The preferences of a writer’s palate: fancy meal or messy takeaway?

What do you like to see when you open a menu? Perhaps you are attracted to a dish that is described in elaborate language, seasoned with exotic terminology, and served like art on a plate. Or maybe you prefer a more humble bill of fare and don’t mind how sloppy it looks so long as it tastes delicious.

This is sometimes how I view reading books. I would put literary classics in the fancy meal category and more lighthearted material in the messy takeaway category. Both can appeal for different reasons but, like the food they represent, both offer Continue reading

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The undisputed queen of the genre

I am speaking, of course, of Georgette Heyer and the genre she essentially invented: historical romance. This corner of the book market tends to be flooded with titles, some good and some of rather more questionable quality, but a Georgette Heyer book is always a highly reliable choice. I find her to be the literary equivalent of comfort food, and turn to her whenever I want a nice love story.

I have written about her before but I’ve read two more of her books over the last few months and wanted to reiterate my admiration. I’m just so impressed by how well she immerses a reader in the settings and social interactions of the 19th century. One of my Continue reading

Giving up on a book – when do you make that call?

Up until very recently, I was a firm believer that you should always power through a book to the end, regardless of its appeal, length or quality. This principle was motivated by a number of factors, including:

  • a simple desire to find out what happens
  • a respect for the time and effort the author has put into producing the work
  • a sense of completion at the end that aligns with my inbuilt impulse to neatly box away everything in life

Unfortunately, I have encountered a book which has forced me to abandon this enduring cornerstone of my existence.

Prior to Continue reading

I exited this series four books early…

…which some might say doesn’t necessarily entitle me to write a review of it. After all, I didn’t give it a chance in its entirety. Still, even though the series is composed of eight volumes, the individual books  can be read as standalone stories so I think I have licence to offer commentary on the ones I got through and on my experience of the first 50% of the series before I made my escape.

I’d just like to emphasise that this is not a totally negative review, but neither is it overloaded with praise. Keeping the balance between like and dislike proved tricky to navigate!

So what prompted this mixed reaction? Back at the beginning of the summer, I chose to embark upon Continue reading

Now THIS Is The Kind Of Historical Romance I Want To Read…

After reading a number of historical romances which I felt were lacking in both quality of content and standard of publication, I have finally found a book that has set my romantic heart aflutter. And no surprise that the author is known as the queen of historical romance. Her name is Georgette Heyer and the book I read actually contained two of her stories, Devil’s Cub and False Colours. These were an unusual pairing as Continue reading

When To Write A Book Review (And When Not…)

I started reviewing books on this website back in October 2013. I have written fourteen reviews to date, encompassing twenty-eight books, and a full archive of them may be found at this link.

In the beginning, my intention was to post a review of every single book I read as I went along. However, I have encountered a stumbling block to this plan for I find myself unwilling to offer up a review of my most recent reading material. This is because it was just that bad. 😦

I don’t wish to Continue reading

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover – But You Always Do!

In May and June this year, I had the very interesting experience of getting a book cover designed.

Why did I decide to do this? Well, at the time I had almost completely made up my mind to go down the self-publishing route and I knew that, if I was going to put any money into that venture, it had to go on the book cover. The cover is the first thing a reader sees and, regardless of the old adage, it matters a whole lot:

1) If a book’s cover looks cheap or poorly produced, that will turn the reader off from the outset, leading them to think that Continue reading