(Overdue!) Liebster

Shout out and thanks to Brinallthingswordy and Ellie who nominated us for a Liebster. And our apologies that we are so rubbish at getting around to these things. For some reason they always seem to take a lot of time to organise. Please forgive! :”’)

liebster2

SO, how does it work??

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog.
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers.
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post.
  8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)
  9. I feel like since 11 is such a popular number in this thing, I want to stretch the rules out a bit
  10. So I will.
  11. Good job, me.

All Things Wordy’s questions:

1. What’s your favourite colour?

Claire: I am very different from Nikki in that I love darker, more jewel tone colors. My wardrobe is filled with Black clothing and splatterings of reds. Actually, I quite like Red so, let’s say that Black, Red and Burgundy are my favourites. I will also include Corals, Turquoises and Browns.

Nikki: Blue & Orange. (They are, after all, complementary.)

2. What book would you recommend to a non-reader?

Claire: A non-reader? I am so bad at this, I’d have to say Nix’s Sabriel or Rowling’s Harry Potter for fiction and Lean In for nonfiction.

Nikki: That’s hard because there are so many different types of non-reader with so many different biases and preferences… And I counted myself among the ‘non-reader’ type only about two years ago..! Maybe some engaging non-fiction like Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell or possibly something light, short and humorous like Brimstone and Marmalade by Aaron Corwin…OR maybe an un-intimidating, middle-grade read on an important topic, like Wonder by RJ Palacio.

3. What are three things you are VERY passionate about?

Claire: Art, anthropology and technology.

Nikki: Equality (which encompasses SO many things), the arts, politics.

4. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Claire: Quirky, passionate, stormy (I can be a bit emotional and I’ve been told that it comes across as being quite stormy, like a rolling hurricane, so when I am good, I am very very good and when I am bad I am scary).

Nikki: analytical, resourceful, skeptical (which makes me sound/feel like a terrible reptilian creature)

5. What does “diversity” mean to you?

Claire: I think it means everything, every voice, every facet of this earth and the people on it. Nikki says it much better than me.

Nikki: I think it’s just giving a platform to lesser-heard voices. That means women (cis, trans, and in between), different races and cultures and ethnicities, children, elderly people, people with mental and physical differences. And giving them the same respect you would to what has (historically by force) become our default voice: pale & male, if you know what I mean haha

6. Are there any inspirational words you stand by?

Claire: Anything that Dumbledore says, anything at all, but and I will be very very open and honest here, the words that I’ve lived by for some time I read in Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and they go by “I will write my name in fire red“.

Nikki: Hahah, I like quotes, but I generally don’t remember them easily… A trip to my collected quotes on Goodreads is probably a good representation of my general outlook on life (and/or my humour). But here’s a beloved quote (from a book that greatly underwhelmed me):

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one…just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

—F Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)

7. What’s one epic action you want to do sometime in your life?

Claire: I want to shoot some arrows! I’ve always wanted to do archery. That and roller derby.

Nikki: Maybe a skydive because I’m scared of heights. I think when I do it I’ll just assume I’m going to die then if I survive my whole life after that will be that much more wonderful because I thought I was going to be dead. That’s basically what my experience was learning to ride a bike three years ago. Alternatively, I’d like to make a big positive change in the world… Or even just in my community. Or maybe run a marathon for a charity…actually I would settle for a 5k. That’s equally as impossible for me at the moment.

8. What are your current favourite songs/movies/books?

Claire: Films, I am obsessed with all marvel films right now, Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Avengers and so on. Books? I’m rereading Harry Potter again to give me some calm. Songs? Dream Lover by The Vaccines!

Nikki: That’s really difficult. I equally love pop and indie rock and French House. I equally love superhero blockbusters and foreign cinema and indie flicks. As for books, I now have a favourites shelf! (But, let’s be real, favourite book? Brave New World. SORRY, ALL THE OTHER BOOKS ON THAT SHELF!)

9. Any productivity hacks for the rest of us?

Claire: Uh, when you find some please do let me know. I have no hacks- no life hacks, no blogging hacks, no productivity hacks. Nothing.

Nikki: Nope. HAAAAA! No, just kidding! I like list making and splitting things into manageable chunks. A list consisting of only 3 main things per day is much more manageable than one consisting of 10—especially if you don’t want to do any of them. Sometimes padding the list with things you’ll do anyway works (Have breakfast? Check!), but sometimes it just feels like hollow victories and you end up feeling empty at the end of the day when only your ‘joke’ objectives are completed…

10. What advice would you give to newbie bloggers?

Claire: Be yourself and really, give toss-all about followers. Do this for you, if 1 person reads it then great! If none do, it means nothing, because you do this for you.

Nikki: I don’t know; I still am a newbie blogger… I don’t think I’ve been doing this for even a full year yet. Claire has more perspective on this than me!

11. Why do you blog?

Claire: Because it gives me a sense of purpose, and I like that I can come home and think of new ways to blog. When I don’t enjoy this anymore, I won’t do it. Plus blogging with Nikki makes it so much more fun, I always like to see how we differ or agree on bookish matters.

Nikki: ‘Cause I can’t shut up and need a place to spill my bookish opinions and hopefully hear other people’s suggestions to bookish problems I might encounter, and feel like I’m being productive and helpful by sharing. It also helps me organise my thoughts. Very useful.

PS: thanks so much for the kind words about us on your blog! :’)

Divider Ellie’s questions:

1. What is your favorite book/series cover and why?

Claire: I love the Harry Potter series.

Nikki: That is SUPER hard because there are SO many. I’ll choose out of only the books that I actually physically own and omitting graphic novels to make it easier for myself. My top three:

7928877 22359316 9833845

Hmmm.. looks like there’s a bit of a trend in style… I love illustrated covers so much.

2. If you could make every single person on the planet read one book/series, what would it be and why?

Claire: Harry Potter series of course! (Aren’t Nikki’s answers so… sophisticated?)

Nikki: Probably something important that broaches topics of race, human nature, gender, different perspectives, class…maybe something like Of Mice and Men, To Kill A Mockingbird or something more contemporary like Lyotard and the Inhuman or Wonder. FINAL ANSWERThe Metamorphosis.

(Nikki’s Addendum: Claire has no idea how I struggled not to force everyone on Earth to read I Want My Hat Back)

3. What tropes/character types/plot devices tick you off in books and become deal breakers or make you think less of a story?

Claire: I do not like shifting character perspectives, I do not like quick romances, of strong but weak girls and the man coming to redeem her.

Nikki: Whiney teens with insubstantial problems of other people having things that they want. But I feel that’s also unfair because of the pressures of teen life. Just because peer pressure largely didn’t affect me (in overt ways anyway) doesn’t mean that it’s not a valid issue that warrants writing about…But I’m not obliged to red it. OTHER big deal breakers…honestly? Time travel. It’s annoyingly illogical and feels like it renders all pre-time travel events irrelevant. Infidelity is reeeeaaaalllly annoying to me. I don’t know why, but it is. I don’t think love affairs are saucy and interesting. I think they’re annoying and I don’t want to read about them. Sexism is hard to read if it feels like the author is a misogynist speaking through a sexist character rather than the character just being sexist. Sigh, as I write this I’m realising how picky I can be and trying to keep it to just the worst offences. That thing where everybody is interested and inexplicably captivated by really boring characters. Manic Pixie Dream Girls. Ugh ugh ugh!

4. If you could have any super power what would it be and how would you use it to your in public/private?

Claire: To read minds, because I see people’s faces, I see their actions and I hear their voices and I am conflicted because I see and understand what they want but not always sure how to do it, to give them what they need. Actually, maybe I need my superpower to be that I shouldn’t give a darn.

Nikki: IF there are lots of people around with superpowers, I would like to have X-men’s Rogue’s ability to steal powers (but where I could control it and could choose to touch people and they don’t die or go into comas…). If not, I would want to be ridonculously charming and able to get out of any terrible situation OR telekinesis but I think because I’m lazy that would be a terrible enabler.. Oh, and obviously, heal-yourself powers are a given. Don’t all super-people have that? I want perfect eyesight. Mine is…less than perfect. GET ON IT, SCIENCE!

5. If you were to write the story of your life what genre would it be?

Claire: Fantasy- of epic tales and of complete confusion.

Nikki: Non-fiction horror =_=; aaaaaahhaahahaa… Maybe whatever the genre is that’s sort of darkly funny and clever and becomes a movie.

6.  Favorite quote from a book you’ve read recently?

Claire: I haven’t read a quote that has stood out to me recently, maybe something  from The Bees by Laline Paull.

Nikki: I’ve got two from Bad Feminist:

“Some women being empowered does not prove the patriarchy is dead. It proves that some of us are lucky.”

“To read narrowly and shallowly is to read from a place of ignorance.”

*Claire’s 5-cents* Nikki reads such amazing books, I need to read more like these… I need to add Bad Feminist to my TBR. I also need to make Nikki do reviews for her NF loves.

7.  If you attended Hogwarts what would you’re animagus be (or if your not an HP fan, what animal would you turn into if you could choose one)?

Claire: Honey Badger, short, snarly, and adorable!

Nikki: Maybe a camel because they’re funny. Have you seen the way they run??

*Claire’s 5-cents* Of course, Nikki would choose a Camel. But of course *bursts into giggles*.

8. What about books makes you the happiest, places, people, dialogue, quotes, ideas, or something else and why?

Claire: The sheer fantastical nature of it, the ability to leave earthly confines and enter a new world, one of magic and imagination, of love and adventure.

Nikki: I mainly come to books to learn and to accumulate a bigger conceptual (figurative) library. Ideas/differing perspectives are interesting and sometimes challenging. Validation of ones own ideas feels good too. Interaction of characters can be very fun. And visuals that are good for drawing make me very excited!

9. If you could live anywhere in the world (real or imagined) where would you choose and why?

Claire: I don’t know, I’d love to live in the US, Canada or the UK maybe but to have my family with me. I am never complete unless I have my family with me. That’s the real world though, but in an imagined world? I demand to live in the magic world, but in the Caribbean, magic Caribbean. Again, Nikki took this so seriously, her responses are so utterly brilliant!

Nikki: So many imagined worlds have challenges I don’t think I’d be willing to face. The wizarding world of Harry Potter is probably the safest interesting world. I don’t want to pick that one, though. It’s always picked for questions like this and I don’t feel like I’ve read enough worlds that are both interesting and where I’d be safe and probably not have to put up with discrimination (looking at you dystopias and classics respectively!). The worlds I’m most interested in at the moment are from the Abhorsen series and the book The Golem and the Jinni. But I think the former would be scary as all hell and the latter would mean putting up with a lot of early 1900’s discrimination against WOCs so probably not the best world for me…Also it seems pretty easy to end up ‘possessed’/cursed/irreparably damaged by magic. OK! Assuming I could learn Charter Magic, I’d go with The Old Kingdom from the Abhorsen series.

10. If you could buy all the books on your tbr, how much money do you estimate you’d have to spend?

Claire: My GoodReads TBR is around 1000+, so, let’s say £5,000, MINIMUM.

Nikki: 318 books = £3,200 ishProabably less because there are definitely a fair few classics on there I could find for free and few books for over £20 with most of them probably around £10 or less. If I didn’t care about what the covers look like it could be even cheaper…Not to mention, I already own some of the books on my TBR 😉

11. If you were to write a novel, what would you’re ideal story include?

Claire: Magic women, they’ll be strong and intelligent, fierce and artistic, wild and free.

Nikki: Hmmm probably socio-political commentary with feminist undertones (or overtones. whatever.) because THAT’S HOW I ROLL! :’) haaa Also dynamic, fallible characters! It would probably have a melancholy end where it’s a ‘happy’ ending (of a sort) but a price has definitely been paid for it…


 (Couldn’t find Brin’s questions anymore; sorry! But we’ll add them if we do find them!!)


Eleven Random Facts About Claire

  1. I’ve lived in over 8 cities in my life and I’ve lived in one for 5 years, that was the longest I’ve been anywhere.
  2. I have two family dogs, Chibi and Sakai.
  3. I am obsessed with fantasy, I’ve loved that element for so long, mermaids, faeries, sorcery and magic.
  4. I just want to settle down, have a partner and my two dogs and now I’m thinking two cats and be bookish and geeky forever.
  5. I am pre-diabetic, I have the worst asthma ever and I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was in my early 20s.
  6. I have an unearthly love for pastries and cakes! Eclairs and victoria sponge especially!
  7. I adore trees, nothing makes me happier than walking in a forest.
  8. I want to get my PhD soon, not sure where or what exactly, but I will have a Dr. attached to my name by the time I’m 50! Mark my words!
  9. I am a huge fan of films, I go to see a show at the cinema every other week. When I was a student I went every week, because of the amazing discounts.
  10. I have 5 huge boxes of books in The Bahamas, of which 75 are Nancy Drew books I can’t get rid of- my Dad bought them for me and he wrote messages in every singe one.
  11. I live in London at the moment but in the market for a new job and place to live!

Eleven Random Facts About Nikki

  1. I’ve been underwhelmed by most of the work I’ve read by Aldous Huxley even though he wrote my favourite book ever: Brave New World.
  2. I have a big(!) sweet tooth but generally dislike gummies, chewies, toffees and the like…
  3. I’m not much of an outdoors(wo)man…but I like nature. And I like walking. I like nature more when I’m prepared to deal with it (gear, attitude, …good weather, etc).
  4. I have a pet snake named Mr Toots.
  5. I kind of like rocks. More than once, I’ve considered doing a geology course.
  6. love living in the UK and I can’t think of any country I’d rather live at the moment, but would consider a bigger city than Leeds like Manchester or London.
  7. I have a Playstation3 and I my favourite game of all time is Borderlands! (And Borderlands 2…. Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel is OK but not as good).
  8. I rode in a helicopter for the first time last summer.
  9. I rode a horse for the first time last New Years’ Eve.
  10. I used to be solidly neutral, but I am swiftly becoming the opposite of a Taylor Swift fan…uuurrgh..>_>; Sorry, girl. I know you just doin’ your thing or whatever…
  11. I tried to give Sarah J Maas’ “A Throne of Glass Novella: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord” a read and it was painfully, ridiculously, laughably obvious we were not going to get along and now it makes me irrationally annoyed to hear any praise of her name or that series. Weird. I’ll have to train myself to get over that…

We Nominate…

  1. E
  2. v
  3. e
  4. r
  5. y
  6. o
  7. n
  8. e
  9. Y
  10. e
  11. s

*Claire’s 5-cents* Nikki put me in charge of tagging people and I, in my usual half-butt style, and semi-laziness, tag eveeeeeryyyyoooone! Answer the questions, some or all, in the comments so we can get to know each other! Or you can make your own post because everyone deserves an award! *throws confetti*

Our questions are…

  1. Sweet or salty or savoury or spicy?
  2. Top 5 books?
  3. Yay! You’ve won a gift card, what books will you buy it?
  4. What was your favourite subject in school? (Recess/lunch/end-of-the-day doesn’t count.)
  5. Crossover! Which characters/stories/worlds would you like to see collide?
  6. What book are you most ashamed that you haven’t got around to reading yet?
  7. A favourite author is more about consistency. They might not necessarily have written your favourite book, but their books are reliably enjoyable to read. Who’s your favourite author?
  8. Show us your favourite book cover. Not a question, a demand. SHOW US!
  9. What’s the most rewarding reading challenge you’ve ever done?
  10. What’s a book that you hated that everyone and their grandma seems to love?
  11. What character is your role model?

These are always super fun! So please don’t stop inviting us to do them just because we don’t get around to it until weeks/months(/years…) later! :’D

liebster-award-pic NameNikkixClaire

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One Response to (Overdue!) Liebster

  1. Pingback: Claire x Nikki Review June 2015 | Bitches With Books

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