I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad). The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.
Hi there followers and other interested parties,
my name is Sarah and I am here because I love books. I visit my local library two or three times a week to borrow/return, buy at the used book sale, or donate my old books (mostly books I bought from the library that I no longer want) back to the library. I always have a physical pile (sometimes more than one) of books waiting to be read on my bedside table or on the actual bed (I move that pile when it becomes too large to allow my dog to sleep on the bed next to me). I read almost all genres, except self-help and graphic novels. I read a LOT (compared to those around me IRL) of books and really enjoy writing reviews of everything I read. I will always choose physical books over e-books. I actually have over 1600 books on my kindle for laptop software, but I have only read about 10 of them due to them being 'out of sight, out of mind', I just forget I've got them. Also, I've come across some stinkers in the few I have read and that's given me the (hopefully) false impression that that's what I'm likely to get with most of the e-books on there.
Primarily, my reviews are written for my future self to read when I've forgotten what the book was about (when you read a lot of books, it happens). My secondary audience are my friends, people who read the same kind of books and write the same kind of reviews as I do. I DO NOT write reviews for AUTHORS, as a general rule. Unless specifically asked beforehand, authors should not consider my reading of their book as a beta reader or editing service. I will happily beta read your book, but that's a process completed BEFORE the book is published. If it has been published it should already be an example of your best work, not a half-assed draft that's never seen a red pen. As my reviews are not written for authors, I do not take their feelings into consideration when writing a review. If you (authors) get upset feelings over something I wrote in my review you need to suck those hurt feeling up and put all the energy and emotion into making your book better, instead of attacking me for pointing out the mistakes (grammar, punctuation, logic, etc.) YOU made in YOUR BOOK. If they weren't there I couldn't point them out, could I? Also, no amount of attacking is ever going to make me change my mind, in fact I'm more likely to get more stubborn and update my review with captions from your rants. So, if you don't want your idiotic rants published for all the world to see, you shouldn't publish them in my comments.
I live in Melbourne, Australia with my parents two dogs, a cat, two granddads, an uncle and a cousin and their dog. The family has four large blocks, two side-by-side at one end and two more at the other end. Imagine an L that's a mirror image of the letter (the short line faces towards the left, instead of the right). My parents and I and our dogs and cat live on one side of the short line of the L, my mum's father lives on the other side of the short line in a granny flat. There's no fence dividing these two blocks. My father's father lives on one side of the long line of the L, my father's brother and his son and their dog live on the other side of the long line of the L. There's no fence dividing those two blocks either, but there is one that divides the properties of the short line from the ones of the long line. The short line properties come out in a different street than the long line properties, around the corner.
My parents and I have lived here for 17 years, grandad next door for three years, my uncle is living in the first house he lived in after leaving his parent's house next door, and grandad down the back has lived in that house since he (personally, himself, with his own two hands) built the house in the fifties. My parents and I are slowly renovating our house to update and personalise it from the exact copy of the show home that it used to be. So far we've completely redone my/the family bathroom; the dining room is now a library with built-in bookshelves and a writing desk; the library/lounge room is open plan so we've done the carpet in the lounge room and changed the furniture, still got the fireplace, curtains and some painting to do; the kitchen has been completely redone with new appliances, new cupboards, new stone bench tops, but we still have some painting to do; and we've just finished the office (my dad and I painted that ourselves, which is what's prompted the desire for repainting in the rest of the house, which we had previously thought was already done to our satisfaction). Mum's ensuite bathroom will be done in a couple of months and we have immediate plans for the wood fire in the lounge as it's making horrible engine revving noises. We also have plans for the rumpus room, but that'll be a big job so we're going to do it bit by bit.
IRL I am a bit of a loner. I have a close group of five friends who mostly accept me for who I am (we've known each other since high school in 97/98), but they don't really know me. I am very close to my parents (mum especially), in fact I don't think I could physically (or emotionally) move out, and thankfully they accept that and continue to make me feel (mostly) welcome, despite the fact that 10 years ago they would have thought I'd be long gone by now, but once again they don't truly know me. You guys here don't know me either (sorry to say), because I hide certain parts of myself from everyone I know. From my real life friends I hide some of my reading habits (when I first joined GR they were all giving me funny looks because I had the 'synch with facebook' box ticked and they finally saw the number of romance books I read, I've turned that off and try to ignore the looks they continue to give me whenever we see each other). I hide a lot of the same reading habits from my parents (they don't need to know what goes on in some of the Lora Leigh books I've read or the fact that I've read the full FSoG trilogy and written about it). I also squash down a lot of my negative feelings towards both groups, my negative comments that I make in my head but never out loud. There doesn't seem to be any point, especially with my mum, she gets upset with me and herself when I tell her that something she does annoys and frustrates me and it doesn't even resolve my own annoyance. So what's the point of upsetting her, when it doesn't even make me feel better, in fact it makes me feel worse because then I feel guilty for upsetting her. It's better for everyone if I just keep my mouth shut. With you guys it's kind of the same situation, I find it easier not to make a controversial comment, to just stay quiet and let the furore (not too many furores here, but you know what I mean) die down. When I see a post with a comment thread with a lot of people disagreeing I read everything that's being said and then keep on going to the next post (hopefully a review). I don't have particularly sensitive feelings (especially over the internet where I don't have to look anyone in the eye or see their expressions, possibly of disgust or astonishment), but I don't like upsetting other people (friends, not talking about random authors). I don't like the idea that I've said something that's been misconstrued and I don't know what to say to make the person understand what I really meant. IRL I often get frustrated because I can't say what I want to say without offending someone, I can't put into words what I'm thinking or feeling because it always comes out wrong (Sheldon Cooper comes to mind). I'm better at expressing myself when I've got a delete button and don't have to worry about being distracted by eye contact (I was once told that people feel that if you look them in the eye, it means you're truly listening, and I follow that advice to the letter, so much so that I often concentrate so hard on the eye contact that I can't listen to the words at the same time, but if I don't force myself to do it my eyes immediately wander around the room or the other person - looking at their hair, hands as they gesticulate, etc.) or seeing their facial expressions while I'm telling them something they don't want to hear. But at the same time they can't see my facial expression or tell what tone I'm using and so offensiveness is still a possibility, but it's never a goal. In fact, if something I say is offensive please tell me and believe me when I say that no matter what it is I didn't mean it offensively. Even with a delete button sometimes the things I say come out wrong, they sound fine to me, but others read/hear it and think "god, she's rude/horrible/a bitch/or something worse".
Well, that's a ramble and a half, and if you're still here you'll be a friend for life. That's another thing you should know about me, I'm brutally honest, especially in print where I can express myself more clearly than I can while speaking. You know when I was talking about squashing down the negative commentary that runs through my head when around friends and family? That's the kind of negative comments I mean. "Do I look fat in this?" "No, not at all *yes, you really do, plus that pattern makes you look like grandma's couch*." "Do you like my hair?" "Yes, I love the way you're allowing it to go white naturally *you looked so much younger with it dark, you shouldn't have changed it*." But people don't want to hear my honest thoughts, they mostly just want me to agree with what they think. Unfortunately I seem to be blind to a lot of body language and have no idea what answer they want me to give, so just answer honestly and then they get upset. Here is a perfect example: about 15 years ago my mum and I went shopping. She would always have me come into the change room with her so I could see what the outfit looked like without her having to come out and possibly showing other shoppers an unflattering outfit. She was trying on a straight skirt that nearly reached her ankles and had a polyester/nylon type button down blouse on. She pulled the blouse out from the waist of the skirt so that it hung down over the waist band. From her armpits to her lower shins she was all one width, her widest width. She asked me how the skirt looked and I unthinkingly told her the truth, that she looked like a square up and down building. She has never forgotten that comment and will never let me forget it either, she brings it up every so often when we're clothes shopping. I have since asked her if she would've rathered I'd told her she looked great, even though she didn't. She, of course, says no she would rather know the truth, but despite this reassurance she continues to guilt trip me about that one comment. I seem strangely unable to read facial expressions, other than the most basic - happy, sad, angry. I mean I couldn't tell you if a face is looking guilty or recreate a guilty look on my own face, so that blindness makes conversations a bit difficult at times (especially with people I don't know very well).
I'm still rambling aren't I? Sorry about that, I'll stop now, especially since I've been writing for over an hour. If any of that's unclear feel free to ask me anything, I won't be offended or annoyed. If I don't want to answer I'll just tell you so, but remember that brutal honesty, so you've got a pretty good chance that I will answer.
Hope you have a great day, whatever day you read this on, Sarah.