Wack by Noah B. E. Church book cover
Wow, I seem to have packed a heck of a lot into my literary life recently – I can’t believe it’s only been a month since last we spoke (ok, since last I rambled on and you humoured me). Having submitted the manuscript of my first novel to a few agents a while back, I got my first ever rejection a few days ago. It was a surprisingly pleasant experience (not least because the agent wrote me a really engaged and positive e-mail to let me know about his decision, something I am very grateful for) but also because rejection letters seem to be almost a badge of honour for aspiring writers. Truth be told, I’ve been very seriously considering whether traditional publishing is the route for me anyway, being somewhat contrary and having pretty clear (/problematic) views about how I want my writerly life and works to take shape. On that basis, I’d be interested to hear anyone’s experience of publishing, either independent or traditional.

But, to my reading life, and thank you very much to everyone who suggested nineteenth century reads for me to pick up, not only here but across the big old nettyweb. I’m slowly working my way through Jane Eyre just now – I seem to be in the mood to savour novels at the moment – while my list of Victorian literature to read over summer grows ever longer and more daunting. Thanks to you all I’ve been discovering new (old) books too, which is really great, so if you have more wisdom to impart, I’m all ears.

You might also have noticed that I added to my online shrine to dear Marty Amis last month in the form of an Author Guide (which you can find here: Martin Amis, author guide), my latest idea for Bibliofreak.net. It’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while and seems like a good way to share information about authors I’m particularly interested in. There are more I’d like to do, but I’d be interested to know what you guys think of Author Guides as an idea – like it? Impressed by my ability to find a ceaseless number of ways to fawn over Mart? (Incidentally, I should be receiving a review copy of Amis's new novel, The Zone of Interest any day now, and am working myself up into a ridiculous ball of fanboying anticipation. What have I become?)

For this next coming month, I’m going to bring you a review of Wack: Addicted to Internet Porn, and also an interview with its author, Noah B. E. Church (I know, proper biblical name, right?). I’ve already read the book, which gives an interesting overview of current research into porn addiction as well as notes on how it affects the personal life of those addicted. It’s a really interesting topic (although I’m biased because my own novel covers this sort of area a bit), and so I am really looking forward to reading what Noah has to say in the interview – I hope I can persuade at least a few of you that it’s an area interesting enough for you to check out the review / interview too.

I’ve also got a few part-completed reviews floating around for the likes of The Lord of the Flies and Slaughterhouse-Five, which seem to have been sitting around forever. I’ll do my best to get some of these up this month, as well as any I put together for all these nineteenth century reads I’m discovering (and supposedly reading). I’m also starting work on a couple of new books (fingers crossed) so I should well and truly have my plate full this August. Especially if I plan to enjoy the actual summer that appears to be happening right outside my window just now…

Notable Posts from July
Author Guide: Martin Amis
Review: Cybersexism by Laurie Penny
Review: The New Atheist Novel by Arthur Bradley and Andrew Tate