Difference between revisions of "Book Reviews From The Bookbag"

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===[[A Winter Book by Tove Jansson]]===
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[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Literary Fiction|Literary Fiction]], [[:Category:Short Stories|Short Stories]]
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Tove Jansson's worldwide fame lasts on the Moomin books, written in the 1940s and later becoming television characters of the simplicity, naivety and sheer 'goodness' that would later produce flowerpot men or teletubbies. Simple drawings, simple stories, simple goodness. What is often forgotten outside of her native Finland is that she was a serious writer…that she wrote for adults as well as children…and that she had a feeling for the natural world and the simple life that not only informed those child-like trolls but went far beyond any fantasy of how the world might be. [[A Winter Book by Tove Jansson|Full Review]]
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Tess Gilroy works for Innocence UK, a charity investigating the cases of prisoners who can convince them that they've been wrongly convicted and they're just moving on to their next case.  She's somewhat surprised when Clive, the head of the charity, announces that she'll have someone shadowing her.  Avril's in her mid twenties and rather gauche as well as prone to putting her foot in it.  One of the reasons they're now going to look at the case of Carrie Kamara is that she's female and Innocence have never yet taken up the case of a woman: such impressions matter. [[Clear My Name by Paula Daly|Full Review]]
 
Tess Gilroy works for Innocence UK, a charity investigating the cases of prisoners who can convince them that they've been wrongly convicted and they're just moving on to their next case.  She's somewhat surprised when Clive, the head of the charity, announces that she'll have someone shadowing her.  Avril's in her mid twenties and rather gauche as well as prone to putting her foot in it.  One of the reasons they're now going to look at the case of Carrie Kamara is that she's female and Innocence have never yet taken up the case of a woman: such impressions matter. [[Clear My Name by Paula Daly|Full Review]]
 
 
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===[[The Simple Act of Self-Publishing With Amazon: A Simple Step by Step Guide by Georgianne Landy-Kordis ]]===
 
 
[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Business and Finance|Business and Finance]], [[:Category:Reference|Reference]], [[:Category:Self-Publishing|Self Publishing]]
 
 
I frequently meet authors who are struggling to be published by the traditional houses, but when I suggest self-publishing they explain that they don't have the big bucks required to go down that road with Author Solutions or Matador or their like.  I then ask if they've considered Kindle and the answer is inevitably that they wouldn't know where to start.  I can empathise with that.  Despite having used a computer for about thirty years, running most of my life ''and'' a website on line, I'm still nervous when it comes to starting something new.  I like someone to hold my hand as I go through it for the first time.  That was why I was very interested when ''The Simple Act of Self Publishing With Amazon'' came across my desk.  Author Georgianne Landy-Kordis doesn't profess to be a computer expert: she's simply someone who has done this many times and she's giving us the benefit of her experience and without any added chitchat. [[The Simple Act of Self-Publishing With Amazon: A Simple Step by Step Guide by Georgianne Landy-Kordis |Full Review]]
 
  
 
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Revision as of 17:15, 29 August 2019

The Bookbag

Hello from The Bookbag, a site featuring books from all the many walks of literary life - fiction, biography, crime, cookery and anything else that takes our fancy. At Bookbag Towers the bookbag sits at the side of the desk. It's the bag we take to the library, the charity shop and the bookshop. Sometimes it holds the latest releases, but at other times there'll be old favourites, books for the children, books for the home. They're sometimes our own books or books from the local library. They're often books sent to us by publishers and we promise to tell you exactly what we think about them. You might not want to read through a full review, so we'll give you a quick review which summarises what we felt about the book and tells you whether or not we think you should buy or borrow it. There are also lots of author interviews, and all sorts of top tens - all of which you can find on our features page. If you're stuck for something to read, check out the recommendations page.

There are currently 15,282 reviews at TheBookbag.

Want to find out more about us?

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Read the latest features.

0954899520.jpg


A Winter Book by Tove Jansson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Literary Fiction, Short Stories

Tove Jansson's worldwide fame lasts on the Moomin books, written in the 1940s and later becoming television characters of the simplicity, naivety and sheer 'goodness' that would later produce flowerpot men or teletubbies. Simple drawings, simple stories, simple goodness. What is often forgotten outside of her native Finland is that she was a serious writer…that she wrote for adults as well as children…and that she had a feeling for the natural world and the simple life that not only informed those child-like trolls but went far beyond any fantasy of how the world might be. Full Review

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The Collective by Lindsey Whitlock

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

Illinois Territory, Collective Homesteads of America. It's certainly an unusual place. Some people live in sunken houses, buried into hillsides to disguise how large their property is at times of austerity, among other reasons. Others are called Foresters, for they live and work in trees – forever playing and resting in trees as children, but farming in amongst them and living between them too. These two sides hate each other – so perhaps this is less of an unusual place than at first sight. Our drama kicks off when the small area the Foresters live in is placed under compulsory purchase – the residents are given a pitiful amount to clear out, before they get manfully cleared out. It's probably the Hills that are behind this, what's more. Our hero, Elwyn, has just left the trees for the Hills, to live with an uncle and learn their ways – he's just of age to decide things for himself, and he has decided to see how the other half lives. This has, of course, opened himself up to no end of prejudicial judgement. But what's this – as soon as he reaches the Hills he sees a third way of living, in a lovely colonial-style mansion, where everything sparkles and shines with crystalline light. What does it mean that he feels destiny-bound to this even posher, newer and more hopeful life? Full Review

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The Man Who Killed Hitler by Andre Pronovost

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Historical Fiction

Germany is split. Some of her is in favour of Hitler and the Nazis, but much isn't. Some of her is stuck to the east fighting the Soviets, but some will soon have to be on the other front, against the Americans coming into the continent to put things right as they see it. Finding out that the war to the east isn't working, due to Hitler's tactical ineptitude and inability to heed advice, some people reckon Stalin is five seasons away from being in Berlin. The only way to shore things up, and repair the splits, is to kill Hitler, and luckily the Baron Nicholas is the man to do it. He's aristocratic enough, he knows enough people in industry, society and other circles of power, so once he's succeeded he might be able to keep a German presence in Europe. But will he still be able to keep the "predatory American capitalists" and the blatantly communist Soviets from meeting in the middle? Full Review

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The Long Call (Two Rivers) by Ann Cleeves

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime, LGBT Fiction

When we first meet DI Matthew Venn he's at his father's funeral, although 'at' rather overstates the proximity. He sees everyone - his mother and the preacher included from a distance - but he doesn't go it. He wouldn't be welcome. Those attending are part of the Barum Brethren and the teenage Matthew was thrown out when he told the congregation how wrong they were in their beliefs. It coincided with him leaving university and joining the police force. The announcement of Matthew's marriage to Jonathan Church was in the local paper and whilst he doesn't know if his father saw it, he can't imagine that it will have gone down well. Full Review

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Max Kowalski Didn't Mean It by Susie Day

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

When Max’s dad finds himself in a spot of hot water, he disappears for a few days, leaving Max in charge of his three younger sisters, Thelma, Louise and Ripley. Max has no problem with stepping up to fill his dad’s shoes and be the man in charge, but when his dad still doesn’t come home, he starts to panic that interfering grown ups will realise that the children are home-alone, and that they will step in and separate the family. So Max takes his sisters to Wales, to hide out in a friend’s cottage. It won’t be for long, surely? Because his dad wouldn’t miss Christmas, would he? Full Review

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Sunlight 24 by Merritt Graves

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Science Fiction

If the game wasn’t fair before, it’s definitely not fair now. Or so thinks Dorian Waters, part of the ever-expanding portion of humanity who can’t afford the nano-implant and genetic augmentation regimen known as Revision. And because he can’t afford Revision, he can’t get into college, he can’t get a job. And when he sees the brilliant and mesmerizing Lena for the first time, he knows he doesn’t have a chance with her, either. And so, Dorian robs a house with his best friend, Ethan. Then they do it again. They’re able to keep at it until they have enough money saved up for their first Revision. Their initial choices in self-enhancement start impacting their future choices, which in turn impact their future Revision––on and on in a downward spiral of self-destruction... Full Review

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Drowned Lives by Stephen Booth

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

When council officer Chris Buckley is approached by an old man who wants his help in healing a decades' old family rift he's reluctant to get involved, but then Chris is reluctant to get involved in anything but a pint in the pub these days. It could just be the way that he is, or the fact that he's just lost both his parents within three months of each other. He's currently existing in the family home and wondering when he's going to be made redundant from his job with the council. The short answer to that one is 'soon'. Chris does his best to deter the old man, but it's not before he's left a lot of papers with his neighbour. Then the old man is murdered and the police come calling on Chris. Full Review

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Financial Accounting Essentials You Always Wanted To Know: 4th Edition by Kalpesh Ashar

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

Financial Accounting Essentials You Always Wanted to Know gives people without an accounting background, who have risen in a company, the knowledge to understand the accounts which show how the company is doing. The book begins by looking at why financial accounting systems are necessary, then moves on to give an excellent overview of the types of accounting systems which will be encountered and the terms used. We then look in detail at the balance sheet, the income statement and the statement of cash flows. If you understand these three sections on a set of accounts they will tell you a story. You will understand the company (or indeed any other business) but if you don't understand what's there you will be missing vital clues as to whether or not the company is thriving. Full Review

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Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, Graphic Novels

Harleen Quinzel is new in town. She always, to me, seems new in town, even if she's been around a long time, for she always has a very fresh attitude, and seems to look out of those large eyes at everything anew each time. But here she is new in town, and the town is Gotham City. Expecting a year-long furlough from life with her mother, she finds her gran dead and herself with no option but to stay with a bunch of drag queens. She also finds school is a drag, she also finds the whole neighbourhood is being redeveloped by a large and uncaring corporation – but she also finds two characters that will have a big impact on her life. One is a civil-minded lass called Ivy, the other someone she only meets at night – a lad with a singular graffiti tag and a mind for violence and chaos, who calls himself The Joker… Full Review

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The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Literary Fiction

Tove Jansson's short novel about Summer is several worlds away from the Moomintrolls she is most famous for outside her native Scandinavia. Book yourself an afternoon this Summer, and take yourself and The Summer Book somewhere quiet, preferably within sight and sound of the sea, settle back and prepare to be transported. Full Review

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The Dirty Dozen (Jane Tennison 5) by Lynda La Plante

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

Jane Tennison had worked hard to get a place on the Flying Squad and she felt that she was there on merit. The Squad wondered who she'd slept with to get the place and bets were being taken as to who she'd sleep with in the first week. What none of them - Jane included - knew was that she was there as an experiment, in the hope that a female presence would have a calming effect. The job had been advertised and Jane was the only female who applied who ticked all the boxes. She doesn't tick all the boxes for the head of the Squad, DCI Murphy. He wanted someone with at least ten years' experience, and the appropriate set of genitals - and he's determined that Jane will fail. Full Review

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The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews General Fiction, Paranormal

Trudy Heaton is going home, to a house where her roots burrow back through the centuries and to a mother she hasn't spoken to for sixteen years. Home, her refuge, Ponden Hall, where she can heal herself and try to come to terms with the traumatic loss of her husband. She needs to build bridges with her mother and convince her grieving son that his father is dead. Where better than the house full of light and shadow, that nurtured her throughout her childhood? Full Review

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We Are The Dead by Mike Shackle

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

Mike Shackle has written a really interesting and unusual story in We Are The Dead; the tag line for the novel is 'No More Heroes' and that is what makes this story so different. There are villains galore but no specific heroes; rather the story is scattered with characters doing their own small part to survive, to fight back, and to find vengeance, in a world that has been utterly torn apart. The plot does not hang on any one character, no one is important, anyone can die and many do, but, like ants working together, each small character achieves their own part of a much larger plot that is rich and complex and keeps the reader glued to the story. Full Review

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Cost Accounting & Management Essentials You Always Wanted To Know by Vibrant Publishers

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance, Reference

I'm capable of drawing up a profit and loss account (income statement in the USA) and a balance sheet and I do so for my own business and for another organisation. The accounts give me broadly what I need: I know whether we're making a profit or a loss and I can look at the expenses and see what looks as though it could be trimmed back in future years. My problem was that the accounts didn't really give me any help in making decisions, which was why I turned to Cost Accounting and Management, part of Vibrant Publishers' Self-Learning and Management series. Cost accounting provides the information required by authorities external to the company and to those within it who need to make decisions, so don't worry that you're going to have to draw up two sets of accounts! Full Review

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A Dance of Cranes by Steve Burrows

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime, Thrillers

DCI Domenic Jejeune is no longer with Lindy Hey, the estrangement being of his making, not hers. He hasn't explained to her that he is doing this - and leaving for his native Canada - because he thinks that this will keep her safe from his nemesis, Ray Hayes. Lauren Salter has been promoted to sergeant and now has her first murder case. It looks as though there's an obvious suspect, but Salter isn't so certain. Sgt Danny Maik is (unofficially) keeping an eye on Lindy Hey, whilst Jejeune embarks on a treacherous journey to rescue his brother, Damian, who has gone missing in one of Canada's largest national parks. Full Review

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The Triumph of the Spider Monkey by Joyce Carol Oates

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime, Thrillers, General Fiction

Bobby is an angry, damaged man - damage that came from being abandoned as a baby in a bus station locker, and then being thrown from one foster home or detention centre to another, never far from violence or abuse. Eager to succeed as a musician, he arrives in Hollywood to find his dream - but it soon becomes clear that his paranoid delusions and seething rage will enable a capacity for acts of extreme violence. Unpublished for 40 years, this edition of The Triumph of the Spider Monkey comes combined with a connected novella – Love, Careless Love. Full Review

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The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

Rayne lives in the small, hidden village of Penderin where she is a somewhat unwilling apprentice to her mother, the spell breather. Not everyone can spell breathe, you have to born with a magic spark and Rayne wishes she hadn't been born with one. She's a terrible spell breather, her attempts are always followed by disaster and she positively hates Mam's spell book with it's sharp teeth that suck your blood. When a stranger finds their village one day, Mam must set off on a journey to the great library, leaving Rayne in the village as their chief spell breather, but an unfortunate mistake sees Rayne breaking her mother's book and turning everyone in to monsters. She must face her fear travel across the monster-ridden country to find Mam and restore the book to save their village. Full Review

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I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

Cosmo's family is in crisis. Mom and Dad argue all the time. Emmaline doesn't quite understand it because she's too little but she feels it. And Max, who is bigger, does understand it and is terrified by it. Long ago, when Max was just a baby, Cosmo made a promise to protect Max forever and so he sets about his mission of repairing the family with everything he's got... Full Review

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Don't Drink the Pink by B C R Fegan

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews For Sharing

Madeline is very fond of Grandfather Gilderberry. He's always busy in his workshop, creating crazy potions, and he always has a smile on his face. Madeline's dad thinks he's a bit bonkers and Madeline's mum thinks the same but gives him a pass because he's old. But Madeline? She thinks Grandfather Gilberberry is just great. Particularly on her birthday when he unfailingly arrives with a selection of potions and allows her to choose one as a gift. And he always says the same thing... Full Review

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The Years of Fading Magic by Kenelm Averill

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

What if you could subtly change the lives of ordinary people around you?

Jessica Turner was one of the more radical teens to come out of Eastfield. A youth spent hanging out with a close crowd of friends was characterised by Jessica's role as trendsetter, as influencer, as leader. Strangely charismatic, Jessica invited fascination and obsession. Nobody who met her, forgot her. Or the days they spent in the Enclosure, a clearing in Eastfield woods that Jessica felt gave her power. But the group went its separate ways, as adolescent groups do, and her influence faded...Full Review

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Clear My Name by Paula Daly

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime, Thrillers

Tess Gilroy works for Innocence UK, a charity investigating the cases of prisoners who can convince them that they've been wrongly convicted and they're just moving on to their next case. She's somewhat surprised when Clive, the head of the charity, announces that she'll have someone shadowing her. Avril's in her mid twenties and rather gauche as well as prone to putting her foot in it. One of the reasons they're now going to look at the case of Carrie Kamara is that she's female and Innocence have never yet taken up the case of a woman: such impressions matter. Full Review