The Liebster Award — Take 3!

Hello everyone, and welcome back! I hope you’re all having a beautiful day so far. The lovely MT @ The Last Book On The Left nominated me for the Liebster Award last month!! Thank you so much, MT!! It wouldn’t be an award post without me sobbing over how amazing this community is, and as this is already the third time I’ve been nominated for this award, I think this calls for some extra-profuse weeping 🥰🥺😭

Oh, and a quick reading update: If you’ve been noticing a shortage of book reviews on the blog the last couple of weeks, you have hit the mark. I’m in the middle of five different books right now, and I… yeah. I haven’t finished a single book in October yet. But it’s alright! At the time of writing, I’m almost done with Skyhunter by the one and only Marie Lu, and it. is. amazing!! Hopefully I’ll finish that and a few other books soon!

And without further ado, let’s get into answering MT’s questions!

The Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and give a link to the blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  3. Nominate between 5-11 other bloggers.
  4. Ask your nominees 11 questions.
  5. Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post.

The Questions

How did you get into blogging?

Ooh, I don’t think I’ve ever answered this question on my blog before! Let’s see… I discovered Cait @ Paper Fury a few years back and became absolutely obsessed with everything she posted. You see, I was a lonely bookworm in those days. I fell in love with the idea of a bunch of people hanging out in a corner of the Internet just to flail about books. And I loved the idea of getting to express my ideas through writing, having people actually see them, and interacting with people who relate to my ideas. I’d been pondering over (and praying about) starting my own book blog for several months before this pandemic hit. I wanted to find a way to combine my love for reading with my love for Christ into a clear, defined way, but I wasn’t sure if I could do it. But then we were all forced into lockdown, and voila — I suddenly had a lot of spare time on my hands, and so Beyond the Read was born!

What is your favourite book trope?

A weirdly specific trope that I can’t get enough of these days is the robot-learns-to-have-feelings trope!! This is primarily a sci-fi thing, but I absolutely love it whenever it makes an appearance. I adore watching the process of the robot/AI learning to process its own feelings. And it’s an immediate plus if the author explores themes of identity and free will through the character development! Examples include: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray, Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman, Set My Heart to Five by Simon Stephenson (on my loans shelf as we speak!).

Do you like a happy, tragic or bittersweet ending the most?

Bittersweet!!! I have absolutely nothing against happy endings, but sometimes it seems like authors feel obligated to tie up all the loose ends neatly by the end of a couple hundred pages, sometimes in a really unrealistic way. But I’m too much of a coward for all-out tragic endings, so bittersweet it is 😂

What book would you most like to see adapted to a film or TV show?

I started this post talking about Marie Lu, and I’m going to continue to talk about her: I’d love to see Legend on the silver screen! I know that the book was acquired in 2011 by CBS Films, and moved to BCDF Pictures two years ago, but apparently nobody knows yet if an actual movie is in the works. Please make this a thing, Hollywood! (As soon as it’s safe to film!)

Which author have you read the most books by?

Being able to see what author you’ve read most is apparently a function on Goodreads, and as I don’t have Goodreads, I have absolutely no idea 😅 I’m taking a wild guess and saying Marissa Meyer? She’s immediately at an advantage because The Lunar Chronicles series is 6 books long, and I’ve also read her standalone Heartless… yeah, she’s definitely my answer for this question.

What is your favourite book series and why?

Ha ha ha… ha ha… *breaks out into cold sweat* You can’t possibly expect me to choose… so I’m going to deliberately misunderstand the question and tell you all about a book series I’m expecting to become one of my favorites!! I recently hauled Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles, and I am so. excited. to start it!! I haven’t listened to Moulin Rouge! (yet), but Phantom is one of my favorite musical soundtracks, and a book pitched as a retelling of those musicals is something I didn’t know I needed in my life!! 

Which authors do you auto-buy when they have new books out?

I can’t say in good conscience that I “auto-buy” any authors, because I am such a procrastinator even in getting to the books I look forward to the most. But V. E. Schwab and Marie Lu (I can’t seem to stop talking about her books today 😂) are two authors whose entire backlogs are on my TBR. And June Hur also recently became one of my favorite authors!

How do you decide what rating to give a book?

It’s very spur-of-the-moment. I rate a book based on how it has me feeling by the end — in awe? Intrigued? Tired? Relieved that it’s finally over? And I also take into consideration the different elements I enjoyed throughout.

I’ve been thinking about switching my system up though, recently. I have a tendency to use quarter stars and I’m thinking maybeeee that’s a little too much? Maybe the CAWPILE rating system (an explanation on which can be found on Kristin’s beautiful blog) might work better? It seems much more objective than my system (if you can call it a system)… or maybe I should just go all Goodreads on you and abolish half stars entirely 😂😅 Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!!

What is your favourite genre?

Ahhhh this is so hard!! I love fantasy and science fiction so much, and I adore historical fiction as well. It’s definitely a tie between those three genres!

What genre do you not usually read but would like to try?

I’m interested in trying out some mysteries/thrillers some time soon! I had a fantastic time following the mystery in June Hur’s The Silence of Bones, and I’d love to try my hand with other mystery books! Recommendations are welcomed in the comments!

What is the best book you’ve read in 2020 so far?

I’m allergic to superlatives when it comes to books 😂😅 The two most recent additions to my favorites shelf are The Silence of Bones and Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim!

My Questions

  1. Who/what is your biggest inspiration?
  2. What’s a book/movie you’ve read that takes place where you live?
  3. What’s something that you can’t imagine a life without?
  4. What’s your favorite type of weather?
  5. What’s a playlist/album/song you’ve had on repeat recently?
  6. What was your favorite book/series when you were younger?
  7. Who would you invite as a guest on your very own late night talk show?
  8. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  9. Do you have a language you’d like to learn?
  10. What is one thing that you want to be better at?
  11. If you could donate a million dollars to any charity, what cause would you choose?

I Tag… 

Elizabeth Anne @ Stories and Sketches
Rachel @ Joyful Creations
April Lee @ Booked Till Midnight
Aleks @ Aleks and the Books
Meg @ Meg’s Magical Musings
Abigail @ Books, Life, and Christ

As always, no pressure if you’re not interested in doing the tag! 💕

That’s it for today — thank you for reading everyone!! How about you? Do you have any mystery/thriller recommendations for me? What rating system do you recommend? What’s your favorite book trope? Chat with me in the comments below!

27 thoughts on “The Liebster Award — Take 3!

  1. Thank you for the tag!! eeee I’m super excited! Some of my favorite mysteries are A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, After the Fire, and the Truly Devious series! They always give off some good old spooky vibes haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Abby. I loved finding out how you came to start your blog! You combine the things you love beautifully on here and you should be so proud of yourself and the blog you’ve created 💖

    I completely agree about bittersweet endings! One of my pet peeves is endings that are too convenient or neatly wrapped up. I use half stars very frequently, but quarter stars over complicate things for me haha. And I have to agree with April and recommend A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, that is an amazing book!

    Congratulations on yet another tag! They are very well deserved. I hope you are having a wonderful day and loving all five of your current reads ❤🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed Stephen!! Ahhhh it means so much to me that you think that — you’re too sweet 🥰😭

      Perfect endings are, well, perfect for when you need a chance to put on those rose-colored glasses to look at the world through, but otherwise… not much of a fan 😂 And yes I have been feeling that over-complication recently — I should probably just stick to half stars 😅

      A Good Girl’s Guide seems to be so many people’s go-to recommendation for a mystery book! That definitely tells me I should give it a chance — onto the TBR it goes ✨

      Ahhh thank you so much Stephen! I hope you are having a lovely day as well 💕 Happy reading to you too! 💫

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you – bittersweet endings are the best! 😊 And I’m so glad you put Spin the Dawn as one of your favorites of the year – it makes me so excited to pick it up! In fact, I might as well go order it now since I’ve been eyeing it greedily for months anyway… And now that my written exams are over, I will finally have the time to read it! 🤗

    Also, I never really noticed how much I loved the robot-gets-feelings trope until you mentioned it! I’m actually currently watching this Russian series called “Better Than Us” on Netflix to improve my language skills, which has this exact trope. I am obsessed, so if you have any good book recommendations, let me know! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nothing beats a well-written bittersweet ending!! And yess Spin the Dawn was amazing… I hope you love it when you do get a chance to pick it up! 🤗

      YES bring on the sentient, emotional, overly angsty robots!!! And ahhh I must go check this series out! Maybe it’s finally time for me to get Netflix — or use that 30-day trial, anyway 😂

      I am constantly on the lookout for books with this trope, so I have plenty of them on my TBR. Recent additions include Hard Wired by Len Vlahos (that blurb sounds amazing!!), Set My Heart to Five (I think I mentioned this one in the post? 😅), and The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke (I would have bought it already if that for the atrocious cover 😩😂). Let me know if you discover any others that I should be aware of!!

      Thank you for reading and leaving this wonderful comment Naemi 💗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I’ll definitely have to read Spin the Dawn now that you’re “forcing” me to 😂😂 I can’t wait! 🤗

        And I’ll have to check all of those robot books out! Funnily enough, I’ve seen lots of sci-fi movies and shows that have that trope (Lost in Space and Star Trek The Next Generation are some of my favorites), but I haven’t really read that many books with it. The only one I can think of at the top of my head is Jay Kristoff’s Lifelike, but somehow I didn’t love that one as much as all his other books. So I’ll have to look into your suggestions!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yess that trope is criminally underrated!! It takes a lot of talent on the author’s part to write the transition from unfeeling robot to emotional-and-slightly-angsty individual, and I love seeing how the process plays out! I’m so glad I’ve convinced you to search the trope out… do let me know your thoughts if you get to pick up any of the books I mentioned! Thank YOU for reading, Stuart 😆

      Like

  4. Yayyy thank you so much for tagging me 🥰 I’ll definitely do it in my free time! I love your questions as well.
    Thriller is also not my favourite genre and I’ve been looking for some recommendations for this spooky season as well! If you haven’t read it, I personally recommend Verity by Colleen Hoover. I totally loved it and was mega surprised that Colleen Hoover writs thrillers, she was always more of a romance author to me! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was my pleasure!! I’m so excited to see what you come up with for your answers 😍

      Ooh I’ve seen Verity around but I confess I’ve never really looked into it 😅 I’m definitely going to need to check it out now that I have your word… thank you so much for the rec!!

      I hope you have a lovely day, Aleks, and happy reading! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great answers, I enjoyed seeing how you answered my questions! ❤️

    Defy the Stars is one of my absolute favourite reads!! I don’t see it talked about much so I’m so happy to find someone else talk about it!

    I also lean towards a bittersweet endings because I find happy endings often just feel too good to be true. I have to say in my own writing I don’t think any of my books have happy endings, I have a habit of killing off characters 👀

    I do use half stars in my ratings. Most often I use 3.5, because there are some books that just seem like more than a 3 star, but I didn’t love them as much as books I’ve given 4 stars. I also ocasionally give 4.5 stars when I absolutely adored a book but there was just one thing holding me back from giving 5 stars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh thank you MT!! Your questions were so much fun to answer and I’m so glad to see you enjoyed!!

      Defy the Stars!!!! I love that book so much!!! It’s criminally underrated in my opinion 🤩

      Bittersweet endings are that perfect blend of satisfying and realistic. I don’t read many books with anything other than a happy ending, so it’s always so refreshing when the author chooses to take the hard way out! And ahhh your books sound so scary 😂

      Half stars are such a valuable tool! I honestly can’t imagine rating books without them. Though I do end up giving quarter stars to many of the books I finish because my mind works in weird ways 😂 I’m probably going to ban myself from using any increment other than half stars, because otherwise my ratings are going to get out of hand 😅

      Thank you so much again for nominating me MT! I hope you have a wonderful day 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats Abby! Loved your answers. I haven’t read much of the process of the robot/AI learning to process its own feelings trope but that sounds really intriguing so I’ll be checking that one out. For me, I am drawn to the newfound family trope (yet another chance to talk about the Lunar Chronicles!). 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Cherelle!! I’m so happy you liked the post! The robot trope is really weirdly specific and I don’t see it often except in sci-fi…. which is a crime, in my opinion 😂 And YES found family — one of my absolute favorites as well!! It’s just such a heart-warming and adorable trope and I can’t get enough of it 😍

      Thank you for this lovely comment, and I hope you have a wonderful day 💗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg thank you so much Ahaana!! I’ve been hearing literally nothing but great things about A Good Girl’s Guide, so I really have no excuse not to read it!

      And I’m so glad you enjoyed!!! Your words really mean a lot to me 🥺🥰 Thanks for stopping by!!

      Liked by 1 person

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