Title: Coraline

Author: Neil Gaiman

Pages: 208 Pages

Publisher: Absolute Press

The Blurb

There is something strange about Coraline’s new home. It’s not the mist, or the cat that always seems to be watching her, nor the signs of danger that Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, her new neighbours, read in the tea leaves. It’s the other house – the one behind the old door in the drawing room. Another mother and father with black-button eyes and papery skin are waiting for Coraline to join them there. And they want her to stay with them. For ever. She knows that if she ventures through that door, she may never come back.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Coraline has moved into a new home, she is bored…and she is lonely. When she goes through a mystery door in the new house everything appears to be exactly the same except it is totally different. For one thing, her mum and dad seem to have buttons for eyes which is weird. It is up to Coraline to solve the mystery of this alternative world.

The story of Coraline is quintessentially Gaiman. It is a modern day fairy tale with a fantasy twist and it was an absolute joy to read. I think I may need to watch the movie now.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman is available now.

For more information regarding Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) please visit www.neilgaiman.com.

Title: Reluctant Adult

Author: Katie Kirby

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Coronet

The Blurb

Perpetually overwhelmed? Welcome to the new book from Katie Kirby, creator of the bestselling Hurrah for Gin

Do you overthink everything?
Do you struggle to say no to people?
Are you paying membership for a gym you never go to?
Do group chat politics make you want to throw your phone under a bus?
Are you overjoyed when people cancel plans so that you can sit at home in your pyjama bottoms eating Coco pops for dinner?

If so then this book is for you!

We spend our childhoods wanting to a be adults and, when we get there, find ourselves lost under a pile of life admin, half completed to do lists and anti-ageing face creams that promise to make you look as good as Natalie Imbruglia.

In her new book, Hurrah for Gin pinpoints with painful precision just how overwhelming life can be when you’re all grown up. From the worry spiral that keeps you up at 3AM, to maintaining a professional aura when you can’t stand other people – this is for everyone struggling to stay afloat.

Honest, relatable, funny and containing no useful advice whatsoever, take comfort in the knowledge that it’s not just you, we’re all as f*cked as each other.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Do you ever wonder if you really have your sh*t together? I do. All the damn time. My ducks aren’t in a row. If anything my ducks are all on a bouncy castle and I can’t catch any of them so just join in the pandemonium of bouncing around. Well, it turns out I am not alone. In Katie Kirby’s book Reluctant Adult you see just how crap being a grown up can be.

Reluctant Adult is peppered with funny anecdotes and stick figure cartoons that are just so relatable that you genuinely feel that you could have written them yourself. The power of Reluctant Adult is that it normalises the overwhelming feeling of not being able to cope with being a grown up.

Reluctant Adult is seriously funny. It is a tonic for when things get to be a bit too much.

Reluctant Adult by Katie Kirby is available now.

For more information regarding Katie Kirby (@hurrahforgin) please visit www.hurrahforgin.com.

For more information regarding Coronet (@CoronetBooks) please visit www.hodder.co.uk.

Title: The Life of Rylan

Author: Rylan Clark Neal

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Arrow

The Blurb

Well hark at you, stumbling upon my autobiography. Bet you wouldn’t have put money on that three years ago, eh?! Please don’t stress yourself out too much, though, it’s actually socially acceptable nowadays that you’re interested.

Firstly I’d like to emphasise that I have WRITTEN THIS BOOK MYSELF, so be assured you’re getting the TOOTH, the WHOLE TOOTH and NOTHING BUT THE TOOTH! (Which was my original choice of title, but babe, we’re so over that.) This book documents my story, year by year, from my humble beginnings growing up in the East End of London, becoming one of the nation’s most talked-about people overnight to finally moving up the spectrum from guilty pleasure, and getting nearer to national treasure.

It will make you laugh, cry, and most importantly you’ll discover who I really am. If it doesn’t do any of those things you’re not legally entitled to a refund – just clearing that up ;-).

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I have enjoyed writing it. This book has been like therapy, and LORD was I in need. Enjoy!

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I have a theory that the longevity of an X Factor contestant firmly depends on if you don’t win. Look at the history of the contestants: Olly Murs, JLS, Stacey Solomon. These are among the acts whose careers have been more successful than the winners – I can barely remember any winners – try, it’s really hard to do.

One of the most memorable contestants has t be Rylan Clark-Neal. I love Rylan. He is the phoenix from the ashes. He had such a rough start to his celebrity life but has managed to turn public opinion in his favour. Everyone loves the underdog.

If you read his autobiography The Life of Rylan (and you really should because it is brilliant) you can see how he worked this magic. He is so funny. He is humble and he is someone who absolutely adores the world of ‘celebrity’. You cannot help but get swept up along with Rylan. It was a joy to feel like I was there with him on his rise to success. This probably comes from watching him ‘grow up’ in front of us. Either way, he invites you into his world like you are going to be his new best friend.

If I could offer one piece of advice for the reader it would be that The Life of Rylan works brilliantly as an audiobook. It makes the whole experience feel like one long heart to heart with a friend.

The Life of Rylan by Rylan Clark-Neal is available now.

For more information regarding Rylan Clark-Neal (@Rylan) please visit www.luxenoa.com.

Title: The World According to Gogglebox

Author: Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Canongate

The Blurb

Channel 4’s show Gogglebox has become a true TV phenomenon. In its third series, it has struck a chord across the nation. Millions of people are now addicted to watching the much-loved cast’s surprising and hilarious commentary on the week in television – and the entertaining and heart-warming insight into their lives and relationships. Gogglebox is not just about TV. It’s about what it means to be British – particularities, eccentricities, and all.

Whether it’s Leon and June you love, or Stephen and Chris you root for, or the Woerdenwebers or Sandy and Sandra who make you laugh the most, we all have a favourite ‘unit’ – and you can now read about their views on everything from Jeremy Clarkson’s size to the death of Baroness Thatcher, and from the best TV snacks to the most potent cocktails. The World According to Gogglebox tells you everything you’ve wondered about the characters and more.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic there has been one program that has kept me grounded, kept me sane and kept me laughing and that is Gogglebox. I came to Gogglebox late (series 15 – I know, I’m an  idiot) but whilst being on lockdown I watched every episode I could get access to (series 7 – 15) and I honestly could watch them all over again.

The book The World According to Gogglebox is brilliant because you find out at bit more about the beloved families on the show, their likes and their dislikes and you see the dynamics between the family and realise that they are just the same as they are when you watch them in your telebox.

The only negative that I can find about the book is that some of the more recent families and characters are not in this book. Therefore I think an updated version would be brilliant (hint hint!).

For a real tonic watch Gogglebox and then read the book The World According to Gogglebox because it is brilliant.

The World According to Gogglebox by Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris is available now.

For more information regarding Jason Hazeley (@JasonHazeley) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Joel Morris (@gralefrit) please visit www.ruleofthreepod.com.

For more information regarding Canongate (@canongatebooks) please visit www.canongate.co.uk.

Title: The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Author: Ruth Hogan

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: John Murray Press

The Blurb

Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, Masha’s life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds comfort in her faithful canine companion Haizum, and peace in the quiet lanes of her town’s lido.

Then a chance encounter with two extraordinary women – the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a convent girl turned magician’s wife turned seventy-something roller disco fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice – opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again. But just as Masha dares to imagine the future, her past comes roaring back …

The Review

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan is the kind of book that I would describe as a warm hug. You get yourself completely involved with the intricacies of the lives of the characters and after you have turned the final page there is a nice feeling of satisfaction.

It is a multi-perspective story yet all the characters have lives that interconnect. The main character is Masha is suffering with a loss however it is through her relationships with other people that she can finally start to let go of the past. These fabulous characters show her that there is a future but also a present.

I really enjoyed reading The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes. It was a heart-warming story which makes you reflect on any sadness that you are holding on to. It is the kind of book that makes you feel better – even when you didn’t feel like you were holding on to anything in particular. That is the power of Ruth Hogan’s The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes.

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan is available now.

For more information regarding Ruth Hogan (@ruthmariehogan) please visit www.ruthhogan.co.uk.

For more information regarding John Murray Press (@johnmurrays) please visit www.johnmurraypress.co.uk.