When I first started this blog, I reviewed more or less everything I read in the order that I read them. However, I am no longer quite so organised. I still review the majority of the books I read but this year, I read quite a few other books which I didn’t write about on my blog for the following reasons:
Books written by the same author which I read in a short space of time:After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell My Lover’s Lover by Maggie O’Farrell The Distance Between Us by Maggie O’Farrell The Disappearance of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell
I reviewed ‘The Hand That First Held Mine‘ by Maggie O’Farrell earlier this year and I really enjoyed it. What I didn’t mention afterwards was that I then went and read her first four novels in fairly quick succession. As a book blogger, the problem with bingeing on one particular author is that it can be hard to find different things to say about each book especially if the writing is quite similar in all of them. After my review for ‘The Hand That First Held Mine’, I didn’t really have anything different to say about her previous novels other than that I found ‘After You’d Gone’ very affecting while ‘My Lover’s Lover’ was quite weak in comparison with the others. I have a copy of ‘Instructions for a Heatwave’ which I will review some time next year once I’ve had a bit of distance from O’Farrell’s other work.
Books I didn’t get round to reviewing:The Crow Road by Iain Banks Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Towards the end of my work on my dissertation, I neglected my blog a bit but still carried on reading. ‘The Crow Road’ by Iain Banks and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are the books I read during this period. They were very different books with contrasting settings but I enjoyed them both. I had intended to review them at a later date after the dissertation had been handed in but never got round to it.
Books I was ambivalent about:Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas The Siege by Helen Dunmore
At the time of reading these books, I was unable to put together my thoughts in a semi-coherent blog post. I find it hard to review books I don’t have any real feelings about so I chose to quietly ignore them instead. I still haven’t made up my mind about whether I liked ‘The Slap’ or not. I liked ‘Half Blood Blues’ but I didn’t love it. The same could be said for ‘The Siege’ by Helen Dunmore. It was undoubtedly well written and researched but it was very slow and I did not find the story as emotionally compelling as I had hoped it would be.
If you are a book blogger, do you review everything you read? Which books have you been ambivalent about this year?