Monday, November 29, 2010

♠Versatile Blogger Award!♠

I would like to thank Nina B. of Brush Up On Your Reading for this award. I really appreciate it!

Now I need to write 7 things about myself and pass this award to 15 bloggers and let them know that I've chosen them next. That's quite hard. Lol. I haven't really visited many book bloggers lately but I'll just choose the blogs that I really think is cool.

Seven things about me:
1. I'm an impulsive buyer, sometimes when I see a book on the basis of the cover design alone, I'll buy it immediately without thinking if the story is good or not.
2. I love bargain books. 
3. I enjoy book hunts! 
4. I love the smell of books and one time, my father caught me smelling a Harry Potter novel and he told me off and said I was really weird.
5. I cover all my books with plastic cover. Every single one.
6. I don't like eBooks. I don't have anything against them. I'm a traditional reader, I want to be able to hold, feel and smell the real thing.
7. I'm a frustrated writer. Hope to be one. 

15 blogs I chose to pass this award to:

Congratulations to all of us!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: Under The Dome by Stephen King

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away.Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.


First of all, this review will be short. I just like to say a few things regarding this remarkable book. I never intended to read a Stephen King novel, I really don't know why. He is one of the most active writers around, numerous of his books have been made into movies and up to now, he remains on the bestsellers list of successful authors. 

When I saw Under The Dome, I was reluctant to buy it. The length of the book alone is almost telling me to forget it and get something else to read. But the minute I've read the story of the book, I immediately wanted to take it home. 

I think it took me three weeks to finish this book. The huge cast of characters are really amazing, I reckon that there were like, 50 of them. Stephen King's ability to navigate to each characters story is really brilliant! I don't know how he did it, but it really is something. I hope this book will be made into a movie. Get a copy now and you'll see for yourself why this book is unputdownable! Cheerz!

My Rating: 5 Stars

Thursday, November 25, 2010

♠Book Overview: Senior Year Books 2 & 3♠

Say It To My Face is all about nasty rumors and how Jessica struggles to control and overcome it. The book was okay. The thing about reading Senior Year is that I really enjoy it and can somehow relate to the characters.

When I was in high school, I had this classmate, I won't mention her name, she was really annoying and rude to me. She always made fun of what I'm wearing and say things that are really unpleasant to the ears. She used to say that I wear the same kind of t-shirt everyday. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't do anything to stop her impolite manner. I chose to give her the silent treatment and hope that she'll get tired and leave me alone. Luckily, she did.

So Cool is all about Liz and Conner. Basically, this book is like a getting-to-know-you part of the story, in regards to Liz and Conner that is. The usual courtship between two people, hanging out, going on dates and stuff, you know, "things" that a couple does. 

Again, when I was in high school, loads of my classmates are beginning to find their "partners" and exploring that by means of spending time alone with one another and just basically knowing the person in a deeper setting that separates them from the others. Which is cool. :-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

♠What I'm Reading Next Book Poll♠

Hi guys! I need your help! I can't seem to decide what to read next...If you could please vote for the book that you think I should read after Resistance by Anita Shreve, I would really appreciate it! Thanks!

Which book would you like for me to read next?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cravings #3: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

"Book Cravings are  books that I really want to have but can't buy them for now.  Reasons may vary on not having the money to purchase it and sometimes coz it's not available locally. I will post my book cravings every week and tell something about that particular book."

One evening, I wasn't in the mood to read. Yeah, sometimes I really want to do something else besides reading. So, what I did was I searched thoroughly on my pile of movie dvds and found out that I haven't seen a particular film entitled Flipped. 

I decided to see it and if I don't like it, I'll just turn off the TV and listen to the radio. After a few minutes of the movie, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen, I was instantly glued to the movie and I find myself being transported completely into Bryce and Juli's story. The film is so absorbing and very interesting. I loved every minute of it. I wish that there'll be a sequel to Flipped! Now, after learning that Flipped is a book by Wendelin Van Draanen, I was so excited to read it. I just hope I can get a copy soon. Cheerz!

Juli Baker devoutly believes in three things: the sanctity of trees (especially her beloved sycamore), the wholesomeness of the eggs she collects from her backyard flock of chickens, and that someday she will kiss Bryce Loski. Ever since she saw Bryce's baby blues back in second grade, Juli has been smitten. Unfortunately, Bryce has never felt the same. Frankly, he thinks Juli Baker is a little weird--after all, what kind of freak raises chickens and sits in trees for fun? Then, in eighth grade, everything changes. Bryce begins to see that Juli's unusual interests and pride in her family are, well, kind of cool. And Juli starts to think that maybe Bryce's brilliant blue eyes are as empty as the rest of Bryce seems to be. After all, what kind of jerk doesn't care about other people's feelings about chickens and trees? 


Monday, November 22, 2010

♠Reading Book #182: Resistance by Anita Shreve♠

I'm now reading book 182! Can you believe it? Wow, I've read loads of books! After devouring Heartstopper by Joy Fielding, which by the way is a very awesome read, I decided to read Resistance by Anita Shreve next. I've been looking forward to this book since it's a romance story. I rarely read this kind of books but the plot is really interesting and it's always nice to discover new authors. Cheerz! 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

♠Author Interview #1: Erica Spindler♠

First of all, I would like to thank the wonderful Ms. Erica Spindler for granting me this interview. My very first Erica novel was In Silence. This was a brilliant read and this was the book that introduced me to her.

Having read so many books in the past, I dreamt that when the time comes, I would like to meet some of the authors I really like in person. How great it would be to talk to them regarding their books and upcoming releases and basically know them. 

Thanks to our ever changing technology, I can now "get in touch" with them through interviews and emails. So here it is, my very first author interview. This is huge for me. I'm very, very happy! :-)

 ♠Author Interview #1: Erica Spindler♠

1.Hi Erica! Can you tell something about yourself?

I lead a typical soccer mom life, but my brain manages to twist even the most innocent things into dangerous, worst-case scenarios. Something in my own make-up prompts me to think scary thoughts.  I used to worry about this, but I've come to realize it's a muse of sorts. I call it my 'Dark Gift'.

2.When and why did you begin writing?

I was an artist, not a writer -- at the University of New Orleans I earned an MFA in painting and had started teaching at a local college.
One day, suffering with a bad cold, I went to the local K&B drugstore for some medicine.  And the cashier dropped a free Nora Roberts romance into my bag.  When I got home there was nothing worth watching on TV, and I had nothing else to do, so I began reading it.
I'd never read romance, and I was hooked!  I read every romance I could get my hands on, in a kind of romance reading frenzy.  It wasn't long before I decided to leave paints and brushes behind and try my hand at writing romances. 

3.When did you first consider yourself a writer?

From the first time I put pen to paper with the aim of writing a novel, I knew I had found my true calling. I was determined to be a published author.

4.What inspired you to write your first book?

My ideas are always from personal experiences. For example, the idea for BONE COLD was sparked by a fan letter from a child; DEAD RUN by a sermon at church; and my current work in progress, WATCH ME DIE, by an article on glass restoration in New Orleans.

5.Do you have a specific writing style?

I do most of my writing  at my local coffeehouse. It sounds crazy, but I find it easier to focus there than at home -- where there are other, more powerful distractions. The coffee’s better too!
It takes me a full year -- from concept to completion -- to write my novels. The work begins slowly and builds up speed, until I’m literally racing towards the dramatic conclusion, keyboard smoking.

6.What books have influenced your life most?

My writing has been influenced by a number of authors and genres.  Gothic: Phyllis Whitney and Mary Steward, Glitz: Judith Krantz and Sidney Sheldon, Horror: Peter Straub and Stephen King, and Romance: Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown.

7.If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Luckily, I don't have to choose-- I would give them all equal billing!

8.What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Right now I'm finishing up WATCH ME DIE, which is scheduled to release in June 2011.  New Orleans stained glass expert Mira Gallier is on the verge of having it all–again. But her perfect life, like the magnificent windows blown to bits by Hurricane Katrina, is about to be shattered. This time it’s not a killer storm she faces, but a psychopath who will stop at nothing until he possesses her, body and soul.

9.Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

If I'm setting a book in a city I don't know much about, I'll definitely travel for research. There's no better way to get the details that bring a place to life than to experience it first hand.

10.Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A huge "thank you!"  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Review: 1022 Evergreen Place by Debbie Macomber

I have been very busy these past few days and could hardly open the computer and post something on my blog. It's almost a week now and the craziness is finally over. Lol. We just celebrated my grandmother's birthday, she's 93 years old and very much healthy. We had a simple but memorable moments on her birthday and some of our relatives joined us in celebration. We went to another birthday celebration the next day in Bulacan and there I had a very awful experience which I will not talk about. I just hope that person will change and be more receptive to constructive criticism.

Anyways, it's time for my review on 1022 Evergreen Place. I waited for this book to come out for almost a whole year. Having read the 9 previous books in the Cedar Cove Series, you can honestly say that I enjoy reading them. I really do. I can well remember the day I started reading the first book, it was awesome. I had an intense feeling of deep attachment to the story. Debbie can really make you feel all the emotions and struggles of her individual characters. And that's the point of reading, to be immersed and be involved with the world she have created. 

Sometimes, it's a bit difficult to read a book that's a part of a series. Since it's an on-going story, you tend to forget the last events and important parts of the previous books. But Debbie manages to give a very concise but direct summary and with that you can easily remember what had happened on the past novels.

1022 Evergreen Place has all the ingredients I was looking for in a book. I was a bit worried since it's the 10th book, I thought that the story would be a drag, like, she's been writing this series for so long now and what will Debbie give us to make us want to read this one? The answer. Great storytelling. Debbie never fails to surprise and astonish me with her powerful pen. I can't wait for the next book entitled 1105 Yakima Street! Cheerz!

My Rating: 5 Stars

Friday, November 12, 2010

In My Mailbox #19: Love and Suspense

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by  The Story Siren.

After announcing that I'll be giving out four books on my Love in December Giveaway, I came across these three books during my book hunting expedition. It may sound like I'm giving too much time on this endeavor, and the answer is yes.

But nowadays I only buy books that I really like. Unlike before, whenever I see a book that is on sale and I can afford it, I tend to buy it even though the story is not that good. These two books are going to be on my In-Between Reads Bookshelf. I'm not familiar with R.L. Stine's novels but I want to give it a try. The Mind Reader looks like a good title to start with. :-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

♠Book Releases: 11/11/10♠

The Memory Chalet is a memoir unlike any you have ever read before. Each essay charts some experience or remembrance of the past through the sieve of Tony Judt's prodigious mind. His youthful love of a particular London bus route evolves into a reflection on public civility and interwar urban planning. Memories of the 1968 student riots of Paris meander through the divergent sex politics of Europe, before concluding that his generation "was a revolutionary generation, but missed the revolution."

A series of road trips across America lead not just to an appreciation of American history, but to an eventual acquisition of citizenship. Foods and trains and long-lost smells all compete for Judt's attention; but for us, he has forged his reflections into an elegant arc of analysis. All as simply and beautifully arranged as a Swiss chalet-a reassuring refuge deep in the mountains of memory.

RossamŸnd Bookchild stands accused of not truly being a human at all, but of being a monster. Even the protection of Europe, the Branden RoseÑthe most feared and renowned monster-hunter in all the Half-ContinentÑmight not be enough to save him.

Powerful forces move against them both, intent on capturing RossamŸndÑwhose existence some believe may hold the secret to perpetual youth.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cravings #2: Jake Ransom and The Skull King's Shadow by James Rollins

"Book Cravings are  books that I really want to have but can't buy them for now.  Reasons may vary on not having the money to purchase it and sometimes coz it's not available locally. I will post my book cravings every week and tell something about that particular book."

First of all, I'm not being paid by James Rollins to advertise his books. The things that I'm going to say about Jake Ransom is what I really think about the book and James as a writer.

I've read almost all the Sigma Series (except The Doomsday Key, which I'm hoping I would be able to buy at the end of the year, I'm calling to all my friends that this book can also be a Christmas present. Lol) and for me, it's one of the most engaging and one of the best series ever written. James Rollins is a writer with endless possibilities and his imagination and technique will capture any reader who would try and read his works. 

I can still remember the day I learned that James will be releasing a book for Young Adults, I was so excited! It's nothing new to writers to venture on Young Adult markets, for example, James Patterson with his Maximum Ride novels and many others. As a writer, you have all the  possibilities to write anything that you want. And when Jake Ransom and The Skull King's Shadow finally came out, I was a bit disappointed because I know that I won't be able to buy it. It's a bit expensive when you get it in hardcover. Nevertheless, I will keep an eye on this book and maybe one of these days I'll be able to finally read it. :-)

When a mysterious envelope arrives for Jake Ransom, he and his older sister, Kady, are plunged into a gripping chain of events. 

An artifact found by their archeologist parents on the expedition from which they never returned leads Jake and Kady to a strange world inhabited by a peculiar mix of long-lost civilizations, a world that may hold the key to their parents' disappearance-if Jake and Kady can survive long enough to solve the mystery.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

♠Book Releases: 11/09/10♠

From Publishers Weekly
Reading these succinct, razor-sharp essays by veteran humorist (I Feel Bad About My Neck), novelist, and screenwriter-director Ephron is to be reminded that she cut her teeth as a New York Post writer in the 1960s, as she recounts in the most substantial selection here, "Journalism: A Love Story." Forthright, frequently wickedly backhanded, these essays cover the gamut of later-life observations (she is 69), from the dourly hilarious title essay about losing her memory, which asserts that her ubiquitous senior moment has now become the requisite Google moment, to several flimsy lists, such as "Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again," e.g., "Movies have no political effect whatsoever." Shorts such as the several "I Just Want to Say" pieces feature Ephron's trademark prickly contrariness and are stylistically digestible for the tabloids. Other essays delve into memories of fascinating people she knew, such as the Lillian Hellman of Pentimento, whom she adored until the older woman's egomania rubbed her the wrong way. Most winning, however, are her priceless reflections on her early life, such as growing up in Beverly Hills with her movie-people parents, and how being divorced shaped the bulk of her life, in "The D Word." There's an elegiac quality to many of these pieces, handled with wit and tenderness.

Product Description
Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the famously witty brood that includes the writers Jessica and Nancy, who wrote when Deborah was born, “How disgusting of the poor darling to go and be a girl.” Deborah’s effervescent memoir, Wait for Me!, chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood in the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with Adolf Hitler and her controversially political sister Unity in 1937, to her marriage to the second son of the Duke of Devonshire. Her life would change utterly with his unexpected inheritance of the title and vast estates after the wartime death of his brother, who had married Kick Kennedy, the beloved sister of John F. Kennedy. Her friendship with that family would last through triumph and tragedy. Wait for Me!, with its intense warmth and charm, is a unique portrait of an age, and an unprecedented look at the rhythms of life inside one of the great aristocratic families of England. It is irresistible reading, and will join the shelf of Mitford classics to delight readers for years to come.

Product Description
President George W. Bush describes the critical decisions of his presidency and personal life. Decision Points is the extraordinary memoir of America’s 43rd president. Shattering the conventions of political autobiography, George W. Bush offers a strikingly candid journey through the defining decisions of his life. In gripping, never-before-heard detail, President Bush brings readers inside the Texas Governor’s Mansion on the night of the hotly contested 2000 election; aboard Air Force One on 9/11, in the hours after America’s most devastating attack since Pearl Harbor; at the head of the table in the Situation Room in the moments before launching the war in Iraq; and behind the Oval Office desk for his historic and controversial decisions on the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina, Afghanistan, Iran, and other issues that have shaped the first decade of the 21st century. A groundbreaking new brand of memoir, Decision Points will captivate supporters, surprise critics, and change perspectives on one of the most consequential eras in American history – and the man at the center of events.
President Bush writes honestly and directly about his flaws and mistakes, as well as his accomplishments reforming education, treating HIV/AIDS in Africa, and safeguarding the country amid chilling warnings of additional terrorist attacks. He also offers intimate new details on his decision to quit drinking, discovery of faith, and relationship with his family.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Eerie twists of fate drive the four longish stories in King's first collection since Just After Sunset (2008). In "1922," a farmer murders his wife to retain the family land she hopes to sell, then watches his life unravel hideously as the consequences of the killing suggest a near-supernatural revenge. "Big Driver" tells of an otherwise ordinary woman who discovers her extraordinary capacity for retribution after she is raped and left for dead. "A Good Marriage" explores the aftermath of a wife's discovery of her milquetoast husband's sinister secret life, while "Fair Extension," the book's most disturbing story, follows the relationship between a man and the best friend on whom he preternaturally shifts all his bad luck and misfortune. As in Different Seasons (1982), King takes a mostly nonfantastic approach to grim themes. Now, as then, these tales show how a skilled storyteller with a good tale to tell can make unsettling fiction compulsively readable.

From Publishers Weekly
Baldacci's implausible fifth Camel Club novel (after Divine Justice) disappoints with cartoonish plotting and characterization. The night after the U.S. president persuades former assassin Oliver Stone (aka John Carr) to re-enter government employment to tackle the growing threat of Russian drug gangs, Stone finds himself in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, when gunfire breaks out and a bomb explodes. Apparently, the intended target was the visiting British prime minister, who was scheduled to walk across the park before an ankle injury modified his plans. Taken off his original mission, Stone seeks to identify the forces behind the assassination attempt. Stone's old Camel Club allies involve themselves in his search, which includes the de rigueur mole hunt and the McGuffin of choice these days, a lead on Osama bin Laden's whereabouts. Those who prefer intelligence in their political thrillers will have to look elsewhere.

Product Description
Greg Heffley has always been in a hurry to grow up. But is getting older really all it’s cracked up to be? 
Greg suddenly finds himself dealing with the pressures of boy-girl parties, increased responsibilities, and even the awkward changes that come with getting older—all without his best friend, Rowley, at his side. Can Greg make it through on his own? Or will he have to face the “ugly truth”?

Monday, November 8, 2010

♠Reading Book #181: Heartstopper by Joy Fielding♠

Hey guys! Whew! I've just finished reading UNDER THE DOME by Stephen King and oh boy what a ride it has been! The book was a blast and a bit long. Lol. I'll just post my review very soon and it's going to be a good one. 

I've just started reading Heartstopper by Joy Fielding and so far I'm lovin' it so much! Joy will definitely be on my watch list during my book hunts. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review: Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

Breathing Lessons is the wonderfully moving and surprising story of Ira and Maggie Moran. She's impetuous, harum-scarum, easy-going; he's competent, patient, seemingly infallible. They've been married for 28 years. Now, as they drive from their home in Baltimore to the funeral of Maggie's best friend's husband, Anne Tyler shows us all there is to know about a marriage - the expectations, the disappointments, the way children can create storms in a family, the way a wife and husband can fall in love all over again, the way nothing really changes.


This novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. That is the main reason I've purchased this book. When Pulitzer winners are concerned, they must have a certain quality that made them stand out among the others who are nominated for a certain category. At least that's my view of it. 

Having said that, it seems that I've made a terrible mistake...I shouldn't have just relied on the book being a Pulitzer winner but I should have dug deeper into the background and premise of the book.

I find the book boring and dull. I know, you think I'm just being mean. But that's what it felt like while I was reading the book. There wasn't any interesting moment in it to make me want to sugarcoat this review. Maggie was so annoying. I think her character was the one who shot down this book into flames and blew it to oblivion... I just don't get her! 

Anyways, I'm now on guard when it comes to books that have won awards and other recognitions. I should find out something about these books and then decide later if I'm going to go for it or not. 
My Rating: 2 stars

Saturday, November 6, 2010

♠Book Overview: SVH Senior Year #1: Can't Stay Away♠

I've said before that I'm not going to review the Senior Year series and all of the other titles that I'll be putting up on my In-Between Reads Shelf. But I do want to have an overview of the book, just a short review.

After reading Can't Stay Away, I was eager to read the next one. The book is very relax and simple. It's like I was in high school  all over again while reading it. All of my senior year memories came flooding in and it's really nice to reminisce those kinds of stuff. I miss being a teenager. Lol. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

♠Additional Giveaways!♠

To spice up my November Giveaway, I'm adding two more items. I've read the Vampire Academy Book 1 and I enjoyed it. I'm planning on reading the other books as well but right now it seems that it will have to wait. No budget yet. Lol. 

I'd also like to thank my cousin Melissa for the keychains she donated on this giveaway. She recently went to Boracay with her friends and I asked her if she has some free stuff I can give away on my blog, hence, the keychains. 

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