T5W | MISS GRINCH

This week, we are talking about our Bookish Things You’re A Grinch About.

Or bookish pet peeves. What ever floats your boat. But try not to get too-too serious about it. It’s the little nitpicky things. Or it can be huge ground-breaking issues too. Heh.

It’s all in good fun. No need to get hostile or defensive about these lists. I mean, we still read these books anyway whether it has a love triangle or absentee parent, right? It’s our shared dislike or disagreement in opinions that keep up together. And that’s beautiful.

With that said, here’s my list of “little things” that tick me off in the book scene:

MAGNETIC BOOKMARKS.
Yes, people. They’re cute but I don’t like them. There’s this boba magnetic bookmark that I wanted but then I thought… I don’t use those. I have those Harry Potter ones from Target but when I tried using one on a rather large tome, I didn’t like the way it looked and the way it was bulky in between the pages. No. Just… no. There are some adorable Yuri On Ice ones that I wanted off of Etsy but you can’t make me use magnetic bookmarks for any kind of book. On planners and journals, maybe, but not for books.

NO HALF-STARS ON GOODREADS RATING SYSTEM.
At least we have re-reads now. But half-stars is a must. I know you can choose to round up or down your half rating but there’s a huge difference between a 3- and a 4-star rating psychologically. I’d rather gravitate towards a book with a 3.8 star rating than a 3.4 stars. It does force the reader to be firm with his/her rating but still, that half-star is a huge thing.

WHEN BOOKSTORES ONLY HAVE MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS.
My example for this is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Prior to purchasing the 10th anniversary edition last month, all of the bookstores I visited only have mass market paperback copies. Same with the Mistborn trilogy (but I’ve decided to go to Book Depository for my Sanderson fix). I know it’s a space issue but still!

BOOKS WITHOUT BLURBS.
I see this especially with Magical Realism books. It has the author bio on the back and a bunch of quoted reviews. Inside, even more starred reviews. But no summary. What the hell is this book about?! I still do check GoodReads when book shopping but how will you interest your reader if you don’t have a summary of your book when people can read it? Do you want me to judge your book by its cover? Well, better make it an exceptional cover then.

CRAZY NAMES.
Khrysthyne Mharie von Auslesse, Jaxon Vryanth [title of book as character’s last name]. What’s up, New Adult? Nothing wrong with the standard spellings of Kristine or Christine. (Although, I do know someone who actually named their child exactly how that name is spelled above. Poor kid.) I can take it from Fantasy novels, the crazier the better. But these NA authors have the most creative names that it trips me up every time I encounter one on the page. So much that I have to audio book instead.


Well, that was cathartic. XD

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WRAP-UP | NOVEMBER 2017 + Tome Topple Round 5

Can you believe it? It’s the final month of the year. My 2017 has been pretty chill with some really high highs from time to time. Reading-wise, I’m extremely satisfied. I can always do better but hey, I have so many other things on my plate and I want to do as well in those as I did in reading.

(I’m not going to go into the whole “reading fatigue” discussion. You do you. It’s perfectly okay to read 0 to 100000 books a year. We all have lives beyond the pages.)

November is almost like a cheat month for me. I still did okay but I pretty much binge read manga on the last three days of the month. I only read two physical books (one is a photo book even), three audio books, and five manga. Well, technically two books but I failed to finish The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson before the 30th thus it not counting for Tome Topple Round 5. However, I did reach 551 pages before I gave up so… it sorta-kinda counts? 😉 In my head it does. So yeah, I had it pretty easy. No pressure. Tome Topple was fun and it pushed me to focus on the audio book that I included in my TBR.

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 10.

  • Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom. I’m working my way through Junji Ito’s collected works and I think I only need to read two more to be caught up. This was creepy. It’s about a boy who is obsessed with the devil and his little sister who torments everyone around her. He goes around town after his sister then things started melting. Oh man, I liked this a lot. 4/5 stars.
  • Hole In the Sun by Viggo Mortensen. How do you even review a photo collection? I’m not smart enough for this. But hey, it’s Viggo Mortensen. I have a couple of his photo books (one is signed!) and they fascinate me. 3 stars.
  • The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson. What a ride! I enjoyed the audio book immensely because of the different narrators and the pace of the story lent itself nicely for that medium. It was kind of frustrating to piece together the events per POV though. Not the fault of the book; I think that was the point but it did hook me into listening more intently and continuously. 4 stars.
  • Birthday by Koji Suzuki. I finally read through the Ring series. I’m not the biggest fan of short story collections but I am a fan of the full novels in this series. I thought I was going to love Lemon Heart the most, Sadako’s origin story and the basis of Ring 0: Birthday film but I loved Happy Birthday, the companion continuation piece to Loop which was my least favorite of the 3 main novels. Coffin in the Sky which went with Spiral was good too. 4 stars.
  • The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson. I went straight to this book right after finishing the previous one in the series. I had to know what happens next! And oh man, the ANGST. I am definitely Team Kaden and with all things considered, I’m happy with his ending. I was prepared to dislike Rafe as much as I loathed Tamlin but he redeemed himself so much in the end. It was so beautiful and dark (har-har) and I loved it. 4 stars.
  • Haikyuu! Volume 1Hinata and Kageyama by Haruichi Furudate. Los Angeles Public Library heeded my call and acquired this for their OverDrive catalog. I loved the anime. Absolutely obsessed with the stage play. So I guess I should start reading the manga, right? And yes, I loved this to pieces too! 5 stars.
  • My Hero Academia Volumes 2 and 3 by Kohei Horikoshi. Nothing less than 5 stars for this awesome series. I am amazed at how faithful the anime is to the source material and everything about this series is amazing.
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. Another finished trilogy on audio. I give the narrator 5 stars. Zuzana and Mik-mik, 5 stars. But the story itself, 4 stars. I don’t know, it kind of lost me in the end. Reminiscent to the ending of The Beauty of Darkness, actually but that one felt more effective to me. I had the same problem with the first book Daughter of Smoke and Bone where it lost me in the end. But Laini Taylor’s writing is like high-end rich chocolate paired with the finest wine and cheese. It’s so good!
  • sweetness & lightning, Volume 5 by Gido Amagakure. My wish is that they would continue the anime. I really do. The manga has so many funny and endearing storylines that I would LOVE to see with movement. 5 stars.

Continue reading

#T5W | WRITING IDOLS

This week, we are talking about our Authors You Want to Write Like.

I fully intended to post this yesterday, early. This is the easiest list to compose for me.

But then I got to work. It was hell. I was too tired when I got home and I wanted to push finishing The Hero of Ages for Tome Topple (not happening, unfortunately).

So here we are. Top 5 Wednesday on a Thursday. That’s okay, right?

As many avid readers, I also dabbled in writing. I actually won NaNoWriMo 2010 and once I reached around 56,000 words, I fell off of it. So yeah, the Generation Kill TV mini-series fan fiction loosely based on Jane Eyre is still unfinished. I only really need to write an ending but I got stuck. Yup, that was seven years ago. I used to exclusively write CSI:NY fan fiction for a while. Then James/Lily stories. Hey, I do have a ff.net account (that is still alive) and an AO3 account which is mainly for anime fics. I never actually ventured into “original” works. I just write. It’s not really a passion. I just like doing it.

But if I were serious, I would love a piece of talent from any of these brilliant authors. They have such creative imaginations, skillful world-building, amazing story-telling, and rich characters. I love it all. Alas, I am but a reader but a girl can dream!


BRANDSON SANDERSON.
The Mistborn trilogy is a masterpiece. All 3 books in the core series are all more than 500 pages, perfect for Tome Topple, yet they are so easy to read. It’s like a gateway between YA and adult fantasy fiction. There are so many characters but you will remember all of them, their powers, and their backstories. The magic system sounds so complicated but it really isn’t. It’s so complex yet so engaging, you will not get lost. Brandon Sanderson was able to think all of that up – magic system, setting, characters and all – and still making it such a breeze to read. Don’t be intimidated by his works.

VE SCHWAB.
I follow her on social media and it seems that she’s always writing. Writing and editing multiple books at the same time, released two in a year, starting a new one as soon as the other is finished. Girl! You deserve a full 12-hour sleep! But I love her and I love her work. Like with Sanderson, she managed to make a rather complex world (I mean, FOUR Londons) and magic system easy to follow. She’s introduced concepts that are unlike any other in the YA scene today with her Monsters of Verity duology. I don’t see any huge difference in her treatment of readers in both the YA and adult audience and I appreciate that. Her writing is so solid. I just love it so much.

MARIE LU.
No one writes action like Marie Lu. Her books are so smart and fast-paced, I look forward to reading everything she’s ever written. When I read Legend, it honestly felt like it was in one sitting. I could not put it down. Same with Warcross. She writes action scenes so cleanly and effectively, you can almost see it unfolding in front of your eyes. Her concepts are so cool – video games, virtual reality, mixed with a dystopia that is frankly not far from possible truth.

LAINI TAYLOR.
I literally just finished the audio book for Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Every time I read her books, it feels like I’m transported into that setting. Her writing is not exactly what you can call “flowery” but there’s a certain magic in her words. It’s so lyrical and I love it so, so much. I guess this is what they mean when they call words “beautiful”. Laini Taylor’s words are beautiful. There’s so much heart and emotion in them. Yes, the narrator might have added to that but I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone on hardcover and I had the same experience. It is just so lovely.

DAN BROWN.
What can I say? I’m trash for Dan Brown. His books are auto-buy for me. While his latest one is not my favorite, Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code are still two my favorite reads of all time. I can only imagine the research that went into those… so much that it actually had people scared enough to boycott the books and movies. I love that his Robert Langdon adventures are based on real places that you can visit. His other works require a certain level of disbelief but there is still that research aspect of fictionalized history/technology in there. I don’t mind him taking a long time in between books. I know I’m going to be in for a ride when they come.


Goodbye, November! I’ll be posting by November and Tome Topple wrap up together either tomorrow (that’s pushing it lmao) or next week.

Have a wonderful day!

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Thank You

I’m actually more excited for Black Friday, to be totally honest.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday are books that we are thankful for.

It was the same topic as last year, Books that I’m Thankful For. I can give you ten more books (well, my other list isn’t all about books either) but how about I give you five bookish things and five anime fandom things? I pretty much abandoned my other blog – because PhotoBucket is a fail – so who knows… I might transition this blog to incorporate that too. After all, my anime stuff also reside on my shelves. Hey, I put anime stuff on my posts anyway. 😉

Also, the Top 5 Wednesday topic is the exact same thing so I’ll give you books

Let’s sit around a huge pile of books, hold each other’s hands and share the things we are most thankful for this 2017:

AUDIO BOOKS.
I never would’ve thought that I would love audio books this much. This medium has helped me enhance not only my read count but also my overall reading experience. It’s like a whole new world of stories. I’ve enjoyed so many books that I wouldn’t have had the time to read. Or new genres that would take me much longer to get through. I’m just so happy that I was in the perfect mood, the perfect time, and the perfect read when I decided to try audio books again.

On that note, HOOPLA DIGITAL and OVERDRIVE.
I started out with Hoopla. I read through all of Dan Brown, James Rollins, and Keigo Higashino backlist from that amazing app. The choices are awesome. The audio quality is so clear. Then I finally made Overdrive work on my phone. With my rarely used LA Public Library card, I had the chance to start – and finish – more popular titles such as the Lunar Chronicles, Graceling Realm, and The Remnant Chronicles. Really guys, free audio books. I’m currently waiting for LAPL to acquire the rest of the Haikyu!! manga so I can read it digitally.

THE MISTBORN TRILOGY BY BRANDON SANDERSON.
If not for booktube and the pretty UK boxed set, I don’t think I would’ve never even started this. I had the mass market paperback and I put it down after 2 chapters. But I’m glad I bought the boxed set and decided to push through. I’m on the 3rd book right now for Tome Topple. I think I still would read this even if there’s no readathon to satisfy. I love these books so damn much.

You might be surprised but… A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES TRILOGY BY SARAH J. MAAS.
Yes. I don’t care much for the first book. But for some reason, I read the 2nd book. Didn’t impress me much either. I bought the third book on the day of release then read half of it for last round’s Tome Topple. I ended up loving ACOWAR and then gaining more appreciation for the trilogy as a whole.

SIGNED BOOKS AND AUTHOR EVENTS.
I’ve been to more author signings and acquired more signed books this year vs previous ones. I’m lucky that I live near an independent bookstore that is popular with authors. And really, I love collecting signed books. Especially books that I already know I love.

Now for the anime things:

KUMA-02 Beargguy II

HAIKYUU!!
I binge-watched all 3 seasons some months ago and hell, I’m still rewatching the whole damn thing up to this day. I’m super obsessed with the live action stage play. I’m actually in love with the actors. 😉 The anime features almost all my favorite male seiyuu, including my very favorite one, Yoshimasa Hosoya. I love everyone and everything Haikyuu.

ANIME FIGURESNENDOROIDS and GUNPLA.
Blame Gundam Build Fighters. I think I now have 10+ Beargguy versions, my first being Beargguy II. They’re probably the easiest Gunpla to assemble. Then my brother has several Gundam Barbatos figures because we both love Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. I also have quite the collection of Good Smile Company’s Nendoroid figures, especially Yuri!!! On Ice and Haikyuu!! Yeah, I’m definitely not a minimalist. I love my fandom toys too much.

LEGEND OF HEROES: TRAILS OF COLD STEEL.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this Japanese role-playing game. I love it more than Final Fantasy, to be perfectly honest – and I love Final Fantasy. My favorite seiyuu and voice actors are in this so it’s so awesome all around. Hell, I even cosplayed a character from this game when I met the CEO of the development company, Nihon Falcom. I’m thankful for the DVD copy of the stage musical with English subtitles. And I’m also thankful for the 3rd game in the series that came out this year.

ANIME EXPO 2017.
Say what you want but this is so far my best AX ever. My brother and I were able to do so damn much and accomplished everything on our plates. I met one of my favorite seiyuu, Daisuke Hirakawa (Rei from Free!) and so many Trails of Cold Steel voice actors. I just have so much love for this convention, its attendees, and everything it offers.

And to top that off, I’m thankful for ANISONG.
Anisong World Matsuri. Singing seiyuu. Anime songs – opening, insert, ending. Not so much J-pop but specifically songs from anime. Animelo Summer Live is my new favorite thing. Anisong brings me so much life. I still love YG Entertainment but Anisong is taking over right now.


What are you thankful for? Bookish or not, I’d love to know.

MUSING MONDAYS | #TomeTopple Update

Oh boy. I haven’t done one of these in ages.

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

How are you all doing? It’s a short work week for me because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m pretty much done with my Black Friday purchases — all I really need to do is to go back to Hot Topic for the Yuri!!! On Ice goodies that I want. I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving personally. But if you do, have a wonderful time with friends, family, and food!

I’m having a slow start to Tome Topple Round 5. I’m reading The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson and I’m barely 120 pages in. I’m also listening to Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. It’s around 18 hours and I’m merely 4 hours in to it. I know I have until the 30th but without the convenience of a 500-page graphic novel/manga, I’m concerned that my final page count will not be as “impressive”. I know, I know… it’s all in my head. I shouldn’t be pressuring myself. I’m actually pretty excited for these two books because they both finish a trilogy. I’m enjoying both so very much anyway.

For this week’s random question: Do you like or dislike series books?

I mostly like them. I don’t really have an opinion. I like the challenge of reading a series, especially if it’s a good one. I like stand-alone books too. I went through a time when I was looking for good stand-alone recommendations … but I eventually fell back into reading series. I tell myself every year to finish more series and I think this year, I’ve been doing very well. I tried not to start as many; I usually get stuck after the 2nd book. As much as I would love to binge-read a series, I don’t have the longest attention span for that.

But yeah, I don’t mind series books. I have no problems DNF’ing a series if the first or second book didn’t impress me that much. I just hope authors don’t feel that they have to write their story stretched in a series for it to be good.

#T5W | Fictional Boyfriends of Years Past

This week, we are talking about our Nostalgic Fictional Boyfriends/Girlfriends.

I tried to think of book boyfriends but I never got into those until recently. Like… 3 years ago recent. I mean, I can still list those out but I decided to reach farther back into my fangirl history. I have a pick each from a TV show, film, anime, video game, and of course, a book series.

My personality is dangerous – for my mind, heart, and wallet – when it comes to obsessions. So needless to say, once I get attached, I’m never letting go.

Let’s get this out of the way, shall we? I know every Top 5 Wednesday topic has room for a Harry Potter character so here we go:

Oliver Wood, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film.
Yes, specifically the film. Because Sean Biggerstaff. This is also the reason why I am so salty about the lack of Quidditch in the 3rd film. The screen would light up whenever he’s there; I would rewatch Great Hall scenes just to see Oliver Wood. In fact, my first ever celebrity autograph was of Sean’s. So yeah, not only do I hang on to every Oliver Wood scene, I’ve checked out every one of Sean Biggerstaff’s other works.

Leon S. Kennedy, specifically in Resident Evil: Degeneration.
And Resident Evil 4. And 2. Actually, every reincarnation except the live action travesty. I hardcore ship him with Claire Redfield. He’s grown so much in the course of the games, from being the unluckiest rookie cop of Raccoon City to the badass agent and zombie killer that he is currently. But hot damn, that fringe! That voice! He’s hot. That’s all I can say.

Michael Vaughn, Alias.
Where do I even begin? He’s the reason why I watched Alias. While I did like Sydney and Jack and the whole double-triple agent drama, it was Vaughn that made me stay through to the end. I was a SydVaughn shipper and hated every other character paired with him LOL. Yes, I was super invested. I loved how low-key he was yet so dependable at the same time. There was a quiet strength in his character and Michael Vartan portrayed that so well.

Mamoru Chiba, Sailor Moon.
Here’s the thing… I loved Tuxedo Mask. But I hated Moonlight Knight (or Knight of the Moonlight if you happened to watch Sailor Moon R in the Philippines). I am aware that he is just another one of Mamo’s alter-egos but try explaining that to four-year-old me. (Yes, I was basically born an otaku – I started watching anime way before I knew what cartoons were.) I reacted negatively to anything that came in the way of my first OTP, Sailor Moon x Tuxedo Mask. I can confidently say that this character is my first ever crush.

And finally, for the book pick… Ned Nickerson, Nancy Drew Mysteries.
Nancy is damn lucky to find not only friends but a boyfriend that likes the same stuff and activities as her. He’s as interested in solving mysteries and is willing to help out with his own group of “chums”. And the way he is described in the books is attractive to me. He seems like a good guy. Boyfriend material. Someone you can take home to mama.


In my draft, I put Legolas on there but everybody has in on their list so I think that’s a given. Really, just put Orlando Bloom. XD

#TomeTopple | ROUND 5 (11/17 through 11/30)

It’s that reading time again. Tome Topple Round 5 is upon us and I’m so excited!

Tome Topple Readathon is created by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. She also hosts the Top 5 Wednesday weekly tag. She’s one of the booktubers whose opinions I trust. I also go to her for SFF recommendations. The GoodReads group for this readathon can be found here. If you’re looking for recommendations, inspiration, and/or buddies to read with, go check out the group.

I figured I’d just repost that since I was about to say the very same things anyway. The only real “rule” is to read a book with 500 pages or more. This is the chance to tackle those daunting reads that are collecting dust on your shelves.

It’s going to be from 12AM of November 17 through 11:59PM of November 30, your time zone.

For me, that’s Pacific Time, if you want to play along. 🙂

Your pick will ultimately depend on the edition you’re reading from. Titles have different page numbers depending on which medium you’re patronizing. For example, I’m currently reading The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. The paperback has 468 pages while the Kindle edition has 512. If you’re planning to read the Kindle edition, it counts for this readathon.

Short story collections don’t count, unfortunately. It’s easier to go through short stories than one dense novel – although I’m not very fond of short stories… they send me to slump hell. It’s okay if you’re reading a graphic novel omnibus or a collected works of manga.

Reading a 500plus-page book is okay. But if you want to challenge yourself:

  1. Read more than 1 tome.
  2. Read a graphic novel with more than 500 pages. (Trust me, this exists.)
  3. Read a tome that is part of a series.
  4. Buddy read a tome.
  5. Read an adult novel.
  6. Instagram challenges.

One book can count for multiple items. My main read is definitely going to be The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson, to finish off the Mistborn trilogy. I have the UK edition with 748 pages. For an audio book, I’m hoping to be able to borrow Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (613 pages), the final book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I was going to listen to this but Overdrive was able to get me The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson after such a long hold. You can read/listen to that one as well because it has 679 pages. If I can, I would like to finally get to Night Film by Marisha Pessl (602 pages) or continue with the Rot and Ruin series by Jonathan Maberry with Dust and Decay (519 pages).

I don’t have a graphic novel read… yet. I can always read those 3-in-1 manga omnibus for Fullmetal Alchemist or whatnot. I was looking at the Another: Omnibus by Yukito Ayatsuji that has 720 pages but the thing is, I already read the first volume separately. I’m not sure if that counts. Well, I can always reread that part.

Anyway, I had so much fun with the previous round. I learned not to put too much pressure on myself, that this TBR is merely a list of options. I’ll be happy to finish The Hero Of Ages and call it a day.

Let me know if you’re participating in this readathon. If so, what’s your TBR? 🙂