#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. 😄

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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#T5W | Bring on the ANGST!

This week, we are talking about Favorite Angsty Romances.

If you know me at all, angst is my favorite category of fan fiction. Some people get bedtime stories, I pull up a 100,000 word piece and bawl my eyes out before bed. I’m currently reading one about Yuri!!! On Ice and I’m blown away at the quality of some of the stuff I find on there.

But we are not talking about fanfics. Here are some angsty relationships from books. They’re not as frustrating and angsty as my fics but they’ll do.

  • Naho x Kakeru from Orange This is actually a part of an adorable but incredibly frustrating love triangle. I honestly prefer the other guy (and think he got the shortest end of an already short stick) but this was the direction the story was going. If you’re not familiar with Orange, you might not get it. But in a nutshell, five friends at present day meet up again to celebrate the birthday of a friend that died ten years ago. Then they get an idea to somehow send letters to their past selves and try to save this friend from dying and “erase” whatever regrets they have at present time. That wasn’t a good synopsis but trust me, this is SO GOOD – manga, anime, live action. But if you’re in the mood for so much frustration that you’d want to fling a shoe at both of their heads, this one is perfect for you. 😄

  • Let’s get this out of the way, shall we? Jane Eyre x Mr. Rochester from Jane EyreDo I even need to explain this? He was playing hard-to-get. She pretends that she doesn’t care. Both of them insult each other as a kind of flirting device. One is the key to the other’s happiness but they both refuse themselves of that. Argh… both of them are angsty as hell.

  • Shahrzad x Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn duology. This will be in a lot of lists today. What is it with brooding male characters? I love them. In anime, they end up being my favorite characters. But it is a source of such frustration from the female character. And the reader. More often than not, these brooding male characters are “No one can love me. Don’t love me; I don’t deserve it. Stay away from me!” Khalid is definitely that to the very end.

  • June x Day from the Legend trilogy. The ending of the 2nd book, Prodigy, drives the angst home. If you don’t know what I’m talking about… well, Legend is an easy trilogy to marathon. And oh, there are graphic novels. I enjoyed those so much because I got to see what these two characters look like. Day, again, is one of those brooding male characters with so many dark secrets from a dark past. No matter how much June tells him that she is willing to help, Day pushes her away. But unlike other female characters, she allows herself to be pushed away. Yes, she’s still hung up about him but she lets it go. And for a reader and shipper, I wanted to pull my hair out.

  • Alana x Marko from Saga. Man, these two. Hell, they don’t even speak the same language! But you can just feel the love that they have for each other. It’s almost tangible. Yet their trust for each other is broken. This graphic novel series is definitely SFF with outer space and aliens and stuff but it  is definitely very human at the same time. I’m rooting for them so hard. And I cannot wait to read the next volume coming out next week!

That’s my list. I still think my fanfics have more angst but hey.

#T5W | Favorite Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

This week, we are talking about FAVORITE SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY BOOKS.

I was looking at my books and fantasy is definitely one of my favorite genres. I do read sci-fi as well, maybe starting to dabble deeper into it soon. I definitely had more than 5 books in my first list. I tried to see if I can have five fantasy and five sci-fi books but it was just impossible to separate them into categories. The line between fantasy and sci-fi is blurring more and more. I wrote down some titles that toe that line, jump across it multiple times, and plant one foot on each side of it. I am overthinking this, aren’t I?

Or I can just do this:

All of these are signed copies!

That’s my list. Bye-bye! *logs off*


I’m kidding! While VE Schwab is definitely deserving a top spot on this list, I’m counting all these books as one. The Shades of Magic trilogy alone is an excellent example of a solid fantasy series with awesome world-building and an interesting magic system with equally engaging characters. The Savage Song, written under the name Victoria Schwab is a YA fantasy with NO ROMANCE. About monsters. No romance. Let that sink in. And my favorite, Vicious, is about two villains – anti-heroes. Both of them are bad guys trying to eliminate the other. Vicious and This Savage Song is bordering on urban fantasy while Shades of Magic is straight up magic and adventure and yes, romance.

I guess that’s my first pick!

Number two, The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. It’s the first book in the Mistborn trilogy. I only read the first book so far but I have every intention to finish this book by the end of 2017. It’s high fantasy but it’s so easy to read and follow. We follow Kelsier and Vin and their band of rebels trying to overthrow the Lord Ruler. The pretty UK paperbacks are a booktube and bookstagram staple so you bet I have them too. The world-building is excellent and while the magic system can be complicated, it is so interesting that you won’t mind it. Plus, there are guides that you can check out. Honestly, the hype is real with this book. It’s not even hype… it’s PRAISE!

(I just noticed parallels between The Final Empire and A Conjuring of Light, specifically. I would have to do more research but I’m lazy and I’m sure other people already noticed that too.)

My pick of sci-fi is the Parasitology trilogy by Mira Grant. I feel like this is an underrated series. It’s about parasites in the form of worms that is consumed by the body to help it combat illness and basically better the quality of life. Then these parasites develop a mind of their own and start to take over their hosts. This trilogy is unique where the pace doesn’t really change. It’s a continuous slow-ish burn. There’s so many twists and turns. While it does get a bit repetitive at parts, it’s still an enjoyable ride.

This can’t be a list of fantasy books without one of my favorite books of all time, The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. There was a time I read this twice in a row – the first one was for leisure and the second one for school. All in three days. I used to read this once a year but I’ve since fell off of that tradition. However, I recently got the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition so I might go back on that re-read habit.

And I’m going to bookend this list with another author pick, James Rollins. Specifically, his Sigma Force series. I finished listening to The 6th Extinction a few hours ago. They are perfect audio book material especially if you’re already used to the formula that these sci-fi thrillers usually have. And of course, a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. I absolutely love this series and I’m actually thinking of re-reading some now that GoodReads has the re-read feature. There’s never a dull moment when reading this series.


There you have it. That’s five. But in my indecisiveness, I can’t leave out these titles. Honorable mentions!

37/200

  • Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. I was hesitant to include this because I wasn’t sure if it were fantasy or sci-fi. Both then. I completely fell in love with Marie Lu’s writing and at how simple yet intense this trilogy is.
  • Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown. This didn’t make the cut because I didn’t enjoy the first book as much as I did the second and third ones. The first book was more sci-fi while the rest is definitely fantasy.

Notice the lack of Harry PotterThe Night Circus, and Ready Player One… while I do love all of them, these title stand out more to me when I hear the words “fantasy” and “sci-fi”.

#T5W | Are you hiring?

This week, we are talking about FICTIONAL JOBS YOU’D WANT TO HAVE.

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It could be from a book, a movie, TV show, or a video game. I think I covered all those on my list.

Ideally, my answer is anything but my current jobYep. But hey, it pays the bills, the books, and conventions so that’s why I’m still here. A fangirl can dream. I wish I were 0.00001% qualified for these jobs. I have two completely fictional jobs and two that are real, albeit I prefer the fictionalized version.

  • I would like to work in the anime industry. Blame this on the awesomeness that is Shirobako. It’s an anime about making anime. Yep, anime-ception. And it’s so good. I think this is the first slice-of-life-y show that I watched that was not set in a school and there’s no cringe-y drama in it. It has a slow start but it grew on me exponentially. It’s about five girls who were in the anime club in high school and are now in the anime industry themselves. I can’t draw but the main character herself deals with the management and desk job of making an anime. I could probably write stories and who knows, maybe dip into voice acting. 😉
  • Muggle Studies professor at Hogwarts. What better topic can a muggle-born teach? Can you imagine… teaching these wizards and witches about pop culture, fan mentality, manually moving parts, etc. I can already see so many heads exploding.
  • A Sigma Force operative. From the Sigma Force series by James Rollins. I love this series. I love all of the characters. And all of them seem to be so badass. But I really want to be Seichan, selfishly because of Commander Grayson Pierce, teh book boyfriend. LOL, for real though – they’re pretty skilled and smart people. And the adventures they go through; I don’t know how they’re still alive.
  • A bracer. From the Legend of Heroes franchise. They’re a group of people who help others whether it be something simple as changing orbal lamps to defeating cryptids and monsters. Townspeople post jobs at the bracer guild and upon completion, the bracer gets compensated plus accumulate ranking points. Yes, pretend you understand what I just said. Go play any Legend of Heroes games, especially Trails in the Sky and Trails of Cold Steel.
  • An agent of the BAU. But in the fictional Criminal Minds setting. I want that instead of the actual thing. While there is a portion of real in the reel, it is still pretty much fictional. I’ve been interested in that field since I was a kid; waaay before CSI and Criminal Minds existed. I mean, I’m still open to going into criminal justice. I’m not closing that door.

That’s my list. Now, what do you actually do? What’s your real job? I do payroll. That’s the official job description anyway.

#T5W | Favorite Non-Written Novels

This week, we are talking about favorite non-written novels.

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Manga, audio books, graphic novels. That looks like my 2016 reading pattern. I rediscovered all three last year. I mean, I’ve read my share of comics growing up but I never read more than two in one sitting. Now, I realized that I prefer manga over graphic novels and comics. And I tend to enjoy sci-fi mystery thriller audio books. Nothing else holds my attention long enough for me to tune it out without getting lost. But I’ve found some. And I hope to find more.

I was tempted to fill this list with manga but I already have several posts about that here and here. They also feature heavily in my wrap-ups later last year. I mean, they’re a good way to catch up to your GoodReads reading goal. Same with graphic novels. But I really enjoy manga more. Reading sequential art from right to left is more natural to me. It’s confuses me so much when I go back to graphic novels and then I just end up putting it down. As much as I enjoy superheroes and fantastical beings in panels, I much prefer my big-eyed adorable boys and girls of manga.

But that I not to say I don’t have any graphic novels in this list. Read on to find out!

  • [GRAPHIC NOVEL] Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I enjoyed this from the first page of the first volume to the last page of the sixth. I’m sure you already know what this is about so I won’t go on about it. While set in a fictional outer space with aliens, the story and their struggles feel so human. And it is just so funny. You can’t help but root for these characters. Even those who you would initially view as a bad guy. I can’t wait for the next volume. Then I’ll read it in 20 minutes. Sigh.
  • [GRAPHIC NOVEL] LegendThe Graphic Novel by Marie Lu, Leigh Dragoon, and Kaari. This served as a perfect catch-up when I read the trilogy last year. I read the Legend graphic novel before I started Prodigy then that book’s graphic novel adaptation before I read Champion. To see what Day looked like… so good! And you bet I pre-ordered the Champion graphic novel. It’s set to be released in April.
  • [MANGA] One-Punch Man by ONE. That’s the page on the right. Yes, Saitama, our hero pictured right there on the bottom, looks like that – and no, he doesn’t look like that really. That’s part of his charm. The strongest “heroism-as-a-hobby” hero. He’s surrounded by a bunch of characters who are equally funny and endearing. Everyone is a foil to each other. They all have their own out-of-this-world powers and abilities that make them special. And while you’re at it, go watch the anime. It’ll be so worth it. English or Japanese, they’re equally funny.
  • [MANGA] Black Butler by Yana Toboso. I had a tough time choosing another manga for this list. Everything I’ve read so far has been so good. But I have to mention Black Butler. I exclusively watched the entirety of the anime not too long ago but I’ve always wanted to read the manga. And now I’m reading it and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m tempted to just sit down and marathon through everything but I don’t want to burn myself out. Anime goes by faster so it’s easier to digest. The manga is still on-going after all so I’m in no hurry to catch up. Having watched the anime first, I have the characters’ Japanese voices in my head as I read. Especially Finnian because he was voiced by one of my favorite seiyuu, Yuuki Kaji. I can’t with the English dub, sorry.

  • [AUDIO BOOK] Any James Rollins book on audio. I’m currently in the middle of The Bone Labyrinth, narrated by Christian Baskous. I’m enjoying it a lot. He’s doing a good job with giving each character a different voice or accent. I previously listened to Sandstorm and Subterranean narrated by John Meagher. He is my favorite of all the narrators so far. Now that Goodreads counts re-reads, I’m definitely going to listen to the other Sigma Force books that I already read. I’m so familiar with James Rollins’ style of storytelling that I can afford to dedicate half my attention to it without getting lost. And I love his Sigma Force characters. I am still going to read physical copies when I feel like it but right now, HOOPLA has so many of his work on audio so I’ll be pretty busy on that front for a while.

Question: Where do you guys get your audio books? I want to explore this medium and while Hoopla has been a very good resource, I’m curious to see where else you get it. I do have some titles on Audible. What books can you recommend? YA or Fantasy. I’m not much for contemporary. But mystery thrillers are always welcome. Thanks!

#T5W | Non-bookish Favorites

This week, we are talking about current favorites that aren’t books.

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Can I do more than five? Because asking me to name five favorite books is torture but to ask me this is a death sentence. I sort of have an addictive personality and I tend to obsess over very specific things easily. When I do, I become a sponge, a wealth of information about that certain thing. I explore everything about that one thing. So be warned.

Alas, I might be able to list five items but within those items, there may be honorable mentions and whatnot.

  1. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 1 & 2This beautiful video game has replaced Final Fantasy VIII as my favorite video game of all time. It’s a JRPG with all the trimmings. My favorite thing about it is that it’s very character-driven. It has a HUGE cast of characters and every single one of them has a backstory AND a continuation. Yes, even that Instructor Sara. This game belongs to a franchise of other Legend of Heroes games and guess what, they all tie in together. It’s such a treat! Just how obsessed am I with this game? Well, I watch and re-watch Let’s Plays when I have downtime especially the Nord Highlands parts. I love me some Gaius Worzel. Also, I’m planning to cosplay Fie Claussell, that silver-haired girl on the right. I have the Class VII uniform… I’m just waiting for the wig to come in.
  2. Sound! Euphonium. I’ve never been this obsessed with an anime since K-On! I like a lot of music anime in general. I love it if they have original songs (so I can learn them for the Anime Expo open mic room). But this anime is about a high school concert band. I admit, I had no idea what a euphonium was prior to this anime. Shame, I know. I am familiar with the rest of the instruments but, euphonium? But I love it now and that’s that. I cannot wait to get my hands on the official English translation of the light novels later this year. Do click on the link I provided above to experience the magic.
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  3. Bullet Journal. It’s a lot of work. It’s so easy to get carried away. But it’s so calming and so fulfilling. I’ve been doing it since July of last year and I love it. It’s perfect for listmakers, artists, journalers… it’s so customizable, it’s perfect for everyone. I would love to have mine look like those Pinterest- and Instagram-ready spreads but I’m happy with what I have right now. I’m pretty okay with my penmanship and I’ve long ago accepted that I cannot art. LMAO.
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  4. Crocheting blanket yarn. I love to crochet period. But there’s a whole new happiness with working with soft and bulky blanket yarn. I finished one blanket already and I’m looking forward to my next one. I scored great at Michael’s the other week. They had blanket yarn on clearance for $4.99 each and I need three 300g skeins for one blanket. Guess what, there were 3 left and I had a 50% off coupon. Yup. If only I can multitask reading, watching subtitled anime, and crocheting.
  5. Japanese comfort food. I have three favorites: First is Okamoto Kitchen, my favorite food truck ever. If you live in the LA area, try to catch them. They often do conventions and food fests and I’m telling you, it’s so worth it to seek them out and fall in line. Having their food at Anime Expo is extra special because they are dubbed the “anime truck”. I suggest the Okamoto Fries, Green Tea Parfait, and Katsu Curry Chicken. Anything really. Then we have Shin-sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen. I actually had this for lunch today. The one I always go to is the one in Little Tokyo but there’s also one near my work so we went there today. If you try it, make sure to have the bamboo shoots. They’re good enough to eat on their own. And finally, The Curry House curry. Japanese curry is the best.
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(Yes, I love my food photos as much as my book pics.)

Trust me, I have more but this is my Top 5. Especially, #1… that is very, very deserving.