Though I have spent my life scorning chain letters (well, except for in Middle School, when I did many things I hope never to repeat. Including this unfortunate ensemble:
1. Tell us one thing that we don’t know about you!
Well, I just showed off my fine color-coordination skills. You didn't know that, did you? What else....I was a piano major for most of my college career (doubling with English) but dropped it to a minor when my teacher retired.
2. Is there one book you’re always recommending? Which book is it and why.
I recommend books based on individual needs most of the time. I have recommended The Book Thief several times (sorry you're not liking it, Lu!) because I loved it so. I love the narrative voice and the off-beat style. I think it is one of the most poetically beautiful books, and I love that it was designed for young people. I hate when people write down to kids.
I would push Marilynne Robinson's Gilead on just about anyone. It is unreal good. I recently loaned my mom T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets, which I do highly recommend. Relatively accessible Eliot and stunningly thoughtful poetry. I have given Anita Diamant's The Red Tent as a gift a few times. Think. Think. Think. Why is this question so hard? Maybe I need to recommend books more often.
3. Have you convinced anyone to read said book? Did they like it?
Since I couldn't make up my mind above, I'll tell you about my most recent success in recommendation: I sent my dear friend off to Haiti with three titles, and I think she read all three and liked them all. They were Jamaica Kincaid's A Small Place, Breath Eyes Memory by Edwidge Danticat, and Clyde Edgerton's Walking Across Egypt. I felt like Dolly Levi with my matchmaking score!
4. What do you do besides read?
Teach, mother, take photographs, work on my money pit/house, drink good beer, make sometimes delicious food, garden, run (my thighs would say otherwise), and hike.
5. Are you crafty?
I like to think so. I sew a bit, have painted some, like to make cool things myself. I don't know. I try, I suppose.
6. Whom do you miss right now?
My friends who live in London. I often wish I could hug their necks. I'm also already pre-missing my sister, who is moving out of town in April.
7. What are you going to eat for dinner?
Roast chicken, pinto beans, broccoli, and steamed rice. I think. If I can get my act together once I get home, that's what's on the agenda.
8. What is the one book you’ve been dying to read but you haven’t yet?
Dying to read is not something that happens to me often. I just don't catch the buzz all that much. Things cross my path, and I read them. I pick up titles that interest me. I like books that are a hundred years old. It just doesn't translate into that kind of anticipation. However, I do look forward to reading the next in the Ice and Fire series, and since I'm making myself wait until after the move, it is something I'm looking forward to.
9. I need some new music recommendations! What have you been listening to lately?
Like my book selections, I often don't stay up on the new music scene. Howevah, I did just hear about this great new singer called Adele. She's supposed to be pretty good. ;)
No, seriously. What would I recommend? How about this: if you don't use Noisetrade, you should. I have found several really great finds through them, and it's free-ish. Also, my friends have a great blog where they often share new music. Check them out at Bottom of the Glass.
10. If you could go back to any time in your life and live through it all again, when would you return to?
OK, so I don't really mean to be a buzzkill, but just ask my husband: I am not a look-backer. I look forward so ridiculously that he claims I forget to enjoy the present. I disagree, but his point has merit.
I would like to return to Cambridge, where I studied for a summer session in 1998, but I want to take my family with me. I can be definitive about one thing: I ain't going back to middle school!
11. What’s one goal you have for this year?
To strike a better balance in my life. I feel like work is keeping me from pursuing so many of the other amazing things I love to do. For that matter, it's keeping me from the things I don't love like dusting or cleaning the toilets. The discontent is not healthy, though, so I'm either going to rectify the situation on a grand scale or find the balance that works. It's a work in progress.
And speaking of work, I have just ignored the grading I was supposed to be doing for far too long, so I must get back to it. I'm not going to retag, but thanks for including me, Lu. This was fun!