2014 Book Meme

TC's Bookcase

With 2014 ending, I am doing the book meme I did last year with this year’s books. I’ve read a lot more this year than last year, and I had to increase my reading goals three times this year! According to Goodreads, I read 121 books and mangas, and then there are the 25 volumes of manga scanslations I read, so all in all, I read about 146 books and mangas, which I consider pretty good considering how I read so much less previous years due to grad school! Anyway, onto the meme!

Click to read more . . .

The Bag Story

Because I’ve seen multiple bloggers do a post on their bag and its contents, and because I got a new bag that’s picture worthy, I decided to join the bandwagon and do the meme, too :)

I got the new messenger bag from Monet Handbags. I chose the Bar Harbor Messenger Bag with the Bonjour Paris print. Here’s an up close photo of the bag:

Bar Harbor Messenger Bag with Bonjour Paris Print

I really like the print, and the bag is very well made. I only wish there was a front pocket for me to put all my small stuff . . . but I can get a friend to help add that in the future. Moving on, here are the contents of my bag.

TC's Bag

1. This is my planner. It’s a monthly planner that runs from July 2014 to July 2017. This is the only planner I will use since the blocks are big enough for me to write in, and it’s super convenient to use!

2. Nancy and my friend Michelle introduced me to Ardium, a Korean company that makes stationeries and other products. I went to their store today to buy this pouch. I dub this my “pad pouch”. I had a pouch before, but I am not sure where it went — therefore, I decided to get a new one.

3. This is my notebook I carry to jot down ideas and other stuff that comes into my mind. It’s a Korean notebook brand called Oxford, and I bought it at Alpha in Namdaemun.

4. My pencil case from my uni days that has everything from mechanical pencil to lead refill to pens to white out to glue and scissors.

5. This is Hikaru — my first generation Kindle Paperwhite. This is my steadfast companion when I chill out at coffee shops. I have on there all sorts of books and fanfics. Portable fanfic reading device FTW!

6. This is a Moleskine letterbook. My friend Michelle and I exchange them. We started off writing individual letters to each other, but then she started a letterbook where we write multiple letters in one notebook and send it when filled up. She and I did exchanged several of them. This is another thing I do when I’m at a coffee shop or when I have time to kill.

7. My favourite mints! I love Icebreaker Sours.

8. My eelskin wallet that’s falling apart on the outside. It got wet one day, and the skin started to peel off. I need to replace that wallet one of these days . . .

9. This is my nail kit consisting of a nail clipper, nail file, and cuticle clipper.

10. Lastly, this is my trusty umbrella. There have been many times when I got caught in an unexpected downpour in Seoul. This comes in handy then.

That’s my bag, mates. Sometimes my cellphone goes in there, sometimes not. I have other things I carry in my pockets, like my keys. There are also times when I carry my handheld gaming devices, but that rarely happens since I prefer to game in the comfort of my bed. When I go to work, I also carry an extra bag that has my shoes, but I didn’t photograph it. I feel like I carry a lot of stuff . . . granted, they are necessary stuff. Honestly, if I could, I’d rather stuff everything from my bag into my pockets, but that’s not going to happen unless I gain magical powers and shrink them all. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed my bag post! XD;

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

Caity nominated me for the Liebster Award! The Liebster Award is:

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster? The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn’t that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.

I feel very honoured she nominated me since I don’t consider myself to be a “new” blogger at all, so I am almost wondering if I do not really qualify! Still, I figured since she nominated me, it’d be rude to not accept the honours! :)

The way it works is to answer 11 questions from the one who nominated you, and then you nominate few bloggers, and give them 11 questions, too. Caity’s questions are:

1. If you could have one thing right now, big or small, what would it be?
One thing I really would like right now is more time. I sure would like more time during the day to do my hobbies! My work schedule is quite demanding, so I am usually mentally and physically exhausted when my shift ends, so it really doesn’t give me much energy or time to do what I want. Luckily, a three-day weekend’s coming up soon, so I am looking forward to that!

2. What was/is your favourite subject at school?
Band was my favourite subject in high school because of my wonderful band teacher. My favourite subject in undergrad was English, hence my major, LOL. For my postgraduate studies, my favourite classes were the “Youth and Technology” and “Creativity in Teaching and Learning”.

3. What is your favourite book?
This is a tough question for me! There are so many books I adore, so picking one is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Browse through my favourites shelf on Goodreads. I really cannot choose a single book!

4. What is your favourite song at the moment?
Funny. I hardly listen to music now, so I have no favourite song at the moment. I need to remedy that by listening stuff on Winamp again!

5. Where do you get inspiration for blogging?
From whatever happens in my life or from what I see around the Internet, especially from other bloggers. :)

6. What are your favourite breakfast foods?
Hash browns! I love potatoes, so I could eat those every day!

7. What would you like to be remembered by?
I am not sure I fully understand this question, but I’d like to be remembered by my friends. I’d like them to remember me and all the fun times we’ve had :D

8. If you could have a secret power, what would it be?
Teleportation. Seriously. Do you know how much money I could save on transportation fares?! Especially aeroplane fares?

9. Share one thing that is on your bucket list.
To visit United Kingdom and go see the Buckingham Palace guards face to face. They’ve fascinated me since I was a kid, and I’d love to see them in reality!

10. What is the FIRST thing you would do if money was no option?
Visit United Kingdom, Europe, and Japan!

11. What is the most important thing you learned in 2013?
Doing the right thing can be super tough and the consequences sucks a lot, even if you know you did the right thing.

With those answered, I now nominate:

1. Cat at Silent White
2. Agent Q at Express
3. Thao at Tau

The 11 Questions are:

1. What is the hobby you’ve been doing the longest? What influenced you to that hobby?
2. What is your favourite techno gadget, that one thing you couldn’t live without?
3. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
4. Are there any thing you’re looking forward to in 2014? What are they?
5. What languages can you speak other than English? How well do you speak them?
6. What’s your stance on eBooks versus paper books?
7. Which tourist sight do you want to visit in the future?
8. If you could meet one historical person, who would it be and why?
9. What is your biggest pet peeve?
10. If you won a huge sum of money right now, what would you do with it?
11. Which social media do you like using the most?

There you go, folks! Enjoy!

Confessions of a Blogger

Since Georgie and Cat did it, I decided to do it, too :)

When did you first start blogging and why?
My very first blog was started sometime in 2001 on Pita or something like that. I started a LiveJournal in June 2001, but I didn’t really do much there. My official blog started in September 2001. I decided to start blogging because it looked cool, and since I already kept paper diaries, I saw blogging as keeping an online diary.

Have you had any past online presence?
Yes, Prior to Aigoo-Chamna.net, I had TCKingdoms.com. TC standing for Tara-Chan, my online alias. I wasn’t very creative with my alias, eh? But TCK was my collective, but then in 2002, I decided to get ACnet and combine it into a blog/collective.

When did you become serious about your blog?
I was serious about my blog since September 2001, so pretty much from the beginning!

What was your first blog post?
My first blog post was just about me raving about how my new blog was awesome on September 4, 2001. It’s not online any more, but I kept the old pages!

What have been your biggest challenges blogging?
As of right now? Finding the time to blog and being in the mood to do so, too! I’m telling you — grad school is a killer :(

What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
For me it’s the fact that I have a blog that I find it rewarding, and the fact that it’s a self-hosted blog, not like a LiveJournal or a Blogger blog. I remember being really excited when I figured out how to have a blog on my domain, and that moment of proudness hasn’t gone away for me yet.

What is the most discouraging thing about blogging?
Not getting comments, but I am at that point where I don’t care about comment counts. I’ll blog for my own sake!

What is your lasting inspiration or motivation?
Blogging for me is very intrinsic, so I like to blog about stuff that interests me, and I am hoping that once grad school’s done, I can blog more!

What is your blogging dirty little secret?
I don’t think I have a blogging dirty secret. Never really thought about that, to be honest.

What is your current goal as a blogger?
To try and blog regularly!

Have you learned or become passionate about anything through blogging that caught you by surprise?
I discovered that I don’t mind baking and doing some craftsy stuff? Hrm, it’s really hard to say.

2013 Book Meme

Since I’ve actually kept track of what I read this year, thanks to Goodreads, I decided to do this book meme found here.

Best Book of 2013
This was a toughie for me since I read a couple of great series, and I tend to lump the books in the series as a whole. So I then thought about what book in the series I like the best, but since these are series, I just can’t choose a single book. Therefore, the best book(s) of 2013 are: Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan and the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld.

Worst Book of 2013
The Diary of the Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney falls in this category for me. I am fond of children’s book, but I ended up really hating the protagonist within the first few pages, so I just decided to stop reading it. Sure, I can see why kids like it, but I sure don’t!

Most Disappointing Book of 2013
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett took the cake for me. I wanted to like the book, because I do like the characters and all, but the writing style of defining every word on a page just got to me. So I was disappointed that I couldn’t get into the series by that.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins was also that for me. It wasn’t horrible per se, but after the first two books, it just left me quite disappointed.

Most Surprising (in a good way) Book of 2013
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi ended up being a good read for me since I wasn’t expecting it to be that good! Same thing with A Chinese Life by Li Kunwu. Both of these graphic novels introduced me to a country and culture I wasn’t familiar with, so I liked the educational value of them as well.

Book You Recommended to People Most in 2013
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan and the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld were the series I recommended to my friends. I just couldn’t believe how much fun I had reading these, and I wondered why I hadn’t read them sooner! I love the modern interpretations of the Greek myth Rick Riordan showed in the Percy Jackson books, and I love the alternate history of WWI Scott Westerfeld crafted with the Darwinists and the Clankers. Just absolutely brilliant.

Best Series You Discovered in 2013
See the previous question :D

Favourite New Authors You Discovered in 2013
Rick Riordan and Scott Westerfeld hands down!

Most Hilarious Read of 2013
Uh, I went through my list, and I have to say none of the titles really stood out as a hilarious title. But if I were to pick a scene, it’d be the whole “Dam” incident in The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan. It was just “dam” hilarious.

Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book in 2013
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. The world in the book and the situations Katniss was put in were enough to make me read these two books on the edge of my bed, and I really couldn’t stop reading because of the intensity of the plot!

Book You Most Anticipated in 2013
The Sandman and the War of Dreams by William Joyce. Unfortunately, I haven’t read it yet. Will remedy that soon, but I really was looking forward to that book!

Favourite Cover of a Book You Read in 2013
I never really judge book covers . . . so N/A on this one.

Most Memorable Character in 2013
Katniss Everdeen from the first two books of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I really admired her strength in those books. I just hated her change in the third book.

Most Beautifully Written Book in 2013
Though I haven’t finished it yet, I have to give props to The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It really is beautifully written for me. I especially like how Death narrates the book, so it gives it a more surreal quality to the writing.

Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2013
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan and the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld did impact me in literary way, but I have to say that Quiet by Susan Cain impacted me on a personal level since I learned a lot about introversion and how it applies to me!

Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2013 to Finally Read
Everything I mentioned above. Really. I don’t know why I waited so long to read some of these series, and I am glad I did!