Thursday, May 8, 2014

I was awarded! - with a lot of questions :)

Oo look! It's an award! I usually keep away from blog awards, but I do like this particular one, because I'm just as nosy a person as the next one, and there's not much better than learning new revealing scandalouz provocative interesting facts about my bookish friends.
The Set of Rules:
1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their blog.
2. Display the award somewhere on your blog.
3. List 11 facts about yourself.
4. Answer 11 questions chosen by the blogger who nominated you.
5. Come up with 11 new questions to ask your nominees.
6. Nominate 5-11 blogs that you think deserve the award. (One post said blogs should have less than 300 followers, one said less than 500 and offered number 1000, so I'm just going to ignore the number altogether and nominate people I want to genuinely know about! :)  Also, I have no idea how many followers someone has - GFC is probably not the most objective indicator.)
7. Go to their blog and inform them that they've been nominated.
I was nominated by Ekaterina at In My Book, Lianne at and Captivated Reader - thank you all so much! I recommend y'all to go and check out their blogs (if you haven't already!).
11 random facts about me:

1. My love for books did not start from home, and often I feel like an odd one out, because most bookish people seem to have had really nurturing childhood in that sense. My parents had, at the time, different values (more "practical" ones). Reading wasn't exactly encouraged, but hey ho, I prevailed nevertheless! :)

2. I went straight to the 2nd grade when I started school at the age of 6. One month in the 1st grade made my teacher convinced that I was simply bored.

3. I'm not into Disney movies, and I cannot stand musicals in general. However, I've seen (and loved) almost all full-length animations directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
4. I never go to bed with make-up on. It has probably happened less than 5 times in my whole life. It gives me shudders even to think of that.
5. I am diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder). I worry a lot.
6. I met my fiancé in an MMORPG.
7. Since Robert sometimes thinks he is a vegetarian, we have had to be creative when bringing plants home. I have some herbs in a little greenhouse on windowsill, and some plants are hanging on the wall. I have made only cacti available for Robert to nibble on, but for some reason he is not very enthusiastic :p
8. I'm a very straightforward person, and would make a terrible diplomat.
9. Both my cats are rescued and former strays. Robert was initially a foster cat (I never intended to take two of the little buggers), but after we bonded over a deadly cat disease, that almost took tiny Robert to the cat grave, I was unable to give him away.
10. I can't drive.
11. I want to become a runner.

Robert as a kid - not a worry in the world.

I'll answer questions by Lianne and Captivated Reader, since Ekaterina didn't have a set of new ones, and the post is going to be gigantic Wall of Text as it is.

Lianne's questions:

1. What's your least favourite book and why?
Oh, starting out tough... There actually aren't books I hate, there are only books that "weren't for me", but I guess one of the most "not for me" ones has to be The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Very repetitive and written in such a simple language that I felt completely uninspired (I'm not a prose snob and plenty of simple and good books out there, but this one was really bad). I get the idea that it's the kind of book that is supposed to remind us the "simple truths" in life, and what's really important, but I don't know. It's like a boring self-help book, only in disguise.
2. What's the last book you read and what did you think of it?
The last book that I finished was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, I read it during the Dewey's 24-hour readathon, which as I now realise was like two weeks-ish ago... Why haven't I finished another book by now? Anyway, it really was a lovely read. It just made me feel good!
3. When recommending books to other people, what book do you find recommending the most?
I don't like recommending books, but the times it has happened, I recommend something only after thorough interrogation on what this particular person has liked, or usually reads. Or when it's a close person whose taste I know, but since people are different, it's never the same book that I recommend. Other than that, the book I've been hyping the most lately must be The Master and Margarita.
4. What's the last movie you've watched that you would recommend to others?
It wasn't the last movie that I watched, but the last one I would recommend is The Wind Rises animation by Studio Ghibli. It's a wonderful, heartwarming historical piece with lotsa aviation in it.
5. When times are stressful, what do you do to relax?
Go for a walk, play a hack-and-slash computer game, complain to Jan, make food (very relaxing activity) (also later you can eat it, which helps as well).
6. Is there a television show that you sort of hate-watch? It's not even a guilty pleasure, you know you would never be caught dead watching it and yet you do anyways? You can expand this to a book or a movie if you can't think of anything.
Haha good question. Well I thought about Project Runway, but I don't really hide the fact that I watch it; just that it's one of "those" shows and I generally don't watch any reality or on-air-competitions and similar... Um. Can I transfer this question over to foods instead? :p It's hard for me to admit that I like colourful candy. Like, the neon green and red and blue and the kind that has more chemistry in it than there are elements in Mendeleev's periodic table. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like to be seen eating that stuff in public :)
7. What's one place you'd love to travel to (or return to) and why?
Probably Japan, though it's really unoriginal - just the culture is so fascinating, and it's so far away... And I would always like to return to Prague. (<3<3)
8. What's one sport you wish you could play or play well at?
Tennis, definitely; also badminton, and I miss volleyball from the high-school days. If running counts then that too.
9. What's your favourite sport to watch and why?
The question from hell. I love watching so many sports, it might be easier to count what I wouldn't watch (F1 and basketball hop to mind). The Olympics and Football World Cup are party-time in our home. Track and field, ice hockey, curling, synchronised swimming, archery, snowboard - you name it, it's pretty likely I watch it :p
10. If you could eat one particular meal or item for a whole year, what would it be?
Why are those questions so difficult, Lianne? :p Leaving aside the fact that no matter what you choose, you cannot win in this situation, I'd probably go with a breakfasty kind of food. Some kind of omelette would be doable... perhaps? With coffee (it says "meal"!) But this question is officially unanswer-able!
11. Is there something you've always been meaning to try (a kind of food, a type of drink, a new restaurant, a sport) but haven't?
Food - oysters. Why I haven't? Combination of being a complete wuss and having seen a certain Mr Bean episode one time too many in childhood. A sport - running (this is third running-related thing I bring up this post, maybe it's really time to just do it). Why I haven't? The classic reason, a serious trauma caused by school-time PE classes.
A recent photo - furballs enjoying their birthday dinner, back in April.
And questions by Captivated Reader:

1. When did your love for reading books begin?
Mm, I must have been tiny! Grandfather taught me the alphabet when I was 3, so shortly after that I started attempting-to-read newspapers, and then came children's books. By the school time I was already hooked :)
2. Where's your favourite place to read? Do you have any favourite foods/snacks or beverages that you eat or drink while reading?? Or do you solely focus on the book you're reading?
Couch, under the window, definitely, or then when I feel snuggly, in bed. I don't really eat while reading, but I don't mind having a cup of coffee, or tea, or a bottle of water with whatever tossed in it (lemon and raspberry are my current favs).
3. Nostalgic question for you! What was your favourite book growing up?
I love that question :) I read (and reread numberous times) most of Astrid Lindgren's children's books - my absolute favs were (and still are) the stories of children in Bullerby, the stories of Karlsson and those with boy detective Kalle Blomkvist (the name in English has been changed to Bill Bergson - ???). I also loved books by Norwegian author Anne-Cath. Vestly, these were about a Norwegian family with eight children, they were quite very poor and the books talked about their everyday life and how they were still very happy.
4. Do you have an all time favourite book & why is it special to you?
I don't have one and only, but recently I made a whole long post of the ten most influential books in my life. The one and only would probably come from that list (if I was able to have only one).
5. Name the last book you reread!
Let's see *opens Goodreads site* It's one of the kids' books I mentioned earlier, The Six Bullerby Children by Astrid Lindgren.
6. Do you like attending literary events (book signings/book festivals, etc.)? If so, share with us a favourite literary event you've attended.
I haven't - living in Finland and being an Estonian who mainly reads in English, there aren't that many opportunities. I'd love to go to a signing of David Mitchell, though (although on photos he looks pretty intimidating, so I'd probably be a lot scared).
7. If you were to host a dinner party and could invite any author(s) to attend your dinner party, from the past or present, who would you invite and why?
Well my first reaction was that a dinner party with Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Franzen and Orson Scott Card would be something potentially fun, but quick search showed that Ellis is very much "Team Franzen", so I'm afraid the dinner would be just them two bashing anything and everything, and maybe Card contributing with some juicy remarks on certain minorities in society. However, joking aside (and I hope no-one took offence because I've given fivers to books by Ellis and Card before, and I'm sure I'm gonna find The Corrections very entertaining as well), I think my dinner party would be perfect if I could pretty much have two authors present: Haruki Murakami and David Mitchell. I think the synergy would be great because Mitchell seems to be fascinated with Japan. And I could ask Murakami lots about running (4th time!).
8. Which fictional character (from a novel) would you most like to meet in real life?
I'd gladly meet (and switch places for a time!) with Thursday Next.
9. What has been the best experience you've had as a book blogger?
Another great question. And here's a cheesy answer: the comments. Or being mentioned by another blogger. My blog is so tiny, I don't promote it in any way because more than anything it's my personal place to talk about books, I don't read ARCs and I'm so happy I've made friends who come here regularly! :)
10. Do you participate in weekly book memes, online read-a-thons, reading challenges, etc? If so, which one is your favourite one to participate in?
I don't do any memes regularly, only Top Ten Tuesday, but it has to be topic that really grabs me, and I do it like 3 times in a year, maybe. I've participated in a few Dewey's 24-hour readathons and a few Bout of Books readathons (another one coming up next week!). I am currently in a middle of a few reading challenges, but most of them aren't going that well :p, except for the 2014 TBR Challenge, which is the only one I'm on schedule with. And the chunkster challenge, but this one's pretty much coming naturally anyway.
11. What do you enjoy doing for fun when you aren't blogging and reading?
Gaming, spending time with Jan and the furballs. Food-related activities, biking around Helsinki, taking an occasional photograph.
On top of Prague <3
That was a lot of questions! Thank you both, and Ekaterina for mentioning me as well.
Here are my 11 questions (some of them bordering on silly I guess, feel free to be creative :) )
1. Do you read magazines? Which are the ones you are subscribed to, or buy (fairly) regularly?
2. Those of you that eat ice cream - what is your favourite flavour? Those who don't (if there are any) - why don't you eat ice cream?
3. Do you have any pet peeves? Name some.
4. From pet peeves to pets - do you have any pets? Please introduce them, and feel free to add your favourite photo of them. (Or talk about pets you have had in the past. Or pets you'd like to have in future.)
5. Choose your preferred one among the following: a handbag, a tote bag, a sleeping bag, a tea bag, a punching bag. Why did you choose the one you chose?
6. Do you keep (or have ever kept) a journal or a diary?
7. Do you read any other type of blogs aside from book blogs? Feel free to link your favourites, if you feel like it. :)
8. Do you have a favourite nail polish brand? (I hope none of you is a man hiding behind a female profile :) )
9. When was the last time you were on a plane?
10. If there was a hashtag to describe your life, what would it be? #ClearlyRunningOutofQuestionsFast
11. Jan Special: If you could time travel, where would you go and why?
Before I list a bunch of wonderful bloggers, a disclaimer: I've been to y'all's blogs today to make sure that you don't have "Award Free Zone" somewhere in a visible location, or if you have already done this kind of a post. If you feel like answering my questions, please do - but if you don't and don't do awards, or don't feel like talking about non-bookish things, or don't have time, or whatevs, please ignore this. Take it just as my way of showing support to you and your blog!
The people I feel like being nosy about:
Ellie @ Lit Nerd
Jillian @ Random Ramblings


  1. Thanks for the nomination Riv! I am SO bad about these things I must admit, even though I love reading other people's answers. I'm pretty sure I was also nominated once (twice?) before, but never wrote up an acceptance post. Maybe I will do better this time, I love your questions! After Bout of Books though since I'm finally going to take the plunge :)

    1. I am also *so* bad about such things - took me like a month or more to start writing this post. It's the kind of thing I can only do if the inspiration strikes at the right moment, and when it doesn't, I often miss out on writing certain posts, although I have lots of those great ideas.

      It's great that you will be joining Bout of Books! :)

  2. Awesome post, and thanks for the nomination :)
    I have anxiety too, have done since I was a pre-teen, so I know it's not fun and often isn't fun for the people you live with, too. Pregnancy hormones and all the new pregnancy/baby related things to worry about don't help either!
    And that picture of Robert is so precious - he looks like the happiest cat in the world :)

    1. You are very right about the anxiety being burdening for everyone, yourself as well as people around. I can only be thankful that Jan is a very patient and understanding person. I can totally see how the extra hormones and things boost it to a completely new level.

      Hehe yes, Robert was/is a very happy cat, I think :)

  3. Wow, love your post!! I love The Master & Margarita too.... It's one of the best books ever written! I love your picture of Prague. :-) Thanks for posting a great read.

    1. Thanks a lot! I totally agree about The Master and Margarita. :)

  4. Thanks a ton for stopping by my blog!! I love yours and congratulations on the Libester Award! BTW...I thought I am the only person who goes around recommending "The Master and Margarita" and who absolutely loathes and I emphasize on the term LOATH "The Alchemist"'s just plain dumb!! I think it might be a DNA thing - I too made it directly to 2nd grade and so don't like Disney films!! ;) Awesome Blog!!

    1. Haha that's great :) I have seen some people being "meh" about The Alchemist, but I am probably a bit past "meh" in this case, I think because for what this book tries to convince it is - something high and mighty, but you are right, it's just dumb...

  5. Wow, Riv, I loved reading this! I think your dinner party would be most interesting. Although I find David Mitchell intimidating to even read, let alone meet. Murakami I would also grill about running :D

    Thank you for the nomination! I love your questions so it'll be a ball answering them.

    1. Yeah, Mitchell is a bit intimidating, but enjoyable nonetheless. I will be looking forward to you answering my silly questions! :)

  6. So much fun to learn more about you! I should probably do this Liebster thing too. I think I've been awarded 3-4 times now.

    1. I always procrastinated with this post but once I actually start putting it together it was a lot of fun! :)

  7. Thanks for the nomination! I will do a post as soon as Bout of Books is over. Dinner with Murakami would be amazing and I have yet to like any Coelho book and am glad to know it isn't just me.

    1. Great - I'm really looking forward to your post! I've actually read two Coelho books and the other one wasn't much better (I think it was titled By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept) - I like the ideas of the books, but I don't think they are particularl well written...

  8. Thank you so much for nominating me, I am sorry it too me so long to write a response but I am swamped at work (final exams etc). I will try to answer your questions soon, but it will have to wait a week or two.
    I really enjoyed reading your answers, by the way!

    Kind regards,

    1. Hello Bettina! I'd be very interested to read your answers, but take your time - it took me more than a month to finally get to this post. I hope your work gets better soon and that weathers are nice and summery :)

  9. Sorry I'm late to comment, I've had 400 posts in my feed and I've just got to yours. I love-love-love to know more about you! :) So some short comments on what impressed me most:
    1) cats are awesome!
    2) meeting guys in an MMORPG is a cool idea! :)
    3) I wish it was possible for me to go straight to the second grade... You are so lucky :)
    4) The Alchemist is the worst. I'd also name it.
    5) Yay for Lindgren and Master and Margarita!
    6) DO return to Prague! :) And don;t forget to tell me if you do, remember? :)

    1. Hey, Ekaterina - so glad to see you around again. Please don't apologise, I hope you are doing a bit better now :)
      I will definitely let you know when I return to Prague. Especially now in summer time I totally miss Prague because we had such a nice holiday there last year! You are so lucky ;)
      About meeting guys in computer games - it wasn't really a goal, but it kind of happened. (Before that I used to meet guys in Real Life, like Normal People do :D)
      About cats - I'm actually allergic to them (ironic), according to tests anyway. Not the sniffy nose kind of but I do get rashes and itchy skin now and then. I don't know how it's possible because I used to volunteer in shelters back in Estonia and was in contact with tens and tens of cats every day because of that :)


Leave a comment if you feel like it - it warms my little bookish heart. :)