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July 29, 2009


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It's hard, isn't it? As part of bookblog ('scuse plug Scot!) Vulpes Libris, we do receive an awful lot of books and we can't possibly cover them all. I feel - as you do - bad about the waste and expense, along with that niggling feeling that there are so many books from the past I should be reading or that friends might have suggested that I'm not getting to read because books are being sent in.

But, with my new writer hat on, it is so difficult to get coverage and reviews that the blogs being open to taking a look at so many books is important and encouraging. Even if they don't like your book or don't cover it, at least they've given it a chance, a look, a something. And it is something the writer can do and it is not time-limited like the newspapers. Blogs often look at things well after they have been published, for example. Whereas there is only a small window with papers normally.

On the other hand (back to blogger's hat), maybe it's a bit like what you always hear publishers saying - target and research. If people approach a blog knowing what kinds of thing they read or, better still, having read it for a while first then they are more likely to send something that might - MIGHT - be in your ballpark area of taste.

But then - as you say - what about expanding your ballpark area of taste? HOw else do you move out the comfort zone? It can be like a random lucky dip. And perhaps that is good for writers who get pigeonholed or marketed in just one way and that might not normally persuade you to take a proper look. And good for you (me)to read something different. Argh.

It's all so hard I don't know. But I do think that sometimes you can be so swamped with books that it can be...intimidating. And people don't realise that bloggers don't owe them but that they are often working hard at something in their spare time for free, because...because...remind me again? :)

Perhaps there is no way round the messiness and one just has to end up going by instinct. I often can't really tell if a book is my cup of tea before reading it. And my idea of what my cup of tea is completely changes.

Thanks for this post. I very much related to it. (As you can tell from long rambly comment.)

'scuse Scott TTTT, I meant to type. I don't know what happened to that second t.

(You see, that's the kind of research I'm talking about, guys. Spelling names right. Good place to start.)

Cheers Rob, I hope this sent some of my readers your way.

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My Books

One You May Have Missed

  • Ian Holding: Unfeeling

    Ian Holding: Unfeeling
    Unforgettable novel told from the point of view of the son of a white Zimbabwean farmer whose land is reclaimed by an armed mob. I thought it was an oustanding debut and am surprised the author didn't go on to bigger and better things.

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Big Mouth at the Movies

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    Guardians of the Galaxy
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    The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya
    Unlike any animation I have seen. Quite stunning. (****)

  • : The Killer Inside Me

    The Killer Inside Me
    Odd movie. Doesn't really work. (***)

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    Gone Girl
    Pretty good, I thought, but not amazing. I had already read the book so perhaps the lack of surprise hindered things a bit. (***)

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    The Lunchbox
    An absolute delight. Beautifully acted. Loved this. (****)

  • : Atomised

    So much better than the book. (****)

  • : 20,000 Days on Earth

    20,000 Days on Earth
    Watched this for a second time. Just as good. (****)

  • : Le Mepris

    Le Mepris
    Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Michel Piccoli and Fritz Lang star in a beautifully shot but terribly pretentious movie. Palance is awful throughout. (**)

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    Labor Day
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