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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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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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