April 2011 Newsletter

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April's News from Bookbag Towers

Do you buy books from Tesco? Is your favourite author to be found on the best-selling lists or do you like to search out a wider range of reading matter? In Selling Well Is The Best Revenge, Linda Gillard tells Bookbag why being dropped by her publisher two years ago has turned out to be a positive event. How so? you ask. Well, she published her fourth novel on Amazon for Kindle all by herself - and at a selling price of £1.90 per copy, she is making more than she did from her previous dead tree books. And her book is selling well. Linda suspects authors want to sell to readers, while publishers want to sell to retailers. Check out her story and tell us what you think!


Linda isn't the only author offering an op-ed at Bookbag this month. Lots of authors have come a-visiting and they've had some very interesting things to say. One of the young adult genre's most versatile authors, Gillian Philip, asks Why is it important to have good and challenging fiction for teens? Well, if anyone can tell us why teens need books to challenge them, it's Gillian. So we thank her for passing by to give us her view.

Celia Rees also tells us about the inspiration for The Fool's Girl and Sophie Page explains that romantic novels need quality research just as much as other books do.

And don't think we've forgotten to ask our own questions! We've had our reporters pads out and have chased down more authors for interviews. Annette Hart has explained how she manages to juggle teaching, parenting and writing. We talked to Stephen Mark Norman about the political and environmental themes in his new novel and we discussed Dorset during the war years with Natasha Solomons. We also found out that Anne O'Brien has a sneaking longing to experience life in a Roman villa!

Golden Hour

Our choice this month is having its thirtieth birthday in 2011, but it's as fresh as ever. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian is set during World War II and tells the story of an evacuee's friendship with the elderly recluse who is looking after him. Full of adventure and friendship, sorrow and joy this story has lost none of its charm and Puffin's anniversary reissue is a welcome one, for adults and children alike. If you have never read it, now's the time

Books of the Month

And on to to the new... . In fiction, Robert fell in love with Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilaka. After the 1996 World Cup, dying sports journalist WG Karunasena decides that the world needs a half decent documentary on Sri Lankan cricket. He sets out to make the said documentary, focusing on the mysterious Pradeep Mathew, the 1980's spin bowler he considers to have been his country's greatest ever player. But Mathew disappeared some time ago and everywhere Karunasena turns he is faced with more complications as he tries to find out more on what happened to him. Robert says it's beyond fantastic. So there!

In non-fiction, Trish is recommending How Not To F*** Them Up by Oliver James. Child psychologist Oliver James can be relied on to fight his corner, whether it's about affluent society or toxic parents. Now he puts the first three years of life under the microscope. It's a jolly good, thought-provoking read. Unless you're an anxious parent with a child in day care, that is.

Teenagers who like classic horror stories should look no further than Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough. It's a truly creepy and truly literary period thriller set in post-war Britain and based on the folk ballad about the bogeyman Long Lankin. A real sense of menace pervades this genuinely terrifying book. A stunning debut and highly recommended by Jill - even if she was too scared to go to bed after reading it!


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.

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