Celebrating book bloggers part one: Natalie

1) Hi Natalie! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Can you tell me more about yourself, and what are your three favourite things?

My name is Natalie, I’ve reached the big three-oh and I live in Manchester, England.

My three favourite things are chocolate, Christmas and my cats (don’t tell the boyfriend he didn’t make the list!)

2) Where can we find your blog and how long have you been reviewing? 

I have been blogging for two years and in that time I’ve read 124 books – not much compared to some but I’ve impressed myself with that!

3) Why did you start blogging?

I used to read all the time, mostly whilst enduring the long bus journey to and from work, but then a few years ago I started working somewhere just around the corner from my house, and when the bus journeys stopped so did the reading. I just didn’t find time to fit it in and then after a while I realised I didn’t know which books to choose anymore. After putting up with my moaning that I missed reading, at the end of 2011 my boyfriend suggested I set myself a challenge for 2012 to read 50 books. Going from nothing to 50 seemed like a ridiculous jump, but we’d just watched Julie & Julia so I thought it could work! I wasn’t sure about the idea of blogging, surely no one wanted to read my ramblings, but then I realised it would be a brilliant way to keep track of what I’d read so I gave it go.  And here I am two years later, still reading and reviewing, now the proud owner of to-be-read pile that I will never get to the end of!

4) What’s the best and worst thing about being a book reviewer?

The best thing has to be getting sent free books… I know that might sound shallow but when you’re in love with books and then an advance copy written by an author you love pops through the door you can’t help but get excited!

The worst thing for me is having to read to a timetable. I love finishing a book and then having the freedom to choose anything I want from my bookshelf to read next.  Sometimes knowing that I have to read something by a certain date takes the magic out of it a little bit.

5) What’s your favourite book of all time and why?

This is such a hard question…

I have a big soft spot for Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert as it’s one of the first books I read after my break from reading and it really inspired me to start picking up books again.  I love the spiritual side of the story and found it really inspiring.

Christmas would not be Christmas anymore without reading With Love At Christmas by Carole Matthews. It is everything I could ever have wished for from a Christmas book.

Chick-lit is a really hard to choose from because there are so many I like but I really did love Three Little Words – think you know wrote that one – because the story was so unexpected.  I picked it up expecting a cute fluffy read and instead got a fascinating page turner.  It made such a refreshing change.

For spine tingling stories it has to be Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson… I literally could not put it down, my heart was thumping and I was desperate to know what happened in the end.

Ooooh and then there’s series, in which case it has to be the ‘I Heart’ series by Lindsey Kelk. I am totally in love with Angela Clarke. In fact, I think I want to be her.

So there’s my top 5 – it’s just impossible to narrow it down to one – sorry!

6) How do you feel about books being made into films. Do you think this is a good thing?

I think this is a really good thing.  I love seeing books I have read being made into films, especially if I’ve forgotten some of the details and get to experience the story a second time by watching the film.  I love seeing the characters from the page of a book come to life on screen, even if they are not always how I would have imagined they could be.

And if watching a film can inspire someone to pick up a book they normally wouldn’t have read then that’s a great thing.

7) Do you prefer print books or ebooks and why?

It has to be print books.  Ebooks are great and I love my Kindle but it’s just not the same as breaking the spine of a new book (yes, I’m a spine breaker I admit it), watching my bookmark wander through a book and being able to pass a book I have loved on to friends.

8) If you don’t like a book, do you have to finish it? If so, why?

I have to finish a book.  I don’t even really know why, I’m just compelled to get to the end. Many a time I’ve sat there wondering why I’m still reading, just trying to plod through to the end but I just can’t give up on them once I’ve started.

9) How do you handle it when you have read a book you don’t like? Will you still review it? 

I review every book I’ve read whether I like it or not.  I think it’s important to tell the truth.  I review as if I’m telling a friend about a book; if it was brilliant then I’ll gush about it and tell them they have to read it. If I didn’t enjoy it then I tell them so, but I would never tell someone not to read a book.  Everyone likes different things so just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean someone else won’t, my review will just be much less enthusiastic. I like to be fair to the author so even if I don’t like it personally I will still write a review saying what the book is about and why people might like it.

Plus, if I only ever wrote reviews that said every book is amazing I’m sure it would get a bit boring to read.

Thanks Natalie!

You can connect with Natalie on Twitter – @Flutterbybat

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