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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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NEWSLETTER

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Let Me Introduce Myself... | 5 Favourite Genres


Well hello there! I haven’t done a first post in years, this is kind of weird. I’m Sophie, the newest member of the team, usually writing over at sofilly.com. In case you don’t read my blog, I thought my first post would be the perfect time to introduce myself by sharing some of my favourite books.

I discovered this ‘tag’ of sorts through a tweet from @acaseforbooks and basically the gist is you share not necessarily your favourite all-time books, but the books that would give someone else the exact idea of what sorts of books get you going. So, without further ado, here’s a summary of the kind of books I’m into, and what sort of genres you can expect from my future posts!


Harry Potter and the Nostalgic Childhood

Let’s start out with a biggie that shaped my life and introduced my love of reading. Harry Potter is my all-time favourite book world, while the books may not be my favourite books of all time they still mean so much to me. I call this genre my nostalgic genre, all the books from my childhood and teen years that instantly take me back. The books I could read again and again and quote half the book without even thinking.

See the Harry Potter series, and Lola Rose by Jaqueline Wilson (and the other JW books).


A Court of Fantasy

I’m incredibly picky about the types of fantasy books I enjoy, but finding the first novel to a huge series of fantasy novels is one of my favourite things. I love magic, human/animal beasts, humans with powers, certain non-sparkly vampires, and Greek gods. The books that transport you to another world where your 9-5 job doesn't exist and you don't have any homework to do, the places where everything is possible once you've got past a full on war or two - you know the kinds. The books that allow your imaginations to run wild, who knows what a high fae looks like? It's fun to see what others imagine too.

See the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, Percy Jackson, and The Mortal Instruments series.


Awkward Anna and Perfect Life

Young Adult is my favourite genre, and probably still will be for a fair few more years even though most YA books are based on two or three different storylines and are sort of aimed at people younger than myself. You know the ones; the ones all over the internet that everyone is reading and posting on their gorgeous flatlays because the covers are usually rather attractive. I admit I have bought a few of these solely for their covers without really knowing what the story is about. It's because it's YA I know I'll usually 95% of the time really enjoy it.

See Anna and the French Kiss series, Everything Everything, certain John Green novels, and Rainbow Rowell novels.


The Book Historian

Similar to Fantasy, while I love select Historical fiction I'm not a fan of most. I have particular parts of history that I enjoy reading about, not because of the suffering and tragic stories these people went through, but because these timelines interest me the most. These are obvious if you look at the books I enjoy in this category; mostly World War II, with a little of black history (slavery, segregation etc). I enjoy learning about these points in history and while most are fictional tales I'm more likely to take information in if they're fictional stories rather than non-fiction textbooks.

See The Book Thief, The Secret Life of Bees, and Maus.


Under Italian Skies with a Gorgeous Italian

You can usually never go wrong with a cheesy romance novel. It's obvious what's going to happen; introduce a lonely woman (usually in a new job or new place or freshly single), walks in prince charming, they hate each other, they love each other, something bad happens, then they live happily ever after. You know the ones. I can't help but enjoy most of these, usually they're the type of books I grab when I've just finished an intense read, maybe something historic or a long action-filled fantasy. Having a brain-numbing book for your brain to switch off during is sometimes rather useful, it's like watching Keeping up with the Kardashians, you don't really care what's happening but they're entertaining you enough to keep your mind at ease and relax.

See Under Italian Skies, and select Nicholas Sparks novels.


Are you into any of these genres too? Whats your five favourites that describe you, I'd love to get to know you!


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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Even The Darkest Stars | Heather Fawcett | Review

 
One of my favourite things about the FairyLoot boxes is that they introduce me to books that I wouldn’t usually pick up. In this case, they introduced me to a book that I probably wouldn’t pick up and ended up loving.

The book in question?

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett. This is a fast paced adventure story about Kamzin, who has already dreamed of being the Royal Explorer. When the opportunity comes to join an expedition up an untrekable mountain, she is desperate to join. It just so happens that it is nowhere near as simple as she initially thought.

This truly is a great adventure, full of exciting twists and turns. Some of them were a little predictable but there were plenty more to keep me entertained. I particularly used the way Heather Fawcett handled magic in this story. It was truly intriguing. One of my favourite things however had to be the way she wrote dragons. Rather than the epic beasts they usually are in fantasy books, they were more like cute little house pets with chores of their own to do! It was so unusual and I absolutely loved it.

I have to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the romance subplot in Even the Darkest Stars but it didn’t take away from the fact that I did enjoy the book as a whole. Some of it bored me a little so I skipped it to get to the good stuff - the expedition itself.

Kelly x
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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Send Us Your Thoughts On Our First BB Book Club Pick!

book club tales of the peculiar

Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales. 

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. The origins of the first ymbryne. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—known to hide information about the peculiar world—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. - Goodreads
We really hope you've been enjoying reading our very first book club selection as much as we have and can't wait to hear your thoughts on the book. This is just a little reminder that you only have a week left to submit your feedback - click here to join in!

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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Power Plates | Gena Hamshaw | Review + Recipe Test

lentil stew with dumplings vegan gluten free

*Review copy c/o Netgalley, cover image via goodreads.com

Power Plants is a new cookbook from The Full Helping’s Gena Hamshaw featuring 100 recipes that are nutritionally balanced and completely plant-based. Building upon the ideas the author has shared on her blog the book is also packed full with useful information on everything from macronutrients to advance prepping, batch cooking, freezing and even seasonal meal plan ideas.

The overall design of the book is beautiful with soft colours and photos that showcase the delicious nutritionally balanced dishes. I was a little disappointed by the lack of allergen key alongside the recipes, something which I’m used to seeing in the cookbooks I review. Although these can help to identify allergens at a glance, the layout of this book makes it easy to quickly scan the ingredients lists if necessary.

Instead of just sharing my top picks from the book for this review I thought I would try out one of the recipes and share the results with you. I chose the Curried Tomato Stew with Chickpea Dumplings (pictured above) as I’d never cooked anything like this before and loved the idea of making gluten free, vegan dumplings.

The instructions were really easy to follow and unlike with some ‘free from’ cookbooks none of the ingredients were difficult to track down, in fact I already had most of them in my kitchen. The finished stew tasted great and I’ll definitely be making it again in future, as well as attempting to cook more recipes from this book - I’m looking at you Golden Rice Bowls!

Overall I'm really impressed with the design, selection of recipes and amount of information packed into Power Plates. With little added extras such as the meal plans this book is a great introduction to plant-based eating.

powerplates
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Monday, 8 January 2018

How You Can Get Involved With BB This January

This is just a quick reminder that you only have a few days left to send us your responses for our January group post!

It's quick and easy to get involved, all you need to do is tell us the titles and authors of five books you 'vow to read' in 2018 via this Google form (also below). We'll be sharing your lists here on 14th January so we'll need your responses by this Friday.



If you're also joining in with our January book club, don't forget to send us your thoughts by 19th January!

- Team BB


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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Bookish Links #38


1. Writing Goals - if tackling your writing goals is top of your 2018 to-do list this is the post for you. Check out Loretta's top tips to help get you started!

2. 2018 YA Fantasy - this article over on Bustle shares twenty-seven upcoming YA Fantasy releases that are sure to make your 2018 TBR even more exciting!

3. A Christmas Book Haul - we loved Lauren's post about all of the amazing books she received for Christmas. We think Adultolescence in particular sounds like a great read!

4. Brains Over Brawn - if you're looking to read more books featuring awesome female characters check out Bec's list of her five favourites.

5. Bookish Crafts - how amazing is this personalised bookshelf quilt Carys shared over on Twitter?

6. Kick-Start 2018 - over at Daisybutter Michelle shared her six top picks to kick-start your 2018 reading. We love the sound of The Working Women's Handbook and would highly recommend another of her selections; Lauren Graham's Talking As Fast As I Can.

7. Books To Movies - if you can't resist a good book to movie adaptation you'll love Jamie's recent post which lists all of those due for release this year. Which adaptation are you most excited about?

8. Gripping Reads - we enjoyed this post where Anne shared recommendations for some real page turners!

9. More Recommendations - our final link this month is Estee's recent video on the books she read and loved in 2017. Have you read any of these books?

If you've read or written an interesting bookish article you think our readers would enjoy please let us know - it may be featured in a future post!

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