Real Neat Blog Award

I was just nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award by one of the loveliest bloggers whose book opinions never seem to agree with my book opinions, but who I absolutely love engaging with: Emer @ A Little Haze! 🤣 If you’re still not following her awesome blog by now I really don’t know what you’re doing. So go do it!

Now that’s out of the way… thanks for the nomination, Emer! When I started writing this you literally just posted three minutes ago (lmao I swear I wasn’t creeping) and who am I even posting a tag so soon after I get tagged? The energy is wild! 🤩

What is the Real Neat Blog Award?

Emer did some research about the origins of this neat award and she found that the earliest reference goes all the way back to 2014 and to a blog called Dear Kitty, Some Blog. The award came about as a way to highlight bloggers that need more attention because of their awesome content on their blogs and the first logo (above) ever created for the award is this one that was found on the same Dear Kitty, Some Blog page.

The Rules

  • Display the award logo.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions of the one who nominated you.
  • Nominate some bloggers.
  • Ask them seven questions.

Emer’s Seven Questions

What country that you have not yet visited would you like to go to?

IT’S GONNA BE ME!!! a la *Nsync!

NEW ZEALAND! I’m really hoping to do a 2-4 week long trip with a campervan exploring both islands sometime in the near future. I was thinking about next year but I don’t know how likely that is considering how crazy work is gonna be. But soon… Definitely soon! And I can’t wait 😍

What is your favourite flower?

I spent the majority of my formative years living in the Philippines and right outside our house we had these wonderful sampaguita shrubs. These flowers produce one of my favorite ever scents; seriously, they smell divine and whenever I smell them I’m instantly transported to my childhood. I believe they’re also known as: Arabian Jasmine, Philippine Jasmine, Melati, The Grand Duke of Tuscany and Kampupot.

If you could go back in time, to which time period would you choose to visit?

Omg, so many places to choose from, where to begin?! Ancient Egypt when the pyramids were being built? Rome when the Colosseum was still whole and at the height of the empire?! Prohibition era in NYC?! Filthy 16th Century London?! I mean… I really don’t even know. If I could travel back to one place, that means I can travel back to other places too, right? SO… All of them! 🤣

Do you believe we are alone in the universe?

Can I be honest and say that I never really thought too long about this question? I love the idea of there being multiverses but I guess that’s not really the same thing, right? That’d just be more of us in alternate realities and that idea thrills and terrifies me at the same time. But I digress. I’m going to say no, we’re not alone, but what’s out there? Who knows!

What is your all time favourite meal?
(Include drinks, side orders, desserts etc. etc. Calories do not apply!!!!)

Holy… This is SO TOUGH. Alright… Are you ready? 🤤 (I hope I got the question right LOL)

Drink: Rekorderlig Strawberry-Lime Cider with extra ice
Side Order: Calamari Rings
Main Meal: Traditional Sunday Roast with extra yorkshire puddings!
Dessert: Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with vanilla ice cream

Omg I’m gonna cry. I SO BADLY want all of this right now! 😭

If you were writing the book of your life what title would you give it?

Ugh, I’m absolutely the worst at coming up with names for anything, so the pressure to come up with my life’s book is a terrible thing 😂I don’t know what a book about my life would be called. My life is pretty boring save for books… Third Culture Panda: The Un-adventures of A Book Panda Who Has Lived A Thousand Lives? I don’t know. Please don’t judge me for my inability to come up with good titles! LOL

What is the blog post you are most proud of writing? Share a link to it.

Argh, this is going to sound so lame but… I don’t know?! Compared to many other bloggers on here I haven’t really written anything that’s very thought provoking or made posts that lead to important or impactful discussions… For the most part this is because I’m terrified to share my thoughts as I’m so bad at putting things into words (this is why I’ll never be a writer lol) and I’m worried I’ll say something stupid or silly that might even unintentionally offend others or come off as ignorant. Writing those kinds of posts and finding the confidence to share them is something that I’d like to work up to one day though! That said, I’m still proud of all the posts I’ve made on this blog and I’m proud that I actually took the step to write my first post introducing my blog and finally joining the book community.

And that’s it folks! Thanks to Emer for those great (and tough!) questions! I might just steal one or two of them… 😬

My Seven Questions

  1. You wake up one day and find that you’re in the world of your current read. Where are you?
  2. What’s your favorite thing/part about where you live?
  3. What’s your favorite song of the moment?
  4. How much time do you spend every week blogging/bookstagramming?
  5. If you were writing the book of your life what title would you give it?
  6. Do you collect anything? If yes, what do you collect?
  7. Would you rather always be hot or cold?

I Nominate

It’s okay if you don’t like tags or don’t feel like doing this one. No pressure at all! Also, even if you’re not tagged and want to do it, consider yourself officially tagged! Don’t forget to link back so I can see your answers to the questions 😉

The (Double) Leibster Award!

Two weeks ago I was nominated for the Leibster Award by Amanda @ if there’s a haunted house in it, i’ll read it and by Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn Reads! When I first started blogging I saw quite a few very popular bloggers being tagged for this award and I never in my wildest thought I’d ever be nominated for it even once, let alone twice! Thank you ladies for even thinking of me and putting my blog just a little bit further out there on the radar! Deciding to start blogging again, this time focusing solely on books, was one of the best decisions I’ve made this year. I’m so thankful for all the friends I’ve made and for finding an online community where I can just happily be my geeky, fan-girling, bookish self with others who just really get it.

By the way, if you’re not yet following either of these two ladies, what are you even doing!? They’re so sweet and engaging, plus they have really great bookish content on their pages. So, go follow them now!

Since I’ve been tagged twice, I’ll be answering two sets of questions, so this might be a bit of a long one but hope you’ll stick around until the end 😬 Without further ado, let’s get to it!

THE Rules

  • Say thank you to the person who has nominated you for the Award.
  • Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you
  • Nominate 11 people
  • Ask the people who you have nominated 11 questions


What’s your favourite movie?

I honestly can’t say I have one favorite movie (of all time). I have a few that I watch time and again, but there’s not just one that I favour most… I’m going to choose Spirited Away! I love Sen/Chihiro, Haku, all the incredible spirits, and creepy AF and deeply misunderstood No-Face and Boh. Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate how freaking amazing the food looked in this?! Just thinking about it makes me salivate 🤤 Ah, I can watch all of Miyazaki’s movies forever and they’re all very close to my heart.

Who was your favourite childhood author?

This is another tough one! There are so so many 🙈 One of them that’s high on my list is Shel Silverstein. His books were my first taste of poetry and I still remember reading his poems over and over again because I loved how they were clever and cute rhymes! Where the Sidewalk Ends is one of my favorites!

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure read?

There’s not just one guilty pleasure read, for me it’s more one guilty pleasure genre? Which is romance. And by romance I mean the ones that have those extremely heated scenes (not erotic fiction per se) but I do love a good sexy romance! 😏 Yes, I admit it, and no, I’m not embarrassed to say that I love it! It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s one of mine 🙊 hehe

Where would you like to travel?

Um… Everywhere? 😂 But the places that have been topping my list over the last three years are New Zealand and South America (specifically Nicaragua, Colombia, and Peru).

Do you have any pets? Share pictures, if you do! If you don’t, do you want pets?

YES HI I DO! 🙋🏻‍♀️ I love my floofy boofs,Tripper and Cookie. We got them when we moved to Cambodia in 2010 and since then they’ve traveled with us to the Philippines and Indonesia. They’re pretty well travelled doggos but hate it so much! I think one of the hardest things I’ve had to do was to say bye to them when I left for the UK in 2012. I’m pretty sure I cried harder leaving them than I did leaving my fam (lmao, I’m sure many can relate to this right?)! Unfortunately, I haven’t lived with them since then… It makes me sad, but bringing them to Bali would be too complicated. I try to see my bubbas whenever I can though!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be many things including a vet but I’m pretty sure that I wanted to be a marine biologist for the longest time. I was in the marine biology club at school for 4 years, until I moved to Australia for boarding school and had to leave it behind! Since then my imagination started getting the best of me and I now can’t stop imagining Jaws attacking me in the ocean. No dice!

What’s a book you recommend to everyone?

There are quite a few that I try to recommend to everyone, but also depending on who I’m recommending books to. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon are some of the books I recommend for different genres.

What’s your favorite season?

I have to say Autumn/Fall. I know it’s ironic since I live in the tropics and only get one season: HOT. But when I lived in Australia and the UK I loved experiencing the changing temperatures. I love cold weather more than hot weather (you can wear more clothes, but you can’t walk around naked! Well, you can but…)

Do you listen to music while reading?

Sometimes. If I’m in the mood for some background noise, I put on my favorite reading playlist that I found on YouTube. It has some of my favorite classics and it’s the perfect reading playlist (and it’s also perfect for writing)!

Are there any books you would never read?

I’m not a fan of horror. I just can’t with the supernatural (ghosts) and haunted houses, and all that stuff. It just ain’t my jam. Also, gore! The descriptiveness of American Psycho is probs my hard limit 🙈

Why do you like blogging?

I’ve always kept a diary when I was a kid, then when I was 16 I started my first blog. I switched sites a few times over the years but stopped blogging about 3 years ago. I started the book blog because I love sharing my book thoughts and connecting with others over books. I tend to blabber a lot (even in writing lol) but I enjoy getting it all down/out. It comforts me, plus I meet so many cool people 🙂

leelynn’s QUESTIONS

What is your favorite mythical creature and would you want to be one?

I’d love to be a mermaid because growing up Ariel was one of my faves. I’ve always loved the idea of being able to swim underwater without needing to surface for air and I get a thrill every time I think of exploring the deep unknown!

Would you rather be a professional singer, or a professional actor?

Professional singer! I’ve always loved to sing. I used to be in the chamber choir in high school and we’d travel to different countries to compete with other international schools. I’m way too self-conscious to willingly make a fool of myself by acting lol

Take a picture of the view outside your building today (or if you’re outside right now, the view in front of you). Do you feel at peace?

I’m at home finalizing this post and since it’s evening, there’s not much of anything you can see if you look out. But this was my view looking out over the office pool earlier in the day from when I was having lunch! Did I feel at peace then (or now)? Well, actually I wasn’t 😅 as I’ve had a splitting migraine for two days now and it’s draining me of all my energy and ability to function. I hope that it’s gone by the time I wake up tomorrow or I might just have to take the day at home.

Do you prefer to read ARCs or backlist titles?

So… one of the reasons I started blogging was in the hope of being able to access more ARCs. That said, it hasn’t been easy. There are tons of limits because of my international status (especially living in an obscure publishing country like Indonesia LOL), plus I’m a mood reader and the pressure to read ARCs by a certain date always gets to me and it’s no bueno. But I’ve really enjoyed getting ARCs and the challenge of reading them before time! Obviously with #ARCAugust I haven’t been so successful… But I’m making a dent!

Which book character do you wish could be your real life best friend and why?

Um, tough question! Off the top of my head I’d wish to be BFFs with either Elisabeth (Sorcery of Thorns), or Hazel (Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating). I’d be able to totally geek out in the Great Libraries with Elisabeth, and I’d have no doubt that Hazel would be able to always cheer me up by making me laugh at her hilariously loveable self. I also think they’d both be very loyal friends. This question actually reminds me of the TTT from a few weeks ago!

Would you rather be a superhero, super villain, or an anti-hero?

I’m not gonna lie; I think being a super villain might be really really fun, even if I’ll probably die some horribly satisfying death at the end. It’d be fun to unleash unholy terror for a book’s length of time 😈😂 Muahahaha

What book or type of book would you turn to during a dark time?

I’m that person who compulsively listens to sad music, reads sad books, and watches sad movies when I’m feeling low. I try to watch happy and funny things but it just doesn’t do anything for me. I need to completely immerse myself in the sadness in order to let it go ❄️ It doesn’t even have to be like insanely sad stuff; it can just be a heart tug and I’m off. But it definitely helps me to feel better (albeit slowly).

What is the latest book you’ve read that made you extremely happy?

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. This book filled me with so much warmth and good feelings. It was cute, sweet, heart warming and all of the things I’m a sucker for in romance. Plus, I loved the characters too and became so invested in them! This left me with a satisfying & lingering happiness!

What’s one advice you would tell your past self about reading?

Don’t let other people’s judgements about the books you read make you feel like any less of a reader or that you should be reading something different. Just because you’re not reading “super serious” “highly intellectual” books or the greatest classics, doesn’t mean that you’re less of a reader or shouldn’t be considered a reader at all. Read whatever you like because screw what people think of you! You gotta do the thing that makes you, and not them, happy!

What’s a genre that you didn’t like at first, and what was the book that changed your mind on that genre?

I don’t know if it’d be classified as a genre(?) but I’ve always struggled with magical realism. I don’t know if I can claim a 100% change of heart but after reading books like Shadow of the Wind and The Astonishing Color of After and absolutely loving both, I’m definitely more willing to try books with magical realism.

What kind of diverse rep are you wanting to see more of in books, and which book out now has that rep that you recommend?

I’m going to say (Southeast/East) Asian rep specifically because it’s so rare to read mainstream or popular books with Asian representation; especially in romances and YA books! With books such as the Crazy Rich Asians series, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Helen Hoang’s Kiss Quotient Series, Pachinko, and The Astonishing Color of After (to just name a few), it has been so refreshing to read about people who look like me and who’ve grown up in more similar cultures to my own. I’d obviously love to see Indonesian rep in these books, but seeing more Southeast/East Asian rep in general is already a good step in the right direction!


  1. Do you have a bucket list? If yes, what are the top five items on your list? If not, what do you think would be in your top five?
  2. What is a song you listened to recently that you haven’t been able to get off your mind?
  3. What are three things you love most about the book community (blogs, book twitter, bookstagram)?
  4. What’s on your Top 3 list of favorite books you’ve read this year?
  5. What’s your phone background?
  6. What popular/hyped book have you been put off reading?
  7. If you could have one super power or magical power, what would it be?
  8. What’s a book that everyone loved but you didn’t?
  9. If someone was going to cover your travel expenses to anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
  10. What book do you wish you could forget, just so you could read it again for the first time?
  11. If you didn’t have to work another day for the rest of your life or think about money, what would you love to do with your time?

I nominate the following bloggers:
Sammie | Joanna | Emer | Sailor | Kibby | Ali | Holly | Rissi | Brittany | Nen & Jen
And you too reader, if you want to do it!