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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜‰

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^)/

Winner of the “The Colossus Rises” Giveaway!

No red-bearded Viking-looking Yoda-talking guys passed by to disrupt my work today, so here’s the result of the The Colossus Rises giveaway as determined by Random.org’s good ol’ List Randomizer:

Peter Lerangis Giveaway Winners

Congratulations, Isabel (@sabthebookeater)! You win this:

Isabel: Please e-mail your full name, complete mailing address, and contact number to me at: thegirlwhoread(at)gmail(dot)com. Please send the details by June 4, 11:59pm so that your prize will not be forfeited.

To everyone who joined, thank you so much! And please do keep checking in here and on Twitter for details about the next giveaway. πŸ™‚

Winner of the “Miss Peregrine” Giveaway!

It’s April 1st, and you know what that means, right?

Happy Birthday, Fred and George Weasley! πŸ˜›

And also, here’s what the List Randomizer coughed up to determine the winner of the signed copy of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”:

Miss Peregrine winners

Congratulations, Ghirlie (@ghirlieee)! You win this:

And because I’m so happy that so many people supported this giveaway, I’ll also send the second person on the list, jhudiam, a copy of “Interim Goddess of Love” by Mina V. Esguerra. No, this is not an April Fools joke. πŸ˜›

Ghirlie and jhudiam: Please e-mail me your full name, complete mailing address, and contact number. Send the details to: thegirlwhoread(at)gmail(dot)com. Please send the details by April 4, 11:59pm so that your prize will not be forfeited.

To everyone who joined, thank you so much! And please do keep checking in here and on Twitter for details about the next giveaway. πŸ™‚

Edited to add:

Giveaway: Signed copy of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”

This contest is closed. Winner announcement: click!

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Another giveaway! Hurray!

So the awesome and totally random Ransom Riggs was in the Philippines recently. If you missed having your book signed, then here’s your chance to own a signed copy of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”!


  1. If you are a WordPress user, all you have to do is follow this blog and leave a comment on this post to let me know that you want to join the giveaway, and that’s your contest entry right there! If you already follow this blog, just share the link to this giveaway on your blog or Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr or whatever social networking service, then leave a comment with a link to your post/tweet.
  2. If you are not a WordPress user, you can either subscribe to this blog by clicking on the link at the bottom of the right sidebar or you can just follow me on Twitter (@almeldiel). Leave a comment to let me know that you subscribed or comment with your Twitter username, and that’s your entry right there! If you’re already a subscriber or if you already follow me on Twitter, then just post a link to this giveaway on your Twitter or any social networking site and leave a comment with a link to your post/tweet.
  3. Once I have validated your entry, your comment will appear on this post.
  4. The winning entry will be chosen by a random draw and will receive a signed trade paperback copy of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs. We had this copy signed during Ransom Riggs’ book signing last 3 March 2013 at Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street.

    A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here – one of whom was his own grandfather – were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.

  5. You have until 31 March 2013 (11:59pm) to send in your entries.
  6. Barring any unfortunate interventions by sheep on the loose or cranky bartenders, I should be able to announce the winner by April Fools. (I just hope you believe me if you win.)
  7. This contest is open only to residents of the Philippines. (Sorry, foreign friends!) If you live outside the Philippines but you have a friend or relative with a Philippine mailing address who will be willing to receive the prize for you, then you’re welcome to join the contest.
  8. The winner must reply to the notification e-mail within 3 days from receipt of the notice, otherwise, the prize will be forfeited in favor of the second person on the random list generated to determine the winner.

Spread the word, and May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!

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Disclaimer: (To satisfy the WordPress.com Terms of Service) This giveaway is not sponsored and is not being posted in lieu of paid advertising on this blog. (I don’t have advertising at all!) I bought the book and paid for it out of my own pocket and had it signed at an event that I attended. ☺

Snapshots: My Bookmark Love (#5) is peculiar

My tiring but book-tastic weekend is over, but…hey, it’s another Bookmark Monday!

Bookmark Love 05

Today’s bookmark was sent to me a few years ago by the awesomest person in Cebu City, Marivic a.k.a. Miss A.M.! Thank you! *mwah! hugs!*

This is a thin wooden bookmark with a carved wooden owl that’s designed to perch atop your book. And it’s made in Cebu City, of course! At least I can say I’ve been there. (^_^)

I took a shot of this with my signed copy of Ransom Riggs’ “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” to commemorate Random Ransom’s visit to the Philippines.

Speaking of Random Ransom…in my giveaway this month, someone is going to win a signed copy of “Miss Peregrine”! Stay tuned for the mechanics. (^_-)-β˜†

And once again, I apologize for the quality of the image because I still haven’t resolved my uploaded image quality problems here on the blog. Everything looks fine in my computer, but they pixelize once they are uploaded to WordPress. If there’s a kind soul out there who can help me solve this, please message me? πŸ˜€

Shout-out to Leia: Thanks for the help with the coverage and for force-cajoling me into ordering that cake. (^_^)