First things first. I am not an expert. Yes, I love to read, and I read pretty widely. I certainly read more than most of my friends and family. But that does not make me an expert.
I am not a professional copy writer, agent or publisher. I have no real training in English literature or critical studies. I’m just a book lover.
What that means is here my reviews will focus on what I liked or didn’t about a particular book. When I review I won’t provide a rating (although you can go check those out on LibraryThing or GoodReads if you must). I’ll simply tell you want I enjoyed and what a book made me think or feel.
You might feel differently or feel the same but for different reasons. That’s more than fine. It means we can chat.
What do I read?
The glib answer is pretty much anything. However, in reality I tend to read more fiction than non fiction. My fiction picks are heavily skewed towards contemporary and historical fiction with a side of mystery although I have been known to dabble in sci-fi or fantasy. In non-fiction I am mostly drawn towards history, politics or memoir.
I treat books as a way to experience different worlds and perspectives to mine, so I read young adult as well as adult and am trying to read more diversely in both authors, language and protagonist.
What do I look for in a great (for me) book?
I particularly enjoy novels that transport me to another time or place. Rich, immersive worlds will always appeal to me and one of my biggest compliments on finishing a book is if it makes me want to find out more whether it’s about a place, a person or an event.
I like my characters to be multi-dimensional, to be people I can imagine speaking to and being able to empathise with. That said I am not adverse to an unpleasant character or an unreliable narrator but I want them to feel like real people.
For me the best fiction balances these two. Great world building for flat or unrealistic characters leaves me cold and characters who exist in a vacuum are not enjoyable to me.
In non fiction I prefer an approachable, not overly academic style but I do like a good set of notes and bibliography so I can validate or jump off into further reading.
Maybe these are the things you look for too?
I may occasionally receive a book direct from an author or publisher. This will not impact how I read and think about it. I will however be sure to make it clear that I received it free for a review.
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