I'm delighted to welcome popular blogger Linda Hill to my Monday Meet the Blogger spot. Linda blogs at www.lindasbookbag.com and is winner of the Best Book Review Blog Award 2016. Congratulations, Linda!
Welcome, Linda. Thank you for agreeing to guest on my blog, Linda. Your blog looks amazing, you certainly review a wide range of books. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired your love of reading?
Hi Karen. Thanks so much for having me. I'm a middle aged ex-English teacher, turned inspector and consultant, who is self -retired so that, whilst I don't work any more, I don't get my pension yet!I have very poor sight so I was a late reader and when I finally got glasses and learnt to read I discovered a magical world of adventure opened up and I've been hooked ever since. I used to spend a week with my Aunt and Uncle in the summer holidays and they lived in a town with a library (as opposed to a village with just a telephone box where I normally resided). My Aunt used to take me to the library and I had my own card so I would take out Worzel Gummidge books, Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl and devour several books a day. This developed a love of reading for me.
I enjoy all kinds of books (except horror, sci-fi and dystopian fiction that I'm less keen on) but I suppose my favourite genre would be literary fiction. I also particularly love a psychological thriller and women's fiction. However, I find I like to read different genres depending on what mood I'm in.
What is your favourite book of all time?
I have so many but when I'm asked this I always come back to Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, because that was the book that marked the transition from taught fiction or children's books into reading more challenging material independently. I loved everything about it (except Angel Clare - but I enjoyed hating him!)
How many books, on average, do you read a month?
Last year was unusually quiet for me in terms of reading as life was a bit fraught but I actually 119. Normally I'll read around 12-15 a month.
Have you ever sat up all night because you were desperate to finish reading a book? If yes, what book was it?
Not all night, but I did stay up until 2.30 to finish Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. I just couldn't stop until I'd read the last word. Given that I was working as an Educational Consultant and had to be in a school to run training at 8 the next morning that felt pretty late.
That book is on my 'to read' list.
Do you ever cheat and skip to the end of a book?
Never. And I even slide post-its into the final page over the last paragraph sometimes to make sure I can't accidentally read the last few words by mistake.
What sort of plots do you dislike reading?
Oh - tricky question. I don't like those that are too obviously signposted in any genre, but a plot that doesn't appeal on one day may become a book I can't put down on another day, depending on my mood. I'm not keen on those containing too much graphic violence. I prefer to use my imagination.
What sort of things would you like to see in a novel?
Again it depends on the genre. I really enjoy those with a definite sense of place as I love to travel both really and vicariously. I always enjoy books with an emotional hook more than those without too.
What is the most unusual place you’ve ever read a book?
Probably in Antarctica.
Really? Wow! I'd love to know more about that trip.
What author would you most like to have a cup of coffee with? Why?
No - one as I don't drink coffee! Tea, however, is a different matter. I'd like to drink tea with Thomas Hardy to challenge him about Angel Clare and make him defend Angel's treatment of Tess. I'd also love to meet the poet John Donne because I love the imagery he uses and The Flea is my favourite poem. I've been lucky to meet so many authors since I began blogging (though more often it's with a glass of prosecco than a hot beverage!), but I'd still like a face to face chat with Lindsay Hawdon as I so loved her book Jakob's Colours and she was kind enough to be interviewed for my first blog anniversary last year (https://lindasbookbag.com/2016/02/07/first-anniversary-interview-with-lindsay-hawdon/)
Do you have any other hobbies?
Travel is the main one. I'm always planning where to go next and like to have a trip to look forward to. My husband and I have started out a long way from home and are gradually working in as we get older. We've been to Antarctica, the Galapagos and Australia, for example and our next two trips are to Lapland and Uganda (where we will be trekking in the hope of seeing gorillas in the wild).
I'm a really keen gardener too and have an allotment. I also lead a gardening group for my local U3A (University of the Third Age), but that's more because I'm the youngest in the group and nothing to do with ability or gardening knowledge!
Do you write? If so, what sort of things do you write. If not, would you like to be an author?
Hmm. I've 26000 words of - something - written. It's not light enough for Chicklit and not literary enough for contemporary fiction. I do have 18 or so non-fiction books that I've written in published but somehow that doesn't count in my mind. I began NaNoWriMo in November 20115 and then my husband was diagnosed with cancer on 6th so I stopped and this year I didn't even get started as my father was dying so maybe in 2017 I'll complete it.
So sorry to hear this, Linda. I hope 2017 is a better year for you.
You can find Linda at:
Thanks for dropping by to talk to us, Linda. Good luck with NaNoWriMo this year!
Bring a little sunshine into your life!
Sassy, feel good romance by Karen King. Just right to cosy up with on cold winter nights. Published by Accent Press