Most of the new books I review come from Netgalley, with the occasional one from the publisher or author. I’ve also realised, from reading other book blogs, how differently we all use Netgalley. So I thought this would be a good way to write about what I’m reading, and about my reviewing process.
There are currently 23 books on my shelf. That’s high for me but I think it’s due to the run-up to Christmas. I feel like I’ve had more promotional emails and invitations to read than usual.
I’m always intrigued by how others manage their Netgalley shelves and know that many people go significantly higher. I have seen some bloggers admit to having hundreds of books on their shelf.
One thing I like about Netgalley is the impersonal nature of it. When you deal directly with a publisher (and even more so with an author) you can feel obliged to post the review by a certain date. I also used to put pressure on myself if I had too many books stacked up which resulted in a period of reader’s and reviewer’s block. (This led me to write about the merits of reading less.) These days I just read what I want, when I want.
Looking forward to
I don’t read a lot of speculative fiction but The Power by Naomi Alderman is getting positive reviews so I may read it next. I loved the early novels by Helen Dunmore (particularly Talking to the Dead) but lost interest more recently so I’m curious to see how I get on with Exposure, a story of Cold War secrets and spies. Kill the Next One by Federico Axat is an unusual thriller with a strong premise.
Point of No Return by Martha Gellhorn. I’ve read Gellhorn’s journalism before but this is a reissued novel, about a Jewish-American soldier’s experiences in Europe in World War Two. It sounds harrowing and I probably wouldn’t have chosen it myself but I was invited by the publisher so will give it a go.
Older than 3 months
The shelf of shame! This new feature on Netgalley has certainly focused my mind. Three months can pass really quickly. If a book is on that shelf it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve lost interest, I may just be waiting for the right mood to read it.
There are four on mine. I’m actually reading one now – Hope Jahren’s memoir Lab Girl. I’m loving it so far and will review it when I’ve finished.