I can’t think of a better year to turn to plastic-free, (relatively) low carbon footprint Christmas gifts like books. They generate hours and hours of pleasure, can be enjoyed over and over again, can be given away and are recyclable. We have thought long and hard about which books we think will make good gifts and here is our selection for Christmas 2019. Spread the love!
I had the pleasure of seeing artist Olafur Eliasson’s Tate Modern exhibition In Real Life on the weekend and loved his selection of books on the environment which I thought I’d share with you here. As fans of Eliasson will know, environmentalism is central to much of his work as seen in his melting ice blocks displayed in London, Paris and Copenhagen. Some of these titles sound unbearably depressing so I would probably begin with the more solution oriented sounding ones. For an initial call to action, Greta Thunberg’s book is a inspiring place to start.
Out today, the 2019 Booker Prize short-list. A mix of well-known and not so well-known authors of different nationalities; British, American, Nigerian, British/Turkish, British/Indian and Canadian. Two literary superstars: Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie. Some names we have seen before: Elif Shafak and Chigozie Obioma. And two names that were new to us: Lucy Ellmann and Bernardine Evaristo.
The Booker Prize long-list 2019 of 13 books was published yesterday and the question is, as always, where to start, if at all…We’ve reviewed a few of them and thought we’d share our views. The big unknown – although entirely unsurprising – entry is The Testaments, Margaret Atwood’s much-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, out in September. The Booker judges, bound by strict non-disclosure agreements, can’t say a word about what happens in the book, so we’ll have to take their word for it.
Is there anything better than a summery read to get you into a sunny mood? Or a summery novel to read on your holiday? To get you into the spirit, we have chosen our top ten summer classics.
If you’re lucky enough to have a voracious teen reader in your life, then you’ll already know what I’m about to declare. Young Adult literature rocks these days. No more sad bookshop shelves offering three Sweet Valley High novels and a dusty Judy Blume. Walk into any large bookshop and you’ll find thousands of YA titles stretching into the striplit yonder (and they’re not all vampire books!) In fact, the diversity and quality of contemporary YA writing makes reviewing new titles a real treat.
Here are a handful of Bookstoker’s favourite picks of YA books for the summer.
My article for The Wildsmith Papers this month looks at books by female founders. Sadly, there aren’t exactly an abundance of female founders and of those that exist, few seem to have had time to write books. Nevertheless, I was able to find some and boy what a joy it was to read those books! What an incredible bunch of women doing amazing things. Have a look for yourself!
Been dumped by the boyfriend? Done something stupid? Lost someone you love? Or just in need of some quick TLC? Can reading heal? I believe so and have written about some quick-literary fixes for the Wildsmith Papers. Curious? Then read more here: The Literary Cure
I often get the question ‘Which is your favourite book?’; an impossible question for me to answer. I’m simply incapable of picking one book out of all the books I’ve read. I like books for different reasons and can enjoy an exuberant story-driven historical fiction or a well-researched non-fiction book as much as a quietly contemplative cerebral novel. I don’t seem to have one single favourite author either, rather, I have several authors I keep going back to. SO, rather than picking one book, I’ve chosen my 10 favourite books (I’ve not included famous literary classics on this list, that will come in a separate post) reviewed on Bookstoker, and even that seemed like a Herculean task.
Can you properly love someone without first learning to love yourself? I don’t think so. So what better time to start than this Valentine. As you would expect, I’m a great believer in books helping us find the right kind of self-love and have made a selection for The Wildsmith Papers. Curious? Go find out.