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Bibliomania

Bibliomania

Joined October 2022

A book a day helps you work rest and play. Antiquarian bookseller, book addict :) My collection: https://www.librarything.com/profile/ArdizzoneFan
review
Bibliomania
Treacle Walker | ALAN. GARNER
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Panpan

Oh no, this really wasn't for me. I've read (and enjoyed) other Alan Garner novels but while I could see this novella has hidden depths I couldn't be bothered to unpick them. I wonder if I might have enjoyed it more as an audio book..... but I don't feel tempted to find out!! Really surprised it made the Booker shortlist; it felt like he was trying just that bit too hard to be clever. I know others have loved it but not for me. #JanuaryChallenge

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Bibliomania
The Weather Woman | Sally Gardner
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Pickpick

Read this last week. I loved Sally Gardner's atmospheric writing in The Weather Woman, Malorie Blackman's candour about the difficulties she has faced, in her autobiography, and the gently compelling story of Crow Lake. I was less keen on Grinny, which hasn't aged well and I enjoyed We Were Wolves, loved the illustrations but it fits into quite a narrow niche in the YA market.
#JanuaryChallenge

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Bibliomania
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Pickpick

I loved Amari from the start when I was lucky enough to win a draw for a signed advance copy of the first book and a group zoom call with other indie booksellers, with B B Alston (what a warm and humble guy). So I've been waiting patiently until Christmas for this one and a rainy indoorsy day to devour it cosied up by the fire. Brilliant, gripping, magical adventure with awesome female leads, LOVED it.
#MiddleGrade #MGReads #MGFantasy #Magic

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Bibliomania
Leila and the Blue Fox | Kiran Millwood Hargrave
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Pickpick

A beautifully produced book with wonderful illustrations and with clear environmental and migration messages, as well as friendship and family relationships. Told from two perspectives - 1. the voice of the fox; 2. 12 year old Leila's story (told in the 3rd person). The illustrations and story threads intertwine beautifully. There is one anomaly in the plot timeline which really bugged me (but other readers don't seem to notice!!). #MGReads

14 likes1 stack add
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Bibliomania
Intimations | Zadie Smith
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Mehso-so

I needed a short read and this caught my eye - essays Zadie Smith wrote at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. They start with the pandemic specifically and end with an essay concerning the virus of racism, particularly in America. I found the collection interesting but not as insightful as I'd hoped.

#Essays #ZadieSmith

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Bibliomania
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My partner was given this book for Christmas... Although he tries to show an interest in what I do in the garden - mainly offering to help clear up my prunings - it's really not his thing.... so yay for me 😊 It's a beautiful book and combines plants and history, both of which I love!

#History #Plants #Gardens

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Bibliomania
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Pickpick

I've been an Oliver Jeffers fan since I first discovered The Incredible Book Eating Boy. I haven't loved all of his books but when he gets them right (IMO!) they're brilliant. Yesterday I sat and savoured this. It's quite long on pages, short on words but every single word carefully chosen. It's about humans and space and conflict, earth and history. A beautiful book.

#ChildrensBooks #OliverJeffers #PictureBook #Conflict #Space

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Bibliomania
She and Her Cat: Stories | Makoto Shinkai, Naruki Nagakawa
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Pickpick

My first read of 2023 was the perfect start to my book year. A gentle interconnected modern fable, in that beautiful Japanese philosophical style, about cats and their humans and the relationships woven between the two. I loved this.

The author is also the filmmaker of two anime films I really like - Your Name and Weathering With You.

#Japanese #BooksWithCats #Anime

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Bibliomania
The Dragon in the Bookshop | Ewa Jozefkowicz
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Mehso-so

My last read of 2022 and I enjoyed this MG but it wasn't memorable. CW (and this isn't a plot spoiler as it is introduced right at the beginning) - for death of a parent which remains a strong element throughout.

Also a lovely strong friendship bond and other themes of empathy, school, magic, nature.

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Bibliomania
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Hahaha, I really wanted to not like this book but I'm laughing already:
"Top Five Things That Grate My Gears.
1. People who turn the page back to save their place. Have these savages not heard of novelty bookmarks? Or paper? Or 'memory'? Which part of your body would you most like to have folded back on itself?"
#BooksAboutBooks

15 likes1 stack add
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Bibliomania
The Unravelling | Polly Crosby
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Pickpick

Beautiful, original, memorable, gently haunting. Polly Crosby draws you into this uniquely insular and strange island world just off the East Anglian coast, where peculiar mutations have been happening to the wildlife. And yet a place so sparsely populated that strong bonds of friendship can be formed. Set mostly in 1928 and 2018, Marianne is very old and has seen much change here. Can young Tartelin help her?

#LitsyLove #Butterflies 5 ⭐️

Bibliomania This has sneaked in right at the end of the year to become one of my favourite reads of 2022. 1mo
15 likes1 comment
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Bibliomania
The House of Shells | Efua Traor
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Pickpick

This was an unexpected joy. I was reading something else but this arrived so I read the 1st page just to see... and kept reading.

12 year old Kuki has been moved to a new area and school and she isn't very happy... until she makes a new friend. But her Aunty is worried about the Abiku, spirits who steal children and tries to get the family using charms to keep them away. Kuki becomes torn by the secrets she is keeping...

#MiddleGrade #LitsyLove

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
13 likes1 comment
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Bibliomania
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Pickpick

I love this series and this is one of my favourites. The pace, characters, mystery are excellent. Each of the Adventures on Trains books is based on a real train journey undertaken by Maya & Sam (the authors) and this one is based on a trip I've been wanting to do for a while now, to explore some of the places in the arctic circle in winter. The story is enchanced by Paganelli's brilliant illustrations. Highly recommended MG (but for adults too!).

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Bibliomania
The Atlas Six | Olivie Blake
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Lots of lovely books for Christmas has given me the best kind of dilemma - What to read next!! I think I've settled on this one which has been on my wish list for a while. I must have been good as Santa was very generous with book gifts this year 😊🎄. I hope he brought you all wonderful books too.

20 likes1 stack add
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Bibliomania
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batsy That looks delightful! 1mo
Bibliomania @batsy I had a wonderfully cosy nostalgic evening with it!! :) 1mo
14 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Bibliomania
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My next read - little wintry fairy tale indulgence.

#WinterReads #WintryReads #JoanAiken #FairyTales #QuentinBlake

11 likes1 stack add
review
Bibliomania
A Very German Christmas: The Greatest Austrian, Swiss and German Holiday Stories of All Time | Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Martin Suter, Heinrich Heine, Kstner Erich
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed this on one level as a quick and light read but I was disappointed with the book as a whole; it feels like lazy publishing to make a quick buck at Christmas.

The excerpts have no introduction so there is no context for each piece. It wasn't until I finished that I realised there is a brief paragraph biog of each author at the back but this book would be much improved with a brief introduction to each story. Ok but I can't recommend.

Bibliomania As a note the American edition (publ 2020) has the title A Very German Christmas; the UK edition (publ 2022) has the title A German Christmas. 1mo
12 likes1 comment
blurb
Bibliomania
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It's a Christmas present... so I've only got a few days to (carefully) read this one!! :-) I couldn't wait for my mum to read it first and lend it back to me so I'm sneakily reading it now. Anyone else have a sneaky read of books you're giving as presents?!!😂

10 likes1 stack add
review
Bibliomania
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Pickpick

I picked this up on a whim as I've always been interested in Joan Aiken and have only read some of the Willoughby Chase stories before.

12 year old Felix, half-Spanish, half-English, is orphaned and living with his unfriendly relatives in Spain. Felix becomes determined to get to England and hopes to find some relatives who actually care about him.... he sets off ill prepared for his travels but is resourceful and bold...

Bibliomania 2. He gets into scrapes, adventures; makes friends... and enemies. It becomes doubtful that he will ever make it to England.... and if he gets there, he's not entirely sure what or who he's looking for....

Felix is a very likeable character and I really enjoyed this read. Elements reminded me of Travels with a Donkey by Stevenson, Don Quixote, and Treasure Island... all books that Joan Aiken is likely to have known well...
(edited) 1mo
Bibliomania 3. But it is very much its own story too. My vintage puffin edition has the added bonus of some lovely vignette illustrations by Pat Marriott. I didn't realise when I started the book that this is the first of a trilogy about Felix. The next book is Bridle the Wind, concluding with The Teeth of the Gale. I'll keep a look out for them next.

#ChildrensBooks #JoanAiken #ChildrensFiction #WinterReadathon #PuffinBooks #AdventureStory
1mo
LeahBergen I love these old Puffins. 1mo
Bibliomania @LeahBergen me too :) 1mo
10 likes4 comments
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Bibliomania
Love Letters: Vita and Virginia | Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West
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Vita to Virginia: (talking about writing her novel, The Edwardians)
'It is better to be extremely ambitious, or rather modest? Probably the latter is safer; but I hate safety, and would rather fail gloriously than dingily succeed.'

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Bibliomania
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These were absolutely not allowed, especially at this time of year when there are so many expenses.

But.... aren't they beautiful.... I call them "medicine" and also essential for my work :-)

#BookShopping #BooksAboutBooks

LeahBergen Gorgeous! I recently bought Speaking Volumes, too (and have Fifty Forgotten Books on my wishlist 😆). 1mo
Bibliomania I didn't mean to buy Speaking Volumes but once I'd dipped into a few pages I realised it's the book that talks about books exactly how I feel about them! I can't wait to read it. And I dipped into Fifty Forgotten Volumes too - it's very readable and looks interesting 😁😁. 1mo
11 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Bibliomania
The Frost Goblin | Abi Elphinstone
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Pickpick

I've been saving this for a gentle me-time self-care indulgence read and what better time than when we're having a week of cold, snowy frosty weather. -12'C last night.

This is a longer picture book and is a similar wintry, child overcoming adversity theme to The Snow Dragon which these two had published in 2019. It's a beautiful book - story and pictures - and I will never look at frost the same way. Highly recommend. #ChildrensBook #PictureBook

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Bibliomania
Love Letters: Vita and Virginia | Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West
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Vita to Virginia:
'When I read you, I feel no one has ever written English prose before, - knocked it about, put it into its place, made it into a servant. I wonder perpetually how you do it...'
p.66, 2021 Vintage Classics paperback

sarahbarnes ♥️♥️♥️ 1mo
11 likes1 comment
review
Bibliomania
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Pickpick

A quick cosy murder mystery read, set in Snowdonia National Park, Wales, in a village at the start of a path up Mount Snowdon. Constable Evan Evans has moved there to escape the city crimes and memories of Swansea. But village life isn't quite as quiet as he'd anticipated. When a hiker is reported missing on Snowdon Evan is loath to get the rescue team out until they're sure he hasn't just taken an alternative path down the mountain.

Bibliomania 2. But the next morning the situation looks more grim than they could have anticipated..... And then vegetables start going missing from the minister's garden.... Resources are limited as the serious crime squad are dealing with another atrocious murder, so can Evan figure out what is going on in Llanfair and up on the mountain....
An entertaining light read. #CosyCrime #MurderMystery #WinterReadathon #Wales #RhysBowen
1mo
8 likes1 comment
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Bibliomania
With Fire in Their Blood | Kat Delacorte
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Mehso-so

16yo Lilly is dragged off to the ancient medieval walled town of Castello in Italy, leaving behind her rural Maine childhood. Lilly is even less impressed when she gets there to find no internet, wi-fi and a town that seems to be set back 20years. And then there's her really weird first day at school.

All the kids believe in magic. Weird, huh? And it's banned. Not just banned but, well bad things happen to anyone found with magic blood...

Bibliomania 2. The town is divided by ruling clans, like something out of the dark ages. And something odd is going on with Lilly's dad. There are some interesting characters and I was gripped at the beginning; also some hints at bi and queer representation was good but I did get annoyed with the plot in the last 3rd of the book and it's left unclear as to whether or not a sequel is planned. #YAFiction 1mo
9 likes1 comment
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Bibliomania
Cane Warriors | Alex Wheatle
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Pickpick

YA short novel about Tacky's Revolt, a slave uprising on the island of Jamaica, against the British plantation owners in the 1760s. A very important book, excellently portrayed through the eyes of 14 yr old sugar cane slave, turned warrior, Moa. It's brutal, it's thought provoking and, with its dialect, not easy to read but I can see it making its way onto school curriculums and as class reads very soon.

Bibliomania 2. Probably best read with guidance to help with the language and themes. I don't think 14 yr old me would have picked this up as a casual read but it's an excellent book for study and adult me thought it was outstanding. #slavery #jamaica #colonialism #yafiction #yareads #blackhistory #historicalfiction #slavetrade (edited) 2mo
9 likes1 comment
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Bibliomania
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Pickpick

I knew I shouldn't have started this last night... it's really really good. She IS the original queen of magic. The characters make this - Cat, a young boy with no magical powers and his powerful and overpowering older sister Gwendolen; meet Chrestomanci, powerful and calm enchanter and his family- his kind and gentle wife and his smart children. Can Cat do anything to save his sister (from herself?!). I've ordered the sequel. Highly recommend.

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Bibliomania
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I've accidentally started reading yet another book, even though I have a few on the go. I quite like different books for different moods and just fancied this Diana Wynne Jones from my TBRs. Anyone read it?

I enjoy a magical middle grade so who better than the original queen of the genre... One of my favourite Ghibli films to re-watch when I need a pick me up is her 'Howl's Moving Castle', although that's a rare case of preferring film to book!

elkeOriginal LOVE DWJ! Howl is an awesome book too. She IS queen and always a fun reread. 2mo
Bibliomania @elkeOriginal I loved this so much I've ordered myself books 2 and 3 in the Chrestomanci series :) :). Howl I enjoyed but I LOVED the Ghibli film (which I watched after reading the book) even more than the book - Sophie is just perfect and although it's not completely faithful to the book Miyazaki captures the essence of it perfectly. DWJ loved the film apparently! Have you seen it? 2mo
elkeOriginal @Bibliomania I consider the book & movie both good but separate because so different 💕 Chrestomanci is also a delight in every book! 2mo
Bibliomania I can't wait to read them all!!! 😊 2mo
8 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Bibliomania
Dreaming Spies | Laurie R. King
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Winter Solitude

by Matsuo Basho

Winter solitude –
in a world of one color
the sound of wind.
---------------

I've you're following my posts you'll know I'm racing through the Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes stories at the mo. Dreaming Spies features Japan and some of Matsuo Basho's haikus, so here's one about winter for you. Deceptively simple, yet paints a picture of a 1000 words.
#Haiku #MysteryNovel #CrimeFiction

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Bibliomania
Dreaming Spies | Laurie R. King
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I can't get enough of this series at the moment. The long dark nights always have me racing through more books than usual as I try to keep the winter blues away. I love how involved the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes stories are and I usually learn something new from reading them too. I've just finished Garment of Shadows, set in 1920s Morocco and this is next - looks like they may be off to Japan but I'm not sure yet. #MysteryNovel #Mystery

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Bibliomania
Murder at Snowfall | Fleur Hitchcock
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Panpan

I really wanted to enjoy this new MG mystery as I like this author... but it was pedestrian, unexciting and instantly forgettable. I finished it a week ago and when I read the synopsis on the back to jog my memory I didn't recognise it all. I would have bailed but I was away for a few days and only had a few books with me!! #MiddleGrade #ChildrensFiction #Mystery

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Bibliomania
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Pickpick

Conclusion of a 2 part-er within this long Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes series. It must have been good cos I stayed up until 3am to finish it and I really try not to do that too often!! I love the historical detail in this series and Mary is a fabulous character. No 10 in the series. #CrimeReads #CosyCrime #CrimeFiction #Sherlock #HistoricalCrime #SherlockHolmes #MaryRussell #DetectiveNovel

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Bibliomania
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Pickpick

I've never read the original Sherlock Holmes books but I love the YA Enola Holmes books and this great series by Laurie R King gives an older Sherlock a young and brilliant wife, Mary Russell and she is the narrator of this richly researched historical series. This particular one is the first half of a 2 part-er which is slightly annoying... but I still highly recommend them. #CrimeReads #CosyCrime #Sherlock #HistoricalCrime

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Bibliomania
The Final Gambit | Jennifer Lynn Barnes
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Pickpick

Just so good. So addictive. I'm short on time so that's all I'm going to say. They kept me up all night. Read Them! :-) 1. Inheritance Games 2. The Hawthorne Legacy 3. The Final Gambit

#Booktok #YAMystery

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Bibliomania
A Girl Called Owl | A. J. Wilson
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“I awake to the sound of glass being clawed at, a horrible, thin, tortured sound that makes my ears ache. My breath plumes as I turn my head and look towards the window, a small cloud of ice particles forming in the air.“

https://uk.bookshop.org/a/3436/9781529057751

#ChildrensBooks #MiddleGrade #Magic #Fiction #Fantasy #WinterStories #KidLit #Owl #BookQuote

11 likes1 stack add
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Bibliomania
Annie John: A Novel | Jamaica Kincaid
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Pickpick

A short novel which packs a lot of warmth, depth of understanding, a touch of humour and inner conflict, into its pages. Annie John is growing up on the island of Antigua - she is a good girl, an excellent student and has a loving family life but as adolescence comes upon her she finds it increasingly difficult to be the girl she thinks is expected of her.

#Literature #LiteraryFiction #CaribbeanLit #CaribbeanAuthor #ComingOfAge

9 likes1 stack add
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Bibliomania
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Mehso-so

This Twisted Tale was an "also ran" for me. It was too long and could have had some tighter editing. I found myself skimming quickly through whole sections to find parts to read more slowly.

Gina's the best character - she stole the show - though Rapunzel is very likeable. Not a keeper for me but I will try some more Twisted Tales.

#YA #YAFantasy #FairyTales #TwistedTales #YAFiction #YAReads #Disney #Fairytale

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Bibliomania
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Pickpick

Folks, you're in for a treat in the spring. The Secrets of Hartwood Hall by Katie Lumsden is so, so good. I started it last night and am half way through (after staying up way too late). With beautiful evocative writing, it's intriguing, unusual, with gothic mystery and brilliant characterisation. A widowed governess, a lonely little boy, house full of secrets. I have no idea where it's going

pre-order https://uk.bookshop.org/a/3436/9780241556078

batsy That's great to hear! I enjoyed her BookTube channel and it's nice to see she's written a book. 2mo
Bibliomania I haven't seen her Book Tube, I'll look her up, thanks! 2mo
10 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Bibliomania
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Panpan

I really wanted to enjoy this - I like a good middle grade murder mystery - but, while main characters Bonnie and her Grampa are likeable enough, I found the writing plodding and the plot slow and somehow a bit repetitive.

I wanted Bonnie to be like Enola Holmes - she may even be slightly modelled on the character of Enola (if younger, at about 10) but I wasn't gripped. Sorry. Pub Feb 2023.
#ChildrensBooks #MiddleGrade #KidLit #MGmurderMystery

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Bibliomania
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Pickpick

I was just in the mood for a bit of romance and Disney magic and this didn't disappoint. I've read a few Twisted Tales - a couple of brilliant ones, and a couple I thought were a bit meh. This one by Elizabeth Lim is one of the good ones.

A very likeable Cinderella and Prince and some good strong female characters bring this tale to life.
#YA #YAFantasy #Disney #Fairytale #Fairytales #WeekendRead #Cinderella

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Bibliomania
The Inheritance Games | Jennifer Lynn Barnes
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Pickpick

Oh dear, that was dangerous. Finished one book, started the next one.... and several hours later it's 2am and I finished it. I have to get up again in a few hours. That makes for high praise for The Inheritance Games - I literally couldn't put it down. It was recommended to me by a school librarian and she tells me books 2 and 3 are just as good. They're going on my shopping list.
#YAFiction #YA #YAmystery

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Bibliomania
Never No More (Revised) | Maura Laverty
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"I have often suspected that it wasn't a love of reading that made Sam Leadbetter spend his scant shillings on that queer mixture of volumes. I feel it was more probably a love of books, a love of all that printed paper stood for: romance, tolerance, wisdom, culture... I even doubted if he had read more than half-a-dozen of the books he sacrificed so much to buy."
#BookQuotes #Virago #WomenWriters

9 likes1 stack add
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Bibliomania
Never No More (Revised) | Maura Laverty
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Last night was way too windy outside for sleep so I indulged in a fire and #booktime. Anyone else love reading by the fire? (It's the only source of heating on the ground floor of my cottage - living room & kitchen, just 2 rooms so they warm up quickly). I'm about half way through this and am enjoying the humdrum rural Irish 1920s life depicted in Maura Laverty's Never No More. #IrishBooks #Reading #WomenWriters #IrishWriters #BookLovers #Virago

LeahBergen Oh, I have this one waiting on my Virago shelves! 💚 3mo
Bibliomania @LeahBergen Viragos and Persephones go so well together! :) 3mo
batsy Love the cover! 3mo
8 likes3 comments
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Bibliomania
Wonder. R.J. Palacio | R J Palacio
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Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.
R.J. Palacio, Wonder

I've had the sort of day where I needed to hear this quote. So I'm sharing it with you too.
#ChildrensBooks #MiddleGrade #Kindness #BookQuotes

10 likes1 stack add
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Bibliomania
Squib | Nina Bawden
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Pickpick

Squib surprised me at how dark it is but also how brilliantly Nina Bawden writes about the thoughts and feelings of children and the ways in which they might handle difficult situations. A full review would have to spoil the plot for this book so I'll just end with a note on the gorgeous cover art of the puffin edition, by the late, great Shirley Hughes.
#ChildrensBooks #MiddleGrade #MGFiction #ShirleyHughes #NinaBawden

LeahBergen I just love these old Puffins! 3mo
7 likes1 comment
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Bibliomania
Squib | Nina Bawden
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"But in real life there aren't any right true happy endings. You have to get used to things just as they are."

#middlegrade #childrensbooks #book #bookquotes #books #reading #november

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Bibliomania
Wren | Lucy Hope
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Mehso-so

Set on Anglesey, Wales in 1870, Wren longs to escape. Her father wants to send her to a strict boarding school, her little brother is horrible, her aunt is erratic and Wren's mother died in a flying accident in an early aircraft she and Wren's aunt invented and tested together.

Good start but then it gets a bit bonkers - I can't give much away without plot spoiling. 3.5/5 #MiddleGrade #ChildrensBooks
https://uk.bookshop.org/a/3436/9781839947230

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Bibliomania
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Pickpick

A delightful pocket size book. Illustrated rhyming verse with wonderful #Ardizzone illustrations. #EdwardArdizzone and #JamesReeves collaborated on a number of books and this is one of their finest.

Jackie Thimble is 16 inches tall. One cold winter's day he exlores a post box while the mailman is emptying it and gets shut inside. He keeps his spirits up by singing and passersby stop to hear the singing post box and post coins in the slot!

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Bibliomania
Beyond the Frozen Horizon | Nicola Penfold
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Pickpick

A very good middle grade read, with a strong environmental message (at times overwhelming).

The world has introduced stringent environmental laws around the globe, including heavy restrictions on travel, especially by air. Rory is super excited to be joining her geologist mum on a trip to the Arctic. But is the company her mum works for as green as they claim?

https://uk.bookshop.org/a/3436/9781788954471

#ChildrensBooks #MiddleGrade 4.5/5

hannah-leeloo Thanks for the follow my friend. Happy reading 📚❤️📖 3mo
Bibliomania @hannah_lee Thank you ☺️ and happy reading to you too! 3mo
4 likes2 comments
review
Bibliomania
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Mehso-so

Mabel loves space and the night sky but has a space in her heart from when Dad left (and not heard from since). Mabel carries around an invisible suitcase of worries; her sister Topaz has too many worries of her own to help. The one hope is mum's boyfriend who shares Mabel's love of the stars but is he all he seems....?

Enjoyable read but not memorable, good for approaching the subject of worries, and sharing them #ChildrensBooks #MiddleGrade