#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!

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#T5W | I like these authors. A lot.

This week, we are talking about Authors You Want to Read More From.

I am at a loss at how to kick off this post so I’ll just go straight to the list. I’m having a bad day at work today and I need a distraction. Wish.com, AliExpress, and several online book shops aren’t helping much. (LOL.)

  1. Roshani Chokshi. I met her last February and had my copy of The Star-Touched Queen signed and personalized. Then I read it. It’s quite purple prose-y but I truly enjoyed it. Instead of it being annoying and tiring with all the flowery words and metaphors, it set up the mood nicely and it made imagining the world she wrote so easy and enjoyable. I do have A Crown of Wishes which I will get to very soon. And she recently announced that she is releasing a middle grade book next year. Yaaasss!
  2. Marie Lu. I also met her at the same event that I mentioned above. Ever since reading the Legend trilogy last year, Marie Lu has become an auto-buy author. I just love how well she writes action and her characters are so simple yet rich. I have The Young Elites trilogy (signed and) waiting for me. And I cannot wait to get my hands on Warcross. And I also hope to have all of my copies of her books signed… eventually.
  3. Ryan Graudin. I read her Wolf by Wolf duology and instantly fell in love. So much that I plan to try her All that Glows duology even though I’m not a fan of fae. There’s something about her writing that feels so strong and solid. Both Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood blew me away. Yes, they are YA books but it had none of that shallowness that even dystopian YA has, whether intentional or not. Invictus is going to be released this year and I will surely read that.
  4. Brandon Sanderson. My 2017 project is to finish the Mistborn trilogy. I’ve read and absolutely loved The Final Empire. I might read the next one in the coming months and the last one by the end of the year. And this author has a LOT of other books. So many of them are well-loved by the book community, not just by the SFF readers. The Final Empire was so easy to read and follow despite the large cast of characters and rather complicated magic system.
  5. Keigo Higashino. I debated whether to mention him or another Japanese author here but I decided with Keigo Higashino. I own six of his translated works but have only read one. Which is strange because I enjoyed the one that I read, The Devotion of Suspect X. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I love how he puts a spin on a detective story. What I love about Japanese fiction is that it has its own mood that is so distinct from Western mysteries. I really should pick up the other books by this author because all of them sound so interesting.

I have other picks. But looking at my list, I am most excited about these five authors.

#T5W | I’m (a) Game(r)

This week, we are talking about Books That Would Make Good Games.

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m a gamer. Sure, I spectate more than I actually play but I’ve always had a controller in my hand since the classic Nintendo Famicom. I had three PSX consoles, 2 PS One, 2 PS2, a PS3, 3 PSPs, a PS Vita, and a PS4 Pro. My brother and I are actually planning to buy another PS Vita because the one we have now is rooted in the Japanese PlayStation store. And if it’s not yet obvious, we’re Playstation fans. I’ve never even held a GameBoy or a Nintendo DS in my life. No joke. XD

My favorite genres are Japanese RPG, survival horror, and fighting games. Tekken 3 is like the national video game in the Philippines. Final Fantasy VIII was my top favorite JRPG until recently. And while kids spend the day with their dads in parks, malls, or fixing cars… I was helping him beat Silent Hill. Today, I still love Tekken and have grown to love Street Fighter. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has dethroned FF8 as my favorite JRPG so much that I am seriously contemplating on buying a Windows system so I can play the game’s re-release with 5000 extra voice over clips. And I think Resident Evil: Biohazard is one of the scariest video games ever! I can talk you to the ground about video games like I can with books and anime.

Anyway, I figure this is going to be a long post. I will not only name 5 (or more) books that would make great video games but I will try to mention games that can be good books too. And I will be categorizing them into genres/modes instead of the book’s genres. This is going to be fun!

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End of 2016 Goals

It’s the 15th of December and we have 15-16 more days until the end of 2016. Seriously, where did the year go? It felt like it was only yesterday when I was typing out my 2016 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge.

I should have posted this at the beginning of December but life got in the way. I’m actually already on a break from work. This hasn’t been a good week. I needed to take a break or else I’ll physically break something here. So I decided to finally buckle down and write this post.

I was never much for TBRs. I like planning but I feel rather boxed in when I have a set reading list. And how do you decided what to read for that month? I may have a list in my head but never written down somewhere. There were months where I didn’t read a single book off that list. But it’s all good.

For December, how about we try this TBR thing out?

So here is my list. You can call this my December TBR. My goal before the year ends is to read these three books. Along with others, of course.

  • Champion by Marie Lu. This is my current read. I’m about halfway. Then anime happened. Oh well. I’ve enjoyed this trilogy and the graphic novel adaptations. Those helped me catch up without rereading the previous books. I love me some Day. 😉
  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. Or Mistborn if you have the US covers. I’m more than halfway through before putting it down because I previously had the mass paperback editions. I eventually jumped the gun and bought the UK covers and I realized, the pagination between the UK trade and US mass paperbacks are the same. So the UK ones have thicker pages and bigger letters! I still remember what I read so it won’t be too hard to get back into it.
  • Ring by Koji Suzuki. I have all four books. I want to get started now before it gets pushed back by 2017 books. I need to make a dent on my Japanese fiction collection in general.

I also plan to continue reading One Punch Man manga and whatever other manga that will interest me. Audiobooks are also a thing. I just started Black Order by James Rollins but I read that already so I’m thinking of listening to another book instead. But whatever I decide to do, I do want to finish the three books pictured above. Technically, it’s just two books. I’m more than halfway on two leaving Ring to be the only one unread.

I can do this. When I started 2016, I never thought I would be a book away from 75 books read by the 15th of December. Thank you everyone who found their way to my little corner of the internet, liking, commenting, following. I appreciate each and every single one of you. This has been a wonderful reading year and hopefully, it continues on to 2017!

#2RAT | Cozy Reads

read-a-theme

How do you describe a “cozy” read? I am aware of the Cozy Mysteries and have read some when I was a kid… hiding out in the library during graduation rehearsals. Yep! Oh how many Mills & Boone and Cozy Mystery books did I go through before they found out what I was doing. XD

I had a blast with last month’s 2RAT topic which was “Quick Reads”. I did pretty well; 3.5 books. I eventually finished that point-5 read after the readathon. I had one more book that I hoped to read but I happened to choose such a heavy-hitting novel so I passed the rest of the weekend with graphic novels.

This month’s 2RAT starts September 30, Friday at 6PM and ends October 2, Sunday at 11:59PM wherever you are in the world. I happen to follow PST so hello to you from the West Coast. And the them is COZY READS, hence the first paragraph.

So… what are cozy reads really? From the announcement videos (Captured in Words, Sabine’s Book Nook), they define it as comfy reads for the fall season. Books that you read when you want to hunker down, wrapped in a blanket with no plans to move for a long time, mug of cocoa within arms reach.

*looks out window, checks thermometer*

It’s 34C/ 94F here in California. What “fall”?

Hey, we’re doing it anyway. I may substitute the tea with a trenta cup of black tea lemonade or a large Jamba Juice though. Even in colder months, I’m not a fan of drinking hot stuff when reading. I sometimes make tea and then forget about it until it’s all tepid and cold. Hee!

Anyway, when I think of cozy reads, I immediately think of long reads. Those 500+ pages tomes that suck you in and you find yourself lost in its pages. Metaphorically being wrapped in the world, blanket or no blanket. I’m already reading something like that, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, but I’m merely halfway through it. Although, I am determined to finish it by the end of the month, it’ll overlap with the first hours of 2RAT… assuming I don’t get inspired and finish it today or tomorrow. I blame Trails of Cold Steel 2. And a reading slump… ish. Excuses.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I don’t do TBRs well. I’m a mood reader and even if I try to make a TBR, chances are I’ll read something that is not on that list. So I’m not 100% sure what book or books to read for this readathon but here are a couple that I have in mind. I’m only including books that I physically own. I have a 20+ book haul for this month – a huge chunk of that is my birthday book haul – on top of my other unreads so I have so many to choose from! If I don’t finish Mistborn by the start of 2RAT, I’ll put that down and then start with my pick of the weekend. I might just read one book this time around.

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I got a new edition. I’ve yet to read that one.
  • Another by Yukito Ayatsuji. It’s a Japanese horror thriller that was made into one of my favorite anime. Yeah, it’s not yet very Halloween-y but Japanese novels tend to completely envelop the reader into the book’s world.
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while now. It’s not too long of a read so perfect for a weekend? We’ll see.

Which one should I go for? You tell me. Hopefully, I can get to any one of them. And hopefully, I make a dent on the remaining pages of my current read.

What’s on your October TBR? What books do you consider as “cozy” reads? Recommend me some titles!

MAILBOX MONDAY (MUSINGS) #10 | No Book-Buying Ban

Gasp! I’m blogging from my house? This is… so foreign to me. XD

Happy Labor Day to those who celebrate. I personally dread it because that means I have to go back to hel- I mean, work – tomorrow. I needed this weekend. I need more of this weekend. A lot has happened in the past week; most of it bad but I live for the little good things that made me smile even for just a second.

This is another two-in-one. It’s been a while since the last one and I have a lot to talk about!

Musing

  • 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…

I’m back to reading Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. And I think I figured out what is bothering me about it hence the sort of slump I’m experiencing with it. The writing. It sounds so… simple? Amateurish? No, not really that but I feel like the writing is inconsistent, as if written by a kid. But then again, the author did mention that she started the draft when she was 12 years old or something. I don’t know, don’t quote me on that. I am enjoying the story but the writing is so off-putting. It’s like reading a middle-grade Graceling.

Over the weekend, I participated and completed my first readathon. It’s the Read-A-Theme Read-A-Thon. I was able to read three “Quick Reads”, the theme of the month, two comic compilations and one novel. I was halfway through a third graphic novel but I sort of DNF’d because I wasn’t enjoying it and I had somewhere else to go before I was able to finish it. Still up in the air if I’m counting that to my 2016 numbers. But I did finish Saga Volumes 2 and 3 as well as Audition by Ryu Murakami. Yep, that’s my 3rd Ryu Murakami book this year. That’s 503 pages so almost like one long novel. I’m glad I participated and look forward to joining this readathon again next year!

Last Friday was an especially tough day for me so I decided to go on a little book shopping at my local Goodwill. You know, a couple of dollars for good books won’t hurt. So I ended up with Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and of course, another copy of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Then, I beelined to Vroman’s Bookstore for more feel-better vibes. I wasn’t planning on buying anything there; I just wanted inspiration. But then I saw Calamity by Brandon Sanderson. Signed. Special edition. Discounted. I wanted to buy this fromBook Outlet every single time I see it but it sells out so fast. But sometimes, coughing up $$ for books isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Also, I didn’t realize until I took this photo that the three books I picked up last Friday were all shades of purple. Is this in homage to my poor bruised soul? Here’s to hoping this week is a better one.

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#T5W | I Still Have Four Months to Go

Long time no see. This week, we are talking about Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year.

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I’m not much of a TBR girl. I’m a mood reader and I rarely follow at TBR. And really, those things can get away from my grasp fast. I acquire books faster than I can read them. I can read about one book a week but buy up to eleven in one go. Oops. 😉

Anyway, I’m splitting this into to Top 5s: five books I want to read before 2016 ends and five series that I want to start before 2016 ends. I’m only going to include books in my physical possession, books that are already released by the time of this post. For the series, I’m talking about those that I own, at least the first two books. I will not be counting any unreleased sequels. If only one book is out in a series, then that counts as only one book. Get it? Enough of these rules!

BOOKS

  1. A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab. I loved  A Darker Shade of Magic and I had this in my possession even before I finished that book. Why I didn’t marathon it, no one knows. I actually plan to read all of VE Schwab’s books before the end of the year but this takes priority.
  2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I’ve read mixed reviews but I’m way more intrigued than discouraged. This spurred a random impulsive Book Outlet haul not too long ago so I guess I really want to read this book? Yes.
  3. Lock In by John Scalzi. I’ve been wanting to read this book since hearing about it on booktube but I’m never in the mood for it. Soon, hopefully.
  4. Goth by Otsuichi. Out of all the Japanese books in my possession, I really want to read this as soon as possible. I want this book so badly that I bought it full price. (Which ended up being cheaper than buying it from an online bookstore that I frequent.)
  5. Any Brandon Sanderson book. I have the Mistborn trilogy, The Rithmatist, the first two books in The Reckoners series, and the first two books of The Stormlight Archive . I need to get started on this train!

I should also put Maggie Stiefvater on this list but I don’t own a single book by her. I really should remedy that. I’ve heard nothing but good things about her Raven Cycle and I want in on the action.

SERIES

  1. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I have all three books and I’m trying not to pick up Six of Crows. I want to read this first before going into that.
  2. The Winner’s Curse trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. I have the first two books, my copy of The Winner’s Crime is even signed! I bought it signed, by the way lol. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this trilogy and it involves music so… gimme!
  3. Snow Like Ashes duology by Sara Raasch. I bought both books in the Philippines during my vacation. It was cheaper there. Again, heard nothing but good things… this is in a lot of underrated book lists.
  4. Starcrossed trilogy by Leisa Rayven. I have all three; I even got the 3rd one for free! I’ve been curious about this series, at least Bad Romeo, for a long time.
  5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. I have the first two books. I found the first one as an ARC at a dollar bookstore. I even have a sampler of this when it first came out. Yeah, I think I really need to get started on this.

I also wanted to include You by Caroline Kepnes but that’s a duology and I don’t have the next book yet. I might decide on that once I read You. I fully intend to.