12 Asian book cover reveals in 2018 that had me bawling my eyes out

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’ve decided to deviate from the prompt given by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl and, instead, dedicate this post to something I’ve been wanting to talk about for what feels like forever.

The title of this post is a dead giveaway: 2018 cover reveals of books written by Asian authors that had me bawling my eyes out from the intensity of my feels(!!!).

This is a momentous occasion for me personally because I usually dislike sharing cover reveals on my blog. This largely stems from the fact that one of my book blogging pet peeves are generic, manufactured posts about cover reveals – you know the type: posts that show off the book cover, synopsis, author bio, and purchase links without adding anything else (I mean, how long did it take you to copy and paste all of that, huh?)

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Top 10 longest books I’ve read in 2018 (at least so far!)

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday*, the prompt is to share the longest books I’ve read. I’m assuming this pertains to length in terms of page number, not length in terms of oh-my-god-when-will-this-book-end units of measurement (but let’s be honest, we’ve all experienced the latter, I’m sure).

According to Goodreads, a number of the longest books I’ve read in my entire life are from – excuse my shudder – the notorious Twilight saga.

Really fun story there: I read all the books simply because this girl in my class was badmouthing The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (which was my favorite trilogy at the time) even though she never even bothered to read any of the books, and in retaliation, I decided to read her favorite series (i.e. the Twilight saga) so that I can point out every flaw in every damn book. Lo and behold, Lady Luck was on my side and it turned out that the entire saga was all kinds of awful and cringe and oh-god-I-can’t-believe-trees-died-in-order-to-produce-copies-of-this-trash.

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To all the authors I follow on Twitter & the books I haven’t read yet

Sometimes I don’t know how my thought process works, and unsurprisingly, this is one of those times.

Tell me, while you’re scrolling through your Twitter feed (instead of working on the blog post you swore you’d finish today), do you ever come across a tweet from an author promoting their book and internally question why it is that you haven’t read it yet? And then minutes later, the same thing happens again: an author talking about their book, you wondering why it’s still in your TBR? And then this eventually turns into a vicious cycle of interest, confusion, guilt, and finally, shame?* Because why haven’t you read it, Shealea, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

* If you can relate to this emotional rollercoaster, then let me send a ton of virtual hugs in your way! There is nothing to be ashamed of, lovely! If, on the other hand, you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, I suspect you’re still living in denial – and that’s okay, too.

I think you get what I’m saying. I follow a lot of incredibly kind, undeniably awesome authors, but for some of them, I haven’t read any of their books (which is a huge, gaping loss on my part, really). This is due to numerous factors: unavailability of books in my local bookstores (aka the struggles of every third-world country), time constraints because of college, prior commitments, and more often than not, my being a financially strapped college student (I am ridiculously broke, and if you could leave a little something in my tip jar before you close this tab, I will love you).

Regardless of the reason, I can’t help but feel more than a tad guilty about it. It’s not that I think these authors are upset with me for following them on Twitter despite having not read any of their books. But!!! It’s really just me wanting to befriend these authors. Me wanting to start tweeting them praises about their books! Me wanting to flood their Twitter notifications with colorful heart emojis! Me wanting to yell into the Twitter void about how much I love their books! ME WANTING TO GIVE THESE WONDERFUL AUTHORS ALL THE LOVE AND PRAISE AND SUPPORT THEY DESERVE!!!

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Hidden gems in the romance genre? Let’s talk about #romanceclass! (& a giveaway)

Hidden gems – when I read these two simple words as this week’s prompt for Top Ten Tuesday (a weekly meme originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl), the type of post I wanted to write became immediately, instantaneously clear to me.

The #romanceclass community is a bookish community that’s close to my heart partly because it is primarily made up of authors, writers, and readers who are Filipino like me, and largely because, through #romanceclass, I was introduced to both incredible books and incredible people.

Of course, if this is your first time encountering #romanceclass, I think it’s best for me to define what #romanceclass books are. Basically, they’re contemporary romance stories written primarily in the English language, have romance as their main plot, provide happy endings that’ll fill our souls up with kilig, and have had the #romanceclass community involved in its publishing process. Most of these books feature Filipino main characters (YAS QUEEN!!!). For more specifics, check out their website.

With that said, for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I will be sharing a number of #romanceclass books that you should probably maybe most definitely add to your TBRs and wish lists! (Personally, one of the things I love the most about these books is that they’re fantastic, swoon-filled reads at a shockingly affordable price! So I’ll be dropping price tags here and there.)

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Why I’m not the type to write monthly to-be-read lists (ft. my first attempt at a TBR post)

I’m not the type to write monthly to-be-read lists (and subsequently posting said lists on my blog as a form of accountability) but, under current circumstances, I have decided to finally give this thing a shot! But before we get to that, let’s briefly discuss why I typically do not engage in such practice.

Normally, I love, love, and love everything list-related, but if I’m being really honest, I never understood the need for monthly to-be-read (or TBR) lists. It’s a commonplace thing for book bloggers to share what they intend to read for the month, and monthly TBR blog posts are pretty popular, too (exhibit A: my friend Kate’s September 2018 TBR wherein her boyfriend picks out her reads for this month – too adorable for my life, by the way).

However, every time I encounter a blogger’s TBR post for [insert month here], I immediately think, “Um, nope.” And by that, I’m not trying to shame the people who openly talk about the list of books they intend to read. Nor am I implying that TBR posts are bad or wrong or any other negative adjective that comes to mind. It’s just that, from a personal standpoint, monthly to-be-read lists aren’t very useful for me, and here’s why.

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How to read more books legally and for free – a list of alternatives to book pirating

Hello there! The ongoing discourse regarding e-book piracy has repeatedly resurfaced over the past few months, and today, another Twitter exchange has sparked a full-blown debate filled with justified outrage from authors and understandable hurt from readers who, like me, are based outside the U.S. and live in marginalized communities.

The piracy of any media content is a topic that’s personally close to my heart as a media and communication major. Just last semester, I worked on a quantitative research paper on the digital film piracy intentions among Filipino young adults. But the piracy of books is a whole lot closer to my heart than any other type of pirating simply because I am a reader from – as the Western superpowers like to label us – a third-world country.

Hence, it disappoints and, at times, hurts me to see that the discourse surrounding such an important issue lacks important nuances and a fundamental understanding of privileges. In fact, I’d argue that more than occasionally, these online debates are considerably dismissive, as evidenced by the staggering number of (white, middle and upper-middle class) people yelling at readers like me to go to the goddamn library that, as many of us have tirelessly pointed out, does not exist in our area. (Sorry, not sorry if that spilled tea scalded you.)

While I, as an international book blogger and reader, have more than 2 cents to pitch in regarding the issue of e-book piracy, I’m not here to argue. Instead, I’m shifting my focus from self-entitled Twitter strangers (who want well-documented receipts of how poor I am) to other struggling readers like me. I’ve decided to write this post as a subtly raised middle finger aimed at the classist, Western-centric conversation on e-book piracy. With all that said, here are a number of resources you can use to legally access books for free or at a discounted price!

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Books on the Rice (Vol. 2): 2018-2019 Asian science fiction books to sink your teeth into!

Hey, ya girl is back with another list of books! Around two weeks ago, I compiled over 35 Asian-inspired fantasy books (2018-2019) for all of us to drool over.

I had tons of fun with conducting a bit of bookish research, especially bookish research that involves two things I adore (i.e. Asian culture and fantasy). With that said, I had more than enough motivation to work on another list! I was really torn between two other beloved genres, namely, contemporary and science fiction. Conducting a poll on Twitter seemed like the best (and wisest) course of action to take (but if you’d still like a list of contemporary books with Asian protagonists written by Asian authors, let me know in the comments below!).

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