August 2010 Newsletter

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August's News from Bookbag Towers

Hello! How are you? We're all good here at Bookbag Towers. Jill is dealing with a glut of runner beans. Sue is enjoying her new office. Keith is making new pals in deepest Wales. And we're all reading lots and lots of lovely books.

As we now have more than four thousand reviews on the site, we were wondering how you prefer to navigate them, and so we thought we'd tell you about our recommendations page this month. It gives some good options for finding a book you'd really like to read. If you're into all things new, you can check out the newest reviews sorted by category. If it's themes you're looking for, try our extensive list of top tens. The highest rated reviews by genre are the creme de la creme, although if you like browsing a bit more broadly, then you'll enjoy rummaging through all the 5 star reviews. On the other hand, if you're feeling lucky, you can just read a random review.

So if you're stuck for ideas, head straight to recommendations. You're sure to find something you like!

Features

Bookbag fell head over heels in love with Unfortunately by Alan Durant and Simon Rickerty. One day a boy is walking through the jungle. Unfortunately, a lion tries to get him. Fortunately, he escapes. Unfortunately, a huge snake is poised to snaffle him up. Fortunately... and on and on it goes - unfortunately we can't stop reading it, but fortunately it's super. We leapt at the opportunity to ask Alan Durant some questions.

Golden Hour

There was no doubt about our Golden Hour choice this month. Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird is celebrating its 50th birthday. If you don't already have a copy, Arrow have released a smart new anniversary special edition. Faced with issues involving racism, prejudice, class and gender on a daily basis, Scout and her brother, Jem, struggle to find their identity while their father, Atticus, fights for justice in an adult world of hypocrisy in America's Deep South during the Great Depression. Even if you've already read it - even if you've already read it dozens of times, as we have - why don't you celebrate its birthday by reading it again? It'll seem as fresh and as moving as ever, we guarantee it. If you're quick, you can enter our competition to win a copy. Don't delay - the closing date is 31 August!

Books of the Month

And on to to the new...

In fiction, Kerry can't stop talking about Pictures of Lily It tells the journey undertaken by teenager Georgia Myers, in tracking down her biological parents.This much anticipated, modish and elegantly-penned new novel from the uber-cool Matthew Yorke is a many layered and magical piece of theatre.

In non-fiction, John loved We Die Alone by David Howarth, a superlative real-life story, of a near-death experience or three for a soldier trapped in enemy territory. First published in 1955, it's study of the psychology of survival that will grip anyone and one of the most dramatic true-life stories you would care to wish for. Don't miss Canongate's reissue. Sue would cry if we didn't also point you in the direction of Last Dog On The Hill by Steve Duno. It's one of the best books about a dog that she's ever read. And she's read a few.

For the younger ones, Jill sings the praises of Fireband by Gillian Philip, a gorgeous new fantasy series from one of Bookbag's favourite teen authors, arcing through time and two dimensions. It's all good fantasies should be: vital, charismatic characters, intensely personal stories, big, arching themes. Don't miss this one. It'll win prizes. You'll see!

Reviewers

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!

Competitions

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

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