I am absolutely thrilled and amazed to say this blog, Girl 20 (so early in its infancy!), has been nominated for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I was nominated by the delightful Lizzi of These Little Words, a blog whose majesty, incredible content and readership I can only aspire to. She recently wrote a very intellgent article In Which I Discuss The Role of The Blogger And Why I Blog which I felt outlined some of the fundamental values of book blogging and stressed the importance of not losing sight of our initial aims in starting a blog and our ultimate goals or reasons for keeping on with it.
The award has the following rules:
- Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
- List the rules and display the award.
- Share seven facts about yourself.
- Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated (this my have to be reduced to 5 as I’m new to this lark!)
- Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you
So here we go with the seven facts – I’ll keep them book-related and anecdotal
- I didn’t get the Harry Potter phenomenon – and I tried, I really did try. I hate feeling like the only person standing on the outside of an enormous craze, I also hate being last to the party. So I read the books, I dragged myself to the films. But the magic was lost on me. Even now I find it’s success a complete enigma.
- I’m incredibly snobby and dismissive of Young Adult Fiction. Even the term ‘Young Adult Fiction’ rankles with me (I can’t seem to separate it from the idea of ‘Adult Fiction’ i.e. erotica) I have no particular reason to hate it, nor do I have a strong argument for not reading it, I just feel that there are so many great novels in the world and even if I read constantly I will only read a small percentage of them and I don’t want to waste my time reading anything less than great, or something that has no bearing on my life as it is now.
- I once worked in a very famous London bookshop and had the great pleasure (and sometimes pain) of recommending books to Yoko Ono, Morrissey, Ralph Fiennes, Charlie Watts (of the Rolling Stones) Anna Wintour and George Osborne (among others!)
- I was lucky enough to go to the launch party of Martin Gayford’s THE MAN WITH THE BLUE SCARF , his diary of sitting for a portrait by Lucian Freud. After the speeches had ended, my book was signed, I had downed the dregs of my champagne and was turning to leave, who should arrive but Lucian himself, tiny in his heavy tweed overcoat. He saw that I was leaving, threw up his hands in exclamation and said ‘You can’t leave so soon!’ and clasped me by the shoulders in a half-hug. I had never met him before. One of the greatest moments of my life.
- I find Henry James impossible to read. Utterly impossible. I find his characteristic long, convoluted sentences unintelligible and reading a novel filled with them feels like wading through treacle.
- I was once privy to a conversation between Hilary Mantel and A.S. Byatt discussing what they were going to wear to the Booker Dinner. I found it utterly charming that these two fiercely intelligent women who were both, at the time, shortlisted for UK’s most highly acknowledged book prize, had concerns much like any other woman.
- When I was a student at UEA, some of my creative writing classes were taken by Joe Dunthorne (pre-Submarine days) Half of my class were in love with him and hung on his every word….(not including myself, of course *ahem*)
And now for the blogs that I would like to nominate for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. These are all blogs that I actively follow and read on a regular basis. I am afraid that instead of the prescribed 15, there are only 5. This is partly due to time restrictions (I don’t get to read as many blogs as I’d like) and partly because I am very new to this game and am still building the contacts.
- A Life in Books – At the cutting edge of contemporary fiction, Susan reviews brand new shiny books either as they are published or in advance of publication. Her reviews are well balanced and carefully structured – she provides you with a great synopsis followed by an honest review. She also features round ups of ‘books to look forward to’ which gives the reader lots to get excited about.
- Man Versus Book – A fantastic, intelligently written blog which covers a wealth of literary fiction (and some non-fiction) and features a genius rating system – books are filed under ‘Must Read’ ‘Highly Recommended’ ‘Worth a Look’ ‘Serious Reservations’ or plain old ‘Avoid.’ Features great literary references too so you’re sure to come away with a few great recommendations.
- The Writes of Women – A blog for women’s writing only. Naomi features a dazzling array of the best in women’s literary fiction today along with some great book giveaways. She is wonderful on Twitter too (@frizbot) and always seems ahead of the game in terms of new and forthcoming releases.
- Brogues In A Coffee Bar – Written by my dear friend Laura, an artist and Art Consultant based in Norwich (surely the UK’s new cultural hub?!) She writes wonderfully on contemporary art, forthcoming exhibitions and individual artworks that she finds inspirational and that she has been working with. This blog is a real feast for the eyes and promises to expand and challenge your knowledge of contemporary art.
- Reads and Recipes – A charming, beautifully designed blog featuring short book reviews, inspirational quotes, beautiful poetry and great recipes. Described as a ‘literary lifestyle blog’ there is always something here to inspire and delight.