Monday, June 4, 2012

Armchair BEA 2012: Introductions First!


For the First post in Armchair BEA 2012 we were asked to answer five questions out of a list of ten.


You can find links to all the participants' answers here.




Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

I taught myself Italian by using various audio, video and book-based courses.

I did this because I love all things to do with the Roman Empire, including the Eternal City of Rome itself. I have visited the city many times and after the first visit I was determined to be able to communicate in the native tongue.


Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

At the moment, the post I am most proud of is my review of The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey. I wrote it as a Guest Post for Bookworm Blues who has just finished her Special Needs in Strange Worlds event.

It was a great event, looking at the portrayal of disabled people in Speculative Fiction, and I was honored when Sarah asked me to contribute. This is the most detailed review that I have written because I normally try to avoid too many spoilers.


If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?

The Emperor Claudius as presented in the wonderful books I, Claudius and Claudius the God by Robert Graves.

As I said above, I really love the Roman Empire and have done ever since I was a teenager. One of my first encounters with fiction set within this wonderful world was this work by Robert Graves. Claudius was the most unlikely of any of the Emperors. He was the biological grandson of Mark Antony and adopted grandson of the Emperor Augustus. He was born with many physical problems, including a terrible stammer, weak legs and muscle spasms. Modern scholars believe that he had cerebral palsy. As the useless and embarrassing freak of the family he was hidden away and kept out of the public and political limelight. Despite his disabilities, or because of them if you believe Mr Graves, he outlived his uncle, the Emperor Tiberius, and his nephew, the Emperor Gaius ‘Caligula’, and became Emperor himself. In many ways he was one of the good ones. He conquered the province of Britannia and created a bureaucracy to administer the massive Empire more efficiently. His third wife murdered him so that her son could become the Emperor Nero.

I imagine that Claudius would have some amazing stories to relate, so I would love to pick his brain about his life. Also, I have experimented with Roman cookery recipes, courtesy of the writings of Apicius, so I know that the meal itself would be quite interesting as well!


What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

Ancient Rome, but you probably could have guessed that from my answer above! However, I would like to be a little more specific and make it the Ancient Rome of Marcus Didius Falco, Lindsay Davis’ wonderfully disaster-prone Private Investigator. Ms Davis paints such a wonderful picture of the various areas of Rome that I want to experience myself, although I could probably do without the smells!


What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?

My most favorite part is the Read Along. I have been lucky to take part in several very rewarding events and I look forward to several more about to start over the next few weeks. If you have not yet enjoyed a read along, I recommend that you find one and join in. They are great for connecting with the other bloggers in your genre and make the process of reading a book a whole lot more enjoyable.

53 comments:

  1. Nice to meet you!  I have only taken part in one tiny read a long (for A Christmas Carol by Dickens) and I'm hoping to take part in another someday.  I read a lot of classics, and I think many would be more fun in a group.

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  2. Good Morning and welcome to Armchair BEA!  It is a pleasure to meet you!  Great review of Anne McCaffrey!  Once of my favorite authors!

    Lisa

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  3. Yeah!  So glad you decided to join up for Armchair BEA. That is so cool you taught yourself Italian!  I've always wanted to teach myself a language.  I am trying to get my own read-along started, but it's pretty slow going.  Hopefully I'll get a few more participants :)  Have fun!

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  4. I haven't participated in a read-along yet - I'm afraid of the commitment! But I keep lurking around them - I'm sure I'll do one eventually when I can't resist anymore. 

    Thanks for stopping by my Armchair BEA Intro Post!

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  5.  I've always been kind of fascinated with Ancient Rome (and Greece too), but definitely not as much as you I guess! It's great that you have something you're so passionate about, and I agree seeing Ancient Rome would be amazing! :D

    I also see in your sidebar that you're reading A Clash of Kings! I'm on the first book....almost done it, and I can't wait to get onto that one! :D

    Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself. It's really nice to meet you. :)
    Ambur
    My BEA Introduction Post

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  6. I've never read much Anne McCaffrey because I wasnt sure where to start. Maybe I'll try The Ship Who Sang.

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  7. I am so impressed that you taught yourself Italian.  Nice to meet you, and thanks for stopping by my blog.  

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  8. I love Anne McCaffrey.  It  has been a long time since I have read that series.  I will have to look at it again.

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  9. Wow, I think it's amazing that you taught yourself Italian. Not many people can say the same. 
    Have a great week!

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  10. ooh I think it's amazing you taught yourself Italian! I wish I could do that. I hope you're enjoying Armchair BEA. :) 

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  11. I love the name of your blog because I ingest all three things on a daily basis!

    Obviously I've never been to ancient Rome, but contemporary Rome was still pretty great. Impressive that you taught yourself Italian. 

    Enjoy the rest of ABEA!

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  12. Impressive how you taught yourself Italian! I love The Ship Who Sang - it's one of my favorite McCaffrey novels, and she has so many good ones.

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  13. I'll time travel with you to ancient rome! I love that time period. 

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  14. I forgot to say that I love and I mean love the name of your blog!!

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  15. Thank you!

    I haven't read any of stuff for ages, I will get around to it eventually! :D

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  16. Read Alongs are great fun: you could always try hosting one if you can't find any that appeal to your tastes! :)

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  17. Learning a language is not too bad, it is trying to use it when everyone talks at about 1000 words a minute that is the big problem! :D

    Good luck with the read along: I hope you enjoy it!

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  18. Ancient Greece is interesting as well, with all the amazing insight into the Arts and Sciences, but there is just something about Rome . . . I must have been a Roman once! :D

    I finished A Game of Thrones a few weeks ago: they are such a great series. Tyrion is my hero! :)

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  19. I was really surprised at how well The SHip Who Sang had aged: it is well worth a re-read! :)

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  20. Italian is easy: it's learning how to interpret the Italians' body language that is difficult! :D

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  21. Learning a language is not too hard: honest! :)

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  22. All you need is a good teaching program: for speaking and listening I recommend Michel Thomas' recordings: they are excellent! :)

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  23. I just love Rome, I feel at home there for some reason, which is odd because I am not normally a big-city type of gal! :)

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  24. My husband suggested the Gerbil's Jockstrap: no idea why, but he liked it! :D

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  25. Sorted . . . I'll get packing! :)

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  26. The name comes from my wonderful Book Group: I found naming my blog to be one of the most difficult things about getting it started! :)

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  27. Not that impressive: honest! I fell in love with Ms McCaffrey again with this book: I haven't read anything of hers for years, but I will be working through them again now! :)

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  28. What?? You taught yourself Italian?? Wow. Mad props for that! I guess it would be easier to learn if you actually WANTED to learn a language instead of it being forced on you in school, but I had 3 years of French and I can't remember anything! LOL

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and it was nice to "meet" you!

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  29. I'm SO jealous you were able to teach yourself Italian. I've tried really hard to learn three different languages - through classes, camps and even moving to Spain - but none of them stuck. Kudos to you!

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  30. That's so cool that you taught yourself Italian! My family is actually part Italian. My cousins and great uncle still live over there. It's such a beautiful place! I wish I spoke more of the language, but I studied Spanish in high school and college. On the bright side, knowing Spanish definitely helps me understand a lot of Italian. I can't speak much of it, but my listening comprehension is decent! 

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  31. I am very impressed by the Italian!!  Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I hope you enjoy Outlander!  Have a great week!

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  32. I'm largely of Italian heritage and know my grandfather and great uncle would be in heaven if I learned how to speak Italian, as it is, I'm good just listening to it.  Hope you have a geat week.

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  33. Hi! It's nice to meet you, thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! I love Rome as well. Ancient, modern, etc. You name it, I love it. I was actually in Rome for the first time ever in April, and I loved being there and soaking in the history. I emphasized in both graphic design and art history in college, so I love Rome more for the art than the history itself. I love that you taught yourself Italian! I've been wanting to do that as well. :)

    Have a great week!

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  34. I know what you mean about school: I hated French at school, but loved Latin! I thought I was awful at French, but it kept coming back to me as I learnt Italian and getting in the way! Grrrrr! :D

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  35. I think it depends a lot on the language itself: some come more naturally than others in my experience. :)

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  36. I find that I can understand Spanish a little because of my Italian, so I understand what you mean about the similarities between the languages! :)

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  37. Thanks! I am looking forward to Outlander: it has been on my TBR for quite some time! :)

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  38. I found that the language was a good way into the culture because it reveals so much about how the people think! :)

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  39. I studied some Art History and Archaeology as well, so it was really nice to go around the Colosseum and recognize so much about how it was built. Now I am all sad because I haven't been to Rome for 2 years . . . :(

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  40. The readalong does sound really fun. I haven't participated, but I'd like to. I enjoyed The Ship Who Sang a lot. When you mentioned "with disabilities" it caught me off guard, 'cause that's not how I thought of Helva at all, or how Helva thought of herself, which is actually really great, isn't it? I jumped over and read your post. Reminded me of all the stories. Super interesting.  

    Nice to meet you this fine BEA day!!  In my armchair, no less!!!  :-D

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  41. So cool that you taught yourself Italian! I took French for a few years in school and am really wanting to take a refresher course. Might have to try it on my own. 

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  42. I find read alongs very worth while: and not just because they have introduced me to authors that I hadn't read before. 

    WRT The Ship Who Sang: I found it quite funny how Helva pities the normal humans because they are so inferior to her when most people would see her as the person to be pitied. It was a great event with lots of interesting posts and I was honored to take part.

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  43. I actually schools make languages difficult to learn because everyone learns at a different rate and in different ways, so you might find that you do better on your own! :)

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  44. Wow, that's seriously cool you taught yourself Italian! I've tried with a few languages, but it's hard. I still haven't managed to joing a Read Along, but I so want to. It seems like a really fun event! 

    Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  45. Thank you!

    If you can't find a Read Along, perhaps you could organize one yourself? :)

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  46. I could! Although I already do a Read-A-Thon and it's quite a lot of work, haha. I have found many I've liked to join, but I just need the time to read the books! (or money to buy them ;o) *sigh* Something to think about maybe. :)


    If you ever do one though, just let me know. ;) Haha

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  47. I would love to teach myself French, perhaps I should go about it that same way. I too love a good read along. 

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  48. Love your blog title! How great that you taught yourself Italian, I'm certainly impressed. I hope you are enjoying Armchair BEA, I sure am!

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  49. I would love to learn Italian someday. That's so cool that you taught yourself!

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  50. Thank you! :)

    I am enjoying Armchair BEA, but it is a little overwhelming: I didn't expect so many people to take part! :D

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  51. Thank you! But I enjoy learning new stuff, so it was more fun than hard work! :D

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  52. For basic understanding and speaking skills I would thoroughly recommend the Michel Thomas method: I found it worked really well.

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  53. WOW that is awesome that you taught yourself Italian! :) Very cool!

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