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

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

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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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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Fragments of the Lost | Megan Miranda | Review

I am almost didn't post this review because I have had an ARC of Fragments of the Lost for so long. While I was really intrigued by the premise of this book, I don't often reach for mysteries. I have to be in a very specific mood for them which meant that this poor book has been waiting patiently for me.

Fragments of the Lost is all about Jessa, who has somehow found herself with the job of packing up her ex-boyfriend's room after he is lost and announced dead when his car is totalled in a flood. Jessa finds herself surrounded with memories of the man she lost, and the relationship they had given up on in. Yet, as the last reminder of Caleb, she lingers as she packs up his things. Unfortunately, going through his room makes Jessa question what she thought she knew about Caleb's death and Caleb himself. Something doesn't quite add up. Jessa sets out to work out  what is missing.

I loved the character of Jessa and her development throughout the book. Between flashbacks to her relationship with Caleb and the changes she undergoes as Fragments of the Lost progresses, she is a very real character who you are really rooting for. This is especially true when you consider the emotional turmoil that she is subjected to.

It was also fascinating to piece together the mystery with Jessa. I definitely didn't anticipate all of the ending (though I had an inkling about some of it) and was hooked as I watched the story unfold.

In fact, I was so hooked that I devoured this book in one sitting. It was an easy enough read that I managed it in a few hours but captivating enough that I couldn't bear to put it down. If you're looking for a book to curl up with one evening, I would definitely recommend picking this up, especially now that the weather is straying away from summer.

Kelly
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Friday, 7 September 2018

Features | 6 Series I Own But Haven't Read

If you're anything like me then buying books is not something that happens every so often, once in a while, maybe on your birthday. It's a regular occurrence; whether or nor you've put a book-buying-ban on yourself  is irrelevant.

One of the book-related purchases that gives me the greatest joy is having a complete series, especially if they all so beautifully match. It's common practice for me to see a book that has been on my TBR list for a while and pick it up with the full intent to read said book in the coming weeks. Most of the time that happens, and life is good. But sometimes ... sometimes I don't get round to it. And then comes that moment when I see book 2 and/or 3 in a shop somewhere, or it's on a sale table, at a second-hand store, and I pick it up because, hey! I've got the first one at home, better have the second one lined up ready to go!

It came to my attention recently that I have quite a few full series of books that I had every intention of reading at some stage, still sitting (beautifully, I might add) on my bookshelves. Have I read book one? No. Do I want to? Yes, I probably do. Have I even thought about those books in the last year? Unlikely.

So today I thought it would be fun to take a look at six of the series that I own in full but I still haven't read. If any of these are some of your favourites, you might be able to twist my arm and I'll bump the first book up the TBR pile.

The Naughts and Crosses series, by Malorie Blackman

The first in this series, Naughts and Crosses, was published back in 2001, but it wasn't on my radar until I worked in Waterstones bookstore in England in 2014. One of the people who worked at Waterstones told me about them, so it was added to my list of books to check out. I found them, years later back in New Zealand, on sale (buy 1 get one half price), so I promptly bought all four books. Have I read them? No, I have not.

The Bartimaeus series, by Jonathan Stroud

This is one of those series that has been popping up most of my life. The first book, The Amulet of Samarkand, was published in 2003 which is when I probably saw it for the first time. Since then I've has numerous people recommend it to me, and have slowly collected all three books in the series with the full intention of reading them someday.

The His Dark Materials series, by Philip Pullman

I know, I know! It's ridiculous that I haven't read this series; I would say the majority of book-lovers I would have read this series at least once. I haven't even seen the movie adaptation. Eek! So so bad of me. But one day [she says with determination]! Once of the reasons I probably haven't actually started this series is becuase I feel like it's a little too far gone. The first, The Golden Compass/Northern Lights was released in 1996!

The Half Bad series, by Sally Green

This is one of the few series I have where every single book is fro a different publisher. And I hate it! But when you're scoring books for super cheap in second-hand stores, you can't be too picky. I've heard great things about this series, and have recently bought another Sally Green book, so I need to get on it!

The Silo series, by High Howey

This was confusing to find what the series was actually called. Howey has a bunch of sub-series connected to this one, so I'm 90% sure this the right title, however if you think otherwise, please let me know. Someone in England recommended these books to me when I lived there, and so I bought two in a sale, and found the third when I returned home to New Zealand. And no, I have not read them yet.

The Old Kingdom Chronicles/Abhorsen series, by Garth Nix

Crammed into one mega volume, my copy of the Old Kingdom Chronicles is huge. A literal doorstop. Another one which I have heard good things about. What's stopping me reading this is the sheer size of my copy. Can you imagine trying to haul around a book with three books inside!? Nightmare.

Are there series which you own all of (or the majority of) that you still haven't read? Let us know! 


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Monday, 3 September 2018

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

The White Book Han Kang

The White Book is a meditation on colour, beginning with a list of white things. It is a book about mourning, rebirth and the tenacity of the human spirit. It is a stunning investigation of the fragility, beauty and strangeness of life.

After BB's co-founders recently spent a Saturday perusing the shelves of Waterstones and discussing a variety of different ideas Ria settled on The White Book by Han Kang as our September book club pick!

If you'd like to read along with this month's selection, head over to Book Depository (who offer free worldwide shipping), Amazon or your local bookstore to pick up a copy.

Once you've read the book you can share your thoughts through this Google form, by the 21st September deadline. You can also email us your opinions or leave a mini review and photo over on Instagram using the hashtag #bookshelfbookclub.

Make sure you're signed up to our monthly newsletter so you don't miss out on any future book club updates!


We hope that you're excited to read our September selection but don't worry if it doesn't sound like your thing - check back next month for our very special October pick to celebrate BB's 6th birthday!

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Sunday, 2 September 2018

Bookish Links #46


1. It's Reading Time! - Harriet over at This Essex Girl discussed three reasons why she's making more time to read.

2. Books As Art - Buzzfeed recently featured the work of Instagram user @james_trevino who uses his book collection to make artistic photos.

3. Considering An English Degree? - Holly shared her top tips for studying English Literature or Creative Writing at university.

4. 2018 Reads - our lovely friend Michelle showcased some of the books she has read and enjoyed so far this year over on her blog Daisybutter.

5. Great American Novels - Kerri at Bustle created a roundup of eleven amazing YA titles she believes could fit the title of 'great American novel'.

6. A Love For Books - inspired by World Book Day, we loved Shelley's post on falling back in love with reading, featuring some of her top recommendations.

7. Hufflepuff Pride - this article over on Hypable explains why companies should hire a Hufflepuff!

8. Overwhelming TBR? - in this post Laura talked about ways to avoid the dreaded overwhelming TBR pile issue that we've all experienced.

9. Dear Non-Readers... - what would you like your non-reader family and friends to know?

10. Bookish Bucket List - here are six libraries that we should all visit in our lifetimes. Have you crossed any off the list yet?

From the archives: Fictional Dinner Parties | Never Let Me Go | Shadow & Bone

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