Tag: bookish question

Bookish Question: How many books have you read in 2018?

Bookish Question #84 | How many books have you read in 2018?

I actually don’t know. I’d set myself a target of 180 books for the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge, roughly one every other day. I’ve just looked through the list of books I’ve read.

It’s kind of disturbing.

There are a lot of books I remember reading (yay!).

There are the novel or novella collections, which mess with my reading challenge. Does a four-novella collection count as one book or four? Novellas are short, so I’m usually happy to count that as one book, especially if I read them all.

But does a nine-novel collection count as one book or nine? Does it count towards my reading challenge if I read only read five of the books in the collection? (It’s rare that I find a collection where all the stories are compelling enough to keep me reading. I usually end up skipping some.)

There are quite a few books I remember starting and giving up on (boo!) I find the more I read and edit great fiction, the less patience I have for poor writing. But (as best as I can tell) Goodreads won’t take the book off my Am Reading list unless I mark it as read, so it then counts toward my annual total. There might be a way of taking it off my bookshelves completely, but I don’t know if I want to. If it’s on my Read list, then I know not to read it again (or buy it again).

Then there are the books Goodreads says I’ve read, but I can’t remember reading. I guess those are the three-star reads, the ones I didn’t love enough to rave about, and didn’t dislike enough to remember.

So how many books have I read?

As of mid-November, Goodreads says I’ve read 140 books, but I have no idea how many of those were collections (so maybe count as more than one book), or books I started but didn’t finish. Maybe I need a new system for 2019. Any suggestions?

What about you? How many books have you read in 2018?

Bookish Question: Will you buy books as Christmas gifts this year?

Bookish Question #83 | Will you buy books as Christmas gifts this year?

For those of you who are now getting shouty because Who. On. Earth. has started thinking about Christmas shopping in the first week of November … I didn’t set the question. And we have to start thinking about Christmas shopping at some point, or we end up being the last person left in the big box store on Christmas Eve, hoping there is something left worth buying, then resorting to gift vouchers.

So will I be buying books as Christmas gifts?

Kind of. My niece has her birthday shortly after Christmas, and I’ve planned to buy her a book for her birthday which relates to her Christmas present. No, I’m not going to say what I’m buying!

My daughter is currently buying her summer reading list online (she’s a teenager, so that means buying secondhand paperbacks. Yes, she could borrow them for free from the library, but the library doesn’t let you keep the ones you liked.

My mother might ask for a book again—I’ll have to ask her.

I bought my husband two books for Christmas last year, and he’s yet to crack the spine on either. No books for him this year. Most of my other relatives aren’t readers, so no books for them either. I like buying books people will read and enjoy, not books we buy because “everyone” is reading that this year.

So, all in all, I’d have to say no. What about you? Will you be buying books as Christmas gifts this year?

Bookish QUestion: Have you planned a summer reading list?

Bookish Question #82 | Have you planned a summer reading list?

Umm … No 🙂

My reading plan is generally which books I have in my reviewing pile.

Beyond that, it’s which book in my Kindle to-read folder takes my fancy, or which book on my actual reading pile catches my attention.

I do have a pile of books I’ve mean meaning to read for a while, but I suspect many of them are too deep and serious to read over summer (e.g. Francine Rivers or Lisa Wingate). I’ll probably read a mix of light contemporary romance mixed in with the occasional historical romance (especially Regency), and a few romantic suspense or cozy mysteries for good measure.

What about you? Have you planned a summer reading list? What are you planning—or hoping—to read?

Where would you like to "visit" in a novel?

Bookish Question #81 | Where would you like to “visit” in a novel?

I’m lucky in that I’ve travelled to over 25 countries, and around 20 US states … which means I’ve already visited many of the places I’d otherwise like to visit in a novel. But there’s also places I’d like to visit again in fiction …

Here are three places I’d like to visit in a novel:


Iceland is a beautiful country, but it’s cold and dark for a lot of the year, and it’s a long way from New Zealand. I’d love to visit Iceland. One day! In the meantime, it would be great to read a Christian novel set in Iceland. Any suggestions?


I’ve read a few novels set in India (e.g. the Silk trilogy by Linda Chaikin, and the Twilight of the British Raj trilogy by Christine Lindsay). It’s a fascinating country, and I’d like to know more about India. Have you read any great Christian fiction set in India?


My father’s family are Welsh, as is my name (Iola means valued by the Lord). But I rarely come across Christian fiction with a Welsh setting, and I’d like to see more. The ones I have read have had Welsh settings but haven’t featured Welsh characters—that’s something I’d like to read. Do you have any suggestions?

What about you? Where would you like to visit in a novel?

Which lesser-known Christian authors do you wish more readers knew about?

Bookish Question #80 | Which lesser-known Christian authors do you wish more readers knew about?

It’s easy to find out about the big-name authors in Christian publishing.

Think Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury. It’s not hard to find out about some of the middle rank—the authors whose books you see reviewed, or you find on the shelf of your local Christian bookstore.

But, as a reader, it can be harder to find out about the lesser-known Christian authors.

It’s equally hard—or harder—for those authors to find readers.

I try and feature some lesser-known Christian authors on my blog, either through book reviews, author interviews, or First Line Friday posts. But I still have to find out about them somehow, and that’s often through them contacting me to request a review or interview.

Anyway, here’s my completely biased list of ten lesser-known Christian authors I suggest you watch out for:

What do you think? Which lesser-known Christian author do you wish more readers knew about?

Do you participate in online reader groups?

Bookish Question #79 | Do you participate in online reader groups?

We’ve all heard of book clubs, but did you know there are also online versions?

I’m a member of several online reader groups, but the two I follow most closely are both Facebook groups: Avid Readers of Christian Fiction, and Inspy Romance. As you’d expect, both specialise in Christian fiction (however published).

I’m also involved in a couple of reader/writer groups: Australasian Christian Writers (which posts a book review each Thursday), and International Christian Fiction Writers. Both are open to readers and writers from anywhere.

Some of the groups (e.g. Avid readers) also have a nominated book of the month, and an author-hosted discussion towards the end of the month. But I haven’t actually participated in any of the discussions … There are also a lot of reader groups on Goodreads. Again, many have books of the month which they discuss, but I haven’t participated.

This is sometimes because I’ve either already read and reviewed the book, or because it’s not a book I’m interested in. More often, it’s because I forget, or because I already have so many books on my reviewing pile that I don’t want to add another.

What about you? Do you participate in online reader groups? Which groups?

Have you discovered any new authors from my blog?

Bookish Question #78 | Have you discovered any new authors from my blog?

I mostly find new authors by browsing NetGalley (for traditionally published books), or by following other book bloggers (for self-published and small press books). And I discover a lot of new authors from the blogs—especially from the First Line Friday blog hop I take part in each week.

New authors I’ve discovered this year from other authors and bloggers include CC Warrens (the Holly trilogy) and
Bell Renshaw (As Easy as Riding a Bike). There are a lot of others, but they are still languishing in my to-read pile!

Have you discovered any new authors from my blog? Which authors and books?

Bookish Question: Do you treasure autographed copies of books?

Bookish Question 77 | Do you treasure autographed copies of books?

Do you treasure autographed copies of books?

I have a few autographed copies of books, and I do treasure them.

Some are books I’ve won in online contests, like A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal. Others are books where I’ve edited as a pre-publication beta-reader, like Close to You by Kara Isaac or The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky. And some are books I’ve edited, like Grace in Strange Disguise by Christine Dillon, or Then There Was You by Kara Isaac.

What all these books have in common are that they are great stories, stories made more special because the author has taken the time to leave me a personal message.

What autographed books do you own? Do you treasure them? Leave a comment and let me know!

Have you been to an in-store book signing?

Bookish Question #75 | Have you been to an in-store book signing?

No, I haven’t.

I do have some books which have been autographed by the author—some I won in online giveaways, some I was given or sent as a thank you for editing the books, and some I have purchased from the author at writing conferences. But none I bought at an in-store book signing.

Why have never attended an in-store book signing? This is mostly because I’ve (almost) never been in the same town as a favourite author when they’ve held a book signing.

Almost? There was one time … I was in Brisbane to attend the Omega Writers Conference, and one of the authors (Jo-Anne Berthlesen, I think) was holding a book signing that morning in the local Koorong store. Well, I had a map, but after completely missing the correct motorway exit twice, I gave up and headed for the conference venue. So I missed my chance to attend an in-store book signing.

What about you? Have you been to an in-store book signing? Who was the author, and what was the book?

Leave a comment and let me know!

Have you purchased books recommended by friends?

Bookish Question #71 | Have You Purchased Books Recommended by Friends?


When it comes to books from the major publishers, I tend to be the friend recommending books to others because I get a lot of advance review copies (ebooks. Even the biggest publishers don’t want to post me paperbacks because I live in New Zealand).

But when it comes to books from smaller publishers, or self-published authors, I often rely on recommendations from friends.

For example, I bought and read The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce after Narelle Atkins recommended it. Now I’m anxiously waiting for the sequel (and would love a review copy, hint hint). I was introduced to the brilliant Amy Matayo by Catherine Hudson, while Andrea Grigg told me I *had * to read Bria Quinlan (she was right). Most recently, Christine Dillon recommended Criss Cross by CC Warrens, and I ended up buying and reading the whole trilogy on one wet weekend.

I also get recommendations from fellow book bloggers. One of the best-worst parts of my week is reading the First Line Friday posts. I usually read them on Saturday, because time zones mean most people post after I’ve gone to sleep on Friday night. Anyway, it’s rare that I’m able to make the rounds of my fellow First Line Friday bloggers without downloading at least one Kindle sample, or buying the book because it’s on a limited-time sale.

What about you? Have you purchased books recommended by friends? Which books or authors?