Tell me about the person behind the blog?
I’m a mum, wife and businesswoman living in Johannesburg, South Africa – where there’s never a dull moment! I love mountain biking, travelling and, of course, reading. I work for myself, writing for businesses and training people in effective business communications skills. I also tell stories to American visitors to our country about the discovery of diamonds and gold.
When did you start blogging and why?
March 2016, inspired by all the blogs I saw on TBC. Trouble is, work and cycling take up far too much time, so I have to cram my reading into what’s left. I know, I have my priorities all wrong! As a result my reviews have been somewhat sporadic up until now. I still don’t know what a blog tour is, don’t use Twitter and have yet to do a cover reveal – but I plan to change all that this year.
What are your proudest moments or achievements to date as a blogger?
One author reblogged my review and another used my comments in promotional material. Such tiny achievements – but so exciting for me!
If you had to breakdown the components of your ideal perfect book what would they be?
I love brilliant use of the English language. A book must be beautifully written. It doesn’t have to be a literary gem; in fact, I love a taut, economical style where every word deserves its place. Dialogue has to be believable and characters well-developed. I love to be able to use my own imagination– so don’t describe everything to me in detail; let me do that in my head. And the story must be resolved satisfactorily. Don’t make the ending ambiguous, leave loose ends or end on a cliff-hanger.
What is your favourite genre to read?
I read everything, from crime and psychological thrillers to memoirs and historical fiction. I especially adore books featuring characters somewhere on the autism or OCD spectrum. Or those that are simply antisocial. (The Edward books, A Man called Ove, Schtum and A Boy Made of Blocks, spring to mind.)
What 3 books would you recommend and why?
The Summer Son by Craig Lancaster. I found this beautiful yet tough story of a man reconnecting with his complicated and difficult father to be rich and insightful. Craig Lancaster’s tight yet poetic use of English is totally beautiful; each word perfectly chosen and each sentence beautifully crafted.
Behind her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. Wow, did I love this book. This was one of those that just won’t let you go. That you put down at the end in a state of total shock and wonderment. I had whiplash as I constantly changed my mind about who was good and who was bad. And that ending! I was gobsmacked.
Educated By Tara Westover. I was mesmerised by Tara Westover’s story and absolutely devoured this book. Tara is an amazing young woman who grew up in Idaho, the youngest of seven children of survivalist Mormon parents who didn’t trust doctors, the schooling system or the government. She emerged from an unschooled and physically hard childhood not as a damaged victim, but as an educated doctor of history with a strong sense of who she is.
Finally, tell me more about your blog and why we should subscribe?
Although there’s a bias towards psychological thrillers set in the UK on my blog (for which the blame lies squarely on TBC!), I read a wide range of books, and am determined to review them all this year to share my views and recommendations. Oh, and why you should subscribe? Because I only have a few followers so far and would love a few more. Please pop in and see if you’d like to stay.
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