#BookHaul: Bookbridgr September 2017 & Extra Walker Book #MPBooks

A completely random selection of books! Do any spark your interest?

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I’m now officially accepted as a bookbridgr blogger and have received my first ever book post from them which is so exciting! 😀  There are quite a few interesting books available but I chose two which just happened to arrive on the same day even though I didn’t request them on the same day!  I also received a book from Walker Books which was late in being printed.  Check them all out and let me know if any interest you? 🙂

First the Bookbridgr books:

Two completely different books!

The French Exchange whale and Other Rejected Book Ideas by Cal King –  It’s said that everyone has a book inside them. Cal King doesn’t have just one though; he’s bursting with ideas for everything from children’s books to (in his mind) prize-winning novels.  Unfortunately for Cal, his ideas are all a bit silly. However, refusing to be deterred by rejections from publishers and agents (or the laughter of his girlfriend) he managed to secure a meeting at a top publisher and arrived at their London offices with a head full of dreams and a folder full of concepts.  At the end of the meeting (during which the editor seemed to have the most terrible cough) it was gently suggested that Cal compile his pitches into a collection of ‘terrible book ideas’ for the joke book market. Slightly hurt by this suggestion, but driven by a desperate and all-consuming need for approval, he agreed. And here it is . .

Yuki Means Happiness by Alison Jean Lester –  Diana is young and uneasy in a new relationship when she leaves America and moves halfway around the world to Tokyo seeking adventure. In Japan she takes a job as a nanny to two-year-old Yuki Yoshimura and sets about adapting to a routine of English practice, ballet and swimming lessons, and Japanese cooking.  But as Diana becomes increasingly attached to Yuki she also becomes aware that everything in the Yoshimura household isn’t as it first seemed. Before long, she must ask herself if she is brave enough to put everything on the line for the child under her care, confronting her own demons at every step of the way.

And here is the book from Walker Books:

Just look how beautiful this book is! 🙂

The Wonderling by Mira Bartók  – In this extraordinary novel with its deft nod to Dickenson heroes and rogues comes the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny.


What do you think of all these different books?  Are you interested in reading any?  Please let me know in the comments below I’d love to hear from you!  Come check me out in these places too 🙂 : 

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#BookHaul: Walker Books September 2017 #MPBooks

Travelling took a lot more out of me than I thought and I’ve been under the weather recently so I’m sorry for the late posts, but I’m finally feeling better and will be posting regularly from now on.  I need to catch up with all your messages and everything elsesoon, but for now here’s a book haul!

I received an amazing book haul from the kind people at Walker Books.  There’s a whole collection of books this month and I’ll be reviewing them as soon as I can.  Below are the books I received plus a brief description of each.  The Anthony Browne collection is a collection of books sold together so I’ll be reviewing each book individually as well as the set 🙂

Here are all the books and I’d like to add a note that The Anthony Browne collection is in a zip pouch and is filled with an amazing 10 books!:

The Anthony Browne Collection

The Anthony Browne Collection by Anthony Browne – A ten book collection of Anthony Browne’s top selling picture books, including, Willy the Champ, Silly Billy, Willy the Wimp, Willy the Dreamer, Changes, The Tunnel, Through the Magic Mirror, Look What I’ve got!, Piggybook and Willy and the Cloud

A pop-up book, a picture book and a informative book with plenty of pictures:

A picture book, text book and a pop-up book!

Pop-up Shakespeare: The Complete Works by The Reduced Shakespeare company – Interactive spreads with dramatic pop-ups and lift-the-flaps bring to life each of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, Romances and Tragedies. Packed with hilarious jokes and funny facts, this is the Bard’s complete works as they’ve never been seen before.

His royal Tinyness: A Terrible True Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones & David Roberts  – Once upon a time there was a happy family. Until one horrible no good day when a new ruler was born… A beautiful jacketed hardback with gold foil decoration makes this the perfect gift.

National Theatre: All About Theatre – Described by Benedict Cumberbatch as “a brilliant introduction to theatre”, this fascinating book by the National Theatre shows how plays like War Horse and many others are made

A young adult and a middle grade book:

Reading books!

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James – Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Football School Season 2: Where Football Explains the World by Alex Bellos &Ben Lyttleton – This book is packed with awesome true stories, real science and fascinating facts and will make you laugh loads – and it’s all about football


Are you interested in reading any of these books?  Or are you looking forward to something else?  What do you plan to read this month?  Let me know, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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August 2017 Round-up #MPBooks

August’s highlights and plans for September plus what happened on Saturday 26th.

Busy train station
Image from Pixabay.com

Saturday was not a good day to travel.  I had to join the mad Bank holiday rush of people and decided to opt for the train as the best option for travel.  However it wasn’t a good day, not for a lot of people, especially those that died.

When I got to the train station it turned out all trains were cancelled.  there was an accident on a station further up the track, somebody had been hit by a train.  Later this ‘hit by a train’ announcement changed to ‘fatality’.  Train lines to and from London were eventually re-opened but it took several hours before anyone could travel anywhere.

To add to the travel misery, several train stations are closed for a week for major works and so all trains, even direct ones were extra slow as they all had to use the same few stations (rather than ending at several different London stations as is the norm).

When I finally arrived in Victoria Train Station it was already late and although my journey took me further north out of London, there was an announcement at the station that somebody somewhere on the Brighton line was hit by a train (whether deceased or not I still don’t know) :/

There was at least one more fatality on a train line somewhere towards Southampton on the same day, involving another person hit by a train; and on the roads a major accident on a motorway resulted in at least eight deaths.

Saturday was a bad day for travel in the UK.  It was supposed to be the big Bank holiday getaway, but so many people dying made the day a sombre one.


Smart phone
This isn’t my phone just a picture of one.   Image from Pixabay.com

So that was Saturday, which was a strange day.  Travelling took a lot out of me, I’m not the best traveller, but the more people there are the more ill I feel so I’ve been taking it easy and haven’t done much reading recently.  I’ve got some new an exciting books to read though, which I’ll share with you soon in a Book Haul post.  Unfortunately due to my camera dying last week, I’ve been taking pictures of my latest book haul (plus the insides of picture books) with my phone’s camera…which I’m not very good at so apologies in advance for any images that just look wrong or have shadows or something.

correcting

This month I’ve neglected my blog a bit, I haven’t posted as many articles or poetry as I’d hoped due to being away a lot but I hope what I did post was still interesting to some and certainly my most popular post of the month was Does Editing in Books Matter?  If you haven’t already seen it then take a look and add your views I’d love to know what you think 🙂

Tell it to the Moon book coverThe second most popular post is surprising as it’s a review!  This is the first time a review has been one of the top 3 most popular posts of a month but here you are, a review for ‘Tell it to the Moon’ by Siobhan Curham.

Pink flower

 

My last highlight is a poem which I’m so happy it was so popular as it’s a poem I took a lot of time to write and is all about keeping to your true self, your true path no matter how hard it may seem: The Beautiful Path  Please check it out if you haven’t already.  I hope you like it and it motivates you 🙂

Laughing cat

Although those were my popular posts I’d like to shout out my Cats Really do Sell! post which was a bit of silly fun and something I thought anyone who loves cats, or just likes silly clips of cats might enjoy.

 

So that was my August round-up, of course there was one more post that happened a day or two before August and that was this: A Publisher’s Apology and A Chance to See My Old Blog   As the title suggests it was the apology I’d been waiting for from publisher Austin Macauley and yes…a chance to see my old blog – for those of you who don’t know where I came from 😀 😛 !


 

So what’s planned for this month?  I have some books to read, and I’m still trying to catch up with a few books I’ve left behind from old hauls.  Apart from that I’ll try to get those articles out.  One good thing is that I’ve stuck to the #MondayMotivation post.  I’m doing at least one post on the first Monday of each month, and I’ll try to do more when I can.

I don’t want to make too many plans as I’m still a bit online/offline at the moment but I hope to get around to visiting a few blogs I’m still behind with as well as some new ones who have followed me who I haven’t yet visited.

How was your August?  Any plans for September and what you might be reading?  Please let me know in the comments box below, I love hearing from you 🙂


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#BookReview: We’re Off to Look for Aliens by Colin McNaughton #MPBooks

A fun picture book with a very clever twist!

We're Off to Look for Aliens book coverTitle: We’re Off to Look for Aliens

Author/Illustrator: Colin McNaughton

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

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Description: Colin McNaughton boldly goes in search of ALIENS!  Two books in one, this intergalactic epic will make your eyes pop out on stalks!  May the Wilberforce be with you.

My Review:  I enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would and I’m sure plenty of kids will too. ‘We’re Off to Look for Aliens’ is a fun picture book, a bit large being wider than A4 but only a touch shorter. Each page inside is a thick and glossy page with very colourful pictures throughout. The book is clever as it’s a story within story and narrated by a child. The first pages are about Dad and the new children’s book he’s created. He shows it to the kids and they all read the book which happens to have the same title and author as the one we are reading.

Lovely and clear illustrations

The story in the book is funny with brilliant repetitive lines. An example of the first page of this is: We’re off to look for aliens, Ugly-bugly aliens, We’re off to look for aliens, Wilberforce and I. This ‘Wilberforce and I’ rhyme keeps repeating on every page with the rest of the text following the same rhyme. You actually get into a rhythm reading this story and every turn of the page is fun to read.

Colourful pictures

The illustrations are very colourful and funny. There’s actually two sets of illustrations with the outer story looking a little more old-fashioned and the pictures from the book the kids are reading being a bit different, with lines being darker and a generally different feel to them. I really like the different aliens in the book and how strange some of them look. I actually really enjoyed the illustrations more than I thought I would as there’s quite a lot to see on many pages and the designs of the creatures are different to ones I often see.

Interesting and fun aliens

The ending of the book has a very fun twist that really made me laugh as I wasn’t expecting it. I think this book will have a wide appeal to both kids and even some adults and the repetitive sing-song nature of the inner story will keep many entertained. I’d definitely read this book again. I actually didn’t think I’d find it as fun as I did and I’d definitely recommend it, if just for that twist ending!
-Thanks to Walker books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch #MPBooks

A heart-warming YA book with a beautiful Italian setting.

Love & Gelato book coverTitle: Love & Gelato

Author: Jenna Evans Welch

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary

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Description: Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, fulfilling her mother’s dying wish that she should get to know her father.  With the help of her mother’s journal, Lina uncovers a magical world of secret romance, art and hidden bakeries.  People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

My Review:  I can’t believe how much I enjoyed this book! ‘Love & Gelato’ is a YA romance/contemporary novel with a feel-good story. Lina’s mother tells her she wants her to move to Florence to be with her father, Howard, but Lina doesn’t know Howard, her mother never even mentioned him until now.

The story is told in the first person and after a brief prologue where Lina’s mother explains her wish to her, the story begins with Lina arriving in Florence and getting to know her new surroundings. The tale quickly moves forward when Lina finds out about her mother’s journal, the one she kept when she had been in Florence herself, before Lina was born. The rest of the book is a combination of both Lina’s story and her mother’s journal entries, which act like a second story.

I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this. I’m not a big reader of romance novels but this one is just so heartwarming. I felt compelled to keep reading even though there’s not a lot that initially happens compared to some books I’m used to. Although Lina’s story, her situation with Howard and getting to know new people and Florence was exciting to read, I really enjoyed her mother’s journal entries much more. It was like reading two stories at once and the questions that came from every entry just made it more and more compelling. The way Florence is described is amazing. There’s not long paragraphs of description but it’s enough to really make you feel like you’re there and although I’ve never been there myself, this book made me want to visit.

Although the book is a little predictable in parts, I did guess what was happening to Lina’s mother far earlier than Lina did at the start of the book, it was still a compelling read.  There were enough twists with the story to really keep me reading on and I found myself engrossed in the tale, especially in the second half when Lina’s mother’s journal entries start to reveal some hidden truths.

The book is both a romance and contemporary novel.  I loved the romance in both Lina’s story and her mother’s but there was an equally good almost mystery sort of story about finding out the truth of what happened in Florence all those years ago.  That’s why I’d say it’s a good contemporary novel too.  I really loved the ending,  where everything was so well wrapped up.  It was both a very satisfying ending and also one that left a big smile on my face.

There is nothing at all offensive in this book. If you speak Italian you may find one word that’s not exactly swearing but not so nice (if I can put it that way) but there was nothing about this book that is offensive and it’s just a really good, feel-good story.

I’d recommend this book for anyone interested in a summer feel-good read, whether you’re into romance stories or not.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: They Came From Planet Zabalooloo! by Sean Taylor & Kate Hindley #MPBooks

A fun and quite silly children’s picture book

They Came From Planet Zabalooloo book coverTitle: They Came From Planet Zabalooloo!

Author: Sean Taylor

Illustrator: Kate Hindley

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

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Description: Watch out, planet Earth!  Zoron, Bazoo and Zob have come from Zabalooloo.  They’ve got a supersonic-sucker with shrinker-nozzle…and they are ready for an EPIC adventure!  OOH LA LA!

My Review: This is a funny and slightly silly story. Zoron, Bazoo and Zob are creatures from the planet Zabalooloo and they have come to earth to take BIG-SIZED thing back to their own planet, but things don’t go according to plan. The paperback book is about A4 in size and filled with thick glossy pages of colourful illustrations.

A wide book with lots of fun images

The story is really silly and perfect for anyone with a daft sense of humour, I’m sure lots of kids would enjoy this for how silly it is. When Zoron, Bazoo and Zob arrive on earth you realise they are tiny creatures and the BIG-SIZED thing they decide to take back is an animal. What happens afterwards is a really silly but there’s a great ending to the story and it actually has a great message too.

More fun images!

The illustrations are brilliant and quite detailed too. I love the expressions on the animal faces and little extra details within each image. The pictures really do make this book funny and are just perfect for the silliness of the story.

Comic style images with text

Although some reviewers have pointed out how the creatures from Zabalooloo talk in a slightly strange way, I don’t think it’s anything that kids would find hard to understand. I actually think it’s quite engaging and a fun, if slightly silly/daft, book for kids to both read and look at with the funny illustrations.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


What do you think of this book?  Do you enjoy funny picture books?  Let me know 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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Does Editing in Books Matter? #MPBooks

How do you feel about books with typos and other errors in them? Does it bother you or do you not care?

correcting
Image from Pixabay.com

Does spelling and grammar matter when reading a book? Are you not bothered when you see the odd grammar mistake, or does a mere apostrophe in the wrong place drive you crazy? Would it really matter to you if books are well edited or not?

Over the weekend I tried to read a science fiction novel but after getting through 70 pages I had to stop. The book wasn’t terrible, in fact the story itself seemed interesting but what spoilt my enjoyment was the lack of editing. It wasn’t just things I personally hate, such as the over use of adverbs and a general monotonous tone to the narration, but it was those silly and very avoidable mistakes, things like apostrophes and commas in the wrong places, characters suddenly being called by different names and even the odd spelling error in simple words. The more and more I read on, the more and more the book became unreadable until I finally put it down as I just couldn’t take seeing another error anymore.

I know I may be fussier than many people, but the fact is I don’t like seeing errors in books. In all the books I’ve read in the past, in the years before I started blogging, I never found more than a handful of errors, in fact it was usually just a missing full stop or quotation mark, and I honestly can say I could count the number of errors I’d spotted on one hand!  Now maybe I wasn’t as observant as I am now but seeing so few errors in the past, I do find it annoying when I see more and more books filled with them these days, even the most simple ones which could be avoided. But am I the only one that feels this way?

Now, although I do have a good grasp of English grammar, I am not the grammar police, despite what I’ve said I’m not 100% perfect at grammar myself. I don’t care if people misspell things and use bad grammar in a casual sense, I also don’t mind blogs that have typos and issues because I’m guilty of it myself. I even expect some newspapers to have errors as they don’t have much time to read through before publishing. But when it comes to books I can’t help but feel that typos and grammar mistakes just shouldn’t be there and if they are it just reflects badly on the publisher or author.

From what I have seen the number of errors in books is rising, especially with more self-published and indie presses. The book I had to put down and mark as DNF (did not finish) was by a small indie publisher. I’d been given the book for a review. But now I’m left feeling frustrated because as a book blogger I have to go back to them and tell them why I couldn’t finish (do I really tell them it’s because they aren’t good at proofreading, or do I just go with the standard ‘I didn’t get along with it’ line?)

But am I being fussy for nothing? Is it just me that feels this way about books? Should we all be lenient these days when it comes to typos and grammar errors? Or does it spoil your enjoyment of a book if it’s riddled with errors?

Please let me know what you think, I’d love to hear some other opinions 🙂


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