My Blogging Problems // Why It’s Good To Follow Bloggers With Different Tastes

25 August 2016

blogging problems
My Blogging Problems is a feature where I think about the things I struggle most with when it comes to blogging. There are plenty of issues when it comes to blogging. How do you write reviews? To comment back or not? How do you tackle your TBR? Is DNF-ing a book sensible or admitting defeat?

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This is a sort of continuation of my last post about why I follow various blogs and it’s part of the second question I posed. Do you have to have similar tastes as those you follow?

Look, I know the answer is obvious. Of course, you don’t. What a ridiculous idea. I want to go onto to explain why, though. I know that some people probably do try to stick with bloggers with similar bookish tastes because how else are you going to get decent recommendations? I’m not one of those bloggers, but people do. I just want to take the time to remind people that they should give bloggers a chance even if their tastes are very different.

Why Did I Have This Thought?


This whole idea began because I was reading a review on The Quiet People for a book I really liked and I found myself disagreeing with Beth and her thoughts and I realised that our bookish tastes are pretty dissimilar. It got me questioning why I follow her blog and these posts were born. My first post explains the thought process which occurs when I decide I need your blog on my blog feed and this post explains why I won’t drop you just because you’re saying things which I don’t agree with (unless you’re seriously offensive but I doubt I would have followed you in the first place if you were).

I know I can disregard some blogs far too easily and I need to stop that and I’m sure many others do this too. I am here to explain why that is stupid and why just because you’re not reading the same books or enjoying the same books doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be following one another.

I don’t need to agree with you to want to hear what you say.

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We’re allowed our own thoughts and we should never hold it against others when they voice your opinions. It gives you a well-rounded perspective and helps spark debate which gets conversations going. I really enjoy following bloggers who have different tastes to me both to hear their differing opinions on books but also to discover new ones. I love reading their posts because their thoughts get me thinking. They might say something about a book I loved which makes me realise there were flaws to it I overlooked and I love that.

I discover so many cool books from bloggers whose tastes differ from mine.

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If I didn’t follow bloggers whose tastes were different I would never venture into new genres and that would just be sad. I never used to read historical romance until some bloggers I follow said some wonderful things about some books and convinced me to give them a shot. Turns out I love historical romance and I would never have known this if I didn’t follow bloggers with different tastes to me. It makes me sad to think I may never have picked up a Sarah MacLean or Tessa Dare novel because I would have been missing out.

Only recently I read a fantastic book I would never have looked at twice if it wasn’t for blogger opinion and I am forever grateful that a good review was posted online. If it wasn’t for Jamie I would never have read These Shallow Graves and I absolutely adored that book. I simply couldn’t put it down. It would have been unfortunate to miss out on it.

It helps me get perspective on hyped books

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Some books cross genre boundaries and all bloggers seem to be talking about it. if I didn’t follow a variety of bloggers who read in different genres I would never get a well-rounded view of these overly hyped books. Some people rate them highly others take issue. I need to hear good and bad and everything in between otherwise I go in expecting the world and just end up disappointed.

Look, I know I shouldn’t have to convince you to follow more blogs. Often I wish people would talk me out of following more blogs because it’s impossible to find the time to stay caught up but I simply don’t care. Go and follow everyone and don’t let your brain talk you out of it for stupid reasons.

Do you find yourself disregarding blogs when you see they don’t talk about the same books as you do or are you a fan of variety like me?

The House In Quill Court // A Surprising Read I’m Glad I Read

23 August 2016

cover93781-mediumThe House In Quill Court – Charlotte Betts
Published: 25th August 2016
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
Genre: Historical, Romance
My Rating:
From the multi-award-winning author of The Apothecary’s Daughter, The House in Quill Court is a gorgeously evocative Regency novel bursting with historical flavour and characters you won’t forget. If you love Philippa Gregory and Joanne Harris, you will adore Charlotte Betts.
 
1813. Venetia Lovell lives by the sea in Kent with her pretty, frivolous mother and idle younger brother. Venetia’s father, Theo, is an interior decorator to the rich and frequently travels away from home, leaving his sensible and artistic daughter to look after the family. Venetia designs paper hangings and she and her father often daydream about having an imaginary shop where they would display the highest quality furniture, fabrics and art to his clients.
 
When a handsome but antagonistic stranger, Jack Chamberlaine, arrives at the Lovell’s cottage just before Christmas bringing terrible news, Venetia’s world is turned upside-down and the family have no option but to move to London, to the House in Quill Court and begin a new life. Here, Venetia’s courage and creativity are tested to breaking point, and she discovers a love far greater than she could have ever imagined . . .




I wouldn’t have even looked at this book twice if I saw this somewhere and that would be a travesty! This was a book I wasn’t expecting but thoroughly enjoyed and isn’t that just the best kind of book? The kind which sneaks up on you and makes you like it so I am glad to have been invited on this blog tour and have a chance to read it.

This was a book which took me longer than usual to read but in a good way. I was savouring every page and although some of the story elements were a bit obvious I did really enjoy it. I mean, this is a book which is quite different to my usual reads and I was a bit uncertain but those doubts went right out of the window.

Let’s Begin With The Positives


This book was such a gripping read. I mean, it’s a historical read and it’s a romance but it’s not the usual historical romance. It’s slower and more about character development and the mystery than being about the romance. It’s filled with a whole lot of story which is what keeps you reading and some characters you can’t help but like.

I think the main reason for me getting to drawn into the book was the dual narratives of Venetia and Kitty. Venetia is from a more privileged background, her father is an interior decorator for the upper class and she dreams of owning a shop with him where she can sell the paper hangings she can design and he can offer his interior design services. Kitty, on the other hand, is Venetia’s maid who dreams of escaping her small town and going to London to seek a better life. The twos lives could not be more opposite. When Jack Chamberlaine arrives in the household with shocking news which changes all of their lives the family moves to London with Kitty along for the ride.

Throughout the book Venetia and Kitty are opposites. At firsts it’s because of the positions they are in, Venetia is privileged and doesn’t have struggle and work for a living and Kitty is simply her maid and every day is a chore with another demand made of her time. As the book progresses their positions are different as Kitty takes quickly to life in London whilst Venetia struggles and has to work so hard for everything she achieves. At times the differences in the two characters bothered me but overall I adored these two people who I could see viewed things very differently. It made the book interesting for me.

It’s a difficult book to review because there are some significant reveals to the story which I don’t want to spoil as that will completely ruin your enjoyment of the book. I have to say, I didn’t expect the direction the book went at the beginning. I did find myself feeling it got a tad obvious towards the end. I mean, not really obvious but I began to be able to predict things just before they happened.

Look, I loved It But It Wouldn't Be Me If I Didn’t Have Some Gripes


I did have a few complaints about this book I enjoyed so much. One is that everything seemed to be happening, it was a book filled with drama. Drama is something I both enjoy and can get frustrated by when it gets a bit too over the top. I think the book managed to keep it on the side of the sensible considering everything which happened in the book I understand why so many things seemed to happen to our main characters.

My big BIG complaint about this book is that a character gets so poorly mistreated in the book. They seriously have all the bad luck. Things seem to be going so well for them and then it all seems to go wrong whilst our other character seemed to have all the luck after having things going really wrong. I feel like one of our characters was cheated and just didn’t get the ending they deserved and I was heartbroken about it. Like, a lot of terrible things happened to a lot of people, but why did all those terrible things have to happen to that one person? I did feel they were conveniently used towards the end to help resolve the story and got cheated out of a better ending. It was nowhere near enough to put me off the book but was just a niggling annoyance.

It Was Love (With Some Gripes) But You Should Totally Read It


Look, I cannot claim to be an expert in the historical genre but I certainly think my first foray into Betts’s writing demonstrates she is a skilled writer who captures an era and who can write realistic characters and an interesting story. I may not have looked at this book twice before but I now know I am very happy to hunt out more books by Betts because she knows how to capture your attention with a book. This book will be a surprise to all who read it and you will enjoy it. I can’t say too much I can say the twists and turns and dramatics of the story are what made this such a captivating read. Some may say the story was melodramatic but I say it was gripping and it had some pretty great romance, too.

BettsCharlotte

About the Author

Charlotte Betts began her working life as a fashion designer in London. A career followed in interior design, property management and lettings. Always a bookworm, Charlotte discovered her passion for writing after her three children and two step-children grew up.
 
Her debut novel, The Apothecary’s Daughter, won the YouWriteOn Book of the Year Award in 2010 and the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers, was shortlisted for the Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance in 2011 and won the coveted Romantic Novelists' Association's Historical Romantic Novel RoNA award in 2013. Her second novel, The Painter’s Apprentice was also shortlisted for the Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance in 2012 and the RoNA award in 2014. The Spice Merchant’s Wife won the Festival of Romance's Best Historical Read award in 2013.
 
Charlotte lives with her husband in a cottage in the woods on the Hampshire/Berkshire border.




And don’t forget to visit the rest of the stops on the blog tour below!
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Have you read a book which surprised you recently? And do you find yourself reading books which surprise you and finding yourself rating them higher because of it?

Sunday Summary // 21.08.2016

21 August 2016

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It’s Sunday again (or, it’s Saturday when I’m writing this but it’ll be Sunday once you get to read it so we’ll say it’s Sunday shall we?). My week has gone so quickly and I think it’s because I’ve had to much to do! Work has been crazy busy because with all the extra work we’ve been given we’ve fallen behind and then I’ve been reading away and watching the Olympics and trying to catch up with friends and write blog posts and read blog posts and so now I feel like I need a day in my pyjamas. That is my plan for Sunday. When you’re reading this just know I am sat in my pyjamas enjoying another good book… or binge watching something on Netflix. Also, a lie in will be involved. Maybe I’ll sleep until midday. Who is gonna stop me?

I’ve not watched much Olympics this week, all the late nights had me falling asleep at work so I had to start getting some sleep. I’m sad it’s ending this weekend but I’m glad to get normal TV back and to stop watching sport. It’s like a complete reversal of my normal views on sport. I’ve actually enjoyed it and normally I’d leave a room rather than watch it.

What I’ve Been Reading

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I’ve read some amazing books so far this week and I’m so glad. After finishing The Two Pearls of Wisdom I was sure I’d end up not being able to read anything until I had the second book in the duology, but then I read Iron Cast. Iron Cast was the perfect book for my mood and I’m glad I read, now to write a review for it! I then read another of the Cainsville books by Kelley Armstrong and Visions was even better than Omens. I adore Kelley Armstrong I am going to work my way through all of her books! I ended my reading week with Underwater. It’s completely different from everything else I’ve read this week and that’s made it refreshing.

New To Me

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I have been very restrained with my buying of books, you’ll be impressed. I actually have only borrowed books from the library. I mean, I have books which are due to be delivered, but until they arrive I don’t own them, right?

How have your weeks been? Has anyone else found they have too many things to do and not enough time lately? I feel like Summer should be a relaxing time and that has yet to happen for me. I’ve got some annual leave coming up so maybe that will help.