August 2008 Newsletter

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August's News from Bookbag Towers

We have been saved from summer rain - do we have summer in the UK any more? - by a record haul of gold medals at the Olympics, haven't we? Without Beijing, August would have been a tremendously dispiriting month. With any luck, we'll be reading (hopefully good and inspirational) memoirs by our 2008 Olympic champions in August 2009, and that will distract us from next year's rain.

But enough of the misery! The book world thankfully stops turning for neither rain nor sporting extravaganzas, and there is plenty to choose from this month. See our round up below for what we think you should be reading.

If there's anything you'd like to tell us, or anything you think we've left out, please drop us a line and let us know.

What we've been reading...

In fiction, Lesley loved Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay. Whilst the local judge takes depositions against a proposed gas pipeline over native-claimed land, four friends head out into the Arctic wastes recreating a canoe expedition from a hundred years earlier. It's sparse, eloquent, and evocative. Trish was impressed by The Marriage Proposal by Celestine Hitiura Vaite, a feel-good, funny novel about modern Tahitian life by an islander. Paul thought The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer was an entertaining and moving study of love, friendship and literature against the backdrop of the German Occupation of the Channel Islands. We think this one will do very well. Lesley thinks crime fans will be impressed by Blood Lines by Grace Monroe, which is an excellent follow-up to Dark Angels.

In non-fiction, Sue is raving about Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No 2 by Pam Corbin - it should be essential reading for every person who wants good, seasonal food all year round. Sue also enjoyed An Indian Odyssey by Martin Buckley, a thought-provoking recreation of the journey of Lord Rama in Ramayana gives a look at modern India, warts and all. Elaine loved Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All by Christina Thompson, a combination of a memoir on a personal, familial level, and some thoughts on the cultural history of the Maoris. Beautifully written, and researched, this would appeal to anyone who has an interest in the history of New Zealand - or indeed as background reading prior to a spending a holiday there.

In children's books, Jill was blown away by Unwind by Neal Shusterman, a powerful, shocking, and intelligent novel about a future which practises retroactive abortion on troublesome teenagers, then uses their body parts for transplant. It's wonderful, wonderful stuff. John remains as impressed as ever by our favourite child criminal mastermind. He thinks you'll love Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer. Keith loved The Princess Bride by William Goldman, a welcome reissue of a wonderfully romantic fairy tale that's packed with adventure, comedy and excitement. For younger readers, Kimberly recommends Waggit's Tale by Peter Howe, a heartwarming must read tale of a cruelly abandoned young puppy who learns survival and the true meaning of friendship thanks to other abandoned dogs, so that he learns to recognise and accept love and trust from a human again. We're running a competition on this one, so don't forget to answer the question!


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

All at Bookbag Towers

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