Good morning my beautiful monsters!
I think it’s high time I did this award because I have been nominated
three four times. And I am so honored! Having a group of readers who stop in often and think this blog is really worth something is just the bee’s knees to me and I hope y’all know – I appreciate each and every one of you.
So first of all, I would like to thank my nominators:
This award’s rules are pretty basic:
- Thank your nominator(s).
- Answer the 11 questions they asked.
- Nominate your favorite 11 blogs.
- Ask them 11 question.
I apologize in advance as this post will be pretty long since I have 44 questions! I’ll try to keep it interesting for y’all. 🙂
What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say orange?
An orange, definitely.
Righty or lefty?
I am right handed, though I can type single-handed pretty well with my left.
Can you type without looking at the keyboard?
Erm, sometimes. Like I’m doing it right now, but doing it really makes me want to look down and make sure I’m in the right spot. Random fact: I don’t type correctly. By the time I got to Computer Literacy class in high school, I was already a proficient typist and hit all the speed goals I was supposed to be hitting typing incorrectly, so my teacher just told me to keep doing what I was doing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
What is your favorite thing about the blogging community?
I really like how kind everyone is. Personally, I’ve never had someone rain fire and brimstone down on me because I didn’t like a book? And I’m the outspoken type who is sort of cruel when I dislike a book. So I appreciate that.
What book do you think is overrated?
I’ve never understood the hype around Twilight and all Stephanie Meyers’ books. I think it’s just the way the romance is written for me, but so many people are head over heels about those and I just don’t get it. On the other hand, I’m sure there are thousands of people out there who think the Harry Potter series is a waste of time, and that is my OTP.
What book do you think is underrated?
I’m going to cheat a bit here and give a small publishing house instead of a specific book. I get a lot of ARCs from Candlewick Press, and I’ve love every single one of them. Except one. I think this publishing house is really good at finding books with strong plots and strong characters that make you think and consider the ways of the world. Most people probably aren’t familiar with this publishing house; I sort of discovered it in accident when I was requesting ARCs through LibraryThing Early Reviewers and they kept accepting my requests. One book they’ve published that a lot of people will probably know is Feed by M.T. Anderson.
How many books do you usually read a month?
My average really varies depending on how much time I spend driving solo (I blow through audiobooks on my commute like nobody’s business) and how stuck I get on a book. For example, my reading slowed way down in October because I was struggling with Trell and it made me get behind on my ARCs… which sort of threw off my end of year.
Pineapple on pizza: yes or no?
Yes please. Yum.
I”m game for anything on the cool-end of the spectrum, but I definitely gravitate towards purple.
All the food.
Seriously though, eating is one of my highlights of the day, how do I choose ONE? I like brownies and Symphony Bars are my guilty pleasure. I love strawberries. Tacos. Turkey club sandwiches without mayo or lettuce. Turkey and gravy and homemade mashed potatoes. Sour cream and onion potato chips.
Seriously so many things.
How hungry are you right now?
I’m actually doing good! I’m writing this while I eat breakfast, and I’ve got a bowl of sugar-dusted strawberries right next to me. YUM.
Do you read audiobooks? How are they different than Kindle or physical books?
I listen to more audiobooks than I read physical books. It’s largely to multitask, and it’s definitely a different experience than giving your undivided attention to the words in front of you. This is actually a post I’d like to make at some point because I am a huge advocate of audiobooks. I try to think of it like an old-time radio play.
If you could change one thing about your writing style on your blog or social platform, what would it be?
I suck at social media. Always have. I say what I think or I say nothing at all and I’m pretty bad at being interesting and relevant. I know there are definitely courses for this stuff and I could improve, but to be honest? I’m okay with having a wonderful small group of people and I don’t have that much time, haha.
Do you collab with other bloggers/writers? Who has been your favorite?
I have never collaborated, but I’d be open to it! How does it work, precisely? I’ve also seen buddy reads and those seem interesting, too.
!!! While the above is still true, I’ve just remembered – my senior year of high school our Advanced Creative Writing final was to write a book of poetry or short stories. One of my friends and I got permission to co-write a novel. We finished it, it was amazing, and I still think the concept is brilliant (it’s called Element and I almost never talk about it) but unfortunately I’ve fallen out of touch with her and that novel has no future, much sadness.
How do you balance work, school, and blogging together?
I’m out of school, so my challenge is more balancing work/blogging/social life/family time. I’m not a very social person, so I don’t feel like my social life has suffered by being an active blogger. Work is the trick for me, and because of my long commute, that is a real challenge. I try to write my reviews within 48 hours of finishing a book so it’s still fresh in my mind, and sometimes I do that while I’m working (a sentence or two here or there when I need a mental break) and that helps. I also use my weekends to get ahead, and I have a whole calendar. Someday I’ll do a post about my whole process, because it’s a delicate system!
What’s your favorite read of 2017, and why?
Agh, no, why!
My Top Ten Tuesday post this week was so hard to write, because I had to pick only ten. I had so many great reads this year with compelling characters and interesting plots. Every single book on my Top Ten I’ve recommended to people like crazy this year.
If I had to pick one that really wrapped me up in its pages, I guess I would have to recommend The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones. I found it very compelling, and the writing was very good. Dee was such a real character with strength like I’m not used to seeing and not only did I like her, I admired her. I also though that the fantasy elements in the book were refreshingly original. If I really had to choose, that one would get the blue ribbon.
Does anyone else outside of your blogging world know about your work? What do they think of it? Are they subscribed to it?
Yes, people know. My parents every so often ask if “I still have that blog” and the interest seems to wane there. However, I learned in October that one of my best and dearest friends has been quietly lurking and reading and Sammy if you are reading this I love you, gorgeous. 🙂
Do you participate in Booktube or Bookstagram, as well? How is the environment different than blogging?
Haha. So when I was a young and misguided urchin in college, I really wanted to be a part of the YouTube Harry Potter community and that was just horribly embarrassing (videos are still up if you’re clever enough to find them). So no BookTube for me. I did try Bookstagram for about a day but I just don’t have the patience for a consistent bookish account. I also like taking pictures of my cats and food and life, so I post anything bookish to my regular Instagram account.
Do you reread books? Which has been your favorite?
I love rereading books! I always find something new when I reread, a little detail or quirk I missed the first time that makes that story seem richer. I also have this rule that I’m going to enforce better with my Great Bookcase Crusade that I’m not allowed to have a physical copy of a book I don’t think I’d reread.
I tend to reread one or all of the Harry Potter books every year (usually just Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), and I’ve reread Stephen King’s Dark Tower series a few times.
Random questions… What’s your favorite color?
Everyone is really interested in this! I’ve thought about it and I’m pretty sure it’s still purple. 🙂
Who’s your favorite person? Not celebrity, but a person lol.
Haha, my husband and I do this back and forth all the time.
“You’re my favorite.”
“In the room?”
Do you have pets? How many?
Yes! I have two kitties – Lady Elizabeth and Sir Reginald – and they are the bearers of my heart. I actually have an animal dander allergy and my body has had to adjust to each of them in turn, but the month of misery each has been so worth it because they are the sweetest, softest, silliest fluff balls.
Do you enjoy reading biographies? Yes? No? Sometimes?
I think I would have to say generally “no”. While I think biopics are fascinating, I have a hard time focusing and relating to the person in the book. There aren’t many (auto)biographies that interest me enough to add them to my TBR. Although I feel sort of shallow as I write this because I know there are so many fascinating people who do so many interesting, important, and life changing things and yet, my interest is mostly in celebrity biographies if anything….
What was the last fantasy novel you read?
I’m currently reading three fantasy novels (as I write this… will probably be done with them by the time this posts!) – Teardrop by Lauren Kate, The Waste Lands by Stephen King, and The Book of Pearl by Timothée de Fombelle. Fantasy books are my life. <3
J.R.R. Tolkien or C.S. Lewis?
I’ve never read Narnia, although I snagged the books from my little brother and they’re sitting in my TBR. Given that alone, I’d have to say Tolkien? But I also appreciate Tolkien’s ability to seamlessly weave mythology and culture into his worlds, completely original and deep and provoking. It’s a bit of a lost art in writing.
What’s the inspiration behind your blog’s name?
It’s not as delightful and complex as I wish it was. This blog was created originally nine years ago, and I wanted something to do with fantasy and something to do with books and this ended up sticking. I had “Riddle’s Diary” for ages on WordPress (thus the subtitle to my blog) and sometimes I wish I had kept it, but this allows for a bit of a wider range although I’m just as in love with the Potterverse now as I was then!
Do you prefer standalones, trilogies or series?
All? None? I feel some series/trilogies go on too long and some standalones kick me out of the world way faster than I want. So it depends on the book itself.
What’s your favourite book title?
I actually did a whole post on fun, story-like titles. Long titles amuse me. Any of the ones on that list are game, despite the quality of the book. One of my absolute favorites and another book I recommend to everyone is Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened by Allie Brosh. It may just be the “mayhem” in there that gets me. 🙂
Have you ever named one of your characters after yourself?
Named, no. I’m not a big fan of my name, which is why over the years on the internet I’ve tried to adopt other names? But at this point I’m 28 and I’ve given up: Amber it is. I have drawn from my own memories and traits and given them to characters, though! I think Jessica’s personality in Fate is a lot like mine, and Sparky Jones shares my love of food where Madeleine Whitehall (The Secret of Treacher’s Creek) has a similar relationship to her father as I did at the time of writing.
What is your favourite metaphor and why?
I have never thought about that, actually! Couldn’t say.
Are there any books/poems/songs you’ve come across which you wish you’d written?
So many. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke is one of the coolest ideas I’ve ever read. And I’m in love with Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry.
Do you prefer antiheros or traditional heroes?
I think I need a healthy mix of both. Antiheroes have a cynicism that can be exhausting after a while, whereas the self-righteousness of traditional heroes is just annoying. A good mix is ideal.
Have you ever written a retelling?
Yes, actually. I did a short story retelling of Beauty and the Beast for fun in college, then a few years later a really dark retelling of Hansel and Gretel that I wish I still had, because I remember thinking it was brilliant and wanting to revamp and expand. I really want to go back to Hansel and Gretel, but I really like retelling historical events in a fantasy setting.
What is the story behind your blog name? (I’m stealing this one because I’m curious!)
I just answered this one, so see above! 🙂
Do you have a favorite (favorites?) book series and what is it?
Oh geez. So cruel to ask a book lover what’s their favorite book! I think the easiest answer is going to be to point you to my “favorites” shelf on Goodreads! There’s loads of books (standalone and series) on there.
What motivated you to start your blog?
This goes way back to middle school when I had a LiveJournal! I’ve been journalling online as long as I can remember. I like sharing my thoughts on a computer, playing with the layouts, and making everything look crisp and visually appealing. When I started college, I decided I wanted to split out my bookish posts from regular life stuff… and these days I just mix the two. It’s mostly bookish stuff, but I’m not a private person and I like sharing my life with my community. Love you guys!
You can pick ONE fictional best friend. Who do you choose? (I’m so mean, I don’t even know how I would answer this question)
Hmm. I think Luna Lovegood. My social awkwardness wouldn’t matter with her and she’s interesting, passionate, and open-minded. There are a lot of bookish characters I like, but I think that Luna may actually like me back.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your power to be?
Think of all the places you could go and the people you could see. I would probably use my powers selfishly to sneak on to movie sets and in the back rooms of museums and to stay in libraries after closing.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done lately?
I am not an impulsive person? Probably buying Totinos at the grocery store even though I’m supposed to be eating healthy because I AM A REBEL AND I LIKE MY GROSS COMFORT FOOD.
What Hogwarts House are you? (This is a standard question we all ask each other now right?? I’m putting it on my resume)
Slytherclaw! I’m primarily a Ravenclaw with Slytherin at a close second. I wear the blue proudly but definitely gotta give some love to the house of green as well. Represent!
Tell me who your fictional crushes/spouses are! Books, movie, TV shows—it’s a free for all!!
Chris Evans as Captain America is my dreamboat. Also I was IN LOVE with Andrew Lee Potts as Hatter in Alice for the longest time when I was in high school/college.
What was the last TV show you binge-watched (BESIDES Stranger Things)??
I will watch 30 Rock over and over again until the end of eternity and I will not apologise for it.
Who’s your favorite author or authors?
I read a lot of Philippa Greggory… I like her historical fiction. I’ll pick up just about anything by Eoin Colfer, J.K. Rowing (regret, thy name is The Casual Vacancy), and absolutely Tamora Pierce.
What’s your book blog resolution for the new year?
I am planning to do a whole post about this, so I don’t want to ruin it! But one small resolution I will share… and that is not to quit blogging randomly in the middle of the year. Again.
I encourage you guys to go and check out every one of these blogs! They’re filled with great content and deserve some love.
Trang & Lashaan @ Bookidote
Shay @ Shay Writes
Ioana @ Dragon Waffles
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Vivian @ Writing With Style
Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books
Shanti & Shar @ Virtually Read
Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff
Hannah @ Peanut Butter & Books
Shruti @ This is Lit
Rafael @ The Royal Polar Bear Reads
If you’ve been tagged, you’re not obligated to accept the award, but I really hope you do! 🙂
- What book from your childhood still resonates with you today?
- Do you read any non-fiction? If so, what?
- What song are you obsessed with right now?
- What’s your favorite holiday and why?
- What would your amortentia (love potion from the Harry Potter series – three aromas) smell like?
- What is the absolute most disappointing book you’ve read this year?
- What’s the first thing you do after finishing an amazing book?
- What off-the-air/ended television series do you binge?
- Describe your ideal day off.
- What post on your blog are you most proud of?
- If you could keep a mythical creature as a pet, which would you have?
That’s all for today my friends!
How would you answer some of these questions?
Have you visited any of my top eleven blogs?
Do you do awards on your blog?