Other Books I Read In 2013 But Didn’t Review

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?


Filed under Books

5 responses to “Other Books I Read In 2013 But Didn’t Review

  1. I review most of the books I read, but not the ones I listen to. I make a lot of notes while I read in order to write a review, and since I mostly listen to audiobooks at the gym or while I’m doing household chores, I don’t make any notes. I find that if I don’t record my thoughts and feelings as I go through a book, its hard to write a nuanced review, because I am just giving an overall impression, and things tend to blur together. Like you, I also tend to avoid reviewing multiple books by the same author read in short succession, for the same reason. I also sometimes have that problem with book in a series.


  2. I meant, at the very least, to note, as you have done above, everything I read. However, I recently read two books (for a book group) that I found so ghastly that although I mentioned the experience I couldn’t bring myself to name or write about them properly. I am actually reading Half of a Yellow Sun at the moment and although Nigeria and South Africa are very different countries, Mandela’s death has made what I am reading all the more poignant.


  3. I only review the books that I think I want to recommend to other people and/or books that I think have something original about either their content or structure. I read a lot that is for our escapism, especially in the evening when I’m tired and some of them are really too ordinary to spend that much time on.


  4. Since my blog is largely about books I find that I review most of the books I read at some point. However, I do read a lot of translated Scandinavian, East German and other foreign detective fiction so rather than write a blog about each one I tend to lump them together and talk about why I like the genre rather than why I like each book or each writer. I saw the film of Half of the Yellow Sun at this year’s London Film Festival, it captures the book very well and I recommend both. Unless for some reason it fits into a linked blog, I don’t usually write about books I haven’t enjoyed.


  5. Pingback: Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell | A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff

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