Hi, I’m Jacqui, and this blog — JacquiWine’s Journal — is a space for me to share my thoughts and reviews of some of the books I like to read. It’s mostly books here, but I also post the occasional piece about wine, especially if there’s a link to a literary theme.
Having never studied literature beyond O Level, I’m just an ordinary reader as opposed to a professional writer or reviewer. Nevertheless, I do enjoy summarising and discussing certain books, and that’s what the blog is here for, as a forum for sharing thoughts and hopefully prompting some discussion.
I read a range of literary fiction, mainly 20th-century and modern classics with a sprinkling of more contemporary works too. I enjoy novels, novellas and short stories (there’s usually a collection of short fiction on the go alongside the novels), maybe the occasional non-fiction title too. I’m also interested in world lit/literature in translation, especially works from Europe, Latin American and Japan. Vintage crime fiction is another big area of interest for me: noir, hard-boiled and Golden Age mysteries from the UK, the rest of Europe, the US and Latin America.
While I do read quite a lot of literature in translation, I also aim to review books written in the English language – so roughly half of my reviews will cover translations, the other half books written in English. That’s a very rough approximation as I like to read a mix of different stuff.
I enjoy participating in themed reading events if there’s a link to or sufficient crossover with my areas of interest e.g. WITMonth (women in translation), Spanish Lit Month, German Lit Month and certain author events. I suppose it depends on what takes my fancy at the time.
My favourite writers include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen, Raymond Chandler, Richard Yates and James Salter. Recent discoveries include Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Pym, Penelope Fitzgerald, Joan Didion, Jean Rhys, Elizabeth Bowen, Patrick Hamilton and (on the hard-boiled front) Ross Macdonald. These are some of the writers I want to explore in more depth going forward – Yates and Salter are in this category too.
In September 2016, I will be co-hosting #ReadingRhys with Eric Karl Anderson who writes at the Lonesome Reader blog – it’s a reading week devoted to the work of Jean Rhys. If you’re interested in more information about the event, there’s a ‘Jean Rhys Reading Week’ page within the tabs near the top of the home page, and the announcement post is here:
When I’m not reading, I work as a freelancer in customer research and analysis. I’m a UK-based wine lover with a connection to The Wine Society in Stevenage. I’ve been a member of The Society for 15 years, and I work with them on a freelance basis from time to time (most of my wine comes from there, so the wine notes will link to some of their bottles – my own views, of course).
If you can spare the time, please do leave a comment or two on any posts of interest to you.
Thanks for dropping by,