“Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women, one in Drimoleague and one in Clonakilty, Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish of Goleen, West Cork, and denounced my mother as a whore.”
First line in The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Happy Friday, everyone!
Between numerous orchestra rehearsals during which I nearly froze to death, a concert during which I nearly sweated to death (How was I supposed to know they’d finally turn on the heating right when I decided to put on as many layers of clothes as possible? 😩), officially wrapping up the university semester, and getting ready for yet another move, this past week has been an extremely hectic one. So of course, I did what any lazy blogger in my position would have done – I got someone else to write a substantial part of my post for me! 😁
A huge thank you goes to Line @ First Line Reader – not only for putting up with my exploitation of her writing skills and doing the Know Your Buddy Tag with me, but also for being such an amazing blogger and friend that I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather be doing this tag with in the first place. Seriously, if you guys aren’t following her yet, you’re missing out!
(Besides, the other half of this tag is on Line’s blog, so if you want to see my answers to the tag questions in addition to hers, you’re going to have to head over there anyway… 😜)
Also, further thanks goes to Riddhi @ Whispering Stories for tagging both of us (and thus being the reason this post exists) and to Srishti @ The Srishti Blog for tagging me again (and thus giving me a reason to feel like I’m more on top of my tags than I actually am). Their takes on this tag with Nehal @ Quirky Pages and Dhriti @ The Tomboy Diaries are definitely worth checking out, too!
But without further ado, let’s get into thick of things!
- Tag the original creators of this tag – Tia @ Tall Blonde Tales and Ashish @ Proxy Words – and tag the original posts from each of their blogs. If you do, you’ll be eligible for the roundup post and grand Know Your Buddy tag winner! If not, you can still take part in the tag, you just won’t be a contender for the overall winner.
- Thank the bloggers who nominated you (and your buddy), share the badge and rules in your post.
- Pick a blogger with whom you’d like to do this tag with, answer the questions together, and share each other’s answers on both blogs.
- Nominate 10 new bloggers and keep spreading the love.
- Notify the bloggers (tell them you nominated them) by commenting on one of their posts.
The Questions, Line’s Answers, and My Reactions
You didn’t honestly think I’d be able to keep my mouth shut about all the interesting things Line had to say, did you? 😂 That’s why in addition to Line’s answers (in normal print), you’re also getting my reactions (in italics). Have fun reading!
1. What is your favorite blog post of mine and why?
I love all your posts! I can’t just pick one! BUT I especially loved your post with advice on how to get people to engage with your blog. Some spot-on advice there that wasn’t at all sarcastic. I can’t resist a post that makes everything a joke, just like that story you wrote once that I also have to mention here (could you maybe help me with a title because as much as I love it, I can never remember what it’s called 😄).
Oh, yes, A Sunrise of Serpents and Evaporation! 😂 That’s one of my personal favorites as well – I mean, how could it not be, when it is the world’s next bestselling novel? – so I am thrilled to hear you appreciate its masterfulness. (Though I am, of course, scandalized that you didn’t remember the utterly awe-inspiring title.)
As for my blogging advice post, I actually don’t think it’s all that special, in spite of the amazing tips it contains… But you seem to be with the majority here, because to this day, it remains my most-liked post of all time.
2. What would you like to be known for – your name or your blog’s name?
This is kind of hard to answer because I would say my own name, but by going with my blog’s name, I kinda get both? My name is also not exactly a good international name since it can be confused with a standard word and none of you would be able to pronounce it properly, I expect (not that I would mind). So I guess my answer is my blog’s name, First Line Reader.
**Immediately has an existential crisis over whether she has been pronouncing Line’s name correctly** It’s pronounced the same way as we would say it in Germany, right? Please tell me the “e” isn’t silent or something! For the record, though, nobody can ever pronounce my name either, and using your wonderfully punny blog name here is such a clever answer!
3. If you had to swap niches, which niche would you change to?
Picture from stern.de
I’m a big sports fan and can watch pretty much anything (except maybe the American sports), and I could easily write blog posts about that. Football, cycling and handball are my main interests, and I could definitely write opinion pieces about the latest controversy or my expectations for an upcoming tournament/race. I’ve been so close to doing that a few times until I remember I have a book blog and nobody cares.
I would read your sports opinion pieces! Especially the soccer ones 🤩 I’m not too passionate about handball or cycling – I’m happy as long as there are bike lanes wherever I live and I don’t have to worry about being run over by crazy drivers who refuse to check their car’s wing mirror from time to time – but I’m sure if you were the one writing the posts, you could make me care about them!
4. What is the weirdest comment you have ever gotten on your blog?
I don’t remember ever getting any crazy comments, at least not ones that weren’t spam, and since those are gone now, I can only share one that came in recently:
This one is funny when you consider the post it is commented on. I mean, I’m glad I helped this person find the information they had been looking for for so long, but I don’t want to take too much credit since the unpopular opinions in that post are taken from Buzzfeed. I’m wondering why they couldn’t find it. And concerning the conclusion? Well, there isn’t any. And if I’m sure about the source? It’s Buzzfeed so that would be a no.
This person seems to be very passionate about correct citation because I’m fairly certain I’ve seen a similar comment of theirs floating around in my own spam folder… However, I think we should be grateful that they’re looking out for us, Line! Especially when you’re going around using sources like Buzzfeed and writing conclusion-less posts 😱 We can’t have that!
5. Do you think cereal is soup? Why or why not?
… What is this question?
Anyway, I’m taking a very scientific approach to this. Cereal is disgusting because it involves milk a.k.a. the most horrible thing I can think of. I like soup though because there is no milk in it, so therefore the conclusion is that since I like soup and not cereal, cereal can’t be soup.
I highly approve of your logical approach to this and your obviously correct conclusion, but let me just get this straight – YOU DON’T LIKE MILK??? How can anyone not like milk?! Even I, despite having an abundance of terrible milk-related memories due to being lactose intolerant, love milk! Something must be seriously wrong with your taste buds.
6. If you had a controller with the power to rewind or fast-forward, which would you press for WordPress?
Just a little bit forward. I don’t see the appeal in going backwards when I had less people to talk to and probably would spend all my time cringing at the posts I wrote then. I assume going forward would mean I had found even more amazing blogs to follow and interact with since I still don’t feel like I talk to enough people at the moment.
I hadn’t even thought of it that way, but now I definitely don’t want to rewind, either! We might not even know each other yet, and then I wouldn’t have anybody to bombard with ridiculously long comments about my favorite fantasy series! 😪
7. Your blog is chosen to sponsor a charity. If funds were not an issue, which charity or issue would your blog choose to support?
A charity I already support is Danish Refugee Council, which is a humanitarian organization that assists and protects refugees around the world. I’m very passionate about this as the politicians in my country couldn’t care less about human rights when it comes to refugees and asylum seekers. Our two biggest parties have the exact same policy on this matter, so since I can’t change anything through my democratic vote, I need to give my money to some people who care about this issue.
Okay, where do we get you more funds for this?! Because I am 100% with you! Our government was initially very supportive when the “refugee crisis” began, but now I feel like they’re chickening out because they’re scared of losing voters to right-wing parties, like the amazingly-stupid-but-somehow-still-quite-popular AfD 🙄 And even before, the kinds of stuff allowed to go on behind the scenes in asylum processes was sickening. Like, I’ve been teaching German to a Syrian family for several years now, and for the first two, the children were stuck in a Turkish refugee camp all alone because a bunch of time-consuming bureaucratic reasons prevented them from being reunited with their parents. The youngest daughter was five at the time. So yes, give that money to people who care!!
8. If you two were to be buddy characters in a movie, which characters would you be and why?
Picture from tornadomovies.com
I’m reaching a little here, but it’s all I’ve got, so please, just roll with it. I’m thinking we are Marlin (me) and Dory (you) from Finding Nemo, and don’t take that as me saying you have a bad memory! I just think Dory has a very positive and curious approach to life. She explores new things with an open mind, and I think that could fit quite well with you, with how much you want to learn (music, languages, math) and with how much you want to travel. AND you like swimming. And then there’s me/Marlin, the practical but slightly grumpy one that could benefit from that positivity, but who also needs to make sure there is a plan.
😂😂😂 I must admit, I’ve always related to Marlin a lot more than Dory – my chaotic blogging methods may have led you to underestimate how much I love planning everything else in my life – but I do admire Dory’s never-ending positivity and curiosity! And her swimming skills, of course. So I am very flattered! Still, I think you’re wrong about two things: One, you’re nowhere near as grumpy as Marlin. And two, my memory unfortunately resembles Dory’s much more than I would like 😅
9. Which is the most boring part of writing blog posts for you, or what part of blogging are you laziest about doing?
To anyone who doesn’t know, I begin all my blog posts with the first line of a book I’ve read, but I’m incredibly lazy about picking one. It’s always the last thing I do, and I love it when a post makes it easy for me to choose (like a review of a specific book). In all other cases, I feel that the perfect first line is out there, one that perfectly reflects the post and maybe even includes a hidden reference. I’m just too lazy to look for it.
After all the struggles we had trying to find the perfect movie character buddies for the previous question, I relate to this! Still, looking for good first lines also sounds like a wonderful way to procrastinate writing your actual post, so if I were in your place, I’d probably have the opposite problem 😂
(EDIT, after being
forced very kindly asked to pick out a first line for Line’s post: I RELATE TO THIS SO FREAKING MUCH!!!)
10. What are the unwritten rules of your blog?
I have two rules:
- Be honest even if my opinion is unpopular. If I feel I have an underrepresented opinion on something and I want to talk about it, then fear is not allowed to stop me. Whenever I’ve written a post like that, there’s always someone who can relate and who is happy that I wrote it.
- When coming up with ideas for posts I judge those ideas by asking myself whether they will make people laugh or they will make people think. If I say no to both, then I usually don’t write the post, although I have started to allow myself the occasional “easy” post that I only write because I feel like doing it.
I know these could seem like some very strict rules for something I do for fun, but I find them necessary to deal with my anxiety while blogging. Left unchecked, the anxiety would make me choose the easy solution instead of pushing the boundaries for what I can do and ultimately write the posts that I want to write and not the posts my anxiety deems “safe”.
Those are some great rules to have! Particularly the second one – I should probably take a page out of your book because I feel like I’ve been writing almost exclusively “easy” posts in the past few months… Of course, I also value honesty, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem flaunting my unpopular opinions for all the world to see 😁 Writing bad reviews for books that authors were kind enough to send me for review does make me slightly uncomfortable, though.
11. If you could transform into any animal, what would it be and why?
Photo by Mike van Schoonderwalt on Pexels.com
A panda. They just sit around and eat all day, and that is the lifestyle I aspire to have. You think a panda has any worries in life? It really doesn’t look like it, and yes, they might be a bit stupid, but I enjoy making people laugh, so I could live with that.
The eating part really convinced me. And, you know, pandas also sleep a lot between all that eating, which definitely doesn’t sound bad, either!
12. If your blog had a superpower/magical element, what would it be?
My blog would know how much effort I put into a post and then magically attract the equivalent amount of attention for that post. Of course, I don’t blog for views but when you continuously pour hours of work into your posts for them to then get 10 views, it’s just a tiny bit disheartening. Especially when the posts I don’t put very much effort into (like a TBR) are my most popular ones.
I feel you on this! For example, my hiatus announcement from last year, which I put next to no effort into, is far more popular than our amazing Lost in Translation collab… I just don’t understand, especially after we went to so much trouble with those polls! 😪 However, I would also like to specify the “magical attention” to “comments” because you can’t really build much of a relationship with your audience based on views alone. Comments are far more rewarding!
13. What reminds you of me?
I could say something language related as well (like Russian), but I don’t know anyone who is such a big advocate for math as you, so whenever I encounter something math related, I think “Naemi would love this”.
🥰 I am always proud to be a math-advocate!
(Especially when it involves other people including amazing things such as Pattern’s dividing by zero joke in their book reviews, where I will then get to find and fangirl about them!)
14. If you were given the power to exchange blogs for a day, which thing would you change or adapt first?
How about some more colors, Naemi? 😉 Specifically, I’d probably start by designing some separators because I couldn’t write posts without them, and they are easy to make. Then again, I do know you’ve been considering changing the look of your blog and I wouldn’t want to do all the work for you. I know how much you’re looking forward to it 😜
You can do as much work for me as you want, Line! I promise I won’t mind in the slightest!
(Also, thank you for saying this and giving me the perfect procrastination excuse – because for this post to still make sense now that people are actually getting to read it, I obviously couldn’t start doing any blog-revamping before February 😇)
15. What new username would you give to my blog?
Oh, but your name is such a good one considering your obsession with owls. If I were to change something anyway, maybe I’d upgrade you from a corner to a library or something. You’ve shown us your bookshelves before, I know they don’t fit in a corner. But then a corner is also kind of cozy, so I also think it’s great as it is.
Alas, alas, you are very right about the bookshelves 😪 I just don’t have enough space in my room!
However, in addition to me liking the coziness of corners, that part of my blog name actually exists for very nostalgic reasons. In the midst of a city trip to Dresden – which involved a slightly intoxicated encounter with a statue of Erich Kästner, a museum full of horrifying papier-mâché renditions of Inkheart characters, and a flea market where I acquired the complete works of Friedrich Schiller for 1€ despite not having any room for them in my suitcase – one of my friends and I had the glorious idea of starting a book blog together, which we wanted to call Dachbodeneck (= “attic corner”). Years later, the only one of us who actually does have a book blog is me, but I still decided to keep the corner around 😊
And that already wraps up the questions! Thanks again, Line, for doing this with me, and thank you everybody else for reading!
- Devangi @ Just Penning Down My Thoughts
- Emily @ Frappes and Fiction
- Esmeralda @ Lattes with Literature
- Marta @ Monogamist Reader
- Suhani @ Random Reader’s Rambles
No pressure though, if you don’t want to do this! I just thought I’d use this opportunity to share your wonderful blogs and some posts of yours that I really loved with the world 🤗
(Also, I am aware that these aren’t ten people, but so many people have already done this! Besides, between Line and me, we ARE tagging ten people – so it counts! 😎)
And of course, if we didn’t tag you and you would still like to give this a try, feel free to go ahead anyway! We would love to see your answers!
Anyway, that was it for today! Don’t forget to head over to Line’s blog if you want to check out the second half of this collab; and let us know which of our responses you found most relatable! Did any of them surprise you? How would you have answered some of these questions? We would love to know!
(At least as long as you don’t think cereal is soup because, honestly, then we’d probably rather not know 😅)