I think 2023 was a year to forget for me. The good news is that I have recently had some improvement in both my wrists and my neck/shoulders, and I am generally feeling more positive about doing things. The decision I made, thanks to the wonderful support from the organisers of the Mynt Image Craft Fairs, to carry on with my pre-booked events, kept me going, gave me a social life, and also gave me hope. Thank you to everybody I met through them this year. Your help has been incredible.

Insecure Writers Support Group badge

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post, in which we share our successes and failures as writers, our insecurities, in fact. Anyone can join in, just sign up at the IWSG Sign-up page, write a blog post on the first Wednesday of the month, and go back to that sign up page to link with everyone else–or a goodly sample. Our host is Alex J Cavanaugh, and cohosting this month are:

 C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray!

Question of the month

Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

December 2023 IWSG

Since you can read as many book reviews as you like on here (I think there are over six hundred now. Search–in the footer RHS–for the book review category or just on a name/title), I think it’s fair to say that I write what I thought of the book, as a reader, with some comments on the writing if I feel it helps. I do bear in mind that the author might read it. The more likely I think that is, the more I might skim over style issues. But I nearly always comment about bad editing. I mean–people who haven’t done a decent job on their book are not making it easy for me to read it. And I think it only fair to warn other readers. Although if I’m feeling nice about the book, I do try to give an indication that it may have been cleaned up, by saying when I think I downloaded it!

And I have learned to read the reviews of my books remembering that this is a reader’s opinion, and they may not like what I’ve written. Sometimes they say why, and that can be very useful in improving my own writing. Mostly they say nice things, though 🙂

My Year in Books (a fun thing)

I decided to include this in my IWSG post this year to encourage more people to do it. Just copy the categories and add appropriate titles of books you’ve read this year. It’s supposed to be funny, or at least slightly amusing. I link them to my reviews on this blog. All thanks are due to the Bookshelf Gargoyle, who isn’t blogging any more, but gave me some easy blog content for when my brain is fried. 

My 2023 Year in Books

So far, I would describe this year as being: Half Life

I’m tipping that the next big thing in Reality TV shows will be: Kiss of the Spiderwoman

I could have cried when: Choosing Crumble

I would love to have some respite from: Fractions of Existence

The most unexpected thing that happened this year involved: A Coastal Corpse

My non-bookish friends would say I: Stand on Zanzibar

My motto for 2024 will be: The Last Remains

I am most looking forward to: Magic at Midnight

A recurring dream I’ve had this year features: Death at the Asylum

If you looked under my couch you would see: The Wife, The Mistress, and the Guinea Pig…

If I could no longer blog, I would probably pursue a career in: The Art of Spirit Capture

Something most people don’t know about me is: She’s a Killer

A Year to Forget plus some fun #IWSG
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15 thoughts on “A Year to Forget plus some fun #IWSG

  • 6 December, 2023 at 8:55 am
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    So glad to hear that there is some improvement healthwise and that your spirits are definitely up! it’s so good to hear that people out there are will to help you at the craft fairs. Let’s hope this improvement continues.
    As to your reading list it is most impressive 💜
    .

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  • 6 December, 2023 at 10:25 am
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    Saying hi again, and glad your health problems are improving. Impressive reading list, including that guinea pig under the couch.
    Relatively new to reviewing, though not to assessing written work, I overreacted to dissatisfaction with a four star review. Socially, this was a bad move. Low ebb, probably, like so many of us in the pandemic.

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  • 6 December, 2023 at 12:15 pm
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    So glad you’re feeling better health-wise. That’s great that you were able to go to the events you scheduled and enjoyed them. I don’t write long reviews like you and only review books I enjoy.

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  • 6 December, 2023 at 2:11 pm
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    Such good news, Jackie. It made me happy to read it! As for writing reviews, I do critique the author but also give praise. Essentially, I write a review for readers to help them decide if they want to read the book. A tightrope! I can see this is how you do it, too!!

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  • 6 December, 2023 at 6:21 pm
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    So glad things are going better, health-wise! Also that the Mynt Image folks stepped up so you could keep doing the craft fairs, which seem like such a great thing (I really really would like to find something similar, but haven’t done so well with my searches).

    On the whole, I do reviews like you do, though I skip the whole star thing.

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  • 6 December, 2023 at 8:31 pm
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    I am glad you’re feeling better, Jemima. I hate doing anything when I’m not at least 90%

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  • 7 December, 2023 at 5:22 pm
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    I hope things are going better for you every day. Good way to wrap up your year of books.

    May joy, peace, and goodwill be with you this season and always.

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Speculative Fiction & Reference Author and Co-host of the April Blogging #AtoZchallenge

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  • 8 December, 2023 at 12:13 am
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    Love your “My Year in Books” section. It made me smile. Perhaps I should write such a post too. I guess the more ridiculous the questions, the better.

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  • 8 December, 2023 at 1:04 pm
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    Hi Jemima – so pleased things are improving health-wise – then, of course, books – always solace giving … I got The Wife, the Mistress and the Guinea Pig – need to read the stories though … but sounds fascinating. Take care and here’s more improvement in 2024 – cheers Hilary

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  • 9 December, 2023 at 5:13 am
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    Thank you, Jemima, for the inspiration, just in time for 2024. What a lovely way to highlight the year’s reading! I often feel guilty that I don’t track what I read and/or review. Like you, I tend to only write positive reviews and focus more on the story, though my reviews tend to be shorter. Also like you, November brought surgery and a very nasty cold I’m just recovering from, which led me to feel humble and grateful at the same moment for what has been ’til now, pretty darn healthy. I’m hoping 2024 brings you more writing, more good books to read, and a return of stamina and good health. Best, Beth

    Reply

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