I can hardly believe it – I AM FINALLY DONE WITH ALL OF MY EXAMS!!! My oral actually went really well, and my relief is indescribable right now. After studying for this thing for over two years, it’s suddenly … over? Just like that?
Honestly, it feels so weird to suddenly have free time again 😁 So much so that, immediately after my exam on Wednesday, I wrote an email to my professor asking if I could get started on my master’s thesis right away. Cleary, I never learn… 😅 However, in contrast to memorizing loads of material that I will probably have forgotten in a few months anyway, working on unsolved math problems actually sounds really exciting!!!
But before I start going on mathematical tangents (*yes, this pun was too terrible for me to resist*), let’s get into what this post is actually about! I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Riddhi @ Whispering Stories, Carl @ The Pine-Scented Chronicles, AND Meena @ Strawberry’s Corner, so clearly, they are
telling me that I need to stop procrastinating and finally get to all those tags in my overflowing drafts folder absolutely amazing and you should check their blogs out! But, seriously, guys: I am honored you considered me worthy of this award, and I hope to do your awesome questions justice!
What Is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.
How Does It Work?
- Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
- Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
Also, if you’d like to check out my previous take on this award, you can click here.
Riddhi: When and why did you start blogging?
I wrote my first blogpost (*spoiler alert: it sucks*) forever ago, on January 16, 2017 – for a homework assignment. At the time, I was taking a course on HTML-programming, and one of our many projects was to set up a blog and write one post for it. Let’s just say it was pretty much the easiest grade I’ve ever gotten…
Still, the assignment actually only pushed me to do what had already been at the back of my mind anyway. I had been quietly stalking BookTube for years, lurking on my side of the internet connection, and had completely fallen in love with the online book community 😊 However, I was way too scared (and still am) to ever consider joining BookTube. Trust me, you do not want to see me on camera. The level of awkwardness is so cringe-inducing, you probably wouldn’t make it past the first few seconds… But I have always loved writing, and having a book blog? It did not sound nearly as intimidating as a BookTube channel.
So, when working on that assignment, I set this blog up with the idea of maybe turning it into a more serious thing. And, eventually, I did 😉 In 2018, I started posting pretty regularly, recording my latest reads, doing tags that I thought looked fun, writing stories. However, I was still way too self-conscious to go public and expose my weirdness for all the world to see, so at the time, A Book Owl’s Corner was private. A few of my very close friends had access, but to the public eye, this blog was invisible.
And that brings us to this year. I don’t know what it was exactly that changed, but, for some reason, I just decided to go for it. In a spur-of-the moment decision, I changed my accessibility settings to public, and I haven’t regretted it since. I love how welcoming this community is and how many wonderful people I’ve gotten to meet through blogging! 😊
Carl: If you are to write a book about something important to you, what would it be?
Hmm, this is hard. I have actually written a couple – albeit terrible – books (I talk about that a little more in this post), and I guess I always include things that matter to me in some way. Family relationships. The struggle to find out what you want to do with your life. The importance of making choices. Whether to put your own interests or someone else’s first. The terrible things hatred and fear can lead people to do. The general complexity of being human. Those are all themes I love to explore, so while I can’t really think of a concrete topic that I would want to write about above all others, these are some of the more general things I try to weave into every story I write.
Meena: If you were an animagus, what animal would you want to be?
An owl, obviously. They are the coolest animals ever, so there really shouldn’t be any debate! And while we’re at it, I also think my patronus should be an owl. Or at least something other than that stupid dragonfly Pottermore gave me years and years ago and that my siblings and friends refuse to let me forget about. Once and for all: My patronus is not a dragonfly!!! I will duel anyone who suggests otherwise.
Riddhi: What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Having a space where I can be creative and write about whatever weird idea I want to. With all the dry, academic texts I have to write for university, it’s really nice to also have a place where I can just write for fun! And I love how this blog records my thoughts for the future, kind of like a diary. Although some of them certainly make me cringe, I do love going back to read my old posts every once in a while. Those bring back loads of memories, some good and some bad 😊
And then there’s you guys! You make this journey so much better than I ever could have hoped for, and interacting with you always makes my days a little brighter! ❤️
Carl: What is that one book that you really looked forward to but you ended up disliking?
I could pick a very obvious play that is most definitely not the eighth installment in an extremely popular series here, but since I hate it so much that I don’t think it deserves to be talked about, I’m going with William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! instead. When I studied abroad in Virginia, I took this absolutely amazing class on African American and Latin American utopian fiction with one of the best English professor’s I’ve ever had, and he suggested I try Absalom, Absalom! because it was one of his favorite books. Suffice it to say, it is not one of mine. Do people honestly think Faulkner’s writing style is brilliant, or do they just say that because they want to sound clever? Because I have never come across any that I’ve hated more 🙈
Meena: Name one book or book series you would like to have a TV series or film adaption of.
This puts me in a bit of a dilemma… Because most often, I end up hating adaptations of books I really love. The only exceptions I can think of are Jurassic Park, The Hunger Games and The Lord of the Rings, so there definitely aren’t many. But I don’t particularly want to see an adaptation of an awful story, either. So I guess I’m going to cautiously go with Victoria Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy. It’s not one of my absolute favorites, so I don’t think I’d be devastated if the show turned out to be terrible, but I do think it’s great story that would translate well to screen. Just imagine how cool the different Londons would look!
Riddhi: What is your least favorite thing about blogging?
Spending so much time online. I hate it! I would much rather write my posts on an old piece of parchment and then have them magically appear on this blog, beautifully formatted. All the technical aspects of blogging are seriously annoying, so why can’t I just write and have someone else worry about the beautifulness and accessibility?
Carl: If you were given the opportunity ask your favorite author one question, what would it be?
I don’t have a favorite author (see Question 11 for more of my thoughts on that), but confronted with any author, I’d probably just ask them about their writing process, and how books they’ve written have changed since the first draft. Since I absolute love to write myself, these types of author discussions are by far the most interesting!
Plus, I’d be way too scared to ask for any background information on their books. What if they tell me something that contradicts what I imagined while reading? I’d better stay well clear of that!
Meena: Name one book or book series you think should not have had a TV series or film adaption.
Need I say more? [Though if you look at that poster very closely, you will also find the name of what is probably my second-to-least-favorite series adaptation ever – very unpopular opinion, I know 😅]
Riddhi: What are your hobbies besides blogging?
Reading and writing (duh), swimming, and music! I play violin and piano pretty seriously, ukulele, guitar and recorder not-so-seriously, and I absolutely love to sing. Honestly, one of the things that has hit me hardest during this pandemic is that I haven’t had a single orchestra rehearsal in over eight months… I miss it so much, and have been binging way too much TwoSet Violin content to make up for it 😁
Carl: What literary or fictional place do you want to visit or want to live in?
Hogwarts, obviously! But Camp Half-Blood or The Castle from the Septimus Heap books would also be pretty neat.
Meena: What’s been your favorite read this year?
Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy and Cynthia Hand’s The How & The Why. I keep thinking I love one a tiny bit more, but then remember how amazing the other was, so I just can’t pick!
Riddhi: What would the title of your biography/biopic be?
The Very Boring Biography of an Ordinary but Weird University Student
My life really isn’t that exciting… But if you think you have a better title, do let me know!
Carl: What one title do you recommend to non-readers or someone who wants to start reading?
I don’t really think there is one! The best way to get someone into reading is to give them a book that relates to their interests, and those differ vastly depending on the person you’re trying to convert. So my tip is to spy on your target until you know everything about them, and then ambush them with a topic they can’t possibly resist 😂 This worked on my brother using Percy Jackson, and it also worked on the second grader I used to read to after school. In his case, the conversion material were these absolutely terrible Lego retellings of superhero movies, but he loved them and started reading voraciously, so who am I to judge?
Meena: What TV show are you currently binging on Netflix or whatever streaming site you use?
Лучше, чем люди (Better Than Us) and Osmosis. Both are pretty dark dystopian/sci-fi series: Лучше, чем люди is about an android that develops feelings for a kind-of-dysfunctional family, and Osmosis follows a company that has developed an implant which is supposed to lead you to your perfect partner. The sole reason I started watching them was to improve my Russian and French, but I’m honestly kind of hooked now…
Riddhi: Some advice for people who have just started blogging?
Just be yourself and write what you want to write! Everyone has something to contribute to this community, and truly genuine content is bound to resonate with people way more than something generic that tries to emulate what everyone else is doing.
And don’t care too much about numbers! I think what really matters is that the people who read your stuff respond to it, and even if there are only a few of them, you’re doing something right! Don’t hesitate to engage in those conversations, and before you know it, you’ll have made lots of blogger friends 😉
Finally – don’t be scared to reach out! Maybe it can feel a little intimidating to comment on someone’s blog when they have way more followers than you do, but trust me: we all love engagement! I am insanely curious as to who my readers are and want to get to know them, so even if we’ve never spoken before, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my posts! Though it can also be a good idea to look for people who started blogging at the same time as you did, since they’re probably just as eager to make friends as you are. If you’re a book blogger, maybe check out a few Book Blog Newbie Tags and write one yourself – those are always a great way to get to know people!
Carl: Is there a book or books that has inspired you? How did it influence your life?
Every single book I’ve ever read has probably inspired me in some way or another. But Andrew Clements’ The School Story is one that particularly sticks out. It is about a twelve-year-old girl trying to get a novel published, and I love it to pieces. I have dreamed of becoming an author my whole life – even when my “writing” consisted only of pictures – but reading this book when I was in fifth grade made me feel like those dreams were achievable. It hugely inspired me to keep trying, even when what I wrote sucked, and though I definitely didn’t publish a novel at age twelve, this book has inspired me to keep writing and never give up.
Meena: If you could speak to one type of animal which one would you want to be able to talk to?
Maybe bugs would be kind of neat? After all, there are loads of them, and they are so small that they’d probably be really useful for spying on people and getting access to confidential information… Just think of all the things I would know! Though I would only use that knowledge for the good of all animal-kind, of course. *Cackles evilly*
Apart from humans, you mean? Because I don’t want to be isolated from society because I can’t talk to other people anymore! I guess I would love to be able to talk to my pet cats. Though we do understand each other pretty well without words, too, and I can imagine that they might be extremely annoying when they want food…
Riddhi: Describe yourself in seven words? (Cause it’s the seventh question)
Idealist, Nerd, Book-Obsessed, Music-Lover, INFJ, Perfectionist, Human
Carl: What does reading mean to you?
Reading is my way of immersing myself in other worlds, of discovering things I don’t know about yet, and of escaping from my own admittedly pretty boring life (see that biography title…) into excitement, wonder and intrigue!
Meena: Three books you regret buying?
None, really. Weirdly enough, I even have a pretty strong sentimental attachment to the ones I hated 😂 But since I have to pick, I’ll go with Golden Son, The White Rose and Someday, Angeline. Those were definitely a waste of money.
Riddhi: Dogs or Cats?
Cats! I love dogs, too, but cats are better.
Carl: Apart from reading, how do/did you cope with the quarantines/lockdown measures?
I spent almost the entire lockdown in a study-frenzy, so I guess we’ll have to see what I come up with now that I actually have free time again… However, I am a huge introvert, so most of my hobbies involve spending loads of time stuck in my room all by myself anyway. 😁 (My friends and I did call each other frequently, though, so I’m not completely anti-social!)
Meena: Do you prefer coffee or tea?
Tea. It is one of the best things ever invented 😍 Coffee, on the other hand – bleurghhh! It’s abominable! Seriously, how do people drink that stuff?
Riddhi: A TV show you can binge-watch forever?
Star Trek: Voyager. It is the epitome of science fiction, and I don’t care that I’ve probably seen some of the episodes well over 50 times by now. They’re perfection 😍
But since you probably already know that if you’ve been following me for a while, I also recommend you go watch Carnival Row. I recently rebinged it with my siblings, and I still love it just as much as the first time!
Carl: What qualities from fictional characters would you take and how would you use it to improve yourself or the world?
Sometimes, I really wish I was more outspoken. I’m incredibly shy, and when I do talk to people, I just want everyone to get along and be happy! So often, I actually end up being too nice to people instead of calling them out for things that upset me, or end up sacrificing my own well-being because I feel bad about telling a person I don’t actually have the time to help them. To aid in those kinds of situations, I really think I could use a bit of Ripred‘s (from Suzanne Collins’s Underland Chronicles) brutal honesty!
Also, I’d love to have some of Piper‘s (from Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series) persuasiveness! Not that I want to fool anyone into believing me, but wouldn’t it be great if some people could just be forced to listen to one another and see each other’s perspectives? It would solve so many problems in this world!
Meena: Do you drink or eat while reading?
All the time 😁 I have truly mastered this skill. While I am very likely to drip food all over my clothes when I’ve just gotten dressed for some fancy event, I have never spilled anything on my books. You just gotta prioritize what’s important…
Riddhi: A song you relate to? / A song you will never get tired of listening to?
Call me basic, but I love Shawn Mendes’s Treat You Better 🙃
Carl: Give three things you enjoy about book blogging or blogging in general.
To summarize my answer to Riddhi’s second question: Having a space to be creative, being able to look back on thoughts I had when I was younger, and, of course, interacting with all of you guys!
Meena: Do you read during day or night?
Both! You can never read enough, so why should I limit myself to one? 🤷♀️
Riddhi: Who is your favorite author?
I don’t have one. It used to be J.K. Rowling, and I still admire her for writing what are undoubtedly my favorite books in the entire world, but after her most recent antics on Twitter and that horribly Rita-Skeeter-like essay (you’ll be surprised how many truths she conveniently distorts once you start researching the claims she makes in there…), she has lost most of the respect I’ve ever had for her. But maybe, in a way, her example has also shown us that it’s dangerous to put people on a pedestal. Writers are human, too, and we shouldn’t blindly idolize them.
Carl: When do you feel most accomplished?
When I feel as though I might have contributed something to make the world better, even if it’s just by a tiny bit. When someone smiles because of me. Whenever the Syrian refugees I’ve been teaching German to for the past three years learn a new word. When someone reaches out to me and tells me that something I’ve written means something to them. When I solve a complicated math problem. When I have deep and meaningful discussions with someone who disagrees with me and we both come out of them understanding each other a little better.
Meena: Do you follow a TBR list or are you a mood reader?
I am a total mood reader 😂 Usually, I’ll just run to the library or a bookstore (or the online equivalents of the two) when I’m feeling in the mood for something, and then start reading immediately. I do always have a variety of books on my radar, but once I make the conscious decision that I want to read them, I’ll usually do it straight away. Which is why the TBR pile of gifted books I acquired during exam preparation time is stressing me out a little. I don’t like having this many unread books! (Yes, I know there are only ten of them and some people have hundreds (How do you cope???), but it’s overwhelming, alright?)
Anyway, that’s it for today 😉 I know this post was hecka long, but then again, many of you have actually said you like the long posts. All I can say is: Be careful what you wish for 😁
Finally, to spread the blogosphere love, I nominate the following amazing people to also receive this award:
- Abby @ Beyond the Read
- Allison @ Universe Within Pages
- Ella @ Ella Isn’t Studying
- Erin @ Reading on a Star
- Evelyn @ Evelyn Reads
- Klaus Viedenz
- Line @ First Line Reader
- Maisy @ Hawthorn Book Reviews
- Nefeli @ BiblioNebula
- Priyasha @ Books and Co.
- Tiction @ Fictionally Crazy
As always – definitely don’t feel pressured to do this if you don’t want to! If tags and awards aren’t your thing, if you just have a lot on your plate right now, or if you really hate my questions, I won’t be mad! (Okay, maybe don’t tell me if you hate the questions. But those other things are totally valid reasons not to do the tag 😉)
And everyone else – do check these blogs out! They’re pretty awesome 😊 I’ve linked to a post of theirs that I particularly loved recently.
- If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you wish for? (Obviously, the genie has rules that prevent you from asking for more wishes. Sorry.)
- Which book do you think is way overhyped?
- If you had to give up watching movies or listening to music for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
- How do you organize your bookshelf/bookshelves?
- What is one of your proudest achievements?
- If you had the chance to redesign the covers for one book or series, what cover-change would you bless us with?
- Which food from your country should foreign readers definitely try?
- What is one of your most unpopular bookish opinions?
- Which five emojis and/or GIFs best describe you?
- A book you think I (and everyone else) should go and read already?
- Which post that someone else wrote did you love recently?
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this tag, and if you’ve made it to the end of this onslaught of words, let me know what you thought of my answers! Do you agree with me on any of them? Which questions would you have answered differently? I would love to know!