Bookish Reflections – April 2020

A monthly round up of all things bookish at Sammi Loves Books…It’s my attempt at becoming more accountable in my reading and reviewing habits…


In a nutshell

I read more in April than I did in March, but with one thing and another, fell behind with my reviews.  That being said, I have one already written for May, and another almost complete, so I am, as it were, a little bit ahead of myself for once!

I spent a day in April going through one of my big bookcases, dusting and rearranging the volumes.  It was a task I both enjoyed and disliked, the former for having the time to spend going through the books and to be reminded which books were on the shelves (it can be hard to keep track sometimes) but it reinforced what I already knew: I have too many books.  One of the upsides to being on lockdown (if one can be flippant about it), is that I’ve not had the chance to acquire anymore…In all seriousness though, I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe 🙂

If any writers / poets / authors / etc, would like to be interviewed as part of Afternoon Tea at Sammi Loves Books check out this page for more information, FAQs and an index of all the previous interviews.  If you’ve any questions, please do get in touch at: sammicoxbooks@gmail.com

To keep up-to-date with what I’m reading and reviewing, find me on Facebook and Goodreads.

Books I’ve reviewed

Other Book-Related Posts

  •  None

Favourite read(s) of the month

  •  The War of The Worlds by H.G. Wells

Books I’ve bought (or been given)

  • None

Books I’ve downloaded

  •  What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge (audiobook)

What I’ve been reading on Wattpad

  • Not very much recently unfortunately…I hope that changes soon…

Aprils’s “Read and Review” Goals*

  • The War of The Worlds by H.G. Wells
  • The Leper of St Giles by Ellis Peters (read, awaiting review)
  • Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
  • What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge

* Light blue = review posted | Blue = review not posted | Black = did not read / review

What I’m reading and reviewing in May

  • Thornyhold by Mary Stewart (read, review awaiting posting)
  • Circe by Madeline Miller (read, review almost compete)
  • The Leper of St Giles by Ellis Peters (read, awaiting review)
  • The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (read, awaiting review)
  • A Plague on Both Your Houses by Susanna Gregory (currently reading)

Basic Book Review Challenge 2020

To post (at least) one book review a week, to reach a target of 52 over the course of the year.

Month started at: 11 / 52

Month finished at: 15 / 52

Sammi Loves Books Reading Challenge 2019

I’m revisiting this challenge I started last year, to complete the challenges I missed. I’ve completed the following challenges from the list this month:

  • #20 – a book written by an author that has the same initials as you

Total challenges completed in 2019: 8 / 20

Total challenges completed in 2020: 4 / 12

Total: 12 / 20

You can find the complete list of challenges here.

A to Z Review Index Challenge

  • No change here – Still the letter “I” to go.

Challenge status: 1 / 2

Read, Review, Rehome

Goal: 20 | Total so far: 5 / 20

  •  Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

3 thoughts on “Bookish Reflections – April 2020

  1. Having a day to sort through your bookshelves does sound like a lovely task! I so enjoy having things organized, but it’s hard to find the time sometimes. Your recounting of all your reading and reviewing (and not) makes me think of all the reviews I’m behind on, too. Some of them VERY far behind on. Back before my eye surgery, I would write notes on paper as I read, and then write those up in my review file before writing the (usually much shorter) review. But I fell behind… and behind… and then my eye surgery recovery has meant it’s too difficult to read the printed word. So I have a stack of six books that I read far, far too long ago that are waiting to be reviewed (if I can even remember them at this point!). Plus I fell behind on reviewing audiobooks during the period when I couldn’t even read on the computer and literally had nothing to do all day but listen. I’ve been catching up on those a bit, but I’ve still got four older ones to review.

    How are you able to keep straight your memories of the story? You have so many in your head at once, I can see that. Do you take notes as you go? I keep being hesitant to get into a new book if I haven’t at least taken good notes on the one I just finished, in fear of forgetting everything important!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I admit I don’t, though probably should, take notes on the books I read as I go, but I seem to be able to remember the main aspects I liked and the elements I didn’t for most books. I do try and bookmark favourite quotes as I go along because these I do forget. But that being said, your reviews on goodreads are far more detailed than mine here on the blog; usually they range from 450 – 700 words and that’s including quotes and summaries! Which makes me wonder, how long are those reviews in your review file before they are shortened for goodreads? It sounds like a very good resource to put together in understanding the ins and outs of storytelling / construction:-)

      Liked by 1 person

      • The notes for some of the books are quite long indeed — several pages for those that I especially liked or especially disliked. I try to examine and write down not just what I enjoyed or didn’t, but the aspects of the writing that affect my enjoyment. Mostly there are a lot of notes on things to avoid — it seems much easier to notice things that aren’t working in a story, because they keep pulling me out of the story and thinking, “But that doesn’t make any sense!” or “Ugh, how annoying!” or “Blech, when is this boring part going to be over?” When a story is working well, I just keep reading and enjoying, and forget to stop and *notice* what’s working and why. But for stories I really enjoy, I try to write down aspects of the characters and especially of the world building, magic system, settings, etc. And how the plot worked, too — especially pacing, and how I felt about the ending, and whether it seemed to make sense of all the previous parts or not. I’m trying to get better at story analysis, and put into practice some of what I’ve read in craft books and read online (I recommend the Mythcreants blog for that, and especially their podcasts). Anyway, point being that I end up with tons of ideas on any given story, and somehow I find it impossible to just write a short review. I literally don’t seem to be able to do it, no matter how hard I try — not and actually convey any meaningful information. You manage to write very nice medium-sized reviews, that give me a good idea of the tone of the story and what you liked and disliked without getting so epic as mine. I’m working my way up (er, down?) to that!

        Liked by 1 person

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