It’s not a break-up, it’s a hiatus

Hello readers of this blog!

Just wanted to update: starting today (June 1st), I won’t be posting as much here, except for the occasional concert or ARC review. I’m dedicating more time to my baby (aka Mind the Gap), so you can find me there pretty much all the time. It’s chock-full of pop culture so if you’ve liked anything I’ve written here, I’m sure you can find something interesting there – including today’s post which is, of course, about The 1975 :)

Thanks for reading!

season two

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Who Broke the Teapot?! – Bill Slavin

Who Broke the Teapot?! – Bill Slavin

26109254Mom is very angry. Her very favorite teapot is broken, and no one is ‘fessing up.

Was it Dad, sitting in his underwear reading the paper?
Was it Cat, who was all tangled up in a ball of yarn?
Was it Baby perched in his highchair?
Or is there a surprising twist to this mystery that teaches Mom a little lesson in anger management?

Bill Slavin takes a sly poke at parents in their less-than-finer moments in this funny and energetic story.

Release date: April 26th, 2016

Thanks to Sylvia at Tundra for sending along the book (and some extra goodies!)!

Children’s books and tea are two of my favourite things, so of course I was excited to hear that there was a children’s book about tea coming out! Sure, it’s technically about a teapot, but that’s close enough for me.

Who Broke the Teapot?! is a delightful rhyming mystery: after a raucous morning, Mom comes down to the kitchen only to find that her favourite teapot has been shattered – and now one is willing to admit they were at fault. It would take a Sherlock Holmes type to figure out whodunit…

The story is fairly short, the rhymes sweet and simple. What makes the book stand out are the illustrations: bold and vibrant, Bill Slavin doesn’t hold back when it comes to colour and even texture. This page, for example, shows Kitty tangled in very real looking wool that makes you want to reach out and untangle her. I also love the cutout letters on the second half of the spread – it looks like a colourful ransom note!

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My only issue with the story was one spread where I wasn’t sure which sentence to read first. If I had been reading it to myself, I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but since I was dramatically reading it out loud (in a posh English accent, obviously), I stumbled over the order. After a second read-through, I worked it out and it all flows together nicely.

This will be a fun story to read out loud with children who will delight in shouting “WHO BROKE THE TEAPOT” with increasing volume on every other page (who am I kidding, I also enjoyed having an excuse to shout). Maybe not the best bedtime story, though, because all that yelling may rile them up…

Rating:

4 interrobangs

As a bonus, here’s a recreation of one of my favourite tea-related scenes in all of television history: Sherlock and Moriarty (Moriar-tea!!) in “The Reichenbach Fall“.

Honey, you should see me in a crown

Liebster Award Part 3!

Thanks so much to Katie (katiejaysbookblog) for the nomination! I appreciate it and you should check out her blog!

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1) What are your hobbies?

Reading, writing, drinking tea, and eating (I’m joking about that last one)(not really, though).

2) Whats your favorite book?

Outside of the Harry Potter series, my favourites include Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted and Robin Benway’s Audrey, Wait!.

3) What fandoms (if any) are you in?

Harry Potter, of course, and Sherlock, to a certain extent (I have a fondness for Sherlock gifs!).

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4) What’s your favorite music?

I’ll listen to anything, but I gravitate towards pop-punk and alternative. My top five bands are: You Me At Six, Panic! at the Disco, All Time Low, The Maine, and either Fall Out Boy or Paradise Fears, depending on my mood!

5) Pancakes or Waffles and why?

Well, #wafflesaturday is my favourite day of the week (that’s when my sister makes waffles for breakfast), so I’m going to say WAFFLES!

6) Left or Right handed?

Right handed.

7) What was the last movie you saw?

In theatres: The Peanuts Movie, which I loved. At home: Legally Blonde Two: Red, White & Blonde which I couldn’t remember at all.

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8) Where are 3 places you’d like to visit?

Ireland, Greece, and San Francisco!

9) Would you rather have your favorite character come into your life or be inserted into your favorite novel?

Ooo, this is a tough one! I’d say be inserted into my favourite novel; I’ve always wanted to visit Hogwarts, and the world in Ella Enchanted is just as magical, full of goblins and fairies and attractive princes. Audrey, Wait! takes place in LA, which I wouldn’t mind visiting either!

10) Favorite beverage?

Tea! I have a large, almost ridiculous, collection (mostly from England, because the Brits really do know their tea).

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I <3 Helena Bonham Carter.

11) What are your goals for 2016 (if any)?

My goal is to read at least 120 books, finish a manuscript (any of them that are currently in progress), and possibly start querying agents (once I finish writing something!).

Thanks again, Katie!

I’ve done the Liebster award twice before, so I won’t nominate blogs (mostly because I don’t have the brain power to come up with questions), but here are the last eleven blogs I followed – you should check them out!

Shelly’s Rambles
Mud and Stars
Cafe Book Bean
That’s So Jacob
Untamed Shrews
The Geek Couple
The Worn Bookmark
RedHeaded Book Lover
Wanderlust: Becoming a Traveler
AroActionCat
Ana Spoke

End-of-the-Year Survey – 2015

I enjoy filling out surveys, and I (obviously) love books, so this end-of-the-year survey hosted by Jamie (Perpetual Page Turner) is right up my alley! Read on for my answers :)

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Number Of Books You Read: 111 + about 10 manuscripts during my internship (Jan-April)
Number of Re-Reads: 18
Genre You Read The Most From: probably urban fantasy (YA is NOT a category!)

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1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
It’s a cross between Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertali) and Every Word (Ellie Marney).

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Bane Chronicles. I mean, I wasn’t really surprised because I haven’t liked the last four Cassandra Clare books I’ve read, but Magnus was always my favourite character.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
When Everything Feels Like the Movies (Raziel Reid) – it got a lot of buzz when it was chosen as one of the finalists for Canada Reads, and that in itself was surprising (in a good way!).

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I’m going to say Every Breath a) because I recommend it on pretty much a monthly basis (technically I read it in 2014, but it was literally the last book I read – I finished it on December 31!) and b) my sister read it and become just as obsessed!

5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Best series started: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor)
Best sequel: Every Word (Ellie Marney)
Best series ender: The Wondrous and the Wicked (Page Morgan)

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Susin Nielsen. I read literally all her books (including one that’s not even published yet!) this year.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Unbearable Lightness – Portia de Rossi

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Every Move (Ellie Marney). I could not move while reading it.

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Cinder (Marissa Meyer) because I haven’t picked up the rest of the series yet, and I’ll probably have to re-read it before I continue.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath – Ishbelle Bee

11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
The Book Thief (Markus Zusack) is gorgeous, but it was a re-read. “New” book that was beautifully written: Magonia (Maria Dahvana Headley)

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
Soulless – Gail Carriger. It has so many things I love in it!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

I have seen the aftermath of death, the incredible mechanism of the body laid bare, and I know now that each person is a kind of miracle. A spark nestles like a bird inside our chests, so deep that we can’t find where it lives, but it is everything. It’s what makes us dream and think and feel and laugh and sing. And it is a mystery, and it is mundane, and, above all, it is fragile. Any moment could be our last. – Rachel Watts, Every Word

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
The shortest (not including picture books or comics) was The Little Prince with 98 pages and the longest was the Complete Blooming Goddess Trilogy (Tallulah Darling) with 1080 pages total (it was all one ebook, so if I was counting individual books, it would be Outlander with 850 pages).

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
The Hollow Boy – Jonathan Stroud. THAT ENDING. I NEED THE NEXT ONE LIKE NOW.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Wattscroft forever!!! Ellie Marney is in charge of writing all the kissing scenes forever.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Flavia and Dogger from Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket!)

21. Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
My sister told me repeatedly to read a Gail Carriger novel and I’m SO GLAD I read Soulless (and the sequel, Changeless!).

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Technically he’s from the end of 2014, but who doesn’t love James Mycroft??

23. Best 2015 debut you read?
Mad Miss Mimic – Sarah Henstra

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
I flat out sobbed at the end of The Wondrous and the Wicked (Page Morgan).

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Not published in 2015, but I really enjoyed Knightly and Son – Rohan Gavin

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
In terms of being sad, I’d say Why We Broke Up, but if you’re talking about one that beat me down until I finished it, I’d say Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Lair of Dreams – Libba Bray

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Anne & Henry – Dawn Ius. I had such high hopes for it because it had such a great concept, but the characters infuriated me.

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
This year was the first year I really paid attention to book blogs and really worked on my own reviews. Some of my favourite blogs include: Pop! Goes the Reader, The Broke and the Bookish, A Reader of FictionsSnuggly Oranges, Cuddlebuggery, and, of course Perpetual Page Turner, plus a whole lot more! I also have to shout out to all the blogs I follow/who follow me here :)

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
Probably my Simon vs review or my extensive review for Every Breath/Every Word.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
The post with the most comments was my Top Ten Books of 2015 from a few weeks ago.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I helped out at OLA which was a really interesting experience, but I also got to meet Alan Bradley at Random House which was really cool (he’s such an adorable old man!).

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
Interning at Tundra was definitely a highlight and I got to work on their blog, which was lots of fun!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Finding time to write the reviews in between writing for Mind the Gap/idobi!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Every Word blog tour (most views on one particular day); overall, it was my Blurryface track-by-track review (in terms of views) and top 10 books of 2015 (in terms of comments).

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I’m quite proud of my UK in YA TTT!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Apart from all the blogs I mentioned earlier, I’ve also really enjoyed Book Riot and the read-iculously cheap Book Outlet.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I set 100 books as my Goodreads challenge and surpassed that goal!

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) is going to be the first book I read in 2016.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
I don’t even know if it will come out in 2016, but I’m salivating for the next Lockwood and Co (Jonathan Stroud) book.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
The Love That Split The World – Emily Henry. It’s been getting a lot of hype and it was the first book to come to mind.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
I’m really hoping that Every Move will be published in North America next year so I can complete my collection!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
I’m setting a goal for 120 books, plus one of my resolutions is to read more classics. And my sister and I (and possibly our nine year old niece) are going to do a full Harry Potter re-read which is really exciting.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
The two 2016 books I’ve read so far have been The Serpent King (Jeff Zentner) and Vikki VanSickle’s If I Had a Gryphon (illustrated by Cale Atkinson), both of which I recommend (and will have reviews up in the next couple of months!).

The Real Neat Blog Award!

Happy Wednesday!

I’ve been nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award by the wonderful Amanda (Literary Counsellor). Thanks Amanda! Please be sure to check out her blog!
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How it works:
1 )Put the award logo on your blog.
2) Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you & create 7 new ones
3) Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blog.
4) Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
5) Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog, etc.)

My answers:

1) What was the last (work safe) picture you took with your phone/camera? Share it?

The last photo I took was at the Andrew McMahon concert on Sunday (a review will go up next Monday!). You can see it on my instagram here (sorry it’s blurry!).

2) Do you have a favourite book that no one else seems to know about?

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty has been one of my favourite books for about ten years. I haven’t met anyone else who has read it, though!

3) If you were to get any quote tattooed on your body, what would it be?

Ooo, so many (especially if we’re including lyrics as quotes!). If I had to pick a bookish one, it’d either be “Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story” (Neil Gaiman) OR “Words…are an inexhaustible source of magic” (J.K. Rowling. Dumbledore, to be exact).

4) What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?

Sometimes I just want to cut off all my hair and rock a pixie cut (or half a shaved head), but my ears stick out too much.

I’m sure there’s a less superficial answer for this, but I can’t think of anything right now!

5) Who is a character from a book that you’ve always resonated with?

I’ve always connected to Audrey from Audrey, Wait!. Not because I’ve dated a musician or had a song written about me (yet!), but because we both understand the power of music.

6) If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?

Languages. Any and all. I speak French and can introduce myself in Spanish, but I think it would be fascinating to learn other languages, maybe ones that aren’t Latin-based. German, for example.

7) If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future? Why?

The Elizabethan era is my favourite, so I’d go there. The only problem with travelling to the past is the lack of hygiene, so I’d probably travel back-and-forth a lot.

Thanks again, Amanda! That was fun :)

Nominations:

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Books
Delirious Antidotes
Hidden Staircase
Insanity Talks
It Started in Oxford
Starlight Daydreamer
Words…I Need Words 

Questions:

  1. What is your dream job?
  2. Is there a post/photo/some sort of created content that you are particularly proud of? Link it up!
  3. Do you have tattoos/do you want any?
  4. What genre do you prefer reading?
  5. If you could have one Christmas wish, what would it be?
  6. Speaking of Christmas, what is your favourite holiday (doesn’t have to be religious)?
  7. What is one thing that is guaranteed to make you smile when you’re having a bad day (a book/movie/video/photo/song, etc)?

#TheShelfieHop

ShelfieHop

Hello everyone!

Thanks so much to Crystal from Bookiemoji and Kristen from My Friends Are Fiction for putting this blog hop together!

To be honest, I kinda forgot #TheShelfieHop was happening today because I was distracted with putting together my Every Word playlist. So my photos are a little blurry, partially because the lighting in my room is terrible (a light bulb burned out months ago and I haven’t gotten around to changing it), but also because I did it last minute! I apologize!


IMAG2609 This is my oldest bookshelf which is why it’s packed!The very top has a mishmash of books that didn’t fit anywhere else; the top shelf is all “adult”; the second shelf is adult and young adult; the third shelf is picture books and more YA; the fourth shelf (which you can’t really see) is middle grade; and the un-pictured bottom shelf is middle grade and some comics (mostly my Calvin and Hobbes books!).


IMAG2610These shelves are beside my desk. They include some of my favourite childhood series (Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events), a stack of movies-adapted-from-books (which helped me make up this list), and then the top are tall books that don’t fit anywhere else, even though I no longer love Twilight or the Inheritance series.


IMAG2608A lot of these books were bought during the course of my English/French degree (hence the row of Oxford classics!), but the top also includes my Melissa Marr collection, and a couple of music-related books.

Not to mention my shot glasses from various whisky distilleries :)


IMAG2606The latest addition to my shelves, I can’t stand far enough away to get the full thing in one shot! It was originally my “Favourites” bookshelf, but the lower half sort of devolved into “books that needed a home/coffee tables books for when I eventually own a coffee table”. Some favourite authors on these shelves include: Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Stroud, Ellie Marney, and Gail Carson Levine.

This photo also features my Snoopy bedsheet!


So those are my personal shelves! There’s also a shelf above my bed that includes a set of L.M. Montgomery books, not to mention my Libba Bray books in the place of honour beside my bed.

I’d really like to rearrange my shelves, but I’m not sure how to best utilize the space I have. I’m hoping visiting the other blogs will inspire me!


Thanks for visiting and make sure you visit everyone else!

Anniversaries and Infinity Dreams

HEY, GUESS WHAT, MY BLOG TURNED TWO TODAY!!

2 years

I’m very proud of this little thing. And also a little ashamed because I forgot until I just logged in (I knew its birthday was coming up soon). So here’s a rare evening post celebrating 2 years, and – coincidentally enough – 200+ followers!

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Thanks to each and every one of you who read anything I write, no matter how rambly it gets. <3

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Anyway:

A couple of weeks ago, I was nominated for the Infinity Dreams Award by the lovely SJ (Delirious Antidotes) and I figured now was as good a time as any to finish writing this post.

Thanks so much, SJ – and to all you readers, please check out her blog (she does some great interviews with up-and-coming musicians).

infinity dreams

How it works:

  1. Thank (and follow) the blog that nominated you for the award.
  2. Tell us 7 dreams of yours.
  3. Nominate bloggers.

My dreams:

1) To be an author. I was 12 when I decided that being an author was in my future. I’ve written one book and I’m always working on a manuscript, but I hope to one day publish those manuscripts.

2) To work in children’s publishing. I’ve always been passionate about kids’ books, I know that working in children’s publishing is where I’m meant to be.

3) To travel the world. This is pretty self-explanatory. I’ve been to many places, but there are many more that I want to visit.

4) To live in London (the English one). London is my very favourite city in the world and every time I visit, I always feel sad when it’s time to leave. Plus, I’ve seen a lot of job opportunities for children’s publishing in the London area, so I guess I could find work there?

5) To have a full sleeve of tattoos. I’m constantly working on tattoo ideas (I just need to make money). With four already done, I think I’m well on my way.

6) To make a difference. How? I don’t know. By publishing the next Harry Potter maybe (wouldn’t that be nice?). Either way, I want to leave some sort of mark on the world.

7) To be happy with my life. I like to think I’m a fairly happy person, but once I fulfill at least one of these dreams, I’ll be even more satisfied.

Nominations:

I’m going to cheat and say I nominate you (yes, you!), whoever is reading this.

This is one third laziness, one third “I’ve already nominated people for a previous award last week“, and one third “everyone has dreams, let’s all share them!”. As The Ready Set sings, “everything is second to your dreams”, so make sure you follow them, no matter how hard it might seem.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

Yay awards!

Thanks so much to Find Me At the Library for the nomination, I really appreciate it! Please go check out her blog!

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How it works:

1) Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog in your post.
2) Answer the questions that the blogger who nominated you has provided.
3) Nominate ten other bloggers (or up to 10).
4) Create ten questions for your nominees and notify them of their nominations.

My answers:

1) If you were to rewrite any book to make it better, what book would it be/what would you change?

Ooo, this is such a good question! I often read books and think “If only X had changed, it would have been so much better”. Most recently, when I read Liz Braswell’s A Whole New World, I would have liked it more if Iago had shown up, mostly because I felt like she lost out on having an amazing character.

2) How do you find most of the books you read?

I used to find stuff the old fashioned way – browsing a bookstore/the Chapters and/or Amazon website. Lately, it’s through NetGalley, other book blogs, or, when I’m interning, by walking down the halls and looking for free books!

3) Do you have more physical copies or digital copies of books?

Physical. I really started reading ebooks this year when I joined NetGalley, but I much prefer having physical books.

4) What character would you pick to be your best friend in real life?

I’m going to pick outside of the Harry Potter universe (otherwise my answer would be Luna Lovegood): Victoria and/or Audrey from Robin Benway’s Audrey, Wait!. They both get the whole “concerts are life” thing, and they’re hilarious, so we’d get along splendidly.

5) Do you lend books out to other people? Why/Why not?

I don’t actually like lending books out. I will if I know that person will take good care of it, but I get weirdly anxious if someone has one of my books and I don’t see them for a while.

6) What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I enjoy sharing my thoughts, even if no one is reading them. Also, the fact that blogging forces me to write constantly, which is something I’ve been trying to do for a while.

7) Where do you enjoy reading most?

My house, either in my room or on the patio (during the summer, of course!).

8) Can you read multiple books at once, or do you just keep with one book?

I used to when I was younger, then I stopped while in university, but I’ve started reading multiple books again. Currently, I’m reading three.

9) If you could have any book perfect adapted on-screen, what would it be?

Ellie Marney’s Every series. Not just because I’m obsessed with it, but also because I’d like to swoon over a real-life Mycroft.

10) Do you think Hermione should have ended up with Ron or Harry?

RON. I don’t really understand Harry/Hermione shippers, since I never felt the chemistry between them in the books, and I’ve been a Harry/Ginny fan since Chamber of Secrets (which I read when I was 8 or 9), so I could never get behind Hermione being with anyone other than Ron.
Plus, I think they work well together because opposites attract and all that.

Nominations:

If any of you have already been nominated (I hope you have!), please don’t feel obligated to do it again!

Delirious Antidotes
Being Tori in Victoria
Reading Rachael
Hidden Staircase
BookMuffin
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Books
Once Upon a Bookshelf
Mad Tea Party Book Reviews
What’s She Reading?
The Musings of a Bookaholic

Questions:
1) If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
2) What is your preferred genre to read?
3) What was the best book you’ve read so far this summer?
4) Quick pick: sweet or salty?
5) Do you like listening to music when you’re working/writing/reading or do you need silence?
6) What’s your dream job?
7) Which fictional character would you want to date?
8) Quick pick: tea, coffee, or something else?
9) What was your favourite live experience (concert, play, sports, etc) or what live event are you looking forward to?
10) You get a chance to appear in your favourite TV show/movie. Which show/movie would it be?