In the Middle of a Heatwave

I’m not sure I can describe what I’m in as a blogging slump when I’ve just finished my 13th review for Shiny and have three more to write over the course of the week. But I’m certainly on my way to being all reviewed out. I’d like to say that I don’t know how I ended up with so many reviews to write, but of course I do. It’s too easy to say yes here and yes there, and over the course of three months, those yeses really build up. And this time around I’ve read quite a few books that were very good but for which I wasn’t exactly the right audience, perhaps. It’s funny how hard it is to tell, even after all these years of intensive reading, which books will fall in the sweet spot. It’s part of the fun of reading, the not knowing, but you can fall foul of it too.

Anyway, I’ve decided to take a break from reviewing on this blog. I’ll still keep talking about books – what else is there to talk about? – but there must be other ways to talk about them. I’ve signed up to write some longer literary pieces for another online journal, Numéro Cinq, and I’m looking forward to that. It’ll be a chance to get arty and complex in a way I haven’t done for a while (I’m wondering if I still know how to, we’ll have to see how it goes). But that’s going to be a big call on my time as well. I’m very conscious, too, that I haven’t left as many comments with my virtual friends as I ought to have done lately. I’ve been reading all your brilliant posts but really, I’m running low on words about books. Or maybe just running low on words.

I know blogging ebbs and flows, and that the best thing to do is go with it. I’ll certainly continue to turn up here at least once a week with some sort of dispatch from the reading life, and I can assure you that the Summer edition of Shiny New Books, out on the 9th July, is going to be fab.


32 thoughts on “In the Middle of a Heatwave

  1. I know what you mean about being ‘all reviewed out’. Look forward to following you on Shiny and Numero Cinq, or in whichever incarnation you choose to delight us.

  2. I sympathise – I only had a couple of commitments for SNB but I had to fight to find the time, and despite having reviews scheduled ahead for my own blog, I still have a pile of unreviewed books. Reading as fast as I do doesn’t help. Whatever you decide to do, I shall be interested to read what you write!

    • That makes me feel a lot better! You should see my pile of unreviewed books…. ah well, I guess that’s what winter’s for. And thank you for the lovely comment.

  3. “I’ll still keep talking about books – what else is there to talk about?”

    I do hope that’s a tongue-in-cheek comment as I can think of dozens of things! 🙂

  4. I’m not familiar with Numéro Cinq, but trying something different sounds like a good move for you right now. (It could be a good way to re-energise?) Wishing you all the best, Victoria. Like Karen, I’ll be interested to read your pieces.

  5. Well, highs and lows, that’s pretty normal for a long-term blogger like you. It’s not as if you stopped writing! So we won’t stop reading you either, wherever you choose to write. Looking forward to discover Numéro Cinq (is this a Chanel thing?)

    • You’ve been blogging almost as long as I have – so you know what it’s like! Love the comment about Chanel – will have to pass that on to the editor!!

  6. Lord, I know what this feels like! It’ll be great to read your musings on wider literary topics, too, of course, and blogging does come in seasons, I find–I’m in a slow spot as well, at the moment. (Perhaps the heatwave doesn’t help.) Here’s to a manageable reading and writing summer 🙂

    • Thank you, Elle! It is such an encouragement to find I’m not alone in being – also – heatwaved out… 🙂 Blogging does come in seasons, that is so true.

  7. To be honest, I don’t know how you and some of my other blog friends have managed to write so many posts and keep them so consistently good. Personally, I think you have a lot of words and you use them well. But, I do read Shiny all the time so I’ll be sure to catch your reviews. It is where I go first to decide what to read next. As a matter of fact, it dawned on me where I caught the bug to read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It was a review on Shiny New Books, so tons of thanks. And to think I could have missed what has become one of my all time favorites. But I’ll be checking in here at least once a week as well. Well done, Litlove (as always)

    • Grad, since I read your review of Jonathan Strange, I’ve been wondering if I can find a moment to pick that novel up. I’ve owned a hardback copy from an amazon sale way back when it was first out! But your review really made me want to move it into the front row. Bless you for visiting Shiny, and for being one of my dear blogging friends.

  8. Oh those yeses do pile up without you realizing it, don’t they? From your title I thought you were going to complain about the actual heat wave that made the news here. I’ve been struggling some weeks to keep up the ol’ blog too, so totally understand. Be sure to take some time for yourself too!

    • I am in awe of the fact you still blog almost daily! But oh yes, the yesses and the heatwave and all the rest of it just make those things a bit harder. I’ll be back here in full strength soon, I’m sure. And glad to read your posts while I’m away!

  9. This is a good time of year to take a pause in blogging, as people are on vacation and not necessarily making their normal rounds. Also I notice a trend towards reviews of “lighter” books, which I tend to like less well than those of more difficult and interesting books. So have a guilt-free pause and come back to us when you feel the impulse again.

  10. That’s quite something–all those reviews–no wonder you need a little break from it all and a chance to talk/write about something else. All those new books ‘sound’ so good at first, but you really never know what you are in store for–which is why reviewing can be hard–you want to love everything but you know how that goes! I think that is why I have so many books in progress—I keep looking for that perfect story–lots are good, but…. I want the one that is amazing! You are having a heat wave and here it is strangely cool–usually for the Fourth it is so hot and humid I just want to sit close to the air conditioner. Even with a light sweater on I am on the coolish side. We seem to have swapped weather. And I seem to be ebbing in a big way when it comes to blogging–it has even been super quiet with foot traffic, which makes me wonder if that is a sign? Have a restful weekend–and hopefully you can read something really good you don’t have to review! 😉

    • It does always get quieter at this time of year – I always notice it, too. And that’s it exactly – so many books might be The One and lots are really great, but every so often you hit a wave of ones that don’t quite suit. I do want to love everything, and I love…most of it! 🙂 You are welcome to our hot weather. I’d be happy to parcel it up and send it to you! Still, we’re live with SNB today and I do now have some time ahead for reading whatever I like… bliss!

  11. Although in some ways this may sound disappointing it looks like a realignment of outlets for your talents in blogging and booking. I note that taking on Numéro Cinq (have checked it is not in French, read interesting article on Austen, Tyler, Haddon) will be a rediversification, but probably not a diminshment in workload, so I hope variety will maintain the spice of life. In essence then this break will be no break at all. I wonder at how you maintain the pace you do and keep if all fresh and interesting, anyway. Looking forward to whatever appears, but, at least, be careful to put the snuffer on one of the two ends of the candle from time to time!

    • Well, you are quite right as always! It IS going to be a pretty busy summer, and a redistribution is not at all the same thing as a reduction. But the change of perspective is interesting for me and I’m looking forward to writing some different articles (well, I say that now! we’ll see how I feel in the middle of them…). You’re quite right that I need to keep an eye on the rest periods, and make sure they turn up regularly. I’m watching Wimbledon while typing this! 🙂

  12. So many reviews! I’d be all reviewed out also! And that’s fine — you have other projects, and we totally get that. And we have all that Shiny New loveliness to look forward to later in the month. 🙂

    My yeses are feeling exceptionally pile-y this week — I’m meant to do 1500 words on Sodom & Gomorrah, and also write a review and set up an interview for Shiny laaater, and also ack it is nearly Shirley Jackson Week and I have to be ready for that by reading Hangsaman and also I am meant to do like at least 2000 words on this thing I am writing for my aunt, plus my friend and I are meant to read a enormous chunk of Ada or Ardor which is SO LONG aaaaa I am so excited about each of these things individually but all together they are making me feel a TRIFLE ANXIOUS.

    • Jenny, ma cherie, that is a HUGE workload. I am so hoping to be able to join in on Shirley Jackson week, which will be fab, and I’ll certainly be following along with what you do. I hope you have plenty of cake and coffee and all good things to keep you going while you are writing. Hugs!

  13. 13 books! Gosh, I don’t blame you for being reviewed out. I can’t wait for Shiny #9, it’ll be another gooden for sure.

    It’s funny how some books, which are fine, just don’t work for us. I’ve had that problem with reviews before. Nothing wrong with the book, but I’ve not enjoyed it at all.

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