#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Joanne Baird at PortoBelloBookBlog


Today on #TopFiveThursday I have the lovely Joanne, who blogs over at https://portobellobookblog.com/  Joanne reviews mostly contemporary fiction and thrillers. I really look forward to reading her reviews, as they are honest and full of passion. Joanne also runs a regular feature on a Friday called Blogger In The Spotlight, I love these posts as it’s a great way to learn more about fellow bloggers. If you haven’t already checked out Joanne’s blog you may want to take a look, you won’t be disappointed

Top 5 books this year (so far)?

Ooh a very hard question. I’ll say these are just five of the top books I’ve read so far rather than the top 5. That’s diplomatic isn’t it?

Another Love – Amanda Prowse. The first I have read by this author but not the last. It spoke to me on a very personal level.

The Silent Hours – Cesca Major. I enjoy books set during war time looking at how ordinary people survive. This one was beautifully written, more than a little heart-breaking and I learned about an incident in WW2 I hadn’t been aware of before. (I could easily have chosen Chris Cleave’s Everyone Brave is Forgive here but that’s just sneakily mentioning another book really isn’t it?)

I Let You Go – Clare Mackintosh. I was a bit late to the party with this one but loved it. Very clever book with lots of wow moments. Pleased to say her newest I See You is every bit as good.

The Farm at the Edge of the World – Sarah Vaughan. Wonderfully descriptive prose, so atmospheric and weaves together the stories of three generations of women beautifully.

Somewhere Inside of Happy – Anna McPartlin. Beautifully written and a real tear-jerker.

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read?

Kate Atkinson – she’s just a terrific writer and created Jackson Brodie. Not only are the books brilliant but the tv adaptation gave us Jason Isaacs in the role!

Patrick Gale – one of my favourites, he writes beautifully. I always get completely caught up in his books. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak you should as he’s so entertaining.

Sebastian Faulks – just because he wrote one of my favourite books ever, Birdsong. Although I have enjoyed all his books and am looking forward to reading his most recent for my book group later this year.

Marian Keyes – because everyone needs a laugh! Her characters are always so quirky yet down to earth and usually completely mad!

Amanda Prowse – I’ve only read two of her books but have been struck by how she captures people’s everyday experiences so well and makes her reader really identify with her characters.

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

The Muse by Jessie Burton – I loved The Miniaturist and have heard great things about this one. It’s already been published and I have a copy which I’m hoping to get to in the next few weeks.

Where My Heart Used to Beat by Sebastian Faulks – as mentioned above, he’s one of my favourite authors so really looking forward to reading this.

Under A Pole Star by Stef Penney – I’ve enjoyed all her other books and this sounds another terrific read.

The Things I Should Have Told You by Carmel Harrington – I read Every Time A Bell Rings by this author last Christmas and loved it so am keen to read this too.

The Mountain in My Shoe by Louise Beech – again, really enjoyed her beautifully written first book and the storyline of this one sounds great too.

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

Join Book Connectors! – it’s a fantastic and very supportive Facebook group

Be kind! If you don’t like a book, that’s fine but either don’t review it or just say why it didn’t work for you. Remember that everyone likes different things and that the author has slaved over their work for months.

Don’t feel you have to accept every book you are offered, be selective.

Try not to compare your blog to others. It’s your blog and your voice which people will want to hear.

You can’t read everything! We all see so many books we’d love to read but be realistic or you’ll start to feel overwhelmed.

Top 5 book blogs you follow?

Gosh that’s a hard question as I follows lots and all are great. So apologies to those I miss but I’m going to select:

Linda’s Book Bag https://lindasbookbag.com/

Being Anne https://beingannereading.blogspot.co.uk/

Cleopatra Loves Books https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/

Little Bookness Lane https://littlebooknesslane.wordpress.com/

My Chestnut Reading Tree https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com

img_0680I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half and it has taken over my life a bit! Luckily, I don’t work so I have plenty time to read. When I’m not reading, I like to cook and bake and I’m a bit of a parent taxi to my two teenage girls. I live by the sea in Edinburgh and love to go for a walk listening to the waves.


https://portobellobookblog.com/      @portybelle on Twitter     Facebook

My thanks to Joanne for taking the time to answer #TopFiveThursday questions it’s much appreciated.


If you are a book blogger and would like to take part, please feel free to contact me. You can either leave a comment below this post or my contact details can be found on the home page of my blog.

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