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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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Sunday, 30 December 2018

Group Collaboration | Our Favourite Reads Of 2018

Another year has almost come to an end, but we've discovered some incredible books over the past twelve months. As always we're rounding up the year by sharing our top 5's which will hopefully inspire you to add some of these titles to your 2019 TBRs!

We'd also love to hear which books made your lists this year, don't forget to let us know by leaving a comment our reaching out to us on social media.

Happy new year and we'll see you for more bookish content in 2019!

Books listed: The Heroes Of Olympus Series (Rick Riordan), Ready Player One (Ernest Cline), What If It's Us (Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera), The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas), Scythe (Neal Shusterman), City Of Ghosts (Victoria Schwab), The Last Magician (Lisa Maxwell), An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (Hank Green), The Anger Of Angels (Sherryl Jordan), Beartown (Fredrik Backman), Far From The Tree (Robin Benway), Little Fires Everywhere (Celeste Ng), Girl In Translation (Jean Kwok), Hunger (Roxane Gay), Her Body & Other Parties (Carmen Maria Machado), Truly Devious (Maureen Johnson), To All The Boys I've Loved Before (Jenny Han), A Thousand Beginnings & Endings (Ellen Oh, Elsie Chapman), An Almost Perfect Christmas (Nina Stibbe), Dumplin' (Julie Murphy), Dear Mrs Bird (AJ Pearce), Renegades (Marissa Meyer)

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Friday, 28 December 2018

Features | My Year In Books

Walk with me, down the bookshelves of memory lane...

One of my favourite features of Goodreads is how they create a beautiful infographic at the end of each year of all the books you've read in the past 12 months. Not only does it look amazing (shout out to their graphics department), but it's a real walk down memory lane. Some of the books I see on the list make me annoyed, because they were such a let down, but on the flip side, I'm reminded of great books I read earlier in the year that I perhaps haven't thought of in a while. Needless to say my re-read list gets a little bigger at this time of year.

I thought it would be fun, as my last post of 2018, to share with you some of the highlights from my book year, thanks to Goodreads.

This year I managed to read quite a few 5 star books, but at the same time managed to get quite a few duds in the mix. I usually find that most years are a mix of 3s and 4s, with the odd 5 thrown in, but either better books came out this past year or I'm getting better at picking. Who knows, but I find it interesting how much it can change year to year. You'll see my top five faves from the year in our group post, but it was pretty hard to pick just 5!

One of the things I wanted to do this year was get into comic books and graphic novels. I managed to read seven of eleven (I think?!) Runaways comics, and read a couple of graphic novels too. Hopefully next year I can a get few more in, so if you have any suggestions, please do let me know!

As you can see, I read 76 books this year, and that's a huge number for me. My goal was 45, but I think the reason I surpassed it so dramatically is because a) all those comics, and b) our Book Club this year was full of really short books, which pumped up the goal every month.

Overall, a great reading year! What about you? What did your reading year look like?
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Thursday, 27 December 2018

Book Club | 2019's Reading List + Free Printable!

We hope you're all enjoying the holidays, rounding up your 2018 reading goals and planning ahead for all the amazing books you want to read in 2019. If you do have room to squeeze in one more reading challenge for the year ahead (we promise it will be a fun one...!) then we would love for you to join us and get involved with our 2019 book club!

blogger's bookshelf book club 2019

A New Format...


As mentioned in our last post, for 2019 we're shaking things up a little. Instead of selecting one specific book each month, we've put together a list of twelve prompts that we'll be tackling throughout the year, with team members each sharing their picks for each one.

How To Get Involved... 


Here on the blog, on the 1st of each month, we'll be introducing you to that month's prompt and the books we each plan to read. In addition, we'll also be sharing some great suggested reads for each prompt, many of which will be taken from our archives and come highly recommended by a member of team BB; perfect for anyone struggling with which title to pick!

We'd also love to share your photos and mini reviews of the books you've chosen! You can share these with us on social media using the hashtags #bookshelfbookclub and tag @bloggersbookshelf on Instagram


You can find us on Twitter @blog_bookshelf and Instagram @bloggersbookshelf + don't forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive monthly updates on all things BB, including our 2019 book club!

To help us all keep track of the year's prompts Sophie has designed a beautiful checklist which can be downloaded and printed out! Although we'll be taking on the prompts in the order shown below, you are of course very welcome to complete them in any order you would like across the year.


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Monday, 24 December 2018

Book Club | One Year Of #BookshelfBookClub & Our Plans For 2019

bloggers bookshelf book club 2018

Just over a year ago we shared a post announcing that we were going to be starting our very own Blogger's Bookshelf online book club. Over the past twelve months, following the theme of 'short stories' we've read 13 amazing titles and if you've joined us along the way we hope you've enjoyed them too! With 2018 shortly coming to an end, and our final book club pick of the year all wrapped up we thought it might be fun to share a few stats from the past twelve months...

Over the year we had thirteen different titles featured as part of our book club.

The most popular book club picks were Tales Of The Peculiar by Ransom Riggs (January), About A Boy by Nick Hornby (October) and Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares (October).

Ten of our twelve picks were published between 2010 and 2018. The oldest book we read was Carmilla, which was first published in 1872.

Seven of the books were short story collections and five were novels or novellas.

Our theme for the year was 'short stories' but the longest book we read was A Tyranny Of Petticoats (354 pages) and the shortest was The Skeleton's Holiday (48 pages).

As part of the book club we read works by over 35 different authors!


Now you may be wondering whether we'll be continuing with the book club in 2019... and the answer is yes, although we're switching up the format! For 2019, instead of us selecting specific books we will instead be sharing a list of twelve bookish prompts and tackling one each month throughout the year. We'll be sharing the books we'll be reading along with some extra suggestions to help you choose if you would like to join in too!

Check back here on Thursday 27th December for further details and a printable featuring all of the our chosen prompts!

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Sunday, 23 December 2018

BB Book Club | December 2018 Roundup

This year we launched our very own online book club, with a new book for you to join us in reading every month. December saw our last pick of the year and also our last following this format as we'll be switching things up in 2019!

December's pick was My True Love Gave To Me, a short story collection featuring tales penned by twelve popular YA authors. Here's our last BB book club infographic to tell you a little bit more...

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

"It was slightly disappointing as it wasn't nearly as festive as i was expecting but it was still cute!" - Sophie

You're a kaleidoscope, you change every time I look away.


Thank you to those who read along with us this month, and to everyone who has joined in with our little book club over the past year. If you would like to get involved in 2019, stay tuned as we'll be sharing more information next week.

You can also sign up to our mailing list for book club updates and all things BB. We already have some exciting things planned for 2019 so make sure you're signed up so you don't miss out!

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Saturday, 22 December 2018

Features | Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge Update #5

about a boy nick hornby

Somehow it's been a whole four months since I last shared a Popsugar update. Whilst I got off to a great start with the challenge, crossing off around half of my total completed prompts in the first three months, as the year has progressed I haven't quite managed to keep on track. As you'll see when I share my goals for 2019, I definitely took on a few too many different challenges back in January and as a result I haven't ended up completing all of them, including the ambitious 40 prompts set by Popsugar. Out of the full list I've managed to complete a grand total of 29, which is a couple more than last year's list. Here are a final few to round off this year's challenge...

A Book With Song Lyrics In The Title | About A Boy, Nick Hornby (1998)

Whilst I hadn't originally planned to use About A Boy for this prompt, things fell into place when we decided to revisit BB's first two reviews for our October book club. The film is quite possibly one of my most-watched of all time (at the time of writing this post, it was added it to Netflix about a week ago and I've already re-watched it four times...) and along with it comes the soundtrack! The book's title features in the lyrics of the song Something To Talk About by Badly Drawn Boy.

A Book That Is Also A Stage Play Or Musical | Strangers On A Train, Patricia Highsmith (1950)

I bought a copy of this as a potential book club pick and whilst it turned out to be a bit too long to fit our 'short story' criteria, I decided to use it for this challenge prompt instead. I actually ended up really enjoying the book and giving it 4/5 stars.

A Book By An Author Of A Different Ethnicity Than You | Men Without Women, Haruki Murakami (2014) 

This short story collection was the second Murakami title I picked up this year but sadly I didn't enjoy it as much as the first (The Strange Library). Although there were a few tales that I liked, there were none that have really stuck with me over the past few months. I'm still hoping I'll really enjoy 1Q84 though!

A Book About A Villain Or Antihero | You, Caroline Kepnes (2016)

One of the most interesting things about You is that it's not just about a stalker, but it's actually told from his point of view. I really struggled with how to rate this novel because I had such mixed feelings, but an adaptation is due to hit Netflix next week and I'm pretty interested to see how they will translate the story onto the big screen.

You can catch my previous Popsugar Challenge Update here.
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Friday, 21 December 2018

An Almost Perfect Christmas | Nina Stibbe | Review


From perennially dry turkeys to Christmas pudding fires, from the round robin code of conduct to the risks and rewards of re-gifting, An Almost Perfect Christmas is an ode to the joy and insanity of the most wonderful time of the year.

Through a mixture of short stories and personal essays, Nina Stibbe explores all the great Christmas traditions in An Almost Perfect Christmas. There's Stibbe's mum's yearly struggle to produce the perfect Christmas turkey, a short story dealing with the etiquette of buying presents for your teacher, a definitive glossary of Christmas terms, and many other short morsels of festive fun to be found in this little gem of a book.

Full of Stibbe's usual charm and humour, familiar to anyone who has read her bestselling non-fiction book Love, Nina, An Almost Perfect Christmas is the perfect collection for the busy festive season. During this time of year, when people are often so busy that finding the time to read an entire novel can seem almost impossible, this is the ideal book to dip in and out of, the literary equivalent of the best kind of selection box. Each piece in the collection stands on its own, and they can be read in any order, but they also slot together to form a nostalgic and honest look at the trials and triumphs of the classic English Christmas in Stibbe's familiar down-to-Earth style.

There isn't a piece in this collection that I didn't enjoy, but my personal favourites were 'Merry Xmas Everybody', an account of Nina's fight to control the Christmas party playlist against the wishes of her sister and children, 'The Christmas Tree', about how the Stibbe family ended up with a less than perfect Christmas tree, and 'Timothy the Christmas Turkey: A Story', a fictional story about a family who try to choose a more ethical turkey for their Christmas dinner. Whatever your favourite Christmas tradition, there is a story in this collection for everyone, to make you feel nostalgic and Christmassy no matter how you celebrate.

It's not often I find a book that I really would recommend to everyone, but I feel pretty safe in saying that An Almost Perfect Christmas is the perfect gift for any Christmas lover or, for that matter, Christmas haters who might even come around after reading Stibbe's tale of Timothy the Christmas Turkey. The hardback's petite size makes it the ideal stocking stuffer for all your bookish friends, and Stibbe's view of Christmas is one sure to resonate with anyone who has ever experienced a desire like that of Nina's mum's to create the perfect Christmas. 
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Get Involved | 2018 Favourite Reads

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Get Involved | 2018 Favourite Reads

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Sunday, 16 December 2018

Send Us Your Thoughts On Our December Book Club Pick!

We really hope you're enjoying getting into the festive spirit and reading My True Love Gave To Me along with us this month! There's just under a week left to send us your opinions to be featured in our final roundup and infographic of the year, so don't forget to submit your thoughts and opinions via our Google form if you would like them to be included.

my true love gave to me book club

You can also tweet us a mini review instead, or leave a comment on our Instagram with your favoruite quote or moment from the book.

If you haven't had time to read this month's book don't worry, we have a big revamp planned for the Bookshelf Book Club in 2019! Keep an eye out for further updates coming very soon.
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Friday, 14 December 2018

Features | 5 Sequels I Hope To Read in 2019


I don't know about you guys, but I tend to either go all in with a series and read the whole thing start to finish, or read one book in a series, wait 6 months to a year, forget about it, remember it again, forget what happened in a story and try to remember before picking up book two. There's no in between.

This year past I read a decent amount of sequels but missed a few that I really wanted to read. I thought it would be worth while to make a list of some of the sequels that I'd really love to read next year, in the hopes that putting it 'down on paper' so to speak, will actually make me pick them.

Shadow of Night, by Deborah Darkness

I really enjoyed the first in this series, A Discovery of Witches. But I read that way back in 2013. Five years ago! The TV show that came out this year is actually really good and from what I can remember, they're holding true to the story pretty well. I'm amusing Season 2 will follow book 2, so I really need to read that before the show returns (though I'm not sure when that will be).

The Mime Order, by Samantha Shannon

Another one I really liked the first book of. This one was a slightly more recent read, 'recent' being 2015. I remember really enjoying this book and it's interesting futuristic feel, but with monsters and magic. I gave it a four stars on Goodreads, so I am keen to pick up the story again.

Empire of Storms, by Sarah J Maas

It's becoming my own little tradition to read a Sarah J Maas book at the beginning of every year. It's taken me years to get through to this the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series, but I'm slowly getting there. This coming May I'm off to see Maas at the Auckland Writer's Festival, so I'm hoping I can catch up before then. Or at least get this one read.

The Devil's Thief, by Lisa Maxwell

The first in this series, The Last Magician, was one of my top five favourite books that I read in 2018, so I'm hoping that it's sequel will be just as good. I have yet to buy it yet, but if Christmas and my birthday (in January) don't quite deliver it, then I'll be gifting it to myself.

Queen of Air and Darkness, by Cassandra Clare

The final installment in Clare's The Dark Artifices series, this book came out a few weeks ago and I am really looking forward to picking it up. I suspect this will be a read in the first few weeks, so I think out of this list, this is one most likely to actually happen.

What sequels do you hope to pick up in 2019? 

Photo by Maciej Ostrowski on Unsplash
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Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Features | Books I Hope To Read Before The End Of The Year


With so few weeks left of 2018 it feels as though we're all racing to complete all of those reading challenges we set back in January. When I first started drafting this post I had no idea that Sophie had had a similar idea, but I thought it would still be fun to share my own list too! If you missed Sophie's post last week you can find it here.

Us Against You, Fredrik Backman (2017)


One of my favourite reads of this year so far would have to be Beartown, so it's no surprise I've been keen to read the sequel as soon as possible. I was originally planning to pick up a copy next year but when a recent Kindle Daily Deal email dropped into my inbox letting me know that Us Against You was on offer for just 99p, I snapped it up straight away and bumped it to the top of my TBR list!

IQ84, Haruki Murakami (2009)


Whilst it's highly unlikely I'll find the time to finish up all of my 2018 'vow to read list', I really want to make an effort to finally dive into 1Q84. If I'm completely honest I think I've been avoiding the book all year thanks to it's daunting 1300+ pagecount! Technically this edition is three books in one, so I'm hoping to at least read a good chunk of it by the end of the year.

The Blinds, Adam Sternbergh (2017)


This one makes the list as it has an incredibly intriguing synopsis, and just happens to be my latest library loan! From what I've heard, The Blinds is set to be quite a different read for me and I can't wait to find out more.

Savage Stone Age, Gorgeous Georgians & Incredible Incas, Terry Deary (1998-2000)


As you may have seen over on Goodreads, I've recently started re-reading some of the Horrible Histories books. These three are new additions to my collection, and a few of those in the series that I haven't read before. They're nice and short (but full of facts...) so I'm hoping to squeeze all three into my reading schedule before we jump into 2019!

Which books will you be reading in December?

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Monday, 26 November 2018

BB BOOK CLUB | DECEMBER'S BOOK IS...


Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.


My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins


I love Christmastime so of course when it came down to me to choose December's Book Club book I had to choose something Christmassey! Whether you're a fan of Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor or the most recent re-obsession with Jenny Han (after To All The Boys I've Loved Before came out on Netflix) you'll be sure to love at least one of the twelve festive stories in My True Love Gave To Me. 

Plus can we talk about the cover? Isn't it adorable? Yes I may have only wanted to own this on the premise of its cute cover but then I saw which authors were involved and I had to read it! After receiving it I've also discovered each story has a cute wee illustration on its title page and they're just as adorable as the cover!

Grab yourself a copy from your local bookshop, library or hop onto Book Depository. It's up to you whether you read some or all of the twelve stories, but be sure to share your thoughts with us via this Google form by December 21st.

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

If this doesn't sound like your thing (cough Grinch cough) then don't you worry, Book Club will be back next year with some new exciting improvements so keep an eye out for that announcement! 

Until then, have a great Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year/Holiday or whatever you celebrate! 



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Sunday, 25 November 2018

BB Book Club | November 2018 Roundup

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. November's pick was The Language Of Thorns, a short story collection by popular YA author Leigh Bardugo. Here's our November infographic to tell you a little bit more...
book club november 2018

Thank you to those who read along with us this month. If you would like to get involved next month check back shortly to find out which title Sophie has chosen to round up one whole year of the BB book club!

You can also sign up to our mailing list for book club updates and all things BB. We already have some exciting things planned for 2019 so make sure you're signed up so you don't miss out!

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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Feature | 5 books I want to read before 2018 ends


It's no secret there's only just over a month left of the year. While I've completed my Goodreads reading challenge there are still many books I want to read before the year is up, but here's the top 5!

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

After everyone raving about Scythe I finally picked it up last month and absolutely loved it as I knew I would from all the recommendations. I loved it enough to log onto Book Depository and buy the sequel Thunderhead before I'd even finished. It arrived this week and is sitting in my TBR pile right at the very top. I'm struggling to finish my current book before moving on, not that my current read is bad I'm just super excited to read it!

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

I received this from the publishers I want to say at the start of the month and have been eager to start it but again I need to finish current books before I get stuck in. Anjali has read it already and really enjoyed it so I know it's most likely going to be after Thunderhead (as long as I don't receive any cooler books before then cry).

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

So far I've enjoyed every Nicholas Sparks book I've read but I definitely have to be in the mood for it. Since I got this from the publisher over a month ago I've just not been in that mood but I have a feeling with summer coming around and Christmas holidays, the time may be coming! I am really excited to get stuck in, I just need to make sure I'm in the right mood for it.

The Conjuring of Light by V.E Schwab

I've wanted to read this all year and just haven't gotten around to it because I don't own a copy. I actually included this in our Vow To Read group post at the start of the year so if I read one book out of these five it's going to be this so I complete my vow to reads!

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

How could I go through a book feature without talking about a Rick Riordan book right? This is next on my list to read and as it's the finale of The Heroes Of Olympus series I can't wait to finish off the adventure and see what happens and then start the next series!


What books do you want to finish before 2019 begins? 


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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Features | My Favourite Book Shops

In the spirit of Christmas shopping, I thought I would share some of my favourite bookshops with you. I've decided to only share three today (though there are many more that I love) and they're all up north! But, as a very proud northerner, I see no issue with this...




  1. Waterstones, Newcastle. Now, not only does this Waterstones have an amazing cafe that's lovely to work in, a fantastic collection of books and the most helpful staff, it's also home to the Northern Book Bloggers who are some of the most wonderful people I know. I have a lot of love for Waterstones in general but the Newcastle store is a thing of beauty. Plus, the basement is a book lover's dream.
  2. Barter Books, Alnwick. I visited this recently on a staycation in Northumberland and I instantly fell in love with it. It's an old railway station that has been converted into a used bookshop. It is like Narnia and you could easily lose a few hours in there. 
  3. Toppings & Co, St Andrews. Even though I no longer live in Scotland, this will always be my favourite bookshop. It is just so welcoming. There is even a log fire and free cups of tea. Something about going to Toppings & Co always feels like coming home and they have a fantastic selection of books too, many of which are signed. What more could you want?
Kelly x
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Sunday, 18 November 2018

Send Us Your Thoughts On Our November Book Club Pick!

language of thorns leigh bardugo

Have you read our November #bookshelfbookclub title yet? If so don't forget to share your thoughts, opinions and reviews with us to be featured in our next roundup.

There's just under a week left to complete our Google form. Alternatively, tweet us your thoughts or share photos of your favourite pages over on Instagram using #bookshelfbookclub.

If you haven't had time to read this month's book don't worry, Sophie will be introducing our final title of the year on November 26th!

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Saturday, 17 November 2018

Six of Crows Duology | Leigh Bardugo | Review


A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

If you missed it, this month's Book Club book is The Language of Thorns, by Leigh Bardugo. It's a short story collection with beautiful images throughout, telling the fairy-tale-like stories from the Grishaverse. What's the Grishaverse, you ask? It's this incredible land that Leigh Bardugo has created, and subsequently has written quite a few tales about.

While I read and loved the Grisha Triology (Shadow and Bone, Seige and Storm, Ruin and Rising), the Six of Crows Duology are now probably two of my favourite books. Instead of a review of both books in this duology, I thought I'd give you my over feelings about a few different aspects, treating the story as done, rather than two.

Setting

Being a part of the Grishaverse we get to dive right back into this incredible, but it's based out of a city we didn't get too much of in the Grisha trilogy: Ketterdam.

If you've ever fall into a fantasy world and struggled to get out of it, then  you the wonders of returning to a land you're familiar with, just with different characters, plot and tone. That's what it was like for me returning in Six of Crows. I already loved the world that Bardugo had created when I read Shadow and Bone so coming back to that was such a treat. The hustle and bustle of Ketterdam is different than that of the other cities, it's a bit rougher, the people are a bit more suspect and the feeling on the whole is a bit darker. But just as epic.

Characters

The characters in Six of Crows duology are absolutely brilliant. Kaz is the leader, but he's not quite the typical leader you might expect - he's got an attitude like no one else, he can be a bit of you-know-what at times, and he has a physical disability and walks with a cane. But he's an excellent, strong leader, with a sharp mind and incredible scheming skills. The others in the group all have their backstories, their quirks and their strong personalities. There's a lot of growth over the course of the story, and it was a joy to read.

Plot

Both books involve a getting-in and getting-out quick kind of story line. They're engaging, and entertaining, dangerous and full of challenges that you're just hoping the team can get through. It's a fantasy heist story like no other, and it's one that I want to re-read, for sure.

Have you read the Six of Crows Duology? 
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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Features | 8 Bookish Prints To Gift This Christmas


Once again we're getting to that time of year when Christmas is fast-approaching, leaving many people searching for the perfect gifts for thier friends and family. Whilst I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot of gift guides popping up on your Bloglovin' feeds over the next few weeks, I thought it would be nice to share one for the bibliophiles, focusing specifically on prints sourced from small business owners over on Etsy. Here's a quick roundup of eight bookish prints that the bibliophiles in your life are sure to love!

1. This monochrome print by Abbie Imagine says it all; it's perfect for those with out of control TBR piles!

2. This pretty watercolour design from Emma Block, titled 'The Reader', would add a lovely pop of colour to any room.

3. Looking for a cute print that would make a great addition to a bookshelf? This shimmery gold foiled design from Nutmeg & Arlo could be the one!

4. Featuring books, cats, plants and even knitting this colourful print from HWIllustrator is sure to make a lovely gift.

5. If you're buying for someone who loves a personalised gift you'll adore this bookstack design from NatalieLauraEllen which can be customised to feature six of their favourite books!

6. This simple design from Fable & Black features an Ursula K. Le Guin quote and is available in three different sizes - perfect for sitting on a bookshelf.

7. With it's unique design, this black and white illustrated print from Gosia Herba, titled Bibliophilia, will fit in beautifully with any gallery wall.

8. This linocut design from Pandablue Creations features the statement 'books are friends that you can fit in your bag' - something any bibliophile would surely agree with!

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Tuesday, 6 November 2018

The Coffin Path | Katherine Clements | Review


It might not be Halloween any more but the dark nights mean that this is still the perfect time of year for a spooky read. If it is an unsettling or terrifying story that you want, then I wholeheartedly recommend The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements.

The Coffin Path is set on the Yorkshire moors and tells the story of Mercy Booth, a shepherdess and heiress to Scarcross Hall. Her home isn't the haven it once was and when strange occurrences threaten her peace, she is determined to do everything she can to keep Scarcross Hall. She is used to the harsh and sometimes cruel ways of the moors after all.

What follows is an unnerving and ghastly story that sets you on edge. Though I loved this book, I found that I could read more than 50 or so pages in  a go as I would get too scared! I also found myself choosing not to read The Coffin Path whenever I was home alone as I didn't trust myself not to be completely and utterly terrified. I will freely admit that I am a bit of a coward but I should warn you that it really is scary.

I also found that the tension built slowly and steadily until the last 100 pages or so. From there, the pace really picked up and I was utterly enthralled. I couldn't have put the book down if I had tried. As all of the strings came together, I was desperate to find out the secrets of Scarcross Hall.

Will you be the next to try and discover them?

Kelly
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Friday, 2 November 2018

City of Ghosts | Victoria Schwab | Review


Cassidy Blake's parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one. When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn't sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn't belong in her world. Cassidy's powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself. 

If Victoria 'V.E.' Schwab wrote a shopping list, I'd read it. I adore her Shades of Magic series, and have also read her Villains series, and the Monsters of Verity series, both of which are brilliant. When I saw she had a new middle grade book coming out this year I was well excited.

“Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure.

Despite the fact that this book is aimed at a younger generation, it didn't make it any less enjoyable for me. I really enjoyed Cassidy as a character and her best friend Jacob was awesome. I loved the Edinburgh setting, and all the street names and buildings I was familiar with, having spent a little time there a few years back. The fact that Cassidy is such a Harry Potter fan was such an added bonus, and it was so much fun reading the references scattered throughout the story.

This story has a little bit of everything: history, humour, adventure, supernatural, a bad guy, a dream team and of course, an incredible setting. You don't have to be in middle grade to enjoy this book, and I'm already looking forward to the next one!

Have you read City of Ghosts? Or any of Schwab's other books? 
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Monday, 29 October 2018

Features | 5 Halloween Costume Ideas From Classic Literature


Halloween is nearly here again! And if you're still looking for the perfect costume then I am here to help with five ideas taken from great works of classic literature, so you can proudly show off your love of the spooky season and classic literature in wonderful, scary harmony.


1. The Picture of Dorian Gray

For this first costume you are going to need a nice suit, a picture frame (can be made from cardboard) and some good old fashioned face paint. Now, Dorian Gray is, of course, a notorious dandy, so the key to this costume is to make your outfit splendid and your face horrible. Use that face paint to make yourself look as terrifying as the portrait in Dorian's attic and use the frame to... well, to frame your terrifying face. Don't forget to match your pocket square to your socks!


2. Miss Havisham

All you really need for the perfect Miss Havisham costume is a wedding dress, so hit up your local charity/second hand shops and try to find the oldest wedding dress you can. If it doesn't look old enough, a few tea stains and strategic rips can help. A veil would be an excellent accessory for this outfit, although probably harder to find second hand, but definitely remember to only wear one shoe for true authenticity! Finally, dust your face with a light layer of talcum powder to attain that look of not having been outside for years.


3. Dr. Frankenstein

Who is the real monster in Mary Shelley's classic novel? Dr. Frankenstein or the creature he creates? My money is on the doctor, and his costume is devilishly simple. A smart, work appropriate suit and lab coat are all you really need to make this mad scientist come alive.


4. Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most intriguing characters, and could be an excellent fit for your Halloween costume this year. Don a dress worthy of such a Lady, cover your hands in fake blood, and spend the evening trying to convince all of your friends that their problems would be solved if they would only murder the people standing in their way!


5. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Looking for a double costume for you and a friend? Look no further. One person dresses as Dr. Jekyll, a respectable gentleman in only the finest clothing, and the other as his alter ego, Mr. Hyde, a devilish man who embodies all of Dr. Jekyll's worst impulses. For added effect, never be seen in the same room at the same time.

Who will you be dressing as this Halloween?
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Saturday, 27 October 2018

Blogger's Bookshelf's 6th Birthday Giveaway!

To celebrate Blogger's Bookshelf turning six we're giving you the chance to win one of six amazing books! Each title comes highly recommended by a member of Team BB as they're some of our favourite reads of the year so far and have been specially chosen because we know you'll love them too. Scroll down to find out which books we've selected and enter using the Rafflecopter gadget to be in with a chance of winning.

Anastasia's Pick: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Ria's Pick: Clean by Juno Dawson

Erin's Pick: Girl In Translation by Jean Kwok

Kelly's Pick: The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli

Sophie's Pick: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Anjali's Pick: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

You have until 6th November to enter and the winner will get to choose which of these six amazing titles they would like to win. The prize will be shipped from The Book Depository so the giveaway is open worldwide!

Whether you're new to the blog or have been here right from the start, thank you again for supporting Blogger's Bookshelf. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, 26 October 2018

SIX | Happy Birthday Blogger's Bookshelf


Today our little book blog turns six!


It's been another amazing year for us here at Blogger's Bookshelf thanks to our wonderful team and all of our lovely readers. Since last year's birthday celebrations we've passed the 1000 post milestone, launched a newsletter and a book club, joined the world of bookstagram and even been featured in Blogosphere Magazine - it's been quite a year!

We're incredibly grateful to our readers for joining us on this journey and so to thank you for your amazing support we'll be hosting a special 6th birthday giveaway. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for your chance to win.

Here's to another amazing year of books!

- Team BB
 
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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

White Rabbit, Red Wolf | Tom Pollock | Review

That's right, I'm finally coming at you with a book review. I've been slowly crawling out of a reading slump and a lot of that is down to this book. I was so engrossed with it that I read it in one weekend. This isn't the kind of book that you can take your time with.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.


I received a proof of White Rabbit, Red Wolf months ago (that's why my copy looks a little different) but for a variety of reasons, I hadn't got around to reading it yet. I picked it up on a whim a couple of weekends ago and absolutely devoured it.

White Rabbit, Red Wolf is the story of Peter Blankman, a maths genius who is afraid of everything. Peter is terrified that his anxiety will ruin his mum's big day but when disaster strikes, Peter finds himself caught up in a web of lies he does not know how to untangle. He is well beyond his comfort zone but determined to help his family in anyway he can.

From the moment this disaster hits, White Rabbit, Red Wolf becomes a fast paced and thrilling read, with more twists than I could ever anticipate. This is a book that sweeps you up until you feel just as lost as Peter. It is bigger and better than anything I could have imagined when I read the first few pages. I don't wan't to spoil anything for you so I won't say anything more but just know that I would be very, very surprised if you managed to read this and not be on the edge of your seat.

This is a crafted and calculating writing that you can't help but fall in love with.

I'm not usually a thriller person but I don't see how you could not enjoy this book! I was utterly hooked and even shouted 'No!' out loud when I got to the ending, much to my housemate's shock and subsequent humour.

Kelly x
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Monday, 22 October 2018

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


Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.
Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic, by Leigh Bardugo 

This stunning book has been sitting on my shelf for far too long. Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse is one of my favourite worlds, and her Six of Crows Duology has to be up there in my top 10 favourite books/series. Perhaps even top 5; they're that great. (Check out my review from 2016 of Shadow and Bone, the first in The Grisha Trilogy by Bardugo.)

The Language of Thorns is a collection of six short stories from the Grishaverse, but you don't have to have read any of the other books to enjoy this one.

From clever foxes to singing mermaids, gingerbread children to talking toy solders, the stories are similar to ones you may have heard before, but they're much darker with more magic and mystery. Each of the six stories is almost Aesop-Fable's -esque, with a moral or something to get you thinking. 

“We were not made to please princes.” 

Also it has pictures, and they are beautiful. These were done by the incredibly talented Sara Kipin, and if you flip the edges of the pages quickly they seem to move. Very pretty and such a magical touch. 

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 23rd of November. 


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! Our last pick of the year (already?!) will be chosen by Sophie, so stayed tuned for the announcement later in November!
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Sunday, 21 October 2018

BB Book Club | October 2018 Roundup | About A Boy & Dash and Lily's Book Of Dares

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. For October, our birthday month, we had a special selection with not one but two amazing books to choose from; About A Boy and Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares. Here's our October infographic to tell you a little bit more...

blogger's bookshelf book club

Thank you to those 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 November.

You can also sign up to our mailing list for book club updates and all things BB. We already have some exciting things planned for 2019 so make sure you're signed up so you don't miss out!

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Saturday, 20 October 2018

Bookish Links #47

bookish links

1. Austen Tour - love Jane Austen's novels? This post from Bustle shares some of the real life locations that inspired her.

2. Autumnal Reads - if you're looking for brilliant books perfect for the season Michelle's list has you covered. We're also very excited about her recent announcement of a new bookish blog series!

3. Bookish Benefits - Lauren shared a great list of the ways reading can improve your overall wellbeing.

4. Booktube Recs - we adore catching up on video reviews. Why not add some of these amazing booktubers to your to-watch list?

5. Spooky Reads - if you're looking to read something spooky this month Jemma's list has some great ideas.

6. TBR Traits - Cait broke down the eight types of TBR piles. Which of these do you find most relatable?

7. Lara Jean For Halloween - in need of a last-minute Halloween costume? This post has you covered!

8. More For Your TBR - it wouldn't be an edition of Bookish Links if we didn't include at least one more post full of amazing recommendations. Rebecca has six more to add to your list.

9. Grace & Fury - we really enjoyed Anjali's review of this summer release. Have you read it yet?

10. Podcast Fun! - our last link of the month is to the latest epsiode of Rants & Reviews which features two thirds of Team BB talking all things book blogging. Catch up now over on podbean or your preferred podcast app!

From the archives: Our Favourite Villains | The Name Of The Star | 5 Cosy Autumn Reads

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Friday, 19 October 2018

Features | Re-reading Via Audio Books


Recently I've discovered that my library has access to Overdrive, which is an eBook and audio book borrowing system. In the past, I haven't really listened to many audio books (just the odd one here and there, including an excellent dramatised version of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman) but these past few months I've been really enjoying listening to them at work if I'm doing a job that doesn't require much brain work. Having access to the Auckland Library Overdrive books has been amazing and if you haven't discovered it yet, then check out your local library website and see if they use it.

Anastasia has talked about her thoughts on audio books before (and you can find her feature post here), and I agree with her when she talks about not knowing what to do while you're listening, or zoning out and missing the story. I totally struggle with the same issues, and find that I don't really enjoy a lot of audio books I listen to if I don't know the story.

However! What I have discovered this year is that I love audio books for re-reading. There have been books I've read over the years that I have added to my 'must re-read these books' list, but haven't got around to them because of increasing amount of new books that come into our lives every week. I've discovered so many of the books I want to re-read on Overdrive, that that's exactly what I've been doing.

I'm learning that because I know the story already, it's much more enjoyable to listen to an audio book version and not lose track of what's happening. If I don't pause it in time to answer a question from someone and miss a few seconds, or if I zone out or have to use my brain for a few minutes, it's no big deal and I don't have to go back and find my spot, because I know what's happening.

This year I really wanted to try and re-read some of my favourite books, and so while I actually haven't done that physically, I've re-read four books via audio.

If you're not into audio books for the reasons both Anastasia and I have talked about, why not have a go at listening to one you already know? Check out our 2015 group post on the topic to see what some of the team and our readers think about audio books.

If you're an avid audio book listener, do you re-read books by listening to them, or just stick to ones you haven't read yet? 
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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Features | 4 Short Story Collections To Add To Your TBR

miss x shirley jackson short stories blogger's bookshelf

The Beginning Of The World In The Middle Of The Night, Jen Campbell (2017)

If you're looking for a collection of unusual and thought-provoking tales Jen Campbell's latest release is definitely the one for you. Each story has a mysterious, enchanting feel to it and you can guarantee many of them will stick with you for a long time afterwards. You can catch Anastasia's full review right here on BB.

Top picks: Aunt Libby's Coffin Hotel, Animals, Human Satellites

The Moth, Catherine Burns (2013) 

If non-fiction is more your thing you'll love this collection edited by Catherine Burns which includes fifty true stories transcribed from the organisation's live storytelling events. The book's cover promises 'extraordinary true stories' and it certainly delivers. The stories range from heartwarming and inspiring to heartbreaking and each storyteller has something truly unique to share.

Top picks: Angel, A Dish Best Served Cold, Life After Death

The Missing Girl, Shirley Jackson (2018)

I've been known to enjoy a Shirley Jackson tale or two and this trio of short stories published as part of the Penguin Modern Classics collection includes some of my favourites. True to her usual style the stories aren't necessarily 'scary' but each have an unnerving feel to them. As there are only three stories in the book I don't have a top picks list, however I would have to say Miss X, which reads like an episode of Black Mirror, is the one that has really stuck with me.

Tales Of The Peculiar, Ransom Riggs (2016)

My final suggestion is our first ever BB book club read Tales Of The Peculiar, a selection of YA stories all set in the Peculiar world. This collection has some serious quirky fairytale vibes and can at times get pretty dark. The beautifully penned short stories are accompanied by equally beautiful woodcut engraving illustrations by Andrew Davidson.

Top picks: The Girl Who Could Tame Nightmares, The First Ymbryne, The Splendid Cannibals

What are your favourite short story collections?


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Sunday, 14 October 2018

Send Us Your Thoughts On Our October Book Club Pick/s!

about a boy dash and lily book club bloggers bookshelf

Have you read either of our October book club titles yet? If so don't forget to share your thoughts, opinions and reviews with us to be featured in our next roundup.

There's just under a week left to complete our Google form or alternatively tweet or Instagram your photos and favourite quotes from the books using the hashtag #bookshelfbookclub.

If you haven't had time to read this month's books don't worry, check back on 22nd October to find out what Anjali has chosen for November!

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Friday, 12 October 2018

Features | Quick Reads For Rainy Days


In my opinion, there is no better way to spend a rainy day than under a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book, and all the better if you can snuggle down and read one from start to finish without having to sacrifice your cosiness by getting up too often. So, to encourage you all to spend a rainy day or two doing just that, here are five books that can easily be read in one day with only minimal stops for food.


Stardust by Neil Gaiman

The movie adaptation of Stardust is one of my favourite films to watch on a rainy day, and although the book on which it was based is certainly different to the film, that doesn't make it any less fun. Gaiman's story of a young man called Tristan on a quest to retrieve a fallen star to prove his love is truly the closest thing I've ever read to a fairy tale for grownups, full of adventure and magic in equal measure. Stardust is the perfect fantasy world to escape to when the weather in our world is a bit too dreary.


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

John Green's latest book is a lot quieter and more introspective than his previous works but, in my opinion, it is also his most absorbing book to date. Following Aza, a teenage girl living with OCD and anxiety, as a local mystery brings her back into contact with an old friend, Turtles All the Way Down is an intense read but ultimately a hopeful one, and, if you're anything like me, it will leave you with an overwhelming desire to hang out with Aza and her best friend, Daisy.


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

There are few things I find more comforting than a nice romantic comedy and, although it certainly has its fair share of drama, I would still class Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda in that category. Simon Spier, a gay teenager not yet out, who finds himself being blackmailed over an email flirtation with an anonymous classmate, is one of the most endearing protagonists I have ever come across, and I would definitely suggest that he is someone you set aside an entire day to spend time with.


Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell

If you haven't quite got an entire day to set aside, but maybe you could manage an afternoon, Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell might be a more appropriate choice. Almost Midnight is a tiny little book, a collection of just two short stories, both of which have been published before but not with such a sparkly cover or such beautiful illustrations. The first story, 'Midnights' is set over multiple New Year's Eve parties, and the second, 'Kindred Spirits' takes place in the lead up to a midnight showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Both are all kinds of adorable.


Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Finally, a graphic novel full of fun and adventure. Nimona follows a supervillain and his sidekick, the titular Nimona, on their mission to prove that the good guys aren't so good, and maybe cause some mayhem along the way. Stevenson's illustrations are full of colour, a delight to look at, and the story is one that will keep you turning the page until the very end, at which point you'll probably wish there was more. Nimona is a sure fire way to cheer up a cloudy day.
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