Book blogger hop: meeting my favourite author

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…

If you could have lunch with any living authors and/or book bloggers, who would you choose and why?     

So I have to say, I always have a bit of fear about meeting people I admire and so the idea of meeting any of my favourite authors is pretty scary.  If I have to pick one, though, I would say it would have to be Margaret Attwood, whose books I just love.

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I love the way she writes, how she has a distinctive style but can turn it to so many different books from the historical fiction of Alias Grace to the science fiction (and incredibly scary) of the Maddaddam trilogy.  And who could forget the chilling dystopian future she sets out in The Handmaid’s Tale?

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There isn’t a world I haven’t fallen into (well, actually there is one – The Heart Goes Last – but everyone needs a wobble now and then), a character I haven’t cared for, a book I haven’t wanted to read again.

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But for all that love, what would I say? That’s the question and why – really – I would rather admire from afar for fear of gushing uncontrollably or stammering out a question that makes me sound like I’ve never read a book.  What about you? Who would you want to meet – and would you be braver then me?

Emma

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Book blogger hop: the fun side of blogging

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…


What is the most fun part/aspect of being a book blogger?    

So despite the fact that I have to admit that these last few weeks finding time to be a blogger has been hard, it is something I really look forward to doing and think about for more hours a day than I probably should.  Why?  Because it’s FUN…and I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t.  There are lots of things about it I find fun, and which I could put down here but time is short so here is my top three…

1. Meeting other bloggers, even if only virtually.  I have met some really nice people and found book bloggers to be such a thoughtful, supportive group.  Whilst I do talk about books with family and friends and am in a book club, it never seems enough. Being able to engage with people who love books as much as I do every day is the best.

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2. Continually adding to my to read list.  I know a lot of people find their TBRs overwhelming and I know I have little if any chance of ever reading all the books that are on mine but I don’t worry much about that.  I just know that it’s rare I can’t think of or find a book I don’t want to read nowadays, which makes me happy when I look on my bookshelves or wander round the library.

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3. Free books, because who wouldn’t love that if they love books? When I first started, I didn’t request any ARCs at all, then I requested too many, now I feel (like goldilocks) my request level is “just right” and I have a nice stack of books I can’t wait to read and which I’m fairly confident for the most part I will enjoy because I have gone for authors I know/love or books I have seen recommended.  It might not be daring but it works for me.

What about you?  What makes blogging fun for you?

Emma x

Note: images Designed by Freepik (clicking on image takes you to site)

Book blogger hop: second chances?

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…

If you read a book you ended up hating, would you stay away from future books by that author, or would you give them a second chance?

My initial reaction to this was to say stay away but then I took a second to think about how many books I would classify under hated and I’m not sure there are any.  Maybe this is because if I really, Really, REALLY, don’t like a book then I stop reading it and then don’t give it much thought.

If I think about the way I review books though, saying how I feel versus a star rating, I do have be books that I say are not for me.  For others these would be one star reviews or maybe the books they don’t finish.  It’s probably the nearest I could get to hating a book.

Writing this post, I took a look back at those with the not for me rating and wondered, would I pick up this aft or that author again? And the answer was no, I wouldn’t. There wasn’t one instance where I thought, I could give the author another go.  So, whilst I never say never and a brilliant review or recommendation might change my mind, for now my answer is I would stay away.

What about you? Do you believe in second chances?

Emma

 

 

 

Book blogger hop: re-reading reads

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…

 

How many books have you re-read? If you have re-read books, please tell us the book’s title and why you re-read it.

Because I am not the best at tracking books I read (my Goodreads is soooo far behind I don’t know why I bother sometimes), I couldn’t honestly answer this question.  I have no idea how many books I’ve re-read over the years.  However, I would say that – once I was into the realm of “grown-up” books – very few.

As a child I re-read books a lot (the Famous Five I knew by heart – all 21 of them).  As an adult, I think my thought process has been so many books, so little time – time better spent reading something new rather than reading something I already know the ending of.

Saying that, I do occasionally revisit a book, maybe because it’s an old favourite or because an anniversary has left me wondering if it has stood the test of time.  Other reasons might be someone mentioning it and me realising I don’t remember a thing about it or that I’m reading a prequel, sequel, or another book in the series and need to remember what else has happened.

Since starting my blog (almost three years ago I realise), I have re-read six books, all of which I’ve reviewed here and all of which, I am pleased to say have stood the test of time and were just as enjoyable the second time around.  If you are interested in what they were and what they thought you can read more here:

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover

What about you? Do you re-read books – a lot, a little, or not at all?

Emma

Book blogger hop: negative comments

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…

How do you handle negative comments left on your blog?

So I might be lucky here but I don’t think I’ve ever had a negative comment on my blog.  Which means I have no idea how I would handle them if I got one (and please don’t test me out by leaving one here…it’s really not something I want to experience!).

I would hope I would be able to respond with good grace and a rationale, reasonable comment but I don’t know if that would be true in reality.  I do know that is how I have responded when people have picked up on errors in my posts etc., which if I’m honest I’ve sometimes thought were a bit picky and I have wondered if they were needed.  I haven’t removed the comment though and I haven’t not responded.  I’ve thanked the person for letting me know and moved on.

It does depend I suppose on what the negative comment was.  If it was a disagreement over a book I’d reviewed I would argue my case I think, standing my ground over my opinion (because that’s what reviews are at the end of the day the way I write them – my personal opinion).  If it was a personal attack then I think I would remove the comment because I don’t think anyone has the right to have a go at anyone else on a blog post.

You can argue / disagree with a sentiment but the person still has the right to their opinion at the end of the day…or you can just ignore the blog going forward (which might be easier than getting into an online fight that you potentially can’t then erase).  These are my approaches to commenting anyways, and so far they have stood me in good stead.

What about you, have you had negative comments on your posts? What type were they (the posts and the comments)? And how did you handle them?

Emma

 

 

Book blogger hop: advance 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…

How far in advance do you read the books you have scheduled for review?

And the answer is it really depends.  I don’t read a huge amount of review books compared to other bloggers I don’t think, generally sticking to requesting those I am pretty sure I will like (given the author or subject/genre), which means I’m often quite keen to read them and so do as soon as the opportunity arises.

Often, this is months before publication and where I used to fall down is that I wouldn’t review them straight away.  I would make some notes and there they would sit, waiting to be fully written up until close to the release date…by which point the book was no longer clear in my mind and I’m sure I missed much of what I might originally wanted to say.

Now, I review a book as soon as I’ve read it.  I have a personal goal of within 24 hours and am usually quite good at sticking to it.  It’s then scheduled for whenever it needs to be scheduled for.  I’m even organised enough now to have a calendar which shows if I’ve got something posted on a particular day so I can plan when other books with similar review dates can go up (*pats self on back as it’s only taken two years to get this far!).

There is another benefit to this and that’s that I can post the reviews on netgalley earlier than the release date and keep my % up above 80, the magic number and (hopefully) then get approved for more of the books I request (so really want).

What about you, do you read in advance or wait till close to the release date?  If you do, how do you plan your time so you have enough of it to read and review the book without going over (a big fear of mine if I leave things)?

Emma x

Book blogger hop: preferred reads

book-blogger-hop-finalThis week, for the first time in a while, I’m 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 start reading a novel, do you prefer to be plunged right into the action, or do you prefer a slower, more descriptive introduction to the plot and characters?

This is a question that pops into my head quite a bit – what I prefer in a new book – mainly, I think, because I regularly join in with the first chapter, first paragraph meme by Diana at Bibliophile by the Sea. I always pick the book I’m reading that day (or am about to start) and sometimes all it takes is a few sentences to get me completely hooked.  I know straight away if that is a book I am likely to like.  For me, it normally involves finding someone in peril but for others it might be a moment leading up to a kiss or a tear.

My choices often come from prologues, which I think plunge you right into the action.  They are pretty much standard fare for crime fiction, mysteries and thrillers these days and something I have a love / hate relationship with if I’m honest.  I love them because they draw me in.  Hate them (well, dislike them strongly) because they can sometimes make you think you are getting something you are not.

But then, whilst I read crime and mysteries more than anything else, looking at my favourite books of last year, a lot were slow burns.  The type of book that you find out nothing about in the first paragraph at all, or very little.  These do let the characters and the story grow over the pages and sometimes you are a 100 pages in before you realise you haven’t put the book down for an hour and need to stay up all night to finish it.

So, going back to the question, the answer is I read more books that plunge me right into the action which makes them my preferred choice but I probably enjoy slower, more descriptive books, more than I think and would definitely never turn one away if it caught my eye.

What about you, what is your preferred read?

Emma

Book blogger hop: black Friday books

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I’m joining in with Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer‘s book blogger hop again this week, 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…

Name one book that you would fight for on Black Friday!

This is a hard one.

First , because I refuse to shop on Black Friday, even online. I tried once, when I lived in the states, and hated the crush. Now I’m back in the UK it feels like shops overwhelm us with offers, deals and sales for weeks in the run up to the “big day”.  I find it all a bit too much and all too easy to buy just because there is a deal, not because it’s something I want. So I avoid the whole thing. I delete every email immediately and won’t be stepping outside of the house today (other than to go to the pub later).

Second, though, and the one that makes this question really hard, is how do you chose one book? There are too many I have loved over the years. I’ve tried to narrow it down by looking at the books that will NEVER leave my shelves no matter what, books I just can’t bear to part with, or books where I have had to go out an buy a new copy after making the mistake of packing the original copy up in the charity box.

There are probably a handful of these as, for the most part, I’m not overly sentimental about books.  I believe they are for sharing and will often pass them along to friends, family or charity once I’ve read them.  Those that will never go that way, though, include (links to goodreads)…

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Why these books?  The Godfather, because it’s the first “grown-up” book I remember loaning from the library; Dracula, because it’s the first book that kept me up at night scared to death; The Robber Bride, because of all of Atwood’s books this one – for whatever reason – has stuck with me most closely; and finally it’s all of the Famous Five books because it was the first series I got hooked on and they are books I can’t wait to pass on to my daughter (yes, I still have the ones I read).

Any one of the them I would be desperate to keep hold or get a new copy of. Would I fight for them on Black Friday? I’m not sure…if it was the last copy on earth, probably. What about you – what books would you fight for?

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Emma

Book blogger hop: encouraging others

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I’m joining in with Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer‘s book blogger hop again this week, 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 encourage other reading friends to start a blog or at least put their thoughts/reviews on public reading sites such as Goodreads, Amazon, etc?

My answer is yes I do but not many of them take me up on it.  I have one friend who blogs, but not on books, and friends who follow my blog but say they don’t have the time, interest, and/or inclination to do the same themselves.  I understand – it isn’t for everyone and blogging does take commitment, even for those of us who blog somewhat sporadically.  Still, I do tell everyone how much I enjoy it so one day you never know.

I can’t say I’m as enthusiastic about recommending reviewing on sites such as goodreads but that’s because I don’t use them much myself.  I do post reviews, but it’s not regularly.  Instead, I do it in bursts then forget about it until the next time I get an email telling me I’ve been reading the same book on goodreads for a month!  I don’t feel I can promote something I don’t use as I can’t say if it’s good or not or what the benefits are.  Maybe if other friends used it the way they use facebook etc I might but for now they don’t so I don’t either.

What about you, do you encourage people? And what do you encourage them to use?

Emma

Book blogger hop: novel ideas

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I’m joining in with Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer‘s book blogger hop again this week, 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 wanted to write a book? If so, what genre would you choose? And…have you been successful in writing a book?

And my answer is yes (to the wanting to) and no (to the ever been successful at it).

I wonder if there is any of us out there who haven’t thought about it – what it would be like to be writing vs. reading words – and it crosses my mind every now and then.  Currently it’s a now phase as I’m taking a short course in fiction writing which is fun.  I don’t know if anything will come of it but I figured why not – plus it’s free so I’ve got nothing to lose but my pride!

The big thing of course if as much as I or anyone else might want to write you still have to have a talent for the written word plus dedication and ability to get over any fear of rejection – all pretty big things.  If, however, it turns out I do have these then I would definitely try to turn my hand to writing.  Leading to the next part of the question…what genre?

Whilst I would like to say I would look to write a piece of profound literary fiction that blew people’s minds and was talked about long after I shuffled off this mortal coil, in reality I would probably write something that involved death murdering kind.  My favourite genre is crime fiction and it is a formulae I feel I know well.  I definitely couldn’t write something humourous or historical because humour is hard to get right on paper and historical fiction scares me in that it has to be accurate or you have people like me picking it apart.

So, crime fiction it is, assuming I can overcome all other obstacles.  What about you? Do you write or would you like to? What do you (want to) write about?

Emma