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 🙂

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!

Blogger Recognition Award

I still can’t believe this is actually happening to  me; I was nominated for this award by Lauren @MyPaperInfinity!
As a non-native and a fledgling book blogger, this award nomination came as a complete surprise to me; little did I imagine such a day would come my way… I’m feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude right now.

If you haven’t already, please hurry over to check out Lauren’s blog – her blog is jam-packed with amazing contents and great discussions not to mention the design is so pretty; it’s almost soothing to visit her blog.
Thank you so much for the tag, Lauren. I can’t thank you enough!

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

How I Started This Blog

It was three years ago that I launched my very first blog here at WordPress. I think it was the summer of 2014 or around that time.
Writing something in English has always been a delight for me and I wanted to hone my writing skills even more by making posts on a regular basis.

However, with very little drama in my life, combined with me being a person of NO CREATIVITY, it didn’t take long for me to run out of topics to blog about. I didn’t have a specific vision nor did I know to what direction I should take my blog. Stumped, I stopped blogging altogether and let it lie dormant for about two years. It never crossed my mind to revamp and relaunch my blog during that time.

Until, I got bitten by a bookworm bug last summer. 

As I read books back to back, I started to be itching to gush and share my thoughts on books with like-minded people. Although I had already had a bunch of online friends (they are all Japanese) with whom I could chat about books, I wanted something MORE – it wasn’t like I was being ambitious and aspired to leave my mark, but I just wanted to write something and express my thoughts in English once again.

So I decided to launch this book blog on August 25th, 2016. It was in fact a decision that I made totally on a whim. It wasn’t like I thought long and hard about it, I decided to create my book blog first thing in the morning and then I published my very first post that afternoon. I just started it.

And here I am – still keep blogging after 9 months since its launch.
That’s how this fledgling book blog came into being 🙂

My Advice

I still consider myself as a newbie in this blogging community; there are still tons of things I don’t know about blogging or making reviews.
That said, if I were to offer two pieces of advice, I would say:

  1. Do your homework and have a specific vision for your blog: I think this sounds like a cliche, but this is what I learned from my own experience. Like I briefly mentioned earlier, if you don’t know what you’re doing or where you’re heading, your blog will end up disoriented with your thoughts running off in all directions.
    I’m actually speaking for myself here – there are tons of things that I need to learn. So, I make it a point of setting aside larger chunks of time to take a look at other bloggers’s posts to take in their blog styles and designs. That will definitely help.
  2. Just dive in, do the thing – and interact!: writing itself is a solitary act, but blogging is actually a social act. So the larger the audience the better, not to mention, it’s so much fun to interact with other bloggers! When I started out with this blog, I didn’t even know how to use tags to draw an audience. I just wrote up posts, published them and that was it; I had hardly anyone to give me likes or comments. I knew many of my Japanese bookish friends had been reading my posts, but I didn’t try to engage in a conversation with them back then. In retrospect, I now see it as a huge mistake. If you don’t open up and try to have conversations with other bloggers or your followers, your blogging will end up a solitary act. Once you have a solid idea for your blog, just dive in. This community is so welcoming and so kind, they even support a blogger like me; someone who’s still struggling with language issues. But I can at least say this; I am so glad that I started this blog. I’ve now made friends with a lot of wonderful, super-experienced bloggers here on WordPress and I’m enjoying every single interaction that I have with them; it definitely enriches my life and I’m so happy about that.
    So please, don’t hesitate. Just dive in. You’ll be amazed by how simple a thing can change your world.

I Tag…

I nominate these bloggers for this award. They are all experienced and amazing bloggers!

If you’ve already done this or you don’t like doing tags, please don’t feel obligated to do it!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll talk to you all again soon! 😀