An irrational phobia of reviewing books

I didn’t start this blog as a place to review books. I thought my book content would be all lists, comparisons, thoughtful pieces on the way YA fiction has evolved, well considered arguments on why Mansfield Park is the best Jane Austen novel. And to start off it was mostly like that. I actually resisted writing reviews because, to quote myself, I wanted to be different to ‘every other book blogger doing a review of the books they read.’

But my originality dried up. Or, to put a nicer spin on it, I discovered reviews were quite fun to write. Sometimes because I love the book and need to shout about it every which way I can and others because the book is so horrendously bad that I need a place to let off steam. Continue reading “An irrational phobia of reviewing books”

Distractions

As I write this Veronica Mars is playing on the TV, I have a half finished jigsaw spread out on the table and several tabs of Sporcle quizzes loading. Dinner is in the oven, I’ve got a load of washing in the dryer and before I go to bed I still need to shower, paint my nails and pack some lunch for tomorrow. Phew.

That has been my problem this week – distractions. Every night I come home with the intention of really knuckling down and writing some blog posts. But there always ends up being something more important – Pancake day, doing the washing up, putting my feet up and eating humongous amounts of biscuits because, uh my day has been so stressful (then being wracked with guilt, then doing the whole thing over again the next day).

But it’s been almost two weeks since my last book review was published and I cannot break my one remaining New Year’s Resolution. I haven’t reviewed my finances, War and Peace has put me well behind my reading schedule, I’m still a slave to the list post, but there has been one book review every fortnight. And by god there will be one this week!

Reviewing books: my blog’s hamartia

A selection of beautiful second hand books

Since I last published a book review on this supposed book blog I have:

  • Held my first ever dinner party
  • Watched one series of The West Wing, all three extended Lord of the Rings films, the first series of Breaking Bad and three series of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team – the crappiest of crappy TV and therefore the best thing on TV
  • Cried because my job was coming to an end, been offered another job, cried because I didn’t know whether to take it and then been offered an extension on my current job anyway
  • Rediscovered the brilliance that is 1989 by Taylor Swift and then listened to it so much that I’ve gone off it again
  • Fallen out with one of my best friends, made up with her and then fallen out with her again
  • Eaten six massive packets of bourbon biscuits

Some pretty momentous stuff there (not so much the bourbon biscuits, that is nothing out of the usual) which makes it clear just how long it’s been. I practically can’t remember how to write them.

And I think that’s part of the problem – reviewing books just doesn’t come naturally to me. I love reading books, I love talking about books, I love recommending people books but putting all those things together and reviewing books is just a skill that I don’t have.

But this blog shouldn’t just be a walk in the park or I’d get bored with it so I’m challenging myself to keep up a rate of at least one book review a fortnight. An early New Years’ resolution for myself. And hopefully with practise I’ll start to get better at them.

This was supposed to just be the precursor to my first review but now that I’ve rambled on for 300 words I might as well make it a whole post of its own, and add in a bit of plea for help. Any book bloggers reading this, I’d love for you in the comments to give me some words of wisdom on how you go about reviewing books, any tips you’ve ever been given or things you find it helpful to focus on.  Because I want to be able to share with you the books that I’ve loved, hated and everything in between but right now I just can’t find the words.