Title: Judging a Book by its Lover – A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere

Author: Lauren Leto

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Harper Perennial

The Blurb

Lauren Leto, humor blogger and co-author of Texts from Last Night, now offers a fascinating field guide to the hearts and minds of readers everywhere. Judging a Book by Its Lover is like a literary Sh*t My Dad Says–an unrelentingly witty and delightfully irreverent guide to the intricate world of passionate literary debate, at once skewering and celebrating great writers, from Dostoevsky to Ayn Rand to Jonathan Franzen, and all the people who read them. This provocative, smart, and addictively funny tome arose out of Leto’s popular “book porn” blog posts, and it will delight and outrage literature fans, readers of Stuff White People Like and I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar--people obsessed with literary culture and people fed up with literary culture–in equal measure.


The Review

One of the things that I find really interesting is when I see others who like books that I like or rather more interestingly books that one of us liked and the other didn’t. Therefore, it stands to reason that I would like books of the same ilk. Judging a Book by its Lover is that kind of book.

In this book, Lauren Leto breaks down her personal history with each book and why she likes it or indeed loves it. It is titillating to think that you share reasoning or finding arguments for disliking the books that she has chosen.

What is wonderful about this book and indeed others like it is that it introduces you to books and writers that you may or may not have heard of and they soon become your new favourites.

Judging a Book by its Lover – A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere by Lauren Leto is available now.

For more information regarding Lauren Leto (@laurenleto) please visit www.judgingabookbyitslover.com.

For more information regarding Harper Perennial (@HarperPerennial) please visit www.harperperennial.tumblr.com.

The Crimes of Grindlewald by JK Rowling

Title: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald – The Original Screenplay

Author: JK Rowling

Pages: 315 Pages

Publisher: Little, Brown

The Blurb

At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided Wizarding World.

This second original screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima, expands on earlier events that helped shaped the Wizarding World, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of both the books and films.


The Review

As you may well know, my love for the Harry Potter series knows no bounds. I love it, I love it, I love it. Equally, I am in love with the Fantastic Beasts series. All I want in life is a house with a library and two bathrooms AND for JK Rowling to continue writing back story to the HP series. With Fantastic Beasts I kind of have one, now I am just holding out for the house with the library and two bathrooms (fingers crossed folks).

The Crimes of Grindlewald brings us to a character we first heard about in the Harry Potter series. The eponymous Grindlewald has been spoken of a lot in the Pottermore universe and it seems that we are getting to know a lot more about him and how he approaches wizardy. We are also seeing a remarkable resemblance of thinking to He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (*coughs Voldemort).

What I love about The Crimes of Grindlewald is that it leaves you wanting more. Something that JK does best.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald – The Original Screenplay by JK Rowling is available now.

For more information regarding JK Rowling (@jk_rowling) please visit www.jkrowing.com.

For more information regarding Little, Brown (@LittleBrownUK) please visit www.littlebrown.co.uk.

Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning

Author: Lemony Snicket

Pages: 142 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?

It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, “Proceed, but cautiously.”


The Review

I’ve had the Lemony Snicket Series on my Kindle for a while now. I took advantage of an offer on Amazon to buy the whole series for 99p (99p – it is currently retailing for £42!). I decided to start reading it because I needed to read a new book with my students in school, after one chapter in to A Bad Beginning I knew that this was the right book.

It is a classic story of orphaned children and insidious family members with a dollop of disbelieving adults thrown in the mix. The Baudelaire children are sent to live with their insidious uncle Count Olaf who is desperate to get his money on the Baudelaire fortune and he will do absolutely anything to get it. Anything.

If you like your books to have high drama and high jinx then A Bad Beginning is the book for you. I’m off to read the sequel.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket is available now.

For more information regarding Lemony Snicket (@lemonysnicket) please visit www.LemonySnicketLibrary.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: What Would the Spice Girls Do? How the Girl Power Generation Grew Up

Author: Lauren Bravo

Pages: 208 Pages

Publisher: Bantam Press

The Blurb

The words ‘girl power’ conjure vivid memories of short skirts and platform boots. But it wasn’t just about the look, it was about feminism.

The Spice Girls gave a generation their first glimpse of the power of friendship, of staying true to yourself, of sheer bloody-mindedness. And the girl power generation went on to kick-start a new conversation around gender equality.

We may have grown up asking What Would the Spice Girls Do?, but their particular brand of feminism is as relevant today as it was twenty years ago – we still need that fun and fearlessness, we still need accessible and all-embracing equality… we still need a zig-a-zig-ah.


The Review

At the age of thirteen I went through a life crisis. People normally have them when they are middle aged but not me. I had, what I am sure will be the first of many, my life crisis after I had started high school. Some people find high school difficult. I didn’t. I slipped right into the fold and even developed an identity. Student Librarian. I loved it but it did cost me my best friend from childhood. We had been friends since we were about five years old but when high school came along we were in different tutor groups and we had different friends and when I started spending my lunch and breaks in the library she was off with new friends – as an adult I can see that she was doing the right thing. As a child, that stung like a brother pucker.

My saviour from this pit of despair came in the form of five feisty girls who helped me find my inner diva and I guess helped me find my confidence. They were the Spice Girls.

For the purposes of total disclosure I should let you know that I did have ginger hair, got yellow blonde streaks dyed in the front and I worshipped Geri Halliwell to an almost bizarre degree. I did not look like Geri Halliwell.

I suppose what this whole diatribe is about is that whilst some people may look at the Spice Girls now and think that they are cheesy but I personally think that you cannot disregard just how important that they were to a young girls on the brink of a breakdown.

Lauren Bravo has done just that. In her non-fiction book What Would the Spice Girls Do? Bravo has looked at the cultural significance of these five girls. Not just looking at the contemporary impact but the lasting impression that they made.

The book is both fun and makes you assess just how the Spice Girls helped you personally. It is a must read for the feisty feminist and music fan in us all. Bravo, Lauren Bravo.

What Would the Spice Girls Do? How the Girl Power Generation Grew Up by Lauren Bravo is available now.

For more information regarding Lauren Bravo (@laurenbravo) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Bantam Press (@BantamPress) please visit www.bantam.press.

Well folks,

We are back in January. Where the heck did last year go? Let’s Hope 2019 is a great year for you all

(and myself of course).

2018 was a great year for me bookwise. I ready 240ish which is more than I normally do. I also listened to 10 audiobooks so I am quite proud of myself. Below is a list of the books I rated 5 stars this year. They are the ones I recommend the most. If you have read any of them then let me know what you thought of them.

Here we go:

  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (January)
  • Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (February)
  • Everless by Sara Holland (February)
  • The Last Laugh by Tracy Bloom (February)
  • Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios (March)
  • The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells (April)
  • Sunsine at the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson (April)
  • A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks (April)
  • Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Rebecca Albertalli (April)
  • Derby Girl by Shauna Cross (May)
  • How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran (May)
  • The Exact Opposite of Ok ay by Laura Steven (July)
  • How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne (August)
  • While I Was Sleeping by Dani Atkins (August)
  • How to Be Famous by Caitlin Moran (September)
  • Floored by Holly Bourne et al (October)
  • Diversify by June Sarpong (October)
  • Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) by LC Rosen (October)
  • Make Trouble by John Waters (November)
  • Paper Avalanches by Lisa Williamson (December)
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Reid Jenkins (December)

I read some exceptional books and if I had to pick a favourite…ooh…ok, a top five it would have to be…top six. Yes Top Six because why not:

  • Derby Girl by Shauna Cross
  • While I Was Sleeping by Danny Atkins
  • How to Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran
  • How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran
  • Paper Avalanches by Lisa Williamson
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

So there it is folks. My favourite books of the year. I still read more books by women than men and I wish I had a map to mark where each of my books were set because I have travelled through books a lot. I read over 170 new authors as well as reading five classics that I thought I would never get round to reading. I also have to give an honourable mention to Anne of Green Gables which was a book that I read for the first time and absolutely fell in love with.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this year. Get involved and let me know what you have read this year.

Lis x