Tag: bookblogger

Sunday Summary – 16th May 2021

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s usual weekly Sunday Summary update post. If you are new to my blog, this is my regular weekly update in which I talk about what I have been reading, any new books I have added to my TBR (or ‘to be read’ list) and I also discuss what posts I have planned for the following week.

This week I have gotten back to my usual, slightly calmer posting schedule. I didn’t have any tours this week, which takes the pressure off. In terms of blog posts I have published this week, I shared a book review of This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay on Thursday and a First Lines Friday feature (no prizes for guessing when…)

 

Books Read

You are not so smart

I have been continuing to make progress with You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney.

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update post, I was around 35% of the way through the book. At the time of writing this post I have made roughly the same amount of progress again this week, taking me to 70%. I don’t have long left in the book in terms of reading time (just over an hour) and so I expect to get this finished reasonably soon.

I haven’t made any audiobook progress this week. Usually I would listen to an audiobook in the evening or on a Saturday after cleaning (now that I’m back to my usual work routine) but instead I have been watching a television show this week. It’s probably only fair that I take a brief break from George R R Martin – I have been reading and listening to a lot of his stuff lately!

 

Books Discovered

Technically I have added a book to my TBR this week, although also in a way, I haven’t. I’ve always known since reading the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo that I wanted to read her Shadow and Bone series. This is the TV series I have been watching this week and I have absolutely loved it! So, don’t be surprised if I start reading Shadow and Bone soon…

 

Coming Up…

I want to do something a little bit different this week and share my thoughts in a discussion post. I quite often talk about the range of books that I read, but it wasn’t always that way. As a teenager I used to pretty much exclusively read fantasy. It was fun, but my reading taste has certainly evolved… especially since I started my blog. So, my discussion post for this week is about why I think reading diverse range of books is a benefit to any reader. I’d also be really interested to hear your thoughts on the subject!

On Friday I am sharing a promo post as part of the blog tour for a knot of sparrows. As a result, I’ll be taking a brief break from my regular Friday features; this week would have been a shelf control post. Don’t worry, I’ll be back with this the following week!

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post. What are you reading?

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

First Lines Friday – 14/05/2021

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

Today’s featured book is a non-fiction memoir, quite unlike most of the books on my TBR at present. That said, I’m looking forward to trying something new and I think there is a lot I can take away from this particular book.

Can you guess what it is from the excerpt below? Here is today’s First Lines Friday feature: –

Having been born a freeman, and for more than 30 years enjoyed the blessings of liberty in a free state-and having at the end of that time been kidnapped and sold into slavery, where I remained, until happily rescued in the month of January, 1853, after a bondage of 12 years – it has been suggested that an account of my life and fortunes would not be uninteresting to the public.

Since my return to liberty, I have not failed to perceive the increasing interest throughout the northern states, in regards to the subject of slavery. Works of fiction, professing to portray its features in their more pleasing as well as more repugnant aspects, have been circulated to an extent unprecedented, and, as I understand, have created a fruitful topic of comment and discussion.

I can speak of Slavery only so far as it came under my own observation-only so far as I have known and experienced it in my own person. My object is, to give a candid and truthful statement of facts: to repeat the story of my life, without exaggeration, leaving it for others to determine, whether even the pages of fiction present a picture of more cruel wrong or a severer bondage.

 

 

Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup

Twelve Years a Slave – Goodreads

Twelve Years a Slave, sub-title: Narrative of Solomon Northup, citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington city in 1841, and rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana, is a memoir by Solomon Northup as told to and edited by David Wilson. It is a slave narrative of a black man who was born free in New York state but kidnapped in Washington, D.C., sold into slavery, and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana. He provided details of slave markets in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, as well as describing at length cotton and sugar cultivation on major plantations in Louisiana.

 

My Thoughts…

Slavery is seen as an old practice. Barbaric, cruel and utterly unspeakable and yet to say that slavery does not exist today would be false. Whilst I would like to think that stories such as Solomon Northup‘s do not happen today, I’m not very optimistic. It is only by educating ourselves that we can prevent history repeating itself.

Twelve Years a Slave is a classic, non-fiction memoir – a combination I don’t read very often. However, it is for that reason that I am excited to pick up this book! Will it be an easy read? Doubtful. But still, I don’t intend to shy away from it either. I read for fun and I can read to be challenged and I think there is a lot I can learn about the truth of slavery and racism from this book.

Have you read Twleve Years a Slave? Did you enjoy it, and did you learn from it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience of the book so please let me know in the comments!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Book Review: This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

Today’s book review is for one of my top reads of 2020. It wasn’t a book I expected to pick up; in fact, it was a an impromptu loan from a work colleague after they read it and enjoyed it in lockdown. 

And boy, am I glad I took them up on the loan! It’s not often that I read non-fiction, or anything even remotely like this book. But sometimes, branching out pays off and honestly I loved loved loved this book! There is a definite British pride in the NHS but I think it often under-appreciated how much has to go into it in order for us to be able to access it. This book rips away the veil and gives an honest insight into what it means to be a doctor… what it costs to be a doctor, and I don’t just mean financially. You would be wrong to think that this is a dry, one interesting diary of the slog that is the medical profession. Oh no. Adam Kay is absolutely hilarious and as I’m sure you can imagine, his experience as an Obs and Gyn doctor provides no end of humour along the way!

 

This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

Goodreads – This is Going to Hurt

The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller and Humour Book of the Year

Winner of the Books Are My Bag Book of the Year

Winner of iBooks’ Book of the Year

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

As seen on ITV’s Zoe Ball Book Club

This edition includes extra diary entries and a new afterword by the author.

 

My Thoughts…

I would never have thought that a book could be tearjerking and completely hilarious all at the same time. Each daily chapter is different to the next, as can be expected really. Every day is different and brings along new patients and challenges. Probably one of the most common challenges of the job are the patients themselves, and the stupid things they have done to themselves to land them in the care of the NHS. Slightly red-faced, no doubt!

The book isn’t all humour though. It’s gritty, and it’s real and unfortunately in such a profession there are bad days as well as good days. Some patients get to walk out a little embarrassed but otherwise well, and yet others have far more to worry about. This book did make me cry. At one time the author was looking after a patient who found out they were terminally ill. He spent several hours of his day after he clocked off helping patient come to terms with their diagnosis and to help them make a plan for the inevitable. In his own time. If that doesn’t make you realise the kind of people the NHS is made up of then nothing will.

This is going to hurt is truly an emotional rollercoaster. Yet between the humour and the sad stories lies the bigger truth that the service we all rely on is understaffed and underfunded. Those in the profession often work ridiculous hours and overtime on top for the good of their patients. They have little to no social or personal lives themselves (over the course of the book and seven Christmases, the author got just one year off duty…)

What this book makes clear is that the staff who keep the NHS going sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others. In the wake of the events of the last year and the ongoing pandemic across the world, it’s all the more important to remember their sacrifices and to appreciate them! Adam Kay continues to campaign to raise awareness of the state of the NHS and his afterword tries to rally people to the cause. It is a topic that is being discussed now. Those of you who watched the BRIT awards recently will have heard the first of Dua Lipa’s acceptance speeches, in which she highlighted that it was one thing to clap for the NHS staff and another to pay them!

In a way, This is Going to Hurt is a call to arms, but it’s also an absolutely hilarious read. It’s a complex book, because on the face of it, it appears to be a light-hearted humorous account of Adam Kay’s time is a junior doctor. Yet under the surface, there is a poignant message that can also be taken from it. I love the book for both sides and I hope other readers out there do too.

This is Going to Hurt, rightfully so, was one of my top reads of last year and it is a book I know I will pick up again and again and again. And I’m sure I’ll have the same rollercoaster journey each and every time. I’m looking forward to it!

 

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 9th May 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary weekly update post. As always, I hope you’ve had a really good week wherever and whatever you’ve been doing!

There’s been a lot going on over here at Reviewsfeed. My blogging schedule has had a bit of a shakeup this week – I posted three times by Wednesday! Normally my posts are a lot more spread out, however, I was taking part in blog tours back to back on Tuesday and Wednesday. Furthermore, I also wanted to share my monthly wrap-up for April before those posts went live. So, my April Monthly Wrap-up was posted on Monday, my blog tour extract post for Glasshouse by Morwenna Blackwood published on Tuesday and my guest post for The Legacy by Alison Knight was shared on Wednesday. Phew!

Given that I’d had a busy beginning of the week I am glad I decided to leave it there until today’s Sunday Summary post.

 

Books Read

It finally feels like I have an update I can give you this week! At last, I have finished Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin! In last week’s Sunday Summary update post I only had a few pages left of the book. Finishing it was absolutely on the cards and I did this at the beginning of the week.

Since finishing Fire and Blood, I have picked up a book called You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney. This has been on my TBR for some time, partly because I am interested in the psychology aspect it covers, but also because it’s funny. I’ve made pretty good progress with this book this week as well. As of writing this post, I have read 35% of the book. I’m finding it easy to pick up and put down as the chapters are nicely separated and concise. This one definitely won’t be taking as long as Fire and Blood to finish!

I have also listened to a couple more chapters of A Clash of Kings this week. Nothing much to write home about, but progress is progress. With something as long as this, even chipping away a little bit at a time makes a difference.

 

Books Discovered

Aside from buying my copy of You Are Not So Smart to start reading the book, there have been no other purchases or additions to my TBR this week!

 

Coming Up…

This week I plan to feature a review for a book I read last year based on a recommendation from a work colleague, and I loved it! It’s had quite an effect on me; at times it the easiest, funniest book to read and yet the very next chapter can have some very hard-hitting content that opens your eyes to the truth behind the struggles of the NHS doctor. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay was one of my favourite reads last year and I’m looking forward to sharing my full thoughts with you this week.

Later in the week my regular First Lines Friday feature will be back! I haven’t chosen this week’s featured book as yet but that’s half the fun and I hope you enjoy the post once it’s drafted and shared.

 

That’s it for today’s Sunday Summary post. What are you reading this week?

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Extract: Glasshouse – Morwenna Blackwood

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour post for Glasshouse by Morwenna Blackwood. I’m excited to be taking part in today’s tour and I have an extract to share with you from the book. As always, a huge thank you to Morwenna and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour and inviting me to take part.

Having read the extract below I’m really intrigued by the novel and I hope it piques your interest too! If you do enjoy today’s extract I’ll provide details of the book below so you can find out more about it and how you can get a copy! But for now, onto the extract.

 

Extract

(In this extract, Lizzie is in psychiatric hospital, and has a conversation that will change the lives of everyone in the novel…)

I am mute until this girl called Kayleigh arrives. She’s really nice – she’s kind and friendly, and always gets me a cup of tea if she goes to get one for herself. She even picks the snails up when they come onto the path and puts them back in the garden so they won’t get eaten or stepped on. After few days of smiling at each other when we pass in the corridors or in the garden, she comes and sits next to me on the sunny bit of a bench one day, and offers me a cigarette.

On reflex, I start to say, “Thanks, but I can’t – I’m pregnant,” but stop myself after “Thanks”, and take the rollie she’s made for me. And then I can no longer pretend to myself that I have forgotten. I take a long drag on the rollie, and bite my lip to get control of myself. But Kayleigh starts crying before I do, telling me that they’re going to take her little boy away, when she hasn’t done anything wrong. I don’t know what to do, so I just touch her shoulder, and listen. She says that she’s bipolar, that someone set her up, and that the psychiatrist she’d been seeing for years suddenly went away, and some ‘posh new boy in a waistcoat’ gave the final order for her to be sectioned. Something clicks, and I ask her the name of her old psychiatrist. And then I really start listening to what she’s saying.

When she finishes her horror story, she asks me how I ended up here. I think about all the ways I could reply, but stammer out, “I ODd. Again.” I don’t need to say any more, and Kayleigh just smiles in sympathy. And then I go and get us some tea, and we have another rollie each, and just sit there until the sun goes down, sometimes chatting, sometimes silent.

The days pass. I eat my dinner like a good girl; watch some telly, like a good girl; have a little joke with the nurses when I’m taking my meds, like a good girl; and then I go to bed, like a good girl. One of the nurses calls after me, “Goodnight, Lizzie. Sleep well. And don’t worry, love, I’m sure you won’t be here long.”

She’s right – I won’t.

 

Now I don’t know about you, but I am intrigued to find out more about this book. The ending of the extract implies that our main character has a little secret something up her sleeve and I just want to know what is going on! If you do as well here are the details of the book and where you can get yourself a copy: –

 

Glasshouse – Morwenna Blackwood

Goodreads – Glasshouse

‘Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain for ever reputation among all men for my life and for my art; but if I break it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me.’

~ from the Hippocratic Oath (translated by WHS Jones)

Psychiatrists, Drs Whittle and Grosvenor, have dedicated their lives to helping their patients, but their approach, and the complications it reveals, lead them into relationships that harm not only themselves.

As their lives entangle, both men find that doing no harm is not as cut-and-dried as they perceived.

Can the patients in their care really trust them? Or are more sinister motives at work?

Delve into the dark world of psychiatric institutions where doctors and residents play a dangerous  game where no one is infallible!

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/glasshousenovel

 

Author Bio

When Morwenna Blackwood was six years old, she got told off for filling a school exercise book with an endless story when she should have been listening to the teacher/eating her tea/colouring with her friends. The story was about a frog. It never did end; and Morwenna never looked back.

Born and raised in Devon, Morwenna suffered from severe OCD and depression, and spent her childhood and teens in libraries. She travelled about for a decade before returning to Devon. She now has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Exeter, and lives with her husband, son and three cats in a cottage that Bilbo Baggins would be proud of. Her debut psychological thriller, The (D)Evolution of Us, is published by #darkstroke, and has become an Amazon best-seller. When she is not writing, Morwenna works for an animal rescue charity, or can be found down by the sea.

She often thinks about that frog.

Social Media Links

Twitter – @MorwennaBlackw1

Instagram – morwennablackwood_

Facebook – Morwenna Blackwood page

Website – www.morwennablackwoodauthor.com

Monthly Wrap-Up – April 2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s monthly wrap up post for April! I can hardly believe it is May already – where is this year going?

This month’s post is only a short one by comparison as I’ve been focusing on some different things this month. Still, I really enjoyed the books I have been picking up – and more of those below: –

 

Books Read

 

This month has been a bit of a reading and listening fest for A Game of Thrones and George R. R. Martin. I’ve been reading Fire and Blood which is the prequel to the A Game of Thrones series and I’ve also been listening to A Clash of Kings, which is the second book of the main series.

I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I’ve not read as much as I would’ve liked to this month. Instead, I’ve ended up working on a lot more knitting. I had been making a birthday present for my dad at the beginning of the month and I finish this a few days ahead of time. After that I moved on to a project that I started in November last year and put on hold. I ended up getting a lot more done of this than I expected initially and in the last few days of April I was so close to finishing it that I just couldn’t leave it.

Still, Fire and Blood is a long book. I think when I picked it up this month I was about 250 odd pages in and as of the end of the month I had around 150 left (out of 700). If I’ve been reading shorter books and maybe I could be saying that I’d read a couple this month, but it is what it is and this is the only book I’ve been making progress on. Once I get this finished I’m going to try a lot harder to get more read.

In terms of progress with A Clash of Kings, I was around 20% through the audiobook in March is monthly wrap-up post. I’m now about 55% through and making good progress with this one. I definitely listen to audiobooks a lot less than I physically read and these are long ones as well. I’m actually really pleased with this progress and I look forward to carrying on with the book in the next month.

 

Blog Posts

Blogging has definitely been a lot more fun and enjoyable since I switched up my way of working last month. Posting is a lot easier as I’m not struggling with an ageing laptop and all in all, I’m just enjoying the process of it a bit more.

In case you missed any of my posts over the course of the month, you can find a list of what I’ve shared below: –

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s wrap-up post! Apologies it is only a short one, however, I feel like I’ve had a good break and the opportunity to enjoy some different things. I’m definitely looking to start picking up more books and get back on the reading bandwagon more next month. However, until then, I hope to see you around on the blog.

What books did you read in April?

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 2nd May 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s weekly Sunday Summary update post. I hope you’re enjoying the lovely long weekend? I certainly am! It’s just a shame about the weather tomorrow really…

So, what have I been up to this week? At the beginning of the week I shared a post in celebration of four years of blogging. It’s weird to think that I started so long ago because it feels like it was only a few minutes ago at times. I’ve certainly learned a lot along the way and my Four Year Blogiversary post was really drafted to commemorate how far I’ve come since I started.

On Friday I shared a slightly hastily written Shelf Control post. With upcoming uncertainty over the weather and the need to get a few jobs done, I ended up drafting this about 9pm on Friday. I hope that hasn’t compromised the quality but this week’s featured book is a good one and I’d still like you to go over and read it if you haven’t already!

 

Books Read

I didn’t quite get Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin finished this week, however I have made good progress towards that aim (set in last week’s Sunday Summary post)! I’m going to be taking it to bed again tonight and with another day left of the weekend, I have plenty more time to chip into this and hopefully finish the book!

I ended up reading a couple of chapters of this yesterday morning in a slightly different setting. I had taken my car to the garage for a couple of new tires. Whilst waiting for that to be done, I went down to the promenade to sit and have a read with a cup of coffee. It’s not very often I take the time to sit and enjoy such views. Those particular ones aren’t on my doorstep anymore and that made me appreciate going all the more. The one thing I will say is that it was bloody cold though!

The main reason I didn’t get finished with this book though is because I had another project so close to completion but I just couldn’t leave it. You may be aware that I’ve become a bit of a knitter over the last year and I recently completed a couple of scarf projects. In order to complete those I actually put on hold a personal project (a jumper). Well, I was so close to finishing it this week that I just couldn’t leave it unfinished! It’s blocking at the moment so a picture will follow later; I just hope it looks good on!

 

Books Discovered

It’s been another good week here and I have no new additions to my TBR. Since I’m getting through mine at a snail‘s pace here at the moment that is definitely a good thing! (I’m hoping to pick up the pace shortly)

 

Coming Up…

My blog schedule is going to be a little bit different over the next week as I have signed up for some blog tours. As is the story this year, I haven’t signed up to review these books because I’m focusing on the ones on my TBR already. However, I am sharing an extract of The Glasshouse by Morwenna Blackwood on Tuesday and a guest post from the author of The Legacy, Alison Knight, on Wednesday. I hope you enjoy these posts; it will certainly be a pleasure for me to be able to feature new books and authors and have a little bit of variety in bookish content!

Before I even get to those, however, I will be sharing my monthly wrap up for April. Given the progress I’ve made I think it’s only going to be a quick one but still, I’ll be publishing that tomorrow evening sometime.

So, with three posts already going live by the end of Wednesday I’ve decided to skip my Friday feature for this week. I will be back with a First Lines Friday very shortly so don’t think these are going anywhere – it’s just a temporary break so I can manage my schedule!

 

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post. What are you reading?

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Shelf Control #30 – 30/04/2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! I’m sorry if this post is a little brief, but I’ve spent the day at work, then done my weekly shop and come home to cut my grass before some bad weather comes in over the weekend. I first sat down at 9 o’clock this evening!

Shelf Control is a regular feature I started last year and I have got back into sharing these posts regularly again. It’s a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post linked above.

Read on to find out about today’s featured mystery novel!

 

If We Were Villains – M. L. Rio

Goodreads – If We Were Villains

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

 

My Thoughts….

I am a huge fan of theatre; something you have probably picked up from my blog before. If not then I’ll say it again now. As a former performing arts student (among other subjects as part of my A-levels) I have an appreciation for the art and I used to really enjoyed myself! I haven’t done it so much since I left school but I do like to go and watch. Having a book based around a set of performers is something that’s right up my street!

The one aspect that probably isn’t quite so ‘me’ is that the actors are studying Shakespeare. I really don’t get on with Shakespeare; it’s gobbledygook to me! Seriously though, does it make sense to anyone? I don’t think it will impact my enjoyment of the book though. It is obviously going to have some bearing on the narrative but I’m hopeful that this will be for the most part, minimal, and that you don’t have to understand too much about Shakespeare and his plays itself to know what’s going on! The premise of the book sounds really interesting and I can imagine the character relationships getting quite complex. We’ll have to see, but I can’t wait to pick up and find out.

I’ve almost picked this book up a couple of times, but experimentally only to see whether I’m going to get on with it or not. From what I read I’m hopeful! Have you read If We Were Villains? If so, what are your thoughts? As always, I would love to hear from you!

 

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Four Year Blogiversary

I can hardly believe I celebrated my four year blogiversary last week. Sometimes it feels like I set it up yesterday… and yet it also feels like a significant part of my life at the same time. When I was younger I was terrible for starting projects and never seeing them through. When I started Reviewsfeed I had no idea if this was going to be one of those projects. I’m glad to say that’s not the case and I have learnt a lot over the last four years… About blogging in general and about myself!

I will admit that when I started out, I didn’t really have much of a clue about what I was doing. I was reading other blogs in the run-up to setting my own up, but ultimately everyone has their own style. So, I had to take the plunge and find my own way of doing things. I also wasn’t very regular in posting for the first few months – but that’s okay because I was just finding my feet then. It has been a steep learning curve but also lots of fun. If anyone is considering setting up a blog then I really recommend it… providing you know what you’re signing up for!

 

Running a blog is a huge commitment. A book blog even more so.

Aside from the several hours spent drafting, editing and publishing posts a week, there’s also all the reading to go along with it! If you love it like I do then it doesn’t feel like much of a chore, but it does demand a lot of your time. If you’re only looking for a casual hobby then maybe this is worth thinking twice about.

I love my blog. To look back at the content I’ve created, all the reviews I’ve written and the interactions I’ve had with other readers and authors alike is a pleasure, and I hope it will continue to be so. I may have slowed down a little this year but that’s only to avoid burnout. I ended up taking on a lot last year with the house move and subsequent renovation, exams for work and keeping full pace on the blog. That’s a lot to take on! Towards the end of the year I was growing a little tired of juggling it all and I don’t regret the decision to slow down with my reading. I’m still blogging regularly and I hope you are enjoying the content I’m creating?

Four Year Blogiversary stats
Four Year Blogiversary stats

I don’t regularly look at my stats but to look at how far I have come in the last four years honestly amazes me! I would never have thought that many people would want to engage with my writing and to actually consciously choose to read my opinion on something. So, to find that I’ve had over 13,000 views in the last four years is crazy!

It was hard work in the early days. I had to actively go out and interact with other people to draw them to my blog and so every view was hard earned. Now I am a lot luckier and that I get at least one or two passive views a day without having to go out and find people. That’s not even something I try to do anymore. I engage with the content I’m interested in and ultimately I want other people to do the same with my blog.

 

So, 13,000 views and nearly 600 posts later, what have I learned?

Blogging is something you really have to want to do. There will be times when you don’t feel like it, or you will struggle to write a particular post. The underlying love for sharing my views and hoping to inspire other readers to pick up a book is what keeps me going. More than that though, I do it for me. I enjoy reading and taking the time to put my thoughts together on a book. It’s almost a way to relive the narrative and enjoy it for a second time.

Having stopped taking review requests over the last few months I can honestly say that I actually prefer not taking them. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed some great books from authors who have approached me for a review. But equally, taking them on can result in a bit of pressure. Not only is there a time pressure to get it done and reviewed, but there’s also the difficulty if you don’t enjoy it as much as you hoped. I’ve been reading books that I wanted to pick up over the last few months and I found the experience a lot more enjoyable. Free books aren’t the be all and end all. Whilst I will still take the odd one here and there, I will be taking on less in future.

Access to free books is honestly the wrong reason to be a book blogger. You can put in a lot less time and effort by signing up to a library! When you first get started and get your first advanced reader copy it’s really exciting… but personally I think the novelty wears off. I do like to sign up to blog tours though. These are quite good because you don’t necessarily have to read and review book in order to contribute to the tour. Typically, I used to always try and review a book and rarely did I share an alternative feature post. However, I’ve been doing this more this year and I think the variety is honestly better for my blog. So, don’t be frightened to ask to just share a promo if you don’t have time to read and review a book – no one thinks any less of you for it!

 

In Summary

Blogging is a labour of love. It’s not always easy but it’s something I look forward to doing every day. Whether it is picking up a new book to share my thoughts on or finding new ways to share book related content, I love posting it for you!

I hope you guys really do enjoy the content on my blog – here is to the next four years!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 25th April 2021

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. As always, I hope you’ve had a really good week whatever you have been up to!

I have been back to work this week for the first time in nearly two months and I’ve enjoyed it more than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I love being at home but I like the separation of work and home life. Going back into the office this week has given me the opportunity to catch up with all my colleagues and of course, get on with my work in a better environment.

On the blog, I have shared a couple of posts with you already this week. On Thursday I shared my Audiobook Review of Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch; on Friday I shared another First Lines Friday post. If you haven’t checked out either of those posts already, I have provided a handy link for each so you can go and have a skeet!

 

Books Read

It feels like it’s taking a long time, but I have made more progress with Fire and Blood this week. It is a very long book and I’m not reading anywhere near as much as I have previously. I’ve been taking the time to enjoy other hobbies, such as knitting but also just to sit and watch TV of an evening. It’s not something I do a lot of, but it’s nice to give myself the choice… which before I didn’t. Still, I am well on the way to finishing this shortly. The book has a total of 706 pages, so that means I only have about 150 left. Depending on how I feel I might make a bit more of a push with this this week. It’ll be nice to see the end of it (as much as I am enjoying it, I do want to finish it soon and move onto something else)!

 

Books Discovered

 

In last week’s Sunday Summary update post I told you that I was planning on having a skeet in my local branch of a certain book retailer now that the store was open. I did indeed go and have a look and to my amazement, and I’m sure yours, I walked out empty-handed. I had a good look around but nothing really caught my eye and I didn’t want to spend frivolously for the sake of it. It’s better to save my money for something I really want. 

However, I have received a couple of recommendations this week and so added two books to my TBR. My sister’s boyfriend has recently read Barack Obama‘s autobiography and he said it is really good. I couldn’t tell you the last time I read an autobiography, but if it’s about someone I am interested in then it’s definitely something I want to pick up. A Promised Land will be a good read and the variety of picking up my first autobiography in years appeals to me. 

I also received a second recommendation/suggestion this week. As I mentioned in my First Lines Friday post, I quite often have a chat with my boss about books. We will quite often chat about a wide variety of books and genres too. Whilst the post featured in my First Lines Friday post (inspired by this conversation) is a fantasy book, we also discuss classics or non-fiction for example. He recommended that I pick up The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. I’d mentioned that I hadn’t read any of his books and my boss said he would be really interested in my thoughts on it. He is right in that it is a short book, that could be read in an afternoon and so I might pick this up shortly!

 

Coming Up…

I had my four year ‘blogiversary’ notification this week and to celebrate I would like to share a post about my experience of blogging, the things I’ve learned and some advice I would give to new or would-be bloggers out there.

Next Friday I will be back with my regular shelf control post. This week’s featured book is one that I have on my shelves upstairs and I have contemplated picking up a couple of times before already. I really like the sound of the premise and although it has loose links to Shakespeare (which I don’t really get on with – frankly I just can’t understand it) I don’t think this will impact my enjoyment of the book at all!

 

That’s all I have for you in today’s Sunday Summary post. What are you reading?

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads