Cloak & Dagger – June Update

CDChallengebadge2016.jpgI have been very lax this year in doing regular updates on my challenges (and I didn’t even do that many of them), even though I have been taking part in the background.  With the end of June fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time to revisit them and see where I was, starting with the Cloak & Dagger challenge, run by one of my favourite bloggers, Stormi at books, movies, reviews oh my!, along with Barb at Booker Ts Farm.

To take part, you can read any book from the mystery, suspense, thriller or crime genres (or sub-genres).  They need to be books or novellas over 100 pages so no short stories.  You don’t have to be a blogger as long as you post your reviews somewhere (so Goodreads is fine).   Any sub-genres are welcome as long as they incorporate one of these genres.  Then you pick the level you want to read for:

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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2017 Discussion Challenge

I love reading book blogs for their reviews, discovering new books as I do, but I also love reading more about the bloggers I follow and their thoughts on reading and all things book related. Occasionally, I share my thoughts to – most often through linky’s but recently through discussion posts. It’s great hearing how people feel about the things I’ve said. These posts, though, beyond the linky’s, are few and far between and one of my blogging resolutions for next year is to write more.

To help me, I’m joining in with Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Start’s at Midnight for their 2017 Book Blog Discussion Challenge.  Here’s how it works…

2017-discussion-challenge3The 2017 Book Blog Discussion Challenge runs from January 1st until December 31st, 2017 and you can sign up until the very last minute.

There will be a kick-off post on January 1, 2017 on both blogs and monthly after that to post your updates.  There’ll also be monthly giveaways.

The challenge is to help get us discussing books and book blogging, so you can talk about whatever you want as long as it’s relevant to book blogging.

Discussions can be book related or book blogging related (or generally blogging related—no discussions about things that are completely off-topic like travel or fashion, etc). Discussions can also be about you personally if it’s a get-to-know-you type post.

There are a number of different levels depending on how much you feel you can accomplish:

1-10 – Discussion Dabbler
11-20 – Creative Conversationalist
21-30 – Chatty Kathy
31-40 – Terrifically Talkative
41+ – Gift of the Gab

I’m not that brave or sure of my abilities to come up with ideas so I’m going for 10 over the year – discussion dabbler.  I’m not going to count linky’s I join in with to try and push myself to be creative in my posts.

Thankfully, I don’t have to say what those posts will be yet so time to get my thinking cap on.  Wish me luck and please head over to either / both blogs to check out who else is signed up and maybe join in yourself.

Emma

Library Check Out: October

As you may know now, I am a huge fan of the library and, this year, have been doing a library challenge.  I really don’t know how my bank balance would cope without free books or how guilty I would feel about the books I’ve tried and failed  to read over the years if I’d paid for them all. I probably don’t do enough though to really sing the praises of the library and show just how wide a range of books you can get.

Last month, River City Reading started a new linky – Library Check Out – and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to start highlighting and promoting library books so, this month – a few days late, I must admit – I’m joining in. The idea is to list books you’ve read, books you’ve loaned out, books you returned unread and those on hold so here goes….

Read

Compared to other months my library reading has been quite low, mainly I think because of moving house. It’s meant a new library and less time to browse the shelves.

(clicking on the titles should take you to my reviews)

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Currently On Loan

Next month should hold more reads as I already have four books out on loan ready to read.

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You can read overviews of them all here.

For books returned and books on hold, I have none. I must admit I rarely reserve books, just turn up and see what’s on the shelves. Not reads usually do occur but not this month so it’s been quite a good one in that regard.

How about you…have you been using your library? what have you read?

Emma

Interested in what others are reading head over to River City Reading to find out.

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