I’ve been nominated for my fourth Liebster Blog Award by the lovely nostalgic musings, thank you! I did one of Award Imagethese earlier this week and I know a lot of you are familiar with the rules, so this time I’m just going to answer the questions nostalgic musings gave me.

Here we go!

1) Favourite food?

My mum’s roast beef dinner, with all the trimmings. Nobody does it better!

2) Books or movies?

BOOKS!! I like movies well enough, but I would much rather let my imagination play out a story in my mind than have it laid out for me on screen.

3) Music or writing?

Both at the same time! I have several playlists I like to have on in the background while I’m writing.

4) Favourite singer?

That’s tricky. I think I would have to say Darren Hayes, the former lead singer of Savage Garden who went on to become a pretty awesome solo artist.

5) Dream vacation destination?

The Fjords in Norway. They have spectacular scenery there and some of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, which I love. It would definitely be a dream vacation for me.

6) Favourite colour?

I would have to say blue.

7) Favourite song?

The cover version of Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’ by Full Blown Rose. The band never released it as a single and all the versions I could find on YouTube cut off the first 20 seconds of the piano sequence, which sucks, but here it is anyway.

8) Who is your celebrity crush?

I was asked this by Hideaway Girl and I said David Boreanaz. I’m trying to think of who else to say, but I’ve had a crush on David for 12 years so I think he eclipses everyone else, haha!

9) Are you a nerd or popular?

I’m a nerd and proud, but I don’t think you have to be one or the other. I always had my nose in a book or a homework assignment in high school and at university but I still made great friends and had a lot of fun. There are plenty of popular nerds out there and it’s not something you should ever be ashamed of. Real friends will love you for who are and that’s all that matters.

10) Do you like blogging?

Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t do it!

Thanks again for the nomination, nostalgic musings!

The Liebster Blog Award (3)

I’ve been nominated for my third Liebster Award by the lovely Hideaway Girl. Thank you! Award Image

Many of you will be familiar with this award and since there are different variations of the rules I won’t list them here. The rules often ask for 11 facts about the blogger, but since this is the third time I’ve done this I’m afraid I’ve run out of interesting facts! If you’re curious, you can find 11 general facts about me from the first award here and 11 book related facts from the second award post here.

I’m happy to answer Hideaway Girl’s questions for me though, so here we go!

1) Why do you blog?

I started blogging originally as a way to enhance my CV (résumé) because I wanted to work in the publishing industry (which I now do – yay!) and because I wanted to connect with other book lovers. I enjoy having my own little space online where my ideas can live.

2) Who inspired you?

Since I was a little girl I have been inspired by my favourite actress Kate Mulgrew. I was lucky enough to meet her a few years ago and it was as amazing as I thought it would be. Her memoir comes out in April and I’m SO excited!

3) If you could have any pet, what would it be?

I’ve grown up with dogs all my life (we used to breed them) and my parents currently have two. Eventually I want to have one of my own, preferably a black Labrador.

4) Would you rather travel to the past or the future?

I would prefer to keep the future a mystery because if you know the path your life will take then there’s no fun in it, so I would say the past. I would love to spend some time with my Grampa who died a few years ago. He was a wonderful man and we were very close.

5) What do you regret doing the most?

I don’t like to dwell on regrets, and I’ve found that when I look back at things that I regretted or found difficult at the time, that I’m actually glad things turned out the way they did. Sometimes when you feel like you’ve taken a wrong turn in life it turns out to have been a great step forward.

6) Who is your celebrity crush?

David Boreanaz, a.k.a. Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Special Agent Seeley Booth from Bones. Such a handsome man!

7) Favourite book?

I don’t have a single favourite book but rather favourites from different genres. My favourite from the last 12 months is a tossup between The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and When She Woke by Hillary Jordan. Clicking on the links will take you through to my reviews of these books.

8) English or art?

Definitely English. I loved it in high school and even more so when I studied literature at university.

9) Lipstick or lipgloss?

I can wear either, although I don’t very much. I’m not much of a make-up fan!

10) What is your favourite quote and why?

That’s a tough one because I LOVE collecting quotes, but this is the one which came to mind when I first read this question:

“She was there, in the full vigour of her personality, battered but not diminished” – Willa Cather, from her novel My Ántonia.

When I read it I’m reminded that, even after we’ve been through difficult times and find ourselves with scars (both physical and emotional), we can still come out on the other side with the strength of our personalities intact.

I enjoyed answering those questions!

I don’t like limiting who I nominate, so if you’re reading this and you’ve never been nominated for a Liebster Award before, please consider this your nomination!

I’m a bit short on time at the moment so I’m going to use the same questions I did from my first award post. Here they are:

1) What do you enjoy most about blogging?

2) What’s the most unusual book you’ve ever read? (could be theme, format, writing style etc)

3) Was there a book series you started reading but gave up on because you lost interest?

4) What’s the worst book you’ve ever read? Why did you dislike it?

5) What’s your favourite bookshop? (could be a chain or an indie)

6) Has there ever been a book character which turned out exactly the way you imagined they would when you saw them in the film adaptation?

7) Have you ever visited a location just because it was featured in a book?

8) Do you have a particular bookmark you always use, or do you just use whatever is lying around?

9) Do you mind if the spines or pages of your paperbacks get creased, or is it important to you to keep them looking like new?

10) What’s the best library you’ve ever visited?

11) If you could spend a day in the shoes of any literary character, who would it be?

Thanks again, Hideaway Girl!


Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award


I was nominated by the lovely Gel over at Some Kind of Book Blog. Thank you, Gel!

The rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site
  • Put the award logo on your blog
  • Answer the ten questions they’ve set you
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer
  • Nominate ten people

Gel’s Questions for Me:

1) Who are your top three favourite authors?

James Clemens, the author of my favourite fantasy books The Banned and the Banished series. Kirsten Beyer, the current author of the post-series Star Trek: Voyager novels which I absolutely love. There are several authors fighting for third place so this is difficult, but I think I’ll have to go with J.K. Rowling for the magic she brought to my teenage years.

2) If you could exchange lives with a fictional character for a day, who would it be?

Celia Bowen from The Night Circus. I love her beautifully tragic, magical life.

3) What’s the first thing you would do if you became the character on number 2?

Create my very own magical tent in the circus. I’m not sure what form this tent would take, but I’m guessing it would have something to do with ice or waterfalls.

4) What are your top three favourite books that you read in 2014?

I’ve read a lot of fantastic books this year, but my top three would have to be The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman (which I just finished yesterday!) and The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak.

5) What book are you most excited to read in 2015?

Definitely Born with Teeth: A Memoir by Kate Mulgrew, due to be published on April 15th 2015. She’s been my favourite actress and one of my idols since I was 8 and I’ve been waiting for her to write a book for years. I’m so excited about this and I’ve already pre-ordered it.

6) Do you have an unusual reading habit? What is it?

I intentionally (and unapologetically) bend the spines of my paperback books as I’m reading them. I like them to look well-read and have character. I love that anyone can just glance at my bookshelves and know which books are my favourites because I’ve read them so many times that the spines are worn. I talked about this more in an earlier post.

7) If you are stranded in a deserted island, which fictional character would you like to be with you?

Hermione Granger. I’m guessing she could get us off that island, or at least conjure us some good food and a stack of books.

8) Choose the characters from your favourite book that you would f**k, marry, and kill.

This question doesn’t work too well for my favourite book, so I’ve just chosen characters from different ones:

F**k – Gale from The Hunger Games

Marry – Eric from S.

Kill – Grak from Things Grak Hates (which I reviewed earlier this month)

9) Which do you prefer, reading before going to sleep or reading during the day?

Definitely reading before going to sleep. Reading is my barrier between the stress of the day and the calm I need to fall asleep. Of course this often means that I stay up far too late! I recently discovered that the word for this is Librocubicularist.

10) If you could give a Christmas gift to your book crush, what would it be?

Hmm, I’m not sure what I would give Eric from S. Could the gift be a kiss from me? Haha!

Blogs I’m Nominating:

I nominate the following awesome blogs:

Neon Yeti Reads

Miss Print

A Librarian’s Library

Falling Down the Book Hole

Stephanie’s Book Reviews

The Sleepy Book Nerd


Roof Beam Reader

For the Love of the Page

Darcy’s Book Blog

My Questions:

1) If a book was written about your life, what would the title be?

2) What was the first book you can remember reading (or being read to you)?

3) What’s your favourite genre of books?

4) If you could choose one book to be turned into a movie adaptation, what would it be?

5) What’s your favourite reading format: Hardback, Paperback or E-book?

6) Do you come from a family of readers, or are you the only one?

7) Have you asked for any books for Christmas? If so, which ones?

8) Have you ever been to a book festival or author event?

9) Do you have a favourite bookshop you visit often? Maybe an indie in your hometown/city?

10) Do you own any signed copies of books? If so, which ones?

If you decide to participate I would love for you to post a link to your post in the comments so I can read it! 🙂

Liebster Blog Award (2)

liebster-award image

I’ve been nominated for a second Liebster Award by the lovely Phoebe over at Thoughts on Books. Thank you, Phoebe!

I have to admit that I haven’t been spending much time in the blogsphere lately, so it’s been awhile since I discovered any of the new and wonderful blogs I’m certain are out there, so I won’t be making any nominations this time around.

You can find my original award post, along with the rules, here.

Facts about me:

Since I’ve done this before, I thought this time I would try and give you 11 facts about me which are purely book related, so here we go!

1) When I was about 18 months old I had this really weird obsession with the Yellow Pages. I would take each wafer-thin page between my tiny fingers and delicately turn them over one at a time. According to my parents I used to get really excited whenever I got to the taxi pages, but it’s a mystery as to why, I don’t even like cars!

2) The first book I ever remember being read to me as a bedtime story was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We had a beautifully illustrated hardback edition which my mother read to me. It was around that time that I realised I would rather stay awake and listen to stories than fall asleep to them!

3) I had a voracious appetite for audiobooks when I was younger. I listened to them all the time on my portable cassette player (I’m showing my age now!) My favourites were the Harry Potter series, Jacqueline Wilson novels, Philip Ridley’s Krindlekrax (which always really creeped me out but I loved it anyway) and Forrest Wilson’s Super Gran.

4) One of my favourite books when I was a kid was a story based on The Moondreamers cartoons. I carried it everywhere and it meant a lot to me. One day, it accidentally ended up in a box of things to be sold at a car boot sale. I was devastated when I realised what had happened, so my mum went down to the sale and bought it back for me. I still remember being so happy when she brought it home again.

5) Around the ages of 10-11 I was obsessed with Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five and The Secret Seven stories. In the summer I used to set up a pop-up tent in the garden with a pile of snacks and a blanket and sit there reading for hours.

6) I’ve loved writing stories since I was a little girl. My favourite subjects at that age were animals, usually birds (particularly robins) and squirrels (who for some reason liked to have adventures in space). I used to cut up sheets of white paper, staple them together and then fill them with stories and illustrations of the animals off on their adventures. My family assures me they were funny and cute, although I think they might be a bit biased!

7) I am lucky enough to have a large bookcase in my room with six tall shelves. From top to bottom: Spiritual; Favourites; Star Trek (reference books and memorabilia); Photos and Ornaments; Star Trek (novels); Textbooks and Anthologies (Literature, Politics and History).

8) My favourite place to read is in bed. It acts as a barrier for me between the events of the day and a good night’s sleep. It’s also my way of getting through nights of insomnia. If I start to fall asleep but want to keep reading (which is 99.99% of the time), then I close one eye and keep going!

9) I don’t own a Kindle or any kind of e-reader, and I currently don’t ever intend to (unless it becomes the only way to read books in the future, perish the thought!) I don’t have anything against them and I’m glad that e-books allow more people access to books, but they’re just not for me. You can read more about my feelings on this in one of my earlier posts here.

10) My ideal job would be working for a university press, preferably in Arts and Humanities journals. I would be very happy spending my days editing articles about literature, politics, history etc. I would also be delighted to work for a fiction publisher. I think it would be awesome to be in that kind of dynamic and exciting environment with people who are as enthusiastic about books as me. That being said, I currently work for a publisher specialising in the shipping industry. Although it’s not where I thought I’d end up, it’s a fantastic place to work and I feel very lucky to be there.

11) As much as I love reading and couldn’t imagine not having a book on the go, I definitely didn’t inherit it from my dad. He has only read FIVE books in his ENTIRE life, and those were the ones he was forced to read at school (or by my mum as she tried in vain to convert him). I don’t really understand how that’s possible, but he’s just not into books. He’s still an awesome dad though. 🙂

Phoebe’s Questions for me:

1) Do you still live where you grew up?

Unfortunately, yes! I live in a small town in the Scottish Borders and although it’s a beautiful place and will always mean a lot to me, I don’t want to settle down here. While I did my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees I lived in cities, which I definitely preferred. I’ll be moving on again as soon as I can.

2) What is your favourite aspect of book blogging (or blogging in general!)

I like having a little creative space online where I can share my thoughts and love of books with anyone who feels like stopping by. It’s a really nice thing to be able to do and I also love being able to drop in on the creative spaces of other bloggers and find out about the things that are important and interesting to them.

3) If you could pick one scent to smell for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hmm, that’s an interesting question. I think I would have to go with lavender as I’ve always loved that scent.

4) Are you a morning or evening person?

I’m a night owl all the way. I don’t really become fully mentally functional until sometime after lunch, and I’m always at my most productive when it’s dark outside. During the summer months while I was doing my undergrad, I used to love opening my bedroom window at around 4am and watching the sunrise after a productive night of studying.

5) If you could bring back one person from the past who would it be?

My Grampa, definitely. He passed away in 2011 and I miss him all the time. Along with my Granny he helped raise me when I was a child and we stayed very close even after I grew up. He was a man of few words but those words were always worth listening to. I would love to see him again.

6) Favourite subject at school/college?

English, without a doubt!

7) Have you ever had any pets?

Yes, since I was about 18 months old. We’re a major league dog-loving family and we used to breed Labradors. The most we’ve had at one time was four black Labs, and our dogs are usually related in some way. Currently we have father and son duo Diesel and Basil, who are just lovely. I also had two guinea-pigs for about 4 years while I was in high school, and a couple of goldfish who unfortunately only lasted a week!

8) Ever broken a bone?

Not so far, which is lucky since I’m such a klutz!

9) Favourite app?

I’m not much of a techy person to be honest, so I don’t use many apps apart from for social media, but I do love Angry Birds and my Memo Pad app.

10) Dog or a cat person?

As I said above, I ADORE dogs and don’t know what I’d do without them. I quite like cats too though.

11) Describe your dream house.

When I picture my dream house, my imagination can’t seem to get past the library I want to have, so I’ll describe that. It would have floor to ceiling shelves, preferably made of aged oak, stuffed full of books all organised by genre (because I like to organise EVERYTHING). There would be a really comfy armchair in the corner and a desk. There would also be a child-sized plastic table and chairs set so that I could help my children practice their reading. It would have a skylight and a view overlooking the countryside.

Thanks again for this, Phoebe! I’ve enjoyed doing it. 🙂

The Liebster Blog Award

My awesome fellow blogger and friend Caught Read Handed nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. Yay! It’s given to blogs with fewer than 300 followers to spread the word about them and hopefully increase readership of their posts.

The rules are as follows:

  • List 11 facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by whoever nominated you
  • Ask 11 new questions to 9 bloggers with less than 300 followers. (You can’t re-nominate the blog that nominated you)award badge picture
  • Go to their blog and tell them that they have been nominated

So, here we go!

11 facts about me:

1) I am a massive, MASSIVE Star Trek fan. I have been for almost nineteen years and I don’t think I’ll ever stop. My favourite series is Voyager, but I also love Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation. I have a soft spot for The Original Series, but I’m not too keen on Enterprise. I have issues with the re-launch Abrams films, but for the most part I love the others. In 2012 I got to go a convention in London and meet some of the actors, including Kate Mulgrew (Captain Kathryn Janeway) my absolute favourite actress, ever. It was quite possibly the best weekend I’ve ever had.

2) My health seriously sucks. It has done for the past thirteen years. My immune system didn’t read its job description properly and likes to beat the crap out of the body it’s supposed to protect. I have so much prescription medication I could open my own street side pharmacy, and my parents like to joke that they would return me to my manufacturer if only they could find the receipt. All this makes me thankful that one of my favourite hobbies is reading, which requires very little physical effort, and books help me take my mind off things and keep me company on the days when I need to stay in bed.

3) I have a bit of an obsession with the USA. My undergraduate degree was in American Studies, and most of my favourite literature comes from there. For years I wanted to visit the Grand Canyon, drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and visit the Redwood National Park. I’m delighted to say that I’ve now done all these things, and have a new list of other places in the States I really want to visit.

4) I love nature, and I’m lucky enough to live in the very scenic Scottish Borders. The only thing missing here is waterfalls, which I love, but thankfully there are others in Scotland. My favourites of the ones I’ve seen are the Grey Mare’s Tail in the Moffat Valley and the Glenashdale Falls on the Isle of Arran.

5) I have two poems published in two anthologies which were produced by the charity Poetry in Print to raise money for children with Leukaemia. Unfortunately, the charity doesn’t exist anymore, as the founders had to divert their time and resources to caring for their daughter who was fighting the disease.

6) As well as my undergrad in American Studies, I also have a Masters degree in Publishing Studies. I definitely want to get a PhD at some point too, most likely in American literature.

7) I run an online support group for the siblings of people with Autism, Aspergers Syndrome and Down’s Syndrome. It’s a private group, but if you or anyone you know would like to join, you can find it here.

8) I really, really love dogs, and I’ve lived with at least one (often three) since I was two. We used to breed them and had two litters with a total of fifteen puppies, one of which we kept. At the moment we have two black labradors, Basil and Diesel, and they’re awesome.

9) I have quite a varied work experience profile. I’ve been a shop assistant, a taxation assistant, an English tutor, an archives assistant, an admin assistant and a political intern. Some of these were short term and I worked a few at the same time. I enjoyed trying out different fields before I settled on publishing.

10) I have an oddly intense hatred of blueberries. I have nothing against anyone who likes them, and I don’t really know why I feel so strongly, but I absolutely, unequivocally, categorically HATE THEM.

11) My surname is Marjoribanks, but it’s pronounced March-banks. It’s a weird old Scottish spelling and it’s really annoying. No one EVER gets it right.

Questions from Caught Read Handed:

1) Why did you start blogging? Did you read a book that pushed you into it like I did?

I really enjoy writing so I’ve been interested in starting up a blog for a while now. What gave me the final push was my Publishing Studies degree, where my teachers encouraged us to have a blog to practice our editorial skills, express our opinions and add to our online presence to enhance our appeal to potential employers. Plus, it’s really fun, and I like having my own little space where I can write about anything I want and share it with others.

2) What’s your least favourite book-to-movie adaptation? Most favourite?

I’ve been disappointed in quite a few book-to-film adaptations, but the worst offender for me is the 2007 adaptation of I Am Legend. I love this book, and I love Will Smith, so I was really looking forward to seeing the film. Unfortunately, the powerful and thought-provoking ending provided by Richard Matheson in the book was completely turned on its head to result in a heroic act of self-sacrifice which completely missed the point of the story. I understand that adaptations don’t have to be faithful to the book they are based on, but this one still really bothers me. My most favourite adaptation(s) would probably be the Harry Potter films, although I really, really wish they had kept the final battle between Harry and Voldemort the way it was in the book. It was so much better!

3) If you could live inside any book, what would it be?

My next blog post is actually going to be about this, so I’ll leave this one for now.

4) What’s your go-to book to reread?

I enjoy rereading all my favourite books, but I think my go-to would have to be Star Trek Voyager: Mosaic by Jeri Taylor. It’s the one I typically read in the middle of the night if I’m having trouble sleeping. I’ve read it so many times that I can just pick it up and start reading from any page, or pick particular chapters depending on how I feel. It lives in the top drawer of my bedside table so I don’t have to get up to reach it.

5) What’s your most recently read favourite book?

Definitely S (Ship of Theseus) by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. It’s possibly the best example of metafiction I’ve ever read, which is awesome as I love that genre. As well as an engaging story (two stories, actually), interesting and relatable characters and a really cool concept, it has lots of inserts like postcards, letters and maps which add to the narrative and make it even more interesting. I loved it.

6) If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be?

That’s a really tough one, but I would have to go with my favourite poet, Robert Frost. If he were alive, I would love to sit outside with him with a cup of herbal tea and chat to him about his work. I would particularly love to know what he had in mind when he wrote my favourite poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’. I know what it means to me, and how I’ve interpreted it, but it would be great to know what his intentions were and what it meant to him.

7) Who is your favourite book boyfriend/girlfriend?

Since I don’t have an actual real life boyfriend I’m going to be greedy and pick three fictional ones: Er’ril from The Banned and the Banished series, Gale from The Hunger Games and Eric from S (Ship of Theseus). If there’s a character out there who is a combination of all three of these guys, then I’ll have him too.

8) Where is your favourite place to read? Do you have a book nook/reading chair? Do you read in bed?

I almost always read in bed before I go to sleep; it’s like a barrier for me between the day and night and helps me get to sleep. If I’m tired and struggling to stay awake but really enjoying what I’m reading, then I’ll shut one eye and keep going. One of my favourite lazy day things to do is lounge about in bed with a good book.

9) Have you ever bought a book based on just its cover? Were you disappointed?

It’s not something I usually do, but about a year ago I bought The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry based on the cover. I’d seen it in my local bookshops several times and I kept being drawn to it, so eventually I bought it. I was really disappointed. The plot dragged on and didn’t capture my interest, the characters were more irritating than endearing and the ending was just bleh. Definitely not worth it.

10) Do you have one book that you attribute for creating your love of reading?

I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t love reading. There’s home movies of me from as young as 18 months flipping through books and smiling. The first one I really remember loving was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which my mum read to me as a bedtime story. The copy we had was a beautifully illustrated hardback edition and I remember really enjoying looking at the pictures as well as hearing the story.

11) Because I’m a wanderer at heart: if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

There are many places in the USA that I still want to visit, but my dream holiday would be either to Geirangerfjord in Norway or the Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland. That’s a tough question though because these countries, along with Iceland, have some of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls and valleys, so I would be delighted to visit any of them.

Now for my nominations:

Since I haven’t been in the blogging game for very long, I haven’t quite managed 9 nominations, but I really like the following blogs and I think they deserve greater recognition:

GeekOut & Smile

Literary Vittles

Misthoughts and Wonderings

Exploring Classics

Daily Poetry Fragments

My questions for you:

1) What do you enjoy most about blogging?

2) What’s the most unusual book you’ve ever read? (could be theme, format, writing style etc)

3) Was there a book series you started reading but gave up on because you lost interest?

4) What’s the worst book you’ve ever read? Why did you dislike it?

5) What’s your favourite bookshop? (could be a chain or an indie)

6) Has there ever been a book character which turned out exactly the way you imagined they would when you saw them in the film adaptation?

7) Have you ever visited a location just because it was featured in a book?

8) Do you have a particular bookmark you always use, or do you just use whatever is lying around?

9) Do you mind if the spines or pages of your paperbacks get creased, or is it important to you to keep them looking like new?

10) What’s the best library you’ve ever visited?

11) If you could spend a day in the shoes of any literary character, who would it be?

I’m looking forward to seeing your answers!