I’m Emma. Around my day job I’m a writer, illustrator, reader, reviewer and new mother. My feet live in London, my head in whatever story I’m currently reading or writing. On this blog I share thoughts about books, stories and creativity.

What do I read and review? Recently, I’m mostly reading contemporary literary fiction and speculative fiction, some historical, some memoir, some classic. I do sometimes read a little young adult and middle grade when the right book appears and I’m in the mood for it. I don’t usually go for romance novels or thrillers. I’m pushing myself to read more translated fiction, and I love discovering talented self- and indie-published authors. My review policy is below!

What do I write? Don’t worry, my longer writing projects are all hidden safe in the laptop, under the cat, with filenames like β€˜ch. 3 third attempt’, β€˜untitled’ and β€˜a dramatic thing maybe’… and are unlikely to see the light of day any time soon. Most of what you’ll see on this blog is book related content, however I do very occasionally share shorter creative scribblings. Beware! When I have emotions, or wine, I tend to write poetry.

What else? Sometimes I draw things. You’ll find those things scattered all across the blog, and a few collected here.

Review Policy

If you would like to approach me to review a book, please bear in mind:

πŸ–‹ I prefer, in order, 1) literary fiction, 2) speculative fiction with a literary feel, which explores interesting characters and concepts, 3) true stories and memoir, 3) historical fiction. I don’t read many thrillers or romance novels.

πŸ–‹ Themes I often gravitate towards are: the human experience of war/conflict; the wonders and weirdnesses of every day modern life (a la Sally Rooney); anything that promises to say something interesting about people or the world.

πŸ–‹ At the moment I mostly reach for adult fiction (though not to say I do not enjoy YA and Middle Grade sometimes.)

πŸ–‹ I only do stand alone reviews of books I’ve enjoyed (or at least found something positive about). If I’m not enjoying a book I tend to DNF it quite quickly. I’ll let you know if this happens with a book we’ve been in contact about.

πŸ–‹ Depending on how much I have to say about the book, I may do a shorter review on Instagram, as part of a monthly Wrap Up post, or focus on one particular aspect in a Snapshot post.

Contact details:

Email me: emwithpen[at]gmail.com, tweet me: @emwithpen, or use the form below:

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