The Out of My Comfort Zone Book Tag

It’s time for another tag! I always feel like I’m so behind on these because it takes me ages to actually do them once I realized I got tagged. This tag focuses on books out of our comfort zones (duh), which is a really intriguing topic to me. I was tagged by Celine (thank you!), and this tag was originally created by emmmabooks on YouTube.

So how does this tag work?
Easy. You have to choose one genre you read the most often, and then you can’t use any books in that genre to answer the questions. For me, my comfort zone is clearly fantasy. I’ll do my best to answer the questions without using any fantasy novels!

A Book That Is An Exception When It Comes To Genres Or Elements You Don’t Typically Like

Forbidden

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
If there is one book that’s definitely out of my comfort zone, it’s Forbidden. This novel follows a brother and sister, who have fallen in love with each other. Talk about elements I don’t typically like/feel comfortable with! However, this is an incredibly moving and emotional book, and I’d recommend it to everyone.

A Book You Enjoyed From A Genre You Previously Held Some Stigma Against

jane eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Everyone who is somewhat familiar with my reading tastes will know I don’t have a great track record with classics. I just don’t tend to enjoy them much, and they always feel like such a drag to read. Reading Jane Eyre felt like such a revelation to me. I actually loved it, and flew through the book.

A Book You Didn’t Know Was Out Of Your Comfort Zone Until You Started Reading It

the girls

The Girls by Emma Cline
When I first started reading this, I thought it was a historical fiction novel that follows a girl who gets involved with a Charles Manson-like cult. That sounds right up my alley, since I love reading about cults and serial killers. However, this was more of a historical fiction novel about a 14-year-old girl growing up. The cult didn’t come in until halfway through the book! I’d describe it more as a portrait of a girl growing up in the late 60s/early 70s.

Pick A Friend Who Motivates You To Pick Up Books You Might Not Normally Be Interested In – Is There A Book They Convinced You To Give A Try?

illuminae

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I don’t need to point at a specific person for this one, because pretty much every blogger and vlogger has been raving about this book. I didn’t think I’d like this YA science fiction novel, to be honest. I have no idea why either, it just never seemed like a read for me. I finally listened to the audiobook at the end of 2018, and fell in love with it!

A Book That Is Out of Your Comfort Zone, But You Would Like to Read

nunslinger

Nunslinger by Stark Holborn
I’ll be honest, I bought this because of the title. At the time, I was buying Gunslinger by Stephen King and needed an additional book to qualify for the discount. Then I spotted this one on the shelf. How could I pass up buying Gunslinger and Nunslinger? I couldn’t. I can’t get a grasp on this book. Is it a western? Is it historical fiction? Is it based on an actual person? I don’t know!

A Book/Genre So Outside Of Your Comfort Zone That You’ll Probably Never Give It A Chance

I don’t think there’s a genre I will never, ever read. At least, not one I can think of at the moment. I probably won’t pick up a YA paranormal romance unless my closest friends and bloggers I trust bribe me into it. I also will never read a biography or a book by a right-wing politician. No thanks. If a novel has been marked as racist, homophobic, ableist and just problematic in general by (early) reviewers, I’ll do my very best to avoid it as well. Lastly, I’ll very rarely pick up a book by a YouTuber.


I genuinely liked doing the ‘Out of my comfort zone book tag’ because it forced me to take a close look at the books I’ve read, want to read, or will never pick up. If you’re still reading this post right now, then I tag you.

The Listicle Tag | Characters I’d Go on a Holiday With

In early December, I was tagged by The Literary Huntress to do the Listicle Tag. It looked like fun, so here I am with my own post. Thank you so much for tagging me!

THE RULES

  • Create your own listicle tag, using the prompt from the person who tagged you.
  • Tag the creator of the postnot-so-modern-girl, so that I can read all your brilliant posts and see how the joy of listicles is being spread.
  • Nominate as many people as you want!
  • Set those people the subject/prompt of their listicle post

THE PROMPT

Pick 3 characters you want to have a holiday with!

Honestly, this is quite difficult for me. Why, you ask? Because I prefer to travel alone. I know, such a downer! Solo travel is absolutely incredible, and I’ll defend it with my life. For the sake of this post, though, let’s talk about 3 characters I’d like to go on a holiday with. I’m glad I was asked to pick and not more, because traveling in a large group leads to so many discussions on what to do and where to eat. I can’t handle it.

Astrid Leong | Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
I’m not going to lie, I would love to travel the world with Astrid. While I have always been lucky enough to come from a middle class family and not have to worry about money too much, these people are on a whole other level. I have no desire to become a rich person, but out of sheer curiosity I’d love to know what it’s like to travel having the amount of money this family has. I chose Astrid in particular because she’s my favorite character in the whole series. She’s relaxed and chill, and doesn’t really like drama. She does things her own way, and that’s exactly what I want.

Shallan | The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson
I struggled to decide between Shallan and Jasnah from The Way of Kings. Both women are intriguing and seemingly great company -use some sarcasm and witty retorts and I will like your company – so how would I decide? I finally picked Shallan because of her love of drawing and interest in the world. She loves to discover flora and fauna and makes wonderful drawings based on her memories. I think it would be incredible to not only be more aware of the beauty of your surroundings, but to have a skilled illustrator draw them as well.

Nina | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Nina, let’s travel the world and eat all the delicious foods it has to offer! Traveling with a foodie like Nina sounds like so much fun. We could start our journey in Belgium – where I live – so she can try Belgian waffles first.

I TAG…

I’m always horrible with these things, but here are some people I’d love to see do their own version of this tag.

Destiny @ Howling Libraries | Annemieke @ A Dance With Books | Ayundabhuwana @ Ayundabhuwana’s Blog

My question for you all is…

If you had to describe yourself using three characters from your favorite books, movies or TV shows, who would you pick?

 

The Briggs book tag | INFJ

I’ve seen the Briggs Book Tag go around on Booktube, and immediately know I wanted to do it as well. Honestly, it’s one of the most interesting tags I’ve ever seen. I’ve always been intrigued by the Myers-Briggs personality types. In the past few years, I’ve done the test multiple times and always ended up on the same type: INFJ. In case you want more information on INFJs, or the other personality types, you can read all about it here. The tag provides you with a different question per aspect of your personality type, as well as an overarching question for your type in particular.

The tag was created by Jaded Reader.

INTROVERT – I

You can be outgoing, but need to recharge with some calming solitude. Where is your favorite place to read and unwind, and why?

Most definitely my couch. Most of the time, I’m reading while sitting on my couch underneath a blanket. Either that, or I read in bed. I really want to be warm and comfortable while reading, and preferably have something to drink at hand too. Usually that’s my big water bottle so I can take a sip every once in a while. When I read on the couch or in bed, I can zone out for ages and keep reading because there are no distractions. If I really want to set the reading mood, I’ll also put on a soundtrack playlist.

When I took the train to and back from work every day, I also read during my train rides. They were around 50 minutes each so it did provide me with some dedicated reading time every day. I no longer do that, however.

INTUITION – N

Some books are meant to be understood, others are meant to be explored. What book or character stands for an idea that is deeply meaningful to you?

I couldn’t pick between The Secret History by Donna Tartt and If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio for this question because they both explore similar themes. Both books tackle the idea of every human being capable of violence, on how far we would go to protect the people we love. I find that endlessly fascinating. I think we’re all capable of more cruelty than we believe ourselves to be, especially when it comes to protecting loved ones. When I read these books, I put myself in the position of the characters and find myself wondering whether I would make the same decisions.

FEELING – F

Not everything needs to be realistic, where is the fun in a world with limits? Which fantasy world do you find so atmospheric, you slip inside and never want to leave?

Such an easy question to answer for me: Middle Earth. I fell in love with it when I first watched The Lord of the Rings movies as an early teen. I think I was around 12 when I first watched them. I fell in love with Hobbiton, Rivendell, Lothórien, Rohan, and more. Reading the books only added to my love for Middle Earth. If there was one world I wish I could travel to, it would definitely be this one.

JUDGING – J

All work and no play leads to chaotic disorder and anarchy. How do you balance your reading, BookTube/book blog, and personal life?

Honestly, I’m not very good at this. I’ve simply found that something always has to give, and I cannot do everything I want to do. For the past 1.5 years I was working full-time. I still read quite a bit, not as much as I did during university, but I didn’t blog as much. There were quite a few months where I barely posted anything. I’m not working now (however, I am looking for work) which means that I have more time to blog. I also wanted to keep my BookTube channel, but I honestly don’t have enough time for it.

I am currently prioritizing looking for work, my family and friends, yoga, reading, healthy eating, watching Youtube videos and TV shows, and reading blog posts. If I want to add creating videos to this, I’d have to let a lot of the previously mentioned ones go. To tell you the truth, balancing these things just means understanding that I can’t do everything, and deciding which I want to prioritize and what is most important to me.

INFJ

Yes, we’re a bit odd but we’re also filled with intuition and empathy. What is a book you would recommend to a friend who is having a hard time?

This depends on the friend, and the situation they are in. If I look back at myself during university, I had a lot of trouble figuring out where I belonged. Especially within my friend group. I didn’t really understand myself, and that’s where a lot of my sadness came from. For people going through the same, Quiet by Susan Cain might be an interesting read. It truly made me feel validated and understood, as an introvert in a friend group of extroverts.

Or it could be that this person just needs to see themselves in happy situations, and know that a good things can happen for them too. In that case, I would recommend books like Running With Lions, The Upside of Unrequited, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Leah on the Offbeat, When Dimple Met Rishi, Radio Silence and so forth.

It’s also possible that this person just wants to escape within books. For that, I’d recommend re-reading some of your favorite books. Or simple reading some fantasy like Nevermoor, Red Sister, The Bone Witch, Written in Red, the Farseer trilogy, Children of Blood and Bone or The Inheritance trilogy.


That’s it, my answers to the Briggs book tag! Did you learn anything about me? Have you read any of these books? What is your Myers-Briggs personality type?

The Queer Eye Book Tag!

I was tagged by Inge @ Of Wonderland for the Queer Eye book tag, and I couldn’t be more excited. I recently binge-watched Queer Eye, and I adore the show. This tag was created by Ayla @ Books and Babbles.

The rules

The Queer Eye Book Tag consists of five categories (one for each of the Fab Five – Food & Wine, Fashion, Grooming, Design & Culture). For each category, just pick a book that comes to mind (or two, or more…). There’s a “bonus” category inspired by the QE Hip Tips at the end of each episode: #QEBOOKTIP. This is where you can talk about your favourite queer book(s). When you’re done, tag your bookish friends to do this as well!

Food and wine // Antoni

Antoni might be my favorite of the Fab 5. Sorry! There’s just something so welcoming about him, and the way he approaches the others’ relationship with food.

the strange and beautiful sorrows of ava lavender

I can’t help but think of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton when I think about food. This is the story of the Lavender/Roux family through generations, with some magical realism added in, and focuses mainly on the women of the family. The bakery that was mentioned so often in this book was divine. The descriptions of cakes, sweets and bread made my mouth water.

Fashion // Tan

Another favorite! Honestly, I have a hard time sticking to my favorite. They’re all great, okay?

I chose two books for this topic, oops! I chose The Kiss Quotient because one of the main characters, Michael, wants to be a designer and works as a tailor. I loved reading about his love for clothes and how he made a dress for Stella. I also chose The Bone Witch because of the beautiful descriptions of the asha’s traditional clothing: the hua.

Grooming // Jonathan

all-the-rage

I know this seems like a weird pick, because it is a book about rape and rape culture. But the main character has this habit that calms her down, sort of like a action that anchors and calms her. That habit is painting her lips and nails red. So yeah, while it’s not a happy book whatsoever, I think All the Rage fits this topic well.

Design // Bobby

I chose The Upside of Unrequited because of Molly’s love for Pinterest. Especially with how excited she was to decorate a wedding venue. I could see her collaborating with Bobby to create the most special place for someone’s wedding! I also chose Everything Leads to You, which is a bit of an obvious choice since the main character designs movie sets.

Culture // Karamo

I chose Quiet because Karamo helps people to embrace and love themselves. He helps them understand themselves better, and that’s exactly what Quiet did for me. I also picked Am I Normal Yet? because Evie’s story is one of self-love and acceptance too. Evie has OCD, and is recovering from a bad period. It’s about challenging what ‘normal’ means, how OCD and mental illness change you, about friendships, and more. It’s everything Karamo loves, I think. I also picked Children of Blood and Bone because Karamo doesn’t just want people to love themselves, but to love others and understand their struggles too. Children of Blood and Bone is a fantasy novel, but it also forces you to think about racism, oppression, power dynamics, privilege, etc.

#QEBookTips

Guess who couldn’t choose? This one. These are all books I love with LGBT+ rep! I recently read Running With Lions and discovered it’s an adorable sports camp book with a m/m relationship. Radio Silence is one of my all-time favorite reads and has a bisexual main character, a gay side character and a demisexual or (?) asexual main character. The Melody of You and Me is one of the most adorable f/f books I’ve read, even though it was super short. Obviously have to mention Leah On the Offbeat, because I adored it. I don’t want to spoil anything, but The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet features an incredibly adorable f/f relationship too. I adored The Alchemists of Loom, and love the fact that it’s a fantasy novel with a bisexual main character. Lastly, I want to mention the Magnus Chase books by Rick Riordan because Alex is life. And I’m glad he’s making his books more realistic (I don’t mean the fantasy parts, obviously) by including more diversity.

I tag…

 

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2018

I’m actually doing a tag. Surprising, right? I’ve seen pretty much everyone doing this tag and I really like the questions. It’s kind of like a mid-year wrap up. So let’s get into it! The tag was created by Chami and Ely.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2018

I can’t pick because all of these were amazing. Red Sister was my first Mark Lawrence book, and I can’t wait to read more of his works. I mean, assassin nuns (in training)? Yes. The Heart Forger was an incredible sequel to The Bone Witch. I’m so invested in this story and these characters. I also finally picked up The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and fell in love with it. Fantastic world, wonderful and intriguing characters and space!

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.

I mentioned The Heart Forger above, so I won’t go into details. Just know that this series is great. I also read Morning Star (and Golden Son), the last book in the Red Rising series. What a finale…

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

I’ve heard so many great things about The Poppy War, and I really need to buy it. I adored Alice Oseman’s Radio Silence, so I Was Born for This was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I own a copy but I still haven’t read it. The Kiss Quotientsounds like an incredible read! A romance with a Vietnamese-Swedish love interest and a woman who has Asperger’s (which I believe is own voices). Uprooted was also one of my favorite novels in the past few years, so I’m looking forward to reading Naomi Novik’s latest retelling, Spinning Silver.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

I adore Becky Albertalli so I’m looking forward to read the book she co-wrote with Adam Silvera, What If It’s Us. The synopsis sounds so wonderful! Obviously, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy is one of my most anticipated books of the year. I can’t wait to read Felicity’s story!

Biggest disappointment.

before i let go

Before I Let Go was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and I was left quite disappointed. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really like it either. It ended up being a 2-star read. I far preferred the author’s debut novel, This Is Where It Ends.

Biggest surprise.

if we were villains

If We Were Villains was the biggest surprise of the year so far. I picked it up at the library and I had never heard anyone talk about it. It was described as perfect for fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and I honestly couldn’t agree more. Great book!

Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

pachinko

Min Jin LeePachinko was a very moving and sad read, but I loved it nonetheless. Min Jin Lee did a terrific job describing the lives of this family throughout the decades.

Newest fictional crush.

traitor to the throne

Rahim, from Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton. I want to see him play a bigger role in the third book because I adore him!

Newest favourite character.

leah on the offbeat

Leah. I know she technically isn’t a new character to me, but we’re going to go with it anyway. I know many people found her annoying but she was just so relatable to me. I adored Leah. She wasn’t perfect, she has her flaws and sometimes her knee-jerk reactions are awful but she’s so real to me.

Book that made you cry.

I don’t think a book has made me cry yet this year!

Book that made you happy.

circe

I was so happy while reading Circe because I’ve been waiting for another Madeline Miller book for ages! Also, this book was fantastic.

Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year.

love, simon

No doubt about it. I adored Love, Simon which is the adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It made me laugh and cry!

Favourite review you’ve written this year.

I haven’t really written many this year, so I’m not entirely sure which one to pick. Maybe my review of If We Were Villains? I like writing reviews of books I think aren’t mentioned enough in the bookish community.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

children of blood and bone

The cover of Children of Blood and Bone is absolutely stunning. I need to read this book before the end of the month because I’m hoping to get my copy signed at YALC!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Grey Sister is one I really need to finish. I started this sequel to Red Sister after it arrived in the mail but I was in a huge reading slump at the time. So I want to pick it back up now I’m getting out of said slump! I also really need to read The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I adore Sanderson’s works and this book has been on my shelf for a while… It’s just so intimidating!

 

Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

I was tagged for this one by the lovely Ely @ Tea & Titles. I assume you’re already following her. If not, definitely check her out! The blog is run by Ely & Michelle, and they are both wonderful beings.

How long have you been a blogger?

I’ve been a blogger since September 2014, so a little over 2 years! I can’t believe it’s been 2 years already. I’m so grateful I decided to take the plunge.

At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?

I have no plans to do so? I don’t think I can put a time on that. Maybe in a few years, I won’t have the time. Or I won’t have time to read anymore. I don’t know. But right now, I don’t have any plans of leaving the community.

What is the best thing about blogging?

No doubt, you all. The community. I know there are a lot of discussion posts on drama on Twitter/within the community, but I have personally never been part of it. I’ve only had one rude comment, which wasn’t even rude to me, but to the YA genre. I just deleted it. The support I’ve received from you all, the recommendations and the friendship, those are things I treasure. 

What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it better?

Like I said, I’ve only ever gotten one rude comment. So I guess that’s the worst part. People who misunderstand and get angry, drama, etc. I don’t often see the drama first hand, so I think I already make it better by following only the great and chill people. 

How long does it take you to make/find pictures to use? 

I’ve been trying to get more into book-photography, but I don’t do it often yet. When I do, I plan different books to photograph on one day or one morning, so I do it all together. I also don’t have that many graphics on my blog, so I guess this question doesn’t really apply to me. 

Who is your book crush?

Can I think about this answer for 10 years? Yes? Thank you. I guess I absolutely adore Fred Weasley. And I love Eragon (from the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini) too, especially as he grows during the books. And Jem Carstairs (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare). Jem’s the best. 

What author would you like to have on your blog?

I guess Rachel Aaron or Michael J. Sullivan? I adore both authors, think they are highly underrated, and would read anything they wrote.

What do you wear when you write a blog post? 

Whatever I’m wearing that day? Sometimes jeans, sometimes a dress, sometimes sweatpants or pyjamas? I guess it depends when I’m writing, and where I am? 

How long does it take you to prepare? 

Prepare for what? To write a blog post? None at all, I turn my laptop on and start writing. To film a video? Not long, I just grab the books and move the camera.

How do you feel about the book blogger community? 

I love this community. There have been so many people over the past 2 years that have made me feel welcome, appreciated, and so on. I’m so glad to get to know you all. 

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog? 

Am I the right person to ask this? I don’t know. I guess I’d say to just be yourself when you write. Don’t try to imitate someone else’s writing voice. It won’t feel genuine, and you won’t be able to stick with it. Just stick with the writing style and blogging style that suits you. There will be people out there who will love to read it. Also, be respectful. Accept that you have much to learn, especially in the case of diversity. A while ago, I wrote a blog post about privilege and feeling uneducated, and the response I got was great. I have a lot of privilege that I was born with. So I try my best to read diversely, to understand others’ experiences and to never, ever discount them. 

Are you still here, reading this? Then I am now tagging you.