So a few months ago Vicki W nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award which was lovely. 2014 has really been the year my blog grew up. From last year I started getting some amazing viewing figures and then this year things really stepped up a gear. Anyway, A Silly Girl nominated me for another Liebster Award. I feel horrendous for referring to her as that. I’m sure she’s not silly at all. Anyway, thank you for nominating, Silly Girl. This is technically my third Liebster Blog award but the second time I’ve responded so here we go …
- Link and thank the person who nominated your blog.
- Answer the eleven questions they asked you.
- Pick eleven bloggers with less than two hundred followers to nominate.
- Ask them eleven questions
- Let them know you’ve nominated them by commenting on one of their posts.
So below are my answers to the questions I received from A Silly Girl:
1) If you had to pick a max of three favourite books, what would they be?
This is difficult. It depends on the situation. If this is to go to some desert island then I would pick Possession because it is spectacularly beautiful, the complete edition of Le Petit Nicolas (is there is one, if not I would have to make one up) because I think he’s hilarious and then probably The Compleet Molesworth for similar reasons. It’s all a bit tricksy though because I have memorised large chinks of Pride and Prejudice via repeated readings so I wouldn’t need to take it and the same is true for All My Friends are Superheroes. And Cold Comfort Farm. If this is just for archiving reasons then it’s a lot harder and very much depends on my mood/age/time of year/the current phase of the moon. Right this second, I’ll go for To Kill a Mockingbird, How to be a Heroine and Pride and Prejudice.
2) If you had to pick a max of three least favourite books, what would they be?
I used to have a page on this site of “Books to Avoid” but I got rid of it as it seemed too mean. I do despise most things written by Philippa Gregory. Reading things by her is like eating your own hair, similar feelings of ‘yeuuurgh’. I have a real problem with books where the central female character just sits around like a lemon, so hence the fact I loathed The Making of a Marchioness where its ‘heroine’ stood about looking shocked while people tried to kill her and her unborn child. I also hate cliché-driven romances like My Best Friend’s Girl for the same reason – it encourages girls to have ridiculous ideas about relationships. The very worst, worst, worst book though that I have ever read is The Boy In Striped Pyjamas. It’s so insulting to victims of the Holocaust.
3) Do you ever read a book, not so much because you think you will like it, but because it’s one of those books that you feel you have to read?
Yes. I do. When I first started this blog, I never seriously thought that anybody would actually read it other than me, so I just read the books that I liked. Still, as well as writing about books that I like, it’s also good fun to write about the books that I didn’t like. I really enjoyed tearing The Boy in Striped Pyjamas to shreds. Plus, when there are books that everybody is talking about, I like to join in. That’s more or less why I read Fifty Shades of Grey … although it did take me two years. I do really try though to remember that from the beginning, the person who has the most fun with Girl with her Head in a Book was me and I don’t want that to ever change. I like writing about the books I have loved and although I do step off and walk on the wild side every so often, I do know what I like.
4) What’s your thought on audio books?
I love them, there is something so restful about hearing a story read out loud. I remember hearing Pride and Prejudice out loud when I was about twelve. More recently, I found The Subtle Knife on offer in a motorway service station and that made for one of my best ever drives down from the North. The big problem is that they can be so expensive, so very much pricier than a book and they’re not the kind of thing that you can listen to repeatedly so they’re not something that I feel I can buy often. If they were cheaper though I definitely would.
5) Do you re-read books?
I used to, frequently. If I read Ballet Shoes once as a child, I must seriously have read it about thirty times. I was the same with The Weird Sisters but with the best will in the world, my TBR pile is a bit over-whelming these days. There are books on my shelves that I love, cherish and plan to re-read. Things with The Pile have gotten a bit ridiculous now – I’m actually not very motivated to buy new books because there just are so many that I want to read that are already in my house. I love blogging, it has been such a fantastic experience for me but I don’t want it to completely take over my reading habits.
6) What’s the best school-assigned book you’ve read?
Tough one. I was an literature student at university, my degree is essentially a piece of paper that grades how good I was at reading books (I’m really good at it). I remember leaving my last ever English exam with a really great feeling because I’d written an essay on Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square where I had made an extended comparison between the central character’s prowess on the golf course and his lack of confidence in the bedroom, so that his golf club had become a ‘penis-surrogate’. I felt secure based on prior experience that talking about something I thought of as being rude would get me a good mark. I think that my best-beloved is still probably The Heat of the Day although the one that gave the greatest laughs was without a doubt Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, I read it in second year and giggled all the way through.
7) Are you the type to usually root for the hero or the villain?
Depends. Is the hero incredibly annoying? I had to study Othello for AS Level and it annoyed me so much that Othello didn’t bother to just ask his wife if she was committing adultery or, you know, trust her to be faithful given that they had been married less than a week. So I cheered for Iago because Othello was just silly. Similarly for Hamlet but Hamlet has some better lines in it and I wasn’t made to study it so it annoyed me less. I did watch a few of the Twilight films hoping that something would happen to Edward but it never did. In general though, I do root for the hero and I fret terribly when things don’t seem to be going their way.
8) What’s one thing you wish everyone knew?
That Frankenstein was the doctor, not the monster.
How to use an apostrophe.
The difference between you’re and your, their, they’re and there.
The winner … drum roll … the apostrophe thing. It bothers me.
9) If you had the power to fix one thing you think is wrong with the world, what would it be (and if you can, what can you do?)
This question reminds me of the closing words of E. Lockhart’s heartbreaking We Were Liars, Mirren advises Cadence to ‘be a little kinder than you have to be’. In every day life, I think that those are wonderful words to live by. It has become fashionable or cool to be rude or coarse or mean and I think things go better when that stops. So much of the world’s problems come from greed. I would wish for more kindness. Since I can’t change the motivations of those in charge of our world, I do have a travel highlighter set and instead I fix punctuation on notices that people put up at the supermarket. I think I am becoming a crazy old lady except forty years too soon.
10) If you could meet anyone, dead or live, fictional or real, who would it be?
John of Gaunt. He’s hot, let’s face it.
11) What got you into blogging?
A few things – I love writing and I really felt the need to have a fresh outlet. Blogging for me is a very creative process. Also, I had graduated from university and was really missing having an outlet to discuss the books I had read. I had no idea about the real community that there is out there of other people doing the same thing! Blogging has just enriched my life in so many ways and it’s brought me so many free books!
And we’re done. So on to my nominations. Eleven bloggers seems like a lot … I’m afraid I’m going to stop at seven but seven rhymes with eleven so we’re doing all right.
I will nominate:
Vicki W at Lil Miss Vix Reads
CGrace at A Book and a Quilt
Lory at The Emerald City
Kirsty at The Literary Sisters
Hayley at The Desperate Reader
Lyn at I Prefer Reading
Karyn at A Penguin A Week
My eleven questions are:
1) How do you feel about print books versus e-books?
2) Which words or plot points automatically make you decide not to read a book?
3) What is your first ‘bookish’ memory?
4) Do you find that you read books which are more by male or female authors?
5) Where’s the strangest/most unusual place that you’ve ever read a book?
6) Do you read in any other languages than English? How do you feel about translated fiction?
(n.b I read in French and often find that fiction loses something in translation, particularly when humour is involved)
7) How do you feel about Reading Challenges eg. Goodreads challenges?
8) Do you often read books that you feel you ‘ought’ to read rather than ones that you want to read?
9) If you could pick one fictional character to be your friend in real life, who would it be?
10) Which author would you most like to meet and why?
11) What do you like best about blogging?
Thank you again for the nomination, Silly Girl and happy Bank Holiday Weekend!