About Booker Talk

Love Talking About Books? Great. You’re In The Right Place

That’s exactly what you get at BookerTalk: conversations about books. They might be reactions to the book I’ve just read or chats about my latest purchases or what I’m planning to buy next. Occasionally I might grumble about the size of the TBR mountain.

This is a space where I get to meet people who share my passion for reading. Because, let’s face it, when we’re not reading we’re either buying books or talking about them.

Who Is Booker Talk?

I’m Karen. A life-long book addict from Wales.

This is me back in the day when my hair was shorter, and the wrinkles smaller. I used to be a suit-wearing corporate wallah but today I’m more likely to be found in gym wear and jeans.

I love reading books.

I love talking about books. To anyone and everyone. And I really do mean everyone. Strangers on trains, in hospital waiting rooms, in cafes; the minute I see someone reading a book, I can’t resist the temptation to start up a conversation.

It’s a habit that exhausts my friends and relatives. When the eyes began to roll the minute I mentioned a book, I knew it was time to change the topic.

Starved of book chat, I created BookerTalk eight years ago. My plan initially was just to blog about my project to read all the Booker Prize winners. But over the years my interests have grown so today the blog is a melting pot of reviews, discussions and interviews.

What can you expect from BookerTalk?

Within the pages of BookerTalk you’ll find reviews of books from 19th century fiction to contemporary literature; from historical fiction to fiction in translation. There may even be a crime novel now and again. These reviews are my personal reactions, whether good, bad or indifferent.

One thing I promise you: This is a blog site completely free of books whose covers feature bare chested guys or smouldering women with long lashes and pouty lips. That might be the last book in the shop but no way am I buying!

You’ll also find book recommendations. Perfect for people like you who need to fill gaps in those bookshelves.

And there’s a special corner I reserve just for sharing my passion for the literature of my home country of Wales. I call it Cwtch Corner because in Wales we do love to cwtch (cuddle up) with our friends. So you’ll find interviews with Welsh authors and features on Welsh literature.

For authors and publishers

I do enjoy reading new fiction so I do accept review requests from publishers. Please take time to read my review policy before sending me any review requests.

I do not accept review requests directly from authors or review self published books.

Let’s Get Talking

I love hearing from anyone else who shares my passion for books.

You can connect with me in several ways:

  • at Twitter via @kheenand
  • email to bookertalk at gmail dot com
  • via the contact form here Get In Touch

53 thoughts on “About Booker Talk

  • September 7, 2020 at 10:42 am
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    Hi Karen,I am also a book addict like you.I also read lots of books together.I always ask and give people recommendations about books on different topics.Today I am going to share a book which I am reading these days it’s called ” never broken” by Hannah Campbell.

    Reply
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    • February 3, 2018 at 4:30 pm
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      Hi Eric, I do listen to audiobooks – usually when I’m in the gym or in the car. I don’t tend to review them though

      Reply
      • February 14, 2018 at 3:17 am
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        Who’s asking for a review? 🙂 I’m just looking for people who want to try something different and fun.

        Reply
        • February 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm
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          I can see why you thought that’s what I was saying Eric but it’s not what I meant. I was simply saying I enjoy them but don’t talk about them much on this blog

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  • March 11, 2017 at 8:03 pm
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    Thanks so much for the heads up on Reading Ireland month! Definitely going to check it out.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2016 at 7:14 pm
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    Thanks for your review of Schooldays of Jesus. I, too, found it baffling. Incidentally, my only did-not-finish among the Booker winners was also Famished Road, although I do plan to try reading it again.

    Reply
    • October 17, 2016 at 8:29 am
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      I don’t think I wil give Okri another go. Too many other good books await.

      Reply
  • June 21, 2016 at 11:00 am
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    Hi, we’re a publisher of books by Welsh women – Honno: http://www.honno.co.uk. We publish fiction, non-fiction and classics and would love to let you know about some of our titles if that would be of interest? My email address is: press@honno.co.uk. Best wishes, Helena Earnshaw

    Reply
    • June 22, 2016 at 8:31 pm
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      sent you an email Helena and looking forward to hearing more from you. I’m aware of Honno but not intimately

      Reply
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  • February 4, 2016 at 7:14 am
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    Hiya. I’m afraid I’m going to renege on supplying a Guest Post for Feb. Have mulled it over and decided that a 75 year old white woman writing on South African books is not a good idea at this point in time. Local atmosphere has been very fraught for entire month of January, inflamed by the usual old boring uproar over racism, and whatever I say about our local lit scene is bound to be mis-interpreted, so I would prefer not to say anything at all. South Africa is a very complicated country to live in. Be glad you live in Europe. I hope yo9u understand. Please acknowledge this – unfortunately I don’t have yr e-mail address, or would have sent this info via that means.

    Reply
    • February 5, 2016 at 1:33 am
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      That’s a shame Alison. Maybe things will settle down and you’ll feel in a better position

      Reply
      • February 5, 2016 at 5:40 am
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        I don’t think anything is going to settle down until we’ve survived the local elections in May. For the time being better to keep one’s head down and keep a very low profile.

        Reply
  • January 6, 2016 at 12:16 am
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    You had me at Germinal! I’m a high school English teacher and I have my AP students read it every year! For me the first chapters are some of the best in literature!

    Reply
  • December 2, 2015 at 9:19 am
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    Hello – thanks for following my blog, despatchesfromtimbuktu.wordpress.com
    I’m a Booker Prize fan, always follow each year’s nominations/awards, and try to read at least some of the novels.

    Reply
    • December 2, 2015 at 9:34 pm
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      I loved your piece about the bus journey that went in the wrong direction

      Reply
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  • July 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm
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    I came across your profile from Kinna’s book blog. I love this blog and will be back from time to time! Hope you can visit African Book Addict too :).

    Reply
    • July 19, 2015 at 5:37 pm
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      I’m following you now – it will be good to get some recommendations for parts of Africa where I’ve yet to find an author.

      Reply
  • March 7, 2015 at 9:17 am
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    Thanks Dan for that insight. I’ll take a look at the site when I have a moment. By the way I agree with your comment in the final paragraph that the label is irrelevant and its the contents that matter.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2015 at 7:53 pm
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    I’m glad I found your blog. My tastes seem to be very similar to yours. I LOVE “Middlemarch,” for example.

    On another note, I spent just a day or two in Wales, and found it gorgeous! I’d love to spend more time there.

    Reply
    • January 21, 2015 at 9:26 pm
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      So glad you found me Debra. Even more excited to know someone visited Wales. What part were you in exactly?

      Reply
  • November 3, 2014 at 7:37 am
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    Hi Karen! Love the blog and it’s great to find you. Thanks for visiting mine and I’d love to be on your blog. Wales is definitely not England! 🙂 x

    Reply
  • September 28, 2014 at 1:02 am
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    I thought it was only old fuddy-duddies like me who still liked the Raj Quartet. So was glad to see it on your favourite list. It’s on my Desert Island list. But please don’t be too hard on people with e-readers Once you start having eye problems they are a real boon.

    Reply
    • September 28, 2014 at 9:39 am
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      I am a fan of e readers I promise. My comment was really that my preference is for the ‘real thing’ but when I’m travelling the e-reader is so much more convenient. I didn’t know about the benefit to those with eye problems but how reassuring that there is a way for them to continue doing something they love through technology advances

      Reply
  • September 15, 2014 at 3:29 am
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    Hi
    May I hope that you can review an award-winning historical novel? I published a Korean War novel The Dance of the Spirits on Amazon. The book won the 2014 eLit Awards sponsored by Jenkins Group. The book tells a story of a forbidden love in a forgotten war and received positive reviews from Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Reviews, Midwest Book Review, and some Amazon readers.
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/098969092X/?tag=bdsitelogin-20
    ISBN 9780989690928
    Best wishes to you and yours
    Catherine Aerie

    Reply
  • May 30, 2014 at 4:59 pm
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    I just recently purchased a copy of Middlemarch after realizing I had not read it. I thought I did, back in college, but had one of those searing memory flashes and realized it was Adam Bede we’d read for class. I’m planning on reading it later this summer. So happy to have found your blog through ArmchairBEA.

    Reply
    • May 31, 2014 at 4:05 pm
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      I’m happy to have you Chris. I read Adam Bede quite a long while ago now so it’s long overdue for a re-read

      Reply
  • April 24, 2014 at 7:02 am
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    I rarely leave remarks, but i did a few searching
    and wound up hee About Me | BookerTalk. And I actually do have a couple of questions
    for you if you don’t mind. Is it simply mee or does
    it appear like a few of the remarks apoear like wrirten by brzin dead people?
    😛 And, if you are writing at additional online sites, I’d like to
    follow everything fresh you have tto post. Would you list
    of all of your shared pages like your Facebok page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    Reply
  • February 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm
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    Karen, I discovered you through Sheila’s blog (Book Journey). So glad I did 😀 And I can’t say enough how much I LOVE your header!!! 😀

    Reply
  • December 31, 2013 at 10:16 pm
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    Karen, I just found your site and I greatly look forward to exploring it. Thanks for creating and sharing what is clearly a labor of love. You will appreciate this – I found you today having just received a one ton single volume edition of The Jewel in the Crown and was curious about that first paragraph, Bibighar Gardens specifically. I am keenly aware of my historical ignorance and so I read mostly nonfiction, but for me that only goes so far, especially since the more history I ready the more I want to run screaming off the nearest cliff (explanation: I’m reading about Stalin now). I know one needs novels if the goal is to understand of how we all got to this terrifying but for some of us at least still beautiful, magical now. I look forward to coming back often to figure out who’s next. Thank you and your readers for this site.

    Reply
    • January 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm
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      Hello Dave, thanks for dropping by. Hope you enjoy Jewel in the Crown as much as I did (the tv series is wonderful by the way) Karen Heenan-Davies

      ________________________________

      Reply
    • July 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm
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      i’m not totally averse to them, I just prefer the feel of paper. good luck with your challenge

      Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm
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    Just found your blog and was interested to see that Wild Swans is one of your favorite non fiction books. It’s also one of mine and although I read it about ten years ago when I was still living in Canada I’m reminded of passages from time to time. I’m also looking forward to reading what you think of Peter Ackroyd’s book – haven’t read anything by him since First Light, which I found haunting.

    Reply
    • February 26, 2013 at 9:40 pm
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      First of all my deepest apologies Edward for my tardy response. Your comment went into the spam folder for some reason. The Ackroyd book, Camberwell Tales wasn’t great. Not bad but just not all that good – and not anywhere up to the standard of Hawsksmoor.

      Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 7:08 am
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    And a thank you to you also Geoff for following me and becoming my 50th follower. I loved your classics list – we have so many books in common on our lists it will be fun to watch your progress.

    Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 2:41 am
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    Thanks for following my blog and I can’t wait to check out more about yours, but I HAD to comment about The Blind Assassin! I love it and Atwood in general and I’m also working my way through the Booker winners as well, but in no particular order or deadline 🙂

    Reply
  • December 8, 2012 at 10:28 pm
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    Hey. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog about the Booker and thought it only fitting to nominate you for a Booker Award! I don’t know if you like getting awards or not but I see them as a kind of reminder to remember to thank the bloggers who write the blogs we each love and cherish. So thank you! If you want to receive it, you can read about it here: http://christinarosendahl.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/the-booker-award/

    Reply
    • December 9, 2012 at 8:10 am
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      I did see this in your blog and commented on how much this meant to me. It’s given me the confidence I needed to keep blogging. Thank you for the wonderful start to a sunday

      Reply

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