Reader Spot – Meet Book Reviewer, Janet Lambert (@Beadyjan)

Here on the Reader Spot, I share the bookish love of our avid book reviewers. From young adult to historical romance, chick-lit to a murder mystery, they know what they like, and they’re happy to share.  Whether you are a reader looking for a new book, or a writer wondering what your reader wants, I hope you find this series enjoyable.

Next up to the Reader Spot is reviewer, Janet Lambert. Find her book review blog HERE.

Janet Lambert - BeadyJan

What genre do you enjoy reading?

My favourite genre are those twisty psychological chillers and domestic Noir, which are filled with lies and secrets and peppered with red herrings, yet I don’t like traditional detective thrillers. I enjoy a little romance, but it has to be well written and have a dramatic twist and not too twee.

I also love clever historical dramas like the recent book The Ballroom by Anna Hope, which blew my socks right off and the clever The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola, I adore anything which feeds my emotions whether thats tears flowing, heart pounding or holding my breath with fear.

Do you have a favourite author in this genre?

I love discovering debut novelists so a lot of the authors I read only have one book to their credit, one fabulous author I fell in love with recently is Barbara Copperthwaite who wrote a wonderful twisty psychological thriller called Flowers for the dead. With some authors, I have loved a couple of their books yet not adored others they’ve written. A couple of established authors whose new books I always eagerly await include Sarah Waters and Jojo Moyes.

How do you prefer to read your books?

I read most of my books on my Kindle app on my smartphone. I always have it with me, and it means I can surreptitiously read a few pages wherever I am, even if that’s in the supermarket checkout queue. It’s small, portable and convenient and I can adjust the font and its size, which is often a problem in print books. I don’t want large print books, but if the font is particularly small, I end up with a headache.

However, I do still get very excited when I have an actual physical paperback in my hand and still enjoy having them on my bookshelf, touching, smelling and admiring the cover art. I probably still read about 20% in paperback.

I’m not at all fond of hardbacks, they are too heavy to carry around, and I can never get comfortable holding one.

Where do you purchase your books?

I get quite a few from Amazon, especially e-books. I don’t have a particular favourite bookshop, but I can’t pass one without popping in, whether it’s a big city centre Waterstones to while away a couple of hours in or a quirky antiquarian bookstore like Barter Books in Alnwick. I also like scouring charity shops and flea markets for bargains.

Book-stall-South-Bank

Where do you find out about the books you read?

I discover a lot of the books I read through Twitter, I follow authors and publishers like some people follow stars of stage and screen and my Twitter feed is filled with the temptation of constant new titles. I am also a member of Book Connectors on Facebook. But I can spend hour after hour just reading reviews and recommendations on Goodreads and Amazon, I think I enjoy reading about books as much as I enjoy reading the actual books.

Do you have a budget when buying books?  Do you stick to it if you do?

No, but if I’m really skint and come across a must read book I’ll borrow it from my local library.

Do you write a review when you’ve finished reading?  If so, where do you post this?

I write a review about every book I’ve enjoyed, which is virtually every book I’ve read all the way through as I won’t stick with a book I’m not enjoying. I post first and foremost on my own book blog https://beadyjansbooks.blogspot.co.uk/, which helps me keep track of what I’ve read and when. Knowing I may have a little bit of influence helping other people choose their reading is a huge buzz. I used to keep a book journal, but blogging is much easier. I also post my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.

What do you look for in a book?

I love lifelike characters, even if they’re full of flaws or unreliable narrators, if I don’t feel they’re real, and I’m getting to really know them, I can’t enjoy the book. I also prefer books written in first person as it helps me get inside the head of the narrator. I like a fast-paced, clever, twisty plot, but it must still be easy to understand I don’t like books that are too hard work or come across as teachy or preachy, reading must be fun.

Where do you like to read?

Almost everywhere. I always read in bed for at least an hour or two, or I can’t sleep. I love to read on the train or bus and often take public transport rather than drive, just so I can read during my journey. One of my greatest pleasures in life is to find a cozy and quiet cafe, where I can curl up in a corner with a nice latte and a cake and indulge in a good old read. The only place I never read is in the bath  I’ve never understood that your precious book gets wet and steamy, or you drop your e-reader in the water and its ruined!

What social media platforms are you active on?

I love Facebook, I always read updates first from my favourite book group Book Connectors, which helps book bloggers keep in touch with each other and connect with a huge variety of lovely authors, it’s run by my friend Anne Cater.

I also adore Twitter, it took a while to get the hang of it but when I began to get followers and realized how easily I can make it relevant to my hobby of reading using lists (authors, publishers, fellow bloggers) I fell in love with it. I’m @Beadyjan on there if anyone wants to follow me. I’ve recently started dabbling with Instagram but haven’t quite got the hang of it yet.

I hope you enjoyed reading this feature, and if you would like to take part, please get in touch. Next week I’m sharing the book love with Pretty Purple Polka Dots blog.

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