I’ve got various reasons why I’ve not posted much this month, but if I’m honest, I think I’m just feeling slightly overwhelmed. Lately, I’ve been requesting lots of titles, and accepting lots more books for review, and I’ve also discovered Netgalley. All this has conspired to make me feel like I’ve lost a lot of the freedom to read what I want, rather than what I feel I should read. It’s a bit silly, as all of the books which have come into my house for review purposes, whether they’re ones I’ve requested or been asked to review, have done so because I’ve been very excited to read them, but there are also so many books I already own that I want to read, that I’m finding it difficult to prioritise the books I have to review. And the more I don’t read them, the more guilty I feel, and then I avoid them more, which leads to yet more guilt. It’s a very viscious circle.
The discovery of the genius of Netgalley this month was amazing fun, but also re-introduced the problems I have previously anticipated with ebooks. In the past I’ve got up on my high-horse about losing the magic of the traditional book format, and above all, the inability to smell ebooks, but I overlooked the critical problem, which is my terrible eyesight. While I adore the concept of Netgalley – quick, free access to lots of advance copies of awesome books, which I can store in no space at all – I actually find it really difficult to read books on my PC screen. After about 20 minutes my eyes start to hurt, and a few minutes after that, I start to develop big headaches. Because I’m stubborn, I’ll probably persist with the format, but I’m not sure how successful I’ll be! Also this month I’ve been chronicling, here and on twitter, my ongoing internet woes, which still aren’t over. My home internet is still being horribly temperamental and patchy, so I’m just hoping that it will allow me to do all the things that I need to do in the next few months!
Which brings me to the fun stuff!! Over July and August I have some wicked stuff coming up here on the blog, and I’m very excited. The schedule is currently as follows:
July 20th – An Armchair by the Sea will be featured on Scene of the Blog! This is a brilliant feature over at Kittling: Books, spotlighting a different blogger each week, and looking at the different places that are important in their everyday blogging lives.
August 1st – 8th – UK and EU Blog Hop. Lots of blogs are participating in this, just head over to the website to check out the complete list. I’ll be giving away at least one (possibly more) great book during the week, so make sure you check it out!
August 6th – I am part of a blog tour for Pam Allyn’s Your Child’s Writing Life: How to Inpsire Confidence, Creativity and Skill at Every Age. Although I don’t currently have children, I’m looking forward to reading this, as I do feel really strongly about the amount of children I’ve met who just aren’t interested in books, stories, or reading at all.
August 7th – Guest review of Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades as part of Georgette Heyer Gems at Stiletto Storytime. This will be a re-read for me, as I was a huge Heyer fan in my early adolescence, so I’m excited to see if I still feel the same about this book!
Also at some point during August I will be partaking in The Classics Circuit John Steinbeck Tour, for which I will (hopefully) be reading East of Eden.
So yes, lots of things, lots of deadlines, lots of excitement! To balance this, I’ve decided that much as I’d love to commit to having two monthly features on the blog (The Fairytale Feature, and my new Beyond the Graphics graphic novel\film adaptation feature), I don’t think that realistically I can commit to religiously posting both of them every month. AS you will see, we are now in July and I’ve not posted the June Fairytale Feature, or the first Graphics feature. I have read the books and done the research and even started writing both, but they’ve not made it up yet. Because of this, I’ve decided that both these features will now be ‘as the mood takes me’. I will post them as regularly as I am inspired to, as I think that will make me feel less pressured!
Yeesh that’s a lot of stuff! I will hopefully be back to regular reviews this week, provided the weather’s not too nice! Here's my roundup for June, and I've decided to introduce three 'awards' for each month, more for me to recap what I've read and how I felt than anything else!
Books read in June –
1. A Game of Thrones – George R.R Martin
2. A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan
3. Bright Young Things – Scarlett Thomas
4. Case Histories – Kate Atkinson
5. Coming Up for Air – Patti Callahan Henry
6. Ghost World – Daniel Clowes
7. In Your Face – Scarlett Thomas
8. The Fry Chronicles – Stephen Fry
9. The Summer We Read Gatsby – Danielle Ganek
10. When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead
Most Enjoyed Book: -
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson!
Most Anticipated Book: -
IN YOUR FACE by Scarlett Thomas (which was also great!)
Most Unexpected Book: -
When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead
And finally, happy 4th of July to all the Americans!