#EmptyShelf 2016 #32: Simply Tuesday by @emilypfreeman (Revell, 2015)

I was sent this book for review in the last few months, and I thought it was quite ironic that I decided to pick it up and read it in the final 2-3 days of my annual leave, when I have been careful to turn my email off, taken an overseas break, but then came back to try and do a load of stuff to my new house, then put my paintbrush down and seemed Continue Reading →

#EmptyShelf 2016 #31: Under the Tuscan Sun by @francesmayes (Bantam, 1998)

After attending a course in Cornwall with Travellers’ Tales in 2007, randomly attending for something different to do, then realising that I knew nothing about the genre, I stocked up on a few appropriate books. I started reading this a couple of weekend’s ago at a friends, as she had the same book, then came home to pick up my own copy of Under the Tuscan Sun… and I really enjoyed it. The author (is/was) an Continue Reading →

#EmptyShelf 2016 #31: Blue Gold by Elizabeth Stewart #TRM15 (Annick, 2014)

Another day, another teenage novel, one that was made all the more real by having watched Apple’s Broken Promises on Panorama for a unit I teach – The Responsible Marketer – which looked at people working in dangerous conditions in China and Africa to produce the goods that western society wants – now (and yes, I have an iPhone these days..). Blue Gold tells the story from the perspective of three teenage girls – Fiona, who Continue Reading →

#EmptyShelf 2016 #29: The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Penguin, 2010)

So, I appear to have bought The Help back in 2011 (was that when the film was out, which I may also have, but haven’t seen – yet)… A very compelling read, looking at life in Mississippi in 1962: There’s Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son’s tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from College, who wants Continue Reading →

#EmptyShelf 2016 #27: Mind Games by @TeriTerryWrites (Orchard Books, 2015)

I spoke at a children’s book event the other year, and this book – Mind Games – was one of the pre-press books that I picked up .. I love teenage books – good moral message, typically fairly fast paced, and always lots to think about. With echoes of books such as Divergent, this book takes us into a future (post World War 3), in which the world is largely controlled by a large virtual-reality corporation Continue Reading →

#EmptyShelf 2016 #26: The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald (Harper Perennial, 2004)

When I go on holiday, I like to see what’s on my shelves that can be left behind on the way back … this book – The Way the Crow Flies – was picked up for £1 in a charity shop – 700+ pages, fairly small font, and interesting back-cover blurb … in the 4+ hour flight over I managed 200+ of those pages, with the other 300-each over the next couple of days. Set in Continue Reading →

#EmptyShelf 2016 #25: Girl Up by Laura Bates (@EverydaySexism) (Simon & Schuster, 2016)

Well, would you believe it? I’ve read a book that’s been out for less than a month, and less than a week after I bought it! The blurb says: They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups – never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels. They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable Continue Reading →

#EmptyShelf 2016 #24: Everything Bad is Good For You by @stevenbjohnson (Penguin, 2006)

So, this book has been on my shelf for “quite a while” – originally written in 2005, it’s a fascinating look at the debates surrounding popular culture before Facebook really became ‘a thing’ – and it chimes with a whole load of stuff I’ve said in Raising Children in a Digital Age, particularly the notion of judging popular culture against elite culture of the past, rather than judging it on its own merits! Similarly, Beyond Chocolate, an Continue Reading →