I knew it was the inevitable end, I’ve been warned, but then it still made me bawl, wow that one hurts me more than I had anticipated! And the writing style is just pure masterpiece, I wish I could write like that! I have found a new favorite author and a new fave book! The hype surrounding the book and the movie is so real, probably one of few real things in this world, haha! I will watch the movie tonight. I partly listened to the audiobook, specially the “peach” part 🍑 *wink* and damn if that isn’t the hottest thing! Gahhh how to move on from this? Halp! Have you read it? What did you think? Full review to come! ••• . . . . . . . . #callmebyyourname #andreaciman #lgbtq #reading #ilovetoread #nerdytalksbookblog #pages #bookworm #bibliophile #booklover #writtenwords #justread #read #ipromotereading #vscocam #vscobooks #goodreads #blogger #bookblogger

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Call Me By Your Name is unapologetically honest and unabashedly deviant. It is that kind of book you never thought you needed. It will captivate you by how beautifully it was written and it would rip your heart as well by how everything unfolded. I read this book earlier in 2018 and knew to myself I am in for a good reading year. Call Me By Your Name isn’t my usual cup of tea, and that was what surprised me in the end, I didn’t expect to like it this much. Call Me By Your Name is a beautiful story on the discovery of sexual orientation and sexual preference, the inevitable confusion of the people involved and how were they able to reconcile with themselves. It was relevant and painted in such a beautiful light. You feel with the characters like it is second nature. I also immediately watched the movie after reading the book. Best reading experience if you ask me. Check out my review here.

3. Behind Closed Door by B.A. Paris

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❝I look around at everybody laughing and joking together and struggle to understand my life has become a living hell that nobody present could even begin to imagine.❞ ― B.A. Paris, Behind Closed Doors ••• An excerpt from my review (link in bio): “There are scenes in this book that is just too much, so much so, that you find yourself momentarily stunned. Frozen for a brief moment psycho-analyzing what you just read. Your imagination gets the best of you and you involuntarily shudder. But then during those momentary reprieve, you couldn’t stop yourself thinking about it, so you pick it back up and resume reading, eager to know what will unfold, how will the story conclude or is there ever hope for the characters….” ••• I finished this book in just a day. It was a total page-turner. You can check my full review, link in bio. I really loved the ending, I literally had goosebumps after turning the last page. I highly recommend this one. ••• #BehindClosedDoors #BAParis #psychologicalthriller

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Behind Closed Doors shook me to my core. It was disturbing and intense, and I don’t say that often. Impossible to put down.  It’s the kind of book you finish in one sitting. It is about what seemed to be a perfect married couple with some horrifying secret they both have to keep. I never really had any plans reading Behind Closed Doors, but you know what they say, the perfect book will find you at the perfect moment. I was glad I came across this one, it is the kind of book I wouldn’t have picked up on my own. And can I just say, Behind Closed Doors has one of the best endings. That ending was so good I literally had goosebumps! It was the sweetest redemption, it was poetic justice.  Find out for yourself! Check my review of the book here.

 

4. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

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❝The world seems full of men who are initially infatuated by our eccentricities, but who ultimately expect them to be temporary.❞ ― Christina Lauren; Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating ••• JOSH AND HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING is that book that will pull you out of your slump! That kind of book you never thought you needed. 😍 . . . ♥️Korean male protag (think of all those Oppas from the Kdramas you’ve been binge watching, I pictured Park Seo Joon all this tiiiime! Swoon! 😍) ♥️Female protag reminded me of Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) from New Girl. I swear she’s my new fave character! Love her eccentricities! And my god she’s funny af! ♥️Anything with asian I am sold! ♥️ Cute and fluffy!! I was a grinning fool after finishing it! ♥️ This is just begging to be made into a romcom (EHEM NETFLIX)!!! Verdict: 5/5⭐️ . Buddy read this one with @booksandacupofcoffee! I missed buddy reading with you! To more swoon-worthy stories! 😘 . ••• Please read it!!!! Thank me later ♥️ And Happy Birthday to Lauren, the other half of the genius pod! Please write more stories with Christina! You guys are awesome!! ••• #JoshAndHazelsGuideToNotDating #ChristinaLauren #nerdytalksreview #bookstagram #kindlepaperwhite #woodwe

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Ahhh this fluffy book! * insert heart eyes and heart fingers* After reading this one I couldn’t quite shake off the smile on my face. It was everything good and then some. I love how it featured an asian male protagonist (a Korean, no less! Oppa) . 2018 has really been a year of breaking stereotypes and I hope I could read more books like this in 2019! And the female protagonist, isn’t our usual damsel in distress, I love love love her eccentricities. Everything was played just right. This is just basically begging to be made into a Rom-Com movie, so Netflix do your magic!

 

5. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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❝If you can’t stand being with a woman who’s more successful than you, then leave her alone. She’s better off without you. If you actually love her, then know the value of that love and make it a promise. That is the only thing she needs from you.❞ — Helen Hoang, The Kiss Quotient ••• Thank you so much @berkleypub for this free book! Posted my review of The Kiss Quotient, link in bio. This is one of my fave books this year! The hype is real ya’ll. Own voices will always provide you with authenticity and rawness like no other. Truly a refreshing and adorable read! 😍 Thank you @hhoangwrites for writing this! I vow to read all the books you’ve written! ••• #TheKissQuotient #HelenHoang #tijneyewear #MichaelPhan #StellaLane #BerkleyPub #berkleybookstagram #QuinnLuxe

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The Kiss Quotient is by far the best romance book I’ve read of all time! I loved it so much it was bordering obsession already! I love that there is Asian representation, and an accurate one at that. Also The Kiss Quotient is an own voices book, it promises authenticity and rawness like no other. And oh my goodness, it has the steamiest scenes, something you wouldn’t expect. It was a total surprise and was well written you can’t help but hang on to everything that’s happening. It was more than a romance novel, and I highly believe this is how romance novel should be done!  You can check my review here.

6. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

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❝And maybe some people are like collages – no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered.❞ – Heather Demetrios, I'll Meet You There ••• Finished I’ll Meet You There the other day and boy did I miss reading books like this one. It brought back my old self, that person who would willingly stay past her bed time just to finish a book, that old self who’s carefree and just find pure joy in reading. Sadly these days, I hardly have time and to be honest I am not as enthusiastic as before. So reading this one is such a breath of fresh air, it’s like the universe conspired for me to end up reading this book. . I’ll Meet You There is an honest, beautiful and realistic story about two flawed characters trying to deal with their own demons. I love how the romance was played out well, it was a slow burn and just right. Full review on the blog! Rating: 5/5⭐️ ••• Have you read this one? Can you recommend something like it? ••• #IllMeetYouThere #HeatherDemetrios #SkylarEvans #JoshMitchell

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I’ll Meet You There is a such a good YA book and I never thought I would enjoy it this much. It was everything YA promises to be: tugs at your heartstrings, wholesome and organic. There was this sense of maturity to it that was hard to miss. I’ll Meet You There is an honest, beautiful and realistic story about two flawed characters trying to deal with their own demons. I love how the romance was played out well, it was a slow burn and just right. I’ll Meet You There is a mixture of depth, great character build-up and realistic life-lessons. This was the story of loss, healing and young love. You can check my review here.

7. Littles Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

 

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❝Most of the time, everyone deserves more than one chance. We all do things we regret now and then. You just have to carry them with you.❞ – Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere. . ••• Tell me your fave books you’ve read this year. We are half of 2018 already! Where did all the months go? Hahah look who’s barely keeping up with her reading challenge. 🙋🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ . My ultimate faves so far: ❣️Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng ❣️Notes from a Public Tupewriter by Michael Gustafson ❣️Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman ❣️ Circe by Madeline Miller ❣️The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith ••• Crossing my fingers I could read more great books this year! ••• #LittleFiresEverywhere #PenguinPress #celesteng

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Little Fires Everywhere is gold. It was a book that lived up to its hype. I didn’t know what I was in for when I started reading Little Fires Everywhere turns out I would be in one emotional ride. Little Fires Everywhere will bring you that sense of foreboding, that feeling that there’s always more to it than what was presented. The lives of the characters are so intricately woven together completing a masterpiece. God, to say I am floored would be an understatement. It was a slow burn (pun intended), but ultimately something that would seep through your bones! I’ve been meaning to read Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You but never got the chance to. After reading Littles Fires Everywhere  I knew in my hearts of hearts that I will be reading anything this author writes.

8. All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

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❝Until then, I will continue to love you more and more with every struggle we face than I loved you when all was perfect.❞ ― Colleen Hoover, All Your Perfects ••• 💜Mini Review:💜 Colleen Hoover has done it again. There was a period when I shied away from CoHo books, (Confess and November 9 wasn’t really a big favorite), I was afraid my relationship with her books has already run its course, but boy was All Your Perfects the sweet redemption! . All Your Perfects completely wrecked me. I cried so much, my flu came back 😅 The puffy eyes and lack of sleep were all worth it. All Your Perfects was different from other CoHo books. I might be a little biased here. I think I love All Your Perfects more than Maybe Someday and It Ends With Us, and that is saying alot. This book tackled a topic I couldn’t fully relate to, but the way it was presented was amazing it pierced through my heart. I guess that’s the gauge of a good book, how it can transcend from the pages through the reader’s emotions, regardless if the reader could relate to it or not. . ✔️Imperfect Marriage ✔️You have the CoHo’s signature weird/extraordinary first meet-up ✔️It will make you cry, like literally river of tears ✔️Fast read 5/5⭐️ . Should you ever need someone to talk to after you’ve read it. My DMs are open. Hahah I know the feeling, because after I’ve read it I immediately needed someone to pour and share my feelings with. Thank you @jayne.vs.books and @booksandacupofcoffee for being my support through that inevitable book hangover! 💜 ••• #AllYourPerfects #ColleenHoover #CoHorts #QuinnandGraham #Atriabooks

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Colleen Hoover has done it again! Wow this book made me cried buckets! I didn’t know I could cry like that over a book. But oh my goodness this book just brought out all these crazy emotions I have inside me, I was one tear away from having an emotional breakdown, hahah I kid you not! All Your Perfects is a story about an imperfect marriage. Colleen Hoover’s writing style just keeps getting better through the years. I really thought I was over Colleen Hoover, but boy this is the proof that once a Hoover fan, always a Hoover Fan. You can check my review here.

9. First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith

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“You’re not the first person who was ever wounded by love. You’re not the first person who ever knocked on my door. You’re not the first person I ever chanced my arm with. You’re not the first person I ever tried to impress with my brilliant performance of not really being impressed with anything. You’re not the first person to make me laugh. You’re not the first person I ever made laugh. You’re not the first person full stop. But you’re the one right now. I’m the one right now. That’s enough, yes?” ― Ali Smith, The First Person and Other Stories ••• The First Person and Other Stories is my first five-star read for 2018, my first Ali Smith too! I really enjoyed it. The writing style is very distinct. Reading this book is like having a good and intellectual conversation with a stranger that you will replay for days on end. My full review is up on my blog, link in bio 😊 ••• Are you a fan of Ali Smith too? Which of her books is your fave? Which should I read next?. ••• #TheFirstPersonandOtherStories #AliSmith #ShortStories

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Finally my first Ali Smith book! I have been collecting her works since 2016, I have heard tons of amazing things about her, but I never got around to actually reading one of her books. I remedied that this 2018 and finally read her collection of short stories – The First Person and Other Stories. As said in the synopsis, Ali Smith explores the ways and whys of storytelling, and that what she did in this collection. It was weirdly satisfying, and I don’t get that much often. The First Person and Other Stories gives off dark humour and bits and pieces of everyday life that you often take for granted. I loved how every story had its own wit, its own take on everyday mundane lives and turned it into something meaningful and relevant. How something so trivial can have such a rippling effect in the future. This book didn’t stop at just telling stories, it transcends into this realm of understanding human flaws that was presented in a captivating light, not just highlighting the good parts but most especially the bad ones. That once it all meld together it was just a beautiful piece of an odd art. You can check my review here.

10. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver is my first Naomi Novik read. I have heard a ton of amazing things about her debut book – Uprooted so I had a quite high expectation with Spinning Silver and it did not disappoint. Spinning Silver is a loose retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. At first I had a hard time getting into the story but once I got the hang of it, I wasn’t able to stop, it gripped me like a vise.  Spinning Silver was written so vividly and beautifully it is as if you are there inside the story. You cannot miss its lyrical writing. It is whimsical, layered, complex and unconventional. Truly a gem. You can check my review here.

and you thought I was done there. I’m adding one more book in this list and that is

11. Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami will always have a special place in my heart. Back in 2014 when I am not yet a book collector, I have read Norwegian Wood and fell in love with it, I knew then that I had to fill my bookshelf with his works. His writing style will always be a thing of beauty, it has this calm yet impactful quality to it that is still very apparent in his collection of short stories – Men Without Women. My fave stories in this book were Men Without Women, Kino and Independent Organ. Men Without Women is about the despairs of men and how they go about it. This is a good place to start if you want to read Haruki Murakami’s books.

 

So that is it guys, the books I enjoyed immensely. I am hoping 2019 would be a great reading year for me. I cannot wait to read my next favorite book. Thank you for sticking around, even if I have a very scarce posts here and there. I promise to do better for 2019! May you have a fruitful year ahead of you, and I hope you’ll get to read your next favorite book too! Happy New Year, fam!

phonto

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How I Edit Photos for Bookstagram | Nerdy Talks

Hey guys! This has been a long over due post! I’ve been meaning to make a blog post about this for god knows how long already, but don’t worry, I am here now. Thanks to the update of my phone I was able to record the step by step process on how I edit my photos, makes it easier to show you guys how I do it!

Well for starters, and I’ve been stressing this a lot, you don’t need fancy props to take a good bookstagram photo. Use whatever is available, be resourceful, be creative! Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Here’s what I usually use:

  • Fake flowers (yup those white Crysanthemums were not freshly picked each time they appear on my photos. Got them for less than a dollar, haha perfect table ornament whenever I don’t use them. Mom is happy, I am happy, visitors are happy, everybody happy!)
  • Paper Flowers – they are super easy to make, just search “how to make paper flowers” on Youtube and you’re all set. Don’t worry it’s not rocket science!
  • White bed sheet / white background – I am obsessed with white on my photos. Looks crisper and cleaner. I am aiming for minimalist look so less props the better for me!
  • Cute mug or tea cup – okay these are cheap too. Use whatever you have, remember, be resourceful!
  • Funko Pop – Okay I am going to stress this out. YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY A FUNKO POP to be a legit bookstagrammer. Hear me? Okay good. Personally, I just like pops, I am a collector so might as well throw them in some of my bookstagram photos. But again, YOU DONT NEED TO BUY A FUNKO POP TO BE A LEGIT BOOKSTAGRAMMER. Okay? Okay!
  • Eyeglasses – it is a reader’s curse really, having poor eyesight is the price readers pay. Why do we have to be punished for reading too much? Anyway, yes I use my eyeglasses as props, and it goes well with anything!

Okay so we have covered the props department, we go to lighting. I always always use natural lighting. You can never go wrong with natural lighting, imagine the great effect of a perfectly cast shadow of a beautiful afternoon. Good right?

Now you’re set with props, lighting, we go to camera. Again, I’ll be stressing this one out. YOU DON’T NEED A FANCY CAMERA TO TAKE THAT BOOKSTAGRAM WORTHY PHOTO. I just use my iPhone7+ and I am pretty satisfied by the outcome of my photos. Before this phone I used Samsung J7 which is a good one too! The magic comes with the editing! So without further ado, here is the step by step process how I edit photos. I use Snapseed and VSCO.

Let’s edit this photo, shall we:

Snapseed

Easy peasy right, now we go to VSCO!

VSCO

Pro tip for VSCO: You can just use the option “Copy Edit” then paste it using “Paste Edit” option to newly uploaded photo, makes it easier to edit it and saves the time of going over each edit options. Also it makes all your photos have the same edit combination.

Here’s the finished product:

Hope you’ve learned a lot. It is not really rocket science, you see, you just have to have passion and creativity! And also I am not by a long stretch of imagination a photographer, so don’t look down on me. Haha! Tag me in your photos and wanna see if you’ve applied this process! I wanna see! What else do you want to know about bookstagramming?

TPRWF2016: Book Blogging 101 was a Success! (RECAP)

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BeFunky Collage

(L-R: Kai, Me, Kate, Hazel and Lyra)

So this happened, and up until now I am in shock. Haha. I can’t believe I was a part of it and was seated next to these amazing ladies who really know their craft. It was such an honor to talk alongside these beautiful women. National Bookstore held The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2016 at Raffles Makati last August 26 to 28. It was filled with panel talks from respected Filipino and foreign authors, workshops and book signings. It was indeed the festivity that everyone should be a part of. (And as early as now, I am looking forward to the next year’s festival).

It was my first time to meet these ladies, I was kind of nervous since they all know each other from before, but then they were all nice and welcomed me to their group. I have gained new friends, that’s the most awesome take away out of all this.

I have been cyber friends with Kate for quite some time, and was too happy that I finally have met her! #RektahanGirls HAHA. And again thank you Kate, if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be a part of this panel. Kahit binigla mo ko, hahah lakas mo saken eh!

With Kai 🙂

With Hazel and Ly 🙂

Look how fancy and “legit” this is! Hahah.

 

Before our panel talk, we were all worried about the number of attendees, but upon entering Namayan, we were so happy to see that it’s almost full. We were delighted to see each and everyone of you there, of how much effort you put to attend the talk and for that I am eternally grateful.

Excuse my face, hahah it looks like I am in the middle of an argument HAHA

Here are the key points of our discussion:

Platform: Blogger and WordPress are two of the most popular blogging sites. We were divided when it came to this. Kate, Kai and Ly were all #TeamBlogger and Hazel and I are #TeamWordpress. It was fun to have that cute debate as to which one is better. Know that I stand by WordPress! Haha. I guess it is just a matter of where you are comfortable. Blog away, and take it from there. See what suits you and just have fun with it.

Bookstagram: This is where I let people in on my secret haha. Which I will not be divulging here since it was exclusive to the attendees. But of course I’ll tell you something else. The key to a great photo is natural lighting. Almost everything is beautiful when it is taken using a natural light, I think we can all agree to that.

Oh a disclaimer, I am not a professional photographer, not by any stretch of imagination. I’m just a girl who takes 20 shots of photo using my ever trusty Samsung fone, use photo editing apps and VSCO for filter (what filter you ask, that’s a secret), and just have fun. I’ve said that another tip is to find an inspiration and recreate the same, but make sure you will put your own twist to it.

About props, Daiso and Thrift Stores will be your best friend. You don’t need expensive stuff, work with what you have. It is all in your creativity. (I want to say more, but I guess I would just have to make a separate post about it. Hehe).

Book Reviews: The advice I gave was “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” Only request/accept request of books you are genuinely interested about. You will have negative connotation if you cannot deliver at the time given.

Also it is very important to note that there is a fine line between reviewing the book and reviewing the author. We go for the former, we review THE BOOK, not THE AUTHOR. Don’t make unnecessary comments about the personality of the author, stick to what the book is about, how it made you feel, your over-all rating, its impact on you or how you perceived it. It is best to be honest when doing reviews and never ever bad mouth an author.

Genre: Should you focus on one, or try a little bit of everything? It’s always up to you. There are advantages and disadvantages for both. Choose what works for you and know who your intended audience are.

Time Management: We all agreed that you should do it at your own pace. Never force yourself to do something you don’t want to do. As Kate pointed out, if you force yourself it will show on your review or the content of your blog. If you don’t feel like blogging, it’s totally fine. Never think blogging is a burden or a job you just want to get over with rather think it as a job that you really love to do. Put your heart in it, and everything else will follow.

Blog Design: Our dear Hazel is the master of it. I practically just listened because I cannot for the life of me understand CSS codes and all that tweaking to make a nice blog. I guess it all boils down to how you would want your blog to look, it is how you are remembered. So make it a point that your blog speak for itself, make a blog you want people to see.

Advanced Reader Copies: It is important to be aware of the territorial rights of publishers, that way whenever you try to request a book you would know which ones have the rights here in Philippines and which ones who do not have.

        Also, don’t be disheartened if your request has been denied, we’ve all been there. The key is request again, show them the statistics of your blog and your social media presence, show them that they ought to choose you or it’s their loss haha! Kidding aside, you have to be patient. In the end everything will work out fine.

I specifically enjoyed the Q&A part. I saw how driven and eager all the people there. How they would want to grow as a blogger. I think my heart just doubled in size when the attendees valued what we said. It was indeed one of the best experiences ever!

The cherry on top of it all was when Sir Bienvenido Lumbera, a National Artist and a Ramon Magsaysay awardee, a poet, a writer – a force to be reckoned with, graced us with his presence. He pointed out that in the barangay levels, there is a dire need to teach the youth of literature, to open up their minds to the state of our government. He noticed that youth of today were just all dictated by what the government and society told them to do. He wanted us bloggers to use blogging to reach and influence other youths. I loved that our panel talk ended in that note. It was truly something we, not only us bloggers, are responsible for – to be the voice of the millennials, and be something out of the box, to think for ourselves without any reservations and be able to express ourselves to further better the society we live in.

The whole panel talk was about our passion. We wouldn’t be there speaking in front of people, if it weren’t for our passion. It’s our common denominator. Book blogging is hard work, you don’t make it right the first time, it happens to the best of us. What is important is you keep trying, learn from your mistakes and be able to adapt to the ever changing times. It is always nice to offer something fresh. It’s nice to put yourself out there and inspire others.

Here’s what went down after. I met amazing bunch of people!!! From Upper Left to Lower Right – Vitto, who was so bubbly; Yssa – who I immediately hugged the moment I saw her; Kat, my new found BFF who will be a lawyer soon!! I’m counting on you! hihihi; with Arnie Mejia, who has a new memoir coming out, let’s support him!; I wasn’t able to get her name but she’s super nice too!; with Jenni – I love how enthusiastic she was; with Allie Im happy to have finally met you I really hope to see you again; with JM  – thank you so much for the support, it meant alot!; lastly with Kams another amazing person, hope to see you again too!

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With my dear friend Kat. Thanks for the support, you owe me lots of chika! HAHA

With Ursula Uriarte, who was super awesome and stayed the whole panel talk. She is amazing.

Yayyyy with Anna Todd, it was so nice to meet her.

This is what I call our Familia Zaragosa Shot #FIERCE

And of course we couldn’t hold our straight faces a second longer.

It was indeed a day to remember. I would like to extend my gratitude to National Book Store for making everything possible! I really enjoyed the panel talk and the whole experience.

Who amongst you attended the event? Did you have fun? Hope to see you all again soon! 🙂

XO

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The Philippines Readers and Writers Festival 2016: Book Blogging 101

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I am very excited to share with you guys this great news! I along with these beautiful ladies (Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs, Kai of Amaterasu Reads, Hazel of Stay Bookish and Lyra of Defiantly Deviant) will talk about all things bookish! We will be having a panel discussion about book blogging and its promotion on social media. It would mean a lot to me if you could join us. That would be on August 28, 2016 9:30 am to 12 nn at Raffles Makati. This is part of the The Philippines Readers and Writers Festival 2016. Admission is free guys! For more details check readersandwritersfestival.com or visit National Book Store’s Facebook Page.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my dear friend Kate, for including me as one of the panelists. I admit this is my first time to talk about what I love the most – books and book blogging, in front of a lot of people, so you can just imagine how nervous I am. But I will try my best to say sensible things and answer all your questions to the best of my ability. Hope to meet you all there! And oh, we’ve prepared a little something-something for our participants! I can’t wait to see you guys! Let’s geek out together!

Thank you National Book Store and Raffles Makati for this amazing opportunity!

XO,

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Amy’s Tea Book Tag

So as per usual I’ve been wasting a lot of time watching youtube, and I stumbled upon this book tag created by Amy from TheDustyBookShelf, and decided (yet again) to have my version of it in blog form. Since I love love love tea, this book tag is very well right up my alley. So without further ado, here are the questions. 🙂

1. Double Bergamot Earl Grey – A robust, deep, intellectual and flavourful book

I would have to say Invisible Monsters Remix by Chuck Palahniuk oh it was indeed a flavorful book, it tackled about sexuality and how a person come to terms with the demons he has inside himself. It was one of my favorite books of all time. It was intellectual in the sense that, the chapters were arranged in a non-conventional way, there was readers’ participation on the matter, which I found cool and very engaging.
2. Tim Horton’s Steeped- A book you read on the go, that you come back to again and again

I’m choosing Harry Potter series (which I have yet to finish haha, I’m already on book 4 so fret not) Harry Potter feels like home and childhood so it will be the book that I go back to over and over again.
3. Meyer Lemon- A tangy, fast-paced read. Gone before you’ve fully savoured the flavour.

I’m choosing The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn, it was super short read, it was over before I could say “what the fuck” haha. It was so good I didn’t want it to end.
4. Chamomile Lavender- a relaxing, calming late night read

This is A Love Story by Jessica Thompson is a read that would make you feel relaxed and calm. I reread few of its chapters whenever I have the chance. It was one of my  favorite books of all time as well. The writing was just really good!
5. Lady Grey- A smooth, subtle, classic book, perfect for a serene winter morning

Because I am not so much of a fan of classic books and there is no winter here in the Philippines (don’t worry I try to read as many as I could, but is done sporadically over time, I could not bring myself to binge read classics, let’s be honest here I have a very short attention span) but I am choosing The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was subtle to me until the ending happened.
6. Orange Pekoe- A popular novel that everyone’s read

Hmm, this one is hard to answer, there are so many popular novels that everyone has read, but I’ll go with Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, I have not read it, oops! But I just got this nice purple leather-bound from Barnes and Noble and I can not simply wait to read it!
7. English Breakfast- a British classic

It would be Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, because it is the perfect embodiment of a British Classic.
8. Canadian Breakfast- a title that tastes a little like English Breakfast, but read’s like the New World (an early Canadian-or American-work)

Oh men I don’t have an answer for this, so I’ll be skipping this for now. I’ll get back to you guys once I have read one.
9. Green- A healthy book that feeds your mind.

I would have to choose How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran, it taught me a lot of things about feminism.
10. Iced- a sweet summer treat, brewed for the lazy brief days of summer.

So for this category I am choosing poetry books by Lang Leav. It was subtle and sweet, but sometimes can be a little heartbreaking, perfect to read lying on a hammock under the beautiful palm trees.

 

So there you have it guys, if you are interested in doing this tag feel free to do so! 🙂 See you next post!

Mug and Tea Cup Collection

 

Heyya! So I have been a little missing in action here. Life happened to me and I was too caught up with too much decision making my barely adult self could hardly keep up. So there’s that.

But I’m back, hopefully with a lot of blog posts. I need to make a review for two books, and do some tags. So I’m taking it one post at a time. Bear with me. (This is me stalling, haha)

I have wasted a good amount of time on youtube watching people’s mug collection and I was so addicted I had to make one, at least in blog form. Aside from books, well duh haha, I collect mugs and teacups. It was only recently where I decided to collect mugs or tea cups from countries/places I’ve been to. So here are some of them.

1.

Got this big ass cup from a thrift shop (wag-wagan or ukay ukay in Baguio.) One for me and for my best friend. We were on the hunt for vintage stuff and we stumbled upon these big cups with the word CAPPUCCINO written on it. It was super cheap! We got them for Php50.00 each or 1$. We immediately used it the next day, don’t worry, of course we washed them. Haha. I got a lot of questions from my instagram friends where I got them, so here! 🙂

 

2. 

So while my sisters are being the “basic” tourists buying mugs from Starbucks (I’m pretty sure you are all aware of it), I had my eyes on this huge mug. I got them from Macau when we went there last year. I love the details of it, a painting of some sort of the The Venetian. I got it for 60 HKD.

 

3. 

 

This is actually a gift from my dear friend Jovel of travelthrubooks on Instagram, please give her a follow. The mug says If you think reading is boring, you’re doing it wrong. Pretty much sums up what I say to non-reader friends. Haha

4. 

This was sent to me by Pia of Cozy Daily  (they also have a Society6 account) and I super love it. Been abusing this one, how can you not, it is so cute!! Bring out your inner Harry Potter fangirl with this rad mug!

5. 

Another mug I love so dearly. This was sent to me by Nikki of Alice.In.Wonderbookland on Instagram. You can order here. This mug was the pure definition of myself on any given day. Haha

 

6. 

This one right here is another gift from Arra or arrabelreads on Instagram, give her a follow. This was the mug that I always use, basically my favorite. So whenever one of my siblings uses this, I go batshit crazy, especially when I am about to make a hot coco and this favorite mug is being used by one of them. How could they! Haha

7.

 

So this cutie is a gift from my sister. I love it so much that I barely use it, afraid that I might accidentally break it, you have no idea how clumsy I could be. So I just take it out for special occasions, or for whenever I am feeling fancy. Haha. How could you not adore such beauty.

 

There you have it my mini mug and tea cup collection. Expect a lot of this in the near future, as I already made a vow to buy one from places I’ve been to. And no don’t expect those overrated Starbucks mugs in here, nope, that’s not happening. Haha!

Have a great day guys! 🙂

Best Opening Lines

Do you buy books solely because the opening sentence really got you? That the moment you read it, you just knew you are in for a great surprise or for the best reading experience. It could be the most weird, the most relatable, or just plainly gut wrenching that you just could not pass up the great opportunity of reading that book and experience all “the feels”. Sometimes the opening sentence itself can make or break a book, it sets the mood, gives out expectations. It is the magic that will attract you or the curse that will make you hate the book, yes by just some play on words. Opening lines will always be a hit or miss. So here, I will share with you some books I have read that has the best opening lines. Enjoy!

1. The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

“I didn’t stop giving hand jobs because I wasn’t good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it.”

2. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

“I was raised to marry a monster.”

 

 

3. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“Is today a good day to die?”

4. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

“THEY SAID I MUST DIE. They said that I stole the breath from men, and now they must steal mine.”

5. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

“Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler’s pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.”

6. Winger by Andrew Smith

“I said a silent prayer.

Actually, silent is probably the only type of prayer a guy should attempt when his head’s in a toilet.”

7. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

“Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.”

8. The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

“I am Olivia Kaspen, and if I love something, I rip it from my life.”

9. Memories of My Melancholy Whores

“The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin.”

10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.

 

So there you have it, I hope these opening lines will give you the extra push to read these books! What are your favorite opening lines! Let’s make this a tag! Tagging whoever wants to do it! 🙂 Mention me so I could check out all those amazing opening lines! Have a great day you guys!