Title: Teen Writer’s Guide – Your Road Map to Writing

Author: Jennifer Jenkins

Pages: 150 Pages

Publisher: Owl Hollow Press

The Blurb

Imagine you had a road map for writing the book you’ve always dreamed of writing—a step-by-step guide from testing your story ideas, to visualizing your characters’ types and voices, to building a world that comes to life, to navigating the publishing industry, and going the distance to reach your writing goals.

As co-founder of Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the nation’s largest writing conferences specifically for teens, and Young Adult author, Jennifer Jenkins has helped thousands of teens travel the world of writing. Teen Writer’s Guide: Your Road Map to Writing is the culmination of years of research and teaching, providing a detailed road map to writing your own story and steering through the detours and pit stops.

Perfect for teen writers, their teachers, and anyone who has an interest in breaking down the craft of writing in fun and manageable ways, this book is sure to take you to your final destination—and help you enjoy the journey along the way!

The Review

As with a lot of book lovers, I have always wanted to write one myself. At the grand age of 36 there have been two failed attempts because I realised I wouldn’t want to read the books that I had attempted. Sad times. I know that I need guidance and signposts telling me what to do next. Having good ideas but no way of getting them on the page does not a book make…nor does confusing sentence construction.

However, I decided to give Teen Writer’s Guide a go and smething just clicked. This was the book that I had needed when I was trying to write. It is a well structured book which breaks down the process into easily manageable chunks. It makes you question everything you thought you knew and then helps you make it much better. I finished reading it feeling like Teen Writer’s Guide is the book that will make a difference.

Teen Writers Guide – Your Road Map to Writing by Jennifer Jenkins is available now.

For more information regarding Jennifer Jenkins (@authorjenkins) please visit www.authorjenniferjenkins.com.

Title: Confessions of a Bookseller

Author: Shaun Bythell

Pages: 328 Pages

Publisher: Profile Books

The Blurb

“Do you have a list of your books, or do I just have to stare at them?” Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. With more than a mile of shelving, real log fires in the shop and the sea lapping nearby, the shop should be an idyll for bookworms. Unfortunately, Shaun also has to contend with bizarre requests from people who don’t understand what a shop is, home invasions during the Wigtown Book Festival and Granny, his neurotic Italian assistant who likes digging for river mud to make poultices.

The Diary of a Bookseller (soon to be a major TV series) introduced us to the joys and frustrations of life lived in books. Sardonic and sympathetic in equal measure, Confessions of a Bookseller will reunite readers with the characters they’ve come to know and love.

The Review

I loved The Diary of a Bookseller so when I heard a second book was coming out I was quick to buy it. Less quick to read it but quick to buy it. It was full of the same type of funny stories we found in the first book, the same colourful cast of people in Shaun Bythell’s life along with some new faces and the same old difficulties that come with working in the second hand book trade. Quite frankly, this book was like a hug.

I really hope that Shaun continues to write about the witty things that happen throughout his days. I, for one, would love another instalment.

Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell is available now.

For more information regarding Profile Books (@ProfileBooks) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Last Christmas

Author: Emma Thompson and Greg Wise

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Quercus Books

The Blurb

The perfect gift book, featuring the writing of Meryl Streep, Bill Bailey, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Caitlin Moran, Richard Ayoade, Emily Watson and others, to coincide with the upcoming movie Last Christmas, starring Emma Thompson, Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding.

When you think back to Christmases past, what (if anything) made it magical? Looking towards the future, what would your perfect Christmas be? What would you change? What should we all change?

This is a beautiful, funny and soulful collection of personal essays about the meaning of Christmas, written by a unique plethora of voices from the boulevards of Hollywood to the soup kitchens of Covent Garden.

Away from the John Lewis advert, the high street decorations and the candied orange in Heston Blumenthal’s Christmas pudding, this gem of a book introduced and curated by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise celebrates the importance of kindness and generosity, acceptance and tolerance – and shows us that these values are not just for Christmas.

The Review

I am sitting here on Christmas Eve writing the review for Last Christmas (I know that it is January the 10th as this goes live but I am trying to keep the festive period going). Admittedly, I don’t feel particularly Christmassy. Don’t worry, it will come. It will come later when I am in my new Christmas pyjamas and I have watched The Muppet’s Christmas Carol. This for me is what Christmas is about: being wrapped up warm and feeling safe and snug. Sadly, that isn’t the case for everyone.

Last Christmas which has been created by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise is a selection of tales from many different people, some celebrities others who are not famous but who are dealing with the very real issue of displacement and its creation has been to raise some much needed funds for Crisis.

The stories range from endearingly funny to absolutely heartbreaking and serve to remind us of how lucky we are and the true meaning of Christmas. If you are going to buy one book then please make it Last Christmas. The money raised from the book is going to help those in need.

Last Christmas by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise is available now.

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

Title: Everyday Sexism

Author: Laura Bates

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

In 2012 after having been sexually harassed on London public transport, Laura Bates started a project called Everyday Sexism. Astounded by the response from all over the world, she quickly realized that the situation was far worse than she’d initially thought.

In a culture that’s driven by social media, for the first time women are using this online space, now in 19 countries, to come together and to encourage a new generation to recognize the problems that women face.

In April of 2015, to commemorate the 100,000th entry, the author led a successful Thunderclap campaign that enabled the project to become the #1 internationally trending topic that day, gaining several million retweets to become the leading tweet in the English speaking world.

The Review

I work in a school and I often have conversations with students over the relativity of feminism and how sexist attitudes and practices still exist. When I try to show them real life examples I always tell them about a time that I was walking home from work, minding my own business, listening to my iPod when a man that I didn’t know stopped me in the street. Firstly, he invaded my personal space, poked me in the stomach and told me I would be much prettier if I smiled more. Thanks, random stranger.

It may not seem like much but it is this low level everyday sexism that girls and women are faced with on a daily basis. Everyday Sexism is chock full of stories like this. It is a compendium of women being subjugated to the toxic male gaze.

Laura Bates is feisty and will not stand for it. This book is for everyone who has had to deal with this kind of BS. Or for those girls who walk down the road with their keys pressed between their fingers just in case. It is just for women. You just need to read it.

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates is available now.

For more information regarding Laura Bates (@EverydaySexism) please visit www.everydaysexism.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: Breaking and Mending – A Junior Doctor’s Stories of Compassion and Burnout

Author: Joanna Cannon

Pages: 160 Pages

Publisher: Wellcome Collection

The Blurb

“A few years ago, I found myself in A&E.

I had never felt so ill. I was mentally and physically broken. So fractured, I hadn’t eaten properly or slept well, or even changed my expression for months. I sat in a cubicle, behind paper-thin curtains and I shook with the effort of not crying. I was an inch away from defeat… but I knew I had to carry on.

Because I wasn’t the patient. I was the doctor.”

In this powerful memoir, Joanna Cannon tells her story as a junior doctor in visceral, heart-rending snapshots.

We walk with her through the wards, facing extraordinary and daunting moments: from attending her first post-mortem, sitting with a patient through their final moments, to learning the power of a well- or badly chosen word. These moments, and the small sustaining acts of kindness and connection that punctuate hospital life, teach her that emotional care and mental health can be just as critical as restoring a heartbeat.

In a profession where weakness remains a taboo, this moving, beautifully written book brings to life the vivid, human stories of doctors and patients – and shows us why we need to take better care of those who care for us.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I am not a monogamous reader. I cheat on my books all the time. It is very rare for me to sit down with one book and pore through it from beginning to end but that is exactly what happened when I picked up Joanna Cannon’s Breaking and Mending.

I spend a lot of time at hospitals due to my Colitis but Joanna Cannon made me feel like I was a junior doctor experiencing the highs and lows of hospital life along with her. I broke down along with the author and I fell for patients and their families. I had a lot of respect for those who work in hospitals before (from porters to surgeons) but after reading this book my levels of respect has grown exponentially.

With the NHS in such a precarious state and with the lifeblood of it being sucked out by money hungry politicians then books like Breaking and Mending, books that offer real life experiences inside the hospital walls are more than entertainment. They are necessary. They are important.

If you buy just one book this year then please make it Breaking and Mending.

Breaking and Mending – A Junior Doctor’s Stories of Compassion and Burnout by Joanna Cannon is available now.

For more information regarding Joanna Cannon (@JoannaCannon) please visit www.joannacannon.com.

For more information regarding Wellcome Collection (@ExploreWellcome) please visit www.wellcomecollection.org.