Posted in miscellaneous

Reading slump blues (and how to recover) 

As readers, we all know the feeling. Those times when we just don’t want to read. We’re too tired, too stressed, too busy, physically ill or just not in the mood to read. We even have a name for this phenomenon. We call it a book slump/reading slump. I suffered from a reading slump last year.  Let’s face it,  2016 was horrible. At least, my 2016 was horrible.   It started with the death of celebrities.  Then it threw Brexit and Trump at me. Then, if that wasn’t enough, the year threw family ill health at me with several family members enduring periods of ill health.  It felt like every telephone call, news broadcast, or Twitter sprint brought sad, worrying or anger inducing news.  Every contact with the outside world left me depressed and lethargic. This made me open to distractions. Reading was the last thing I wanted to do.  On top of this, my enormous TBR list and tbr shelf made reading feel like a chore. So, how did I beat my reading slump. I simply took these steps. 

Firstly,  I sent a load of books to the charity shop. I gutted my tbr shelf, keeping only the books that I really wanted to read.  This meant that I did not feel overwhelmed by my books. Secondly, I took all distractions off my phone and tablet.  This left me with more time to read.  Thirdly, I limited the time that I spent on twitter. I, also, cut back on times that I check my email.  I no longer start my day with email and twitter. This meant that I had more time . This meant that I had more time to read and that I did not start my day feeling discouraged and depressed, more likely to read and write.  That’s how I got back into the reading habit. Hope it helps.

Posted in arc, books, reviews

Bear and Nightingale by Katherine Arden



I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.    A family grows in rural Russia.  Their lives are in constant struggle with the natural world which is beyond their control.  They find comfort in a mixture of old ‘pagan’ beliefs and the newer beliefs of the Christian church.   A young woman fights outside pressures to find a path in an ever-changing world.    This world is made up of Vasilisa and her family.  Vasilisa is a young girl who loves folk tales and lives one. Her empathy with the natural and spiritual world makes her the apex of the conflict between old and new beliefs. This book shares the Fairy-tale feel of Catherynne M. Valente’s Deathless and the Brothers Karamazov’s (by Dostoyevsky) questioning of spirituality, magic, and religion.  I highly recommend this book.