Title: I’d Rather Be Reading – The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

Author: Anne Bogel

Pages: 160 Pages

Publisher: Baker Books

The Blurb

For so many people, reading isn’t just a hobby or a way to pass the time–it’s a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can’t imagine life without them.

I’d Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. Known as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers into a community of like-minded people to discover new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating new things about books and publishing, and reflect on the role reading plays in their lives.

The perfect gift for the bibliophile in everyone’s life, I’d Rather Be Reading will command an honored place on the overstuffed bookshelves of any book lover.

The Review

I love reading books about books. Strange really when I could just read the book that the authors of this style of book is actually talking about. I think it is because of that shared connection between booklovers or that saying that seeing a person read a book you like is like the book recommending the person. I don’t know, I just feel that if I were to write a book then it would be one like this.

I’d Rather Be Reading follows author Anne Bogel through her reading life; her time as a child, a young adult, a wife, and a mum. She talks about how books have influenced her or have been there when she needed them. We read about her love of bookshops and libraries and how she has given that gift to her children. It really is joy packaged in 160 pages.

I have read a lot of books of a similar ilk but this has to be one of my favourites. Anne Bogel did a great job with I’d Rather Be Reading.

I’d Rather Be Reading – The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel is available now.

For more information regarding Anne Bogel (@AnneBogel) please visit www.modernmrsdarcy.com.

For more information regarding Baker Books (@ReadBakerBooks) please visit www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/bakerbooks.

Title: Outside

Author: Sarah Ann Juckes

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Here’s the thing about being Inside. Ain’t no one believes that they are.

Ele has never been Outside, but she knows it exists – she just has to prove it.

Her whole world is Inside. Trapped with her books and the Others and Him.
She has never seen a tree or felt the rain but that’s about to change. Ele’s getting out. For good.


The Review

Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes was a really engaging but shocking book. It is a book that borders the line of young adult and adult fiction. It has been described as being similar to Room by Emma Donoghue and whilst I have never read that book from what I have heard about it then Outside could be its sister novel.

The story focuses on Ele. She has lived inside for as long as she can remember but she knows that there is an outside and she is determined to get to it. Except how can someone who has grown up knowing only the four walls around her able to survive in the big bad world?

Outside is a book that makes you hungry to read. You have to read on and you have to know how it ends. It isn’t a book that you sit and savour and plod through because you want to be part of that world. Juckes makes you feel uncomfortable. She makes you want to not be there but she does it in such a brilliantly written way.

This is a book that will make you feel at once: sad, uncomfortable, happy and uplifted. Read it.

Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes is available now.

For more information regarding Sarah Ann Juckes (@sarahannjuckes) please visit www.sarahannjuckes.com.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: The Seventh Train

Author: Jackie Carreira

Pages: 153 Pages

Publisher: Troubador Publishing Limited

The Blurb

What if you can’t stand where you are because there’s nothing there? What if you don’t want to end up anywhere else in case that’s empty too? When life has lost its road map, sometimes the only way to get back on track is to get back on the rails.

The Seventh Train is a ride – a ‘road movie’ on the railways. It’s a journey that Elizabeth invented; the only original thought she has ever had in her previously uneventful life. Unbeknown to her, she is not travelling alone. If only she’d pretended that the spare seat was taken.

With a wonderfully eclectic cast of characters, The Seventh Train takes its passengers on a journey from the tragic to the strange, arriving finally at hope. By turns heart-breaking, thought-provoking and hilarious, this tale is a life-affirming exploration of the human spirit via the British railway timetable!

The Review

The Seventh Train is a clever circular book that mixes a colourful cast of characters with weird and wonderful stories. They all take place on trains or in train stations which, personally, I find fascinating and oddly romantic.

Our protagonist, Elizabeth, is a little bit closed off but she finds her wall of safety penetrated by others who without even knowing it have saved her from herself.

I really enjoyed The Seventh Train. It is a perfect one sitting read.

The Seventh Train by Jackie Carreira is available now.

For more information regarding Jackie Carreira (@JCarreiraWriter) please visit www.jackiecarreira.co.uk.

Title: The Dollmaker of Krakow

Author: RM Romero

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Walker Books

The Blurb

A timeless fantasy set in the Second World War that weaves together magic, folklore and history, perfect for fans of The Book ThiefThe Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Goodnight Mister Tom.

One night a little doll named Karolina comes to life in a toyshop in Krakow, Poland, in 1939 and changes the life of the gruff, broken-hearted Dollmaker. And when the darkness of the Nazi occupation sweeps over the city, Karolina and the Dollmaker must bravely use their magic to save their Jewish friends from a terrible danger, no matter what the risks. This powerful story is about finding friendship in the darkest of places and the importance of love in times of great pain.


The Review

This is not my normal kind of book but once again it is one of the Carnegie nominees and I want to read as many as I can.

The Dollmaker fo Krakow is set in Poland at the onset of World War Two and it sees us through the occupation of Poland by the Nazis. It is the story of Karolina – a doll that comes alive for the dollmaker – think mannequin but without romance or a great 80s soundtrack.

It is through their friendship that they try to help the Jewish people who are sent to the ghettos in Poland before being sent to concentration camps.

This story has a magical realism aspect which if I am completely honest, as a reader I am not entirely comfortable with but the charm that exudes from each page makes it a worthwhile read.

The Dollmaker of Krakow is available now.

For more information regarding RM Romero (@rmromeroauthor) please visit www.rmromero.com.

For more information regarding Walker Books (@WalkerBooksUK) please visit www.walker.co.uk.

Title: The Flatshare

Author: Beth O’Leary

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Quercus Books

The Blurb

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

The Review

The Flatshare is a quirky love story along the lines of One Day and The Day We Met. It focuses on the separate lives of Tiffy and Leon. People who share the same bed but have never met.

Tiffy works in publishing and is recovering from a break up and Leon works in a hospice and has far too many people demanding his time and care.

As with most good love stories, The Flatshare has plenty of ups and downs and is swoons-worthy in many parts. What was refreshing is that Beth O’Leary has managed to deal with plenty of ‘real-world’ problems that haven’t been overdone or seem tired. She handles her characters and their stories rather masterfully.

The Flatshare was a brilliant story; one that I will be recommending to everyone.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary is available now.

For more information regarding Beth O’Leary (@OLearyBeth) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Quercus Books (@QuercusBooks) please visit their Twitter page.