Hi everyone- I hope July was good for you all- August in the UK is certainly off to a warm, albeit rainy start. July was a bit of a strange time for me actually- filled with excitement and new things but also really bitter-sweet in a way towards its end. I left my job this afternoon after working out a months notice and being offered a role at a company in the city where I live. I’m due to start my new job this coming Monday. Eek! Though I was sad to say goodbye to so many fantastic colleagues in my old company after four years of working there, I’m sure it’s for the best. I also had a lot of ‘book buddies’ in my old office and I’m hoping that some of my new colleagues will also love talking about books and reading as much as they do. They gave me a very good send-off however! I suspect they also know me far too well as I was gifted with Kindle vouchers and cards adorned with cats, not to mention some lovely cat-wrapping paper. Hmm. I may have something of a reputation as a crazy cat lady…
Certainly on the ‘up’ side, I also had a lovely break up in Northumberland at the start of the month for my fiancés birthday, which feels like a very long time ago now! We managed to pay a visit to Barter Books (my favourite book shop ever) so I could load up on some more Penguin Classics and we also had a lovely boat trip out to the Farne Islands to see the grey seal colonies, stopping at Staple Island to see the puffins. I just love puffins! 🙂
On another ‘up’ my lovely friend Chris has donated his old, unused Kindle to me. I was still Kindle-less (yes, it’s a word- it has to be!) at the start of July and had some review books which I had to complete on my better-half’s tablet. Though not as bad as the small screen on my phone, it still gave me a bit of a headache from the back-light and it seemed to take me a very long time to get through them. Chris kindly stepped in and voila! A new Kindle for me 🙂 He also accepted payment in the form of a homemade cake (chocolate and hazelnut dont’cha know)- though I do think I got the better deal in this instance. Thanks again, Chris. Hope you enjoyed the cake!
I also participated in my first blog tour in July, joining some other great book review blogs in hosting some paragraphs of Amanda Prowse’s’ new short story in anticipation of the release of her newest full-length novel. It was really nice to be asked to take part in a blog tour and is something I would definitely consider doing again in future, though with the way WordPress seems to be heading, I’m not quite sure of the new blog tour protocols. I’m also in awe of all the book bloggers I follow who manage to read and prolifically post lots of reviews too- I just don’t seem to have the time anymore!
I finally set up a Twitter account for my blog in July too. About time, right? I’m not sure how prolific a tweeter I will actually be either as I’m conscious I don’t want to bombard people’s timelines with unnecessary information or merely re-tweet things just for the sake of it, but I do follow some pretty great people who always have helpful bookish news and insights.
In terms of reading, I didn’t get as much done at the start of the month as I wanted; mainly because I was reading A Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, which seemed to take forever! I did love that book though and I’m very glad I finally got around to it. It’s actually one of my favourite reads of the month, too.
What I did seem to be reading alongside that behemoth was a bit of chick-lit and some mystery reads, for a bit of lighter relief. I also had some books for review in that genre that I completed at the start of the month too. I finished 20 books in July overall though- not a bad total and I suspect more than I will complete in August, what with starting my new job and everything, but we’ll see. I got accepted for a lot of review books through Netgalley which all seemed to come in one go, so did feel under a bit of pressure to get those read; in August I’m looking forward to reading some things merely to please me. Since I have my new Kindle I also seem to have gone on a bit of a book-buying spree as of late. Oops.
My favourite books in July were the aforementioned The Woman in White, The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory (another chunkster) and the incredibly tear-jerking Will You Remember Me? By Amanda Prowse. Ack. I haven’t bawled so much at a book since I read The Green Mile! It was fabulous, but very, very sad.
I’ve still not read any non-fiction though for a while, which is somewhat disappointing. A book I reviewed in the month was sort of a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, but I didn’t love it quite as much as I’d anticipated. I don’t have any waiting on my shelves either, so will have to make a concerted effort to go out and find something that piques my interest. Maybe a travel or medical type read. I’m off to Greece at the end of August, so if anyone can recommend anything interesting/informative written about the island that’s worth checking out (especially travel-writing wise) then I’d appreciate it.
So that’s it, another month’s roundup. I can’t believe we are more than halfway through the year already. I hope everyone has a fabulous August! 🙂