#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Cleo Bannister



Today I’m excited to have the lovely Cleo Bannister answering #TopFiveThurday, Cleo blogs over at http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com. I love Cleo’s blog there’s a wide range of reviews. Cleo has been blogging for Three WHOLE years, which I think is an amazing achievement  so without further ado here’s Cleo’s #TopFiveThursday…….

Top 5 books you’ve read this year (so far)?    

This is so hard, I’ve read many great books this year and to be honest lots of my favourites have been from my own bookshelf and therefore books published before this year. To keep things current, and to narrow the selection I’m going to choose:

A Tapping At My Door by David Jackson
The Ballroom by Anna Hope
The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish
The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale
The Widow by Fiona Barton

All of which were published this year

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read?

Whilst I’m a firm believer that everyone should read, I’m not sure that there is a list that encompasses all the great literature out there so here are some that have made their mark on me based on my preferred genres

L.P. Hartley, in particular The Go-Between which is simply fantastic

Beryl Bainbridge for brilliant character studies which look at the darker side of life

Agatha Christie for ingenious plotting and being the Queen of Crime

Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine who combined a great mystery with the truth about the darker side of human nature

Reginald Hill who even when writing his Dalziel and Pascoe series manages to be inventive and come up with interesting structures and devices. His stand-alone books are fabulous reads too.

Top 5 books you want to read before the end of 2016?

The Trespasser by Tana French which will be out in September as I’m a huge fan of this author, one whose books though loosely linked are each individual delights.

I’m looking forward to the third in the Stephens and Mesphito series by Elly Griffiths, The Blood Card

I must read A Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain – it’s on my 20 Books of Summer 2016 but it’s huge and I’ve found myself incredibly short of reading time this summer.

I’m really looking forward to reading Liane Moriarty’s Truly Madly Guilty as she is one of those authors who weave wonderful stories with an addition of a good dollop of humour.

And I really want to read The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillian as her first book Burnt Paper Sky was amazing.

Top 5 blogging tips that you would give to new bloggers?

I’m always wary of giving blogging tips to new bloggers after having read a few posts when I started out which made out that blogging was a waste of time unless you did x, y & z but here are my thoughts for what they are worth.

Blog the way you want to by which I mean in your own style, as frequently as you want, about one subject or many, because if you don’t enjoy your blog it will be hard to keep it going.

Use the scheduler so that you can prepare your posts ahead of time. I tend to write the majority of my posts at the weekend as I simply don’t have time in the week to reply to comments, read other blogs and read enough of a book to keep the content flowing so this helps me enormously.

If you haven’t already done so, set up a twitter account and tweet your posts, I get at least half of the total traffic to my blog through twitter. Plus I get up to the date news about upcoming books etc.

Set up a different email account for your blog – I really wish I’d done this because I’m prone to missing personal emails due to the amount of blog related emails I receive these days.

Visit other blogs and comment on them, it is the only way to build up relationships with like-minded people and the book blogging community is so supportive and will give hints and advice if needed.

Top 5 book blogs you follow?

I follow lots of book blogs which I enjoy for a variety of reasons, here are five that I think stand out from the crowd

Fiction Fan’s Book Reviews is a funny and informative reviewer who doesn’t shirk from giving the highest praise or a scathing assessment. https://fictionfanblog.wordpress.com/

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist written by Margot who not only manages to come up with themes to link crime fiction but then links them to a line or title of a song! https://margotkinberg.wordpress.com/

BooksPlease http://www.booksplease.org/ Margaret reads widely and writes intelligent reviews plus she has a link on her blog of reviews going back to 2007.

Cathy746 had that many books on her shelf that she decided to chart her progress. I love this blog for the variety of books plus she runs the 20 Books of Summer challenge that I enjoy attempting as well as making me feel better about my TBR! https://746books.com/

Marina at Finding Time to Write includes her own writing on her blog as well as book reviews. Often on Friday she posts a series of pictures that never fail to fill me with envy https://findingtimetowrite.wordpress.com/

About Cleo

I am a forty-something woman, I’m quite small, straight-talking although hopefully not to the point of rudeness and I have a distinctive laugh and actually say ahh tissue when I sneeze!
I work in the Legal Department of a company that renews Intellectual Property rights, and since I’ve been there for over thirteen years I can imagine the glazed looks on all the readers faces, so I’ll quickly move to the fact that I live in Jersey in the Channel Isles which people are always far more fascinated about.
Oh and I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember with a significant proportion being crime fiction although I’ll give most things ago except perhaps Sci-Fi.


My thanks to Cleo for taking the time to answer #TopFiveThurday. If you are a blogger who would like to take part please feel free to leave a comment and I will be in touch.


There will be no #TopFiveThursday for the next two weeks, as the book review café is taking a two week vacation. Rest assured lovely bloggers who have sent me your answers I haven’t forgotten you, but as its a weekly feature it’s going to take a while to get to you all.



7 thoughts on “#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Cleo Bannister

  1. Fiction-Books (@Fiction_Books)

    Have a lovely holiday and thanks for hosting this excellent post 🙂

    Cleo, some excellent choices amongst your favourite books of 2016 and your ‘authors everyone should read’ selection couldn’t have sounded better if I had written it myself 🙂

    Your blog writing tips were also very appropriate to me right now, as I am seriously having trouble keeping up with all the posts I have promised, let alone finding any quality reading time. I think a personal re-evaluation is on the cards!

    Yvonne 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Weekly Wrap Up (September 4) – Cleopatra Loves Books

  3. laurelrainsnow

    Great post, Cleo, and I am going to check out the books and blogs you mentioned. Some of your mentioned books I’ve read and loved, like The Widow, The Perfect Girl, and Truly Madly Guilty.

    Enjoy your weekend!


  4. FictionFan

    Great post, Cleo! I love your choices for 5 authors everyone should read – some of my own faves on there. Thanks for the link – scathing is such a lovely word! I feel proud now – I shall go off and try to find a book to scathe… 😉



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