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WELCOME TO BLOGGER'S BOOKSHELF...

where our team of writers love to talk all things books, sharing reviews, features, lists, interviews and more.

Getting lost in a book is escapism at it's finest and it's what everyone who contributes here thrives on.

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Monday, 25 June 2018

BB Book Club | July's Book Is...


[Portuguese Irregular Verbs] chronicles the comic misadventures of the endearingly awkward Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, and his long-suffering colleagues at the Institute of Romantic Philology in Germany.

Portuguese Irregular Verbs, by Alexander McCall Smith

The title of this little 128-page book by Alexander McCall Smith (author of the The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series) has everything and also nothing to do with story.*

The book tells the tales of Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, or rather, snippets of his life as an academic in philology (study of written language and word), and the adventures he's been thrown into over the years. While it's not really one story from start to finish, with a beginning, middle, and end, a plot and subplot, a twist and some kind of conclusion, Portuguese Irregular Verbs is written in such a way that it's a collection of mini stories, events, or scenes from the Professor's life.

"In Portuguese Irregular Verbs, Professor Dr von Igelfeld learns to play tennis, and forces a college chum to enter into a duel that results in a nipped nose. He also takes a field trip to Ireland where he becomes acquainted with the rich world of archaic Irishisms, and he develops an aching infatuation with a Dentist fatale. Along the way, he takes two ill-fated Italian sojourns, the first merely uncomfortable, the second definitely dangerous." - Goodreads

While I found this book a little hard to get into at first, as soon as you're a chapter in you get used to the quirkiness of the writing, and the wit and humour threaded throughout. It's definitely a short read that you could get through in a couple of hours, and is very enjoyable. Just remember it is quirky, and it is a tad ridiculous at points.

If you'd like to read along with us in this month's Book Club pick, grab up a copy from your local library or head over to Book Depository to buy one for yourself (and get free shipping worldwide). Once you've read the book, share your thoughts through this Google form, by the 20th of July.


You can also use the hashtag #bookshelfbookclub to share your book photos and thoughts with us too!

If this doesn't sounds like your type of book, never fear! August's book will be picked by Erin, so stayed tuned for the announcement later in July!

*'Portuguese Irregular Verbs' is the name of the book that the professor has written. 
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Sunday, 24 June 2018

BB Book Club | June 2018 Roundup | Meet Cute

This year we decided to launch our very own online book club, with a new book for you to join us in reading every month. Our June title was Meet Cute, a YA short story collection selected by Sophie. Here's our June infographic to tell you a little bit more...

bb book club 2018 meet cute
Reader's comments and favourite quotes:

[Favourite moment] "The whole first exchange of Cas and Jo in the line for security at the airport, and how they give their names as Marvel agents."

"Overall I really enjoyed Meet Cute. There were probably 2 or 3 stories that I really couldn't get into and ended up super skim reading (so bad, I know), but the ones that were my favourite I wanted a whole book of. Dear authors, please expand." - Anjali @ This Splendid Shambles

Some people you want to get to know, and some people you want to know you.


"So far I've read a few stories of the book but ran out of time for the post. So far I like it so will definitely be finishing it. The stories are varied and sweet." - Cat

"The really good thing about short story compilations is when you're not particularly enjoying a character or plotline it'll be all over in a few pages and replaced by something hopefully more to your taste. There were only one or two stories out of the 14 included in this book that I wasn't the biggest fan of, however, there were plenty I loved." - Sophie @ Sofilly


Thank you to everyone who read along with us this month! If you would like to get involved with next month's BB Book Club check back here tomorrow where Anjali will be introducing her selection for July.

You can also sign up to our mailing list to make sure you don't miss out on any future book club updates!

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Friday, 22 June 2018

The Trilogy of Two | Juman Malouf | Review


Identical twins Sonja and Charlotte, twelve-year-old musical prodigies, learned to play before they learned to talk, but lately, mysterious things have begun to happen when the girls pick up their instruments...

Abandoned at birth by their parents, Sonja and Charlotte were found one night by Tatty, the Tattooed Lady from a travelling circus, with nothing but a note and locket from their biological mother. Tatty raised them as her own and Sonja and Charlotte have grown up quite happily among their friends in the circus, with Tatty as their mother. Both girls have grown to become very accomplished musicians but something strange has started happening when they play their instruments. Audiences float in the air, the weather changes, and the girls can't believe that they are responsible.

Sonja and Charlotte have often dreamed of bigger things but after accidentally revealing their magic in the wrong place, they find themselves having to flee their circus home for far more unfamiliar territory. The girls must journey through dangerous lands they never believed existed to escape capture, to find Tatty after she is taken from them, and to return something very precious that has been taken from children all over the land, and, along the way, they find out a few things about themselves.

The Trilogy of Two is a classic adventure story, full of twists and turns, perilous journeys through uncharted lands, magic, and mystical beasts. Sonja and Charlotte travel through many different places and get into many different scrapes, as all protagonists of children's books should, and meet a lot of different obstacles along their way. The world of The Trilogy of Two is weird, wacky, and colourful, filled with shapeshifting boys, magical musicians, and hidden worlds. There is a lot to keep track of in Sonja and Charlotte's story, and at times it can get confusing, trying to keep up with all the twists and turns the story takes, but there is never a dull moment or time to be bored. 

Sonja and Charlotte themselves have a lot to learn, and a lot of growing up to do over the course of their story. There are bumps along the way and the girls are not always the most likeable of protagonists but if they were, how would they have room to grow? And as they find out the truth about who they are and the powers they have, the girls do begin to grow and find out just how powerful they really are. There are a lot of supporting characters in this story, helping Sonja and Charlotte on their way, but they are at the heart of it and it's their sisterly bickering and bonding that propels the story forward, meandering as it may be at times.

The Trilogy of Two packs a lot of story and character in its pages, and that can make it difficult to read at times, but the creativity of the world in which it is set, and the fast paced twists and turns that take the reader through that world, are sure to keep younger readers entertained, just as long as they can keep the plot and all the different characters straight as they read. This book is a lot of fun, and the illustrations throughout the novel are a sweet addition, but be prepared to be bombarded by this strange and wonderful world, in a way that might confuse while it entertains.

This book was provided for review by the publisher but all opinions are the reviewer's own.
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Thursday, 21 June 2018

The Trials of Apollo - The Hidden Oracle | Rick Riordan

You may be wondering why I have a random Greek statue above unless you've read the title that is... This here is Apollo and he's who I wanted to talk to you about, don't worry I did crop out his private parts - he wasn't wearing a leaf and neither was the chrome version in the book!

It's no secret I'm a major fan of the Percy Jackson series, as I couldn't stop raving on about them last year when I finally got around to reading them. After I'd finished the series I was obsessed but I didn't really think to look into any other Rick Riordan books (well I did I just had a whole other TBR pile to think about instead). That is, however, until now...

I finished the first book The Hidden Oracle in The Trials of Apollo series in around 24 hours, it was excellent. The only problem I found was that I didn't realise all of Rick Riordan's book sort of lead one after the other. So because I was reading the first book in the latest series in parts of the book it referenced to a few of the errr 11 books I hadn't already read that had happened after the Percy Jackson series. In saying that it wasn't too much trouble, as most important events were explained enough that you could understand what was happening.


How do you punish an immortal? By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go... an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.


The book begins when the God Apollo has been turned mortal and sent down to Earth by Zeus to make up for his wrongdoing, something that has happened twice before although this time he retains none of his Godly powers. With a few new and old pals, yes Percy has returned for a small part, he works to solve the mystery of the disappearing demigods from Camp Half-Blood which unsurprisingly intermingles with the wrongdoings that got him there.

The main reason I loved this book what the way Apollo told the story. While Percy Jackson's narration was fine and dandy, Apollo's is hilariously great and I especially loved some of the parts he talked about himself as others would talk about Apollo. E.g. "I settled down on my bed in the Me cabin." instead of the Apollo cabin.

If you haven't read any of Rick Riordan's books I definitely recommend them, especially if you love Greek mythology like me. Also, another quick recommendation to the Greek myth lovers the audiobook Mythos read by Stephen Fry is excellent and totally great for learning about smaller myths rather than stories about the big 12!
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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

The Invisible Child and The Fir Tree | Tove Jansson | Review


I'm here today with something a little bit different. This book actually contains two short stories from the Moomin universe which have been repackaged into this stunning charity edition. 

Beautiful cover aside, this book is hoping to do some good with at least £4 from each book going towards Oxfam projects around the world which support women and girls. How could I not pick this up? At least this time my shelves would have a gorgeous new addition AND my money would be going towards something good. There's got to be some pluses to a book buying addiction, right?

Moving onto the stories themselves, I have to admit I wasn't really sure what to expect. I have very vague memories of the Moomins from when I was a child but nothing concrete. The odd story, a TV show perhaps. I was going in with very little knowledge (or memory) of what happened in this universe. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by how genuinely lovely these stories were. They filled me with the strange sense of nostalgia and warm-hearted-ness that all good children's stories should, leaving me with a definite smile on my face. 

I already know that I just have to re-read The Fir Tree closer to Christmas to help me get into the festive spirit and that I will be turning to The Invisible Child, over and over again. This is a really lovely story about a young girl finding happiness in her new life with the Moomins after being treated horribly elsewhere.

This won't take particularly long to read but I can't recommend checking it out enough. Grab a cuppa and get ready to smile. You know you want to.

Kelly x
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Sunday, 17 June 2018

Send Us Your Thoughts On Our June Book Club Pick!

We really hope you're enjoying our June BB book club pick Meet Cute, a YA anthology which was chosen by Sophie. There's just under a week left to make sure your opinions are featured in our June roundup and infographic and we can't wait to hear your thoughts - click this link to complete the Google form.

meet cute book club

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