This is so grotesquely overdue but wonderful bloggers Primrose and Jillian have generously included me in their Liebster award nominations several weeks back and can I just weep in gratefulness because I’m far from worthy of this and asdfghjk why are you guys so kind? Thank you so much for thinking of this humble little blog in spite of its inconsistencies. I’m glad I have this platform to share some of my thoughts on books and reading and most of all, to give a shoutout to the list of book-bloggers I admire and that absolutely includes the both of you!
I’ve been seeing this Liebster stuff everywhere and it feels so encouraging to finally be part of a tradition, that lovely sense of belonging in a community. Whether you are part of this list or not, this is a tribute to all of us who are bound together by our appetite for life and good books.
(Yeah: I am 200% aware of how much I officially suck. Seriously, my procrastination skills and inherent cheesiness are off-the-charts and just ugh how are you guys still so nice to me despite my perpetual non-existence and all-around sappiness?)
If you could visit any fictional place, where would it be?
If we’re all going to be honest, I know we would all say that the very first thing that popped up inside our book-infested heads would always be Hogwarts—don’t even dare lie, guys. Back in the ages of ye old Pottermore days I have been sorted into Ravenclaw so I’ve always thought it would be straight-up mindblowing to visit the Ravenclaw common room for once and geek out with other fellow oddballs. Just saying. I admit I was also tempted to say I’d like to visit Red London from V.E. Schwabb’s ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’, as with my apparent fascination with all things Victorian and surreal. But ultimately, my heart leads me to the forbidden archives of the University from the first book of Patrick Rothfuss’ KingKiller chronicles, the ‘Name of the Wind.’ Its secrecy and sacredness as shelter to the most exclusive sections of the library is irresistibly mysterious and thrilling. Putting your life at stake just to access some badass literature? Hell yeah.
If you could ask any author any question and be given an honest answer, what would you ask?
I’d ask Sylvia Plath why the words weren’t enough.
If you could ask an author about the life of a character(s) after the end of the book, who would you ask about?
I would ask Daniel Handler what happened to Ed after he received the box of trinkets and memories Min has collected during their time together and the letter she wrote about why they broke up. Also, there might be lots of ugly-crying and begging on my knees involved, in accordance to my deep, dark desire for him to write a book on Ed’s point of view because GODDAMNIT I WANNA SEE HIM FALL APART AND HAVE HIS HEART SHATTER INTO A THOUSAND IRRETRIEVABLE ITSY BITSY PIECES AND—
Okay I probably overreacted. Sorry not sorry.
Where is your favorite place to read?
LOL I READ EVERYWHERE. The best place for me though is still my bed, no matter how grueling and uncomfortable it gets after several hours of being immersed with a book. Ah, the hardships of the sedentary life!
What book will always make you laugh, no matter how many times you’ve read it?
There’s this local best-selling author from our country who’s written about a dozen books over the past decade but still writes under his pseudonym, Bob Ong. No one has ever unraveled his identity yet and this makes him a hundred times more awesome than he already is. I have this delusion that he’s our country’s equivalent of Superman, only he’s real, and hilarious and so rich with wisdom. Shifting between themes of political satire, writing aspirations, childhood memories, pop culture mock commentary and the universal sufferings of the heart, his books are the only books that ever gave me tummy-clutching, tears-inducing laughter every single time. This will probably sound conceited and biased coming from me, but I kinda pity other countries for not having a writer like him. My favorite book from him is ‘Stainless Longganisa’, a collection of autobiographical essays depicting his thoughts and musings on the importance of reading and having a favorite book, and what it takes to be a writer. More than just supplying me laughter in generous doses, his writing effortlessly evokes a sense of joy and encouragement in me that makes me somewhat hopeful and brave to go after my insanest dreams.
What is a book that you love, but other people just don’t get?
It’s not that people don’t understand my book favorites; I just think that they don’t love it as much as I do. There are so many books I went absolutely head-over-heels for, but there’s always that sad frustrating aftermath of not having someone to squeal and obsess over with it page-by-page. I have friends I swap books with occasionally but only a handful can really feel my feelings about my recommendations, if you know what I mean. One of the books I always shove down peoples’ throats is Jennifer Donnelly’s ‘A Northern Light’—that book is very much a part of me and I always get my hopes up when I make my friends read it but somehow they don’t find it as life-changing as I did and I always try to act nonchalant about it but *sighs* how can you not cry over the beauty of this book?
What’s your most recent read?
For the month of June I’m into reading adult romance novels-both contemporary and historical– and I’ve just recently finished the sassy, uber-cracktastic ‘Here’s Looking At You’ by Mhairi McFarlane. As of posting this I’m in the early chapters of ‘Highland Surrender’ by Tracy Brogan and oh man has anybody ever died from a case of extremely lethal swooning because asdfghjkl I think I will.
If you were given the power to be able to cast a single wizarding spell from Harry Potter, what would you want it to be?
I’m gonna be really practical here, okay: THE SUMMONING SPELL. But of course! Ever imagine the convenience and perfection of just saying ACCIO BILLIONS OF MONEY or ACCIO BOOKS? Dang why is this spell fictional, I need it so badly in my life I just— *sobs*
What makes or breaks a book for you?
My biggest pet peeve in reading are cliche plot lines. A great writer, in my opinion, can still write about the ordinary things and still write it in an extraordinary way that’s never been done before. What makes a book for me is when an author rises up to that challenge–of daring to break beyond the humdrum stereotypes of faux pas storytelling in order to create something fresh and innovative and fun. Likewise, when a book is medicocre and bores me to tears, I can’t help but feel cheated; betrayed, even. This will sound haughty, but I want a book who is smarter than me, I want books with unpredictable characters, I want a writer who is always one step ahead of what I’m thinking. This is why I always have a weak spot for mysteries and detective fiction, I guess. It’s either hit or miss for me. Case in point: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is beloved by so many people and meanwhile here I am hiding in a cloak of guilt and shrinking smaller every minute because even though the writing was lovely and even poetic at times, I saw that frikken plot twist coming before I even reached the 100-page mark and ughhh there you have the irony of hating to find your theory to be proven right because seriously, where’s the fun in that?
Is there a book that you have ever physically thrown across a room or had to put down? If so, what was it?
I’ve had such high expectations for Ellen Goudge’s ‘The Replacement Wife’ because I was so intrigued by its premise: a wife with cancer wanting to find her husband’s potential next wife after she dies. I don’t want to spoil anything but MAN, THIS BOOK MADE ME RAGE. You know, I appreciate it when a book features characters who are realistic in their flaws, but there’s definitely a line between rational human mistakes and just plain classic case of utter stupidity. Before I like a character, I need to respect them first, and gahhhh the decisions the characters made in this book is just unacceptable. Just…NO. And that ending oh fiery lakes of hell. I was prepared for melodrama and angst and unconditional, undying love and what did I get? A happy ending for people who did not deserve it and a plot twist that gave me migraine for weeks and a re-affirmed jadedness that marriage and adulthood truly, irrevocably sucks. Yes, I literally sent this book flying against the wall after I read the last page. I can be petty when I don’t get what I want.
Another book that gave me such intense emotions is Jason Myers’ ‘Exit Here’. I don’t recall throwing it or putting it down but I WANT TO SET IT ON FIRE. I’m sorry, I’m not usually so mean when talking about books I disliked and I really try my hardest to symphathize with authors by appreciating the hardwork they exert in creating a story of their own, but this book is so bad I felt personally offended. If this kind of story can be published, they should let my baby brother write books too BECAUSE SERIOUSLY. HOW THE HELL DID THIS STORY GET PUBLISHED? WHY AM I SO STUPID FOR FALLING FOR THAT BEAUTIFUL COVER AND DECEPTIVE TITLE? WHY DOES THIS BOOK EXIST???? I’m sure Jason Myers will write better books in the future but THIS BOOK, YOU GUYS. IF YOU LIKE THIS BOOK, WE CAN’T BE FRIENDS. SERIOUSLY.
Why do you blog about books?
Because if I don’t, I think I will a.) suffocate b.) go crazy c.) die d.) all of the above tbh
And now, my Liebster nominees aka the book bloggers I’m positively crushing on because of their voracious and infectious passion for reading and loving books. It’s always a pleasure to stalk you guys and I always look forward to reading your thoughts and creative content! Below, I have eleven questions that I would love for you guys to answer, but if you’ve already done it or if you’re too busy, it’s alright if you would pass. I also know that the rules state that the blogs to be nominated should have less than 200 followers but I simply couldn’t resist recognizing your excellent blogs—I simply have to tell people about you guys. You can nominate 11 blogs and come up with eleven questions of your own to spread the love! Here’s to books and friendship!
- Primrose & Jillian
- Other Sashas
- Book Rhapsody
- The Book Boulevard
- Joel vs Books
- Booker Talk
- Leona’s Blog of Shadows
- Vacation Mode
- Books Over People
- Free-for-all: Pick any question from the questions I’ve answered above.
- In an alternate cross-over universe, pick two characters from two different books that you’d like to introduce to each other.
- Confess a bad reading habit.
- Select one book that you will take with you if you can time-travel and recommend a book to yourself ten years ago.
- Which author would you entrust to write a story based on your life?
- What is the most ridiculous/horrible/stupid line you have ever read in a book?
- You are free to be as evil as you want for one entire day. Which fictional villain character would you like to be reincarnated as?
- What’s at the top of your book wishlist right now?
- Share some advice on how to get out of a reading slump.
- Name five books you would take with you if you’re going to be stuck in an island for the rest of your life.
- You have the power to re-write the ending of a story. What book will you choose and what’s going to be your version of it?