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Check out the full lists of interviews, top tens and articles.

Booknewsletters.jpg July 2017 Newsletter

Hello Bookbaggers! How the devil are you? Well, we hope.

The best bit of book news recently comes right after one of the worst news stories for the country generally. Philip Pullman is set to name one of the characters in his upcoming novel after a victim of the Grenfell Tower fire. Teacher James Clements pledged £1,500 in memory of his former pupil Nur Huda El-Wahabi, who died in the fire, and hundreds of others added more cash to his bid in the Authors for Grenfell fundraising auction. The whole auction raised £150k. And we don't mind telling you that we shed a few tears over it all. We hope the authorities get their stuff together and show a similar generosity of spirit. We're not holding our breath on the showing so far, sadly. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Saqib Noor

Sue laughed and cried when she read Surgery on the Shoulders of Giants: Letters from a doctor abroad, touched and humbled by a man who has provided medical aid in some of the most needy parts of the world. She had quite a few questions when author Saqib Noor popped into Bookbag Towers to see us. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Johnny Ringwood

Peter enjoyed Cargoes & Capers with its memories of life in the East End and stories how the author, Johnny Ringwood, turned his life around. He had rather a lot of questions when Johnny popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg June 2017 Newsletter

Hello you lovely Bookbaggers. It's been a sad and angry month since we last spoke, what with terror attacks and general elections. We hope all is well with all of you and you are all coping as best you can. But we are going to try to distract you from it all just for a minute or two by pointing you in the direction of some great books to read. When all else fails, books can comfort, right? So let's have some positivity, if only on the subject of books and reading.

So here's some exciting news! We have a title, a character and an extract for the first volume in Philip Pullman's new trilogy, out in October. La Belle Sauvage is the canoe owned by Malcolm Polstead. His daemon is Asta. And you can read an interview about it with Philip Pullman here. As you can imagine, we at Bookbag Towers are beyond excited. Roll on October! And while we're on the topic of young readers, here's some more good news. Record numbers of children say they enjoy reading. A survey by the Literacy Trust has found that more than half of children and young people say that they read for pleasure. Isn't that great? Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Isabella Davidson

Sue was grabbed by The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land as soon as she started reading. She decided to tackle author Isabella Davidson about what it means to be an alpha or a beta mummy when she popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Lizzy Mumfrey

Sue was stunned by Fall Out by Lizzy Mumfrey and simply couldn't put the book down. She had a whole list of questions for the author when she popped into Bookbag Towers. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Hugo Driscoll

Sue thought that Seven Days With You was a quick but suprisingly deep read which looks sensitively at young love and terminal illness and that it's more uplifting than you might expect from that description! There was a lot to chat about when author Hugo Driscoll popped into Bookbag Towers. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg May 2017 Newsletter

Hi, hello and how the devil are you, fellow Bookbaggers?

We want to start out this month by mentioning not one, but two, good causes. Anna Boatman, along with 29 of her Hachette publishing colleagues have cycled 185 miles from London to Paris, in order to raise money for TWO amazing charities: the Literacy Trust and The PSP Association. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy is a little-known disease similar to Parkinson's that Anna's lovely Dad has been suffering with for 17 years. We think these are great charities to support and if you do too, you can contribute towards them by donating to this sterling effort. Anna's Just Giving page is here and the Hachette team's page is here. Well done, you guys. You've more cycling courage than we have! Read more...

link=The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Michael Pronko About The Last Train The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Michael Pronko About ''The Last Train''

Sue was very impressed by The Last Train, a thriller set in Tokyo. she had quite a few questions for author Michael Pronko when he popped into Bookbag Towers. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To David Windle

After reading Spudboy and Chip by David Windle Jill wants a potato superhero. There was a lot to talk about when the author popped into Bookbag Towers. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To B C R Fegan

Jill thought that The Grumpface by B C R Fegan and Daniela Frongia was sweet, funny and vividly illustrated. She had quite a few questions for author Bryce Fegan when he popped into Bookbag Towers. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg April 2017 Newsletter

Hello Bookbaggers! How are you? Well, we hope.

First up this month, our great friend SF Said reminded us of an important campaign the other day, and we want to remind you in turn.#coverkidsbooks draws attention to the lack of representative coverage of children's books in newspapers and other media. You can read about it here.As this blogpost points out, according to The Bookseller, sales of children's books overtook adult fiction for the first time in 2014, and they now account for over 30% of the UK publishing market. And yet children's books currently get just 3% of all book review space, despite accounting for that 30% of the market. That is an entire order of magnitude of under-representation. We couldn't agree more and we at Bookbag give equal priority to adult and children's books. But we know that we are preaching to the converted and we wish that newspapers would make more effort to get on board. There is more to children's fiction than Harry Potter, guys. A lot more. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Spadge Whittaker About Confessions of Modern Women

Jill thought that Confessions of Modern Women was both fun and funny to read and occasionally bawdy to boot. There was a lot to chat about when Spadge popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Tormod V Burkey

Sean was impressed when he read Ethics for a Full World or, Can Animal-Lovers Save the World?. There was a lot to chat about when author Tormod V Burkey popped in to Bookbag Towers. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Marilyn Bennett

Sue's only problem with Granny with Benefits by Marilyn Bennett was that she would have loved to spend more time with the characters. When the author popped into Bookbag Towers there was quite a lot to chat about. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Keren David Talks To Bookbag About Alternative Facts

It wasn't until someone on Twitter tagged her book The Liar's Handbook with #alternativefacts that Karen David realised quite how well the title and themes hit the zeitgeist. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg February 2017 Newsletter

Hi, hello and how are you all?

We don't want to dwell too much on convulsive world events - not because they don't concern us but because everyone is doing it and probably doing it much better than we could. But how could we not point out that George Orwell's newspeak classic 1984 is, as we write, back in Amazon's bestseller list. Alternative facts are not facts. And thank you, George Orwell, for warning us. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Linda Newbery Talks To Bookbag About The Power Of Protest

We were very impressed by Linda Newbery's Until We Win a dramatized example of Suffragist ideas. She's been chatting to us about the power of protest. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Self-Published Books 2016

It's never an easy job picking our top ten self published books of any year, but 2016 was particularly difficult as we've seen some exceptional books. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Charles D Blanchard

Luke thought that Kingdom's End by Charles D Blanchard was an adventurous take on a political thriller. It features rats but offers some facinating insights into the world of us humans. Luke had quite a few questions for the author when he popped in to Bookbag Towers to chat to us. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg January 2017 Newsletter

Hello, hello, hello! And a very happy New Year to you all. May 2017 bring joy and prosperity to every one of you. The world may well be heading to hell in a handcart but we hope it finds a new direction this year and, even if it doesn't, all our readers find at least the small pleasures that make life worth living come their way.

Have you seen the film of A Monster Calls? It's lovely! As lovely as the book - and we rarely say that hereabouts. The cast is super and the film balances its emotional and fantastical elements beautifully. If you haven't seen it yet, then you really should. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Non-Fiction Books of 2016

If fiction's not your bag then we've chosen some special non-fiction books for you. As always they're in alphabetical order by author. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Teens Books of 2016

There have been some cracking books for teens and young adults this year. These are our favourites in alphabetical order by author. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Books for Confident Readers 2016

We've quite a range of books in our confident readers category - it stretches from the time that children are nicely reading on their own right through to the point where they're looking at books for teens. we think we've got something for everyone is this selection which is in alphabetical order by author. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Children's Picture Books 2016

We've found some wondefful picture books this year and they#re all going to appeal to adults and children. Here they are in alphabetical order by author. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Children's Non-Fiction Books of 2016

We really struggled to pick just ten of the wonderful children's non-fiction books which we've seen this year, but here they are, in alphabetical order by author. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten General Fiction Books of 2016

We look for cracking good reads from our General Fiction favourites and here they are in alphabetical order by author. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg November 2016 Newsletter

Everything has gone a little bit crazy in dear old Blightly of late, hasn't it? Brexit has sent us all into a spin and there is a great deal of anger about. Our hope, in this November newsletter, is to bring you - whichever side of the Brexit divide you find yourself on - some of the joy and happiness found in reading for pleasure. Reading is the best escape of all. We'll never change our minds about that here at Bookbag Towers. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Crime Novels 2016

For the most part we've avoided the big names in our favourites this year: it's good to see some new names coming through! These are our favourites in alphabetical order by author. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Historical Fiction Books of 2016

A few years ago historical fiction was a niche genre, but now it's mainstream and we've seen some cracking books this year. These are our favourites in alphabetical order by author. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Women's Fiction Books of 2016

There should be something for everyone's tastes here: they're all great fun and we've presented them alphabetically by author. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Autobiographies and Biographies 2016

We've seen a lot of biographies and autobiographies in 2016 and it hasn't been easy to select just ten as our favourites, but here's what we finally settled on in alphabetical order by author. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Leigh Bardugo

Olivia thought that Crooked Kingdom was all that she could want from a book and more, so she had quite a few questions when Leigh Bardugo popped in to Bookbag Towers to chat to us. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Literary Fiction Books of 2016

It's been a rich year for literary fiction and we had great fun debating which were our favourites - but here they are in alphabetical order by author. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Top Ten Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels 2016

We've got some old favourites and some new names in this year's selection of our favourites. Here they are - in alphabetical order by author. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Steven Burgauer

Ani thought that The Road To War: Duty & Drill, Courage & Capture by Steven Burgauer was personal, inspiring & insightful. She had quite a few points to discuss when Steven Burgauer popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Numba Pinkerton

For years Sue has bought mostly black clothes, because they seemed safe: Numba Pinkerton has shown her how to have a wardrobe which works and which she loves. When Numba, author of The No Black Project popped into Bookbag Towers, Sue had lots of questions she wanted to ask. Read more...

Booklists.jpg The Richard and Judy Book Club Autumn 2016

Seven great reads for the autumn - and we've read them all! Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Richard Smith about The Darzoids' Stone

Jill loved The Darziods' Stone - a fast-paced teen adventure - and had quite a few questions for author Richard Smith when he popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Gloria D Gonsalves About Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms

Jill enjoyed Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms by Gloria D Gonsalves and said that she'd be glad to read it to any child. She and the author had lots to chat about when Gloria popped into Bookbag Towers. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg October 2016 Newsletter

Well, hello there, Bookbaggers. Are you enjoying some autumnal colours? Kicking through some leaves? Splashing in the odd puddle or two? If so, enjoy!

We hope you didn't miss [Poetry Day]. Lots happened, not least Kate Tempest live on BBC2 at prime time on a Saturday night. She was fabulous, wasn't she? If you missed it, here is the trailer for Let Them Eat Chaos, the piece she performed. The whole thing is truly wonderful. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Anthony Bidulka

Luke was impressed when he read Set Free by Anthony Bidulka not least because he liked the characters he felt he could invest in. He had quite a few questions when the author popped into Bookbag Towers. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Natasha Farrant Talks To Bookbag About First Discovering Jane Austen

We loved Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice and it was fascinating to listen to author Natasha Farrant tell us about how she first came to dicover Jane Austen. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Pamela Johnson

Rebecca was impressed when she read Taking in Water by Pamela Johnson - she was reminded of Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea - and Johnson's writing style put her in mind of two of favourite authors, Tessa Hadley and Kate Atkinson. She had quite a few questions when the author popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg September 2016 Newsletter

Hi, hello and how are you all, dear readers?

Here's some cool news to start us off this month - an innovative new monthly print magazine for 8-12 year-olds is about to launch. Scoop will offer an inspiring mix of short stories, poetry, non-fiction features, comic strips and activities. It will feature some of the very best creators of literary and visual content for children - think Neil Gaiman, Eoin Colfer and Laura Dockrill, just for starters. Not least, Scoop is for children who will be thrilled to receive their very own magazine in the post, addressed only to them. We love the sound of Scoop. It reminds Jill of the Puffin Post, to which she enthusiastically subscribed as a child. If you have a child who loves to read, you should look it out. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Ritchie Valentine Smith

Ani enjoyed Words of Power, the first volume of a new samurai fantasy series by Ritchie Valentine Smith. She had plenty of questions for the author when he popped in to see us. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To S B Charles

Jill thought that Gliding With Black Swans by S B Charles was a roller coaster of a thriller and she couldn't wait to chat to author S B Charles when he popped in to chat to us. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Christopher Bowden about 'The Purple Shadow'

It's not long since Jill enjoyed Christopher Bowden's novel The Green Door, so she was delighted when she had the opportunity to read his latest book The Purple Shadow. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg August 2016 Newsletter

Well, hello there, readers. We hope you're well. And we hope you're getting back to reading now that Rio 2016 and all the associated Olympic excitements are done and dusted. We have some great books for you to consider this month. So read on...

How many books do you think you might have read over the last three years? You'd be going some if you said a thousand, right? But what if you said 2.500? That would be amazing! Well, Faith Jackson, aged 12, has done just that. She has met authors, been given books, and now is about to be featured in Ripley's upcoming Odd Around the World. We like the cut of your jib, Faith. Keep reading! Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg July 2016 Newsletter

Hello! We hope you are well. We hope you are not traumatised by Brexit. We hope you are not in despair at the apparent collapse of our political system. Of course you may be one or both. If so, you have our sympathies and our best efforts at distracting you from the various non-reading related stresses currently engulfing the country. Books are constant! Read more...