I’ve always liked reading. When I was still in primary school I spent hours in the local library waiting for the ‘right’ book to appear. In the early 1960s it was usually an Enid Blyton adventure. I think I must have read them all – the Famous Five, the Secret Seven, the Five Find-outers, the Adventure series. My nose was nearly always stuck in a book and there must have a 2 or 3 years where these were the only type of books I read.
When I had grown up a bit I think I progressed to whodunnits (usually Agatha Christie novels) and I also went through a Jane Duncan phase (the My Friends series of books).
There was then a change of genre in my early teens. I discovered the historical romances/bodice rippers of Victoria Holt and other romantic writers and in my later teens I loved the occult thrillers of Denis Wheatley.
Oddly enough I never really got to grips with the classic authors such as Jane Austen, the Brontes, and Charles Dickens etc. I think I associated their books with thin paper and very small print. I have since read quite a few ‘classics’ thanks to e-readers and discovered some of them were hugely entertaining.
Nowadays I will read just about anything that takes my fancy. I often download ‘free’ books for Kindle. These are often self-published and sometimes you find hidden gems that you wouldn’t necessarily have picked up and bought in a bookshop. At the moment I’m enjoying books that entertain. I’m not looking for books that require a lot of thought or are difficult to read.
So why am I starting a blog?
Well I sometimes get to read books as a member of a magazine readers panel. Up until recently they would send me an email and questionnaire and from my answers would send me a paperback that I had to read with a specified timescale and then tell them my opinion.
The last book trial was an e-book and to access it I had to join Net Galley. A few days after I had downloaded the trial book, I was offered another one to read and I downloaded that too. It was a book called Come Dancing by Leslie Wells. Once you’ve read a book you rate it and/or write a short review.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I found Come Dancing very entertaining, well written and easy to read. It is set in Manhattan in the early 1980s. Julia, one of the main characters, has recently arrived to start her career in publishing. She finds is more difficult to really get her career going than she hoped; she’s had her heart broken in the past; she goes dancing with her girlfriend; meets a famous rock musician; and experiences the ups and downs, highs and lows of that relationship.
The main characters are all pretty likable: I could ‘fancy’ Jack, despite him being a bit of a rogue; Julia values her independence and has ambitions. She has some issues with her mother Dot but for all that I think I would quite like her to be my friend. And Dot…. what can I say … she’s quite outspoken, simply tells it like it is, and she certainly made me laugh.
I found it very easy to engage with the story and with the characters. It was fairly light, funny, a little bit sad in places but all is resolved in the end. A typical romance. It’s an entertaining book rather than a thought provoking one but sometimes you just need something to entertain. It is well written which makes it easy to read and the dialogue is believable (as opposed to stilted).
So really this blog will allow me to review some of the books I read. At the same time I’m hoping that with practice, my writing skills will improve.