Random Musings: Book blogging


As a book blogger I wish to champion books and authors. I love books. I find it gratifying to promote a book that I have enjoyed, to tell others about it in order that they too may gain pleasure from reading. It takes time to absorb all those magical words but it is time well spent when a book has left me sated.

Naturally I do not enjoy every book that I select. I will not choose to invest the hours it takes to read a book if I expect to dislike it, but neither am I likely to enjoy every book that I pick up. Until it is opened I cannot be sure what is between the covers.

A good review is more than simply a judgement on whether a book is a good example of its type. Of course this matters. If a book presents itself as a thriller or a romance then it should be judged against other thrillers or romances; the expectations of the reader must be considered. However, genres are fluid and the best books cross boundaries and offer more depth.

I see my reviews as part of a conversation. I have read a book and I wish to talk about it, to share my thoughts with those who may be interested. My reviews are always my honest opinion which means that they will not always be positive. I wish that they could be. It is more fulfilling to recommend a book than to attempt to thoughtfully articulate why I disliked it, especially knowing that the author may read what I write. Often my reasons are nebulous, a reflection of my experiences. Every reader comes to a book weighed down by their own, personal baggage.

I am a writer but not an author. I write my book reviews for this blog, Amazon and Goodreads. I write opinion pieces such as this one. Occasionally I create some flash or micro fiction which I publish on my sister blog, Dreams and Demons. This work, alongside conversations I have had with author friends, has provided me with some small insight into the sheer graft required to produce a novel. Every book I pick up deserves respect for that effort.

In my reviews I try to offer recommendations. As well as a brief, spoiler free description of the plot alongside my opinion on the quality of the writing (which will take into account the expectations of the target audience from the blurb), I will comment on whether or not I enjoyed reading the book. I will also try to explain why. If I dislike a book because it contains a large number of graphic sex scenes then it may well appeal to a reader who wishes to read about such things.

There are many different types of reader which is why we have so many different types of books. Whilst I try to read eclectically, so as not to dismiss an entire canon of literature of which I have no knowledge, I see no point in selecting a book that I am unlikely to be able to recommend. I feel guilt when I cannot go back to the author full of praise for their work. I feel bad if a publisher has provided me with a book that I cannot then eagerly promote.

However, if I invest the time in reading a tale which, from the blurb, sounded as though it would be my sort of thing then I will review it for the benefit of other readers. It is for them that I write. I am always aware that infrequent readers may be put off the pursuit by a book that disappoints.

It is hard to beat the feeling I get when I recommend a book and then hear back from a reader that they loved it as much as I did. This is, of course, a pale reflection of the satisfaction authors must gain from positive reviews. I am merely a conduit. However well received my reviews may be I never forget that it is the authors’ hard work that triggered my abiding love affair with books. It is that joy which I truly desire to share.

dont like to read


Looking for a good book?


This was the year when I became a Book Blogger. Although previously I had included reviews of some of the books that I read on my somewhat eclectic blog it was this year that I started seeking out new works of fiction to read in order that I may then write reviews.

I have discovered a wonderful community of authors, publicists and bloggers; thanks to all for the encouragement and support. Through them I have been offered access to a wealth of new books that I may not otherwise have stumbled upon.

The festive season is a time for lists so I decided to look back on the books that I have reviewed this year and highlight some of those which I would recommend. Click on the book title to link back to my original review. If you are looking for reading inspiration then I hope that you may find this of interest.

My recommendations

For all lovers of quality fiction:

The awesome epic:

Thrillers with a chill:

Psychological thrillers:

Crime fiction:

A good summer read:

Winter is coming:

Feel good fiction without the schmaltz:

Not just for the football fan:

  • Fan by Danny Rhodes

For the young (and not so young) adult:

To read with a child:

Comic book fiction:

Short stories:

And finally, for lovers of the literary world and its culture:


I’ve started so I’ll finish…

… except sometimes I just couldn’t because life is short and my TBR pile continues to grow. This year two books were left unfinished when, after 100 pages or so, I found myself choosing housework over reading:

  • ‘Infinite Jest’ by David Foster Wallace
  • ‘The Book of Life’ by Deborah Harkness

I tell myself that I will return to these one day but I suspect that there will always be other, more alluring books on my shelves.


“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” (J.K. Rowling)