Hi, Guys! It’s been a while since I posted a blog post! I apologize for my lack of presence due to (1) Thesis on my academic affairs (2) My recent vacation somewhere in Luzon and (3) All Soul’s Day and All Saint’s Day. How was your week?
Now, I would like to present to you, my first ever blogger spotlight introducing Shealea from The Bookshelf Bitch!
- What book introduces you to fiction novels? Can you name 5 of your favorite books or series?
I’m not entirely sure but I think back in fourth or fifth grade, I read Call Me Hope by Gretchen Olson. The novel is about an eleven-year-old girl trying to cope with verbal abuse by creating a point system where she gives herself points for every bad thing her mother says to her. I fell in love with it instantly.
The second question is pretty hard! I’d have to go with The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa – until this day, I have never loved a series as much as I adored Meghan’s story, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth, Legend trilogy by Marie Lu and The Little Prince.
- How did you start to like reading as a habit? Do you have any other habits aside from reading novels?
From what I can remember, when I was a little kid, my grandmother liked to read poems and stories to me every night, and when I started going to school, I almost always borrowed random storybooks from the library. By that point, it was almost impossible to stop reading. I say “almost” because I read only occasionally throughout the latter part of high school and I didn’t have the time to read at all for my first two years in college.
Aside from reading novels, I really like writing, walking around the academic oval on my university’s campus and binge-watching TV series. My favorites include Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Big Bang Theory, The Flash, Arrow, Once Upon A Time, Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother and Friends.
- If you are going to date someone, fictional or not, dead or alive, who would it be and why? What are the things that you are going to do on your date?
I’d go on a date with Grant Gustin in half a heartbeat! If you’ve seen him on The Flash, then I don’t think I need to explain why – wink, wink. I’d want him to take me to the set of The Flash so I can see him in his acting element, and then maybe we could have dinner in a lovely, quiet restaurant afterward. Maybe even walk around in the evening before ending the date.
- Name some of your favorite authors and give them a brief description of why are they your favorites.
Obviously, I’ve come across so many authors who are nothing but insanely brilliant, talented and inspiring. I admire them all! I could probably go on and on. For that reason, I’ve decided to limit my answer to two authors.
My all-time favorite author is Julie Kagawa because her creativity and writing style are both unparalleled. The fantasy elements in The Iron Fey are, in my opinion, revolutionary. My reading experience with The Iron Queen, in particular, was an endless cycle of alternately ruining and reviving my emotions.
My most recent favorite author is Cary Denault. Aside from expertly piecing together one of a fascinating dystopian civilization I’ve ever read about, Cary has been an absolute sweetheart to me! She’s one of the kindest, most approachable authors ever.
- If you are going to give advice to your 10-year-old self, what would it be?
Value yourself, regardless.
- What made you start to do book blogging?
Funnily enough, I grew extremely bored halfway through my Christmas break last year and I joked about starting a book blog. I eventually went for it, and not a day passes by that I don’t feel immensely grateful for taking that leap of faith.
- What was the most difficult part of book blogging?
Time management has always been an annoying thorn in my side. Dealing with all my personal, academic and social responsibilities while maintaining (what I hope to be) a quality book blog is definitely exhausting and challenging.
- Interacting with people from different places, virtually, how did you gather so many followers? If you have one thing to thanks to your followers, what would it be?
To be fully honest, I have no idea! I never expected that more than a handful of people would read what I write, much less that I would garner a thousand blog followers within my first nine months of blogging. It’s been very overwhelming, to say the least.
One thing to thank my followers for? That’s nearly impossible to answer! My followers have given me so much in such a short span of time. Their unwavering support, genuine interest in my ideas and patience with me mean more to me than words can fully express!
- What do you think is the disadvantage of bloggers?
The disadvantage of being a blogger – or more specifically, a book blogger, is the online backlash within the community. When I first started blogging, I kept my interactions brief and professional, which meant that I completely avoided any involvement with the community. That eventually changed as I made more and more blogger friends.
Right now, I still wouldn’t consider myself to be an active presence in the book blogging community but I do think I’ve gotten more involved in things. This development is both a blessing and a curse because the community gets rather toxic and ridiculously immature every now and then. The underlying mob culture, the negativity, the ad hominem attacks, the overdramatizing and exaggeration of pretty much everything – it’s harmful and it doesn’t make sense to me how all these ugly, childish things can stem from a genuine interest in reading and blogging. As someone who rolls her eyes at personal drama in real life, I dislike associating myself with online, blogging drama. Sometimes getting associated cannot be helped and that’s just irritating.
- Mention some Book Blogging Friends that you would love to see in person!
Oh em, I’m scared I might miss someone in this list, but here it goes:
– Jonas from Other Things
– Jam from Heartscent Reads
– Shea from Bookish Wanderlust
– Marie from Drizzle & Hurricane Books
– Bianca from The Ultimate Fangirl
– Faye from Bibliophile Soprano
– Allie from A Literary Wanderer
– Bea from Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic
– Trish from Heart via Pages
– CW from Read Think Ponder
– Blessie from Mischievous Reads
– And you, obviously
- Name some favorite book of yours according to your genre preferences.
My most preferred genres are science fiction and fantasy. With that said, for science fiction, I’d have to go with Gambit by Cary Denault, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Legend by Marie Lu. For fantasy, my answer would be The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa, obviously.
- How do you pick the books that you are going to read next?
The way I pick out my next read can be likened to the way I choose what food to eat. I’m usually up for anything, but when I get a craving for something specific, then that craving demands to be satisfied.
- SHOW US YOUR BOOKSHELF! Describe it.
Okay, here’s the thing. I don’t own a lot of physical books. My bookshelf is nearly nonexistent as I like to borrow books from friends rather than buy a copy. In fact, until this very day, I have never bought a book for myself. All the books I own are gifts from friends and loved ones.
- What are the books and authors that influence you as a reader?
I think that all authors have influenced me as a reader because reading their works has helped shape and cultivate my preferences, my interests, and my likes and dislikes in books.
On a more personal level, Veronica Roth’s Divergent has a permanent hold on my heart, despite me not loving the third installment. The first book holds so much sentimental value for me because the manner in which Tris made her choices and learned how to face her fears really influenced my decision-making throughout my senior year in high school, including my plans for college.
Gretchen Olson’s Call Me Hope has strongly resonated with me since I finished reading it. In many ways, Hope’s story helped my kid self-become more sensitive, more compassionate and more understanding because it opened my eyes to the gravity and seriousness of verbal abuse.
- What is your one ultimate favorite quote from a book and why?
I’m sorry but I’m going to cheat and share my two favorite quotes.
From The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you.”
Growing up, I was a rather emotional and sensitive kid. Some would have even called me easily butthurt or a cry baby. And I was, to be honest. I’m a lot more level-headed now, thank God. But I digress. This quote reminds me that getting hurt isn’t actually the worst thing in the world and it isn’t something that we can completely avoid or get rid of. Getting hurt is inevitable and beyond our control. What we can control is not only who can hurt us but also how we deal with the hurt and how we let it affect us.
From Divergent by Veronica Roth: “Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear and how to be free from it.”
I’ve always been a significantly paranoid person. Put that and the fact that I have a perfectionist tendency, and you’ve got a huge mess on your hands. This little passage, in particular, got me through some major life decisions.
That’s it! I had fun reading your answer, Shealea! Thank you for this great opportunity and I never thought that we share the same thought about preferences on genre of a novel! Anyway, it is a good thing having you and sharing the love for Gambit!
1. a self-confessed part-time book pusher from the Philippines
2. a person (of the female gender) who avoids referring to herself in first person when writing biographies and self-descriptions as such an action makes her feel awfully uncomfortable
3. having a tendency to ramble, characterized by haphazard thought trains and excessive digressions: the antithesis of eloquent
verb (intransitive; used without an object)
4. to constantly feel a strong compulsion to write down trivial thoughts at the ungodly hours of the morning
5. an exclamation of unadulterated pleasure whenever a restaurant or any food establishment offers unlimited rice servings