Today’s blogger in the Spotlight is Natalie who blogs at The Owl on the Bookshelf. I think she might have a thing for owls going by her photo above!
Thanks for agreeing to be part of my Blogger in the Spotlight feature. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
My name is Natalie and I am a twenty-something book blogger and reviewer based in Nottingham. By day I work in finance working with numbers and spreadsheets so when I get home I love to read books and write about them on my blog – ‘the owl on the bookshelf’. When I am not reading and blogging my other interests include watching ice hockey (I support the Nottingham Panthers and Team GB home and away) and collecting things – particularly anything Harry Potter or owl based!
What books/authors did you enjoy as a child?
I had a lot of Jacqueline Wilson books growing up and was also a big fan of Roald Dahl with Fantastic Mr Fox being a favourite (I used to look out of the patio window looking for Mr Fox and friends!) I was also a fan of witches and wizards so Harry Potter of course was a favourite along with Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch.
What made you want to start blogging?
There are a couple of things that led to me setting up my own blog. Firstly, I always used to finish reading a book wanting to discuss it with someone but I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. Secondly, my favourite subject at school was English Literature but once I started working full time I wasn’t able to do any writing. This led me to setting up the owl on the bookshelf. It allows me to write about the books I love and share that with fellow bloggers and book lovers.
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I enjoy the process of writing itself but the thing I like the most is the support that I have got from fellow bloggers. I was very nervous when I first shared a review as it’s quite a daunting feeling putting something you have written in the public domain. However, I have had such lovely feedback from authors, publishers and bloggers about my reviews that has helped to build my confidence. I love that there is a community of bloggers who all enjoy reading and sharing each other’s posts. It is great to be a part of it.
Tell me about your blog – sell yourself!
On the owl on the bookshelf I like to review a variety of genres and am open to reading most books. More recently I have also tried to include different types of blog posts such as the A to Z book tag, my post on Goldsboro Books and my unboxing of bookish subscription boxes. My aim is to try to be as informative as possible in my reviews without revealing too much to spoil the surprise for other readers. The one thing I hope my blog shows is my passion for the books I read. I work really hard to try and write reviews that do the books justice, and are enjoyable to read.
What’s your favourite book you’ve reviewed in the past year? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose.
This is a very difficult question as I have had the privilege of reading so many brilliant books recently. One book which I still haven’t got out of my mind is A Little Life by Hanya Yanigihara. It was a book that shocked and moved me and one I haven’t stopped talking about. It is a wonderful representation of humanity and the good and evil in the world. I also loved Joanna Cannon’s excellent debut novel The Trouble with Goats and Sheep which is gripping and humorous and a great story about the secrets that hide behind every door. Another book which has its share of secrets is The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan. This is the story of two generations of women who both work as a governess for the same family in the same home decades apart and the secrets between them. I loved every page.
What are you reading just now?
As at the 30th May 2016 I am reading Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham. I am not a big reader of non-fiction but have been a fan of Chris for some time so was excited to read his memoir.
Tell me about your reading habits: book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?
I am devoted to the physical book and have not yet succumbed to buying an e-reader! I try to fit in half an hour of reading on my lunch break at work but most of my reading is done curled up on the sofa in the evenings.
How can people follow your blog or connect with you on social media?
I would love for people to come and visit my blog at www.theowlonthebookshelf.wordpress.com
I can also be found on Twitter at @NatMarshall88
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
This would have to be Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. As something of a conscientious student myself I loved that Hermione was there to help save the day whilst still passing her exams with flying colours – she made me realise that being a bookworm was not a bad thing. We also share unruly hair!