And Then You're Dead | Cody Cassidy and Paul Doherty | Review

Monday, 29 May 2017

*Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

A collection of "what if" scenarios that all lead to death. The different forms of death are described scientifically through experiments and real-life examples. Such hypothetical situations include falling into a black hole, inability to sleep, being raised by buzzards, digging a hole to China and more!

Review:

This is an interesting compilation of "what ifs" that I never knew I wanted the answers to. It also clarified a few things for me. For example, I've heard Neil DeGrasse Tyson saying that falling into a black hole would lead to spaghettification, but did not know it would also involve being diced. 

A number of the details in the book are quite gruesome (it is a book about a lot of ways to die) but are necessary for the scientific accuracy. The authors clearly did their homework in each scenario and present it in an easy to understand manner. 

The only problem I had with this book is that it kinda got boring after a while. It was fun(ny) at first, but after a while it felt a bit repetitive. The scenarios were all different, but they all ended the same. Either that or I'm just not as interested in death by chocolate chip cookie, death by magnets or death by a trip to the sun.

Overall, though, if you have a run of morbid curiosity, this is definitely the book for you. Or if you're looking for answers to your kids questioning why getting hit by lightning won't give you superpowers, this book will prove helpful. It's got a good amount of trivial and important information. 

Group Post | #BBShelfies

Saturday, 27 May 2017

There are many things that fill a book lover's heart with joy. One of them is the sight of an insta-worthy bookshelf brimming with books. So for this month's post we asked our contributors to give us a glimpse of their own bookshelves and send us pictures of their bookshelves - or SHELF-IES. Check out their photos below.

(l-r: @Anjali_Kay // @RCagz )



(l-r: @RCagz // @sawyerandscout)

Thanks to all of our contributors this month. If you want to keep sharing your Shelfies tag us on Instagram with #BBShelfies.

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Next month we'll be asking for your Summer read recommendations. If you'd like to be involved with this and future group posts drop an email to bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com or keep an eye out on our Twitter for updates!


When Dimple Met Rishi | Sandhya Menon | Review

Friday, 26 May 2017


The arranged marriage YA romcom you didn't know you wanted or needed...

Dimple's main aim in life is to escape her traditional parents, get to university, and begin her plan for tech world domination. Rishi's rich, good-looking, and a hopeless romantic. His parents think Dimple is the perfect match for him, but she's got other plans...

Dimple can't believe her luck when her parents agree to let her attend a summer program for young coders. She isn't just excited for the six weeks she'll spend creating a new app at Insomnia Con but also because her parents finally seem to be accepting her passion for all things tech. She's much less excited when she meets Rishi and discovers that her parents really agreed to let her attend Insomnia Con because they knew that he would be there too. 

Dimple and Rishi's parents have decided that their children would be an ideal marriage match, something Rishi is fully on board with. Dimple, however, is most definitely not. Dimple is at Insomnia Con to win with her app idea and meet her idol. Rishi... well Rishi's mostly there at his parents wishes and Dimple is unimpressed to discover that he doesn't know the first thing about coding.

When Dimple Met Rishi is definitely a unique YA read. It's the first one I've come across where arranged marriage plays such an big part in the plot but that's not the only reason that this novel stands out. Dimple and Rishi are both appealing and dynamic characters, and you just can't help but root for them both from the very beginning. Dimple loves her family but with her passion for coding and her desire to go against so many of her parents' traditions, she feels like she is a disappointment to them, and they just don't seem to understand her. Rishi on the other hand is every part the dutiful son, living up to his family's expectations to the point where he is about to give up his passion of drawing comics for the sensible career that his parents want him to have.

The novel follows both Rishi and Dimple during their six weeks at Insomnia Con as they overcome their awkward first meeting and begin to find some common ground and help each other in ways they didn't realise they needed. It's a sweet love story, full of the intensity of first love, but it's about Dimple and Rishi's relationships to their families and themselves as much as their relationships to each other. With such an abundance of absent parents in YA novels, this is one of those refreshing few where family aren't just important to the main characters, but central to their stories.

If I have one small complaint it's only that for a novel set at a coding camp, there isn't a whole lot of coding. With so much talk of Dimple's passion for it, it's a shame that we don't ever really see her doing it, the way that we see Rishi drawing. There is however a talent competition that makes for excellent reading and really, what a small complaint for such a great novel.

When Dimple Met Rishi is warm, funny, and a perfect read for summer.

2017 Reading Challenge | Update #1

Monday, 22 May 2017

It's time to check in and see how everyone is getting on with their 2017 challenges!

Anjali... 22/40 books read | 2/5 books vowed to read
Normally by this stage in the year I might not have even gotten through 1 of my Vow to Read books, so I'm rather pleased with the current 2. I'm also super stoked with my reading challenge so far. According to Good Reads, I'm 8 books ahead of schedule. My favourite book of the year so far has been Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor. Amazing!

Erin... 1/5 books vowed to read
Whilst I've only read one of my five 'vow to read' choices so far I have another one lined up on my Kindle ready to read soon. I have also managed to cross fourteen prompts off of the Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge - if you missed my latest update you can catch it here!


Kate... 1/5 books vowed to read
Of the five books I mentioned in January’s post, I have only read one–Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal–which, unfortunately, was a big flop. The science is fascinating but the author presents it in the most tedious way possible. I hope to read the other books on the list this summer and fall.

I have been making great progress with some of my other reading goals, especially the Modern. Mrs. Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge, which I am participating in. I’m ahead of schedule for once! Yay!

Cat... 1/5 books vowed to read
So far I have read only one of my vowed to read books, 'The Graces' by Laure Eve, I enjoyed this mystical and magical story and would like to read more books with a witchy theme.

So that's how we're getting on with this year's reading challenges so far. We'll be checking in again throughout the year, so keep an eye out for updates. Don't forget to leave us a comment and let us know how you've been getting on with your own reading goals and challenges for 2017!

Image via unsplash.com

Get Involved | Show Us Your Shelfies!

Thursday, 18 May 2017


For our May group post we're talking bookshelves and we would love you to share your shelfies with us! 

All you need to do is share your shelfie photos on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #BBShelfies. If social media isn't your thing, you're also welcome to email us your photos to use in the post - you can find us at bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com

If you want to get involved we'd love to hear from you and will need your shelfies by 24th May. We're looking forward to seeing all of your beautiful bookshelves!

Image via unsplash.com

Features | Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge Update #3

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

the woman in cabin 10

Despite only sharing my second Popsugar Challenge update last month I've managed to cross off five more prompts from the list of fifty-two, making a total of fourteen so far.

A Book Involving Travel | The Woman In Cabin 10, Ruth Ware (2016)

Having sped my way through In A Dark Dark Wood as part of the 5 Books 7 Days readathon last year I was keen to find out more about Ruth Ware's second novel The Woman In Cabin 10. At first I wasn't too sure whether I'd find any challenges on the list that it would work for however this thriller centres around a travel journalist and takes place on a luxury cruise so definitely involves travel, even if it isn't the main focus of the book.

A Book About An Interesting Woman | The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher (2016) 

Released shortly before she sadly passed away last year, this book is based on diaries actress Carrie Fisher kept as a teenager on the set of the first Star Wars film - the perfect fit for this prompt.

margot and me

A Book Set In Two Different Time Periods | Margot & Me, Juno Dawson (2017)

Juno Dawson's latest release switches between Fliss' life in the present day and the 1940s diary entries of her grandmother Margot. This format works so well for the story and I'd definitely recommend checking this one out if you haven't already. If you missed my mini review of the book you can catch it here.

A Book By A Person Of Colour | The Other Half Of Happiness, Ayisha Malik (2017) 

Obviously this prompt was an easy one to cross off the list as there are endless amounts of titles to choose from. I read the first book in this duology - Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged - for the prompt 'a book with a title that's a character's name' and was keen to read the sequel on it's release. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first but would like to read more of Ayisha Malik's writing in the future.

A Book That's Been On Your TBR List For Way Too Long | Someday, Someday, Maybe, Lauren Graham (2013)

Actress Lauren Graham's debut novel was something I'd been planning on reading for such a long time so I felt it would fit this particular challenge perfectly. The book follows Franny Banks, a young woman who moved to New York two and a half years earlier with a deadline of three years to achieve her goal of becoming a successful actress.


If you're taking part in the Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge I'd love to hear from you. Let me know which prompts you've crossed off the list and which books you're planning to pick up next! 

Want To Write For Blogger's Bookshelf? We're Recruiting!

Monday, 15 May 2017


Here at BB we currently have six awesome writers and we're looking to add another member to the team!

The perfect fit for Blogger's Bookshelf would be someone who is keen to share their unique ideas and points of view, who is organised, creative, enthusiastic and of course loves talking all things books! If this sounds like you here's a little more information...

  • the role would involve writing content for the blog on a fortnightly basis (1 post per fortnight on an assigned day of the week, day is negotiable)
  • all content must be book-related but can include everything from reviews to features, lists, interviews, short stories, poems and event write-ups
  • as part of the team we would also like you to be involved in contributing to our group collaborations each month

If you think you would be well-suited to this role we would absolutely love to hear from you! Please email us your details (including your name & blog link if you have one) and we will get back to you soon - bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com

Don't forget, we're also always looking for guest bloggers! If you don't feel like you want to join the team but would like to submit a guest post or review we would love to hear from you - please do get in touch!

*Image via unsplash.com

Distillery Cats | Brad Thomas Parsons | Review

*Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

A collection of short, short stories about cats who "work" at distilleries and their portraits, along with quotes about cats and drinks from the distilleries based on the cats. 

Review:

This is such a cute book. The fact that the stories are true and you can follow up on a lot of these via Instagram just makes it all the better. The only downside to this book is that it's such a quick read. I really hope the author comes up with some kind of sequel (Bookstore Cats, please!). I haven't tried any of the drink recipes included, but it was still interesting to see which drinks the distilleries feel are their best. A lot of the stories are very heartwarming. Almost all of the distillery cats are adoptions. The rest are cats who set up shop, daring anyone to try to make them leave. This is a great book for cat lovers and drink lovers!

Flame in the Mist | Renee Ahdieh | Review

Friday, 12 May 2017


Mariko has always known that being a woman means she's not in control of her own fate. But Mariko is the daughter of a prominent samurai and a cunning alchemist in her own right, and she refuses to be ignored.

On her way to join her betrothed, the emperor's son Minamoto Raiden, Hattori Mariko is ambushed and left for dead by an infamous group of bandits known as the Black Clan. In an attempt to prove herself worthy of more than a political marriage to further her family's standing Mariko disguises herself as a peasant boy and makes a plan to infiltrate the Black Clan, find out who hired them to kill her, and exact her own revenge. But as Mariko spends more time with the Black Clan's leader, Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, Ōkami, she begins to see that things aren't as simple as she once thought.

Flame in the Mist had an interesting premise. A girl who longs to invent things and be of more use to her family than the standard role of being a nobleman's daughter allows, bandits who are more than they appear, and a dash of fantasy for good measure. Unfortunately, although entertaining enough to read, Flame in the Mist falls just below the mark on more than one of these counts.

Mariko is a great idea for a character. She is very smart, with a mind for inventions, and a desire to be and do more than her family allow. Unfortunately the reader is simply told these facts over and over, with very little in the way of actually being shown these aspects of Mariko's personality. Mariko does invent things, such as throwing stars and smoke bombs, but her motivations often seem muddy at best. What is clearer is Mariko's motivation to infiltrate the Black Clan in the first place. Mariko's desire to end her life's pattern of being ordered around by men is a constant thread throughout the story and something I, for one, never fail to enjoy seeing in YA fiction.

If there is one strength here it is in Mariko's need to align herself within her growing relationships with the Black Clan and her lasting allegiance to her family and her brother, who will not rest until he finds her. It is only a shame that these relationships are let down at times by an inability to really see who Mariko is as a person, rather than simply being told what she is.

You may have seen Flame in the Mist described online as 'Disney's Mulan set in Feudal Japan' but, aside from Mariko's time spent disguised as a boy in a camp of men, the two stories really have very little in common, which is likely a good thing. Mariko's story is interesting in its own right. However, this entire novel almost feels like a set up for the real story, the true beginning of which is revealed in the last few pages.

With the elements revealed to the story in the last few pages of this book, there is every chance that the next in the series may be full of a lot more excitement and, hopefully, a lot more character but I, unfortunately, will probably not be picking it up to find out.

Bookish Links #30

Monday, 8 May 2017


Today we're back with another list of bookish links. If you missed the last post in the series you can click here to catch up! Read on to find out which articles and videos we've enjoyed over the last few weeks...

1. Treat Yourself! - these days there are so many bookish subscription boxes available we can't keep up! If you'd like to treat yourself to a book box but are having trouble trying to figure out which one is right for you Heather's video looks at a variety of options and includes helpful tips to help you decide.

2. Connecting Through Fandoms - in this Buzzfeed article Rebel Of The Sands author Alwyn Hamilton talks about her experience growing up and finding a place through books and fandom communities.

3. Book Storage - in this post Heather talks book storage, showcasing her beautiful new invisible bookshelves. She also shares a mini book haul!

4. Join A Club - in our previous post we mentioned Belletrist, a new book club from Emma Roberts. This post over at Brit + Co. shares some more celebrity book clubs that should be on your radar.

5. Unread Gems - we enjoyed this recent post from Bee, who talked all about the owned but unread books that she thinks she will love. Which books would make your list?

6. Pre-school Reads - if you're looking for the perfect book for the little ones in your life check out this list of 10 Modern Classics from Ilana over on the website of mum-to-be Lauren Conrad.

7. Rediscovering The Library - whilst Ria was off exploring India last month she had some wonderful guest bloggers over on Thoroughly Modern Millennial, including Lucy who wrote all about her relationship with libraries.

8. Team Paperback? - this post is for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to give up the paperbacks and switch to ebooks for a week!

9. Listen Instead - if ebooks aren't your thing perhaps audiobooks could be a great alternative? In this post Renu discusses why she loves the format of audiobooks so much.

10. Contemporary Recommendations - we're finishing up this month's post with a list of nine Contemporary titles Anisha believes everyone should pick up! 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!    

Daughter of the Pirate King | Tricia Levenseller | Review

Friday, 5 May 2017

*image from Goodreads

The Story

Alosa is the only child and daughter of the Pirate King. He rules and terrorises the waters, and he's after something. Something only Alosa can get a hold of. While the Captain of her own ship, she purposefully gets kidnapped by another pirate ship so she can search the decks for a lost piece of map that will lead, when placed with the other 2 parts, to the Isla de Corta.

Captained by a ruthless young man, her 'captors' treat her rough on the ship, but she's no lady in waiting. Alosa soon learns about Captain Draxen and his first mate and brother, Riden, and how best to get around them and the other pirates on the ship. Can she find the map before her mission is blown, or is she destined for a life in a cold ship cell?

My thoughts on Daughter of the Pirate King

Firstly, I loved Alosa. The front covers boasts the character as 'a female Captain Jack Sparrow' and if you love a bit of Pirates of the Caribbean like I do, then you're off to a good start. Alosa is this fierce young red-headed woman with a fantastic sense of humour and a cunningness about her which definitely rivals Captain Jack. She's a woman on a mission, and she tries hard not to let being trapped, underestimated, or her feelings towards a certain first mate get in the way of that. She succeeds in some areas, not in others.

The other characters in the book, like Riden and Draxen, are all so different that it's a joy to read each part. The pirates on the ship all have their quirks and vices, and Alosa works those into her plans. Definitely look forward to more of them in future books.

The plot, while simple in some ways, had a great amount of keep-you-on-your-toes pages, and while the fantasy element wasn't really evident until about half way through the book, as soon as it was brought up in the beginning I began to wonder. This spin on the story wasn't a surprise to me, but it was still done very well and I applaud Levenseller for that.

Pirate stories aren't really around much in YA books, but they should be. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, 5 stars from me, and can't wait for the second one due for publication in 2018.

Let us know if you've read Daughter of the Pirate King and what you thought. Or drop a comment if you have suggestions of other YA pirate books that I don't know about.

Make Your Own Pure Mineral Makeup | Heather Anderson | Review

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

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

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Make Your Own Pure Mineral Makeup is a beautifully designed guide packed full of DIY recipes as well as detailed information on everything from ingredients to equipment, skin types, safe use and more.

The product recipes include easy to follow step-by-step guides and there are full-page photographs showcasing a range of different makeup looks created using the products. There are also many helpful tips included, for example the eye shadow recipes share which colours they will pair well with, which eye colour they suit best as well as other uses as many of the products are multi-purpose.

In addition to the recipes the book includes everything you need to know from guides to face shapes, to advice on the best tools and even how to go about creating and promoting your own brand of mineral makeup. Handy trouble-shooting tips are scattered throughout and an in-depth ingredient glossary makes this a perfect reference book.

Overall I'm very impressed by the book thanks to the attention to detail and amount of information included. It’s clear to see that author Heather Anderson is very passionate about mineral makeup and this book proves she really knows her stuff. I would highly recommend picking up a copy if you are interested in mineral makeup, whether it be making your own or finding out how to include more non toxic products into your routine.

Will Save the Galaxy for Food | Yahtzee Croshaw | Review

Monday, 1 May 2017


Summary:

The glory days of space piloting have been over ever since mathematicians discovered Quantunneling, allowing people to travel astronomical distances instantly. As a result, many out of work space pilots resort to taking bored tourists on small trips for pennies. The hero of this story is one such space pilot who thinks he's getting a quick, cushy gig playing the role of space hero, only to suddenly find himself on the run.

Review:

This was an entertaining read that kept me up all night. In the entirety of the book, there was only one thing that I was able to predict and it was in the first part of the book. The rest of the book kept me engaged because I honestly didn't know what to expect next. We only get to read the book from the  main character's perspective so we only know what he knows. Turns out, he's out of the loop on a lot of things.

In a previous book by this author, Mogworld, I enjoyed his playing around with words. And this book is similar. Because mathematics created Quantunneling, and Quantunneling put the space pilots out of business, mathematical terms became dirty words. As a result, this is a very clean book with only one or two dirty phrases. After the first couple of chapters, hearing someone referred to as a "bracket" no longer seems out of place. It's a rather natural linguistic turn that helps to create and sell the world.

I really don't think there was anything in this book that I didn't like. Yahtzee covers a lot of fictional and science fictional tropes within this satire, but they feel like they are a natural part of the world. From Angelo, a space pilot who'd gone native on another world until the princess dumped him, to evil corporate overlords with spoiled children. This book takes place outside of our world, but everything that Yahtzee put into it felt like a natural addition. Nothing was added or mentioned for no purpose and nothing felt out of place. And I STILL couldn't predict anything!

The ending for this book wasn't the grand boss battle that I usually like for my sci-fi books. Instead, I got an ending that I didn't know I wanted until I got it. It was a great way to end the book and leave me with with a satisfied smile.

So, if you are at all interested in satirical sci-fi novels, I highly recommend you pick this up. Yahtzee has an amazing sense of humor that is complimented by his intelligent story telling. I greatly enjoyed this book and am very glad that I bought it. I will be picking up more of Yahtzee's books. 

One Italian Summer | Keris Stainton | Review

Friday, 28 April 2017


Over one Italian summer, can Milly find a way back to the life she once had?

Every year Milly and her family visit Rome, stay with her mum's sister and her fiancé, visit the hotel where Milly's dad worked in his youth. This year Milly's aunt is getting married and its the first summer since her dad died unexpectedly. For the first time in their lives, Milly and her two sisters will be visiting Italy without their dad and, still grieving, they know that nothing will be quite the same.

On top of dealing with her own uncertainty about the future, the changes she has seen in her sisters, and the grief still overwhelming all of their family, Milly has the added bad luck of knowing that Luke will be there. Luke, her cousin's best friend who she has known and had a crush on for many years, and who she thoroughly embarrassed herself in front of after her dad's funeral...

One Italian Summer was mostly a fun, quick read, that immediately made me wish I was in Rome eating ice cream and pushing through the crowds of tourists at the Trevi Fountain too. There was an undercurrent though, a constant theme throughout the story, of the overwhelming grief this family is feeling in this beautiful place that meant so much to Milly's dad. The fun parts of the book felt bubbly and alive, and the parts about their grief winded me and at times made me shed real tears.

There are a lot of different threads going on in this novel and, honestly, at times it did start to feel a little much for such a short book. Milly has a lot going on and it did leave me feeling that there were certain aspects of her life I would have liked to have seen more of or that I could have done without. 

For example, Milly used to be in a band but since her father died she no longer talks to those friends. This was so briefly touched upon, however, that I often completely forgot about it until the next time it was mentioned. On the other hand I really enjoyed the way that the novel deals with Milly's growing sense of her own sexuality. Milly's interactions with Luke and their history felt very realistic, particularly because Stainton doesn't shy away from Milly's sexuality. That was refreshing to read. And, as I touched on above, I felt that Milly's grief was beautifully handled throughout the novel.

All in all, One Italian Summer is something a little different and, although I had my small complaints, I would still absolutely recommend it for all its positive aspects, which definitely outweigh them.

Group Collaboration | How Do You Choose Your Next Read?

Saturday, 22 April 2017

It's group post time again and this month we're talking ideas on how to select your next read. The responses we received share favourite ways to choose what to read next, along with those that haven't worked out quite so well.

We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the suggestions below and of course your favourite way/s to choose your next read!


ARCs & Blogging

Of all the responses we received to this month's prompt one of the most popular answers was that ARCs take priority when choosing what to read next. As many of our readers are fellow bloggers we completely understand choosing ARCs over any other reads in order to stick to a blogging schedules.

"If I have an ARC that I've been sent, I'll read those first, in order of receiving them."

"Review copies always come first, and then books I've been dying to read that I own."

"I normally read according to my book blogging schedule actually! The free slots I have I just pick up books from my bought pile."

Library Loans

Another popular response was that library loans were a priority due to the time constraints and those pesky late fines! 

"Next in line is always whichever library book is due next. Because late fines. Eek.

"[After ARCs] it'll be any books I have out from the library (because we don't want to add to the already-growing late fines!), and then books that have been sitting unread on my shelf for too long."


Follow Your Mood

It seems that a lot of bibliophiles find that the types of books they pick up change along with their mood or other factors like the time of year but if you have lots of unread books sitting on your shelf it can still be tricky to choose. If you manage to narrow it down by mood but you're still stuck between a few different choices why not try out the first chapter of each and opt for the one that interests you most.

"I often find it's best to look at my bookshelves or scroll through my Kindle for inspiration and pick up whichever title appeals most at the time."


TBR Jars

Another popular idea is the 'TBR jar' where you write out the names of the books on your shelves, fold them up and put them in a pretty jar to be picked out at random when you can't decide what to read next. Unfortunately, whilst this sounds like a brilliant idea it does have it's flaws as a couple of our readers highlighted. If you're more of a mood reader a good tip to try is to colour coding the pieces of paper you add to the jar, selecting a different one for each genre or even length of book.

"I tried doing a TBR jar a few years ago, as I loved the idea, but it never really worked because there was always a book I really wanted to read next."  

"I tried a TBR jar once. It didn't last long, because I was never in the mood to read what I pulled out."


If You Liked That...

Another great way to choose your next read is to look for recommendations based on other books you've adored. Websites like Goodreads and Amazon have handy sections suggesting similar reads and bookstores usually have a recommended section but we really love What Should I Read Next? for finding new favourite books.

"I often look at books which have been recommended by friends, or in book stores or online. 'If you liked ... you'll like ...' invariably I do like!"


Take A Chance

If you really can't make up your mind why not leave it to chance? We loved this suggestion of numbering the books and asking someone else to pick at random, or using a dice to decide!

"If I can't figure out what kind of book I'm in the mood for, I give myself 5 or 6 options and then tell my husband to pick a number between 1 and 6. If he's not around, I roll a 6 sided die."


Image via unsplash.com
Thanks to Rachel, Anjali, Lili and all of this month's anonymous contributors.


If you'd like to get involved in our next group post drop and email to bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com or keep an eye out on our Twitter page (@blog_bookshelf) for updates!

Features | YA Mini Reviews (Faceless, Nerve, Margot & Me)

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

DSC01867

Faceless, Alyssa Sheinmel (2015)

Following a freak accident whilst out running Maisie is left with some serious injuries that lead to her becoming the recipient of a face transplant. Trying to rebuild her life with a new face, Maisie feels lost and alone - Faceless tells the story of how she rediscovers her identity.

I found Maisie’s story to be unique and was pleased to see an important and fascinating subject like this being explored, particularly within the YA genre. Following Maisie on her post-transplant journey was incredibly thought-provoking and I would definitely recommend picking this one up!

Finding Shelter | Jesse Freidin | Review

Monday, 17 April 2017

*Image and book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

A collection of mini-biographies, photos and short stories about people who volunteer at their local animal shelters.

Review:

This is a relatively short book that is full of love. The love people have for helping animals find homes and the love that the animals have for the humans who help them. All of the stories and photos in this book center around dogs. Some cats get mentioned, but this is completely a book for dog lovers. Still, it's such an inspiring book that I've actually looked at volunteering at local shelters myself (nearest one is, sadly, a two hour bus trip one way). But there are so many stories about how the little things you can do make a big difference to a dog's life. More often there are stories about what those same dogs can do for you.

If you are a dog lover or are in need of some heartwarming stories, I cannot recommend this book enough. This is a great book for animal lovers and it will remind you that there are good things going on in this world. 

Bookish Links #29

Sunday, 16 April 2017


Another month, another list of Bookish Links! Here's some of the articles we've been enjoying lately...

1. Writing A Novel - we're kicking off this month's list with a link to BB writer Anastasia's new blog featuring following the process of penning her very own novel. Head on over to her blog to find out more!

2. Book Club Alert! - Belletrist is a brand new online book club created by actress Emma Roberts and producer friend Karah Preiss. Their first book club pick is Joan Didion's South & West and you can find out more about why Emma chose this title over on their website.

3. New Parent? - if you're struggling to balance your ever-growing TBR pile with life as a parent Heather has some great tips in this recent video.

4. Reads For 20-Somethings - Nylon shared a list of thirty-two books they believe every woman should read in their twenties. Do you agree with their choices, or would you add any different titles to the list?

5. A Trip Back In Time - in this post Jenna talks about why she loves Historical Fiction and includes some of her top recommendations

6. Music & Books - we really enjoyed Maha's interesting thoughts on how books are just like songs!

7. In Need Of A Break? - this Buzzfeed article shares 18 Airbnbs that are perfect for book lovers! Which book-filled getaway is your favourite?

8. Read, Review, Repeat - over on her personal blog BB writer Anjali recently talked about reviewing books. Do you like to review everything you read? Let us know!

9. Series Love - in this post Anisha shares a list of popular series she wants to read. Which ones would make your list? Let us know in the comments!

10. Speaking Up - our final link of the roundup is from Hazel who shared her inspiring personal experience, discussing how YA title The Upside Of Unrequited helped her to stand up to body shamers.

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!   

Features | My Goodreads Reading Challenge Obsession

Friday, 14 April 2017


This year I'm taking part in the Goodreads reading challenge for the first time. For a few years now I've set myself an informal goal to read at least 52 books every year, but I never had any desire before to make it official in any way and I certainly didn't mind too much if I didn't achieve it. It's a pretty arbitrary goal anyway. What do I really achieve if I read a book a week? Well, currently I have over 80 books, in real piles on my bedroom floor and virtual piles in my Kindle and iBooks apps, that I haven't read yet. Somehow I just keep acquiring them faster than I can read them so I thought perhaps this year, in an effort to really drive myself to read them all, I would make it official. I would declare my intent to read at least 52 books online for all to see!

It's working. I've already read 18 books. I'm 4 books ahead of schedule. But the thing is, it's mostly working because I've become more than a little bit obsessed with it. There was a little jolt of joy when the Goodreads sidebar first told me I was ahead of schedule. A little flash of pride when I saw I was 2 books ahead now. Then there was a quick stab of panic when I saw that the number had gone down from 4 to 3. There was a week where I checked almost every day to see when exactly the number goes down. Is it Saturday or Sunday when I go from being 3 ahead to only 2? When do I need to make sure I finish this book by to keep my lead?

The last time I recall feeling obsessed with reading in this way was when, at about five years old, I decided I needed to be "better at reading" than one of the boys in my class. He didn't realise we were in a competition any more than the Goodreads challenge does. It's entirely possible that this competitive reading is unhealthy and I shouldn't be encouraging it in myself but I did have a reading age of 16+ at age 11 as a result of that one-sided competition so I can only conclude that this sort of thing works.

I also like that I can see all the books I've read so far in neat little rows on my Goodreads challenge page. It's nice to have a quick overview of the sort of books I'm reading right now. Perhaps we'll say that that is the reason I've become obsessed and not just because it feels good to be ahead of the fairly arbitrary goal that I set myself and that no one else really cares about. Let's pretend it's because I like the organisation of it all instead.

Are you taking part in the Goodreads reading challenge? Are you also oddly obsessed with it? Is this normal? Please tell me I'm not alone!

Features | Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge Update #2

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

not if i see you first

Since my first Popsugar challenge update I've managed to cross four more challenge prompts off the list making a total of nine so far. If you're taking part in Popsugar's 2017 Reading Challenge let me know which prompts you've crossed off the list and which books you're planning to pick up next! 

A Book By Or About A Person Who Has A Disability | Not If I See You First, Eric Lindstrom (2015)

This Contemporary YA title introduces Parker, a teen who lost her eyesight after being involved in a car accident. The novel explores what daily life is like for Parker and how she refuses to let her disability hold her back - the perfect fit for this challenge prompt!

Chainmail Bikini | Hazel Newlevant | Review

Monday, 3 April 2017


Summary:

A collection of comics about women in gaming by women in gaming. The type of gaming includes: video games, LARP-ing, and tabletop gaming.

Review:

I first learned about this book when I saw a kickstarter campaign for it. I couldn't afford to help it out, but I was very happy to see it get funded. When I found a copy of this book at my local comic book shop, I had to pick up a copy and I am so very happy I did.

A lot of the stories in this collection are about the trials and tribulations a lot of women go through in the gaming community. One or two of them end there, but the rest show signs of hope and change in their communities. This includes fictional and non-fictional stories about women and LGTBQ gamers finding where they belong, in all the right ways. There is a place for everyone at the gaming table. 

Some of the stories were more about how gaming had affected the author individually. From one author who talked about living with severe OCD to another who talked about how defeating gaming monsters helped her stay strong against real ones. Other stories talked about how the authors find themselves and who they want to be in the characters they play as. 

This is an incredibly moving anthology that I think all gamers, or those interested in gaming, should read. I identified with more of the stories than I thought I would and I cannot recommend this book enough. 

Features | YA Book Recs Based on Your Favourite Drink

Friday, 31 March 2017


That's right, today I am going to recommend a YA book to you based only on your favourite drink. Whether that drink is a steaming chai tea latte or an ice cold coke, I've got the book for you. You might think it sounds silly but trust me, there is some real beverage based book science going on here. So without further ado, please pick your favourite drink and let me introduce you to your new favourite book...

 
Black coffee - The Raven Boys

If you like your coffee dark and strong then Maggie Stiefvater's tale of magic, boarding school boys, and the search for a long dead king is the perfect series for you.

 
Cappuccino - Just One Day

Gayle Forman's warm and complex story of the one day in Europe that changes the rest of Allyson Healey's life is the perfect accompaniment for a classic cappuccino.

 
Frappuccino - To All the Boys I've Loved Before

For a sweeter than sweet drink you need a sweeter than sweet book, and it doesn't get much sweeter than Lara-Jean's plan to avoid embarrassment when her love letters accidentally getting sent out.

 
English breakfast tea - I Capture the Castle

There's no beverage more British than a cup of good old fashioned English breakfast tea and there's little more British than Dodie Smith's classic story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain finding her way in her family's crumbling old castle in the English countryside either.

 
Hot Chocolate - Anna and the French Kiss

Both sweet and comforting, and just the thing to warm the cockles of your heart no matter the time of year. Mix the two together and you can't get a more cozy evening.

 
Chai tea latte - Born Confused

A beautiful blend of Indian and American culture, a Starbucks chai tea latte is warming, delicious, and a little sweet, and so is the story of Dimple Lala finding her place in the world.

 
Iced tea - Wing Jones

If the sweet, refreshing taste of a cold iced tea is your choice then I recommend the sweet, refreshing Wing Jones, who might just be your new favourite book character.

 
Coca Cola/Pepsi - Vivian Versus the Apocalypse

Just looking at that gif is making my mouth water. If you're also craving an ice cold coke then why not accompany it with a story all about a great American apocalypse?

 
Pumpkin spice latte - Fangirl

This one's easy. There is a drink featured in this book called the 'pumpkin mocha breve' so you can see my reasoning on that one, but I also think that the pumpkin spice latte is a pretty millennial drink and this is a pretty millennial book (meant in the best way).

 
Peppermint mocha - Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

And of course, if you try and get your hands on this holiday classic all year round then you're going to love this story of two strangers getting to know each other through increasingly elaborate Christmas themed dares.

Now go forth, read your new favourite book, and thank me later.