The Liebster Award IV

It has been a super duper long ass hot minute since I did a tag or award post on a Thursday so I thought that it’s high time I kick my butt into gear and tackle some of these posts because the pile just keeps growing! I honestly still find it surprising when I get nominated because from the very beginning I never dreamed that it’d happen and to have bloggers that I really admire nominating me? *Mind blown!* So, I’m very sorry for taking forever and a year to get around to doing these tags! 🙏🏽 I have absolutely zero excuse I am just panda… 🐼

At some point in the very distant past I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Becky @ Becky’s Book Blog. Becky is one of my favourite bloggers who I’m so happy to have to discovered and interacted with more frequently over the last year. Her reviews are so insightful, her bookish posts are fun and creative and she’s such a sweet person! If you haven’t already, please check out her blog–you won’t regret it! 😉 Thanks for the nomination, lovely! 🥰

The Rules

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

BECKY’s Questions

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE READ OF 2020 SO FAR?

Well… Since it’s 2021 now… 👀*crickets* 👀 I guess I get to share my favourite read of 2020 with all of you (again)! It’s no hardship because I can always gush about the amazingness that is this book but if you’ve been on my blog before you’ll definitely already know what I’m gonna say: The House in the Cerulean Sea! All I’m saying is, don’t be sleeping on this book cos you’re definitely missing out! 😍

WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN BLOGGING IN THE FIRST PLACE?

I’ve always been a blogger and prior to starting this book blog I had a personal blog for about 10 years? My interest in starting a book blog happened after I joined bookstagram, and I thought it’d be fun to have a space where I could share reviews and engage more with the bookish community. I wrote a bit more about it in this post (sorry for the shameless self-plug, I couldn’t resist) if you want to check it out! 😉

IF YOU COULD MOVE TO A LITERARY WORLD WHICH WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

I suck at answering questions like this but the first one that popped into my mind was the supernatural world that exists in parallel to our own from Amari and the Night Brothers. This world was all kinds of wonderful and scary but also magical! It’d be so amazing to have a supernatural ability like these characters do.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE KIND OF BLOG POST TO WRITE?

If you haven’t noticed, a lot of my book blog is about the weekly memes like #5OnMyTBR, #TopTenTuesday and #Top5Saturday that involve making bookish lists and honestly? I love doing them! Sure, it’s not the most creative content but it’s definitely a lot of fun, especially when I rediscover books on my TBR that I’d long forgotten! 🙈

WHAT IS ONE BOOK/SERIES THAT YOU’RE CONSTANTLY RECOMMENDING?

There are SO MANY that I can’t stop gushing about and from different genres, too. I mean, I could easily say The House in the Cerulean Sea (again…) but a fun series that I love is the Illuminae Files and I always recommend it when someone asks for YA SFF/fun book recs! This came to mind cos I’m planning to re-read it soon!

ARE THERE ANY LITERARY TROPES THAT YOU LOVE/HATE?

There are so many tropes and it’s a terminology that I only became aware about when I joined the book community–I used to just ‘read to read because I enjoyed it’. There are several that I feel strongly enough about to love/hate. Some I absolutely do not jam with are: love triangles, insta-love, forced romances, ‘not-like-other-girls’, the super special chosen ones who are miraculously good at everything after one try… Some tropes I love are: found family, underdogs, quests, enemies-to-lovers, ‘there’s-only-one-bed’ (most times), friends-to-lovers…

DO YOU SNACK WHILST READING? AND IF SO, WHAT IS YOUR GO TO TREAT?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I usually make sure I have a drink with me (mostly coffee, sometimes milk tea)! Most of the time I snack with cookies or crisps. Something I’ve been obsessed with lately is the Flaming Hot Munchies snack mix. It’s dangerous, my friends. I can’t get enough (and they’re so easy to munch on while reading)!

DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF READING?

Outside of reading I love gaming! I feel like that’s so cliché but it is what it is! Since the start of the pandemic I have been obsessively playing Animal Crossing but I also love playing Story of Seasons, Bravely Default, Fire Emblem, Skyrim, Breath of the Wild, FF7, The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima…. And so many others!

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DESERT ISLAND BOOK PICK?

Oof, this question always stumps me! Part of me is tempted to say I’d pick the longest book on my TBR (Les Mis) cos at least I’ll have ample time to read it? 😅 I think in the end though I’d have to pick from my all time favourites and would probably take either my giant collection of seven Jane Austen novels or The Shadow of the Wind.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS? (IF YES, PICS AND NAMES REQUIRED!)

I have two fluffy babies, who are technically no longer babies as they’re now both 11, but will still always be my babies. Their names are Tripper and Cookie. Cookie is more my ‘sisters’ dog though Tripper, my floof monster, is more mine! Both are really camera shy but Cookie more so than Tripper so I don’t have many shots of him…

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE 2021 RELEASE IN YOUR HANDS RIGHT NOW WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Hmm… Another toughie because just ONE? There are loads! Honestly, the first one that came to mind, and one I’ve been highly anticipating for quite some time, is The Heart Principle. Pretty sure I’ve come across this question a few times and my answer has always been the same 😂 I just really want Quan’s story now, please!

MY Questions

  1. What has been your favourite read of 2021 so far?
  2. What genre(s) would you like to read less of?
  3. What’s a book that you wish you could read again for the first time?
  4. What trope do you wish you’d stop seeing/reading in books?
  5. If you could choose for any book or series to be adapted for TV/movie, which would it be?
  6. Can you describe your current read in three words?
  7. How long have you been blogging and what makes you keep blogging?
  8. Would you survive in the world of your last read? (For curiosity’s sake, what was the world?)
  9. What hyped book do you think is overrated?
  10. What underrated book do you think deserves more hype?
  11. If you could gift one book for anyone to read, which would it be and why?

I’M TAGGING:

A few lovelies here but if tags aren’t your thing then please don’t feel pressured to do this! It’s all good 🙂

Leslie @ Books Are the New Black
Ali @ Our Book Boyfriends
Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den
Julie @ One Book More
Lisa @ Way Too Fantasy
Andie @ Books, Coffee & Passion
Joanna @ The Geekish Brunette
Kat @KBbookreviews
Stephen @ Stephen Writes
Jennifer @ My Book Joy

The Liebster Award III

I was nominated by Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical for the Liebster Award just last month and this just might be the fastest I’ve ever done an award/tag because usually they’re bookmarked for months to a year *nervously glancing at the long list of tags/awards that I still need to do*! A big thank you for the tag, Veronika 💜

The Rules

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

Veronika’s Questions

If you could be put into any bookish universe, what would you choose?

I finished reading about Nevermoor in the Trials of Morrigan Crow a few weeks ago now and wow, I’d love to be put into this bookish universe! It’s magical and weird, and it’s also a little scary. It’s almost our world but a little twisted because Saint Nick and the Snow Queen are real and have yearly battles, dragons are a thing, slightly intimidating talking giant cats magnificats also exist. It’s wild and I’d love to experience the technology and magic in this world!

Are there any genres you wouldn’t read?

I don’t think there are any genres I “wouldn’t” read per se but if I had to ditch a genre it would be horror. I do read it but it’s basically like once in a blue moon? I am the Ultimate Chicken™️ but also a masochist who likes to torture myself by reading things I know will scare me to high holy hell 🤣

What’s your favourite winter read?

Winter isn’t really a thing for me seeing as I live in the tropics but I wish it was! I can definitely picture myself reading comforting reads while cozied up under my doona during the winter. I’ve actually made a list before which you can check out here!

Did you enjoy any compulsory high school readings?

English/Humanities was one of my favourite, if not my favourite, classes throughout all my school years and I do remember enjoying quite a few of the compulsory readings! …Sadly, my memory is really failing me and I can’t for the life of me remember more than these three titles: Wuthering Heights, The Sun Also Rises, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

What’s your most disliked popular book?

Hmm… That’s a good question although I tend to like a lot of the popular books? 😂 I think one book that is very popular is One Hundred Years of Solitude and wow, I did not jam with that book at all! 🙃 I’ve never struggled so hard to get through a book before and I was so disappointed because I wanted to love this book so much! Maybe I’m just not smart enough for it? 🤷🏻‍♀️

What is your least favourite thing about blogging? (Or the most difficult thing?)

Probably my least favourite thing about blogging is how time consuming it can be sometimes! 🙈 I’m really bad with planning ahead so I usually blog during my work breaks or after work ends, but I always end up taking so much longer than anticipated to actually finish a post! This is probably due to the fact that I’m always so distractible and always seem to be doing a million things at once though…

What’s your favourite book series of all time?

This is always my least favourite question to answer because can I really only pick one? Impossible! So I’m just going to leave you with some covers of the first books in some of my favourite series. These aren’t the favouritest of the favourites but I’m sharing as they come to me lol



(images linked to Goodreads pages)

What book has made you truly angry?

This is a tough one and I’m not really sure how to answer it… But honestly the first book that came to mind was Hot Dog Girl. It has such an adorable cover (I’m such a cover judger) and such a fun sounding premise about summer, growing up and love. I’d heard some good things about it before I bought it so I was excited… Ugh, just thinking about it makes me angry all over again because I was so disappointed with the MC and how she handled EVERYTHING. I mean, I got so angry I couldn’t write a review for it 😂

What’s a bookish trope you wish you wouldn’t have to see anymore?

Love triangles. I know people say when done right it’s really good but just no. It’s not my jam and it won’t be my jam. My feels can’t handle all the angst that usually comes with these triangles and someone always ends up hurt in a love triangle and who needs that anyway?! So it can definitely go bye-bye and I wouldn’t be mad 😂

What’s your most underrated favoUrite novel?

The Shadow of the Wind. I’ve mentioned this book countless times already but it’s so true! More people need to know about this book and read it! It blew me away with its beautiful writing and enchantingly haunted story. It’s not what I’d typically read but a friend highly recommended it and I’m so glad that I listened because wow. This book deserves so much more recognition than it gets!

Which character would you like to swap lives with? And for how long?

Hmm… Another tough question! The first character that came to mind was actually Emika Chen from Warcross. I think I’d love to swap lives with her for a little while so that I can experience the insanity that is Warcross, but also to experience “our world” where that kind of technological development is possible. I think it would terrify me initially but I don’t know if I’d ever want to leave? (And yes, I’m totally ignoring the fact that some bat shit crazy went down in that book LOL)

11 Fun Facts About Me

  1. I lived in my “home” country (where my passport is from) for the first time when I was 25 years old.
  2. I have lived in seven countries – Bangladesh, Philippines, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, UK, Indonesia.
  3. I have a minor obsession with Alaska, New Orleans and Edinburgh.
  4. I share a birthday with Sam Smith (19 May) 😍
  5. I used to be part of the varsity swim and tennis teams in high school!
  6. My favourite musicals are RENT, Phantom of the Opera and Hamilton — but I’ve only seen Phantom of the Opera live (at least 3 times).
  7. I’m a major fan girl of Lin-Manuel Miranda 🥰
  8. We weren’t allowed to have a dog when I was growing up because when our doggo died when I was 9, I ended up crying every day for one month and my parents couldn’t handle it 😂
  9. I am not ashamed to admit that I do quite enjoy country music 🤣 Maybe the artists I like are more “pop” country but I love Sam Hunt, Maddie & Tae, Tim McGraw, Kacey Musgraves, and Lady Antebellum to name a few!
  10. I cannot survive a day without at least two cups of coffee but always before 3pm! I’ve cut down on my caffeine consumption by a lot (I used to drink at least 5 cups when I was at uni LOL)!
  11. I love to bake (especially pies and cookies) but my creations always come out looking just a tad wonky — I wish I had the skills to make my goods look… good? 😂
  1. What’s your favourite comfort genre?
  2. What are three of your most anticipated releases for the rest of 2020 (June-December)?
  3. What genre would you like to read more of?
  4. What’s a book you think everyone should read (or at least try reading)?
  5. What’s re-telling would you like to see more of? (i.e. Robin Hood? Beauty and the Beast?)
  6. If you were to receive an ARC in the mail tomorrow, what book would you like to receive?
  7. If you could live anywhere in the world (outside of where you live) for one/two years, where would you live?
  8. What is your “ultimate goal” for your blog (if you have one!)?
  9. If you could pick someone to write and perform a song about an important moment in your life, who would you choose?
  10. If you could make your own “found family” group, which characters would you include (let’s say up to five characters)?
  11. Spill the tea — what extremely hyped book do you think is entirely overrated?

I’M TAGGING:

A few lovelies here but if tags aren’t your thing then please don’t feel pressured to do this! It’s all good 🙂

Leslie @ Books Are the New Black
Mere @ Lore of the Books
Brittany @ Perfectly Tolerable
Kay @ Hammock of Books
Jen @ Nen & Jen
Susan @ Novel Lives
Leah @ Leah’s Books & Cooks
Mir @ Fangirl Pixie Blog
Ali @ Our Book Boyfriends
Andie @ Books, Coffee & Passion
Christine @ Life with All the Books

The (Double) Leibster Award!

Two weeks ago I was nominated for the Leibster Award by Amanda @ if there’s a haunted house in it, i’ll read it and by Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn Reads! When I first started blogging I saw quite a few very popular bloggers being tagged for this award and I never in my wildest thought I’d ever be nominated for it even once, let alone twice! Thank you ladies for even thinking of me and putting my blog just a little bit further out there on the radar! Deciding to start blogging again, this time focusing solely on books, was one of the best decisions I’ve made this year. I’m so thankful for all the friends I’ve made and for finding an online community where I can just happily be my geeky, fan-girling, bookish self with others who just really get it.

By the way, if you’re not yet following either of these two ladies, what are you even doing!? They’re so sweet and engaging, plus they have really great bookish content on their pages. So, go follow them now!

Since I’ve been tagged twice, I’ll be answering two sets of questions, so this might be a bit of a long one but hope you’ll stick around until the end 😬 Without further ado, let’s get to it!


THE Rules

  • Say thank you to the person who has nominated you for the Award.
  • Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you
  • Nominate 11 people
  • Ask the people who you have nominated 11 questions

AMANDA’S QUESTIONS

What’s your favourite movie?

I honestly can’t say I have one favorite movie (of all time). I have a few that I watch time and again, but there’s not just one that I favour most… I’m going to choose Spirited Away! I love Sen/Chihiro, Haku, all the incredible spirits, and creepy AF and deeply misunderstood No-Face and Boh. Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate how freaking amazing the food looked in this?! Just thinking about it makes me salivate 🤤 Ah, I can watch all of Miyazaki’s movies forever and they’re all very close to my heart.

Who was your favourite childhood author?

This is another tough one! There are so so many 🙈 One of them that’s high on my list is Shel Silverstein. His books were my first taste of poetry and I still remember reading his poems over and over again because I loved how they were clever and cute rhymes! Where the Sidewalk Ends is one of my favorites!

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure read?

There’s not just one guilty pleasure read, for me it’s more one guilty pleasure genre? Which is romance. And by romance I mean the ones that have those extremely heated scenes (not erotic fiction per se) but I do love a good sexy romance! 😏 Yes, I admit it, and no, I’m not embarrassed to say that I love it! It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s one of mine 🙊 hehe

Where would you like to travel?

Um… Everywhere? 😂 But the places that have been topping my list over the last three years are New Zealand and South America (specifically Nicaragua, Colombia, and Peru).

Do you have any pets? Share pictures, if you do! If you don’t, do you want pets?

YES HI I DO! 🙋🏻‍♀️ I love my floofy boofs,Tripper and Cookie. We got them when we moved to Cambodia in 2010 and since then they’ve traveled with us to the Philippines and Indonesia. They’re pretty well travelled doggos but hate it so much! I think one of the hardest things I’ve had to do was to say bye to them when I left for the UK in 2012. I’m pretty sure I cried harder leaving them than I did leaving my fam (lmao, I’m sure many can relate to this right?)! Unfortunately, I haven’t lived with them since then… It makes me sad, but bringing them to Bali would be too complicated. I try to see my bubbas whenever I can though!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be many things including a vet but I’m pretty sure that I wanted to be a marine biologist for the longest time. I was in the marine biology club at school for 4 years, until I moved to Australia for boarding school and had to leave it behind! Since then my imagination started getting the best of me and I now can’t stop imagining Jaws attacking me in the ocean. No dice!

What’s a book you recommend to everyone?

There are quite a few that I try to recommend to everyone, but also depending on who I’m recommending books to. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon are some of the books I recommend for different genres.

What’s your favorite season?

I have to say Autumn/Fall. I know it’s ironic since I live in the tropics and only get one season: HOT. But when I lived in Australia and the UK I loved experiencing the changing temperatures. I love cold weather more than hot weather (you can wear more clothes, but you can’t walk around naked! Well, you can but…)

Do you listen to music while reading?

Sometimes. If I’m in the mood for some background noise, I put on my favorite reading playlist that I found on YouTube. It has some of my favorite classics and it’s the perfect reading playlist (and it’s also perfect for writing)!

Are there any books you would never read?

I’m not a fan of horror. I just can’t with the supernatural (ghosts) and haunted houses, and all that stuff. It just ain’t my jam. Also, gore! The descriptiveness of American Psycho is probs my hard limit 🙈

Why do you like blogging?

I’ve always kept a diary when I was a kid, then when I was 16 I started my first blog. I switched sites a few times over the years but stopped blogging about 3 years ago. I started the book blog because I love sharing my book thoughts and connecting with others over books. I tend to blabber a lot (even in writing lol) but I enjoy getting it all down/out. It comforts me, plus I meet so many cool people 🙂


leelynn’s QUESTIONS

What is your favorite mythical creature and would you want to be one?

I’d love to be a mermaid because growing up Ariel was one of my faves. I’ve always loved the idea of being able to swim underwater without needing to surface for air and I get a thrill every time I think of exploring the deep unknown!

Would you rather be a professional singer, or a professional actor?

Professional singer! I’ve always loved to sing. I used to be in the chamber choir in high school and we’d travel to different countries to compete with other international schools. I’m way too self-conscious to willingly make a fool of myself by acting lol

Take a picture of the view outside your building today (or if you’re outside right now, the view in front of you). Do you feel at peace?

I’m at home finalizing this post and since it’s evening, there’s not much of anything you can see if you look out. But this was my view looking out over the office pool earlier in the day from when I was having lunch! Did I feel at peace then (or now)? Well, actually I wasn’t 😅 as I’ve had a splitting migraine for two days now and it’s draining me of all my energy and ability to function. I hope that it’s gone by the time I wake up tomorrow or I might just have to take the day at home.

Do you prefer to read ARCs or backlist titles?

So… one of the reasons I started blogging was in the hope of being able to access more ARCs. That said, it hasn’t been easy. There are tons of limits because of my international status (especially living in an obscure publishing country like Indonesia LOL), plus I’m a mood reader and the pressure to read ARCs by a certain date always gets to me and it’s no bueno. But I’ve really enjoyed getting ARCs and the challenge of reading them before time! Obviously with #ARCAugust I haven’t been so successful… But I’m making a dent!

Which book character do you wish could be your real life best friend and why?

Um, tough question! Off the top of my head I’d wish to be BFFs with either Elisabeth (Sorcery of Thorns), or Hazel (Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating). I’d be able to totally geek out in the Great Libraries with Elisabeth, and I’d have no doubt that Hazel would be able to always cheer me up by making me laugh at her hilariously loveable self. I also think they’d both be very loyal friends. This question actually reminds me of the TTT from a few weeks ago!

Would you rather be a superhero, super villain, or an anti-hero?

I’m not gonna lie; I think being a super villain might be really really fun, even if I’ll probably die some horribly satisfying death at the end. It’d be fun to unleash unholy terror for a book’s length of time 😈😂 Muahahaha

What book or type of book would you turn to during a dark time?

I’m that person who compulsively listens to sad music, reads sad books, and watches sad movies when I’m feeling low. I try to watch happy and funny things but it just doesn’t do anything for me. I need to completely immerse myself in the sadness in order to let it go ❄️ It doesn’t even have to be like insanely sad stuff; it can just be a heart tug and I’m off. But it definitely helps me to feel better (albeit slowly).

What is the latest book you’ve read that made you extremely happy?

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. This book filled me with so much warmth and good feelings. It was cute, sweet, heart warming and all of the things I’m a sucker for in romance. Plus, I loved the characters too and became so invested in them! This left me with a satisfying & lingering happiness!

What’s one advice you would tell your past self about reading?

Don’t let other people’s judgements about the books you read make you feel like any less of a reader or that you should be reading something different. Just because you’re not reading “super serious” “highly intellectual” books or the greatest classics, doesn’t mean that you’re less of a reader or shouldn’t be considered a reader at all. Read whatever you like because screw what people think of you! You gotta do the thing that makes you, and not them, happy!

What’s a genre that you didn’t like at first, and what was the book that changed your mind on that genre?

I don’t know if it’d be classified as a genre(?) but I’ve always struggled with magical realism. I don’t know if I can claim a 100% change of heart but after reading books like Shadow of the Wind and The Astonishing Color of After and absolutely loving both, I’m definitely more willing to try books with magical realism.

What kind of diverse rep are you wanting to see more of in books, and which book out now has that rep that you recommend?

I’m going to say (Southeast/East) Asian rep specifically because it’s so rare to read mainstream or popular books with Asian representation; especially in romances and YA books! With books such as the Crazy Rich Asians series, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Helen Hoang’s Kiss Quotient Series, Pachinko, and The Astonishing Color of After (to just name a few), it has been so refreshing to read about people who look like me and who’ve grown up in more similar cultures to my own. I’d obviously love to see Indonesian rep in these books, but seeing more Southeast/East Asian rep in general is already a good step in the right direction!


MY QUESTIONS

  1. Do you have a bucket list? If yes, what are the top five items on your list? If not, what do you think would be in your top five?
  2. What is a song you listened to recently that you haven’t been able to get off your mind?
  3. What are three things you love most about the book community (blogs, book twitter, bookstagram)?
  4. What’s on your Top 3 list of favorite books you’ve read this year?
  5. What’s your phone background?
  6. What popular/hyped book have you been put off reading?
  7. If you could have one super power or magical power, what would it be?
  8. What’s a book that everyone loved but you didn’t?
  9. If someone was going to cover your travel expenses to anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
  10. What book do you wish you could forget, just so you could read it again for the first time?
  11. If you didn’t have to work another day for the rest of your life or think about money, what would you love to do with your time?

I nominate the following bloggers:
Sammie | Joanna | Emer | Sailor | Kibby | Ali | Holly | Rissi | Brittany | Nen & Jen
And you too reader, if you want to do it!