The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award given by fellow bloggers to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community. I do not typically think of myself in those terms all the time, so I was glad to see that someone else does!
Before we get to the requirements and whatnot, a big thank you goes first to Judy over at Keep The Wisdom for nominating me for this award. It is always nice to be recognized by fellow bloggers as having a blog worth reading - though I admit especially in the first months/years I was probably just talking to myself a lot!
1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a post and link back to their blog
2. Answer 11 questions the blogger asked you
3. Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award and write for them 11 new questions
4. List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award in your post and/or on your blog
Here is my list of bloggers who I enjoy reading regularly, and hope you will too. There will be some overlap with Judy's nominations, as now we kind of run in the same circle, so that's extra blog-love for those nominees. If you do not want to create a post of your own, or answer the questions I am going to shamelessly
steal borrow from Judy (and others, because I am so not creative in this area), no worries. Just know that you are valued and I appreciate you!
1. How did you get started blogging?
I was posting my reviews on Goodreads, and as I read more and more about how Goodreads was sometimes deleting reviews without warning or notice that it somehow violated one of the 'rules', I wanted a place where my reviews would be safe. I also had a blog in college, and I kind of used it to make fun of the word blogging when it was a new thing, because it was such a dumb word. I obviously do not make fun of it anymore.
2. What do you enjoy most about being a book blogger?
I love to write, and have since I was young. Same with reading, of course. I enjoy sharing about books that I love or loathe with bloggers who have become my friends, and talking with them about all sorts of bookish and non-bookish things. I also enjoy the fact that I have begun to cultivate relationships with publishers and authors. Free books for reviewing purposes is also a bonus!
3. How long have you kept your blog going?
Oh goodness, I am not even sure. I am literally going to have to stop typing this answer and look it up...Okay, first post here was February of 2015.
4. Would you say you have a philosophy behind your blog? If yes, please say what it is.
My number one goal is to be honest about everything I read. I never have and never will take money to write a review. Unless of course I am working for a publication that pays me specifically for the job of reviewing books, because that would be amazing. But there, the payment would be tied to the actual job and not a specific book. But I digress. I do not hold back in reviews where I think a good scolding is warranted. I do not tolerate books which are sloppy in research, contain vast amounts of supposition, or are flat out wrong and go against all the research currently being done in a particular area. I also do not tolerate sexist, misogynistic, and/or homophobic bullshit and will immediately call out any and all that I see. So, in summary, honesty is the best policy.
5. What genres do you enjoy reading the most?
NON-FICTION. NON-FICTION. NON-FICTION. NON-FICTION. NON-FICTION. NON-FICTION. NON-FICTION. NON-FICTION. NON-FICTION. NON-FICTION. I specifically am interested in European history, and even more specifically that of Scotland, England, and Ireland. I love reading about feminism, LGBTQIA+, Black Lives Matter, and politics. There are so many more topics I am completely enthralled by and this answer would grow rapidly if I listed all of them.
Oh, and I dig a good cozy mystery (Mercy Watts is my fave series), plus I am having a not so hush-hush affair with both YA and middle grade as of late. But non-fiction will always be my first love, and history especially.
6. Who are your top three favorite authors?
Tee-hee, this is a no-brainer if you read my blog regularly 😉
First, forever, is Dan Jones. He introduced me to Eleanor of Aquitaine through his book The Plantagenets and I have not looked back. We are also practically BFFs. Which I'm sure he NEVER gets tired of hearing...
I also am really loving Karen McManus. I LOVE her books and am dying to get my hands on One of Us is Next!
7. Do you attend any reading groups? If so, how many?
None. I am a solitary reader, Eleanor is the only exception to this! Unless you count my job as a Resource teacher, where I meet with my kiddos who need reading support. Then I would have to say I belong to five reading groups.
8. If you could invite a few authors over for dinner, who would they be - even if you had to resurrect them from the dead?
Dan Jones, obviously. Remember how we are BFFs? Also, Helen Castor, Karen McManus, Bernie Sanders, Louisa May Alcott, LM Montgomery, Michael Crichton, and Agatha Christie.
9. How do you find the books you want to read?
stalk follow Dan Jones religiously on Facebook, waiting for the announcements of his next books, tours, haircuts, recent purchases, etc. Just kidding, mostly. He is pretty hilarious in general so definitely check out one of his Facebook Live chats. I also find so many books through Goodreads, as well as the bloggers I follow who have similar reading tastes.
10. Do you think authors today are as good as those from earlier years? Better? Worse? Why?
This is actually a really tough one to answer. For what I mainly read, non-fiction, I think authors in every era have done the best they could with material they had to work with. Access to contemporary resources for research is much easier today, though not always as easy as I wish it was. Worldviews have also changed, and so many fields that were once dominated exclusively by men are now getting female perspectives as well - a perspective that has been needed for a loooooooooong time. Women who have been treated horribly by past historians are finally getting more fair and unbiased representations of themselves. Catherine Howard (5th wife of Henry VIII) is a prime example.
11. Name a few of the best books you have read this year.
Oh Lord, I don't even know where to start. This has been an exceptional year in books for me. There are dozens that I have given five stars to. Crusaders by Dan Jones, City of Ghosts and Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab, The Girl in the Locked Room and Took by Mary Downing Hahn, Nobody's Victim by Carrie Goldberg, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson, Mercia by Annie Whitehead, The Five by Hallie Rubenhold...this list is out of control so I will just stop here.
Now onto the easy part (nominating bloggers) and the hard part (coming up with questions!), so here we go:
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to answer the following questions and then nominate some bloggers of your own!
1. What genres do you prefer? Why?
2. What genres do you refuse to read? Why?
3. What is the easiest thing about blogging for you? The hardest?
4. If you could become a character in any book, which book and why?
5. If you could travel to any period in history, which would it be, and why?
6. Do you ever DNF books? What makes you DNF?
7. Who are your favorite authors?
8. How important is book cover quality to you? Why?
9. Name a character that you would want to be best friends with, and why.
10. Name a character who would become your mortal enemy, should you ever cross paths in real life.
11. Which authors would you invite to a dinner party? (never mind silly things like death)
There you have it! If you feel like playing along, great. If not, no worries.