I have kindly been nominated for the Liebster Award by the wonderful Emma over at Turning Pages and Tea, which I am incredibly chuffed with. I remember seeing this award months ago and thought it was such a great way of bringing new bloggers together and making their blogs more accessible and easier to find. I, for one, have already found some incredible bloggers just by looking back at the blogs that have been nominated previously.
The rules are as follows:
- Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their blog.
- Display the award somewhere on your blog.
- List 11 facts about yourself.
- Answer 11 questions chosen by the blogger that nominated you.
- Come up with 11 new questions to ask your nominees.
- Nominate 5-11 blogs that you think deserve the award and who have less than 1,000 followers. (You may nominate blogs that have already received the award, but you cannot renominate the blog that nominated you).
- Go to their blog and inform them that they’ve been nominated.
11 Facts About Me:
- I have been a vegetarian since the age of ten (thirteen years now, and counting!) – I tried to be a vegan but found it near impossible so now I just try and cut down on my dairy intake.
- I have chickens at home – a great source of free range eggs (the only eggs I eat)!
- Part of my (current) job working with people with learning disabilities requires me to support service users in a wood workshop – I have become quite the expert at using an electric drill!
- After stating in the About page of my blog that I was ‘hoping’ to teach English abroad as a foreign language, I have since completed my CertTESOL qualification and finally started to apply for jobs (I have my first interview for a job in South Korea next week)!
- I am rubbish at keeping plants alive – right now I am trying to keep my brand new orchid alive, so far so good.
- I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in 2011, despite my fear of heights, and reached the summit! It was also the first time I had ever been camping.
- I knew from the age of ten that I wanted to study English Literature at University but after that I had no idea what I wanted to do and still don’t! But at least I have fulfilled my childhood dream!
- I would love to do an MA in Gender Studies, but seriously lack the funds to be able to do so. I also have no idea what I would do with it either.
- I am the youngest of three sisters and have a wonderful niece and nephew.
- I am from South East London (without the accent) and as much as I love my city I wouldn’t want to live here in the future.
- I will be giving blood for the first time this April (10th)!
11 Questions from Turning Pages and Tea:
– What is your favourite book?
There are so many books I love that it is hard to pick just one! I love Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus – it was the first book I read of hers and I have read it so many times since, as well as studied it for my dissertation (which, thankfully, only enhanced my love for it). I also love Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights for its darkly gothic tale of doomed love and revenge and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, which I reread last year.
– How often do you read, and for how long?
Depending on how good the book is, or how engrossed I am in it, I can read for hours and hours. I grew up when Harry Potter was at the height of popularity and would queue up at midnight to get my hands on each new copy. I would then read all through the night until I had finished (mainly because I didn’t want anyone to spoil the ending for me). I do try and read every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
– What is the worst book you have ever read?
I try not to be too much of a book snob (though I inevitably am), so when Fifty Shades of Grey came out and was in the bestseller chart for weeks I thought I would give it a go. I found the writing awful and the characters flat and one-dimensional, not to mention how degrading and demeaning it was to women. I couldn’t even get through the first few chapters before I abandoned it. In retaliation I bought the aptly named, Fifty Shades of Feminism, edited by Lisa Appignanesi, Susie Orbach and Rachel Holmes.
– How would you describe yourself as a reader?
I think as I have got older my taste in books have narrowed because I know what I like and what I don’t like. However, this can mean that I don’t often try books that are out of my comfort zone, which is a shame. I am also a bit of a book snob. I hate chick lit and have grown out of young adult literature. I tend to focus more on female authors and prefer twentieth-century literature.
– Do you ever listen to audiobooks?
I tried to listen to an audiobook once, I listened to The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and wrote about my experience on my blog, which you can read here. It wasn’t an experience I would try again as I find pleasure in reading the words on a page and seeing the words laid out. I often like to highlight passages or write comments in the margins, which is impossible when listening to an audiobook. Also, my memory can be quite useless and I tend to take in more when I am reading rather than listening.
– What is your opinion on reading e-books, i.e. on the Kindle and Kobo?
I do own a Kindle and I can see the benefits of having one. I can get free e-books, for example, and the e-books are generally cheaper than the physical copy. I also had in mind that buying a Kindle would come in useful when I eventually travelled abroad to teach – which it will. However, whilst I’m still at home I haven’t actually used it that much. I will always prefer the physical, 3D book where I can admire the cover art, scribble in the margins, turn down pages of interest and underline wonderful quotes.
– What made you become a book blogger?
I wanted to blog about books as soon as I finished university in 2012, however I was too scared to actually write anything! After a year of going from boring job to boring job and eventually jumping on some semblance of an idea of what to do with my life, whilst also gaining a job working with people with learning disabilities (which I really enjoy), I finally plucked up the courage to blog about books. It is my way of carrying on my love of books without actually studying them anymore.
– Is there anything else that you would blog about, other than books?
I would like to blog more about exhibitions I go to. As I am planning on travelling abroad by the end of this year (at the latest) I have written out a list of all the exhibitions I want to see in London and have been ticking them off one by one. I have written about some of the more relevant or literary exhibitions I have visited but there are many that I have seen, which I haven’t written about.
– What is the longest book you have ever read?
I honestly have no idea. I was meant to read James Joyce’s Ulysses and Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, which are both huge, at university but never finished them! Recently, the longest book I have read was probably Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which was close to 1,000 pages long.
– What is your favourite poem (if you have one)?
I have to admit that I don’t read much poetry – I much prefer to study, rather than read, poetry for pleasure. I do like Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry, which I was introduced to when I was a teenager. I remember studying her poem, ‘Havisham’, based on Miss Havisham from Dickens’ Great Expectations. I also love William Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’, particularly at this time of the year.
– How do you create the perfect environment for reading?
I like to be comfortable so spend most of my time reading in bed or laid out on the sofa! I used to be able to listen to music whilst reading but now I like a quiet and peaceful environment to read. I also like to have a cup of tea nearby!
11 Questions for Nominees:
- What was your favourite book as a child/teen?
- Who is/are your favourite author/s?
- Which book, or books, has had the most influence or impact on you?
- What is your favourite literary era/time period?
- How would you describe yourself as a reader?
- What is the worst book you have ever read?
- Why did you start blogging about books?
- What is the most rewarding or challenging aspect of blogging?
- Can you pinpoint the exact moment where you discovered your love of/interest in books?
- How often do you read, and for how long?
- Do you watch TV/movie adaptations of books, if so what is your favourite adaptation and why?
I did also want to nominate Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings but I see she has been nominated a couple of times (though feel free to join in if you want!) and LindyLit, but she has been nominated recently and I have only just realised she nominated me to answer the question: What were my favourite childhood reads. I will answer that now. When I was a child I loved fantasy books, such as The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. I was also a massive fan of Roald Dahl!