Liebster Award

Over the last month or so I’ve been tagged in a bunch of different book tags by you lovely people that I haven’t gotten to, so I just wanted to say how much I appreciate it, and that I will definitely do them, it just might take me a few weeks to catch-up!

In May Darque Dreamer Reads nominated me for the Liebster Award. She has a wonderful blog with insightful reviews and really gorgeous bookish photos, so definitely go check out her blog! Thank you so much for this award!

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The rules for this award are:
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Answer 11 questions about yourself.
3. Give 11 interesting facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 11 other bloggers.

11 Interesting Facts About Me:
* Despite being a Canadian English major and having a Master of Library and Information Science degree, I have never read any of Margaret Atwood’s works! (I’m hoping to get to a few this year though.)

* I can’t play a musical instrument to save my life.

* I don’t own a smartphone. My phone is kind of archaic and can manage e-mail and, on a good day, Facebook (but it sucks the battery like crazy). At times I think it would be really handy to have a smartphone, but it’s also kind of nice to disconnect a little from social media, at least while I’m at work.

* I have a deep and abiding hatred of peppers – red, green, yellow, hot, not, I don’t like the taste of peppers and get irrationally frustrated when they’re in a food where I don’t expect them (why would you put peppers in a tuna wrap!?!).

* My ideal weather is probably partly cloudy, with limited wind, and a temperature in the low-mid-twenties Celsius (That’s about 68 to 77 Fahrenheit for my American friends). Extreme heat and humidity and frigid windchill winters are not my favourite times of year.

* The only sport I watch and follow is baseball (go Blue Jays!).

* I also don’t have an eReader, although I’m waffling on that. eReader users, are there any brands you’ve liked, didn’t like, things I should look for if I get one? Problems you’ve had with them? My only must is that it has to be compatible with the Toronto Public Library system.

* I love cool colours, so green and blue are my favourite colours, closely followed by purple.

* I have no sense of direction at all. If I have a map and there are only two directions to turn in, I will probably turn the wrong way.

* My favourite genres to read are Sci-fi & Fantasy, YA, and historical fiction.

* I LOVE reading outside. When the weather is nice you can probably find me on my balcony, on a park bench, or by the pool with a book or two nearby!

Questions from Darque Dreamer:
Why did you start your blog?

There are a few reasons actually. Rachel and I had been chatting about potentially starting to book blog, so we got into this together. Blogging for me is a way to commit to and keep track of what I’ve been reading and what shows I’ve seen. I use goodreads avidly, but I don’t tend to write reviews, so it’s been valuable for me to get down my thoughts on a book while they’re fresh! Blogging is also a creative outlet. I like my job, but it doesn’t involve a lot of writing or creativity, so I wanted to exercise those abilities. Finally, of course, I’ve really enjoyed connecting with other readers and seeing what books they’re loving.

How do you spread the word about your blog?
I try to participate in either a Top Ten Tuesday or a T5W each week and share my post on the threads. Otherwise, I read and comment on what other people are blogging about, and hopefully they’ll check my blog out too. I’m still pretty new to book blogging though and this is definitely something I could improve on.

Who is your inspiration?
In life? My mom. We’re really close and she’s a wonderful person, who has always supported me and given me the freedom and the support to do anything I want to do.

Do you have a particular talent?
This sounds awful to say on here, but generally writing is a talent of mine. It’s always been something I’m able to do and enjoy doing.

What is your favorite food?
I have a sweet tooth, so probably a dessert, like a nanaimo bar. Or, more generally, CHOCOLATE!

Do you have a career outside of blogging?
Yes, I work as a corporate librarian for a financial institution, so generally I do research, using paid-for databases and publicly available sources, that supports internal clients.

Are you an animal lover?
I am. I have a pet cockatiel, Poe, who I adore, and I like most animals (except spiders).

What kind of music do you like?
Mostly musical theatre cast recordings. Obviously I love Hamilton, but also The Last Five Years, Parade, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Les Miserables, The Colour Purple, Bonnie and Clyde, etc. Besides musical theatre I like rock I guess, but I don’t listen to that much contemporary music.

What is your favorite book?
Singular book – Les Miserables. It’s a bit of a “project book”, meaning I set a number of pages a day to read and that helped me through some of the slower parts in this 1460 page novel, but it’s well-worth reading. Some beautiful turns of phrase, characters I loved so deeply, and very moving.

Series – The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. They sucked me in and have never let go. The itch to re-read is always there. In the 1960s, having finished reading the types of books she loved, like Alexander Dumas’ works, Ms. Dunnett was persuaded by her husband to write the type of book she loved. The result is the dense, impeccably researched six-book Lymond Chronicles. She tends to throw the reader in headfirst with untranslated latin and french quotes appearing in the novel, but at other times the prose is so gorgeous that I had to stop and marvel “how do you words?!” My adoration for these books is never ending.

What is your favorite movie?
I’m not actually a big movie person (much more of a TV watcher) but a few I love are Pixar’s Ratatouille, my happy place movie, Inside Out (which I recommend for anyone who has ever suffered from depression, but bring tissues it made me bawl like a baby), Brokeback Mountain, Gattaca, The Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?
London, England. I always feel like I’ve left part of my heart there I adore London so much. the combination of architecture, history, culture, and the West End theatres is ideal for me. I don’t think I could ever get bored in London.

Do you play video games?
I don’t. With each gaming system my family got, I used it less and less, so although I did pretty well at the N64 (Donkey Kong, Banjo Kazooie, and Mario Kart were favs), and the Game Boy Colour, I was so-so at the GameCube, and barely used the Wii. I’ve never used a PlayStation.

My Questions: 
(re-using a couple here since they were really great questions)
1. Why did you start your blog?
2. How do you spread the word about your blog?
3. Which author (living or dead) would you most like to/like to have met?
4. What’s your favourite beverage?
5. What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
6. What is the best book you had to read for school?
7. How do you organize your books on goodreads?
8. What kind of music do you not like, and why?
9. If you won an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
10. What’s your favourite holiday?
11. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I nominate:
Ella @ A Book Without End
Steph @ Lost Purple Quill
Elise @ The Bookish Actress
Dani @ Perspective of a Writer
Bentley @ Book Bastion

As always, feel free to ignore if you’ve already been tagged or aren’t interested in doing this!

Thanks for reading this (very long) post!

 

 

The Unique Blogger Award

I was nominated by my wonderful friend Rachel of pace, amore, libri for this award. Thank you Rachel! It’s been an honour to undertake the book blogging journey with you!

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The Rules

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  • Ask them 3 questions.

Rachel’s Questions

1.Who’s your favorite actor/actress and what’s your favorite performance that they’ve ever done?  It can be something you’ve seen on stage, or in a film/television show/etc.

As Rachel guessed, this is difficult to narrow down, so I’m completely cheating and I have a few answers:

One has to be English theatre actor David Thaxton. There are no other actors who I have literally crossed an ocean to see, and although there have been other reasons, seeing him perform was a huge impetus to take these trips to London. My favourite performance that I’ve seen live has to be his turn as student leader Enjolras in the 2008/09 West End cast of Les Miserables. His strong baritone, natural charisma on stage, and camaraderie with his fellow actors was really captivating. I didn’t have the chance to see it live, but the recording of his Olivier award (basically the UK-Tonys) winning performance as Giorgio in Passion at the Donmar (which you can watch by booking an appointment to visit the V&A Museum’s archives) was stunning and made me cry just from a video.

The second is Canadian baritone Andrew Love. I first spotted Love playing the Bishop and other roles in the Toronto cast of Les Miserables and even in brief scenes his voice blew me away, so naturally when I heard he was understudying the role of Javert and would go on one Saturday in November, I dashed to the theatre to buy a last minute ticket and it was beyond even my high hopes. His voice is superb, but his acting is every bit its equal and his take on the role was thoughtful and very human. He was also fabulous recently in Against the Grain Theatre’s modern English-language take on La Boheme. I’ll definitely be following his career for the rest of my life.

Finally, as far as film actors go I think Oscar Isaac is ridiculously talented and has the ability to transform into each role he takes on. My favourite is definitely Poe in the new Star Wars movie (namesake for my pet), but I also loved his work in A Most Violent Year. And I’m currently working my way through Toby Stephens’ (Maggie Smith’s son!) filmography. My favourite role of his is, obviously, Captain Flint in Black Sails. His monologue’s rival Bryan Cranston’s in Breaking Bad and he’s played a fabulous arc with this character.

2.Which book would you most like to see adapted into a film and why?

I’m kind of already getting this, because the book I think would be best suited to an adaptation is Marvel’s Runaways comics, which are being turned into a Hulu show. The snappy pop culture dialogue, diversity of the teenage protagonists (which include a Japanese-American girl, a Jewish overweight girl, a vegan lesbian, and an African-American prodigy), and great backstory (everything thinks their parents are evil at somepoint, but what if you found out your parents were actually supervillains?) were really ahead of their time and I can see the show working really well as long as it’s cast smartly and well-written.

3.Talk about and share a picture of your pet(s)!

I have a pet cockatiel named Poe (after the Star Wars character) and she’s a laugh a minute. She’s very affectionate to the point of being clingy (she flies after me when I leave the room), enjoys headscratches and eating broccoli and other people food, and can’t be trusted around computers or books (she tries to eat them). Like most cockatiels, she’s curious and needs to be kept busy with toys to chew on and explore. She also loves having baths, but hates the being wet part, so she has a blast splashing water around, but when she’s done she runs around in irritation until her feathers dry off. Here’s what she looks like wet!

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I Nominate

My Questions

  1. Talk about and share a few of your favourite book covers.
  2. How do you organize your bookshelves? (by author, by genre, by colour, etc.)
  3. Besides books, do you collect anything? If so, what do you collect?

As always, feel free to skip this, especially if you’ve already been tagged by someone else!

Mystery Blogger Award

I was nominated by the fabulously eloquent Rachel of pace, amore, libri for the Mystery Blogger Award – thanks Rachel! If you like literary fiction, general fiction, and/or hist fic and aren’t following Rachel already, you’re definitely missing out. Also she has incredibly photogenic cats.

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The Rules:
Put the award logo/image in your post.
List all the rules.
Thank whoever nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
Nominate 10-20 people and notify them.
Link back to the creator of the award.
Ask nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with a weird or funny question.
Share the link to your best/favourite post of yours.

3 Things About Me:
1. Most of the music I listen to is cast recordings and musical theatre songs, and I am such a sucker for a baritone. I have tenor favs too – I was indoctrinated into love of Colm Wilkinson young through both the Canadian cast album of Phantom of the Opera and through Les Miserables and my love only grew when I saw him live (he’s a senior citizen but hugely funny, still has the voice, and puts on a fabulous show!). I would also watch or listen to just about anything for Jeremy Jordan and his combination of charisma with those glorious note he hits, but my ultimate love is baritones. Small wonder that one of my favourite songs is the baritone duet, “Lily’s Eyes” from The Secret Garden!

2. Horror is my one automatic nope genre, both in film and in books. I don’t mind a good thriller or a work of suspense, but I don’t like to be scared and I can’t deal with gore so I avoid horror like the plague!

3. I’m not a naturally neat person. I really wish I was. I wish that a bit of mess bugged me and switched something into gear in my brain to make me tidy up, but sadly that’s not me. I’m not the girl who apologizes for having 5 dirty dishes in her sink, I’m the girl who was up frantically cleaning at 12 am the day before friends or family come to visit so the apartment resembles other people’s normal levels of tidiness.

Rachel’s Questions:

1.What’s your favorite book-to-film adaptation and why?
I have to go with Lord of the Rings. I have minor quibbles with the movies (mostly Faramir, and even those are helped by the extended versions somewhat, and the sheer amount of fighting in The Two Towers getting a little boring after a bit), but in general what a feat adapting these huge, dense, classic books to film and doing so in a way that is exciting, that keeps with the spirit of Tolkien’s novels, and that feels real. I LOVE these movies, and I think they were so well cast. The films move me and make me want to fall into Middle Earth, or at least Rivendell and Hobbiton, and live there.

2. If you had to live in another country for a year, where would you choose?
I would 100% live in the UK for a year. I actually sort of tried this a few months after graduating university by enrolling in the SWAP program, where basically the program helps you with things like getting a working VISA for a year and offers some resources for housing etc. The plan was to go to the Republic of Ireland for up to a year and then to the U.K. Except I went in early 2009 when the financial crisis was causing all kinds of havoc. I did have friends I met in the program who stayed and found jobs and lived in Ireland, but generally it was much harder to find employment than I had been told, and I this was my first time away from home so I was already nervous. In the end I decided to use the money I had saved to travel and see what I wanted to see instead of worrying about whether or not I could get a job. I do sometimes wonder what it would have been like if I had stuck it out and tried to live and work in a foreign country, but my seven week traveling spree was the right decision for me at the time. I love London especially though, the mix of culture (The West End! Museums!) and history, and architecture, (and a better transit system!) and a country that isn’t too different from my own really appeals to me and it would be really cool to live there.

3. What’s your favorite board game/card game?
My great sadness is that because I am an introvert, someone more comfortable in small gatherings of a few people or one-on-one, game playing opportunities are few and far-between. I love playing games though. In high school we played Asshole (also known as President) the card game at lunch for months on end, I also liked Signal. My favourite game has to be Ticket to Ride though. I LOVE that game and I’m so sad that I never have anyone who will play with me!

4. Describe your ideal breakfast in detail.
As someone who loves fruit and pastries, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day! I love eggs benedict, I love french toast, and I love breakfast pastries. I think my ideal breakfast would probably be a buffet so I could have small amounts of multiple dishes. There would be some fresh fruit, especially strawberries and mango slices, some scrambled eggs, perhaps with feta, parsley, and cherry tomatoes, breakfast potatoes of course, danishes and/or muffins, and french toast. The scones benedict with tea at Alice’s Tea Cup in New York would also work!

5. Which fictional character do you most relate to and why?
I always have such trouble with this question! I think it’s partly because characters by their very nature generally have to be more ambitious, decisive, take charge than I am or they wouldn’t be very interesting to read about. I think that’s why I relate to two of Brian Fuller’s protagonists, Jaye Tyler from Wonderfalls and George Lass from Dead Like Me. Both characters are independent, sarcastic, fairly introverted, and are generally unambitious, forced into action by the universe.

My Questions:

1. What other languages do you speak, and which language(s) would you like to learn?
2. What would your ideal home library look like?
3. Describe your favourite tea or coffee mug.
4. Which author, living or dead, would you most like to meet and why?
5. What’s your unpopular food opinion?

Tagging:
Aditi @ Readers Rule
Luna @ BookishLuna
Elise @ The Bookish Actress
Emily @ Embuhleeliest
Cate @ Shelf Pickings

As always, if you don’t do tags, have already done this one, or are just plain not interested, please feel free to ignore!

And if you weren’t tagged but would like to do my questions, please do and link back to me so I can read your answers!

The One Lovely Blog Award

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I was recently nominated by Aditi at Readers Rule for this award. Thank you so much! I really appreciate the love and it’s wonderful to bring book bloggers together and find new friends through these kinds of posts.

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  • Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  • Post about the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate at most 15 people.
  • Tell your nominees they’ve been nominated for one lovely award.

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1. I have a major sweet tooth. I love desserts, especially chocolate, and my favourite special occasion treat is a sugary Canadian creation called a Nanaimo bar!

2. Like many readers, I am a big tea drinker. My favourites tend to be flavoured black teas, like rhubarb cream, or blackcurrant, but I’ll drink most teas with one exception – I’m with V.E. Schwab and come down firmly on the anti-Earl Grey side of the great tea twitter debate!

3. I don’t have a green thumb at all, in fact I’ve even killed a cactus before, but I do love flowers. My favourites are pansies, because they’re so bright and cheerful and bloom early in the season so they’re a splash of colour after a dull winter, and poinsettias, because I associate them with Christmas, my favourite holiday.

4. I’m a big supporter of my local library (Toronto Public Library) and tend to get most of my reads from there. It definitely helps that I live in a big city with one of the world’s busiest library systems though.

5. My favourite city is London, England. I’ve been three times so far and I absolutely love the history, culture, architecture, and atmosphere of the city. I really like Toronto and my country and I don’t think I would want to live anywhere else permanently, but if I could live anywhere in the world for a year, it would be London.

6. I took singing lessons, first in a group musical theatre class, and then in private voice lessons all through high school, but I gave it up when I went to university and I regret not continuing.

7. My favourite plays of all-time are Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (the muffins scene makes me laugh every single time), and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. But recently I really enjoyed Of Human Bondage and I loved the book and film versions of Twelve Angry Men and hope to see a production of it one day.

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Rachel at pace, amore, libri
Hadeer at Hadeer Writes
A Book Without End
Katie at Read With Katie
Dani at Perspective of a Writer

The Versatile Blogger Award

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I was nominated by the wonderful Rachel of pace, amore, libri, who you should definitely be following for her insightful reviews and of course her gorgeous cats. Thanks Rachel!

The Rules:

  • Display the award on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger that nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blog.

7 Random Facts:

1. I often get asked if I’m a cat or a dog person. I love cats, but I’m actually a bird person! I have a pet cockatiel named Poe (as in Dameron, not Edgar Allan), who is about a year old. Poe loves eating broccoli, shredding paper, and taking baths. Cockatiels are naturally inquisitive birds and very affectionate, so they’re good company, but I don’t get any reading or blogging done when I’m sitting with Poe – she tries to eat any books I read and likes to sit on/chew on my laptop!

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2. I’m a Librarian! I have a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree, and  I work in a corporate library within the financial services sector. My work mostly involves doing research using paid databases and other resources to gather information for internal clients. It’s a job with a lot of variety, which I really like.

3. As you can probably tell from the joint theatre-book blog, my other love is the theatre. I love the experience of seeing a show and am lucky enough to live in a city with a vibrant theatre scene, as well as its own ballet company. My favourite musical is Les Miserables, which I’ve seen 14 times in 3 cities. Other favourite theatre experiences include The Color Purple (Broadway, 2016), Hamilton (Broadway, 2016), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Broadway, 2014), Candide (London, 2013), Titanic (Toronto, 2015), and the National Ballet of Canada’s Nijinsky (2014) and The Winter’s Tale (2015), both of which are returning this fall!

4. I have a weird sock collection! Several years ago I started collecting interesting socks. I have socks for different cities and places (Alcatraz, San Francisco, London, NYC), wildlife (foxes, skunks, raccoons, toucans), and even holiday socks (Christmas, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day). Here are some of my favourite book related pairs of socks:

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5. I am possibly the only Canadian alive who has never seen a full hockey game. I hate watching most sports, the only exception being baseball. I root for the Toronto Blue Jays and enjoy going to a game when I can.

6. I don’t watch a lot of movies but I am a big fan of TV. Among my favourite recent shows are Rectify and Black Sails (both of which ended this year after 4 seasons), The 100 (currently airing), Jessica Jones, Into the Badlands, Daredevil, and Better Call Saul. Some of my other favourites that have finished include: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Breaking Bad, Fringe, The West Wing, Parks and Recreation, Oz, Dead Like Me, Being Human UK, In the Flesh, and Veronica Mars.

7. I don’t own an e-reader. I am definitely one of those people who loves the feeling of a book in my hands, and I enjoy flipping physical pages and seeing how far into a book I am, but I think e-readers can be really useful and I would love to get one in the future, especially for NetGalley, etc.

10 is a lot and I’m still discovering new blogs to follow, so I’m just going to nominate 4 people:

A Book Without End
Book Bastion
Caffeine and Books
Jade Writes Books

Apologies if you’ve already been nominated and I missed it. Also please don’t feel like you have to do this if you don’t want to!