Author Archives: Ronald

Your week in books#39

This is Zoe “Zoella” Sugg, and she just sold 78,000 copies of her debut novel.

  • Youtube celebrity Zoella can add another feather to her cap, as her first novel Girl Online has become the fastest selling hardback of 2014. She’s only 24-years-old, so now is the time to look at your life and look at your choices. I know I have. And now I has a sad. (Source)
  • In  more “People Younger Than You Have Accomplished More Than You” news, a seven-year-old has convinced a publisher to change the title of their books after sending a letter to them. I once wrote a letter back when I was seven. It got sent back to me. (Source)

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Book review: Bebang Siy’s “It’s Raining Mens”

I feel like Bebang would appreciate this video more than the Geri Halliwell one.

Three years ago, Bebang Siy blew the doors wide open and let the public take a glimpse into her life with her collection of essays, It’s A Mens World. At turns funny, poignant, and nostalgic of a Manila now slowly disappearing and changing into something else entirely, It’s A Mens World quickly developed a following and even snagged awards and nominations along the way.

Now Siy returns with It’s Raining Mens (I feel like there should be a Hallelujah in there somewhere), a collection of her work that now extends beyond the personal essay. Sprinkled throughout the book are short stories, movie treatments, a radio play, and emails and letter between Bebang and her best friend, Alvin. Will readers end up being spoiled for choice with this new collection, or would they rather seek shelter from this unusual downpour?

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Your week in books#38

My goodness, I just checked, and apparently the last time I did one of these things was way back in 2013? This is how much I’ve slacked off. Well, in my current attempt to get back into the swing of blogging things, I’m resurrecting this old feature and hopefully it sticks around this time!

  • If you haven’t seen it yet, embedded above is the a teaser trailer for the fifth season of Game of Thrones, which is yet another feature during the early days of this blog that i‘ve neglected. I started that when it was just the show’s first season!

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Book review: Maggie Stiefvater’s “Blue Lily, Lily Blue”

You all know that I love me some Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve gushed about The Scorpio RacesI’ve praised The Raven BoysAnd I definitely hold The Dream Thieves in high regard. So it really shouldn’t surprise any of you to see this post come up on this here blog. To say that I’ve been waiting eagerly for Blue Lily, Lily Blue is an understatement.

Thanks to the lovely people from Scholastic Philippines, I was able to get my hands on a copy of the book. It took me a while to get started reading it – finding a work/life balance is apparently something I do not beleive in – but once I did! Well, once I did, it was an up and down experience.

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Book review: Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl”

A beautiful book trailer for Gone Girl by Falcon Media Graphics

I know, I know. I’m about two years late with regards to Gone Girl, but it’s better late than never, right? It’s better to have read and blogged than not to have read and blogged at all, etc., etc.

Also, I have not blogged for a while now, so I may not be in tip-top shape. Not that I was in great shape before or anything, but whatever. So just be gentle on this here post as I try to gather my thoughts on Gillian Flynn’s immensely popular and divisive book Gone Girl.

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I know I’ve never talked about it on this blog, but I do have a traditionally published book out there in the wilds of Metro Manila. It’s 60 Minutes: Interviews with People Who Inspire, and we even had a launch at The Podium and everything.

That was last year. NOW WE’RE NOMINATED FOR AN AWARD! We’re battling it out with several other books in the non-fiction category, and I would really appreciate it if you guys would go over to the online ballot and vote for the book!

Author interview: Stephanie Perkins


Stephanie Perkins with her fans during the Manila leg of her signing tour here in the country.

So, it’s been a while since this blog got updated. The reasons are perfectly valid, dear Reader Numbering in the Ones: there was that little issue of the hosting thingie that kept my blog up on the internets going kaput and erasing every post from October 2013 onwards, and then that typhoon that went through the country that plunged us INTO A SECOND DARKNESS.

But all that’s part of the past now. I’ve put up (sloppy) versions of the entries that disappeared into the ether, and our internet connection finally, finally came back a couple of days ago. And I suddenly have lots of free time.

This conversation with Stephanie Perkins happened weeks ago, but I still remember it so clearly because I don’t think I’ve talked to a visiting author who was as cheerful and enthusiastic as she was. Sure, Margaret Stohl, Melissa dela Cruz, and Alyson Noel were a barrel of laughs (I’d like you guys to the transcript, but I can’t find it anywhere now.), but there were three of them. Stephanie was all by herself! And she had some stomach problems to boot!

ANYWAY. Under the cut, Stephanie talks about growing up in a family of readers, her publication journey, and her writing process. Also, we fangirled for a bit about Francesca Lia Block.

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Author interview: Jenny Han

Jenny Han with Town and Country editor-in-chief Yvette Fernandez, National Book Store's Xandra Ramos-Padilla, and Han's HUNDREDS of fans.

Jenny Han with Town and Country editor-in-chief Yvette Fernandez, National Book Store’s Xandra Ramos-Padilla, and Han’s HUNDREDS of fans.

I know, I know, this is like a bajillion years late, but it’s been a busy few weeks at the day job, what with restructuring and all that unsexy stuff that goes on with corporations. But it’s going up now!

I have to admit that I’ve long seen Jenny Han’s Summer series on bookstore shelves but never really had the urge to pick up a copy, mostly because I was very deeply into Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia’s Beautiful Creatures series. I picked them up pretty quickly when I heard she was coming over, and even picked up her latest, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

And while I like the Summer books well enough, I absolutely loved To All The Boys I‘ve Loved Before. So I was really pumped to talk to her about it during this interview. Aside from that, we also got to touch on issues of diversity in YA (young adult) books, as well as whether one really needs an MFA to become a successful writer.

The full transcript under the cut!

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Book review: Cassandra Clare’s “City of Heavenly Fire”

For longtime fans of young adult (YA) author Cassandra Clare, “City of Heavenly Fire” has been a book several years in the making.

After all, their journey into the Shadow World began in 2007 with the publication of “City of Bones”. In it, readers were introduced to 15-year-old Clary Fray and her introduction to the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders, supernatural beings who often find themselves at odds with each other.

Since then, “City of Bones” has not only spawned five more books — “City of Ashes,” “City of Glass,” “City of Fallen Angels,” and “City of Lost Souls” — to form “The Mortal Instruments” series. It has also paved the way for “The Infernal Devices” series, a tale of Shadowhunters set in Victorian England and made up of the books “Clockwork Angel,” Clockwork Prince,” and “Clockwork Princess”. And while the succeeding books have drawn mostly mixed reactions from critics and readers alike, it has not prevented them from zooming up the New York Times bestseller lists.

Just last year, “City of Bones” was adapted into a movie starring Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace and Lily Collins as Clary Fray, with “Game of Thrones” star Lena Headey and “The Hobbit” star Aidan Turner playing supporting roles. The sequel, “City of Ashes,” is set to start production this year.

In “Ctiy of Heavenly Fire,” readers finally have an ending to a story that they have been following for close to a decade now. But will it be an ending that they will find acceptable after years of loyal reading? Or will it end up being a disappointment that ends up crashing and burning?

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