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<metadesc>Book review site, with books from most walks of literary life; fiction, biography, crime, cookery and children's books plus author interviews and top tens.</metadesc>
 
<metadesc>Book review site, with books from most walks of literary life; fiction, biography, crime, cookery and children's books plus author interviews and top tens.</metadesc>
 
<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 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.
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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.
  
There are currently '''{{PAGESINCATEGORY:Reviews}}''' reviews at TheBookbag.
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There are currently '''{{PAGESINCATEGORY: Reviews}}''' reviews at TheBookbag.
  
 
Want to find out more [[About Us|about us]]? __NOTOC__
 
Want to find out more [[About Us|about us]]? __NOTOC__
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'''Read [[:Category:New Reviews|new reviews by category]]. '''<br>
 
'''Read [[:Category:New Reviews|new reviews by category]]. '''<br>
  
'''Read [[:Category:Features|the latest features]].'''
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'''Read [[:Category:Features|the latest features]].''' <!-- INSERT NEW REVIEWS BELOW HERE-->
  
{|class-"wikitable" cellpadding="15" <!-- INSERT NEW REVIEWS BELOW HERE-->
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{{Frontpage
<!-- Rachel Lynch -->
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|author=Amin Maalouf
|-
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|title=The Disoriented
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
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|rating=4.5
[[image:B07P1T8H6J.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07P1T8H6J/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
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|genre=Literary Fiction
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|summary= Adam has lived in Paris for years, speaks French more easily than his native Arabic. In fact he hasn't been back to his homeland for 25 years. An old friend is dying…or as Adam prefers to think of him a former-friend, perhaps not as harsh as an ex-friend, or maybe.  The falling out was a long time ago, and Adam's partner has no idea what it was about, even so she urges him to go knowing that he'll regret not doing so.  Not knowing whether he's going because he needs or wants to, or simply because he was asked, he's on the next plane.
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|isbn=B07ZQSK9CY
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author=Anstey Harris
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|title=Where We Belong
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|rating=5
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|genre=General Fiction
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|summary= I've always believed that places and buildings absorb what happens within them and reflect it back; this is how we can tell that a sacred space is sacred.  Cate Morris believes a similar thing, she believes that ''A house absorbs happiness, it blooms into the wallpaper, the wood of the window frames, the bricks: that's how it becomes a home.'' She is having these thoughts as she packs up her home.  She has to leave.  A combination of circumstances means that is not only redundant, but also homeless.  With nowhere else to go, she has called on her late husband's family for help.  Just for a few weeks.
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|isbn=1471173836
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=1787477681
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|title=A Shooting at Chateau Rock (A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel)
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|author=Martin Walker
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|rating=4
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|genre=Crime
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|summary=It was a couple of days after old Driant's funeral that Bruno Courrèges got an angry phone call from his son. Gaston's father had sold the family farm in order to buy an insurance policy which he had used to secure a life of luxury at an expensive retirement home near Sarlat, owned by a Russian oligarch. Before he even got to go there he died, apparently of a heart attack, and the retirement home collected the proceeds of the policy and Gaston and Claudette Driant were left with just the contents of the farmhouse. The family hadn't exactly fallen out, but Gaston lived some way away and Claudette had fallen out of favour when she announced that she was gay, but they weren't expecting to be almost completely disinherited.
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=B083Z3ZZ61
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|title=Broken Silence (DS Nikki Parekh 2)
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|author=Liz Mistry
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|rating=4
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|genre=Crime
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|summary=When we first meet him Stefan Marcovici has been in the UK with his daughter Maria for a while.  He came expecting to work as a gardener and Maria was to be a nanny.  Stefan ends up doing slave labour in a chicken factory: you can imagine what happens to an eighteen-year-old girl.
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author=Justine Avery and Daria Yudina
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|title=This Book Is Alive! (Living Book)
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|rating=4
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|genre=For Sharing
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|summary= Books ''want'' you to read them! They're not intimidating or standoffish or particular about readers. Books ''want'' to be read.
  
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This is the key message in Justine Avery's latest offering, ''This Book Is Alive!''. By anthropomorphising the relationship between book and young reader, she's sending an invitation to all - pick me up, read me, be my friend, we can go on a journey together. It's a great message, don't you think?
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|isbn= 1948124416
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=0241984653
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|title=I Made a Mistake
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|author=Jane Corry
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|rating=4.5
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|genre=Thrillers
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|summary=We know from the very beginning that there's a tragedy about to happen.  On a January evening on a very crowded platform 3 of Waterloo Underground station a man falls under an oncoming train.  That man is Matthew Gordon.  Much later we see Poppy Page in the witness box of a crown court, getting a very rough ride from the prosecuting barrister.
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author= Maryse Condé
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|title= The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana
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|rating= 4.5
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|genre= Literary Fiction
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|summary= We live in a post-world: post-colonialism, post-modernism, post-truth. The list goes on. There are numerous works that utilise the prefix post- in their categorisation, but perhaps none more so than Maryse Condé. In her new novel, ''The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana'', Condé writes with fervour about the scars left by colonialism on the countries to which it latched itself. Ivan and Ivana are twins born in Guadeloupe, a French overseas department. They grow up with intense and passionate feelings for each other. As they grow up and move overseas, the ravages of a post-colonial society drive them apart with tragic consequences.
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|isbn=1642860697
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author= Abi Elphinstone
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|title= Jungle Drop (The Unmapped Chronicles)
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|rating= 4
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|genre= Confident Readers
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|summary= Abi Elphinstone has said that she connects with her world-building through her characters. In an interview with [Books For Keeps], she described visualising her characters "wearing head torches which gradually reveal the world they are seeing to her and to the reader." Just as the darkness of a mine is cut through by a spear of light so too do quarrelsome Fox and Fibber get their first glimpse of the phantasmagorical glow-in-the-dark realm of Jungle Drop when they emerge through the mouth of a Dragon on the Here and There Express. Running from the opprobrium of their demanding and selfish parents, they must address what is in their hearts to find what they seek.
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|isbn= 1471173682
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=B084VNRRD6
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|title=Killing Mind (D I Kim Stone)
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|author=Angela Marsons
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|rating=5
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|genre=Crime
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|summary=It looked very like a suicide, and to begin with, that was how both DI Kim Stone and Keats, the pathologist called it.  It was only later that Stone and her team realised that when Samantha Brown cut her throat, hers was not the only hand holding the knife.  It was murder.  Sammy's parents. Myles and Kate were a little bit reluctant to say what their daughter had been doing recently.  The property where she was found was less homely than most hotel rooms: her mother was about to accuse her husband of saying that Sammy was ready...  But what was Sammy ready ''for'' and where was their other daughter, Sophie?
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author= Hana Tooke
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|title= The Unadoptables
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|rating= 5
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|genre= Confident Readers
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|summary= In the winter of 1880, five babies are abandoned at the Little Tulip orphanage in Amsterdam, much to the annoyance of matron Gasbeek. Twelve years later, Milou, the last of the five babies to be abandoned back in that winter, struggles to work out the identity of her parents from the clues she was abandoned with: a small coffin with claw-marks on the outside, a cat doll made by someone called Bram Poppenmaker and a velvet blanket. She, along with the other four, patiently wait for Milou's parents to come back and take her home. However, when the five children are sold to the dodgy merchant Meneer Rotman, they know they have to escape. And so begins the adventure of a lifetime as the Unadoptables join forces to reunite Milou with her parents, all the time being pursued by the Kinderbureau and Rotman…
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|isbn=0241417465
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author= Alison Weir
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|title= Six Tudor Queens: Katheryn Howard The Tainted Queen
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|rating= 4
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|genre= Historical Fiction
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|summary= ''Katheryn was seven when her mother died'', thus we are thrust into this tumultuous time in young Katheryn's life, trying to find a home, both figuratively and literally, where she can grow and grieve. Unfortunately, Katheryn is followed by bad luck and she learns an important lesson, she is too young, too poor and too unimportant to be of any value to anyone, but she is beautiful and surely, that will count for something in the end, won't it?
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|isbn=1472227778
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=1405946172
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|title=The Glass House
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|author=Eve Chase
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|rating=4.5
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|genre=Historical Fiction
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|summary=Rita lost both her parents in a car crash when she was just six years old: since then she's always craved a family.  She'd lived with her grandmother in Torquay until she got a job as a nanny with the Harrington family in London.  Soon her engagement to Fred, a Torquay butcher, fell through and the Harringtons became her family.  In 1971, after a fire at the London house, Jeannie Harrington, her children, 13-year-old Hera and 6-year-old Teddy, along with Rita went to the family's house in the Forest of Dean.  It wasn't ''quite'' dilapidated, but it certainly wasn't the same standard as the London house had been before the fire.
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|isbn=0008386137
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|title=Just My Luck
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|author=Adele Parks
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|rating=4.5
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|genre=Thrillers
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|summary=Elaine Winterdale took the fall for the landlord. Aged 37, she got a suspended sentence because a faulty gas boiler had caused the deaths of 29-year-old Reveka Albu and her 2-year-old son Benke. Toma Albu, husband and father, had found them when he returned home.
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author=Justine Avery and Ema Tepic 
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|title=I Dreamed You
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|rating=4.5
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|genre=For Sharing
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|summary=It is always a pleasure to review a new book by Justine Avery and ''I Dreamed You'' carries on the tradition beautifully. This little book is the perfect exemplar of our category name, ''For Sharing''. It is a mother's love letter to her child, told in rhyme form.
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|isbn=1948124505
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}} 
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{{Frontpage
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|author=Sharon Blackie
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|title=If Women Rose Rooted
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|rating=5
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|genre= Biography
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|summary= I normally say that you can tell how much a book means to me by how many pages have corners turned down.  Perhaps an even greater measure of impact is setting out to buy my own copy before I've finished reading the one I've borrowed.  I want to avoid clichés like 'powerful' 'inspiring' 'life-changing' – although it is definitely the first two and only time will tell about the third – but clichés exist for a reason and I'm not sure I can succinctly put it any better.
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|isbn=1912836017
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}}
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{{Frontpage
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|author=Patrick Ness
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|title=Burn
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|rating=5
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|genre=Teens
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|summary=''On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957 - the very day, in fact, that Dwight David Eisenhower took the oath of office for the second time as President of the United States of America - Sarah Dewhurst waited with her father in the parking lot of the Chevron gas station for the dragon he'd hired to help on the farm.''
  
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
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It's 1950s America but not as we know it. In this alternate US, there is still a Cold War with the Russians, still a concomitant arms race. And the stain of racism is just as crushing - something mixed-race Sarah and her Japanese American friend Jason are only too well aware of. As is the deeply unpleasant town deputy, Kelby. But one thing is ''very'' different. In this alternate world, there are dragons. The dragons live in an uneasy peace with humans and communication is minimal. But a few of these winged creatures do hire out their labour to human in return for gold - they are dragons, after all.
===[[Bold Lies (DI Kelly Porter 5) by Rachel Lynch]]===
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Poor Frankie! 
 +
|isbn= 1406375500
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}}
 +
{{Frontpage
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|author= Angela Woolfe
 +
|title= Roxy and Jones: The Great Fairytale Cover-Up
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|rating= 4.5
 +
|genre= Confident Readers
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|summary= After her father gets married for the umpteenth time, Roxy Humperdinck is sent to live with her half-sister Gretel in Rexopolis, the capital city of the Kingdom of Illustria. Gretel works as a toilet cleaner for the Ministry of Soup. Why does a country like Illustria need an entire ministry dedicated to soup, you ask? Well, after Roxy finds a secret passage in her bathroom and meets a snarky young woman known only as Jones, she soon finds out why. Turns out, fairy tales are real, and the Ministry’s official job is to safeguard all knowledge of them and monitor the living fairy tales. And, when an evil queen breaks out of a maximum-security prison and threatens to reinstate her reign of terror, Roxy and Jones hold the fate of the world in their young hands…so, no pressure then!
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|isbn=1406391379
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}}
 +
{{Frontpage
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|author=Kat Dunn
 +
|title=Dangerous Remedy
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|rating=4.5
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|genre=Teens
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|summary= It's Paris, 1794. The Revolution is five years old and the country in the midst of violent political turmoil between the Revolutionaries, trying to maintain their control by whatever means necessary, and the Royalists, still loyal to monarchy intent. Caught in a no man's land between the two warring factions is the Battalion of the Dead. Led by a disillusioned revolutionary's daughter, the band of outcasts have made a name for themselves rescuing innocent citizens from the violent fallout. But they may have gotten in over their heads with their latest rescue, Olympe, a girl with a disturbing history and powers that might just make her the spark that blows up the powder-keg of revolutionary Paris.
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|isbn=1789543649
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}}
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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{{Frontpage
 
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|author=Joanne M Harris
It was the smell which announced the presence of the body in the wheelhouse of a boat and identification wasn't going to be easy as the man was stark naked.  There were all the signs of a brutal, cold-blooded execution but gradually the man was traced back to Allendale House, the estate of the former Lord Allendale, and then to London, where two more bodies, naked, in a staged setting in a garage, were discovered.  Senior Investigating Officer DI Kelly Porter had to go to London and was shocked to discover that the SIO for ''that'' case was DCI Matt Carter, her manipulative and untrustworthy ex-lover.  It was going to be anything but easy to work alongside Matt the Tw...  Ah, well let's not go there. [[Bold Lies (DI Kelly Porter 5) by Rachel Lynch|Full Review]]
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|title=A Pocketful of Crows
 
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|rating=5
<!-- Jonathan Meres -->
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|genre= Confident Readers
|-
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|summary= I have always been of the mind that once you're above picture-book level and before you get to graphic sex & violence, there is no difference between books for children and books for adultsThere are good books and poor onesAnd Joanne Harris does not produce poor ones.  ''A Pocketful of Crows'' is clearly aimed at the younger readers as witness the use of the middle initial in the author's name to differentiate from her adult offers.  Ignore that if you have loved anything from ''Chocolat'' onwards you will know that Harris is mistress of the modern fairy taleThis is no different. It is an utter delight.
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
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|isbn=1473222184
[[image:1781128693.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1781128693/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
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}}
 
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{{Frontpage
 
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|author= Maggie Tokuda-Hall
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
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|title= The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea
===[[Special Delivery by Jonathan Meres]]===
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|rating= 5
 
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|genre= Teens
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Dyslexia Friendly|Dyslexia Friendly]], [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]]
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|summary= On the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl has assumed the identity of Florian the man in an attempt to fit in with the crew. Life is hard as a pirate, trust and empathy are the first things to be discarded, but anything has to be better than starving on the streets. Meanwhile, the young Lady Evelyn Hasegawa boards the Dove, headed off to be married to a military man she's never met on some far-flung colony of the Nipran Empire. Neither of them expects to be thrown together by fate, never mind fall in love…
 
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|isbn=1536204315
How do you explain to children about dementia? Injuries or illnesses are obvious, but when the problem is the brain which isn't functioning quite as it used to it isn't as easy to graspFrank was a normal nine year old and like many nine year olds what he wanted was a new bikeHe'd had his for about seventy-eight years and he didn't want to raise the seat any more.  Mum pointed out that it wasn't his birthday or Christmas any time soon and bikes cost a lot of money, which didn't grow on trees.  His sister Lottie had a solution: Frank could help her with her paper round.  Frank agreed despite thinking that it would take him a thousand years to save up the money for a bike AND he had to get up at six o'clock in the morning. [[Special Delivery by Jonathan Meres|Full Review]]
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}}
 
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{{Frontpage
<!-- Vivian French -->
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|author=Frederic Beigbeder and Frank Wynne (translator)
|-
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|title=A Life Without End
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
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|rating=4
[[image:1781128707.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1781128707/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
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|genre=Literary Fiction
 
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|summary=I looked at the calendar the other week, and disappointedly realised I have a birthday this year – I know, yet another one. It won't be one of the major numbers, but the time when I have the same number as Heinz varieties looms on the horizon. And then a few of the big 0-numbers, and if all goes well, I'll be an OBE(Which of course stands for Over Bloody Eighty.) Now if that's the extent of my mid-life crisis, I guess I have to be happyOur author here doesn't use that exact phrase, but he might be said to be living oneDetermined to find out how to prolong life for as long as he wants – he would like to see 400 – he hops right into bed with the assistant to the first geneticist he interviews, and they end up with a child, which is at least a way of continuing the life of his genes, and a motive to keep ongoingBut how can he get to not flick the 'final way out' switch, especially when foie gras tastes so nice?
 
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|isbn=1642860670
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
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}}
===[[The Spectacular Revenge of Suzi Sims by Vivian French]]===
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{{Frontpage
 
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|author=Holly Jackson
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Dyslexia Friendly|Dyslexia Friendly]], [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]]
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|title=Good Girl, Bad Blood
 
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|rating=5
Suzi Simms loved running and it was her ambition to win the 100 metres race on sports day at the end of term - and that was next week.  We're going to read about what happened in her diary, although there's a warning that we really shouldn't be reading it, particularly as it's about Barbie Meek.  To say that the two girls don't get on at all well is a bit of an understatementSuzi wouldn't actually do anything about it, but Barbie is a troublemaker and she wants to win the 100 metres race too - by fair means or foul. [[The Spectacular Revenge of Suzi Sims by Vivian French|Full Review]]
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|genre=Teens
 
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|summary=A month on from the explosive conclusion to the Andie Bell mystery, a new normal has settled over Little Kilton. Max Hastings' assault trial thunders on, Pippa's viral podcast detailing her journey of discovering the truth about Andie and Sal's deaths has gained massive media attention, Cara and her sister Naomi are reeling from the realisation that their father, Elliot Ward, had murdered Sal Singh and kidnapped a girl he thought was Andie after she stumbled out of his house, bleeding, and disappeared into the night. As the town tries to heal again, six years on from the events of that night, tragedy strikes again. Jamie Reynolds, older brother to one of Pippa's best friends has gone missing. And so, alongside her difficult life as a semi-famous eighteen-year-old, she is once again taken down a dark, twisted path to discover the truth.
<!-- Pye -->
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|isbn=1405297751
|-
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}}
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
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{{Frontpage
[[image:1471170233.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1471170233/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
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|isbn=B084H8F2CF
 
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|title=The Body Under the Bridge
 
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|author=Nick Louth
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
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|rating=4.5
===[[The Adventures of Harry Stevenson by Ali Pye]]===
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|genre=Crime
 
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|summary=DCI Craig Gillard was annoyed to be pulled away from the funeral service for a serving police officer, particularly when he discovered that he was to take charge of the enquiry into a missing womanBeatrice Ulbricht was twenty-five years old and a student of music at the Royal College of MusicShe had been due to play with the other members of the Lysander String Quartet at the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields but hadn't turned upGillard didn't understand why his immediate involvement was necessary until Chief Constable Alison Rigby explained that Beatrice's father was Karl-Otto Ulbricht, Germany's Minister of Justice.
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]]
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}}
 
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{{Frontpage
Meet Harry Stevenson.  He's a typical guinea pig, except he's perhaps a bit more ginger than normal. And more lazy than usual.  And his appetite is possibly bigger than the norm.  Apart from that he's a regular guinea pig.  But the stories in which he features are nothing like.  In the first one here, the lad who owns and looks after him is being forced to move house.  It should be a simple journey for Harry, safe in his cage from all the predators that watching nature documentaries have put into his imagination, but he gets distracted and – shock horror – left behind.  It takes some bravura slapstick and a charming contrivance for him to be found again. In the second, for we get two full-length stories in this volume, there's a party being held to get the lad used to his new schoolmates, and Harry used to life in a garden hutch.  And one more wonderful conceit that drives high drama. [[The Adventures of Harry Stevenson by Ali Pye|Full Review]]
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|author= Linda Scott
 
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|title= The Double X Economy
<!-- Angie Kim -->
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|rating=5
|-
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|genre= Politics and Society
| style="width: 10%; vertical-align: top; text-align: center;"|
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|summary=''Women are economically disadvantaged in every country in the world''. It's a bold statement for an opening chapter, but it's far from hyperbole as the following pages explain. This book shines a light on what is happening in different places, and the impact on the local and world economy. What can be learnt from the great strides in gender-equalising legislation in the west? What can be done about the selling of young women into marriage, and what can chimpanzees and bonobos teach us about mothering?
[[image:1529374944.jpg|link=http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1529374944/ref=nosim?tag=thebookbag-21]]
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|isbn=0571353606
 
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}}
 
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{{Frontpage
| style="vertical-align: top; text-align: left;"|
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|author=J Paul Henderson
===[[Miracle Creek by Angie Kim]]===
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|title=Daisy
 
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|rating=4
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Thrillers|Thrillers]]
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|genre=General Fiction
 
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|summary=This is the story of Herod S. Pinkney, a rather unusual (yet somehow charming) man who is in search of a woman called Daisy, whom he first sees in an episode of Judge Judy on television and instantly falls in love with her! Rod is writing the novel of his quest, guided by an embittered ex-literary agent who is now clearing glasses in a pub for a livingDetermined to find and meet Daisy, the book takes us through Rod's life, introduces us to his friends, and tells us of what happens in his quest for love.
The Yoo family originated in Seoul.  Yoo Young and her daughter Meh-hee came on ahead of the father of the family, Yoo Pak, as a couple in Baltimore offered to provide accommodation for Young and Meh-hee in exchange for assistance in their grocery store.  What Young had not appreciated was that she was to work from 6 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week.  For years she hardly saw her daughter except when the Kangs brought Meh-hee to see her at the store. Meh-hee became Mary and struggled at school: her fellow pupils were no exceptions to the rule that children can be cruel and Mary was an easy target. [[Miracle Creek by Angie Kim|Full Review]]
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===[[Velocity Weapon by Megan E O'Keefe]]===
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Science Fiction]]
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The last thing Sanda remembers is her gunship exploding. She expected to be recovered by salvage-medics and to awaken in friendly hands, patched-up and ready to rejoin the fight. Instead she wakes up 230 years later, on a deserted enemy starship called The Light of Berossus - or, as he prefers to call himself, 'Bero'. Bero tells Sanda the war is lost. That the entire star system is dead. But is that the full story? After all, in the vastness of space, anything is possible . . .  [[Velocity Weapon by Megan E O'Keefe|Full Review]]
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===[[The Chessmaster's Secret by Mary Parker]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]]
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Belle and Joe travel to London in 1944, towards the end of World War II. Orphaned evacuees, they haven't had a good time of it - especially Joe, who is a sensitive child and was badly bullied. Meeting them is Uncle Griff, a kindly man, but one without much money. He is more than happy to have the children stay during the school holidays. Uncle Griff owns the ''Shop of Mechanical Marvels'' and the children love all the old things it contains. Uncle Griff hopes to restore it to profitability and bring some wonder back into London's bombed out streets.  [[The Chessmaster's Secret by Mary Parker|Full Review]]
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===[[The Art of Noticing: Rediscover What Really Matters to You by Rob Walker]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Lifestyle|Lifestyle]]
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The curse put on reviewers is that we get to read through a book which is really better dipped into, or read gradually and thoughts allowed to be provokedAnd so it was with ''The Art of Noticing''It's a simple premise: the pace of modern life and rapidity of technological advances means that we are constantly overwhelmed and distractedRob Walker wants us to be able to steal our attention backHe gives us his thoughts on various areas of our lives and then provides 131 exercises to help us recover our attention. [[The Art of Noticing: Rediscover What Really Matters to You by Rob Walker|Full Review]]
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===[[The Playground Murders by Lesley Thomson]]===
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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Rachel Cater was having an affair with her boss, Chris Philips, an auctioneer.  It was, she told her mother, love at first sight.  Her mother was more sceptical and wondered why, if it had been love at first sight, it had taken him so long to do anything about itStill, more than anything, she wanted her daughter to be happy.  That was what Rachel wanted too and it was why she went to the Philips' family home, determined to have it all out in the open.  Instead she was stabbed fifteen times.  Her lover was convicted of her murder. [[The Playground Murders by Lesley Thomson|Full Review]]
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===[[The Billion Pound Lie by Bill Dare]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Thrillers|Thrillers]]
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Can you imagine what it would be like to win a billion pounds? The UK's biggest ever lottery winners were a couple from Ayrshire, who won a £161 million EuroMillions jackpot a few years ago. That's so much money that it landed them on the Sunday Times Rich List of the UK's thousand most wealthy people. So a billion pounds. That's a lot, right? Can you imagine it?  What would you do? Would you try to remain anonymous? And, if you did, how would this affect your relationships with your nearest and dearest? What it would be like? How could you keep your friends and family from knowing that you were now one of the richest people in the country? [[The Billion Pound Lie by Bill Dare|Full Review]]
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===[[Across the Void by S K Vaughn]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Science Fiction|Science Fiction]]
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Sea epics? So 20th century. Try a space epic. [[Across the Void by S K Vaughn|Full Review]]
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===[[The Van Apfel Girls are Gone by Felicity McLean]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Thrillers|Thrillers]], [[:Category:General Fiction|General Fiction]]
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When Tikka Molloy was eleven and one-sixth years old, the Van Apfel sisters disappeared. In the long hot summer of 1992, in an isolated suburb of Australia surrounded by Bushland, the girls vanished during the school's Showstopper concert at the riverside amphitheatre. Did they run away? Were they taken? While the search for the sisters united the small community, they were never found. Returning home years later, Tikka must make sense of that strange moment in time – of the summer that shaped her, and the girls she never forgot. [[The Van Apfel Girls are Gone by Felicity McLean|Full Review]]
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===[[The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell and Davide Ortu (Illustrator)]]===
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]], [[:Category:Emerging Readers|Emerging Readers]]
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It is the start of the summer holidays and Kit has plans. These plans involve climbing trees, getting muddy and being outside. Her friends, Josh and Alita, on the other hand want to go to the library. Kit hates reading and can't see the point of books at all but is very reluctantly persuaded to go with the others to the local library. Once there the children meet the librarian and Kit makes an incredible discovery; the librarian is a wizard! Even more incredibly, Kit is a wizard too and she and her friends have an important task. They must save the library…and save the world! [[The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell and Davide Ortu (Illustrator)|Full Review]]
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===[[All That's Dead (Logan McRae 12) by Stuart MacBride]]===
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[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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It seemed like a good idea.  Logan 'Lazarus' McRae was back at work after a year off sick.  He'd been stabbed in the line of duty and recovery had been slow: he still had some pain. His first case was to be a simple one - just to ease him back into work - but it turned out to be anything but. Professor Wilson, a high-profile anti-independence campaigner has gone missing, apparently abducted from his home, but nothing was left behind except some bloodstains.  In much the same way that Brexit is dividing people south of the border, there's going to be a war between the pro- and anti-independence factions in Scotland - and the police are not above being involved. [[All That's Dead (Logan McRae 12) by Stuart MacBride|Full Review]]
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===[[The Last Stage by Louise Voss]]===
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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If you were looking back to when it began you'd have to say that it was before 1995.  Meredith Vincent (that wasn't her name then) had gone to Greenham Common on her seventeenth birthday, dressed as a teddy bear, to protest about nuclear weaponsIt was whilst she was there that she met Samantha, fell head over heels in love with her and went to live in a squat in London, leaving behind her A levels, her recently-widowed mother - and her twin brother, Pete, to look after herSamantha was there occasionally but Meredith was drawn into forming a band with the boys from the squat and against all the odds Cohen went on to become a sensation and it wasn't long before Meredith was living in a mansion rather than the squat. [[The Last Stage by Louise Voss|Full Review]]
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===[[Wild Child: Growing Up a Nomad by Ian Mathie]]===
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[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Autobiography|Autobiography]]
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For Ian Mathie fans there is good and bad news. Ian has come up with the missing link in his narrative, the story of a very unusual childhood (yes, the very years that made him the amazing man he became). The bad – well it's hardly news two years later – is that the book is published posthumously. As always, it's beautifully written, with many exciting moments. What I most enjoyed was the feeling that many of the questions in Ian Mathie's later books are answered in ''Wild Child'' with a satisfying clunk. Seemingly all that's now left in the drawer is unpublishable. [[Wild Child: Growing Up a Nomad by Ian Mathie|Full Review]]
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===[[The Body in the Castle Well (A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel) by Martin Walker]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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Claudia Muller was an American, studying art history and being mentored by an eminent French art historian and Resistance war hero in Limeuil in Perigord.  She was beautiful, wore designer clothes and was well-liked by everyoneShe didn't parade her wealth, or her father's White House connections.  In fact, her closest friend was a man recently released from prison.  So when she left a lecture saying that she felt ill, and her body was later found at the bottom of the castle well it seemed that the likeliest explanation was that this had been a dreadful accident with the only people to blame being the builders who had left the well unsealed. [[The Body in the Castle Well (A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel) by Martin Walker|Full Review]]
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===[[The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri]]===
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Politics and Society|Politics and Society]], [[:Category:Biography|Biography]]
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Here in the West, we see news reports about immigrants on a regular basis – some media welcoming them, some scaremongering about them. But all of those stories are written by journalists – almost always western, and almost always, no matter how deep the investigative journalism they carry out, outsiders to the world and the situations that refugees find themselves in. It's rare that we find out the journeys from the refugees themselves – and this is a rare opportunity to do that, in this intelligent, powerful and moving work by Dina Nayeri -someone who was born in the middle of a revolution in Iran, fleeing to America as a ten-year-old.[[The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri|Full Review]]
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===[[Boy in the Well (DI Westphall 2) by Douglas Lindsay]]===
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[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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The body of a nine-year-old boy was found at the bottom of a well which had been sealed for two hundred years - but the boy had only been dead for less than two days and there was no sign of how the body had got into the well. The owners of the property are adamant that the well was sealed when they went to open it, but DI Ben Westphall would be entitled to have his doubts. Belle McIntosh holds some strange views, particularly about the way that the government is controlling everyone through drugs which are added to the water supply which led to her wanting to reinstate the well. Her wife, Catriona Napier, is more moderate, but doesn't seem to have a lot of knowledge about what's going on on the fa [[Boy in the Well (DI Westphall 2) by Douglas Lindsay|Full Review]]
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===[[The Body in the Mist by Nick Louth]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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Muriel Hinkley was walking her dog when she found the body on a quiet country lane, just south of Exmoor. She didn’t recognise him - no one would for a long time as it was obvious that he’d been the victim of a hit-and-run.  He had no face - most of it was smeared on the road and when D I Jan Talantire came to look at the body she realised that there was absolutely nothing on him which would allow for identification. All the labels had been cut out of his clothes and there was no wallet and no phone.  Hi was Mister Nobody.  [[The Body in the Mist by Nick Louth|Full Review]]
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===[[Conviction by Denise Mina]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Thrillers|Thrillers]]
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It's strange how the worst of days can start in such an ordinary, mundane way.  And so it was for Anna McDonald as she sorted out gym kit and packed lunches for her two daughtersIt didn't begin to go wrong until she opened the door to her best friend, Estelle and realised that her husband was at the top of the stairs, dressed as though for a holiday rather than the work clothes she'd been expecting - and he was carrying a suitcase.  He and Estelle were leaving together - and they were taking Anna's two daughters with them.  There was another problem which neither Hamish nor Estelle knew about.  Anna wasn't actually Anna McDonald.  She was Sophie Bukaran, the woman who had been involved in the rape case against four footballers. [[Conviction by Denise Mina|Full Review]]
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Latest revision as of 08:18, 26 May 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 15,421 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.

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The Disoriented by Amin Maalouf

4.5star.jpg Literary Fiction

Adam has lived in Paris for years, speaks French more easily than his native Arabic. In fact he hasn't been back to his homeland for 25 years. An old friend is dying…or as Adam prefers to think of him a former-friend, perhaps not as harsh as an ex-friend, or maybe. The falling out was a long time ago, and Adam's partner has no idea what it was about, even so she urges him to go knowing that he'll regret not doing so. Not knowing whether he's going because he needs or wants to, or simply because he was asked, he's on the next plane. Full Review

1471173836.jpg

Where We Belong by Anstey Harris

5star.jpg General Fiction

I've always believed that places and buildings absorb what happens within them and reflect it back; this is how we can tell that a sacred space is sacred. Cate Morris believes a similar thing, she believes that A house absorbs happiness, it blooms into the wallpaper, the wood of the window frames, the bricks: that's how it becomes a home. She is having these thoughts as she packs up her home. She has to leave. A combination of circumstances means that is not only redundant, but also homeless. With nowhere else to go, she has called on her late husband's family for help. Just for a few weeks. Full Review

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A Shooting at Chateau Rock (A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel) by Martin Walker

4star.jpg Crime

It was a couple of days after old Driant's funeral that Bruno Courrèges got an angry phone call from his son. Gaston's father had sold the family farm in order to buy an insurance policy which he had used to secure a life of luxury at an expensive retirement home near Sarlat, owned by a Russian oligarch. Before he even got to go there he died, apparently of a heart attack, and the retirement home collected the proceeds of the policy and Gaston and Claudette Driant were left with just the contents of the farmhouse. The family hadn't exactly fallen out, but Gaston lived some way away and Claudette had fallen out of favour when she announced that she was gay, but they weren't expecting to be almost completely disinherited. Full Review

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Broken Silence (DS Nikki Parekh 2) by Liz Mistry

4star.jpg Crime

When we first meet him Stefan Marcovici has been in the UK with his daughter Maria for a while. He came expecting to work as a gardener and Maria was to be a nanny. Stefan ends up doing slave labour in a chicken factory: you can imagine what happens to an eighteen-year-old girl. Full Review

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This Book Is Alive! (Living Book) by Justine Avery and Daria Yudina

4star.jpg For Sharing

Books want you to read them! They're not intimidating or standoffish or particular about readers. Books want to be read.

This is the key message in Justine Avery's latest offering, This Book Is Alive!. By anthropomorphising the relationship between book and young reader, she's sending an invitation to all - pick me up, read me, be my friend, we can go on a journey together. It's a great message, don't you think? Full Review

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I Made a Mistake by Jane Corry

4.5star.jpg Thrillers

We know from the very beginning that there's a tragedy about to happen. On a January evening on a very crowded platform 3 of Waterloo Underground station a man falls under an oncoming train. That man is Matthew Gordon. Much later we see Poppy Page in the witness box of a crown court, getting a very rough ride from the prosecuting barrister. Full Review

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The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana by Maryse Condé

4.5star.jpg Literary Fiction

We live in a post-world: post-colonialism, post-modernism, post-truth. The list goes on. There are numerous works that utilise the prefix post- in their categorisation, but perhaps none more so than Maryse Condé. In her new novel, The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana, Condé writes with fervour about the scars left by colonialism on the countries to which it latched itself. Ivan and Ivana are twins born in Guadeloupe, a French overseas department. They grow up with intense and passionate feelings for each other. As they grow up and move overseas, the ravages of a post-colonial society drive them apart with tragic consequences. Full Review

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Jungle Drop (The Unmapped Chronicles) by Abi Elphinstone

4star.jpg Confident Readers

Abi Elphinstone has said that she connects with her world-building through her characters. In an interview with [Books For Keeps], she described visualising her characters "wearing head torches which gradually reveal the world they are seeing to her and to the reader." Just as the darkness of a mine is cut through by a spear of light so too do quarrelsome Fox and Fibber get their first glimpse of the phantasmagorical glow-in-the-dark realm of Jungle Drop when they emerge through the mouth of a Dragon on the Here and There Express. Running from the opprobrium of their demanding and selfish parents, they must address what is in their hearts to find what they seek. Full Review

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Killing Mind (D I Kim Stone) by Angela Marsons

5star.jpg Crime

It looked very like a suicide, and to begin with, that was how both DI Kim Stone and Keats, the pathologist called it. It was only later that Stone and her team realised that when Samantha Brown cut her throat, hers was not the only hand holding the knife. It was murder. Sammy's parents. Myles and Kate were a little bit reluctant to say what their daughter had been doing recently. The property where she was found was less homely than most hotel rooms: her mother was about to accuse her husband of saying that Sammy was ready... But what was Sammy ready for and where was their other daughter, Sophie? Full Review

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The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke

5star.jpg Confident Readers

In the winter of 1880, five babies are abandoned at the Little Tulip orphanage in Amsterdam, much to the annoyance of matron Gasbeek. Twelve years later, Milou, the last of the five babies to be abandoned back in that winter, struggles to work out the identity of her parents from the clues she was abandoned with: a small coffin with claw-marks on the outside, a cat doll made by someone called Bram Poppenmaker and a velvet blanket. She, along with the other four, patiently wait for Milou's parents to come back and take her home. However, when the five children are sold to the dodgy merchant Meneer Rotman, they know they have to escape. And so begins the adventure of a lifetime as the Unadoptables join forces to reunite Milou with her parents, all the time being pursued by the Kinderbureau and Rotman… Full Review

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Six Tudor Queens: Katheryn Howard The Tainted Queen by Alison Weir

4star.jpg Historical Fiction

Katheryn was seven when her mother died, thus we are thrust into this tumultuous time in young Katheryn's life, trying to find a home, both figuratively and literally, where she can grow and grieve. Unfortunately, Katheryn is followed by bad luck and she learns an important lesson, she is too young, too poor and too unimportant to be of any value to anyone, but she is beautiful and surely, that will count for something in the end, won't it? Full Review

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The Glass House by Eve Chase

4.5star.jpg Historical Fiction

Rita lost both her parents in a car crash when she was just six years old: since then she's always craved a family. She'd lived with her grandmother in Torquay until she got a job as a nanny with the Harrington family in London. Soon her engagement to Fred, a Torquay butcher, fell through and the Harringtons became her family. In 1971, after a fire at the London house, Jeannie Harrington, her children, 13-year-old Hera and 6-year-old Teddy, along with Rita went to the family's house in the Forest of Dean. It wasn't quite dilapidated, but it certainly wasn't the same standard as the London house had been before the fire. Full Review

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Just My Luck by Adele Parks

4.5star.jpg Thrillers

Elaine Winterdale took the fall for the landlord. Aged 37, she got a suspended sentence because a faulty gas boiler had caused the deaths of 29-year-old Reveka Albu and her 2-year-old son Benke. Toma Albu, husband and father, had found them when he returned home. Full Review

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I Dreamed You by Justine Avery and Ema Tepic

4.5star.jpg For Sharing

It is always a pleasure to review a new book by Justine Avery and I Dreamed You carries on the tradition beautifully. This little book is the perfect exemplar of our category name, For Sharing. It is a mother's love letter to her child, told in rhyme form. Full Review

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If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie

5star.jpg Biography

I normally say that you can tell how much a book means to me by how many pages have corners turned down. Perhaps an even greater measure of impact is setting out to buy my own copy before I've finished reading the one I've borrowed. I want to avoid clichés like 'powerful' 'inspiring' 'life-changing' – although it is definitely the first two and only time will tell about the third – but clichés exist for a reason and I'm not sure I can succinctly put it any better. Full Review

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Burn by Patrick Ness

5star.jpg Teens

On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957 - the very day, in fact, that Dwight David Eisenhower took the oath of office for the second time as President of the United States of America - Sarah Dewhurst waited with her father in the parking lot of the Chevron gas station for the dragon he'd hired to help on the farm.

It's 1950s America but not as we know it. In this alternate US, there is still a Cold War with the Russians, still a concomitant arms race. And the stain of racism is just as crushing - something mixed-race Sarah and her Japanese American friend Jason are only too well aware of. As is the deeply unpleasant town deputy, Kelby. But one thing is very different. In this alternate world, there are dragons. The dragons live in an uneasy peace with humans and communication is minimal. But a few of these winged creatures do hire out their labour to human in return for gold - they are dragons, after all. Poor Frankie! Full Review

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Roxy and Jones: The Great Fairytale Cover-Up by Angela Woolfe

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

After her father gets married for the umpteenth time, Roxy Humperdinck is sent to live with her half-sister Gretel in Rexopolis, the capital city of the Kingdom of Illustria. Gretel works as a toilet cleaner for the Ministry of Soup. Why does a country like Illustria need an entire ministry dedicated to soup, you ask? Well, after Roxy finds a secret passage in her bathroom and meets a snarky young woman known only as Jones, she soon finds out why. Turns out, fairy tales are real, and the Ministry’s official job is to safeguard all knowledge of them and monitor the living fairy tales. And, when an evil queen breaks out of a maximum-security prison and threatens to reinstate her reign of terror, Roxy and Jones hold the fate of the world in their young hands…so, no pressure then! Full Review

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Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn

4.5star.jpg Teens

It's Paris, 1794. The Revolution is five years old and the country in the midst of violent political turmoil between the Revolutionaries, trying to maintain their control by whatever means necessary, and the Royalists, still loyal to monarchy intent. Caught in a no man's land between the two warring factions is the Battalion of the Dead. Led by a disillusioned revolutionary's daughter, the band of outcasts have made a name for themselves rescuing innocent citizens from the violent fallout. But they may have gotten in over their heads with their latest rescue, Olympe, a girl with a disturbing history and powers that might just make her the spark that blows up the powder-keg of revolutionary Paris. Full Review

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A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M Harris

5star.jpg Confident Readers

I have always been of the mind that once you're above picture-book level and before you get to graphic sex & violence, there is no difference between books for children and books for adults. There are good books and poor ones. And Joanne Harris does not produce poor ones. A Pocketful of Crows is clearly aimed at the younger readers as witness the use of the middle initial in the author's name to differentiate from her adult offers. Ignore that if you have loved anything from Chocolat onwards you will know that Harris is mistress of the modern fairy tale. This is no different. It is an utter delight. Full Review

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The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

5star.jpg Teens

On the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl has assumed the identity of Florian the man in an attempt to fit in with the crew. Life is hard as a pirate, trust and empathy are the first things to be discarded, but anything has to be better than starving on the streets. Meanwhile, the young Lady Evelyn Hasegawa boards the Dove, headed off to be married to a military man she's never met on some far-flung colony of the Nipran Empire. Neither of them expects to be thrown together by fate, never mind fall in love… Full Review

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A Life Without End by Frederic Beigbeder and Frank Wynne (translator)

4star.jpg Literary Fiction

I looked at the calendar the other week, and disappointedly realised I have a birthday this year – I know, yet another one. It won't be one of the major numbers, but the time when I have the same number as Heinz varieties looms on the horizon. And then a few of the big 0-numbers, and if all goes well, I'll be an OBE. (Which of course stands for Over Bloody Eighty.) Now if that's the extent of my mid-life crisis, I guess I have to be happy. Our author here doesn't use that exact phrase, but he might be said to be living one. Determined to find out how to prolong life for as long as he wants – he would like to see 400 – he hops right into bed with the assistant to the first geneticist he interviews, and they end up with a child, which is at least a way of continuing the life of his genes, and a motive to keep ongoing. But how can he get to not flick the 'final way out' switch, especially when foie gras tastes so nice? Full Review

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Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

5star.jpg Teens

A month on from the explosive conclusion to the Andie Bell mystery, a new normal has settled over Little Kilton. Max Hastings' assault trial thunders on, Pippa's viral podcast detailing her journey of discovering the truth about Andie and Sal's deaths has gained massive media attention, Cara and her sister Naomi are reeling from the realisation that their father, Elliot Ward, had murdered Sal Singh and kidnapped a girl he thought was Andie after she stumbled out of his house, bleeding, and disappeared into the night. As the town tries to heal again, six years on from the events of that night, tragedy strikes again. Jamie Reynolds, older brother to one of Pippa's best friends has gone missing. And so, alongside her difficult life as a semi-famous eighteen-year-old, she is once again taken down a dark, twisted path to discover the truth. Full Review

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The Body Under the Bridge by Nick Louth

4.5star.jpg Crime

DCI Craig Gillard was annoyed to be pulled away from the funeral service for a serving police officer, particularly when he discovered that he was to take charge of the enquiry into a missing woman. Beatrice Ulbricht was twenty-five years old and a student of music at the Royal College of Music. She had been due to play with the other members of the Lysander String Quartet at the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields but hadn't turned up. Gillard didn't understand why his immediate involvement was necessary until Chief Constable Alison Rigby explained that Beatrice's father was Karl-Otto Ulbricht, Germany's Minister of Justice. Full Review

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The Double X Economy by Linda Scott

5star.jpg Politics and Society

Women are economically disadvantaged in every country in the world. It's a bold statement for an opening chapter, but it's far from hyperbole as the following pages explain. This book shines a light on what is happening in different places, and the impact on the local and world economy. What can be learnt from the great strides in gender-equalising legislation in the west? What can be done about the selling of young women into marriage, and what can chimpanzees and bonobos teach us about mothering? Full Review

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Daisy by J Paul Henderson

4star.jpg General Fiction

This is the story of Herod S. Pinkney, a rather unusual (yet somehow charming) man who is in search of a woman called Daisy, whom he first sees in an episode of Judge Judy on television and instantly falls in love with her! Rod is writing the novel of his quest, guided by an embittered ex-literary agent who is now clearing glasses in a pub for a living. Determined to find and meet Daisy, the book takes us through Rod's life, introduces us to his friends, and tells us of what happens in his quest for love. Full Review