We missed you!
Yes, after a month’s hiatus, Book Blog Spotlight returns to its vital role of exploring the book blogosphere to bring you new and interesting places to find great books.
Review blogs are well established by now as one of the best and most popular routes by which readers find recommendations for good quality books in the endless slush pile of new and otherwise unknown authors. This is word of mouth, made grand and far-reaching by the power of the internet age, and in this column we will spotlight a different blog each week to talk about what they review, how and why.
Joining us under the newly polished spotlight this week is Tracey Cook of Booked Up!
CQ: To start us off, can you tell us a bit about your site and what new readers can expect?
CQ: You took a break from leisure reading with the birth of Monkey. Did you tastes change in that period, or do you love the same books now as you did before you stopped?
CQ: You list a wide variety of genres in your About section – comedies, crime thrillers, true crime, historical. What do you get the most requests to read?
CQ: How long is your To Be Read pile at the moment? Is a large TBR pile exciting or daunting?
CQ: Who are your favourite authors – both lifetime friends and ‘flavour of the month’?
TC: Unlike the people who hate whatever they had to study at school I do love a bit of Dickens, and I know I can rely on Ben Elton for some serious laughs (the sort that get me strange looks on the train) Although one of my favourite books of all time has to be J G Ballard’s Empire of the Sun I have never found another of his books that come close to that. Recently I have really enjoyed David Gaughran’s books. He writes brilliant short stories, which have been a post-kindle revelation to me, and I read his full length novel last month. His work is so varied but consistently very good.
CQ: 2011 was your first complete year of the blog. What was your hidden gem of 2011 – the book you hadn’t been heard of till an author/publisher asked you to review it or a friend shoved a copy under your nose?
TC: Wow, that’s a really hard one. A lot of the books I read are ones I first hear of when the author or publisher emails me and there have been a handful of 5* books I read last year that could be classed as hidden gems. If I have to name one, The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu was a bit of a revelation.
CQ: Conversely, was there a book were you really looking forward to and hyped for, and then didn’t really enjoy?
TC: I should have learnt my lesson when it comes to books that have received major critical acclaim by now, as they so often disappoint me. Despite that I picked up a copy of The Accident by Ismail Kadare (an International Man Booker Prize Winner) thinking it sounded brilliant but had to force myself to finish it.
CQ: What sort of ratio to independent or self-published books to mainstream published books do you read?
CQ: And to end, use this space to give a shout-out to one of your own favourite book blogs.
Thank you for joining us, Tracy, for the renewed world of Spotlight.
Want to be Spotlighted, or have a favourite blogger you’d love to see grilled and learn more about? Email me!