Hi friends, and happy Friday!
A few weeks back, I asked all of you wonderful people to send in some questions to celebrate my birthday and my two year blogiversary. Albeit this post is coming out much later than I intended
(is time even relevant anymore?), I had an absolute blast answering your questions. Another huge thank you to everyone that sent some in! Without further ado, let’s get into it!
If you could be any kind of paranormal creature (i.e. vampire, mermaid, faerie, etc.), what would you choose? – Margaret @ Weird Zeal
This is such a fantastic question! So fantastic in fact that I don’t know that I’ve ever given it much thought? I will admit though that mermaids are pretty fascinating, and they basically have the best of both worlds. I can only imagine how magical it would be to constantly swim around and float in and out of the beautiful and colorful tropical areas of the ocean, much less all of the other sea life I’d be able to see on the daily. I’d also be lying if I didn’t mention the allure of being a Siren-like creature. But then I think about the fact that more than 80% of the ocean has been unexplored, making it entirely unknown to us—which is absolutely terrifying and makes me want to never go near an ocean. I suppose, if we can assume that all mermaids are as friendly as the one Walt Disney coined and I can be guaranteed to avoid encounters with creepy sea animals not yet known to man, I’d be totally happy as a mermaid.
Your favorite non-romantic trope in fiction? – Lais @ The Bookish Skies
I will forever love a good found family. More often than not, in my experience, a found family is made up of characters that don’t quite fit anywhere else. Different from the rest of their society in some way or another, these characters somehow find each other through happenstance or strange circumstances. Found families have just the right amount of chaotic energy, which is of course balanced out by a lovely amount of sarcastic banter. There is just something so heartwarming about seeing characters find their place within a group of people they’ve chosen rather than the group of people they’re given.
What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about book blogging? – Anonymous
There are so many things to love about book blogging, but one of my favorite things about being a book blogger is connecting with other bloggers. I know that it sounds simple, but talking with another passionate readers about favorite characters and stories is a really fantastic feeling. Not to mention, I feel honored to be able to have connected with so many amazing bloggers and read their content on the daily. When someone talks about something close to their heart, it’s like a little spark of visible magic. I absolutely love it.
My least favorite thing about book blogging is, weirdly enough, finding the words in my brain to convey how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a writer’s block, but sometimes I find my vocabulary department lacking as I try to explain why I love a character so much or why a book wasn’t necessarily my favorite. I suppose it’s my inability to express my thoughts without just keyboard slamming my way through a post. And, when I struggle with finding the right words, my blog schedule is thrown to the side, with no consistency to be found anywhere. Essentially, it’s a snowball effect. I realize that this is all very vague, but it does make sense in my head—which is quite literally the problem here.
What’s a book you love that you wish more people talked about?
– Margaret @ Weird Zeal
A recent read of mine, and a recent release, I really do wish people talked about Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas more often. The book stole my heart from its first pages, and it really does deserve some more love. The story is overloaded with culture, identity discovery, and a really adorable and heartwarming romance. Oh, also ghosts. It’s basically just about everything you could want in a book, in my humble opinion, and I would love to see more readers gushing about it!
*a disclaimer: this is an #OwnVoices book that is centered on a trans man. I cannot speak to its credibility as representation for the trans community as I am not in that community, but I have seen many reviewers that are and applaud its representation.
A genre you want to read more of? – Lais @ The Bookish Skies
Without a doubt, I really want to read more fantasy books and graphic novels. I’ve made a little headway on reading more graphic novels, but I still feel totally out of my element in that section, as well as the fantasy section. I also really want to read more classics, because I weirdly haven’t read that many, even as an English Literature student.
All of that’s to say, if you have any recommendations within these genres, please let me know!
Is there a 2021 release you’re especially excited to read? – Margaret @ Weird Zeal
Unsurprising to no one, I’m absolutely geeked and probably way too excited about Lore by Alexandra Bracken. In short, every seven years, nine Greek gods are sent to Earth and are hunted by descendants of ancient bloodlines. And, when you successfully kill a Greek god, you seize their divine power. Lore focuses on Lore after she fled the hunting scene and left it all behind. Sounds incredible, right? Don’t worry, I linked the Goodreads listing here so you can very easily add it to your TBR.
I’ve read the sampler and fell in love with the characters immediately, which is pretty on par with with all of Alex’s characters previous. I also have the digital arc burning a hole in my Kindle, and I’m quite literally counting down the days until I have the time to read it.
Also, yesterday, Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera announced the sequel to What If It’s Us, Here’s to Us, scheduled to come out next year??? I’m fine.
Which bookshop do you want to visit again? – Malka @ Paper Procrastinators
Ah, to spend the day wandering through the aisles of a bookstore. The dream, right? I’m lucky enough to have some fantastic bookshops nearby, but some of my absolute favorites are a little more out of reach and I would love the chance to visit them again.
For a few months two years back, I spent my summer living in downtown Manhattan in New York City. During that time, I discovered some bookstores that have basically been begging me to come back ever sense. Books of Wonder is right outside of Union Square and is stocked to the brim with children and YA titles. Not to mention, a good majority of them are signed. I also wish I spent more time exploring the historic Strand and Housingworks—both in Manhattan as well. Here’s to hoping I can visit those stores soon again!
I also came across the cutest used bookstore called After-Words in Chicago, Illinois, and I would love the chance to go back.
Top three musicals of all time? – Margaret @ Weird Zeal
Oh man. This is a big question. If I’m only allowed to pick three, I’m going to go with Wicked, Dear Evan Hansen, and Anastasia.
(It physically hurts to not include Hamilton in this list).
Wicked was the first professional musical I ever saw, and it took my breath away. The effects, the costuming, the acting. It all amazed me, and I think that’s when I first began to appreciate musicals for what they were. Dear Evan Hansen though was the musical that truly started my now all-encompassing musical obsession. Something about Evan’s story really resonated with me in that moment and has stuck with me ever since. I also had a pretty fantastic experience seeing Dear Evan Hansen because I got to see it with one of my very best friends on her birthday. As far as Anastasia is concerned, I’m not quite sure how to describe this show other than magical. Your attention is grabbed the minute the first note pings, and “Learn To Do It” will forever be one of my favorite musical theater songs.
Like I said, it physically hurts not to include some other shows in this list, but these three were just really pivotal for me.
If you could choose to live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
– Lais @ The Bookish Skies
Despite the fact that I haven’t traveled anywhere outside of the United States
(which is utterly pitiful), I really do think I would love to live anywhere in Europe. There’s something so fascinating about the idea of living in any one of those countries that really captures my heart. Generally speaking, the architecture in that area is gorgeous and the idea of being surrounded by that sheer amount of history? I also can’t even begin to fathom how incredible some of those museums have to be. Also, the simple fact that you can jump on a quick plane ride and be in a new country an hour later? Mind-blowing. For the sake of being more specific, I would really love the opportunity to live in Spain, The Netherlands, Greece, or the UK.
What is your favorite vacation that you’ve taken? – Malka @ Paper Procrastinators
One of my favorite vacations I’ve ever taken has to be when I flew to California a few years back for a family wedding. Born and raised in the States, I’ve never really spent much time on the western part of the country, and it was utterly fantastic.
Aside from the wedding that was the main point of the trip, my parents and I wasted no time in exploring Santa Monica, Long Beach, LA, Hollywood, and Disneyland. We spent our days as proper tourists: strolling along the Walk of Fame and moseying aboard the historic, and arguably haunted, Queen Mary. I’m not going to be superficial and call the City of Angels magical, but the way of life there definitely felt different than what I was used to, and I gladly welcomed that. It was a much-needed break in the middle of a crazy semester, and I loved absolutely everything we did.
Fun fact: the Santa Monica Pier stole my heart and inspired a short story I later wrote.
Could you share with us a favourite childhood memory? ❤️
– Cherelle @ Cherelle the Bibliophile
One of my favorite childhood memories has got to be when we got our pembroke welsh corgi, Lacey.
(Buckle up, this story ended up being a lot longer than I intended).
It was an average summer day in 2006, and my mom and I were having a little girls day, just the two of us. And, of course, what better way to spend time together than to head to the movie theater and see the smash hit Material Girls, starring Hilary and Haylie Duff. As the movie let out, we noticed there was a pet store in a nearby plaza and we had to check it out after recently losing our previous dog. We walked into the store, expecting just to look around, but a tiny three-month old corgi immediately captured our attention and stole our hearts. I’m fairly certain my mom had to drag me out of the store because I wasn’t ready to leave that precious girl behind.
We then went home and lived life as usual, casually mentioning the cute dog we saw over more general dinner conversation. After what felt like hours of negotiating, my dad’s will power broke and said “I guess we can all go in and look at the puppy tomorrow” followed up with “but we are not walking out that store with a new dog.” We love ironic foreshadowing.
Well, the next day came, and my dad couldn’t stick to his word, no matter how hard he tried. We sat in one of those little dog-play-cubicles in the pet store and played around for a bit, and my sister and I didn’t want to let the pet store employees take her back. In our playing with her though, she would not stop playing with our shoelaces. I kid you not, she untied all of our shoelaces within minutes of first meeting her. My dad eventually relented and agreed, we needed to take this sweet girl home with us.
With all of the paperwork finalized and her accessories picked out, we already knew what we would name her based on her shoelace escapades. Everyone always says that they have the best dog, but Lacey truly was the best.
What is one important thing you have learned in the last year that you would like to share? 🙂 (happy early birthday queen!) – Melany, @readingrapunzel on Twitter
Thank you, Melany!
As generic as it sounds, I think one of the most important things I have learned in the last year was that it’s okay to take time for myself. It’s been two years since I’ve graduated college (yikes), and I very much got stuck in the mode of well if I’m not doing anything traditionally productive, so I’m not living a productive life. And, no one talks about it, but once you graduate from any form of formal education, it’s pretty common to feel lost. There are no adults telling you what to do or when to do it. You don’t have a set schedule everyday. The real world is so different than the one we grew up in. And, when I wasn’t spending my time doing the things I was taught to do for 18 years, it felt like I wasn’t using my time wisely. Because of that, I pushed myself more than I should have. I wanted to do this, I wanted to do that. And when I wasn’t doing either of those things, I felt lazy. Frankly, I felt pretty darn useless.
Spending another year in the “adult” world made me realize though that I have to take time for myself, even if that means not always working on something. I realized I needed to give myself some grace.
Granted, I’m definitely still working on this daily. Just because I’ve learned something, doesn’t mean I’ve quite perfected it yet.
What is your favorite food? – Malka @ Paper Procrastinators
I’m not quite sure that we want to consider it “food” in and of itself, but I will happily smother tzatziki on just about anything. Essentially, it’s a cucumber and yogurt sauce, which I ironically don’t like either food, and is usually served with Greek or Mediterranean dishes. There’s a Greek restaurant near me that serves a chicken shawarma with rice, grilled vegetables, hummus, and tzatziki, and I could salivate just thinking about it.
I will also add though that I am very much a pasta gal, through and through
What is the best meal you’ve ever had? – Malka @ Paper Procrastinators
I feel as if I need to confess that this question was weirdly difficult for me? Although, in all of my brainstorming, I kept coming back to one Italian restaurant near where I live. I also should probably confess that if I am served complimentary bread at a restaurant, and it’s good, my serotonin levels are instantly boosted.
All joking aside, I visited this restaurant for the first time with my very-Italian relatives who insisted I needed to try just about everything on the menu. They ordered aràncinis, which are essentially fried balls of rice with marinara sauce, for the whole table to start off, even though we had quite literally already stuffed ourselves with the bread. For my actual meal, I went with a really simple pesto pasta that was more glorious than what should be allowed. Then, we ended the meal with slices of lemon cake and cannolis, both of which I would probably die for. It was definitely a lot of food—so, so many carbs—but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about that meal often.
This post definitely got WAY lengthier than I ever intended. Thank you for reading it, and thank you to everyone who sent in questions!