Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Monday, 29 September 2014

A quick hello...

This is a quick hello and a few 'thank you's' and a little update really.

Firstly, thanks again to all the lovely folk who have kindly read review books and written guest reviews of them for the blog, which it's been great to share over the last few weeks or so, and thank you to the authors who've shared guest posts and taken part in interviews. 

Thank you too to Jane at Booketta's Book Blog for the One Lovely Blog Award nomination and Jacqui at Jacqui Wine's Journal for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award nomination, both very gratefully and happily received. I will try and pass them on soon. 

I've not updated the blog much lately with what I've been reading myself, or with book reviews of my own; I've found I haven't been able to write much of one for a while, for various reasons. I've been trying to write a post about why for a while now, and I keep starting it, changing it, starting again, and then getting frustrated and leaving it, then coming back. In the end I just wanted to post something, so even if this doesn't go into too much detail, it will at least be a little bit of an update.

Basically, I've ended up cutting back on blogging time recently. I got to a stage where I was finding the amount of reading and posting, that I felt had become a bit of a requirement, was becoming excessive, and when you're at the point of lying awake worrying about your book blog and the piles of books that are all demanding to be read and reviewed and end up in tears, something's not right is it? It was affecting my health negatively; such a shame as blogging had started for me as a happy hobby and something to help me with my low mood and self-esteem. But I was putting so many other people and other things above my own wellbeing. Also worrying me was the thought of all the lovely books I've bought over recent years, that I had really wanted to read, that are still sitting on my bookshelves unread.

Apologies to anyone I have let down by not reviewing your book. And I am incredibly grateful for the books that I have had the opportunity to read which I might not have otherwise discovered. I was very keen when I started blogging and never realised how overwhelming it could become if I didn't keep on top of it. I wanted to help and support authors and I thought I could please all of the people all of the time but I wasn't looking after myself. 

So many people have said to me that reading ought to be for pleasure and not be a chore or a pressure. If this means that I can't read every new book going right now and I can't manage to review stacks of new books and try to please all of the people all of the time etc then that might have to be how it is, because it's darn hard trying to do that, and then it's not always met with thanks, which can be dispiriting. 

A few events in recent months have focused me a bit, for the better hopefully. And I've come to the conclusions that, if I'm not enjoying a book, and I've given it a darn good try, it's ok to give up without finishing it. And also that I don't want to put off any longer reading books I have been looking forward to. Life is too short and there are too many books that I'd like to read. 

I had the aim of writing honest, intelligent reviews of books I wanted to read, and I hope I did manage that, at least sometimes. I still hope to post on the blog when I can, but I'm not sure how frequent this will be or how in depth the posts might be when they do appear. I hope some folk will stick with me and pop back now and then to see if I am still here :) In the meantime I'll keep reading the blogs I enjoy, there are some wonderful book blogs and book tubers and a great community out there, and I'll keep following and commenting as much as I can. 

So basically I am trying to rediscover my love of reading, for pleasure, relaxation, enjoyment and discovery, and I am trying to look after myself better and improve my health. And so far, so good. 

Something I read recently (via Blurt Foundation) that I need to listen to:

Be true to you, make sure your needs are being met, make sure you're receiving the help you so need and deserve before helping others. It's not selfish to do so. It's vital to your wellbeing.
Help yourself to feel better and you'll have so much more to give.
P.S. You're worth squadillions!
P.P.S. You might not believe us that you are worth squadillions so you're just going to have to take our word for it.


  1. Goodness Lindsay this rings so true with me. As I said on one of my posts I'm hopeless online with communication. I started my blog at a time when I was shall we say on a downhill struggle. It worked at the time as it gave me a sense of purpose. I too found that when I took on requests for reviews and other commitments my own books were piling up and reading and reviewing sadly became a chore. I am enjoying taking part in some of the memes and posting the odd review, discussion post etc. When my piles of unreads become substantially reduced then I will get back into blogging more seriously and start taking on author reviews. I hope everything pans out for you and you get to enjoy your books for pleasure. I'm also not concerning myself about the latest books, there is plenty of time to catch up with those. Take care and enjoy your R & R. x

  2. It definitely sounds like you're making the right choices Lindsay. I know it call can be a bit overwhelming but I do hope you just take a well deserved break and not stop all together. I enjoy your reviews and would hate to see you just burn out completely. Take a nice break and read some great books!

  3. I always enjoy reading what you post, Lindsay, but you're completely right: it can be a bit much sometimes. I found that I'd slowly started to forget why I loved reading in the first place and how much of a positive thing it is for wellbeing. I wish you the best of luck in rediscovering your love of reading and improving your health - I'll be with you in spirit on both counts! x

  4. Good post Lindsay & it sounds like you've made the right decision. Reading should be about enjoyment and as soon as it begins to feel like a chore then something needs to be done about it. I'm not posting/reviewing on my blog as much as I once was, it started to become something I had to rather than want to do, Take care & I hope your health improves soon x

  5. You are definitely not alone, Lindsay. I think a lot of bloggers feel the same way you do, especially these days. I have considered giving up blogging on more than one occasion and I struggle with many of the issues you have. I think the best thing I did for myself was finally letting go of the pressure I was putting on myself--if I post twice a week, wonderful. If I skip a week, that's okay. It's better now. I feel better about my blogging now--I am much more casual about it, and accept that it is not a high priority in my life right now. While I still accept review books, I pay no attention to stats. Do I still have moments when I worry about not posting or having enough content? Sure. I just have to look at my daughter and husband to remember what is more important to me.

    I do hope you find what will work best for you. Taking care of yourself is most important. :-)

  6. It sounds as if you're making the best choices, Lindsay. Reading (and reviewing) should be about pleasure and enjoyment, and I hope you're able to recapture that feeling. It sounds as if you're getting there. Wishing you all the very best, take care (and thank you for the very kind mention). Jacqui x

  7. I do relate to the feeling that sometimes blogging and reading gets overwhelming. Like several of us I also have considered giving it up for these reasons.

    I second the above opinions that indicate that reading really should be for enjoyment.

    I really enjoy your blog and will definitely be by whenever you put up a post.

  8. Well done on those awards, both well deserved.

    Amazing how quickly these things can take over and as you say its no fun when all the, well, fun is taken out of it.

    Please take care of yourself and do what you feel you have to do. x

  9. Lins, I can identify so much with your post. You definitely have to put yourself first and rediscover your love of reading. It's so easy to want to please others isn't it! I will still be subbed to your posts and will read no matter how infrequent. You've been a blogging buddy from the beginning of my blogging days and you won't be rid of me :)

    Much love x x x

  10. I quite agree with you Lindsay, I think many of us feel the same at the moment, I too have so many of my own books that I want to read and I certainly need to get some balance. I hope you get to enjoy your time out and all those books you have waiting. I shall still follow your blog and look forward to reading your posts whenever they appear. x

  11. Hi Lindsay, I have days where I think I just can’t do this blogging thing any more, but then I remember all the lovely blogging friends I’ve made and think just a couple more posts and so it goes on. To add to my woes, I’ve now started a family history blog! I love it because it’s getting me back in touch with what is important in my life – but it also has me thinking I ‘must’ have a post ready to put up on Wednesday, and I ‘must’ spend time researching this and writing about that. I don’t know what the answer is, but for now I will keep on keeping on. Well done on having the courage to say ‘stop’ at least for a little while. Barbara x

  12. I have seen a lot of this lately Lynz, you need to do what is right for you. This is a hobby, for pleasure and when it becomes a task and your worrying about it, definitely a time to step back and regroup.

    Hope your back soon love, I won't be going anywhere, I love reading your thoughts. Remember reviews don't have to be long winded, just what you thought and felt. I used to worry as my reviews aren't high brow, they are just my words on my thoughts and do you know, people seem to enjoy that. Short and to the point, so don't worry about it mrs and feel better soon.



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