I received a Liebster Award nomination from Nicole! If you’re not familiar with her site, Nicole’s Book Thoughts, head on over and check it out! Nicole reviews a nice variety of books, managing to give key details for those wondering if a book is right for them while still avoiding or clearly marking any major spoilers. You’ll also find fun posts with tags, lists, and general updates about life and reading. I am endlessly impressed with the way she took a school project blog and turned it into this wonderful, personable site. Thank you, Nicole!
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and give a link to the blog.
- Answer the 11 questions given to you.
- Nominate between 5-11 other bloggers.
- Ask your nominees 11 questions.
- Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post.
Questions from Nicole:
1. What’s the hardest part about blogging?
It’s always a challenge to keep up a regular schedule. Every time I think I’m getting into the swing of things, other parts of my life flag me down. I am trying a new idea based on a tip from CW at The Quiet Pond, plotting out my ideas further ahead of time. The original tip utilized an organization app for this scheduling, but I’m testing it out with pen and paper to start. Yeah, I’m old-fashioned like that. I’ve learned to keep my plans flexible, but writing down a basic plan does seem to be helping me stay focused.
2. What is your favorite book cover?
That honestly depends on my mood and what books I’ve just discovered. For today, I’m going to say that my favorite cover belongs to Foxfire, Wolfskin, and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women by Sharon Blackie. This is technically two covers in one because I love both versions. One has a blazing fox seemingly circling with a smokey wolf containing a woman’s face. The cyclical, fluid motion and the dance of light with dark are both elements that I frequently enjoy in covers. The second cover has the other set of elements that usually appeal to me, an intricate visual tapestry that teases the content within in a cool palette of silver and blue.
3. Do you prefer movie or TV adaptations?
It seems like I should like TV adaptations best. A show generally has more room to explore and interpret a story than a movie, but that doesn’t always happen. The Dinotopia mini-series is one of my most-hated shows because it threw out most of the best philosophies from the book and replaced them with a shallow YA narrative with adults restricting teens. That’s especially annoying since I loved the YA Dinotopia novels where teens and adults often show a refreshing mutual respect and support for each other. Because I’ve been burned before and because a TV show is a longer commitment, I often hesitate to watch shows based on books I’ve read. I do have several based-on-books shows I love—like Ice Fantasy, TrollHunters: Tales of Arcadia, and Lupin—but I watched them without reading the books first.
I guess that means I prefer movie adaptations, though that’s still a case by case basis. For instance, I was initially annoyed by how much was cut from Lord of the Rings in the movie versions, but I’ve since realized that the parts they cut really made the story more coherent. I never really understood the whole Sharkey bit with Saruman. On the other hand, Ella Enchanted was a decent book that I almost didn’t read because I disliked the movie so much. The movie seemed like it was trying to make some important points, but even the attempted social commentary felt rushed and superficial.
4. Who’s your favorite book character and why?
Hmm, another tough one. Let’s go with A from the Every Day series by David Levithan. A is a being of pure consciousness who wakes up every morning inside a new body, borrowing it for one day. I find it fascinating watching A take on each new life, initially just trying to avoid disrupting it before finding ways to occasionally help their hosts and still live their own unique life. One of the few places A can achieve a consistent identity is online, where the faces behind words are often automatically masked. It makes me think of my own forays into the digital world. A’s hatred of the children’s book The Giving Tree also gave me cause to ponder. I still carry some nostalgia for that book, though I can see A’s point about how it portrays love as endless sacrifice even when the recipient never gives back.
A close second is Diana from Chasing the Moon. Anyone who can find a practical solution to being suddenly immortal and stuck in a room that won’t release them until they let a devouring monster out of a closet deserves my attention. And she’s human enough that she still runs screaming down the street after releasing said monster, before befriending him.
5. Which author have you read the most books by?
I’d say Patricia A. McKillip for adult fiction. I’ve read 16 of her books so far and I’m working on Kingfisher for a 17th. She is one of my favorite authors for the vivid, dream-like worlds she creates, with storylines that often meander far from the beaten path. For graphic novels, it would be Adachitoka since I’m caught up with Noragami to volume 21. The pen name is shared by both of the women who create the artwork and story.
6. What is your least favorite trope?
I’m going to say the “make someone jealous to make them love you” trope. That whole idea promotes so much toxicity in my opinion. First off, jealousy is not a sign of a healthy or deep love. It is a sign of possessiveness, which can occur without any true concern for the object of that urge. Second, trying to “make” someone love you does not really seem like an act of love either. Thankfully, I’m seeing less of this trope and more attempts to explore relationship-building by healthier routes, but whenever I see it, it really sets me on edge.
7. How do you feel about splitting movies into two parts? (I jus watched the Twilight saga lol)
If it truly warrants it, I have no problem with a two-parter. I didn’t feel like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows suffered from being split up. What I don’t like is when a story is stretched thin and stuffed with filler because someone wants to get more money from it. The Hobbit movies had good points, but quite a lot of the added material just felt pointless and weird. Of course, the “Blunt the Knives” song was original material, but it still felt off because it didn’t match the more serious tone other parts of the movie struck.
8. What’s your absolute favorite mythical creature?
Currently, I’d say the kitsune, a Japanese fox spirit. Their style of shape-shifting is the kind I most covet, the ability to change into anything from specific people to animals, plants, and even inanimate objects. They’re also tricksters, another thing I love, clever illusion-masters who are still more likely to co-exist peacefully with humans than their Chinese and Korean counterparts, húlíjīng and gumiho. Though some types of kitsune are considered good and some evil, I prefer the ones who exist in the moral gray zone, capable of compassion but also with their own agendas. They’ll keep their promises, but if you harm them or their loved ones, watch out!
9. When’s the best time to read?
I generally prefer to read in the evening, when I’ve either done most of my to-do list or decided to call it quits for the day. With nothing else prodding my mind, I can sink fully into the story. A cup of tea to sip is always nice too.
10. What genre do you not usually read but would like to try?
Lately I’ve been thinking about reading more horror. I was fairly sensitive to violent and gruesome imagery as a child, but my tolerance has increased over time. Visual media can still be too intense for me, but in print I can usually handle it. This may be partly from my accidental strong-stomach training resulting from reading Elizabeth Bear novels while eating lunch (I always hit the grossest parts right in the middle of eating). A lot of recent additions to the horror genre also explore thought-provoking and socially relevant themes rather than just being about flatly evil monsters chasing people, so I think it’s a good time to give it a try.
11. What is the best book you’ve read in 2020 so far?
Well, at the time that I received this nomination, it was Slay by Brittney Morris. I mentioned Slay in my lineup of book recommendations for my last Sunshine Blogger Award, but let me just reiterate that it is awesome! I loved Morris’ vision of a game space that could provide cultural celebration and safety for diverse Black players, who so often find the opposite online.
Looking back from now, I would also add Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, which features a trans brujo trying to help an energetic spirit, and A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow, which does an amazing job of developing the relationship between found-sisters Tavia and Effie. Like Slay, both are among the few books where I had not wished for even one thing to be slightly different.
My questions for you:
- Name one place you really want to visit someday.
- What is the perfect end to a day?
- Which do you prefer: Cooking for someone, having someone cook for you, cooking for yourself, or takeout?
- For reading, what format do you like best (print, electronic, audio, etc.)?
- Other than looking at a clock or phone, how do you check the time?
- What kind of ending to a story makes you mad?
- If you had a time machine, what would you use it for?
- If you could control an element, what would it be?
- Are colors more or less vivid in your dreams?
- What kind of sky lifts your heart?
- Where do the lost things go?