Hello & welcome. I slowly started this site in 2009 after accidentally stumbling across the amazing world of book blogging and becoming instantly captivated.

Inspired by the all the fantastic book lovers and their blogs, I have discovered some wonderful books that I would never have known about or considered reading otherwise. I have also discovered a community of friendly and thoughtful people with a shared passion for reading.

So… this is me sharing some (totally subjective) thoughts about a few books and maybe joining a little challenge or two…

Just now I am mostly reading fiction and am especially enjoying books from around the world, literary fiction and catching up on some older and more modern classics. I also love a good spy story as long as it is told seriously (I haven’t acquired the taste for that tongue in cheek style a lot of people love just yet).

I am a PA by day and a bookworm by night. From New Zealand originally, I currently live in the UK, in Brighton

My contact details are:


Thanks for stopping by and happy reading


25 responses to “About

  1. A very nicely designed blog with some great content. I have added you to my blogroll

  2. Crikey, you haven’t got Beatties bookblog from NZ – lots of reviews and book publishing info from NZ and round the world.
    I do like what I have seen of your blog – just discovered today.

    • Angela – thanks for stopping by and for the blog recommendation! I didn’t know about it but have added it now. I’m keen to keep up with NZ book news so this will be great.

  3. Hi, I am the editor of a new book blog called The Kansas Reading Society – http://thekansasreadingsociety.blogspot.com/. In reviewing existing book & reading blogs, I thought yours was one of the best I read, and have linked to it from my home page – I hope that’s okay. And I hope you find my blog worthy of linking to from your site.

    Thanks much,

    Best regards,

  4. From a kiwi at home to a kiwi abroad, I agree with Scott et al, your blog is very interesting and I have been madly jotting down titles etc from it. You are so lucky to be living where they still feel bookshops (including second-hand ones) are attractive to the population. Their getting pretty thin on the ground around New Zealand. Each time I go over to UK (about every 3yrs) I send lots of books back either boxed up or mail, all over the UK its a bibliophiles dream. Anyways, I started blogging a couple of years ago about my reads, for myself mainly – but then I read too many books to keep up with my own reviews. But Ive decided after reading your wonderful blog that it is quite something to see all those lovely books being paid tribute by their readers, so I am going to start again. I see you are reading The Book Thief – I started it late 2008 (no Im not a slow reader) and the writing is so good, its one of my ‘must savior’ which means I read a couple or three chapters a year. I have a few books like this that the writing and story is so good, like a good wine or sumptuous meal that each deserves to be drunk (or eaten) slowly. Its a very dark story to tell, but the way it is told, and the narrator (I wont say much more so as not to spoil it for other readers) makes it quite magical, special, simple, and poignant. Well must go and get ready for the big game (Wales vs AB’s). Hope your getting a descent summer.

  5. Tracey if you are interested in reading something a bit unusual we have just published King of Tuzla by Arnold Jansen op de Haar.
    King of Tuzla is set in Bosnia just before the fall of Srebrenica. King of Tuzla does not describe military battles or discuss strategies but instead it shows how war affects ordinary people, soldiers and civilians. It is also chronicles a writer’s search for his identity within a strict military environment.
    If this sounds interesting please let me know.

  6. Hello,

    Do I net to be a member to join your blog?


  7. Hello,
    We haven’t heard from you for a while…is everything ok?

  8. You have a terrific site! I hope you’re enjoying The Book Thief. I also enjoyed I Am the Messenger.

    • Suko – thank you! The Book Thief fell into the abyss during my blogging break unfortunately but I had read quite a bit of it and can understand why it is loved by so many readers. Good to know you enjoyed I Am the Messenger as well. I often think it must be so hard to follow up a book that is so hugely succesful.

  9. Hi Tracey – I am a new to the book blogger world (as of Jan 2011) and by now, you are quite established. I like your content – you’ve got a lot of links to blogs and other book sites that I’ll have to look at.

    Interesting that you are from NZ. My 20 yr old daughter landed in Auckland today (we live in the Washington DC area) and will be going to the Univ of Auckland for the semester. My other daughter and I are taking a trip over Easter week – really looking forward to it.

    • Hi Josh’s mom, thank you and welcome to the blogging world – you will have already discovered no doubt how addictive it is – I can spend hours reading everybody’s blogs!

      Wishing your daughter the very best of luck in Auckland – she has picked a great time to visit with the build up to the rugby world cup later in the year. I hope you have a wonderful time when you visit – I am from Christchurch in the South Island but have spent time in Auckland – it’s a lovely place 0:)

  10. Helena Towers

    I’m Maggie O’Farrell’s publicist, thank you so much for your review of The Hand that First Held Mine. Do get in touch if you’re interested in hearing about other books by us. It’s a really nice site.

  11. Hello Tracey,

    I’ve left a comment on your ‘Sheltering Sky’ post. I really like your site and will keep an eye on it. Do keep an eye on mine. I write novels for the young adults in all of us. My latest book, ‘In the Trees’, on the subject of gap year volunteering, took me out to the jungles of Belize, but normally my writer’s life is far more sedentary than that.

    It’s great to find all these online spaces for enthusing about books. I too am new to blogging and am leaving my opinions on favourite books everywhere I go.

    You’ve been very busy with your site, and I wish you all the best.

  12. Hello Pauline,

    Thank you for your kind words and welcome to the addictive world of blogging! I will pop over and visit your site – your books and research sound intriguing! Wishing you the best of luck.

  13. James Laidler

    52 Hopetoun Rd,

    Warrnambool, Vic, 3280

    Email: j.laidler@bigpond.com.au

    Web: http://www.jameslaidler.net

    Phone: 03 55624974

    Dear Tracey,

    I am writing to you in regards to my recently published novel, the taste of apple; published by Interactive Press in November, 2010. In short, I would like send you a review copy of my novel. Before doing so, I wanted to ascertain whether you would be open to receiving a copy for possible review on your Blog/Website. I have read your submission details (took me a while btw!) and think my novel may be right down your alley. Here’s some more information that may help you decide whether you would like to receive a copy for review:

    The Taste of Apple is something fairly new to the world of books. It is a standard novel, yes, but it also comes with an audio CD component. This combination of genres creates a potent mixture of fiction, spoken word and music, blended into a rich cocktail of sensory delights.

    Many of the audio tracks from the CD have already been featured on Radio National, 3RRR, the Cordite Poetry Review, Writer’s Radio, and Going Down Swinging. The music, produced at Unmuzzled Studios by talented musician Don Stewart, poignantly highlights key points of the narrative; giving these corresponding scenes a more profound emotional depth.

    Following in the footsteps of Dorothy Porter, Steven Herrick and Catherine Bateson, The Taste of Apple is a verse novel full of lush, rich expression. It is also a novel which taps into the growing interest in multimedia forms of storytelling. Indeed, it is a work that has the potential to reinvigorate young reader’s interest in poetry.

    The taste of apple is a novel that would be well suited to study within your typical high school English classroom.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. For more information (a synopsis or a sample from the novel) you can visit my website at http://www.jameslaidler.net

    To receive a review copy please send me your postal address and I will send you a copy ASAP.

    Kind Regards,

    James Laidler

    PS you can delete this comment and send me an email at j.laidler@bigpond.com Not sure how else to contact you

  14. Dear Tracey
    I wonder of this book would interest you?

    (Donovan O’Malley’s novel, OUR YANK, is inspired by his years as a student at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford 1960-1963, and describes the nearly surreal experiences of Leander Riley, a 17-year old American student who arrives from sunny California to study at the ‘Rossetti’ School of Drawing and Fine Art.)

    I would be happy to send a copy.

    Best regards
    Leif Sodergren

  15. Hi Tracey,

    I am currently organising a blog tour for author, Nicola Cornick, and wondered if you might be interested in reviewing her latest book, or perhaps even interviewing her?

    Whisper of Scandal is the tantalising new novel from queen of historical romance, Nicola Cornick, to be published on 17th June. Nicola will be available for interview as part of an exciting blog tour, and we would love you to participate.

    Set in the gossip-ridden world of Regency London, Whisper of Scandal exposes the debauchery, infidelity and duplicity that permeated high society, and evocatively recounts a tale of public humiliation, lust and seduction. With her reputation hanging in a precarious balance, Lady Joanna Warre journeys to the Arctic to rescue her deceased husband’s illegitimate child, battling polar bears, extreme elements, and the irresistible advances of her arch-nemesis, Lord Grant.

    Nicola herself journeyed to the Arctic as part of the research for her novel, and would love to discuss these experiences with you. She has also recently been appointed by Channel 4 as a t.v. historian in their Restoration Man series, so is building quite a reputation for herself both as a novelist and as a history expert.

    Have a look at the press release below, and if you’re interested in reviewing the book, and / or interviewing Nicola, I would be delighted to send you a copy of Whisper of Scandal.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    All best wishes,


    • Hi Melissa,

      Thank you very much for your note and kind offer. I don’t read a lot of romance or historical fiction. I imagine I’m missing out and at some stage will do some exploring of this genre but in the meantime probably wouldn’t do the book justice so will decline with thanks.

      I will look out for Nicola on the Restoration Man series and wish you the best of luck with the blog tour.


  16. Hello Tracey,

    Are you and your readers tired of these same re-hashed ingredients?

    Arab terrorists
    Islamic radicals
    and still more al-Qaeda

    Then I invite you to read my novel – HILL 170 – just released on Amazon.

    China, North Korea, South Korea and the United States – the major forces in the world’s most dangerous stand off.

    Sergeant Dodge Bryce and the small team of USAF intelligence ops on Hill 170 keep the region safe. But who will keep them safe when a shocking incident costs the group fully one third of their number – overnight?

    Now gravely short handed, the Hill faces its ultimate worst case scenario – a PRC spy in their midst. And Bryce, his remarkable string of intel discoveries having cost the PRC too much, is now the #1 target of China’s master assassin.

    It’s a race against the clock as East and West square off in a chillingly authentic story of defections, betrayals and clandestine intelligence operations that you will never forget.

    I would greatly appreciate one of your thoughtful reviews.

    Thanks for your time,
    Michael Barclay
    (I was shocked when I once spent a week in Auckland to discover that my hotel – can’t think of the name – was in the Barclay building.)

  17. My name is Joe Rinaldo, and I have written an ebook entitled, A Spy At Home. I would be most grateful if you would review it for your blog. I’ll provide a free copy for you to read in Word, pdf or html format, whichever you prefer.

    Garrison’s story begins when he retires from the CIA. In retirement Garrison shares the pain he inflicted on his family during his life abroad. Noah, Garrison’s adult son with Down syndrome, a form of mental retardation, doesn’t trust dad when he returns home. Experience has taught Noah that dad always leaves again. Over time they grow closer.

    Louisa, Garrison’s wife, gradually accepts her husband back; however, accepting him as her husband and trusting him with her child present two separate obstacles.

    Tragedy strikes, and Louisa dies. Garrison becomes solely responsible for Noah, who has developed Alzheimer’s, common in aging people with Down syndrome. This disease tears at Garrison’s heart. Noah ceases to be himself and relives a life his dad knew nothing about.

    Thank you for considering A Spy At Home. If you are willing to review my book, please email me at rinald47@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Joe Rinaldo

  18. Hi, perhaps I’m missing something, but I don’t find an email address or a “contact me” button here…

    My novel The Darling Strumpet, based on the tumultuous life of Nell Gwynn, seventeenth-century actress and longtime mistress of Charles II, was published in January in the U.S. to great response from readers and reviewers.
    The British edition will be released on August 4 by Avon, and I wonder if you might be interested in hosting me for a guest post or interview, and/or to review or give away a copy of the book to your readers? If you visit my website, gillianbagwell.com, you can see the pieces I did for the U.S. release, as well as my series of articles on the months in 1660, links to my blogs, etc. For the British release I had thought about writing several short pieces on Nell Gwynn’s London, focusing on various sites associated with her life or where scenes from the book are set. I’ve already posted a few little videos of such sites on You Tube and plan to do more. Here’s the link to the piece at the location of the Red Bull Theatre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75SjQP0PIK8&NR=1.
    Also on You Tube – more than 5200 hits so far! – is a recent reading from the book I did with Diana Gabaldon and C.C. Humphreys during the Saturday Night Scene Scenes at the Historical Novel Society conference in San Diego a few weeks ago.
    Thanks in advance for your interest!

  19. Hello Tracey,

    An impressive list for 2012. Sounds like you’ve had a good year. Can I recommend my two favourite books, one you’ll know about of course, the other you probably won’t have heard of. Ella Maillart’s ‘Forbidden Journey’ is one one you won’t have heard of. It’s her account of travelling across China from east to west in the 1930, just as the Communists came in, in the company of Peter Fleming, Ian Fleming’s brother. As good as any novel, not just for her wonderful descriptions of an old world passing away, but also for the subtlety of her relationship with Fleming, neither of them used to travelling any other way than solo.

    The other book – Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude. I found this such a struggle to begin with, not least because names are replicated down the generations and I hadn’t seen the name chart kindly provided by the publishers at the beginning. HOWEVER, I became captivated by the book, its prose, its characters, its breadth and depth etc., and when I finished it I took it to bed with me and held it in my arms, like a child with a teddy-bear, because I couldn’t find any other way of expressing how much better a place the world seemed for having read it.

    It’s a dangerous thing recommending books to other people, I know. We’re all so different. But see what you think. It’s obvious from your list that you’re a thoughtful reader, so see what you make of these two.

    All the best, Pauline

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s