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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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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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Get Involved | Your Favourite Reads Of 2017

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!



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.

Summary:

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.

Review:

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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