The Booker Award

Fellow 2012 debut author and writer buddy, Stephanie Lawton has nominated me for the Booker Award. The award targets literary and book-centered blogs (snort…I know where I fall). The rules are simple: post my top five books of all time, post the Booker award icon, and nominate other bloggers to do the same.

Plucked fresh from today’s musings, which have varied wildly over time and even day to day, and in no particular order:

1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: This dystopian tale spurred my early love for the genre. You never forget your introductory stories.

2. I’m going to quote / copy Stephanie on my second pick as a great big “ditto”:  “Call it cliché, but I adore Jane Austen, particularly Pride and Prejudice. I’ve read all her works, but this one stands out … and not just because of the leading men who have portrayed Mr. Darcy in film versions.” It’s the perfect swashbuckling sword fight of manners and words.

3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Oh how I adored this book when I was a teenager. I think I read it twice nearly back to back. I rarely reread books, no matter how awesome they are…GWTW and P&P are the exceptions. Jane Eyre too, which duked it out with P&P for a spot on this list, but Elizabeth is of far more ferocious stock than poor Jane. As is Scarlett.

4. Outlander by Dianna Gabaldon is an epic tale of time travel, adventure, historical intrigue and most of all, despite NOT being billed a romance IS, in fact, a romance. There’s a reason my pen name is Claire and she’s the main character and narrator of the Outlander series.

5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Another dystopian pick. I particularly liked this one because it explores gender roles and enslavement and class consciousness all in one nifty little tale that has been oft-imitated but never duplicated quite as memorably. Margaret also shares a birthday with me, November 18th, so I am always reminded of her when I see those “Also born on this day” lists. She gets extra points for that.

And now to pass the baton to either thrill or annoy:

  1. Terri Rochenski
  2. Anna Simpson
  3. J. Keller Ford
  4. Rebecca Hart
  5. Sandra Bunino
All book links are to Amazon from whom I receive no compensation, but since I used their icons, credit given where it’s due.
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Blogging A to Z: “Q” is for Questions

P question

P question (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a meme to fulfill, a challenge issued by a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pens comrade, Emaginette.

The idea is to answer the sender’s 11 questions, then come up with your own 11 questions and pass them along to 11 bloggers. They in turn answer your questions and link back to your site when done.

Here are the QUESTIONS Emaginette has issued forth to her eleven victims:

1. Favorite celebrity. What about them do you like best?

Toughie since I like so many, but let’s go with Tina Fey. I like her because in many respects, I am Liz Lemon, her character from 30 Rock.

2. Favorite animal, real or not. Why?

I love the kittehs. They are independent but sweet and cuddly too.

3. Favorite type of weather or climate. What do you do when it you are in your element?

I enjoy a good thunderstorm. I don’t feel guilty for being at my computer writing when the weather’s bad and the sound and light show adds a little spice. We don’t get much thunder and lightning in the Pacific northwest, though, not like we got in New Mexico where I used to live.

4. If you could live the life of anyone in a book, who would you choose and why?

This is a double-edged sword. All good characters undergo serious conflict in the course of the story, so anyone I pick will have either had an unhappy life or lived through some pretty rough times. For the sheer grandeur in scope of her story and the power of her love affair, I’d have to chose Claire Fraser from the Outlander series.

5. Who was the first character you fell in love with?

Mary Stewart wrote a book back in 1976 called Touch Not The Cat. I adored the heroine’s childhood friend, Rob Granger, in that book. I had just discovered gothic romances back then (in utero) and had been devouring works by Ms. Stewart (including her Merlin books), Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney.

6. What is you favorite food? Any special ingredient to make it taste just right?

I love really good New Mexican food, but my favorite is blue corn sour cream chicken enchiladas with green chile sauce.  Yummy! Of course I love almost all sweets but I’m on Weight Watchers so I’m not going there. Chiles (red or green, depending on preference) are de rigeur in New Mexican cuisine. Sadie’s Restaurant in Albuquerque makes a killer guaco chicken taco that when paired with a huge margarita on the rocks, is a culinary orgasm.

7. Of all the stories you’ve ever read, watched or heard, which five did you like best?

I’m gonna cheat a little bit and make one choice Aesop’s Fables–I adored those stories as a kid. To that, I’d add:  Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, The Three Musketeers, and Outlander.

8. If you were to jump into your car right now, where would you go? And why?

Probably to Barnes & Noble. They have a Starbucks and I love to get a nonfat latte and peruse the books and dream.

9. Is there a moment in your life that you would change? How would it turn out this time?

Hard to say. All of a life’s puzzle pieces are so intricately linked through chains of cause and effect. Change one and what else might suffer? I could say, for example, that I wished I’d let cute boy A know I liked him back in high school. But if I had, what of the Silverback and the two boys we have today? Would I have had a career? Would I have become a writer? It’s so random that I’d have to say the stakes are too high to gamble losing something more precious than what I would gain.

10. If you were given a large sum to donate to any cause you wanted, where would it go?

Probably to cancer research, breast cancer specifically. My mother is a three time breast cancer survivor and she had two siblings and an aunt also die from cancer.

11. Did you find this fun? Would you do it again?

The questions were very thought-provoking and made me reminisce about my life, so I’d have to say yes, I enjoyed it! I don’t like tagging other people though so I’m going to cheat on that part as you’ll see as you read farther.

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So my 11 questions are:

1. The men get asked “boxers or briefs”? The ladies answer panties or thong? (you aren’t limited to those two choices however)

2. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate?

3. Olympics YAY or Olympics NAY? Explain why for either answer.

4. If you could have been born and raised in a completely different country than your own, which one would it be and why?

5. What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read? Why?

6. If you could be an Olympic athlete, what sport would you excel at?

7. Would you rather be critically acclaimed or a pop culture phenom?

8. What superhero power would you choose for yourself?

9. Tell me a word or grouping of words that makes you cringe and why?

10. If you were were forced to give up one of your senses for a million dollars, which would you choose and why? (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste)

11. Name three things on your bucket list.

Now, for the last part of the meme…

The first eleven people to read this post are tagged!  Ha! Told you I’d cheat.

Thank you, Emaginette!

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Please be sure to visit more A to Z Blog Challenge participants today! Here’s where you can find their names and link to their blogs. The topics are endless.

Happy Birthday, Dad!