Difference between revisions of "Book Reviews From The Bookbag"

From TheBookbag
Jump to: navigation, search
(10 intermediate revisions by 2 users not shown)
Line 12: Line 12:
  
 
'''Read [[:Category:Features|the latest features]].''' <!-- INSERT NEW REVIEWS BELOW HERE-->
 
'''Read [[:Category:Features|the latest features]].''' <!-- INSERT NEW REVIEWS BELOW HERE-->
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=1925820025
 +
|title=Once, I was Loved
 +
|author=Belinda Landsberry
 +
|rating=4
 +
|genre=For Sharing
 +
|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.
 +
}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|author= Karina Sainz Borgo and Elizabeth Bryer (translator)
 +
|title= It Would Be Night in Caracas
 +
|rating= 4
 +
|genre= Literary Fiction
 +
|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?
 +
|isbn=0062936867
 +
}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=0349423067
 +
|title=The Body on the Train (Kate Shackleton Mysteries)
 +
|author=Frances Brody
 +
|rating=4.5
 +
|genre=Crime (Historical)
 +
|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.
 +
}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|author= Stephen Baxter
 +
|title= World Engines: Destroyer
 +
|rating= 4
 +
|genre= Science Fiction
 +
|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...
 +
|isbn=1473223172
 +
}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=1406389331
 +
|title=In the Key  of Code
 +
|author=Aimee Lucido
 +
|rating=4
 +
|genre=Confident Readers
 +
|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.
 +
}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=1529402255
 +
|title=A Body in the Bookshop (Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mysteries)
 +
|author=Helen Cox
 +
|rating=3.5
 +
|genre=Crime
 +
|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.
 +
}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|author= Alexandra Christo
 +
|title= Into the Crooked Place
 +
|rating= 4
 +
|genre= Teens
 +
|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.
 +
|isbn=1250318378
 +
}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|author=Kathlaine C Gill and D Clark Gill
 +
|title=Madness Between Light and Dark
 +
|rating=3.5
 +
|genre=Fantasy
 +
|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!
 +
|isbn=1641110708
 +
}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=190874572X
 +
|title=Letters from Tove
 +
|author=Tove Jansson (Author), Boel Westin (Editor), Helen Svensson (Editor), Sarah Death (Translator)
 +
|rating=5
 +
|genre=Autobiography
 +
|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.
 +
}}
 +
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=1784742783
 +
|title=The Benefit of Hindsight (Simon Serrailler)
 +
|author=Susan Hill
 +
|rating=5
 +
|genre=Crime
 +
|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.
 +
}}
 +
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=140638853X
 +
|title=Somebody Give This Heart a Pen
 +
|author=Sophia Thakur
 +
|rating=5
 +
|genre=Anthologies
 +
|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.
 +
}}
 +
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=1910989460
 +
|title=Flember: The Secret Book
 +
|author=Jamie Smart
 +
|rating=5
 +
|genre=Confident Readers
 +
|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.
 +
}}
 +
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=0241355222
 +
|title=Frostheart
 +
|author=Jamie Littler
 +
|rating=5
 +
|genre=Confident Readers
 +
|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?
 +
}}
 +
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=1913101037
 +
|title=The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone
 +
|author=Jaclyn Moriarty
 +
|rating=5
 +
|genre=Confident Readers
 +
|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.
 +
}}
 +
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=1401280048
 +
|title=Batman: Nightwalker: The Graphic Novel
 +
|author=Marie Lu, Stuart Moore and Chris Wildgoose
 +
|rating=4
 +
|genre=Teens
 +
|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?
 +
}}
 +
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=B07W4MNBSG
 +
|title=Be Careful Who You Marry
 +
|author=Lizzy Mumfrey
 +
|rating=4
 +
|genre=General Fiction
 +
|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.
 +
}}
 +
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
 
|author=Michael J Malone
 
|author=Michael J Malone
Line 55: Line 191:
 
|isbn=1789660610
 
|isbn=1789660610
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
|isbn=147117316X
 
|title=Guilty Not Guilty
 
|author=Felix Francis
 
|rating=4.5
 
|genre=Thrillers
 
|summary=The Honourable William Herbert Millgate Gordon-Russell (Bill Russell to those who knew him well) was acting as a volunteer steward at Warwick Racecourse when he was told of the violent death of his much-loved wife.  It would get worse though: the successful insurance actuary would be accused of killing her and hounded by the media.  Then  he would lose his job and his home.  His best friends would turn against him, as they came to believe him guilty of the murder.  Yet there was no really compelling evidence that he was guilty.
 
}}
 
 
{{Frontpage
 
|isbn=1908745819
 
|title=Surfacing
 
|author=Kathleen Jamie
 
|rating=5
 
|genre=History
 
|summary=Sometimes when people suggest that you read a certain book, they tell you ''this one has your name on it''. Mostly we take them at their word, or not, but rarely do we ask them why they thought so, unless it turns out that we didn't like the book. That's a rare experience. People who are sensitive to hearing a book calling your name, rarely get it wrong. In this case I was told why.  The blurb speaks of the author considering ''an older, less tethered sense of herself.''  Older. Less tethered. That's not a bad description of where I am.  Add to that my love of the natural world, of those aspects of the poetic and lyrical that are about style not form, and substance most of all, about connection. Of course this book had my name on it.  It was written for me. It would have found its way to me eventually.  I am pleased to have it fall onto my path so quickly.
 
}}
 
 
{|class-"wikitable" cellpadding="15"
 
 
<!-- Adele Parks -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:0008284660.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0008284660/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[Lies Lies Lies by Adele Parks]]===
 
 
[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Thrillers|Thrillers]]
 
 
Simon Barnes had his first taste of beer in 1976 when he was just six years old.  Over the years it would become a habit and then a need.  By 2016 and with a wife and child of his own he was a functioning alcoholic - a fact known by everybody except Simon.  He's concentrating on wanting another child to complete his family.  His wife, Daisy, isn't worried.  They took a long time to conceive Millie, who's perfect in every way, so why tempt fate?  Simon's not inclined to let matters rest though and it's at a fertility clinic that he receives the news that will change all their lives: he's sterile. [[Lies Lies Lies by Adele Parks|Full Review]]
 
 
<!-- Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:099334030X.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/099334030X/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[Can You Draw the Dragosaur? by Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts]]===
 
 
[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crafts|Crafts]], [[:Category:Emerging Readers|Emerging Readers]]
 
 
You're going to get a hint of what this book's about very quickly.  When you see the title page, you'll find out what the book's called and that it's been written by Peter Lynas.  Then we move on to who has done the illustration - and there's a gap.  ''You'' are going to put your name there.  It's ''your'' responsibility to provide the pictures for this book about one of the largest creatures ever to roam the earth.  There's some help available, but your name is on the title page - and you have work to do! [[Can You Draw the Dragosaur? by Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts|Full Review]]
 
 
<!-- Abercrombie -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:0575095865.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0575095865/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie]]===
 
 
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Fantasy|Fantasy]]
 
 
The chimneys of industry rise over Adua and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep as ever. On the blood-soaked borders of Angland, Leo dan Brock struggles to win fame on the battlefield, and defeat the marauding armies of Stour Nightfall. He hopes for help from the crown. But King Jezal's son, the feckless Prince Orso, is a man who specialises in disappointments. Savine dan Glokta - socialite, investor, and daughter of the most feared man in the Union - plans to claw her way to the top of the slag-heap of society by any means necessary. But the slums boil over with a rage that all the money in the world cannot control. The age of the machine dawns, but the age of magic refuses to die. With the help of the mad hillwoman Isern-i-Phail, Rikke struggles to control the blessing, or the curse, of the Long Eye. Glimpsing the future is one thing, but with the guiding hand of the First of the Magi still pulling the strings, changing it will be quite another . . .[[A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie|Full Review]]
 
 
<!-- Peter Lynas and Clare Lindley -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:0993340334.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0993340334/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[Bunny by Peter Lynas and Clare Lindley]]===
 
 
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:For Sharing|For Sharing]]
 
 
You might have seen Bunny on the beach where he lived.  Like many beaches it was full of sand and Bunny didn't like sand, not least because it got between his toes and ''scratched''.  What he really liked was juicy green grass.  All the other rabbits lived on the top of the cliff, where Bunny could see a lot of tasty-looking grass.  But the cliff was very high. [[Bunny by Peter Lynas and Clare Lindley|Full Review]]
 
 
<!-- Thomas Knauer -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:1635860334.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1635860334/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[Why We Quilt by Thomas Knauer]]===
 
 
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crafts|Crafts]]
 
 
I've often wondered about the story that patchwork quilting began as a way for women (and myth would have it that it was always women) to make an extra blanket out of material which would otherwise go to waste.  This undoubtedly ''did'' happen but when you think about it, you need an awful lot of material to make a quilt and the time could have been better spent if all that was required was bedding.  Like Thomas Knauer I've come to the conclusion that it began as an art and has largely continued down that same road with fluctuations in popularity over the years. [[Why We Quilt by Thomas Knauer|Full Review]]
 
 
<!-- Nicci French -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:1471179230.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1471179230/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[The Lying Room by Nicci French]]===
 
 
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]], [[:Category:Thrillers|Thrillers]]
 
 
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]]
 
 
<!-- Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:0993340342.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0993340342/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[Madeleine Goes to the Moon by Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts]]===
 
 
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:For Sharing|For Sharing]]
 
 
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]]
 
 
<!-- Ann Patchett -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:1526614960.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1526614960/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[The Dutch House by Ann Patchett]]===
 
 
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Literary Fiction|Literary Fiction]]
 
 
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]]
 
 
<!-- Peter Lynas and Andy S Gray -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:0993340350.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0993340350/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[The Very Rude Toytoise by Peter Lynas and Andy S Gray]]===
 
 
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:For Sharing|For Sharing]]
 
 
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]]
 
 
<!-- Peter Lynas and Rosie Alabaster -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:0993340318.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0993340318/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[Recipe for Making a Snowman by Peter Lynas and Rosie Alabaster]]===
 
 
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:For Sharing|For Sharing]]
 
 
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]]
 
 
<!-- Melanie Martin -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:1789016304.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1789016304/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[War and Love: A family's testament of anguish, endurance and devotion in occupied Amsterdam by Melanie Martin]]===
 
 
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:History|History]], [[:Category:Biography|Biography]]
 
 
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]]
 
 
<!-- Sedgwick -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:1788542347.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1788542347/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[Snowflake, AZ by Marcus Sedgwick]]===
 
 
[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Literary Fiction|Literary Fiction]]
 
 
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]]
 
 
<!-- Moyer -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:178747920X.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/178747920X/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[Brightfall by Jaime Lee Moyer]]===
 
 
[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Fantasy|Fantasy]], [[:Category:Historical Fiction|Historical Fiction]]
 
 
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]]
 
 
<!-- Hewitt -->
 
|-
 
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
 
[[image:1509896465.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1509896465/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
 
 
 
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
 
===[[The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt]]===
 
 
[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Fantasy|Fantasy]], [[:Category:Literary Fiction|Literary Fiction]]
 
 
''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]]
 
  
 
<!-- DO NOT REMOVE ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE -->
 
<!-- DO NOT REMOVE ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE -->
 
|}
 
|}

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 15,293 reviews at TheBookbag.

Want to find out more about us?

Reviews of the Best New Books

Read new reviews by category.

Read the latest features.

1925820025.jpg

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

0062936867.jpg

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

0349423067.jpg

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

1473223172.jpg

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

1406389331.jpg

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

1529402255.jpg

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

1250318378.jpg

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

1641110708.jpg

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

190874572X.jpg

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

1784742783.jpg

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

140638853X.jpg

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

1910989460.jpg

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

0241355222.jpg

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

1913101037.jpg

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

1401280048.jpg

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

B07W4MNBSG.jpg

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

191237479X.jpg

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

0692853545.jpg

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

1526614758.jpg

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

1784742325.jpg

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

1789660610.jpg

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

|}