Liebster Award

Thank you so much, Claire of Coffee*Book*Mom for my Liebster award. It’s such an honor, not to mention a a pleasant surprise, knowing someone out there actually reads my blog. ❤

With that said, it’s my time to nominate. I read book reviews but I’m afraid some of the reviewers I dutifully follow don’t have a blog. Lol. I’ll still mention them here, but first, here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog.
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Nominate other blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. Make sure you inform them.
  5. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.

Jho-sigstyledivAnswers to Claire’s 11 questions:

  1. What is/are your Favorite Book Genre(s)?

My current favorite genre is MM fiction and BL/Yaoi.

  1. Who is/are your inspirations in reading?

Hm. Can’t say it’s a who but what. I just love reading itself. Knowing that there’s another world out there other than mine, it’s what inspired me to read in the first place. Reading takes you to places, it’s what my sister told me when I was four, and she was right. 🙂 Been reading nonstop since.

  1. Who is/are the best new Author you discovered in 2014?

He is not new, but at least to me, he is. Josh Lanyon.

  1. What is/are your most anticipated book of 2015?

I’m a completist, or I try to be. Kinda hard to do that right now since I’m also writing myself, but I’m looking forward to reading the books my favorite authors will release. Josh Lanyon, Megan Derr, A.F. Henley, Jamie Lake, Mina Esguerra included. I’m also waiting for Dormaine G’s second installation of Connor. There are a lot more to that list, but I’m afraid I won’t finish if I try to enumerate all of them.

  1. What is/are your favorite children’s book?
  • The Velveteen Rabbit is a children’s novel written by Margery Williams
  • Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus.
  • Brightest by Joanne Crisner and Johann de Venecia with yours truly.

I contributed a bit on Brightest, and I know it seemed biased, and by explaining I feel defensive. *laughs* But, if you’ll look at my first two favorites, I’m actually into these kinds of books. I’m all about hope, the power of friendship and love, discovering one’s self, being real, living freely and being ourselves, never giving up, happiness, and triumph after a fall.

  1. Who is your favorite male fictional character of all time?

Okay. This is hard, and because of that, I won’t choose. 🙂

  1. Who is your current book boyfriend (and from what book?)

Hm. None. I don’t do the current book boyfriend thing. I love pairings, and for me, Sasuke is solely for Naruto (I didn’t read CH700 because I kind of have an idea of how it’ll end lol), Kit is for JX, Adrien is for Jake, Sorin is for Koray, Harry is for Hermione. Wait, that’s not how it happened, but yeah. *Laughs*

  1. Which do you prefer – eBooks or Printed books?

Both, but I’ll try to collect the hard copies of my favorite MM books starting this year. I just want to weep first at the shipping cost which is more bloody expensive than the book itself.

  1. What are you currently reading?

Silas Marner. I’m working on my memoir and it made me remember this book which was actually my deceased mother’s favorite. I’m just rereading it. I read it way back when I was 12, to try to get to my mother’s head—why she thought that book is good. Err, I found it crappy then, to be honest. I thought the story was unrealistic.

Oh, I had no doubt that people can betray their best friend. Just to be clear though, no best friend of mine betrayed me. It’s just that I experienced a lot of horrible things growing up it left no room for me to doubt that people are capable of anything, including betraying (and even killing) the people they profess to love.

At least the part that I couldn’t believe is that a person could love someone. Especially someone unrelated to them. People struggled to love their own flesh and blood, I’d known that first hand, what more a stranger?

I had a messed up childhood. Our father abandoned my siblings and me; and I saw how my uncle beat my cousin within an inch of his life but I’ve grown since. I now know that people are also capable of loving, I just didn’t realize it before all things considering. Because of this, I thought I should reread it and hopefully, this time, I’ll discover why my mother loved this book.

  1. Which do you prefer – Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

Except for my favorite genre which is MM fiction and BL/Yaoi, I hold other genres equal. All other things being equal (ceteris paribus): genre, length, book price, etc: if the prose and the writing style of the author is good, then I will read that book.

  1. Stand-alone or series?

Series, for some reason, if I love the author’s writing style, his/her story telling, I’d love the characters dearly, and it makes it hard for me to let go of them, and I’d feel happier seeing them in a series like their story would never end.

Jho-sigstyledivHere are my nominees (Please note that I didn’t check the number of their followers):

Rise: http://booktrek.blogspot.com/
DC: http://bookreviewsbydc.blogspot.com/
Dia: http://book-junkie-joint.blogspot.com/
Rae: https://downthebookcubbyhole.wordpress.com/
Ella: http://mariaellabetos.blogspot.com/
Jess: http://www.jessicaelarsen.com/search/label/blog?max-results=4
Biena: http://www.librarymistress.com/
Angus: https://bookrhapsody.wordpress.com/
Junying: http://www.junyingkirk.com/
Nibra: https://bluenibra.wordpress.com/
and Kuya D: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2156200-k-d-absolutely

The last two don’t have blogs or at least don’t post their reviews on a blog, they post it in Goodreads instead. I included them anyway, because I love their reviews.

Jho-sigstylediv

My 11 questions:

  1. What is your favorite genre?
  2. What is your earliest memory on reading?
  3. How old were you when you started reading for pleasure?
  4. What is your favorite book of all-time?
  5. What makes you read a book?
  6. Do you read MM fiction? If yes, what made you decide to read one? If not, would you try reading one?
  7. Who is your favorite author and why?
  8. Do you read books with tragic endings? Why or why not.
  9. Ebooks or printed?
  10. Favorite rereads?
  11. Do you read memoirs?
  12. Okay, so I know it should only be 11 questions, but: Standalone or series?

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Currently Reading: Gifted Little Creatures (Interim Goddess of Love) by Mina V. Esguerra

23234855Maya, the goddess of the moon, is in human form as a college student for now — and she’s grounded. This doesn’t keep her from doing what she does well, manipulating the world and everything in it, from the home she can’t leave. (An illustrated short story set in the Interim Goddess of Love universe.)

You can get this free story here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/476183

IGoL

Interim Goddess of Love series by Mina V. Esguerra

About Mina V. Esguerra

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a master’s degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to “Is this story based on you?” is always, always “No.”

On my English Teacher, on Leo Tolstoy, and on Reading

 A Letter to a Hindu by Leo Tolstoy

A Letter to a Hindu by Leo Tolstoy from Goodreads

When I was 12, I had an English teacher who was passionate about reading – especially classics. He encouraged us to read classics and Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. 🙂 We were to submit one (maybe two, I forgot) book report(s) every quarter. I would read one Nancy Drew and one Hardy Boys every night.

I never got to submit a book report. Not even one of those.

My teacher, however, never gave me grief about that. He knew I was actually reading the books which was the point of the project and for him, that was enough. He let me get away with it (I think it also helped a lot that he loved my essays, that he knew I can actually write these book reports). He signed my clearance without a fuss and even gave me a very good grade – probably the highest in class – I was his favorite. Well, he was my favorite, too. He was like a grandfather (he was my deceased Mom’s English teacher, too, even mentioned her once in our class) and I admired him a lot. I, therefore, tried reading classics again (I already tried and failed (when I was way younger) but stopped because I didn’t enjoy it).

I remember reading some of Mark Twain’s works as well as George Eliot’s Silas Marner (my mom’s favorite book). I also read The Secret Garden and Heidi. Maybe I’ve read more. I’m pretty sure I did because every book he mentioned in class, I would look up in the library and read. However, I didn’t enjoy them so I stopped. What can I say? I was really more into Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew and romance books.

Where Love Is, There God is Also by Leo Tolstoy

Where Love Is, There God is Also by Leo Tolstoy (from Goodreads)

Ten years ago, I tried reading classics again. I tried One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez. I almost chucked the book across the room. I didn’t like it.

This year, I’ve resolved to read a few classics. I figured if I can find some titles that are my taste then maybe I’ll finally be able to appreciate this genre. I browsed a few titles and I figured that maybe I can start with Leo Tolstoy‘s works. He had short works and I thought I can start with those… slowly but surely. LOL. 🙂

I chose Where Love Is, There God Is Also. This is the write up I’ve read in Goodreads:

Written by one of the world’s most famous and beloved storytellers, this attractively packaged book includes three tales: Where Love Is, There God Is Also, The Hermits, and What Men Live By.
Tolstoy is best known for his classic works, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

There’s also a synopsis that you can read in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_Love_Is,_God_Is

I’m also going to read: A Letter to a Hindu. Its entry in Goodreads says:

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. [Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6682252-a-letter-to-a-hindu%5D

Read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Letter_to_a_Hindu

About this author:

Leo Tolstoy - photo taken from Goodreads

Leo Tolstoy – photo taken from Goodreads

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой; commonly Leo Tolstoy in Anglophone countries) was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist fiction. Many consider Tolstoy to have been one of the world’s greatest novelists. Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer.

His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Source:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/128382.Leo_Tolstoy

Jho-sigstylediv

I know it’s been 22 years since we were advised by my teacher to read classics, and I had no doubt I deserved my grade, but I still thought I should try reading them. 🙂 It’s also my way of remembering my deceased teacher with whom I owe so much. Thank you, Sir Emilio Giray, for everything. For being the best, for being kind, for making me love reading even more. And most of all, for being one of the first people who believed in me. For that, I can’t thank you enough.

For those who are interested in reading Leo Tolstoy’s works, some of his titles are free in Amazon – in Kindle form.

Happy reading! 🙂

Currently Reading: Icon of the Indecisive (Interim Goddess of Love #3) by Mina V. Esguerra

Our book club – Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books [PRPB] will start reading together Mina V. Esguerra’s Icon of Indecisive (Interim Goddess of Love #3) on Monday. It is the last book of the series. Below is our reading schedule:

Chapters 1 to 3 – January 13, 2014

Chapters 4 to 6 – January 14, 2014

Chapters 7 to 9 – January 15, 2014

Chapters 10 to 12 – January 16, 2014

Chapters 13 to 15 – January 17, 2014

Chapters 16 to 18 – January 18, 2014

Chapters 19 to 21 – January 19, 2014

Chapters 22 to 25- January 20, 2014

Chapters 26 to 29 – January 21, 2014

I will start posting questions on Monday. I hope that you’ll read with us! If you’re at Goodreads, you can check the discussion thread here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1617706

Happy reading! ^_^

Jho-sigstylediv

 Icon of Indecisive (Interim Goddess of Love #3) by Mina V. Esguerra

Icon of Indecisive (Interim Goddess of Love #3) by Mina V. Esguerra

College student Hannah Maquiling, also temporarily working as the Goddess of Love, has had enough of

everyone asking for her help when it comes to relationships. It’s her turn to find romance! She deserves it, after serving as matchmaker and confidant to everyone else in Ford River College for the past year. She’s had a crush on handsome senior (and God of the Sun) Quin forever, but he’s destined to fall in love with an extraordinary mortal woman, so she’s figured her chances with him have pretty much dropped to zero.

It’s not like she doesn’t have any options for a classic college romance though. There’s Diego, God of the Sea and Quin’s best friend/enemy. And regular guy Robbie is stepping up, making sure she knows how he feels about her. How hard can it be for a goddess to find someone to love, and be loved in return?

About Mina V. Esguerra

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a master’s degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to “Is this story based on you?” is always, always “No.”

Currently Reading: Queen of the Clueless (Interim Goddess of Love #2) by Mina V. Esguerra

Our book club – Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books [PRPB] is now currently reading together Mina V. Esguerra’s Queen of the Clueless (Interim Goddess of Love #2). Below is our reading schedule:

Chapters 1 to 3 – January 3, 2014

Chapters 4 to 6 – January 4, 2014

Chapters 7 to 9 – January 5, 2014

Chapters 10 to 12 – January 6, 2014

Chapters 13 to 15 – January 7, 2014

Chapters 16 to 18 – January 8, 2014

Chapters 19 to 21 – January 9, 2014

Chapters 22 to 25 – January 10, 2014

I will start posting questions tomorrow! After this, we’ll move on to the last book of the series.

I hope that you’ll read with us! If you’re at Goodreads, you can check the discussion thread here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1617706

Happy reading! ^_^

Jho-sigstylediv

Queen of the Clueless (Interim Goddess of Love #2)

Queen of the Clueless (Interim Goddess of Love #2)

If you’ve been feeling neglected by the Goddess of Love lately, don’t worry — Hannah Maquiling, college sophomore, is in training to take over. The Original Goddess is missing, but Hannah is Interim Goddess now, and she should figure out how to solve humanity’s love problems soon. Quin (God of the Sun) is still her mentor, still really hot, but apparently isn’t as honest about his other earthly relationships as she thought. It’s frustrating, and enough to make her check out possibilities with Diego (God of the Sea) and Robbie (Cute Human).

In the meantime, she’s decided to spend some of her precious training time helping to break up a relationship, instead of putting one together. Why? Because the girl in question happens to be her best friend Sol, whose boyfriend is stealing not just from her, but from other people on campus. Sol didn’t exactly summon the Goddess, but this is what power over Love is for, right? Surely it’s not just about matchmaking, but ending doomed relationships too. (Even when it’s not what people want.)

About Mina V. Esguerra

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a master’s degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to “Is this story based on you?” is always, always “No.”

Currently Reading: Interim Goddess of Love by Mina V. Esguerra

Our book club – Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books [PRPB] is currently reading together Mina V. Esguerra’s Interim Goddess of Love. Below is our reading schedule:

December 23 to 24, 2013 – Chapters 1 to 3

December 24 to 25, 2013 – Chapters 4 to 6

December 25 to 26, 2013 – Chapters 7 to 9

December 26 to 27, 2013 – Chapters 10 to 12

December 27 to 28, 2013 – Chapters 13 to 15

December 28 to 29, 2013 – Chapters 16 to 18

December 29 to 30, 2013 – Chapters 19 to 21

December 30 to 31, 2013 – Chapters 22 to 24

After this, we’ll move on to the next book of the series until we finish it. [There are three books in total].

I hope that you’ll read with us! If you’re at Goodreads, you can check the discussion thread here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1617706

Jho-sigstylediv

 Interim Goddess of Love (Interim Goddess of Love #1) by Mina V. Esguerra

Interim Goddess of Love (Interim Goddess of Love #1)
by Mina V. Esguerra

When you’re offered to become the goddess of love, how can you refuse?

When Hannah is asked to take the place of the goddess of love, she agrees because it was assigned to her by the love of her life-who just so happens to be the very gorgeous sun god. Though she does have a knack for listening to other people’s heartaches, she’s totally new at it and can’t understand how she can help bring love into people’s lives when she can’t even get one particular boy to pay attention to her. Will Hannah ever survive this goddess gig? Or will she end up heartbroken as well?

About Mina V. Esguerra

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a master’s degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to “Is this story based on you?” is always, always “No.”

List of Books Read this November

I saw my friend’s list of the books she read this November. I thought it was a good idea so here I am… listing the books I’ve read this month.

Handsome Devil by Jessica Larsen (Cover taken from the book's Goodreads account)

Handsome Devil by Jessica Larsen (Cover taken from the book’s Goodreads account)

The Shed by Paul Levas

The Shed by Paul Levas

She Caught Me by D.R. Lee (Cover taken from the book's Goodreads account)

She Caught Me by D.R. Lee (Cover taken from the book’s Goodreads account)

Snug Fit by Anna Bayes; cover taken from the book's Goodreads account.

Snug Fit by Anna Bayes; cover taken from the book’s Goodreads account.

The Matchmaker by Megan Derr

The Matchmaker by Megan Derr

The Shadows by Paul Levas

The Shadows by Paul Levas

Beauty and The Bible: The Testimonies of Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Esther, Abigail, Tamar and the Daughters of Job  by Reev Robledo

Beauty and The Bible: The Testimonies of Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Esther, Abigail, Tamar and the Daughters of Job by Reev Robledo

 ラブ・ミー・ベイベー [Love Me Baby] by Sasamura Gou, 笹村剛

ラブ・ミー・ベイベー [Love Me Baby]
by Sasamura Gou, 笹村剛

 After A Storm (嵐のあと #1) by Shoko Hidaka, Shoko Hidaka

After A Storm (嵐のあと #1)
by Shoko Hidaka, Shoko Hidaka

Don't Forget the Soap by Marie Claire Lim Moore

Don’t Forget the Soap by Marie Claire Lim Moore

Ngumiti si Andoy ni Xi Zuq at Dominic Agsaway

Ngumiti si Andoy ni Xi Zuq at Dominic Agsaway

and this one:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13494082-drunk-text – a freebie I’ve read online.

All in all, I’ve read more than what’s listed in here. But most are ongoing series in various free sites while the other manga, I’ve failed to note. I’m pleased however, that in this list, I’ve managed to read 5 Pinoy books (one Tagalog romance pocketbook by Jessica Larsen, one children’s book about a hero by Xi Zuq, one memoir by Marie Claire Lim Moore, one religious book with an awesome soundtrack by Reev Robledo, one romance novelette by D.R. Lee) out of 12. Of the 12, four are M/M , two are horror/suspense both by Paul Levas, while the remaining one is erotica by Anna Bayes.