I’m ashamed to admit how long I’ve left this post, but here I am at last! Way back in August Dani from onlybooksandhorses nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thank you so much! I’d like to finally pass it on now, as soon as I get my head out of the sand where I’ve hid it in shame for being so slow.
The rules for the award are simple:
- Link and thank the blogger who nominated you
- Answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you
- Tag 11 other bloggers who have 200 followers or less
- Ask the 11 bloggers you nominated 11 questions and let them know you nominated them!
So, first off, the questions:
1. What was the last book that made you laugh?
I’m reading Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals at the moment. It’s hilarious.
2. What amazing book do you think has a horrible cover?
I know a lot of people will probably hate me for this, but I could never stand the US covers for the Harry Potter series. I grew up with the UK Bloomsbury covers which, if a little inaccurate when it comes to Harry’s age, say ‘Respectable Children’s Classic’ much more than the US covers do, at least to my mind. If I were a parent, I’d be much quicker to buy the book with the UK cover. Ditto for the new covers, which are so cartoony, and so unspeakably ugly. Then again, they’re probably not marketed towards twenty-two year old Australian women, so I guess the publishers know what they’re doing!
3. When did you start blogging?
It’s been almost exactly a year since I started blogging; I began December 2013.
4. Do you have a favourite author (or authors)?
Hmm. That’s tricky. I guess Jane Austen would probably pop up first on my list, closely followed by Mary Shelley, the Brontës, Charles Dickens, and T.S. Eliot. I really admire Umberto Eco’s work as well, particularly his non-fiction, and Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges are also up there. In terms of curl-up-and-spend-the-evening-chuckling books, I’d have to add Terry Pratchett to my list, because his books are wonderful.
5. What’s your favourite movie adaptation of a book?
The Princess Bride. Both the book and the film are brilliant, but I especially love the movie, where awesome things like this happen all the time:
6. Is there a book that has changed your life, or the way you see the world?
Hmm. That’s a tough one, because I don’t think there’s a single book that’s completely revolutionised my outlook on the world. I’ve found that my worldview is constantly being reshaped by the things I read. I try to experiment with different genres, to try things I might not expect to like, and see what comes of it. It’s probably easier to pick a book that has changed my life as a reader, and a student of literature. The first would be Pride and Prejudice, the first ‘classic’ I ever read and the one that sent me further into the realm of literature; the other would have to be the books that first introduced me to postmodernism. I read Michael Ondatjee’s In the Skin of a Lion, and a short while afterwards, Roland Barthes’ essay, ‘The Death of the Author’. The idea that I, as a reader, had a level of freedom and even responsibility when it comes to reading a text was almost mind-blowing. I’d been accustomed to a method of right/wrong reading, where I read a classic piece of literature that belonged to the canon and then tried to guess what the author ‘meant’. Breaking out of this way of thinking, the way I had been taught to read in my woefully short high school literature classes, completely changed my focus as a student and a lover of literature.
7. Do you have a favourite genre to read?
I tend to be fairly eclectic (read: indecisive) when it comes to my reading choices. I try to sample here and there, but classics are often on my favourites list. I particularly like reading women’s classics; examining the way that women challenged restrictive gender roles through fiction, whether subtly or overtly, is fascinating to me. And, of course, I always like a book that can make me laugh (intentionally, of course, not laugh at how bad the writing is. Not that I do this often).
8. Opinion: should people bend covers and dog-ear pages?
Absolutely not! My family constantly gets an earful whenever I see one of them bending back the pages of a book. Having said that, I have no qualms about scribbling notes in margins, circling words, and underlining sentences. As far as I’m concerned, a book can be more pencil markings than ink, so long as the pages aren’t folded. Yep, I’ve totally got my priorities right.
9. Where do you get most of your books?
I’m ashamed to admit that although I love the idea of supporting independent bookstores, and try to do it whenever I can, my nonexistent student income just doesn’t allow for those kinds of prices, particularly in Australia. Books here are outrageously expensive, and scarcely any bricks-and-mortar stores remain. I get most of my books online, either from Abebooks or Bookdespository; the UK-based stores seem to rule when it comes to prices and shipping.
10. What music (if any) do you listen to while you read?
I’m very easily distracted; I require total silence whenever I read or study. It took me years to learn how to read on long bus trips, and even then I tend to take in only about seventy-eight per cent of what I read.
11. What book will you force upon your kids (whether your kids are hypothetical or real)?
I must admit, I’ve never fancied myself a mother; I’ve always pictured myself more as a cool aunt, who lets her nephews and nieces eat chocolate and lives in an awesome lake house full of books, like Helen Mirren in Inkheart. But if I had to give my hypothetical nephews and nieces one book, it would have to be Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling’s books were a huge part of my childhood, and I firmly believe that Harry Potter should and will become a children’s classic. I’d like to help contribute to that – whether my hypothetical relatives like it or not.
11 Blogs I Love:
This was particularly tricky, as a lot of my favourite blogs have just over two hundred followers, or have already been nominated for the award several times. I’ve tried to search for blogs on my reading list with fewer (or no) nominations, but in some cases I’ve gone ahead and added my favourites, irrespective of whether they’ve been nominated or not. I hope this is okay! Please forgive me if I’ve mistakenly nominated someone who has over two hundred followers; sometimes it is difficult to tell. In either case, these are all brilliant blogs that I highly recommend.
- Children’s Classic Book Carousel
- Is It Just Me?
- Classics and Beyond
- Behold the Stars
- A Great Book Study
- The Reading Wench
- Half-Filled Attic
- Yasmine Rose’s Book Blog
11 Questions For Them:
- What is the first book you remember reading?
- Where do you like to read? Do you have a quiet little hideout where you can read undisturbed?
- Starting at the very top of your bookcase, what are the first five books you have on your shelves?
- If you could meet one author, living or dead, for coffee, whom would you meet?
- How do you feel about seeing a movie adaptation before you’ve read the book?
- What is your favourite adaptation of a book?
- Which character from fiction would you most like to be?
- Which book do you recommend to others the most?
- Which book have you re-read the most?
- How do you feel about eBooks?
- Where do you get most of your books from? Library, bookstore, online?
And that’s it! Thank you again to Dani, and thanks to all the wonderful bloggers whose words are always a treat to read. I’ll be back soon with some book reviews, but in the meantime, happy reading!