Sunday, 16 March 2014

 

Sunday post #24



Sunday is when I sit back with a lovely cup of tea and write about all the wonderful new books I've received and purchased in the past week. This post participates in fab memes Showcase Sunday and Stacking the Shelves.


A Heart Bent Out of Shape by Emylia Hall (review copy)
Beautiful Day by Kate Anthony (review copy)
Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman (review copy)
Me and My Sisters by Sinéad Moriarty (won)
The Vacationers by Emma Straub (review copy)
Truly, Madly, Deeply by various authors (review copy)



Three of the review novels listed above arrived completely unexpectedly. I've had the occasional unsolicited book in the past but this is becoming more frequent nowadays because I have also started to receive them for one of the sites I work on for my day job, Woman's World. On the one hand I love surprises in the post, on the other... with the amount of books that have arrived lately it's becoming harder and harder to review them all, something I always used to do, and not everything I get for review is to my taste either. So while I appreciate the books I feel really guilty for maybe not having the chance to read and review them swiftly (if at all).

What do you guys do when you receive unexpected books you don't have time for and/or you think you don't like? Is there a way to still give them some exposure? I feel a sense of responsibility when kindly given an advance copy of a novel, and would look to help spread the word - even if I don't have time to read and review the book.

I've read some absolutely AMAZING books in the last two weeks by the way (reviews will be up soon). I particularly loved A Heart Bent Out of Shape by Emylia Hall and A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke, both authors who had debuts out just a few years ago that were already excellent and have now surpassed themselves with their second novels. The authors balance beautifully lush travel writing with intriguing and poignant stories - making for very satisfying reads.

What are some of the best books you've read recently? I'm looking for recs of novels that either combine travel writing with a fiction story, such as the titles mentioned above, or literary fiction along the lines of Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick or Last Bus to Coffeeville by J. Paul Henderson. Thanks, guys!

30 comments:

  1. Fantastic books! I really like A Heart Bent Out of Shape, really wonderful novel that will make you want to do to Switzerland. Girlchild has really peaked my interest! Will look out for your review! Have a fab sunday and look forward to seeing you on Wednesday! xx

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    1. So agreed with you on A Heart Bet Out of Shape! Girlchild was actually one of the unsolicited novels but it has piqued my interest too, hope I can slot it in.

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  2. Can we gush over A Heart Bent Out Of Shape? I mean wow what a book! Definitely a favourite of mine! And I agree with you A Single Breath was brilliant, I finished it this week and it was fantastic!

    I'm not sure of any recs right this second but I am going to have a think about this and get back to you! :D

    Meg xxx

    My Showcase Sunday if you'd like a look :)

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    1. Yes, let's gush!! It's a beautiful novel isn't it? I didn't know of Lausanne before reading this book but it's gone straight to the top 10 of places I want to visit. Same with A Single Breath actually. I've been to Tasmania before, but now I want to go back!

      xxx

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  3. It is difficult having more books than you can read - I've got piles in front of my bookcase. Sometimes just giving the book a shoutout on Twitter can help?

    Enjoy those you do get to read!

    Sarah

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    1. It is. Occasionally I contemplate forgoing sleep for reading, but it sadly always catches up with me. A Twitter shout-out is a good idea. I sometimes do book post Tweets, I'll try to do it more often. Thanks :)

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  4. If I ever get a book I'm not really keen on and I didn't request it, I pass it on to another blogger to review - I try and find someone who'll likely like it.
    I read Holly Martin's The Guestbook yesterday, it was so so funny.
    Cora @ Tea Party Princess

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    1. Thanks for the tip! Most bloggers I know sadly are super busy with review copies themselves as well, but will keep this in mind for sure. Have heard nothing but great things about The Guestbook, I look forward to reading it in the not too distant future myself.

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  5. I don't usually get unsolicited books in my mail. Thank goodness. I'd give them exposure on my weekly stacking the shelves post and maybe a post on their release day too. I wouldn't feel any obligation to read them, especially if they aren't something you would have chosen. Come see my hauls at Inside of a Dog and Ms. Martin Teaches Media. Happy reading!

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    1. Yes, that's what I'm doing now with my Showcase Sunday, just wish there was more I could do! I know I shouldn't feel obligated, but I always do feel guilty like they've wasted a book if I don't feature it. I'm weird, I know ;)

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  6. Oooh! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed A Heart Bent Out of Shape. It sounds really good.
    I don't htink you should really worry about the unsolicited books. You didn't request them so I would make them a priority. :)
    Great haul! Happy reading :D

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    1. it is REALLY good! Hope you get to read it yourself soon :)

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  7. What cute reads most of these look like:) Regarding unsolicited books? I don't get many...but I try to promote books I'm not reviewing by posting pics on instagram, twitter facebook etc when they come in the mail and then feature them on my haul post. Other than that...I'll sometimes try to pass them along to another reviewer.

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    1. Aren't they just? I have a weak spot for pretty covers too, I always want to stroke them...

      Thanks for your tip about unsolicited books. I sometimes post a book mail photo on Twitter, I'll try to do it more consistently :)

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  8. I haven't gotten any unexpected books but that would be tough!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. It is, it's a luxury problem though!

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  9. I nearly purchased 'A Heart Bent Out of Shape' today. Great haul - Happy Reading!

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    1. Why nearly? You NEED to buy it right now! :P

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  10. Nice haul! These are all new to me but they all look really great and so many pretty covers. I hope you enjoy your books :) My STS.

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  11. I wouldn't worry to much about the unsolicited copies. Because you didn't request them you aren't really bound to review them. I know it's hard, but like you said, there's other books you want/need to get to.
    I love travel books! I'll have to check out the ones you got.
    Happy reading! :D

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    1. True true, I can't help feeling a bit guilty though, like they "wasted" a book if I don't review it.

      Hope you like A Heart Bent Out of Shape + A Single Breath though! :)

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  12. Nice haul. I usually get unsolicited books from a publisher who's books I tend to enjoy. However, I just recently got a book that made me wonder how they got my mailing address. It's nothing that I'd normally read. I was thinking of taking a photo of it and posting it on FB and Twitter, adding it into my sunday wrap-up post next week and then maybe try to read it or see if someone else is interested in reading it. :\ I feel bad but at the same time, I didn't ask for it and it's not really my cup of tea.
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

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    1. It's good when they send you stuff you definitely like, but even then it sometimes can get too much (I schedule my reviews months in advance, unexpected book post messes with my spreadsheet, haha).

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  13. That's exactly how I feel about unsolicited review books - I used to love getting them at first but when you don't have much time and you have quite a big review pile as it is, then it only makes you feel guilty.

    I always try to tweet about them and feature them in my Showcase Sunday posts even if I don't have the time to read them - but I know that's not enough. I honestly don't know what we could do. :(

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    1. According to all the other comments we shouldn't feel guilty! (easier said than done though). I feature them in my SS and I'll try, from now on, to Tweet images as well when they arrive in the post. It's the least I can do :)

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  14. I have a slideshow widget and add all my review books to that for a few months. You can't feel under pressure to review all the books you get sent and publicists understand. I've spoken to a few who really appreciate any sort of mention, like these kind of posts, talking about them on social media and instagramming them.

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    1. Ohh I love the idea of a slideshow widget! My blog is already a big busy/crowded but I'm sure I'll be able to find something that doesn't look to busy. Thanks for the idea :) And from the other comments I've also taken away I should Tweet photos, so I'll try to do that too from now on.

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  15. Such a pretty haul Zarina! I too do find myself slightly overwhelmed with all the review books I receive at times, I try to keep my requesting on a minimum, but do like you mentioned receive a lot of books that I have not requested. I do feel guilty about not having time to read them, but what can you do? I hope you enjoy your pretties and thanks for stopping by! :)

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    1. Thanks so much! I do love pretty books :)

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