Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten Books I Read In 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Happy New Year everyone! Three hours left before we welcome another year on our side of the globe and I can already hear fireworks popping outside. So, I'm rushing this post because I still have tons of cooking to do. Books have been the forefront of my life this year. As Samantha of Goodreads says: its been a delicious year of words, words and words! 

Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire

Book Thief

The Fault In Our Stars

Princess Bride


Norwegian wood

Hunger Games

Eleanor & Park

Looking For Alaska

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

How about you guys? What's your top 10 books for the year 2013?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December Favorites

Whew! December, my most favorite and busiest month of the year, went by like breeze! Today's post will be like a photo dump of sorts so I can have something to look back on in the future and hold on to what's left of the holiday cheer a bit longer. I'll be busy preparing for our New Year's eve celebration tomorrow so I guess I'll be back next year. See ya, guys!

My mom bought this as an early Christmas present and it is easily the BEST Christmas present ever. 

 One of the many baked goodies my mom and I made. This one was for Keith and Hannah's wedding.

 My little nephew's minion themed birthday cake.

On December 23rd, my older brother(5th in the family) got married to his beautiful fiancee. It was a small intimate wedding with their closest friends and family and it was held at Discovery Suites. As per usual, my mom and I created their wedding cake. 

We celebrated my mom's 59th birthday this month at her favorite pizza place. :)

This one was for my uncle's engagement party. It looks absolutely beautiful, this photo doesn't do any justice to the actual cake. That engagement ring cake topper was made by my awesome mom.

Christmas Day

Our Christmas table setting! 

Christmas isn't complete without the Rossi!

My creative sister got me these for Christmas! They were mostly DIYs and a bag of gummy worms(she called them "bookworms") was also included in there. Yup, those are book marks patterned with the GoT insignias.

Even the gift wrapper was well thought out. Love her!

Chowder has his own gift too! His favorite: SPAM.

Finally, after Christmas day, I was able to wind down from all the shopping, baking and celebrations. I spent it the best way I know how: reading Game of Thrones(my brother lent me his Kindle) while sipping on some hot chocolate. I just finished book 1 a few hours ago and I cannot wait to read the next one. 
I won't post my other shopping loots, presents and foods because there were a LOT. And you know what else I gained plenty of? That's right, pounds! I seriously have to get back on track next year. That will be on top of my new year's resolutions. :) Happy New Year, y'all! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

merry christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS! However you celebrate, I hope you'll be warm, happy and surrounded by love and laughter.Thank you to everyone for sharing this space with me!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Just a quick post before I dash off and continue cooking our Noche Buena later. It's less than three hours before Christmas on this side of the globe and I cannot wait to celebrate it with my family. My siblings are watching "Arthur Christmas" on HBO while my mom and I are busy preparing the food. We've opened our presents already. Our pet chowder has his own gift too! His favorite: SPAM. Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year. I've received so many blessing this year but I don't mind having Santa bring these books to me. :)

Happy birthday, Jesus and Merry Christmas everyone!

Star Girl

Wild Awake

The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

The Maze Runner

Harry Potter Box Set New Cover


Like Water for Chocolate

South of the Border, West of the Sun


Friday, December 20, 2013

2013 End Of The Year Book Survey

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)
Contemporary YA – Eleanor & Park, Fault In Our Stars, Looking For Alaska
Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic – Divergent by Veronica Roth
Historical Fiction – The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Fantasy – The Princess Bride by Goldman
Romance – Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 
Book Thief by Markus Zusak. At first, I didn't know what to expect from this book but then I found myself turning the pages excitedly after a few chapters in.
4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Divergent by Veronica Roth. I couldn't stop recommending this to my siblings and friends after I finished the series. It is so good!
5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
Hands down, Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. 
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
There are A LOT of brilliant authors I discovered this year! These are my top 2: Haruki Murakami and George R.R. Martin.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Game of Thrones. I never thought I would actually pick up a medieval fantasy book and it landed straight to my favorites bookshelf.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
 Divergent by Veronica Roth
9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I had so much fun reading this!
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
I love the cover of this book! I actually won a copy of this from an online contest. :D

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 
Tris in Divergent and Park in Eleanor & Park.
 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
I absolutely adore the writing style of Game of Thrones. Actually, everything about it is perfect.
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 
There's the Divergent by Veronica Roth, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, The Fault In Our Stars and Looking For Alaska by John Green, and The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 
Game of Thrones A Song of Ice and Fire. I should have read this years ago!
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

"It is sometimes a mistake to climb; it is always a mistake never even to make the attempt. If you do not climb you will not fall. This is true. But is it that bad to fail, that hard to fall?"

- Neil Gaiman, Sandman 

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Longest: Game of Thrones (I'm not even sure if I can finish this by the end of the year)
Shortest: Love Virtually
17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
I loved Hazel and Augustus in The Fault In Our stars. I also loved Park and Eleanor. Oh and Buttercup and Westley in The Princess Bride.
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks.
20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Game Of Thrones!
21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
Young Adult Contemporary 
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Four in Divergent, Peeta in The Hunger Games and Park in Eleanor & Park.
23. Best 2013 debut you read?
I loved Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell!
24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.
25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I laughed a lot of times especially during Becky's awkward moments.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
I cried the most at Allegiant by Veronica Roth. That hasn't happened to me in a long time since A Message In a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks which I read years ago.
27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
I haven't read a single book that got overlooked this year as I mostly read popular ones.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 
I pretty much discovered all book blogs this year and there’s so many I love, its impossible to narrow it down to one or three so I'll just list all of them:
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 
Perks of a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
I don’t really do discussions. 
4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
John Green and Veronica Roth tackling the tragedies that had happened to their main characters which can be found on their own blogs.
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I always look forward to Top Ten Tuesdays and WWW Wednesdays every week. It's been a great way to discover new blogs and new books. Next year, I'm planning to visit the Manila International Book Fair which I'm very excited about.
6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?
When I rediscovered my love for reading, which has led me to discover plenty of wonderful books and book blogs. It started out when my sister gave me a complete copy of Nicholas Sparks ebooks and then, I became obsessed with searching for more good titles online. Also, this year I probably read the most books in my entire life(no kidding!), I chalk it up to so many time in my hands. Books have become my escape to reality.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My most popular post this year is from a link-up called The Happy List.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I guess my book reviews.
9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Goodreads, Booktique and Gone reading. 
10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I set a Goodreads goal for myself of 20 books in the middle of this year, which was my first time joining a book-related challenge. And I'm happy to say that I was able to complete almost 30 books! :)

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami,
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
I haven't really gotten around the 2014 books yet but I'm sure I'll be hearing about the good ones soon. Until then, I'll keep myself busy with the enormous amount of books on my TBR list.
3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
See above.
 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?
See #2
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?
Reading, I’d like to read more books by Haruki Murakami and participate on a Greads reading challenge again next year. Blogging, I'll try my best to keep up with the weekly posts as I'll be very busy with studying medicine.

Phew! So there goes my list. If you'd like to make one, head over to Perpetual Page Turner's blog and let me know!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

2013 is the year I rediscovered my fondness for reading. Back in college, I just didn't have enough time for leisure reading since my primary focus were my studies and extra-curricular activities. It is also a year of discovering book blogs which led me to read so many new books from brilliant authors and among these are:

1. Haruki Murakami - While browsing through Instagram, I saw a high school friend of mine post her collection of Murakami's books, which prompted me to check the author out. My first Murakami book was Norwegian Wood and I fell in love with his works even more after finishing Sputnik Sweetheart. His books has always left me with melancholic haze.

2. George R.R. Martin - I've joined the GoT bandwagon and this is my absolute favorite discovery this year. My fascination started when my older sister raved about the series after which we bought the box set as our early Christmas present from mom. I'm obsessed with it and I've been putting off my TBR list because of this. It has superb characters, wonderfully written story, brilliant metaphors, and I just love Tyrion's wit!

3. Veronica Roth - This one's amazing. I really loved the Divergent series.

4. William Goldman - I enjoyed reading The Princess Bride immensely and it is now one of my all time favorite books.

5. Markus Zusak - When I started out Book Thief, I didn't know what to expect at all. Death narrating the story? That's totally new to me and I'm so glad I gave it a shot.

6. Colleen Hoover - At first, I was hesitant to start this book because I thought that it was a typical high school romance novel but later, I found out that it is full of interesting and surprising events which got me hooked. I'm planning to finish the next books next year.
7. Milan Kundera - I read this three times this year because it is so so good. Kundera is a genius!

8. John Green - Another favorite! I can't wait for his upcoming movie next year.

9. Rainbow Rowell - I loved this so much and I can't wait to read Fangirl next.

10. Sophie Kinsella - I've read Confessions of a Shopaholic only this year and I haven't seen the movie yet. And I enjoyed it a lot, I loved Becky cause she's very charming and hilarious and witty!