How long have you been blogging?

It's been many many years, but I've been actively blogging about books since August 2010.

Do you have a writing team or do you do everything yourself?

Books à la Mode is owned and, with the exception of guest writers, written by me and only me.

Why don't you post daily, or as often as other bloggers do?

1) I simply don't have the time. I started this blog as a high school student, maintained it through college, and am now working full-time. I don't make an income off of blogging and don't consider it a job, and usually you'll find me updating blog posts in class or at work, because my self-control is minimal like that. It's a sacrifice I make to keep the blog happy. But usually, I think, "homework... or blogging?" and it's never too tough of a choice.

2) I'm sorry, but the last time I checked, my name wasn't "other bloggers."

How come you don't participate in weekly memes such as Mailbox Monday, Teaser Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, and other stuff?

Because the last thing I want to do is hop onto a bandwagon. I mean, hundreds of blogs participate in the memes everyday. It's a good idea when you think about it, but when it's forced to be shelled out on a weekly basis (and for the sake of gaining new followers, at that!), it gets tedious, and even worse, it gets used. I'd much rather gain followers for my content. I do occasionally participate in giveaway hops though, so be sure to look out for me on those!

And of course, there's my beloved Back to the Classics meme which I deem a FREE meme, meaning there's no bandwagoning/fishing for followers. It's just for fun, and to dispel my love for literature. Join me if you'd like, and remember to link up!

Where do you get all your ideas from?

While I'm waiting for the bus, in the shower, during history class... the little unimportant moments in my life are when my brain functions best, oddly enough.

Who designed your layout?

Christine from Painting Skies Designs and I collaborated on Books à la Mode's current look. What do you think?

Why don't you have ads on your site?

Think of it this way: Imagine something you really love to do, something you do all the time. Now imagine what would happen if someone offered to pay you to do it. I know at first, you would say, "Aww, yeah!" but soon, I'm sure whatever it is you are doing, would become a drag. Then you would start doing it only for the money. And then it would no longer be something you love to do. This is how prostitution began.

Wanna exchange links?

NO. Fuck off. I'll link you if I want to link you and ask for nothing in return.

Do you have advice for a newbie blogger?

I'll always consider myself a noob, so I'm not sure you'd want to take advice from me...

Just write about what you love because even when it seems like no one is reading your posts, there are people out there who have the same interests as you, and it's only a matter of when they will find your blog. If you're a book blogger, don't feel the need to blog about "popular" books for the sake of page views or books that random people peg you with; write about what you love!

Also, publicize. Leave lots of comments, links, Tweet, create grab buttons, join bloghops, list yourself on Bloggers, etc. 


Do you get paid to write your reviews?


Are you an affiliate for any retailer sites?

Nope. Occasionally I do sponsored posts, but never paid opinions. I don't have ads and wouldn't want to earn a commission, even if offered. My reviews and interviews, while professionally organized, have a touch of my own tender loving care in them. I wouldn't WANT to earn anything from such ventures.

None of my links are affiliate links. If they do take you to a creative affiliate URL, it's from another blogger's site or from Goodreads.

Why don't you accept eBooks for review?

The easiest answer here would be I don't have an eReader. I mean, I have one, but I rarely use it. The more difficult answer would be, argued by authors and electronic publishers alike, there is no value to eBooks. I know they sell for $10 a pop at eStores, and that people actually buy them, but if you think about it, eBooks are just a download; they can be reproduced infinitely (hypothetically speaking, without the anti-piracy blocks, and so on).

That being said, I don't want you thinking I review for the sake of receiving a book of value in the mail. I usually give all my review copies away via this blog or donate them to other blogs (or Goodwill!) anyway, so that is really the last motive I have as a reviewer. I consider a print copy of a book a sort of a "payment", but without a receiving end. I believe that if an author or publisher won't commit to sending me a print copy of their book from their own pocket, they won't fully commit to receiving an honest review as well. eBooks can be continuously forwarded and generated; the author or publisher doesn't have anything to lose by sending a hundred eBooks to a hundred reviewers. But sending a hundred print books to a hundred reviewers is a different story. Obviously, I am not being paid; yet the publisher/author is paying by sending me a copy of their book. That is really the only guarantee I have, as a reviewer, that my review will be appreciated and isn't part of their mass market target.

Wait! But I saw some eBook reviews at Books à la Mode!

Those, my dear, are not eBook reviews. Those are eShortStory reviews. Like I mentioned, I don't have an eReader, but I can still read PDFs on my computer. I try not to do this too often because it really strains my eyes. I already wear contacts for god's sake, I don't want to go blind! If you have a short story or novelette (less than 30 pages) that you want reviewed, send it my way; I'll consider, but won't guarantee reviewing it.

Where do you get all your free books and review copies?

Some, I seek out on my own, like at book reviewing websites such as BookSneezeLibraryThing, and Blogging For Books.

But most, I get from author and publisher requests that want publicity at Books à la Mode, OR virtual book tours that need people to review their releases. 

Sometimes authors thank me for writing reviews/reading their books and send me books as gifts. Authors are such nice people :)

Do you accept backlist titles?

Of course! I don't only review upcoming releases. In fact, I would say about half of my reviews are for books that have been published previously.

Do you accept self-published titles?

Yes! Some of my favorite books are self-published.

What genres do you like? What is your turnaround time? How does your rating system work? How do you write? How do I request a review? Can you review my book???

Slow down there, Seabiscuit! You can find my review policy and request information by clicking here.


How can I book a promotion?

You can find all information about non-review promotions on my policy page.

Do you accept guest posts?

Yes! As of July 2012, I've stopped accepting unsolicited requests for review (with the exception of tour stops) but will still continue to host promo features, including guest writers with unique posts and interviews.

How will I know if I'm a winner for one of your giveaways?

All winners, unless otherwise stated, are notified via email and have 48 hours to claim their prizes. Click here for more giveaway policies.

Can I send you promotional materials, such as bookmarks and postcards, for you to hand out?

Certainly! Email me and we'll figure things out.


Are you planning on becoming an author?

It certainly would be my career choice in an ideal world, but it isn't very likely to happen. Maybe I'll write a book someday, but I don't think I could make a living off being only an author. 

I'm still in school, so my aspirations fluctuate by the minute. Who knows what my future holds.

What do you write?

You'll find fiction pieces (otherwise known as: novels I stopped writing after the first three chapters) on my Textnovel page and some poetry on Goodreads. I'll warn you though, that stuff is OLD. And cheesy.

I also write short stories and essays for publications, including The Huffington Post as well. So technically, yes! I am motherfucking published! But I'm not really an author.

I studied literature with Daniel Hoffmann and Matt Langione, as well as creative writing (short fiction and long narrative) under Melanie Abrams, Vikram Chandra, and Professor Namwali Serpell at UC Berkeley. While this is not the professional path I pursued, I am grateful to have had the privilege to work under their guidance during my undergraduate experience.


What do you look like?

My high school and university graduation photos, respectively. All that's changed is I learned how to fill in my eyebrows and gained weight :D

What ethnicity are you?


What languages can you speak?

Fluently: English and Korean.

Conversationally: Spanish. 

What are some of your favorite books?

I have a nervous breakdown every time I am asked this question, so I've stopped answering it. Check out my 10-heart reviews, 9-heart reviews, and Goodreads favorites shelf if you want personal recommendations.

Do you play any sports?

On official teams, I've ran cross country and swam. Played rugby in a school club as well! But that was cut short when I changed schools :( Other club sports I have played/play: water polo and ultimate frisbee. I'm not very athletic but do like to have fun to (attempt to) stay fit.

Who's your celebrity crush?

Check out my old hunk alerts.

How old are you?

22 as of August 2017.

Can I be friends with you on Facebook?

No. Friend me on Goodreads or follow me on Instagram if you'd like, but if I haven't met you in person, I most likely will not respond to your Facebook friend request.

What's your Twitter?

@touurnesol (me)
@modishbooks (blog)

Where else can you be found on the web?

Please check my sidebar, where I link you to my Google+, Twitter
LibraryThingand Goodreads accounts! I can also be found lurking on PaperBackSwap, Amazon, and Bloggers.

I LOVE your hair.

(Not a question, but I'll let it slide just this once).

What breed is your dog?

He is a red toy poodle :3 He's also a Valentine's Day puppy—born February 14th!

Can you cook?

No, no! Can't be good in every room of the house.