Very inspiring blogger award

It is quite an honor to be mentioned twice for this award, first by Jacqui then yesterday by Victoria. At first, I thought I wouldn’t play because I follow approximately 200 blogs on bloglovin’,and how is it possible to mention a mere fifteen? Then I reconsidered when I realized that as a part of the book blogging world, I should not refuse the opportunity to highlight a few fellow bloggers.

Might I also point out, that since I ‘met’ Jacqui as a fellow IFFP Shadow Jury member we have shared many great books and a similar point of view? She is blessing from 2014! And, Victoria’s posts are always witty and erudite. Thank you, you two, for thinking of me.
These are the rules for the award:
  • Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.
And so fifteen blogs I would like to highlight as being very inspiring to me are:
Linda writes of the essence of life; sharing wisdom through story. She is also the best commenter I know. Reading her comments are like reading a post itself because she puts so much thought into them.
2.  seraillon~

Scott writes of books I immediately want to read. He is enormously well read, and he will often leave a comment which is relevant and hilarious at the same time.

Richard has displayed no end of patience with me as I learn to appreciate Spanish literature. Although we sometimes differ on the books we like, I am always enriched by his reviews and opinions. Also, I am very inspired to read for Spanish Lit Month co-hosted with Stu. (Bet you didn’t know I’m enjoying Three Trapped Tigers, eh?)

Tom and I have had two shared reads that I can think of: Little Women and Great Expectations. He points out the merest detail of a book and somehow connects it to the overall meaning. He is able to unwrap what an author says like no one I know.

The posts on this site connect emotional well-being with literature. I have never looked at our psychological make up, any possible anxiety or depression, as being addressed by books in such a tangible way. And yet, of course! Isn’t part of why we read, to understand ourselves better?

The content Reader is a relatively new friend who lives in Belgium. She brings a wealth of information to her blog posts. They are not simply reviews, but connections to art and food as well.

Nadia is a faithful friend of many years. It is amazing to me how many books we simultaneously love, and abhor. If she recommends a book, I am sure to pick it up, confident that her point of view will mirror mine. It’s nice to have someone who understands how you feel.

One of the many features of Diane’s beautiful blog is Tuesday intros. I am constantly introduced to up and coming literature through her blog and enticed by what I read. 

I think Stu can be credited for my push toward reading translated literature. I always loved Japanese Literature, of course, but it was Stu who broadened that horizon into other countries. It was a special honor for me to be included in his IFFP Shadow Jury event, co-hosted with Tony, this year. I have never read such exciting literature in translation as that event provided.

Athira writes a magnificent blog, relating stories from her life as well as literature she is reading. She leaves personal comments which make me feel so connected to her. Maybe someday I will be as faithful a commenter as she!

Ally is a friend who not only reads Japanese literature with me, she has embellished my reading in Italian literature, too. It was her idea to host Venice in February, a lovely challenge which caused us (me) to discover so many books set in Venice. She also introduces me to film and music. Ally understands my working life as she is a teacher herself.

Tony shares a love for translated literature as well, and is especially instrumental in spreading the love for Japanese literature. He hosts January in Japan which highlights fabulous Japanese books and detailed information about their authors. He also kindly welcomed me to the Shadow Jury for the IFFP this year.

Harvee has a special interest in mystery and thriller, always showcasing a new book in this genre which looks like something I want to read straight away.

Dear Lesley is my oldest book blogging friend. We connected in 2006 and have shared countless titles not only through our blogs, but through the mail. She is a true friend with whom I share many personal and deep connections.
Tamara has also been a long time blogging friend, but I want to highlight the fabulous job she is doing in hosting Paris in July with Karen, Adria, Nichole and I. Every day has a special treat in store, and it is all organized beautifully on her blog. Thanks for taking us to Paris every July, Tamara!

As for listing seven facts about me? It reminds me of a Brian Andreas Story People poster: “We don’t have much time,” he said. “Let me just tell you about me.”  Probably you know everything that’s important to know by now.
I hope you have a chance to visit the blogs above, and know that there are so many who continually inspire me. 

The Liebster Award via Victoria

My newest blogging friend, Victoria at Tales From The Reading Room, has tagged me (and a few others such as  Desperate Reader, Helen, Nooks & Crannies, Miss Darcy, Mrs Carmichael and Karen) with The Liebster Award. She asks the following questions, to which I will do my best to answer succinctly:

1. What do you think of literary prizes? Good idea or bad?
  • Literary prizes are like presidential elections: the one I want to win never does. Still mourning for Haruki Murakami who didn’t receive the Nobel prize again.
2. If you could write any sort of book, what would you write?
  • I wish I could be funny. I wish I could be wildly witty and acerbic and astute. I’d put what I’ve learned, all the experiences in my life that have molded me into who I am, and write a novel which would make people laugh while touching a spot in their heart so that they could nod their heads and say, “Yes. That’s a good way of looking at it. There’s some Truth.”
3. Describe your ideal home library/study.
  • On an island? In the Northwoods? Anywhere away from people, the exception of family, sounds idyllic right now. (Can you tell that work is a little over the top for me right now?) As to the physical environment, I think I need a cozy color…a warm, pumpkin-y kind of glow with a white fireplace. And, if you want to know the height of my greed I would place, next to my antique library table, a chair and ottoman from MacKenzie Childs.
4. Name two new authors whose work you think will last the test of time, and explain your choices.
  • New authors that would stand the test of time? Oh, dear. Perhaps Barbara Kingsolver. Perhaps Margaret Atwood. They both write of people, and place, in a way which I find deeply relevant.  Especially Atwood’s earlier works which are my favorite: The Robber Bride, Surfacing, and Cat’s Eye to be specific. Of course, I’d also include Haruki Murakami because his imagination, his perceptions, go beyond the finite qualities of time.
5. Which books do you hope to get for Christmas?
  • The Holman Christian Standard Bible. Because apparently, the King James, New International Version, Living Translation, and Revised Standard Version, all of which I already own, aren’t enough. I’m embarrassed to say, that in terms of fiction I already have more than I can ever hope to read in 2013. Thank you, publishers, who’ve abundantly added to my collections.
6. What’s the last book you did not finish and why?
  • Invisible Murder by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis. I have neither the time, nor the energy, for a book which does not thrill me. The two requisites for a book which I will complete are that it has a connection to my life which is meaningful and significant, or it has a story which is engaging. If either point fails, I’m done.
7. Would you accept 20 books that were absolutely perfect for you and dependably brilliant reads, if they were also the last 20 books you could ever acquire?
  • Victoria, Victoria, what a diabolical question. Initially, when I read what you asked, I thought, “Yes.” And then I think, “To never be exposed to a new thought, a new idea, a new novel again?” I could not do it. Although twenty perfect for me and dependably brilliant novels? That would be a fun list to create in some future post!
In keeping with the nature of this meme, I’m sure I ought to tag seven more people. And since I’ve had the pleasure of reading your astute responses, the seven new people which I will tag are Gary, Arti, tuesday, Tanabata, JoV, Claire, and Nadia. (As I am so brain-dead this week, please feel free to use Victoria’s questions or even change them to include something else you’d like to mention.)