I was very pleasantly surprised when Yasmine nominated me for a Liebster Award last week. I enjoy reading her blog; I’ve added a bunch of books to my TBR list because of her reviews. For the award, I have to post 11 facts about myself and answer 11 questions she posed.
11 Facts About Myself
- I don’t think I could live where it’s flat. I like hills and mountains.
- It drives me crazy that German publishers print the title on book spines opposite from how U.S. publishers do it. It makes my bookshelves look all wrong.
- I work as an editor, and I can’t help proofreading even when I read for pleasure—and sometimes that annoys me.
- My husband is a better cook than I am, and I love it.
- I like to bake, especially bread.
- I wish I had a list of all the books I’ve read so far in my life.
- My kids own more books than the “library” of our little elementary school.
- I get up early on weekends so that I can read before everyone else gets up.
- I like to travel.
- There’s a town in Brazil with my name. I didn’t get there for my 25th birthday, but maybe I’ll make it for my 50th…
- I like to hike. My most memorable hike to date has been a 3-day hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
11 Questions to Answer
1. What was your favourite book as a child/teen?
As I child, I loved any book by Enid Blyton and Astrid Lindgren. As a teen, I discovered Jane Austen and have regularly reread Pride and Prejudice since then.
2. Who is/are your favourite author/s?
If I have to confine myself to just listing one author, then I would have to say Jane Austen. Her books are the ones on my shelf that show the most wear and tear. But I have to be in a certain mood to read and enjoy her books. (Luckily, I am frequently in that particular mood.)
3. Which book, or books, has had the most influence or impact on you?
There are quite a few books that over the years have had a great impact on me. But I think the most influential has been Isabelle Allende’s The House of the Spirits. It was the first “major” book I read in English, and it gave me the confidence in my English skills I needed to move to the United States.
4. What is your favourite literary era/time period?
I enjoy literature from or set in the nineteenth century. It can be from all over the world.
5. How would you describe yourself as a reader?
I’m voracious and pretty tenacious. If I start a book, I finish it—even if I don’t really like it. I’m always hopeful that something great will happen that changes my mind about the book. I also read a wide variety of books. While I have a preferred time period and genre, I don’t like to box myself in.
6. What is the worst book you have ever read?
The worst book that I remember reading has to be Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. My mom read it when she was pregnant with me and pushed me to for many years read this book. When I got pregnant for the first time, I figured it would be the perfect time for me to pick it up. What torture! I did not enjoy it. The bright purple hardcover edition I have still sits on the shelf, but only because it reminds me of my mom, not because I would ever read it again.
7. Why did you start blogging about books?
A while back I read a book with about 300 pages. On page 270, something very memorable happened, and I realized that I had read this book before. It obviously wasn’t very good, since I did not remember the book or recognized it before page 270. So a blog seemed a good way to keep track of the books I read. I also thought it would be interesting to let the book I am currently reading lead me to the next one, so that I would end up with a “string” of books (hence the name of this blog). It’s not working quite as well as I had hoped, since there are so many books out there that I want to read, but that’s ok.
8. What is the most rewarding or challenging aspect of blogging?
Sometimes, it takes me a while to put into words why I liked or didn’t like a particular book. Some reviews practically write themselves, and others I struggle with. I really enjoy “meeting” people who are just as passionate about books as I am, reading their reviews, and discovering new books because of them.
9. Can you pinpoint the exact moment where you discovered your love of/interest in books?
I have loved books for as long as I can remember; I can’t pinpoint an exact moment. I come from a family of readers, so there was never a time without books. I hope to kindle the same kind of passion in my kids.
10. How often do you read, and for how long?
I read pretty much every day. Unless it’s raining, sleeting, or snowing, I walk and read during my lunch break at work. I also like to read at night, when the house is quiet. I think overall, I read for at least one hour every day.
11. Do you watch TV/movie adaptations of books, if so what is your favourite adaptation and why?
I don’t watch much TV in general, and I feel very ambivalent about TV or movie adaptions of books, especially if I really enjoyed the book. Most of the time, I don’t like how a movie messes with how I imagine a book’s characters and scenery. (I definitely don’t like books with a “movie cover”!) The two exceptions are “The House of the Spirits,” which was made into a great movie with a number of excellent actors and actresses, among them Glen Close and Meryl Streep, and “Sense and Sensibility” with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant.