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'''Read [[:Category:New Reviews|new reviews by category]]. '''<br>
 
'''Read [[:Category:New Reviews|new reviews by category]]. '''<br>
  
'''Read [[:Category:Features|the latest features]].'''
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'''Read [[:Category:Features|the latest features]].''' <!-- INSERT NEW REVIEWS BELOW HERE-->
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=1925820025
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|title=Once, I was Loved
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|author=Belinda Landsberry
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|rating=4
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|genre=For Sharing
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|summary=Tock, the toy rabbit, is in a box of toys going to the charity shop.  He realises that he's not wanted any more, but muses that it wasn't always this way.  ''Once'', he says, ''I was loved''.  And he tells us of all the children who have loved him over the years.
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author= Karina Sainz Borgo and Elizabeth Bryer (translator)
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|title= It Would Be Night in Caracas
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|rating= 4
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|genre= Literary Fiction
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|summary=  ''It Would Be Night in Caracas'' illuminates the everyday horrors of modern day Venezuela. It begins with the death of Adelaida Falcon's mother and chronicles Adelaida's coming to terms with her new solitude in this world and her attempts to escape it. Danger stalks the shadows and, in a society where the establishment is crumbling, who can you turn to?
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|isbn=0062936867
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=0349423067
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|title=The Body on the Train (Kate Shackleton Mysteries)
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|author=Frances Brody
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|rating=4.5
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|genre=Crime (Historical)
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|summary=From Christmas to Easter a train ran from Leeds City Station to King’s Cross, arriving before dawn so that the forced rhubarb it carried could be taken to Covent Garden. In early March 1929 one of the porters who was unloading the boxes discovered the body of a man, stripped naked and with no means of identification.  Scotland Yard hit a dead end and called on the services of Kate Shackleton in the hope that her knowledge and connections in Yorkshire would give them the lead they needed.  Kate immediately found herself hamstrung: Commander Woodhead remembered her as a child and could not come to terms with the fact that she was now a woman experienced in dealing with murder.  He was reluctant to give her all the information which the police held.
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author= Stephen Baxter
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|title= World Engines: Destroyer
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|rating= 4
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|genre= Science Fiction
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|summary= Hundreds of years in the future, on a stagnating and almost empty Earth, a space shuttle pilot from the early days of the 21st century is awoken from the cryogenic sleep he entered after a devastating accident. As he comes to terms with this new world, he begins to realise that their history does not match what he remembers - and that only he may be able to stop the coming catastrophe destined to destroy the planet. Until he meets a young woman who seems to have a drive of her own, and a plan...
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|isbn=1473223172
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=1406389331
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|title=In the Key  of Code
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|author=Aimee Lucido
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|rating=4
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|genre=Confident Readers
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|summary=Emmy is moving with her parents halfway across America, to follow her father's dreams of a big break in his music career. She leaves behind her friends and her school in Wisconsin, and moves to California, knowing only what she has heard in songs. Her struggle to settle into her new life, make friends and feel happy and confident again, is agonisingly told in a way we can all relate to. There are many new opportunities and setbacks, taking the reader on a rollercoaster of emotions, but it isn't until Emmy joins a coding class using computer language that she begins to feel she might have a chance to feel like she truly belongs.
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=1529402255
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|title=A Body in the Bookshop (Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mysteries)
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|author=Helen Cox
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|rating=3.5
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|genre=Crime
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|summary= Evie Bowes is very conscious of the scars on her face.  They were acquired when she was rescued from a car in the River Ouse by Inspector Halloran.  She’d been suspected of the murder of her boyfriend, Owen, and in the process of clearing her name she and her best friend, Kitt Hartley developed a taste for detection.  Kitt developed a taste for Inspector Halloran Too, but they’re taking it slowly.  Well, sort of slowly.
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author= Alexandra Christo
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|title= Into the Crooked Place
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|rating= 4
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|genre= Teens
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|summary= In a world thriving with black magic, four young crooks embark on a quest to take down their criminal leader after they discover the plot behind his dangerous new magic.
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|isbn=1250318378
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author=Kathlaine C Gill and D Clark Gill
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|title=Madness Between Light and Dark
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|rating=3.5
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|genre=Fantasy
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|summary=It's 1912, and at New Hope Sanatorium, Christine Agnes Tupper is fast growing up. Abandoned there by parents who were ashamed of her hunchback, she's nevertheless grown up to an intelligent girl with a good heart. Her encounters with the inhabitants of the asylum swiftly take her on a fascinating, thrilling and sometimes terrifying journey of self discovery, allowing Agnes to prove that, even with a twisted spine, her heart is in the right place!
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|isbn=1641110708
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=190874572X
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|title=Letters from Tove
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|author=Tove Jansson (Author), Boel Westin (Editor), Helen Svensson (Editor), Sarah Death (Translator)
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|rating=5
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|genre=Autobiography
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|summary=Back at the beginning of the century I went on holiday to Nepal. I met a wonderful Finnish woman and we became sort of friends. I can't remember if it was on that holiday or a later one that Paula told me I really had to read Tove Jansson.  I do know that it was four years later that I finally acquired an English translation of The Summer Book, and that I eagerly awaited the ''Sort Of'' translations of the rest of Jansson's work and devoured them as soon as I could get my hands on them.
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}}
  
{|class-"wikitable" cellpadding="15" <!-- INSERT NEW REVIEWS BELOW HERE-->
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{{Frontpage
<!-- Nicci French -->
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|isbn=1784742783
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|title=The Benefit of Hindsight (Simon Serrailler)
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|author=Susan Hill
[[image:1471179230.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1471179230/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
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|rating=5
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|genre=Crime
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|summary=A superficial look would suggest to you that Simon Serrailer has been lucky and - all things considered - his life is as good as it could be. He's back at work after a long break to recuperate from the violent incident which cost him his arm and almost his life. When he's not at work he's spending his time in the cathedral roof drawing the medieval angels which are being restored. There's talk of an exhibition of his drawings.  Lafferton seems to be quite settled as far as crime is concerned until one night when two local men open their front door to a couple seeking shelter.  It's the usual story of a broken-down car, and a phone which won't make a call.  The man are generous and welcoming and have no suspicions that the couple are simply there to plan a robbery.  It's a serious error of judgement in the course of this investigation which will throw Simon Serrailler's future into doubt.
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}}
  
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=140638853X
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|title=Somebody Give This Heart a Pen
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|author=Sophia Thakur
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|rating=5
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|genre=Anthologies
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|summary=Sophia Thakur's debut anthology is a collection of poems that are all unique, whether in relation to their style, length or theme. The collection is split into four sections, titled 'grow','wait','break'and 'grow again', guiding you through a process which is one of the foundations that the anthology is built on. Each section begins with a foregrounded title page containing various small pieces of writing, ranging from a quote by a Nigerian playwright, to African proverbs. This provides a nice introduction to the section before you are immersed into the beautifully written and eloquent poems that Thakur has clearly put her heart and soul into.
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}}
  
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{{Frontpage
===[[The Lying Room by Nicci French]]===
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|isbn=1910989460
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|title=Flember: The Secret Book
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|author=Jamie Smart
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|rating=5
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|genre=Confident Readers
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|summary=A mysterious island. A strange and mystical power called Flember. A boy-inventor called Dev, who uncovers a long forgotten secret. And a giant, red robot bear?! The sleepy village of Eden is about to descend into hilarious chaos - can disastrous Dev save his brand new best friend? Find out in this fully illustrated mad-cap adventure.
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}}
  
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]], [[:Category:Thrillers|Thrillers]]
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=0241355222
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|title=Frostheart
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|author=Jamie Littler
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|rating=5
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|genre=Confident Readers
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|summary=Way out in the furthest part of the known world, a tiny stronghold exists all on its own, cut off from the rest of human-kin by monsters that lurk beneath the Snow Sea. There, a little boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them... and doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu. But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash. When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he's whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family?
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}}
  
When we meet Neve Connolly it's pretty obvious that she has something to hide.  She crept into the house after midnight, carefully putting her clothes into the washing machine and she can't wait to get husband Fletcher and children Mabel, Connor and Rory off on their various ways the next morning when she gets a text telling her to come to the flat.  He has a few hours to spare and can't wait to see her.  Only, when she gets to the flat she finds Saul Stevenson, her boss and lover, dead on the floor. The hammer that's been used on his brain is at his side. [[The Lying Room by Nicci French|Full Review]]
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=1913101037
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|title=The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone
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|author=Jaclyn Moriarty
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|rating=5
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|genre=Confident Readers
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|summary=Bronte doesn't miss her parents, and she's not particularly sad when she learns of their terrible fate at the hands of pirates. And why should she be? After all, they just dumped her on Aunt Isabelle (without even asking if it would be a convenient arrangement for either party) when she was a baby. They swanned off to have adventures, and never once came back to check if their only child was healthy and happy.
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}}
  
<!-- Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts -->
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{{Frontpage
|-
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|isbn=1401280048
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
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|title=Batman: Nightwalker: The Graphic Novel
[[image:0993340342.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0993340342/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
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|author=Marie Lu, Stuart Moore and Chris Wildgoose
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|rating=4
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|genre=Teens
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|summary=The young man called Bruce Wayne is a very noticeable one – he can hardly go anywhere without people – bystanders, paparazzi, and suchlike – reminding him he's a billionaire at the age of eighteen. Feeling rather stuck with the legacy he's inherited from his murdered parents, he wants to do charitable deeds. But one night, when he speeds off in his posh new car in pursuit of a criminal, he goes too far as far as the authorities are concerned, and gets given the most unlikely stretch of community service instead – cleaning in the home for violent criminals that is Arkham Asylum. There he learns of some other people who also allege charitable intent – the Nightwalkers, a gang who steal any ten-figure bank account contents they can, and murder the owner.  Can he get close to one of them and get the truth of their schemes, or will the manipulative Madeleine be a step too far for the young do-gooder?
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}}
  
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=B07W4MNBSG
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|title=Be Careful Who You Marry
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|author=Lizzy Mumfrey
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|rating=4
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|genre=General Fiction
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|summary=It was coming up to Halloween in 1987 and a group of sixth-form schoolgirls wondered what they would be doing when they were fifty.  When you're only seventeen that seems positively ancient, but Liz was convinced that ''your entire life depends on who you marry''.  The only eligible boys were the Young Farmers and the idea of living in a farmhouse and having a couple of children called Will and Olly appealed to Charlotte, or perhaps William and Oliver if you were Elizabeth who was determined to marry the rather superior Patrick Shepley-Botham.  The place to start their search was obviously the Young Farmers' Halloween disco that weekend.  There was just one problem - there were too many Elizabeths in the class.
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}}
  
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{{Frontpage
===[[Madeleine Goes to the Moon by Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts]]===
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|author=Michael J Malone
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|title=In The Absence of Miracles
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|rating=4
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|genre=Thrillers
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|summary=John Docherty's mother has been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke. It is thought unlikely that she will ever be able to live independently again.  Faced with having to sell the family home in order to pay for her nursing care, Docherty starts the clear out.  In the attic he finds a childhood picture of himself, holding a toddler – a toddler he knows nothing about.  He also finds a blood-stained shoe.
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|isbn=191237479X
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=0692853545
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|title=The Things We Do
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|author=Kay Pfaltz
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|rating=4
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|genre=Thrillers
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|summary=It's 2015 and Dr Eleanor Hartley is a prison psychologist at the state penitentiary and she knows that her next patient is not going to be easy.  'Jane Doe' has been convicted of the murder of two men - one a police officer.  She pleaded guilty and since then has been silent: even her identity is in doubt.  She was carrying identification as Jane Dunlap when she was arrested, but it's been proved to be false.  There seem to be no family or friends who are missing her.  Eleanor's task is to get Jane talking, to find out why a seemingly normal young woman would murder two men.
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}}
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:For Sharing|For Sharing]]
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{{Frontpage
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|author=Patti Smith
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|title=Year of the Monkey
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|rating=4
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|genre=Biography
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|summary=On the coast of Santa Cruz, Patti Smith enters the lunar year of the monkey - one packed with mischief, sorrow, and unexpected moments. In a stranger's words, ''Anything is possible: after all, it's the year of the monkey''. As Smith wanders the coast of Santa Cruz in solitude, she reflects on a year that brings huge shifts in her life - loss and aging are faced head on, as it the shifting political waters in America.
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|isbn=1526614758
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}}
  
Madeleine is a very lucky girl: in her room she has all a girl could ask for in the way of toys, books, games and dollies. She's a very lucky girl in another way too: she has imagination and everything in her room can be used to take her on adventures. She spends all day there: Dad thinks that she likes to be alone, but Madeleine's not alone on all the trips she takes. We'll find out that yesterday she was told to tidy her room, but instead of doing that she went to the moon. [[Madeleine Goes to the Moon by Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts|Full Review]]
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{{Frontpage
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|author=Margaret Atwood
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|title=The Testaments
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|rating=4.5
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|genre=Dystopian Fiction
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|summary= Finally! Almost forty years on, we have a sequel to  [[The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood|The Handmaid's Tale]]. I don't want to tell you too much about the plot because it's a novel that is entirely plot driven. Suffice it to say that ''The Testaments'' takes place fifteen years later, fifteen years after Offred gets into a van, not knowing what will happen next. It's told by three narrators: Aunt Lydia, who is secretly writing her memoirs in Ardua Hall; Agnes, a girl brought up in Gilead with the expectation she will marry a commander; Daisy, a rebellious teenage girl in Canada who knows of Gilead only from school lessons and its Pearl Girl missionaries who occasionally call into the store owned by her parents...
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|isbn=1784742325
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}}
  
<!-- Ann Patchett -->
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{{Frontpage
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|author=Anne Boden
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|title=The Money Revolution
[[image:1526614960.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1526614960/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
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|rating=4
 
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|genre= Business and Finance
 
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|summary= Money is changing. It might not be in the ways you think. We’re not suddenly getting a 3p or £3 coin (and have you ever even found a country that offers anything different to the 1, 2, 5 model?) We’re getting a lot more digital with payments, which seems to suit most people apart from charity collectors and the homeless on the street, but although this book has the subtitle that includes the word ‘’digital’’, it’s not really about this either. Instead it’s about the ‘’management’’ of your finances, and how to take control.
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|isbn=1789660610
===[[The Dutch House by Ann Patchett]]===
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}}
 
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[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Literary Fiction|Literary Fiction]]
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When we first meet Danny and his elder sister, Maeve Conroy, they're both living at The Dutch House with their parents and under the gaze of the portraits of the former owners whose oil paintings still hang on the walls.  It's a strange family dynamic: Cyril Conroy is distant and the closest Danny seems to come to him is when he goes out with him on a Saturday collecting rents from properties the family owns.  Elna Conroy is loving, but absent increasingly often until the point comes when the children are told that she will not be returning.  In other circumstances this might have affected Maeve and Danny deeply, but their primary relationship is with each other.  It's a bond which only death will break. [[The Dutch House by Ann Patchett|Full Review]]
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[[image:0993340350.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0993340350/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
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===[[The Very Rude Toytoise by Peter Lynas and Andy S Gray]]===
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[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:For Sharing|For Sharing]]
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It was one of those blissful days in the forest.  Mrs Rabbit was collecting carrots because she wanted to make a cake.  Mrs Blue Bird was gathering twigs to build a nest.  Mrs Spider was busily spinning a web to catch juicy flies.  Mrs Squirrel was piling up acorns.  And Mr Bear sat comfortably in a chair, fishing for lunch.  What could be better?  And then... [[The Very Rude Toytoise by Peter Lynas and Andy S Gray|Full Review]]
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[[image:0993340318.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0993340318/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
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===[[Recipe for Making a Snowman by Peter Lynas and Rosie Alabaster]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:For Sharing|For Sharing]]
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Who knew it?  You can even get a recipe book which tells you how to make a snowman - and there's no cooking involved!  Mum, Dad and the two children are absolutely meticulous though: they're going to get everything right, even down to doing some mining to get the coal for the eyes, searching through the bits 'n bobs jar for buttons for the snowman's coat and picking out the perfect piece of headgear. There's quite a choice available, but the family decide on the bobble hat, presumably to keep the snowman warm.  The moth-eaten pair of mittens simply won't do and a pair with purple and pink stripes are chosen. [[Recipe for Making a Snowman by Peter Lynas and Rosie Alabaster|Full Review]]
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===[[War and Love: A family's testament of anguish, endurance and devotion in occupied Amsterdam by Melanie Martin]]===
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[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:History|History]], [[:Category:Biography|Biography]]
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Melanie Martin read about what happened to Dutch Jews in occupied Amsterdam during World War II and was entranced by what she discovered, particularly in ''The Diary of Ann Frank'' but then realised that her own family's stories were equally fascinating. A hundred and seven thousand Jews were deported from the city during the war years, but only five thousand survived and Martin could not understand how this could be allowed to happen in a country with liberal values who were resistant to German occupation.  Most people believed that the occupation could never happen: even those who thought that the Germans might reach the city were convinced that they would soon be pushed back, that the Amsterdammers would never allow what happened to escalate in the way that it did, but initial protests melted away as the organisers became more circumspect. It's an atrocity on a vast scale, but made up of tens of thousands of individual tragedies. [[War and Love: A family's testament of anguish, endurance and devotion in occupied Amsterdam by Melanie Martin|Full Review]]
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[[image:1788542347.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1788542347/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
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===[[Snowflake, AZ by Marcus Sedgwick]]===
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[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Literary Fiction|Literary Fiction]]
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This is a deep, interesting read unlike any book I've read in quite some time. The novel's story follows a young man named Ash in the process of joining a community of sick people in the curiously named town of Snowflake, Arizona. These people are sick, but it's not a sickness you've heard of. Instead, they're environmentally ill – affected by household chemicals and fabrics, pesticides, static electricity, and radiation – and their only ''cure'' is to stay in the town away from the real world. Though it's about a real place, the people in it are fictional. It really is a place apart, quite literally cut off from the outside world – people are even required to decontaminate themselves thoroughly before becoming fully integrated. [[Snowflake, AZ by Marcus Sedgwick|Full Review]]
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===[[Brightfall by Jaime Lee Moyer]]===
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Fantasy|Fantasy]], [[:Category:Historical Fiction|Historical Fiction]]
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Robin Hood is gone – denouncing both his former life and his love Marian, and retreating to a monastery – although no-one knows quite what led him to abandon all that he had built. Marion's life since has been relatively quiet - but when her friends start dying, Marion is tasked by Father Tuck to break the curse surrounding them and to save their lives. Setting off with a soldier, a Fey Lord and a sullen Robin Hood, she becomes tangled in a maze of betrayals, complicated relationships, and a vicious struggle for the throne…[[Brightfall by Jaime Lee Moyer|Full Review]]
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===[[The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt]]===
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Fantasy|Fantasy]], [[:Category:Literary Fiction|Literary Fiction]]
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''The Nightjar'' is an unusual and exciting story. Alice Wyndham lives a normal life in London until she finds a box on her doorstep one morning and her life begins to unravel, fast. From that very moment, her life is flooded with magic, loss, expectation and particularly, betrayal. As everything around her shifts, all that she knows, all that she thinks she knows, must change. Who can she trust? Who must she trust? Who will she trust? More importantly, can she even trust herself? [[The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt|Full Review]]
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===[[American Royals by Katharine McGee]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:General Fiction|General Fiction]]
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Two and a half centuries ago, America won the Revolutionary War and General George Washington was offered the crown. Today, the House of Washington still sit on the thrown with Princess Beatrice next in line. Beatrice's whole life has been building up to her ruling the United States and the time for her reign is imminent. [[American Royals by Katharine McGee|Full Review]]
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===[[Dead Flowers (Dr Sian Love) by Nicola Monaghan]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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It was more than a little bit of a surprise to Dr Sian Love (and the rest of the relatives) when her uncle Bobby left her his home - a former pub called The Loggerheads in the Narrow Marsh area of Nottingham.  Then it was a shock when she found two bodies in the cellar before she'd even got settled in - and managed to break a bone in her foot in the course of making the discovery.  They'd been there for some time, but who - exactly - were the man and the woman, wrapped in each other's arms?  Having spent ten years on the Murder Squad, ending up as a DCI she knows what's going to happen next, but she's not prepared for quite how personal it's all going to get. [[Dead Flowers (Dr Sian Love) by Nicola Monaghan|Full Review]]
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===[[Some Places More Than Others by Renee Watson]]===
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Amara's twelfth birthday is coming up and she wants nothing more for it than a trip to New York to meet her father's side of the family. But her father hasn't spoken to Amara's grandfather for many years - Amara doesn't know why - and both her parents are resistant to the idea. But Amara is nothing if not persistent and a school family history project provides her with the perfect wedge. Eventually, her parents give in and off she goes... with a secret mission from her mother: to bring her father and Grandpa Earl back together again.  [[Some Places More Than Others by Renee Watson|Full Review]]
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===[[Lakes of Mars by Merritt Graves]]===
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Aaron Sheridan doesn't want to live anymore. His entire family is dead by his own hand, killed in a shuttle crash. Unable to deal with the guilt, he signs up for the Fleet expecting a fatal deployment to the Rim War, but instead ends up at their most prestigious command school, Corinth Station... [[Lakes of Mars by Merritt Graves|Full Review]]
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''He began writing novels and poetry at the age of twelve, but it was to take him a further forty-eight years to realise that he wasn’t very good at either. Consistently unpublished for all that time, he remains a shining example of hope over experience...''
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''This a memoir from someone you have never heard of - but will feel like you have.'' [[Coming of Age by Danny Ryan|Full Review]]
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The phrase about never trusting a book by its cover is something I put on a par with comments about Marmite.  You're supposed to love it or hate it and I'm halfway between, and likewise the old adage is halfway true.  From the cover of this I had a child-friendly fantasy, what with that name and that attractive artwork of an attractive girl reaching for an attractive water plant.  That was only built on by the initial fictionalised quotes, with their non-standard spelling, as if texts of scripture in this book's world predated our standardised literacy.  But why was I two chapters in and just finding more and more characters, both human and animal, and more and more flashbacks, and no proof that this was what I'd bought in for? [[Lighthouse of the Netherworlds by Maxwell N Andrews|Full Review]]
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===[[The Rabbit Girls by Anna Ellory]]===
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Berlin, 1989.  Miriam is in the middle of a city freshly united, with the Wall newly broken down and people able to cross at liberty for the first time in decades.  She is in the middle of such euphoria, but cannot feel it, for she has not left her father's apartment in weeks, nursing him as he lies dying.  One standard bed-bath, however, is very different, when he gasps the name ''Frieda'' that she does not recognise – and she sees for the first time ever a tattoo for his camp inmate identity under his watch.  One bombshell outside, then, and two inside... [[The Rabbit Girls by Anna Ellory|Full Review]]
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===[[A Winter Book by Tove Jansson]]===
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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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===[[The Collective by Lindsey Whitlock]]===
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''Illinois Territory, Collective Homesteads of America.''  Some people live in sunken houses, buried into hillsides to disguise how large their property is at times of austerity.  Others are called Foresters, for they live and work in trees. 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.  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... [[The Collective by Lindsey Whitlock|Full Review]]
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===[[The Man Who Killed Hitler by Andre Pronovost]]===
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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 capitalists and communists from meeting in the middle? [[The Man Who Killed Hitler by Andre Pronovost|Full Review]]
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===[[The Long Call (Two Rivers) by Ann Cleeves]]===
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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. [[The Long Call (Two Rivers) by Ann Cleeves|Full Review]]
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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?  [[Max Kowalski Didn't Mean It by Susie Day|Full Review]]
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Revision as of 13:04, 22 October 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 15,299 reviews at TheBookbag.

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Reviews of the Best New Books

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Read the latest features.

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Once, I was Loved by Belinda Landsberry

4star.jpg For Sharing

Tock, the toy rabbit, is in a box of toys going to the charity shop. He realises that he's not wanted any more, but muses that it wasn't always this way. Once, he says, I was loved. And he tells us of all the children who have loved him over the years. Full Review

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It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo and Elizabeth Bryer (translator)

4star.jpg Literary Fiction

It Would Be Night in Caracas illuminates the everyday horrors of modern day Venezuela. It begins with the death of Adelaida Falcon's mother and chronicles Adelaida's coming to terms with her new solitude in this world and her attempts to escape it. Danger stalks the shadows and, in a society where the establishment is crumbling, who can you turn to? Full Review

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The Body on the Train (Kate Shackleton Mysteries) by Frances Brody

4.5star.jpg Crime (Historical)

From Christmas to Easter a train ran from Leeds City Station to King’s Cross, arriving before dawn so that the forced rhubarb it carried could be taken to Covent Garden. In early March 1929 one of the porters who was unloading the boxes discovered the body of a man, stripped naked and with no means of identification. Scotland Yard hit a dead end and called on the services of Kate Shackleton in the hope that her knowledge and connections in Yorkshire would give them the lead they needed. Kate immediately found herself hamstrung: Commander Woodhead remembered her as a child and could not come to terms with the fact that she was now a woman experienced in dealing with murder. He was reluctant to give her all the information which the police held. Full Review

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World Engines: Destroyer by Stephen Baxter

4star.jpg Science Fiction

Hundreds of years in the future, on a stagnating and almost empty Earth, a space shuttle pilot from the early days of the 21st century is awoken from the cryogenic sleep he entered after a devastating accident. As he comes to terms with this new world, he begins to realise that their history does not match what he remembers - and that only he may be able to stop the coming catastrophe destined to destroy the planet. Until he meets a young woman who seems to have a drive of her own, and a plan... Full Review

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In the Key of Code by Aimee Lucido

4star.jpg Confident Readers

Emmy is moving with her parents halfway across America, to follow her father's dreams of a big break in his music career. She leaves behind her friends and her school in Wisconsin, and moves to California, knowing only what she has heard in songs. Her struggle to settle into her new life, make friends and feel happy and confident again, is agonisingly told in a way we can all relate to. There are many new opportunities and setbacks, taking the reader on a rollercoaster of emotions, but it isn't until Emmy joins a coding class using computer language that she begins to feel she might have a chance to feel like she truly belongs. Full Review

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A Body in the Bookshop (Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mysteries) by Helen Cox

3.5star.jpg Crime

Evie Bowes is very conscious of the scars on her face. They were acquired when she was rescued from a car in the River Ouse by Inspector Halloran. She’d been suspected of the murder of her boyfriend, Owen, and in the process of clearing her name she and her best friend, Kitt Hartley developed a taste for detection. Kitt developed a taste for Inspector Halloran Too, but they’re taking it slowly. Well, sort of slowly. Full Review

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Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

4star.jpg Teens

In a world thriving with black magic, four young crooks embark on a quest to take down their criminal leader after they discover the plot behind his dangerous new magic. Full Review

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Madness Between Light and Dark by Kathlaine C Gill and D Clark Gill

3.5star.jpg Fantasy

It's 1912, and at New Hope Sanatorium, Christine Agnes Tupper is fast growing up. Abandoned there by parents who were ashamed of her hunchback, she's nevertheless grown up to an intelligent girl with a good heart. Her encounters with the inhabitants of the asylum swiftly take her on a fascinating, thrilling and sometimes terrifying journey of self discovery, allowing Agnes to prove that, even with a twisted spine, her heart is in the right place! Full Review

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Letters from Tove by Tove Jansson (Author), Boel Westin (Editor), Helen Svensson (Editor), Sarah Death (Translator)

5star.jpg Autobiography

Back at the beginning of the century I went on holiday to Nepal. I met a wonderful Finnish woman and we became sort of friends. I can't remember if it was on that holiday or a later one that Paula told me I really had to read Tove Jansson. I do know that it was four years later that I finally acquired an English translation of The Summer Book, and that I eagerly awaited the Sort Of translations of the rest of Jansson's work and devoured them as soon as I could get my hands on them. Full Review

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The Benefit of Hindsight (Simon Serrailler) by Susan Hill

5star.jpg Crime

A superficial look would suggest to you that Simon Serrailer has been lucky and - all things considered - his life is as good as it could be. He's back at work after a long break to recuperate from the violent incident which cost him his arm and almost his life. When he's not at work he's spending his time in the cathedral roof drawing the medieval angels which are being restored. There's talk of an exhibition of his drawings. Lafferton seems to be quite settled as far as crime is concerned until one night when two local men open their front door to a couple seeking shelter. It's the usual story of a broken-down car, and a phone which won't make a call. The man are generous and welcoming and have no suspicions that the couple are simply there to plan a robbery. It's a serious error of judgement in the course of this investigation which will throw Simon Serrailler's future into doubt. Full Review

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Somebody Give This Heart a Pen by Sophia Thakur

5star.jpg Anthologies

Sophia Thakur's debut anthology is a collection of poems that are all unique, whether in relation to their style, length or theme. The collection is split into four sections, titled 'grow','wait','break'and 'grow again', guiding you through a process which is one of the foundations that the anthology is built on. Each section begins with a foregrounded title page containing various small pieces of writing, ranging from a quote by a Nigerian playwright, to African proverbs. This provides a nice introduction to the section before you are immersed into the beautifully written and eloquent poems that Thakur has clearly put her heart and soul into. Full Review

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Flember: The Secret Book by Jamie Smart

5star.jpg Confident Readers

A mysterious island. A strange and mystical power called Flember. A boy-inventor called Dev, who uncovers a long forgotten secret. And a giant, red robot bear?! The sleepy village of Eden is about to descend into hilarious chaos - can disastrous Dev save his brand new best friend? Find out in this fully illustrated mad-cap adventure. Full Review

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Frostheart by Jamie Littler

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Way out in the furthest part of the known world, a tiny stronghold exists all on its own, cut off from the rest of human-kin by monsters that lurk beneath the Snow Sea. There, a little boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them... and doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu. But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash. When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he's whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family? Full Review

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The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Bronte doesn't miss her parents, and she's not particularly sad when she learns of their terrible fate at the hands of pirates. And why should she be? After all, they just dumped her on Aunt Isabelle (without even asking if it would be a convenient arrangement for either party) when she was a baby. They swanned off to have adventures, and never once came back to check if their only child was healthy and happy. Full Review

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Batman: Nightwalker: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu, Stuart Moore and Chris Wildgoose

4star.jpg Teens

The young man called Bruce Wayne is a very noticeable one – he can hardly go anywhere without people – bystanders, paparazzi, and suchlike – reminding him he's a billionaire at the age of eighteen. Feeling rather stuck with the legacy he's inherited from his murdered parents, he wants to do charitable deeds. But one night, when he speeds off in his posh new car in pursuit of a criminal, he goes too far as far as the authorities are concerned, and gets given the most unlikely stretch of community service instead – cleaning in the home for violent criminals that is Arkham Asylum. There he learns of some other people who also allege charitable intent – the Nightwalkers, a gang who steal any ten-figure bank account contents they can, and murder the owner. Can he get close to one of them and get the truth of their schemes, or will the manipulative Madeleine be a step too far for the young do-gooder? Full Review

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Be Careful Who You Marry by Lizzy Mumfrey

4star.jpg General Fiction

It was coming up to Halloween in 1987 and a group of sixth-form schoolgirls wondered what they would be doing when they were fifty. When you're only seventeen that seems positively ancient, but Liz was convinced that your entire life depends on who you marry. The only eligible boys were the Young Farmers and the idea of living in a farmhouse and having a couple of children called Will and Olly appealed to Charlotte, or perhaps William and Oliver if you were Elizabeth who was determined to marry the rather superior Patrick Shepley-Botham. The place to start their search was obviously the Young Farmers' Halloween disco that weekend. There was just one problem - there were too many Elizabeths in the class. Full Review

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In The Absence of Miracles by Michael J Malone

4star.jpg Thrillers

John Docherty's mother has been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke. It is thought unlikely that she will ever be able to live independently again. Faced with having to sell the family home in order to pay for her nursing care, Docherty starts the clear out. In the attic he finds a childhood picture of himself, holding a toddler – a toddler he knows nothing about. He also finds a blood-stained shoe. Full Review

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The Things We Do by Kay Pfaltz

4star.jpg Thrillers

It's 2015 and Dr Eleanor Hartley is a prison psychologist at the state penitentiary and she knows that her next patient is not going to be easy. 'Jane Doe' has been convicted of the murder of two men - one a police officer. She pleaded guilty and since then has been silent: even her identity is in doubt. She was carrying identification as Jane Dunlap when she was arrested, but it's been proved to be false. There seem to be no family or friends who are missing her. Eleanor's task is to get Jane talking, to find out why a seemingly normal young woman would murder two men. Full Review

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Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith

4star.jpg Biography

On the coast of Santa Cruz, Patti Smith enters the lunar year of the monkey - one packed with mischief, sorrow, and unexpected moments. In a stranger's words, Anything is possible: after all, it's the year of the monkey. As Smith wanders the coast of Santa Cruz in solitude, she reflects on a year that brings huge shifts in her life - loss and aging are faced head on, as it the shifting political waters in America. Full Review

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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

4.5star.jpg Dystopian Fiction

Finally! Almost forty years on, we have a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. I don't want to tell you too much about the plot because it's a novel that is entirely plot driven. Suffice it to say that The Testaments takes place fifteen years later, fifteen years after Offred gets into a van, not knowing what will happen next. It's told by three narrators: Aunt Lydia, who is secretly writing her memoirs in Ardua Hall; Agnes, a girl brought up in Gilead with the expectation she will marry a commander; Daisy, a rebellious teenage girl in Canada who knows of Gilead only from school lessons and its Pearl Girl missionaries who occasionally call into the store owned by her parents... Full Review

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The Money Revolution by Anne Boden

4star.jpg Business and Finance

Money is changing. It might not be in the ways you think. We’re not suddenly getting a 3p or £3 coin (and have you ever even found a country that offers anything different to the 1, 2, 5 model?) We’re getting a lot more digital with payments, which seems to suit most people apart from charity collectors and the homeless on the street, but although this book has the subtitle that includes the word ‘’digital’’, it’s not really about this either. Instead it’s about the ‘’management’’ of your finances, and how to take control. Full Review

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