in conversation What's hot? blog...
Laura from What's Hot? Blog is a 22 year-old blogger and student from London. She has been blogging about books for over six years..
Her favourite books are The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and the Harry Potter series.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I just graduated from Oxford University where I studied French for four years. Next up I will be doing the law conversion course and going on to becoming a corporate lawyer (boo). I am a huge bookworm who is completely obsessed with 'Bookstagram' and have been blogging about books for over six years! Also, I love bubble tea. I think that is a very important fact.
How did you decide what you wanted to do?
I started my blog six and a half years ago when I was still in secondary school. I had helped set up a fashion magazine at school with some of my fellow students and I had written a tonne of articles for it. Unfortunately, wen the magazine actually went to print, the editor cut most of my articles because there wasn't enough space and I was gutted! Not wanting these articles to go to waste, I created What's Hot? and started posting them all there. Yes, What's Hot? actually started as a fashion blog!! I soon realised that fashion blogging wasn't really my thing, so I moved on to books and films, and now I would call it a culture, food, travel and lifestyle blog.
If you could wear one colour for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Black, obviously. Black literally goes with everything so I would never have to worry about my clothes coordinating or anything. Plus, nobody looks bad in black. It is (almost) impossible to look bad in black.
Do you have a fun fact our readers may not know?
Not exactly "fun", but I am half Chinese, half English. I feel like a lot of my followers don't realise that I am part Asian, or at least they didn't until recently when I started posting more photos including my face. I was born in England and have lived here my whole life, but my mum's family all live in China, so I go back there every few years or so.
Is there a particular book that has changed your way of thinking?
I haven't finished it yet, but I would have to recommend The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge. This is a non-fiction book about overcoming anxiety and finding "a quieter mind, a calmer you". As well as helpful tips for how to overcome anxiety, I think the most important thing this book taught me what that my feelings are valid. It is really relatable and easy to read and offers step-by-step guidance. Everyone is always rushing around in today's world, and this book is helping me take a step back and really appreciate and enjoy life again.
If you could write a book in any genre, what would it be?
Probably dystopia. I have some book ideas written down for just about every genre from romance to YA to fantasy to thriller, but I think the ones I would most like to write are dystopian. I really love the fantasy genre but I'm not sure I would be able to create a whole new universe and do it justice. I guess I see dystopia as a mid-point between fantasy and reality where I can create a society of my own imagination that still reflects or draws upon issues in the real world we live in.
(P.S. Most of these book ideas are ridiculous or based on dreams (seriously, I just laughed out loud reading some of them).
What is your favourite quote?
I have two favourite quotes, both from a very important wizard:
"Happiness can be found, eve in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - Albus Dumbledore
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." - Albus Dumbledore
Do you have any advice for when it comes to reading?
I just want to remind people that it is okay not to like the most hyped book of the year. With social media/'Bookstagram', new releases can become over-hyped very, very quickly, and I used to feel slightly ashamed when I didn't feel as strongly about a book as my other bookish friends. I have since learnt that obviously everybody has different tastes and different life experiences, which mean that stories resonate with us in different ways, and that is more than okay.
What book should everyone read at least once in his or her lifetime?
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This novel was written back in the 1930s, but it is still very relevant to our society today, which shows how timeless and important the work is. It is set in a fictional future world where society has developed hugely in terms of technology, reproduction and social structure. The world is created by Aldous Huxley is both deeply interesting but also frightening because I could totally see it becoming our reality. It is hard to explain how interesting this book is in words, just READ IT.