Bookish Chat About: Recent Reading

This time last week I was fed up.

This time last week I felt anxious.

This time last week I’d had enough of Twitter pedants and other people’s opinions.

So I took my football and I went home.  I wasn’t playing anymore.

I decided to take a week away from Twitter, Instagram and the blog.  I removed my normal Thursday and Sunday posts from my schedule and took the pressure off myself.  In the main I love being on Twitter, getting involved in the chats and randomly tweeting the nonsense that regularly rolls around my brain and has nowhere else to go but out into the Twitterverse.  I enjoy posting my daily bookish Instagram picture and scrolling through beautiful images of everyone else’s books.  And obviously I enjoy writing my reviews and blogging about all things bookish.

HOWEVER – The downside of a growing follower count is that you encounter far more opinions, and just recently I have come up against, ‘mansplaining’, forceful opinions and pendantry.  I was even picked up on tweeting that I was going to have a cup of chai tea……several people ‘helpfully’ pointed out that I ‘couldn’t’ say that because ‘chai’ means tea so I was essentially saying ‘tea tea’………ok, thanks for that, I really DON’T CARE.

Don’t even get me started on the straw that broke the camels back……the dreaded tweet about using double spaces after a full stop……despite telling people I REALLY DIDN’T CARE what was right or wrong and that I was just messing about, and also telling people explicitly NOT to reply anymore and tell me their opinion….PEOPLE STILL DID!!

Now I know that sounds like a small pathetic issue to get narked about and maybe I was hormonal (definitely was) but I was dreading my phone lighting up with another notification. It wasn’t one big event that prompted the break, it was one little niggle after another, after another, after another…..

I had essentially burnt myself out. Being on social media was no fun anymore.  I had had enough of the sound of my own voice on there, and definitely had had enough of other people’s voices!

Anyway, I’m making this introduction much longer than it needs to be!

In short, I’M BACK!

So I’m taking the time today to just give you a little update on my reading over the past week.  What I’ve finished, what I’ve started, how I’m getting on with the infamous ‘Ducks’…..

On the Sunday I threw my toys out of the pram and did one, I spent all day reading How It Was by Janet Ellis. I gobbled up all 433 pages of it and LOVED it.  My review will be up very very soon. I’ve not read a whole book in one day for a while but it was a rainy dullsville Sunday and it felt like a real treat.

Also over the week I finished my ‘bus book’ which was The Collector by John Fowles. I picked up a secondhand copy of this from Scriveners Bookshop and I’d heard good things.


Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, art student Miranda. Coming into unexpected money, he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time.

Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to understand her captor if she is to gain her freedom…

I really enjoyed the first half of the book, told from Frederick’s perspective, however when the narrative switched to Miranda’s perspective I lost interest a little to be honest. I still enjoyed it as a whole and I’m glad I have now read it. Have any of you read it? What are your thoughts?

I also started a non-fiction book called Head Shot by Victoria Nixon published by Unbound. This is Victoria’s memoir about the 60’s and 70’s when she became a fashion model and the sometimes glamorous but often  darker side of the fashion industry.  This has been such a satisfying read in terms of my inherently nosy nature.  There are many famous names mentioned in this book and I loved finding out about the people behind the big names.  Victoria has a very self deprecating sense of humour and being a northerner like myself I found myself drawn to her no nonsense personality.  I’m nearing the end of this one and will be reviewing it over the next few weeks.

I have also started Burning Bright by Helen Dunmore, mainly because I wanted to read a book of my own and not a proof that I would feel under pressure to review.


Nadine, a sixteen-year-old runaway new to London, is set up in a decaying Georgian house by her Finnish lover, Kai. Slowly, she begins to suspect that Kai’s plans for her have little to do with love. ‘Be Careful,’ warns Enid, the elderly sitting tenant in the house, who knows all about survival and secrets. And when Nadine discovers Kai’s true intentions, Enid’s warning takes on a terrible and prophetic quality.

I have recently been working my way through Helen Dunmore’s short story collection Girl, Balancing and have thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’m nearing the end of it now and I find myself slowing down so that I can savour the last couple of stoires.  I’ve read a few of Helen Dunmore’s novels and whilst I very much enjoy her writing style, I have found some of her books hit and miss.  My least favourite being A Spell Of Winter.  I’m not very far into Burning Bright but it has started strong and I have a good feeling. I’ll let you know!

I can’t do this update post without letting you know how I’m getting on with Ducks Newburyport by Lucy Ellman. I have seen quite a few of you have finished this weighty behemoth and I’m here scratching my head in wonder! I am only around 130 pages in and I find I can only read around 10 or so pages in one sitting.  The writing style batters my head! There are lots of flashes of pure genius in this book but when I am away from it I don’t get the strong desire to pick it back up again.  I will of course carry on with it and let you know my thoughts when I’m finished (probably sometime in 2025).

I think that concludes my reading week!  I’m happy to be back and I’m feeling refreshed and rejuvinated.  Thank you for bearing with me and thank you to anyone who sent me a tweet or message of support when I threw a strop and flounced off (I didn’t).  You are (mostly) supportive lovely people!

See you soon.

Ps. I don’t care how many spaces you choose to use after a full stop. PLEASE IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DO NOT WRITE ANYTHING ABOUT THIS IN THE COMMENTS OR I MAY IMPLODE!!!!

I’m off for a Chai tea. Love you.

Amanda – Bookish Chat xx





15 thoughts on “Bookish Chat About: Recent Reading

  1. Another enjoyable post! Loved this. Glad you came back.
    Your sense of humour always makes me smile.
    Keep going! You’re a one off and your posts are always interesting. What’s clear is your absolute love of books and you have a unique non formulaic way of posting about them. Ignore the silly beggars who have nothing better to do other than criticise. Poor them! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In all honesty in my humble opinion, if I just took Ducks away with me I would be climbing the walls! I can only do short bursts!


  2. Welcome back I sincerely hope you chai tea is lovely and yes chai does mean tea but isn’t it a different tea I would say it the same way you do so who knows lol. Glad you have had a nice week off and managed to read a couple of books. Have a lovely Sunday


  3. Welcome back- missed you! Just remember the pedants will always be pedantic due to their sad soulless, joyless lives. We have books, we have laughs, we have fun!! (We also have the joy of acerbic putdowns…😉) xxx


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