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.


Wednesday 29 November 2017

Bookish Links #36

1. Wizards Unite - we're sure you've all heard by now but we just had to include a link to the news about the upcoming Harry Potter augmented reality game. Will you be playing?

2.  Lit Chat - we enjoyed reading Emma's post about Lit Chat, a set of cards featuring reading-themed questions. We're looking forward to future posts inspired by the cards!

3. Graphics - in a reading slump? Graphic novels may be the answer! Check out this post from The Ardent Biblio to find out how.

4. Bookstagram - we've been enjoying following the picks from Emma Roberts book club Belletrist so we really loved this EW post listing all of the book recommendations from her Instagram account. Your TBRs are about to get a whole lot longer...

5. Making Time For Books - in this post Hannah shares her top five tips for finding time to read as a parent.

6. Dystopia/Utopia - if you can't decide what your next read should be check out this list of feminist Utopian and Dystopian reads recommended by Lotte.

7. For John Green Fans - looking for post-Turtles All The Way Down reads? Jamie has you covered with this list!

8. Reading Harry Potter - we loved reading Janssen's interesting post all about introducing Harry Potter to children.

9. Travel Companions - if you're heading out on a roadtrip over the holiday season you'll love this list of audiobook picks from Emma over at A Beautiful Mess.

10. Books To Gift - our final pick is Lauren's post filled with awesome bookish gift ideas. You're sure to find a title here for everyone on your Christmas list!

If you've read or written an interesting bookish article you think our readers would enjoy please let us know - it may be featured in a future post!    
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Monday 27 November 2017

We're Recruiting For 2018!

Going forward into the new year we're looking to recruit a new member (or members) to our team of writers!

We're ideally looking to find someone who is keen to share their unique ideas and points of view, who is organised, creative, enthusiastic and of course loves talking all things books! If this sounds like you here's a little more information...

- the role would involve writing content for the blog on a fortnightly basis (we ask for 1 post per fortnight on an assigned day of the week, the day is negotiable)

- all content must be book-related but can include everything from reviews to features, lists, interviews, short stories, news, poems and event write-ups

We would also love for you to be involved in contributing to our upcoming book club and newsletter (however this is completely optional if you are unable to commit the extra time).

If you think you would be a good fit for our team we would love to hear from you! Please email us your details (including your name & blog link if you have one) and we will get back to you very soon.

We look forward to hearing from you!

- Team BB

*Image via
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Friday 24 November 2017

Genuine Fraud | E. Lockhart | Review

An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.

Jule, a scrappy fighter and an expert at blending in, and Imogen, an unsatisfied heiress, bonded over their shared history, both orphans and both determined to get away from their pasts and become someone new, Imogen and Jule share everything. Clothes, money, lavish homes in London and Martha's Vineyard. They're as close as best friends can be. Or, they were. Or... were they?

Told in reverse, Genuine Fraud begins with a young woman on the run and takes the reader backwards through not entirely reliable memories and increasingly complicated lies, through a close friendship brought to an unfortunate end, through the whole complex affair, from end to beginning and back again. 

There are so many twists and turns in this story that I hesitate to say anything about it at all for fear of spoiling anything. The narrative taking the reader back through time can be a little confusing but it means that the story gets to unfold in a way that leaves you never quite sure what's real and what isn't. As soon as one piece of the story falls into place, we're swept back two days or six weeks to reveal that something else entirely is actually the truth, but then again, maybe that isn't either. Piece by piece things click together until finally the last secret is revealed and we end up, once again, back where we started, at the end of the story.

One downside to the backwards narrative is that it makes it tough to really feel for the characters, as the reader isn't so much on the journey with them, but experiencing events in gradual backwards steps, as told by an extremely unreliable narrator. Genuine Fraud is a difficult novel to explain and, at least at first, a difficult novel to get to grips with, but it's so well written that it doesn't take long for the mysteries of the story to overtake any concerns about the characters. If you're anything like me, you'll be desperate to get to the middle of this complicated maze of lies and half-truths and find out what really happened to Jule and Imogen.
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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Archangel's Viper | Nalini Singh | Review

Sometimes, you accidentally start a book series at the wrong time. For me that was diving into the Guild Hunter series on one of the later books, Archangel's Viper, which was sent to me by the publisher. It meant that it took me a little while to get into the book but when I did, I really enjoyed it.

Archangel's Viper is about Holly Chang, a young woman who has become a supernatural creature after being tortured by an archangel. She's part vampire, part poisonous, part mystery to everyone. With a new and dangerous power coursing through her veins, Holly is one hell of a bounty. Venom, a centuries old vampire, is assigned to protect when people start coming for her. The two of them don't exactly get on but they do make a good team, especially when their questions unearthed a deadly mystery.

Urban fantasy isn't something I read that much of anymore but it was a great return to the genre for me. It was punchy, creative and exciting. There were intriguing characters, who kept me hooked. There were also slow burn romances, which are my favourite kind. Although they were hardly a surprise, that didn't make them any less entertaining!

Archangel's Viper is dangerous and addictive, making it the perfect kind of book to lose yourself in for a few hours. It's the kind of fun reading that helps you switch off from the real world for a little while.

It was a risk starting the series when it had already started but it paid off. Now, I'm intrigued enough to read more of the Guild Hunter novels and the writing of Nalini Singh.
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Saturday 18 November 2017

Get Involved | Your Favourite Reads Of 2017

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Friday 17 November 2017

The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy | Michael F. Patton and Kevin Cannon | Review

"The most entertaining and engaging philosophy class you'll ever take!
In The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy, Michael F. Patton and Kevin Cannon introduce us to the grand tradition of examined living. With the wisecracking Heraclitus as our guide, we travel down the winding river of philosophy, meeting influential thinkers from nearly three millennia of Western thought and witnessing great debates over everything from ethics to the concept of the self to the nature of reality.
Combining Cannon's playful artistry and Patton's humorous, instructive prose, The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy puts the fun back into the quest for fundamental truths, imparting a love of wisdom to anyone willing to grab a paddle and join the ride."
Something a little different today on Blogger's Bookshelf: The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy. The 16th of November celebrates World Philosophy Day, so I thought it was the perfect time to share with you a recent purchase of mine.

Let's back track for a quick second.

After finishing high school back in 2008 (goodness, I feel old), I headed off to university not really knowing what I was going to do. I started with an English degree but quickly dropped that after not really enjoying the first semester. While I still kept the odd English paper here and there, I picked up a few Philosophy papers just out of interest's sake. Turns out that interest exploded in the following 3 years, and long story short, I have a BA in Philosophy. 

While I haven't done anything further (with few job prospects other than teaching), I still enjoy watching philosophy-related TED Talks and picking up the occasional book. This is one such book.

Discovered during a wandering journey through maze of shelves in the famous Powell's Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, this book practically leaped off the shelf at me and I couldn't not take it away. I'm so glad I did. 

The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy is a brilliant overview of many of the world's greatest thinkers. Becuase it's in cartoon/comic strip form, it makes for an entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable read. We're taken through ideas and theories from early philosophers like Plato and Socrates, to modern day ponderers, all narrated and guided by Heraclitus. The ideas are laid out simply and are very easy to follow, the illustrations adding that extra something-something to the reading experience.

While it's not a book that will interest the widest of audiences, if philosophy has ever ignited even an ember of interest in you, then this is such a fun way to get an overview of the thoughts throughout the ages. I highly recommend picking it up; I'm definitely going to be flicking back to this book in the years to come.

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Wednesday 15 November 2017

Features | Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge Update #5

I can't believe it's November already, where has the time gone? In my previous challenge update post I said that I was aiming to cross around seven more prompts off the list before the year is out and so far it's all going to plan, especially since I discovered that I'd missed a couple I could have crossed off earlier in the year!

My grand total is now at twenty-three and hopefully I'll be able to reach (or even pass) my target of twenty-five over the next six weeks, although I have to confess I'm also already planning which books I'll be picking up for the 2018 challenge!

eating animals non fiction book reading review

A Book About Food | Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer (2009)

I'm not too sure where I first heard about this book but it had been on my TBR list for quite a while and I finally picked up a copy from my local library earlier this month. It's definitely not always an easy read but personally I found it to be an interesting and well-researched one.

A Book With Pictures | Scrappy Little Nobody, Anna Kendrick (2016)

Looking at all of the books I've read this year so far I actually found a few autobiographies that would fit this prompt, including this essay collection from actress Anna Kendrick. The book includes photographs as well as illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.

A Book Where The Main Character Is A Different Ethnicity Than You | When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon (2017)

When Dimple Met Rishi was certainly one of the most highly anticipated YA releases of the year and like most other bloggers I couldn't resist picking it up. The book is a fun read with a pretty lovable cast of characters - you can catch Anastasia's review here, and Anjali's here!

A Book Of Letters | Everything All At Once, Katrina Leno (2017)

I'm bending the rules a little with this one as it's not strictly a book made up of letters, however the story does revolve around a series of letters left to the main character by her aunt. I knew nothing about the book beforehand and thanks to an interesting twist I was a little surprised by how the story ended up playing out!

A 2016 Bestseller | Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling (2015)

Honestly, I'm not very good at keeping up with bestseller lists so I had to do a little research for this one. According to the LA Times website, Mindy Kaling's second book (which I read earlier this year) was a hardcover bestseller in early 2016 - another prompt crossed off the list and I didn't even realise!

If you're taking part in the Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge I'd love to hear from you. Let me know which prompts you've crossed off the list and which books you're planning to pick up next.
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Monday 13 November 2017

Ruby the Foster Dog | Jimmy Wayne | Review

*Image and book provided via NetGalley for an honest review.


Ruby has been in the shelter for several days now. She's seen some dogs go off with families and others go behind the door, never to be seen again. She prays to God to send her a family with a big back yard and kids to play with. What she gets is James, a crazy looking man walking through Texas with ski poles and goggles. He tells her he's walking half-way across America to raise awareness of foster kids who age out of the system with no families and asks her to join him.


This was such a cute, heart-warming story. It's based on the real-life 1700 mile walk the author went on back in 2010. We get to meet a lot of the people Wayne met and hear about the good and bad he had to go through during his walk and his own time in foster care.

Not all of the images showed up in my ebook copy, but I'm sure the publishers have fixed this. Additionally, what images I could see were very well done! Ruby looks absolutely adorable in all of them. 

I really enjoyed this children's book and its very positive, hopeful tone. There are ways to help foster kids and this book is a good way to raise awareness that not everyone has a home. It can be a difficult concept for kids, but this book is written at their level. 

If you're in need of a cute, feel-good book, this is a great pick-me-up and good for all ages!
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Friday 10 November 2017

Features | Taylor Swift Book Recs

To celebrate the release of Taylor Swift's newest album (and because I will take any excuse to recommend books to you, dear readers) I am going to recommend an excellent book that I'm sure you'll love based only on your favourite T. Swift album. So take a quick pause from listening to Taylor's new songs and scroll down to find your favourite album and your new favourite book.

Taylor Swift - Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Just a boy in a Chevy truck
That had a tendency of gettin' stuck
On back roads at night
And I was right there beside him all summer long
And then the time we woke up to find that summer gone

If the sweet romanticism and young heartbreak of Taylor Swift makes Taylor's debut your favourite of her albums, I recommend Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Benjamin Alire Sáenz's novel about two teenage boys grappling with identity, friendship, love, and growing up, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is every bit as lyrical and optimistic as Taylor's earliest work.

Fearless - Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

'Cause I can't help it if you look like an angel
Can't help it if I wanna kiss you in the rain
So come feel this magic I've been feeling since I met you
Can't help it if there's no one else
I can't help myself

If the more confident Fearless is your favourite album then I recommend Anna and the French Kiss. Anna's love story with Étienne (and with Paris) is as full of romance, jealousy, and occasional teenage melancholy as this album. Just like Fearless, Anna and the French Kiss is upbeat and fun but doesn't completely do away with the inevitable heartbreak of being young and in love.

Speak Now - To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Do you remember, we were sitting there by the water?
You put your arm around me for the first time
You made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter
You are the best thing that's ever been mine

Just like Speak Now, Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before trilogy is all about young love, growing up, and drama the protagonist never wanted. If Speak Now is your favourite Taylor album I'm sure you'll enjoy the sweet, joyful story of Lara Jean dealing with her sisters, high school, and finding love in the most unexpected way.

Red - Just One Day by Gayle Forman

All I knew this morning when I woke
Is I know something now, know something now I didn't before
And all I've seen since eighteen hours ago
Is green eyes and freckles and your smile
In the back of my mind

Moving into pop territory but with one foot still firmly in the country music world, if the more mature and quietly experimental Red is your favourite era of Swift then I recommend Gayle Forman's Just One Day. Just One Day has all the same vibes of a young girl on the cusp of adulthood, figuring out who she is, and how, or if, her new experiences can fit into her old world.

1989 - The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Everybody here
Wanted something more
Searching for a sound we hadn't
Heard before

And if Taylor's total shedding of her country roots in 1989 means this is your favourite album, try The Geography of You and Me. Starting in New York, just like 1989, but taking the characters and the reader to all sorts of different places, The Geography of You and Me has the same feeling of exploration and discovery that is infused in every track of 1989.

Okay, you can go back to listening to the new album now.
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Tuesday 7 November 2017

The Sky is Everywhere | Jandy Nelson | Review

Sometimes, you just want a fun, quick read. After reading I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson quite a while ago, I knew she was just the author to provide me with something like that for a recent holiday. Her writing is the ultimate in escapism writing, though it doesn’t shy away from dealing with the difficult topics.

The Sky is Everywhere explores grief and love and everything in between. Lennie Walker’s life is turned upside down when her sister dies at 19. Suddenly, she’s not quite sure what she is meant to be doing, how her life should like and how she feels, beyond the fact that she’s experiencing a pain that is greater than anything she had ever known.

While that summary might not sound like a “fun, quick read”, it really was. Of course, there were moments where my eyes were welling up and I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug Lennie. What happened to these characters was utterly horrible and unimaginable but The Sky is Everywhere is about the aftermath of that. It is about rebuilding a life, and finding ways to feel something other than grief. It’s about Lennie finding a way to carry on without her sister, while honouring and remembering. What results is a book about the messy reality of human emotion and relationships, which is completely endearing. I wanted to consume this book. A big part of why this works is the characters themselves, who are completely relatable, vibrant and vivacious. Lennie’s family are just screaming to be loved by readers and definitely made the book for me.

My favourite part of The Sky is Everywhere had to be the poetry hidden behind the chapters. These were poems that we had read about Lennie writing so getting to actually read them added an excellent layer to the book. It really helped to show her emotional turmoil and made the reading experience so much.. More. It was something that I really loved about this book and a big part of why I’m raving about it so much today!
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Monday 6 November 2017

Bookish Links #35

1. A Thousand Perfect Notes - we're kicking off this roundup with a big BB congratulations to Cait who recently announced her debut novel is going to be published next year! The book's premise is very intriguing and we can't wait to find out more.

2. Writer's Block - we loved Lauren's Blogtober post on getting over the dreaded writer's block. Do you have any tips to share?

3. Picture Books - if you're looking for a little Christmas gift inspiration check out this roundup of new release picture books and novels for kids.

4. Pin It! - speaking of gifts, we love this adorable book pin from Punkypins on Etsy!

5. Booktube Recs - we're taking note of Kelly's top booktube recommendations! Do you have any favourite channels that aren't on her list?

6. Autumn TBR - we've also been taking notes on Emma's autumn reading picks for our own TBRs; so many amazing books to choose from!

7. Public Property - head on over to Amber's blog for a thoughtful piece on the idea of bloggers and authors being seen as public property.

8. Books + Cocktails - if you love a good cocktail you'll enjoy this post from The Ardent Biblio, perfectly pairing them with some great reads!

9. First Draft - this month we're sure many of our readers will be taking part in NaNoWriMo, and this post has some great inspiration from successful authors.

10. A New Challenge - the 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge list has arrived! Will you be taking part next year?

If you've read or written an interesting bookish article you think our readers would enjoy please let us know - it may be featured in a future post!    
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Saturday 4 November 2017

Blogger's Bookshelf Birthday Scavenger Hunt Clues

You may have spotted our clues on Twitter for our big 5th Birthday Giveaway but here’s a quick round-up of all of them! If you're stuck check our Twitter feed for a few extra clues posted earlier in the week.

Don’t forget you have until midnight on the 10th November to enter the giveaway!

Best wishes,
Team Blogger's Bookshelf
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Wednesday 1 November 2017

Modern Watercolor | Kristin Van Leuven | Review

modern watercolor book hobbies painting art
*Review copy c/o Netgalley, cover image via

Modern Watercolor is a fun title designed for both beginners and experienced artists looking to try something new. After running through the basics the book demonstrates how to paint a variety of different subjects including landscapes, flowers, animals, faces and even interiors. Also included are several tutorials designed to help you test out your new painting skills. My personal favourites were the sunset design and step-by-step wreaths (my first attempt is pictured above) – perfect for framing your favourite book quotes!

One of the things that makes this book a great guide for beginners is the range of advice included, starting with a whole host of tips and tricks covering everything from brushes, painting styles, colour theory, mark making and materials. In addition the wide range of subjects covered allows readers to try out different ideas in order to discover what kind of artwork they most enjoy creating.

Not only is Modern Watercolor packed full of information and ideas to inspire readers but it is also visually charming with plenty of example images and pages adorned with decorative polka dot borders. If you’re looking for a new creative hobby I’d definitely recommend picking up a copy of this book and trying it out for yourself!

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