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!