What the hell is a Liebster Award?


The Liebster Award is making the rounds. I got nominated for one years ago, and ignored it because it read like some kind of chain letter, and well, it is, but the questions going around these days are much better. I’m old enough to have received chain letters via email and *actual mail.* You know, the ones full of promises of death and dismemberment if you didn’t reply within seven days. The Liebster does not ask about the last person you kissed OR threaten you with death, so it’s already an improvement.

I am nominated by Tania of Write Reads. Thank you Tania! Check out her award post here.

Before I get started though, I have a question…

What the hell is a Liebster?
Apparently NOT a guy named Lieb who insists on being called The Liebster, which is what I always pictured. The Liebster is tough to pin down. If infiltrates a group of bloggers for a while; you feel like your whole feed is Liebster posts. And then it’s gone. Who started it? Is it a book blog-specific thing? Why do the rules vary (it’s supposedly for blogs with “few” followers, and I’ve seen that defined as under 200, 300, 500 and 1000?)

Book blogger Sopphey Says traced it back about as far as you can go, to a German book blog circa 2010. (Her Google-translated bio describes her as a “book rat” which is something we should make happen in English.)

The most surprising thing I learned is that Liebster is not someone’s name, it is German for “darling.” Isn’t that cute? We are all darlings!

Anyway, this is a chain letter, so let’s get down to business:

The Rules

  • State 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions about yourself that were given to you by your nominator
  • Nominate people yourself
  • Give your nominees 11 questions to answer

11 Facts About Me

  1. I have two children with a combined birth weight of over 23 pounds. I have learned a few things since birthing freakishly large children: that the medical term for “big ass baby” is macrosomia, that 13 lbs will get you media attention, but 12 lbs will only make you a side-show for the hospital staff (and no one bats an eye at 11 lbs) and to never spend money on newborn-sized clothes.
  2. The first time I met someone off the internet I was 14 and it was 1994 and what were my parents thinking? Yes, I was in to BBS…and yes, the person I met turned out to be a 14 year old as well and not a 50 year old pedophile, which was basically good luck.
  3. I met my husband on Lavalife ten years ago. This was waaayyy less socially acceptable back then.
  4. I’ve only had two jobs since graduating University. Seems odd these days. As Samir says in Office Space, “it would be nice, to have that kind of job security.”
  5. I haven’t been on a bike in almost 20 years because last time I was on one, I was hit by a van. I wasn’t wearing a helmet and took the impact on my left eyebrow… which fell out from the trauma. And the doctor told me if might not grow back (it did.) I was pretty much unharmed otherwise. I remember being a lot more concerned about my eyebrow, and about the illicit items in my pocket that I hoped the doctors wouldn’t confiscate (I was 15!) than the fact that I could have died.
  6. I worked in a haunted castle. We also had glow in the dark golf and go karts. I was a mall carny 😦
  7. I was bullied in junior high. I wonder what the incidence of being bullied is among book bloggers? I’m gonna go with “high.” I was a target for a number of reasons and reading books was a big one.
  8. I haven’t watched TV in over a year. Let me clarify: I haven’t watched TV *for myself.* I am well versed in the worlds of Umi Zoomi, TMNT, and Tinkerbell. Notable exceptions: Pride and Prejudice, Olympics, Blade Runner (for a blog post!)
  9. I don’t want anything for Mother’s Day. Or any holiday. My husband and I stopped buying each other presents for birthdays, anniversaries, everything, a couple of years ago. Terribly unromantic, but I love not having the pressure.
  10. I live three blocks from where I grew up. I realize this is unremarkable is you live in a small town, but I don’t, and never intended to come back here. I am totally that person that walks by the old house and tries to look in the window.
  11. I’m participating in my second Slutwalk this year. I’m pretty open about being a feminist and this is the issue that is most polarizing between me and people I know in real life. Bottom line: I’m raising boys and I want them to learn not to rape; rather than learn that girls need to do X Y and Z to avoid being raped.

11 Questions from Tania of Write Reads

  1. Have you ever lied about having read a book?
    Not to my knowledge! I have been uncertain about whether I actually read a book, or just own it/watched the movie.
  2. Do you read while visiting the bathroom?
    Always. I have a drawer full of books. If I’m desperate I will read shampoo bottles. Anything. One my my fondest memories of my grandparents’ house is their excellent collection of bathroom books – those old-style collections of funny quotations, weird facts, world records, and so on.
  3. What is your favourite book by a Canadian author/which Canadian author would you most like to try reading?
    Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards
  4. Do you ever feel embarrassed by the cover of a book you are reading in public?
    No, but I read my most embarrassing books on my Kobo (50 Shades, Dragon Bound and Sleeping Beauty)
  5. What was the last book that made you laugh out loud?
    Malarky by Anakana Schofield. The most hilarious and cringe-worthy sex scenes.
  6. Is there any movie that was better than the book?
    The Great Gatsby. I don’t care, I loved it!
  7. What is your favourite type of jam/jelly/marmalade?
    Oo I love orange marmalade but never have it! Raspberry jam otherwise.
  8. What is the worst song to have spinning through your head?
    Any theme song from Disney Jr/Treehouse/YTV. Here’s a gooder.
  9. Which character did you see yourself as when you were a kid? And now?
    Harriet the Spy. When we moved from Vancouver to Edmonton when I was 10, I was pissed because I was losing my spy route. Now?? I don’t know. I see myself in lots of mother characters.
  10. What is your comfort food and which restaurant makes it best?
    I think of comfort food as food I can have at home. There’s nothing comfortable about going out for dinner these days! Tea and toast, pretty basic!
  11. If you could be re-reading any book right now, which one would it be?
    Love in the Time of Cholera. Been pretty high on my list since the death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

My nominations
Tough because pretty much everyone I follow is already nominated. So I’m going with some of my #1Tale2Cities readers along!

Questions for my nominees

  1. How many books are on your TBR?
  2. Has your blogging style/format changed over time? What changed?
  3. Do you think that authors should ever respond to negative reviews? How about positive ones? (disclaimer: am writing a post about this!)
  4. Were you picked on in school for being “bookish?”
  5. How many books have you read on the list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die? (sorry, I know this one’s a lot of work!)
  6. Do you try to read “diverse,” whether that means female authors, authors of colour, etc?
  7. Do you try to read “local,” whether that means authors from your city, province/state or country?
  8. What’s the most surprising book you’ve read this year, either way better than you thought it would be, or way worse (or way something else?)
  9. Where do you do your blogging? Any odd habits? People always ask this of authors!
  10. What’s the oldest book you’ve ever read?
  11. What book, that you already own, would you most like to have signed by the author?


  1. Cathy746books

    Great answers, my twins were 11 pounds combined weight when they were born, so I can empathise on that count! Enjoy Love in the Time os Cholera, it’s one of my all time favourites.

    • lauratfrey

      It is one of mine too. I guess you would have got some use out of your newborn clothes then? 🙂 I had some super cute stuff I never got to use.

  2. Heather

    When I read about your bike accident the first time, I thought it said you took the impact on your elbow. Then you said that the doctors weren’t sure it would grow back. I went back to the beginning and reread it…then snort-laughed because I thought it said elbow the first time around. Hahaha!

  3. Cedar Station

    I also read “elbow” the first time around! Congrats on the award, and I love that you did some research. I’ve been curious about this thing as well, and I’m very happy that I know how to say darling in German. 🙂

    Love the questions you asked the other nominees, as well! Be curious to see what they say.

  4. Naomi

    Random thing #11 is awesome! Also, we have a few things in common: no TV (with the exception of a few movies), no presents (cuts down on consumption and cost, as well as pressure), bullied in junior high (no surprise there). But I really think you should try getting back on a bike! Do you have bike lanes in Edmonton?

  5. writereads

    Nicely done! The Liebsters have given me a whole new set of blogs to check out and I think they’ll give us more to talk about tomorrow when we record Write Reads 🙂
    And it needs to be said that both the Slutwalk and feminism in general are awesome 🙂

  6. The Paperback Princess

    Random thing #11 is probably my favourite thing I’ve read on these Liebster award things.

    I also thought that The Great Gatsby movie was wonderful. It succeeded in making me feel kind of bad for Gatsby like the book never could.

  7. Brie @ Eat Books

    I had no idea you birthed such big babies! It’s funny you say that about the NB clothes – my mother-in-law told me numerous times not to buy too many NB clothes and unfortunately I listened to her. Sully is just finally outgrowing his NB sleepers!

    When I was 16 I rear ended my dad as I was following him to drop off his vehicle somewhere. I was trying to get a pack of cigarettes out of the glove box just in case he felt inclined to look in there while I was driving! Thank god there was no damage.

    I also loved The Great Gatsby movie. But I think I’ve already told you that 🙂

    • lauratfrey

      You smoked?!?! I can’t believe it 🙂

      I didn’t buy that many… I had a feeling Ben would be a biggie. But I had the cutest NB onsie that says “My Dad Rocks” with a picture of a drum kit (Jason plays drums) that he never got to wear. I think he was in 0-3 for like a week and them 3m!

  8. ebookclassics

    So much fun to learn more about you! I should probably do this Liebster thing since I think I’ve been nominated about four times.

  9. DoingDewey

    Oh, why the sad face about working at the haunted castle? I think it sounds awesome! Not as awesome as participating in Slutwalk though! I think that’s an incredibly admirable thing to do. Thanks for the nomination! Since I’ve already passed on the Liebster award once, I won’t this time, but I appreciate the award 🙂

    • lauratfrey

      Well, the haunted castle was in the amusement park in West Edmonton Mall which means screaming children and tourists all day long. Whoops, I must have missed your Liebster post!

  10. Kristilyn

    Love it! Can’t believe you worked in a haunted castle! That would’ve freaked me out … I can’t even do those haunted city tours. And holy big babies! My nephew was a big boy at birth, but I can’t believe the size of some of the ones on the news …

    • lauratfrey

      There were a couple 13 lbs babies in the news while I was pregnant with Henry. I was kind of hoping he would be that big because it would be kind of cool to be in the news… but… also hoping not, since I was doing a VBAC! He was my 11 lb runt 🙂

      The haunted castle didn’t phase me much but we did have to walk through and clean up at night, alone… that’s kind of messed up now that I think about it!!

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