My lovely friend Natalie @ A Sea Change nominated me for the Liebster Award - thanks Natalie!
1. You can invite 3 people living or dead to dinner - who would you invite and why?
Hm... I'd invite Seanan McGuire, Nell Gwyn and Mary Anning.
Seanan McGuire, also known as Mira Grant, wrote Feed, which is one of my favourite books of all time; I know opinion of it is very divided, people either seem to love it or they really don't like it, but I first read Feed about a year and a half ago and I'm still thinking about it now. Plus Seanan seems like a really cool person and I'd love to be able to meet her and talk to her.
Nell Gwyn is my hero. She's one of those historical figures who just fascinates me. She started out life selling oranges, then she became an actress, and then she became one of Charles II's favourite mistresses, and I love her because she never seemed to be anyone but herself. She'd already been a mistress to several wealthy men before she became the King's mistress, which resulted in her calling him 'her Charles the Third'. She was also good friends with Aphra Behn, a 17th century playwright, novelist and poet, who also just so happened to be employed as a spy for Charles II in Antwerp. Nell seems to have had an amazing sense of humour and an even bigger sense of fun. Her son by the King - another Charles - became a Baron when he was six years old all thanks to her. I think she was fantastic.
Mary Anning was a Victorian lady who became both a fossil collector and palaeontologist despite living in an era in which the majority of scientists were men. She discovered the first correctly identified ichthyosaur skeleton, the first two plesiosaur skeletons and the first pterosaur skeleton outside of Germany, amongst other things. Many of her discoveries contributed to the change in the way people studied prehistoric life and the history of the world. She became well known in geological circles across Britain, Europe and America, but was rarely given full credit for her work and struggled financially throughout her life. If anyone deserves a nice dinner and pleasant company, it's her.
2. What is your favourite poem and why?
I guess it's more of a song than a poem, though there are many links between music and poetry when it comes to old legend, but I've always loved 'The Lambton Worm', which is a legend from the North East of England. I have very fond and vivid memories of my dad reading it to me, and reading it in a very strong geordie accent (he and my mum are both from Gateshead) because it made me laugh.
I also love 'The Flea' by John Donne, 'Lamia' by John Keats, 'Sonnet 130' by William Shakespeare, 'On My First Son' by Ben Jonson, 'Phenomenal Woman' by Maya Angelou and 'Bog Queen' by Seamus Heaney.
3. What did you want to be when you were a kid? For that matter what do you want to do now?
For a long time I wanted to be a vet, but then I watched an episode of Animal Hospital where a vet stuck his arm up a cow's backside and it put me right off. I loved Animal Hospital, but now a lot of my memories of it are tainted thanks to the recent revelations about Rolf Harris.
Now? I just want to be happy.
4. Tell me a joke - any joke - as cheesy as you like!
What do you call a fat dog?
5. You can have any animal in the world for a pet - what do you have and what do you call it?
I'd have a quokka, and I'd call him John.
|They're so smiley!|
6. Favourite Film/Worst Film - why?
Well my favourite animated film is Beauty and the Beast, I adore it. The animation's stunning and the music's beautiful - seriously, Alan Menken's score for that film is just gorgeous - and I love the story, too. One of the things I love about Beauty and the Beast is that we actually get to know the prince, too; he's not a stock character, and because of that the two of them develop an actual relationship. Plus Belle's a bookworm, so I was always going to love it.
My favourite non-animated film is The Mummy. It's such a fun adventure film and I adore it, and it's another film with a bookish heroine at its centre. Accompanied by a very pretty Brendan Fraser.
As for worst film? Probably Immortals. I hated that film, and I didn't like 300 either.
7. Describe yourself in one word
8. What would your superpower be?
The ability to always be able to put eyeliner on without looking like a member of KISS who's been left out in the rain.
9. What country do you most want to visit?
Well I've done Italy now, which would have been my answer before last month, so now... there are so many. I'd like to go to Thailand, I haven't been to Asia at all, and I'd like to go to America and Canada and Mexico. Northern Ireland, too; I've been to the Republic of Ireland, but not to Northern Ireland. Oo, also Jersey! And Spain. And Austria. And Hawaii. And Norway...
10. You can give 3 book recommendations - what are they?
To give as diverse recommendations as I can, I'm going to recommend a classic, a graphic novel, and an 'ordinary' novel.
Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu: This is a 19th novella about vampires that pre-dates Bram Stoker's Dracula, and I think it's better than Dracula, too. I really enjoyed this book, and you should definitely check it out. If you're a bit reluctant to read something from the 19th century, not to worry - Carmilla is very readable, and it's very short, too. You could easily read it in one sitting!
Rat Queens, Vol.1: Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch: Female-led, female-centric high fantasy complete with innuendo, humour, diversity and bad-assery. It's great, and you should totally check it out.
Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: I will never not find a way to include this book, just FYI. This is such a fantastic debut novel, and it's a standalone, too. I love it so much and I feel like it's one of those debuts that hasn't received as much attention as some of the other new releases this year, which is ridiculous. Read it read it read it.
1. Do you like book adaptations?
2. If you were a protagonist in a book, which genre would you like your book to be in?
3. Do you consider yourself a diverse reader?
4. Would you rather be an Ancient Greek, an Ancient Roman, or an Ancient Egyptian?
5. How do you spend your New Year's Eve?
6. Have you ever cosplayed? If not, would you like to?
7. What's your favourite book of 2015 so far?
8. Which season is your favourite?
9. Have you ever broken any bones?
10. Go to your bookshelf. Pick the seventh book from the left from the shelf of your choice. Go to chapter seven. What's the seventh word?