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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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Kindle Sampled

Currently Reading

Books Read: 2015

  • Paula Hawkins: The Girl on the Train

    Paula Hawkins: The Girl on the Train
    Entertaining thriller but I saw the twist coming from a long way off which lessened the impact considerably. A decent weekend or holiday read though. (***)

  • Noson S. Yanofsky: The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us

    Noson S. Yanofsky: The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us
    Looks at the stuff right at the edge of what we can understand, compute and reason across mathematics, physics, philosophy and linguistics. I managed to comprehend about 70% of it. It stretched me but I enjoyed the stretching. (****)

  • Jonas Karlsson: The Room

    Jonas Karlsson: The Room
    Bloke finds unused room in his office and goes there when he needs a few minutes' break from his humdrum job, only no one else can see the office. They think he is off his trolley. Delightfully droll satire, reminded me of Magnus Mills. (****)

  • Irene Handl: The Gold Tip Pfitzer

    Irene Handl: The Gold Tip Pfitzer
    Sequel to The Sioux and picks up, in both plot and tone, pretty much where the last one left off. (***)

  • Irene Handl: The Sioux

    Irene Handl: The Sioux
    The Benoirs are an extremely rich French family living in New Orleans who rally round one of their number when her marriage hits the skids. Handl has created an intensely annoying but oddly compelling cast of characters. Impressive if not entirely pleasurable. (***)

  • Seiichi Hayashi: Gold Pollen and Other Stories

    Seiichi Hayashi: Gold Pollen and Other Stories
    A beautifully-produced hardback highlighting some of the work of one of the acclaimed 'alternative manga' artists of the 60s and 70s. Unfortunately the stories themselves are either poorly translated or just don't travel well. A shame as it looks gorgeous. (**)

  • Bryan Lee O'Malley: Lost At Sea

    Bryan Lee O'Malley: Lost At Sea
    Bought this for Ethan's birthday but gave it a sneaky read before wrapping it. Good, but not as good as his more recent books. (***)

  • Walter M. Miller Jr: A Canticle For Leibowitz

    Walter M. Miller Jr: A Canticle For Leibowitz
    Cracking post-apocalyptic fiction with lots of monks. (****)

  • Bryan Lee O'Malley: Seconds

    Bryan Lee O'Malley: Seconds
    Lent to me by my son. A colourful, weird and wonderful graphic novel. Great fun. (****)

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Big Mouth at the Movies

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    Diva
    Been meaning to watch this ever since I saw Betty Blue back in the 80s but only just got round to it. I feared it would be all style over substance but it actually turned out to be a pretty good crime thriller. (****)

  • : Brothers

    Brothers
    Subtle and brilliantly acted. Liked it a lot more than I expected to. (****)

  • : Whiplash

    Whiplash
    An OK movie elevated above the norm by two excellent performances. (***)

  • : Timecrimes

    Timecrimes
    Great bit of timey-wimey nonsense. Liked it a lot. (****)

  • : More Than Honey

    More Than Honey
    Interesting documentary about bees. Didn't blow me away but kept me watching. (***)

  • : Happy-Go-Lucky

    Happy-Go-Lucky
    I thought this was going to irritate me but I ended up being quite charmed by it. (****)

  • : Our Day Will Come

    Our Day Will Come
    Bonkers road movie in which Vincent Cassel goes off on one in revenge for discrimination against redheads. Or something. (**)

  • : La Strada

    La Strada
    Supposedly Fellini's first masterpiece but it was painted with too broad brushstrokes to work its charm on me. The off-putting dubbed dialogue and sound effects didn't help either. (**)

  • : Birdman

    Birdman
    Inspired, ambitious, bonkers. (****)

  • : Inglourious Basterds

    Inglourious Basterds
    Only just got round to watching this. It is ridiculous but lots of fun. Also, an amazing about of subtitled dialogue for a major American film. (****)

  • : 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. (**)

  • : Labor Day

    Labor Day
    Was this a box office flop? I think it might have been. Shame, it was very good. (****)

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