Behind the scenes: All About the Philippines

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Dummy layout for All About the Philippines

I knew I’d be out of town for the launch of “All About the Philippines” (2 pm, Aug 15 at National Book Store Glorietta), so I took the opportunity of talking to the author and illustrator — Gidget Jimenez and Kora Dandan Albano to learn more about the

It’s always interesting to find out the story behind a book, and this was no exception — many thanks to Kora Dandan Albano for her email correspondence, and Gidget for a lovely first meeting!

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Leigh Bardugo in Manila (+giveaway!)

IMG_5180(event photo via National Book Store)

I had only started reading the Grisha trilogy a few days before I was scheduled to interview YA author Leigh Bardugo. I always try to read at least one book before an author interview (more when I get hooked) and this was one of those times when I just couldn’t stop reading — I didn’t even notice the sun had risen until I turned the very last page!

Leigh Bardugo’s New York Times Bestselling Grisha trilogy, composed of the books “Shadow and Bone,” “Siege and Storm” and “Ruin and Rising” feature an orphan girl named Alina, who discovers she is the long-awaited Sun Summoner. This elevates her status as lowly mapmaker into a revered Grisha (magical elite) on whom the fate of the nation of Ravka rests. Alina struggles with her newfound power, fitting in with the Grisha and being separated from her best friend, Mal; as well as the different forces vying for control of the kingdom.

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E. Lockhart in Manila (+giveaway!)

Flippers meet F. Sionil Jose


We finally concluded our Rosales Saga read-along last Saturday over at Solidaridad Book Shop, with no less than the author, National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose.

Armed with a bunch of snacks and stacks of books, we found ourselves holed up in FSJ’s private quarters above the bookshop and spent over three hours talking about his life as a writer and reader, the Rosales books, the bookshop and so much more!

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James Frey in Manila

B8vjQxHCQAAGfHm(photo via

On Sunday, I got to chat with New York Times bestselling author James Frey and was quite surprised to find that he was a jeans-and-shirt kind of guy, joking around with his fans (some of whom he was already on a first-name basis with!) and gamely signing books for the waitress that served our coffee.

While his reputation precedes him, I admittedly I have never read any of James Frey’s books (“A Million Little Pieces,” “My Friend Leonard,” and “Bright Shiny Morning,” nor any of the Pittacus Lore books). I read the first of his new YA trilogy “Endgame: The Calling” (which he co-wrote with  Nils Johnson-Shelton) and found it quite enjoyable.

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