I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
Task 1: “Africa” was originally the name of the Roman province originating from the North African empire of Carthage, which was mythologically founded by Queen Dido and blossomed into Ancient Rome’s only lasting opponent and nemesis (until it was finally conquered by Rome in the Punic Wars). So: who are your five favorite book heroes and their respective nemeses?
This is going to be difficult without repeating what others wrote (especially BrokenTune), but I'll do my best:
1. Holmes vs. Moriarty I really want to go with 'boredom' but that was such a brilliant insight on BT's part, she deserves to have sole claim.
2. Harry Potter vs. Professor Snape I know he was redeemed, but not until the end, and really, he was an ass through it all. Also, Draco Malfoy
3. (oh god, this is hard...) Peter Grant vs. Mr. Punch (Rivers of London series, Ben Aaronovitch)
4. ummm... Kate Daniels vs. her father, Roland (Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews) I know someone already used this one, but it's a great one and my mind is like frozen molasses today.
5. Oh! OH! Sherlock Holmes and That Woman. I know I used Holmes already, but really he had a lot of nemesis' (nemesi? - kidding) and while Moriarty might have been the most dangerous man in the UK, I'd bet Holmes would say Irene Adler his most worthy adversary. After all, she won. ;-)
Task 2: In Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, the “Finis Africae” is the hidden center of the labyrinth which constitutes the monastery’s library, protected by a number of intricate, misdirecting devices. Tell us: Where have you recently encountered clever misdirection or a labyrinthine plot in a book?
Oh man, I thought Task 1 was hard to do... I know there was at least one book I read this year that left me thinking Wow. I did not see that coming. But I don't remember what it is!
Update: Ok, I've scrolled through my shelves and found it - Locked Doors - Mary Roberts Rinehart
Task 3: Tell us: If you could travel to Africa (for those living on the African continent: to a part of Africa that you don’t know yet): Where would you want to go?
This one is easy! Almost 10 years ago, when I was rationalising that '40 is the new 30!', I told MT that when I turned the big 50 there wasn't going to be enough rationalisation in the world, and I intended to drown my sorrows in celebration: in 2020 I was headed for Africa on a safari; my ultimate bucket list item (tied with Antartica). Start saving dear, I told him. Well, 2020 is alarmingly close and we've started doing our research, and it seems so far there's really only two options for what I want to see most: the Big Cats. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya and Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.
Don't get me wrong, Egypt would be awesome, and I know there are SO many wonderful places worth seeing in Africa, but the 'noise' of my desire to see these majestic animals before one or the other of us is gone forever, drowns out my desire for any other place. Except maybe Madagascar.