Thursday, November 29, 2012

{misc.} a liebster award

As I wrote last Thursday, I was lucky enough to be tagged for the 7x7 link award by Danielle (A Work in Progress) and for The Liebster Award by Helen (A Gallimaufry). Last week I answered the 7x7 link's tricky questions. Today is the the turn of The 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."

It's a nice idea, isn't it, and a chance to get to know one's fellow bloggers a little better?

Source: via skiourophile 

Helen has set me these seven questions:

1. Describe your ideal home library/study: I live in a messy Victorian house with a messy family of messy book lovers. A bit like this:

I often dream of living in an empty white box. Like this:

(OK, it has a few books in it.) Or this?

In an ideal world, I would have a room for all my books together: a proper library room. The shelves would stretch to the ceiling. There would be aisles and aisles and aisles. No book would suffer the indignity of being stored in a box in the shed. And, like Helen at A Gallimaufry, I would want a ladder in this room to z-o-o-m along the shelves.


(Or maybe not.)  

To go with my library, I would require a dedicated room for reading and thinking: a comfortable chair with a colourful crochet cushion; excellent lighting, natural and artificial; wooden boards; white walls; a sprinkling of my favourite art works; a bar cart (gilt [oh the guilt!] with wheels); window boxes of white geraniums in our hot summer, pink cyclamen in autumn/winter, and yellow and white narcissi in spring. At frequent intervals I will be brought cups of Earl Grey tea and, I think, shortbread. Perhaps the occasional tarte au citron. A ginger cat will slumber peacefully on the floor (I'd rotate the ginger cats each day).

2. With which literary character would you spend a week’s holiday in the location of your choice? Oooooh... 
Paris with Zazie
The Austrian Tyrol with Jo
Capri with Axel [disqualified as he's real?]? 
Prince Edward Island with Anne
Melbourne with Phryne
Sydney with Rowly
Greece with Hermes
Rome with Daisy (and plenty of quinine)? 
London with Miss Pettigrew
New York with the girls of The Group & The Best of Everything?

(N.Y. might require more comfortable shoes)

3. Name two new authors whose work you think will last the test of time, and explain your choices. No, sorry, pass. I almost always read authors who have already stood the test of time. Or else I read books where it isn't important to me that they don't stand the test of time.

4. If you could live in a novel, which one would it be and why? One would have to choose carefully. I like having hot water and decent plumbing and reliable refrigeration and the right to vote and own property. I would prefer not to have to fend off vampires or zombies or Hounds of the Baskervilles. I like cities. Ideally I'd live in a really good hotel. The climate shouldn't be too hot. I'm going to need some help here....! 

At Bertram's Hotel? (But I might get murdered.) 
At Hotel du Lac? (But I might die of boredom.) 
Grand Hotel? (But an impoverished aristocrat might steal my baubles.)


5. Is there a literature from a particular time and place (medieval Chinese, nineteenth-century Russian for instance) which is a favourite of yours? The ancient (classical) world, which I studied at university, and on which I still do a bit of work.

6. What book have you read in the last year or so which you feel so evangelical about you would press it on everyone you meet? Joanna and Ulysses, by May Sarton. It is a beautiful little book about escape, renewal, Greece, and the importance of having a dream. And it has a donkey in it!

7. If you had to memorise a novel or book of poetry to preserve it à la Fahrenheit 451, which would it be and why? Memorise?! Well that removes my desert island book from the list: the Oxford English Dictionary with all of the volumes shrunk into two and a big magnifying glass.

How about Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (though I feel really bad about abandoning Shakespeare to the flames): an incredibly powerful and timeless story about fate and personal responsibility. I suspect we'll need to remind ourselves about personal responsibility should we find ourselves in a book-burning era.

Oedipus. He had cat problems:

Gustave Moreau 'Oedipus and the Sphinx' (1864). 

Now I should pass the Liebster Award on to seven other people, but everyone seems to have done it now on the blogs I read. If you'd like to answer the questions, please do, and let me know how you go! Thank you Helen for tagging me - I really enjoyed doing this.


  1. I love your ideal library and your choice of Oedipus for a post-apocalyptic world. I don't know whether I would stay at Bertram's Hotel, because of the whole murder thing, but I would definitely risk having breakfast there.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth - I really want to re-read the OT now. It never loses its impact. Re Bertram's: surely afternoon tea would be quite safe? ;-)

  2. I can't tell you how much I love posts like this, especially with bloggers I don't know quite as well. I always love the things I find in common and smile at the photos. And yes, the dictionary -- excellent choice! Bravo!

    1. Thanks Jeanie - I really should have put in a picture of my cats, as I know gingers have a special place in your heart.

  3. That was an excellent post, Vicki. I'm sure Rowly would love to host you in Sydney for a week.... I'll mention it to him ;)



    1. Thank you Sulari - a week in Woollahra would be just my cup of tea (but no long ocean voyages!).

  4. I love this, Vicki! (And knowing your name, which I don't think I did before.) I especially love your answers about the hotels - protect your precious baubles! I'd definitely die of boredom in Hotel du Lac. Reading it almost did it for me.

    1. Thanks Simon - I recently 'came out' as a real person! I loved Hotel du Lac, but I can count on one hand those who join me in this. One could escape the hotel and go down to the creamy Swiss cake shop occasionally, perhaps?

  5. Hello Vicki - I'm so sorry it's taken me more than a month to come and read your lovely post. I was so overwhelmed with work and wintry illnesses I just gave up reading blogs for a bit.

    I really enjoyed this and am putting 'Joanna and Ulysses' on my list of books to read, you make it sound fabulous. Also, if you would like a ginger cat for your library, I have a Very Naughty Tomcat who may be looking for a new home shortly if he doesn't shape up (and stop devouring crows in the bathroom).

    Happy new year! I'm looking forward to reading what you have to write in 2013!

  6. Hello Vicki! Sorry I have only just come to comment after more than a month - December just disappeared in a mountain of work and wintry illnesses.

    I love that first photograph, and the green teacup. If you would like a ginger tomcat to start your collection off, I have one right here who may be looking for a new home very soon if he doesn't shape up (yes Mister Puss, eater of crows in bathrooms, I'm looking at you).

    I haven't yet read Hotel du Lac. I really should. Perhaps if we all lived there it wouldn't be dull? I would be wary of holidaying with Jo in the Tyrol - wouldn't you be bound to have a dangerous escapade during which she would rescue you but afterwards fall into a life-threatening condition? Far too stressful. :)

    Happy new year! I'm looking forward to reading your 2013 posts!

    1. Thank you for suggesting me, Helen! I thoroughly enjoyed putting it together. I hope you're feeling better and ready to face an intensive year of wonderful reading! (And I do suspect that Jo would have me in fast-flowing rapids or under an avalanche within seconds, followed by something like TB but more morally redemptive!) Have a fabulous 2013!


{READ IN 2016}

  • (K = Kindle; rr = re-read)
  • JULY
  • 47.
  • 46.
  • 45. Acts of the Assassins - Richard Beard [K]
  • JUNE
  • 44. Hack - Kieran Crowley [K]
  • 43. The Portable Veblen - Elizabeth McKenzie [K]
  • 42. The Spirit Murder Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • MAY
  • 41. The Ginger Cat Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 40. The Pleasure Cruise Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 39. The Polo Ground Murder - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 38. The Outsider - Jason Dean [K]
  • 37. The Hunter's Oath - Jason Dean [K]
  • 36. Missing or Murdered - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 35. The Beetle - Richard Marsh [K]
  • 34. A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell 1) - Deanna Raybourn [K]
  • 33. The Chimera Vector - Nathan M. Farrugia [K]
  • 32. An Infamous Army - Georgette Heyer [K]
  • 31. Mr Bazalgette's Agent - Leonard Merrick
  • 30. Don't Tell - Karen Rose [K]
  • 29. Say Goodbye - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 28. Gone - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 27. The Killing Hour - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 26. The Next Accident - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 25. The Third Victim - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 24. The Perfect Husband - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 23. Find Her - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 22. Fear Nothing - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 21. Catch Me - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 20. Love You More - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 19. Live to Tell - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 18. The Neighbour - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 17. Hide - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 16. Alone - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 15. The Humans - Matt Haig [K]
  • 14. Utopian Man - Lisa Lang
  • 13. Love Insurance - Earl Derr Biggers [K]
  • 12. The Ignition Effect - Viv Ronnebeck [K]
  • 11. My Brilliant Career - Miles Franklin [K]
  • 10. Dangerous & Unseemly - K. B. Owen [K]
  • 9. In Bitter Chill - Sarah Ward [K[
  • 8. Half a Crown - Jo Walton [K]
  • 7. Ha'penny - Jo Walton [K]
  • 6. Hilda Wade: A Woman with Tenacity of Purpose - Grant Allen [K]
  • 5. The Case of William Smith - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 4. Blue Murder - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 3. Bleeding Hooks - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 2. Knock, Murderer, Knock! - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 1. Ten Star Clues [Bobby Owen 15] - E. R. Punshon [K]

{READ IN 2015}

  • (K = Kindle; rr = re-read)
  • 133. Four Strange Women [Bobby Owen 14] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 132. Newt's Emerald - Garth Nix [K]
  • 131. Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries - Martin Edwards (ed.)
  • 130. Murder Abroad [Bobby Owen 13] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 129. Suspects Nine [Bobby Owen 12] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 128. Comes a Stranger [Bobby Owen 11] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 127. Dictator's Way [Bobby Owen 10] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 126. The Dusky Hour [Bobby Owen 9] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 125. Mystery of Mr Jessop [Bobby Owen 8] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 124. The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France - John Baxter
  • 123. The Bath Mysteries [Bobby Owen 7] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 122. Death Comes to Cambers - [Bobby Owen 6] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 121. Death of a Beauty Queen [Bobby Owen 5] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 120. Mystery Villa [Bobby Owen 4] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 119. The Wonder Woman Chronicles 2 - W.M.Marston & H.G.Peter
  • 118. World of Trouble - Ben H. Winters [K]
  • 117. Countdown City - Ben H. Winters [K]
  • 116. The Last Policeman - Ben H. Winters [K]
  • 115. Crossword Mystery [Bobby Owen 3] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 114. Death Among the Sunbathers [Bobby Owen 2] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 113. Information Received [Bobby Owen 1] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 112. Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch [K]
  • 111. Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch [K]
  • 110. Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch [K]
  • 109. Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch [K]
  • 108. Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch [K]
  • 107. Blood Safari - Deon Meyer [K]
  • 106. Backtrack - Jason Dean [K]
  • 105. The Wrong Man - Jason Dean [K]
  • 104. The Anniversary Man - R. J. Ellory [K]
  • 103. The Wonder Woman Chronicles 1 - W.M.Marston & H.G.Peter
  • 102. Death and the Spanish Lady - Carolyn Morwood [K]
  • 101. The President's Hat - Antoine Laurain [K]
  • 100. The Admirable Crichton - J. M. Barrie [K]
  • 99. Make Me - Lee Child [K]
  • 98. Chicken a la King & the Buffalo Wing: Food Names.. - Steven Gilbar
  • 97. Bad Luck & Trouble - Lee Child [K; rr]
  • 96. The Hard Way - Lee Child [K; rr]
  • 95. One Shot - Lee Child [K; rr]
  • 94. The Enemy - Lee Child [K; rr]
  • 93. Persuader - Lee Child [K; rr]
  • 92. Without Fail - Lee Child [K; rr]
  • 91. Echo Burning - Lee Child [K; rr]
  • 90.The Visitor - Lee Child [K; rr]
  • 89. Tripwire - Lee Child [K; rr]
  • 88. Die Trying - Lee Child [K; rr]
  • 87. The Killing Floor - Lee Child [K; rr]
  • 86. Satellite People - Hans Olav Lahlum [K]
  • 85. Revelations of a Lady Detective - William Hayward [K]
  • 84. The English Spy - Daniel Silva [K]
  • JULY
  • 83. The Heist - Daniel Silva [K]
  • 82. The English Girl - Daniel Silva [K]
  • 81. One Kick - Chelsea Cain [K]
  • 80. Let Me Go - Chelsea Cain [K]
  • 79. Kill You Twice - Chelsea Cain [K]
  • 78. The Night Season - Chelsea Cain [K]
  • 77. Evil at Heart - Chelsea Cain [K]
  • 76. Sweetheart - Chelsea Cain [K]
  • 75. Heartsick - Chelsea Cain [K]
  • 74. Personal - Lee Child [K]
  • 73. I Regret Everything - Seth Greenland [K]
  • JUNE
  • 72. The Seven Dials Mystery - Agatha Christie [K; rr]
  • 71. The Secret of Chimneys - Agatha Christie [K; rr]
  • 70. They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christe [K; rr]
  • 69. Arabella - Georgette Heyer [K; rr]
  • 68. Cotillion - Georgette Heyer [K; rr]
  • 67. The Red Notebook - Antoine Laurain [K]
  • 66. The Reluctant Widow - Georgette Heyer [K; rr]
  • 65. The Nonesuch - Georgette Heyer [K; rr]
  • MAY
  • 64. The Grand Sophy - Georgette Heyer [K; rr]
  • 63. The Gazebo - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 62. Frederica - Georgette Heyer [K; rr]
  • 61. Murder Every Monday - Pamela Branch [K]
  • 60. Below Stairs - Margaret Powell
  • 59. Human Flies - Hans Olav Lahlum [K]
  • 58. Dash and Dingo - Catt Ford & Sean Kennedy [K]
  • 57. Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-1948 - Noah Berlatsky [K]
  • 56. Ravished - Amanda Quick [K]
  • 55. Garden of Lies - Amanda Quick [K]
  • 54. Captain Jim - Mary Grant Bruce [K]
  • 53. Five Wounds - Katharine Edgar [K]
  • 52. Tragedy at Law - Cyril Hare [K]
  • 51. The Fallen Angel - Daniel Silva [K]
  • 50. A Dark & Twisted Tide - Sharon Bolton [K]
  • 49. Like This, For Ever - Sharon Bolton [K]
  • 48. New Finnish Grammar - Diego Marani [K]
  • 47. The Feast - Margaret Kennedy [K]
  • 46. A Month in the Country - J. L. Carr [K]
  • 45. The Eyes Around Me - Gavin Black [K]
  • 44. The Silent Pool - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 43. The Fingerprint - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 42. Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant - Jenni Ferrari-Adler (ed.)
  • 41. A Time to Keep Silence - Patrick Leigh Fermor
  • 40. The Crime and the Crystal - Elizabeth Ferrars
  • 39. Eternity Ring - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 38. Through the Wall - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 37. Wax - Ethel Lina White [K]
  • 36. Lonesome Road - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 35. Latter End - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 34. Vanishing Point - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 33. The Unknown Ajax - Georgette Heyer [K; rr]
  • 32. Live Alone And Like It - Marjorie Hillis [K]
  • 31. Ice Station Zebra - Alistair Maclean [K; rr]
  • 30. Strange Weather in Tokyo - Hiromi Kawakami [K]
  • 29. The Sittaford Mystery - Agatha Christie [K; rr]
  • 28. 4.50 From Paddington - Agatha Christie [K; rr]
  • 27. After the Funeral - Agatha Christie [K; rr]
  • 26. The Ordinary Princess - M. M. Kaye
  • 25. The Golden Rendezvous - Alistair Maclean [K; rr]
  • 24. Night Without End - Alistair Maclean [K; rr]
  • 23. Athabasca - Alistair Maclean [K; rr]
  • 22. Puppet on a Chain - Alistair Maclean [K; rr]
  • 21. Venus in the Kitchen, or Love's Cookery Book - Norman Douglas
  • 20. Floodgate - Alistair Maclean [K; rr]
  • 19. A Taste for Death - Peter O'Donnell
  • 18. The Bat that Flits - Norman Collins
  • 17. An American Girl in London - Sara Jeannette Duncan [K]
  • 16. Shooting in the Dark - Carolyn Hougan
  • 15. The Defector - Evelyn Anthony
  • 14. My Lady Valentine - Octavia Roberts [K]
  • 13. The Talisman Ring - Georgette Heyer [K; rr]
  • 12. Serve It Forth - M. F. K. Fisher
  • 11. Something Light - Margery Sharp
  • 10. Don't Point That Thing At Me [Mortdecai 1] - Kyril Bonfiglioli [K]
  • 9. The Nebuly Coat - J. Meade Falkner [K]
  • 8. Seven Little Australians - Ethel Turner [K]
  • 7. Moroccan Traffic - Dorothy Dunnett [K]
  • 6. Split Code - Dorothy Dunnett [K; rr]
  • 5. Roman Nights - Dorothy Dunnett [K; rr]
  • 4. Operation Nassau - Dorothy Dunnett [K; rr]
  • 3. Ibiza Surprise - Dorothy Dunnett [K; rr]
  • 2. Rum Affair - Dorothy Dunnett [K; rr]
  • 1. Tropical Issue - Dorothy Dunnett [K; rr]