The Liebster Award

This blog has been so quiet (too quiet) the past couple of months, as I've been transitioning into my new job and schedule.  Thanks to Sara from Majoring in Literature, here is a fun tag to break the hiatus!

- 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!

11 Questions: 

1)  What is the first book you remember reading? 

The first books I remember reading were very vintage children's readers, like On Cherry Street.  I also have a fairly vivid memory of reading a phonetics textbook, which I actually thought was fun.  :)

2)  Where do you like to read?  Do you have a quiet little hideout where you can read undisturbed?

I like to read in bed, either with the lamp on or in the dark with my new reading light.

3)  Starting at the very top of your bookcase, what are the first five books you have on your shelves?

The top is where I keep my "Mass Media" paperbacks:
1.  The Thirteen Problems (Agatha Christie)
2.  And Then There Were None (Christie)
3.  The House of the Seven Gables (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
4.  The Hobbit (J. R. R. Tolkien)
5.  The Magician's Nephew (C. S. Lewis).  Which reminds me - Narnia is due for a re-read!

If you could meet one author, living or dead, for coffee, whom would you meet?

Oh...this is a tough question!  I thought about this one long and hard.  I would love to meet Conrad or Kafka, for example, but I'm not sure a chat over coffee would go well with either of them.

In the end, I narrowed it down, and my honest answer is Lewis Carroll.  I think it would be fascinating to meet an author whose legacy has become larger than life and changed drastically through the generations.  Beyond that, his books are chock-full of wit and mathematical references, and it would be an interesting conversation, for sure.

How do you feel about seeing a movie adaptation before you’ve read the book?

Generally, I prefer not to.  Even now, I'm holding off on watching The Great Gatsby until I've read the book, despite the fact everyone says it isn't a great adaptation.  Old habits are hard to break!  I did read North & South effectively after I saw the 2005 miniseries, and I read LOTR and skim-read Little Dorrit concurrently while watching the adaptations.  Of all three, Little Dorrit was the best reading experience, while the others were a little anticlimactic compared to the (excellent) adaptations.

What is your favourite adaptation of a book?

I have so many, which is a good problem to have.  :)

The Lord of the Rings is a no-brainer.  It is possibly the truest adaptation I have ever seen of a book.  Possibly (probably) my #1 favorite movie.

My next two all-time favorites are Disney's 20000 Leagues Under the Sea and Moby-Dick starring Gregory Peck.  Neither of them are purist, but I grew up watching them, and they still leave me awestruck.

Finally, there's Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes.  This series is close to purist-perfect - it's a magnificent adaptation.


Which character from fiction would you most like to be?

It would be exciting to be one of the heroes from Dracula - however, I wouldn't truly want to live that plot.  So I'll go with one of the scientists from a Jules Verne novel, because those usually turn out well.  :)

As for a character I would like to be like - off the top of my head, I'd have to go with Alyosha from The Brothers Karamazov.  I would like to have his fearless sense of forgiveness and ability to be a peacemaker.

Which book do you recommend to others the most?

Most people I meet have very different tastes in reading, so I don't usually make recommendations!

Which book have you re-read the most?

Probably Narnia or Treasure Island.   I know I've read Eugene Onegin four times and Heart of Darkness about three or four times.  (I'm not much of a re-reader, so that's a lot for me.)

How do you feel about eBooks?

I have the original Nook Simple Touch, which I love.  I've read many Project Gutenberg books on it, and it makes it very easy to read in bed, not having to struggle to keep pages open.  Also, it lets me highlight and annotate to my heart's content without making it permanent.

Ebooks are not perfect replacements for hard copy, especially for textbooks and reference books where you need to be able to flip pages quickly.  However, they're a great way to access and read classics instantly, and find obscure classics that are rarely published.  Just a couple of years ago, I discovered my favorite translation of Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which was a wonderful surprise and seems to be a Gutenberg exclusive.  Also, it ties into Librivox, so there's a great community of literature fans who are making it more accessible to everyone.

I'm a fangirl, I guess.  ;)  I still love hard copies, too, but eBooks have been only a positive for me.

Where do you get most of your books from?  Library, bookstore, online?

I used to check out stacks of books from the library, but now I don't read enough to warrant it.  :(  Nowadays, I buy books once a year from Powell's, Amazon, and (once in a while) Barnes & Noble.  I also love library sales, garage sales, and thrift stores.

Alrighty, 11 blogs you should check out!  Some of you may have already been recently nominated, so feel free to ignore or accept as is convenient.  :)
11 Q's for you:

1)  What was the most challenging book you ever read?
2)  Who is your favorite romantic couple from literature?
3)  What is your favorite friendship from literature?
4)  Is there a book you used to like but don't like anymore?
5)  What was a nonfiction book you were glad you read?
6)  Name a book someone recommended to you (which you may or may not have read yet).
7)  How do you order your books on the shelf?
8)  Is there a character that you wish appeared in more books?
9)  Which author's writings intimidate you?
10)  Describe a memorable setting or scene (spoiler-free) from a book, and how it made you feel.
11)  The age-old question: paperback or hardcover?

Comments

  1. Thanks a lot for nominating me! :) I have indeed participated in it, but I am so pleased anyway :) And you've just reminded me that I wanted to see that Moby-Dick movie! So now I have a plan for this evening! :)

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    1. It's a great movie for wintry evenings - I hope you like it! :)

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  2. Hi, Marian,
    Thanks for nominating me. I did do this earlier in the year, but I was thinking that it would be fun to at least answer your questions.
    I just finished reading The Chronicles of Narnia to my kids, and all of them have a different favorite. I think mine will always be The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

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    1. I look forward to reading your answers! :) I haven't read Narnia in so long that maybe my favorite has changed, but it used to be The Silver Chair.

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  3. Thanks so much for responding, I really enjoyed reading your answers! :)

    Lewis Carroll would be a fascinating character to meet, and I agree the conversation would probably be very interesting.

    I think the Narnia books would probably be on my top re-reads list too. I haven't re-read Tolkien's books as much, but I love Lord of the Rings and the movie versions are, as you said, fantastic.

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  4. Just because I want to play:

    1) What was the most challenging book you ever read? - Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
    2) Who is your favorite romantic couple from literature? - Scarlett O'Hara & Rhett Butler
    3) What is your favorite friendship from literature? - John & Abigail Adams / Elinor & Marianne Dashwood
    4) Is there a book you used to like but don't like anymore? - Not really. I tend to keep liking whatever I like. :)
    5) What was a nonfiction book you were glad you read? - Walden by Henry David Thoreau / Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
    6) Name a book someone recommended to you (which you may or may not have read yet). - The Bell Jar
    7) How do you order your books on the shelf? - by author
    8) Is there a character that you wish appeared in more books? - Scarlett O'Hara! I think she should show up in Jane Austen's work. :)
    9) Which author's writings intimidate you? - Dante!
    10) Describe a memorable setting or scene (spoiler-free) from a book, and how it made you feel. - I just read a book about a girl in the Southern part of America during the American Civil War who has risked everything to help her father's enslaved people be free. One by one one night, they show her that, because she took time to teach one of them to read, they have all learned to read. They each read from a book while she listens. The character & I both cried.
    11) The age-old question: paperback or hardcover? - hardcover for keeps / paperback for battering it & highlighting it & writing notes in the margins

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    1. I definitely want to read Walden someday - I'm not as well up on American literature as I ought to be. :) Thanks for sharing your answers! I also order my bookshelf by authors, must be the wannabe librarian in me.

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  5. Thanks for nominating me :)

    I'd love to meet Lewis Carroll, too. He's fascinating, and he himself is, I think, rather misunderstood.

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    1. I feel bad for not commenting more frequently, but I love reading your blog! :)

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  6. Dear Marian, hello! :) Thank you for your nomination, my answers are now up on the (new) blog.

    I think that if I had a chance to meet an author I would be bold enough to turn the meeting into a day rather than just a coffee date. I mean, if I was to talk with D. H. Lawrence (!) about his understanding of love it would definitely take more than an hour. I would insist on being able to be a PA of one for a day - to observe them, listen to them, ask questions.

    I'm the same as you with library loans. I don't read quickly enough for the short loan periods anymore. But I do remember my library trips when I was a small girl living in her own little world in the countryside Poland and those were great times. Now I bring stashes from my many favourite Edinburgh charity bookshops.

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