The NetGalley Book Tag

Hello, my name is Judith! Welcome to my blog, ReadandReview.

For this blog post, I’ve decided to to answer some questions from the NetGalley Book Tag, a tag I’ve seen on a couple of other blogs. I joined NetGalley in late 2018. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, NetGalley is an online service which is free to join, and provides users with advance reading copies to review and promote upcoming releases before they have been published.

1. Which authors do you automatically want to read, regardless of what the books are about?

A few names spring to mind:

  • C.J. Tudor. I read and enjoyed her first novel, The Chalk Man, and requested her subsequent novels: The Taking of Annie Thorne and The Other People. Unfortunately, these requests weren’t successful at the time, but I remain optimistic for future requests.
  • C.L. Taylor. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of C.L. Taylor’s work and I like every book she’s written. Her stories and writing captivate me, and I was thrilled that my request to read her latest novel, Strangers, was approved.
  • Louise Jensen. I requested, read, and reviewed her newest novel, The Family, last year and gave it 4 stars. I then read one of her other books, The Sister, and also liked that too. I am confident I will continue to enjoy the books she releases.

2. What makes you want to request a book that you see on NetGalley?

Usually, I make my requests based on a combination of considerations, including:

  • Genre: Does it contain plot elements, themes, and ideas from genres I already love?
  • Plot Description: Does it sound mysterious and intriguing? Do the characters sound interesting?
  • Author: Am I familiar with the author’s work or reputation (via Twitter or book blogs)?
  • Publisher: Am I familiar with the publishing company? Have I enjoyed books they’ve published in the past?
  • Cover: Does it look like the next best-seller?

3. Do you review every book you read? If not, how do you decide what books to review?

Yes, I do review every book I read; I post the review to NetGalley, Goodreads, Amazon, and this blog. This may sound like a daunting task to some, but I only request books I am sure I will like, and only request a few books at a time. This means I don’t get carried away with NetGalley requests and then find myself with 100 books to review!

4. What was the last book that you received as an advance reading copy (ARC) that you reviewed?

The most recent book I have read and reviewed from NetGalley is We Are Monsters by Brian Kirk.

5. What’s one book that you can’t wait to read?

I am currently working my way through a number of NetGalley reads. My most recently approved request was for The House Share by Kate Helm, which I look forward to reading!

Thank you for reading my blog post! Please click ‘Like’ to support my blog, and ‘Follow’ this blog if you would like to read more content like this, as well as plenty of book reviews.

Do you use NetGalley? If so, how would you answer these questions? 

– Judith

This post was last updated in January 2020.

2019 Wrap Up & My Goodreads Challenge

Hello, my name is Judith! Welcome to my blog, ReadandReview.

As it’s the start of a new year, I’ve decided to write some more “book blogger” content, in addition to my regular book reviews, for a bit of variety and a bit of fun. The start of a new year is also the perfect time to look back and reflect on – or “wrap up” – the books I read and reviewed in 2019, and discuss my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Hopefully, although we’re more than a week into January, this blog post is not too late!

In 2018, I challenged myself to read 80 books, which roughly works out at 1 and a half books a week. Instead, I managed to read a staggering 103! This was due in part to having a university reading list, which naturally bolstered the amount I read in my free time.

In 2019, knowing what I was capable of, but not wanting to push myself too far, I challenged myself to read 105 books. Again, having a university reading list helped, as did being a new member of NetGalley and receiving a number of books to review from smaller, independent authors.

By the end of 2019, I actually read a total of 165 books!

A Few Statistics: 

  • I read books from more than 70 new (to me) authors.
  • My least prolific reading month was April, as I only read 6 books.
  • My most prolific reading month was December, in which I read 29 books. In 31 days. I’m not really sure how I managed that.

Some of my favourite books that I read in 2019 include:

Some new releases from 2019 that I enjoyed include:

  • The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  • The Farm by Joanne Ramos
  • Sleep by C.L. Taylor
  • The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  • Through The Wall by Caroline Corcoran
  • The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
  • The Family by Louise Jensen
  • One by One by D.W. Gillespie
  • Chills & Creeps Volume 1: Eight Scary Stories by Nick Clausen

I’ve also been reading plenty of upcoming titles which will be released throughout 2020, but you’ll have to wait for those reviews to be published!

The Year Ahead:

I thought the best way to share my reading goals for 2020 was to answer some questions from the Goodreads Tag I’ve seen other bloggers participate in:

1. What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

I’ve actually managed to finish a few books this week, including: 

The Complete Talking Heads by Alan Bennett, an audiobook of fantastic fictional monologues from ordinary British people who, in the process, make incredibly detailed observations about society, culture, life, and relationships. 

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, which I borrowed as an audiobook from my library. It’s taken a while to finish, as it’s quite a long book and I only listened to a few chapters at any one time. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed following the story.

2. What are you currently reading?

I’ve started Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, but I haven’t got very far with it yet, as I have other books to read and review for my blog, so this might take a while for me to finish.

3. What was the last book you marked as ‘to be read’?

I tend to add books to my Goodreads list in batches, so I won’t list them all here, but some of my most recently added books include:

  • Malorie by Josh Malerman, the sequel to Bird Box
  • My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • One Of Us Is Next by Karen McManus, the sequel to One Of Us Is Lying 

4. What book do you plan to read next?

I have no idea! 

Well, I have a little bit of an idea. I have a few books lined up for review, including:

  • Strangers by C.L Taylor
  • Dear Child by Romy Hausmann
  • The Guest List by Lucy Foley

5. Will you be doing a 2020 Reading Challenge?

Yes! Given my last year of prolific reading, I am going to challenge myself to read 170 books. If you’d like to follow my progress on Goodreads, you can find my profile here.

Thank you for reading my blog post! Please click ‘Like’ to support my blog, and ‘Follow’ this blog if you would like to read more content like this, as well as plenty of book reviews.

What was the best book you read in 2019? 

– Judith

This post was last updated in January 2020.