Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

Stormy at Book.Blog.Bake nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award aaagggeeessss ago.  I feel like it may even be rude to post my acceptance now since so much time has passed, but I really did (and still do!) appreciate the nomination, and part of what took me so long to formulate my acceptance is that Stormy asked some hard questions!!  I gave it my best shot though, and I want to thank her again for sharing the blogging love.  I always enjoy reading her very thoughtful review posts, and this award highlights what is best about the blogging community - the sharing of ideas and support in a collaborative space. 

In order to accept and participate, here are the steps laid out:
1. Tell 11 things about yourself.
2. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
3. Post 11 questions for those who will be nominated by you.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
5. Get in contact with those 11 bloggers in order to inform them that you nominated them.

About Me

I don't have an "About Me" section on my blog because I don't like to put a lot of personal information out there.  Ironically, blogging itself is pretty personal because I am posting my personal reactions to and assessments of the books I read, which often include stories about my family, friends, or students. However, for Stormy, I will acquiesce and list eleven things about me.
  1. I collect Betty Boop memorabilia - I have coffee mugs, stamps, signs, notepads, figurines, and even a Madame Alexander doll.
  2. I was born on Father's Day.  I was my parents' first child; what a great Father's Day present, no?
  3. I've sung in the Vatican.  I attended Peace College (when it was all-women - but that's another story), and I was a member of the Chamber Singers there.  During the summer of 2007, we went on a European tour and sang at different churches and venues in Spain, France, and Italy.  One of our singing stops with St. Peter's Basilica.  It was a once in a lifetime experience.
  4. I have several notebooks full of the poems and stories I wrote from about third grade to tenth grade.  I was convinced I would be an author when I grew up. 
  5. Confession: Half of the stories mentioned in number 4 are boy band fan-fiction.
  6. I used to play piano and guitar.  Singing is my true musical passion and the one I've continued to cultivate as an adult; however, I took piano lessons as a child and guitar lessons while I was in college, but I didn't keep up with either.  I wish I had.  I can pick out notes and simple songs on both instruments now, but I won't be rocking a music hall near you anytime soon.
  7. I am obsessed with Frank Warren's Postsecret Project.  I own all the books, and I read his Sunday Secrets blogspot religiously (pun intended).  I used to teach Postsecret in my composition class at N. C. State.
  8. I was a cheerleader in high school and competed in the Miss Cheerleader of America pageant, where I was one of the top ten finalists, and in my hometown Jr. Miss pageant.  (I felt like I was writing about a different person when I just typed that sentence!)
  9. Despite number 8, I still can't do a cartwheel.
  10. I come from a long line of long marriages - both my grandparents have been married for 60 years, and my parents have been married for 30.    
  11. I was an active participant in the Annual Livestock Show and Sale through 4-H from ages 9-16.  I raised, showed, and sold lambs mostly, but I did have a goat one year.
Stormy's Thought-Provoking Questions

1. What is your favorite fictional friendship?
No brainer - Halley and Scarlett in Sarah Dessen's Someone Like You.  This is easily one of my favorite books of all time precisely because of that deep-rooted friendship.

2. If you could live the story of any particular book, which one would you choose? The actual plot, not just the world. In essence, you’d replace the main character but have to go through everything they did.
Oooohhhh hard one because I would LOVE to live in Harry Potter's world, but I don't think I'd be brave enough to BE Harry Potter.  (I would definitely not be in Gryffindor - I lack the courage - I would be in Ravenclaw.)  I'm going to take a pass on this one.  Here's why - conflict is a key component of good literature.  It's what makes it interesting and gives the novel some depth.  The conflict can be big or small.  Personally, I am not a fan of conflict in real life; therefore, I would not willingly put myself into a situation in which I would be in conflict with someone, something, or myself.  You can see my dilemma then in choosing a character's life to live. The best ones (Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, etc.) are ripe with conflict.

3. Who is your favorite secondary character in a book who you believe should have really been the protagonist? (ex: If, for example, you believe Hermione or Ron should have been the narrator of HP)
I hate to steal from Stormy's question, but I do really love Hermione.  As I wrote in my Top Ten Kick-Ass Heroines post, I love that Hermione made smart girls look cool.  I would also like to see the character of Ginny Weasley developed further.  Unlike Hermione, Ginny never really becomes a stand out character to me.  First she's Ron's little annoying sister; then BAM, she's all grown up and Harry's love interest.  Yeah, Rowling indicates that she's a rocking wizard (she's great at hexes), but there's little development in her own right.  I think the movies give her a bit more personality, but I would love to follow her character development and really see her come into her own.

4. What is your earliest bookish memory?
Among others...Reading Peter Rabbit books at my paternal grandmother's house - she had a little yellow boxed set, perfect for small hands, that she kept on the top of her dining room hutch.  Whenever I went to visit her, I would make a beeline for that hutch, grab the books, and read and re-read about Peter's scrapes to my heart's content.

5. What book would you really like to see adapted to a movie or a TV show?
Imdb.com tells me that The History of Love by Nicole Krauss is "in development," but it's been that way for a while, and I don't think it's going to happen.  Although this is easily my favorite book, I'm kind of glad the movie will not come to fruition.  This is a very meta-textual book that I don't think would translate well to the screen.  There are just some things you have to read to feel.  However, I do think Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Ronlyn Domingue's The Mercy of Thin Air would make great films.  Asher's would be a very important piece about bullying in schools, and Domingue's would satisfy the thirst for a supernatural love story without the fantastical creature element.  Ooohhh...speaking of fantastical creatures, Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races would be an AMAZING film.  I can already imagine sweeping panoramic shots of a desolate but breathtaking island and the heart-pounding excitement of a dangerous horse race.  Who's making this movie?!

6. If you could have the fashion sense of any literary character, who would it be and why?
Someone from historical fiction - I'd like to try on those ornate gowns for a day!  I hate to even put this in writing, especially since it's a book I did not finish, but the description of the gowns that the Duchess of Dunbarton wore in Mary Balogh's A Secret Affair were sumptuous.  Now I just need the figure to go with them...

7. Why did you decide to start book blogging?
As I stated in my introductory post (in June of 2011!), I started book blogging because I was fresh out of graduate school, and I missed having a community of people to talk books with.  What better community to join than the blogging world?  I love getting book recommendations, fangirling about my new favorite read or author, having a sympathetic listener when a favorite author's new book let me down, or reminiscing about books and reading habits that others might find odd.

8. What’s a plot you would really like to see in a book but haven’t yet?
When I find out, I'll write it!

9. What is your favorite POV for a book and why?
I tend to be drawn to YA female perspectives.  It was such a defining time in my life, and I really empathize with those characters. 

10. What instantly makes you love a book?
I love meta-textual books within books or when authors incorporate lines from other books or poems as part of their plot.  See John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and Gayle Forman's Just One Day.

11. What is one book you will insist on your future(or current!) child reading?
My niece is only one, but I already have a space set aside in my office as our reading corner.  It currently houses staples like Digby and Kate and Little House on the Prairie, but I will definitely be introducing her to Harry Potter when she gets older.  I can't wait to re-experience the wizarding world through fresh eyes!

Burning Questions
  1. Classic or contemporary?
  2. Character you want to be your best friend?
  3. Bookstore or library?
  4. Favorite cover?
  5. DNF or solider through?
  6. Hard copy or ebook?
  7. Follow up - Kindle, Nook, iPad?
  8. Number of bookshelves?
  9. Number one rule of blogging?
  10. Favorite reading spot?
  11. Follow up - reading alone or reading partner?

Most of the blogs I follow have hefty followings, so the 200 follower limit posed a bit of a challenge. However, I managed to drum up (in alphabetical order - no favoritism here!) some blogs from my feed that I think deserve more love.
  1. Book or Big Screen?: Danielle posts excellent and very thorough book vs. movie adaptions.
  2. Buckling Bookshelves: Christine and I swap comments often.  Her reading habits and perspective are very similar to mine.  Also, she's hosting a Banned Books Challenge this year!
  3. Hitting on Girls in Bookstores: Adam had taken a blogging hiatus, but he's back, and I'm so glad.  It is rare to have a male perspective on YA lit, and his is hilarious.
  4. Real Men Read YA: Since YA lit male readers are so scarce, my final nominee is Aaron, who also offers a unique and hilarious perspective on popular YA novels.  Kudos to Christine at Buckling Bookshelves for introducing his blog to me in one of her roundups.


  1. Thanks so much for the nomination! I think I might have the same difficulty coming up with 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers who also haven't been nominated for the award previously, but if we can cheat a little on that requirement then I'm most definitely accepting! I really like your questions, so I'll try not to take too long to get my post up :)

    1. Great! I look forward to reading your responses!

  2. Hi Kristin. Thanks so much for my nomination, I am very pleased to accept. Phew, the process does seem a little overwhelming, but I will also do my best to post my response ASAP.

    1. It is - but it's also a lot of fun! I look forward to your responses!