Free Stuff And A Worry, But Free Stuff All The Same!

When I started this blog it was mostly for two reasons, firstly to have a forum to rant about books and not bore my friends, who are mostly not obsessed with books or even vaguely interested. Secondly, I wanted to get to know like minded bloggers, have chats and generally meet nice people.

With both objectives safely fulfilled it was with a huge amount of surprise and more than a small amount of glee that Mr Stephen Baum AKA Bumba asked me if I would like to review his book Up In The Bronx. Naturally I jumped at the chance and was in all honesty a bit gobsmacked that anyone would ask me to review anything.

Here I am striving to look like a competent member of the human race. Thanks to Tom Robinson for giving the whole world a view of how I function (with a book and a pint daily).

After the initial shock and then utter excitement – I must add that this was shared by my friends as well, 16 of whom liked my Facebook status, my joint highest ever amount of likes, along with the status about having inadvertently run up a £131.80 bar tab – but I digress. Me being me, I naturally went into over thinking mode, which I don’t ever recommend especially if you are me, but sadly he/(me)/(I) never listens.

When I usually write a review I am always (of course) honest about my opinions but it occurred to me that instead of just reviewing a random book, this time I am actually in contact with an author, an author who will be dissecting my words and having real emotions about them.  Normally my reviews count for perhaps a couple more books sold or left on the shelf, if that, but they have no real intrinsic value apart from being an opinion and there have been a few harsh reviews that I have done in my time.  This time though I feel I have to weight my words, be more constructive in any critical response (if that happens) but inversely if I am to enthusiastic I also have to be able to explain why.

In short I was worried about how my integrity may be perceived by you, my intrepid readers.  There were cold sweats at one point as I turned all this over in my head, until it occurred to me that you guys come back based on how I write, so to change that would be a pointless gesture as that would compromise the style that I have.

Anyways the parcel arrived today with the (signed) book, some postcards and an accompanying CD, I’m all for immersion into a setting or indeed a feeling of a book andthis seems a unique way of doing it.  I shall start commencing reading at the beginning of next week at the latest, until then I shall get a feel for the music and imagine myself as reviewer to the stars.  This would also be a oppurtune time to mention that I am open to reviewing any work that people would like to put before me.

Up In The Bronx and One Life or The Lives of Chester Knowles are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc, if you fancy a look for yourselves.

30 Replies to “Free Stuff And A Worry, But Free Stuff All The Same!”

  1. This just may be the beginning of something bigger. Be true to yourself and the result will be amazing, as it always is. 🙂


    1. I hope that i can keep building up. Every month gets me a higher rate of hits and now authors sending me books. I am hoping to get something published myself and keep moving on. I appreciate your (and everyone elses) continued support of course.


  2. I like Bumba’s blog so will be looking forward to reading his book myself. You always write about the reading experience so well so just trust your writer’s instinct and you’ll do splendidly!


    1. It was a momentary blip, the self doubting but I can always rely on you fine people to keep me grounded. It is nice to be in the environment where my passion can be turned up to the ‘max’ and no one minds. I’d be interested to read any thoughts you ave as well when you get around to reading it.


    1. If you find yourself around my way, I shall get you one in. You can always recognise me, I am the only one reading, well there is another guy who wears glasses, reads and sits at the same table but we are different people despite what the bar staff would have you believe. Inspiration always comes quicker to those who have that pleasant fuzzy feeling.


    1. With such inspiring words, I shall do my best to make an entertaining read, out of what i think shall be an entertaining read for me. I am not normally a fan of change but I could get used to this reviewing for real people activity.


  3. I am pleased and flattered that you’re giving so much kind attention to my book. Thank you very much. I hope you enjoy it. We count on you for honest, well-written reviews, so please don’t worry about hurting my feelings. I should add, though, that I am currently standing on the ledge of the Golden Gate bridge getting ready to jump if the review isn’t totally positive, because I need encouragement and….and…..and… Bye!


  4. I love Bumba and his work. I am sure you will do a thorough honest review. Soon you will be the go to reviewer, and rightly so.

    Great picture too :). Cheers my friend


    1. The picture is already out of date now I am growing facial hair but thank you, any camera that’s aimed at me gets a slightly dramatic pose. If I do become the go to reviewer I shall have that as the title of the blog lol.


  5. I reviewed a book by another blogger – “The Seneca Scourge” by Carrie Rubin. You can check out the review on my site. It’s a great book, and a welcome read after my reviews of those other awful books that shall not be named. But it is different when it’s a “real person”. Once I started reading it and I knew I loved it, I promised her a review. Once the review was up, she was so thankful that she sent me a signed book. I just got it. I have a lot of signed author books, but that one was the absolute best because I knew – at least through WordPress – the author. Pretty cool.

    Like I said, though, I knew I loved the book before I did the review. I think it’d be hard to give a review of a friend’s book if I didn’t like it. I’d feel bad about being dishonest, but also bad about giving an honest review – good luck to you.


    1. I like a challenge, something to take me out of my comfort zone. I think it will help me garner a new perspective and hopefully make me a better reviewer. It will help if I really do enjoy it though. Still not long now until I shall get around to starting it, with a touch of trepidation I must say but in a good way.


  6. Congrat’s. I’ve been there. It’s easy! Forget there’s a personal aspect and “do your thing”! I have great confidence in your ability my friend. Also since I do know that you are playful with verbiage, sometimes for fun and sometimes because you do it on purpose wondering if anyone might notice what you’ve slipped into the mix, I’m guessing you can write a well-written review that the author can relate to and feel good about! Bottom Line SteJ you are incapable of writing a review that is not honest.. It’s just the kind of book person that you are! Have fun, I think it will be for you!


    1. Kind and wise words my good friend, I am glad that you notice my experiments with words, and the terrible puns I like to throw in sometimes to see if I can hear the groans all the way from your house. All these comments are getting me ‘up for writing’ so I shall be throwing myself into a new albeit familiar situation with much excitement.


        1. I’m about halfway through and I only started it yesterday, is that a good sign? Well that would be giving it away and I’m all about the tease.


            1. And adding a bit more of a tease, I finished it today but shall not be posting until tomorrow night (UK time) in case I think of any more to addd to the review which is all written up. But as I’m not really evil here is a taster to what is in it: the words Bronx, Book and author.


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