Thanks to Travelling In My Bookcase for nominating this blog for the Liebster Award. She’s left me some wonderful questions, which I can’t wait to answer.

The rules for the Liebster Award are as follows:

  1. Link back to the person that nominated you
  2. Answer the questions given by the nominator
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with fewer than 200 followers
  4. Create 11 questions for the nominees
  5. Notify all nominees via social media/blogs

What is your favourite quote and why?

I am going to cheat, and have two. I can’t pick.

I am a woman of heart and mind/With time on her hands and no child to raise, from the song Woman of Heart and Mind by Joni Mitchell. I was very sad to hear about her admission to intensive care. I love many of her songs, but that particular one is probably my favourite.

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
That never stops at all.”

–Emily Dickinson

I really, really want to have some kind of beautiful wall art with this quote. I love it so much.

If you could have a dinner party with any five celebrities who would they be and why?

Is this any celebrity, living or dead? If I’m limiting myself to alive people, I think I would pick Victoria Coren Mitchell, who always seems both fabulously intelligent and incredibly funny; Miranda Hart, who can share an anecdote better than anyone I’ve ever met; Emma Thompson, because I came across this story recently and I’d like to shake her hand (and ask her about the Cambridge Footlights and working with Fry and Laurie, obviously); Bill Gates, who seems like a very nice man with a lot of interesting stories to share; and Mae Jemison, because we could be super excited about #womeninSTEM together and figure out how to solve institutional sexism in academia (between the two of us, I’m sure we can figure something out).

Further advantage of inviting Miranda Hart: I feel that she and I have a similar approach to food, so she’d probably like whatever I cook.

Where is your favourite place to go on holiday, and why would you recommend it to others?

I really haven’t been on enough holidays to answer this question, but I think I’ll say the New Forest. The history is fascinating, the countryside is beautiful, the trees are outstanding and the tearooms are extremely well-stocked. There’s even a beach or two for those of you who are so inclined. My most relaxing holiday ever was just me and a tent and the New Forest. I read a lot, walked a lot, and am intending to go back this year some time.

What do you think makes a great blogger?

My favourite blogs to read are ones where the personality of the blogger really comes through in what they write—I enjoy getting to know the people whose blogs I read.

Starter or dessert?

Preferably both, but if I had to pick, I’d probably say dessert. Frankly, I’m suspicious of anyone who would pick carrot soup over chocolate torte (unless absolutely forced to by dietary restrictions).

Which book character would you like to meet in real life?

Thursday Next (from the series of the same name by Jasper Fforde). I can’t imagine a cooler job than policing the back alleys of fiction, and I figure that, if I can ingratiate myself with Thursday and her family, they can introduce me to all my favourite fictional characters.

If you had to go to a fancy dress party, who would you go as?

Donna Noble. Even without me bothering to dress like her, the physical resemblance is uncanny, and I do like the idea of being able to snap “watch it, space boy” at anyone who gets in my way.

If you could time travel, would you go to the future or the past?

This question was a bit tricky, but I’ve concluded that if I could have a comfy time machine well-stocked with penicillin and equipped with functional indoor plumbing, I’d like to visit the past. Specifically, I’d like to be one of the women involved in campaigning for women to be admitted to university—you know, be among the women first taking the Classics tripos at Cambridge. That would be incredible. I suspect that those people would be fascinating and difficult and wonderful to know.

What is your favourite board game?

This is a another hard question for me, because I absolutely love playing board games. I think I’ll have to say Dixit, because I have had so much fun playing it, although I’d also like to give an honourable mention to Scrabble, which holds a long-term place of honour in my heart.

If you were on a desert island and could only ring one person to save you, who would it be?

This would always be Mum. If I rang her, she would have some sort of rescue-orientated spreadsheet written within thirty minutes, the troops would have been mobilised, and I would be off the island with a cup of good coffee before I’d even made myself a decent shelter. The epic rescue would probably involve a letter-writing campaign.

Who is your favourite animated character?

Another tricky one. I love a good animated film, and contenders for this spot include Maximillian (the horse from Tangled), Mulan, Shrek and his companions, and Boo from Monsters, Inc. I think I will have to go with Gromit (of Wallace and Gromit), though. No other character has ever managed to communicate that range of emotions without even speaking!

Found on Pinterest.

And here are the questions for the next round of nominees!

  1. What memory would you use to produce your Patronus?*
  2. What is your favourite book-to-film or book-to-TV adaptation?
  3. Which fantasy or science fiction world would you move to if you could?
  4. Tea or coffee?
  5. Which author (living or dead) would you interview, if given the opportunity, and what would you ask?
  6. Which book from your childhood have you reread most often?
  7. “If time and money were no object, I would like to be the first person to…”
  8. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
  9. Do you have a bucket list, and if so, what’s the thing you’re most looking forward to?
  10. Would you rather it was always summer or always winter (and sometimes Christmas)?
  11. What’s the nicest meal anyone has ever cooked you?

*(In case there are any non-Potter fans out there, this is basically your happiest memory).

I have nominated:

50 a year
Bending over Bookwards
Book Musings
Bookish Tendencies
Exploring Classics
My Book Retreat
Ramblings of an Elfpire

NB. For bloggers who are not on WordPress, it’s REALLY difficult to figure out how many followers you have. If you have more than 200 followers… well, I still want to hear your answers, to be honest.