Stacking the Shelves #3

Stacking the Shelves 02

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews in which book bloggers share their latest bookish acquisition.

If there’s one thing to be said of today’s corporeal spoils, it has to be look at those covers!

Physical Copies

The League of Unexceptional Children 01The League of Unexceptional Children (ARC) by Gitty Daneshvari

In the tradition of my copies of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Fans of the Impossible Life, The League of Unexceptional Children, too, is gifted by the author herself. Thank you so much Gitty! Isn’t this one the prettiest?

Suicide Notes 01
Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

I don’t know if it’s the cover or the title—wait, what? No. I do not suggest I’m contemplating about offing myself—but when I saw this on display during a visit on my favorite book store, I felt like I had to have it. Call me a romantic or whatever. And no, I had zero knowledge of this title prior to that chance encounter, but hey, it’s from HarperTeen. So.

The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden 01The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden (ARC) by Emma Trevayne

What is it with middle grade books being all attractive like that? I mean. Yeah, I got this from last week’s #BookwormsUnite, which was super awesome.

E-galleys

Li Jun and the Iron Road 01Li Jun and the Iron Road by Anne Tait with Paulette Bourgeois

I’m one of those Asians whom, now that I actually love reading, have consumed more, say, John Green books than literature that is reflective of my own continent. That needs to change, obviously, and this one promises a strong female lead.

Heartache and Other Natural Shocks 01
Heartache and Other Natural Shocks by Glenda Leznoff

Suicide and heartache. Uh, welcome to the fluffiness of my wolrd!

What about you? What did you pick up this week?

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Unmissable Weekly: July 31, 2015

Bookish and Awesome’s weekly round-up of buzz-worthy news from around the bookternet in bite size. Click on the links to be directed to the full articles.

Nicola Peltz and Courtney Eatonvia

The Wrap reported Wednesday afternoon that Nicola Peltz and Courtney Eaton are testing for the titular role of Alaska. As we reported last week, Anya Taylor-Joy and Immy Waterhouse are also up for the part.

It looks like the search for Alaska is drawing to a close.

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Some Girls Are is not smut. Some Girls Are is not trash. It’s not a problem when someone chooses not to read any of my books, whatever their reasons, but it is problematic when that choice has been taken away from those who might feel differently.

It will never cease to amaze—and at the same time appall—me how one parent takes it upon him/herself to censor what a class or school can or cannot read.

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This certainly isn’t the first time Little Women has been adapted for the screen, the most recent version being Gillian Armstrong’s feature starring Winona Ryder and Christian Bale, but you’ve never seen the March sisters like this before. The logline describes Jolly’s script as “a hyper-stylized, gritty adaptation,” in which the sisters “band together in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia.”

This seems inspired by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, don’t you think? It’s interesting how writers continue to adapt beloved stories to reflect today’s sensibility.

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A Game of Thrones: Get into the Books is an interactive iPhone and iPad app that acts as a “bridge” between the books and the TV series by offering you 40 extracts from the books based on the key moments.

It even lets you avoid spoilers. That is if you’ve managed to avoid them this long, in which case Bravo! Brava! to you.

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Monthly Bookish Awesomeness: July 2015

In which I recap what went down in the last four weeks here and outside the blog.

July had been utterly wondrous. I met the lovely Robyn Schneider—as smart and funny and nerdy as her work. My dearest godson Carlisle, who is the adorablest, turned three. I was more actively present in our church than ever and still had the energy to help organize a bloggers/readers meet up. I had my visa interview. And on top of these I managed to blog regularly and finish six (6!) books. Time is a peculiar thing.

Books I Read

Extraordinary Means 02Fans of the Impossible Life 02The Night We Said Yes 02

Other Stuff I Posted

Book Birthdays

Paperweight   You and Me and Him 01   Go Set a Watchman 01

Happy book birthday to Paperweight (7th, HarperTeen), You and Me and Him (7th, HMH Books for Young Readers), and Go Set a Watchman (14th, Harper), which all found a place in the shelves this month!

Book Radar

Never Always Sometimes 01   Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes 01   Another Day 01   The Rest of Us Just Live Here 01

This coming month, I’m excited for Never Always Sometimes (4th, Harlequin Teen), Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes (18th, Disney Hyperion Books) (!!!!!), Another Day (25th, Alfred A. Knopf BFYR), The Wild Ones (25th, Philomel Books), and The Rest of Us Just Live Here (27th, Walker Books).

Gold Star

#BOOKWORMSUNITE YOU GUYS!!!

It’s strange how we pulled this off but we did. Three weeks maybe. Three weeks was all it took to, in a whim, suggest a meet up, get an enthusiastic response, brainstorm, put the words out and make it happen. But stranger is the event itself. Stranger is people actually showing up. Stranger is people actually having fun. In fact, standing in that room, in a coffee shop roughly sixty miles from home, I’ve never felt more myself, more at ease with my own skin, amongst people I’ve only either met briefly before or known online. Some even were just introduced that afternoon. But I felt the camaraderie. It was heartwarming. And I’m grateful Dianne, Hazel, Inah, Faye and Aimee all said yes that fortunate day.

Shannelle 01Eriele 01image

Around the Interwebs

Now that I actually have a news feature, aptly called Unmissable Weekly, there will be less items in this section.

How was your month? What was the amazing book or film or music or dessert you consumed? Is there a post you think I should check out? Also, HAVE YOU READ Go Set a Watchman? Sound of in the comments below!

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REVIEW: After Dark by James Leck

After Dark 01 Title: After Dark Author: James Leck Format: E-ARC Publication: August 1st 2015 by Kids Can Press Source: Publication via Netgalley (thank you Kids Can Press and Netgalley!) Genre: Fiction—Contemporary, Horror, Humor, Paranormal, Young Adult Other keywords: – Goodreads | Amazon | Fully Booked Synopsis Fifteen-year-old professional slacker Charlie Harker can’t believe his bad luck. On the first day of the summer holidays, his mom springs the worst news: they’re moving to the sleepy town of Rolling Hills to restore Charlie’s great-grandfather’s old inn. Summer is supposed to be about lazy days spent by the pool, sipping ice-cold lemonade. Manual labor and early mornings were definitely not on Charlie’s to-do list. Things go from bad to weird when his new neighbor Miles Van Helsing runs screaming out of the night, insisting that he’s being chased by “humanoid creatures.” Charlie chalks it up to Miles being the town nutcase. But it soon becomes clear that something’s not right in Rolling Hills. A mysterious illness seems to be spreading through town. At first it seems harmless enough, but the number of infected people keeps growing—and what might be a simple headache by day becomes something entirely different when the sun goes down … Review I received a review copy from the publisher which in no way swayed my opinion about the work. Wry and engaging, After Dark pokes fun at tropes of the genre with irreverent tone and a smart-alecky protagonist. Tenth-grader Charlie Harker is so ready for summer, a “time for sleeping and swimming and watching three really bad horror movies back to back to back.” But Ma has a better idea: move to the old hick town of Rolling Hills and renovate the family’s decrepit inn. And right on Charlie’s first night, he meets Miles Van Helsing, the town’s resident conspiracy nut. As the two spend more time together, Charlie begins to suspect that Rolling Hills, after all, might not be too boring. Nor safe. Leck’s latest novel finds its strength in its MC. Nothing gets me to stick to a book better than an interesting character and Charlie is exactly that and some. He’s hilarious and endearing and curious but also afraid and lazy. He’s a person. The author triumphantly mixes sarcasm with sincere dopiness.

“Seeing those tracks made my bladder ache. If the Baxters showed up now, I was going to need a new pair of pants.”

After Dark also benefits from its self-awareness. It owns its ridiculousness, and that’s the most amusing part next to the narrative voice. Almost every investigation Charlie and Miles undertake—ironically yet effectively juxtaposed with commentaries from the former—often ends up being an episode of the horror movie Charlie mocks. It would be tacky except our hero is very tongue-in-cheek. Plus, there are several winks at gothic cult (Miles’s last name is Van Helsing, there’s a character called Igor) as well as family drama. The family drama, however, is decent at best, paltry at worst.

“”A trapdoor that leads into a dingy root cellar is exactly the kind of thing I’d expect to see in a ridiculously predictable horror movie. And you know what else would be predictable and absurdly stupid …?” I asked. “I’m going down,” Miles said.”

Moreover, the book is effortlessly atmospheric. Rolling Hills’s sleepy-town-ness is palpable, the kind that teleports you back to your childhood days watching Goosebumps. The kind that exudes old school horror movie vibe. Albeit, more eerie and less scary. And the monster of the story, the “zompire,” is a nice twist on two of today’s most celebrated undead. In fact, I can see After Dark being a massive hit with a younger audience. Because I feel like the resolution was a bit flimsy, at least for my taste. And with a denouement that both surprises and does not surprise, a sequel is not unlikely but unnecessary.

“The world doesn’t want heroes, Charlie. You’ll learn that eventually.”

Light and thoroughly enjoyable, be sure to include “read After Dark” in your to-do list.

3.5 out of 5

Author James Leck 01 James Leck lives in Nova Scotia, where he’s spent almost all of his summer vacations. He’s always enjoyed lounging beside pools, drinking ice-cold lemonade and sleeping in. Poison ivy, running face-first into trees and waking up alone in the dark are some of his least favorite things. However, he’s pretty sure being chased by humanoid creatures would be worse. Twitter | Website

What was your last light, entertaining read?

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Ten Characters who are Fellow Book Nerds

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which book bloggers list their top ten picks for whatever the current prompt is.

What did William Nicholson once say about reading? We read to know that we’re not alone? I do not presume to speak for the whole populace, but I’m fairly certain this rings true with a lot of readers. A quality decidedly confirmed by the fact that we form immediate connections with characters who either love reading or are writers or work at libraries or bookstores. And having said that, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a double treat on celebrating the reading life. Here are ten fellow book nerds, arranged alphabetically by their first names:

*Click the cover to be directed to the book’s Goodreads page.*

Looking for Alaska 02   Fangirl   The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Alaska Young (Looking for Alaska)

Looking for Alaska 01

Cather “Cath” Avery (Fangirl)

Fangirl 02

Charlie (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower 02

Pride and Prejudice 03   Glaciers 02   To Kill a Mockingbird 01

Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)

Pride and Prejudice 02

Isabelle (Glaciers)

Glaciers 01

Jean Louise “Scout” Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)

To Kill a Mockingbird 02

Matilda 02   The Magicians 01   A Game of Thrones   All the Bright Places 02

Matilda Wormwood (Matilda)

Matilda 01

Quentin Coldwater (The Magicians trilogy)

The Magician's Land 02

Tyrion Lannister (A Song of Ice and Fire series)

A Song of Ice and Fire 01

Violet Markey (All the Bright Places)

All the Bright Places 03

So. Ultimate question: who do you think shoud’ve made my list? Who would you push out? Do tell!

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Of Bookworms and Books

Someone had an awesome Sunday. No wait, someones.

If you didn’t know, earlier this month I had this sudden desire to meet fellow Filipino bookworms. And so, I contacted several people via Twitter, asking them if they’d be on board the idea of a meet up. The gods must have thought I did something amazing because the response I got was something in the line, “yeah, let’s make it happen!” And yesterday, Bookworms Unite happened. It was tons of fun you guys!

I am neurotic, and as much as I was excited for the meet up, I was also anxious. Anxious whether people would really show up or not. Whether it’d be awesome or totally awkward. Boy, was the anxiety for naught. It was absolutely awesome! In fact, I feel like if you’re a stranger looking from the outside, you wouldn’t see people who have just met. You’d see camaraderie. You’d feel the shared enthusiasm for books. For being bookworms. For being there. Just, the vibe was wtf-is-awkward-I-love-reading-these-people-love-reading-these-are-my-people.

There were introductions, games, raffle prizes, Book Blind Date and interestingand often funnyconversations. But being one of the hosts, I hadn’t had much time to snap photos of the actual event. So I took a cue from the wonderful Brandon Stanton (of Humans of New York fame) and opted to spotlight some of the attendees instead. Here, and I hope you meet, if virtually so, your next reading buddy:

Faye 01

“I blog in order to share my love of reading with the rest of the world.” – Faye Matug, The Social Potato.
Dianne 01

“I read to escape. I get to live a thousand lives through reading and being holed up in the lab, I really need that.” – Dianne Acoba, Oops! I Read A Book Again.

Hazel 01

“I’ve always been a lover of contemporary romance and I think that’s mostly because I like the world of realistic fiction and I’ve always craved reading about that kind of love.” – Hazel Ureta, Stay Bookish.

Shannelle 01

“Um, hi! I’m Shannelle of The Art Of Escapism, and I hope you all read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler.” – Shannelle, The Art Of Escapism.

Jayvee 01

“I feel human when I read, like, somehow, their happiness is mine and their sadness is too.” – Jayvee De Castro, Writer For Misfits.

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“…but most of the time, you know when to sit back, relax and give us time to up ourselves.” – Godwin Cantre, Machinations Of My Muddled Mind.

Justine 01

“I have Stand Off.” – Justine Dy, Bookwormaniac.

Salve 01

“My favorite book for 2015 is The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan.” – Salve Villarosa, Cuckoo For Books.

Inah 01

“I read for passion.” – Inah Peralta, The Bibliophile Confessions.

JM 01

“…another favorite book of mine is Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. [I find Maas] very nice; she’s a gorgeous author. And she’s the kind of author that I would want to be friends with.” – JM Cabral, Book Freak Revelations.

Eriele 01

“I cosplay because I feel happy being this different person or character but at the same time being myself. I’ve always wanted to cosplay anime characters, but I find that with anime characters, your costume has to be exact and precise. And being someone who has to be thrifty, I settled for cosplaying book characters instead because there’s not much book cosplayers out there (and I’m glad there are lots of [us] now) and because I can add my own style in my DIY costumes.” – Eriele Japsay, This Is Not Your Book Blog.

Paula 01

“I started reading because I love writing poems. And then [I started writing stories.] Until now. [And books] are my companions because I live alone.” – Paula Ramona, Perks Be With You.

And of course, I’d be remiss not to extend my deepest gratitude to National Book Store, Simon and SchusterHarperCollins and Book and Borders Café, all of whom made Bookworms Unite extra special. Also? Faye uploaded an album over at The Social Potato Reviews Facebook Page; you can check that out.

PS. I love that everyone was stressed by my Word Soup. *Winks.*

Books Stack 01

How was your weekend? I’m still in a happiness hangover but let’s talk! And oh. For those who came, tweet us your recaps using #bookwormsunite.

You can also stalk follow me elsewhere! On Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

Unmissable Weekly: July 24, 2015

Bookish and Awesome’s weekly round-up of buzz-worthy news from around the bookternet in bite size. Click on the links to be directed to the full articles.

Mockingjay Part 2 01via

How easy it must be for Brooks to focus on tomorrow, to write in earnest that we can “abandon old wrongs and transcend old sins for the sake of better tomorrow.” Those untouched by the pangs of history find it easier to dismiss, I suppose. But Coates is talking about the present as much as he is the past. Brooks, despite making the appropriate gestures, is blind to this part of Coates’ argument. He does not—and apparently cannot—see how our past defines our present and constrains our future.

Pro tip: you do not call out a black man living in Baltimore, chronicling his own life, on whether or not he really understands “the black male experience.” Especially when you’re a privileged white man writing for America’s most prominent paper.

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Disney acquired the movie rights preemptively and is in talks with Michael Costigan to produce the film. HarperCollins is scheduled to publish the Texas-set novel through its Balzer + Bray imprint on Sept. 15.

I want Melissa McCarthy to star in this one! But, obviously, she’s 44. So. Just, I am excited for Dumplin’ and I feel like a book getting optioned before it’s even published—and then how media talks about it—is a good indication of how much trust people with power over these things put into a project.

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“What sets Ryan apart, not only did he read to the children, he saw a need in the community, which was books in the homes, and he did something about it,” said Jan Pedden of the Redwood City Public Library.

THIS MAKES MY HEART SING.

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The classic children’s author died on Sept. 24, 1991 at the age of 87. At the time, his widow, Audrey Geisel, was renovating their home in La Jolla, California, outside San Diego, and placed some of his work in a box. Years later, in 2013, she and his long-time assistant, Claudia Prescott, decided to have his drafts and sketches in the box appraised and discovered a project that would become his 46th book.

At this point, I’d be more shocked if we didn’t hear more about discovered manuscripts by beloved authors—dead or not.

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In January, James Franco penned an ode to his friend and muse Lana Del Rey, concluding his V Magazine tribute to the singer by writing, “I wanted to interview Lana for a book and she said, ‘Just write around me; it’s better if it’s not my own words. It’s almost better if you don’t get me exactly, but try.'” That suggestion turned into an actual book as Franco revealed the actor has co-written Flip-Side: Real and Imaginary Conversations With Lana Del Rey. The 100-page book will be released March 15th, 2016 via Penguin Random House.

Well, this would be a fascinating read, if anything else.

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And of course, there’s the parachutes that appear toward the end of this footage. Readers all know what this scene entails. Looks like the fourth installment in the “Hunger Games” movie franchise is going to be fairly dedicated to the original material. And it’s going to be brutal.

This sure promises EPIC.

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