stacked: monthly book picks

True to my ever dorky self, I keep a list of books to watch out for every month. I have slight tendency to go haywire in a bookshop because of the need to purchase everything I get my hands on.

Does that happen to anyone else or is that just me?

If it happens to you too, then this list might help. These are books you can check out first so you don’t get lost in the sea of perfection that is books. If not, then these may be books you wanna start with. They’re all fun reads with a certain degree of social significance. Although all of them are already available, I’m aware that some books stores may not carry them yet, so you might want to check online to get them (e.g Amazan, Goodreads, etc). Anyway, onto the list.

1. The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis

If you’ve read any of Tregillis’ work, then you must be expecting a lot (like me, obviously). The first thing I read of his was the Milkweed Triptych where the retelling of the second World War was so vivid and believable; I could almost imagine British warlocks and Nazi super soldiers being introduced into history textbooks. After that, I just got every single book he wrote, and he has never failed to deliver the same amount creativity and intrigue since. I would go so far as saying that he’s one of my favorites from this genre.

At the core of The Mechanical, which is a new imagery for steam punk, is the age-old question of determinism versus one’s free will and how it relates to artificial intelligence. Despite the complexity of that, it’s told in a very engaging context where ‘clakkers’, mechanical men, are powered by alchemy to protect and defend the Brasswork Throne – now, the only superpower. Trust me, even if this isn’t usually a genre you go for, this book is a worthy read. It delves into a lot of different topics which I think you’ll enjoy.

2. Find Me by Laura van den Berg

It’s for the scifi-loving book lovers who gravitate towards strong female leads and a steady dose of mystery. The book chronicles Joy’s life after she discover she’s immune from an Alzheimer’s-like pandemic that wipes out most of the population and how she makes sense of the world by studying survivors of that disease.

3. The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi

If you follow me on twitter, you would know that I’ve been raving about this book for awhile. The humorous and quirky writing style that Amanda took was so strategic and appropriate in delivering a stance on a very prominent social issue (that you all know I feel strongly about), the concept of beauty.

The book is about two friends, one ‘objectively’ beautiful and the other not (for lack of a better word), who attempt to make the people around them see who they truly are. Here’s the catch: they do it while masking their appearances. It’s a light and funny read with an undertone that persuades you to question your personal identity and how other people see it and shape it.

4. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Much to my dismay, I have not read this book yet, but my recommendation is based on the massive postive reviews it got and the summary I was sent to read. I’m definitely getting a copy soon though. Also, I’ve supported ALL the books this author wrote which includes Never Let Me Go.

Personally, I loved the intimacy of the relationship between Axl and Beatrice as they remember their past and see how much effect it has on their future. I’ll definitely tell you on a different post if the book holds true to the summary I got.

5. Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

Faudet’s writing style and content is definitely not for everyone. There has been polarized views on the ‘dirty’ aspect of it. Personally, I thought it was sensual, but delivered with a certain degree of sophistication and humor that reads Faudet all the way.

I could keep describing this book to you and how it must have looked when I read this while walking around, shopping with a few friends, but I’d much rather leave you with quote that I think underlines how he was able to deliver a book that a lot of readers can keep referencing back to.

“She was a curious girl who loved the smell of old books, chasing butterflies and touching herself under the covers.”

So those are the books that are breaking my bank – okay, maybe just some of them. I tried to give you as much diversity as I could to cover everyone’s preferences. If you want more entries like this, you can email me or comment below. You know I love talking about my favorite books so if you enjoy reading about them too, I’d love to make more.

Also, there will be a massive announcement on the post after this so stay tuned – especially my fellow book geeks. You’ll love it.


a #dearme poetry

Because I know that 16-year old me will not appreciate a narrative advice from a 23-year old,

I wrote a poem that she’ll most likely pretend to brush off (but go back to when the lights are off).

So #dearme at 16,
you dearme copy

Graham Moore on being YOU

People always say we are the geek generation. I feel offended when I hear that, not because I hate geeks. I AM A GEEK. They don’t understand that stereotypes ARE STILL stereotypes regardless of who’s on top. Labels are for commodities, not people. Stop using it to box us into what we can or should be. You’re a geek, stick to books or video games. Hey blonde cheerleader, be mean and bully this quiet girl who sits at the back row. Aren’t  we pass that?

I’ve been there, excluded and confused about why I can only be this label that feels like a noose tightening around my neck. There’s no one to talk to because they’re also quietly suffering with their own labels. Graham Moore couldn’t have put it any better in his Oscar acceptance speech.


Think about it. Even those who build stereotypes reject being subjected to it because even they know, no one is ever just one thing. We’re far more complicated and interesting than that. That’s what makes us unique and different and… HUMAN. Embrace it. Love it! So every time you hear geek generation or jock central or whatever catchy handle society comes up with, reject it.

We are the YOU generation. We celebrate you, whoever YOU may be. 



a Harry Potter prequel: The Gathering Storm

I was 8 when I first met him. He had a quaint-shaped scar on his forehead, wears clothes a few sizes too big and sleeps in a cupboard under the stairs. They called him ‘the boy who lived’.


My journey with books started with JK Rowling’s Harry Potter (and Tolkien’s Middle Earth series) when I was very, very young. I remember staying up way past my bedtime with nothing but my book, a flashlight and the earnest hope that at 11 I too will get my Hogwarts letter. Although that never came, I was gifted with so much more.

Through Harry, JK opened me to creativity, emboldened me to pursue my dreams no matter how lucrative and encouraged me to keep reading and writing even when very few kids around me shared that passion. Harry taught me that it’s okay I’m different. It’s okay that sometimes people don’t get me, that I make the most unlikely friends, that troubles badger me continuously no matter how hard I try to stay away from them and that I often care too much.

I think I speak for most in the Potterhead fandom when I say that we will never get enough of her and the magical world she has so laboriously created. Harry Potter is a part of me and in his world, I feel at home.

So if at any point you’re just like me, in search for chances to ditch the Muggle movie sphere, I’m inviting you to support, donate, share and/ or watch The Gathering Storm. It’s a fan-made movie, written, acted, shot and financed by very creative and dedicated Potterheads.

As there are no trailers out yet (well, not that I know of), the most that I could tell you is that it chronicles the Marauders and other prominent wizards and witches during their time (most of them in their 6th year at Hogwarts) as they face a world at war with the dark arts and those who practice it. Although this has no ties with Warner Brothers or the original producers of the Harry Potter franchise, expect that it will do the prequel justice  because Potterheads love the story too much to let it suck. Trust me, that’s all the reassurance you’ll need. Plus I’ve seen all their efforts on Tumblr and I have to say I’m very impressed and EXTREMELY EXCITED to see the movie.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it before but my favorite character in the Harry Potter series is Sirius Black (and you’ll know why in the coming entries) so I’m definitely looking forward to getting to know him more especially before Azkaban and see his interactions with the 3 other Marauders, Prongs, Moony and Wormtail. Then there’s Jily, one of the most loved, as proven by the thousands of fan fictions about it, ships to ever grace any book. I’m sure so many would be squirming to see the red head fall for the trouble maker, finally on screen.

Before I go off into the Harry Potter daydreamland (as you might have noticed), allow me to end this entry by inviting you to visit this site: and their social media sites mentioned on their page and help out in whatever way you can.To all the non-potterheads, we’d be deeply indebted to you and rest assured you won’t regret it. To my fellow Potterheads, you guys know what we’ve got to do. Get the word out and support the cool people who came up with this in the first place.

And lastly, to the cast and crew of The Gathering Storm, thanks for braving the unknown and putting your heads and efforts together to make this happen. We all need some magic back in our lives and your movie might do just that.


paperbacks for the laid back

And yes, it’s the cheesiest, most unoriginal title anyone in the history of blogging has ever come up with and it doesn’t even rhyme but that’s what happens if you insist on blogging past midnight. I was just a bit excited to put this up so I thought I’d do it now. I’ll be listing book recommendations for bookworms like me since I’ve been getting a few requests. This aren’t necessarily the newest books but I’ve read them recently and liked them or would wanna read them soon.

1. Faults In Our Stars by John Green 

-By the way, the trailer for this book’s movie franchise was just released a week or 2 weeks ago and it has had really good feedback. My suggestion, grab a copy now before the movie gets released.

photo from

2. Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

3. Family Life by Akhil Sharma

-13 year in the making, this book is a bit of a heavy read so prep your tissues in advance.

photo from

4. Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn

– For people like me who obsess over literary prize winners, this will be an enticing read but even for those who aren’t as acquainted, this will describe what goes on in the world of literary writing and recognition with enough humor and wit.

photo from

5. Divergent by Veronica Roth

-This is the first installment to Roth’s trilogy. The general feel of the book may remind you of the popular dystopian book series Hunger Games or Maze Runner but this book has it’s own merits which you’ll definitely find out when you start flipping through the pages.

book hoarder

There are stress eaters, weight watchers, smokers, drunkards, writers even sleepers. We all have different ways of dealing with extreme emotions, I’m a reader.


When I’m happy I’d line up my Sophie Kinsella (Madeleine Wickham) and Marian Keyes books, grab some chocolate chip cookies and start reading. When my mood is not at its best, I’ll go for Paolo Coelho, Mitch Albom or Nicholas Sparks. Regardless how the book ends, those reads always make me feel better. Right after exams, when I want to treat myself after a hell-ridden week, I’ll rush to my thriller or paralegal books. Usually, these are John Grisham novels which I’ve probably already memorized after reading them over and over again or Stephen King thrillers that never let me sleep. Then there are my run to books, the ones I read whenever, wherever.  My closest friends know this by heart (my dad does too).  Anne Rice anyone?

The important thing with reading is that you should be willing to try new genres and authors all time, they might surprise you. If you’re not that adventurous, you can try visiting these sites:,,, You can also follow blogs of who those give book reviews, the good ones, here at wordpress (or ask brilliant professors or friends who are wide readers- thanks Sir Gonzaga).  This is how I met Rick Riordan, James Frey and Tom Rachman.


When I frequent book shops, I usually take hours before going to my next stop. Buying books for me is like shopping for clothes for most other chicks my age. That adrenaline rush you get when you see the best displays outside Forever 21 or Zara or Topshop (at least, that’s how Becky Bloomwood puts it), that’s exactly how I feel in a bookstore (disclaimer: I also love clothes and fashion and shopping. I’m normal in some ways too. *winks*).

Reading was my saving grace at one point. It became an escape where I don’t have to please people, finish projects, report to bosses or be perfect. I just had to read.  It takes me to places I’ve always wanted to see but can’t afford to go to no matter how hard I try to pool my resources (yes, I’m talking about Paris- I wanna visit the Louvre).  It allows me to meet people I grow to admire whether they’re real or not. Books offer answers to problems I didn’t even know I had (in light of that I suggest that you read Eat, Pray, Love). It’s a place where I can gather my thoughts, console myself and be okay again– ready for anything.

Some of my friends tell me that reading is not for everybody. There are people who repel books just like I repel technology but trying is not that hard. Right? Right! So the next time you pass by a book store, pick a book, anything that you intuitively gravitate towards. Buy it and read it. The first few pages may be struggle but make an effort to finish it. If you still hate reading by then, I rest my case. But if before you even hit the final chapters you’re already itching to buy a new one, welcome to club. You are now an official bookworm convert!


PS It helps if you share this passion with the people closest to you (in my case my dad and little sister).


It makes hunting down good reads and discussing it after so much more fun. Plus, if you share this with your dad, you won’t find it so hard getting extra cash to buy them. 😉