books

Is book subscription a thing? HELL YEAH!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post from BOTM. I received free books as a compensation for this post and if ever you subscribe to them via my tracking link, I get commission at no extra cost to you. And believe me when I say, I’m actually going to subscribe to them even without their sponsorship because that’s how highly I believe in their services. I fell in love in a heartbeat. They sure know how to identify a book lover when they see one.

“A writer has to have an imagination- that’s what makes a writer. She has to be able to put herself imaginatively in the position of whatever character she selects.”
― Wyketha K Parkman

Even when I agree to this quote, I think the best tool a writer should have is his/her ability to read. Because that’s how we are able to put ourselves imaginatively in the position of all characters in a book. It is when we read that we gain more knowledge of something that we don’t know, or find words for things that we are already familiar with but struggle to sort it out in our head. I am a true-blue book lover. Even when I can’t find time to read, I somehow manage to transform my phone into a reading machine. Technology, however, has a way of stealing important things that a book offers- the scent of printed ink overwhelming your lungs, the feel of paper when you turn a page, the search for a position where your hands become one with the book. That’s why when I heard about book subscription service like what Book Of The Month offers, I was like, HERE! TAKE MY MONEY!

 

 

Why subscribe when you can just buy a book?

 

  1. Eliminate the sorting struggle.

When you buy a book, say you go to a book store, it takes a lot of time for you to pick one. You read synopsis after synopsis and before you know it, you’ve lost track of time and you’re just gonna end up buying the last one you’ve laid your eyes on. It’s all drowning in love but when reality tells you that it’s time for you to get out of the book store, there is always a tug of regret not having all the time in the world to choose what book really speaks to you.

2. Convenience. 

If you’re a workaholic like me, you don’t really have the luxury of time to go to a local book store. I bet the closest book store that you have been in a while is the grocery store, which by the way, has a limited books selection. They usually showcase pieces that are way too mainstream. And it makes you cringe because other writers need some loving, too, and you know it! Nothing beats a special box right at your doorstep, and being hypnotized to open it right there and then.

3. Options, options, options.

The thing about subscription services is its algorithm of offering you the best read that is perfect for what you are looking for. You love a certain genre? They got you! Book subscription is a great deal for readers who want to explore a certain genre but don’t know where to start. In a pool of great authors, BOTM can do the dirty work for you. No hassle!

4. Exclusivity.

It does make you special being included in 90 years of literary heritage. Yes. You read that right. 90 YEARS. Aside from that, they give premium services to their members. Like what, you ask? Like EARLY BOOK RELEASE!!! If you go to BOTM’s website, Marlena by Julie Buntin is already available to BOTM members (in fact, I already have it) WHILE the rest of the world has to wait until April. Talk about special treatment, right?

5. Great selections.

I know the feeling of being hesitant to something you don’t know. What if you don’t like the book? What if it’s not your “type?” I assure you one thing: BOTM members are readers, too. And just like you, they want the best of the best. Most of the book choices in their subscription list are highly rated and loved. And don’t worry, you’ll have your say which book to receive for every month.

6. Ace that book challenge.

Three books for one month will be easy peasy. Yours will be lined up and ready to go. You know what to read, when to read them, and not be late with book discussions and latest authors’ debut. Isn’t it amazing to be relevant to the thing you love most? And book challenges won’t intimidate you anymore because YOU are actually IN YOUR ZONE! Reading is your turf. You’re gonna beat this.

7. Your voice matters.

Every year, members vote for the best books of the year. Why is your voice heard? Because YOU HAVE THE CHANCE to pick which book gets noticed in those mainstream shelves. Have you ever wondered who decides whose debut work is a success? Let’s face it, most of the reading class will choose a known author over a starting one, especially if you don’t know a thing about that author or about that book. But by having nominations like this, you’ll get an idea what book ranks the highest among others.

8. Never miss out on great books!

BOTM has been around for a long, long, time. BOTM members introduced J.D. Salinger, Hemingway, and Mitchell to the world. They just relaunched ONLINE last year, and if you want to keep their legacy of helping us discover the best books of our time, join the club. Sign up here.

“Is there anything more satisfying than to keep abreast of the best new books of our time as they appear? In reading them, in enjoying them, in talking with others about them, we feel our day taking shape.”

—Book of the Month Club founding statement, 1926

 

How does it work?

I know you won’t sign up right away if you don’t know how it works. Because you are smart like that.

Three simple phrases: Awesome books. Better reading. Every month.

 

What you need to know:

 

  • You get one book every month from 5 GREAT selections of BOTM judges. You can choose which book to get. If ever you get curious who the judges are, THEY are professionals in their field. Some are news writers, celebrities, hosts, editors, YOU REALLY NEED TO CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE because they are all awesomeeee!
  • If you want to add a book, you pay additional $9.99. Due to their great selections, I bet you’ll pay for more. Don’t worry. It’s FREE SHIPPING.
  • If ever you don’t feel like buying one from their great selections, you can skip any month. No hassle of unsubscribing. Because they know you’ll go back for more.
  • Say you come across a book that your friend will love, YOU CAN OPT TO GIVE IT AS A GIFT! No stress of wrapping it because they’re gonna make sure it will be delivered in a special way, just like how you’d want it to be.
  • PLUS you get an exclusive review from one of their judges. What if you receive a review from a news anchor that you love or a writer that you’re dying to see? What a BONUS right?! And it makes a great bookmark, too!

“A BOOK IS A DREAM YOU HOLD IN YOUR HAND”

 

Neil Gaiman got it right. BOTM is always on the lookout for the next great read – well-written, immersive stories that transport you, give you thrills, and tug at your heartstrings. Books that are truly worth reading.

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

Hello, January!

Last year has been a bit of a doozy, with an icky election, scandal-plagued Olympics, war in Syria, and the loss of far too many beloved celebrities. We mourned Prince, Bowie, Ali, Leonard, and Merle, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t celebrate all the good stuff! Sure, even Willy Wonka, Mrs. Brady, and Mr. Seaver shuffled off this mortal coil in 2016, but I suggest you turn that frown upside down, channel your positive energy, because there's a lot in store for us this 2017!

OK I am not really into trends but recently, I've been tracking every social media post that has likes and engagements for more follows and collaborations. I don't know if it's just me or other bloggers and people from sales feel the same way. There's just something about trends that helps you with your planning. I think it's safe to say that the magic word is algorithms. For many years, researchers have used people's interactions and way of life as their bases for a new study. These tracks and breadcrumbs also help our government agents in tracking a criminal's next move. Sometimes, these trends make or break a company. You remember what happened to Nokia? I loved that brand. My first cellphone was with them, and I guess they will always have a special place in my heart. "We didn't do anything wrong. We just failed at evolving and trying new things." I don't know if that's what the company's CEO said, but it's something close to that. Apple is yesterday's Nokia, and if they don't up their game this year, Samsung will. Just saying.

I compiled these emerging trends so that I won't need to bookmark several pages. First week of January and I'm already trying to do everything at once- reading a book, updating my blog, searching for a new travel nursing location, writing goals, ghaaa it's just too much! Once I start mapping everything out, I just can't stop 'til I have a picture of what's likely to happen. I forced myself to stop though because I'll be starting my work again tomorrow and I just want to relax for my last day of our 5-day vacation. But oh well, here I am writing this. It's actually calming on my part. Lol.

OK here goes the long list:

Emerging trends in Health and Wellness

2016 gave us wearable technology aimed at improving our health. Fitbit, Apple and Samsung watches are in demand! Everywhere I go, whenever I see someone jogging, I just know he's wearing a smartwatch or a digital tracker. It was also the year of Apple Cider Vinegar's maximum use (like, seriously, you can put it on everything!) and green teas-oh how I love Matcha!-although it's becoming more of a fad.

The use of Turmeric: Popping Curcumin tabs or drinking turmeric curd or milk is a big trend that is being witnessed across the world. For Indians, Turmeric has been an age old remedy for aches and pains. But, in recent times it is being prescribed as an anti-inflammatory food and is slowly being integrated into one’s lifestyle and diet.

Super Foods: Super Foods are becoming part of daily regular diet. Two years ago, Quinoa, flax seeds, Melon seeds, Pumpkin seeds and Kale were considered exotic and difficult to find in supermarkets. Now however, these super foods have become staples for many and is part of regular daily diet of many. One time I went to Jason's Deli and tried their salad, I just loved how they mixed Quinoa in it! So delish, and it filled me up before getting to the main course, which is a good thing if you're cutting your carbs.

Wellness retreats: Since people have taken to healthy living, their holiday habits are also changing. They are thinking of going for wellness spa holidays, or meditation and yoga retreats in the mountains or go to pure wellness centers that is built amidst nature for detox. People are taking off for a week to be in complete solace with themselves and soak in the good aspects of life and bring in a discipline in their life. Audrey Gelman of The Wing, a space for "women on their way," raised $2.4 million in a short five months this past year. The female founders of super-successful SoulCycle and BBG Ventures, who require at least one female founder, participated in its seed round. The Wing is a members-only gathering space for women who are interested in connecting with other women, want a safe and quiet space to work, or who need a midday touch-up and going home isn't an option. "There is a culture in these co-working spaces that is sort of bro-centric, male-dominated," Gelman says. "There was this blind eye to amenities that were essential for women," Gelman told New York Magazine, on one of the many reasons she founded The Wing. (Mindbodygreen)

Sitting is the new Smoking so walk 10,000 steps daily: If smoking was not bad enough to kill you, here is another lethal habit that can kill you-‘Sitting’. Sitting is known to increase belly fat which in turn is a recipe for disaster as it directly injures the heart. Hence, clocking 10,000 steps on a daily basis has been proved to be good and medically too doctors have accepted that this should be the daily norm. (Goqii)

High-tech diet Increasing attention is being given to the role that technology can play in preserving our food supply system. Biotech companies like Impossible Meats and New Wave Foods are developing fascinating meat alternatives -- respectively, a bloody veggie burger and algae-based shrimp. They have developed prototypes that will hopefully hit mainstream markets this 2017.

On an entirely different note, more basic technology such as online grocery shopping is easier to find. Have you watched Amazon Go's ad? It looks pretty cool! This is promising for the many individuals who struggle to shop in person on a regular basis and will hopefully bring fresher foods into their diets.


Movies, TV shows to Watch

Netflix adds This list may not be a complete list but this is what I was waiting for since last year! I just can't contain the excitement. But before I tell you our must-watch list, (buffer much! lol) just want to let you guys know that some shows are also leaving! Why can't we have it all, right? So let's catch them while they're still rolling!

Leaving 1/6/17
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Leaving 1/29/17
Stephen King’s A Good Marriage

First on my list: A Series of Unfortunate Events. In the series, Neil Patrick Harris plays Count Olaf, the role Jim Carrey played in the movie. The series is based on the Lemony Snicket novels, written by Daniel Handler, and is available to stream starting on January 13(Heavy.com). Next is The Shining (1980) from my favorite thriller author Stephen King of course! Its genre is psychological horror, so if you're into these kinds, we'd probably enjoy it. Although Stephen King has been quoted as saying that although Kubrick made a film with memorable imagery, it was poor as an adaptation and that it is the only adaptation of his novels that he could "remember hating." But you're still going to watch it, aren't you? Third is The Investigator: A British Crime Story, also a netflix original. Fourth: Real Detective. My netflix line-up is mostly investigative and thrillers, if you want the complete list, click here.

***

Movie train *If you want to watch the trailers, just click on the title* Split (January 20)M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs), having rediscovered his skill at making entertaining horror schlock with 2015’s The Visit, is back for more with a truly absurd high-wire act. (Guys, you should watch the trailer!) Get Out (February 24)- a satirical horror film from the director Jordan Peele, one half of Key & Peele.  Kong: Skull Island (March 10) the latest attempt to revive one of the most famous monsters in Hollywood history, King Kong. Beauty and the Beast (March 17) Disney's live-action remakes of animated classics (Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book) have all been colossal successes, so you know, Disney forever! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5) Guardians of the Galaxy is, pound for pound, the most entertaining film Marvel has ever produced, and its writer-director James Gunn is back on board for the sequel. Wonder Woman (June 2) A period piece, the film will explain how Wonder Woman ended up in the modern world, departing her home island to fight in World War I alongside her love interest Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7).  This iteration of Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) made his debut in Captain America: Civil War last year.

The next list has no trailers yet, so for a breaker, here's the mind-boggling Split's trailer:

 

 

The Dark Tower (July 28) A long-gestating adaptation of Stephen King’s famed Dark Tower series, set in the mythical Mid-World, a magical spin on the Old West. King describes the eight-book saga as his magnum opus, and many directors have taken cracks at adapting it, including J.J. Abrams (who eventually decided he was too fond of the work to take the necessary plot liberties to translate it to screen) and Ron Howard. The Snowman (October 13) An adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s bestselling detective novel, The Snowman follows Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) as he investigates the disappearance of a woman whose scarf is found wrapped around a snowman. Thor: Ragnarok (November 3) Thor series sees the Norse god of thunder (Chris Hemsworth) embark on some sort of intergalactic journey. Thor movies are almost criminally underrated, much happier to indulge in fun mystical antics without too much needless exposition, and anchored by Hemsworth and Hiddleston’s comedic chemistry. Red Sparrow (November 10) A spy thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence, based on the 2013 novel by CIA veteran Jason Matthews that was acclaimed for its attention to detail. Lawrence plays Dominika Egorova, a Russian intelligence officer who matches wits with a hotheaded rookie CIA agent (played by Joel Edgerton). Darkest Hour (November 24) A historical drama focusing on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) as he faces down Nazi Germany and “faces a crucial moment” at the beginning of World War II. Sure to be an Oscar player, given its heavily made-up protagonist and late-November release date. And last but not the least, Star Wars Episode VIII (December 15) The eighth in a popular series of science-fiction films that have been kicking around Hollywood for the last few decades.

Movie dates aren't cheap, especially if you're like us who love to watch movies all the time. Good thing, Luis has his Kodi joystick where we can watch movies for free. Well, not really for free, but at least it's very handy when you have WiFi at home. You might want to check it out if you're one of the practical people like us. Android TV box


Books to Read

I'll be honest here, I haven't finished reading my Christmas book, Woman of God by James Patterson. It's still on my nook and I haven't read it since the start of holiday season. (My bad) But to compensate with that, I created my list of pre-orders, so that by the time I'm done reading, there will be a whole new set waiting for me. Some of the books on this list are arriving this January! Check it out, guys!

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

Gay has had an enormously successful few years. In 2014, her novel, An Untamed State, and an essay collection, Bad Feminist, met with wide acclaim, and in the wake of unrest over anti-black police violence, hers was one of the clearest voices in the national conversation. While much of Gay’s writing since then has dealt in political thought and cultural criticism, she returns in 2017 with this short story collection exploring the various textures of American women’s experience.

Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

A long, dull day of jury duty in 2008 was redeemed by a lunchtime discovery of Unsaid magazine and its lead story “Help Yourself!” by Moshfegh, whose characters were alluring and honest and full of contempt. I made a point to remember her name at the time, but now Moshfegh’s stories appear regularly in The Paris Review and The New Yorker, and her novel Eileen was shortlisted for the 2016 Booker Prize. Her debut collection of stories, Homesick for Another World, gathers many of these earlier stories, and is bound to show why she’s considered one of literature’s most striking new voices.

Collected Stories by E.L. Doctorow

Doctorow is known for historical novels like Ragtime and The Book of Daniel, but he also wrote some terrific stories, and shortly before his death in 2015 he selected and revised 15 of his best. Fans who already own his 2011 collection All the Time in the World may want to give this new one a miss, since many of the selections overlap, but readers who only know Doctorow as a novelist may want to check out his classic early story “A Writer in the Family,” as well as others like “The Water Works” and “Liner Notes: The Songs of Billy Bathgate,” which are either precursors of or companion pieces to his novels.

4321 by Paul Auster

Multiple timelines are nothing new at this point, but it’s doubtful they’ve ever been used in quite the way they are in 4321, Auster’s first novel since his 2010 book Sunset Park. In his latest, four timelines branch off the moment the main character is born, introducing four separate Archibald Isaac Fergusons that grow more different as the plot wears on. They’re all, in their own ways, tied up with Amy Schneiderman, who appears throughout the book’s realities.

Human Acts by Han Kang

Korean novelist Kang says all her books are variations on the theme of human violence. The Vegetarian, her first novel translated into English, arrested readers with the contempt showered upon an “unremarkable” wife who became a vegetarian after waking from a nightmare. Kang’s forthcoming Human Acts focuses on the 1980 Korean Gwangju Uprising, when Gwangju locals took up arms in retaliation for the massacre of university students who were protesting. Within Kang tries to unknot “two unsolvable riddles” — the intermingling of two innately human yet disparate tendencies, the capacity for cruelty alongside that for selflessness and dignity.

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

Set in Berkeley, Sekaran’s novel follows two women: Soli, an undocumented woman from Mexico raising a baby alone while cleaning houses, and an Indian-American woman struggling with infertility who becomes a foster parent to Soli’s son. Kirkus called it “superbly crafted and engrossing.”

Enigma Variations by André Aciman

The CUNY Professor New York magazine called “the most exciting new fiction writer of the 21st century” returns with a romantic/erotic bildungsroman following protagonist Paul from Italy to New York, from adolescence to adulthood. Kirkus called it an “eminently adult look at desire and attachment.”

Transit by Rachel Cusk

Everyone who read and reveled in the nimble formal daring of Outline is giddy to read Transit, which follows the same protagonist, Faye, as she navigates life after separating from her husband. Both Transit and Outline are made up of stories other people tell Faye, and in her rave in The Guardian, Tessa Hadley remarks that Cusk’s structure is “a striking gesture of relinquishment. Faye’s story contends for space against all these others, and the novel’s meaning is devolved out from its centre in her to a succession of characters. It’s a radically different way of imagining a self, too — Faye’s self.”

Hope you guys enjoyed this list!

Let's rock 2017!

❤︎

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: