Sunshine Blogger Award / Tag

Thanks to Hamlette for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogging Award! Be sure to check out her blog for fun movie reviews with lots of great pictures! 🙂

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog. 
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you. 
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions. 
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog. 

The Questions

  1. Fantasy or sci-fi? – Sci-fi because I enjoy the direct intersection with real-world stuff.
  2. Tragedy or comedy? – Comedy! I say that after having read The Metamorphosis for the 5th time and trying to suppress tears for poor old Gregor, even though I knew exactly what was going to happen. I guess I tend to watch comedy and read tragedy. In general I have a lower tolerance for drama these days (got enough of my own haha).
  3. Fiction or nonfiction? – Fiction
  4. Snow or rain? – I’m one of those weirdos who absolutely adores rain.
  5. Orange juice or apple juice? – OJ
  6. Christmas or Easter? – Easter—or as Tolkien put it, “the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation.” On a selfish/personal note…I prefer Easter because it has all of the joy, none of the holiday blues I can’t seem to avoid at Christmas.
  7. Middle-earth or Narnia? – Hm… I love ME, but I think Narnia is more of a fun and charming place. Given the choice, I’d rather live there.
  8. Marvel or DC? – I’ve yet to get into superhero comics or movies…
  9. Star Wars or Star Trek? – So…I’ve only watched A New Hope (twice) and The Empire Strikes Back (once). I literally fell asleep during the second one. So I don’t know if I’m a good judge of Star Wars yet. However, I could watch Star Trek TNG any day, or TOS for that matter. Even Into Darkness and Beyond, though in many ways atrocious, were pretty fun to watch. I love the characters, types of plotlines, and psychological themes. The Cold War influence also checks off the history box for me.
  10. Old movies or new movies? – Quality being equal—intelligent script, not too much CGI, good acting, good score, etc—I prefer new movies. Modern filmmakers can do so much more, technically speaking, and there’s more mediums to influence or challenge them to higher quality (I’m thinking YouTube here). My top 3 films from last year were all pretty recent. However, what I most miss about old movies are those crazy long epics with Intermission in the middle, with basically a whole symphony for a movie score. I think we need to bring those back.
  11. Old books or new books? – I’ve been reading more new books lately, but I still prefer old. ^_^

Nominations

I nominate anyone who had the patience to read through my answers! Honestly, I’d enjoy getting to know everybody better, so feel free to do the tag on your blog or in the comments. 🙂

My Questions

  1. If you go back and read one book for the first time again, which would it be?
  2. Do you eat ice cream, and if so, what is your favorite flavor?
  3. What was the most memorable event or concert you ever attended?
  4. What do you like best about yourself?
  5. Is there a book you would never, ever read?
  6. Second-best way to spend a rainy day? (Reading is the best, right?)
  7. Cats or dogs?
  8. Best pizza topping combo?
  9. If you could recommend one fictional book, what would it be?
  10. Earliest reading memory?
  11. What’s something you’re looking forward to this year?
Comments →

How I Read – A Bookish Tag

This tag is making the rounds, so I thought I’d give it a go!

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
I read in bed; it’s kind of a bad habit. 😆 Once I get my own place, I plan to have a proper reading corner with a tea tray and everything.

Can you stop reading anywhere, or do you have to stop after a chapter or certain number of pages?
Anywhere will do, but chapters or section breaks are best.

Bookmarks or random slips of paper?
Both. I like the paper slips that come with library holds; they’re thin and won’t impact the book in any way.

Multitasking: music or tv while reading?
Usually silence, and definitely not TV or YouTube. If I’m having trouble concentrating, sometimes I’ll listen to lo-fi (yes, lo-fi got me through A History of East Asia).

Do you eat or drink while reading?
If there’s any candy I’ll eat it on autopilot while reading, so I try not to snack at all. I’ll often drink tea.

Reading at home or everywhere?
All the places!

Do you read ahead or skip pages?
No, unless it’s something for work/studying, then I’ll skim.

Break the spine or keep it like new?
Break the spine? 😳 Nevar!

Do you write in your books?
Not usually; it bothers me greatly. I did check off some of the Kafka short stories as I was reading them, to keep track of what I’d read, but I did that with pencil.

Whom do you tag?
Anyone who wants to do it! 😀

COMMENTS →

Treasure Island Books (tag!)

photo by Theodor Lachanas

Saw this over on Ruth’s blog (originally from ClassicsReader.com) and couldn’t resist!

You are stuck on a ‘Treasure Island’ for 1 year, which you landed on due to a complication during a parasailing event. You walk through the island and find a treasure trove. Contained in the treasure are the books you will spend the next year with. They can be books to gain knowledge, information, understanding, spirituality or just to entertain, it’s completely up to you. Which books would they be?

Rules: 8 books you have read of your choice, 1 book which you have never read before, and 1 ‘the complete works of’.

8 Reads

  1. Wildflowers of North America by Pam Forey – I’ll need a book to remind me of home, and this was the first one that came to mind (childhood favorite).
  2. Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll – Not to get Hallmark-y, but it’s a whimsical book that touched my heart. I first read it eight years ago already and would love to read it again.
  3. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome – A book that makes me laugh every time. 😀
  4. Kidnapped by R. L. Stevenson – Big favorite of mine. The friendship between Alan and Davey is just what I’ll need to get me through a desert island.
  5. Magellania by Jules Verne – A book ABOUT a guy on an island, with existentialism and Shady Capitalists and stuff. Perfect novel to keep me socially minded from afar (in all seriousness, it’s one of my very, very favorites).
  6. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien – This book includes poetry so it’s like 2 for 1. It’s also the most perfect novel ever written, in my opinion. 🙂
  7. Works of Love by Søren Kirkegaard – Probably the most formative nonfiction of my life, after the Bible. Need to read it again.
  8. The Bible – Self-explanatory.

1 Unread

  • Either/Or by Søren Kierkegaard – This is a mega tome but one of his most important works. I probably need to be alone on an island to read and digest it sensibly. Then I can come back to society and be Very Learned.

1 Complete Works Of:

  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – He wrote a TON of stuff outside Sherlock Holmes, some of which I’ve read and some of which I haven’t yet. I don’t think I’d get bored!

It’s So Classic – A Tag!

Excited to be tagged by Hamlette from The Edge of the Precipice!  This tag is all about classics and originally from a blog called Rebellious Writing.

It’s So Classic Tag

Rules:

1. Link your post to Rebellious Writing (www.rebelliouswriting.com)
2. Answer the questions
3. Tag at least 5 bloggers.

    1. What is one classic that hasn’t been made into a movie yet, but really needs to?
    This was a recent Top Ten Tuesday…I stand by all my answers but will add one more:  Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev.  I rated this book very highly and feel it would appeal to anyone who enjoys costumes dramas, while offering a new perspective.  (We need more Russian literature adaptations in general.  Just sayin’!)

    2. What draws you to classics?
    It is hard to put a scientific answer to this, because I got into classics at a young age and they became a core part of my life.  If anything, I love them most of all for sentimental reasons.  Apart from that, it’s the depth of the writing, the complexity of the characters, and the different perspectives which I value so much. Also, the time-travel feeling you get when you’re reading them…

    3. What is an underrated classic?
    I feel Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White is hugely underrated, compared to Dracula and Jane Eyre (and I love those two, too, don’t get me wrong :)).  The Woman in White is an incredible tale of sisterly love, domestic abuse, mistaken identity, and, of course, romance.  If you haven’t read it, give it a try!

    4. What is one classic that you didn’t expect to love, but ended up loving anyway?
    Well, “love” isn’t quite the word, but I was surprised in a good way by Arthur Miller’s famous plays, especially The Crucible. It’s a worthy classic and gave me a new respect for plays.

    5. What is your most favorite and least favorite classics?
    Most favorite: It definitely changes over the years, but currently: Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin.  I know, I know, I’m a broken record…  But I love it so much, and it makes me sad it’s not very well known outside of Slavic countries.  I hosted a read-along of it several years ago, and most readers enjoyed it greatly.  Maybe it’s time to do another one?!

    Least favorite: I have incredible loathing for Franz Kafka’s The Castle.  It’s especially annoying because I otherwise love Kafka, and so I forced myself to finish The Castle because I wanted to read all of his fiction.  One of the worst reading experiences ever. 
     
    6. What is your favorite character from a classic? Or if that is too hard, one is your favorite classic character trope (e.g. strong and silent, quiet sidekick, etc.) 
    Not hard at all… Sherlock Holmes!  Last year I did an entire podcast episode on why he’s my favorite…check it out if you’re interested.

    In general, my favorite trope is the Loner, who may or may not be Intellectual, but is usually Misunderstood.  🙂  That covers Sherlock Holmes, Prince Myshkin (from Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot), Razumov (Conrad’s Under Western Eyes), Jane Eyre, Frodo Baggins (The Lord of the Rings), and many others. 

    7. What’s a popular classic that you felt wasn’t actually that great?
    The Odyssey.  I understand why it’s popular; I just couldn’t find anything to like about it, personally. 

    8. Who is your favorite classic author? 
    Wellll…currently my top three are something like:  Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad, and Jules Verne.  I wouldn’t say I have favorites, though; it’s too hard to choose.  🙂

    9. In your opinion, what makes a classic a classic?
    Another past podcast episode!  🙂  [Not trying to promote the podcast (which is on hiatus), just FYI.]  Universal themes is a big factor.  I also think it has to do with culture.  Each culture has its own set of classics that aligns with its values, and if/as subcultures become more and more prevalent, there will be fewer books universally loved or considered classics.  That’s my prediction, at least.

    10. Relating to newer books, what attributes does a book need to have in order to be worthy of the title “classic”?
    I haven’t read a ton of newer books, but “modern classic” makes me think of three novels by Kazuo Ishiguro:

    1. The Remains of the Day (1989)
    2. An Artist of the Floating World (1986)
    3. A Pale View of Hills (1982)

    These books involve what you might call common, almost universal history (WWII), plus themes many people can relate to – change, loyalty, betrayal, old age, fear, family, etc.  They are written in a clear, simple narrative mostly devoid of trendy words or phrases that could be considered “dated.”  He gets to the core of what people care about.  It’s immersive, because it draws you in even if you have a different background than the protagonists.  All these things make them classic-worthy, I think.

    That was fun!  I tag these bloggers, if they haven’t done it yet and are interested:

    1. Beth at Beth’s Bookish Thoughts
    2. Cirtnecce at Mockingbirds,Looking Glasses & Prejudices…
    3. Brian at Babbling Books
    4. Catherine Marie at Elle Lit Des Classiques
    5. Sharon at Gently Mad

    Also, if you’re reading this and would like to do the tag, please feel free to jump on board!  A couple of you are on still hiatus (?), and I had to resist the urge to tag many more…but I still want to hear what you all think!

      My Blog’s Name in Books – TBR!

      Saw this neat meme/tag on O’s blog, On Bookes:

      The rules:
      1. Spell out your blog’s name.
      2. Find a book from your TBR that begins with each letter. (Note you cannot ADD to your TBR to complete this challenge – the books must already be on your Goodread’s TBR)
      3. Have fun! 

        noonlight
      Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
      On the Eve by Ivan Turgenev
      Open Heart by Elie Wiesel
      The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee
      The Last Days of Pompeii by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
      The Inheritors by William Golding
      Getting to Green: Saving Nature: A Bipartisan Solution by Frederic C. Rich
      Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
      The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

      reads

      Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
      Either/Or by Soren Kierkegaard
      Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald
      Death and the Dervish by Mesa Selimovic
      Shackleton’s Boat Journey by Frank Worsley

      With 500+ TBR books, this was easier than perhaps it should be.  I tried to choose a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and ended up surprising myself with a few titles I’d forgotten about (whoops!).

      And now the moment of truth… have any of you read any of these books?  Which would you recommend?!