I am very pleased to have Linda as my Blogger in the Spotlight today. Linda was one of the first bloggers I came across when I started my blog (along with Sarah Hardy who featured last year) and she has been so very helpful and supportive to me. You can find Linda’s blog here: Linda’s Book Bag
Thanks for agreeing to be part of my Blogger in the Spotlight feature. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
Thanks for having me Joanne. I’m in my mid fifties, a cat lover, a travel fanatic, a Bryan Ferry fan and a bookaholic. I decided to give up work at 50 and do what I like, so I love to travel and garden in my allotment but it is books that occupy most of my time. I love to read, review, blog and share books and am a member of a reading group and I lead a gardening group in my local U3A.
I live in the back of beyond in South Lincolnshire right on the border with Cambridgeshire where we often have lowering grey skies and little else in the way of geographical features. I always complain that it is like living in a Tupperware box. However, all my family live within a mile of me so I’d never move.
What books/authors did you enjoy as a child?
I am very short sighted with a complex prescription but it wasn’t picked up until I was seven and got glasses so I was a late reader – ironic for someone who would be an English teacher later. Like many 1960s children I loved Enid Blyton, especially the Famous Five and Secret Seven books. ‘The Ship of Adventure’ was the first book I read to myself. I also wanted to be a spy as a result of the Secret Seven series and had a ‘Girl From UNCLE’ kit with a gun that fired caps. I have very fond memories of my Dad reading the ‘Robin Family’ stories to me too which I think were in ‘Woman’s Weekly’. When I was about eight I became besotted with the Paddington books and I still have all my copies. My husband reads them to me in bed and does different voices – though I’m not sure he’d thank me for telling you that.
What made you want to start blogging?
Partly it was to try something new as I now have the time, but mostly it was to share books and support authors. I really love sharing what I think of books although I never give away the plot. It’s become a complete obsession now. Also, I’m (supposedly) writing a novel myself and thought I’d appreciate reviewers and bloggers if I ever get it finished so I thought I ought to support others too!
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
The best thing has been becoming part of a wonderful community of book lovers. It’s fabulous to be able to share and discuss books with like minded people even if we don’t always agree and like the same books. I have loved finding new authors and reading books that I would never otherwise have considered or perhaps known about.
Tell me about your blog – sell yourself!
I’m not sure I can as there are so many fabulous blogs out there so much better than mine. I only began my blog in February 2015. I blog about all kinds of books although there haven’t been many non-fiction ones yet. I’m not very keen on horror (I don’t like scaring myself silly), but I’ll read pretty much everything else. I adore contemporary fiction. When I write a review I stick to three basic rules.
- Be honest
- Be polite and kind – if you don’t like a book or don’t think it’s well written, don’t destroy the author
- Be as well written as you can in your review
What’s your favourite book you’ve reviewed in the past year? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose.
I’m very fickle. My favourite book is usually the last one I read! However, I was really touched by Lindsay Hawdon’s ‘Jakob’s Colours’ which I read in April and still keep thinking about. Initially I thought, ‘Oh no, not another depressing holocaust book’ and I didn’t want to start it. As soon as I picked it up I was hooked from the first line. I have a review here http://lindasbookbag.com/2015/04/18/jakobs-colours-by-lindsay-hawdon/
What are you reading just now? (October 2015)
I have just picked up Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s ‘We Never Asked for Wings’ from my TBR so I haven’t actually started it but I will any minute.
Tell me about your reading habits: book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?
My favourite way to read is to sit in the sunshine, whether that’s on the beach, on a cruise or on the bench in the garden. I read whenever I possibly can though it tends to be in the afternoons or evenings mostly. I prefer a real book as it suits my sight problems better not to have a lit screen. I also find I tend to read more thoroughly with a real book. I love the feel and smell of a book. I like to be able to reread the blurb or author profile easily as I read too.
How can people follow your blog or connect with you on social media?
I’m on Twitter @Lindahill50Hill and my blog is http://lindasbookbag.com/ I’m also just beginning to start a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LindasBookBag but it hasn’t got very far yet. I’m such a social media newbie that I haven’t got going with Instagram and Pinterest yet.
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
I’ve been mulling this question for days and I can’t decide entirely. If I were able to change the plot with hindsight I’d like to be Tess in Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles and go back and give Angel Clare a good talking to. As a child I always wanted to be George in the famous Five stories so that I could go off and have adventures. Of the books since I started my blog, I think I’d like to be Dawnay in Rebecca Mascull’s ‘Song of the Sea Maid’ as, although she doesn’t have an easy life at times, she really lives and shines in a world where women would not normally have her experiences. She’s a real role model.