Book shops are much needed safe spaces for communities #BookShopDay

Today is #BookShopDay day. It’s simple really. The lovely people at Books Are My Bag just want you to support your local bookshops. Though I wasn’t asked to write anything about what bookshops and books mean to me, I couldn’t help myself. Whilst discussing this on Twitter lots of people shared with me, what bookshops/books meant to them and I want to share that here too.

For me bookish places have always been safe spaces. From my school library where I used to be a “student librarian” for 7 year throughout secondary school and college to my local Waterstones store. Words and books bring an endless sort of comfort. That warm fuzzy, protected feeling you have in a bookshop can’t really be mimicked elsewhere. I have spent a lot of my life flicking through pages of books in book stores. Old stores and new ones. Old books and new ones.

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Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer 
Published by: Puffin
Format: Paperback 
Source: Bought, Buy on Waterstones, Book Depository 
Goodreads: 4.14
Synopsis: Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

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Book review: A Court of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas

a court of mist and furyA Court of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Published by: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed, Buy on WaterstonesAmazon
Goodreads rating: 4.77

Synopsis: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people. Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

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Book review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Published by: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought, Buy on Waterstones, Book Depository
Goodreads rating: 4.42

Synopsis: When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous – or both.

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Book review: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala book coverI Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Published by: Little Brown
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought, Buy on Waterstones, Book Depository
Goodreads rating: 4.03

Synopsis: When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

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Storm Sisters Author Mintie Das Answers My Questions

Storm Sisters by Mintie DasStorm Sister by Mintie Das
Published by: Bastei Entertainment
Release date: 30th June 2016
Format: ebook
Source: Blogger copy, Buy on Amazon
Goodreads rating: 3.05

I had the amazing opportunity to ask Mintie Das the author of Storm Sisters some questions. I loved all her answers! This Q&A is about pirates, complex characters, violence against women, metaphors and freedom. 

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Book Review: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Book review: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel PitcherMy Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
Published by: Orion Publishing Group
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought, Buy on Waterstones, Book Depository
Goodreads rating: 4.02

Synopsis: Ten-year-old Jamie hasn’t cried since it happened. He knows he should have—Jasmine cried, Mum cried, Dad still cries. Roger didn’t, but then he is just a cat and didn’t know Rose that well, really.

Everyone kept saying it would get better with time, but that’s just one of those lies that grown-ups tell in awkward situations. Five years on, it’s worse than ever: Dad drinks, Mum’s gone and Jamie’s left with questions that he must answer for himself.

This book is about a family that is torn apart after a terrorist attack. For a children’s book the opening of this book is equal parts heart-wrenching and disturbing.

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Book review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Book review: The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Published by: Penguin Random House
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought, Buy on Waterstones, Book Depository
Goodreads rating: 4.02

Synopsis: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way -a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love.

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Book review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens book coverBeauty Queens by Libba Bray
Published by: Scholastic
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought, Buy on Amazon, Book Depository
Goodreads rating: 3.59

Synopsis: When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island’s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.Written by Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

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Book cover: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass book cover

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Published by: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought, Buy on Waterstones, Book Depository
Goodreads rating: 4.24

Synopsis: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

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