Readers on Reading – Rosie from the UK

With over 200 books read each year, Rosie Amber clearly loves to read. She’s 50, lives in the UK and is an eclectic reader and avid book reviewer.

In your opinion, what is the power of fiction? For me, fiction provides, escapism, learning, armchair travel and enjoyment.

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of? I prefer well written, well edited and well proofread books. A story with deep point of view, multi-layered characters and ones I can empathise with. I dislike dialogue-led books and stories that are all ‘telling’ and not ‘showing’. Info dumping is also a no-no. I also find an epic cast of characters too many to follow. It can mean that the author has filled the book out with characters rather than developing the main ones and making them of interest.

What aspects of an author’s writing make you feel like you’re ‘immersed in the novel’s world’ and/or ‘transported in time and place’Using deep point of view and multi-layering of characters help. As does a slower drip feed of info, enough to keep me interested. Bringing the characters to life on the page, is a must for me.

Which books read in the past year or so stand out for you and why? Let Me Be Like Water by S.K. Perry – a contemporary novel that celebrated friendship found after a young woman reached great depths of despair. (Good on emotions)

The Inruder by P.S. Hogan –  a mild thriller where the focus is on an ordinary man rather than the popular police investigations that currently flood this genre. (Something different, I liked it)

River by India R Adams – magical realism. An emotion filled book. I would read anything by this author. (India writes for the YA/ Na genre, and is great at emotions)

Lancelot by Giles Kristian – an historical fiction set around the folklore of the mythical King Arthur. (Great if you are a fan of Arthurian legend)

The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull – historical fiction set around the first women aviators. (Fascinating info about these early flyers)

Shark Bait by Matt Walker –  an action adventure thriller set in the UK. (Very compact and to the point which kept the pace moving briskly making it engaging and drawing me in.)

How do you decide what books to buy? What influences your book purchases? No.1 authors that I already know and like. No. 2 book recommendations from people or book bloggers that I trust. No. 3 books that I find on book blogs.

Is there anything about where you live or your particular background that influences your fiction choices? I tend to stick to books from authors who are English, American, Australasian, Western European or from author’s whose primary language is English. Or books written for those markets.

If you’re a book blogger or run a book site, please tell us a little about your focus and features. I’m a book blogger, and have run my book review site for 7 years. I have a team of around 20 reviewers who read and review for the site. We can offer the possibility of multiple reviews for a book. Reviews will be posted on a minimum of 2 sites, they include, Goodreads, AmazonUk, AmazonUS, reviewers blogs and a copy also is posted on my own blog.

We review books across a wide range of genres. We pride ourselves on giving honest, unbiased, balanced reviews, which means that we do not guarantee that all our comments will be positive; however, any criticism will be constructive. We promote book reviews on Twitter each Tuesday encouraging the book community to use #TuesdayBookBlog – it trends regularly.

If there is anything else about reading fiction, the kind of books available today, or the way reading is changing that you’d like to comment on, please do so.  Publishing a book has been made easier with self-publishing and e-books. But any book should still be of the very best an author can make it, with multiple drafts and edits. Writing a book is hard, marketing and selling it can be harder. Never rush to publish.

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts on reading, Rosie. You can find Rosie at her blog Rosie Amber, which offers clear and succinct reviews in a variety of genres along with a rating for each novel. Rosie’s site has been awarded a Top 100 UK Book Blog designation.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

Readers on Reading … Christina adds her thoughts

In my ongoing series of readers talking about reading we have Christina from Canada giving her perspective. Many thanks, Christina.

Please tell us a little about yourself: for example, background, age range, country, general book reading habits. Christina, 41, Canada. I try to read a novel a week.

In your opinion, what is the power of fiction? It can take you to a different time and place. It can make you feel like you know the characters and that you are part of a story. It pulls on your emotions.

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of? I love historical fiction, thrillers and biographies. I also like a variety of fiction that are fun and humorous to add some variety to my reading.

What aspects of an author’s writing make you feel like you’re ‘immersed in the novel’s world’ and/or ‘transported in time and place’. The way people and places are described. When you can picture being there, being with the characters. When you fully get to know the characters. When you miss them after the story is done.

Which books read in the past year or so stand out for you and why? A Man Called Ove [by Fredrik Backman], Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine [by Gail Honeyman], Before We Were Yours [by Lisa Wingate] and I Liked My Life [by Abby Fabiaschi]. I felt like I knew the characters. That I was cheering for them, crying with them, that my heart ached for them at times.

How do you decide what books to buy? What influences your book purchases? I follow authors I like on Goodreads. I am part of the Bloom with Tall Poppy writers group on Facebook. I am a member of Audible. I also follow recommendations from Indigo. I also love a great cover. It can stop my in my tracks. I love real books. Physically holding a book. Turning the pages. I also follow many publishing companies on Instagram.

Is there anything about where you live or your particular background that influences your fiction choices? No. I don’t think so.

If there is anything else about reading fiction, the kind of books available today, or the way reading is changing that you’d like to comment on, please do so. I love physical books I hope we never get to a e-book only society. There is something about holding an actual book. I love telling people about books I love and getting them to read them so we can discuss how great they are!

Many thanks, Christina. A novel a week is quite the objective. I’ve checked out the books you mentioned and can see some great ideas for future reads. P.S. Delighted to hear you enjoy historical fiction!

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.