June 2009 Newsletter

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June's News from Bookbag Towers

Before we begin, 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.

Hi again from Bookbag Towers. There's some stop press news: Andy Murray's going to win Wimbledon. You heard it first here. What year this might happen, well, we're reserving judgement. Jill's younger son is convinced it's this year though, so make sure you tune in. In the unlikely event you're not a great fan of tennis - and Jill's son thinks this is a silly thing to say, since everyone is a great fan of tennis, and cricket, and football, and rugby - then read on Macduff, we have some great books to talk about this month.

We have some great features for you again this month, including an interview with Penelope Evans, about The Weight of Water, a page-turning story of one woman's struggle to come to terms with the changes in her life – perfect to devour on a slightly chilly, spooky evening. She's a really interesting lady with loads to say. We are loving Twitter, and if you'd like to know what the people there like to read, then look no further than our Top Ten Book Recommendations From Twitterers.

In May, our most read new review was If I Stay by Gayle Forman for the second month running. If you haven't investigated it yet, then you should. We also had our best month ever in terms of site visitors, which had us jumping up and down with glee. So hello to all new readers and we hope our welcome is warm enough.

What we've been reading...

In fiction, we were blown away by Joe Speedboat by Tommy Wieringa - life in a Dutch backwater through the eyes of Frankie, severely disabled through an accident. Layers of meaning permeate this eccentric but affecting book and there are plenty of laughs, in both good and bad taste. Sci-fi fans will enjoy Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding, a rousing adventure story, involving a merry band of adventurers thrust into a dark and dangerous world by the offer of a too-good-to-be-true job. If you're in the mood for a saga, take a look at our review of The Heart of the Night by Judith Lennox, a WWII epic full of compelling characters.

In non-fiction, you really shouldn't miss St Peter's by Keith Miller, a a brilliant exploration of the art and architecture of the world's most famous church, and continuing Profile's excellent Wonders of the World series about iconic buildings. The Smell of the Continent by Richard Mullen and James Munson is a very entertaining, thoroughly-researched and often amusing account of English travel throughout Europe in the nineteenth century. History and travel buffs will love it.

In children's books, younger readers will love Little Beauty by Anthony Browne. A beautiful story of the friendship between a gorilla and a kitten, Keith, who isn't a younger reader at all, gave it six Bookbag stars out of five. Middle readers should look no further than Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood by Tony Lee and Sam Hart, a visually rich telling of the legend, which gives us more strong characters than just the titular hero. It's one graphic novel with a wide appeal. Kevin Brooks is as perfectly attuned with his readers as ever in Killing God, a visceral and heart-breaking novel about religion, alcoholism, family break-up and alienation.


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 reading last year.

(PS – if you don't want to receive further copies of our newsletter please email us and we'll see that you're deleted from the mailing list.)