My name is Joanne Robertson and I live in Cheshire in the North West of England. I blog at My Chestnut Reading Tree and you can find me on Twitter as @jocatrobertson
My blog is mainly a book review based blog but I also try to support local authors with guest posts, take part in cover reveals.
I also have a feature called When Dreams Come True, where people in the book world share the lead up to how they achieved their dream job in the book industry.
I started my blog in February 2016. I had a few friends who had started and I thought it was something I’d enjoy doing as I had recently joined netgalley after reviewing on Amazon for a few years.
I just wanted to have all my reviews in one place and share the book love on social media. I had been at a meet up of TBC (The Book Club on Facebook) in Leeds and a lovely lady there called Sandra Foy encouraged me to go for it!
I started posting reviews once a week and gradually built it up from there. I’ve never actively sought followers but they started to come slowly.
Another reason for beginning to blog was that my granddaughter had just started school a few months beforehand and, after looking after her full-time since she was 3 months old, and my daughter returned to work, I felt a little lost.
My day starts about half five when my husband leaves for work.
I tend to check on my review that’s due to publish that morning and then catch up on Facebook and Twitter. Then, it’s onto my WordPress reader to share posts that have published since I last checked it the night before. I get up at 7am and have a shower before my granddaughter wakes up (my eldest daughter has recently moved back home again.)
Once my daughter leaves for work I give my granddaughter breakfast and get her ready for school.
This is the third in what we hope will become a regular feature celebrating the marvellous book bloggers who do so much to help and support authors and readers. If you’d like you to share a day in the life of you and your blog please contact us here.
A couple of days a week I also have my other granddaughter from 7am when her mum goes to work. I also have to get myself ready for work.
At 8am my blog post for the day will go live and I will share it in various Facebook groups as well as sharing the review on Amazon and Goodreads. I also share more posts from other bloggers on Twitter.
And then it’s a walk to school where I drop one child at school, one at the attached nursery and then back into school myself where I work as a Welfare Support Assistant and as a midday supervisor during the lunch break. I tend to get my lunch – 30 minutes – at 1.20pm. Even then it’s often interrupted if I’m needed.
I always have a school lunch – they are delicious – although I tend to have the same lunch of jacket potato and salad every day, just varying the toppings.
My work involves supporting the children in school with diabetes which involves checking their blood glucose levels throughout the day and administering treatment as necessary.
When I leave work I collect my granddaughter from her classroom and go to nursery to collect my other grandchildren if their mums are at work (I have 3 grown up daughters who have 4 children between them) and take them back to mine for tea.
Then I wait to the rest of the family to come and rescue me so I can start our evening meal before collapsing on the sofa for a well earned break!
I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a very young child and I’ve always devoured books at a fast pace. I was always in the library or bookshops looking for new books to read.
My favourite book as a child was called Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh and I recently treated myself to a new copy which I have also read to my granddaughter.
As an adult I used to read mainly romance and chick-lit but an accident in a bookshop, where the wrong book was put in my bag by mistake, changed my reading habits forever. It was a Lisa Gardner book and I absolutely loved it!
From then on crime and psychological thrillers became my favourite genre but I still read plenty of women’s fiction especially if the main characters are more mature in age – rather like my good self!
I now read about five books a week and usually have a paperback on the go downstairs, my kindle in bed and an audio book on my phone. I didn’t used to sleep very well and could read a whole book in bed each night before I went to sleep but since I started on HRT I now sleep like a baby, falling asleep after only a couple of pages!
I am quite a rare blogger in that I don’t have a laptop. All my reviews are written on my Kindle Fire and I tend to write them on the sofa when I have a cuppa in the evening with my hubby.
When my daughter moved back home and into the room where I used to keep my signed books I turned the children’s playroom back into a study. So now my books are all in my study, along with my desk where I keep my diary and the piles of books that I need to read that month. I tend to write my reviews as I go along in the evenings although sometimes I will write them all at the weekend.
As a huge fan of psychological thrillers the main thing I look for in a book is to be completely gripped by the plot, unable to put the book down but I also want to be SURPRISED!! ! I love a good twist especially if it’s unexpected – and that means I don’t want the tagline to tell me there’s a shocking twist!
Some of the books to do this for me this year have been Where The Missing Go by Emma Rowley, Don’t Make A Sound by David Jackson and Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell.
One of the things I am quite strict about is that my blog is for books I’ve really enjoyed. I want to share the book love.
I’m not a book critic, just a woman who loves to read and then recommend those books. So if I’m not enjoying a book I am very happy to stop reading it and move onto the next one. Life is too short to continue reading a book you obviously aren’t enjoying.
But, just because I didn’t love it, it doesn’t mean that someone else won’t think it’s the best book of the year. We all have different perspectives and I would never criticise anyone’s opinion just because it didn’t fit in with my own.
I have so many “go to” bloggers who I completely trust for their opinions that asking me to pick my favourite is like asking me to pick my favourite child! (And that is always the one who isn’t annoying me as much as her sisters at the time!) But I love…
- Emma Welton, who blogs at http://www.damppebbles.com Emma liked to review the darker side of crime books
- Sarah Hardy, who blogs at http://www.bytheletterbookreviews.com Sarah has very similar tastes to me and I know straight away from her reviews if a book will be my cup of tea
- Susan Hampson, who blogs at http://www.booksfromdusktilldawn.wordpress.com Susan really is a fantastic supporter of indie authors as well as being another blogger where I know straight away from her reviews if it’s a book I need to read.
- Claire Knight, who blogs at http://www.aknightsreads.wordpress.com Claire has only recently started her own blog after guest reviewing for Crimebookjunkie. Another blogger whose reviews I look to when planning my next read.
I absolutely adore blogging! Through it I have made some very special, and, hopefully, life long, friendships. I love the book post, the netgalley approvals, the book events and the fast paced social media side of it.
But, more than anything, the thing that means the most to me is when someone says they have bought and enjoyed a book after my recommendation.