Here on the ‘Reader’s Spot’ I share the bookish love of our readers, from young adult to romance, chick-lit to murder mystery. Whether you are a reader looking for new books, or a writer wondering what your readers want, I hope you find this series enjoyable.
- What genre do you enjoy reading?
My favourites are…. historical fiction, especially Plantagenet, Tudor and 17th century. Post apocalyptic drama (anything about the collapse of civilisation as we know it. May or may not contain zombies). Good contemporary fiction, as long as it’s fairly sharp and edgy, and has quite a lot of plot. Travel memoirs. ‘Alternative history’ ~ ie, fantasies about what the world would have been like had history taken a different course.
2. Do you have a favourite author in this genre?
In which genre? Shall I answer for all of them? Okay, here we go!
- Historical: Deborah Swift, Norah Lofts, Carol Hedges, Phillipa Gregory, John Boyne, Jerome K Jerome, Gemma Lawrence.
- Post apoc: John Privilege, Kate Mary, Frank Tayell, Dylan Morgan, Katrina Mountfort.
- Good contemporary: Deborah Moggach, Kate Atkinson, Douglas Kennedy, Mark Barry, Elizabeth Jane Howard, Robert Leigh.
- Travel memoirs: Bill Bryson, Val Poore, PJ O’Rourke, Jo Carroll.
- Alternative History: Philip K Dick, April Taylor.
3. How do you prefer to read your books?
I mostly read on my iPad these days, as I prefer it. Even when I buy books by some of the well known authors listed above, I still get the Kindle version. I love the highlighting thingy, and the ease of transport, and the way I can prop it up against the mirror when I’m straightening my hair! Paperbacks are for bath time only. I listen to audio books, too. Currently listening to The Man In The High Castle by Philip K Dick, about 1960s America if the Nazis had won the war.
4. Where do you purchase your books?
Mostly Amazon, I’m ashamed to say, though I do buy from cheapo book stalls in the Grainger Market in Newcastle, now and again. Waterstones once in a blue moon, I mostly just use them for present buying (sorry, Dad, it’s ‘Yet more hilarious letters that didn’t get published in The Daily Telegraph’ again this Christmas!).
5. Where do you find out about the books you read?
Amazon browses and book blogs, mostly. Oh, and I take recommendations from people whose opinion I trust ~ I shall be posting my top 20 for 2015 soon, and there are two books on it that I read after my sister had proofread them and told me they were really good! And two that I bought after reading reviews by fellow members of Rosie Amber’s Review Team. And another two that I bought after reading about them on the now discontinued A Woman’s Wisdom. I don’t take any notice of those automated recommendations I get from Goodreads and Amazon. Half the time they suggest my own books to me. I mean, they’re pretty fab, but I’ve already read them.
6. Do you have a budget when buying books? Do you stick to it if you do?
No, I just think, “will my husband moan when he looks at the bank statement and sees that I’ve bought yet another book? Hey, what the hell!” I wouldn’t very often go over about £2.50 for a Kindle book. For a paperback, it would depend how much I wanted it.
7. Do you write a review when you’ve finished reading? If so, where do you post this?
Yes, if I finish it. I post it on any or all or any combination of the following: my book review blog, Amazon UK, Amazon.com and Goodreads.
8. What do you look for in a book?
Innate writing talent; that indefinable ‘something’ that makes me think, on about the 5th page, “wow, this person can’t half write!” Characters that come alive in my mind’s eye. An interesting and feasible plot. Convincing dialogue. Evidence that someone has a good understanding/knowledge of the book’s subject matter, be it life after the English Civil War, marital breakdown, the sociological effects of a global disaster, drug use, overwhelming sexual attraction that causes oodles of problems, the criminal underworld, whatever. An ending that isn’t an anti-climax.
9. Where do you like to read?
Mostly in bed. If I am reading in the day time, I go to bed to do so. Also in the bath, on trains, when I am drying and straightening my hair (see above), and when I am eating. If I can prop my Kindle up while it’s being done, I read while I’m doing it!
10. What social media platforms are you active on?
The only one I really use is Twitter
Oh, and Goodreads
Thanks you for having me, Shelley! (Thank you for joining me!)