The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew

Advance Reader Copy (ARC), via Netgalley, included.

The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew

What would life be like in Britain if the Germans had won the Second World War?

Set in a contemporary Nazi England, The Big Lie* gives an insight into life under German rule from the point of view of Jessika Keller, a teenage girl.

Jessika is a good girl, just like any other, in a country where doing what you are told is the key to survival. She doesn’t question things because she sees no reason to. When Clementine arrives things begin to change.

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Why did people ask “What is it about?” as if a novel had to be about only one thing.”

That is the perfect quote for talking about Americanah. This is not a book about only one thing. It is a book about race, love (both for yourself and romantic love), interracial relationships, leaving home to make a life for yourself in a new country, acceptance and hair.

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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

“They agreed about everything important and argued about everything else.”

Set in 1986, Eleanor & Park is the story of two teenagers named Eleanor and Park. They meet on the school bus, when Park somewhat grudgingly asks Eleanor to sit beside him on her first day, and soon develop a relationship that runs deeper than either of them had expected.

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The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Advance Reader Copy (ARC) via Netgalley included.

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Simon Watson is a young librarian, who lives alone in his family home on the Long Island Sound. The house is slowly crumbling into the sea and Simon is on the verge of losing his job due to budget cuts.

His parents are dead; his mother drowned in the water overlooked by his house and his father essentially gave up on life due to grief. Simon raised his sister, Enola, until she took off to join a travelling carnival.

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Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume

Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume

A story about one man and his dog doesn’t sound original, yet Spill Simmer Falter Wither is an extraordinary novel.

Our protagonist and his dog, One Eye, take off on a road trip after One Eye bites another dog. From a socially awkward man who likes to stick to his routine this is clearly a decision made in a panic.

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I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Hayley and Charlotte, from Water Painted Dreams and Colours and Carousels respectively, have set up The Sassy Books Book Club and since the book they chose for the first month, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, was already on my to read list I figured I would join in.

I’ll Give You the Sun tells the story of twins Noah and Jude who are incredibly close until jealousy and tragedy tear them apart.

The chapters alternate between 13 year-old Noah’s perspective and 16 year-old Jude’s. Part coming of age story; part family drama, with a side of the weird and fantastical.

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#IBW2015 – My favourite bookshop: Chapters Bookstore

#bookshopcrawl

 

It is Independent Bookshop Week, which culminates in the IBW Bookshop Crawl 2015 on Saturday, June 27th.

The IBW Bookshop crawl is in its second year and is aimed at bloggers, booktubers, vloggers, publishers, book organisations and anyone who loves books and wants to support their local bookshop(s).

Taking part is easy, just head along to your local independent bookshop(s) and buy a book. You can document your journey, on Twitter and Instagram, using #bookshopcrawl.

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Not Lost by Sarah Maria Griffin

Not Lost by Sarah Maria Griffin

I first came across Sarah Maria Griffin’s writing online. I read and enjoyed some of her essays and articles, including her food column for The Coven, so when I discovered she had written a book about her first year living in the US I couldn’t wait to read it.

“Memoir is not what this thing is. It is just a true story. Except for the parts that are enormous staggering lies…”

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How To Be A Heroine | Or, what I’ve learned from reading too much | by Samantha Ellis

How To Be A Heroine

How To Be A Heroine | Or, what I’ve learned from too much reading has been on my radar for a while, but now seemed like the perfect time to read it since it deals with something I’m currently working on a blog post about; the idea that the time, place and state of mind you are in plays a significant part in how you react to novels, plays, films, and music.

Samantha Ellis finds herself arguing with her best friend about whether Cathy Earnshaw is a better heroine than Jane Eyre. Ellis is firmly in the Cathy camp, while her friend thinks that Jane is the one who really makes her own way in the world.

Has she spent her life trying to be Cathy Earnshaw when she should have been trying to be Jane Eyre? A return to the literary heroines that shaped her life was in order. How did she feel about them now?

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