February 2013 Newsletter

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February's News from Bookbag Towers

Hi, hello, how are you?

Here's a fun piece of book-related news, especially for those of you living in the capital. On the 24th March the National Literacy Trust is organising the first ever UK Fun Run to be run exclusively for an educational or literacy focussed charity. The race will take place in London’s Victoria Park and begin at 11am. With a Where’s Wally? theme they are hoping to attract a wide range of participants, young and old, from the book-loving community. 1 in 6 adults in the UK have poor literacy which impacts their standard of living, independence and mental wellbeing, so you can see it's a really great cause. Find out more here.

We were talking the other day about our favourite characters in books. After much lively discussion, we settled on Jill's choice - Narnia's Reepicheep. He went to the utter East. In a coracle. With a rapier. What more could you ask? We love that mouse. Who would you choose?

Golden Hour

This month, we're taking you back just a few years to The Fire-Eaters by David Almond. All David Almond's novels are wonderful, but The Fire-Eaters is Bookbag's favourite. A challenging book, it is probably best approached by only the most mature of pre-teens, but after that, it's for everyone, adult and young adult alike. Set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis, it's simply beautiful.

Books of the Month

And on to to the new... . In fiction, Iain loved The Devil is White by William Palmer. Have you ever wondered how Goldman's Lord of the Flies would have worked if the characters were adults instead of children? Palmer's novel is wider in scope, but follows a similar theme of how quickly Utopia can become dystopia.

In non-fiction, John recommends The Divorce of Henry VIII: The Untold Story by Catherine Fletcher, a detailed account of Henry VII's efforts to obtain an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, often called 'history's most infamous divorce', through his Italian diplomat Grigorio Casali, and to some extent also a biography of the previously little-known personality. It's fascinating stuff.

For tweens, Linda recommends The Positively Last Performance by Geraldine McCaughrean. Gracie has come to Seashaw with her parents who hope to restore the old theatre there to its former glory. But many dangers threaten the Royal Theatre: can Gracie and her new, formerly alive friends save it?

Features

We were very impressed by Shadows by Paula Weston, a book that promises thrilling plots, chemistry between the sassy lead characters and action and delivers. When she mentioned her dream dinner party we had to know who's been invited.

As ever, we've also been interviewing merrily away. Robert thought that Better Than Great by Arthur Plotnik was truly better than great and a fifty-carat, finger-licking-fabulous book which flies in the face of mediocrity. We had to chat to the author. Robert also thought that Laura Lam's Pantomime was nearly as impossible to review as it was to put down and that this enthralling fantasy was a stunning debut. He had many questions to ask her. Sue thoroughly enjoyed The Wayward Gentleman: John Theophilus Potter and the Town of Haverfordwest and she was delighted when author Patricia Watkins popped into Bookbag Towers for a chat. She also hadn't really intended to stay up until four o'clock in the morning reading Blood Pool by J E Ryder but once she got into the story she had to know what happened next. When J E Ryder popped in to Bookbag Towers Sue had quite a few questions for her.

Reviewers

We're always on the look out for people to join our panel of reviewers at Bookbag. We need people who understand that the reader wants to know what the reviewer thinks about the book and not just what's written on the back cover. If you think that you're one of these special people that we're looking for, we want to hear from you. You can find details of how to apply here on the site. Don't be shy!

Competitions

We have competitions for some great books going this month, and every month, so get entering!

And that's about it for this month. If you're passing Bookbag Towers do pop in and see us – we're at www.thebookbag.co.uk.

All at Bookbag Towers

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