Blogger Book Nook #1: It's All New!


Reading has been one of my favourite hobbies ever since I was a little girl. Before I could even talk, I'd force my Mum to read me Flower Fairy storybooks over and over again, tapping my finger on the page if she took too long to turn to the next one! (Yes I was a nightmare child, sorry Mumma!) I always enjoy reading and sharing book reviews, so when my friend Tabitha asked me whether I'd like to be involved in setting up a blogger's book club with her, naturally I said YES! Now, the Blogger Book Nook has been born, and we are both incredibly excited to share it with you! Shall we get started?

What is the Blogger Book Nook?

As I mentioned above, the Blogger Book Nook is the brainchild of the lovely Tabitha, who blogs over at What Tabitha Loves. The idea is to create a friendly community of enthusiastic bloggers who all love to read! We'll be having regular discussions, recommending authors, and sharing books - encouraging all members of the group to keep up their reading motivation! We've set up a Facebook group especially for this, so if you'd like to join, please send a request as everybody is welcome!

Alongside the Facebook group, every month there will be a reading prompt and a Q&A too! Each month will have a specific theme. This month's theme is NEWNESS, to celebrate the official launch of the group! September's reading prompt is to pick up a book by an author who is completely new to you, and if you like, you can review it on your blog. As part of your review, you can also answer the Q&A questions below, which all relate to the theme of newness. The theme is deliberately very open so that you can read anything that takes your fancy!

A huge thanks goes out to Claire for designing our logo!

Q1) Do you like trying new authors or do you stick to old favourites? Why?

Personally, I love reading new authors! Nothing excites me more than discovering a new writing style, new genres, and new characters. It's actually quite rare that I read multiple novels by the same author - notable exceptions to this include Philippa Gregory, whose Tudor history themed series I ADORED as a teenager, and Virginia Woolf, because her stream-of-consciousness writing style is music to my ears!

Q2) How do you usually find out about new authors? Reading blog reviews? Advertisements? Recommendations from friends?

I buy a lot of my books in charity shops, so I will often just pick up a book at random (especially if they're on sale for 50p!) and give it a try. I have also participated in quite a few book swaps with other bloggers, which has been a fantastic way to try out authors I hadn't even heard of before! We are thinking of setting up some book swaps through the Blogger Book Nook, so if this is something that would interest you, let us know!

Q3) Which new authors are on your TBR list at the moment?

Brooklyn by Colm M. Toibin has been on my TBR list for yonks! I usually wait until I've read the book before I see any movie adaptations, but I broke my own rule and saw the 2015 film of Brooklyn before I read the novel (naughty naughty!) I was so drawn in and captivated by the film that I really must make time to read the book! Toibin is an author that I haven't read before, so this month's Blogger Book Nook theme is definitely motivating me to pick up his novel!

Q4) Have you come across a new author recently that you really didn't enjoy reading? Which book was it and why didn't it appeal to you?

One of my good friends is a huge Martin Amis fan and as I'd never read any of his work before, I decided to pick up Success, which I reviewed in my last Bookshelf Update, and The Rachel Papers. Amis was a new author to me and unfortunately, I just didn't like his style. I found his characters quite unlikeable, and although the books were very witty and humorous in places, I just couldn't really get into the story as the characters left me feeling so apathetic. Ah well, you win some, you lose some!

Q5) Which of your all-time favourite author's books would you give to a friend who had never read their work before? 

The book that made me fall in love with Virginia Woolf's writing was Orlando, I thought it was absolutely incredible and it took my breath away in places. I felt such an affinity with the lead character and felt every emotion with them as the action progressed. Mrs Dalloway is another book of Woolf's that I adore; how the mental state of the characters was shown to impact their every thought and action was just incredible, and the ending really brought the seemingly disparate elements of the story together in an amazing climax. I couldn't recommend these two books highly enough!

My Mini Review

Since this month's theme is new authors, I decided to pick up a book Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. I have never read anything by Winterson before, but I have heard incredible things about this novel, so I was excited to get started! The book is a semi-autobiographical story, based on the author's own upbringing in rural Lancashire. The story follows Jeanette, a young girl adopted into a staunchly evangelical Christian family. Her mother, a religious fanatic, has her sights set on Jeanette becoming a missionary, a path which the young girl herself begins to follow. However, in her early teens, Jeanette's path changes forever when she first begins to develop romantic feelings - for another woman. Jeanette and her young lover are subjected to exorcisms, and are eventually cast out of their community. The witnessing through words of a young girl being expelled from her family was truly heartbreaking, and although eventually, after a long period of time, Jeanette and her mother are somewhat reconciled (although they do not discuss her lifestyle) it gave me greatly happy that Jeanette had remained true to herself and did not renounce her sexual orientation at any point. This was an incredibly immersive and moving read, and I would encourage anyone who has not read anything by Winterson before to pick up a copy of this book!

Since I found trying a new author so fulfilling this month, why don't you do the same? Write a mini review like I have here, answer the Q&A, and share your post on social media, using the hashtag #BBookNook so that we can share it! Don't forget to join our Facebook group for lots of discussion as well! You can head over to Tabitha's blog to discover which new authors she's been delving into as well.

What are you reading at the moment? Who are your favourite authors? Leave your answers in the comments below, I'm looking to expand my TBR list!

Until next time,

A x