Monday, March 31, 2014

Liebster Award

Thank you, Sophia @ Ravens and Writing Desks, for nominating me for this Liebster Award!  The Liebster Award is a way of spreading the word about blogs in the vast community of book bloggers.  It’s somewhat like a chain letter or a slam book, but a lot more fun.

The Rules:

*Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their blog.
*Display the award somewhere on your blog.
*List 11 facts about yourself.
*Answer 11 questions chosen by the blogger who nominated you.
*Come up with 11 new questions to ask your nominees.
*Nominate 5-11 blogs that you think deserve the award and who have less than 1,000 followers. You may nominate blogs that have already received the award, but you cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.   Go to their blog and inform them that they've been nominated. 

Eleven Facts About Me:

1. Mom of five kids (18 – 5 years), and I homeschool them all.  (Well, my 18-year old is in college now).

2. Grew up in Brooklyn, NY, but now I live in a desert in California.  (Major culture shock!)

3. My husband is truly my best friend in the whole, wide world.

4. My husband and I eloped to Las Vegas.  We never had a wedding. : (

5. I absolutely love talking about politics and religion. (The third rail of conversation topics.)

6. Earthquakes scare me to death.  (Hello, you live in California!)

7. I changed my major in college from phycology to architecture to fine arts/graphic design to illustration to business accounting.  I dropped out when I was a senior at Cal State and never finished.  (No, I have no desire to return.  I’m getting the best education at home.)

8.  Art museums, libraries, and bookstores are my favorite places, besides home. 

9.  Becoming a Christian has transformed my life and marriage for good.

10. I used to work at Hot Dog-on-a-Stick and wore that ugly hat and stomped on lemons like a mad woman.

11. Being a homeschool mom is the hardest job I have ever had, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sophia's Eleven Questions for Me:

If you could meet any author - dead or alive - for dinner, who would it be, and why?

If I consider, “Who is most approachable,” then I think Mark Twain would be a great dinner guest.  I scanned my Authors Read page, and feelings of pity poured out for Virginia Woolf and concern for Albert Camus, and I thought I should like to talk with them, too, on a very personal level.  But then I became bolder, and I thought, “I really need to have a little talk with Herman Melville or go head-to-head with Arthur Miller.”  But when I finally narrowed it down, I would like to meet Jane Austen.  I would just love to sit with the woman who gave us Elizabeth Bennett. 
What is your most prized possession?

Materially speaking, I esteem my personal library, which has taken years to grow – years and years of collecting used classics and other books for our homeschool.  I only keep the ones that are important to me, and the ones that I hope my children will read when they are old enough.  They are an extension of who we are or what we believe.

How many books do you read at once (on average)? If you read more than one - do you have a special way of managing it? 

When I began The Well-Educated Mind, I only read one book at a time; but within the last six months, I started juggling three or four books.  I found that books create a certain mood, and I had to be in that mood to read them.  At night, when everyone goes to bed, I read something serious; and in the day, I read something lighter. 

What is your least favorite book and why? 

After dragging myself through the first chapter of Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, I was totally turned off and exasperated by her writing.  It vexed me and sucked the joy out of my experience.  I had to stop reading it.  But it is not fair to name Song of Solomon as my least favorite because I only read one chapter. 

So I suppose Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, of which I have read the entire thing, still holds that title; it left me perplexed and stupefied, and I really did not like it one bit.  

What book(s) are you reading right now? How do you like it (them) so far? 

Actually, I just finished my last group of books, and will only just begin:

Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford for my History Challenge;
Germinal by Émile Zola for Zoladdiction;
and Possession by A.S. Byatt for TWEM final novels.

In addition, I am reading Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll, to my children.  

What is your least favorite literary cliché?

I do not think I have any.  I searched and searched.  I have nothing.

If your house were about to burn down in a fire, which five books would you grab immediately (assuming you had time to do so)?

My John MacArthur Study Bible,
When You Rise Up by R.C. Sproul, Jr.,
Let’s Roll by Lisa Beamer,
A Mom Just Like You by Vicki Farris,
and The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise-Bauer. 

All of these books can be replaced, but these five have significantly changed my way of thinking and deeply persuaded my heart in some way, that I would not want to ever see them destroyed.

If you could take a vacation in any fictional world, where would you go?

I live in the desert, and I long for green and shade and colorful, fragrant flowers.  It is not so much that I want a vacation, but rather I want my own secret garden like in The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett.  Nothing ever grows here in the desert, or else by summer, the heat kills it.

If you could have one fictional character as your best friend, who would it be?

On a serious level, I think I’d like to be best friends with Melanie Wilkes from Gone With the Wind; and maybe for rebelliousness sake, Elizabeth Bennett; but for a fun friend, I think Bilbo Baggins would be great.  He does like adventure!

What book completely changed your life?

The Bible, of course!  And it still is transforming.  In fact, God’s Word influences what I read and how I understand literature and respond to the characters and the author. 

Do you prefer writing with a pen or a pencil? Why?

Either, but it depends on the writing surface more importantly. 

Questions for my nominees:

1.  Share a favorite quote from a book or author.
2.  Is there a book you have disliked immensely?  Which one, and why?
3.  Why did you start blogging? Has your purpose changed?  How did you come up with the name for your blog?
4.  Have you ever counted how many books you own?  If not, estimate.
5.  Which author have you read the most?
6.  Which book have you reread the most?
7.  Do you have a memorable childhood book? 
8.  Have you ever imagined an actor/actress to play a character in a book you were reading?  (For example, I always thought Sharon Stone would make a great Dominique Francon in the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.)
9.  Is there a book you would like to see in film version, permitting they kept it true to the book. 
10.  Name a character from classic lit that you would love to be neighbors with.
11.  What book are you avoiding, and why?
I nominated these great bloggers for the Liebster Award: 

Adrianna @ Classical Quest
Fanda @ Classiclit


Cleo said...

Oh rats! I was going to nominate you but Sophia beat me to it! :-)

It is so interesting to find out a little more about you! I've seen a little of your library on one of your posts and it looked like you have a wonderful collection! I started building a library too, using the 1000 best books for children list, Charlotte Mason lists, etc. for my daughter. I love the old children's books that are full of adventure and life lessons too.

We were just in the desert (Las Vegas) for my daughter's softball tournament and it certainly is different! The sun was nice but otherwise ......... well there just doesn't seem like there is anything there!

You seem to be having a balanced selection of books this year ....... I see history, fiction, children's, etc. I'm woefully behind on my history challenge. I need to stop getting distracted with these challenges!

In any case, I really enjoyed your post!

Ruth said...


It is fun to learn more about someone, yes. This award reminds me of a slam book. I don't know if you ever did one of those when you were younger.

Yep! Vegas is three hours from my city, and if you drove from Vegas to my city, you would see nothing but dirt and mountains. Forever. That's the desert of So. CA.

I'll have to check out that Charlotte Mason list. I love book lists.

You seem to be doing fine with those challenges. I was wondering if you enjoyed that bit about Milton in Candide.

~ Ruth

Fanda Classiclit said...

Ruth, I have posted the award here: It is sooner than I thought, anyway ;) Thanks again for nominating me!

Cleo said...

Yikes, I don't know what a slam book is; my education is sorely lacking!

I didn't really enjoy the part about Milton but I think there was probably a number of people during Voltaire's time who did not appreciate a great deal of what he said, so I am not alone. ;-) Pococurante struck me as someone who was not only a man completely unappreciative of poetry, but also did not have a good grasp of the meaning of the poem. However, I do accept that perhaps the contrasting cultures made it difficult for him to appreciate. But really, the man does not like Homer either. There must be something seriously wrong with him! ;-)

Anonymous said...

It's always nice to hear about the people behind the blogs we enjoy reading!

How many books to read at one time is a tricky question! I remember reading an article in which the person made a case for the benefits of reading only one book at a time, while I've heard other arguments for the benefits of reading multiple books at one time.

Ruth said...

This is true. There is definitely a case to reading one book at a time, especially if it is consuming. Right now I am reading Germinal, and I cannot put it down. I have neglected the other two books that I planned to read. I can also make the case that reading too many books at one time confuses plots, characters, ideas, and moods.

Adriana@ClassicalQuest said...

Thank you so much for nominating me for this award, Ruth. How fun! I've always felt honored to be your blog friend! My daughter will be so impressed that I won a Liebster Award! She gets to earn all the nifty American Heritage Girl badges -- and well, moms can have fun, too! Right?! :-) I'm trying to get my blog engine fired back up. Life has been a little crazy lately. I'll let you know when I've got it ready. Thank you again!

Ruth said...

My pleasure.

And I'm so glad you are back.