2013 Retrospective: Books

This is so late. 😦 Work has been very hectic lately, what with my new responsibilities and management changes in the company. But I finally have a couple of hours to spare to get more pending blog posts out of the way.

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Actually, I already posted a list of my favorite books of 2013 via my GMA News Online year-ender: ‘Daig mo pa ang telenovela’ award and more for the best books in 2013.

I read a few more books that didn’t make that list, though. Some were not released in 2013 either. But for what it’s worth, here are a few more honorable mentions:

  1. “The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)” by Maggie Stiefvater – I love Maggie Stiefvater because her writing is so evocative and she creates very interesting characters. “The Raven Boys”, the first book in this new series, was good, but “The Dream Thieves” is even better. This one has more magic, more action, more character development (particularly for Ronan), and some forward momentum in the romance department. If “The Scorpio Races” deserves an award for the Most Romantic Non-I-Love-You Confession, this one deserves the Most Romantic Non-Kiss Award.
  2. “Unseen Moon” by Eliza Victoria – Horror and suspense are not my favorite genres, but Victoria really impressed me with this collection of short stories, and this made me a fan of her writing. Favorite stories: “The Viewless Dark”, “The Ghosts of Sinagtala” (not recommended for scaredy-cats), and “December”.
  3. “Pacific Rims” by Rafe Bartholomew – This was published a few years ago, but it’s relevant again this year because of Bartholomew’s mini-series in the National Geographic Channel called “Pinoy Hoops”. But hey, really, the book will always be relevant, I think, because we will probably always be a basketball-crazy nation. Bartholomew’s writing is also very engaging, and his anecdotes are fun to read, whether you are a basketball fan or not. He’s one of the authors I would really love to meet sometime.
  4. “Monstress” by Lysley Tenorio – I surprised myself by reading a lot of Filipiniana this year, and several of them focus on the immigrant experience. What stands-out about “Monstress” is the hints of secret histories and a very subtle touch of fantasy that frame what may otherwise just have been run-of-the-mill stories about being a Filipino living in another country.
  5. Kresley Cole’s “Immortals After Dark” series – This probably deserves a separate blog post. 🙂

Here’s a list of the other titles I read last year, as listed in Goodreads: click! My 2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge target was 52 titles, which I thankfully passed and even exceeded, thanks to my impromptu Crazy Kresley Cole Holiday Readathon (more on that later). My 2014 target is still 52 titles because I don’t trust myself to not get into another reading slump.

I also met a lot of authors this year (Thank you, National Book Store!), some of whom, I interviewed and wrote about.

Author Mina V. Esguerra also invited me to participate in the audio commentary of her “Interim Goddess of Love” trilogy, which is really good, you guys, so read them! 😉

It looks like 2014 will be another busy Bookworm Year, beginning with the author visits of Gayle Forman and Mitch Albom.

This year, I hope to be able to do more concrete things to further my reading advocacy. Back in 2012, when I wrote about a public high school book club’s challenges, I was thankful that that story paved the way for an NGO to donate books to the school. I really hope I will be able to do something more.

Happy new year, bookish friends! \(^o^)/

PR and Guidelines: Melissa de la Cruz, Alyson Noel and Margaret Stohl book signings in National Book Store

National Book Store brings three New York Times bestselling authors—Melissa de la Cruz, Alyson Noel and Margaret Stohl—for book signing events on September 13 at 6 pm in the Activity Center of Ayala Center Cebu, on September 14 at 4 pm in The Podium Atrium and on September 15 at 2 pm in the National Book Store booth at the Manila International Book Fair in the SMX Convention Center.

 

Filipino-American Melissa de la Cruz is the author of the Blue Blood series, a popular vampire novel which has three million copies in print. Her latest novel Frozen is the first book in the Heart of Dread series, co-authored by her husband Michael Johnston. It narrates Natasha Kestal’s journey out of New Vegas, a city blanketed in ice, to the paradise-like and mythical land called “the Blue,” where the sun shines and where she will not be persecuted even if her darkest secret comes to light.

Alyson Noel is the bestselling author of the Immortals series and its spinoff the Riley Bloom series. Her books have been translated into 37 languages and sold in over 50 countries with over seven million copies in print. She is currently working on her latest series The Soul Seekers, which includes Fated, Echo and Mystic. It tells the story of Daire Santos, who after setting out to harness her powers as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate the worlds between living and dead, is forced to discover if the boy from her dreams is the one she’s meant to be with or is allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.

Margaret Stohl is the co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series with Kami Garcia. It was named as Amazon’s #1 Teen Book of 2009, and its movie adaptation was released by Warner Bros. earlier this year. Her latest novel Icons, the first book in a new young adult dystopian series, follows the story of four teens, who use their superpowers to save the world after an alien invasion referred to as “The Day.” Dol, Ro, Tima and Lucas try to piece together the mysteries of their pasts and discover that their uncontrollable emotions may actually be their greatest strengths.

The events are made possible in partnership with Raffles Makati, The Podium and Ayala Center Cebu.

Books by Melissa de la Cruz, Alyson Noel and Margaret Stohl are available in National Book Store, Powerbooks and Bestsellers branches. Shop online at nationalbookstore.com. Follow National Book Store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@nbsalert) for the latest events, promos and contests.

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BOOK SIGNING GUIDELINES AND F.A.Q. Continue reading