This month’s featured book blogger is Lianne from Eclectic Tales. Longevity in the blogging world is hard to come by, but Lianne has been blogging about books since 2007, way before I started! She also contributes to Femnista, an entertainment webzine. Lianne has an interesting educational background. She studied Soviet-Russian history and has recently completed her degree in nursing. And she’s Canadian!
First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are some of your interests outside of blogging?
Outside of blogging and reading—but going hand-in-hand with it—I love to write (short stories, longer writing projects—I’m working on a few right now). It’s also been a while but I also love to travel (been to a few European countries over the years) and am into photography (mostly landscapes). I also used to sketch a lot but these days I only do it occasionally when I’m in the mood.
I also love watching (European) football: come Euro and World Cup, it’s all I talk about. ?
How did you discover the blogging world and what made you decide to start a blog of your own?
I’ve been blogging since high school, mostly random stuff: fandom, personal stuff, maybe a bit about the books I was reading. I had another domain before the current one that I’m at but I had to let it go early in my undergraduate programme when things got busy on my end. I picked it up maybe two years afterwards again but for a while I didn’t quite have a particular direction for the blog; it was a mash-up of brief book reviews amongst other odds and ends. Then GoodReads came on the scene and through the book groups there I learned there was a growing book blogging community which I thought was really cool and hey! I read a lot of books, so why not talk about that?
And I never looked back ever since ?
I hate it when people ask me what my favorite book is–such an impossible question! So give us your top five…or ten.
It’s so hard to choose just ten (*cue the tears*) but here we go:
- R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
- Jane Austen’s Persuasion
- Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South
- Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind
- Ian McEwan’s Atonement
- Brandon Sanderson’s first Mistborn trilogy
- Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons
- Anna Gavalda’s Ensemble C’est Tout (Hunting and Gathering)
- Patricia McKillip’s Winter Rose
- Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities
What are some of the best books you’ve reviewed in the last year?
I’m going to try to keep this brief as I read a ton of great books last year! But some of the best I reviewed were:
- Anthony Marra’s The Tsar of Love and Techno (gorgeous, heartbreaking, poignant, stunning book—clearly I can’t rave about it enough!)
- Darragh McKeon’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (seems to have slipped a little under the radar, the book is amazing)
- Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan books (#FerranteFever is real! This series was simply stunning)
- Viola di Grado’s The Hollow Heart (I thought this was a fascinating, albeit sad, novel, and yet strangely affirming in some ways that I can’t describe without going into spoiler territory)
- I finished reading Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy and Rachel Bach’s Paradox trilogy, both of which ended on an excellent note.
Time for some either/or…
Zombies or Vampires?
Hmm, I guess I’d go with vampires as they’re more coherent than zombies (if that makes any kind of sense at all).
Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit?
The Lord of the Rings ? Loved both books but I read The Lord of the Rings first and just love the sheer epicness and scope and depth of it.
Mr. Darcy or Mr. Thornton?
Nooooooo…but I’d have to go with Mr. Thornton ? He is very reminiscent of Mr. Darcy but he has a totally different background, having worked hard to build his mill up, he’s a fair employer despite of his strictness, and he has these little moments that makes him quite loveable underneath his Northerner/master role (one of my copies of North & South is littered in notes pointing out all these little things that Mr. Thornton thinks and does). And he did brooding very well in the BBC miniseries…
Invisibility or Flight?
Both very useful but invisibility might prove more handy.
Sci-fi or Fantasy?
Another tough question! I was introduced to science fiction first when I was very young but was very much rooted in fantasy in towards my teenage years so my answer is fantasy. But I love them both, both offer such a range or storytelling and imagination.
Now, for the most important question of this Q&A: Who is your favorite Orphan Black clone?
Haha, important question indeed! I think all of the clones are interesting in their own way but my favourite is Sarah Manning. She’s grown so much since the pilot episode and I love how protective she is of her family and how she fights back no matter how tight a corner she finds herself in.
Name two famous people, living or dead, you would most like to meet and why.
I’d love to meet J.R.R Tolkien. Reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time right before the first movie came out really changed my life (clichéd as that sounds): it changed the course of my reading tastes and preferences, it introduced me to the older epics like The Kalevala, it informed my writing to some degree. I’d love to meet him and just pick his brain a bit about his ideas about Middle Earth and all of the epics he’s read and how he went about creating the languages.
[bctt tweet=”Q&A with Lianne, the blogger behind @eclectictales (EclecticTales.com) | @parchmentgirl37″]
As for the second…at first I was thinking of a historical figure, being the history nerd I am, but in the end I thought of Pope John Paul I. A few years ago I read his book Illustrissimi, which is a collection of writings that he published in an Italian newspaper when he was still the Archbishop of Venice. It was an interesting read because these articles he wrote were in the form of letters to famous people like G.K. Chesterton and Charles Dickens and applying beliefs and values on an everyday level that were funny, thoughtful, and very relatable. So yes, I’d like to meet Pope John Paul I and just talk to him.
If you had to choose three books you think everyone should read, what would they be and why?
Oooh, hmm, I honestly had to think about this for a little while. ? I would have to say:
- John Williams’ Stoner: It’s a quiet (and rather sad) novel but it’s such a powerful meditation on life, what happens when things don’t quite turn out the way you want and you’re left rather unfulfilled by the daily activities of your life, and how to maintain a rich inner life.
- Andre Alexis’ Fifteen Dogs: I actually just read this recently. I was curious about it after it had won the Giller Prize in 2015 and heard positive reviews about it (including a fellow shopper at a bookstore one time). Anyway, I highly recommend this book to everyone because it really touches on the human condition through the experiences of this cast of dogs. It left me quite moved at the end.
- Soren Kierkegaard’s The Present Age: On the Death of Rebellion: Firstly, Kierkegaard is my favourite philosopher. Now, I don’t normally go around recommending philosophers (I believe that’s a personal journey that a person makes), however I do recommend picking up this up as he succinctly pointed out some fundamental problems facing modern society, the role of the press, publicity, and mass media that are very much applicable to today (and he wrote this in the 19th century). He also highlights how the relationship between mass media and society works and its effect on personal attitudes and behaviours and in turn the role of larger institutions and social values.
Lightening round! Name your favorite…
Song: Of Monsters and Men’s “Black Water”
Movie: The Lord of the Rings
TV show: Babylon 5 (all-time favourite television show ?)
Comfort food: Coffee (that’s a food, right?)
Celebrity crush: There’s a ton but Aidan Turner popped into my head first ? He was absolutely brilliant in Poldark, menacing in And Then There Were None, earnest in The Hobbit, and brooding in Being Human.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Lianne! Be sure to check out Lianne’s blog at EclecticTales.com.