My favourite book blogs

For me, reading a book blog is like having a conversation with a friend about a book I’ve just read.
“You simply have to read this book.”
“What’s it about?”
“Well, there’s this earthquake and…”
“Why’s it so good?”
Etcetera etcetera.
I started thinking about the type of book blogs I prefer, and which I re-visit, because Yvo at It’s All About Books nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blog Award. Thanks Yvo! very-inspiring-blog-award - logo 23-6-14So this is what makes the perfect book blog for me [and this is my list, so yours may be different].

Things I like:-
I want to hear the book reviewer’s voice, make it personal.
A ‘feel’ for the book, the main character, the setting.
A taster of the style of writing, one quote is enough.
A short bio of the author with links so I can find out more if I want.
If the reviewer has mixed feelings about the book, give examples of why.
An explanation of the book’s genre and how it fits in with other books of its kind, or not as the case may be. books4 23-6-14Things I don’t like:-
SPOILERS. Never, ever. By the skin of my teeth I just missed reading the spoiler about the last episode of Fargo [just screened on UK television]. I would have been SO angry.
Instant reviews, written as soon as the last page is read. Give the book time to settle in your mind.
An assassination attack of an author. There are ways of saying you don’t like a novel, without being rude. You can stop reading it, for one. Or you can say you are disappointed, or the novel isn’t what you expected. But just remember that a novelist is a person. This applies especially to debut novelists. Remember the ‘feedback sandwich’ rule – positive feedback/negative feedback/positive feedback.
‘Reviews’ that simply copy a plot summary from Goodreads. I want your opinion, bloggers!
I’m not keen on the star rating system though I know this follows Goodreads and Amazon.

What are your likes and dislikes about book blogs [no names please]? bookshelf - larsson 23-6-14Yvo inspired this award as she is a book blogger I like – please visit her blog, although I am not for obvious reasons including her on my list of 15 nominations. She reads what she likes, rather than the ‘latest thing’, and is desperately trying to read though her enormous ‘to read’ pile of classics, loans and cherished discoveries.

Here is my list.
Charlotte at Best Chick Lit
Hannah Renowden at Hannah Reads Stuff
Catriona Merryweather at Fabulous Book Fiend
Claire McAlpine at Word for Word
Michelle Clements James at Book Chat
Isabell at Dreaming with Open Eyes
Ali at A Woman’s Wisdom
Margaret Madden at Bleach House Library
Suzy Turner at Fiction Dreams
Bibi at Madame Bibilophile Recommends
Sophie Hedley at Reviewed the Book
Rosie at Rosie Amber
Kim Nash at Kim the Bookworm
Karen Oberlaender at My Train of Thoughts
Lizzy at My Little Book Blog

When I started the list, 15 seemed like loads but now I realize how many great book bloggers there are out there. So watch out for another list soon! Yvo stole my thunder and nominated some of my favourites on her own list, so I have omitted them from mine so they don’t drown under awards.

Seven facts you don’t know about me:-
I’m a window-open, put a jumper on if your cold, Northern girl.
I hate green peppers.
Did I mention that I love notebooks?
I drive a red car but I would never wear a red jumper.
I love apple pie and yearn for my mother’s apple crumble from my childhood.
I eat Weetabix for breakfast and read the newspaper.
I love tennis… you didn’t know that, did you? bookshelf - citadel 23-6-14If I’ve nominated you, here are the rules for this blogger award:
Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
List the rules and display the award.
Share seven facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.


  1. Thank you Sandra! And congratulations on being nominated, so deserving. I am looking forward to reading your book too. I haven’t participated in a blog award for a long time, but this is a great opportunity to share some wonderful book blogs, so thanks again.

    • You’re welcome! Sorry I didn’t e-mail yesterday but I was stuck on a plane for 7 hours – French air traffic controllers’ strike & a sick person 🙂 SD

  2. I don’t like standardised formats for book reviews. And unless they are well written, I don’t like long ones. I’m not interested in quotes or author bios either. I don’t usually include spoilers, half the time I don’t bother with the plot. My blog isn’t a book blog because that isn’t what my readers come for, however I do like writing reviews from time to time, and people do comment on some of them. Especially the bad ones.

    • I totally agree about the professional editing, though that said I have come across some howlers in traditionally-published books too. And sometimes the formatting of e-books leaves a lot to be desired.

  3. Thank you for the kind words! I love the idea of incorporating quotes of the books into the reviews, so I will be adding that to my future reviews for sure. 🙂 And I’m a huge fan of apple pie too!

    • I guess everyone reviews in their own way, it’s just that I know what I like to read when I’m reading a book review as a reader [not a writer!]. SD

    • You’re welcome Michelle, I meant to e-mail you to tell you about the nomination but events got the better of me yesterday so I’m pleased you picked this up. 🙂 SD

  4. Thanks for the nomination, Sandra! I really like your lists of what you like or not in a review. There are lots of great reviewers and their reviews out there. Some reviews are very detailed and do not even contain spoilers. I keep my reviews brief – as the plot already tells a little about the story.
    There is one thing that I will from now on integrate in my reviews: “A taster of the style of writing, one quote is enough.”

  5. Thanks for the nomination Sandra! A conversation with a friend I exactly how I try to approach writing my blog, and the great thing about blogging is that the friend doesn’t have to be in the same time or place as you for the conversation to happen 🙂 I’ll check out the other blogs you’ve nominated too.

  6. Hey Sandra,

    Found this blog really useful. Just the other day I was thinking ‘I need to research more blogs about books’ just to get more of an idea of what people are reading and look at some reviews. I think if you’re going to be a successful writer then you need to be a successful reader. Also I think it’s important to read other reviews to find out what makes people tick when they read and why they dislike certain books.

    I might do a bit more research myself and compile a similar list.


    Happy reading.

    • Hi Barry, I’ve learned a lot about book reviews in the last couple of months as I’ve been researching book bloggers for my novel promotion. What I like and don’t like, what’s useful, what’s lazy etc. You’re right, when you read a review about a book you know it’s interesting then to see what the reviewer pulls out as important. Not necessarily something you as the writer would expect. 🙂 SD


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