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.


Monday 30 November 2020

Book Club | November 2020 Roundup

It's time for our penultimate book club roundup for 2020 and this month's theme was to read a book with food on the cover. Here's a quick look back at Team BB's picks...

With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

"After enjoying Clap When You Land I was really looking forward to reading With The Fire On High and I definitely wasn't disappointed! I loved following Emoni on her journey balancing her life as a teen mum alongside her ambition to become a chef. The addition of recipes was a great touch too." - Erin

James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl

"There's something about reading a book from your childhood that a) gets you out of a reading slump and b) has your reminiscing about long road trips. I say the latter because we used to listen to the audio version of James and the Giant Peach when we visited family in other parts of the country. While it is definitely a children's book (and there were moments when I was like 'wait what'), it's somehow wonderful." - Anjali

We'll be introducing December's book club tomorrow so don't forget to check back! Use the hashtag #bloggersbookshelf or tag @bloggersbookshelf to share your photos and mini-reviews with us throughout the month.
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Saturday 7 November 2020

Bookish Links #60

1. Halloween may have come and gone but we think these spooky reads are perfect for any time of year!

2. We really enjoyed learning more about Elizabeth Acevedo’s novels and journey to becoming a NYT best-selling author in this episode of Bad On Paper.

3. Here’s another brilliant book recommendations post from Michelle over at Daisybutter.

4. It may be tricky for many of us to travel at the moment but this is definitely one to bookmark for a future trip!

5. This Etsy shop has some beautiful bookshelf designs that could be perfect for a special Christmas gift.

6. In this post Simone shares a behind the scenes look at her process for tracking her reading and writing reviews.

7. Sophie’s adorable new book pile sticker design would look great on your laptop or phone!

8. If you’re currently in lockdown but still want to treat yourself to a new book you’ll love where you can support a local bookshop without leaving your house.

9. Bustle shared a list of cookbooks from stars of GBBO full of delicious recipes to try!

10. Finally, there's still plenty of time to join in with our November book club. Grab yourself a book with food on the cover and share your photos and reviews using #bloggersbookshelf on Instagram.

This month's beautiful bookstagrams to follow:

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Wednesday 4 November 2020

Features | October Reads (+ recommendations from August & September)


Today I’m finally getting my reading roundups back on track for the end of the year with a quick look at a few titles I read in October. Due to a very busy time at work I didn’t manage to put together a monthly roundup for August or September, but I read some great books during this time too so at the end of this post you’ll also find a list of recent reads that I would recommend. But for now, back to October…

I started the month by finally finishing my September book club selection The Hand On The Wall by Maureen Johnson; the third and final title in Team BB favourite the Truly Devious series. Overall I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the previous two books, but I loved revisiting Ellingham Academy one last time and it was really interesting to see how the mystery wrapped up. Whilst this particular story may have concluded, I hope to read more Stevie Bell crime-solving books in future.

One of my favourite reads from the past month was recent release Punching The Air (Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam) a YA title which explores the criminal justice system in America. Co-written by Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five, the heartbreaking story of Amal’s conviction for a crime he didn’t commit felt very realistic and was no doubt influenced by Salaam’s own experience. The verse format of this book was the perfect choice, it was written beautifully and was such an insightful and captivating novel. I highly recommend picking up a copy and it's definitely one I’ll be adding to my to re-read list. 

Exploring some similar themes, another favourite from the past month was Nic Stone's Dear Martin which I picked up having read so many amazing reviews. I adored the format of this book and how the letters were woven into the story. I also have the recently released sequel Dear Justyce on my November TBR (c/o Netgalley) and I'm sure it's going to be another great read.

YA short story collection Black Enough (edited by Ibi Zoboi) had been on my TBR list for a little while so when I noticed it was available on my library app shortly after reading Punching The Air I decided to reserve it. This brilliant selection of stories written by black authors explores what it is like to be young and black in America, and covers a whole range of different settings and topics. I really enjoy that these types of collections can introduce readers to authors they haven’t read before and I found myself noting down a few names to look up for my 2021 TBR.

An interesting read from this month was Little Eyes (Samantha Schweblin) which was on the International Booker Prize long list this year. The book has an intriguing premise centering around our relationship with technology and it definitely takes some unsettling turns. As the book jumps back and forth between different characters based in various parts of the world, there were definitely some storylines that I found more interesting than others, but overall I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped to. 

Our book club theme for October was to re-read a book that you had previously rated 5 stars, so I decided to take this opportunity to pick up Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. This book, which I reviewed here back in 2015, remains one of my absolute favourites. I’m not sure what it is about this novel but even though I know exactly what’s going to happen it’s still such a page-turner. I’m sure I will read Dangerous Girls again in future, although maybe I don’t need to keep re-reading it every year… 


Other recent reads I would recommend:

- Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Gender Explorers by Juno Roche
- The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
- The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
- The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shula (audiobook format highly recommended!)
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- Who Am I, Again? by Lenny Henry
- Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (review)
- 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon (review)

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Sunday 1 November 2020

Book Club | November 2020 - With Food On The Cover

For our 2020 BB Book Club, we've put together another printable list of twelve different prompts, one for each month of the year. Just we did in 2019, 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 #bloggersbookshelf or tag @bloggersbookshelf on Instagram.

Our prompt for November is...  

With Food On The Cover


What we'll be reading...

Erin's pick: With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

"I read Clap When You Land earlier this year and thought it was brilliant so decided to pick up Elizabeth Acevedo's other novels from the library too. I'm really looking forward to reading With The Fire On High for our November book club."

Anjali's Pick: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

"Well I don't know about you but this was a hard month to figure out! I've eventually landed on a childhood love of mine: James and the Giant Peach. When we went family road trips when I was a kid, I remember listening to the audiobook of this Dahl classic and have always meant to go back a re-read it as an adult. Thankfully this fit the November theme perfectly!"

Other suggested reads...

- Hungry Hearts (anthology)
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (review)
- Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
- After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Genesis by Bernard Beckett 
- The Lovliest Chocolate Shop In Paris by Jenny Colgan (review)
- Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
- The Southern Book Club's Guide To Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (review)
- Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Check out this Goodreads list for more ideas.

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

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