The Book Interview Tag

Have you ever wondered about the girl behind the blog? Spoiler alert: she’s not afraid to let her freak flag fly. Well, today’s your lucky day because we’re getting up close and personal with the Book Interview Tag. I personally love questionnaire style book tags – it gives me a chance to share a little bit about myself. I always love the opportunity to learn more about my favorite bloggers and I hope you do too!

superman 1978 | Tumblr

Speaking of favorite bloggers – I have to give a big shout out to Daria from Bookaholic’s Therapy for tagging me. I actually had the BEST time completing this one so thank you my friend for the nomination! If you don’t already follow Daria you most definitely should. Be sure to check out her post too! ❤

Also, this tag was originally co-created by the lovely Esmé & Michaela as a way to introduce themselves to the blogging community [which is such a good idea]. You might want to pop over to their blogs too.

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1. Name/ Blog Name

So my name is Alexandra and I’ve got a semi-pretentious hyphenated surname [which I’m not going to disclose because duh – privacy]. I may or may not be slightly vain about my name.

My blog enjoyed its humble beginnings as Books and Tea Leaves which I later changed to Reading by Starlight. Basically, Reading by Starlight was a better fit for my personal aesthetic and I’ve never looked back.

ellie goulding gifs Page 9 | WiffleGif

2. Age

A lady never reveals her age… I will say that I’m twenty-something. A very young twenty-something. Okay fine – I’m twenty-three.

3. Favorite Genre

Being the serious mood reader that I am, my favorite genre fluctuates. That and the fact that I try to read broadly. While I love a good historical romance or a sprawling space opera, I always seem to come back to fantasy. Probably because there’s just so much to play with. But I’m more of a Narnia-esque, epic fantasy kind of girl – I very rarely reach for urban fantasy.

4. Favorite Male Author

You know, I’ve only just realized that I haven’t read many male authors. I’m actually shocked. That being said, I don’t think anyone could come close to topping the late Sir Terry Pratchett. Terry Pratchett is most probably one of the greatest minds to ever grace the literary world. His Discworld saga, a literary experience thirty-two years in the making, is a collection of mini-series and stand-alone novels set in the satire, comedic fantasy world of the Disc. In fact, I wrote a nifty little discussion about the Discworld books and where to start which I’m pretty proud of.

Terry Pratchett | Biography, Books, & Facts | Britannica

 5. Favorite Female Author

Okay, this is an actual no-brainer. Hate on her all you want but Sarah J. Maas, the reigning high queen of fantasy, is my favorite author. I am complete and utter trash for her gritty, sprawling fantasy worlds. And her sexy AF love interests for that matter. I will read literally anything she writes. I mean, Sarah J. Maas could write a book about the life cycle of a fly and I’d probably read it. And before you come at me, yes – I know her books are problematic, I can understand the criticism. But, at the end of the day, I’m still 100% here for it.

Sarah J. Maas unveils new covers for A Court of Thorns and Roses ...

6. Forever Favorites

Warriors by Erin Hunter [Middle Grade/YA Fantasy]
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling [Middle Grade/YA Fantasy]
Twilight by Stephenie Meyre [YA Paranormal]
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas [YA Fantasy]
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas [NA Fantasy]
The Host by Stephenie Meyre [Adult Science Fiction]
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern [Adult Fantasy]
Discworld Saga by Terry Pratchett [Adult Fantasy]

*I am fully aware that my favorites are serious cliches #noshame*

7. What was your first book of 2019? How did you like it?

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I started the New Year out strong with a thought provoking re-read of the Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. It’s a surprisingly philosophical story about fate grounded in scientific fact featuring a diverse cast of characters. The Sun is Also a Star is counted among my favorite books of all time – and for good reason. It makes you stop and think about the role you play in the gathered consciousness of the world.

8. What was your last book of 2019? How did you like it?

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: rejacketed ...

My awesome step-dad [I know you’re reading this!] picked up a copy of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows from an op-shop and gifted it to me. Of course I threw my TBR to the wind and read it. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a lovely story about the healing power of literature. It’s a poignant, deeply moving novel but I still can’t help but love the film a little more.

9. What do you look for in a book? What makes a book stand out for you?

As a reviewer I try to have a broad, open-minded approach to reading. I want Reading by Starlight to have something for everyone’s reading tastes. Also, as we’ve established, I’m a serious mood reader and I never tie myself down to any one particular genre. And for the record: I believe you can enjoy a book, regardless of its intended audience or age group. So basically, I’ll pretty much read anything. That being said, I generally look for a book with immersive world building, plenty of action, intrigue and adventure. A little romance never hurts either!

10. Do you collect any particular sets/editions of books?

The Night Circus (Waterstones exclusive) | skullduggery library ...

I am a self-proclaimed hardcover snob. Shame who? There’s just something about the way a beautiful new hardcover looks on a shelf.

Hardcovers aside, I have a few editions that I’m pretty smug about. The first being my first edition hardcovers of the Harry Potter series. You know, the original UK editions? If there was ever a fire, those babies are high on my priority list. Just saying. The other special edition I’m obsessed with is my Waterstones exclusive edition of The Night Circus. The Night Circus is one of my all time favorite books. Fun fact: it was the theme for my twenty-first birthday. The Waterstones edition is so whimsical and gorgeous – it’s my favorite edition yet.

11. Favorite Place To Read

Snuggled up in bed with either a pot of tea or a bottle of wine – depending on the mood.

lilo and stitch gifs Page 3 | WiffleGif

12. Do you keep books you don’t like, or you just get rid of them?

Confession: I am a MAJOR book hoarder. I keep multiple copies and editions of the same book and I have a bad habit of holding onto crappy books. I mean, I spent good money on those books! Generally, I try to give them a second chance or tuck them away at the bottom of my shelf [or in my garage]. This year, I’ve made it my mission to cull some of those dust collecting books – and I’ve already started too. I’m donating them to my local library.

13. Which literary character best defines you/ do you best relate to?


I can already hear the masses assembling, pitchforks in hand because, for some reason, it’s considered “cool” to bash the actual heck out of this character. The truth is, teenaged-Alexandra was going through some tough shit and she related hard to Bella Swan. It’s a terribly long story of woe but the general gist is that I had a turbulent childhood with an abusive father. And not only did Twilight save my life [Forks was a place I escaped to often] but I saw myself reflected in Bella.

I felt her awkwardness and insecurities. I related to the fact that Bella felt responsible for taking care of her mother and that everyone was constantly underestimating her. Then there’s Bella’s passion. Kristin Stewart aside, Bella experienced things deeply – something I’ve always struggled with. If you need more proof: I moved states during senior year and never found my niche.

“I didn’t relate well to people my age. Maybe the truth was that I didn’t relate well to people, period. Even my mother, who I was closer to than anyone else on the planet, was never in harmony with me, never exactly on the same page.” – call me dramatic but teenage me felt that.

Carly | Kay | Nish & Ngoc | YOU


26 thoughts on “The Book Interview Tag

  1. Thank you so much for tagging me Alex ❤ That Stitch gif is so cute! 😂 Also I feel like it's the epitome of what my quarantine routine looks like loool. Good luck on culling your books, I have a hard time giving away things I spent my money on too. But going to the local library is a good idea. I'm sure lots of readers who venture there will appreciate it and maybe find their new favourite book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right? Isn’t it the cutest? I love Stitch – he’s so adorable! That’s literally been my entire month of April – basically me lounging around with tea/coffee/wine and my books. #livingmybestlife!

      I mean, I’ve got some pretty crappy books in my arsenal, books that I know I’ll never touch but it’s still hard to let go. Especially when we spend our hard-earned savings on said books! But… more space = more books so it’s high time I start culling! 😉 And you’re so right – just because I didn’t enjoy the book doesn’t mean someone else won’t. It’s win – win! 😉

      Can’t wait to read your answers! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ALEXANDRAAAAA your tag game has just been *chef’s kiss* recently – I love love LOVE this tag & you know what, our one year blogiversary is coming up & I’ve been searching for THE perfect tag to celebrate it…and here you’ve handed one to us on a golden platter 😍 I rmb coming across your blog for the first time & I was like ‘Reading By Starlight’ + the graphics on your page = MAJOR SJM vibes 😂 And it’s a true testament to our friendship that even though I’m not the BIGGEST fan of her books, I STILL BOUGHT CRESCENT CITY #1 BC YOU RECOMMENDED IT YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT 😂

    You know what, I actually think the movies did a HUGE injustice to Bella Swan’s character – in the books she was actually quite witty & I loved her dry humour! But the movies totally spoiled her character for me 😢 I’m so sorry to hear about what you went through in your childhood, I can’t even begin to imagine how traumatising that would be but I am very very glad you found some solace in Twilight ❤️❤️❤️

    💛 you forever, your saltmate Ngoc

    Liked by 1 person

    • AWWWWW thank you so much!!! And wow – a chef’s kiss? That’s like, the BEST praise I’ve ever received – I’ve officially peaked in life. Might as well pack it up now… 😂😂😂

      And that’s so good that this tag found you at that perfect time! I had so much fun with this one so it’ll be the perfect way to commemorate your blog anniversary! I’m already soooooo excited to read your answers! 😉

      And AHHHHHH – I’m so, SO happy you got that vibe because the Night Court was EXACTLY what I was going for! Also, HONORED that you bought Crescent City because of me!!! I’m so excited for you to read it! kjhsdfgksjhzabdlashgkdv;lxhjvblvksl;dc

      But, as much as I respect Kristen Stewart, her portrayal of Bella 100% spoiled her character. Book Bella was waaaaaaaay better. The sheer amount of lip biting and fidgeting that Kristen Stewart brought was overkill and unnecessary. Bella was awkward but like, not THAT awkward. On screen she came off as seriously annoying and dull. Twilight definitely found me at the right time. Unfortunately there are some truly horrible people in this world and sometimes innocent people get caught up in their failures. Luckily, I managed to get out of that situation, all the more stronger and positive for those emotional scars. Plus my Step Dad [and his entire family for that matter] is the actual BEST. They are so loving and supportive – found families rule! 😉 ❤

      Love you, Salt mate 💙💙💙


  3. Reading by Starlight is such a beautiful name and I love the aesthetic it captures !! I mean I want that aesthetic in my room– the stars, the night, the books. So pretty !!!
    Yes I love fantasy. I like to try different genres but going back to fantasy always make me feel so happy and comforted. so much love for it !!
    I agree about SJM I can see the criticism and do think you can definitely improve with that. But her writing is very addictive and she creates characters that I can care about so I do still read her books and enjoy them !!
    Yesss, snuggled up in bed with a book is perfection !!
    I’m so sorry to hear about your childhood. I’m glad twilight could be there for you in many different ways. I hope you are well!! And of course, wonderful post. I loved reading it !! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • AWWWW thank you!!! 😊😊😊 I’ve always been fascinated and inspired by the constellations of the night sky and after falling in love with the Night Court’s celestial vibe I knew I wanted my blog to capture that same aesthetic! Also, isn’t the idea of reading underneath the stars by lantern just the dreamiest ever???

      And yes – SJM is sooooooo addictive! I could get lost in her worlds forever. I think it’s because her writing style is so vivid and atmospheric. I’m a sucker for sweeping world building and no one writes sweeping fantasy worlds like SJM does! Do you have a favourite book of her’s? Mine are Heir of Fire, A Court of Mist and Fury and Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood. [Don’t ask me to narrow that list down to one because gah!] 😉

      Thank you for that – the good news is I came out stronger because of that messy past. But there really should be more awareness for violence against women and domestic abuse. No one should have to grow up like that. :/ BUT, my step family is the actual BEST – they almost rival the Court of Dreams… Almost! hahaha 💙

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know it is beautiful, that aesthetic is a perfect !! That really is the dreamiest scenario ever. Just take me there right now !!! *heart eyes*

        I know like her books are.. lets say, pretty big but I get through them really fast !! haha!! I do love her worlds !! Ohh.. I would probably say Tower of Dawn, (or maybe Queen of Shadows or Kingdom of Ash). It is hard to narrow down!! I haven’t read Crescent City HOEAB yet but I’m glad you enjoyed it !!

        More awareness would be better as like you said no one should have to grow up like that!! I’m so glad your step family are so lovely and court of dreams worthy. I hope you are all staying safe. ❤


  4. I actually LOL’ed at the “she’s not afraid to let her freak card fly” line 🤣! I really love your whole blog star aesthetic! And that Discworld post you made for noobs is so helpful 😮! I’ve /kinda/ been wanting to start the series, but I just had no idea where to?? The first book is a good bet though haha 😅. Oh my gosh, I love your love for SJM 😂. And The Sun Is Also A Star was so good and definitely deserves all the hype it gets! (The last scene really had my heart on a choke-hold 😩❤️.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I mean, I am pretty weird… 😂😂😂 And thank so you much! A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into finding the perfect graphics and color schemes to go along with my vision. BUT, I’m super happy with how it turned out! 😊

      And ohmygosh – thank you for clicking on my shameless plug and checking out my Discworld guide! That means so much, Belle!!! I would 100% recommend Discworld – they are so much fun. Sort of a bit like the show Disenchantment how it pokes fun and parodies fantasy. I would recommend starting with The Colour of Magic [which is the first book]. It’s not as developed and well rounded as some of the later books but it’s this sort of quest and it’s such a fun time.

      Have you seen the movie adaption for The Sun Is Also a Star??? It’s actually pretty good! The guy who plays Daniel is so dreamy!!! 💙💙💙

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha no problem, I really needed the guide 😂💛! I’m making a tentative TBR for next month (tentative because I’m such a mood reader lol), and I put The Colour of Magic down!

        And yes, I’ve seen /part/ of it! I watched about 25% of it with my sister, but we just couldn’t finish it 😬. Daniel WAS so attractive HAHA, but I think the dialogue and whole movie just worked better as a book for me 😅.

        Liked by 1 person

        • OOOOooooooh – that’s made me so excited! I can hardly wait for you to read it! I hope you love it as much as I do. ❤

          I agree that the book was 100% better than the movie. I was really disappointed that they left out Irene's story. I feel like that her scenes were crucial to the overall message of the film – that our actions and choices make a difference in the greater consciousness of the universe. But I still enjoy the aesthetic of the film, even if it is a little lacking! 😉 x

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantasy is def my fav genre as well!! I just always end up coming back to it (usually after reading some romance lol) and YES Sarah J Mass is everything!! I love her so much even if she is controversial #noshame.

    I also really need to get around to reading The Sun is also a Star bc it just looks so cute (I may have also watched the movie.. and now need to read the book asap) Great post alexandra 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


      Me too! I try to read ~broadly~ but a sweeping fantasy book is always the way to go!

      I would HIGHLY recommend a read through of The Sun Is Also a Star. Like might seem like a no brainer but as much as I adored the film the book is 100% more deeper. Like, the universe itself actually has a PoV! There was one very specific scene early on in the book [concerning a character called Irene] that I missed in the film. It was such a poignant scene because it really highlights how we as individuals can significantly alter another person’s life, for better or worse. 😉

      Thanks for stopping by! 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  6. While its fun now to hate on Twilight I think most of us loved it as kids. I’m glad you were able to find an escape in books ❤ And I love that your choice drinks are tea or wine depending on the mood haha I am the same way!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved reading all your answers to this tag, Daria!

    I can see why you related to Bella, and I can’t express how strong I think you are – I think Bella Swan is an incredibl strong character in so many more of the emotive and self-reflective ways. She isn’t the new Aelin or Katniss with a swinging sword or bow and arrow, but instead she is a strong character who is able to do what she needs to for the people she loves and cares about, and is one of the more empathetic and emotionally true characters I have ever read.

    Lots of love,

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so sweet of you to say – most days I sure as heck don’t feel strong! 😅

      It’s actually such a shame that to be a Strong Female Character [TM] you have to be either a Katniss or Aelin. What about the quiet achievers? The soulful, reflective, quiet girls??? Why are they considered “weak” because they aren’t loud or demanding? I think there are so many different types of strong women. What makes a strong woman to me is someone who is brave, loyal and 100% true to her own morals and standards. [Yes, I’m riffing off Mulan 2020]. 😉 💙


  8. Waterstones do have some stunning exclusive editions. I’m truly hoping that they’ll have one for Addie La Rue as that sounds like such an incredible book. And you have hardback first editions of HP – that’s amazing 😍
    I love most of your all time favourites. I still need to finish the TOG books but I adore what I’ve read so far. And I somehow haven’t read ACOTAR yet but I definitely plan to soon and have such high hopes for it as it’s Sarah J Maas and the fae which sounds like a match made in heaven 😍 I also need to read something by Terry Pratchett sometime but there’s so many books by him that it’s kind of intimidating. And I haven’t read Night Circus but 100% hope to this year if I ever get back into the swing of reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha I’m pretty proud of my Harry Potter hardbacks. I’ve had them for as long as I can remember. The only issue is the fact that the dust jackets have become faded with age and the sunlight. The spines haven’t aged all that well. Thank god the original hardbacks featured the cover underneath the jacket too! 😉

      ACOTAR wasn’t my favorite when I first picked it up way back when. I just didn’t click with the story or the characters. I was thinking about DNFing the series but, on a whim, picked up ACOMAF on it’s released and got fully hooked. I think ACOMAF gives you a deeper appreciation for how ACOTAR set’s up the story because it’s seriously grown on me. I couldn’t tell you which series [ToG or ACOTAR] is my favorite now.

      And would 110% recommend Terry Pratchett! His books are comedy gold – I would start with The Colour of Magic. It’s not his best – it’s the first book he published – but it’s a fun and satire quest across the world that let’s you dip your toes into the themes and feel of the Disc. 💙

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aww that’s such a shame. I had no idea they also had the cover underneath the dust jacket though. They must look incredible 😍

        Ooh that’s interesting to know. If I don’t connect I’ll definitely carry on with the series then. I hope I enjoy it from the start though as I adore the fae.

        Ah I think that’s actually the one that I put on my TBR so that’s good to know ☺️ I’ll have to try and find it in the library when they reopen as there’s so many books to catch up on and I’ve heard such wonderful things. I need to read more comic offerings too!!.


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