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.


Saturday 30 November 2019

Book Club | November 2019 Roundup

Can you believe we're almost at the end of our second year of hosting a book club? November's theme was 'featuring a ghost' a prompt perfect for the winter evenings here in the UK. Here are a selection of the titles read and reviewed over the past few weeks...

Tunnel Of Bones by Victoria Schwab

"This was the second in the Victoria Schwab's Cassidy Blake series, and it was just as good as the first one (City of Ghosts). The reason I picked up Tunnel of bones for November's book club theme is because these stories follow Cas and her best friend Jacob, who is a ghost himself, around the world with her ghost-hunting tv-show filming parents. There's ghosts left, right and centre and it's brilliant. Super looking forward to the third in the series, bridge of Souls, which will come out in 2020. Check out my full review here." - Anjali

The Ghost Walk by Matt Haig

"Whilst I was waiting for a copy of Ninth House to be available to collect from the library I noticed this title pop up on Borrow Box. At just under half an hour, The Ghost Walk was a fun short story which I really enjoyed listening to." - Erin

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

"Ninth House isn't a title I think I would usually have picked up but when I turned to Team BB for recommendations this was one of Anjali's suggestions. Initially I found it a little slow to get into but the premise was interesting and overall I did enjoy it. The ending has even got me thinking that I might continue with the series." - Erin

We'll be introducing December's book club tomorrow so don't forget to check back! Use the hashtag #bookshelfbookclub and tag @bloggersbookshelf to share your photos and mini reviews with us throughout the month.
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Friday 29 November 2019

Tunnel of Bones | Victoria Schwab | Review

Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass's parents are filming their TV show about the world's most haunted cities. Sure, it's fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there's true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter -- and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she's unleashed could haunt the city forever. - Goodreads

The November prompt for our Blogger's Bookshelf Book Club was 'featuring a ghost'. Thankfully I had just the book already lined up and ready to go.

In 2018, Victoria 'V.E.' Schwab released City of Ghosts, and it followed the story of Cassidy Blake and her adventures around Edinburgh, Scotland. Cassidy's parents are ghost hunters, and host a TV show, but Cassidy can actually see ghosts; in fact, her best friend Jacob is one.

In Tunnel of Bones we follow Cas and Jacob to Paris, France, where things are not as holiday-esque as they'd like. They join Cassidy's parents around the city on their filming locations, but it becomes pretty clear pretty quickly that there's a poltergeist causing havoc. As the story goes on, Cassidy and Jacob try to figure out who the ghost is menacing in the city of Paris, and how to make it stop.

I really like these stories by Schwab. Even though it's a Middle Grade book, it's so wonderfully written and creatively told. I love Cassidy and Jacob as main characters, and can't wait to read their further adventures in Bridge of Souls, which takes place in New Orleans. If you're after a short read but packed full of great characters and even better excursions into the darker, paranormal side of cities around the world, then I highly recommend picking up these books.
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Wednesday 27 November 2019

Features | 6 Audiobook Recommendations

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

2019 has been the year that I've really embraced audiobooks thanks to Borrow Box; at the time of writing this post I've listened to no less than 21 titles since I first got the app back in March! With that in mind I thought it might be fun to share a few of my favourites...

1. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Read by Alex Reid, Ari Fliakos, Arthur Bishop, Benjamin Bratt, Brendan Wayne, Fred Berman, Henry Leyva, Holter Graham, January LaVoy, Jennifer Beals, Jonathan Davis, Judy Greer, Julia Whelan, Nancy Wu, Oliver Wyman, P.J. Ochlan, Pablo Schreiber, Peter Larkin, Robert Petkoff, Robinne Lee and Sara Arrington

Kicking off the list is one of my favourite reads of the year, which I enjoyed in both ebook and audiobooks formats back in August. As the story is told entirely through interviews, the audiobook was the perfect format to allow the characters to come to life. If you love interview style podcasts you'll love this one.

2. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

Read by Bahni Turpin, Michael Crouch and Robbie Daymond 

A more recent listen, and another book looking very likely to make it onto my top 5 list for 2019, is this YA title from Adam Silvera which follows two teens on their End Day. Listening to the story rather than reading it seemed to make the characters feel really realistic and made the ending even more heartbreaking.

3. Genesis by Bernard Beckett

Read by Becky Wright 

I first read Genesis back in 2014 and really enjoyed it, so when I noticed my library had the audiobook version I thought it would be the perfect way to re-read the book. At just short of four hours I got through my re-read over the course of one day and loved revisiting the story.

4. Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding

Read by Imogen Church 

As mentioned in this post I shared a few months back, I thought Imogen Church did a great job bringing the character of Bridget to life through this audiobook. Similarly to the interview format in Daisy Jones, I think the diary format worked really well as an audiobook and would definitely recommend this one if you're a fan of the Bridget Jones movie adaptations.

5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Read by Stephen Fry 

How could I share this list and not include Harry Potter? This one was my Netflix replacement back in October whilst on holiday in an internet-free cottage and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm now in the library queue for books 2-4 and can't wait to continue with the series in this format.

6. The Rest Of The Story by Sarah Dessen

Read by Rebecca Soler

My final recommendation is The Rest Of The Story, a YA Contemporary set by a lake. It may be cold here in the UK right now but I think this one would be perfect for your summer 2020 TBR.
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Friday 1 November 2019

Wayward Son | Rainbow Rowell | Review

The story is supposed to be over.

Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…

So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?

What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.

They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…

Come on, Simon Snow. Your hero’s journey might be over – but your life has just begun.

This was the sequel we knew we wanted but thought we'd never get. It's the continuation to a story we thought we wouldn't see again.

Carry On was supposed to be a stand-alone novel when Rowell released it back in 2017, but here we are, two years later with a sequel in our hands. I really enjoyed Carry On and the world and magic and characters that Rowell created (you can check out the review I shared here on BB, or head on over to Sophie's review for a slightly different opinion), so picking up Wayward Son was a dream.

The story continues, with Simon and Baz now out of school in the real world, with Watford School of Magicks behind them. Penny is with them in England, while Agatha has skipped the country and is living in America. On a sudden whim, Penny gets Simon, Baz and herself plane tickets to America where they plan to surprise-visit Agatha. However, like you'd imagine, it doesn't all go to plan, and the three end up running into vampires at a Renaissance Faire, being chased down by a Normal, loosing their magic across the country, and discovering that Agatha might not actually be having the time of her life.

This was such a fun story! It's quite a bit smaller than Carry On, and quite a different feel. Moving from a British boarding school of magical education to the wide open spaces of America's highways is going to be a different story, but it was just as brilliant as the first book, if not more so.

As soon as I started reading I was reminded of each character's personalities and quirks, but the additional people that they meet in the US were their own kind of crazy (in the best way). If you've read Carry On then I probably don't need to tell you to pick up Wayward Son, but if you haven't read either, then they are a really fun read, full of magic, friendship, love, monsters and floral suits.

Rainow Rowell also dropped the news this past month that there was going to be a third book! From a stand-along to a trilogy! It's called Any Way the Wind Blows and while there's no word on when that'll be released, I hope it's sooner than two years away.

Have you read Wayward Son? What did you think? 
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Book Club | November 2019 - Featuring A Ghost

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 November is... Featuring A Ghost

What we'll be reading...

Anjali's Pick: Tunnel Of Bones by Victoria Schwab

"I don't often read Middle Grade books, but when Victoria Schwab released City of Ghosts last year I knew I had to pick it up. I love her stories and this one didn't disappoint. This year the second in this series came out, Tunnel of Bones, and I'm really looking forward to picking it up this month. It follows Cassidy Blake and her best friend, Jacob (who happens to be a ghost) as they move around the world following Cassidy's paranormal-television-show parents on their spooky TV-location sites. It's a lot of fun, and if you haven't read the first one then I definitely recommend it!"

Erin's Pick: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

"I was really unsure what to choose for this month's prompt so I turned to my fellow BB team members for recommendations. Anjali suggested this new release from Leigh Bardugo which has an interesting premise. I'm just hoping my library reservation turns up in time!"

Other suggested reads...

- The Haunting Of Bodmin Jail (Anastasia Gammon) - further info
- City Of Ghosts (Victoria Schwab) - review
- Horrorstor (Grady Hendrix) - review
- Say Her Name (Juno Dawson) - review
- The Coffin Path (Katherine Clements) - review

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