Blog Posts

Why I use Ratings in my Book Reviews

Hey Bookworms! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve noticed that there has been tons of discussion about this topic in the book community so I thought I’d share with you why I personally like to used a star-based system in my book reviews. Please share your thoughts and let me know do you use ratings in your reviews? Don’t forget to subscribe to my Booktube channel before you leave, it would help me out loads! ❤

Hope you have a great weekend! 🌻

Booktube Review: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Konbanwa Bookworms!

こんばんは – – – !!

I’m feeling inspired to utilize my tourist level Japanese today which has been driving the other half mad all day because I just posted my booktube review of Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman. See below to view it .. Have you read this book yet? What are your thoughts? Please let me know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel where more reviews will be posted soon!

I finally fixed the sound! always a good sign 🙂

Until my next review, またね – – – ❤

My Video Review Of Ivy Pochoda’s Wonder Valley

Hey Bookworms!

Today, I’d thought it would be fun to try doing a video review and as such I finally posted my very first Youtube video to my channel @loiscudjoe. I hope you enjoy it and as always, please look out for my next review which will be posted tomorrow and check out the Book Reviews page for more amazing reviews!

Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to share your comments below and tell me have you read this book or what you’re currently reading at the moment.

Until next time!


Lochanreads Bookish News Picks

Today I’d like to do something a little different and share with you some of the most interesting articles I’ve read this week in the world of books and publishing. Here are my 3 picks for bookish news stories this week.

  1. Molly Case, the NHS nurse who finds poetry on the wards
Molly Case

Molly Case, a cardiac nurse (pictured left) uses poetry as a means of enlightening people as to the N.H.S crisis in the U.K. Her poem, ‘Nursing The Nation’ is a deeply stirring, accessible rebuttal against the unfairly negative press about those in the medical profession.

2. ‘It’s a silent conversation’: authors and translators on their unique relationship

English language translator Flora Drew with Chinese author Ma Jian.

This interesting story gives a deeper appreciation not just of language, with the weight of nuance and culture behind it, but also the deep familiarity that makes book translations possible. This familiarity is perfectly exemplified through Chinese novelist, Ma Jian (pictured left), known for works such as ‘China Dream’. His translator, Flora Drew (also pictured left) is also his wife and therefore shares a level of intimacy with him that allows her to ‘become him’ in her translations.

3. Chinese writer Tianyi jailed for 10 years over gay erotic novel

The Chinese Supreme People’s Court, where a ruling used to convict the author was passed in 1998

A female Chinese writer, under the alias Tianyi is sentenced to 10 years in prison for writing a novel featuring homo-erotic scenes between two males. The novel is said to go against strict pornography laws. This overly harsh indictment is a stark reminder of the ever present homophobia that is sadly still widespread today.


Thank you reading! Please feel free to comment down below about any of the articles featured in the post. I look forward to sharing more news related posts with you soon but for now, why not check out some of my latest reviews? Click here to read more! 📚

New Book Review: The Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

A new review is up on the Book Reviews page! Here’s a excerpt;

During his captivity, Lale unwittingly becomes the ‘Tätowierer’ of
Auschwitz-Birkenau, responsible for inking his fellow inmates with their prison numbers. It was not long after his appointment to this pain-inflicting occupation that he met the woman of his dreams, a fellow Slovakian named Gita. A beautiful romance ensues with his beloved, giving them both hope that they will survive their plight and a share a future together.

This book is truly unputdownable. I was hooked from the very outset and deeply moved not just from the horrors that occurred but also from Lale’s arresting romanticism and determination….

The Ghost Tree by Barbara Erskine

This review is brought to you courtesy of the LoveReading UK ambassador book buzz. Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers for sending me a copy of this book! 🙂

The Ghost Tree by Barbara Erskine is an insidious tale about the newly divorced Ruth Dunbar, who begins to uncover enchanting secrets about herself and her ancestors, through the recent death of her estranged father. As she plunges deeper into the history of her family tree against the backdrop of a scam threatening to undermine her father’s last wishes, Ruth stumbles upon an unsettling mystery about her past that will make her question everything she believes.

Erskine captivates in this novel, with story-telling that pulls the reader into her world. This is especially true when describing Ruth’s frequent retreats to the river of the Old Mill House and Thomas’ exploits in the castle ruins of St. Andrews, where I could picture myself in the scene and almost smell the salt of the sea.

Frequent time shifts occur, as the story changes from the perspective of Thomas’ archaic past to Ruth’s modern present, and there is a shift in language to reflect these time jumps however, at times, these shifts have a suddenness that makes particularly Thomas’ narrative feel less antiquated and more contemporary.

Despite the various plot lines, Erskine creates some well-developed characters whose motivations we empathize with, though not wholly agree with, as in the case with April and Timothy. I enjoyed reading the gradual unfolding of the story and seeing how the different arcs converged into a satisfying ending.

The Ghost Tree is an immersing novel with a dynamic plot that maintains momentum and holds the reader’s intrigue throughout. I especially loved the descriptive story-telling and the darker themes which gave the novel a chilling yet alluring quality. This novel was a lot of fun to read and really easy to get into. All in all, I award The Ghost Tree.. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Thanks for reading! For more book reviews like this one, please visit the Book Reviews page.

LoveReading UK featured my review!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored

Hey Bookworms!

I’ve got some exciting news! But before I divulge, please leave me a comment telling me what you’re currently reading at the moment and whether it’s the type of genre or book you would normally read.

On to my news, I’m extremely excited to have been selected as an ambassador for LoveReading UK, the UK’s leading book recommendation website. They are a fantastic resource into finding a wealth of reading suggestions and editorial reviews. If you would like to check out their website, please click here to find out more.

I was asked by LoveReading UK to write a review for their website which I was absolutely thrilled about and I would love for you to read it. The book I reviewed was a deeply symbolic collection of poems called, Braid: Poems And Thoughts by Pierre Sotér. Here is a short excerpt;

“…The nature symbolism bears its presence in many of Sotér’s poems, including Symmmetric Blue, Waves & Tides; a poem that artistically renders the waves of the sea galloping like a horse and Silver Drops where mere rain is compared to silver, in such a way that exposes our shallow nature as humans.”

To read the full review please click here!

“Read this world of ours, but do it right,
And then, with human words, let’s try to write.”

Vote For My Next Classic Read Of The Month!

Hey Bookworms,

Every month I’ll be reading a classic to add to my collection of reviews. Please help me choose which one I should read next by taking the survey below! And before you go, tell me in the comments: What was the last classic book you read and what did you think? Thank you in anticipation of your votes and Happy Reading! 📚

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen

My 2018 In Books – Please Vote!

Last year was a year like any other. Full of highs and rife with lows. I experienced my fair share of both in equal measure despite how generic that sounds. Among other things, I’m so glad that I finally started this blog after years of procrastination and self-doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying to figure this stuff out as sometimes I really feel so out of my depth. Nevertheless, its thanks to this little blog of mine that I have been able to read 50 books this year which I am extremely thrilled about!

c But those books which stood above the rest and affected me the most are those which I am going to share with you today. Here are my Top 5 books of 2018!


Silent Companions by Laura Purcell “…This insidiously gothic horror story which I’ve been gushing over on various social media platforms, gripped me from the outset to the ingeniously sinister end.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay “… This book is without doubt unquestionably funny. Even at times when it shouldn’t be, the occasional tone of cynicism turns an otherwise dire situation into a witty anecdote.”⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini “… the writing style is flawless with imagery that is both scenic and vibrant. I loved reading his descriptions of Herat when Mariam first ventured there.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda “… the writing is atmospheric, placing you in the scene so vividly as though you were running alongside Tony on his morning jog, or walking alongside Sam and Blake in the oppressive heat of the desert.”⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata “… the way it injected an almost unopened newness into the banality of being a store worker through Keiko’s unusual perspective was perfection.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐

These were utterly brilliant books which I greatly enjoyed reading. They lingered on in my thoughts well after I had finished reading them. They opened my eyes in some way and changed my outlook and I can’t wait to read each one of them again. Please click on the titles above to read my reviews! If you’ve read any of these books, please tell me your thoughts about it in the comments 🙂 📚

⬇️ Now I want to hear from you fellow readers!

⬇️ Vote for your fave book of 2018 here!

Thank you so much for your support in 2018 and for your feedback! Have a fantastic 2019 you bibliophiles! And to keep updated with my upcoming reviews, please visit the Book Reviews page 🙂


What’s Your Hogwarts House?

Hello Readers!

I hope you’re having a wonderful week whatever you’re doing, or reading! I’ve finally decided to start reading what is without doubt one of the most famous and widely sold books of all time. And no it’s not Quotations from the Works of Mao Tse-tung…

harry potter audio book

I first read Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone when I was in primary school, but that was also the time when my Harry Potter journey unfortunately ended. Instead my childhood was defined by such children’s novels as A Series Of Unfortunate Events and anything written by Jacqueline Wilson. So when I finally signed up for a free trial with Audible, I thought I’d mark the novelty of never having listened to an audio book before with a book I’ve essentially never read before. And what better than with an epic fantasy filled with magic and adventure!

Now it’s over to you fellow readers. Have you ever listened to an audio book before? Which one was it and what did you think? And tell me what your Hogwarts House is and why?


If you’re an audio book novice like me and you want to experience a new way of ‘reading’ try an Audible free trial for 30 days by visiting the link below! ⬇️ ⬇️

📚 📚

Happy reading Bibliophiles!


Book Review: Time Of Contempt by Andrej Sapkowski

Synopsis: The scene is being set for the gathering of the Conclave of Mages, where sorcerers throughout the four kingdoms will gather on the Isle of Thanedd to discuss political affairs and the threat of war from the land of Nilfgaard. Meanwhile a rebellion is brewing that will divide the Council concerning the fate of Ciri, an exiled princess, Witcher-in-training and prophetic child of the Elder blood.

Time Of Contempt is the second book in the Witcher series, originally published in 1995.

The premise of this story inspires excitement with lots of promising build-up that ultimately fails to deliver. I believe the first part of the story was a lot stronger than the second part as it seemed to have a lot more coherence as opposed to the events that took place after the Conclave of Mages where the execution of the plot became very erratic, with different story arcs cropping up haphazardly…To read the full review please click here!

Book Review: The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwall

Cornwall maintains the action filled momentum of The Last Kingdom in this sequel novel, with a lively and animated plot that was consistent throughout the book. I enjoyed the rawness of the story-telling which complemented the book’s historical setting, during an age of battles, war and rebellion. It almost added an extra layer of harsh realism to the abundant portrayals of sex and violence.

The characterisation was also a strong feature of this novel, especially in the case of Uhtred’s ongoing internal conflict, which makes him fight alongside his Saxon countrymen, but also yearn the life of a Danish warrior. He thus brings upon himself the disdain of all those around him who scorn his pagan leanings. The people of Wessex are fiercely loyal to their Christian faith, yet as an affront to his people, Uhtred openly wears Thor’s hammer around his neck, dresses like a Dane and is overly familiar with the sorceress Iseult, despite being married to Mildrith…

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt – – – To read the full review, please click here!

Classic Book Review: Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

I feel no review on such as book as Gone With The Wind would be complete without some form of commentary of the slavery situation that was prevalent in those days. This book offered invaluable insight into the plight that black people faced under the tyranny of the Old South, but the book reflects another light on the situation; one where black people didn’t feel oppressed, but rather accepting of how things were back then. During emancipation, many of them didn’t want to leave their masters or found themselves also struggling to adjust to the ways of the New South.

Mammy is a perfect example of this. Mammy is the black, maternal housemaid with undying loyalty to the O’Hara family. She practically bred Ellen, Scarlet and Scarlet’s children as though they were her own children and even chastised them as such. When Scarlet presented Mammy with the opportunity to be ‘free,’ she hotly refused claiming that she wasn’t ‘no free issue n*gger.’ …. Click here to read the full review.

Booktube Review: The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwall

Hey Bookworms!

Bank Holiday Monday is almost over and I’ve spent the day marathon reading because that’s what Bank Holidays are for. And the icing on the cake is tuning into the next episode of the last season of Game Of Thrones tonight!

I also posted my video review of Bernard Cornwall’s The Last Kingdom on my Youtube channel so please check it out and tell me what you thought. I’d also really appreciate it if you could give my fledgling channel some love and support by subscribing 🙂

Oh..and side note, I know the sound quality is beyond awful but I am working on it and rest assured the next video I post will have no such problems. 🌻🌻🌻