My Life in Books (2017 Edition)

I came across this on the wonderful Roof Beam Reader’s blog and thought it looked like fun.  Do take a look at his version.

The rules are simple: answer the questions with books you read this year! If you decide to play along, add a link to your post in the comments box on Roof Beam Reader’s post and the comments box on this post so I can take a look at yours.

Here are my answers (click on the title to read my review).

In high school I was: Exquisite (Sarah Stovell)

People might be surprised (by): The Existence of Pity (Jeannie Zokan)

I will never be: The Former Chief Executive (Kate Vane)

My fantasy job is: Under A Tuscan Sky (Karen Aldous)

At the end of a long day I need: Shelter (Sarah Franklin)

I hate it (when): When It’s Over (Barbara Ridley)

Wish I had: Days Without End (Sebastian Barry)

My family reunions are: Stranger (David Bergen)

At a party you’d find me with: Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves (Rachel Malik)

I’ve never been to: Birdcage Walk (Helen Dunmore)

A happy day includes: Letting Go (Maria Thompson Corley)

Motto I live by: Take Courage (Samantha Ellis)

On my bucket list is: Flight Before Dawn (Megan Easley-Walsh)

In my next life, I want to have: The Summer of Impossible Things (Rowan Coleman)


Blog Talk: What Does Your Book Blog Say About You?


If it’s possible to judge a book by its cover, why not a blogger by their blog?

Look at the statements below and choose the FOUR that you think most closely describe your blog.   Each statement is numbered. Match the numbers to the words in the table at the bottom of this post to find out what your blog says about you….

  1. Your blog includes a blog roll or list of other book blogs you admire
  2. You frequently take part in tags, blog hops or feature ‘who’s that blogger’ type posts
  3. Your blog has been going for more than a year
  4. You display your stats – views, followers, etc – prominently on your blog
  5. Your most frequent posts are discussion pieces
  6. Your blog features lots of custom-made graphics
  7. Your blog has an archive, lists of reviews by category/genre/author, reading list pages or challenge pages
  8. On your blog you feature books from a number of different genres
  9. Your blog focuses on one main book genre
  10. Your blog is linked to at least four of the following social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest
  11. You frequently feature books with some of the following characteristics: LGBT; gender diversity; people with disabilities; characters from ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities; banned books; literature in translation
  12. Your blog has used several different design themes
  13. You post at least five times per week
  14. You post less than five times per week
  15. Book reviews on your blog are most likely to be for ARCs or recently published books
  16. You often feature author interviews/Q&As



Why not share in four words what your blog says about you in a comment below.

Liebster Award Nomination


Thank you to the lovely Laura at Snazzy Books for this nomination – do check out her wonderful blog. I have to confess I’ve been tagged before for this award but never got around to taking part so this is to redress that oversight.

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions the person asked you
  • Nominate 11 people (comment on their blog to let them know)
  • Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions

Laura’s Questions:

If you had to pick a literary character to marry/enter into a civil partnership with, who would it be?
Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre
What instantly puts you off a book?
Haha – punctuation, spelling and grammar errors in the first few pages
If you had to pick – favourite 3 authors?
Margaret Atwood (for imagination), C J Sansom (for mystery) and John Buchan (for adventure) – but my answer would change tomorrow…
Most-read series?
A toss-up between Alexander McCall Smith’s Mma Ramotswe and C J Samson’s Shardlake
Tea or coffee whilst reading – or neither?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon
If you could only eat one food ‘cuisine’ for the rest of your life, what would it be?
British fish and chips – with mushy peas of course!
Ebooks or paper books?
Both – ebooks for convenience, paper books for the look and feel
What do you do with books you don’t want to keep? Give them to friends, charity shops, sell them….etc?
All of the above (except sell)
Favourite book/s of 2017 so far?
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Favourite genre?
Historical fiction
Favourite book to movie/TV adaptation?
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – wonderful book, wonderful film especially the sublime partnership of Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson

My Nominations

I’m going to cheat and invite anyone reading this to take part as I know some of you have been tagged loads of times before or don’t take part in tags.  Or just pick a question or questions you like from the list below and leave your answer in a comment.

My Questions

  1. What book would you most like to unwrap on Christmas Day?
  2. Which living author would you most like to meet face-to-face?
  3. What’s your favourite opening line of a book?
  4. What’s your favourite closing line of a book?
  5. Have you ever lied about reading a book you haven’t actually read and, if so, what was it?
  6. What is the most popular book you’ve never read?
  7. If you were marooned for life on a desert island and could only take one book what would it be?
  8. What’s your favourite book cover published in 2017?
  9. If you could be a character in an author’s next book which author would you choose and what type of character?
  10. Have you ever been fined for taking a library book back late?
  11. Have you ever cheated to find out how a book ends?

Are You Monogamous or Polygamous (When it Comes to Books)?


Do you like to devote yourself to one book at a time and give it all your book love, only then moving on to the next? Or do you enjoy having a number of books on the go, flirting with each as the mood takes you? To put it another way, do you like to read in sequence or in parallel?

I can see pros and cons to both but I’ll ‘fess up now to being a dyed-in-the wool polygamist…when it comes to books.

In Praise of Book Monogamy

  • You can give your full attention to the book – the story, the characters, the writing – without any distraction
  • You won’t have any problem picking up where you left off because it will be fresh in your mind, not obscured by anything else you’ve read in between
  • You’ll get through the book in a shorter elapsed time
  • If it’s a challenging read – a long book, a complex subject or unusual writing style – you’ll be able to apply your full concentration to it
  • It will be much easier to recall when you come to write that all important review
  • No temptation to switch to another book leaving the current one unfinished
  • Ideal for the self-disciplined

favourite                     BookPile

In Praise of Book Polygamy

  • You can switch between books depending on your mood. For example, perhaps a few chapters from something light-hearted when you’re feeling a bit down and then back to something more thrilling when you crave excitement.   Or something gentler and slower for bedtime reading.
  • If you’re struggling to get into a particular book, you can switch to another for a time and go back to the first book later.
  • Less chance of a DNF because of the above
  • You can take a break from a challenging read but, rather than do something entirely non-book related, you can polish off a few chapters of another quite different book
  • You may pick up similarities or common themes between books that you wouldn’t have noticed if you’d read them separately
  • You’ve got more chance of finding a book with the right chapter length to fit those odd reading opportunities during the day
  • Ideal for the multi-tasker

So, do you practice monogamy or polygamy when it comes to books?

My Dream Book Conference Panel

FantasyThank you to global event technology platform, Eventbrite, for challenging book bloggers like myself to come up with our dream list of authors or characters we’d love to hear speak at a conference.  We’re allowed to jettison reality (after all, most of us spend a lot of our time in fictional worlds anyway), so my fantasy book conference is entitled: Two Characters in Conversation with their Authors.

DaphneduMaurierFirst up, Mrs De Winter from Rebecca will be quizzing author, Daphne du Maurier. Questions (if she can summon up the courage to ask them) are likely to include:

  • Why didn’t you tell the reader my first name?
  • Would you try your hand at writing a sequel to Rebecca?
  • Aside from Max and me, who is your favourite character in Rebecca?
  • Mrs Danvers and Rebecca – any girl-on-girl action going on there, do you think?
  • What do you reckon a white ball gown, barely worn, might fetch on eBay?
  • Do you have a cousin called Rachel?
  • Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre – snog, marry, avoid?

CharlotteBronteNext Jane Rochester (nee Eyre) interviews her creator, Miss Charlotte Brontë. Expect probing (but polite and morally uplifting) questions such as:

  • [Spoiler Alert] Did you cry when writing the scene where Helen Burns dies? If not, why not – the rest of us did.
  • [Spoiler Alert] What do you think would have happened if I’d chosen St John Rivers over Mr Rochester?
  • The Red Room at the beginning of Jane Eyre – does it worry you it now has quite different connotations in the book world?
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys – intertextual masterpiece, literary deconstruction of the concept of the “Madwoman in the Attic” or cheap rip-off?
  • Admit it, don’t you wish you’d written Wuthering Heights instead of your sister?
  • Max de Winter from Rebecca – snog, marry, avoid?

boxfishModerator for the conference, to maintain control in case things get fiery or supply a witty one-liner if the conversation lulls, Miss Lillian Boxfish (of Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk by Kathleen Rooney).

So, that’s my idea – now over to you!