Monday, February 15, 2016

New Books: January-February 2016

If someone asked me what my most priced possessions are in this world, I would most likely say my books. Books which have accumulated into a mini library of sorts at our house. Most of which I haven't read yet and some still covered in plastic with the price tag on them.

I consider these books an investment of sorts. To keep me from being trapped in the mundane and feeling bored in my future years of adulthood. They are also what I think would be a great inheritance I could pass down to my future children.

People used to say to me that the reason I started wearing glasses at a very young age was because I liked to read a lot. I don't know if that's really a factor or not, but I would believe so.

I went to the mall today and went home with a Fully Booked paper bag, naturally. (Also, cause I had a P1000 GC to spend from a friend who knows me too well, yay!) When my father saw me, he immediately said, "You bought books? Again?" Typical reaction from the whole household. Of course I just shrug it off and go straight to my room to go through my purchases. :D

I said to myself that I would refrain from indulging myself in buying more books because I still have a LOT of titles in line for me to read (see previous post) but of course, I can't help but give in to temptation most of the time. #booknerdproblems

So here's a rundown of my recent acquisitions this year:

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. 

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing,Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

From the author of The Sky Is Every­where, a radiant novel that will leave you laughing and crying - all at once. For fans of John Green, Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver. Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close - until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don't realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.

I wrote this for you and only you by pleasefindthis

"I need you to understand something. I wrote this for you. I wrote this for you and only you." The follow-up to the international #1 bestselling collection of prose and photography, this is the third book in the I Wrote This For You series and gathers together the very best entries in the project from 2011 to 2015. Started in 2007, I Wrote This For You is an internationally acclaimed exploration of hauntingly beautiful words, photography and emotion that's unique to each person that reads it.

These books are the ones I picked up during my trip to Singapore in January from one of my favorite bookstores, Books Kinokuniya. I love just getting lost in between their bookshelves trying to find titles or editions that we don't have locally. This book haul was a product of my brother and sister-in-law leaving me to "browse" as they went grocery shopping. I am telling you, I should not be left alone in a bookstore as I will not be responsible enough to practice self-control. :P

Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson

The epic made simple. The miracle in the mundane.

One day, while browsing an antique store in Helena, Montana, photographer Tyler Knott Gregson stumbled upon a vintage Remington typewriter for sale. Standing up and using a page from a broken book he was buying for $2, he typed a poem without thinking, without planning, and without the ability to revise anything.

He fell in love.

Three years and almost one thousand poems later, Tyler is now known as the creator of the Typewriter Series: a striking collection of poems typed onto found scraps of paper or created via blackout method. Chasers of the Light features some of his most insightful and beautifully worded pieces of work—poems that illuminate grand gestures and small glimpses, poems that celebrate the beauty of a life spent chasing the light.

Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

A copy of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them resides in almost every wizarding household in the country. Now Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Comic Relief, which means that the pounds and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope that passing wizards feel more charitable if they see you being attacked by a Manticore.

- Albus Dumbledore

These two are purchased from Fully Booked with my GC, along with a trade paperback copy of Mitch Albom's Have A Little Faith. I got lucky that the day I went to the store, they were on sale at 20% off. :D

Making Love With Scrabble Tiles by Joshua Ip

Making love with scrabble tiles is about love with language; words with friends; and sex with toys. In his second collection, Joshua Ip invites you to sit down across the board, as he lays down letters in the patterns of past or imagined relationships. some words speak for themselves, but others taste best when balanced tenuously on the tip of your tongue.

The Lover's Inventory by Cyril Wong

A crucifix, a piece of underwear, a body part—these belong to a lover’s inventory that encompasses objects, places, sensations, and other memorabilia, providing springboards for memory and poetry. Mischievous, ambivalent, erotic to sentimental and profound, these poems serve as letters to past flings, lovers and exes, bearing messages about the challenges of desire, loneliness, and letting go.

This last mini book haul was also from my trip to Singapore. One thing I always have on my itinerary is going to Tiong Bahru, what with all its quaint stores and places to eat lining up the streets. And a visit to Tiong Bahru would not be complete for me without dropping by BooksActually. :)

The second time I visited the store, in 2014, was when I first came across Math Paper Press books. Math Paper Press, an imprint of BooksActually, is a small press publisher of poetry, new wave novellas, full-length novels and essays featuring local writers.

Browsing through the countless stacks of books (one of my favorite things to do), I finally picked out my first Math Paper Press purchases, both from notable Singaporean authors/poets Joshua Ip and Cyril Wong.

Edit: When I wrote this entry, I forgot that I had ordered something from Book Depository. A few days later, the package finally came!

The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom

One last chance.

What would you say? 

When the residents of a small town on Lake Michigan start receiving phone calls from the afterlife, they all become the subject of widespread attention. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. This is a story about the power of belief - and a page-turner that will touch your soul.

The internationally bestselling and inspirational author ofTuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven, returns with his most moving, surprising and compelling novel yet. The perfect introduction, or re-introduction, to the masterful storytelling of one of the best-loved writers of our time.

The Sense of an Ending by Julia Barnes

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.
Now Tony is retired. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove.

I can't wait to read all of these soon! This list already takes care of about half of my 2016 Reading Challenge goal. Hoping I can stick to it from this year forward! Keep reading and no slacking! :)

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