I’m baaaack

So… I haven’t written an entry in more than a year. Ohmigod. I’m really bad at this blogging thing. I guess I’m really not much of a blogger, but I’ve decided that if I want to write an entry, by golly I’m going to write an entry.

I’m currently obsessing over my 2016 Hobonichi Cousin. I’d been lusting over the Hobonichi for quite some time now and was contemplating getting one for next year or even for 2017. Luckily, one of my friends had a conference in Japan in early November and that quickly made up my mind for me. I got him to buy me one since was the cheapest option, compared to buying from local resellers. I didn’t get a cover, though. I’m on the lookout for a cover I’d love, but for now I made a cover for it (I’ll probably do another entry on this, since it’s actually something crafted).

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Here’s a pic of my Hobonichi Cousin in its new cover

I’ve also been making a bunch of Christmas presents. My Christmas list isn’t completely done, but I’m probably midway done. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I like to get my Christmas list done waaay ahead of Christmas. There’s just something about making lists and putting together Christmas presents that I love.

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The bottom shelf of one of my bookshelves is reserved for Christmas prezzies (as you can see I already have some wrapped)

I’d love to say that I’ll be blogging more, but I don’t really know. Work has been eating up my days, and my life is pretty boring.

 

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Amazon’s 100 Books To Read

Idea from Planet Millie

Books. I love books, if you haven’t noticed yet. Here’s another book list, this time from Amazon. I’m pretty sure I haven’t read a lot of these, but we’ll see, right? (Bold for finished, italics for started and not finished)

1. A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin

I never got into this book. Everyone in my family read this, my father kept asking me to find him copies of the whole series and my brothers were really into it, but when I tried reading it, I just didn’t like it. 

2. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Yes, it’s a sad book. But I liked it. It’s not life-changing good, but it’s a good read

3. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

One of my favorite books from childhood. I love this book a lot.

4. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Weirdly, enough, haven’t read this yet. 

5. The tiger who came to tea – Judith Kerr

Nope.

6. The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson

Nope.

7. Nineteen eighty-four – George Orwell

Read this and enjoyed it. I can pinpoint the general time I first read it, that’s weird.

8. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Nope. I keep meaning to read this, but I always forget about it when I’m picking a book to read.

9. We’re going on a bear hunt – Michael Rosen

Nope

10. The Secret History – Donna Tartt

Nope

11. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Oh, god. We had to watch the movie of this when I was in 2nd or 3rd year high school. I think it pretty much scarred me for life. I can’t read it, I just can’t

12. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole – Sue Townsend

Nope

13. Freakonomics – Steven D. Levitt

Nope

14. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne

Nope

15. The Hare with the Amber Eyes – Edmund de Waal

Nope

16. Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman

Nope

17. A brief history of time – Stephen Hawking

I love this book. But I really do think you have to be a huge science nerd like I am to really enjoy it. I’ve read and re-read this a few times because you just don’t get everything in one sitting. I love how it gets to the fun parts of science without having to get into the nitty-gritty of the math, unlike textbooks. Reading it also makes me realize just how incredible human brains can be

18. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

Nope. Again, I keep thinking about wanting to read this then forgetting

19. Cider with Rosie – Laurie Lee

Nope

20. The Road – Cormac McCarthy

Nope

21. Long walk to freedom – Nelson Mandela

Nope

22. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

Nope

23. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

Read this. But the story I always remember when it comes to this is one of my father’s university professors assigning this book (and only this book) as the reading for one whole semester. That must’ve been exhausting.

24. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

I hate the Bronte sisters’ books. I have no idea why people like them. 

25. The Picture of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde

This book is awesome

26. In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

Nope

27. The man who mistook his wife for a hat – Oliver Sacks

Nope

28. Bad Science – Ben Goldacre

Nope

29. Never let me go – Kazuo Ishiguro

Nope

30. The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien

A family favorite. This is the first fantasy series I ever read and finished and I love to re-read it. I really associate Tolkien with a lot of things in my childhood since The Hobbit was the first novel I ever read, even though it took me weeks (or was it months) to finish it. 

31. The Enchanted Wood – Enid Blyton

Nope

32. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

I don’t think I ever finished this

33. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

I just started reading this!

34. The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes

Nope

35. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

For the longest time I associated Austen with the Brontes and I kept away from her books (I know, that was stupid of me). Thanks to rewatching Wishbone in uni, I read this and I loved it. I’ve also read all her other books by now.

36. Crime and Punishment – F. M. Dostoevsky

My father had a complete Dostoevsky collection. I remember starting most of them, but never finishing them

37. Stormbreaker – Anthony Horowitz

Haven’t read this

38. All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque

Nope

39. Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

Nope

40. Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

I was freaking scared of this as a kid. Still read it though.

41. The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins

Haven’t read it. But I think we have one of his other books. I remember the name

42. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

This is hilarious. I used to grab one of the five books of this ‘trilogy’ whenever I wanted something light to read.

43. I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith

Nope

44. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

Nope. But I have been wanting to read this

45. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

nope

46. Dissolution – C. J. Sansom

Nope

47. American Gods – Neil Gaiman

I love this book. Especially for the ‘I believe’ speech. ‘I can believe in things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe in things where nobody knows if they’re true or not’ (typed that from memory, it might not be completely accurate)

48. Notes from a Small Island – Bill Bryson

Nope

49. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson

Nope

50. Oranges are not the only fruit – Jeanette Winterson

Nope

51. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

Love this. For the longest time, my (big now) little brother would only read Roald Dahl books and we had all of them!

52. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

Read this during that classics phase I went through in high school.

53. A History of the World in 100 Objects – Dr Neil MacGregor

Nope

54. Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh

Nope

55. The Stand – Stephen King

Haven’t read this, but I like most of King’s books (not so much his later ones). I have this huge problem with reading Stephen King because horror books make it very hard for me to sleep at night, but I like his writing so I keep reading them.

56. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

Nope

57. American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis

Nope

58. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

Nope

59. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

Nope

60. The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter

Read this as a kid

61. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

Nope

62. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

Nope

63. London: The Biography – Peter Ackroyd

Nope

64. Wild Swans – Jung Chang

Nope

65. The Colour of Magic – Terry Pratchett

I keep meaning to read Discworld, but haven’t gotten around to it

66. White Teeth – Zadie Smith

Nope

67. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John le Carre

I liked this book

68. To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf

Haven’t read this one yet.

69. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

Sad, sad book

70. Atonement – Ian McEwan

Nope

71. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding

Nope

72. Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer

I liked reading this, but I think it was my little brother who absolutely loved this series. He was a lot younger when he started reading this, so that must be a factor.

73. Brighton Rock – Graham Greene

Nope

74. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

High school classics phase

75. Casino Royale – Ian Fleming

Nope

76. Do androids dream of electric sheep? – Philip K. Dick

Another book I keep meaning to read

77. Watchmen – Alan Moore

I liked this, but I decided that I would never read it again because it was depressing.

78. Little Women – Louise May Alcott

‘A classic.  I have read it, and I cried. Pretty much the standard response.’ <- what Millie said

79. London Fields – Martin Amis

Nope

80. Venice – Jan Morris

Nope

81. Knots and Crosses – Ian Rankin

Nope

82. Watership Down – Richard Adams

I keep meaning to read this

83. Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie

Nope

84. The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot

Nope

85. The Hound of Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

We used to have the whole Sherlock Holmes collection. I love reading Sherlock

86. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje

Nope

87. Schlinder’s Ark – Thomas Keneally

Nope

88. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

Read this, of course.

89. High Fidelity – Nick Hornby

Nope

90. Winnie-the-Pooh – A. A. Milne

I love Winnie-the-Pooh. 

91. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling

Read this, of course

92. Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian

Nope

93. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Nope

94. The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson

Nope

95. Birdsong – Sebastien Faulks

Nope

96. Last Orders – Graham Swift

Nope

97. The Time Machine – H. G. Wells

I remember reading this for the first time and it was like a light bulb switched on in my head when he was explaining the dimensions.

98. My Man Jeeves – P. G. Wodehouse

Nope

99. The Commitments – Roddy Doyle

Nope

100. The Worst Witch – Jill Murphy

Nope

 

Gaah. I can’t believe I’ve only read a fourth of these books.

 

Well… It’s Been Forever

I haven’t blogged in forever. I’m really bad at this blogging thing. This isn’t even a real entry, really. I just wanted to share this with the world (picture not mine, it’s from Alunsina’s FB page):

I’m soooo excited for this. I just preordered a set (and aren’t I lucky that my name starts with an A so having Alunsina’s embossed A makes it look like it’s been personalized for me?). I plan to blog about it once I get my set and hopefully get back into the swing of blogging. (Really, 5 months away is just crazy)

Fire package from Planet Millie

So, a while back I won this fire package from Planet Millie (check here to see a picture of the package on Planet Millie).

I was pretty stoked about the package because they were things I don’t think I have access to here in the Philippines. The Planet Millie notecards and stickers are so pretty, I have to find some way to use them meaningfully. The patterned paper and stamps will probably find their way into my journal one of these days.

I’ve never tried Clairefontaine paper before and getting to try out this well-known fountain pen-friendly paper was fun. I think I see what all the hype is about now. Another item I’ve always seen online is the Palomino Blackwing pencil, and I’m curious to see how it writes now that I’ve got one (I haven’t got a sharpener, at the moment though).

My favorite part of the package is the J. Herbin orange indien ink. I can’t use standard cartridges in my Lamy Safari, but that hasn’t stopped me from using a syringe and transfering it into my converter. I’ve already used one cartridge and I love the color. I find the subdued orange a very usable color, and I just love the shading I get with it. (I also think it’d be the perfect color to use in my yellow Starbucks 2014 planner)

That's a Planet Millie sticker on the corner of my planner. Inset is a bit of writing using the J. Herbin Orange Indien ink. Aren't they a perfect match? :D

That’s a Planet Millie sticker on the corner of my planner. Inset is a bit of writing using the J. Herbin Orange Indien ink. (my craptastic phone pic does not do justice to the lovely shading I get with my M nib) Aren’t they a perfect match? 😀

I used to think that I’d be happy just using my blue-black ink with my fountain pen, but now I think I’ve been bitten by the ink bug because of this ink. I want to try more inks!

Notebook Collection

I know I haven’t been posting about crafts lately, but life has been really busy, and I haven’t really gotten around to doing much besides Christmas presents (which will probably be getting it’s own post after Christmas).

I do think it’s about time I did an updated post on my current notebook stash, so I finally got out my notebooks and decided to take some pictures and share them with you guys. I’m also planning to do another entry on the notebooks I currently use (which aren’t in the picture below) and how I use them. 🙂

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1: Old journals. More or less filled up, I think. The first and the fifth from the left are handbound notebooks I made.

2: Paperthinks pocket notebook 3.5″x5″, 256 blank pages. I used this as my EDC notebook and jotted down to do lists and other random things in it.

The next two rows are all unused notebooks.

3: 2 (from a pack of 3) B5 Muji blank notebooks

4: pack of 5 of A5 Muji lined notebooks

5: A pursebook from Mori Notes. (This is made in the Philippines!). It’s a notebook with an integrated zipper pocket to the cover flap. I won this in a giveaway raffle over at Manila Shopper, and I’m still waiting for the perfect time to use this. The paper absorbs ink a lot, so I don’t think I’ll use it as a journal, especially since I use gel pens, but I think it’d be a gorgeous travel sketchbook (if only I as better about sketching regularly)

6: My current favorite notebook for journaling. These notebooks are from Alunsina Handbound Books. Another handbound notebook maker from the Philippines. I am absolutely in love with their notebooks. The rightmost notebook is already lined up as my next journal. (Here’s a link to their etsy shop for an idea of their prices, but it’s better to check out their Facebook page)

7: Monologue Sketchbook. A5, 96 leaves. I really like this notebook. I like a bit of friction in my paper, and this is the perfect roughness for drawing or writing. I was supposed to use this as a journal, before I found Alunsina notebooks, but I’ll use it eventually I think, somehow. (Also, the name’s a bit misleading, the PU cover isn’t really soft, but I like the stiffness it has without being an actual hardcover notebook)

and 10: These are both Zequenz 360 notebooks. They’re both blank and have 140gsm paper. The larger one is their medium size, around 5″x7″ I think, and the smaller is their mini size, around 3.5″x5.5″. Their mini size is the perfect notebook to carry in the back pocket (although I’ve lost one of these before because it fell out of my back pocket >.<)

11: An Ogami quotes (writer) notebook, mini size, from QuirksPH. Made from REPAP, it’s waterproof. I’m hoping to use this either for dives or if my friends and I push through on that mountain climbing trip.

12: A bunch of mini notebooks for my Pelle Journal from Victoria’s Journals. It’s a knock-off, of sorts, of the Midori’s Traveler’s Notebook (I like to think of it as a faux-dori). The cutesy ones on the left (which I’m not really thrilled with because I like my notebook covers plainer and they have ruled pages while I prefer blank) are Victoria’s Journals mini notebooks while the plain black and red ones are notebooks I bought at National Bookstore (and they’re the perfect size for the VJ faux-dori!)

A to Z Book Survey

I saw this book survey over at Planet Millie, and just couldn’t resist doing an entry about books because, let’s face it, books are a big deal for me.

Author you’ve read the most books from

Off the top of my head, I think it’d have to be Diana Wynne Jones, just because she has a whole bunch of books. (That’s discounting books like Nancy Drew or Babysitters Club).

Best sequel ever

King of Attolia from Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series. The first book, The Thief, was one of my favorite books as a kid, but I didn’t even know it was a series until I saw the next two books (Queen of Attolia and King of Attolia) at a bookstore when I was in uni. I loved the different take in King of Attolia and I still find it giggle-worthy whenever I re-read it.

Currently reading

Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer.

Drink of choice while reading

I don’t drink a lot while reading, but it’d have to be coffee, I guess?

E-reader or physical book

I love my kindle and I love the ease of kindles, but it’d still be physical books. I grew up in a house stuffed full of books and I love the memories that come with actually holding books. (Although, we lost a lot of our books in a major flood a couple of years back. I still mourn all the books we used to have)

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school

Uh… Can’t really think of anyone

Glad you gave this book a chance

Pride and Prejudice. I remember reading one of the Brontes’ books in high school and that kind of prejudiced me against Victorian era books, so for the longest time I kind of avoided those kind of books. A few years back, I was watching Wishbone (Yes, it’s a kids’ series, but I used to watch it as a kid, don’t judge me. And I really think it’s a great kids’ show), and one of the episodes featured P&P, and I was all ‘oh shit, this Elizabeth girl is cool, I have to read the book!’ And I loved it. 🙂

Hidden gem book

I’m not sure what hidden gem is supposed to mean… A book that doesn’t get much credit? Uh… One of my favorite books since childhood that I don’t think a lot of people have read is Ellen Raskin’s Westing Game. It’s a great whodunit book with a lot of great twists and clues within clues

Important moment in your reading life

I was eight and in the second grade. My mom took me into their room, led me to one of the bookcases, pulled out an old novel, handed it to me, and told me to read it. It took me a looooong time to get through it, but I read it and fell in love. It was the first book that showed me that I could go reading through my parents’ bookshelves. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Just finished

Alex Scarrow’s TimeRiders 6: City of Shadows

Kinds of books you won’t read

Those romance novels that are all smut. I hate them. I have no problem with erotica, but I don’t like PWPs, I need a plot.

Longest book you’ve read

I’m not really sure, what with font sizes and book sizes. If we count Lord of the Rings as all one book, it’d be that. If not… Probably the unabridged Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.

Major book hangover because of

I remember that I was obsessed with The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper as a kid. I memorized all the poems, and daydreamed about Wales a lot (because of The Grey King).

Number of bookcases you own

Well, we don’t have bookcases anymore, since we moved after the flood. But our old house used to have five or six (just small bookcases).

One book you’ve read multiple times

I love re-reading favorite books, so there are a lot of these. Madeleine L’Engle books get re-read a lot, I used to go re-read some of my favorite series like The Prydain Chronicles and The Dark is Rising sequence a lot. Howl’s Moving Castle and The Westing Game. A lot, really.

Preferred place to read

In bed

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read

The latest quote that gave me the feels is “It would be a privelege to have my heart broken by you” from The Fault in Our Stars

Reading regret

I don’t really regret reading books. I don’t even regret Twilight, which I only read because I wanted to criticize it knowledgeably when faced with all those fangirls.

Series you started and need to finish (all books are out in series)

Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographic by James A. Owen. I loved the first book in this series, I got literal goosebumps by the end. The next books aren’t as awesome, but it’s still a pretty great series. I just can’t find the last book, and I have to re-read the whole series again before reading book 6.

Unapologetic fangirl for

I’m going to skip the things that people typically fangirl/fanboy over. It’d have to be Howl’s Moving Castle (I’ve got friends who can’t understand why I love it so much, but the whole playing around with the fantasy tropes in this book is just so much fun), Westmark trilogy (The Prydain books are more famous, but I love the gray-ness of the Westmark books, things were never just black and white. I loved how everyone was a mix of good and bad, and I never really knew who was truly ‘right’), and The Westing Game.

Very excited for this release more than all the others

Most of my favorite authors are dead, and I haven’t really been following any new series lately. It would have to be the next Heroes of Olympus book by Rick Riordan, but it’s not that I’m partically excited about it, just that it’s the only series I’m following right now.

Worst bookish habit

Starting a new book in the middle of reading another book. I do this a lot, and sometimes I forget where I am in one of the books I’m simultaneously reading.

X marks the spot: start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book

Ugh. I don’t have my own bookshelf anymore, and the bookshelf is downstairs.

Your latest book purchase

The first 3 books of The Missing series by Margaret Petersen Haddix (I really liked her Shadow Children series, so I decided to give it a go. Also, I got each book for Php30, around 75 cents US, so it was a total steal)

Zzz-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. I only started it because I wanted to fall asleep and figured that I’d read a couple of chapters and go to sleep. I ended up finishing the book at 3am, sobbing like my heart was breaking.