Book blogger hop: choosing books by the their covers

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This week, I’m once again joining in with Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer‘s book blogger hop, where they post a question which you and other bloggers answer, hopping from blog to blog to see people’s answers. This week, the question is…

Have you ever bought a book because you liked its cover art?
The answer is yes, and – I would think – who hasn’t?  I just can’t resist a good cover and actually wrote about this cover love a while ago (you can find the post here).  So, rather than repeating myself I thought I would just share some of my recent favourite covers, ones that absolutely influenced by decision to read them (clicking on the cover will take you to the full review)….

Favourite female detectives

Female detective with magnifying glassSo it’s no secret I love a good detective story.  I read them a lot.  And favourite amongst them are probably ones with strong female leads.  I can’t resist a feisty woman with plenty to say who isn’t afraid to say it or stand by her words.

Not that I would want the histories a lot of these women have but I do admire their guts and, occasionally, wouldn’t mind being them.  Then I remember I am a big old scaredy cat who doesn’t like guns, violence, blood or guts unless it’s on the page.

Anyways, in honor of the fictional females that are a lot braver than me, I thought I would share a few of my favourites today…

Crime series I'm officially given up on catching up on…

For the Cloak and Dagger reading challenge I have set myself a mini-challenge of finishing up (or catching up rather) with two series – M. J. Arlidge DI Helen Grace series and the Nikki Galena series by Joy Ellis – and I have to say, with so many other books on my to read list and September fast approaching, I am starting to panic a bit.  The books are all loaded up on the kindle or the shelves but others keep making their way to the top of the pile.

Reading concept. Vintage tone of  woman selecting book from a bo

Sitting there, thinking about when I might find the time to read them (or which books I wouldn’t read instead), I got to also thinking about all the other series I had planned at some point to catch-up on and decided to have a bit of look on goodreads to see if my plans were every likely to become a reality.  For three, I have officially decided they won’t be.  After reading the first book in each series and a couple more along the way, I have decided I am just too far behind and I’m giving up….

Book blogger hop: disappointed by lack of books?

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This week, I’m once again joining in with Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer‘s book blogger hop, where they post a question which you and other bloggers answer, hopping from blog to blog to see people’s answers. This week, the question is…

“When you enter an unfamiliar house or apartment for the first time, do you feel disappointed if you don’t see any bookshelves, or books on the coffee table?”

The answer is no, I’m not quite that shallow, and I do have friends and family members who don’t read so it’s wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise to walk into a house where there weren’t books on display.

What I do suffer from is jealousy when I see people with more books on the shelves than me or, even more, built in books shelves or creative ways of displaying their books.  I have a friend, for example, who has two windows on her stair case and she has used these as makeshift shelves.  Walking up the stairs and seeing all these wonderful books always makes me want the same and feel disappointed that I can’t (no windows so it’ll never happen!). 

Book blogger hop: challenges and readathons

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This week, I’m once again joining in with Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer‘s book blogger hop, where they post a question which you and other bloggers answer, hopping from blog to blog to see people’s answers. This week, the question is…

 

Do you participate in readathons and/or reading challenges?

The answer is I do – well, at least for the reading challenges part and I did – for the readathon part.  I stopped the latter because I found something would always come up after I had said I would participate and then I either wouldn’t get any reading done at all or the amount I would do would be pitiful and I’d be almost embarrassed posting updates at the end.

Rarely read genres – suggestions please…

read-1342499_1920I often say I never read romance novels, or historical fiction, or sci-fi, but none off these are completely true…well, maybe other than romance novels as I am not much of a hearts and flowers type of girl, even in real life.  I’ve also never read a graphic novel.

Looking back over my list of reads for the past year or so, I have definitely read books that would fall into the sci-fi category (though likely only just…none have been set in space, which probably shows my ignorance of what makes a sci-fi book sci-fi) and a few were set in the past, which means they classify as historical fiction (I think?).

My perception of what falls into these genres is part of my problem – so thinking sci-fi books should be set in space for example or my initial reaction each time someone uses the term historical fiction to think of Philippa Gregory and her Tudor set novels.

Are you the same – do you have genres you stay away from (which ones and why?) or perceptions about what you might be reading if you pick up a book from a particularly type?

As I try to stretch my reading chops, I have decided that reading genres I say I don’t read would be a good way to go.  And, rather than floundering about and picking books which end up just confirming my perceptions because they aren’t the best of their ilk, I thought I would ask my fellow bloggers out there for suggestions.

So, if you love romance (pun intended), sci-fi or historical fiction, what should I read – new or old – what will convince me that I do like these genres after all?

I thank you kindly in advance for your suggestions.

Emma x

 

Note: image courtesy of Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California reading

imageAnyone who spends any time on my blog will know that I am more than a little excited about my upcoming holidays, half of which will be spent in California, one of my favourite holiday destinations.  Slowly but surely, my hubbie and I are working our way around the state and, this time, I get to visit San Francisco for the first time which I am really looking forward to.

In honour of our upcoming trip, I thought it might be fun to share my five favourite books set in California…

Reading red lines?

spray paintEarlier this month I read a book that had scenes in it of a paedophile grooming a young girl.  They have haunted me since.  I keep flashing back to one scene in particular that made me squirm.  Even though I really enjoyed the book, there is part of me that wishes I hadn’t read it because I still don’t feel comfortable with what was written.

The other part of me though would still recommend the book – because it was well written and a good story.  Without the uncomfortable scenes it wouldn’t have been the same book (and definitely not as good).  My review mentioned that there were parts of the story that made me uncomfortable but I didn’t go further because it would have meant spoilers in the story.  I am now wondering if I should go back and be more explicit?

I know other bloggers do this and I have to say this has put me off some books, books which I think I might actually have enjoyed and I wondered what others thought about “warnings”?.  It’s a fine line I suppose, because we all have personal red lines, ones we don’t or won’t cross when reading books or watching TV.

Based on comments on some of my recent reviews, where there seems to have been a bit of a glut of books with missing children or children in danger, that seems to be a red line for a lot of parents (or at least parents of younger children).  They can too easily put themselves in the place of the central characters, imagine their own children missing.  Yet, as a parent myself, I can’t say I have that reaction.

For me, rape is a difficult one to read about.  When it’s mentioned in a blurb or review I tend to steer clear.  But then I read He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly not so long ago, where rape – and it’s aftermath – was the driver for the story and I was o.k. As with the book I read recently, He Said / She Said was well written and thought provoking as well as a great story that kept me wondering where the truth lay right till the last.

I’ve also found that I can no longer read books which portray violent or graphic scenes anymore (something I never batted an eye at a few years ago).  I used to be a big fan of the Graham Masterton Katie Maguire series, for example, but the fact that there always seemed to be at least one (and generally more) gruesome deaths – described in quite a lot of detail – meant I’ve had to stop reading them.

The problem is, how to do you know unless you read a book?  But if you do read it and your reaction to it is negative, have you done yourself any favours – especially if, like me, books stay with you for a while?  What are your thoughts – do you have reading red lines, and what are they? And would you prefer to know more or less about whether there might be something upsetting in a book?

Emma

This post is part of the 2017 Book Blog Discussion Challenge, linking in with Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Start’s at Midnight.

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Note: Designed by Freepik

Book blogger hop: my passion for reading

book-blogger-hop-finalThis week, I’m once again joining in with Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer‘s book blogger hop, where they post a question which you and other bloggers answer, hopping from blog to blog to see people’s answers. This week, the question is…

In one sentence, describe your passion for reading.

So I like this question because it doesn’t require me to write much.  I have to say I love quotes about reading, and this is one of my favourites – along with a pretty picture that is how I dream of being able to read, though I don’t often find the time or space to lie back and relax like this.

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What sentence sums up your passion for reading?

Emma x

 

 

 

The oldest book on the shelf…

Book coverI wrote a few weeks ago about the books I’d owned the longest and had never read (you can read more on that here).  Today, though, I thought I would share the oldest book I own, Poets of the Nineteenth Century, which was written in 1892 (so quite a while ago).

This version was given as a gift in 1894, and there is an inscription on the inside.  It’s one of the things that made me buy the book, I just felt connected to it in a way I might not have with other used books I have picked up.  It’s also one of the reasons that, whilst I’m not so much into poetry as I once was, I can’t bring myself to give it away.Quote

You can blame my sentimentality on the fact that I bought this book when I was a young, impressionable, teen.  I was learning about the romantic poets in school and this hit a chord.  This also makes it the book I have owned the longest – it’s going on 35 years now.

I still have a photo of the day I bought it because we were on holiday and I immediately dived in and started reading it. I was going to share it here but the fashion disaster that I was just won’t let me – sorry!Reading it, I felt transported back in time.  I could have been Lucy Lampert.  Of course, I wasn’t – I could never write that neatly for a start – but it doesn’t hurt to dream.

insideAnd dream I did amongst the beautifully illustrated pages, lost in the words of Cowper, Mary Tighe, Anna Seward, Mitford, and Wordsworth as well as poets I wasn’t familiar with at all and are no longer big name draws.

It’s quite a way away from the type of books I read nowadays, with murder on every page.  Perhaps, though, there were shades of things to come when you look at my favourite poem in the book, one I can still quote today…

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Not the cheeriest of poems – some might even call it morbid, and definitely a clue to where my reading would take me.

What about you, what is the oldest book you own or the book you have owned the longest – have any of them got this beat in terms of age?  or do any give a clue as to your future reading styles?

Emma x