The Unique Blogger Award

Thank you so much, Nel@Recreational Tales, for nominating me for this amazing award – The Unique Blogger Award – I just can’t wrap my head around how this could have ever happened to me. Me? Being Unique? OH. MY. GOSH. That was my initial response to this nomination.
Thank you so, so much, Nel, once again for nominating me – it’s been such a pleasure to read her inspiring, eclectic posts ranging from beautiful pics to thought-provoking posts on endangered animals. Her posts really reflect what a great person she is. I know you already have, but if you haven’t, go check out her blog! It’s really enlightening and inspiring.

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  • Ask them 3 questions.

 

Questions:

If you could pick a book to turn into a movie adaptation, what would it be?

dark-matter

I would pick Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I read this Sci-Fi thriller last October and was literally blown away. It is so mind-bending and toppled my world and conception upside down. Funny thing is that, this is exactly what Naty@Naty’s Bookshelf and I talked about a couple of days ago. We both enjoyed this book so much and discussed this book would definitely make a fantastic Sci-Fi movie if realized. I really want to see how film production teams visualize the mind-bending, earth-shattering scene that arrives in the last 100 pages or so. (If you have read the book, you probably can guess what scene I’m talking about).

What inspires you most about your blog?

I am not quite sure if I got this question right, but what really inspires me about this blog is my love of reading and urge to share my thoughts with like-minded people all over the world through English. I’m Japanese and have never lived nor studied abroad. I’m a complete self-taught learner of English (I ditched the idea of painstaking study a long ago though) and simply LOVE writing in English. Those two passions keep me motivated and inspired to continue blogging. Last but definitely NOT least, what really keeps me going is the interactions that I get to have with all of you – you readers! Every single comment, every single ‘like’ you’ve given me brought me this far – I’m extremely happy and glad that I started this blog.
Thank you so, so much for your support. It means so much to me and I cannot thank you enough.

What author inspired you (doesn’t have to be a book; can be film director or music composer)?

As I said in my June Book Haul post, I haven’t read as many authors’ books as you have, so I would go for my all-time favorite musician, Steve Porcaro and his late brother, Jeff Porcaro. Steve Porcaro, a great keyboardist from TOTO has been my music hero since I was in high school. Although he left the band after the release of their sixth album, ‘Fahrenheit,’ he kept working and touring with them up until their seventh record, ‘The Seventh One’ (He later got reinstated in the band in 2010). Steve’s composition, chord progressions are simply beautiful and very introspective. There’s always something that grips my heart. (Sidenote: he wrote Michael Jackson’s ‘Human Nature’). Only three of his songs made the cut in TOTO’s catalogue until he left the band, but all of those three songs, in particular, the first two, ‘Takin’ It Back’ and ‘It’s a Feeling,’ are pretty haunting and addictive to me. I swear I could keep them going the entire day. As for Jeff Porcaro, I don’t think I need to go on explaining what a great drummer he was. There’s nothing like his groove and his execution on hi-hats; they’re very distinct and I loved every single piece of his work; there’s no drummer like Jeff for me. It’s so sad he left this world from pesticide-induced heart failure on August 5th, 1992. It was the saddest day of my life but I will never forget the legacy he left for us.

What’s your favorite Disney Song???

Tough question!! A big confession to make; I didn’t grow up with Disney films nor have I ever been a big fan of Disney because of the lack of exposure. I’ve only watched a handful of Disney films such as The Lion King, The Lion King 2, Tarzan, Hercules, Mulan, Atlantis, and oh, Frozen! That’s pretty much everything I’ve watched.
So the question is… what is my favorite Disney song… I think songs in Disney films are all pretty awesome and well composed, but I would go for ‘He Lives in You’ from The Lion King 2.
I could tell the overall quality of the movie kind of pales in comparison to The Lion King. I enjoyed The Lion King 2 a lot. It’s still a nice, moving film but it didn’t hit me as strongly as the first one did.
That said though, despite its a bit lackluster picture quality, I loved this song. Again, it doesn’t hit me as much as it did when I first watched this film, but I still like this A LOT. The whole ‘Mufasa watches over Simba from high up in the sky’ thing never fails to move me.

 

My Questions:

  • Out of five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch), what is the most important to you and why?
  • If you could recreate one food from your favorite books/films/TV shows etc., what would it be and why?
  • What was your favorite and least favorite subject in school and why?

 

My Nominees:

I nominated the bloggers that I recently got connected and have a very distinct ‘voice,’ in my eyes. As I don’t want to inundate my fellow bloggers with so many tags (and I am kind of guilty about that), I’ll cap the number of my nominees at seven this time.
That said though, you – my dear readers are all ‘unique’ and lovely to me. Please remember that ❤
(To my nominees: If you’ve already done this tag or don’t to tags, feel free to skip it. Please do not feel pressured to do it!)

Thank you so much for reading as always, I hope you enjoyed this!
I’ll talk to you all again soon 🙂

June Book Haul

Hello, everyone! This is not technically a book haul, this is just a monthly book-buying which ended up being way over my budget (again, yes), but I’m going to share with you the books that I bought this month. I’m pretty much certain that I’ve bought all the books that had been on my radar or I had been meaning to buy, but we’ll see…

Here are the images of the books that I’ve bought this month (so far):

I completely lost track of the number while I was buying them, but I ended up buying 17 books… this is plain crazy lol  But only five are physical copies (paperbacks) and most of the Kindle books were on special offers (or incredibly low-priced), so the number itself is pretty staggering, but as far as the bottom line goes, it didn’t put me in much of a strain.

Totally unexpected was this:

Kindle

Yes, my new Kindle Fire 7 which came out on June 7th. I didn’t even intend to buy this, but I noticed what had stopped me from reading on my Kindle was the colorless, black-and-white display of my Kindle Paperwhite. As you guys know, I do AN AWFUL LOT of cover buy. I am an epitome of ‘judging-a-book-by-its-cover’ reader, so not being able to appreciate beautiful covers means quite a downside to me 😦

It’s been more than a week since I got this baby and I’m really enjoying the reading experience. This won’t change my preference for physical books but I’m now more inclined to read on my Kindle than before unless physical books seem more appropriate than e-books (For instance, I don’t think books like ‘Everything Everything’ and ‘Illuminae’ will work well with e-book formats; they do contain a lot of graphics and I’m not quite sure how truthfully e-book formats can recreate and visualize them.) If you have such e-books and think they work perfectly well, definitely let me know. I might change my mind about e-books in general 😀

In addition to those books, my dear Twitter friend (she likes reading English books, too) got me Jane Green ‘Summer Secrets’

I asked her to get ‘Summer Days & Summer Nights,’ a collection of short stories by popular YA authors on behalf of me and then she decided to throw in that book, too!
I don’t know if you can tell from the pic, but the SPINE IS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS with an alternative stripe pattern of different shades of blue, I fell in  love with it.
This is going to be my very first Jane Green (as a newbie, there are so many authors whose books I have never read…), and I am so excited to read it this summer!
Thank you, my friend! I know you’re reading this, I cannot thank you enough for all the love toward me ❤

 

That’s it for today. Those are the books I recently bought and plan to read during this summer (not everything, but hopefully).
What are the books you’re planning to read or you’re anxiously waiting?
Let me know in the comments and I’ll talk to you all again soon 🙂

Soul Ripping Romance Tag!

Hello, everyone! Here comes another Tag time!
Thank you Jo-Ann@Inspiration Pie for tagging me for this fun tag created by Nel@Reactionary Tales. You guys know how much I love heart-shattering books, so this tag is right up my alley,  I know it’ll be so much fun doing this.
If you haven’t already, go hurry check out Nel’s and Jo-Ann’s blogs. They are both amazing bloggers and have great, inspiring, fun content, too!

Without further ado, let’s dive right in! 🙂

The Guide:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and create a pingback to the original author Nel@Reactionary Tales.
  • Share at least 5 (but more are welcome) romances that tugged your heart strings. They can be from books, movies, TV shows, manga; anything you can think of! They can be examples of sad tears, angry tears, happy tears or a combination of all three.
  • Nominate 5 (or more) people to share their emotional traumas.
  • (Note: Try not to spoil the story for your readers in case they would like to check out these romances on their own)

 

My Take on Soul-Ripping Romances:

 

Neal and Georgie from Landline

landline

Let me say this out loud – I LOVE Neal in Landline. He’s quiet, reticent yet once he speaks, whatever word comes from him just rocks my soul to the core.  I don’t know exactly what it is, I just can’t put my finger on it, but something about Neal enthralled me.  What broke my heart while reading Landline was Georgie’s angst and desperate want to get a hold of Neal. Her desperate craving for his voice and reassurance that they’ll be OK tugged at my heartstrings and I couldn’t help but root for Georgie. I love them.

 

Marie-Laure and Werner from All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light we Cannot See

I know I keep bringing up this book over and over again, and Marie-Laure and Werner might not fall into the category of ‘romance,’ yet I swore I felt something beautiful and special sprang between them and I simply adored it. This is the reason why THE FOUNTAIN OF THE EARTH thing shattered my heart to bits and rendered me momentarily dysfunctional. I cannot gush enough about how shocked and broken I was. Oh, man. Anthony Doerr… 😦

 

Ben and Felicity from Felicity (TV show)

I love this couple. This might date me (who cares, anyway?), but when I first watched this show long time a go, I fell in love with the budding romance between them and literally gritted my teeth with frustration every time a third character gets in the way and splits them apart.
I haven’t watched the final episode yet, but I bought the complete DVD box series last summer so I could always indulge myself whenever I’m in the mood for a healthy dose of heart-tingling romance 🙂

 

Cinder and Kai from the Lunar Chronicle Series

cress-cover

I know all too well (yes, ‘WELL,’ thank you) I’m a bit too old for having my heart flutter over a YA series, but this couple had me in their clutches and filled me with happiness when they finally get reunited in Cress. Their mutual attraction is nothing but the obvious right from the beginning, so it was almost agonizing that I had to read how emotionally conflicted they are in Cinder and Scarlet. Kai is still a teenager but his demeanor and maturity embody what I look for in a man and I absolutely adore Cinder for being mentally strong and a kick-butt heroine, not being reduced down to be a saccharine cutey-girly type I personally don’t like.

 

Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility (Film)

I haven’t read the book yet I’ve watched this adaptation so many times, and the last scene (shown in the Gif) never fails to get me all welled up. Emma Thompson’s performance is simply stunning; she beautifully expresses the moment when Elinor’s bottled up feelings and emotions toward Edward finally gush out. It’s simply breathtaking and rewarding. I love this film. I cannot get enough of it.

 

I tag…

I’m sorry if you’ve already done this tag. If you haven’t been tagged, feel free to participate and keep this chain going. Let’s be real; we could always use a little romance in our lives 🙂

Thank you so much for reading and your support! It’s been fun!
I’ll talk to you again soon 😀

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The keeper of lost things

The Keeper of Lost Things: A Novel

 

Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life lovingly collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before.

Realizing he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfill his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.

But the final wishes of the ‘Keeper of Lost Things’ have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters…


 

This is a delightful, beautiful read. The gentle undertone running through the book absolutely enthralled me and kept me turning pages.

The story opens up with Anthony Peardew, once a celebrated author of short stories, coming into possession of a biscuit tin containing what seems like cremation remains, and then the story reveals why Anthony has kept collecting lost things and been trying to reunite the items with their rightful owners.

The Anthony part grabbed my heart instantly – the gentle, quiet undertone of the writing beautifully and amazingly reflects his declining health and lets us know that his time is running out. His angst and regret for having failed to fulfill the promise he made with his loved one and his resignation just broke my heart. I was only 60 pages in the book, but I swore that I felt my heart constricted with grief. It was simply amazing how the author got me so invested in a character at such an early stage of the story.

The writing is stunningly beautiful. ‘Gentle,’ and ‘atmospheric,’ are the words that I would employ to describe the writing. It’s full of soft nuance, simply breathtaking.

The story features two parallel stories – one in the present with Laura inheriting the legacy as ‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ that Anthony entrusted with her, and another featuring Eunice who builds a strong, abiding friendship (love on her part) with her boss Bomber. Interspersed by stories of the individual items that fell into Anthony’s lap, this Eunice part narrates their story starting in 1974 and then slowly inches toward the present. These two, what seem like irrelevant stories eventually come together in the end so perfectly, fitting the final piece of a puzzle and answering we readers’ questions.

At first, I wasn’t quite convinced with the necessity of Eunice and Bomber side of the story; it does clear my question why there is at the relatively early part of the book, and I could tell this Eunice part would play a significant role later in this book. But I felt it was a bit too lengthy to follow largely because the story in general moves so slowly. This applies to not only Eunice part, but Laura’s side of the story does develop rather slowly, both in terms of her progress as ‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ and her personal relationship with a gardener, Freddy.
That said, this pacing didn’t come across boring nor drag, I could tell the author wove those two stories with utmost care – they are really detailed and meticulous. It sank in on me so naturally when the two stories finally intertwined. The way some of the items finding its way to their owners was really well-done, too. It felt like untangling some knotted threads, it cleared the misty fog that’d been sitting in my mind and filled me with a warm feeling.

One thing that I didn’t expect about this book was a fantastical aspect; I don’t want to be spoilery so I’ll refrain from going much into this, but the ghost thing and Sunshine’s uncanny ability of ‘feeling’ the voices of the items threw me off a little bit. This is the twist I wasn’t expecting from this book and I momentarily thought it was a bit unrealistic.

But then again, this magical, bit fantastical aspect gave the book a whimsical vibe and made it really an enjoyable read.

The underlining themes of this book, I assume, are redemption, ‘abiding love,’ and keeping promise.
Each character drags heavy luggage of the past for either breaking promises or failing to live up to expectations and they are struggling and striving to atone for what they had failed to fulfill.
Anthony’s struggles for atonement is particularly heartfelt. His angst for having failed to keep the promise and wish to get reunited with his loved one is simply heart-wrenching and this unfulfilled promise, which Anthony entrusts to Laura, is the core of the entire story and this is what makes the ending breathtakingly beautiful.

To be perfectly honest, the very ending was a bit anticlimactic for me and I wish the author spent a few more pages to wrap up the story, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

This is such a delightful, beautiful, charming book. It’s perfect to curl up with along with a lovely, hot cup of tea.
I simply cannot believe this is Ruth Hogan’s debut novel. I cannot wait to read her next book.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Liebster Award Nomination!!

Now I’ve really started to sound like a broken record – but I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by Mischenko@ReadRantRock&Roll! This is simply unbelievable, I feel truly blessed and humbled to be nominated for this amazing award! Thank you so much Mischenko for even thinking of me 🙂
If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, I highly recommend you do so. Her posts runs the gamut… Food recipes, music and most importantly (for me) book reviews! It’s highly entertaining.

What is the Liebster Award? (Excerpt from Michenko’s blog)

“Liebster” is a German word meaning beloved, dearest, sweetheart, or darling.

For bloggers, the Liebster Award is an online recognition given by other bloggers to new bloggers for enjoying or appreciating their work. It highlights up and coming blogs.

Once nominated, a blogger is asked to answer 11 questions provided by the nominating blogger. They are then expected to nominate 11 other favorite new bloggers and come up with a list of 11 new questions for those nominees.

The Rules:
  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs.
  4. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
  5. Give them 11 questions to answer.

 

Questions from Mischenko

1. Do you consider yourself an artist in any way when it comes to music, art, crafts, or hobbies?
Absolutely NOT. I’m completely lacking the so-called “creative-gene”; I couldn’t possibly create anything from scratch. It’s incredibly hard for me to even come up with an idea! I can’t play any musical instruments, nor can I read music scores, I cannot paint, the only thing that I can handle is crocheting. It’s much simpler than knitting.

2. What’s your favorite type of music or your favorite band?
I basically listen to whatever genre as long as it strikes a code with me, but I would say my favorite type of music is Classic Rock or Westcoast AOR. I have a big brother 7 years older than me and he would listen to such music AN AWFUL LOT and his taste in music seemed to have rubbed off on me.
My favorite band is TOTO. I experienced my very first VIP Meet and Greet with them last March and boy, IT WAS HEAVEN!! They’ll probably be coming back to Japan next year and I cannot wait.

3. What’s your favorite thing to do?
Obviously, reading with watching YouTube/NetFlix/Hulu a close second. When I can have the entire weekend all to myself and get to read, it makes me extremely happy 🙂

4. Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I’m not sure if this can be ‘interesting,’ but I was born to a Buddhist priest and have probably seen way higher numbers of Buddhist monks than you have in your life lol
But then again, I have a big brother who already took over the temple, so I only know so much about temples or Buddhism/rituals as you do… (which means, don’t ask!)

5. Does blogging ever stress you out?
If struggling with making posts on books counts, yes. I seem to have been in a huge writing slump lately and what I assumed would be easy-peasy often ends up taking like forever.
But I have never considered quitting blogging now that I got to know all of you – my fellow bloggers! (sounds a bit presumptuous of me to say though). Thank you so much for enriching my life ♥

6. Do you like to cook?
I do. But it doesn’t seem to be translated into my cooking skills as well as I would have liked…

7. What’s your favorite reading genre?
It’s so hard to choose! Can you let me off the hook by saying, ‘I love emotionally charged books that will shatter me’?

8. Are you on Goodreads?
Yes! I joined Goodreads in April 2014, you can find me here if you’re intersted 😉

9. Do you like where you live?
I once wanted to move to big cities like Tokyo to meet many more people and explore my potential, but a lot of complications got in the way and I gave up on that.
I used to regret having chosen to stay here, but I now think I’m being here for a reason; this must be the place for me (at least for now).

Here’s the sneak peak of where I’m living: taken from a popular tourist attraction.

10. What kinds of foods do you like to eat?
Italian, Chinese and I really want to try authentic American food such as burgers.
And most importantly, desserts like cookies, muffins and donuts!

11. What’s your favorite season?
I would say Fall, because the climate is just perfect for me who tends to get hot so easily. Summer in Japan is just a nightmare for me… The mid-Fall would be perfect; it’s not too warm, it’s not too cold…  and I get to wear a lot of brown and purple which are my favorite colors (other than pink).

My Nominees:

Although I’ve been blogging over 9 months now, I think it’s only last month that I started to proactively interact with other bloggers. For that reason, please allow me to nominate only a handful of people most of whom I’ve been tagging a lot lately… sorry! I’m trying to make my circle of friends bigger!

If you have done this award or don’t want to, please do not feel pressure to do it. I just wanted you all know that I’ve been having so much fun to read your posts!

 

My 11 questions to the nominees:
  1. What inspired you to start blogging?
  2. Other than blogging, what are your passions in life? (name the top 1).
  3. Suppose you won a huge windfall that would surely last the rest of your life, what would you do with the money?
  4. What is your favorite place to read?
  5. Give me your tips to stay awake and keep reading at night when you’re awfully sleepy.
  6. Which of the following do you see yourself fit as a reader – having multiple books going at the same time or single-mindedly focusing on one book?
  7. How would you describe yourself in a few words?
  8. Are you athletic or good at sports? (because I’m NOT; I’m curious!)
  9. What is your go-to method to vent your stress?
  10. Tell us the name of the city (or place) you have never visited but desperately want to.
  11. Give me one thing that is on your bucket list (or thing you really want to do in your lifetime).

 

It’s been such an honor to receive this recognition and it’s been tough but so much fun to answer/come with these questions!

Thank you so much for reading and your support, I’ll talk to you again soon!

The Entertainer Blogger Award

I’ve been nominated for this award by two amazing bloggers, Jay@ThisIsMyTruthNow and Stephanie@Stephanie’s Novel Fiction and the nomination came out of left field. You two will never imagine how taken aback I was and I’m really blessed to receive such recognition – thank you guys once again for even thinking of me 🙂
Both bloggers have simply amazing ENTERTAINING blogs, please go check them out!

The Rules
  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Add these rules to your post.
  • Answer all the questions below.
  • Display the award picture in your post.
  • Nominate 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring and most important of all, ENTERTAINING!

 

WHY DID YOU START A BLOG IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Writing something in English has always been a delight for me since my time in junior college and this is probably one of the things that I’m still passionate about.
Although I was content with the solitary act of writing (and keeping it to myself) at first, but I began to think I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings with others as time went by; I began to look for an outlet where I can express myself, my feelings with my own words and share them with people all over the world.
I started blogging a few years ago, but simple blogging never worked out for me; being a person of absolutely no creativity whatsoever, I ran out of topics to blog about shortly and stopped blogging altogether and put it on the back burner for the next couple of years.
It was last summer that I started blogging again here at WordPress; I figured blogging about books could work and voila,  I’m still blogging. It definitely worked and I’m so hapy about that.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?

Tough question! I generally love (or try to love) all the books that I read in an equal measure and it’s extremely hard to narrow the choice down to only one…
But I would say it’s a toss-up between The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. They are both simply haunting, beautiful books and I’m sure they both will stick with me for a long time.

WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE THE MOST?

I don’t know if it’s because of me being Japanese but I don’t want any form of confrontation in my life; I don’t relish the idea of having to confront others and I’d clam up and let it pass over my head if things would go smoothly if I chose to do so.
Having constructive, forward-looking discussions is totally a different story; I do appreciate having such productive dialogues with others and I think it’s very important to have open discussions to better understand others as well as to get yourself known. But just yelling and lashing out at others for no good reason or just for an outlet of one’s pent-up stress and frustration? NO THANK YOU.  I don’t want any additional stress in my life.
I also don’t appreciate labeling / categorizing others, like assuming what kind of person he/she is (mostly in a negative light) based on a wrong assumption and sticking to it. People do change and evolve. Taking others for granted or looking down on them on a misguided preconception is the last thing I’d want to do unto others. I think it is always important to keep your eyes and mind open and try to look at others in a positive light.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD AT THE MALL?

Another tough question… Living in the middle of nowhere in Japan, there aren’t many shopping malls around here. But if food courts at department stores counts, I would definitely go for french fries. I cannot get enough of them. Or, doughnuts and coffee. That’s a perfect combo for me 🙂

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PAST TIME?

Reading and daydreaming. I could do them like forever…

MY NOMINEES:
  1. JessicaMarie493
  2. Beast Books
  3. TheCleverReader
  4. Beth(Reading Every Night)
  5. MyPaperInfinity
  6. The Mystique Reader
  7. Lisa’s Everyday Life
  8. ReadHeadedBookLover
  9. Book Mojo
  10. JenAcideByBibliophile
  11. Abinotronix
  12. Kristine Kraves Books

 

I apologize if you have been tagged already or I tagged you way too many times lol

Thank you so much once again and I’ll see you again soon!

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hello, everyone! Here comes another tag time; I’ve recently been tagged by mojoreb @Book Mojo for this Mid Year Book Freak Out tag and I’m definitely all game for the challenge!

If you haven’t already, go check out his blog. His in-depth reviews are simply impressive.

Without further ado, let’s get on with the tag 🙂

 

Questions:

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017:

This is a tough one! These two books are actually almost on the same level so I would pick The Kite Runner by  Khaled Hosseini and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  They are both stunningly beautiful, haunting books. They literally broke my heart and I love them.

2. Best sequel of 2017 so far:

winter

Winter by Marissa Meyer. It would probably have been a toss-up between ‘The Crooked Kingdom’ and ‘Winter’ if I had read the latter, but I still haven’t, so ‘Winter’ got the first prize on this one. It’s such a tome with whopping 800 page count but there was never a dull moment. I actually felt so sad as I got close to the end. This is such an epic book.

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

Goodbye Days

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. I’ve heard only good things about this and mojoreb’s review actually sold me on this one. His whirling emotions were heartfelt. You can read his stunning review here.

4. Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017:

Sleeping Beauties

Big confession time – I have NEVER read a single book by Stephen King.
I HAVE read two books by his son, Joe Hill last year and I enjoyed them both, but I haven’t gotten around to reading any Stephen King books yet and know almost nothing about him; his writing style, his delivery…  literally NOTHING. I’m totally in the dark.
That said though, there is absolutely NO way to miss this father-son collaboration that’s coming out on September 26. I’m on it.

5. Biggest disappointment of 2017:

The Jane Austen Book Club

I basically try to find redeeming elements and good things in every book I read. That said, no books that I read this year could top The Jane Austen Book Club in the ‘disappoint’ department. This book is definitely not my thing; it was painful to read at times.

6. Biggest surprise:

chasing-echoes

Chasing Echoes by Jodi Perkins.  I received an e-book copy in exchange for an honest review and I started this book with lower expectations as a matter of fact. But this book genuinely surprised me in a lot of ways; the plot with ‘shrinking time loop’ is well-crafted and refreshing, and the latter part is such a page-turner. I really enjoyed reading this.

7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you):
Celeste Ng.  Everything I Never Told You enthralled me and I even pre-ordered her next novel, Little Fires Everywhere that’s coming out this September. I cannot wait to read it.

8. Newest fictional crush:
I don’t usually fall for fictional characters and it’s kind of embrassing to confess, but Prince (Emperor) Kai from The Lunar Chronicles series stole my heart. While I was reading the series, I even skipped ahead to the end to make absolutely sure that he’s still safe and sound. What does this say about me? I don’t know…

9. Newest favorite character: 

● Werner from All the Light We Cannot See
● Death from The Book Thief
● Olivia from Wonder
● Nina from Six of Crows

10. Book that made you cry:

21570571

Little known fact about me – I cry A LOT.  I cry over books, movies… I seem to be really impressionable and I tend to cry over whatever I find moving/touching/sad. There are actually a lot of books that made me cry this year, but Will You Remember Me? by Amanda Prowse definitely takes the cake; it left me in a sobbing mess and I kept crying over an hour even after closing the book. I’m not even joking.

11. Book that made you happy:

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If you look at the books that I have read so far, you’ll find there aren’t many that will make you happy. But I would pick Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys.
It’s a World War Ⅱ novel and you wouldn’t think it’s a type of book that makes you feel happy, YET the ending is simply brilliant and beautiful. It did make me feel happy.

12. Favorite book to movie adaptation of 2017 you’ve seen:

everything everything

I’ve only watched the trailer (does that count?), but I have high hopes for Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon.  It seems like a pretty truthful reflection of the book!

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year:

The Book Thief.  Writing reviews has always been quite a challenge for me and I need to put a lot of time and effort into writing them, but my favorite one would be The Book Thief.  I don’t think none of my subsequent reviews has exceeded this one…

14. Most beautiful book you bought or received this year:

It’s hard to choose only one book, so these two are what I found most beautiful.

15. Books you need to read by the end of this year:

Hard to choose, because I have so many!! But I would say the Classic books that I bought last April…

 

I tag…

Books Teacup and Reviews
Always Trust In Books
Carissa Reads It All
Maxxesbooktopia
Book Reviews by Shalini
Confessions of a Readaholic

If you don’t do tags or have done this tag already, please feel free to skip it and don’t feel obliged to do this twice!
If any of you are interested in doing this tag, consider yourself being tagged and go right ahead!

Thank you so much for reading as always and I’ll see you guys again soon! 😀