The Liebster Award is an old book tag that is meant to shine a spotlight on newer blogs. The rules are simple, when you’re tagged you answer the questions provided to you, give a shout out to the blogger that added you, and tag other bloggers to give them a little love as well. For more information about the Liebster Award and for cute graphics to use for your blog posts, head on over to The Global Aussie.
I have been nominated a total of three times so I guess it’s time I got my butt in gear and write up a post!
Also a huge thank you to the following bloggers that nominated me!
• Litha of Victorian Soul Critiques. Litha is technically my first blog friend that reached out to me when I was a newbie blogger still struggling to break out of my shy shell and find my footing in the blogging community. She has been blogging pretty consistently for years now and is one of my favorite bloggers, definitely check her out! She actually tagged me back in 2014 when I ran my old blog, and since that has long been deleted I thought I’d grab the old questions and re-post them here.
• Rimpy of Rimpys Reads. Rimpy is a new blogger that is super friendly and has been blazing a trail with her blog. She is an extremely active blogger with some great articles and reviews.
• Julie of Hungry Bookworm. I was surprised to get this tag on twitter, but Julie is another brand new blogger and booktuber. Her blog is bright and she reads a good variety of books.
What is your favorite time of day to read?
At night, I always curl up with a book before bed. I like to sit outside to read and smoke at night because it’s usually much cooler and quieter out. I’m a night owl and always end up staying up late.
What makes your favorite book your favorite: the characters, the plot, or something else?
This is a difficult question to answer! I guess how it makes me feel and how a book stays with me over time. There are some books that were just so magical and dreamy that it made me want to escape the real world. There are some books that I’ve never been able to shake that feeling of wonder and I honestly crave books that can me feel that way again. The books that become my favorites are ones that I can’t seem to get out of my mind no matter how many other books I read.
What is your favorite dessert?
Turon, otherwise known as banana lumpia! It is like an egg roll, filled with sliced bananas or plantains with jackfruit, coated in brown sugar and fried. It is easy to eat on the go or served with ice cream and caramel.
Do you have a favorite villain? (Literary or otherwise)
There are two villainous characters that I love for the same reasons: they were both terrifying in terms of how much power they had but at the same time incredibly pathetic. Harper from The Shining Girls and Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. Both of these serial killers have issues with identity and obsess over the way that they are perceived by others.
What three books would you bring to a deserted island with you, if you had everything you needed (food, water, shelter, bookshelves, ect.)?
Man this question is difficult, especially since I’m sure I can’t just say “can I bring my kindle please.” Even without an internet connection I have enough books loaded on that thing to last me yeeaaaarrrssss.
I guess if I had to pick: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, since it was my favorite book growing up and I can read it over and over again. Plus! Survival tips, seems handy. Second, I guess a giant horror anthology to keep me entertained for quite some time. Lastly, I would probably pick a book that details how to build a raft, so that I can get off the island.
Which book do you consider underrated and under-read (people don’t read it as much)?
This is difficult because I can think of A LOT of books for this answer, so I’ll just go with a new release book that seems like it’s gone under the radar, which is Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta. The book was released earlier this month by a debut author and I’ve barely seen any bloggers talking about it! I suppose it’s easy for a new book to be buried among the wave of incredible new release books this year by some big names but I feel this book deserves some more love. The book currently, as of writing this, has less than 200 ratings on Goodreads and it’s a shame really.
For those wondering what the book is about, it’s a dark fantasy story about magic that delicately weaves its way through a carrier’s blood and like a spool of thread it can fray and become corrupted, poisoning the user. The world is dying and clean magic is needed to save it. There is plenty of adventure, some political intrigue, and a hint of romance. It was so much better than I expected and I can’t wait to read the second book in the series.
If you could travel to another universe (bookish or otherwise), would you stay here or go?
If I could bring my family I would go in a heartbeat, I couldn’t otherwise. The real world is great and all, but there have been countless books where I wished that the world was real. I’d love to live in a world full of magic, like the world in Howl’s Moving Castle or The Darkangel Trilogy.
If you could travel back in time once, where would you go, and what would you do?
Okay, yeah, being a historian this isn’t even a fair question to ask me aha. There is so much of history that I would love to travel to and see. Where can I find a Tardis when I need one? In all seriousness though, I guess that I’d love to go back to the Renaissance to live the beauty and the art of the era. It was my favorite point of history to study when I was younger and one of my favorite settings for historical fiction novels. Sure much of the art has survived and remains in museums, but I would have loved to have seen these works in their glory days in brilliant color.
Is there a book you think is over-hyped (a lot of people like it, but you don’t)?
If I were to be perfectly honest I actually feel this way about a lot of YA books, but I guess I am the type of person that hates hype trains.
If I were to pick one book in particular, the most recent book that left me feeling meh despite critical acclaim was When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I loved the representation in this book, the romance was sweet, and I truly cared about the main characters. However, the plot felt incredibly unfocused and rushed and I also was not at all convinced of the code camp setting. It’s not a bad book by any means, it just didn’t work for me and that’s okay. It is highly regarded as one of the biggest summer romances for this year though and I just felt disappointed by it.
If you could meet any author (living or dead), who would you meet, and why?
Margaret Atwood, she is my favorite author and I just love watching or reading her interviews or reddit AMAs. She’s absolutely brilliant and I really admire her work. She seems like she would be an interesting person to talk to about literature and life.
Do you judge a book by its cover?
Guilty. There are plenty of phenomenal books that I’ve read that had awful looking book covers, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t gravitate more toward ones that I personally found to be aesthetically pleasing. Usually the cover will draw my eye and I’ll read the synopsis after to determine if it’d be something I’d be interested in reading.
Why do you love to read?
A lot of reasons. To temporarily escape, to learn and see other people’s perspectives and ideas, because I like to think, and really because it’s fun.
What is your favourite book genre?
This is a difficult question because I’m a big time mood reader and my preferences swing pretty wildly. If I had to pick one genre that was my all time favorite it would have to be horror. As a kid I really loved Goosebumps and the Scary Stories short stories by Alvin Schwartz. I watched any of the 80s slasher films that I could get my hands on. I’m a lifelong fan of the genre, I love being scared out of my wits.
What book would you want to buried with?
Hmm, I had never considered something like this. I always figured I’d be cremated if I were to be perfectly honest. I suppose Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. Maybe if I’m lucky I’d come back as a vampire. (hah)
If you could travel to any place from a novel, which place would it be and why?
Oh gosh this is hard because there are so many fantasy books with amazing worlds that I’d love to live in. I suppose if I absolutely had to pick one, and I know this would be a lot of people’s answer, but I wish that the world of Harry Potter was real. Just the idea of a hidden magical world lying underneath our own always made me long for it to be real as I was growing up.
If you could date one character from a novel, who would it be and why?
Right now my book boyfriend is North from Shimmer and Burn. The kind and handsome mage, uhm hello yes please and thank you.
Which novel are you most anticipating for the coming months?
Hands down The Girl in the Tower by Katharine Arden, the second book in The Bear and the Nightingale series. The first book was released in early January of this year and I was honestly shocked to hear that there was a sequel coming, and even more surprised that it has a December release date. So soon! I loved everything about the first book, the main character Vasya, the setting, the blend of myth with a realistic historical setting, it was just a beautiful book.
Favourite snack to read/write with?
I don’t usually eat while I’m reading or writing, I usually drink ice water or a coke but food is somewhat rare as I don’t like to get my books dirty. When I do snack though, I will sometimes eat potato chips, cheddar and sour cream being my current favorite.
If you could create a playlist for a novel about your life, what are 5 songs that would be on it?
This is a difficult question for me to answer, as I’m still coming to terms with several aspects of my life. I guess the ones I will pick are the ones that were important to me at certain points in my life. I choose these songs less for the lyrics (many of these songs don’t have many) and more for the feeling, if that makes any sense. Also I know I chose two Paramore songs, but I can’t understate how much Paramore’s Brand New Eyes album resonated with me.
I hope you all enjoy this mini playlist.
Ebook or print?
I guess I’ll have to go with a non-committal both. I love both formats for different reasons and don’t have a real preference from one or the other.
I love the ease and portability of my kindle e-reader, plus the easy access to ARCs from publishers and (sometimes) cheaper ebook prices compared to traditional print. Since I have moved around quite a bit many of my physical books are currently packed away in storage, the rest are sitting in a very sad pile under my desk. I wish I had a bigger place to set up a book shelf and pull all of my beautiful books out of storage, but at the moment it’s not feasible for me. I usually read ebooks when I leave the house or when I sit outside since it is easy enough to slip into my purse. I also sometimes read them late at night on the rare occasion that my husband falls asleep first, so that I can still read with the lights off.
Print books though, my goodness I still love them. There is just something satisfying about turning real pages and feeling paper between my finger tips, but for the reasons stated above it just isn’t very convenient for me right now. I usually grab a physical book when I’m at home in the afternoons and early evenings before bed.
Favourite season to read in?
Fall will always be my favorite season, I love the colors, the smells, the seasonal foods, and the fact that it’s cooler outside but not too cold.
If you could switch the houses of two students from Hogwarts, who would you switch and why?
Well this is an interesting question! I think the obvious one that many people would pick would be to take Hermione and boot her over to Ravenclaw because damn girl! Even if she asked to be placed in Gryffindor I think the Sorting Hat would have to sit down with her and be like look honey, you’re smarter than all of these fools, just trust me on this.
Now who in Ravenclaw would I switch her with? Luna Lovegood. I’m not saying that she’s not Ravenclaw material, far from it. You can’t tell me though that this girl does not have some serious courage. She shrugs off the judgment and bullying from other students, she follows her wild beliefs with complete confidence, she is staunchly loyal to Harry no matter what lies are spread about him, and she showed absolutely no fear of Thestrals, which would make most wizards at least a little nervous. Also let’s be real, you know what kind of person would show up in a ridiculous hat to support a friend’s house during a Quidditch game without batting an eye? A Gryffindor, that’s who.
Tell us about your blog and why you decided to write it.
I started my blog because I found that I really enjoyed talking about and reviewing books. Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies on and off for years. As a teen I read voraciously and was only limited by what I could actually afford. I started reading again when I enrolled in college and started reviewing the books I was reading for class. I loved reviewing on Goodreads so much and found a solution to my budget limitations through giveaways and ARCs from sites like NetGalley. I got so into it I decided I might as well set up a blog to house all of my writing and I have been loving it ever since.
What advice would you give people thinking about starting up their own blog?
Just be you and write what you like. Don’t feel pressured to do promotional posts such as cover reveals and book blitzes because it seems like what you should do (personally I scroll straight past those types of posts). Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t get many comments and it takes a while to get a lot of views. Engaging in social media and commenting on other blogs is a good way to get yourself out there, not only to get folks to visit your blog, but also to make friends and find like minded bookworms.
Tell us more about yourself.
I don’t fully know what to say that hasn’t already been covered somewhere on the blog, so I guess I’ll just toss some random facts about me out there.
I am a child of the late 80’s, I grew up loving the Spice Girls and anime, especially Sailor Moon. I was a little bit of a goth in high school and had an unhealthy obsession with Anne Rice’s vampires. I struggle with an anxiety disorder that greatly affects my ability to handle talking to people, which by extension makes work and school difficult for me. I became a mom at a young age and I don’t regret it at all, in fact I love being a parent, even when I struggled as a single parent for a number of years.
If you could have a dinner date with any author (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Margaret Atwood hands down in a heartbeat. She is just such an intelligent and honest person and I would love to meet her, a dinner date would be like a dream. She is my favorite author, I love her writing, and I love watching or listening to her interviews.
Dream Holiday Destination?
Honestly I’d love to travel anywhere and everywhere. In terms of international travel, I’d love to go home to The Philippines as well as visit the Maldives, Japan, and Italy among other places. Now a somewhat more viable vacation for me would be go to back up to the Appalachian mountains to take a long needed Honeymoon trip with my husband that we never got to have. I love the mountains and the idea of spending a couple of days in a quiet cabin close to nature sounds like a dream. My husband lived in Arizona his entire life and has never been to any mountain range so I would love to take him there someday.
What is your favourite medium for reading, ie, hardbacks, paperbacks, Kindle, audio or a mixture etc, expand on this.
Mixture, it depends on my mood. Recently I’ve been getting back into physical books due to library access and I remember now why I love hardcover books so much. I also have a Kindle Oasis and I love the ease and portability of it. It’s just so easy and comfortable to read especially when I’m outside or lounging around the house at night. I can appreciate a good paperback as well I just worry sometimes about cracking the spine. The only medium I don’t like are mass market paperbacks, which are too cheap and flimsy for me. I own a lot of mass market paperbacks from my teen years and I’d very much like to one day replace all of them with nicer copies of those books.
I have only listened to one audiobook, once when I shared a hospital room with a woman that snored through a mystery book. It was frustrating because she played it so loudly and I couldn’t sleep, so I ended up staying up and listening to it. I sort of enjoyed it, though I hated that sometimes I’d stop paying attention and miss chunks of it. Perhaps if I wasn’t exhausted and sick and could rewind it when I need to I would have enjoyed it more, but as is I very much prefer print.
Choose one, £1,000 cash or £1,000 in Book Vouchers, elaborate.
Crying because I’d love to say book vouchers, but I’d have to go with cash. Mostly because it would help me out a lot with bills, but if I were in a position where I was doing extremely well financially I’d still pick cash for one reason: book boxes! I love book subscription boxes and there are so many I want to try, but they can be quite pricey! So I’d still be getting more beautiful books, but also some fun book swag!
When you are not reading / writing your blog, what are your hobbies?
I am an avid gamer and so I will usually play Final Fantasy XIV or a random game on steam when I’m not reading or working on the blog. I actually met my husband on an online game so we play a lot of games together. My eldest daughter is also starting to get to the age where she can play and appreciate games, so very often I’ll take a book and sit in the living room with her and watch her play and talk to her while I read.
Besides gaming I’m also a very big shisha smoker and like to set my hookah up either in the back yard or garage to just relax, smoke, and do other stuff. When I was in school I was always outside with my hookah studying for exams or writing papers. Nowadays I usually listen to music, browse the internet, read, or play silly app games while I enjoy my session. I sometimes write reviews on hookah products on other websites.
Which Season do you prefer? Explain your reasoning
Since I already answered this question above, I will talk about my very close second favorite season which is winter. As mentioned above I love to relax outside while I smoke or work and I hate hot weather. I have a ton of hoodies and it’s just so comfortable to me bundling up in a warm sweater and fuzzy boots. It’s easy enough to set up a space heater in the garage when it snows and just relax with a good book and my hookah.
Besides that, I really love snow and I love that winter is usually a lot more calm and quiet outside. I love the winter holidays especially and Christmas flavors and smells. I favor fall only slightly more than winter, there’s just something wonderful about the last months of the year.
Is there someone you look up to? I could be in your personal life, your blogging life, an Actor anyone, tell us more.
This is a really difficult question for me to answer, I guess because I’ve never really looked up to anyone before, not really. There are a few public figures that I respect for their intelligence and wit, their experiences with adversity or fighting for equality, and their general attitude toward people. Some of the folks that come to mind are Margaret Atwood, Bernie Sanders, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Trevor Noah to name a few.
I tried to look for newer bloggers or ones that don’t have a Liebster Award post yet. Got to spread the love around and give recognition to some really great bloggers!
• Carol @ Bookaria
• Diane @ Sweet Little Book Blog
• Jen @ Life Within Pages
• Kathleen @ She Turns Pages
• Lenna @ Sugar Dusted Pages
• Phannie @ Phannie the Ginger Bookworm
• Rebecca @ Rebecca Reads
• Rekha @ Million Book Mill
• Ruby @ My Booking Great Blog
• Sarah @ Book Hooked Nook
• Taylor & Missy @ Frayed Books
My 11 Questions
01. If you could pick one book or series for everyone in the book blogging community to read what would it be?
02. What is one book genre that you just can’t stand and why?
03. If you could be a character in a book, what author would you want to write it?
04. When you were in school did you typically enjoy the books you were assigned to read?
05. What was one book that impacted your life in a big way and why?
06. How do you feel about audiobooks, do you consider it the same as reading? Why or why not?
07. Do you set reading goals for yourself every year? If you do, what is your goal for this year?
08. What is it that you enjoy most about blogging?
09. There are a ton of TV and film adaptations of books coming out recently. Are there any that you’re looking forward to or ones in the past that you absolutely love?
10. What is one song or album that you love and feel really represents you?
11. Not really a question, but share a book quote that you love!