Friday, August 16, 2013

10 From 100- A Profile of Canadian Book Challenge couple TEENA and SWORDSMAN

John's Preamble: Actually this one would more accurately be called 14 from 100 as Teena (from Teena in Toronto) and Swordsman (from The World of Gord) took a sort of Venn Diagram approach to the questions. They each answered 6 of the same questions, but chose 4 different questions to round out their respective 10.

I'm very excited to highlight Teena and Swordsman as they've been the unofficial Canadian Book Challenge couple for 4 years now. (Unless there's another couple out there that I don't know about!) It's no small feat, as I can attest. I managed to convince my wife to join a few years back but it didn't stick.

On a rare occasion you'll see Teena and Swordsman reading the same book but for the most part they each bring unique reading selections to the challenge. (And when they don't it's interesting to compare reviews.)

Maybe I should I have profiled these two in February, for Valentine's Day, but what the heck!

10 FROM 100


For which of the following do you have accounts … Blogger, Wordpress, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads?

I have a blog on Blogger and I'm active on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and GoodReads.

How much time do you spend on social media each day?

I'm active on Facebook and check in many (many!) times during the day/night (I don't play games, though). I usually do at least one post a day on my blog. I don't use Twitter much and use it mainly to share my blog links. I have a professional profile on LinkedIn. And I review all the books I read on GoodReads and include a link to my blog review.

Do you read on an electronic device and if so, which one? If not, why?

Gord bought me the original Kobo when they first came out and it took me a while to use it because I loved the feel of books. But once I started using it, I was hooked! I bought the Kobo Vox when it came out and wasn't crazy about it … mine had a lot of bugs, I guess, I had a lot of trouble with it. I now have a Kobo Arc and I love love love it! I love the convenience of an e-reader ... being able to access the web when I'm near WIFI is a bonus. It's very rare that I read a "real" book these days.

What is more important to you … discovering new authors or sticking with old favourites?

Both … I like discovering new authors AND sticking with old favourites. When I find a favourite author, I tend to read ALL their books. And a lot of the time new authors become favourites!


Which Canadian author have you read the most?

TEENA: The Canadian author I've read the most is Linwood Barclay … I've read 11 of his books. He is closely followed by Mary Jane Maffini… I've read 9 of her books.

SWORDSMAN: Pierre Berton. I discovered him back in the eighties and love the way he writes about Canadian history in a way that places the reader right in the middle of the story.

Are your Canadian Book Challenge choices pre-picked and are you following any theme?

TEENA: My book challenge choices aren't pre-picked or follow a theme … I tend to read whatever comes along and catches my eye.

SWORDSMAN: Totally random, just whatever catches my eye at the moment.

How long have you been participating in the Canadian Book Challenge?

TEENA: I've participated in all the Canadian Book Challenges … yippee!

SWORDSMAN: This is my fourth year in the challenge.

Have you finished the Canadian Book Challenge in previous years?

TEENA: I've finished all the challenges … whoohoo! My best showing was the fourth challenge when I'd read 36 Canadian books.

SWORDSMAN: I finished in each year I have been in it, reading 17 in Challenge 4, 22 in Challenge 5 and 16 in the last one.

Why did you join the Canadian Book Challenge?

TEENA: I joined the Canadian Book Challenge because I love, love, love to read and this was a good way to have me focus on reading more Canadian books.

SWORDSMAN: Teena told me to…actually I saw her in this challenge for a couple of years and finally asked her about it. It sounded like a very interesting thing to do, plus I read a lot about Canadian history anyways and thought it would be fun to keep track of exactly how many Canadian books I read in a year.

What was the last Canadian book you read?

TEENA: The last Canadian book I read was last week … Linwood Barclay's Tap on the Window. It was good.

SWORDSMAN: I have had two false starts lately, popular Canadian books that I took out of the library and only got half way through when they were due back and on hold for somebody else. Good books too which I have on hold. The last Canadian book I completed was Full Count, Four Decades of Blue Jays Baseball.


What is the most outrageous omission in your reading history?

I read non-fiction all the time and decided this year it was time to concentrate on reading other types of books; fiction, science fiction, mysteries— so at least half my yearly and CBC reading is anything but non-fiction. That being said, I am currently reading Paul Anka’s autobiography My Way with another Canadian autobiography on deck. I need to try harder! 

What is your favorite short story?

This would be Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Tell-Tale Heart." There is more story and emotion in the three to four pages of this story than there is in any other short story or book! It’s one I have read many times and will read again.

Have you ever heard from a Canadian author whom you have reviewed?

Only twice. One was a Canadian author and the other was a book on the War of 1812, in which I saw both sides of how criticism is taken. I don’t usually review a book unless I have read it all but wasn’t enjoying In Calamity’s Wake. But I reviewed it saying it wasn’t a style of writing that I enjoyed. The author, Natalee Caple, wrote back, “hey, thanks for reading my book and posting on it. I’m sorry it wasn’t your kind of thing but glad to hear from readers anyway.” Very classy reply.

The other reply wasn’t from a Canadian author but a book about the war of 1812 written by a British author. I liked the book but criticized the illustrations which I found were poorly done and said so. I received an anonymous reply, either by the illustrator or somebody related to him, that the illustrations were good, that I didn’t know what I was talking about, and oh, I am fat. Just too funny! 

What is your first reading memory?

I read Blacky the Crow way, way back when I was a young kid in the sixties. I just Googled it and found it was first published in 1922 and still appealing to kids forty years later. I haven’t thought about that book for a very long time. Thanks for asking that question John and bringing back a fun reading memory!

And thanks once again to Teena and Swordsman (aka Gord) for taking on the 10 from 100 and continuing to take part in the Canadian Book Challenge!


Melwyk said...

What a great profile -- I really enjoyed the double feature :)

Teena in Toronto said...

Thanks for the spotlight!

BTW, I did mine totally independent from Gord and sent it in first ... I'm not sure whether he stole some of my questions or not :)

Swordsman said...

This was fun to do.Teena did get hers in first, where I decided to take my time and provide thoughtful answers:}

Luanne said...

Another fun get to know you! Thanks Teena and Swordsman! (And John, I like the new look!)

John Mutford said...

Melwyk: Great profileS.

Teena and Swordsman: I'm not playing the ref on this one!

Luanne: Thanks!

Sarah said...

I popped over to read about the Canadian Book Challenge and to say "Hello" to you! Teena is my sister.