I've been a bad person.
Way, way, way back in April, Danielle of A Work in Progress - one my favourite blogs - was kind enough to tag me in the 7x7 link award. At the time I was writing a conference paper, planning my trip to Europe for said conference, and basically running around like a headless chicken. I put Danielle's post carefully to one side with a star in google reader. Last week I finally managed to pare my stars all the way back to less than 15 items (miracle! I had to tear myself away from Pinterest to do this too: double miracle!), and there it was: that abandoned 7X7 link, silently remonstrating my neglect.
Coincidentally, the other day Helen at A Gallimaufry (surely the top name for a blog ever?) tagged me for a Liebster Award: "The Liebster Award is given to web-logs with fewer than 200 followers. You answer the seven questions posed by the person who gave you the award, and then devise a further seven which you give to seven people to whom you in turn award the Liebster."
Only a reckless fool would ignore the coincidence of all these SEVENS. So, today: the 7x7 link award; next Thursday, the Liebster award. And thank you very much, two lovely bloggers, for thinking of me.
The 7x7 rules are:
1: Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows. Ah, well.,that is easy. *throws back cloak & removes mask* [dramatic pause] My name is Vicki. There! Easy, wasn't it?
2: Link to a post you think fits the following categories: The Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, Most Pride-worthy Piece.
This is tricky.
The Most Popular Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, and Most Helpful Piece can be combined (and if there was a Most Shamefully Crabbed from Google Piece, this could go in too): for 2011's Paris in July (a wonderfully fun event run by BookBath and Thyme for Tea), I cobbled together a few bits and pieces on Apollinaire's Calligrammes. These are lovely little word pictures ('concrete' or 'visual' poems) like this:
I now live in profound depression that so many people (students?) are using my cut-and-paste job for study purposes. It's not scholarship, folks! It's just a bit of fun! Do your own work! For all you know, I mightn't recognize Apollinaire if I fell over him! [etc.]
The Most Beautiful Piece: reviewing is a terribly subjective business, and I am too cynical and too inclined to laugh inappropriately to ever be a Beautiful Writer. However, if I am allowed to suggest my Most Affectionately Written Pieces, we'd have my reviews of Cluny Brown, To War With Whitaker, Daddy-Long-Legs (incidentally, my 2nd most popular post ever), or The Debt to Pleasure.
The Most Controversial Piece: controversial for me? There are the reviews in which I DO NOT LIKE I CAPTURE THE CASTLE (*ducks*), struggle to be polite about the narcissistic The Hare with Amber Eyes, and cannot make friends with My Mother's Wedding Dress. These are books that not reviewing would have saved me from controversy. Controversial in subject-matter? How about the one about vibrators?
The Most Underrated Piece: my review of A Woman in Berlin is underrated from my own perspective (i.e. I underrated my ability to review it). I had a lot of trouble capturing the tone I needed to coolly assess the truly horrible things that this book described. The review feels a bit emotionally-vacuum-sealed to me. One that I think came off better in tone was my review of Nightwood, Djuna Barnes' intensely puzzling book. This might be an underrated review of an underrated novel.
The Most Pride-Worthy Piece: there are a couple of pieces I look back on and think that I put a lot of effort into trying to be clear about why this book touched a chord with me. These posts took effort (and are, not uncoincidentally, among my first few posts): The Greengage Summer (and I'm proud to be an early Rumer Godden fan ) and Grand Hotel.
3: Pass this on to 7 fellow bloggers. I'm going to cheat here - if you'd like to get some things off your chest by doing the 7 x 7 link, please consider this an invitation (and do let me know!).
Thank you, Danielle, for making me have a good look back over the past two and a bit years! I know you love books and embroidery, so here is a small, pictorial THANK YOU in embroidered books: