Liebster Award // A Chance To Catch Up And Discuss Books

09 April 2020

During my long absence from blogging the wonderful Veronika of Wordy and Whimsical tagged me in some posts and both times it made me kick myself for not blogging already. I don’t know what it is but it’s almost flattering to get tagged in these posts because it means other bloggers have thought of you after they’ve created a post and is there anything nicer than that to see? Another bonus is it gives me some easy content to post (I say easy, this post genuinely stressed me out, especially when it came to thinking about facts about myself, this was meant to be easy!).

My first tag post is the Liebster Award, and this one made me do a lot of thinking to get it all ready.  I’ve actually been tagged in this one before but who cares about that? It’s an excuse for us to get to know each other and talk about some books after my time away. What’s better?

The rules of this are simple:

  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 (not gonna lie, I won’t be tagging anyone, I am the person where a tag ends)
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer (again, not tagging but if you want to do this and want some questions from me I will think of some for you, promise)

So let’s get to the questions I was asked, there are some good ones in here.

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

Harry Potter Castle gif

This one is easy, Harry Potter every time. I have wanted to be a part of the wizarding world ever since I read the first book at the age of eight. I was sad not to get that letter when I was eleven and it would be awesome to live out my childhood dreams and finally get to see it all. See Hogwarts and all of that. I will never be ready to let the magic of that world die, no matter how hard JK Rowling has tried to ruin things for me.

Are there any genres you wouldn’t read?

I don’t think so? I’ve never really ruled out a whole genre, seems harsh. I definitely stick to certain genres because I know I enjoy them but I like to think I’m pretty open-minded. I suppose I will overlook books from genres I don’t really read. Horror has never really been my reading jam. That may just be I’m not reading the right books. I would honestly be open to any and all recommendations from genres as long as it was from someone I know has decent reading tastes anyway.

What’s your favourite winter read?

I totally missed the season for this question, didn’t I? Oh well, my answer still works. I’m not a seasonal reader. I know some folks always a have a book they just know fits best for a season but I’ve never been like that and I think it’s because I’m such a mood reader. I suppose I get summer reads, but even then it’s all down to my mood. I think the only books which will always be solidly winter reads are any Christmas books because I’d prefer not to read those when it’s not around Christmas. I want to know what you guys constitute to be a winter read, though Do you read by season?

Did you enjoy any compulsory high school readings?

Now, this is a good question! Honestly, I hated most of my required reading at school. I do want to say I think required reading in the UK is a little different, though. We tend to focus on one or two texts throughout the whole school, year because based on which paper you’re being put forward for you are given a particular book to study and you read it to death until everyone hates it. For my GCSE we did Great Expectations and Lord of the Flies. I hate both with a passion now. For AS Level I remember studying Wuthering Heights, also hate that book, it should have ended at the halfway point. Honestly, a book filled with awful, awful people. 1000% do not recommend. It’s not all doom and gloom, though, there are two books I did enjoy which I studied and those are King Lear and The Handmaid’s Tale. I actually read The handmaid’s Tale before we studied it so maybe that’s why I enjoyed it? It was different from anything I’d read at that point. I recommended it to everyone after I finished. And King Lear? I think it was the first time we’d studied Shakespeare and I actually got why his work at lasted so long. We watched a filmed stage play and I think the performance really helped bring the story to life. Have I read King Lear since? No, but it was nice to finally get Shakespeare and enjoy the story.

What’s your most disliked popular book?

This one I didn’t even have to think about. The Grisha series is the worst. I mean, it’s awful. I read the first book and it was ok, good enough to keep me reading, but the second book was just bad. I hated Mal. He was the worst and it ruined everything for me that the romance was all about him and I was like dude he’s the worst, sack him off. He was so unsupportive and terrible. I think I have the third book, but why waste my time on that? I have better things to do than read bad books.

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

Well, considering the long, looooong break I took from blogging I would say keeping yourself motivated is one of the worst things for me when it comes to blogging. Sometimes I just don’t want to blog and I have no ideas, but I can easily put it off for too long and then my long break happens. But the other thing I hate is thinking of new ideas. Reviews are easy enough (although, I felt like mine have gotten a bit samey, but I am rusty at all of this) but trying to think of fun posts is also something else I hate. I work full time, and blogging I often like a second job. Sometimes my creativity is all dried up and I don’t have any good blog ideas and that’s always frustrating.

What’s your favourite book series of all time?

I don’t want to say Harry Potter because, although I love Harry Potter, I don’t think it’s my favourite now, it’s my favourite from when I was a kid and reread the series with every book release and just read for a week straight to finish all the books in time for that final book release. Now? I don’t know. I want to say Lucy parker’s London Celebrities series because those books are my favourites now. When I’m feeling down I go grab Act Like It or The Austen Playbook off of my shelf and settle in for an enjoyable few hours of romance and snark which will leave me grinning at the end.

What book has made you truly angry?

Angry? So many things make me angry, I’m a ranter by nature… but books making me angry? Well, you’ve read the Grisha rant above, right? But even then it’s an annoyance, not anger. I just can’t think of a single rage-inducing book. I suppose, normally because I put them down before they get to that point. I do feel a lot of rage towards Wuthering Heights, I suppose, but I feel a lot of rage to plenty of school related things so that’s nothing new. Have you ever been enraged by a book? I want to know.

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

Bookish tropes will always lead to romance tropes for me because I know there are plenty of recurring tropes seen in all books, but I’m a romance reader at heart so that’s where we’re going. The trope I am not a fan of and would happily not have to read will always be friends to lovers. I know there are plenty of good ones out there, I do, I’ve read some of them as well, but I am never excited to read them. Like ever. I might enjoy it by the end but even the blurbs sound bland to me. I just can’t get excited about reading them.

What’s your most underrated favourite novel?

Underrated favourite? I had to turn to Goodreads to help me with this one because I feel like I’ll think a book is underrated only to find out that thousands of people agree with me. On Goodreads, I’ve sorted my books with the fewest ratings and there are a couple of authors on here who I would expect to have way more ratings. Therese Beharrie and Ainslie Paton both have books with relatively few Goodreads reviews, what is this? Those guys are awesome. I recommend Second Chance with Her Billionaire from Therese Beharrie. it was my first book from her and still my favourite, it’s a shorter Mills and Boon read so you can easily read it on a quiet evening and honestly, I loved it. but check out any and all of her books. And she’s so nice as well. And my favourite Ainslie Paton book? Well, there are a few good ones. You want to rage against reach people and their awfulness? Read One Night Wife and the rest of the books in that series. It’s a fake relationship book so you know One Night Wife was right up my street. But Also read The Love Experiment, that book surprised me with how good it was and I totally need to reread it now I’m talking about it.

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

Swapping lives? Under normal circumstances, I would say I would want to swap lives with any book characters because I don’t want to limit myself to experience one life and world when I get to read about them instead. But right now? I would swap lives with any character that can go back to normal and get outside without worrying about being questioned for being out and about. Any character who can pop over to a friends house for a catch up would be the character I would want to be.

Now to get to know each other (or for you to reacquaint yourself with me anyway). I’m going to say, 11 facts about myself should be easy but honest to God, despite living with myself for the past 29 years turns out I’ve not done much to be able to think of random facts. How tragic is that?

1. I’m scared of spiders. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better about it as I’ve gotten older, I’m not quite at the ‘burn the house down’ stage of terror. I’m more like the ‘it’s the spider’s house now’ level of terror. I do hate killing siders, though. I can capture them (sometimes) but I’m too scared to then release them when I’m outside because in my head that will backfire and they’ll attack. I used to get my mom to do that for me (she did sometimes) but now I live alone… I’m not gonna lie, I’ve started hoovering them up. I know, I hate myself too. I just can’t do the release bit. It’s the reason why I’ve never bought one of those spider trap things, too scared for the release portion of things.

2. Whilst we’re on the topic of fears. Can’t stand wasps. I actively run away from them when they’re about. It means summer is the worst for me. I was stung as a kid and I think it really ingrained a fear in me. Can’t even help myself. I try and sit still and remain calm… but can’t do it. I actually discovered one in my bathroom the other night and became too scared to go to sleep. It wasn’t moving so I couldn’t decide if it was sleeping or dead and ended up vacuuming it up (it works for spiders) and honest to god it was moving in the vacuum. I had to empty it outside and leg it back in the house in case it attacked. I then Googled wasp nests and became convinced I had one in the house. That is the level of fear I have for wasps.

3. I only started to cook for myself properly this year. I know, I went to uni I had to fend for myself for three whole years there, but I pretty much lived off of toast, pasta, cereal and frozen food. It was deeply tragic and it wasn’t just because I was poor that I ate so badly. I think part of it is I’m a fussy eater and I am terrible for trying new things. I am attempting to be better and slowly branching out but being fussy makes it tough to find new things to try I will not eat anything with mushrooms in. I hate them. And I don’t eat any red meat,  I used to only eat chicken (and turkey which a friend of mine like to call Christmas chicken) but I have branched out to gammon and bacon. I just don’t do most meat is all. I have discovered an awesome recipe for some homemade oven chips and a really tasty pasta dish. I’m trying to be better. Don’t judge me.

4. I can’t drive. I’ve probably mentioned it before on here, but I cannot drive a car even slightly. I’ve not ever had a lesson or even sat behind the wheel of a car and I’m ok with that. Sure, it’s inconvenient at times and I do feel bad that my friends and family occasionally end up driving me about (they offer I rarely ask) but I just feel like I can’t justify it to myself.

5. I am terrible at telling my left from my right. I have a decent enough sense of direction. I learn quite quickly my way around new places, but ask me something which involves turning left or right and I will have to hold my hands in front of me for a second to figure out which way that is.

6. I hate silence. I am the person who will keep rambling on if there’s no conversation going (it means my boss hates me a little). But I also hate meeting new people and will be weird and awkwardly silent until I feel comfortable with them. I know, it’s an issue.

7. I hate small talk and often avoid going places I know I will have to suffer through it. Hairdressers? I hate going with a passion and my hair hates me for it. Honestly, people don’t get why I dislike the hairdressers but it’s honestly an awful experience every time for me even though I appreciate how my hair looks at the end.

8. I’m surprisingly good at flatpack furniture. This was a skill I was grateful for when I bought my house but I didn’t realise until I was putting all the furniture together. I suppose I’m decent at following instructions, but most people are confused by the pictures and they just make sense to me. I find them strangely satisfying (although very frustrating around the middle portion when you’re wishing you invited someone over to help you hold everything in place while you’re screwing the bigger pieces together.

9. I really love drawing/painting/fun crafty things but haven’t done any in ages. It’s something I really miss and need to start doing again but it’s finding the time. I guess now all I have is time. I have always blamed my art GCSE for ruining my enjoyment of arts and crafty type things. I was decent enough at it but when you have to do something it loses some of the fun. honestly, school ruined my enjoyment of so many things. Maybe the UK needs to review it’s education system because all it did was suck out the fun of stuff I actually liked.

10. I like to think of myself as a bit of a gamer. I’ve always had a games console of some sort ever since we had our first family PlayStation when I was a kid. I play The Sims obsessively,  love my little farm on Stardew Valley…. but games which have an actual storyline… I’m not very good at finishing them. I have a weirdly short attention span and I blame that but I can count on one hand the number of games I have actually finished. I always get bored partway through and by the time I want to play again instead of picking up where I left off I start a new game. I make no sense! I’m the same with book series if I stop reading partway through when I want to go back to it I start from the beginning. And TV shows. Why am I like this?

11. Final fact…. I can do this…I cannot be so boring that I cannot think of 11 facts about myself. Ok, I have a random one for you, the fact I normally whip out when you’re at a work introductory thing and they want random fact about you. When I was 17 I went to Madrid on a college trip and our trip happened to coincide with the High School Musical 3 premiere there and we got to stand in the crowds and watch the celebs walk the red carpet. We were interviewed to maybe go on TV but I think our interview was so bad we never got aired or anything. We had no clue who any of the characters were, one of my best friends was in love with Zac Efron she was the true fan. I just went along with it.

And there we have it. Do you feel like we’ve got to know each other a little better? I thought it was quite fun anyway.

What would some of your answers be to these questions? And do you have a weird fact you like to bring up when you’re forced to do an awkward introduction to people?
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