An Update

My personal situation is beginning to sort itself out, so I thought I’d give you an update on plans for the blog. First though, I just want to say thank you again to everyone who sent messages. People – some of whom I’ve never met – have been absolutely brilliant. I wouldn’t have got through the last three weeks without everyone’s support and I’m so grateful that I know so many wonderful people.

The outcome of my situation is that we’re going to be moving house over the summer. As well as that, I’m currently doing an intense block of paid work. I also have a substantial amount of PhD work to do – including my confirmation seminar at the beginning of September and next semester (from the end of September/beginning of October) I’m going to be teaching undergraduates for a few hours a week as well. The latter means I’ve some reading and planning to do over the summer too.

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What this means is that I’ll update the blog as and when I can. I have a stack of books I’ve already read waiting to be reviewed so I’ll post them as I manage them.

One of the things that’s happened over the last three weeks is my reading has slowed enormously; I don’t think this is a bad thing. I re-read a book last week, pencil in hand, making notes and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I’d like to do more of that. I’ve also so many books in the house – both review copies and ones I’ve bought – that I really want to read (and in some cases re-read) that I’ve given myself a stern talking to about accepting review copies when I have a stack of books already. It’s not as though I accept them indiscriminately either, there are just so many interesting sounding books about. (If you follow me on Twitter, you will have seen I’ve broken my book-buying ban though. What can I say? I was low and what better pick-me-up? See photos for damage!)

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What that means for the future of the blog is I won’t be posting reviews as frequently as I have in the last six months or so. Partly because I won’t have time, partly because I won’t be reviewing everything I read. I’m going to be kinder to myself, both in terms of reading things I want to read, not finishing things I’m not enjoying and reading books for the sheer pleasure of reading them.

As for In the Media, I’m going to leave it on hiatus until some point in September. I know a lot of people enjoy that post and I love compiling it but it had begun to take a lot of time. When it returns it will be in a slightly different (and reduced) format and will most likely be fortnightly rather than every week. I haven’t quite worked out all the details myself so I’ll write more about it closer to the time.

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Meanwhile, I’m toying with a post about Kamila Shamsie’s call for a year of publishing only books by women – and the responses to it so far, and a list of ‘unlikeable’ heroines spurred by a comment Antonia Honeywell made when I interviewed her last week. Watch this space, as they say.

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32 thoughts on “An Update

  1. Sounds like a sensible plan – and you need to make things more manageable for yourself. I love your reviews and ‘In the Media’ summaries (I always learn so much from them) but it must take up an awful amount of time! Good luck with the move, the teaching plans and everything, and I’m always happy to hear from you, whenever you have time.

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  2. Sounds like you still have an awful lot going on – take care you don’t burn yourself out. And we will still enjoy your posts when you do have time for them.
    Good luck with everything x

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    • Thanks, Sarah – I won’t. It sounds quite intense but it’s happening in stages so should be okay and my stepson’s not with us for 4/6 weeks in the school holiday so that should help x

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  3. As the others say, I’m so glad you’ve found (or are beginning to find) a balance. I look forward so much to your posts and am delighted that you’ll still be writing, even if a bit less frequently. Best of luck for your move, too–they’re pretty tiring endeavours, I’m thinking of you!

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  4. Nice to have you back with new posts, Naomi. And I’m glad for you that things are improving.
    I really loved your “In the Media” posts, but they were so exhaustive that I often wondered how you managed to publish them every week. Just following your links and reading only the most interesting articles always took me quite a long time, so I can’t begin to imagine how time consuming compiling those posts must have been. Anyway, I’ve never thanked you for all the work you did to make my (and other readers’) life easy, so it’s high time I did: Thank you!
    Best of luck with everything you’re planning for the next few months! It sounds like you’ve got an awful lot on your plate.

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  5. Good to hear things are moving forward, despite some tough changes and challenges Naomi. It’s good to hear you have found solace in slower reading and reading by choice. I hope you find the best balance for you. All the best with the move and the busy period ahead, wonderful to have such support.

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  6. Good luck and take your time, do what you want to. I will miss In the Media, it is such an amazing resource but I always marvel at how much time it must take you so I’m not surprised you are dropping it for a while! All the best, Lou

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