Happiness is…Talking about books

Oct 30, 2020 | 4 comments |

Books have been part of my life as far as back as I can remember and almost as soon as I learned to read, I shared and talked about books with others.

In childhood

At school, book reports were a feature of elementary (primary) school and in sorting through old papers, I recently came across this ‘gem’ capturing my thoughts on a book I read when I was eight.

“I didn’t like it. It was scary.”

Clearly, as both reader and writer, my preference for heartwarming, feel-good fiction began early!

I also remember talking about books with my school and local branch librarians who were often a source of new book recommendations, something the librarians in my current public library still do via their “staff picks” section.

Growing up, I had pen pals in various parts of the world and in addition to letter writing, some of them shared my interest in books and reading. Indeed, I still have a book of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales sent to me by one such pen friend in Denmark.

Sharing books with family and friends

My mother and I talked about books too and even during my years of teenage angst when there was much we didn’t agree on, books were always a bridge between us.

Talking about, shopping for and sharing books was something we enjoyed doing together, and I cherish books with Mom’s pencil notes inside the front cover.

“A good book, read Easter 2011,” says a comment in a paperback edition of Debbie Macomber’s Back on Blossom Street, a book now on my own shelf.

As an adult, talking about books with friends, whether through a book club or informally, has helped me forge bonds in life, not only fiction.

And with participation in my real-life book club on hold owing to the pandemic, I’m drawing bookish sustenance from several Facebook book groups.

Although I’m an author, I’ll always be a reader first, as keen to discover a new-to-me and must-read title as anyone else.

My ‘bookish’ author life

Now as an author, I talk about my own books with others and sometimes offer recommendations of books I’ve enjoyed in my monthly newsletter. If you haven’t yet subscribed to my newsletter, do so here.

In terms of talking about my books, October has been especially busy.

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For fans of Floppy Ears, I guested on The Writer’s Pet to talk about my sweet dog and how animals in my fiction help characters grow and change. 

Read my chat with Zazie Todd, PhD, an author and founder of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, here

For the recent Ontario Public Library Week here in Canada, I was interviewed by the founder of a local writers circle about my books and writing life. 

Watch our chat at North Grenville Public Library on this YouTube video here. (Given the ongoing pandemic, I’m wearing a mask in line with regional public health guidance for indoor venues).

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Not least, I was interviewed by author Ruby Moone on the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) blog and we chatted about my latest release, A Wish in Irish Falls

Ruby also asked me to share advice for my younger writing self and aspiring authors.

My two top tips? Self-belief and perseverance. 

Read that interview here

Share your love of books with authors & leave a review

If you like talking about books too, make an author’s day and tell them so, including leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads, BookBub or elsewhere. 

Reviews are one of the easiest (and free) ways to share book love and they also help your favorite authors find new fans. 

Since I’m all about recommendations and finding new favorites, what book have you enjoyed recently?


  1. Lynn Folliott

    Books are enjoyable parts of both our lives but I think they are a, vital part of yours. Another interesting post, Jen, thank you. And I am reading a book by Gill Paul, that I think you might like, Jackie and Maria. If you’d like to try an historical fiction by Alison Weir, I’m also reading Katheryn Howard, her latest in the Henry the VIII’s wives series. I’ve also enjoyed all of yours and plan to read your latest ‘A Wish In Irish Falls’ soon. xo

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog, Lynn. Yes, books are indeed a ‘vital’ part of my life! I appreciate your book recommendations too. I’ve just looked up the Gill Paul title and it sounds very interesting. I’m already a fan of Alison Weir’s books so that’s another one for my TBR list.

      I’m glad you enjoy my books and hope you like ‘A Wish in Irish Falls’ too. xo

  2. Susanna Bavin

    How lovely that your mum wrote little notes in the books she read and you now have all those reminders of her taste and her personality. I think that many of us are turning to books as a special kind of release from the pressures and difficulties of life in the pandemic and I’m sure that your warm and wonderful stories must have brought pleasure and solace to many readers. I also clicked on the link to read all about your “author assistant”. Such a lovely blog!

  3. Jen Gilroy

    Now more than ever, I’m turning to books for escape and comfort, Susanna. Your comment about readers finding ‘pleasure and solace’ in my books gladdens me, Susanna. Thank you!

    As for my mother’s ‘notes in books,’ they’re almost like a little hug from her across the years–as well as a reminder that although she’s gone she’s still part of my reading life.

    Thank you for reading and comment on my blog and reading my “author assistant” post too. Floppy Ears enjoyed her moment in the spotlight! 🙂


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