July book log

My book log for July is thin, in spite of my best intentions.

Reginald Hill — Blood Sympathy, which I didn’t review because I couldn’t quite get into it.

Masara Minase — Lies and Kisses
Yaoi manga, which I read on Monday but haven’t had the energy to review yet. Enjoyed this — lovely art and I liked the characters.

P D James — Cover Her Face
The first Adam Dalgliesh book. Current lunchtime reading. Only part way through, and finding myself disinclined to finish it. I’ve always liked it on previous reads, but it is I think my least favourite of the Dalgliesh books, in part because it *is* the first, and the character is not so well developed as he was later on in the series. I’d probably do better with it if I were reading it straight through rather than a small section each day.

You’d think I’d be reading more, since I’m now spending at least an hour a day on the bus in the course of getting to and from my place of wage slavery, but I tend to get sick if I try to read on the bus. I have scribbled odd notes for stories on my Palm, which is less of a problem because my scribbling notes tends to involve long bouts of staring out of the window, but even that is something that can lead to feeling queasy after a while. Nevertheless, I’m contemplating joining the modern world and getting an ebook reader, of which more in a later post. I might be able to manage short stories downloaded from places like Strange Horizons.

I also found myself on the mailing list of two publicity agents looking for book bloggers to review their clients’ books. The first one sent me a personalised email that made it clear up front that he wanted to offer me a free review copy, and that he had reason to think it might match my reading tastes (he was in fact off-target in this, but it was a reasonable assumption for him to make). He got a personalised reply explaining that I’m not interested in review copies right now because with the new day job I’m not in a fit state to give a review copy proper attention. He’d probably found me in the first place by putting appropriate keywords into Google, and mailmerged the book bloggers that turned up, but it was clearly a mailshot targeted at bloggers who might be interested in reviewing that specific book. If I was still getting through a book every day or two, I’d have been interested in getting the review copy even though it’s outside my usual interest range.

The second one… Well, suffice it to say that I had reported it as spam before I realised that it was an offer of a review copy. That’s because it *was* spam, being a mass mailshot of a press release for a book, with a small item way down at the bottom saying that review copies of this book were available on request. Since it was presumably offering me a free copy of a book, rather than just trying to get me to buy one, I used the unsubscribe link on the next offer instead of following my usual “nuke from orbit” policy. But really, expecting people to read a long ad for the book before mentioning that this is in order to offer them a review copy is likely to prove counterproductive when dealing with bloggers.

I did wonder if my name had been added to a list of book bloggers to spam, but there have been no further unsolicited offers of review copies, so perhaps not. All very odd.

(I should note for anyone who’s thinking of offering me a review copy of something that a) the answer is likely to be “thanks but no”, for reasons well illustrated by the first part of the post; b) I live in the UK, so there may be a postage issue for non-UK books.)


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