Caroline of Beauty Is a Sleeping Cat and Himadri of The Argumentative Old Git recently tagged me to take part in a link round-up for something called the 7 x 7 Link Award--something of a crypto-meme, let's be honest. Although I'm not really a meme guy, the psychological double-team employed by these two bloggers and the totally coincidental arrival of a "wonderful" unicorn image in my in-box courtesy of the amusingly passive-aggressive Jill from Rhapsody in Books persuaded me I should lighten up for a day. In any event, the instructions I'm supposed to follow appear in red below.
1. Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows.
Hmm. Well, I do often wonder whether book bloggers who endlessly swoon over Victorian fiction have non-book blogging counterparts with similarly monotonously antiquated tastes in other parts of the blogosphere (i.e. fashionistas who devote their blogs to frock coats and cravats and governess gear; personal bloggers who chronicle their struggles with fainting on demand and "the vapors"; political bloggers who wax about their love for 19th century imperial monarchies, etc.). Then I take another swig of high alcohol content beer and think about the good old days when adult YA fans were my only "blogging nemeses" ("blogging nemeses" = smilingly stolen from the ever perceptive Frances of Nonsuch Book).
2. Link to a post that you think fits the following categories: Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, Most Pride-Worthy Piece.
- I don't do "beautiful," so I guess that one's out. On the other hand, there's a "lovely" simile buried in the body of this post although the lovely part naturally wasn't actually written by me. Is that close enough to count, chers lecteurs?
- I don't really do helpful either--or at least not intentionally. However, I'm tickled at the thought that a number of people arrived at and were potentially helped out by this Life A User's Manual post after launching a surprisingly popular keyword search for the humble "petit-beurre." True story!
- This Classics Club sign-up post--in reality, something of a prank--is the blog's most popular piece by far in terms of the number of comments it's generated. More importantly to me, the discussion was a blast. Since part of my blogging philosophy (well, if I had one, that is) is that people who don't comment don't exist, I won't mention the posts that have been visited more but have been commented upon less according to the lurker/spammer stats at my disposal.
- I wouldn't have had any idea how "controversial" this summarily brief, two sentence long post here was except a guy who's never commented on my blog took the trouble of e-mailing me a rambling, multi-paragraph complaint suggesting that I had caused people on multiple continents to cry on account of how hurtful and sexist the post supposedly was. Lesson learned from this incident: hack YA authors apparently have a lot of highly-strung fans in their cénacles! Other lesson learned from this incident: apparently many emo book bloggers only want to discuss books with you when you fully agree with them.
- I'm not sure how to measure a most successful piece or a most underrated piece since my opinion on the "success" of these things is likely to differ from yours. Ultimately, they're all throwaways anyway. However, I still get a laugh out of these old write-ups of Huysmans' Là-Bas and Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars because of the clearly inappropriate and ineffective ways I was going about trying to connect with other challenge readers who had little to no interest in the kinds of books I was reviewing. What an audience-baiting novice!
- "Most Pride-Worthy Piece" is a tough call--mostly because whatever stupid evanescent investment I have in a post has to do with whether I made myself laugh or said whatever I wanted to say in a short time or at least said it with only a modicum of potential future embarrassment anticipated. That being said, this post's first-sentence combination of a gratuitous Bjork insult with another insult about the crappy Scandinavian novel in question being a "historical fiction Beaches"? Yeah, I remember being pretty proud of that hate vibe handiwork at the time!
I'm going to anti-climactically pass on this passing on part since the chain-mail aspect of blogging awards doesn't appeal to the non-community builder/non-Victorian swooner in me. I hope you'll all feel free to participate if you like, though, since the posts of the other bloggers I've seen who have chosen to participate to this point have provided plenty of pleasant diversions for me. In the meantime, thanks to Caroline and Himadri for the invites! Their own responses to the 7 x 7 survey, by the way, can be found here and here. Other respondents of note: Emma; Guy Savage; Litlove; Obooki.