My name is Margaret. I live in the north-east of England, not far from the border with Scotland. This blog is my personal blog, mainly about the books I’ve been reading and those I’m considering reading. Writing about the books I read helps me to remember first of all what I have read and then what I liked (or didn’t) about a book. I like to read a variety of book genres and I enjoy fiction of most types (I don’t like horror) and non-fiction, mainly history, philosophy, religion, biography, diaries and letters. I rarely read YA fiction.
Favourite authors include Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen, S J Bolton, William Brodrick, Agatha Christie, Ann Cleeves, Martin Edwards, P D James, Ian McEwan, Karen Maitland, Hilary Mantel, Iris Murdoch, Joyce Carol Oates, Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell, Carol Shields and Virginia Woolf.
But this blog is not just about books. Now and then I also write about art, pets, places I’ve visited, personal anecdotes or thoughts, cookery, walking, travels and holidays, and about crafts, such as knitting and cross-stitch – and well, anything else that interests or pleases me.
When I began this blog I intended to write something about every book I read, but I have never managed to do that and so now I don’t attempt to review or even make a few notes about every single book. Sometimes even though I may have liked a book I just don’t feel I want to write about it. My reviews are purely based on whether I enjoyed a book or not.
I occasionally accept books for review, but only if I think I’ll like the book and I cannot guarantee to review any book I am sent, even if I’ve expressed interest in it as I’d rather not review books that I’ve not enjoyed reading. My reviews reflect my opinions of the books, whether it’s a book I received free or have borrowed or purchased. I receive no payment for reviews.
When I began writing this blog I didn’t give star ratings for the books I read. I now base my ratings on the Goodreads system as follows:
- I didn’t like it or didn’t finish it – there won’t be many of these as I’m quite picky about what I read.
- It was OK – I thought it was nothing special, but not bad.
- I liked it – not at all a bad rating but generally not a book that had me rushing to finish it. Still a good, enjoyable book.
- It was very good – I really liked it and wanted to get back to it each time I had to stop reading.
- It was excellent – or as Goodreads describes it ‘it was amazing’ – often a brilliant combination of plot, characters and description with a great sense of location. I like books that make me think or introduce me to new ideas or a new way of looking at things, so these will get a 5.
And then because often books do not quite fit into one of five categories some have a .5 added to my rating.
BooksPlease is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, so if you purchase a book from a link on this site, I will receive a tiny percentage (eventually).
I welcome your comments and thoughts. Please do check back if you’ve asked a question or want to discuss something further. I try to respond within a few days. If you’d prefer a reply via email, let me know in your comment. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org