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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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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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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Carry On | Rainbow Rowell | Review


I'm not going to lie, I was didn't think I would like this book. I knew going into it that people have compared it to Harry Potter fanfiction and my head just wasn't going to let that go. But it was Rainbow Rowell, and seeing as Anjali had recommended it and she's a big a Potterhead as me I thought I'd give it a try.



Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.

That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right.

Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.



I won't lie to you, I went into this comparing every little character to a Harry Potter character and I wasn't the biggest fan. I didn't like how they had to say random phrases to make things happen, I understand Harry Potter spells are sort of random phrases but like different nursery rhymes would do certain things. It just sounds a bit rubbish compared to a snazzy word, imagine trying to have a serious duel and you had to say Mary Had A Little Lamb or something.

Another thing that confused me was the fact they were always going on about how some smaller spells were a waste of magic. The further I got through the book I realised this was because they didn't have unlimited magic, that using magic was like using energy and doing constant magic would make you exhausted. Again, definitely too into my mindset of Harry Potter.

However, once I got used to Simon as a character and wasn't constantly comparing everything to Harry Potter I did enjoy it more. Once the plotline thickened and I'd figured out whether Simon and Baz hated each other or loved each other I started to get into it. I'd gone into the book thinking Simon and Baz were a couple so you'd understand why I was slightly confused at their hatred for each other.

Although, while the storyline was great and I did enjoy it I did feel like this wasn't the first book. So many conversations touched on previous incidents and storylines that felt like I'd started reading the third and last book in a trilogy before reading the first two. This is just being picky though, I did really like it. Enough for a 3 1/2 - 4 stars worth anyway.


Have you read it yet? Did you enjoy it? 

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Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Features | The Curse of the Reading Slump



It’s finally happened. I have fallen victim to another reading slump. It’s been months since my last one which is just long enough ago that I had almost forgotten how bad they can be. I had settled into a pattern of 1-2 books a week and was confident that I could maintain it for the rest of the year.

Too confident, arguably. If you’ve been following my reading updates on #TNGreads, you will have noticed that I have slowed right down when it comes to how much I’ve been reading. I’ve been loving the books I have been reading but I just never seem to get around to picking them up and actually doing some reading. There are plenty of reasons for this, which I won’t share right now, but the simple fact is that I have found myself in a reading slump.

I’m hoping that I will see the other side of it soon but in the meantime, here are my tactics for coping with a reading slump:
  • .      . Take the pressure off. For the longest time, I beat myself up about not reading. As a blogger who talks a lot about books, I felt like I was doing something bad by not racing through endless books every month. This isn’t true. The world hasn’t stopped spinning just because I haven’t been reading and I am more than entitled to a break!
  • .       Try something else. It could be a new genre or a new author but sometimes a little variety can be enough to reignite your spark for reading. If that means DNFing a book, so be it.
  • .       Make reading manageable. When I’m in a reading slump, I find myself turning to poems and short stories. They’re just so much more approachable than a novel and I can get the sense of satisfaction of finishing something even if I don’t have the time to read 500 pages.

What are your tips for surviving a reading slump?

Kelly

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Friday, 5 October 2018

Nimona | Noelle Stevenson | Review

 

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit. 
Okay, so this has to be one of the greatest graphic novels of all time (okay, so I can't say that; I've literally only read two ... but I gave it 5 stars so that must mean something, right?), and you need to check it out.

Nimona is a shapeshifting whiz who just wants to be Lord Blackheart's sidekick and help him do evil things. The story follows the pair as they plot against Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and rat him and the so called 'goodies' out and show the world that they're not so flash hot. There's plotting and scheming, brash decisions, a lot of epic animals and kicking-butt fight scenes, there's old friendships that resurface, and some old good vs evil (and questioning those labels as well).

Noelle Stevenson is an incredible illustrator; you might recognise her drawings from the covers of books like Fangirl by Rainbow RowellSix Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo or the comic series, Lumberjanes. Her artwork in Nimona is just as fantastic, and you get so much more of it than just a book cover.

Even if you're not into graphic novels (like I said, I've only read two so am not really a connoisseur of the genre), Nimona is an adorable read with beautiful images that will definitely have you craving more.

Have you read Nimona? What did you think? 
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Friday, 28 September 2018

Features | Autumnal Faves Book Recs


For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, autumn has very definitely arrived once again. Now, I have to admit I'm a summer lover. Autumn in England tends to be less 'crunchy golden leaves' and more 'everything is wet and dark', two things I am not a fan of, but I know so many of you out there will be craving your favourite things about this cooler weather, and whatever your favourite aspect of autumn may be, I have the perfect book just for you.

Autumn leaves - A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Do you love the colours of falling leaves? Check out A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro, a modern day reimagining of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic Sherlock Holmes series. A Study in Charlotte introduces us to Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson, descendants of the famous detective duo, and takes place at Sherringford boarding school in Connecticut. I don't know about you but I always imagine boarding schools as surrounded by beautiful autumnal trees at the start of the school year. Plus, who doesn't love a good mystery novel when the nights get longer?

Seasonal drinks - Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

If you spend all year craving pumpkin spice lattes and cinnamon hot chocolates, then Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is the book for you. As sweet as your favourite drink, Fangirl is the story of Cath Avery, a college freshman struggling with her twin sister's newfound independence, her worry about leaving her dad alone at home, and a professor who wants her to abandon her love of fanfiction once and for all. Then there's Levi, the charming barista Cath befriends, or rather who befriends her. Fangirl is guaranteed to make you feel as warm as one of Levi's pumpkin mocha breves.

Wrapping up warm - Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Do you spend all year staring wistfully at your extensive collection of knitwear, just waiting for the day when the temperature drops and you can finally wear your favourite jumpers again? If that sounds like you then you will get along perfectly with Lola of Stephanie Perkins's Lola and the Boy Next Door. For Lola, life is all about fashion, and her clothes aren't outfits, they're costumes. From shoes to wigs, Lola knows the perfect costume for every occasion, even seeing her old neighbours Cricket and Calliope for the first time in years, although maybe not for admitting the old feelings she still has for Cricket.

Bonfire night - Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

If you love keeping warm by a bonfire and the fizz and pop of fireworks on Guy Fawkes Night, I recommend Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, a story full of magic and gunpowder and as explosive as any firework. Rebel of the Sands is the story of Amani Al'Hiza, a gifted gunslinger dying to get out of her old fashioned desert town, but not quite expecting the romance, rebellion, and real magic that await her when she finally does, aided by the mysterious Jin, a fellow sharpshooter with something to hide. This is a fast-paced, exciting read, and you'll be thankful for the long nights of autumn giving you more time to stay up late reading it.

Halloween - The Graces by Laure Eve

Finally, Halloween. If spooky skeleton and ghoulish ghosts make Halloween your favourite thing about autumn then you're bound to love The Graces by Laure Eve. The Graces is a deliciously sinister story of magic, mystery, and obsession. River knows everyone in her small town believes the Graces are witches, and she's as interested in their secretive family as anyone else, but she's determined to be different to everyone else. River wants to find out the truth for herself, to befriend the Graces and find out if they really are as dangerous as everyone thinks, but no one can prepare for the results of River entering the Graces' world.
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Thursday, 27 September 2018

The Son of Neptune | Rick Riordan | Review


I put off reading this series because I didn't know any of the characters, which I know is bad of me. Instead, I skipped over them and went straight to the Trials of Apollo series because hey I know Apollo. Turns out the books lead on more than I realised and unfortunately, I actually got a fair few spoilers to the Heroes of Olympus series by reading it first. Therefore as soon as I finished the first Apollo book I went straight back to the Heroes of Olympus series starting with The Lost Hero, and now The Son of Neptune.



Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem. Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is.



Can I just say, yay for the return of Percy! After reading the first book in the series 'The Lost Hero' that had mostly all new characters it was sort of a breather returning to Percy's point of view. Almost like returning home after a day of work. Reliable Percy, and by reliable I mean reliable of getting himself into trouble!

However, the first quarter of this book is basically the same as The Lost Hero, because Jason and Percy have gone through the same thing - memory loss and introduced to a new camp. It was easy to read but it did feel a little repetitive. The only difference was unlike The Lost Hero where the main trio were the new people, in The Son of Neptune everyone other than Percy were new characters to learn. Not only that, you now had to learn all the Roman variants of the Gods, which luckily I was planning on doing at some point with my little Greek God obsession so I welcomed.

Once you got over that though it was a good read. Full of challenges and monsters as usual. Something I have noticed, and I'm not sure if it's just because I'm more aware of them now as I was when I read the first series, but it seems there are more nods to the better-known myths than there was in the Percy Jackson series. The PJ series tended to have one main myth that their quest was surrounded by, but in The Heroes of Olympus series there are more little myths they discover on the way as well as the main quest.   

Have you read this series yet?



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Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Features | Books I Hope to Read in October

In an attempt at accountability, I thought I'd share some of the books that I am hoping to read next month. September has been a bit of a whirlwind for me and I feel like my reading has suffered as a result so I'm hoping to break that slump over the last week of the month and into October.

I don't like to know too much about a book before I go into it so I haven't gone out of my way to look up summaries. That means that I also haven't included them here but hopefully you can forgive me for that!

I'm going to try to read:



Wilde Like Me

I'm currently taking part in a blog hop that encourages book bloggers to read in a new genre for them. I chose Wilde Like Me but I haven't yet had the chance to pick it up. Hopefully that will change soon!

The Coffin Path

The nights are getting darker and that means that my reading choices will be too! This looks like a deliciously gothic read that will be perfect for the chilly Autumn nights.

The Silent Patient

I was beyond excited and intrigued to receive a review copy of this recently so I think it is finally time to pick this book up. I've heard very good things about this one!

White Rabbit, Red Wolf

I've also seen nothing but good reviews for this book. It's been sat on my shelf for ages so I am going to make it a priority in October.

Catwoman: Soulstealer

Somehow,  I have two copies of this and haven't opened either of them. Before you tell me off for this, be reassured that I have every intention of picking one of them soon.

Let's see how I get on shall we?

Kelly
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Monday, 24 September 2018

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

Another month, another BB book club pick... or should we say picks? In celebration of Blogger's Bookshelf turning six later this month we have something a little special for October's book club; not one, but two amazing books for you to choose from!

We've come a long way in the last six years but we couldn't resist revisiting the very first reviews we ever published here on the blog; Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares (David Levithan & Rachel Cohn) and About A Boy (Nick Hornby). This month we're inviting you to join us in reading (or re-reading) one or both of these titles which helped us launch our book blog.


Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares, Rachel Cohn & David Levithan


"Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?" - Source

The first ever review shared on Blogger's Bookshelf was Ria's take on this YA favourite. Although the book may have had a little cover update since then it's still a hugely popular title and the one that Ria said made her really want to start a book blog!

About A Boy, Nick Hornby


"At thirty-six, [Will]'s as hip as a teenager. He's single, child-free, goes to the right clubs and knows which trainers to wear. He's also found a great way to score with women: attend single parents' groups full of available (and grateful) mothers, all hoping to meet a Nice Guy.

Which is how Will meets Marcus, the oldest twelve-year-old on the planet. Marcus is a bit strange: he listens to Joni Mitchell and Mozart, looks after his mum and has never owned a pair of trainers. But Marcus latches on to Will - and won't let go. Can Will teach Marcus how to grow up cool? And can Marcus help Will just to grow up?
" - Source


Our second review was written by Erin who, as a fan of the 2002 film adaptation, decided to finally pick up a copy of About A Boy and see how the two differed. Spoiler alert; she loved it!

If you would like to help us celebrate turning six you can join in by reading either, or even both, of these titles. You can complete our usual Google form, share your photos and mini reviews on Instagram using #bookshelfbookclub or send us a tweet. Please make sure you share your thoughts with us by 19th October so that they can be featured in the next roundup.

Happy reading!

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Sunday, 23 September 2018

BB Book Club | September 2018 Roundup | The White Book

This year we decided to launch our very own online book club, with a new book for you to join us in reading every month. Our September pick, The White Book (Han Kang), was chosen by Ria and was a completely different read from anything the book club has seen before. Here's our September infographic to tell you a little bit more...

book club the white book hang kang

Reader's comments & favourite quotes:

The only things which the mind cannot examine are memories of the future.


"Very interesting so far with an unconventional structure, each chapter focusing on a white object connected to the death of the author's sister. Think it will certainly be one that will stand out in my memory." - @RebeccaFwrites

On cold mornings, that first white cloud of escaping breath is proof that we are living.


"Whilst the book starts out with a simple list of white things it quickly begins to take on some very difficult topics, exploring them in a really unique and interesting way." - Erin @ A Natural Detour

It is not true that everything is coloured by time and suffering. It is not true that they bring everything to ruin.


Thank you to everyone who read along with us this month! If you would like to get involved with next month's BB Book Club check back here for our very special October selection.

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

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Friday, 21 September 2018

Almost Midnight | Rainbow Rowell | Review



Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell is a beautiful gift edition containing two wintery short stories: 'Midnights' and 'Kindred Spirits', decorated throughout for the first time with gorgeous black and white illustrations. 'Midnights' is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year's Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time... 'Kindred Spirits' is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan. - Goodreads

These two short stories by Rainbow Rowell are not only super sweet, but they are super short so they're perfect for those days when you have limited time but still want to read something.

Midnights is the story of Margaret 'Mags' and her annual outing to the New Years Eve party thrown by one of the girls at school. We first meet Mags standing outside the house, not wanting to be in there on the stroke of midnight...but then Rowell flashes back to the first NYE party Mags attended a few years back where she met Noel for the first time. From there, the story jumps forward one year at a time, at the same party, with the same kids, with the same countdown, until we reach present time outside the house again.

This is such a sweet story, and I really enjoyed how the it was written on the same day each year. Mags and Noel's friendship is brilliant, with their various quirks and reactions, and I could definitely see them being the protagonists of a longer story.
“The whole world is dancing with you” 
Kindred Spirits also takes place around midnight (surprise surprise, given the title of this collection), but this time the story is about Elena, a hard-core Star Wars fan who has her mind set on lining up outside the movie theatre days in advance to get into the latest installment: The Force Awakens. The lineup of people is not what she expected. She thought there'd be people dressed up as Wookies, as Storm Troopers, or rocking Leia buns. Instead, there's just a couple of geeks already camped out. It's those geeks she makes friends with, and the story follows her over the course of a few days and the things they get up to while waiting in line.

I loved this story. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I love Star Wars and I have been to multiple midnight showings over the years (dressed up, yes). The idea of 'kindred spirits' in this context is so spot on and Rowell paints an excellent picture of what can happen when you put like-minded people side by side. I can definitely see this story being expanded upon and following Elena and her geeky friends through adventures like this.

Both these stories are short and sweet, and the lovely drawings by Simini Blocker (who actually has a character named after them in Midnights) adds a special touch.

Have you read Almost Midnight? Or perhaps just one of these short stories? 

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Thursday, 20 September 2018

Features | Books On My Autumn TBR

blogger's bookshelf bookstack tbr

Whilst I haven't managed to stick to sharing a monthly TBR lately, I thought it might be nice to compile a list featuring some of the books I'm planning to read over the next couple of months or so. The six-book stack includes some recent releases that everyone has been talking about, a new title from one of my favourite authors, a book I've heard nothing but praise for as well as one from my 'vow to read' list and a very popular title I definitely should have read by now...

1. Vox, Christina Dalcher (2018)


"Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter. On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her. This is just the beginning." - Source

2. Girl In Translation, Jean Kwok (2010)


"When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family’s future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition. Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles." - Source

3. 1Q84, Haruki Murakami (2009)

"The year is 1Q84. This is the real world, there is no doubt about that. But in this world, there are two moons in the sky. In this world, the fates of two people, Tengo and Aomame, are closely intertwined. They are each, in their own way, doing something very dangerous. And in this world, there seems no way to save them both. Something extraordinary is starting." - Source

4. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas (2017)


"Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed." - Source

5. Dry, Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman (2018)


"The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers. Until the taps run dry. Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbours and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive." - Source

6. The Water Cure, Sophie Mackintosh (2018)


"Imagine a world very close to our own: where women are not safe in their bodies, where desperate measures are required to raise a daughter. This is the story of Grace, Lia, and Sky kept apart from the world for their own good and taught the terrible things that every woman must learn about love. And it is the story of the men who come to find them - three strangers washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent, trailing desire and destruction in their wake." - Source

We'd love to know which books are top of your TBR pile for the Autumn months. Leave a comment below, over on the Blogger's Bookshelf Instagram or tweet us!

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Sunday, 16 September 2018

Send Us Your Thoughts On Our September Book Club Pick!

the white book han kang

Have you read our September #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 or alternatively tweet or Instagram your photos and favoruite quotes or poems from the book.

If you haven't had time to read this month's book don't worry, Team BB's co-creators have a special book club selection lined up to celebrate the blog turning six next month. Check back on 24th September to find out more!

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Friday, 14 September 2018

Features | 5 Sequels on my TBR


Sometimes the best review of the first book in a series is whether the person reviewing it wants to read the next book or not. Sure, I can tell you what I thought about Divergent or Matched, but the thing that really tells you how I felt about those books is the fact that I never wanted to read their sequels. Those first books just didn't hook me enough to make me want to invest more time in their worlds. So today I'm going to tell you about five sequels I do want to read, thanks to the books that preceded them.


Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

Hero at the Fall is the third and final book in Hamilton's Rebel of the Sands trilogy. The first two books in this trilogy were so gripping and fast paced that I flew through them both, and after all the intrigue and the twists and turns of the second book, Traitor to the Throne, I'm desperate to know what will happen to these characters in this final instalment of the series.


The Magician King by Lev Grossman

I had a few issues with The Magicians, the first in Grossman's trilogy. I had problems with the writing, the story, and the characters, and yet there was something about it that still made me want to find out what happens next. This series has a kind of pull that I can't quite explain, and although I'll probably roll my eyes at certain aspects of this book too, I almost can't help myself. I have to know what happens next.


Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

This one is not difficult to explain. Albertalli's first book, Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda was one of my favourite books that I read last year and when I heard that Albertalli's next book would be a sequel focusing on Simon's friend, Leah, I knew I had to get it. I would happily read Albertalli writing about any of the characters in Simon's world. Give me a book about his dog, I'll read it.


The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

The House of Hades is actually the fourth book in Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series, so of course I don't want to say too much about it, but having read the three Heroes of Olympus books that come before this one, and the Percy Jackson series that preceded it, I am still not done with reading about Percy Jackson and his world.


Puddin' by Julie Murphy

Like Leah on the Offbeat, Puddin' is a sequel that focuses on side characters from another book, but this time those characters first appeared in Julie Murphy's Dumplin'. I read Dumplin' earlier this year and fell in love with Murphy's portrayal of 'self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson' and I know that Puddin' explores some similar themes and issues to the ones seen in Dumplin', and I can't wait to find out more about these characters.

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Thursday, 13 September 2018

Sheets | Brenna Thummler | Review



I hadn't read a graphic novel in such a long time so when an email came through from NetGalley about this new graphic novel called Sheets I took a stab in the dark and requested it.


Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen year old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she’s worked for.

Wendell is a ghost. A boy who lost his life much too young, his daily routine features ineffective death therapy, a sheet-dependent identity, and a dangerous need to seek purpose in the forbidden human world.

When their worlds collide, Marjorie is confronted by unexplainable disasters as Wendell transforms Glatt’s Laundry into his midnight playground, appearing as a mere sheet during the day. While Wendell attempts to create a new afterlife for himself, he unknowingly sabotages the life that Marjorie is struggling to maintain.


The thing I find that I struggle with, with graphic novels, is the fact they're rather short most of the time. They have to have quite the storyline to make it feel worth reading if you get me. I don't read a lot of short stories so most of the short stories I read are graphic novels.

This, however,  is such a feel-good graphic novel. There's quite a journey to get to the feel-good part but boy is it worth it!

You're immediately pulled into Marjorie's life and learn about her losing her mum and basically losing her dad after he retreated to the bedroom due to the loss of his wife. You feel the hardship of Marjorie's life taking care of the family business while cheering up her brother and attempting to get through to her dad. It's all the feels!

Then there's little Wendell, a new ghost, a child, getting to know his new life after losing his old life so young. He's adorable, sad but funny, and you just want to scoop him up. The way the ghost world is described you don't really question the fact that it's a ghost world, you connect to Wendell so much that you don't notice.

Once their worlds come together your heart hurts for them both, only wanting to do good but of course fate has decided that things go wrong. Feelings are hurt and your own feelings are hurt when they fight. But I promise you the feel-good part is there!

Have you read this before? What did you think?

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