Monthly Bookish Awesomeness: July 2017

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

Hello waffles! How is it the last day of July already? I feel like I just danced the night away in a New Year’s Eve countdown last month.

So, I’ve seen Game of Thrones earlier and okay. I’d been pretty chill since this season premiered (we’re on the 7th now in case you’ve lost track) but, dang, the recent episode is SO good! ‘The Queen’s Justice’ is the strongest episode yet in terms of plot and character development. Although, I’m still getting used to the velocity with which everything is moving (it’s pretty alarming after having watched Arya practically spent one season traveling to Braavos). But Benioff and Weiss definitely nailed this one down by shifting the focus from the war to quieter scenes, playing at key moments with nuanced dialogues and outstanding performances. I’ve always loved Lena Headey and Diana Rigg in this show, and episodes like this is why.

Otherwise, this month-end “report” doesn’t look too . . . charming. I finished three books and wrote two reviews and zero personal content. But hey, Bookworms Unite! was a success and that is something, right?

Books I Read

Serafina and the Twisted Staff 01Serafina and the Splintered Heart 02

  • Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty – Compellingly readable and exceedingly satisfying, this is a delightful sequel to its predecessor. This is also probably my favorite in the trilogy.
  • Serafina and the Splintered Heart by Robert Beatty – It’s always bittersweet to say goodbye to a cast of characters you’ve followed in a series. But Beatty once again hits all the marks. This is vastly imaginative and utterly enjoyable.
  • Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano – Basically, NICOLAS TAMAYO WHERE ART THOU?
  • The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo – This is only a sampler (and in fact, the three stories here aren’t new) but, gosh, Leigh Bardugo you guys! The writing is spare, with the mark eerie cadence of fairy tales—at once sumptuous and unsettling. Plus, the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.

Other Stuff I Posted

Book Birthdays

Serafina and the Splintered Heart 01   The Art of Starving 01   Because You Love to Hate Me 01   The Library of Fates 01

Happy book birthday to Serafina and the Splintered Heart (Disney Hyperion), The Art of Starving (HarperTeen), Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy (Bloomsbury USA Children’s), The Library of Fates (Razorbill), and Little Monsters (Delacorte Press), which all found a place in the shelves this month!

Book Radar

See What I Have Done 01   A Map for Wrecked Girls 01   Wicked Like a Wildfire 01   Warbringer 01

August means Wonder Woman: Warbringer (29th, Random House BFYR) will be out in the wild! Along with See What I Have Done (1st, Atlantic Monthly Press), Little and Lion (8th, Little, Brown and Company), A Map for Wrecked Girls (15th, Dial Books), and Wicked Like a Wildfire (15th, Katherine Tegen Books).

Gold Star

Bookworms Unite 01

#BookwormsUnitePH yo!

Bookworms Unite! happened last July 16th and it still overwhelms me to think that my friends and I have now been doing this for three years. Cheers, JM (Book Freak Revelations), Inah (The Bibliophile Confessions), Hazel (Stay Bookish), Salve (Cuckoo for Books), and Jas (Jasmine Pearl Reads)! It is infinitely heartwarming to meet fellow bookworms and I just want to thank every single one of you who came and hung out with us! This is definitely one for the books since it’s the first time we had kits, live reading, and a panel.

Head over to Book Freak Revelations for a full recap and The Bibliophile Confessions for a list of the new things we introduced this year.

Bookworms Unite 02Bookworms Unite 03Bookworms Unite 04

Around the Interwebs

How was your month bookworms? Are there specific titles you’re most looking forward to in August? What was the last book you read? Are you still watching Game of Thrones? What did you think of Episode 3? Grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and let’s talk!

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

Monthly Bookish Awesomeness: June 2017

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

Y’all, Bookworms Unite! is returning for its third year in July 16th! Woohoo! One of our lovely hosts, Inah @ The Bibliophile Confessions, shared the deets, with a handy Beginner’s Guide infographic for those of you who are going for the first time. (Because, clearly, I have to say the most virginy thing.)

June had been both slow and fleeting. I turned one month in my new job—working with adorable, brilliant kids is so rewarding! I feel more settled in the blog.  I’ve reconnected with the publishing, no longer unaware of new releases and forthcoming titles. I saw Wonder Woman. And I spent a ridiculous amount of time on Froy’s Instagram one lazy morning.

Books I Read

The Serpent King 01Serafina and the Black Cloak 01Duplicity

Other Stuff I Posted

Book Birthdays

Here Lies Daniel Tate 01   Bad Romance 01   Our Dark Duet 01   The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue 01

Happy book birthday to Here Lies Daniel Tate (Simon & Schuster), Bad Romance (Henry Colt & Co. BFYR), Our Dark Duet (Greenwillow Books), You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir (Little, Brown and Company), and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Katherine Tegen Books), which all found a place in the shelves this month!

Book Radar

Serafina and the Splintered Heart 01   The Art of Starving 01   Because You Love to Hate Me 01

New month. New books. Serafina and the Splintered Heart (4th, Disney Hyperion), The Art of Starving (11th, HarperTeen) (!!!), and Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy (11th, Bloomsbury USA Children’s) will all be out in the wild in July!

Gold Star

Pride 01

Rainbow everything! This month’s Gold Star goes to all things Pride.

Epic Reads’ 72 must-read YA books featuring gay protagonists 15 creatives on the meaning of pride (“for me ‘Pride’ embodies our defiance of those who seek to shame us”)  25 recent works that have shaped the L.G.B.T.Q. literary genre over the last two decades Caleb Roehrig on writing yourself • 10 swoonworthy YA quotesOn maybe deleting Grindr and joining a book clubFinding queer POC books

Around the Interwebs

What books did you acquire this month? Are there specific titles you’re most looking forward to in July? What was your last read? Any recent discovered gem(s) in the music or film department? Also, WILL I SEE YOU IN JULY 16TH? Grab your favorite cup and let’s talk!

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

The Bookworms are Back

Bookworms Unite 2.0 02

And so, #BookwormsUnitePH was a success! Thank you thank you thank you!

If you can recall, a group of blogger friends and I had this flighty, spontaneous idea last year which gave birth to Bookworms Unite. It was absolutely fantastic and I had so much fun. So much so that I particularly remember wanting it to be an annual thing. In fact, people were actually satisfied; the feedback was a resounding let’s do this again! And yet, I didn’t think it was likely.

What an unfounded thought, I soon recognized. Because Bookworms Unite 2.0 happened last Saturday and I’m still in a happiness hangover!

Bookworms Unite 2.0 03Group shot! (c) Faye

Bookworms Unite 2.0 04Bookish people are the best people.

Bookworms Unite 2.0 05One of the masterminds, Inah, during introductions.

With the addition of JM, loud and eager JM, and I articulate this in the most endearing way possible, and Raffy, innocent Raffy, the usual suspects reunited (wink, wink) to bring another afternoon of bookish awesomeness to the Filipino reading/blogging community. There were familiar faces and the program was basically a replica of the previous one but we had a bigger crowd, a bunch of first-timers, and twice as many books (!!). And something else. President Snow would’ve been proud. Because it was apparent that the chance to win an ARC of Gemina (and other coveted titles) could possibly kickoff the 76th Hunger Games. I mean. I’m just saying.

Like last year, being one of the organizers ruled out the possibility of me snapping photos here and there. Unlike last year, I didn’t even get to HONY the attendees. But I’m not complaining. The amount of gratification stunts the cons and I’m a happier snowman for it. Plus, Miss Honey de Peralta of Penguin Random House and Filipino ReaderCon fame graced us with her presence (DID I MENTION SHE’S A HUGE HAMILTON FAN?) and I scored a copy of A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and YEEESSSSSS! (JM might have an anecdote for this.)

Bookworms Unite 2.0 06Some of the titles that were up for grabs. (c) JM

Bookworms Unite 2.0 07Who is Cricket Bell?!!

Bookworms Unite 2.0 08The future organizers: Jem and Kim a.k.a. THE winner.

Just, I want to thank every single one of you who braved the weather and hung out with us, who joined us for the Twitter chat the night ere. I want to thank—and I did hug them—my lovely co-hosts—Hazel of Stay Bookish, Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again, Inah of The Bibliophile Confessions, JM of Book Freak Revelations, Raffy of Eccentric Everything, Faye of The Social Potato, and Jasmine of Jasmine Pearl Reads—for awaiting my return, working intently on orchestrating Bookworms Unite 2.0, and the endless and often hilarious Twitter group DMs. I want to thank our generous sponsors, for whom the celebration wouldn’t be half as exciting, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Fully Booked. And thank you Tweedle Book Café for housing us in; I adore your strawberry milk foam!

Will Bookworms Unite run for its third year? I believe I speak for the whole gang when I declare we’d love to. But it’s too soon to promise anything. However, the enthusiasm is overwhelming and doesn’t go unnoticed. So maybe

Bookworms Unite 2.0 09Here’s me being super stoked. Or depressed. I don’t know, you decide. (c) Jem

You can read on with these recaps:

Were you at the event? Link me up with your story! Or you can tell me about your weekend.

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

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


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!

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

Signature 02

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.


“…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.

Bookworms Unite!

Filipino book bloggers and readers, come say hi!

Bookworms Unite

WHAT: BOOKWORMS UNITE!: A PH Book Bloggers and Readers Meet Up
WHEN: July 26th, Sunday, 1:00p.m.-4:00p.m.
WHERE: Book and Borders Café, 281 Tomas Morato, Diliman, Quezon City

Together with some of my fellow Filipino bloggers, who are super lovely btw, we’re hosting a blogger/reader meet up by the end of this month and WE WANT YOU TO COME AND HANG OUT! There’ll be bookish games and raffle prizes (I heard HarperCollins is involved but SHHH!), among other things, but the real highlight would be for our very active community to just have an afternoon together, surrounded with books (and coffee). RSVP HERE.

I cannot promise I wouldn’t be awkward in person—because, duh, as Melanie of YA Midnight Reads proclaimed, “awkward is forever”—but if you do show up, it’ll be awesome.

And oh! We also have an optional Book Blind Date. It’s quite simple: bring a book covered in a non-transparent material (gift wrapper, cartolina, magazine, old newspaper, etc.). On the front, it should include keywords that describe the work. All books will be collected upon registration and by the end of the meet up, you’ll pick another, based on the descriptions others have provided. Please be noted, however, that ONLY the attendees who brought a book(s) can pick another book(s), and the number of books you can acquire will be equivalent to the number of books you bring.

So. Will I see you on Sunday?

The charming poster was designed by Hazel of Stay Bookish.

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