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Rachel Recommends: An Ocean of Minutes
Blog , What We're Reading / June 20, 2019

This is a book that I read several months ago, and as it’s just come out in paperback, I figured it was time to get around to writing a review of it, as it has stuck with me. An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim is listed as a romance, and it is, sort of. I initially picked it up because of the time travel and deadly virus, however as the author says, it is really more about migration and displacement, and she is using time travel as an analogy for immigration. I found this book to be very compelling, and I recommend it especially to those who liked The Time Traveler’s Wife. I’ve also read reviews comparing it to The Handmaid’s Tale, which wasn’t something I would have thought of, however it is a speculative/dystopian novel, and thinking back, the writing style was somewhat reminiscent of Margaret Atwood. This is Lim’s debut novel, and it was shortlisted for The Giller Prize last year. Synopsis: Polly and Frank are young and in love, a lifetime together before them. But one evening in 1980, as the Texas sun sets over their shoulders, the world is suddenly pulled apart by a deadly…

Rachel’s Reading: Urban Fantasy Series
Blog , What We're Reading / May 27, 2019

Genres: Urban Fantasy Alright booklovers, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted what I’ve been reading, and it’s because I’ve gotten stuck into several different series! As mentioned in my last post, I’ve been reading Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series (Napoleonic wars fought with dragons) – and after finishing book 8 (which ended on a cliffhanger), I discovered that I had somehow neglected to order book 9, the final book! So I’m waiting on that one. I’ve been reading a lot of urban fantasy books over the past month. I finally started Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files in February, and I’ve definitely been speeding up as I’ve read them! Harry Dresden is Chicago’s first (and only) wizard private investigator, solving cases and occasionally consulting for the police on some of their weirder investigations. The first few books felt like fairly straightforward private investigator books (albeit with magic), but the beauty of a series like this is that you can really develop the characters over the course of many books (there are currently fifteen books in the series, with 23-24 planned), and I am now fully hooked. So much so that I’ve been putting off reading the last few books because I don’t want…

New Second-hand Book Room!
Blog , Featured / May 15, 2019

… and a sale! <<< You may have heard rumours about a new space for second-hand books in the bookshop, and I’m happy to announce that as of today it is open!   As part of our great reorganising, we have two bookcases full of select second-hand books that are on sale 3 for CHF 5.  >>>     In honour of our new space, we’re also extending the 3 for CHF 5 sale to all smaller A-format second-hand books, as well as 3 for CHF 5 on all second-hand Children’s and YA/Teen Fiction! Come check out our new space and score some deals! The sale will run for a minimum of two weeks.

The Salt Path, by Raynor Winn
Blog , Community Book Review / May 7, 2019

If Poldark gave you a yen to explore the Cornish coastline, your next read must be The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. A Sunday Times bestseller, shortlisted in 2018 for the Costa biography book award and the Wainright Golden Beer Book Prize, this account of Ray and Moth Winn’s 630-mile hike from Minhead to Poole along the South West Coast Path will make you dig out your walking shoes. The venture begins with sadness as, in the space of a week, the couple lose their home, which was also their livelihood, and learn that Moth is dying of an incurable degenerative disease. Walking the spectacular coast path initiates a healing process, both mental and physical. Raynor Winn’s witty narrative exudes a love for life, the British countryside … and her husband. As the walkers pass by towns, landmarks and vestiges of the Cornish mining industry, the author’s well-documented comments show how relevant this history is today. Although my mind boggles at the idea of walking 630 miles (1013,89 kilometres if you have gone metric), this book shows us all that we must never give up.   This Community Book Review was provided by Judith Gruet-Kaye.  After several years spent teaching…

Rachel’s Reading: Naomi Novik
Blog , What We're Reading / April 25, 2019

Genres: Fantasy, Alternate History   If you’ve asked me for fantasy recommendations at the bookshop before, odds are I’ve suggested Uprooted by Naomi Novik at some point, as it is an excellent stand-alone fantasy novel. Her new book, Spinning Silver, is in the same vein as this one. Synopsis: Will dark magic claim their home? Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s too kind-hearted to collect his debts. They face poverty, until Miryem hardens her own heart and takes up his work in their village. Her success creates rumours she can turn silver into gold, which attract the fairy king of winter himself. He sets her an impossible challenge – and if she fails, she’ll die. Yet if she triumphs, it may mean a fate worse than death. And in her desperate efforts to succeed, Miryem unwittingly spins a web which draws in the unhappy daughter of a lord. Irina’s father schemes to wed her to the tsar – he will pay any price to achieve this goal. However, the dashing tsar is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of mortals and winter alike. Torn between deadly choices,…

Rachel’s Reading Non-Fiction
Blog , What We're Reading / March 11, 2019

Genres: Non-Fiction – Memoir, Popular Science   Well booklovers, you may recall that last year I decided to try and read more non-fiction, and it went… not great. I’m doing better this year, as I’ve already read multiple non-fiction books. The standout for me so far has been Educated, by Tara Westover – the day I started it, it kept me up reading late into the night until I finished it! I had been hearing about it for awhile, as it’s been highly recommended by people such as Barack Obama and Bill Gates, and I finally got around to reading it last month. From the back of the book: Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals. As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she…

Rachel Recommends: Circe
Blog , What We're Reading / February 21, 2019

Genres: Fiction/Mythology   I finally got around to reading Circe by Madeline Miller the other week, and I couldn’t put it down. I blew through it in a day or two. It’s beautifully written, with vivid, poetic language – which I don’t always like in books, however it worked so well in this one. It tells the story of the mythological witch Circe, from her own perspective. Synopsis:   In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft. When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home. There…

What Rachel Read – December
Blog , What We're Reading / February 4, 2019

Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Children’s   Okay booklovers, I’m a bit behind on this one, seeing as how we’re at the beginning of February! In my defence, it’s been quite busy at the bookshop, as a new semester starts and students come back for their next literature reads! I got a lot of reading done over the Christmas holidays, and one of the highlights for me was Red Sister by Mark Lawrence – I was hooked from the first line:   It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy convent Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men.   The book follows protagonist Nona Grey as she arrives at the Convent of Sweet Mercy, where young girls are raised to be killers, and in some the old bloods show, gifting talents. Here, Nona begins her education and martial training, forming relationships with her fellow students, and as the story continues, it reveals glimpses from the future and past. It is a fascinating world, and a well-written story. The third and final book in the trilogy comes out this spring, so there isn’t a long wait for this…

Christmas Opening Hours
Blog , What We're Reading / December 24, 2018

Please note we are closed from 12.00 24th December until 9.00 on 3rd January. In the meantime, from everyone at Books Books Books, we wish you a Merry Christmas!