The Mandatory Brief Bio, Or The Bit That Explains To Other People Why They Should Read Your Waffle.
I’m a bookseller and single-mother of mostly grown children, though I still have a couple at home and in school. As a parent I’ve had to deal with having a profoundly disabled child, as well as having children and relatives (because it’s familial) in a number of places on ‘the spectrum’. Inconveniently they seem to have largely erred towards the messy and forgetful ADHD region of it rather than the tidy and organised OCD part of it. On the other hand it was fantastic preparation for working in a bookshop: you would not believe how rife autism, aspergers and OCD are amongst booksellers. Honestly, try it out sometime. Go to a bookshop and push a book fractionally out of line and then watch as they surreptitiously-not surreptitiously swarm to the area to poke it back into place muttering about how the customers shouldn’t be allowed to touch The Books. Or ask for a recommendation and then observe the person you’re speaking to look anywhere and everywhere except in your eye as they quietly reel off a dizzying and probably alphabetical list of books that you’ve mostly never have heard of but that you should read instantly based on the colour of your trousers. Alternatively they might speak at very high speed for half an hour about the three books they love and why you won’t be allowed to leave the shop without buying them – not that you’ll need to by the time they’ve finished talking – there will be nothing you don’t know about said books down to the underwear size favourite toture device of the most incidental of characters.
I’m rambling. Again.
So, what I do here is write book reviews. Brief ones. Someone once told me they didn’t want to read a book about the book they just wanted to know if they would want to read it.
Yeah, it took me a while to decipher it too, but when I did it made no difference what-so-ever to the way I wrote reviews. I’m too lazy and don’t have the time to write long, analytical decompositions of something it took me two days to read. But it did make me feel better when I scrolled through Goodreads and saw all the lengthy, detailed and worthy reviews other people were leaving. I no longer had to feel guilty about limiting myself to words of one syllable and ripping the shit out of utterly tedious crap (yes, Phillip K Dick, I mean you).
I tend towards lightweight reading, and I write reviews to match. What you will get from me will mostly be information on readability, enjoyment, what other books my current choice is similar to or entirely disimilar to and occasional observations about aspects of the writing or content that stood out for either good or bad reasons.
As for genres I start at cosy crime & classic Golden Era British ‘tec fiction, veer through some Fantasy & Sci-Fi, dabble in Gen Fic and then go head first into Cookery, Crafts and Lifestyle books. I also read quite a lot of kids books and independent graphic novels. I rarely do Historical Fiction, unless there is another aspect to it (e.g.: Historical Crime), though it’s not unheard of and I did read all the Hornblower books. Once. I would love to read more non-fiction but no matter how interested I am in the subject it usually starts feeling like hard work by about the third page.
Apparently I’m supposed to write about some of the things I like aside from books, too. I tells you about ‘ME’, allegedly. Not sure I really want you knowing that much about me – especially if your name is Philip K Dick – but for what it’s worth I like bees, owls, trees, cooking, and driving. Make of that what you will. I also like my kids, but I’m not keen on other people’s.
I really need to get a better grip on ‘brief’.