Tag: bookblog

Discussion Post: Under Represented Characters in Books

There is a particular type of character I feel is seriously under represented in books, considering that the vast majority of people will probably relate to this type of person in one way or another.

I think this is most prevalent in fantasy books; I feel like I notice this more because it’s the genre I read the most of. That’s not to say that these characters are not present in other genres, because that’s definitely not the case either. So you are probably thinking, what character type am I thinking of exactly? Well, the simple answer, is realistic ones!

Let me explain it from the opposite end of the spectrum. Fantasy novels are full of altruistic protagonists. They may come from any background and any kind of advantage or disadvantage, but their prime motivator is doing right by other people. Risking their skin to save others. Sound familiar? If you read fantasy I should definitely hope so. But how many people realistically put others before themselves unconditionally? I wouldn’t say very many.

Don’t get me wrong, we can all pick our moments to do the right thing. Whether it’s baking for the charity cake sale or helping someone when in need, everybody has the capacity to consider other people and act in the other person’s interest from time to time. But when it really matters, when it’s fight or flight, human nature is to be selfish. It is to look after yourself above others, that’s just survival instinct. So why is our basic human nature so under represented in novels? As I say, for the fantasy genre particularly, it is littered – chockablock full of altruistic protagonists, but realistically, that doesn’t represent us at all.

That’s not to say that they all have their perfect protagonists though. There are a few authors in the genre that are not afraid to build their narrative around more complex and realistic characters. To name a few off the top of my head, Jorg Ancrath of Mark Lawrence’s The Broken Empire series, or Ryhalt in Ed Macdonald’s The Raven’s Mark series are standout examples. Why do they stand out? Because I loved them. I loved their flaws and how they still made great characters despite them. Ryhalt uses alcohol as a coping mechanism and runs away from his problems. The ghosts of his past haunt him and he lives with constant guilt. Does that make him a bad person? No!

Whilst I’m not saying that there are far more alcoholics or cowards than altruists in the world, I think it’s fair to say that flawed characters are far more relatable to us as readers. We all make mistakes – we can all be selfish, and there are even times where it’s not a bad thing to be so. Characters with these deep personality flaws are not only more realistic, but I also find them far more interesting. A lot of thought has gone into them; their history and motivations derive from a personal background that we may not know at the time, but the author has invested time to create and use these to build into the character’s development. It makes them more rounded people.

Now perhaps having very altruistic characters can be argued as promoting model behaviour to readers. I can, in a way, agree with that. Yet by having characters with diverse personality traits, good and bad, we can learn from their behaviour. Their inclusion isn’t necessarily promoting the bad stuff. I’d say there is a much similar argument about the media and body image. Yes, being thinner and healthy is recommended, but having images of extremely skinny people around us everywhere isn’t always healthy for people’s body image – it can be harmful too. The same could be said of promoting model behaviour; yes it is good to teach it, but flooding the market with it too much could lead to negative effects if people feel they have to live up to that expectation, and can’t.

As with everything, I think a healthy balance is the best approach, and so I would like to see more characters with less than honest/perfect intentions. Sometimes it’s okay to be selfish. Putting yourself first isn’t a bad thing. Saying no to someone doesn’t make you a bad person. We are not all people-pleasing ‘yes-men’ who’ll stick our necks out on the line for the benefit of others, and that’s okay. It’s perfectly okay to not be perfect. 

I’m not sure if this is just something that I think about as I really enjoy reading about characters with less than desirable habits or traits. Is there something you have noticed to? Or do you have a different opinion to me? If so, let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 25th July 2021

Good evening everyone and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update post. I hope you’ve had a brilliant week wherever you are? It has been a good one here; we’ve had some gorgeous weather… and because my Internet was down on Thursday night, I took the opportunity to go out and sit in the garden after tea to read. And it was wonderful! 

On blog related matters, I have shared a couple of posts with you so far this week. My first post was a Top Ten Tuesday post, and the subject was Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time). I did have to stretch that definition a little bit, as I quickly ran out of short stories that I’d finished in one sitting (genuinely). I opened it out to books I’d read within a 24-hour period, and this enabled me to finish my list!

My second blog post of the week was another blog tour review for Karl Drinkwater. Last week I took part in the blog tour for the third book in his Lost Tales of Solace series; this week’s post was for book four, Ruabon. If you really enjoy science fiction, or are just interested in giving it a go, and please check out any of my reviews for this series so far-I hope they encourage you to give them a go!

 

Books Read

After finishing The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor last week, I wanted to pick up a longer book than I have read recently. But, I also worried that the book choice had to be the right one to make sure I keep up momentum. At first I had an inkling to try and restart reading The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. I picked this up and made a very good attempt at it previously, but ultimately I DNF’d this book at 70% because I was struggling with it. My friend absolutely loves the series and I was kind of gutted that it wasn’t working for me when I picked it up.

I had quite a serious urge to give this a go again, so much so that I read the first couple of chapters. However, I will admit that I think the timing of trying to pick this up again might not be right. As I said, I don’t want to lose momentum and I’ve just started reading more regularly! With that in mind, I put this down again for now and instead I have picked up Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling. I am re-reading the Harry Potter series this year, and given that this book weighs in at just over 600 pages, I felt it was the right book to pick up next. So far, it’s really working for me. I’m currently around 220 pages in and I’m absolutely loving it! I’m also planning on reading some more tonight before I go to bed, so that figure will technically go up after this post. 

 

Books Discovered

I’ve been really good again this week and I haven’t added any new books to my To Be Read pile.

 

Coming Up…

Having taken part in a couple of blog tours recently, I’m planning on a two-post schedule on my blog next week. Because I’ve been sharing reviews, I think I’m going to share a discussion post mid-week, and follow-up later with my usual Sunday Summary update for variety.

For my discussion post, I want to talk about the types of characters I want to see in books more. I have one definite idea in mind at the moment, but I’m going to have a think about this over the next few days and share all my thoughts with you about characters I would like to see more of in that post.

That is all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post however! What have you been reading? If you have any ideas for my discussion post, what characters would you like to see more of in books?

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Blog Tour Review: Ruabon – Karl Drinkwater

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour review of Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater! This is my second blog tour review for this author in the space of a week! If you haven’t read my previous review of Clarissa, shared last Saturday, here’s a handy link so you can take a look. Don’t forget to check out my reviews of the earlier books in the series, Helene and Grubane too!

Today’s review is for the fourth short story in the Lost Tales of Solace series. As I said in my blog tour for Clarissa, I haven’t actually read the main series these books originate from. So, my perspective is from not having read them (yet!).

Before I share my review, I always like to take a moment to say thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and to the author, Karl, for organising the tour and giving me the opportunity to take part!

 

Ruabon – Karl Drinkwater

Goodreads – Ruabon

Welcome to Tecant.

Nothing ever happens here.

Until today.

Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which “liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.

Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower.

He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity.

Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero.

And if he fails, he’ll be dead.

 

Purchase Linkhttps://books2read.com/b/Ruabon

 

Lost Tales of Solace Kickstarter Campaign

The Kickstarter has an option for someone to get EVERY Lost Solace book as an e-book; but also to get the new paperbacks that will be designed, if they prefer print.

 

My Thoughts…

I literally read Ruabon in a day.

I started reading the stories last Sunday morning, before visiting my parents for the day and finished it later that night after I came back. As all the other Lost Tales of Solace books, it is a very approachable read and is equally easy to binge or pick up and put down at leisure, whatever your preference.

Having read Clarissa recently, I was amazed to see the diversity between the different stories that stem from the same universe. It goes to show just how much thought and world-building has gone into the series overall (including the main one). Although they all interlink, the books could easily be completely different stories and so read independently. That said, there are some names that will make more sense if you have read some of the other books. It’s not a big deal, but I like the subtle inclusion of information from other books as well. They’re the sort of books that you can take from them what you will; you can read them independently and enjoy them that way, or you can read them all and read between the lines… so to speak!

I love how well written the different robot personalities are. They in themselves are extremely different and were really fun to read. I imagine getting across vastly different personalities with only the written word and a limited amount of space in the book to do so is a challenge. However, I think this was done brilliantly! I personally enjoyed each individual little drone and their unique personality. Not only that, but their own existence says a lot about our main character and supplement the main storyline and character building very well.

Ruabon is a story that tells how some people can bloom under pressure. What is supposed to be the equivalent of a quiet day in the office turns out to be anything but, and quiet, unassuming Ruabon steps up to the challenge in the time of need. The fact that he even sticks his neck out on the line shows that he is not the quiet timid man people think he is. It shows a degree of calculation and understanding of when it matters most to make a stand and take a risk. His intentions aren’t necessarily altruistic, however they are very relatable. Ultimately, he wants to make his family proud and respect his heritage as opposed to pleasing his new ‘overlords’.

Ruabon is packed full of action and if you enjoy a fast-paced narrative, this is definitely for you. Again, in a condensed storyline, the unravelling of the plot and the tension of events played out in a way that is very easy to read and keep the reader hooked. I literally only put this down because I was due to go out somewhere-if I haven’t been, I am pretty sure I would have read this all in one sitting.

 

Author Bio

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Social Media Links –

Website https://karldrinkwater.uk

Twitter http://twitter.com/karldrinkwater

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karlzdrinkwater

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authorkdrinkwater/

Newsletter http://bit.ly/newsletterkd

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time)

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s topic features Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time). Now, I’ll be the first person to admit that I don’t have the patience to read a full book in one sitting. It’s not for a lack of time. I just don’t have the attention span.

By and large, I don’t read many short stories, however, you will find most of them on this list just because they are easier to get through by nature. There are a couple of longer books that will feature on this list because I’m expanding the definition to include books read within 24 hours. It’s not quite the same, but it’s close as I can get to give you a full list of ten!

Shall we jump into the list?

 

Making Magic – Allan Walsh

At just over 30 pages, this has to be the shortest book I have ever read since I started my blog. Needless to say, I definitely read this in one sitting. It would be pretty embarrassing if I hadn’t, wouldn’t it?

 

The Lynmouth Stories

This collection of short stories was also read in one sitting. I found the variety of tales within the book engaging enough to keep me sat down for longer. Normally I would have put a book of this length down at least once, even if it was just to make a cup of tea or have a very quick break.

 

Game of Crones – Jay Raven

As with the Lynmouth stories, the variety of tales within the short narrative kept me engaged throughout and so this also was completed in one sitting. The chilling and spooky tales also keep you on the edge of your seat, questioning what you think you know and what is going to happen.

 

Lost Tales of Solace 1-4 – Karl Drinkwater

From these four books and the rest afterwards, the definition stretches to within 24 hours. I think I read a couple of these books in one day, but at least a couple of them also stretched over into the next but still in 24 hours. They are nice and short but equally engaging and so we are very easy to keep picking up and reading just a little bit more… and then a little bit more.

 

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient is unlike some of the other books on this list, because it is definitely not a short story! At around 325 pages this is one of the exceptions to the rule when it comes to my attention span. I’ve been able to read this quickly because it was absolutely fantastic! For me, I need to get the right combination of opportunity and motivation and the stars must have aligned perfectly when I picked this up.

 

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

It’s rare that I’m a sucker for a YA book, but I absolutely devoured this one! I’m pretty sure I’ve binge-read it over a weekend… and what probably makes it *worse* is that it wasn’t my intended read at the time! I picked it up because for whatever reason, I wasn’t feeling my current read at the time. So, I was just casually reading the first chapter to try it out and before I know it I’d read over a third. Needless to say, I was invested at that point and the rest is history.

 

Fires of the Dead – Jed Herne

I don’t know whether to describe this as a short story really. It’s kind of that midway length between a full novel and a short story. The tale is just less than 200 pages long, so no mean feat. However, I also went on to read this within 24 hours because the characters were hilarious, the plot was action-packed, engaging and exciting – and I had to know what happened next.

 

So, these are my top ten books I have read in one sitting (ish), featuring in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post. I would love to find out yours! Please let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 18th July 2021

Good evening everyone – you know what time it is! I’m back with another Sunday Summary update post and I can’t wait to share everything I’ve been up to this week! It’s been a really good one for me. You’ll know that I’ve been taking a significantly slower pace this year, however this week I have felt more like my old self.

As I was taking part in a blog tour later this week, I decided to opt for a three-post schedule and shared my first post around midweek. That was a discussion post in which I shared my opinion on blog stats… and whether they really matter. If you haven’t checked out that post I’ll be really interested to hear your thoughts!

Then, it was the time of my blog tour post on Saturday. I haven’t generally been taking part in reviews for blog tours this year, however, I have enjoyed Karl Drinkwater’s Lost Tales of Solace series to date. I had an invite for this particular book, Clarissa, a little while ago and I signed up immediately! If you’re a fan of sci-fi, or even if you would like to give the genre a try, these books are a great way to give it a go as they are approachable to everyone.

 

Books Read

I’ve made quite a lot of reading progress this week; in this respect I feel a lot more like my old self as well.

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update I have just finished reading Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater. From there I went on to pick it up yet another short story. This one was completely different to the usual type of stuff I read. It was recommended to me by the CEO of my company, who is also an avid reader. The Cockroach by Ian McEwan is a political satire regarding the subject of Brexit. It’s something we all have an opinion on and I really enjoyed reading this author’s witty take on the matter.

I’ve picked it up a couple of times casually earlier in the year, however as I hadn’t deliberately set aside the time to read it I found I just wasn’t finishing it or picking it up for a while afterwards; consequently I was having to restart. I’m glad I set aside the time this week to get through it because it was an entertaining read and it was good to get out of my comfort zone!

Next, I decided to pick up something a little bit longer. I’ve read a few short stories in quick succession and so whilst I had the reading bug, I wanted to take a step up. I scanned my bookshelves and settled on The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor. I previously read and loved her first book, The Chalk Man, and so I felt picking up her second novel was a safe bet to keep the momentum going.

And I was right. I managed to finish this particular book as well! It’s not the longest, at around 350 odd pages, but it’s the quickest I’ve read a book of that length for quite some time. I loved the premise and the execution of drawing out the narrative. The characters are also fantastic – honestly, this is a serious recommendation!

I’ve done reasonably well with audiobooks this week too. I had only a few hours of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin left to listen to and I got through those quite early on this week. I love the book, but I’m glad to finally got to the end so I can listen to something different for a change. The audiobooks are around 30 odd hours each. I’m sure you can understand why I’m looking forward to a change!

Speaking of which, I’ve actually picked of started listening to my next audiobook as well. I’m now listening to A Suitable Lie by Michael J. Malone. I can’t remember off the top of my head how I discovered this particular book, but it’s a psychological thriller. From what I have listened to so far, it seems to revolve around the subject of domestic abuse. Some people may not like that, however I’m reasonably pragmatic about it. Whilst unpleasant, these things do happen and I’m not averse to reading (or hearing) about it.

 

Books Discovered

Again, I have absolutely no updates for you here. This week my TBR went down one rather than up, so it’s going in the right direction for a change!

 

Coming Up…

I’m planning on beginning the week with a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s theme is Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time). I can’t say there are many books I have read in one sitting, but there are a few – and there are plenty more that I would have done given the opportunity.

On Friday I’m taking part in another blog tour and providing another review for Karl Drinkwater. In yesterday‘s post I reviewed the third book of the series, Clarissa, and I’m continuing next week with a review of the fourth book, Ruabon. This particular book lived up to my expectations and so you can expect a glowing review! I hope you can check that post out!

Then, as always, I’ll round off the week with another Sunday Summary update!

In the meantime, however, that is all from me in today’s Sunday Summary. I hope you have a fabulous week wherever you are and I will catch you in the next one!

 

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Blog Tour Review: Clarissa – Karl Drinkwater

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour review of Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater! It has been a little while since I shared a book review for blog tour. For the most part, I have stepped back from doing these a little this year as I’m focussing on reading books currently on my TBR. I have been doing promo posts for books that I really like the sound of. However, at the outset of this year I said to myself that I would still take part in tours for authors I have read before and come to love, and Karl Drinkwater is one of those!

Today’s review is for his third short story in the Lost Tales of Solace series. Whilst it may be helpful to read the main series, my review is actually coming to you from the perspective of not having read them (yet!). I do have the books to read and my reviews will most certainly follow, but today’s review comes to you unbiased – and you can rest assured that even if you have not read them, it doesn’t matter; you can still pick up these books and enjoy them as I have.

Before I jump into sharing my thoughts, I always like to take a moment to say thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and to the author, Karl, for organising the tour and giving me the opportunity to take part! I really appreciate it and having enjoyed the first two books of the Lost Tales to date, I was really excited to see how Clarissa compared! 

 

Clarissa – Karl Drinkwater

Goodreads – Clarissa

If you’re reading this: HELP! I’ve been kidnapped.

Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren’t bothering anybody. But some mean government agents came anyway, and split us up.

Now I’m a prisoner on this space ship. The agents won’t even say where we’re going.

I hate them.

And things have started to get a bit weird. Nullspace is supposed to be empty, but when I look out of the skywindows I can see … something. Out there. And I think it wants to get in here. With us.

My name is Clarissa. I am ten years old.

And they will all be sorry when my big sister comes to rescue me.

Purchase Linkhttps://books2read.com/b/Clarissa

 

My Thoughts…

I find myself reading more and more science-fiction, and the more I read, the more I come to love it! The books I have picked up to date prove that science-fiction doesn’t have to be too technical. I think when I was younger I always had this concern that as a not particularly science-y minded person, I just wasn’t going to understand it. That’s not true at all! I’m sure there are books out there that will float your boat if this is the sort of thing you enjoy, but equally science-fiction can be very approachable. Karl Drinkwater’s Lost Tales of Solace series definitely falls into this latter category.

Clarissa is the third book of the series. I have already read and reviewed the previous two books, Helene and Grubane. If you’d like to check out my thoughts on both of these books, I’ve provided a handy link to each of these. That’s not to say that the events of Clarissa depend on you having read these two books (or my reviews), because that’s not the case at all! It can be read standalone. Some of the characters or places might make a little bit more sense, but it’s definitely not required. I personally really like this. Adding to the ‘non-complexity’ point above, just being able to pick up a standalone is a great way of trying the genre without the commitment of a dense narrative and storyline.

As short stories, each of the Lost Tales of Solace books have been really easy to pick up. Clarissa is no exception. I managed to read this in no more than two sittings. I’ve actually been reading a lot less than normal, but was still able to read this book very quickly despite my reduced reading time. It is the perfect length to be able to enjoy a full narrative, but not too long either.

The thing I loved the most about Clarissa is that it is written from the perspective of a 10-year-old child. Children’s perspectives are very under-represented in literature. There aren’t many books I have read that have them, but almost all that I have, I’ve loved! I think there is a misconception that a narrative from a child’s perspective won’t be detailed or comprehensive enough, but children are very clever. They may not understand the subtleties of some of the things going on around them, but as adults, we can still interpret that from the clues left by the author. Clarissa in particular is very clever, so the telling of her story in the universe, and the strange goings on, does not leave us readers left wanting.

Fun, approachable and a pleasure to read, Clarissa is a fantastic way of delving into science-fiction for anyone of any age. The story is engaging whilst fitting into the wider Lost Tales of Solace narrative. I think I’ve made it abundantly clear, I really enjoyed reading this short story and I hope I can convince you to pick it up for yourself!

If you want to find out more about the book, or check out some other reader’s opinions, please make sure to check out the other stops in the blog tour. I’ll provide a full list of the names of blogs and date they are touring (or have toured) below!

Finally, if you want to find out more on the series, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the fourth book of the series next week. Again, I am providing a review so stay tuned for it!

 

Author Bio

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Social Media Links –

Website https://karldrinkwater.uk

Twitter http://twitter.com/karldrinkwater

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karlzdrinkwater

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authorkdrinkwater/

Newsletter http://bit.ly/newsletterkd

Discussion Post – Do Blog Stats Matter?

Hello everyone! Today’s blog post is potentially a bit of a controversial topic, because I want to talk about blog stats, and how much they matter.

Obviously they matter to a certain extent. Here on Reviewsfeed I take part in blog tours, as well as share book reviews and other bookish content. Particularly for the review side of things, it’s beneficial for the authors of the books I feature to actually reach an audience… so in that sense it matters.

From what I have seen, bloggers tend to be polar opposites on their stance on stats. They either monitor excessively… or not at all. I confess I fall into the latter category; I hardly ever look at them to be perfectly honest with you. That’s not to say things go unnoticed, however. If I get a notification to say someone has liked my post, or followed my blog, then yes I get a little excited. But do I continuously monitor each blog post’s page views and compare them to each other? Am I filled with self doubt if post doesn’t get as much ‘love’ as I think it should?

Absolutely not!

That’s fundamentally not what I blog for. When I started my blog, it was to have a place to share my thoughts on the books I read. I had in my head the idea that if I could inspire even just one person to pick up a book, then I would be happy. In the grand scheme of things, that is a very low target, but that’s all I wanted to do. I would like to hope that I achieved it by now, but at the same time it’s not the end of the world if I haven’t either. I’ve had fun along the way – that’s what counts!

When you first start out, you definitely have to make a lot more effort into your blog’s growth. Your blog doesn’t come up in searches so easily, so you have to go out there and get the attention for yourself. Of course I did this in the beginning. But I don’t now, and granted, I haven’t really have much in the way of ‘growth’ lately. I don’t necessarily gain any followers, but I do get page views with no effort at all.

When you tell someone how many followers you have, your first reaction would be “Wow!”… or “Well done!”. But what if I told you it stands for very little? I have hovered at just over 1000 followers for quite some time. Sounds like a reasonable following, right? What if I told you that my average page views per day in 2021 was just 11-12? That is nowhere near as impressive, is it. But that is the reality. Just because somebody ‘follows’ my blog, it doesn’t necessarily mean they read or interact with it at all. So that number becomes hollow; it doesn’t mean anything. If anything, it is the page views that are most likely to matter.

But even a page view count isn’t a true reflection. What if someone clicked on your blog by accident? They immediately click the back button take them back to wherever they were before. You have a page view, but the person didn’t actually read what you’ve shared! Equally, what if someone clicked on your post and just skim-read it? Have they actually taken any of your content in? Even if we assume a best case scenario; that everyone who has read your blog has done so on purpose and taken as much as they can out of your content – then great… but what now? There is a small sense of achievement to gain from that, but what impact does that have on your life ultimately? Do you continue to chase for the extra view, that extra push? Is it worth making your entire identity about who you are online?

For me, the answer is most definitely, no. 

Personally, I just don’t get the hype and obsession with counting stats. If I’m entirely honest with myself, comparing myself to some of the other bloggers out there by following or number of views is unrealistic. I don’t read the types of books that target the current majority of the book blogging demographic (YA, I’m looking at you) so my content doesn’t appeal either. And you know what? That’s okay. I’m not going to change my reading tastes to try and appeal to the mass market.

What I say next might not sit well with some. I am a twenty-something-year-old woman and I despair at how many people in my generation (and the younger ones) rely on social media and the Internet in general for validation and self-worth. It’s sad that people think they are defined by their online presence. You’re not. The Internet is a fickle place, and whether you find a place within it or not, it will move on without you. What matters is whether you let that bother you or not.

It may sound hypocritical of me to be talking to you about this, given that my entire hobby is based around posting content on the Internet. I’ve been doing so for the last four years. However, I hope I’ve made it very clear that my ‘place’ on the web, and how much traffic I get, matters very little to me. I love my blog, and I love sharing my thoughts on it. As to how many people see it or take anything from it, anything goes. I set up my blog for me and that has been my objective from day one.

So, I’ve made my opinion very clear. Do you agree with me or do you disagree? I’d like to hear your views on the subject, so let me know in the comments!

 

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Sunday Summary – 11th July 2021

Hello everyone! I’m glad to be back with you for another Sunday Summary update. I hope you’ve had a great week wherever you are? I have certainly enjoyed this one – Monday was a local bank holiday here on the Isle of Man and so I got to enjoy an extra-long weekend! Not only that, but I’ve been enjoying spending my time on some fun reading and projects as well.

This week’s blogging schedule was a little busier than of late. My typical schedule is three posts a week, however, this Sunday Summary update is my fourth post of the week. I started on Tuesday with a Top Ten Tuesday post, sharing the reasons why I love reading. Honestly, I could’ve gone on forever. But, to keep it concise, I managed to categorise it down to ten; if you haven’t checked out that post already please do!

Later in the week, I shared my Monthly Wrap Up for June. When I shared my 2021 Half Year Review post last week it hadn’t occurred to me that it would make sense to post a June wrap up first. Never mind – it is what it is!

Then, on Friday, I shared another First Lines Friday post. This week’s book selection was very random but I think I got lucky as the intro is very interesting, and will appeal to fans of mystery novels.

 

Books Read

After my last Sunday Summary update, I went on to read the rest of Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater. As of last week’s post I was just over halfway through the book; I finished this last Sunday night after my post went live.

I have just finished reading Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater. I will admit that I only just started reading this short story this morning. However, it was really interesting to read and I’ve managed to read it all today with ease and I loved it! I’m taking part in blog tours for both Clarissa and Ruabon, coming up in the next week or so, and I really can’t wait to share my thoughts with you about them!

I’ve also listened to a few hours of A Clash of Kings this week. As of this post I have 2 hours and 46 minutes left to go. I was hoping to get this finished this week, however I didn’t (although I still have listened to a good chunk so I can’t complain). I am reasonably sure that I will get this finished next week though! It will feel good to finally get to the end.

 

Books Discovered

Since last week, I have absolutely no updates for you here!

 

Coming Up…

Given that I’m going to be sharing a book review later in the week, I think it will be fun to have a more light-hearted discussion post mid-week. Having considered a variety of different topics, I think it would be fun to talk about my approach to blogging, and my opinion on blog stats. I want to do this topic because it relates to a conversation I’ve had with my mum and dad very recently. I’m sure it’s something everybody has an opinion and I would very much like to hear what your take is!

On Saturday, I am taking part in the blog tour for Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater, sharing my review of this short story. I really enjoyed this one, as I have with the rest of the series I’ve read to date. I really hope you can check out that post!

Then, as always, I’ll round off the week with another Sunday Summary update!

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First Lines Friday – 09/07/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post!

Today’s featured book is another book on my TBR. Before I started drafting today’s post, I had absolutely no idea which book I was going to feature. I’ll admit that today’s selection was a random scroll and finger-point on my TBR list; I think I landed on a good one too! I really like the sound of the opening lines below as an introduction to the novel.

Do you recognise this opening at all?

 

I squint at him. The Sun is in my eyes and he looks like a shadow monster.

‘I can’t’, I tell him. ‘I’ve got to get home. I’m only meant to be getting sweets from the paper shop, then straight back.’

He crouches in front of me. He is wearing a woolly hat, which is funny as it’s really warm today.

‘But your mum asked me to fetch you.’ His eyes crinkle at the corners as he smiles.

I fold my arms. When I told my head, his face blocks out the Sun.

‘You might be lying,’ I say. ‘Mummy warned me about men with sweets and puppies.’

The man laughs like Gramps does when he’s Father Christmas.

‘I know’, he says. ‘What’s she like? She is such a worrywart.’

He’s right: she is. I drop my arms to my sides.

 

 

99 Red Balloons – Elisabeth Carpenter

99 Red Balloons  – Goodreads

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

 

My Thoughts…

I love the sound of this book! I enjoy a good mystery and what makes it all more harrowing is that it involves children. For some that might not be an easy subject to read, however it doesn’t bother me at all. From the synopsis, there seems to be a lot to this story to sink my teeth into. I like these types of books because you’re forever guessing and second-guessing everyone’s actions and motives. It’s the kind of story that keeps your brain going long after you close the cover.

I haven’t read a book like this for quite some time, so I’m definitely looking forward to it! The last type of story I read like this was a complete hit with me and made it to my Top Reads of 2020 list. I really hope 99 Red Balloons lives up to the same expectations!

As always, I hope you have enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday post! Have you read the book, or is it on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

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Monthly Wrap Up – June 2021

When I drafted my half-year review post last week, it hadn’t even occurred to me that it would make sense to post my June wrap up first. Still, here I am at last. It should be quite a quick one since June was a relatively quiet month for me. In addition to doing some other things this year, my sister also came to visit this month and so everything was pretty much put on hold for that. Was lovely to see her for the first time in 16 months and I can’t wait to be able to see her again!


Books Read

As I said above, this month’s progress has been reasonably quiet. In terms of reading, I have managed to read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. As of last month’s wrap-up post, I had actually just started to read this and I finished this book in the last day of the month. It’s not a lot of progress, I will admit. However, as much as I enjoy reading, I don’t live for it and I’ve done plenty of other things with my time instead.

I’ve enjoyed the more relaxed pace of reading so far, but I’m definitely looking to start picking up more books over the next six months.

More audiobook progress has been made, however I am still (just) working through A Clash of Kings by George R. R.Martin. I only have a few hours left to listen to and I expect in next month’s update, I’ll be telling you that I finally got to the end of this one! Don’t get me wrong, I am really, really enjoying it – but it’s a long one! I think for my next one, I’m going to pick up something smaller.


Blog Posts

Thankfully, I’ve been a bit more active blogging that I have reading this month. So, I have plenty of posts to share with you and give you the opportunity to catch up if you have missed any: –

 

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s rather quick wrap-up post! As always, I really enjoy getting your feedback and I would love to hear about what you have been reading recently!

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