Featured Book Blogger is a monthly interview series highlighting amazing members of the book blogging community.
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Welcome, Nihaad! First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are some of your interests outside of blogging?
When I’m not blogging you’ll probably find me hanging out with my bestie – who happens to be my husband. I love the outdoors and going on exciting new adventures so if there’s an opportunity for me to go explore then I’ll be all packed up and ready to go. ?
I’m also a freelance web designer and social media manager. This is so thrilling for me to share because I actually studied Civil Engineering, and this change in career has been one of the scariest yet most exhilarating things I’ve ever done (and I’ve been bungee jumping!)
Give us some insight into your psyche. What are your Myers-Briggs and/or Enneagram types?
According to my test results I am “The Advocate” or INFJ-A personality type and I could not agree more with this! I consider myself an introvert even though I have no problem with socializing; I am comfortable in my own skin (this took a little work through growing up) and a deep thinker who strives to keep an open-mind in all situations.
I was always the curious learner growing up and this definitely became part of who I am now as an adult.
How did you discover the book blogging world and what made you decide to start a blog?
I’ve always been rather bookish, but I started reading A LOT while I was studying. Reading helped me through the stress of studying and provided me with some deeper thinking on an emotional level that I wasn’t getting from my Civil Engineering degree.
The blog began a little later, while I was working my first official job after graduating. I desperately needed a creative outlet but didn’t feel any pull towards the other niches out there. I love reading, and up until then I didn’t really consider myself a writer, yet something drew me in and I took the plunge! I haven’t looked back since!
Once I started blogging and became more involved in the community I discovered the greater book blogging world out there. It felt like home!
I hate it when people ask me what my favorite book is–such an impossible question! So give us your top three…or ten.
Haha, I totally agree that it’s an impossible question! However, there are definitely books that stood the test of time for me. A few that come to mind are:
- Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
- I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
- A Hope More Powerful than the Sea by Melissa Fleming
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Supetys
- Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
- Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Time for some either/or…
Print or ebook?
Print!! There’s nothing quite like the feel of a physical book in our hands. Turning the pages and the smell of old paper all contributes to the over all reading experience. That being said, I will use an ebook from time to time, because let’s be honest: it does have its perks!
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate, of course!! But there are definitely days when I’ll want nothing but vanilla ice cream. I like to mix it up and try new things, so it’s kind of like a rule in my life to never order the same flavor ice cream twice in a row :’)
Fiction or nonfiction?
Fiction… I love that story telling has a powerful way of revealing truth and lessons that makes the reader appreciate these deeper meanings so much more. As you read, you experience these lessons along with the characters you are following and because of this, the message of the story remains with you forever.
Short story or epic novel?
Epic Novel. More often than not a short story won’t have enough substance to really pull me in and feel connected to the message. I like to have a little more time to develop that bond with the characters and the story, so an epic novel is more likely to give me that.Q&A with Book Blogger Nihaad of Read & Seek - Her favorite books + blogging origin story!Click To Tweet
Harry Potter!!! I never felt drawn to the Hunger Games world. I’m not quite sure why that is, but I think HP played such a huge role in my childhood that it will always win over anything else!
If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would you pick and why?
Oh my, this is a toughie! Would it be cheating if I said my grandparents 😉
I guess I’d love to know more about their childhood and their life experiences. Life is so unbelievably different to what it must’ve been like back in their days so it would be interesting to hear their stories and see things from such a unique perspective than my own. I also have this fear of having major life regrets, so I’d want to know if there was anything they wish they had/hadn’t done.
If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go and why?
It’s so funny, I was just looking through travel sites because I really want to do some travelling outside South Africa, and a country I keep looking up is Vietnam. Their rich culture and history is something I’ve always admired so the thought of exploring the land sounds exhilarating. From the pictures and videos I see, the country looks absolutely breathtaking, so it would be wonderful to experience their natural wonders.
India, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan are also a few on the very top of my list of places I’d love to visit.
Tell us about some of the best books you’ve read so far this year.
I’ve had quite an enjoyable reading year so far and read a lot of interesting books that I found to be really enjoyable. I’ve been reading a lot of YA contemporary and fantasy books which has been incredible – it amazes me that people are still able to surprise me after all the books I’ve read already…
A few worth mentioning:
- Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – this book blew me away with its brilliance! It had everything I could ever possibly want from a book and I am still not over it.
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: I highly doubt this book needs an introduction but gosh I really appreciated the poetry in here. It was raw and real yet surprisingly hopeful which is the perfect combination for me.
- Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: this book was BEAUTIFUL! It is going to be torture waiting for the next book in the series!
- The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater series: I only read the first two books in this series but oh. My. Gosh. it is GOOD! I can’t believe it took me so long to read it, but I finally understand what all the hype is about!
What books are you most looking forward to this fall?
We are actually headed for spring here in Cape Town, but the books I am most looking forward to reading are: Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo (this is technically a cheat since it’s meant to be released this month still), Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas, Warcross by Marie Lu, All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater, Without Merit by Colleen Hoover, and Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi.
If you could pick three books you think EVERYONE should read, what would they be and why?
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer: This book will give you a whole new outlook on people whom you thought you had all figured out. It was such a personal story for me. If I had the ability to go back in time, I would use that super power to travel back to my high school days and hand a copy of this book out to all my teachers. It’s just so REAL!
A Hope More Powerful than the Sea by Melissa Fleming: Given the world’s current political climate, I believe this is such an important book. It provides back story to what’s happened in Syria, as well as so many other Middle Eastern countries whose people are being turned away and ostracized. They are cast out and shunned after running for their lives, uprooting their families and leaving their homes behind. This book focuses on a subject that’s been pushed under the rug for far too long.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: Another book that deals with really important issues that needs to be faced. A lot of people don’t even know that these things are happening around them so they go on living in ignorance. Reading this book will definitely provide some insight and maybe even a little bit of understanding.
Lightning round! Name your favorite…