Years ago I was known for my movie reviews, but these days it’s all about the books, going back to my roots in book reviewing (my background is in archaeology, publishing and non-fiction reviewing). I bought a kindle donkeys ago or more and it rejuvenated my love for books and reading in whatever form. Now, though, I mostly read tree books. Here I can talk about them.
I have contributed regular features on historical fiction to the Sunday Express and I was one of the judges of the Historical Writers Association (HWA) Gold Crown for 2019 and 2017 and for the Debut Crown in 2015.
This blog includes reviews of advance copies and bought books. I live in a book nest. I have hundreds to read. This means that I can’t read everything I want to but I do my best. I read and review for a fun hobby and if I don’t enjoy a book, I won’t finish it or review it.
I prefer print copies but will occasionally review well-formatted kindle versions. I don’t read or review pdfs, except in exceptional cases.
I am a genre reader! This means that I read historical fiction (but not all periods of history), speculative and science fiction, apocalyptic thrillers, mystery and crime thrillers, political and spy thrillers, and horror (I do love a ghost story).
I don’t read romance (although there can be exceptions depending on the theme), epic fantasy, most ‘literary fiction’, books with gangsters and/or zombies, most non-fiction.
Please note! I only read self-published/indie authors that either I know or I have contacted myself. I NEVER read a self-published/independently-published book as a response to an unsolicited email.
Hi! thanks to Elizabeth Chadwick on my FB, I have been introduced to your blog – the first I have tried, and I am really looking forward to following your reviews.
Thank you so much, Shelley! I’m so pleased you said hello! There’s a real mix of reviews here but I hope there’ll be some you like. Thank you!
I sent you an email a couple of days ago asking if you would consider reviewing my book. Just checking to see if you received it (or did it possibly go into the spam folder). Thanks.
Hello! I did get it. Sorry for not answering it yet. I get quite a few and I tend to answer them in a batch each week. I’ll get back to you very shortly. Sorry about the delay. Cheers, Kate
I’m not sure if you are interested in military scifi. I’m not, but in spite of that, I really enjoyed R.M. Meluch’s Tour of the Merrimack series of 5 books. Loved the writing style and the gung-ho world of the troops on board the USS Merrimack. As you would expect from military scifi, characters are a bit 2-dimensional, but (for me) still very likable.
Thanks for the tip. I’m not a big fan of military SF but I did enjoy the Jason M Hough trilogy.
In my non-genre novel Far Beyond Rubies set in Queen Anne Stuart’s reign the hero served with The East India Company. Sent hundreds of miles up country at a young age to negotiate a trade agreement his only contact for many years was by courier. He returns to England profoundly influenced by Hindu culture and philosophy. The heroine daughter of an Anglican and a Huguenot is intrigued by the gentleman’s unorthodox beliefs.
To read extracts from Far Beyond Rubies and decide whether you would review the novel please visit my website.
All the best,
Hi Rosemary – the way to contact me about reviewing titles is by email. Thanks
PS: Currently reading Matt Riddley’s “Evolution of Everything”. Quite provocative, and he’s one of our best pop-sci writers….
I found your blog on Twitter (Bibliophile Book Club retweeted one of your reviews). I also write book reviews at Grab the Lapels and love to read and comment on other people’s blogs (as I’m sure you’ve noticed recently). Hello 🙂
Thanks so much! 🙂
You have a pretty nice blog.
Thanks so much for saying so! I appreciate that.
It is nice to meet you. Happy New Year.
I hope you enjoy my blog.
Just found your reviews on Amazon and was amazed to see how many science fiction books you have reviewed. Really helpful and informative for someone looking for some new and *good* science fiction authors (saying this after all the bad experience with the self-published ones).
Just wanted to say thank you. (My bank account is not so thankful though. 🙂 )
Thank you so much, Anita! That is a wonderful comment and I really appreciate it. I’m glad you’ve found some good SF here to read. I can’t get enough of them…. Thank you!
Cheers, Kate. Actually I left a comment on your review of the new book by Ann Leckie on Amazon, that’s how I found your other reviews and that’s how I found this place.
I wonder if you’d accept some “revenge”? 🙂 Ie some suggestions? Do you know the Sardonyx Net by Elizabeth Lynn? It’s not new and not so well known, but I did enjoy it years ago. Or something by Barrington Bayley? (A very underrated author in my opinion.) Charles Sheffield? (Ditto.)
Sorry. I know I need to shut up, NOW.
That’s really good to know! I’m glad you were able to trace me back here. All suggestions gratefully and happily accepted – thank you! I’ll look those up. I find it hard to fit in older books but it doesn’t stop me buying them!
Try at least Sheffield’s Between the Strokes of Night then, the slow time idea is interesting. And it’s a stand alone.
As for new, Greg Egan has a new book, not sure if you like him, he’s more of (weird/alternative) science than fiction, but he has some interesting odd ideas.
I’m not a big Egan fan but Strokes of Nights sounds intriguing – thanks!
Enjoying your blog! I also came to reviewing books by reviewing films first, and now I just cannot stop.
Thank you! Sorry for the delay, I’ve been away, but I appreciate that!
Hi and great to find your blog. I got the link through the blog The Secret Library Site. I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re reading 🙂