Oy – I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by both The Hard Cover Lover and Victorian Soul Critiques! Thanks lots, both of you!
This is a blog award one receives from another blogger. In order to be nominated, one must be a newer book blogger. Once you’re nominated, you get to nominate other book blogs.
There are some rules:
- 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 that you’ve nominated them by commenting on one of their posts
All right! (Scroll down past my own answers to get to my nominations and questions, this got long and out of hand…!)
My answers to the questions from Erin @ The Hard Cover Lover
Why did you decide to start blogging?
I have wanted to, and made some half-hearted attempts, for a long time – I do like to share excitement over books and book-related things. Finally, I realised that blogging about books might actually cause publishers to give me books for no money at all, so, here I am. (I know, materialism, blah blah. I’m impatient and enjoy sneaking ahead of publishing dates!)
Are there any books set in your hometown? If so, what one(s)?
There are quite a few, but I’m not sure I can think of any English language ones! And I haven’t actually read Jo Nesbø or any of the other widely translated Norwegian crime/thriller authors, so I don’t know how much they mention Oslo. What I do remember is Slartibartfast talking a lot about the Norwegian fjords in The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy, and also meeting Thor the norse god in what I think was a Norwegian airport in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. (Douglas Adams seemed preoccupied with Norway, I don’t know why.)
Who are some of your auto-buy authors?
These days? Lauren Beukes, China Miéville, Charles Stross, Mary Roach, James S. A. Corey, John Scalzi, and a bunch of others. Used to include Terry Pratchett, and still holds for most things with his name on it, except the Long Earth books; the first one did not make me want to read the next ones at all. Also used to include Orson Scott Card, whose actual real life person I’ve always been able to ignore, but then there was Earth Afire, and though I thought I would never feel anything less than excited about anything in the Enderverse, well, there I was. Yuck.
What is your favorite series?
Discworld used to mean one or two extra Christmas Eves every year, when a new book came out! Some other favourites are Charles Stross’ Laundry books, Mira Grant’s new Parasitology series, Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, James S. A. Corey’s The Expanse. I’m a George R.R. Martin reader, too. Oh, and Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga gave me a lot of happytimes, but I’m not sure there’ll be more books.
Do you like fantasy or dystopia better? Why?
They aren’t actually mutually exclusive, are they? Dystopian fantasy is totally a thing. (Richard Morgan is the first author to come to mind, but yeah, there are more examples of this.) Can I just chicken out and say I like a good fantasy just as much as I like a depressing totalitarian future society?
Have you ever written a book?
Ha! I’ve completed/won NaNoWriMo twice, but that doesn’t mean I think of myself as someone who wrote a book, or even two books. Mostly it’s just word piles no one’s ever going to see.
What are some of your favorite book blogs?
I started out following book reviews on io9 and worlds without end. Then I started reading the book smugglers and a dribble of ink – and of course Jo Walton’s posts on tor.com. Lately I’ve started following a lot more private/informal book bloggers, so I’m sure I’ll have new favourites lined up soon.
What is your favorite book you had to read for school?
You know, I actually can’t remember having to read a novel for school at any age, in any class – i don’t know if that’s because Norwegian curriculums take a different approach, or that I had just already read whatever came up, which is quite likely. I do remember stuttering through a completely unprepared oral exam in Spanish, repeating the name Gabriel García Marquez like a mantra, achieving a passing grade that way. (I loved Marquez! But it wasn’t assigned reading, and my Spanish was useless until, years later, Duolingo came into my life.)
What are you currently reading?
Leslie Jameson’s The empathy exams, Sarah Vowell’s The wordy shipmates, Clifford D. Simak’s Way Station, and Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim. I usually only read 2-3 at a time, but read-a-thon has me a bit frazzled, actually.
Are there any books that you just know you won’t read even though everyone tells you that they are great?
I’m pretty good at filtering – meaning I don’t actually have a lot of people recommending things to me I know I don’t want to read. The only title that explicitly comes to mind is the new David Mitchell one, because, honestly, I was bored to tears by The cloud atlas.
What is your favorite thing about the book blog community? Why?
It’s friendly and inclusive enough to bring me into this thing even though I don’t, uh, know anyone! Hi, all!
My answers to the questions from Angie @ Victorian Soul Critiques:
What is your favorite time of day to read?
I have two very regular reading times; Mornings with coffee, and at night, before sleep. I read at all hours, really, but those two times are engraved in my daily schedule.
What makes your favorite book your favorite: the characters, the plot, or something else?
This is a tough one to answer, because I have lots of favourites, and they’re favourites in, well, different ways. Most recently I loved Peter Watts’ Blindsight and Echopraxia (loosely connected novels). What I loved in them was the density of ideas, a sharp, stark, but beautiful style. If I had to choose, I’d have to describe myself as a big ideas! concepts!-kind of person. Plot over characters, I guess – but I still react if characters are jarringly bad, so it’s not like one completely overrules the other.
What is your favorite dessert?
Oh! Ice cream! ICE CREAM! Sometimes cake. Gooey chocolate cake. Nutty cookies. Chai tea. Ice cream containing all of those things. Yes, that’s it.
Do you have a favorite villain? (Literary or otherwise)
I’ve always been, perhaps morbidly, interested in true crime accounts, featuring gruesome and disturbing acts committed by people whose minds are, well, alien. I’m not sure that means I’d call Charles Manson or Albert Fish my “favourite villains”, though. How do you ever talk about a favourite villain without getting all defensive and apologetic? I liked Tywin Lannister and The Hound in the ASoIaF-books. Oh, and Discworld’s auditors. And Mr. Teatime. Yes! (Funny how I can hardly think of any villainy types in science fiction; that tends to be whole governments or species or corporations…)
What three books would you bring to a deserted island with you, if you had everything you needed (food, water, shelter, bookshelves, etc.)?
Long ones, I guess! Um, tough. I think I’d bring an encyclopedia, or Bill Bryson’s A short history of nearly everything. And Neal Stephenson’s Anathem. And an epic adventure with lots of bromance in it, which would mean the Lord of the Rings, if I was a bigger fan of it. Can’t actually think of anything that fits the bill any better, though. Omnibus editions would be cheating, right? An Octavia Butler omnibus could stay interesting for a long, long time.
Which book do you consider underrated and under-read (people don’t read it as much)?
When I was ten or eleven, a book club gave me The adventures of Endill Swift by Stuart McDonald, which I assumed meant it was a widely known and well-loved book. Turns out, no one’s heard of it. It’s a shame, because it’s every bit as good as the Roald Dahl classics. Actually, I’d totally bring this to a deserted island with me, despite the low pagecount!
If you could travel to another universe (bookish or otherwise), would you stay here or go?
If I could travel to the utopian human civilization of Iain M. Banks’ the Culture, for example? Oh, I’d go. (And I don’t even care for the books!) Or if I could go to Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars, or… the Star Trek future? Where humanity seems to have things figured out and space exploration is a viable job? Yeah. I would go! (Those are all kinda boring realistic answers, utopian and all. I just don’t think I’d exactly thrive in most fantasy worlds, even though they make great reading material. Maybe the His Dark Materials-universe, just to confirm the shape my daemon would take!)
If you could travel back in time once, where would you go, and what would you do?
Ugh, can’t help but think about how intensely un-fun it’s generally been to be a non-aristocratic female, through history. I might just go look at the dinosaurs, because, well, at least I’d be seeing some dinosaurs. Else I’d pick ancient Egypt or Rome under Caesar. But I’m pretty sure it would be stinky and uncomfortable.
Is there a book you think is over-hyped (a lot of people like it, but you don’t)?
I was intensely unimpressed with The time-traveller’s wife. I think it took me over a month to slog through it, actually. And, as I briefly mentioned above, I’ve read a few of Banks’ Culture books, and I just… nah. Nope.
If you could meet any author (living or dead), who would you meet, and why?
I’ve already had the pleasure of listening to China Miéville speak (and then blush directly at him signing books for me afterward) – and would love to get a chance to repeat that. Judging by her twitter account, I think I’d really like to meet Seanan McGuire. Lavie Tidhar also seems like person I’d like to listen to talk about things. I’d like to have Isaac Asimov explain anything in the world to me. Charles Stross is on my list too, because he posts cat pictures on the internet, and that, if anything, is the ultimate mark of quality. Right?
Do you judge a book by its cover?
Yes and no!…
I think cover designs meant more in the pre-kindle part of my life, when I still did a lot of impulse shopping while browsing actual book stores. It’s easy to get carried away by a lovely cover or coloured pages and stuff like that when you’re touching and weighing the book as an object. Now, I find it mostly matters when the impression is negative: I often dismiss independently published works in the kindle store because what they’ve thrown up as book covers is just terrible. Cheap-looking or amateurish or tacky or all three. I mean, I’d rather you just put a white rectangle there with the title in plain old times new roman. That really IS the best option in a lot of cases. Remember some people have a lot of education and training when it comes to, well, judging books by their covers – or judging the quality of design work, pinpointing what associations are made, what level of professionalism is implied, and what audience is targeted.
Incidentally, I’m currently spending money on the new hardcover editions of the Discworld novels, because they’re SO PRETTY. I don’t have room for them, but HOW CAN I NOT?!
Okay, that took a lot of space. I’m going to nominate other people for the award now!
(I’ve used Bloglovin to gauge follower counts – if you have more than 200 followers, that’s okay, you’re still nominated!)
1. Felicia @ A Silly Girl’s Thoughts
2. Mina @ Aesaza
3. Val @ The Innocent Smiley
4. Alex @ The Book’s Buzz
5. Angie @ The Paperback Reader
6. Constance @ Craving Books
7. Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road
8. Carina @ My Addiction: Books
9. Benni @ Benni’s Book Biters
10. Monique @ Mo_Books
11. Robin @ Where Books Lead Us
Look at all those nice book blogs!
Here’s my questions:
1. Do you read e-books?
2. Do you read in other languages than your first language?
3. What’s worse in a book: Spelling mistakes or too-often repeated words?
4. What’s your least favourite genre?
5. Was it one book in particular that turned you into a bookworm? If so, which one?
6. Do you on average read an even mix of male and female authors?
7. Do you enjoy short story collections as much as regular novels?
8. Have you ever visited a book con or a book signing?
9. Can you read in a car or on a bus without getting woozy?
10. What’s your favourite non-romantic friendship in fiction? (Can include movies and other types of fiction)
11. If you really hated brussels sprouts, would you still eat a full serving of it every day if not doing so would make your books disappear?
(Did I just invent a Dystopian Diet?)
Phew! This took me a couple of days to put together, as there was a case of food poisoning to wrestle with in the same time span. (This has also turned my read-a-thon efforts into a bit of a sadface, but, well, happens!)
Again – thanks so much for the nominations!