The Liebster Award Challenge


A big thank-you to KL Caley @ New2Writing for nominating me for the Liebster Award Challenge! This honor gives bloggers the opportunity to share more about themselves and then to “pay it forward” to other bloggers whose sites they enjoy. This version of the Liebster doesn’t seem to have a restriction on the number of followers for eligible nominees (whereas the Liebster Award received here did), so everyone is game this time around. 😉

Here are the rules for this version of the Liebster Award Challenge:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs that you think are deserving of the award.
  4. Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
  5. Give them 11 questions to answer.

So, let’s start with KL’s questions!

The 11 Questions and My Answers

1. What was your favorite book when you were a child? How do you feel about the book now?

Oh, gosh. I loved so many books when I was younger, so it’s difficult to pick just one… Maybe Scott O’Dell’s Black Star, Bright Dawn. It was one of my favorite O’Dell novels, along with Island of the Blue Dolphins. I re-read Black Star, Bright Dawn a couple years ago; and though it’s shorter and less developed than what I prefer from novels these days (it’s just over 100 pages), I still found Bright Dawn to be an admirable, wonderful heroine. So, let’s say I have a newfound appreciation for the novel as an adult. 🙂

2. Do you borrow books from the library? If yes, do you ask for suggestions? How did you find your current library, if you have one?

Ummmm… I haven’t borrowed books from a library in ages. *blushes* All of the books I read at on my shelves at home! I do know where my local library is, though. I’ve been there many times to donate used books and to pick up discounted passes for Boston museums. Does that count? *lol*

3. Do you prefer the old, used book smell or the new, freshly printed book smell?

New books! Fresh ink and paper is such a magical smell.

4. Do you use bookmarks when reading? What kind of bookmarks (paper, fabric, magnetic, etc.) do you use, and how do they look?

Yes! I love getting new bookmarks almost as much as getting new books, so I have quite a collection. I try to mix it up whenever I read a new book. Here are the ones I’m using right now:

  • A World Wildlife Fund bookmark with emperor penguins (adults and chicks) and a William Shakespeare quote (“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”)
  • Another WWF bookmark, with a snowy owl on one side and penguin chicks and a Thomas Jefferson quote (“For if one link in nature’s chain might be lost, another might be lost, until the whole of things will vanish piecemeal.”) on the other
  • A bookmark with a black tassel; the Chinese symbols for the words “happiness,” “tranquility,” “harmony,” and “prosperity” on one side; and the Chinese proverb “One joy scatters a hundred griefs” on the other

5. Name your favorite fictional character and tell why (s)he has earned your infinite love.

This is always a hard question for me. I don’t have a single favorite character of all time, since I love so many characters for different reasons. But if I had to pick one today… I’d go with Ged Sparrowhawk from Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea cycle. He evolves so much during the first book, A Wizard of Earthsea, starting off as an impatient and arrogant wizard-in-training before learning to accept – even embrace – his dark side and then growing into a wiser, more mature mage. It’s impossible to not admire a character who changes for the better like that, and Ged has stuck with me ever since then.

6. If an author gave you the chance to rewrite or to change the fate of a book character, who would you chose and why?

Katniss Everdeen. I loved the first two books of The Hunger Games Trilogy, but Mockingjay… It wasn’t a total disappointment, but the fact that Katniss ends up questioning herself so much at the end (especially during the epilogue) never sat well with me. She may be suffering from PTSD, but after everything she’d been through, she deserves to feel a little bit of happiness. Instead, she seems lost, like a completely different person. So, I wouldn’t necessarily change the ending or Katniss’s fate in Mockingjay, but I’d allow her a glimmer of hope so she wouldn’t feel so helpless and still be somewhat herself.

7. Have you ever borrowed a book and not given it back?

A co-worker let me borrow Tana French’s In The Woods and said she was in no hurry to have it back. Well, um, I still haven’t gotten around to reading it, and she hasn’t asked for it back yet. I think it’s been sitting on my shelves for… a couple years now? *oops*

8. Do you read books while you eat? While you watch movies or TV? While you listen to music? While you’re on the computer? How do you do it?

Usually I read books in silence or with new age instrumental music in the background. Sometimes I’ll read a chapter while eating lunch on the weekends. And quite often I’ll have a cup of tea in hand when reading, too. 😉

9. What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down (or just wanted to know what would happen)?

Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I finished it in 5 days, and stayed up until 12:30 am on Day 5 because I refused – yes, REFUSED – to put it down until I reached the end. 🙂

10. Name a book that you have re-read at least three times. Why? Is that your favorite book of all time?

I tend not to re-read books, mostly because I have so many other books I haven’t read yet. However, I like to revisit scenes from certain books to study a writer’s technique or research passages or quotes to use in a Theme: A Story’s Soul article for DIY MFA or other blog posts. Some of the books that “hook me” again in that way have been Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study, Kristin Cashore’s Fire, George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords, and Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See. (Daughter of Smoke and Bone might end up on that list, too.)

11. Do prefer a Kindle or a real book? What do you choose now? What will you choose after five years?

Real books. I don’t own a Kindle or e-reader by choice. (Yeah… I’m old-school like that.) And despite what other people have told me about an e-reader’s benefits and differences from a computer screen, I spend so much time in front of a computer for my day job that the last thing I want to do before bed is look at another screen of any kind. Printed books are a great visual and mental break from that technology. So, my choice now would be printed / real books. Five years from now? Maybe I’ll have an e-reader by then, but I can’t imagine my preference for printed books changing in that amount of time, unless something drastic happens.

The 11 Questions for My Nominees

Hmmmm. What would I like to know about the people I nominate for the Liebster Award  Challenge? How about these 11 questions?

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What was the last good book you read? Why did you enjoy it?
  3. In your opinion, are film adaptations of novels as good as the original? Not as good? Or better? Why?
  4. What is the kindest or most compassionate thing someone has done for you?
  5. Do you use bookmarks while reading? What are you currently using for a bookmark(s)?
  6. What is your favorite book cover design of all time? Why? Share a picture / image of it, if it’s possible.
  7. Have you ever read about a real place on Earth in a book (fiction or non-fiction) and wanted to visit it afterwards? If so, which place?
  8. What is your favorite season? Why?
  9. Do you have a “hidden talent”? By that, I mean a talent that you haven’t had a chance to share with others online or in your blog yet. What is that talent?
  10. Are you picky about the writing utensils you use? Do you prefer pens or pencils? Any specific brand or style?
  11. What is one thing you’re grateful for today?

And the Nominees Are…

This is always the hard part, since I want to spread the love as evenly as possible. But I think I’ve picked out 11 bloggers whom I haven’t tagged for awards or blog hops yet. So, here are my nominees for the Liebster Award Challenge:

  1. Christina @ Musings of an Elf
  2. Ciera Horton @ The Write Things
  3. Cristina R. Guarino
  4. Heather and Robin @ (an additional thank-you for the Real Neat Blog Award *winks*)
  5. Jacqueline E. Smith @ A Platform of Sorts
  6. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me
  7. Lizzi @ Considerings
  8. Rebekah @ Wordsmithing and Worldbuilding
  9. Sky @ Further Up and Further In
  10. Zephyr @ CyberNag
  11. Zezee With Books

What about you? You don’t have to be a nominee to answer these questions, or the ones that KL asked me. Feel free to share your answers below!

35 thoughts on “The Liebster Award Challenge

  1. Ohhhh bless your boots! THANK YOU! What a lovely thing to wake up to this morning 🙂

    I love your answers, and that you were SO DETERMINED to finish that book – you sound like me, in that respect. Books before sleep, every time 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh well done Sara! Great Answers too, I loved your collection of bookmarks too – awesome! 🙂 A lot of book recommendations in your post that I haven’t heard of but will be sure to look up! Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone sounds like an excellent read. Thanks Again. KL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, KL! They were fantastic questions, and I had to think carefully about #s 1 and 5 to get to the final answers. Thank you for nominating me. 🙂

      Daughter of Smoke and Bone is without a doubt my favorite read of 2015. It’s not a new book; I think it came out in 2011 or 2012… But I’m so glad I finally got around to it. I hope you like it, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for the nomination, Sara. Loved all your answers (but I do love all your writing 🙂 ) And what a lot of new book recommendations I have got from your replies! Your bookmarks are so interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Zephyr! And thanks for your comments. 🙂

      The funny part about my bookmark collection is that I switch it up every time I finish a book. And since that happened last night, it’s time to use a different bookmark with the next read! *lol*


    • You’re welcome, Jackie! I remembered some of our conversations from Twitter, and since I follow your blog as well, I figured, “Why not?” 😉 But I’m glad I was able to put a smile on your face. Hope your day improves – and the rest of your week goes much better!


  4. I was off the computer all day (and most of the weekend due to extreme heat) and I had no idea Heather and I would be included in your line up until I got to the end. It’s a super nice surprise! Thank you so much for thinking of us. I held out against an e-reader for a long time, but it was the tree issue that finally converted me. I just get so sad when I see forests logged to nothing but dirt. However, I do love real books and I can’t pass a used book store without filling a bag, or two. : )

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Robin! Consider it an additional thank-you for the Real Neat Blog Award. 😉

      My brother reminds me of the tree issue whenever he sees me with a print book. Don’t get me wrong; I believe the environment is worth saving (because we suffer by ruining it further). But… I don’t know, I just can’t bring myself to get an e-reader. I guess I’m old-fashioned, or stubborn?


  5. Thanks for nominating me, Sara!
    I’m totally with you about libraries and new books. I suck at returning books (yup, with you there on holding onto books too, lol) and I love that new book scent.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Time Flies!: June 2015 | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

  7. Those were some fun questions to answer! I’m with you on printed books. They feel more special and are a nice break from screens. I wonder if they could use recycled paper to print books?
    Oh I’ve got a bookmark collection too! 😀 My favorite are a girl mouse hugging a book saying “Will you be my reading valentine?” 🙂 And one with painted dolpins in Chinese style with a Chinese symbol (for happiness, I think. Not sure; I can’t read Chinese. :P).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve actually heard of a few books that use recycled paper. I want to say I have one such book, but I don’t even remember what it might be… I’ve also heard a number of magazines use recycled paper, too.

      Awwwwwww, that’s a sweet valentine bookmark! And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese symbol on the dolphin bookmark means “happiness.” The designer probably chose a word that’s often associated with dolphin, and I think happiness is one of them, along with “independence” and “joy.”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Cool things to know about you! I too have a bookmark collection. Most are Hunger Games bookmarks people have given me haha. XD Four out of five of my bookmarks are in use as of now lol. I also enjoy hardcopy books. Ebooks just aren’t the same. I tend to not want to read them as much as hardcopy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry I’m just now getting over here to this. Life has been cRaZy lately and I can’t seem to keep up with things.

    This was so fun to read. I loved reading all your answers. I ADORED Island of the Blue Dolphins when I was younger. It’s been so many years since I’ve read it. I really should give it a reread sometime. And I totally stay up late reading. Honestly, most of my late bedtimes are due to a good book. 😉

    Thank you SO much for passing this my way. That was so sweet of you! And sorry again for taking half an eternity to get over here. Life… *shakes head*

    Liked by 1 person

    • No worries! It happens to all of us. 😉

      I want to give Island of the Blue Dolphins a full re-read at some point, too. That and the other Scott O’Dell books I have at home. It’s doable, since they’re all pretty short. 😉

      Looking forward to reading your answers if you decide to participate!


  10. Pingback: Liebster Awards | Zezee with Books

  11. Pingback: I’ve Received the Dragon’s Loyalty Award! | Cristina R. Guarino

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