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As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Natalie: A Bookmark Break Challenge 2011 Winner!

Natalie from The Adventures of the Vereen-Davises

Natalie is a contender form 2011 who has also joined in for 2012! I am so very happy to have her around again. Last year she read a total of 52 books and really gave me a run for my moneu thoughout most of the competition until she start to pull ahead of me and then there was no catching up to her!

Here's what she had to say about the challenge!

  1. Why did you join the Bookmark Break Challenge in 2011? I loved the idea of tracking the reading that I did in 2011--it was interesting to see how much I would read without any school assignments or outside pressures.
  2. Did you set a goal for yourself in this challenge? When I first started, I didn't have a goal, but about halfway through the year I began to aim for 50 books (which would work out to slightly less than a book a week). I was happy with how things turned out this first year.
  3. Do you have a goal for this challenge in 2012? To read more than I did in 2011. So, 2012's goal is at least 53.
  4. How did you learn to read so fast!? I've always been a reader--ever since I read my first book without any help (Curious George Flies a Kite) at age 5. However, I got the reading thing down to a science when I went to law school and then English graduate school. I would read between 6 and 9 hours a DAY during those years of my life, and speed reading becomes the only way you can humanly get through all of the material necessary. I wish I'd thought to write down the number of books I'd read during grad school!!
  5. What was the kind of thing you were reading the most? (Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, a certain genre, books for school?) I adore contemporary British fiction--like Kazuo Ishiguro, Iain Banks, Ian McEwan and Patrick McGrath--but I'm also a sucker for something I can zip through in a short time (like a Patricia Cornwell thriller). There are also some really random books on my list from when I was unpacking my library this year and found some oldie by goodie teen novels like Caroline B. Cooney and Anne Brasheres!
  6. How did your love for books begin? My parents read to me constantly when I was a child: newspapers, magazines, novels, picture books. Anything with words on it was fair game.
  7. What was your favorite book you read this year and why? I loved Eric Larson's Devil in the White City, one of my first forays into nonfiction: it was incredibly interesting and the fact that everything in the book was true made this book one that I couldn't put down. I also re-read some favorites like Audrey Niffenigger's Her Fearful Symmetry (spooky, haunting and about London--in other words, AWESOME!) and The Time Traveler's Wife (beautiful in every way), and Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves (which makes you rethink everything you know about the way a novel is written. At points in the book, the text goes in circles, follows the edges of the page or needs to be read in a mirror. Literary, postmodern, yet all around creepy and entertaining).
  8. What was your least favorite book you read this year and why? Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Angel's Game. I loved his first novel, The Shadow of the Wind, and thus, I was expecting more great things from the second book. The Angel's Game was a classic Gothic thriller until the last twenty pages or so, when the book takes an odd, odd direction, then leaves you scratching your head and going, "Huh? What just happened?" (and not in a good way, as Ian McEwan often does).
  9. Any books you are looking forward to in 2012? I really want to read The Woman in Black; I saw the West End play that is based on the book back in November 2011, and I'm intrigued to see how the book was translated onto the stage. Plus, I'm excited about the movie version coming out this year with Daniel Radcliffe--and I can't see the movie without reading the book first!
  10. Any advice for those entering the challenge in 2012? Be consistent. Reading dozens of book might seem overwhelming at first, but if you say, "I'll read one chapter a night," you'll be surprised how quickly you can start to finish your books.

  1. What do you love the most about yourself? I'm consistently optimistic. Of course, I have my down moments, but for the most part, I tend to see the good in everything and everyone until I'm given a reason not to.
  2. What’s the most random thing that popped into your head today? "I need to get some white linen pants this summer." (Because white linen  is totally what I need to be thinking about on a 40 degree day in January!)
  3. What’s your blog and what’s it about? My blog is The Adventures of the Vereen-Davises (www.vereen-davis.blogspot.com), and it basically follows my life: teaching, photography, travel, family moments, and our ongoing house renovations.
  4. Tell me and my readers 2 truths and 1 lie and we’ll try to guess the lie. 1) I used to jog past Hugh Grant's house and talk to his security guard in the hopes of catching a glimpse of him. 2) I only knew my husband a month before we decided to get married. 3) I'm an English major who secretly doesn't understand why people love Shakespeare so much.
  5. Tell me and my readers something you hold true to your heart, some wisdom. As corny as it sounds, be happy and try to make the people around you happy. And travel every chance you get--it's good for your spirits. :)
Thanks, Natalie! Can't wait to see you meet your goals this time around!

REMEMBER!!! Absolutley anyone and everyone can join in on the Bookmark Break Challenge 2012. If you are intested, comment below or check out the official BMBC '12 page here.


  1. Aww congrats Natalie! And I enjoyed the interview! :) Nice!

  2. Thanks for the great answers. I am going to guess that your lie is jogging past Hugh Grant's house and talking to his security gaurd, because if that is real I am sooo jealous!

  3. Great 2 truths and a lie entries. I'm going to guess the lie is #2, because I want #1 to be true and I can kinda sorta understand #3. Hm, I'm well and truly stumped here ...

  4. Thanks for featuring me AubrieAnne!

    As for what is truth and what is a lie: it's #2 (yay Susan!). I actually knew my husband on and off for 8 years (and was engaged to someone else!) before finally getting married. When I lived in London, I actually did live right around the corner from Hugh Grant and I'd talk to his security guard all the time...never saw him, but I did see Elton John, Johnny Depp and Brittany Murphy (who was shooting a movie at the time, and stopped the filming so she could say hey to my friends and I!). :)

    Can't wait to meet the other Bookmark Break peeps!

    1. No problem and that is just very cool.

  5. Yay, I guessed right :) LOL. And, really, who needs Hugh Grant when you can feast your eyes on Johnny Depp?


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