Blogger in the Spotlight is going to be a regular Friday feature, where a different blogger each week will tell me about themselves and their blog. A lot of the lovely bloggers from the Book Connectors Facebook group have already agreed to take part and while they ponder their answers, I thought maybe I should be the first ‘Blogger in the Spotlight’. So here goes:
A little about myself
I live by the sea in Edinburgh, two minutes from where the picture at the top of my blog was taken. I don’t work so have plenty time for reading – just as well as I have a huge to-be-read pile just now! I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read. My earliest memories of reading are walking to the library with my dad in the days when you had three little orange cards and the scary librarian stuck the book ticket inside. Changed days now when my fab local library has a self check-out facility and the staff are much more friendly. Aside from reading I enjoy cooking and baking – Nigella Lawson is my favourite cook. I am very interested in genealogy and have traced my family tree back to the 1700s. I am learning to play the flute and really enjoying it.
What books/authors did you enjoy as a child?
Enid Blyton was my favourite! I loved the Famous Five though wasn’t so keen on the Secret Seven. And of course, having moved on to Malory Towers and St Clare’s I was desperate to go to a boarding school. I would have hated it no doubt, but loved the books. I have really enjoyed reading these to my own daughters. They may be a bit outdated, sexist and at times racist, but this can lead for great discussion and they are still great stories.
What made you want to start blogging?
I have always read a lot and enjoy talking with friends about what I’ve been reading. I was thinking of creating a Facebook group with friends where we could talk about what we’ve been reading but then I started coming across lots of blogs earlier on this year and thought I’d give it a go. And I’m really enjoying it although sometimes the amount of books I’ve agreed to read can seem overwhelming!
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
Definitely interacting with authors and other bloggers. It’s a great feeling when someone says thanks for a review or comments on your blog or retweets a link.
Tell me about your blog – sell yourself!
So it’s called Portobello Book Blog as you’ll know because you are already on this page. It does what it says on the tin really – I live in Portobello and I blog about books! I usually post two or three reviews a week, sometimes more if I’ve been on holiday and have a few reviews to catch up on. I like contemporary fiction, a good love story, psychological thrillers and crime. As long as it’s nothing too gruesome!
What’s your favourite book you’ve reviewed so far this year? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose.
Patrick Gale’s A Place Called Winter is my favourite book this year. He is one of my favourite authors and although this book is different from his usual work in that it’s historical, it was still an amazing read. I saw him at the Edinburgh Book Festival recently. He’s fascinating to listen to and very entertaining, as well as being a very good looking guy! You can read my review by clicking here: A Place Called Winter.
What are you reading just now?
I’ve just started Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. I was a bit anxious about reading it as I loved To Kill A Mockingbird and have heard very mixed reviews. So far, I am really enjoying it although I have just reached the bit where Atticus doesn’t seem to be as tolerant he was in TKAM!
Tell me about your reading habits: book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?
Probably more Kindle than real books these days. I don’t know why but I seem to read more quickly on a Kindle. I still use my library a lot for recent releases though. One thing I don’t like about the Kindle is that I can’t share my books with my friends. At least I can still recommend them though! As to where and when – anywhere and anytime really. I enjoy relaxing in the bath reading and hoping that maybe just this once, no-one will knock on the door because they need the loo! When the weather is warm, I love reading in the summerhouse listening to the birds and can quite often hear the sound of the waves from the beach too.
How can people follow your blog or connect with you on social media?
All the ways of following my reviews are in the right hand side of the blog. You can follow the blog directly on WordPress or by email, on Twitter or on Facebook.
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
I have now realised this was a really hard question to ask people! I’m thinking of some of my favourite books and I suppose I’d want one where the heroine has a happy ever after. I think maybe I’d be Elinor in Sense & Sensibility – it takes a while and a lot of heartache but her kindness and sensitivity wins out in the end. Only, can I be her in the Emma Thompson film version so I can admire all the lovely men in that cast?!