Liebster Award!

I was nominated by Cleo from Classical Carousel for a Liebster Award, which is a great way for us smaller scale bloggers to stay connected. Thank you Cleo, I am honoured and very happy to participate in this wonderful tradition.

The 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 and who have less than 1,000 followers.  (You many nominate blogs that have already received the award, but you cannot renominate the blog that nominated you.)
  7. Go to their blog and inform them that they’ve been nominated.liebster-award-300x300

11 Facts About Me:

  1. I was born and raised in a small city on the White Sea in Russia, but have lived in Canada for the last 11 years. I love it, eh?
  2. I speak fluent English and Russian, intermediary Japanese, and beginner French.
  3. Languages are my passion. Someday I would love to be fluent in Swedish, Dutch, Latin, Polish, Italian and whatever else comes my way in addition to what I’m learning right now. It’s an ambitious and overreaching dream, but nothing is impossible if you work hard.
  4. I am addicted to paper crafts of all forms. Holding paper in my hands and creating amazing things out of it gives me the sense of comfort and happiness, very much like reading does.
  5. I can probably live off sandwiches for the rest of my life. I love experimenting with unexpected combinations. I do not get offended when my man asks for one; on the contrary, I get excited.
  6. I pretty much live in shops like David’s Tea and Teavana. Watching my tea infusing in a clear tumbler is pretty much the essence of harmony for me.
  7. I love movies that are so horribly bad, they become awesome. I’m kind of known among my friends to hold Bad Movie Nights with cheep beer and stuff like Sharknado or Robot Geisha.
  8. Back in 2010 I spent a summer interning in Sapporo, Japan. It was probably one of the most memorable and unusual times of my life. It was also the first time I took an international flight all by myself.
  9. I have a Bachelor Degree in International Business, which I am not even applying in real life.
  10. I have three fur-babies: two Border Collies and a (supposedly) Maine Coon cat. I’m pretty sure that two of them are secretly mixed breed, but I love them nonetheless.
  11. Sometimes I wish I had tons of money just so I could dedicate my life to creating a centre for preservation of knowledge and development of better tomorrow through investment into young talent. Too many bright ideas are buried under bureaucracy and corporate interests, and too much information is lost to time and disasters. I would love to contribute to change in these trends.

11 Questions from Classical Carousel:

  1. What book(s) are you currently reading and what do you think of it (them) so far? I just finished all books that I was actively reading, so I need to pick something new to read. But I have been trying to finish The Count of Monte Cristo for over a year now. Somewhere around 60% mark I got confused by who is who, and bored by the court intrigue, so now I have a hard time picking it up once again. I do want to finally tackle the monster this year, but I think I will have to start from the beginning.
  2. If you could only read books from one country, which country would you choose? Oh boy, my initial reaction was to cheat and say Great Britain, which will cover a huge variety of great classical and contemporary literature. But if I was to choose something a little less conventional, I would probably pick Russia, because I need to explore my own heritage more.
  3. Can you name a book that you’ve read and expected to enjoy, but ended up hating it? I was most terribly betrayed by The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I can’t say I hated it, but I was greatly annoyed by many aspects of it. In fact, the novel turned me off Victorian fiction for a while.
  4. Can you name a book that you thought you’d hate and ended up liking? I generally do not pick up books that I think I would hate, but something possessed me to open The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins a few years ago and I actually really enjoyed it. I’ve never hidden the fact that I cannot stand typical YA literature and do not understand adults who are into it (but whatever floats your boat, I guess). However, the first novel in the trilogy was quite fun and kept teenage angst and dumb love triangles to the minimum. Double win.
  5. Where is your favourite reading place?  Wherever I make the most progress, which usually happens in bed before sleep. Also, I really enjoy reading during my breaks at work. I need a quiet space to concentrate on my book, so these places really work out great.
  6. Do you have any “bad” habits when reading, such as dog-earring, writing in books, talking to the book, etc.?  (although I’m not sure if any of those are “bad” habits! 🙂  ) Not really “while” reading, but I do have a strange bookish habit. If I see a person with a book on public transit, I get obsessed about finding out what book it is. And since I never actually ask the person directly, I can only hope nobody on the bus notices my weirdly craned neck and creepy side glaces in these kinds of situations.
  7. If you had to live as a character from a book, who would you choose and why? Hmm, that’s a tough one, especially since I prefer to read very dramatic books. I doubt I want such sad life. But! I would totally switch places with Amelia Peabody from the self-titled series. She is so unconventional and funny, and adventurous! Plus, she found romance (while not looking) when escaping a rampaging mummy among the pyramids of Egypt in the golden age of discovery. Who would turn that down?
  8. Would you/have you challenged yourself to read in a genre or era that you wouldn’t usually choose?  Which one? I would love to challenge myself to read only ancient literature for a year, or only Russian classics, or only non-fiction popular science. I really have a heard time picking these books up, even though I really, really, really want to read more of them. They intimidate and scare me, but I really want to get to know the genres better.
  9. Can you think of a popular writer (or two) with whom you were unimpressed? This honour probably goes to Jane Austen. While I do not hate her works and certainly enjoyed some of them, I have been generally underwhelmed by the experience. I mean, don’t some people literally obsess over her? Maybe I’m not refined enough to catch the subtle contexts that make her books stand out, or maybe I’m just not into the domestic life of upper-middle class. Either way, we are not amused.
  10. If you could live somewhere other than where you live now, where would that be? London, England or Stockholm, Sweden. I really miss northern Europe. At one point in life I seriously considered permanently moving to either one, but that meant leaving many dear to me people behind, so I talked myself out of it. Also, I would totally move to Edinburgh, Scotland in a heartbeat. Maybe after I retire…
  11. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert, totally. That would be kind of surprising for people who know me personally, because I tend to be loud and silly around my close friends. But I prefer quiet nights at home, reading or creating wonder in my study room, to going out and partying. Sometimes I’d decline invitations under excuse of being busy, while in reality I’d just be too lazy to get out. Socializing is a chore.

11 Questions for Nominees:

  1. What is your ultimate comfort read? What is the book/genre that you automatically turn to when lacking something new to read?
  2. Do you have a bookish pet peeve that drives you absolutely nuts?
  3. If you could meet one living author right this moment, who would it be? What would be the first thing you say to them?
  4. Do seasons affect your reading choices? Do you tend to read more at certain times of the year?
  5. What is your number one reading goal this year?
  6. If I asked you to recommend a book to a total non-reader in hopes of changing their blasphemous ways, what would it be? Why?
  7. Where do you like to get majority of your books and why?
  8. Have you ever borrowed a book and never gave it back?
  9. Turn to you bookshelf, look at second shelf, reach out to book number five. What is it? If you have no bookshelves where you are, what is the first book your eyes stop on?
  10. What was the last book you read last year? Do you plan any special conclusions to December, or leave it all to fate?
  11. If you could instantly know one language to read untranslated books, which one would you pick?

I nominate the following blogs, even though I’m not sure how many followers some of them have. Either way I would like to bring them to people’s attention, because they are awesome.

  1. Ekaterina @ In My Book
  2. Zulfia @ tzulfia
  3. Rick @ Another Book Blog
  4. Vishy @ Vishy’s Blog
  5. Madeline @ LoudBookishType


  1. This is so unexpected and flattering! Thanks a lot for nominating me! I’m happy you enjoy reading my blog! 🙂 I hope I’ll have some time tomorrow to participate in this award! 🙂

    Also, some of your facts about yourself sound so much similar to what I would write myself, that it creeps me out a little 🙂 In a good way 🙂

  2. Thanks a lot for nominating me for the Liebster Award, Andrea! I feel so honoured!

    Thanks also for sharing 11 things about you. It is so amazing that you have learnt so many languages! I hope you are able to learn all the languages that you want to. Paper craft is so beautiful! Sorry to know that you didn’t like ‘The Woman in White’. I read it years back and I liked it when I read it. Need to read it again to find out whether I liked it equally well now. Sorry to know that you were underwhelmed while reading Jane Austen 🙂 I loved ‘Pride and Prejudice’ when I read it the first time, but on subsequent reads my experience of reading that book hasn’t been as wonderful. I haven’t read any of the other Austens – need to read them sometime and see what I think. I have watched some of the movie versions though, and I loved them. I have an Amelia Peabody book in collection. Hope to read it sometime. I liked very much reading about your dream of creating a centre for nurturing new ideas by young people. I hope you are able to achieve that some day.

  3. Your comment made me laugh out loud, Kate! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you come up with in your own post!

  4. You totally deserved it Vishy!

    It’s weird how everyone has different reactions to same books, but that’s only natural, isn’t it? I liked the general idea behind The Woman in White, and writing was good too, but I couldn’t stand one major character and it totally ruined the experience for me. As for Austen, Sense and Sensibility appealed to me the most for some reason. I’m going to read Emma soon, so hopefully a flawed character like the protagonist is going to appeal to me greatly. I love characters that are real, with both good and bad sides, those that make mistakes and have to answer for them. And yes, Amelia Peabody is great! Give her a chance.

  5. Sorry to know that the one character in ‘The Woman in White’ ruined the reading experience for you. It is sad when that happens. I hope you enjoy reading ‘Emma’. I have read only reviews of it but Austen’s independent heroine definitely looks fascinating. I agree with you on the appeal of characters when they are portrayed realistically with the good features and the flaws. I will look forward to reading the Amelia Peabody book soon. I have ‘Crocodile on the Sandbank’ 🙂

  6. I really enjoyed reading all your answers, Andrea! It’s fun to get to know each other better.

    I’m a tea connoisseur too! My favourite store is Special Tea. They are a business run by a German family and boy, do they make sure they have the freshest tea around. Their flavours are amazing and very natural-tasting.

    I know what you mean about The Woman in White. At the beginning it shocked me; I was expecting a classic but it read almost like a gothic romance, so I simply adjusted my expectations for a gothic romance and enjoyed it. However I approach Wilkie more tentatively now. 🙂

    Loved your answer to #11 ……. very laudable!

  7. This was a fun post to do, Cleo! I loved your questions. Made me think about myself in retrospective, in a way.

    Teas are great. I love when they make interesting combinations at those tea shops. Recently I tried Blue Lagoon in David’s Tea, which has blueberries, pineapple and lemongrass. It steeps in sort of layers that hypnotize me every time. I try not to buy tea at Teavana, since they tend to add artificial flavourings, but I love their accessories and infusers more than David’s. I am yet to find a nice independent shop specializing in teas over here. Edmonton is such a bore sometimes.

  8. […] during my quote/unquote hiatus, I was nominated by Andrea at the Tassled Book Blog for something called the Liebster Award. If you haven’t run into it yet, the award is meant to […]

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