#bookclub Feature by SJV
Do you have a ‘day job’, and if so, can you tell us what you do?
I do, and it’s a fairly new part of my life. I only started working there a couple of months back, and my official job title in the lovely coffee house where I work is ‘barista’, although I am not quite sure I live up to that title just yet. I’m getting there though, and my lattes and cappuccinos are gradually getting better. I think the trickiest thing is not the job itself but trying to perform that well-known balancing act between working, writing my own books and reading and reviewing on Got Books, Babe? It’s proving difficult, but I’m getting there. I really have no idea how people manage it, especially if you’ve got children too. It honestly amazes me.
How did your journey as a book blogger begin?
I suppose my journey as a book blogger truly began when I created my first blog, Becca’s Books. I was reading these wonderful, wonderful stories but then having no way to share that love once I’d finished. I’d seen a lot of other book blogs on the internet although hadn’t, at that point, really paid enough attention to figure out exactly what they were for or how they worked. Once I had a vague idea of what I needed to do, I found my way to blogger and set up my first blog and I think everything else sort of spiralled from that moment, really. I remember the thrill of having an author read my very first book review and thank me for it. It was incredible! I finally realised that this was something I desperately wanted to continue doing and so, I did. There were other milestones to, that had me grinning from ear to ear. Like actually tweeting with Sophie Kinsella, and receiving an auto-approval from a publisher over on NetGalley, which meant I basically had unlimited early access to all of their titles. To any of the book bloggers reading this, I am 100% sure you know what sort of excitement that give to a book addict. It’s seriously out of this world!
Is there such a thing as a typical day in the life of a book blogger, and if so what does it look like?
I suppose my ideal day would be a day free of any other commitments, a day which is solely free to be eaten up by book blogging duties, whether that be with scheduling posts or writing reviews, with numerous cups of coffee and tasty treats in-between. That sounds pretty much perfect to me.
We’re obsessed with other people’s TBR piles, how high is yours?
Well, to put it frankly, I have no idea anymore. As I type this, I’m in the process of moving home and I’m experiencing a strange feeling of guilt because of my books being boxed up and out of sight. We’re an odd bunch, aren’t we? Until the boxing-up process, I honestly had no idea of just how many books I owned. It is ridiculous. A crazy amount. I am surprised I managed to fit them all into this room. And they seem to be multiplying. I look away for a second and where there were only five, there’s suddenly five hundred. As I often say to myself though, there are worse things to be guilty of, and owning too many books is nowhere near the top of that list, in my opinion.
What’s the best and worst part of being a book blogger?
The best part of being a book blogger is meeting and talking to so many wonderful like-minded people who love and cherish books just as much as you do. Another part I love is spontaneous book post. It’s always an utter delight to unwrap something that a publisher has so kindly sent your way. I am like a child on Christmas morning when that happens.
The worst part, for me, is taking on more than I can handle, which I seem to have no control over. It’s like I don’t know how to refuse. Which, in all honesty, is a pretty ludicrous situation to be in. Say no? To a book? Are you for real? In all seriousness though, this is something that I’m working on at the moment. I find myself stressing sometimes, about just how much I’ve got to read and before a certain date/deadline. It can certainly get on top of you if you don’t exercise some self-control.
On average, how many books do you read in a year?
Hmm. I wouldn’t say I’m a rocket-reader. You know, someone who reads tons and tons and tons of books. I do like to take my time and pace myself. Really savour the books I read, which in turn, allows me to review them better. But that’s just me personally. I guess I read maybe about 100 a year? Sometimes more? I don’t even count anymore. I just read because I love it. If the amount of books read is huge before the year is out, then so be it. If it’s not, also so be it.
Is there an author you’d sell a limb to meet?
YES. JILL MANSELL. Jill Mansell all the way. I utterly adore her and her stories are some of my all-time favourites. If someone could arrange an afternoon tea for myself and Jill, I would actually love you forever. *checks wardrobe for suitable outfit*
Your favourite book of 2017 and why?
So far, the standout book of 2017 for me is The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis. This book absolutely blew my mind and I couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks once I’d finished. It’s still in there now, rattling around, making me feel all funny. It’s a novel I highly recommend this year, and I already know it’s going to be featuring very highly, if not in the number one spot, when it comes to doing my yearly book round-up.
What book do you most recommend to others?
I love to tell people about The Kite Runner by Khaled Houssini. It’s a firm favourite of mine and the first novel that made me weep. I’ve loved it ever since. It moved me immeasurably and has stayed with me since the day I turned the final page.
Who is your favourite Books and the City author and why?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I’d say it’s a toss-up between the absolutely fabulous Heidi Swain and the wonderful Paige Toon. Both are authors whose work I admire, and the ladies behind the books are just as admirable.
And lastly our quick fire trivia round…
Thing you’d never leave home without? My phone, my bank-card and my headphones.
Favourite place to read? In bed, at night, curled up cosily beneath the cover.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Cornwall. Definitely. It’s SO dreamy down there.
What’s the secret to success? No comparing yourself to others. You’ll get there eventually. Your path is different to the next person’s.
What’s on your current reading pile? Currently I’m reading ‘Big Sexy Love’ by Kirsty Greenwood and it is marvellous!
Staying in or Going out? Staying in. There’s no competition.
What’s your Signature dish? I am hopeless when it comes to cooking but I make a nice spag bol.
Beach break or city break? Beach, definitely.
Favourite Literary Hero? I love any of the men in Sarah Morgan’s books. *swoon*
Famous last words? ‘Can someone finish off the rest of my TBR pile for me? Thanks!’