How to request reviews


The Sham_Review RequestI think that self-pubbed authors are often so desperate to get reviews that we can be a bit brash in how we ask for them. In the excitement of our mission to get our books out there, we often forget how much time it takes to read and review them.

As I’d been asking hundreds of people to review my book recently, I decided it was only fair to review a few others myself. The problem was that I was left a bit irritated by most of these encounters; the emails that I exchanged with other authors felt like they were doing me the favour and not the other way round. I know they’re giving away a free book but they were terse and demanding (“when would I be leaving that review?, not if“) and I was left with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.Continue Reading

Station Eleven; thought-provoking and “deeply moving”

Station Eleven proof.inddMy rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

It seems you can’t miss Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel at the moment; in my Mum’s local book store in England, she must be the envy of any author everywhere as the whole window is full of the things, but unlike many of the much-hyped books that I’ve read lately, this more than lives up to expectation.Continue Reading

Dusting off the shelves


I love the idea of this year-long challenge. I came to it by way of a post from It’s All About Books, who explains that it’s “all about reading all those poor neglected books that have been on your shelves for too long”.

So, a perfect opportunity to read some of those books that you’ve been meaning to get around to but for some reason, simply haven’t. Sign up to the challenge on the (mostly) YA blog, Books & Cleverness here. It runs throughout 2015.

Goodreads challenge 2016

goodreads 2016The most obvious annual challenge (and probably the most popular): The Goodreads Reading Challenge. Just state the number of books you want to read and follow your progress online. It’s a great way of keeping on top of everything you want to read… or not!

Click on the image to start the challenge.


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Stacking the shelves

Logo from Beneath The Jacket blog

Logo: Beneath The Jacket

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme, hosted by Tynga’s reviews and loved by many others, such as Beneath the Jacket. It’s a simple idea. Post the books you’ve added to your shelves that week for others to see and discuss. If you decide to post your own shelves, link it back to Tynga for others to follow too. A fun idea to spread the word about books!

Not a drop to drink? Not sure what to think!

not a drop

My rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

I bought this at a promotional price for 99 cents because I’d read a few articles about how great it was and was very excited to get such a bargain. I started it almost immediately but I couldn’t get past the first paragraph on the first two tries. It was only when I decided to clear my bookshelf of all my “crud” and forced myself to plough on through that I discovered that I actually quite liked it. That said, I can’t give anything more than 3 stars if it took me nearly 3 months and a twist of the arm to read it.Continue Reading