Made A Reading Resolution? How To Make Sure You Keep It


It’s part way through January, and we all know what that means: most of you are already off the wagon.

Whether your resolution was to drink less or lose weight, doubtless you’re already part way into failing. It’s bloody difficult to keep a resolution, particularly when you going back to work and dealing with all the stresses that brings.

Personally, I can’t help with much, but if your resolution involved reading more books in 2020 than ever before, then I’m your gal!

One of the best ways to read more is to simply find books about topic you’re passionate about. There are books out there about everything, from the President of the United States to crime fiction that doesn’t involve murder and everything in between, meaning that you can find something that’ll drive you to read more.

Another option is listening to audiobooks. There’s a lot of debate around at the moment on whether or not audiobooks are really reading. Me, I think that any reading is good reading, and whilst audiobooks are in no way the same as physical books, they’re a great way to learn more on the go.

After all, we’re all busy people, and it’s that lack of time that often kills off New Year’s resolutions before the end of January. Audiobooks are a great way to keep your passion alive and inspire you to want to read more physical books, as well as introducing you to new authors and genres. They can be listened to almost anywhere, meaning that you’ve got no excuse.

If you’re keen to include more physical books on your 2020 reading list, then try keeping a diary of all the books you’ve read this year. That’ll make you more aware of how far you’ve come and everything you’ve read.

You could also invest in some fancy books, like rare or illustrated editions of classics or old favourites that you haven’t read in a while. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if you put your money where your mouth is and invest in something to help you with your resolution, then you’re much more likely to keep it than if you don’t. That’s why loads of people take out pricey gym memberships at this time of the year.

At the end of the day, there’s no hard and fast way to make yourself read more, but if you keep at it then the results will be worth the effort. You’ll have an increased vocabulary and gained knowledge you’d never have if you didn’t read widely and frequently. I hope these tips help and if you think of any of your own that work for you then I’d love to hear about them. Best of luck and happy reading!

The Books To Buy With Your Vouchers This New Year

how to spend book vouchers this new year

Another Christmas, another round of book vouchers for bibliophiles. And we all know what that means- another trip to the bookshop!

If you’re at a loss as to what you should buy yourself with your pretty vouchers, here’s a roundup of some great new books in stores now for you to buy a new copy of.

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee By Casey Cep: This true tale of the courtroom drama that Harper Lee hoped would become her version of In Cold Blood is a great true crime option for those seeking something gripping, thrilling yet humbling and human all at the same time.

The Testaments By Margret Atwood: There’s a reason the sequel to the acclaimed The Handmaid’s Tale won the Booker Prize in 2019. If you’re a fan of the first book, or the TV series it inspired, then I suggest that you give this latest novel a go. It’s an inspiring tale of struggle and suppression that resonates with many of the political and social issues women still face today.

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference By Greta Thunberg: It’s important that we keep listening to this brave young woman and her crusade to change the world for the better. Her book is an extraordinary tale of her hard work and her theories on what the population needs to do to change things. A great read for those who want to do something to help.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse By Charlie Mackesy: A renowned cartoonist, Charlie Mackesy has created this sweet volume to act as an antidote to all the frightening news and scary tales we hear in today’s modern society. It’s a great choice for readers of all ages, and will definitely give you something to think about this New Year.

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas By Adam Kay: It might not be Christmas anymore, but Adam Kay’s incredible short follow-up to his deeply amusing and yet thought-provoking book This Is Going To Hurt is a great read at any time of the year. If you want to know more about how the health service copes over the festive period and still enjoy a laugh then this is the book for you to treat yourself to with your hard earned (as I’m sure they were, if putting up with your relatives all year counts as work) book vouchers.

Agent Running in the Field By John Le Carré: Master of the spy novel John Le Carré delivered another scorcher in 2019, and it’s well worth a read if you’re a fan or you like reading twisted tales of super spies finding their way through the mysterious world of international espionage. His work is informed and inspiring, and makes for great films, so read the book before the film is even in the works to be one step ahead of everyone!

Thirteen By Steve Cavanagh: A twisted thriller that keeps the reader on their toes constant changes and red herrings, this is a fascinating book that’s definitely one to check out if you like crime fiction. With the strap line ‘the serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury’ it’s easy to see why you’ll be gripped by this clever novel. Played out as a courtroom drama crossed with an insight into the mind of a calculating killer, this book has a taut plot that you won’t forget in a hurry.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and treat yourself! Happy reading and have a lovely New Year, thanks for all the support and love over 2019. I hope 2020 will be an even better year for everyone!

Merry Christmas From The Dorset Book Detective


Merry Christmas! This is just a brief message to say that I hope you and your loved ones have an incredible festive season, and thanks for supporting my blog throughout 2019!

I’ve had a lovely time interviewing phenomenal authors and reviewing incredible books, and I hope 2020 brings me even more opportunities to increase my knowledge and grow as a reader and book reviewer.

Massive thanks again to everyone who’s done anything to help me during this past year and I hope you all have a great time reading and eating this Christmas!

There’s Etiquette To Gifting Books? Fuck That Off And Do What You Want


With Christmas approaching, many people are considering buying books for their loved ones to give them something new and exciting to read in the New Year.

As I’ve recently explained, gift cards are great for book lovers, but if you know what they want then you might be tempted to buy them an actual book. But wait! The Guardian thinks there’s etiquette to gifting people books.

Apparently you shouldn’t write an inscription, in case it gets given away or re-gifted (featuring an anecdote that’s about as true as a Tory election promise), and giving a book is as much about the giver as the receiver, as it’s a way to show how smart you are.

This is, to be frank, bollocks. You don’t have to buy people books to show that you’re a smart-arse, and you certainly are more than welcome to inscribe your book if you bloody well want to.

Christmas isn’t about you; it’s about doing well by others and spreading love, joy and laughter. It’s also about nice food, but that’s obvious.

It’s posh people nonsense to suggest that giving the gift of a book is some kind of test of the giver’s character. The book you give should be a reflection of the person you’re giving it to and the things they love the most in the world.

Overall, it’s impossible to know what’ll happen to a book you gift to someone else in the future, and giving a gift to make yourself seem smarter, rather than to please the reader, is egotistical and, frankly, bloody stupid. Get a grip and buy the book you want for whomsoever you want to this Christmas. Put some money into a charity box, then go stuff your face. The festive season is about spreading joy, supporting the unfortunate and munching food, after all.

Prediction: Children’s Books Will Dominate 2020 Reading Lists


Children’s books have been coming into their own of recent months. No more are they the exclusive reading of kids and the parents of kids who’re forced to read them to little ones.

Now, books aimed at kids are coming into their own, and becoming popular among adults and children alike. This trend is only going to continue in the New Year and beyond.

I’m not necessarily saying that bookshops will do away with children’s sections in the 2020s, but I definitely think you’ll see more adults shopping in them. I think that writers will start to adjust their writing to include more topical jokes for adults as well as being suitable for kids, something which is already being implemented by modern children’s writers including David Walliams and others.

Part of the reason I think this is because of the advent of children’s literature being turned into TV shows and films. Little Women, His Dark Materials and Worzel Gummidge. There’s also the popularity of famed children’s films such as Frozen 2, which is incredibly popular with kids and adults alike.

This is transitioning into literature, with more and more adults choosing to pick kid’s books. This is particularly true in genres that require a lot of imagination, like fantasy and sci-fi. Many fans of these styles of books tend to focus more on what they enjoy than what anybody else thinks anyways, what with their preferred style of books being mostly overlooked by others in the first place.

As these genres require lots of imagination and creativity, they’re beloved by adult and child readers alike. Over the coming year I see this growing even more important and readers coming to terms with the idea that some books can be written for and read by a much wider audience.

Ultimately, I think that the blurring of the lines between children’s and adult literature will be the biggest reading trend in 2020, and when I’m right I’ll be reminding you. Just you wait and see.

The Dorset Book Detective’s 2019 Christmas Gift Guide!


It’s back! For another year, here’s my annual Christmas Gift Guide, filled with amazing things you can give to the booklover in your life.

For Your Fancy Friend

From last year’s list is a selection of books from the Folio Society. These beautiful, decorative tomes are perfect for book collectors and those who enjoy the finer things in life.

There’s something for everyone, from crime fiction to classics, kid’s books to non-fiction, so you can find your friend’s favourite and give them a gift they can cherish forever.

For more information see:

For The Fussy Family Member

If you’re looking for a gift to give a friend that’ll last long after the Christmas food and fuss has all gone, then a book subscription could be the answer. They’ll get sent a book that’s handpicked just for them from their preferences.

There’s even the option to swap the books for no extra charge if the one they send isn’t just right. As such, your loved one will always have something great to read all through 2020.

For more information see:

For Someone Who Deserves A Little Treat

Sometimes it can be hard to find a stocking filler for your book loving friend that isn’t yet another bookmark that they’ll only lose. Most of us just use old receipts and train tickets anyways.

One great small option for stockings or Secret Santa is a light that clips onto the edge of your book. Really Tiny Book Lights are pretty, cute and come in loads of different colours so there’s something for everyone.

For more information see:

For The Eco-Warrior In Your Life

If you know someone who loves to help the planet, then try buying them a cute literary tote bag to carry around all the books they’re going to buy in the January sales.

These sweet bags come in loads of different styles, meaning there’s one for everyone, no matter what their reading preferences may be.

For more information see:

I hope you like this year’s Christmas Gift Guide and it’ll be back with bells on next year!


It’s OK To Give Vouchers As Gifts If They’re For Books

book vouchers

With the Black Friday madness still well and truly underway, I’ve been having a lot of conversations about gift giving.

Specifically, a lot of people have been talking about what they’re giving their friends and family for Christmas.

A few members of my family receive book tokens of Waterstones’ vouchers from me every year, for the simple reason that they never bloody tell me what else they want. Being fans of books, I buy them vouchers so they can choose the book they want when they spot a shiny new title that they don’t want to wait for.

Some of my friends think this is uncaring and not very imaginative; after all, as my Christmas Gift Guide, the 2019 version of which will be out shortly, proves, there are many great gifts for books lovers. Why don’t I just use my imagination and buy them one of those?

The answer is simple; I don’t know them well enough to get them something they’d genuinely love and make use of. Even some of my family members and I aren’t that close, and as such I make do with gifting them vouchers to spend on the books that will make them happy.

Personally, for all the cute bookmarks and cherished notebooks I’ve been given over the years, nothing has ever made me so happy as walking into a bookstore and spotting something I want, then thinking; wait, I have a voucher I can use for that!

As someone on a budget, and who buys most of her books second-hand, I’m always reluctant to buy myself brand new books as soon as they come out, because they’re pricey and I’m guaranteed to already have a huge stack of books that are still waiting to be read. I’m also very impatient, and as such I always love having a voucher in case I want a book that I’m desperate for.

What I’m trying to say, in my roundabout way, is never be ashamed to give vouchers if they’re for books. Books are the most personal and generous gift you can give to anybody, but if you don’t know them well enough to choose for them, or are concerned they already have it, a voucher is the next best option.

Clothes vouchers often feel impersonal, and subscriptions sometimes feel a little redundant when you think that the money is often whisked straight out of their bank account anyway, but book vouchers will forever be a great gift for readers. Never be afraid to give them; they will always be well received.