Checking comments on a recent post I learned I’d been tagged with a Liebster award by Arti at Ripple Effects. I have seen this award posted on several blogs, including Beauty Is A Sleeping Cat and Tales From The Reading Room. The Liebster was created to introduce readers to new blogs, and the number and type of questions have shifted over time. I’m going to use some of Arti’s and a couple of my own.
1. What do you think of literary prizes? Good idea or bad?
Like several other book bloggers, I enjoy literary prizes. I search lists for authors that are new to me, add many books to my to-be-read piles, am sometimes disappointed and often thrilled by what I discover. I was re-introduced to Hilary Mantel by reading “Wolf Hall”, and am now reading “John Saturnall’s Feast” by Lawrence Norfolk, and loving it. Both came to me through the Booker Prize. I look forward to the Giller Prize, the National Book Award, IMPAC, the Commonwealth Prize, the Orange Prize and many others including the Hugo, the Arthur C Clark and the Edgar Awards. I do know there is some controversy around some of these awards, but I choose to overlook that.
2. If you could write any sort of book, what would you write?
Ah, a secret fantasy. Poetry. Like this, this or this. I attempt to write poetry. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
3. Describe your ideal home library/study.
A room filled with natural light, walls covered with book shelves, a big oak desk, a fireplace, two wing-backed chairs and a comfy couch. French doors that lead to a garden, beyond the garden, the sea. Oh, and a cat. No, two cats.
4. Name an author you feel you should love but don’t. Or a “classic” you feel should have read but haven’t.
Haruki Mirakami. I’ve tried and tried to love his fiction, but it just doesn’t grab me.
5. What book do you hope to get for the holidays?
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Soloman. Huge, dense and just fascinating to me. Maybe because I work with children and families.
6. What’s the last book you did not finish and why?
Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner. A first I was intrigued, then it started feeling like so many other books I had read, a rehash of Catcher in the Rye. I think I’m too old for this ironic and cynical style of writing.
7. If you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would it be?
Did I just ask that question? At the moment my choice would be Hilary Mantel because I want her to explain to me how she does what she does. There are hints here and here. I am waiting for Bring Up The Bodies to come from my library.
This is an interesting meme, as it lets you into a bit of a blogger’s life. For my next trick I’m tagging Claire, James, Jane, RaiderGirl, Sakura, Stu and Vasilly. Use these questions if you want or make up your own.