Random Bookish Things · Reading Horizons

A Little Update

It feels like I’ve been away from the blog for an absolute age, although in reality my last post was only just over a week ago. However, as I was on holiday the week before that, I’d prepped and scheduled my three previous blog posts in advance so, for me, it’s been about a month since I’ve done any serious writing for The Shelf. So hello again and I hope you’ve all been good while I’ve been away.

And since then so much has happened! Books have been read, new books have been purchased and, crucially, I’ve started an MA in English Literature. Yes, I’ve jacked in the day job (the full-time one anyway; part-time employment still being required to keep bread on the table) and thrown myself back into student life to improve my mind via extensive reading. Mr Darcy would surely approve.

And extensive reading it most certainly is! I may be remembering my undergraduate years through rose-tinted spectacles and with 14 years distance but I’m sure I had far more free time to spend in the pub last time around. I certainly developed a mean enough game of pool to suggest that I spent a great deal of time there. Now I’m up to my eyeballs in reading – novels, plays, critical essays, secondary reading, supplementary reading. It’s both incredibly exciting (which book nerd doesn’t want an excuse to read all day) and mildly terrifying (I’m sure I read slower than I used to. Either that or time has sped up since I was 18).

My course started last week and, consequently, I’ve been going at a million miles an hour since then find a rhythm to study, getting used to not being part of the 9-5 whilst still having the workload of 9-5, and marvelling at how incredibly young all the undergraduates look (seriously, they’re about 12…). Which has left me without a proper post this week, hence you’re stuck with my mad rabblings instead.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying apologies for not having a holiday reading post to share with you today. I did read some excellent books whilst I was away and a review post will be forthcoming shortly to share my thoughts on them with you. I’ve also got some great blog tours lined up for November, as well as a spooky recommendations post in the works for Halloween. And, if anyone is interested, I’ll talk a little more about what books I’m studying this semester as well.

With the autumn colours starting to show and the nights drawing in, it’s the perfect time to be curling up with a book (or a play, or a critical essay!) so do let me know what you’ve all been reading and, until next time…

Happy Reading! x

 

 

 

Random Bookish Things

My First Blogger Event! #OrionOnTour

I have been blogging about books and reading for nearly three years now. Despite this, I suffer from major impostor syndrome when it comes to the blog. As if one day, someone’s going to jump out from behind my mountainous TBR, shut down my Twitter, lock my WordPress account and say “You’re not really a book blogger, you’re just a reader with ideas above your station!”

Most of the time, my rational brain can shout down the impostor syndrome. After all, being a book blogger requires no more qualification than being a reader with a desire to share the book love with other like-minded folk – it isn’t like you have to pass exams to be allowed into the fold. But sometimes, the little Doubting Thomas in my brain does make it hard to put myself and the blog out there in the world. It was a good twelve months, for example, before I plucked up the courage to email a publicist asking for a proof, or to approach publishing types via social media. And I’ve never done any form of blog ‘networking’….until now!

Yes, nearly three years after deciding to begin this book blogging malarkey, I finally plucked up the courage to attend a blogger event thanks to the lovely folk over at Orion Books, who sent through an invite to their blogger and author event Orion On Tour. The aim of the event was to get publishing out of London and touring the country, taking books and authors out to meet us eager readers, booksellers and bloggers who aren’t blessed with easy access to the capital.

Pushing aside the whimpers of fear from my inner introvert, I said yes to the invite and, a week later, found myself standing in the upstairs room of one of Birmingham’s trendy bars mingling with other like-minded souls and being introduced to some of Orion’s current and upcoming titles.

IMG_E1256First up, and fitting nicely with the idea of moving out of London were the Hometown Tales series, which aims to celebrate regional diversity in publishing. The books, each of which are themed around a particular area of the UK, feature two writers – one established and one previously unpublished – writing about the places that they think of as home. I snagged copies of Hometown Tales Midlands; featuring Costa-shortlisted author Kerry Young and newcomer Carolyn Sanderson, and Hometown Tales Yorkshire, featuring memoirist Cathy Rentzenbrink and new voice Victoria Hennison. I really love the concept of these books and am looking forward to exploring both, as well as to seeking out more in the series, which currently includes tales centred around Birmingham, Glasgow, Highlands & Hebrides, Lancashire, South Cost and Wales.

The BellesI also picked up a copy of The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton, a new fantasy title from Gollancz, which is set in a world where the people are born grey and damned and the  aforementioned Belle’s control the power of beauty. The novel follows Camellia Beauregard, a young woman seeking the become the favourite Belle – the one chosen by the queen to tend to the royal family. Although not a huge reader of fantasy, I picked this up because of the unusual premise. It sounds as if it’s going to take a look at the concept of what it is to be beautiful – and I think there will be some political shenanigans and intricate court politics that Camellia will have to contend with too.

Double Life

A Double Life by Flynn Berry was the next title to catch my eye, primarily because it purports to be loosely based on the disappearance of Lord Lucan. The novel follows Claire, a young woman obsessed with uncovering the truth behind the disappearance of her privileged, aristocratic father. With elements of mystery and a dash of the thrilling, this sounded like a page-turning summer read.

My final pick of the evening was the Orion Fiction Highlights 2019, which has excerpts from upcoming Orion titles due for publication next year. I haven’t had the opportunity to read them all yet but Alex Michaelides’ thriller The Silent Patient, due in February, sound like it’s one to watch. This thriller focuses on Alicia, a woman whose apparently perfect life dissolves when she shoots her husband five times and then never speaks another word, and forensic psychotherapist Theo, who has been consumed with Alicia’s case for five years and is the only person able to unravel the mystery of why she did it.

Claire Empson’s Him was another thriller title that intrigued me, with it’s promise of a doomed love affair that has come back to haunt traumatised, mute Catherine. And on a totally different note, I also liked the sound of Laura Kemp’s Bring Me Sunshine, about a timid young woman whose new job requires her to front the morning show of Sunshine FM, a local radio station in Mumbles. It sounds a little bit like Libby Page’s The Lido, which was a charming and heart-warming novel that I’ve recently read and very much enjoyed.

I had a fabulous evening and met some great people, including the lovely Caroline (@thedivinewrite1) who blogs over at The Divine Write, and fellow Book Connector and psychological thriller author Sally Jenkins, who I hope to feature on a Q&A at some point in the future. Thank you to Sam Eades and to Orion Books for hosting such a friendly and welcoming event and giving me the opportunity to tick another thing off my ‘I Really AM A Book Blogger!’ checklist! I definitely won’t be so wary in the future of the dreaded ‘networking’ and very much hope you’ll be back doing more events near me soon!

 

Random Bookish Things · Reading Horizons · Upcoming Books

A Reading Digest

After a recent run of blog tours, I’ve spent the last week treating myself to some freestyle reading so I thought it might be nice to do chatty round-up post about what I have read, what I’m currently reading and what I’m hoping to read next – a sort of reading digest of my recent bookish life. If you guys like it, I might do them more regularly so do let me know in the comments what you think.

Recent Reads

SevenDeathsIf you follow me on Twitter (@amyinstaffs), you’ll have probably seen me raving about Stuart Turton’s The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, which I’ve just finished as part of Simon Savidge’s second Big Book Weekender. It’s a unique novel that defies easy categorisation and, as such, is difficult to summarise without spoiling – the best I’ve been able to come up with so far is Agatha Christie country house mystery meets Quantum Leap body-hopping – but I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Definitely one of my favourite reads of 2018 so far, I shall be doing a full review in due course and wouldn’t be at all surprised if it makes my Books of the Year list.

On the non-fiction front, I’ve also just finished The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration England by Ian Mortimer. I made slow progress on this one – not because it wasn’t interesting, but because it was my bedtime book so I was generally only reading a few pages a night before turning the light out. The Restoration has never been one of my favourite historical periods but Ian Mortimer is brilliant at making history relatable and this latest Time Traveller’s Guide is no different – it’s the perfect blend of accessible, interesting and educating, making it perfect for the armchair enthusiast keen to fill gaps in their knowledge of British history.

Currently Reading

The SparrowAfter much gentle cajoling from my best friend (who thinks it’s amazing), I’ve finally picked up The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell which is about – and I kind you not – Jesuits in space. There is, of course, a bit more too it than that – the book involves a doomed scientific mission seeking to establish first contact with an extraterrestrial culture. I’m still pretty early on in the novel (Evelyn Hardcastle a bit took over my life for 3 days) but it’s already apparent that the mission has gone badly wrong so I’m eager to find out what has happened and why.

Following much love for it on Twitter and BookTube, I’ve also just started The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey. I’ve had this medieval mystery story on my shelf since listening to a brilliant interview with the author on the Vintage Books podcast. I’m intending to return to a study of medieval literature when I start my MA in September so the period of the novel – the late 15th century – is of great interest to me, as is the central conceit that examines the certainty of belief amidst an event that causes doubt and mistrust. So far I’m finding the book rather glacial in pace but richly lyrical in tone so I suspect it will be one that rewards patient weekend reading as opposed to snatched chapters on busy weekdays.

On the non-fiction (and bedtime book) front, I’ve now picked up The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards, which is a look at the golden age detective authors and their formation of the illustrious detection club. It’s a library book so I’ll have to crack on in order to get through it’s 500 or so pages during my loan period but, so far, the subject matter is proving interesting and the book is broken down into easily digestible chapters focusing on each author.

On the audiobook front, I’m currently listening to Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer. Subtitled ‘The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship’, this is both a personal and a sociological examination of female friendships in the modern era. I’ve been really enjoying listening to it so far – there’s been so many “that’s me and my girl friends!” moments throughout, plus plenty of touchstones to friendship focused fiction, films and TV shows.

Upcoming Books

ButterflyRanchI’m back on blog tour with a couple of titles next month so will shortly need to get cracking on both Gunnar Staalsen’s Big Sister, a Chandleresque PI novel by one of the fathers of Nordic Noir, and R K Salters Butterfly Ranch, a debut novel set in Belize that examines the aftermath of a popular author’s attempted suicide.

I’m also hoping to finally get round to Charlie Laidlaw’s The Things We Learn When We’re Dead, which I was kindly sent by the author. Aside from the brilliant title, the novel sounds like a lot of fun; with a unique take on heaven as a lost, dysfunctional spaceship. If that sounds like your sort of thing too, Charlie has advised that the novel will be free to download on BookBub for a limited period between 13 and 27 June 2018.

And last, but by no means least, I do really need to read Exit West by Mohsin Hamid as that’s my book club’s next pick. So plenty to keep me busy over the next few weeks!

Do let me know what you’ve been reading lately, what you’re currently reading and what you’re looking forward to reading next – you can say hi in the comments below or over on Twitter @amyinstaffs. I’d really like to know if you’ve read any of the above titles – or if you’re interested in picking them up. In the meantime, I hope you all have an excellent week and, until next time….

Happy Reading! x

 

 

Book Tags · Random Bookish Things

New Year Book Tag

Hello 2018!! I hope all you fellow book lovers had a fabulous Christmas and New Year and that you received lots of books, bookish gifts and book vouchers in your stockings!

I’ve decided not to start 2018 with a Reading Resolutions post. Weirdly, I think setting myself yearly reading goals has negatively impacted my reading in the last couple of years as opposed to renewing it – I’ve felt hemmed in having to read to my goals and ended up with some lengthy trips to Slumpsville as a result. Instead, I saw this fun tag on Katherine’s blog, Bibliomaniac that looks more loosely at reading plans for the upcoming year.

How many books are you planning to read in 2018?

I managed to reach my Goodreads target of 60 books in 2017 but only just and, towards the end of the year, it really felt like I was choosing short books just to try and reach my goal. For that reason, I’ve decided to lower my 2018 target to 52 books – one a week. I’m certainly hoping that I’ll read more than that but I think that’s a manageable number that allows for periods when I don’t feel like reading as much.

Name five books you didn’t get to read in 2017 but want to make a priority this year?

To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The Dry by Jane Harper
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Name a genre you want to read more of?

I’d really like to read some good fantasy and science fiction in 2018 – I used to really enjoy these genres but haven’t read any for a while. Other than that, I’m happy with my book diet of crime, historical fiction and literary fiction!

Three non-related book goals for 2018?

– Think less about stuff and just do it
– Spend less time on social media and my phone
– Get into the great outdoors more often

What’s a book you’ve had forever and you still need to read?

Definitely Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood! My Mum bought me my copy for Christmas 2003 when I was in college – I’d just read The Handmaid’s Tale and was desperate to read more Atwood so she bought me Cat’s Eye, The Blind Assassin, The Robber Bride and Alias Grace. I’ve read Cat’s Eye (loved it) and The Blind Assassin (meh) but still have The Robber Bride and Alias Grace to read. Really do want to read it this year as I’m desperate to watch the Netflix adaptation!

One word you’re hoping 2018 will be?

Progressive.

Tag a friend….

All of you! I’d love if any one wants to have a go at this tag!

So that’s my start to 2018 and a few loose goals for the year in terms of reading. I hope your reading year has started well – do tell me what you’ve chosen as your first book of the year and if you have any reading aims for 2018. And, in the meantime…

Happy Reading x

 

Book Tags · Festive · Random Bookish Things

Feeling Festive Tag

Happy Christmas Eve book lovers!

I hope you’re all fully geared up and prepared for the festive season. I’ve been prepping for the big day tomorrow (I’m hosting) by doing plenty of  baking, drinking a couple of glasses of mulled wine and eating my own body weight in treat sized chocolate.

Having got pretty much there by way of preparations, I thought it would be nice to share a festive tag with you all. I first saw this as a video on Simon Savidge’s channel but it originates with Liv over at The Book Nook and it sounded like a lot of fun so, without further ado, settle down, grab a cuppa and lets get festive!

1. Favourite Christmas movie?

The Muppet Christmas Carol, hands down. I’ll be watching it later. I’ve also got a soft spot for Arthur Christmas and no festive season is complete without a re-watch of Die Hard.

2. Favourite Christmas song?

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues. Most depressing Christmas song ever but proof that, if you throw enough folk music and accordions at something, it instantly cheers everyone up.

3. Favourite Christmas television? 

Blackadder’s Christmas Carol. As Edmund Blackadder would say, “I trust Christmas brings to you its traditional mix of good food and violent stomach cramp.”

4. Favourite Christmas book?

The Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien. Yes, I know there’s nothing Christmassy about it but I usually start my annual re-read of The Lord of the Rings around Christmas so now I associate the first book with the festive season. Plus it starts with a massive party, lots of food and much merriment which does seem seasonally appropriate.

5. Favourite Christmas season snack?

Mince pies. Especially the Salted Caramel ones from Aldi. They’re delicious.

6. Favourite Christmas Day food?

I adore sage and onion stuffing. No roast dinner is complete without it.

7. Favourite Christmas Decoration?

It’s hard to pick one as I’ve got some lovely memories on my tree. If I had to choose, it would be the one my grandparents bought me when for my first Christmas that says ‘Nothing like a granddaughter to light the world at Christmas’ and is dated 1985 – it reminds me of my family and, especially, of my wonderful and much missed Granddad.

8. What is your favourite part of Christmas?

Having some time off to spend with my nearest and dearest – it’s a season when everyone seems to remember how important it is to make time for those around them.

9. Tell us about your favourite Christmas tradition that you or your family have.

Stocking presents! We open our presents after breakfast but the day always starts with opening a present from Santa in your stocking (which is, of course, at the foot of the bed) and the present is usually something relatively small and fun – like a puzzle or novelty book. Then it’s downstairs for tea and bagels before we commence the rest of the unwrapping.

10. Any new traditions you’d like to start?

I’ve gotten into the habit of hosting a fish pie supper on Christmas Eve for my mum, my husband and I before heading to the First Communion of Christmas – which is very much a thing of recent years as opposed to something I’ve done since childhood. I’m currently trying to persuade the long-suffering husband to partake in the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod, or Yule Book Flood, where you give books on Christmas Eve and spend the evening reading them – he is yet to be convinced.

11. What’s the most memorable gift you’ve been given? 

Probably the beautifully illustrated copy of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that my Mum bought me. She also got me a gorgeous hardback illustrated The Velveteen Rabbit, which is very special too. And my husband bought me a Folio edition of Pride and Prejudice last year. I treasure all of them as they remind me of Christmas and my loved ones when I read them.

12. Have you ever re-gifted something at Christmas?

Yes, but only because I thought it would be perfect for the person in question and completely wasted on me.

13. Do you prefer lots of little presents or one big one?

Lots of little presents most definitely. Especially if they are book-shaped.

14. What are you most excited about for Christmas this year?

Having a few days to put my feet up and chill out with family and friends – and a few good books, of course!

Before I sign off for the festive season, I did also want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has followed or supported the blog in 2017.  However you’re celebrating and wherever you are, I hope you all have a wonderful bookish Christmas. I’ll be back before New Year with my Books of the Year list but, until then…

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading!

x

 

Festive · Random Bookish Things

The Shelf of Unread Books Bookish Christmas Gift Guide!!

Yes, I’m aware that it’s not yet December but the Festive season certainly seems to be upon us – mince pies on every aisle end, novelty jumpers in every clothes shop and, if you’re anything like me, a vague sense of panic that you haven’t even started your Christmas shopping yet. Fear not though because The Shelf is here to help with a selection of book-related gifts to give your nearest and dearest this festive season.

Beautiful, Beautiful Books

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetBook lovers, unsurprisingly, love books. But buying a book for your bookworm is not always the easiest thing to do. Bookworms, by their very nature, buy and/or borrow a lot of books. So how to get something they’ll love and treasure? Simple – buy a beautiful edition of an old favourite. There’s some absolutely stunning series of classics out there at the moment from the every-expanding Penguin Clothbound Classics to Vintage’s oh so pretty Russian Classics series (pictured) released earlier this year. There’s also the latest in the Harry Potter illustrated editions – Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them and A History of Magic – or, if you prefer your children’s books a little more classic, some lovely new hardbacks of Tove Jansson’s Finn Family Moomintroll books. On the contemporary novel front, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has been released in a stunning black covered hardback with red sprayed edges by Vintage whilst Alias Grace has been given a gorgeous orange hardback from Bloomsbury. Chances are, if your bookworm has a favourite classic, children’s classic or contemporary classic, there will be a beautiful edition out there with their name on it.

Bookish Jewellery

il_570xN.453330071_h8lfI’ve mentioned Scribbelicious jewellery in a previous gift guide but they’ve expanded their range to include a wider selection of classic and contemporary titles, more styles and even homeware such as mugs and magnets. Also worth a mention is Coryographies, an Etsy store that features beautiful earrings, necklaces and bookmarks shaped like bookshelves and stacks of books, such as the Jane Austen Bookcase necklace (pictured right). Eclectic Eccentricity don’t specialise in literary jewellery but their gorgeous range features plenty of pieces suitable for matching up to books such as the Ursa Major Bear Necklace which always reminds me of Iorek from Phillip Pullman’s Northern Lights trilogy.

Literary Gifts

2173.0_1024x1024The Literary Gift Company stock gifts suitable for all tastes and wallets ranging from pin badges to jigsaws via socks, mugs and stationary – it’s like a one stop shop of book related presents. My personal favourites include the Bodleian High Jinks Jigsaw (pictured) – perfect for keeping your bookworm occupied over the festive season – and the Personal Library Kit which allows book lovers to fulfill all their childhood librarian dreams. They also do a lovely range of clothing including T-shirts, scarves and socks, as well as homewares such as cushions, mugs, tote bags and book pouches. Speaking of book pouches, Book Buddle gives your book a hug with lovely padded book sleeves for paperbacks, hardbacks and e-readers in a variety of pretty fabric. The stock changes regularly so keep checking back for new items – or you can request a custom order. Also on Etsy are MyBookmark with a fun and eclectic range of handmade bookmarks.

Subscription Services

AAAABook subscription services are starting to gain more traction here in the UK  so, whilst we still don’t have access to the US’s Book of the Month club, there are some great UK based alternatives out there. Book & a Brew is a monthly subscription service that sends a hardback book and a lovely box/tin of specially chosen tea to complement that month’s title. Book selections are across a wide range of genres and gift subscriptions and one off boxes are also available. For a real adventure into the unknown, how about The Random Book Club?  Run from the famous Wigtown bookshop (the largest second hand bookshop in Scotland), the titles are hand-picked, a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and sure to contain an element of suprise – great for anyone who wants to leave their literary comfort zone behind in 2018. If a book subscription is slightly beyond budget, why not consider a magazine subscription instead? Offering both print and digital subscriptions, NewBooks Magazine (pictured) is a quarterly filled with reviews, extracts, features and author interviews tailored to readers and reading groups. Featured titles in the magazine are available for only the cost of postage and packaging and there’s an exclusive offer for Christmas to include two free books with your gift subscription. I’ve been a subscriber for a few years now and can genuinely say I look forward to each issue landing on the doormat.

Charitable Gifts

Finally I wanted to mention a wonderful campaign being run by BookTrust, the reading charity. Their £10.00 book gift campaign aims to provide books to 9,700 children in care this Christmas time. A donation, either from you or on behalf of someone you love, could help make a real difference so please do consider giving if you can.

Hopefully that little lot will provide a few ideas for bookish gifts to give to your loved ones this season – or possibly some things you want to add to your own letter to Santa! If you’ve got any other Christmas gift suggestions, I’d love to hear them so please drop me a comment down below or say hi over on Twitter. What will you be buying this Christmas? And what are you hoping to receive by way of bookish goodies? Do let me know and, until next time…

Happy Reading x

Random Bookish Things

Love Your Library #LibrariesWeek

This week, 9 – 14 October, sees the return of Libraries Week, a nationwide celebration of libraries and their place in our community.

As both a reader and a book blogger, I’m a huge fan of my local library. As someone with a finite supply of disposable income, they’re a fantastic way of feeding my page habit without earning the disapproval of my bank manager, plus they offer a way of trialing books and authors that I’m interested in but not sure I’ll enjoy without investing my hard-earned funds.

And it seems I’m not alone in my admiration. According to statistics collected for Libraries Week, in 2016 the great British public made 250 million visits to public libraries across Great Britain. That’s more people in and out of the door of libraries nationwide than visited the cinema, the theatre, live music gigs and visited the UKs top ten tourist attractions COMBINED.

Surprisingly, young people are the group most likely to use public libraries with 15 – 25 year olds more likely to use their local library than over 55s. And 3 out of 4 people across the UK say that public libraries are essential or very important to their communities.

Despite this, libraries continue to be under threat from cuts in public spending, making national initiatives like Libraries Week – and support from all of us readers – increasingly important for their continued existence.

I’m aware that services vary across the country but I have to say that my local library service is fantastic. They’re continually investing in stock to ensure that new titles are available for loan soon after release, have an extensive audiobook and ebook selection and offer both print and digital issues of a range of magazines. All this in addition to offering a range of clubs and activities, computer access and a host of community services and information. For FREE.

But what, I hear you cry, if my local library doesn’t have a copy of the book I want? Well, for the princely sum of fifty pennies (25p for concessions and free for children), I can order a book in to my local branch from anywhere in the county. Out of county requests are more expensive but if that rare book that I just have to read can only be obtained from a library in Cornwall, then it’ll cost me £7.00 (or £3.50 for concessions and, yet again, free for the kiddos). All of which is pretty darn good I think.

It’s not a service immune from the cuts by any means. Our mobile library service has been drastically reduced and a number of smaller branch libraries are now run by the local community. Regular book sales to top up library funds mean that an author’s latest title will be readily available but try to find their debut and you might be struggling (which is especially frustrating when you want to read a crime series from the beginning). But, overall, it’s a fabulous service and one I know that I’m lucky to have access to.

The photo at the top of this post is my current library haul. As you can see, there’s everything in there from new releases to award winners. Some of the books I’ve borrowed because I want to read them ASAP but can’t really afford to invest in a hardback (Reservoir 13, The Heart’s Invisible Furies, Stay With Me), some of them because I think they sound interesting but I’m not sure they’ll be my cup of tea (The Best Kind of People, Home Fire), some because I think I’ll only read them the once (The Marriage Pact) and some because they’re non-fiction that I want to dip into for specific research (A History of Ancient Britain, Inconvenient People).

If I’d had to buy all of these books, I wouldn’t have picked up half of these titles – and would probably have waited for the paperback edition on another quarter of them. Which makes the library a huge part of the way in which I discover and enjoy new authors and new titles.

All of which boils down to me saying that I love my local library. It’s a fantastic service and a really important way for many people to access books, media and computers. So please, if you don’t already, go and show your local library some love. I’d love to hear from readers about if you do use your library (and, if not, why not), whether your library reading differs from the books you would purchase and what your current library read is. So please, drop me a comment down below or over on Twitter and, until the next time…

Happy Reading! x