Hooked on books with The Photographers Way

Hi Everyone welcome to another instalment of Hooked on books. You may not know but I run a book group on Facebook called Hooked on books with Joanna Victoria which you are welcome to join to talk all things books. 

Every Wednesday I will be bringing you a brand new guest series. I’ll be featuring  some lovely bloggers  who will be sharing their answers to reading/book related questions. I hope you manage to find some more wonderful blogs to read.  If you’re a blogger and want to take part then get in touch!

This week's instalment is with Emma who blogs at The Photographers Way

Hi. I'm Emma Lord, owner of Emma Lord Photography. I specialise in photographing pets and other animals, presenting final pictures as fine art images. My blog "The Photographer's Way" documents my journey into running my own business and photography, including lessons learned and practical advice. As my business evolves, so life changes around it. The blog will be expanding to cover different elements of my lifestyle over the coming months, particularly in considering how to balance work and life, while running a sole trader business

What book(s) are you currently reading?
Last One to Die by Tess Gerritsen. The book is part of an ongoing series about a detective and forensic pathologist who work together. It's my first outing with the author though and I didn't appreciate that the characters are already well established through earlier books. However, it stands alone very well and is - so far - a gripping read. 

What book is next on your “to be read” list?
I tend to wait and see how the mood takes me when I'm ready for a new book. I always have plenty of unread books lined up ready to dive into! The current line up ranges from a selection of graphic novels, to historical books. I have my favourite genres, but do try to read widely to experience a range of subjects, styles and authors.

What is your favourite genre to read?
I enjoy psychological thrillers, although the market is somewhat saturated with these at the moment and I find the quality of story can be quite varied. I've always enjoyed science fiction too, and horror. I appreciate books which lead you to think about the plot and form your own views. I'm less keen on books which are too graphic in detail, focussing on shocks rather than character and narrative. I also like books which, when you reflect on them, you see the conclusion evolving slowly throughout the pages. Some books reach a conclusion by introducing some new information right at the end, which means unless you made a very lucky guess, you'd never have worked things out on your own as you didn't have access to all the information!

Who are some your favourite authors?
Ursula Le Guin has been a favourite since I first started on the Earthsea novels. Her ability to create fantasy worlds of strong characters and detailed stories makes it very hard to put the books down once you've started them. Ray Bradbury's writing has always appealed to my imagination too. I particularly enjoy his short stories with unexpected endings. I've enjoyed most of Stephen King's books as I find he tends to put time into developing the characters and building the mood of the book, rather than leaping straight into the core of the story. Finally, Roald Dahl. Not just for his children's books, but for his autobiographies which are both fascinating and full of emotional contrasts (especially some of his recollections of World War II which are included in "Going Solo"). I also enjoy his adult books with twists in the tale and find them so re-readable; even when you know the twist, the style of writing is mesmerising and worth more than one read! 

What are your top 5 favourite books?
I'm going for a selection of childhood favourites and books I've read as an adult:
The House That Beebo Built by Janine Ast and Elaine Gree. This book entranced me as a child, and I still love it as an adult. The story, the illustrations, the magic within the pages. Even as a child, the concept of trying to break away from the constraints of life and lead the life you dream of appealed to me; even more so as an adult!
Lion and Blue by Robert Vavra and Fleur Cowles. A beautiful story complemented by stunning illustrations. 
Legacy by Susan Kay. A fascinating account of the life and times of Queen Elizabeth I. A huge amount of historical research went into this novel, and as a GCSE history student, I found it an invaluable source of information for the Elizabethan section of our curriculum. Written in the style of a story, this is nevertheless a very accurate and fact based account.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Full of dark imagination and fairytale style narrative, this is a gripping tale of complex characters. Having worked in London for a number of years, the fact this book is set beneath the streets which I walked so regularly on my daily commute, added an extra level of intrigue. 
Ajax The Warrior by Mary Elwyn Patchett. A biographical account of a young girl's childhood in Australia. This book appealed in particular because many of her closest companions were animals which she rescued as a child. The Ajax of the title is a golden half dingo dog, who she found and rescued after floods.

Paperback vs digital books - which do you prefer and why? 
I much prefer paperback. I don't need to remember to charge the book up to begin with! I find something comforting in relaxing with a paperback book and letting my mind drift away into the story, preparing eagerly to turn the page to find out what happens next. Somehow that's harder to do with a digital book. I also find paperback much easier on the eyes than reading a screen for too long.

What was your favourite book or series of books as a child?
The Earthsea novels by Ursula Le Guin. I also enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. I reread the latter series quite recently and still took so much from the books. The final book, 'The Last Battle' was very moving.

Do you ever cheat and skip to the end of a book? Why do you do it?
Yes. Always with any book about animals (especially if it's based on a true story). If the animal dies at the end, I'm not sure I want to invest the time into reading the book, falling in love with the creature, then have to go through the feeling of loss at the end. Having lived with animals all my life, letting go when they die is such a wrench. 

Do you hang on to your books once you've read them? Or do you prefer to pass them on to a charity shop / a friend?
It depends. If I might read them again, or I think my husband would enjoy them, I hang onto them. If I know that I won't read it again, but know a friend or family member who might like a read, I pass the book on. Otherwise I pass them on to charity. I do have a lot of books; I don't think my husband realised quite how many until we moved house recently! I've kept a book journal for the last few years to remind me what I thought of books when I read them, and highlight authors I'd like to read more of.

Do you read one book at a time or do you have multiples on the go?
Usually one at a time, unless I have a non-fiction book on the go alongside a fiction book.

Describe your ideal reading nook
May I have two please?!
The first is the classic beneath a large tree, somewhere which offers a good view across open countryside. It's a sunny day but the tree casts a cool shadow, and the summer breeze means it's not too hot. It's a safe place to relax, lean against the solid tree trunk, and read in peace. 
The colder weather option is another classic; a comfortable armchair which I can curl up into and read. Enough light to see the pages without straining my eyes, but nothing too bright. Here, in front of an open fire and surrounded by our various rescue animals, I could happily sit for hours and read. I imagine the room I'm in to be lined with uneven shelves full of books, and perhaps a few curiosities which have been collected over time from various antique shops and flea markets. 
Finally, I never drink hot drinks when reading. I become so engrossed in the book, that the drink is invariably stone cold by the time I remember about it!

You can find Emma over on:
Facebook: @EmmaLordPhotography
Twitter: @Emma_Lord_Photo

Instagram: @emma_lord_photography

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