August 25, 2012

MyPictureSome of you kind enough to check out my writing may not know me personally, so I thought it was probably about time to tell you a bit about myself.

To get started, here’s a fun fact. I have read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings right through – all 1,200+ pages – in four different languages; English, French, German and Dutch.  Normally, I don’t like to be pinned down to a favourite book, but if you really, really REALLY pressed me, I’d probably have to answer Tolkien’s masterpiece. 

My handle is Scottish Bookworm in Quebec.  Yes, I am Scottish, yes, I am a bookworm and yes, I do live in Quebec.  In order to fund my book habit I work in technical support, although I’d much rather be reading with my cat Isis curled up on my knee.  

As a youngster, I always had my nose stuck in a book.  It was hardly surprising then that I studied Modern Languages at the University of Edinburgh where I spent four years dissecting classic French and German literature.  For some time after I graduated I refused to read anything deeper than the latest issue of Cosmopolitan.  

It wasn’t until I bought my first Kindle back in early 2010 that I really began to read voraciously again.  Now, however, my book budget is a source of, um, friendly discussion shall we say between my husband and myself.  I often reread books – indeed, going back to some of my favourites is like catching up with old friends – so I like to have a copy to hand.  I used to refuse to be beaten by a book and would finish it to the end.  Now I believe life is too short to waste on a poorly written book, or even one that doesn’t engage me personally.

My preferred genre is fantasy, and I’ll read anything by George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, the usual suspects.  What I look for in a book is either a strong plot line (a la Weeks), interesting worldbuilding (Sanderson’s speciality) or fascinating characters (Tyrion anyone?), and preferably a blend of all three.  Of course if there’s humour in there too, that’s even better.  I’m put off by characters with little more depth than a playing card, uneven pacing and quick fix resolutions that have not been well set up.   

When reviewing books I try to be fair; I appreciate that not everyone will be looking for the same things in a book.  I also try to remember that the author has spent many months if not years creating this story and characters and I try to respect that, even if I find it is not appealing to me personally.  If I am ever less than respectful in a review please call me up on it.

I hope you enjoy my comments on the books I read.  I am active on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, so please feel free to look me up there.  I look forward to hearing from you.


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