October 2008 Newsletter

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If you'd like to sign up for our monthly newsletter, just drop us an email. We won't bother you more than once a month, but we'll tell you about what we've been reading at Bookbag and any news from the site. We promise never to pass your details on to anyone else. In fact... we won't even tell each other.

October's News from Bookbag Towers

Goodness! It's October already. How did that happen? Where did 2008 go? It only seems like yesterday we dodderers at Bookbag Towers were still writing 2007 on everything. Soon we'll catch up and write 2008, but by then it will be 2009. Time flies when you're having fun. The site is still growing at an unbelievable rate and we'll have two thousand reviews up by the end of the month. Who'd have thought it? We certainly didn't two years ago when we began. It's time to take stock and work out where we want to go from here. Look out for new developments. We have lots of ideas - some might say pipe dreams - up our sleeves.

But let's get on to the important stuff - our monthly round up.

If there's anything you'd like to tell us, or anything you think we've left out, please drop us a line and let us know.

What we've been reading...

In fiction, Katya recommends Doggone by Erik Ryman, a cleverly written satire in which government itself becomes privatised. Full of witty repartees and thought-through details, it is a pleasure from the first till the last page. Ruth thoroughly enjoyed The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold, a disturbing description of matricide and mental illness, hard on the reader, but deserving of perseverance. Those who like the dark side might also enjoy The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian, a gripping and tense psychological thriller full of twists and turns. The writing is excellent and characterisation good. John thinks you should look at The Museum of Doctor Moses by Joyce Carol Oates, a very smart package of gloomy stories for when the evenings close in.

In non-fiction, John was mightily impressed by History Without the Boring Bits by Ian Crofton. He thinks it's the best value trivia book around – never failing to add detail and the oddball facts of life to one's knowledge. A more serious read is The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle by Russell Miller, an excellent biography of the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

In children's books, Jill fell in love with The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It's an utterly gorgeous fantasy novel about life, death, family and growing up. It combines the charming and macabre and has something for everyone aged eight to eighty-eight. For middle readers, Jill also loved Waterslain Angels by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Crossley-Holland never lets down a single reader and he doesn't start here. It is a beautifully written, evocative detective story with resonance for both past and present. Loralei was blown away by Bad Alice by Jean Ure, a cautionary tale that is harrowing and disturbing but should be read by everyone over the age of twelve. Little ones will enjoy What's That Noise Mr Croc? by Jo Lodge. Join Mr Croc as he makes all sorts of noises with some fantastic tabs and pop ups.


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

(PS – if you don't want to receive further copies of our newsletter please email us and we'll see that you're deleted from the mailing list.)