Make In A Day: Pompom Crafts | Victoria Hudgins | Review

Monday, 5 December 2016

*Review copy c/o Netgalley, cover image via

Make In A Day: Pompom Crafts is cute new craft book containing fifteen quick and easy projects all including pompoms! Penned by blogger Victoria Hudgins, the projects range from homeware updates such as cushions and tea towels, to party decorations and even office supplies!

Ideas like the Pompoms for Pillows (as shown on the cover) could be perfect if you’re looking to create some last-minute handmade Christmas gifts this year, and the Pompom Party Garland would look great in festive colours if you want to have a go at making some thrifty decorations! I also think that projects such as the Pompom Bunnies could be great for kids to get involved in making too.

Throughout the book there are large colour photographs of the finished products as well as clear step-by-step images. The clean layout makes the tutorials very easy to follow and you don’t need to be an experienced crafter to create any of the projects in the book, making it perfect for beginners.

If you’re looking for quick and fun projects to try out Make In A Day: Pompom Crafts may be a nice little addition to your bookshelf.

Features | Christmas Books

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas is just a few weeks away now, and on top of the food, celebrations, parties and trying to find the time to breathe, there's definitely something else you need to be thinking of too; Christmas reading material.

Over the last few weeks there's been lots of Christmassy reads published, and it's now getting closer to the height of the festive season. So if you want festive reading material, I thought that today I'd round up a few Christmas books that are out and ready for your reading!

  1. ...And A Happy New Year? By Holly Bourne. This is the novella that concludes the Spinster Club series from Holly, featuring the stories of Lottie, Amber and Evie. The rest of the series is great, by the way, but this book is themed around all the girls meeting up for New Year's for the first time since they left college. It's a really good read, and whilst it might not make too much sense if you haven't read at least one of the other books in the series, perhaps this book will give you the excuse to go and buy the others in this series!
  2. I'll Be Home For Christmas. This is a collection of short stories published by Stripes featuring authors like Juno Dawson, Katy Cannon, Non Pratt, Lisa Williamson, Holly Bourne and many more, along with Tracy Darnton who won Stripes' YA Short Story Prize earlier this year. Plus, the book is being sold in aid of Crisis, a charity in the UK which helps the homeless, so you get a good book and also support charity too!
  3. A Boy Called Christmas AND The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig. Matt Haig is a phenomenal writer, and this year he has two kids books out for Christmas, both taking a focus on 'impossible things.' There are plenty of good things being said about these two at the moment, so again they're more books that are definitely worth your time!

Those are just some of the Christmas reads available to choose from this year. In terms of books in general, this year has been very good anyway for publications, so if you need books, there is no shortage of fantastic ones available. 

I'll Be Home For Christmas | Various | Review

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

*Review copy c/o Netgalley, image via

I’ll Be Home For Christmas is a new collection of short stories and poems all inspired by 'home', a word that means so many different things to so many different people. The anthology features works from a selection of UK YA authors who have teamed up to raise money and awareness for Crisis, the national charity for homeless people. From tales of hardship to those that explore various relationships, each author has a very unique interpretation of the theme, creating a diverse collection that truly has something for everyone.

Stories/poems included are as follows:
  • Home And Away, Benjamin Zephaniah
  • Ghosts Of Christmas Past, Non Pratt
  • If Only In My Dreams, Marcus Sedgwick
  • Family You Choose, Cat Clarke
  • The Associates, Kevin Brooks
  • The Afterschool Club, Holly Bourne
  • Homo For Christmas, Juno Dawson
  • Amir And George, Sita Brahmachari
  • The Letter, Tracy Darnton
  • Claws, Tom Becker
  • Christmas, Take Two, Katy Cannon
  • When Daddy Comes Home, Melvin Burgess
  • The Bluebird, Julie Mayhew
  • Routes And Wings, Lisa Williamson

As with any anthology there were some stories I liked more than others but overall I really enjoyed exploring the variety of interpretations of the theme as well as all of the different writing styles. Some stories were upsetting, some terrifying, others heartwarming, but all were thought-provoking.

For every copy of the book sold £1 will be donated to Crisis.

Making Sense of Weather and Climate | Mark Denny | Review

Monday, 28 November 2016

*Image and Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


I picked this book up because I live in Michigan. In Michigan, we have the saying, "if you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes, it'll change." So I was hoping that this book would help me to better understand things like Lake Effect and sudden shifts in weather. I was a little disappointed. 

This book has a very slow start. I get Denny's attempt to approach weather and climate from this perspective. You need to know a lot of seemingly non-weather related things in order to fully understand weather and climate. That being said, I ended up skimming quite a bit. This book didn't really get my interest until the chapter on statistics.

This could easily be that my interest is more weather based while Denny is looking to talk about weather AND climate. If you wish to read this book, please make sure you're interested in both before attempting to read. 

Group Collaboration | How We Deal With Reading Slumps

Saturday, 26 November 2016

As we near the end of the year we know you have one thing on your mind...finishing and ticking off those bold book goals you made at the start of the year.

But when life takes over sometimes you just get stuck in a rut and reading takes a back seat. Then it happens...the dreaded reading slump. This month, our bloggers want to help spur you onto your book goal finishing line and have compiled a list of tips on how to deal with reading slumps and (more importantly) how to get out of them!

Reading Slumps Joshua Reading Slumps Ria Reading Slumps Rachel Reading Slumps Jemma
Reading Slumps Joshua

What are you top tips for handling reading slumps? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @blog_bookshelf!

Images sourced from
Thank you to all of this month's contributors: Rachel, Ria, Jemma, Erin, Joshua

In next month's group post we're rounding off the year and picking out our top five favourite reads! Let us know what your favourite books of 2016 are by email or tweet us (@blog_bookshelf)