#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.

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Black Friday Haul 2016

It’s almost Boxing Day (and the sales that come with it) and it’s only now that I’m bringing you my Black Friday haul.

Blame it on Alibris Marketplace really. I bought two more books during Cyber Monday. I think my order was shipped some time around December 7 or 8… it’s already the 19th and for a package coming from GA to CA? Man, my Book Depository order from the UK was faster. And oh, no tracking number. It’s paid shipping but no tracking number. If only I wasn’t so desperate for a physical copy of Parasite Eve by Hideaki Sena. I hope it comes today or tomorrow. It would suck to have such high hopes, waiting for such a long time only to have to ask for a refund. So there’s the long-winded explanation for the delay.

So these are my Black Friday purchases made from three online stores: Barnes & Noble, Book Outlet, and Better World Books. I split them into three stacks: Japanese fiction, military, and pretty covers.

And my collection of Japanese fiction grows ever bigger. I need to dedicate a month or at least a book every month for these books. I’ve heard about “Japanese June” on booktube but I don’t think they’ve continued it this year. Next year? 😉

  • Revenge by Yoko Ogawa (Book Outlet)
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (Better World Books)
  • Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu by Junji Ito (Book Outlet) – I already read this and it’s hilarious!
  • The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada (Book Outlet)
  • Loop by Koji Suzuki (Better World Books)
  • Paradise by Koji Suzuki (Better World Books)
  • Promenade of the Gods by Koji Suzuki (Better World Books)
  • Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino (Barnes & Noble)

It’s crazy how many Keigo Higashino books I have and I’ve only read one so far. And I’ve since completed the Ring series; I received Birthday from Better World Books during their Cyber Monday promotion. I may start Ring tonight and hopefully finish it before the year ends.

Here’s my military stack. As you know, Generation Kill by Evan Wright is one of my very favorite books of all-time. I’ve made it my mission to have it in every cover in existence. I’m waiting on one more to complete my collection. I hope. We’ll see. And United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas is something that caught my eye at several bookstores. I had the opportunity to meet the author at one of my conventions but… I don’t know what happened to that. The Generation Kill UK cover was from Better World Books and the other one is from Book Outlet.

And here’s my pretty covers. I’ve lusted over all of these for the longest time. (Although, I kinda wanted the UK version of Uprooted too.) I sort of collect special Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) covers. This is my 6th copy. My 2nd of Emma (Jane Austen) and this is the 200th anniversary annotated edition. Uprooted by Naomi Novik is something that intrigued me since it came out. It has mixed reviews at best but the good reviews have made me curious enough to finally pick it up. The classic books are from Book Outlet while I used a Barnes & Noble coupon for the 3rd one.

Whew. And all these arrived at the same time. Thus the use of the Book Outlet paper as props. I really hope that one last book comes in today or tomorrow. Then that’s gonna be it for my book hauls in 2016. I hope. 😉

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Nice To Meet You

It’s time to roll out the year-end tags, memes, and prompts. I’m loving it!

TopTenTues

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we’re listing down the Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016.

I’ve read 70 books as of yesterday. More than 50% of that list are from authors who are new to me. Some of them, I’ve read multiple titles. I’ve heard of them before but 2016 was the year when I finally checked them out. I mean, if they’re hyped, there’s got to be a reason why, right? While I’ve not jumped to every bandwagon out there – I’ve yet to read Sarah J. Maas, Laini Taylor, Rainbow Rowell, and so many more – I discovered a good number of new-to-me authors this year. It was kind of tough narrowing it down to just ten so maybe there are honorable mentions later? We’ll see.

(I got a Book Outlet box yesterday so I decided to make use out of the brown paper. Yeah, here I am trying to be artsy LOL.)

  • Kristin Cashore – I chanced on a copy of Graceling at my local thrift store and decided to pick it up. I liked it and then the next thing I know, I own the whole trilogy. I’ve yet to read Bitterblue and I found Fire rather lacking but I enjoy her writing style so much. It is fantasy but it is easy to follow and it’s very creative.
  • Jonathan Maberry – This started out as a cover-buy but now, I have all 4 in the Rot & Ruin series (missing the short story collection but that’s fine). And oh man, I enjoyed this more than I would ever The Walking Dead. I love how he writes horror and gore without it being disgusting. I mean, disgusting is okay too but Rot & Ruin came across as a story of “people in a zombie book” rather than a “zombie book with people in it”.
  • Marie Lu – I see her Instagram feed and I realize that I always miss the opportunity of meeting her on the street by a day. I was at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Little Tokyo a day before she posts that she’s there too. That aside, I only have to read Champion to finish that trilogy. I loved Legend; I thought it was straight to the point action. I pulled this out of my double stacked shelves so that I could read it before the month/year ends.
  • Graeme Simsion – I instantly fell in love with The Rosie Project from the moment I saw the Australian edition cover. Then I inhale-read it. While I see the US cover of The Rosie Effect a lot, I want a cover that matches. Book Depository has my back, for sure. I love how the author writes the main character’s voice. It’s so unassuming and quite funny. It’s very subtle and flowing. His writing made me so happy.
  • Keigo Higashino – I have six of this man’s books. SIX. I don’t know what it is but when I read that Song Minho was talking about him, I looked him up and bought one book, The Devotion of Suspect X. It’s a mystery thriller but you know the Japanese does things their way, right? And I like that way. I’ve since read other Japanese mystery thrillers but I like Higashino-san the most.
  • V.E. Schwab –  I’m sure she’s on a lot of people’s lists. She easily shot up my favorite authors and auto-buy list. Really. Right now, I prefer her adult novels than the YA. I love Vicious so much. Hopefully, I can squeeze in A Gathering of Shadows by the end of the year but if not, January 2017. Her world building is so rich and solid. Her characters are so well-thought out. I loved listening to her thought process when writing and how she updates her twitter followers with her progress. If there’s one thing I’m thankful for this 2016, it’s being introduced to her works.
  • Ryan Graudin – I inhaled Wolf by Wolf. And Blood for Blood. I actually stopped myself from reading that for two days because I was so scared of what was going to happen in the end. The vibe reminded me of how I loved The Book Thief. That’s the kind of YA historical fiction that I can get behind. More, please.
  • Alison Goodman – Oh goodness, Eon is one of the best things I’ve ever read this year. Eona too. I don’t know what possessed me to buy this before knowing what it is about but whatever that is… thank you. Alison Goodman knows how to incorporate other cultures without appropriation. I thank her for Lady Dela forever.
  • Otsuichi – I read Zoo and it traumatized me. Even translated it had that effect on me. I think that’s reason enough to put him on this list.
  • Ryu Murakami – Yep, I like this Murakami. He writes such twisted and fucked up stories and I love every single one of them that I read. They are so addicting. And he wrote the source material of one of my favorite horror movies, Audition. I dare you to read that.

Surely, I’ve read more books from new to me authors this year. While I do love Confessions by Kanae Minato, I do hope there are more of her books translated to English. Amie Kaufman also comes to mind but then again, she co-wrote Illuminae and Gemina with Jay Kristoff. I have to read something that she wrote on her own. Recommendations?

2016 has been a year of new things. I hope to continue reading more from these authors and discover new names next year.

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | IT’S A WHOLE WORLD OUT THERE

(I still have to edit and post my EVO 2016 photos, write up my recap for that as well. For now, watch me on the stream.)

TopTenTues

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday , we’re listing down the Top Ten Books Set Outside The US.

Have you ever been outside of the US? Well, I lived in another country for quite a while and I’ve done some overseas travel. I totally recommend it! Travel outside your home country at least once in your lifetime. But if you can’t at the moment, make a trip to your bookstore or bookshelf and pick up a book set outside your country.

For me, I live in the USA so here is my list of books set outside the USA. I’m actually listing countries so I might hit more than ten books!

SOUTH KOREA – I’ve visited Seoul a few times and I loved it. Not just because I’m a K-pop fan. I love the mix of tradition, culture, and the bustle of city life all rolled into one. It’s so clean, the people are nice, the food is great, and the shopping… yes!

  • The Vegetarian by Han Kang. This novel is twisted. I wish I could read this in the original Korean language. It’ll take me a long time but I think there are some things lost in translation.
  • Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin. It’s bee a while since I read this. It’s a story about a family’s search for their mother after she goes missing at a train station.

JAPAN – My favorite fighting game players are mostly from Japan… and Korea. XD I love ramen and I would like every Friday to be Ramen Fridays! I’m also in my Japanese author phase. I have a lot of books by Japanese authors waiting for me. I still haven’t cracked open Battle Royale even after years of talking about. Remedy that soon!

  • Confessions by Kanae Minato. I will forever thank the forces that made me choose this book while I was shopping online. It’s psychological, very dark, and so engaging. It’s about a school teacher who lost her daughter to murder. The suspects? Two kids in her class. Try resisting that.
  • The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. Choosing to pick up works by this author was a totally fangirly decision but after sampling this one, I now own three more books from this author and will definitely get more once they’re translated to English. This falls under the mystery genre which I love and it’s a series featuring a Sherlock Holmes like character.
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I remember reading this and as soon as I started, it was like being transported to a hazy, foggy, and magical world. I need to read more Murakami.

UNITED KINGDOM – This includes Scotland. There’s something about English novels that seem so refined and magical. Yes, magical. So you know what’s coming up next.

  • Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. Do I even have to explain?
  • Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Don’t be intimidated by this series. If you can get past the first 100 pages of the first book, the next thing you know you’re on the 5th book!
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab. You have four Londons. What more can you ask for?
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I’m not happy that they changed the setting in the movie. But hey, the main actress is still English so they might retain a bit of the book in it.

SWEDEN – They write the best mystery/thrillers! I can always rely on Swedish authors when I’m craving for a fix.

  • Game by Anders de la Motte. I don’t see a lot of people talk about this book. I’m dying to continue with this trilogy.
  • The Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I’m sticking with the original trilogy on this.
  • Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. A different take on vampire fiction.

Here are other recommendations. I realize that a lot of my reads are set outside the US. But I still need to explore even further. Once doesn’t have to read about a certain place to know about it. Even a novel set in a different country can give the reader a glimpse of its culture.

Have you read any of them? What else can you recommend? 🙂

MAILBOX MONDAY #8 | Book Outlet’s Summer Sale

It’s only Mailbox Monday this time. 😉

I was gone for a couple of weeks and I realized I only pre-scheduled one post. I actually put a couple as Drafts because I planned to do reviews on my tablet while I was on vacation but duh… I was on VACATION so I didn’t even bother. I actually didn’t touch my tablet unless I was on the plane. I finished one book, Confessions by Kanae Minato, and started another one, Armada by Ernest Cline, all in the South Korean airspace. I’ve yet to write about my trip. You know me. Lazy. 😉

While abroad, my beloved Book Outlet sent out another $5 off coupon. It started on the 14th of June through the 17th, I believe. I was still in the Philippines when it started. I got back to Los Angeles on the 15th and was dead to the world until the 16th. With 12 hours left, this is what I ended up with.

That’s 11 books for a little over $30. More if you include shipping but eh. I didn’t go up to $50 for the Book Outlet bear. What sucks is that Book Outlet stocks up on some titles that I really want AFTER the sale. So yes, I have another haul after this and then after that, I saw more titles. Eh… I had to stop myself. I’m too excited. This is getting out of hand. LMAO.

But that’s not to say that I picked these titles up just for the sake of the sale. No, I actually have all these on my wish list. All but one, to be honest. One was an impulse buy that is influenced by Good Reads reviews.

  • Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven. I have digital copies of these books but as I’ve realized lately, my heart of hearts still prefer physical books and all the space they take up.
  • Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. Another book that my brother already read that I didn’t know about. He’s never led me astray with his reading choices before so here it is.
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I keep picking this up and putting it back whenever I see it at a bookstore.
  • Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. The first book in this duology is on its way. That sparked the other purchase. I was eyeing both books when I was in the Philippines but I ended up buying another duology instead.
  • Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino. What can I say? I liked The Devotion of Suspect X and decided to go ahead with the rest of his works.
  • Steelheart and Firefight by Brandon Sanderson. Let’s see what the Youtube praisehype is all about. I also bought the Mistborn trilogy boxed set in the next transaction making it 6 Sanderson books in my possession. My next read will be The Rithmatist.
  • All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry. I didn’t even realize it but this is my 2nd Julie Berry book. I also have The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place from my last huge haul. I kept seeing this under new arrivals and the cover was so intriguing. It has good reviews so I took the plunge. Last time I did that, it was a slam dunk. (Confessions by Kanae Minato. Now one of my favorite books!)
  • Lock In by John Scalzi. I’ve wanted this for such a long time. I can’t wait to get to it… eventually.
  • Legend: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu. I already read it. I loved it. The book was such a blast and this was definitely right up there with it. I enjoyed it a lot – probably more than I enjoyed the book!

Legend: The Graphic Novel actually was the final book to satisfy my 25-book goal for 2016! Yay! I’m done. But not really. It’s not stopping there. I’m currently reading Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith. I have the whole Escape from Furnace series, another impulse buy from the Mother’s Day sale. And I am enjoying it a lot. I’m hoping to finish it either tonight or tomorrow. Anime Expo is this weekend so I want to get all my reading out of the way.

How about you? Did you take advantage of the Book Outlet sale? ‘Til the next one!

MAILBOX MONDAY (MUSINGS) #7 | Book Outlet’s Mothers Day Sale

Fourteen books for $30, excluding shipping (which was $9.99). It was a grueling eight hours of carefully crafting the perfect shopping cart with the best deals and best reads. But I did it. Although I did miss out on the Snow Like Ashes deal that came out the very next day. However, I still did enjoy what I got and cannot wait to get into them.

Last week, these beautiful babies finally came in the mail. I finally got that iconic Book Outlet brown paper. It’s so exciting to get book mail and this is the most exciting I’ve been so far. I should have one more coming up before I go on vacation. Yes! I’m going on vacation and I’m gonna need books to accompany me on this long ass plane ride. Feel free to scour through my book hauls and let me know what you think I should bring.

As the title suggests, this is another two-meme post. Let’s get into it!

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 am currently reading Confessions by Kanae Minato. It’s a bit less than 300 pages, translated into English, and is so engaging and easy to read. It’s about a retiring school teacher giving one final lecture to her homeroom class. And in that class sits her daughter’s murderer. This was that one book in my Book Outlet order that pushed me over $35 towards that $5 off. My first read from that stack. And oh, I started reading it at Little Tokyo. Heh.

It’s a short read so I’m hoping to finish it today or tomorrow, depending on how busy I get. I still haven’t packed for my vacation and there are a ton of stuff to settle at work and at home. I’ll be bringing my SGT4N with me as well as a physical book or two. What should I bring?

For this week’s random question: Name a book you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.

It would be my latest finished read: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I’m not much for contemporary and I picked this up on a complete whim. I found myself breezing through it and I’m completely in love with the story. I’m dream casting Colin Firth as Don Tillman.

And now, on to the haul.

MAILBOX MONDAY #7 | Thank you, Book Outlet!

Ain’t that pretty. So many books! And still so many on my wishlist. XD

From left to right:

  • Malice by Keigo Higashino. I fully blame Song Minho for this new-to-me author. The Devotion of Suspect X was such a fascinating read. I cannot wait to read more. I own another one from this author, Naoko, that I bought full price.
  • The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry. I’m dipping more and more into middle grade. I’m starting to appreciate the easier read without sacrificing complex storylines and rich characters.
  • Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor. I bought the first book at the One Dollar Bookstore. I’ve always wanted to start this series ever since I received sample chapters of Daughter of Smoke and Bone years ago.
  • Escape from Furnace series: Lockdown, Solitary, Death Sentence, Fugitives, Execution by Alexander Gordon Smith. This was a total cover buy. Kind of like Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. I picked it up without knowing what it’s about and I ended up totally loving it. I hope the latter happens with this series too. They’re fairly short reads and they look so interesting. By the way, my supposedly Scratch/Dent copy of Lockdown came signed. 😉
  • Confessions by Kanae Minato. I already talked about it above. I’m still on my Japanese authors kick.
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. Another series that I want to get into.
  • You by Caroline Kepnes. Finally! This was a booktube buy. I almost bought this full price but I finally found a price that agreed with me.
  • Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. This was a “scour through Book Outlet” find. I also wanted to get the sequel, Dangerous Boys, but it wasn’t there. Next time. I’m pretty sure I have more than enough books to keep me occupied.
  • 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison. This was a recommendation from Richard Denney. I also picked up Liesl & Po and The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls as per his recommendation.
  • Nancy Drew Mysteries: The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene. Of course, I can’t pass up on a new cover. I don’t have this book yet so I picked it up.

Whew, that’s quite a list! Have you read any of them? I think I’ll be going on a book-buying-ban for a while. Vacation and July’s conventions will sap everything out from my resources lol. And I think it’s about time I make a dent on this ever growing stack of newly acquired tomes.

 

MAILBOX MONDAY (MUSINGS) #6 | Last Week’s Haul

You read that right. This was last week’s haul. But where was that post? Well… I had a tough week. I’m hoping things will be better this week. I need positive thoughts. Really, reading and blogging are my only outlets at the moment.

Speaking of outlets, how many of you are on Book Outlet right now? The whole site is 15% off and surely, you guys availed of that $5 coupon off a $35 purchase. I’m currently and carefully building my shopping cart and oh boy, $35 worth of Book Outlet books is going to be A LOT. (I don’t even want to think how much the shipping is going to cost me.) But that’s okay. I’ve been having a rough start to May and this is as far as my retail therapy goes.

Two weeks ago, I randomly found myself on a book buying binge. I got a copy of Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick from Goodwill for $2.99 and I wanted his other book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Thriftbook had the cheapest copy (but unfortunately, no dust jacket when it came to my house) and I needed more stuff to get free shipping. While I was on Thriftbooks, I also perused Book Outlet and Better World Books and next thing I know, I had 11 books all together.

This is another two-in-one post. These all came in the mail so it’ll be a Mailbox Monday entry but I also like this week’s Monday Musings question. So let’s start with that, shall we?

Musing

I am currently reading The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. I’m on a Japanese author kick right now. They write the most magical, dark, engaging, and unique stories that survives translations. I found out about Higashino-san from, well… hahaha, Song Minho from the K-pop group WINNER. In a Japanese (I think) interview, he mentioned that he started to get into reading and the last one he read and enjoyed was Masquerade Hotel by Keigo Higashino. Well, I am one of those fans who check out their idol’s tastes whether it would suit them or not so I looked him up on Goodreads. That specific book has no English translation yet (that I know of) so I went with the book most accessible to me. I found a copy of Naoko at my local Kinokuniya store. I’ve yet to read it but I bought it full price. 😉 His work is intriguing; the kind of mystery/thriller that I prefer.

For this week’s random question: What is the best book you read LAST year?

2015 was a poor reading year for me. 26 books? I mean. I’m at almost 20 now and it’s not even June.

There’s not very many to choose from but I managed to pick two. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and Parasite by Mira Grant. I enjoyed both books so much that I flew through them so fast. I loved Ready Player One so much that I eventually bought a physical copy of it. And I’m one book away from completing the Parasitology trilogy. I have Chimera waiting in the wings.

This year, it’s going to be a bit trickier to declare a favorite read. We’ll see. Now, on to the haul!

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