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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!

What Rachel’s Reading: Six of Crows
Blog , What We're Reading / November 26, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, YA   Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo has been on my TBR list for awhile, however at the first bookshop birthday party at the beginning of the month, it was highly recommended to me by a customer (and I must say, so far customers who have highly recommended books to me have been right on!), so I bumped it to the front of my reading list, and I’m glad I did! This is a great read, a heist book somewhat reminiscent of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. The synopsis is: Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone. A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first. What really made this book stand out…

Rachel’s Summer-ish Reads: The Parasol Protectorate
Blog , What We're Reading / October 29, 2018

Genre: Fantasy/Steampunk As mentioned in my last post, my summer reading was dominated by Hugh Howey’s Wool Trilogy, and about a dozen books by Gail Carriger! I had read Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage in July (the first in her YA series), and in August quickly blew through the rest of The Finishing School series. These books were a blast – finishing school for intelligencers (spies) in a floating, steampunk school? Awesome. It didn’t take me long to move onto the next series, The Parasol Protectorate, of which Soulless is the first (and in fact the first book published by Carriger), set about 20 years after the Finishing School Series. Synopsis: Alexia Tarabotti is labouring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standard of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire – and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can…

Rachel’s Summer-ish Reads: Wool
Blog , What We're Reading / October 15, 2018

Genres: Sci-Fi/Dystopian Well booklovers, I meant to write about what I’d been reading this summer a long time ago, but somehow this autumn is flying by! In August, my list of books read was dominated by two authors: Hugh Howey and Gail Carriger (more on her later…). Hugh Howey’s Wool trilogy was a wonderful dystopian tale. The synopsis from the back of the book didn’t really grab me… but the book itself definitely did, and it’s hard to know what further to say without giving anything away:   In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo. Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies. To live, you must follow the rules. But some don’t. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside. Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.   Like any good dystopia, it gave some moments of thought-provoking terror about the possibility of a…

What Rachel’s Reading This Month: July
Blog , What We're Reading / July 26, 2018

Genres: Non-Fiction, Fantasy, YA, Sci-Fi One of my goals for this year had been to read more non-fiction, and another was to keep track of what I’d read – I’m curious to see how many books I actually read in a year! Well, Matthew asked me about non-fiction the other day, and I was sad to say that I’d read a grand total of two so far this year, one of which was The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris – a beautiful book of images and poems, but not quite what I had in mind when I told myself to read more non-fiction! So, I finally decided to sink my teeth into Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia by Peter Pomerantsev. This is a pretty fascinating look inside Russia, and reads kind of like a Jon Ronson book – the author isn’t trying to be exhaustive in his record, but paints a picture through the experiences he’s had, covering ground from a school where women learn how to marry a millionaire, to the mafia, to working for a television station in Russia, to supermodel sects. It’s a glimpse into a world where…

What Matthew is Reading this Week
Blog , What We're Reading / July 3, 2018

I never thought I’d love a zombie novel that my thirteen-year-old daughter recommended, but M.R. Carey’s The Girl with all the Gifts is so gripping that some bad words may have left my mouth when I had to put it down. It tells the story of Melanie who waits in her cell every morning to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh. Melanie is a very special girl. I was carried away as the story developed as the author has that very special talent of giving you enough to keep turning the pages without giving you so much that you can guess what is going to happen next. The ending is satisfyingly surprising – if only because it relieves the tension you feel from the start of the book. Not a deep read, but a fun one and if you are looking for a summer page-turner then you need look no further.   I was delighted to be sent a copy of Monsieur Quincampoix…

What Rachel’s Reading This Week
Blog , What We're Reading / June 20, 2018

Genres: Fantasy, YA, Children’s, Thriller So. I wrote what was going to be this post yesterday at work, intending to post it today, which was as follows: The fantasy book I’m reading right now is The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. I’d read good things about it in reviews and the basic premise hooked me: Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever. The synopsis then of course has more about the plot (an evil magician and an adventure through the chambers of her teacher’s still-beating heart), but I like this little glimpse of an interesting magic system! As I’m only about twenty pages in at this point, you’ll have to bear with me to hear my thoughts on this one once I’m done.   Well, turns out it’s a pretty gripping read (and at 214 pages, shorter than many fantasy novels) and I finished the whole thing yesterday. Holmberg’s…