It’s a funny old month, January. A time when people ponder lots of things. Resolutions, fresh starts, new directions. How to make the limited funds in your bank account last until the following payday …
One of the things I have been thinking about is blogging. It’s an age old dilemma that I think most bloggers end up contemplating at some stage, and one which has been expressed eloquently by my lovely friend and top notch fellow blogger Jill over at Jill’s Book Cafe. Should I stay or should I go now? To continue to plague the world with my reviews or to hang up my blogging gloves before I fall out of love with reading.
It can be a chore sometimes when you have made a commitment to read a book that, in any other circumstances, you are certain you will love, but right now is falling into second place behind ‘real life’. There have been many times lately when I have struggled to find my way through a book, knowing full well that it is me and my mindset, not the book, that is at fault. And this weekend I have seen the power of a simple ten second tweet where I have had several responses telling me that they have now bought the book (probably because of who wrote it, published it and the fact it is on offer …) because I tweeted, and yet I seldom get any response to a review I have spent hours pouring my heart into. (Ironically I also got more reactions yesterday to what was intended to be an ironic FB status saying I was giving up reviewing than most of my reviews/posts get – go figure.)
Sure, a review gets shared by fellow bloggers, for which I am eternally grateful, but other than a thanks from the author (in most but not all cases!), I am never certain anyone has even actually read what they are sharing. A waste of time you’d think then, huh? Believe me when I say that I am as guilty as the next blogger of tweeting and running. It can be a full time job just sharing the blog love never mind actually telling the other blogger why their review is fabulous or what you thought of the book they are reviewing. Like many others, I am more likely to comment on a personal blog post than one which details their thoughts on a book. Why, I don’t know, but there it is. And why bother with a blog when I can just wallop them on Amazon and be as ignored there as I am here? I’d certainly avoid what appears to be a targeted campaign of marking bloggers reviews unhelpful so that other reviewers slip ahead of them in the ‘Amazon Reviewer Rankings’. Yes that is an actual thing …
So yes. I’ve been thinking. (Another reason why I am so crap at actually reading right now as I am not concentrating on the task at hand at all). Do you want to know what conclusion I have come to? Are you even still there? I realise this post could now be just like my reviews and I’m talking to an empty room, lol. So … Do you?
Well, what I have been thinking is (and pardon my language here) that I don’t actually give a bollocks about any of that stuff. I didn’t start blogging to find fame or fortune or any of the other things that youngsters seem to want a YouTube/Bookstagram career for these days. Just as well really, as book blogging is literally the worst type of blogging to pursue for all that crap ;). I blog because, behind all the doubt, agonising over reviews and general procrastination that stops me from reading the books like I should be, I like sharing my thoughts on books. Even if the author is (occasionally) the only person who actually reads them, then I’ve done my job. My reviews were, and are, a thanks to the author for the joy they have given me with their weeks, months, or even years of hard work. No more and no less. Everything else is window dressing. I don’t need validation.
If you had told me three years ago that I’d be a part of an online community where I would make new friends and find people with shared interests that I would end up meeting up with around the country, in pubs and hotel gardens and what not (and believe me when I say I bloody HATE pubs), I’d have responded with the following. ‘Are you high? No thank you. Bloody Facebook is annoying enough.’ And yet here I am.
Whether you want me or not, I’m in the heart of what is, for the most part, a bloody brilliant community and full of fun and friendly people. Yes – we can be neurotic and crazy at times. We are human. It’s what we do best. Sure, we have the occasional spat and get on each other’s nerves – what family doesn’t – but we get over it and move on and get back to what is important. Sharing the book love. We don’t all like the same books. That’s fine. Taste’s differ. It’s natural My sister eats leeks and I bloody hate them – they stink. And we share actual DNA! You’d expect some kind of synergy there at least!
Book blogging can be frustrating. It can be brilliant. I may get no views or I might get a hundred (usually closer to the former…) but it doesn’t matter much. We all do this thing our way and that is fine. I’ll meet some of you (well I’ve already met two of the three readers of this blog post and they are lovely people 😉 ) and I won’t meet others. We may each love or loathe Marmite (loathe), but we’ll always have books in common. ❤
Can you tell bugger all of interest happened to me this week? 😀 Here have a random cat pic. And some swans from my walk yesterday. They’re cute.
Other ebooks I have ordered/preordered are The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott (there may be a familiarly named character in that one …); Bridge to Burn by Rachel Amphlett and Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear. Only one ARC from Netgalley – Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary.
Books I have read
Bollywood Wives – Alex Khan
The biggest scandals happen off-camera…
Zara Das is Bollywood’s hottest property, her every move watched by the eyes of the press. Riding high from the success of a string of blockbusters, she has the world at her feet, but the scandal from her latest film threatens to dethrone her as Bollywood’s reigning queen.
So when superstar director Raj Dillon stages a lavish retelling of Pride and Prejudice, moving the shoot from Mumbai’s soundstages to London, Zara knows this is the role that could put her back on top. Coming with them are the Bollywood Wives – Jackie, Sasha, and Rani – bringing their own off-screen drama.
But behind the diamonds, designer clothes and seven-star hotels lies the truth of how Zara reached the top. And when a dead body is found in her hotel room, it seems that someone is determined to take Zara down – and will stop at nothing to expose her darkest secrets.
Zara has spent years running from her past. But now it’s caught up with her…
A marked change of direction for the author a lot of us will know as Alex Caan, this is a fun, thrilling and scandal laden tale set in the heart of Bollywood. Sexy and addictive I can think of quite a few people who are going to absolutely love this book. A brilliant start for Mr Khan and brand new publisher Hera Books, you can preorder it here.
Beton Rouge – Simone Buchholz
On a warm September morning, an unconscious man is found in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of the biggest German newspapers. Closer inspection shows he is a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in similar circumstances.
Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect … to the dubious past shared by both victims. Travelling to the south of Germany, they step into the elite world of boarding schools, where secrets are currency, and monsters are bred … monsters who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.
A smart, dark, probing thriller, full of all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the very best noir, Beton Rouge is both a classic whodunit and a scintillating expose of society, by one of the most exciting names in crime fiction.
Man, I absolutely loved this book. Raced through it in a just a few hours. It’s one of those absolute page turners with cracking characters and an intriguing and completely engrossing storyline. Chastity Riley is a brilliant lead character and I have to admit to a bit of a book crush on the new Detective, Ivo. Highly recommended. You can preorder the book here.
The Hunter – Andrew Reid
A troubled genius who vanishes in a mysterious car crash.
A disillusioned cop sensing conspiracy in the corridors of power.
A ruthless team of mercenaries operating in the shadows.
A billion-dollar business that wants the world in its grip.
One link connects them all.
A champion fighter. Betrayed and searching for the truth.
CAMERON KING IS THE HUNTER.
I read this for a blog tour and have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised by the book. High action, full of great characters you can really get behind, especially Cameron and Ray. I love a good action thriller and this is a good one, and although a bit of a techno-thriller too, it’s not so far from the realms of possibility … You can order a copy here.
That was it. Three books, not too shabby I suppose as I’m also half way through In A House Of Lies by Ian Rankin. And I’ve been procrastinating and debating the finer points of blogging, obvs … Blog slow down continues. Recap below for those those of you still here:
The week ahead is very sparse. A couple of tours for Perfect Match by Zoe May and The Good Teacher by Rachel Sergeant. If you’re over on Instagram I’m part of a Bookstagram Tour tomorrow too. And that’s it for the week. No. Honestly. It really is.
Hope you all have a great week of reading and writing and procrastinating and whatever else floats your boat. I may be quieter (yippee I hear you cheer) but I’m still here. Sorry 😀