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.



Sunday, 20 January 2019

Bookish Links #48

1. Aiming to read more in 2019? Emily shared her top tips over at Bustle...

2. or perhaps not setting a reading goal for the year is the way forward?

3. Jamie compiled a list of over 50 books which are set to hit the big, or small, screen this year.

4. Tiffany posted an amazing list of five Asian fantasy books set to be released this year.

5. Team LC also have some brilliant suggestions for your 2019 TBR.

5. This post has some great resources for tracking your reading through bullet journaling.

6. Why not treat yourself to a new jumper?

7. Which backlist books will you be reading in 2019? Watch this video for some great ideas from Heather.

8. Amanda shared some of the 2019 releases she's most looking forward to over the first half of the year.

9. For our final link, here are some amazing illustrated reads for kids - all of which would make lovely gifts!

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Friday, 18 January 2019

Features | Not Finishing Series

I've developed a habit of starting series but never finishing them, or if I do finish them, waiting months and months between reading the penultimate and final books in a series, even when the final book is sitting on my shelf, staring at me from across the room, begging me to just read it already. I'm sure I'm not alone in this either. I'm sure many of you reading this will have at least a few series on your shelves waiting to be finished. So, why can't we just get on with it?

The drive is there, for me anyway, to find out what will happen to all my favourite characters. Will they save the world? Will good triumph over evil? Will those two lovebirds finally get together? I want to say goodbye to this world I've read about over multiple books. I want to reach the conclusion and be able to piece together all the steps that lead me there.

But also I don't. It's not an active thought. I don't look at the final book in a series and think 'maybe I don't want to finish that series after all' but the drive to find out what happens is exactly the same thing that holds me back. As long as I don't read that last book, anything could be true. My favourite characters all make it out alive, the bad guy loses, my OTP get together and never face another hardship again. Of course, the opposite is also true. If I never read that last book then maybe everyone dies, the bad guy wins, and my OTP never talk to each other again. It's Schrödinger's plot point.

That's part of the fun of postponing the series finale too. Once you read that last book that's it, the truth, the undeniable canon of the story, and everything you've imagined for the ending of that series will either be proved right or shown as a total miscalculation. As long as you don't read it, you can think of your own ending and hold off on being right or wrong. Of course, once you've finished the series you can come up with your own ideas of what happens next and, barring surprise future sequels, never be proved wrong, but somehow it's less fun to come up with theories when the real answer is no longer waiting to be found out.

Of course the biggest reason we avoid the series finale, the biggest reason I do anyway, is because we aren't really ready to say goodbye to that world yet. The more you've enjoyed a series, the more you've connected with the characters and admired the setting, the harder it is to pick up that last book, knowing that once you turn the final page you'll know everything there is to know and there won't be any more adventures from that world. And what if you don't like the ending? What if you've invested all this time into this series only for it to fall at the hurdle of your final expectations? Well, what if it doesn't?

You'll never know if you don't read that last book. Which is why my reading resolution this year is to read all those final books sitting on my shelves. It's time to make room for new worlds.
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Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Features | My 2019 Reading Goals

2019 reading goals blogger's bookshelf

Share 10 Reviews On BB

Looking back at the archives, I think I only shared seven reviews on BB during 2018 and have been in quite a writing slump for the past few months. Whilst ten reviews may not sound like very many for a whole year (especially as I read 83 books last year!), it feels like an achievable goal without pushing myself to write when I don't feel like it.

Continue To Use A Reading Spreadsheet

Back in February 2018 I shared a post all about creating a bookish spreadsheet and I'm pleased to report that this worked out really well for me over the year. I found the spreadsheet useful not only for tracking the books I read and various other stats, but also for keeping a list of those I purchased. This helped me to get a better idea of just how much I spent on books over the year and more importantly, how many of those purchases I actually also found the time to read. The spreadsheet definitely helped to cut down on the number of newly purchased titles left sitting unread on my (non-existent) shelves.

Complete The BB 2019 Book Club List & 'Vow To Read' Challenge

My final reading goal is to complete the BB challenges! This year I plan to tackle all twelve prompts in our new-format 2019 BB Book Club, as well as our usual 'vow to read' list. Last year I took on a few too many challenges and the 'vow to read' list was one that unfortunately I didn't quite manage to complete - fingers crossed for 2019!

What are your reading goals for 2019?

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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Catwoman Soulstealer | Sarah J Maas | Review

This review has been a long time coming and not just because it took me FOREVER to finish reading Catwoman Soulstealer. It's not because I didn't enjoy this book either because I did. It just took me a long time to decide how I felt about it.

You see, in this adaptation of the classic comic book series, Sarah J Maas has made a few changes. For the most part, she has made the story her own and I fully approve of her choices. But I am still undecided as to whether or not I like the turn Catwoman has taken.

Wait a minute, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Catwoman Soulstealer is the story of Selina Kyle, a young assassin who comes to Gotham City determined to have her revenge and right the wrongs that had been done to her. The city is not quite as she remembered and is being fiercely  guarded by Batwing.

What follows is a fast paced story of friendship, villainy and forbidden love. Selina's return is certainly messier than she anticipated and Sarah J Maas writes these scenes with her usual talent. I was incredibly invested in theses complicated relationships and particularly for the relationship between Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. These aren't characters that I know that much about but I really enjoy what Sarah J Maas did with their friendship. It made a good book great for me.

However, I'm not sure if I like what she did with Catwoman herself by the end of the book. Without giving too many spoilers, her development by the end was unrecognisable from the adult Catwoman that we all know and love. It would be interesting to see what Sarah J Maas's adult Selina Kyle would be like in the world of Catwoman Soulstealer. Like I said, this didn't make me not enjoy the book but is definitely a deviation from the Catwoman I thought I knew.

I wonder if people with dramatically more or dramatically less knowledge of the superhero would agree with me!

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Monday, 7 January 2019

Team BB | Books We Vow To Read In 2019

Happy New Year from all of us here at Blogger's Bookshelf!

A new year means new reading goals and a brand new list of books our team are vowing to read by the end of 2019. Read on to check out our picks and let us know in the comments below what you're hoping to be reading too. 

Thank you to our team for their contributions.
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Friday, 4 January 2019

Features | 12 Books I Have To Read This Year

It's a brand new year and despite completing my GoodReads challenge of 52 books read in 2018 with just a few hours to spare I am somehow entering 2019 with even more books on my TBR than I had 12 months ago. It might have something to do with the fact that I reread the entire Princess Diaries series this year instead of reading all the unread books languishing in the corner of my room but really, who can say? All I do know is that there are an embarrassing number of unread books in that corner and it's time to start getting through them, so here are 12 books I have to read in the next 12 months, before the embarrassment becomes too much.

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

My mum bought me a copy of Northern Lights right after I first read the first three Harry Potter books. I read the first chapter, decided it wasn't as good as Harry Potter, and it has sat on my bookshelf ever since. Having spent the intervening 20 or so years hearing how great this series is, I think it's well beyond time to get it down from the shelf.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

This one hasn't been on my TBR for very long but it still seems like I'm the last person on the internet not to have read it yet. I've only heard great things about The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue and now there's a sequel as well it really is time to join the rest of the book blogging world and read this book.

The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman

I read the first two novels in Grossman's Magicians trilogy in 2018 and thoroughly enjoyed them but I have a tendency these days to wait far too long to finish a series. It has already been a few months since I read The Magician King and if I don't watch out it'll be a year or more before I finish this last book in the series.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

I've been a fan of the Green brothers' content for years and having read and enjoyed all of John's books, I was extremely excited to hear that Hank was releasing a novel of his own last year. I even preordered it. Yet I still haven't read it. I will get to it soon.

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

I devoured the first two books in this series back in 2017, preordered this final instalment as soon as I could, and waited for it impatiently. Then I put it with the rest of these books and didn't read it. If anyone knows why I have recently developed this habit of putting off the final instalments of book series, please let me know.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is just a classic that I can't believe I haven't read yet and I really think it's time to actually pick it up this year.

The Upside of Unrequited and Leah On the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

I adored Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and am so sure that I will love these two companion books by Becky Albertalli that I bought them both as soon as I finished reading Simon, but yet again, they have sat neglected on my shelves for months, even though I know I will love them. Well, not for much longer.

The House of Hades and The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Are you sensing a theme? It feels as though I have been reading this series for years, taking far too long between each book, so perhaps my number one reading goal for 2019 is to read these two books and finish this series. Then I can move on to the next Camp Half-Blood series. And there will probably be another one before I finish that too.

Puddin' by Julie Murphy

Dumplin' was one of my favourite books of 2018, so if Puddin' is even half as good then I just can't wait any longer to read it.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Another book that everyone else seems to have read and another book that I've owned for far too long, I have almost read The Secret History so many times over the years and had it recommended to me even more often, so it really is getting embarrassing now that I still haven't read it.

Reading one of these books a month sounds pretty manageable but, as we can see, I am very good at putting off books I really want to read for no apparent reason, so we'll see how it goes. Are there any books you feel like you need to read this year?
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Thursday, 3 January 2019

Lore Olympus | Rachel Smythe | Review

The image is owned by Rachel Smythe.

I always talk about physical books or ebooks but I never talk about webcomics. Today however that's all about to change! In case you missed my tweets, I need to tell everyone about the fabulousness that is Lore Olympus. If you're going to read one webcomic this coming year then let this be the one, you won't regret it.

You'll only regret getting sucked in and suffering the enduring wait week to week waiting for the next chapter...

To sum it up, it's all about how Rachel Smythe (the author/illustrator/creator) interpreted Persephone and Hades getting together. If you're not up to date with your Greek Mythology, Hades and Persephone are a couple and rulers of the underworld. Don't get too excited though as I'm up to date and they still aren't properly together, it's all about the journey, the flirtation and the worry. Very relatable if you've ever had a crush on someone and constantly worried about what they thought of you and if you said the right thing.

The hilarious writing paired with the fantastic illustrations makes for a rather entertaining read. Be prepared to fall in deep rather quickly and get invested in the characters lives. Never thought I'd hate Apollo as he's one of my favourite Gods but gosh he's such a douche, wee bit of a spoiler sorry.

Anyway, full of drama and totally worth a read!
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Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Book Club | January 2019 - A Roadtrip Novel

For our 2019 BB Book Club we've put together a printable list of twelve different prompts. On the 1st day of each month, we'll be introducing you to the month's prompt and the books team members each plan to read, along with some other suggested reads we think you'll love. Of course, these are just ideas so please feel free to interpret the prompts however you wish!

We're also inviting you to share photos and mini reviews of your book club picks on social media using #bookshelfbookclub and tag @bloggersbookshelf on Instagram.

Our prompt for January is... A Roadtrip Novel

What we'll be reading...

Ria's Pick: The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang

"The classic road trip novel with a diverse twist! Excited to see how Jade Chang takes a genre that's so quintessentially American and weaves in the immigrant story."

Anjali's Pick: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

"I've seen this book around on Goodreads, blogs and in bookstores and have heard it's a fun and funny read. I've been meaning to pick it up for a while now so this is the perfect opportunity. Looking forward to reading about Mim's travel adventures on a Greyhound bus!"

Erin's Pick: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson 

"I really enjoyed reading Amy & Roger's Epic Detour back in 2015 and feel that a re-read is long overdue. Luckily, January's challenge is the perfect opportunity to dust off my Kindle and revisit the story."

Other suggested reads...

- America For Beginners (Leah Franqui)
- Let's Get Lost (Adi Alsaid) - review
- An Abundance Of Katherines (John Green) - review
- Vivian Versus The Apocalypse (Katie Coyle) - review
- You Are Here (Jennifer E Smith) - review
- Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (Hunter S Thompson)
- Paper Towns (John Green) - review

Use the hashtag #bookshelfbookclub and tag @bloggersbookshelf to share your photos and mini reviews with us throughout the month!
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