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Latest Acquisitions (October 2012)

I think I am suffering what is commonly described as blogging burnout. I say “think” because I’m unsure, it could just be writer’s block – I wasn’t happy at all with my last review and these grey sunless days are uninspiring, however I am slowly getting back into reading. This feeling is due to a couple of weeks spent almost solely on university applications; as I said to my most recent tutor (I’ll be leaving the university he teaches at) I thought editing an essay to comply with a 2000 word limit was tough, 4000 character limits for personal statements make essays seem easy. It wasn’t that I was writing a lot, it was that I became mentally exhausted from the editing and I guess this impacted my reading and desire to write. Thankfully the next review copy on my list was pitched to me as a literary chick-lit not unlike Marian Keyes, and I am happy to say that it has proved to be so. I am racing through Laura Rae Amos’s Exactly Where They’d Fall and am looking forward to reviewing it, so hopefully I’ll be back to “normal” very soon. Today I’ll leave you with the books that will be coming up in November or a couple of months thereafter, whilst I continue to get my head around the English language.

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Debbie Dee: The Last Witch – Self-published paranormal Young Adult which caught my eye on a blog tour site. I signed up for one of the remaining spots and am looking forward to reading the book.

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Jim Al-Khalili: Paradox – My reading of Zor and The Bond left me wanting more quantum physics, so I couldn’t say no to this. Reviews have said it’s for the layman, so it will be reviewed with that in mind.

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Laura Rae Amos: Exactly Where They’d Fall – The book mentioned in the paragraph above, a self-published chick-lit.

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Anna Karenina – I thought it was about time, especially since Keira Knightley kept popping up on television during the adverts and the film looked stunning.

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William Makepeace Thackeray: Vanity Fair – I put Thackeray on my 2012 goals list and this year isn’t getting any younger. I’m happy to say that it’s a lot better than the Reece Witherspoon film.

Voilà. I won’t put this in bolded text because that would be confusing with all these book titles: What are you currently reading and looking forward to reading next?


Andrew Blackman

October 24, 2012, 2:35 am

Sounds as if you’ve got a lot going on, Charlie. University applications are exhausting, with all the attention paid to getting the words exactly right, and getting together all the references you need and double-checking all the application requirements, etc. Understandable that you don’t feel like blogging. Hope you feel better! These books sound interesting – will be good to hear your thoughts. Anna Karenina is the only one I’ve read. At the moment I’m reading The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills, very strange book but I’m enjoying it!

Laurie C

October 24, 2012, 11:33 am

An eclectic mix of books you’ve been reading! I’ve got The Twelve by Justin Cronin to start and also NW by Zadie Smith. Looking forward to both, but trying to finish up books I’ve committed to review first. I’m in a bit of a slump too, wanting to just read without writing. The last few reviews I’ve posted haven’t been revised as much as usual, but at least they’re done!


October 24, 2012, 4:08 pm

Ugh — blogging/writing fatigue is the worst. I’m v sorry — sounds v stressful with all the essay/app writing, too.

Right now I’m reading How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance by Marilyn Yalom, which is a superficial look at French literature and the idea of love/sex/passion etc. Breezy and fun but feels odd to read in this gray, gray autumn — but it is scheduled for review and I can’t put it off.


October 24, 2012, 4:50 pm

Good luck with the University Applications, sounds like a lot of work.

I recognise the name Jim Al-Khalili, wasn’t he on tv just last night (BBC)? If it’s anything like his tv work, it should be a very interesting read.

Have a good time with the other books, although I’m not sure this is the right time to read Anna Karenina? I haven’t read it but isn’t it extremely long?


October 24, 2012, 5:14 pm

You’ve got a really interesting mix of books there. Good luck with Anna Karenina!
I’ve also got an interesting mix going on with the books I’m reading at the moment. I have the second book in The Kane Chronicles on the go, alongside that I have The Practice of the Presence of God, as well still reading Byron’s Poetical Works [Volume 1].


October 24, 2012, 9:11 pm

Blogging burnout, I know how you feel :/ There seems to be a lot going on in your life and I completely understand how much time university applications can take. I hope you find a way to take some rest for yourself.

Beth F

October 25, 2012, 1:52 am

Oh good luck on the applications. It’s difficult to find time to do everything.


October 25, 2012, 8:55 pm

Seems I’m not the only one feeling a little burnt out! Good luck with your applications! I completely agree with you on reading a comforting read (like Marian Keynes-esque books) are a wonderful remedy to get back to reading and blogging.


October 26, 2012, 9:39 am

Good luck with the applications. I just went through the whole process of getting all the paperwork together and writing a resume (the hardest part) and was lucky enough to get offered a place in the course I wanted. Hang in there! It will all come together in the end.

I love Anna Karenina and Vanity Fair. They are two of my all-time favourite novels and have such great female characters. I hope you enjoy them.


October 26, 2012, 11:29 am

Good luck with the university applications, what are you applying for?

Glad to hear Vanity Fair isn’t resembling Reece Witherspoon, that would have been dire!

I’m currently reading The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford, which I am sure you must already know as I am probably spamming your twitter feed with quotes.


October 28, 2012, 3:09 pm

Ugh, burnout is tough, especially when other things are happening in life. It does help to have a book or two you’re really excited about, or to change up the reading some – glad you have a good one in hand! Exciting about your applications- good luck!


October 30, 2012, 2:47 pm

Andrew: I never knew just how exhausting! Thanks, I’ve finally pinned down the exact combination of things that were getting to me, and once I figured it out it was a lot easier to get rid of. I’m rather confused about the Mills book, considering it has “Will Self” in the title.

Laurie: NW, I’m envious! That’s how I looked at reviewing, too, better to just get it done and not worry as much about how they read, even if it’s difficult not to.

Audra: Thanks. Just read your review of it, it’s gone on my list. Same here, commitments, though hopefully that will spurn us on rather than end motivation completely.

Judith: Thanks. He might well have been on TV, his website lists a lot of work for the BBC. It’s my now current read, and it’s good for the most part, just a couple of things that aren’t quite “right”. Anna Karenina looks long – I haven’t looked at the font size yet but I’m hoping it’s not too bad. I’m thinking I might leave it until after Christmas.

Jessica: I am wondering if luck is neccersary with Anna Karenina: choosing due to a pretty film trailer isn’t the best way to pick a book! That’s an ecletic mix you’re reading! Always good to have that.

Iris: I actually thought of you when I was doing it all, thinking of how you’ve just got through it and how tough it was. It helped to keep me going. I’m pretty much forcing myself to read rather than do anything more taxing at the moment!

Beth: Thank you. What’s that more hours in a day phrase… definitely in need of more time!

Tze-Wen: Yes, we’re in this together so to speak. Thank you. I think it’s interesting how comfort reads are different for everyone (and I’m rather embarrased that mine are chick-lit given their reputation, but they are good for it without being lazy reads, still making you think).

Violet: Thanks. I’m so happy you’ve got your place! People have been telling me “we’ll get you there”; it’s not quite true because I’m mainly doing this alone (apart from references) but the sentiment is nice. I am enjoying Vanity Fair at the moment!

Alice: History and English. I’m going to have to re-watch the film after reading Vanity Fair, having the literary context to back it up. I like the quotes :)

Jennifer: Yes, I think that’s a mistake I made at first – not reading books that I was passionate about. Thank you!


October 31, 2012, 1:40 pm

Jealous! Wish I could go back to University, it was a simpler more plentiful time then.

Hehe, good luck!



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