Monthly Roundup – September 2019

I have come to the conclusion that I am feeling somewhat jaded in my relationship with certain sectors of the bookish world. There are still publishers who remain immensely supportive. Others, less so – I suspect I have been blacklisted by at least one, which saddens me. As a book blogger I am well aware that we are many and what certain publishers really want is exposure in national newspapers and magazines. I’m not going to stop reading and reviewing but am questioning the value of the time I devote to doing so.

With all this in mind I have been getting out and about more often to enjoy the local countryside rather than feeling a need to get through every ARC sent before it is published. This need to step back has been building for some time. I have come to realise that I feel more comfortable reading and writing without feelings of obligation.

In processing this issue I started to put together a post – writing helps cohere thoughts that are bothering me. It evolved into musings over the value of a review when it is written by a book industry insider: The value of a review written by an author’s friend

My September reads have been a mixed bag with a larger than usual number of disappointments – books that didn’t live up to expectations generated from the quotes and blurb (yes, I should know better and do more research). As well as reading soon to be and newly published works, several were plucked from my vast TBR pile. I have so many titles there that I am eager to read.

I reviewed 12 books in total: 2 poetry collections, 4 works of non fiction, 6 fiction (2 translated).

Click on the cover to learn more about the book. Click on the title below to read my review.


Moments by Daphne Denley, published by Crumps Barn Studio
Bad Mommy / Stay Mommy by Elisabeth Horan, published by Fly on the Wall Press

Non Fiction

The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla, published by Unbound
The Wilts & Berks Canal by Doug Small, published by The History Press

The Secret Life of Books: Why They Mean More Than Words by Tom Mole, published by Elliott and Thompson

Non Fiction originally written for Bookmunch

The Great Naturalists edited by Robert Huxley, published by Thames & Hudson

Translated Fiction

The Jeweller by Caryl Lewis (translated by Gwen Davies), published by Honno
Lost in the Spanish Quarter by Heddi Goodrich (translated by the author), published by HarperVia

Children’s Fiction

This is the second in a fabulous series – I am already eager to read the next installment.

Sunny and the Hotel Splendid by Alison Moore (illustrated by Ross Collins), published by Salt


Funny Girl by Nick Hornby, published by Penguin
Lanyards by Neil Campbell, published by Salt

My Book of the Month is a work of fiction that I urge you all to read.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges, published by Fox, Finch and Tepper

As ever I wish to thank the publishers who send me their titles to review – the arrival of a book parcel remains a cheering event in my day.

My thanks also to those who share my words across their social media platforms. Your continuing support is always appreciated.

4 comments on “Monthly Roundup – September 2019

  1. Good grief. How on earth have you been blacklisted? For being honest perhaps? I think it is wise to step back a bit sometimes. I’ve tried to do that this year and feel all the better for it even if I do get bouts of FOMO. Hope your next set of books brings you pleasure.

    • Jackie Law says:

      Thanks Linda. Yes, stepping back and concentrating only on those books I expect to enjoy feels like the way to go. Thankfully the publishers who are still supportive are also the ones producing these 🙂

  2. Paul at Halfman, Halfbook says:

    I am guessing that it was the doorstep book that you weren’t keen on, as they don’t seem to be following you any more!

    Used to get twinges of envy when people got books that I didn’t, but now I don’t, as I can always get hold of the books at a later point when it suits and then I can read it as and when I choose.

    Keep reading and keep telling us what you do and don’t like.

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