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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Tag

I was tagged by Barbara from March House Books .  Thanks so much for thinking of me Barbara.

Barbara's questions and my answers:

1.  Do you use a bookmark or will any old bit of paper do?
Easy one to start with!  I've had this bookmark for twenty years or more.  It was given to me by a work colleague/friend when I was still living and working in Cape Town.  Her family spent part of the year in England and part of the year in South Africa (they had serious money!)  She brought this back for me on one occasion as she knew how much I enjoy reading.
The quality of this bookmark is remarkable as I use it almost every day.  Since it was given to me it has travelled the world and remains permanently ensconced in whatever book I happen to be reading next to my bed.

2.  What new books are you most excited to read this year?
Nothing in particular that I can think of.  Belonging to a library is a top priority in my life.  I visit my local library in the little village of Dalkey every three weeks (the loan period in Ireland.)  The first thing I do is look at the display of new books.  Usually I find something enticing - introducing me to new authors/subjects - before I head off to the shelves of old favourites.

Dalkey Library
3.  Favourite season?
Summer!  I think I might have given a different answer before I lived in Ireland.  Now I treasure every moment of it before we descend into darkness again.

With my son 2009 Transkei Wild Coast South Africa

4.  If money were not an issue, what present would you give yourself?
I would love to be able to collect all my most favourite illustrations by the artists I've featured in my blog.  Ron Embleton would feature first in my wish list but there are many others whose work I covert as well - Gerry Embleton, Jose Ortiz, Nadir Quinto, Gerrit Vandersyde and Mervyn Suart to name a few. 
Ron Embleton Original Illustration from the Secret of the Trolls
5.  Do you buy second-hand books, new books or both?
I've had a bit of a space constraint recently so have not been able to buy anything for a while. (My husband always says I should be getting rid of what I have, not adding more!)  If I do buy anything now it tends to be for reasons of nostalgia so by definition the books are second hand. 

6.  Early bird or night owl?
Both and neither. I have to get up at 5am during the week to be at work on time.  If it was up to me I would probably choose a later time, but once I am up I quite enjoy it.  I love the commute in an almost empty train (the route hugs Dublin Bay so it is very scenic) and I treasure my daily stroll through the beautiful grounds of Trinity College on the way to work.  Early in the morning I have the place almost completely to myself.

Trinity College Dublin
Because I have an 11 hour working day (incl my commute) I tend to run out of steam as the week progresses and need the weekend to recover.  But if I am engrossed in doing something or reading something I particularly enjoy I can quite easily stay up until the early hours of the morning! 

7.  Do you like to read a specific genre? If so, what genre is it?
I always feel as though I should give an intellectual or socially/politically relevant answer but I'm afraid I read purely for escapism and enjoyment.  I enjoy finding an author who has written a series of books (usually mystery/whodunit) where the lives of the characters weave an ongoing saga through each individual story.  I always quote Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael as my favourite, but I've also thoroughly enjoyed the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis (I've just finished reading one of hers recently).  I tend to lean towards ancient history, but of the more contemporary settings  I would pick Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti mysteries set in Venice.  I thought her choice of title 'Through a Glass Darkly' was brilliant - it caught my attention and was the first of her books I read.

8.  Who is your favourite literary character of all time?
Brother Cadfael - as mentioned above.  I loved everything about these books and was so sad to hear Edith Pargeter (Ellis Peters) had died in 1995 so no new stories would be forthcoming.

9.  Physical books, E-books or audio books?
It has to be a physical book.  Possibly because I've worked in IT as a systems analyst/programmer for almost 30 years.  I associate anything electronic / technical with work.  Sometimes I'm sorry blogging is so addictive because I would like to be able to switch off altogether when I am at home! 

10.  If your life was made into a movie, who would you like to play you?
The lazy answer is Meryl Streep - I think she could impersonate anyone.  Charlize Theron would probably have the best shot at getting my accent right, but I don't think she is anything like me - far too glamorous and edgy.

I think if I could choose I would pick Gillian Anderson.  I knew of her for years in the X Files and then I saw her in the BBC TV adaptation of Bleak House.  She was a revelation and it made me look at her in a whole new light.

11.  Cat person or dog person?
Cat person.  I like their enigmatic air, neatness and cleanliness.  (This is despite the fact that I am allergic to their fur which makes my eyes stream and swell up.)

The Tag rules:
1. You must post the rules!
2. Answer the questions and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

My questions to you:
Is your reading preference short stories, weighty tomes, or something in between?
Which fictional character would you like to meet in person?
You are a celebrity in a game show - what charity/good cause would you donate your winnings to?
What story or book has influenced your life the most?
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
What was your dream job/ambition when you were a child?
Which famous artist (past or present) would you choose to paint your portrait?
Desert Island or Bright City Lights?
You are given a plot of land - do you plant flowers or vegetables?
What song or piece of music means the most to you?
What Disney character are you?

My list of sites to link to and tag - I've chosen a combination of blogs I know well and enjoy and some I've only just become aware of.  (In the case of the new ones I think its a great way of getting to know the person behind the blog better):

Lucy Violet Vintage
My Friends Call Me Nelly
Garden of Daisies
15 Coast Road
Alicia Art shop
Nana's Memories
Bookcase to Heaven
The Sporty Mummy
From the Shadows
Books are My Life
Melinda McGuire Writes

I would also have liked to include Believe in Yourself and Always Crave Cute but Barbara who tagged me has tagged them as well!  If you feel you have the stamina to answer a second set of questions I'd love to read your responses to my list as well!!!


wendz said...

I was going to ask what you do that you have to get up so early and work such a long day. But you answered in your questions. :) I'd also choose hard copy books over online reading anyday - working in IT would make my eyes cross.

I'd have to say Charlise Theron as well, but also only for the accent - nobody ever gets the SA accent right...although my husband gives it a good shot - and he teases me mercilessly whenever he can. He thinks the way I talk is a hoot. :)

That was an interesting read....and I'll try do the tag soon.

Barbara said...

Sharon, I’ve so enjoyed reading your answers. The Harrods bookmark is a revelation. I didn’t know you could get such a thing! Next time I’m in London, I’m going to see if they still have them – the only problem is I will probably need a bank loan to buy one! Your walk to work sounds magical, but I don’t think I would enjoy getting up at 5am, but I do agree that early morning is often the nicest time to be out and about. I didn’t think I would enjoy the Brother Cadfael books but maybe its time to give them a try. You’ve asked some really interesting questions and included lots of ne (to me) blogs, so I will look forward to visiting them all over the next week or so.

CraveCute said...

Sharon thank you so much for your insightful post. It was very nice to learn a little more about you and your life in Ireland. Congratulations on being tagged!

Megan said...

What an absolutely gorgeous blog you have!! I found you via the March House Book Blogs page and I'm so glad I did. I just checked out your alphabet fairy tales page and I loved it. What beautiful images :)

I'm a new follower and look forward to getting to know you better!

Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

wendz said...

Sharon have you seen these fab Downton Abbey paper dolls?

So cute!

colleen said...

Sharon! Since you love paper dolls, on going sagas and you are a paper doll artist as well, you will probably really appreciate Margaret's wonderful site.

Cordially, Colleen

Nelly said...

Hello Sharon arent you a sweety thinking of me.I shall ponder on your questions and may send you an email but to do that you must email me 1st on xxx

Sharon's Sunlit Memories said...

Thanks so much for all your comments.

I loved the two paper doll links. Wendz - The Downton Abbey dolls are very clever - the selection of faces with different expressions are marvellous!

Colleen - I thought Margaret's site was incredible. There is so much to see - I'll have to go back for many visits. I especially liked her historical sets with dolls from the 19th century.

And a special thanks to Nelly who sent me the answers to the questions by email.

GardenofDaisies said...

Thank you for thinking of me. That was sweet. I am especially looking forward to reading some mysteries with my book club this year (and other books too). I"ll usually do have a bookmark, but can't always find it when I need to put the book down, so I grab whatever I can find, including the pillow off the couch. I buy second hand books or borrow from the library whenever I can. I love all seasons, which is one of the reasons I like living here. I have to many favorite characters... i don't know if I can choose... Jane Eyre, The 3rd Little Pig, Anne Elliot, Laura Ingalls, Elspeth Huxley ......
Would you believe that I have never read or seen any of the Brother Cadfael stories? Agh! How did that happen? I know my Mom loved watching to show, so I'm sure I would too. I need to change that.
And my life is way too ordinary to be made into a movie. :-)

Donna Yates said...

Fun answers! Honestly, I still like to hold a book in my hands, but since I've had e-readers, I enjoy carying all my books around in the tiny lightweight gadget. I love the pic by the water. Beautiful


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