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<h1 id="mf-title">The Bookbag</h1>
 
<h1 id="mf-title">The Bookbag</h1>
 
Hello from The Bookbag, a site featuring books from all the many walks of literary life - [[:Category:Fiction|fiction]], [[:Category:Biography|biography]], [[:Category:Crime|crime]], [[:Category:Cookery|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 [[:Category:Interviews|author interviews]], and all sorts of [[:Category:Lists|top tens]] - all of which you can find on our [[features]] page. If you're stuck for something to read, check out the [[Book Recommendations|recommendations]] page.
 
Hello from The Bookbag, a site featuring books from all the many walks of literary life - [[:Category:Fiction|fiction]], [[:Category:Biography|biography]], [[:Category:Crime|crime]], [[:Category:Cookery|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 [[:Category:Interviews|author interviews]], and all sorts of [[:Category:Lists|top tens]] - all of which you can find on our [[features]] page. If you're stuck for something to read, check out the [[Book Recommendations|recommendations]] page.
 
[[image:League games.jpg|left|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/video/primesignup/ref=acph_piv?tag=AssociateTrackingID=thebookbag-21]]
 
  
 
There are currently '''{{PAGESINCATEGORY:Reviews}}''' reviews at TheBookbag.
 
There are currently '''{{PAGESINCATEGORY:Reviews}}''' reviews at TheBookbag.
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'''Read [[:Category:Features|the latest features]].''' <!-- INSERT NEW REVIEWS BELOW HERE-->
 
'''Read [[:Category:Features|the latest features]].''' <!-- INSERT NEW REVIEWS BELOW HERE-->
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Justine Avery and Liuba Syrotiuk
+
|isbn=1838593187
|title=What Wonders Do You See... When You Dream?
+
|title=Guess What I Found in the Playground!
|rating=4
+
|author=Victoria Thompson
 +
|rating=4.5
 
|genre=For Sharing
 
|genre=For Sharing
|summary=''The day has ended''<br>
+
|summary=Tilly is excited.  She's just come dashing out of the classroom, pigtails flapping behind her and a big grin on her face.  Dad's come to collect her and her brother and he ''has'' to try to guess what she found in the playground today, although she concedes that he will never guess.  Dad wants to know how school was, but ''obviously'' that's not important.  Could Tilly have found more collectable things for her scrap box?  (Isn't that so much more sensible than a scrap ''book''?)  Well, actually, Tilly did find exciting stuff.  There are sequins, glittered paper and all sorts of other things in her pocket, but that's not what she wants Dad to guess.
''Hasn't it been splendid?'' <br>
+
''But now, it's time, to be sure'' <br>
+
''For an entirely different adventure'' <br>
+
 
+
I hope you haven't forgotten how it feels to be much too excited for bed. If you're a parent at least, you'll know how it is to persuade an excited small person that yes, it is in fact time for bed. ''What Wonders DoYou See...'' sets out to cater to these children. Instead of trying to persuade them that night time is calm time, it takes a slightly different tack. It tells them that sleep is actually an exciting time: a time of dreams in which imagination takes over and has no limit. But the trick in accessing this wonderful and exciting world, is to get calm and relaxed first so that you can easily fall asleep and open the door to it.
+
|isbn=194812422X   
+
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Michael Harris
+
|author= Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
|title=Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World
+
|title= Yes No Maybe So
|rating=5
+
|rating= 4
|genre=Lifestyle
+
|genre= Teens
|summary= This is not the book I was expecting it to be. For some reason I expected it to be another self-help manual on how to find calm, how to step outside the mainstream, but it is not that at all. Instead of telling us how, it is more about the ''why''. Harries examines how we're eroding solitude, which used to be a natural part of our human life, and why that matters.   Of course he talks about how some people have found solitude and what has come of that, and eventually in the final chapter he talks about his own experience of having deliberately sought it out, but mostly he wanders down the alleys and by-ways that his thinking about this lost art led him.
+
|summary= ''We might give it our all and crash and burn. But we might win. We might actually change things. And that maybe makes it still worth going for, don't you think?''
|isbn=1847947662
+
Jaime has been spending his summer helping his cousin with campaigning in time for a special election. When his mother encourages him to go canvassing, he can't think of anything worse. However, Jaime has always wanted to be a politician and decides there is no time like the present to conquer his fear of speaking to the public.
 +
Maya is a Pakistani-American Muslim girl who is having the worst summer of her life. Her parents are going through a separation, she has zero plans for the summer to help take her mind off things and her only close friend is permanently busy. To help occupy her, her parents offer to buy her a car if she agrees to go canvassing.
 +
The pair could possibly be the worst canvassing duo in history, as neither of them really want to be there, but as the campaign goes on they discover that they care, a lot, about the election - and maybe even about each other?
 +
|isbn=1471184668
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Andy Briggs
+
|author=Gregg Hurwitz
|title=Ctrl+S
+
|title=Into The Fire
 
|rating=5
 
|rating=5
|genre=Science Fiction
+
|genre=Thrillers
|summary= Life in the near future's not all bad. We've reversed global warming and fixed the collapsing bee population. We even created SPACE, a virtual-sensory universe where average guys like Theo Wilson can do almost anything they desire. But almost anything isn't enough for some. Every day, normal people are being taken, their emotions harvested - and lives traded - to create death-defying thrills for the rich and twisted. Now Theo’s mother has disappeared. And as he follows her breadcrumb trail of clues, he'll come up against the most dangerous SPACE has to offer: vPolice, AI Bots and anarchists - as well as a criminal empire that will kill to stop him finding her . . .
+
|summary= Grant Merriweather is a forensic accountant. Or rather, was. He was brought into an ER room after an alleged car crash, his friend pleading with the medics to keep him alive. He was needed alive just long enough to give up a name. His cousin, Max.
|isbn=1409184641
+
|isbn=0718185501
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1609809378
+
|isbn=1529124395
|title=The Rabbits' Rebellion
+
|title=When You See Me
|author=Ariel Dorfman and Chris Riddell
+
|author=Lisa Gardner
|rating=4.5
+
|rating=4
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|genre=Crime
|summary=We're in the realm of the rabbits, only the foxes and wolves have taken over.  King Wolf, His Wolfiness, has declared the rabbits don't exist, but the pesky birds have spread rumours from awing that the bunnies are in fact still aroundDemanding a propaganda spree, King Wolf orders a humble monkey to be his official portrait photographer, but whatever the poor innocent monkey prints out in his darkroom there is a distinct leporine hintCan King Wolf succeed in proving himself victorious, can the rabbits show their continued existence to all who need to know of it – and what can the poor monkey caught in between do?
+
|summary=For Janet and Chuck, it was a hiking break in the Appalachians in Georgia and pure chance that Chuck went off the beaten track to find a stickWhat he found was a human bone and SSA Kimberley Quincy was called in, along with Sergeant D D WarrenBoth women were experienced in this type of rather gruesome work but they also called on the services of Keith Edgar, a computer analyst, and Flora Dane who brought something unique to the table.  Flora had been kidnapped and held for 472 days by the notorious killer, Jacob Ness.  If Ness had anything to do with the current discoveries then what Flora had to say could be invaluable.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Innosanto Nagara
+
|isbn=1529009677
|title=M is for Movement
+
|title=A Window Breaks
|rating=4
+
|author=C M Ewan
|genre=Emerging Readers
+
|rating=3.5
|summary=Set in Indonesia, in the not too distant past, this is a story about social changeDealing with some difficult issues, such as political corruption and nepotism, the book is neither boring nor preachyIt educates gently, with vibrant, challenging illustrations, and it portrays how social movements need people who will try, even when it seems that they will failThe message is a positive one; that in an increasingly uncertain world, we do still have the power to instigate change.
+
|genre=Thrillers
|isbn=1609809351
+
|summary=Tom Sullivan and his wife Rachel are having problems.  It's not just the usual growing apart after more than a decade of marriageTheir son, Michael, was killed in a car crash some months before: he was driving his father's Audi and at sixteen wasn't legally entitled to driveNot only did he kill himself when the car rammed into a tree, but he also killed his girlfriend, fifteen-year-old Fiona Connor.  Tom can't think about Michael without a sense of shame and guiltRachel is broken, but she wants to forgive Michael.  To give some space, Tom's moved out of the family home, but stresses to his thirteen-year-old daughter, Holly, that it is only a trial separation.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1780724047
+
|isbn=0241985153
|title=A Dictionary of Interesting and Important Dogs
+
|title=The House on the Lake
|author=Peter J Conradi
+
|author=Nuala Ellwood
|rating=4
+
|rating=3.5
|genre=Pets
+
|genre=Thrillers
|summary=I struggle to resist a book about dogs, but I did wonder why this one was so ''thin'': given that I've never encountered a dog who wasn't interesting or important - and probably both, I was expecting a massive tome.  But ''A Dictionary of Interesting and Important Dogs'' is actually ''a rich compendium of the world's most significant and beloved dogs'' and it's certainly a rich treasure trove.  We begin with Peter J Conradi's four collies: Cloudy, Sky. Bradley and Max.  They're consecutive rather than simultaneous dogs, but what comes over is Conradi's love for each and every one of them.  I knew that I was in safe hands.
+
|summary=We know that something has gone wrong - badly wrong - when the woman who was alone in the house is taken away by the police, but it's going to be a while before we learn exactly what has happened.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1785769294
+
|author=Struan Murray and Manuel Sumberac (illustrator)
|title=Man at the Window (Detective Cardilini)
+
|title=Orphans of the Tide
|author=Robert Jeffreys
+
|rating=5
 +
|genre=Confident Readers
 +
|summary= In the last city on Earth, anyone can be the vessel of The Enemy - the god who drowned the world - who has come to wreak havoc on the last of humanity. When a mysterious boy is pulled from the corpse of a whale, the citizens immediately believe him to be the Vessel - all except for young Ellie Lancaster, a girl inventor. As the ruthless Inquisition prepares to execute the boy, Ellie must prove that he is innocent - even if it means revealing her deepest, darkest secrets....
 +
|isbn=0241384435
 +
}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=0008297169
 +
|title=The Guest List
 +
|author=Lucy Foley
 
|rating=4.5
 
|rating=4.5
 
|genre=Crime
 
|genre=Crime
|summary=It's when we read that a young boy is creeping reluctantly to a teacher's bedroom one October night that we realise something is badly wrong.  Nowadays you ''might'' hope that something would be done about it fairly quickly but this was 1965 and child abuse was generally regarded as malicious mischief on the part of the childThe boy would be safe that night though - albeit in the most horrific fashionWhen he reached Captain Edmund's bedroom he found the man dead on the floor, the top of his skull missingThe school's initial reaction was that this was a dreadful accident: there had been a cull of kangaroos in some nearby fields and it was obviously a stray bullet which had killed the Captain.
+
|summary=The boat trip out to Inis Amploir, off the Irish coast, might have been enough to put some guests off, but it was the wedding of the yearWill Slater (television personality, if not yet a celebrity) was to marry Jules Keegan, online magazine publisher, in the ruined chapel on the islandThe bride's sister, Olivia, would be her only bridesmaid and the wedding planner and chef are Aoife and her husband, FreddyThey gave a huge discount to get the couple to the island, but surely it would be worth it for the publicity?
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1786695227
+
|isbn=B07ZGL6B1B
|title=Invisible in a Bright Light
+
|title=In Plain Sight (D I Clare Mackay)
|author=Sally Gardner
+
|author=Marion Todd
 
|rating=4.5
 
|rating=4.5
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|genre=Crime
|summary=The beginning of this excellent story will leave the reader more than a little confused: who is the man in the green suit, what is the Reckoning, and why are rows of people in a cave? But stick with it – Ms Gardner is very cleverly letting us experience the same disorientation as our heroine. We watch in dismay as the strange man, who seems to have no eyes, does his best to persuade her to answer his questions. But for some reason Celeste, despite her bewilderment, remains wary and gives nothing away.
+
|summary=It was a coincidence that Detective Sergeant Chris West and DI Clare Mackay were at the beach when the baby was stolen.  They were there for the fun run and their attention was taken by the NEFEW protesters who tried to disrupt the race. They're against the planned McIntosh Water bottled water plant to be constructed on Priory Marsh and the firm is sponsoring the fun run. It was Lisa Mitchell's scream which stopped everything.  Her daughter, six-month-old Abi, had been taken from her pram whilst no one was looking. It's a major incident when ''any'' child is abducted but Abi needs regular medication because of a heart problem: without it, she might have only forty-eight hours to live.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1912374854
+
|isbn=1471180921
|title=Violet
+
|title=Firewatching
|author=S J I Holliday
+
|author=Russ Thomas
|rating=3.5
+
|rating=5
|genre=Thrillers
+
|genre=Crime
|summary=I've never been but understand that travelling is all about meeting new people and forming instantaneous bonds with people in often chance situations. Well that's exactly what happens when the two main/only characters meet in a travel agency in Beijing - Carrie is unsuccessfully trying to get a refund on an extra ticket for the Trans-Siberian train and Violet is trying to unsuccessfully buy a ticket for the same sold-out journey. As the two team up, travelling through Mongolia, Serbia and into Russia, it could've been the start of a beautiful friendship but this a thriller after all so it quickly becomes a tale of obsession, manipulation and toxic friendships.
+
|summary=Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is in the Cold Cas Review Unit at South Yorkshire Police and there are those who think that he's lucky to be there, given that he decked a superior officer.  He's there because Tyler came off worse in the exchange - there's a scar on his face to prove it - and the superior officer was forced to take early retirement.  There's a suggestion too that Tyler's godmother (she's on the force too) has looked after him and that his current boss is keen to have a tame gay to put on the town hall steps come Pride. Either way, he's there, but without anything really interesting to get his teeth into.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1912374838
+
|author= A K Larkwood
|title=Nothing Important Happened Today
+
|title= The Unspoken Name
|author=Will Carver
+
|rating= 4
|rating=4
+
|genre= Fantasy
|genre=General Fiction
+
|summary= What does it mean to betray someone? What if that someone is a god? Csorwe has been raised knowing that she would be sacrificed to her god on her fourteenth birthday, yet when the opportunity arises, she chooses to abandon everything she knows and flee with her life. Who can blame her? Her god's reach is limited and Csorwe intends to stay far beyond it, yet fate is a funny thing and when circumstances bring her back within the reach of her god Csorwe learns that her god remembers her, and blames her very much indeed.
|summary=Nothing Important Happened Today is a dark, twisted, difficult read. Stories about cults often are, but this is different; it's written with a sense of style that is quite unlike anything I've read before. I can't remember ever having read a novel with such an odd, distinctive narrative voice. While a slim and relatively small book, the slow-moving nature of the plot makes it feel far larger than its 276 pages.
+
|isbn=1250238900
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn= williamabbey
+
|author= M G Leonard and Sam Sedgman
|title=The Pursuit of William Abbey
+
|title= The Highland Falcon Thief
|author=Claire North
+
|rating= 5
|rating=3.5
+
|genre= Confident Readers
|genre=Paranormal
+
|summary= Harrison Beck, or Hal as he prefers to be called, isn't exactly pleased when his parents send him off with his uncle Nat, a travel writer, on a long train journey. Although, this isn't any old train; this is the Highland Falcon, the royal train, and this is its last ever journey before it gets sent to a museum. A number of high-society figures, including film stars, millionaires and aristocrats, will be on this train, so it is quite the event on the social calendar. However, when an expensive brooch is stolen, Hal realises that maybe this trip won't be as boring as he previously thought. As the passengers begin to turn on each other, Hal vows to get to the bottom of the mystery…before the train gets to the end of the line.
|summary=When William Abbey fails to prevent the lynching of a young boy in 1880's South Africa, he finds himself cursed by the grieving mother. A naïve English Doctor, he slowly learns the weight of the curse upon him, as the shadow of the dead boy begins to follow him across the world. Never stopping, always growing – it crosses oceans and mountains in pursuit of William. As he finds himself unable to resist speaking the truths that he hears in others, he also learns that the dark shadow is deadly – and seeks to kill the one he loves the most…
+
|isbn=1529013062
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1643785036
+
|isbn=0008275246
|title=The Wondrous Apothecary
+
|title=Perfect Kill (D I Callanach)
|author=Mary E Martin
+
|author=Helen Fields
 
|rating=4
 
|rating=4
|genre=General Fiction
+
|genre=Crime
|summary=Those who have known Alexander Wainwright, the landscape artist famous for his Turner prize winning ''The Hay Wagon'', and Rinaldo, renowned conceptual artist would say that they're chalk and cheese, if not sworn enemiesIf you've watched the relationship, as has our narrator, art dealer Jamie Helmsworth, you'd have said that they were magnets, drawing and repulsing each other in equal measureWainwright was at the socially acceptable end of the artistic continuum, but with Rinaldo it was all too obvious that there was but a fine dividing line between conceptual art and public nuisanceAs time has worn on, he's frequently been brought to the attention of the police.  On this latest occasion we see him charged with arson and theft of ''The Hay Wagon''.
+
|summary=When Maggie Campbell realised that her son, Bart, was missing he was already 200 miles away and just waking from a chemically-induced sleepMaggie knew straight away that something was wrongBart might be twenty but he was considerate of his mother and wouldn't have stayed out all night without letting her knowBesides, he didn't have his phone with him and he wouldn't have gone far without that.  It's not long before Bart realises that he's alone, trapped in a shipping container and on his way to France, where his fate has already been decided.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|author=Mary H.K. Choi
+
|author= Alyssa Sheinmel
|title=Permanent Record
+
|title= What Kind of Girl
|rating=4
+
|rating= 4
|genre=Teens
+
|genre= Women's Fiction
|summary=Pablo, a college drop-out, is working at a New York bodega.  He's massively in debt, he's avoiding his mother, and he finds his joy in creating unusual snacks with random ingredients!  Whilst working one evening, he's surprised to discover that the girl he is chatting with as he serves is a super-famous pop star and, as unlikely as it may seem, they start a relationship.  With one character who is trying very hard not to be seen or noticed by anyone, and the other who is seen and followed and hounded by everyone all over the world, it's an interesting clash as they come together.  This isn't just a love story though, and actually it's really just Pab's story, about the journey he takes in his life via his meet-up with Leanna Smart.
+
|summary= '' Doing something when you're scared is braver than doing something when you're not''
|isbn=0349003459
+
 
 +
When Mike Parker's girlfriend comes into school with a black eye, claiming he gave it to her, her whole world is tipped upside down. Her relationship has just ended and now she's the talk of the school. Mike was the most popular boy in school who was always so in love with her, everyone knew that, so why did he do what he did? Some people believe her and some don't, but one thing is for sure, this isn't going to blow over any time soon.
 +
|isbn=0349003297
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1609809319
+
|author= Holly Rivers
|title=Long-Haired Cat-Boy Cub
+
|title= Demelza and the Spectre Detectors
|author=Etgar Keret, Aviel Basil and Sondra Silverston (translator)
+
|rating= 5
|rating=5
+
|genre= Confident Readers
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|summary= Demelza Clock is a scientist, often staying up late to work on her various gadgets, much to her Grandma Maeve's irritation. However, she has also inherited a certain set of skills that are not especially scientific: Spectre Detecting, the ability to summon the ghosts of the recently deceased. Under the guidance of her Grandma Maeve, Demelza begins to master her newfound skills. However, there is a mysterious individual on the prowl, kidnapping young Spectre Detectors. It's up to Demelza and her best friend Percy to get to the bottom of this...
|summary=One day a boy is in the zoo with his father, when the man gets called away on urgent business.  The boy isn't hustled into a cab and taken home first, though, no – he's given hot dog money, and taxi money, and told to just stick around on his own and enjoy himself.  Well, it's no surprise that the orphan-for-an-afternoon sensation the lad feels doesn't make him happy, and so he thinks of a species name for himself, and curls himself up into an empty cage, as if he were a new exhibit. And it's then the drama begins…
+
|isbn=1912626039
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1785785516
+
|isbn=1787477533
|title=Fucking Good Manners
+
|title=The Lantern Men (Dr Ruth Galloway)
|author=Simon Griffin
+
|author=Elly Griffiths
|rating=4
+
|rating=5
|genre=Lifestyle
+
|genre=Crime
|summary=Manners maketh man, they sayIt certainly makes life easier if everybody abides by a set of conventions, some of which are ages old and other which have evolved over timeManners are not about how much to tip or how you should behave if you get an invitation to Buckingham Palace, they have nothing to do with class or financial status:  they're about getting the basics right before we try to deal with more difficult mattersOf course we all have more relaxed manners when we're with family and friends, but it's best if we learn to distinguish between our public and private lives and to act appropriately.  ''Fucking Good Manners'' aims to help us on the way.
+
|summary=Everything has changed for Dr Ruth GallowayShe's no longer providing assistance to the police and isn't even working at the University of North NorfolkShe's lecturing at Cambridge and has moved from her beloved Saltmarsh cottage to live with Dr Frank Barker in CambridgeHer daughter, Katie, has settled into school better than she could ever have hoped and life is looking good.  Settled.  She can't help thinking about Harry Nelson, Katie's father, because Katie sees him regularly and there's a close relationship with his familyYou might ''almost'' think that Ruth's life is settling down.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=0008324859
+
|isbn=183895015X
|title=Fowl Twins
+
|title=A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner
|author=Eoin Colfer
+
|author=Chris Atkins
 
|rating=5
 
|rating=5
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|genre=Politics and Society
|summary=Relax, everyone – our old friend Artemis may be off planet, but the baddies aren't getting away with skulduggery any time soon because they now have not one but two members of the Fowl family to contend with. Those cute little twins are now eleven (and, frankly, cute no longer) and in this, their first independent adventure, they meet a troll and without even trying manage to make two deadly enemies: a nobleman obsessed with immortality whatever the cost (to other people), and an unusual interrogator-nun. The boys are chased, kidnapped, arrested and even killed (though not for long), all with the help of one trainee fairy.
+
|summary=Documentary filmmakers don't usually get the run of establishments within the Mountbatten-Windsor Hotel Group, but after getting involved in an illegal tax scheme to fund his latest film, Chris Atkins was invited for a five-year stay. The first nine months were spent in HMP Wandsworth, which is probably the oldest, largest and most dysfunctional prison in Europe.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1472255798
+
|isbn=1250168546
|title=The Bad Fire (Bob Skinner)
+
|author=Sarah Kozloff
|author=Quintin Jardine
+
|title=A Queen In Hiding
|rating=4.5
+
|rating=3
|genre=Crime
+
|genre=Fantasy
|summary=Nine years ago local councillor Marcia Brown took her own life after being accused of shoplifting from a local supermarket. It's always been assumed that she couldn't live with the shame. People were surprised that she committed suicide just before the court case when she had been adamant that she would fight to clear her name. She said that she'd been set up because she was hot on the trail of corruption in the council. Her ex-husband has contacted Alex Skinner, Solicitor Advocate as well as retired Police Constable Bob Skinner's daughter, and asked that she look into clearing Brown's name: it's something which he feels that he has to do in memory of his son who was murdered recently.
+
|summary= World-building is the backbone by which fantasy novels live and die. And what a pleasure, then, to get a novel with world-building you actually want to delve into. Sarah Kozloff's debut novel presents a startlingly rich and layered world, with a complex history of connecting nations that seems certain to have more to tap, and the characters are interesting – if a little underdeveloped. But it's a world I could – and did – eagerly buy into, and the struggle of each Queen to discover and hone her magical talent felt very real and very apt.
 
}}
 
}}
 
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=B07X6GLQ3Q
+
|isbn=1543987877
|title=See Them Run
+
|title=Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life
|author=Marion Todd
+
|author=Dr Thomas Jordan
|rating=4
+
|rating=4.5
|genre=Crime
+
|genre=Lifestyle
|summary=D I Clare Mackay is still relatively new to St Andrew's: she was previously at Maryhill Rd station in Glasgow.  She's left quite a lot behind including a relationship that wasn't going anywhere after Tom failed to support her when the chips were down. She also left a nasty situation, of her own making but not her fault, and St Andrew's is a fresh startNot long into the job she's faced with a hit and run death and there's little doubt that it wasn't accidental - the card with the number five suggests murderAndy Robb was married to SandraYou could say that they had an open marriage but there seemed to be a lot of the 'open' and very little of the 'marriage' left - on both sides, but would she want him dead?
+
|summary=''Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life'' is a book about love relationships rather than a book about love.  The two greatest emotions are love and grief and love is the opposite of grief: ''if you love'', Dr Thomas Jordan tells us, ''you will inevitably grieve''Your love relationships begin the moment you're born and end only when you dieWhilst we all come into the world hoping to give and receive love there are many people for whom love is not quite so simpleSome people suffer multiple disappointments - sometimes repeating the same mistakes - and this eventually becomes resignation.  For people who are making the same mistakes repeatedly, self-preservation, in the form of resignation is a necessity.
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1786540991
+
|author=Chris Hauty
|title=The Impossible Boy
+
|title=Deep State
|author=Ben Brooks
+
|rating=3
|rating=4.5
+
|genre=Thrillers
|genre=Confident Readers
+
|summary= Hayley Chill is a fighter. She is every kind of fighter, and well-trained in most of them. She's army infantry and she boxes for fun – and she wins. Always. She wins because she is focussed. She works hard, mentally and physically, and she knows how to deal with the pain. She is not so much cold as controlled.  This fight is against someone she is not expected to beat. And she is being watched.
|summary=''Oleg and Emma entered their den to find a cardboard spaceship standing where they usually sat. Slowly, the front door opened. Smoke billowed out. And out stepped a boy, dressed in a long coat with an even longer scarf, wound around his neck.''
+
|isbn=1471185605
 
+
 
+
''"My name's Sebastian Cole," the boy said, "But you already know that."''
+
 
+
And indeed they do. Ever since the summer, when their friend Sarah's mother had moved her away, Oleg and Emma have been unable to find a new friend to take her place.
+
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1447281357
+
|author=H G Parry
|title=Salvation Lost
+
|title=The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep
|author=Peter F Hamilton
+
 
|rating=4
 
|rating=4
|genre=Science Fiction
+
|genre=General Fiction
|summary=In the twenty-third century, humanity is enjoying a comparative utopia. Yet life on Earth is about to change, forever. Feriton Kane's investigative team has discovered the worst threat ever to face mankind – and we've almost no time to fight back. The supposedly benign Olyix plan to harvest humanity, in order to carry us to their god at the end of the universe. And as their agents conclude schemes down on earth, vast warships converge above to gather this cargo. Some factions push for humanity to flee, to live in hiding amongst the stars – although only a chosen few would make it out in time. But others refuse to break before the storm. As disaster looms, animosities must be set aside to focus on just one goal: wiping this enemy from the face of creation. Even if it means preparing for a future this generation will never see.
+
|summary=Brothers Rob and Charley have struggled to see eye to eye for years - Rob a sensible lawyer who exists in the "normal" world - and Charley a man who is blessed with an ability he can't fully control - one which allows him to bring literary characters into the real world. After years of protecting Charley, Rob wants to discharge his duties and leave Charley to his own devices - but circumstances soon take choices out of both their hands. As literary characters begin to appear everywhere, it soon becomes clear that someone out there shares Charley's powers and intends to use them for nefarious gains. Rob and Charley must team up to stop the madness - in a battle to win before they, the characters and the world reach The End…
 +
|isbn=0356513777
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
|isbn=1471186393
+
|isbn=1444776185
|title=Photographer of the Lost
+
|title=Haven't they Grown
|author=Caroline Scott
+
|author=Sophie Hannah
 
|rating=4.5
 
|rating=4.5
 +
|genre=Thrillers
 +
|summary=It was when Beth Leeson was ferrying her son, Ben, to a football match that she found herself on Wyddial Lane in Hemingford Abbots.  Actually, It's a little disingenuous to say 'found herself' as Beth had made a deliberate detour on the grounds that she didn't find herself in this neck of the woods very often and she was curious to see where a family who'd come into money had lived before they'd all lost contact twelve years ago.  And it might have gone no further than that had Beth not seen a car draw up and her friend Flora get out along with two children she called Thomas and Emily.  Beth remembered the names well - but these children were about three and five and Flora's children - Thomas and Emily - would now be fifteen and seventeen.
 +
}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|isbn=1529123763
 +
|title=Miss Austen
 +
|author=Gill Hornby
 +
|rating=5
 
|genre=Historical Fiction
 
|genre=Historical Fiction
|summary=May 1921.  Edie receives a photograph through the post. There is no letter or note with it.  There is nothing written on the back of the photographIt is a picture of her husband, FrancisFrancis has been missing for four years.  Technically, he has been "missing, believed killed" but that is not something that a young widow can believe.  She hangs on the word 'missing', disbelieving the word killed.  
+
|summary=It's long been known that Cassandra Austen burned most of the letters which she and other members of the extensive Austen family had exchanged with or about her sister JaneWhat is not known is ''why'' she did this and at this stage - more than two hundred years after Jane's death - a definitive answer is unlikely to forthcomingGill Hornby has provided us with some possible answers in a book that proved to be far more emotionally complex than I was expecting.
 
}}
 
}}

Revision as of 14:21, 19 February 2020

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 15,384 reviews at TheBookbag.

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Reviews of the Best New Books

Read new reviews by category.

Read the latest features.

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Guess What I Found in the Playground! by Victoria Thompson

4.5star.jpg For Sharing

Tilly is excited. She's just come dashing out of the classroom, pigtails flapping behind her and a big grin on her face. Dad's come to collect her and her brother and he has to try to guess what she found in the playground today, although she concedes that he will never guess. Dad wants to know how school was, but obviously that's not important. Could Tilly have found more collectable things for her scrap box? (Isn't that so much more sensible than a scrap book?) Well, actually, Tilly did find exciting stuff. There are sequins, glittered paper and all sorts of other things in her pocket, but that's not what she wants Dad to guess. Full Review

1471184668.jpg

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

4star.jpg Teens

We might give it our all and crash and burn. But we might win. We might actually change things. And that maybe makes it still worth going for, don't you think? Jaime has been spending his summer helping his cousin with campaigning in time for a special election. When his mother encourages him to go canvassing, he can't think of anything worse. However, Jaime has always wanted to be a politician and decides there is no time like the present to conquer his fear of speaking to the public. Maya is a Pakistani-American Muslim girl who is having the worst summer of her life. Her parents are going through a separation, she has zero plans for the summer to help take her mind off things and her only close friend is permanently busy. To help occupy her, her parents offer to buy her a car if she agrees to go canvassing. The pair could possibly be the worst canvassing duo in history, as neither of them really want to be there, but as the campaign goes on they discover that they care, a lot, about the election - and maybe even about each other? Full Review

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Into The Fire by Gregg Hurwitz

5star.jpg Thrillers

Grant Merriweather is a forensic accountant. Or rather, was. He was brought into an ER room after an alleged car crash, his friend pleading with the medics to keep him alive. He was needed alive just long enough to give up a name. His cousin, Max. Full Review

1529124395.jpg

When You See Me by Lisa Gardner

4star.jpg Crime

For Janet and Chuck, it was a hiking break in the Appalachians in Georgia and pure chance that Chuck went off the beaten track to find a stick. What he found was a human bone and SSA Kimberley Quincy was called in, along with Sergeant D D Warren. Both women were experienced in this type of rather gruesome work but they also called on the services of Keith Edgar, a computer analyst, and Flora Dane who brought something unique to the table. Flora had been kidnapped and held for 472 days by the notorious killer, Jacob Ness. If Ness had anything to do with the current discoveries then what Flora had to say could be invaluable. Full Review

1529009677.jpg

A Window Breaks by C M Ewan

3.5star.jpg Thrillers

Tom Sullivan and his wife Rachel are having problems. It's not just the usual growing apart after more than a decade of marriage. Their son, Michael, was killed in a car crash some months before: he was driving his father's Audi and at sixteen wasn't legally entitled to drive. Not only did he kill himself when the car rammed into a tree, but he also killed his girlfriend, fifteen-year-old Fiona Connor. Tom can't think about Michael without a sense of shame and guilt. Rachel is broken, but she wants to forgive Michael. To give some space, Tom's moved out of the family home, but stresses to his thirteen-year-old daughter, Holly, that it is only a trial separation. Full Review

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The House on the Lake by Nuala Ellwood

3.5star.jpg Thrillers

We know that something has gone wrong - badly wrong - when the woman who was alone in the house is taken away by the police, but it's going to be a while before we learn exactly what has happened. Full Review

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Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray and Manuel Sumberac (illustrator)

5star.jpg Confident Readers

In the last city on Earth, anyone can be the vessel of The Enemy - the god who drowned the world - who has come to wreak havoc on the last of humanity. When a mysterious boy is pulled from the corpse of a whale, the citizens immediately believe him to be the Vessel - all except for young Ellie Lancaster, a girl inventor. As the ruthless Inquisition prepares to execute the boy, Ellie must prove that he is innocent - even if it means revealing her deepest, darkest secrets.... Full Review

0008297169.jpg

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

4.5star.jpg Crime

The boat trip out to Inis Amploir, off the Irish coast, might have been enough to put some guests off, but it was the wedding of the year. Will Slater (television personality, if not yet a celebrity) was to marry Jules Keegan, online magazine publisher, in the ruined chapel on the island. The bride's sister, Olivia, would be her only bridesmaid and the wedding planner and chef are Aoife and her husband, Freddy. They gave a huge discount to get the couple to the island, but surely it would be worth it for the publicity? Full Review

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In Plain Sight (D I Clare Mackay) by Marion Todd

4.5star.jpg Crime

It was a coincidence that Detective Sergeant Chris West and DI Clare Mackay were at the beach when the baby was stolen. They were there for the fun run and their attention was taken by the NEFEW protesters who tried to disrupt the race. They're against the planned McIntosh Water bottled water plant to be constructed on Priory Marsh and the firm is sponsoring the fun run. It was Lisa Mitchell's scream which stopped everything. Her daughter, six-month-old Abi, had been taken from her pram whilst no one was looking. It's a major incident when any child is abducted but Abi needs regular medication because of a heart problem: without it, she might have only forty-eight hours to live. Full Review

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Firewatching by Russ Thomas

5star.jpg Crime

Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is in the Cold Cas Review Unit at South Yorkshire Police and there are those who think that he's lucky to be there, given that he decked a superior officer. He's there because Tyler came off worse in the exchange - there's a scar on his face to prove it - and the superior officer was forced to take early retirement. There's a suggestion too that Tyler's godmother (she's on the force too) has looked after him and that his current boss is keen to have a tame gay to put on the town hall steps come Pride. Either way, he's there, but without anything really interesting to get his teeth into. Full Review

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The Unspoken Name by A K Larkwood

4star.jpg Fantasy

What does it mean to betray someone? What if that someone is a god? Csorwe has been raised knowing that she would be sacrificed to her god on her fourteenth birthday, yet when the opportunity arises, she chooses to abandon everything she knows and flee with her life. Who can blame her? Her god's reach is limited and Csorwe intends to stay far beyond it, yet fate is a funny thing and when circumstances bring her back within the reach of her god Csorwe learns that her god remembers her, and blames her very much indeed. Full Review

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The Highland Falcon Thief by M G Leonard and Sam Sedgman

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Harrison Beck, or Hal as he prefers to be called, isn't exactly pleased when his parents send him off with his uncle Nat, a travel writer, on a long train journey. Although, this isn't any old train; this is the Highland Falcon, the royal train, and this is its last ever journey before it gets sent to a museum. A number of high-society figures, including film stars, millionaires and aristocrats, will be on this train, so it is quite the event on the social calendar. However, when an expensive brooch is stolen, Hal realises that maybe this trip won't be as boring as he previously thought. As the passengers begin to turn on each other, Hal vows to get to the bottom of the mystery…before the train gets to the end of the line. Full Review

0008275246.jpg

Perfect Kill (D I Callanach) by Helen Fields

4star.jpg Crime

When Maggie Campbell realised that her son, Bart, was missing he was already 200 miles away and just waking from a chemically-induced sleep. Maggie knew straight away that something was wrong. Bart might be twenty but he was considerate of his mother and wouldn't have stayed out all night without letting her know. Besides, he didn't have his phone with him and he wouldn't have gone far without that. It's not long before Bart realises that he's alone, trapped in a shipping container and on his way to France, where his fate has already been decided. Full Review

0349003297.jpg

What Kind of Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel

4star.jpg Women's Fiction

Doing something when you're scared is braver than doing something when you're not

When Mike Parker's girlfriend comes into school with a black eye, claiming he gave it to her, her whole world is tipped upside down. Her relationship has just ended and now she's the talk of the school. Mike was the most popular boy in school who was always so in love with her, everyone knew that, so why did he do what he did? Some people believe her and some don't, but one thing is for sure, this isn't going to blow over any time soon. Full Review

1912626039.jpg

Demelza and the Spectre Detectors by Holly Rivers

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Demelza Clock is a scientist, often staying up late to work on her various gadgets, much to her Grandma Maeve's irritation. However, she has also inherited a certain set of skills that are not especially scientific: Spectre Detecting, the ability to summon the ghosts of the recently deceased. Under the guidance of her Grandma Maeve, Demelza begins to master her newfound skills. However, there is a mysterious individual on the prowl, kidnapping young Spectre Detectors. It's up to Demelza and her best friend Percy to get to the bottom of this... Full Review

1787477533.jpg

The Lantern Men (Dr Ruth Galloway) by Elly Griffiths

5star.jpg Crime

Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway. She's no longer providing assistance to the police and isn't even working at the University of North Norfolk. She's lecturing at Cambridge and has moved from her beloved Saltmarsh cottage to live with Dr Frank Barker in Cambridge. Her daughter, Katie, has settled into school better than she could ever have hoped and life is looking good. Settled. She can't help thinking about Harry Nelson, Katie's father, because Katie sees him regularly and there's a close relationship with his family. You might almost think that Ruth's life is settling down. Full Review

183895015X.jpg

A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner by Chris Atkins

5star.jpg Politics and Society

Documentary filmmakers don't usually get the run of establishments within the Mountbatten-Windsor Hotel Group, but after getting involved in an illegal tax scheme to fund his latest film, Chris Atkins was invited for a five-year stay. The first nine months were spent in HMP Wandsworth, which is probably the oldest, largest and most dysfunctional prison in Europe. Full Review

1250168546.jpg

A Queen In Hiding by Sarah Kozloff

3star.jpg Fantasy

World-building is the backbone by which fantasy novels live and die. And what a pleasure, then, to get a novel with world-building you actually want to delve into. Sarah Kozloff's debut novel presents a startlingly rich and layered world, with a complex history of connecting nations that seems certain to have more to tap, and the characters are interesting – if a little underdeveloped. But it's a world I could – and did – eagerly buy into, and the struggle of each Queen to discover and hone her magical talent felt very real and very apt. Full Review

1543987877.jpg

Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life by Dr Thomas Jordan

4.5star.jpg Lifestyle

Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life is a book about love relationships rather than a book about love. The two greatest emotions are love and grief and love is the opposite of grief: if you love, Dr Thomas Jordan tells us, you will inevitably grieve. Your love relationships begin the moment you're born and end only when you die. Whilst we all come into the world hoping to give and receive love there are many people for whom love is not quite so simple. Some people suffer multiple disappointments - sometimes repeating the same mistakes - and this eventually becomes resignation. For people who are making the same mistakes repeatedly, self-preservation, in the form of resignation is a necessity. Full Review

1471185605.jpg

Deep State by Chris Hauty

3star.jpg Thrillers

Hayley Chill is a fighter. She is every kind of fighter, and well-trained in most of them. She's army infantry and she boxes for fun – and she wins. Always. She wins because she is focussed. She works hard, mentally and physically, and she knows how to deal with the pain. She is not so much cold as controlled. This fight is against someone she is not expected to beat. And she is being watched. Full Review

0356513777.jpg

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H G Parry

4star.jpg General Fiction

Brothers Rob and Charley have struggled to see eye to eye for years - Rob a sensible lawyer who exists in the "normal" world - and Charley a man who is blessed with an ability he can't fully control - one which allows him to bring literary characters into the real world. After years of protecting Charley, Rob wants to discharge his duties and leave Charley to his own devices - but circumstances soon take choices out of both their hands. As literary characters begin to appear everywhere, it soon becomes clear that someone out there shares Charley's powers and intends to use them for nefarious gains. Rob and Charley must team up to stop the madness - in a battle to win before they, the characters and the world reach The End… Full Review

1444776185.jpg

Haven't they Grown by Sophie Hannah

4.5star.jpg Thrillers

It was when Beth Leeson was ferrying her son, Ben, to a football match that she found herself on Wyddial Lane in Hemingford Abbots. Actually, It's a little disingenuous to say 'found herself' as Beth had made a deliberate detour on the grounds that she didn't find herself in this neck of the woods very often and she was curious to see where a family who'd come into money had lived before they'd all lost contact twelve years ago. And it might have gone no further than that had Beth not seen a car draw up and her friend Flora get out along with two children she called Thomas and Emily. Beth remembered the names well - but these children were about three and five and Flora's children - Thomas and Emily - would now be fifteen and seventeen. Full Review

1529123763.jpg

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby

5star.jpg Historical Fiction

It's long been known that Cassandra Austen burned most of the letters which she and other members of the extensive Austen family had exchanged with or about her sister Jane. What is not known is why she did this and at this stage - more than two hundred years after Jane's death - a definitive answer is unlikely to forthcoming. Gill Hornby has provided us with some possible answers in a book that proved to be far more emotionally complex than I was expecting. Full Review