Title: Curtains Down at her Majesty’s – The Death of Queen Victoria in the Words of Those Who Were There

Author: Stewart Richards

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: The History Press

The Blurb

‘Her Majesty the Queen breathed her last at 6.30 p.m., surrounded by her children and grand-children.’

With this notice, pinned to the entrance gate of Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s doctors announced the death of the most powerful woman in the world, who had sat on her throne and ruled through more than six decades. Her rule had seen her kingdom spread to become the world’s biggest empire, had seen massive change in society and leaps forward in technology. It is little surprise that the death of one who had ruled for all of many people’s lives created chaos, shock and mass outpourings of grief across the country.

Here author and researcher Stewart Richards has delved through the archives to put together the definitive view of Victoria in her final days, through the immediate reaction and aftermath of her death, to the state funeral of 2 February 1901. Based entirely on fascinating first-hand accounts, The Death of Queen Victoria offers a truly unique insight into the events of that tumultuous few days and is a volume that no enthusiast should be without.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Curtains Down at her Majesty’s is a fascinating and factual account of the days preceding the death of Queen Victoria and the days of mourning and the funeral that followed.

This isn’t a work of fiction. Author Stewart Richards has meticulously gone through diary entries, letters, telegrams, newspaper articles of the people who were there: Queen Victoria’s family, her physicians and her subjects.

What is revealed is how the pomp and ceremony surrounding royal deaths is conducted and it gives insight in how the current monarchy was created.

A truly fascinating read for those who love the Victorian era and the monarchy.

Curtains Down at her Majesty’s – The Death of Queen Victoria in the Words of Those Who Were There by Stewart Richards is available now.

For more information regarding The History Press (@TheHistoryPress) please visit www.thehistorypress.co.uk.

Title: This Book is Gay

Author: Juno Dawson (as James Dawson)

Pages: 271 Pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

The Blurb

Lesbian. Bisexual. Queer. Transgender. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who’s ever dared to wonder. This book is for YOU.

There’s a long-running joke that, after “coming out,” a lesbian, gay guy, bisexual, or trans person should receive a membership card and instruction manual. THIS IS THAT INSTRUCTION MANUAL. You’re welcome.

Inside you’ll find the answers to all the questions you ever wanted to ask: from sex to politics, hooking up to stereotypes, coming out and more. This candid, funny, and uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it’s like to grow up LGBT also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, not to mention hilarious illustrations.

You will be entertained. You will be informed. But most importantly, you will know that however you identify (or don’t) and whomever you love, you are exceptional. You matter. And so does this book.

The Review

This Book is Gay is the first book that I have ever seen that is marketed for teenagers to address LGBTQ+ issues that hasn’t been patronising or written by someone well meaning but clueless about what it is to live as an LGBTQ+ person. Juno Dawson, however, offers honest, witty, and entertaining information within her book This Book is Gay – those who are aware of Juno Dawson (if you haven’t then, seriously, where have you been?) you will know that she has a bit of experience living as an LGBTQ+ woman.

She discusses the often unavailable information about living in this community to an audience who have very limited experience. Those who are either taking tentative steps to understand their part in the LGBTQ+ community or friends and family who also have limited knowledge and want to be supportive.

Juno Dawson addresses the inadequacies in the school system – why is heteronormative sex the only thing taught in schools; she looks at dating and how difficult it can be. She also talks to people who are LGBTQ+ so we don’t feel that her writing is preachy. She is and has lived it and she knows what she is talking about but you don’t feel talked AT.

I firmly believe that This Book is Gay should be issued to schools. Young students who are struggling to find their place would find this book so comforting and feel that there is somewhere that they can feel included. That someone out there, beyond the microcosm of their small world knows what it feels like.

I was genuinely in awe of this book.

This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson is available now.

For more information regarding Juno Dawson (@junodawson) please visit www.junodawson.com.

For more information regarding Sourcebooks Fire (@SourcebooksFire) please visit www.firereads.com.

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: What Would Boudicca Do? – Everyday Problems Solved by History’s Most Remarkable Women

Author: Elizabeth Foley and Beth Coates

Pages: 208 Pages

Publisher: Faber & Faber

The Blurb

Tired of being talked over? Of social media making you feel crap? Of the pressure to ‘have it all’ and a hot bod too?

Boudicca stuck up for herself and now she can help you do the same. It is time to start channelling the spiky superwomen of history to conquer today. It is time to turn to women like Frida Kahlo and Josephine Baker, Hypatia and Cleopatra, Coco Chanel and Empress Cixi. In this irreverent guide they will help you figure out how to dispatch a loverat, back yourself, kill it at work and trounce FoMo.

With original illustrations by Bijou Karman, What Would Boudicca Do? will make you fired-up and ready for anything.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I am a woman. I am a daughter and a sister but most important to me, I am an aunty. I am determined to a) make my niece love reading as much as I do and b) make sure that she is a strong woman. It is with this in mind that I read as much as I can about the forgotten women of history; the women who made a difference, socially, scientifically, economically or who just made a difference enough to mention.

I want to share these tales with my niece, who at the moment wants to be a princess. I want her to want to be fierce. Whether that is as a princess, as a make-up artist, as a surgeon or as a postal service delivery woman. I do not care what she wants to be when she is older as long as she does it knowing that she is a rock star.

This is why I read books like What Would Boudicca Do? They give me an insight into women of the past that I have no knowledge of. I have read quite a few of these tropes and I must say that What Would Boudicca Do? is up there with the best of them.

What Would Boudicca Do? – Everyday Problems Solved by History’s Most Remarkable Women by Elizabeth Foley and Beth Coates is available now.

For more information regarding Faber & Faber (@FaberBooks) please visit www.faber.co.uk.

Title: I’ll Be There for You – The Ultimate Book for Friends Fans Everywhere

Author: Kelsey Miller

Pages: 305 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

Over twenty years since its low-profile debut and Friends is the most streamed show on UK Netflix. But has it stood the test of time? Are some parts of it more problematic than we remember? And who was the cast’s least favourite guest star?

Join Kelsey Miller as she answers all of these questions and more. And as she relives the show’s most iconic moments, examines some of its controversies, and shines a light on the many trends it inspired – from oversized coffee cups to the much-copied 90s haircut, ‘The Rachel’.

Weaving incisive commentary, revelatory interviews and behind-the-scenes anecdotes involving high-profile guest stars, I’ll Be There for You is the most comprehensive take on Friends yet, and the ultimate book for fans everywhere.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I started watching Friends when I was 10 years old. I loved it, partly because at the time of its airing I was thinking about becoming an American. Ludicrous, I know but it was what I wanted to be, like how some people want to be pilots or lawyers.

Anyway, even after I realised that it wasn’t something you could just ‘be’ I still loved the program. I have watched it many times since and I still find it hilariously funny. I even get most of the jokes now – ones that I certainly did not get as a child.

Kelsey Miller examines the phenomenon of Friends and gives a history of how the show started and how it lasted so long and why even today, 25 years since its original airing it is still as popular as it once was.

I’ll Be There for You is a must read for any Friends fan

I’ll Be There for You: The Ultimate Book for Friends Fans Everywhere by Kelsey Miller is available now.

For more information regarding Kelsey Miller (@mskelseymiller) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQstories) please visit intagram.com/hqstories.