April 2010 Newsletter

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April's News from Bookbag Towers

Hello! We've been reading like crazy this month as the books have been pouring in - and there have been some very positive reviews from very satisfied reviewers, so do come visit. There's bound to be something you like. Overall, we're feeling rather happy here at Bookbag Towers. We have good books to read. The sun has come out. We weren't abroad when the volcanic ash cloud hit and we didn't know anybody that was, either - although we did feel very sorry for the poor people who were. Volcanos, eh? Who'd 'ave 'em?

We have a plug for you: Dorothy Koomson, she of the super The Ice Cream Girls, has done a wonderful thing this month. She has brought together thirteen writers including Alexander McCall Smith, Bernadette Strachan, Louise Candlish, Shari Low and Martina Reilly to produce a charity ebook to raise money for the 1.5 million children affected by the earthquake in Haiti. The collection of short stories is available from Waterstones right now. It costs just £5, and everyone involved has donated 100% of their profits and given their time for free to support this worthwhile cause. Do buy a copy.


Bookbag has always loved Anthony McGowan's work, including The Knife That Killed Me and Henry Tumour. After laughing throughout his latest work (Einstein's Underpants - And How They Saved The World) we couldn't resist the opportunity to ask him some questions. He compares Twitter to a nicotine addiction - snigger - and stops just short of telling us exactly how you'd titillate an ocelot. Is that a good thing?! Go read!

Golden Hour

From the Bookbag Towers archive this month, we give you the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. Delightfully droll, outrageous and silly, these folk tale retellings by Rudyard Kipling may be old, dated even, but they will never be out of date. The lovely thing about them is that you will enjoy them as much as they will. Do you know how the whale got his throat? How the leopard got his spots? How the rhinoceros got his wrinkly, wrinkly skin? How the first letters were made? Why the cat walks by himself? Well, if you don't then you're missing out, and you're certainly not a person of Infinite-Resource-And-Sagacity. You should put that right at once.

Books of the Month

And on to to the new... it's been a difficult choice this month with reviewers waxing lyrical about a great many books. But we've whittled it down and finally managed to choose some favourites.

Our book of the month in fiction is We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen. This epic novel of the sea starts in a small Danish town in 1848 and spans 97 years and much of the globe. It's an incredible achievement with a host of wonderful characters and some of the best writing we've seen in a while. We can't recommend it highly enough.

In non-fiction, we've chosen Alex's Adventures In Numberland by Alex Bellos - a perfect look at all the cool, amazing and fascinating things going on in the world of maths. Part history of maths, part general trivia, it works perfectly for anyone with even a vague interest in numbers. Even those of you who aren't that great at sums!

For teens and young adults, we absolutely loved Dark Life by Kat Falls. It's a really fresh look at what it is a busy future catastrophe genre, in which prospectors are colonising the ocean bed after global warming reaches crisis point. Fantastic tension and a superb imagination feed an original and satisfying book. They'll love it.

For younger readers, we think Time Train to the Blitz by Sophie McKenzie is absolutely super. Joe and Scarlett and their dog Pippy are sent back in the Time Train to the Blitz. Their task: to rescue a young boy, Alfie Suggs. It's a super and exciting time-slip story for newly confident readers.


We're always on the look out for people to join our panel of reviewers at Bookbag. We need people who understand that the reader wants to know what the reviewer thinks about the book and not just what's written on the back cover. If you think that you're one of these special people that we're looking for, we want to hear from you. You can find details of how to apply here on the site. Don't be shy!


We have competitions for some great books going this month, and every month, so get entering!

And that's about it for this month. If you're passing Bookbag Towers do pop in and see us – we're at www.thebookbag.co.uk.

All at Bookbag Towers

See what we were doing a year ago.

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