Featured Blogger: Anne-Marie from Life with Literature!

Hey guys! As you probably already know, throughout the month of November I’m shining a spotlight on thirty wonderful book bloggers 😊📚 If you’re not already following them, then I’d definitely recommend that you check them out – these guys are all such wonderful bloggers and all incredibly kind and supportive.

Today is the turn of the wonderful Anne-Marie (from Life with Literature) who was the first person I ever talked about my blog with! She posts some beautifully convincing reviews as well as giving the best book recommendations!

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Hi, My name’s Anne-Marie and I blog at Life with Literature – I mainly write reviews of contemporary fiction, with the odd classic thrown in here and there. I love words, so I’ve been doing some posts about interesting words and meanings I come across in my reading.

I started my blog because once my MA course was over, I really missed discussing books in seminars and I needed to replicate it somehow. So I moved my discussions online and have never looked back. The book community is incredible – lovely, welcoming, and so dedicated, whatever they read – and I love talking all things books with everyone.

Where did your love of reading come from?

I’ve never known a time when I didn’t love reading. When I was 8, I brought the entire Mallory Tower series on a four day holiday to Cornwall – and finished them! My family always encouraged it, not just for the educational benefits but also because, as a very reserved child, it was something I clearly found comfort in, and talking about my books 20170912_230044.jpgwas the one thing I’d speak with real confidence about to anyone. They wanted to make sure I could continue that enjoyment.

What is your favourite book that you’d recommend to anyone and everyone?

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier. This book is dark, atmospheric, haunting, and thrilling. It’s a ‘study in jealousy’ (as du Maurier remarked), a novel where truth and lies, reality and performance, are all blurred, so we are never quite sure what the ‘real’ version of the story might be. I love it!

Which author (dead or alive) would you love to meet and why?

I’d love to meet J. K. Rowling – as it has for many readers, Harry Potter shaped my childhood reading, and I’d just want to meet, have a cup of tea, and just chat. Not even about Harry Potter, just about anything. I’d love to meet William Shakespeare too – after so many years studying his poems and plays, it would be great to see how he lived and worked.

What is the most memorable/sentimental book you’ve read?

This may sound strange but Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is both a memorable and sentimental book to me. Not necessarily because of the content, but I read it during an emotionally intense period of my life. I would often read it early in the morning, during one of the few hours that our house wasn’t overrun with visitors, so I associate it with that feeling of escape and calmness.

What is your favourite genre to read and your favourite book from it?

20181104_131812.jpgI love a good thriller – something that gets under my skin and sends a shiver down my spine. And I love the subgenres within that – crime thrillers and psychological thrillers (probably because Rebecca is my favourite book and has elements of both in it). It would be so hard to pick just one favourite from this genre, but recently, I’ve loved The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris, and The Corset by Laura Purcell. Very different novels but equally as gripping.

What are your top tips/tricks for fitting reading around a busy schedule?

I am probably the worst person to ask this of at the moment – I’ve just started a new job, which has included a relocation, and my reading (and blogging) has taken a bit of a backseat. But generally, audiobooks are really great tools for reading in those times when you couldn’t originally do so – when walking, shopping, commuting (I’d sync my phone to my car and play audiobooks instead of the radio). They’re often very well produced and performed, so they’re great value.

What are you reading now? What have you just finished? Are you enjoying/did you enjoy it?

I’m currently reading The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware – another psychological thriller! It’s a Cornish murder mystery novel and so far, I love it. The chilling landscape of the pier where the protagonist works is adding an extra layer to the mystery.

I finished XX by Angela Chadwick last week and thought it was great. It’s speculative fiction imagining a world where two women could produce a biological child. I loved that the conceptual explorations didn’t overshadow the beautiful central story which was a loving couple wanting to grow their family.

Tell us about your reading and book-buying habits.

I don’t use any markers to keep my page in a book. No bookmarks, no receipts, no turning down page corners – I’ll just try to remember the page number.

Though I do enjoy audiobooks and ebooks, I still prefer reading physical books. I like the20180413_162910.jpg tangibility of it – that I can turn the pages and see my progress. That applies to the entire book-buying process too. Books I’ve bought in person from a shop always seem to have a greater effect on me because the process if so much more ‘involved’ then just clicking a link.

Book covers drive a lot of my decisions to buy a book in a shop – I really am a magpie for aesthetically pleasing books. Circe, by Madeline Miller, is just one recent example where I’ve fallen head over heels for the cover design.

Most nights, 9-10pm is my reading hour. I make a cup of tea, grab some chocolate/biscuits, and settle down on my bed to read. I like having that hour to just relax with a book. It obviously doesn’t always work out, but generally, that’s what I aim for.

I’m the kind of person who, if I see someone on the train, or in a cafe, or anywhere out and about, reading a book I absolutely loved or want to read, I will mention it. If they look like they really don’t want to talk, I won’t, but most of the time, I can’t resist (and I’ve found that lots of people really will want to talk about their books too, however briefly).

If you like the sound of Anne-Marie and all of the brilliantly bookish things that she posts you can find her over on Twitter and Instagram as well as on her main blog.

I hope you guys are enjoying reading this month’s series of posts as much as I’ve loved organising and collaborating with so many amazing bloggers to create them! 💖 Check back tomorrow! x


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