Friday, July 14, 2017

I Was Nominated for the Liebster Award!

I am so grateful to the Saowbia at Ever The Reader for nominating me for the Liebster Award. The award is designed to bring attention to small blogs with less than 200 subscribers. (And that definitely fits this particular little blog). I'm honored to participate!

The rules are simple:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  3. Nominate at least 5 other blogs and have them answer the following 11 questions.
1. If you rated by a checklist, what would be the number one quality you look for in a book for it to be enjoyable?
I think the most important thing to me is that I understand the characters and their motivations. I've read novels where I felt as though the characters were being pushed forward based on what was the most convenient for the plot. For me, the most important thing is that the character's impulses are understandable and relatable. The plot is nothing if there isn't any motivation driving it.
2. Do you believe in not judging a book by its cover? To what extent do first impressions affect your reading choices?
Young adult novels have the best covers. I know it goes against the adage, but the publishers seem to have the novels down to a science. It seems as though you can tell exactly what a book is going to feel like from the cover these days. Of course, sometimes I'm wrong. I didn't think I'd like Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen because I thought the cover looked a little too cheesy for me. I was dead wrong. So, I guess the best answer I have is that I think that covers, like first impressions, are sometimes all we have to go on, but it's wonderful when you trust your gut and earn a surprise.
3. If you could have dinner with 3 authors (dead or alive), which ones would you pick?
Oh no! This is going to be so hard to narrow down. The first one that popped into my head was Kurt Vonnegut. I love his snark and sarcasm and how he embraces silliness in his novels. I think we'd get along really well. Second, no surprise, William Shakespeare (Billy the Shake as my mother used to call him. I mean, I guess I partially just want to put aside the mystery--is he a woman? Several people? Just some dude in a crazy collar? The world would know once I'd had dinner with him (or them?). Also, would he speak in tirelessly Shakespearean language or would  Last, but certainly not least,  Ernest Hemingway--he'd spice the dinner up by trying to fight Vonnegut. I think they'd get on each other's nerves. 
4. Which genre do you read most of? Least of?
Most books that I read fall into the YA category. I think I like everything as long as it's well-written, but I'm particularly drawn to any plot that has a mystery to solve. So, recently I've loved One of Us is Lying and Before I Let Go. Other than that, I'm always a sucker for high fantasy. And low fantasy. And science fiction. Did I mention I like everything? The only thing I struggle with is sappy romance. I get tired of the will they/won't they/ofcoursetheywillduh. 
5. What are your top 5 bookish pet peeves?
1. See above for the will they/won't they vibe.
2.  I don't like stereotypes, of course, but YA books are moving away from these with reckless abandon and I'm loving the trend.
3. I guess I hate anything that feels canned and over done. So, the whole "Oh gosh, she's so klutzy that she's relatable vibe" is pretty trite.
4. I'm not into it when girls say things like, "Boys won't like me because I'm too skinny" thing. Jane Austen did it, but back then it was true and I forgive her. These days, skinny just isn't something to hang your "whoah is me" hat on. 
5. I don't like seeing girls without license to make choices--or being pigeonholed into stereotypically female roles but without any kind of commentary. Like, when Bella doesn't want to go to college because her vampman is enough for her. That's dumb. 

6. Print book, ebook, or audiobook? What are your thoughts on the other two?
I love the way print books look and feel and sit on my bookshelf where I can sweep my eyes across them and feel that all is right with the world. That being said, an ebook is unbelievably convenient. All the ARCs that I've gotten have been ebooks and they're really just so simple to have at my fingertips. Then again, I don't have to keep a paperback charged. I love audiobooks, but I don't drive anymore. I'm hoping to start running again, so I'll start using them then.
7. Do you use bookmarks? If so, do you make or buy them or simply use a tissue or receipt or your cat’s tail?
I am trying SO HARD to use bookmarks. I'm a dog-ear-er. I know it's damaging, so I'm trying very, very hard to stop. The only bookmarks that I've been able to use consistently are thank you cards that I get for teacher appreciation days. I think it's because I feel extremely attached to them since they come from students and they're also so big that they can't get lost between pages.
8. This might be a weird one, but: Do you judge books by their authors? For example, if an author is an evil villain that feasts on the unborn (or some other negative that’s a bit more grounded in reality), does that affect your enjoyment of their book? 
This 100% depends on if I found out the bad stuff about the author before or after I read the book. For example, Orson Scott Card is not someone whose politics I agree with, but I love Ender's Game and Enchantment. On the other hand, Stephanie Meyer shot a film in town when I was in college. All the stories I heard about her painted her as stuck up and rude. Plus, we don't agree politically either. I think that cast a shadow when I finally got around to reading Twilight.
9. Does every book require a romantic subplot? Does it detract from the main story line, or is it crucial in terms of character development?
NOOOOOOO. I get why it's there. I get that it's useful. But, it's so nice when there's a book that doesn't have romance attached to it. It's like eating a fresh strawberry.
10. How do you feel about rating a book before it’s published and without having an ARC? For example: if you love the author, do you automatically give all their upcoming releases 5 stars? If the author has done a controversial thing, do their works deserve automatic 1 stars?
I'd feel dishonest if I did that. Besides, some of my favorite authors have had books I can't really get behind. There's just no guarantee that the book is good.
11. Which series do you which could’ve ended differently? (Without spoilers, if possible.)
Harry Potter--in that I'm awfully disappointed that it ended at all. I miss my friends. They were the bright light on the difficult years of adolescence and early adulthood. Something I knew was coming. They're gone now. I wish I could watch them struggle through early adulthood, marriage, careers, children.
Nominations: I included their instagram links and blog links so you can see their excellent work for yourself.
  1. Fire Breathing Book Wyrm (@firebreathingbookwyrm
  2. Just a Li'l Lost  (@justalillost)
  3. Books and Munches (@booksandmunches)
  4. My Books Review (@mybooksreview)
  5. Little Dino Books (@littledinobooks)
I really wish I could do more, but I literally just started blogging a few weeks ago. I know there are amazing bloggers out there and I really want to encourage anyone who would like to be nominated to email me with their blog link so I can recognize you!

© 2017, Copyright Miriam Braud.  

While I try to post content warnings if I, personally, identify anything that I think is not appropriate for my students who range in age from 11-14, I recommend that all content is perused by parents to ensure that the individual and unique values of each family is upheld.

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