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Check out the full lists of interviews, top tens and articles.


Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Sam Hawksmoor

We loved The Repossession, a stunning sci-fi novel for teens, with an exceptionally likeable central pairing and a fast-moving and exciting plot. It's totally crazy in the very best way. We couldn't resist asking a few questions when Sam popped into see us. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Sadie S Forsythe

Jill enjoyed The Weeping Empress finding it enjoyably direct with a satisfying plot. It was a real pleasure when Sadie popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg February 2012 Newsletter

Hello, how are you? We've been finding out all sorts of interesting stuff this month. Not long ago Sue was introduced to the work of Scottish Book Trust and was surprised by how little she knew about it and that its work was not restricted to Scotland. We persuaded Beth Bottery to tell us more about the work the Trust does and how schools (and adults) across the UK and the rest of the world can benefit. You can - and should! - read all about it here.

We've also been reading like mad and have all sorts of recommendations to make! Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Beth Bottery Talks To Bookbag About Scottish Book Trust

Not long ago Sue was introduced to the work of Scottish Book Trust and was surprised by how little she knew about it and that its work was not restricted to Scotland. We persuaded Beth Bottery to tell us more about the work the Trust does and how schools (and adults) across the UK and the rest of the world can benefit. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Edward Hogan

We were very impressed when we read Daylight Saving, a gripping thriller with a superb central pairing and tons of atmosphere. We knew that he was an author to watch so we couldn't miss the opportunity to have a chat with Ed. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Tim Bowler

Blade is one of Bookbag's favourite series for children ever - and we mean ever. OUP are giving it a reissue with four books in longer instalments rather than the original eight books in very short ones. Whatever the size of the package, this is one series you shouldn't miss. So of course, we jumped at the chance to ask Tim Bowler a few questions. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Danielle Joseph

We really enjoyed Danielle's book Indigo Blues and the chance to chat to us was too good to miss. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Helena Close

Here at Bookbag we were very impressed by Helena Close's novel The Clever One and we were delighted when she dropped by for a chat. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg January 2012 Newsletter

Hello and a belated Happy New Year to you all. Did you have a super-duper festive season? Was it busy-busy-busy or laid-back and relaxed? Did you receive nice presents? More importantly, were any of them books?

We're back in the saddle here at Bookbag Towers and we have been reviewing as busily as ever. There's some wonderful stuff around at the moment and you can read about our favourites right here in this newsletter.

Before we go any further, though, we did want to tell you about the Bloomsbury Institute. Have you ever wanted to get a glimpse inside the world of publishing? Rub shoulders with authors and listen to their talks? Well, now you can. Bloomsbury are organising a series of events at their London home in Bedford Square. The first is on 31st January and features two Bookbag favourites, Stephen Kelman and Nick Lake. You can find out more - and sign up to attend - by looking at the website. What a great initiative! Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Katie Dale

What do you do when your mother dies of Huntington's Disease and you find out that she wasn't your mother at all? And that there is a person - a sister? - out there who may carry the gene for this terrible disease? Brilliant premise for a YA novel, no? So you can imagine we were very keen to chat to author Katie Dale about her debut book Someone Else's Life. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Maudie Smith

We were completely blown away when we read Opal Moonbaby and we were sure that it was going to be great fun when Maudie Smith came in to talk to us and as Opal would have said, we had a balloon. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Cliff McNish Talks To Bookbag About The Hunting Ground

Cliff McNish, author of The Hunting Ground popped in to Bookbag Towers to talk to us about ghosts. We're almost convinced: see what you think! Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Monica Carly

Here at Bookbag we were lucky to read The Golden Thread before it was published - and even luckier to be able to chat to Monica Carly about how she came to write the book. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Anne-Marie Conway

Here at Bookbag Towers we've really enjoyed Phoebe Finds Her Voice and Polly Plays Her Part from Anne-Marie Conway's Star Makers Club series. We couldn't resist the opportunity to ask her a few questions. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg November 2011 Newsletter

Well, world news isn't exactly encouraging, is it? Everywhere a crisis. It's times like these when books become even more important. They give us the chance to escape the misery for a while and indulge in a bit of escapism. And, with a cash-strapped Christmas coming up for many of us, books also make great value presents that won't break the bank. With this in mind, we've collected some of our favourite books from 2011 as recommendations for Christmas gifts. We think it has something for everyone - including a Kindle for those who aren't quite boracic. Take a look at our list if you're in need of ideas. We've also updated our review of the Kindle to include the lovely new dinky version. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Pauline Fisk

Pauline has produced a reissue of her Smarties Prize-winning Midnight Blue for Kindle herself. It has a gorgeous new cover image and lots of interesting stuff about the various inspirations that led her to write the book. We were lucky enough to chat to Pauline about the book, the reissue and about writing in general. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Ellie Irving

We really enjoyed Ellie Irving's For the Record, an engaging story full of the best kind of English eccentrics trying to save their Jersey village from the bulldozers. It's charming and fun - just like Ellie herself! Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Keren David

Keren David's latest book is something of a departure - although she tells us that there are similarities. We couldn't resist asking her a few questions. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg October 2011 Newsletter

Happy autumn, fellow bookworms! How goes it? Did you cope well in during the mini Indian summer at the start of the month? It came as such a shock to Jill that she almost got the vapours. Short-sleeved t-shirts? In October? October?!Thankfully, her sanity was saved by some jolly good young adult fiction making its way onto bookshelves near you.

Well, after all the fuss about the dumbing down of the Booker in 2011, can you believe they decided to give to the man who's made a career of writing about the chattering classes? You really can't help but laugh, can you?! Anyway, we're happy. We loved The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes and if you haven't read it yet, you should put it on your list. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Ilkley Literature Festival 2011

When we think about literature festivals it tends to be the big names which spring to mind – Hay and Edinburgh to name but two – but there's an awful lot to be said for the smaller events and Sue has been investigating the Ilkley Literature Festival. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Marcus Sedgwick Talks To Bookbag About Special Places

Marcus Sedgwick, author of Midwinterblood popped into Bookbag Towers on his blog tour and if you look carefully at this feature you'll find a link to some secret content on Marcus' website which is only available to our readers. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Helen Moss on Lashings of Ginger Ale

Helen Moss, author of the Adventure Island series popped into Bookbag Towers and she was obviously determined to make us very hungry! Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Paul Stewart And Chris Riddell

Linda loved Muddle Earth Too and the chance to chat to the authors was just too good to miss. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg September 2011 Newsletter

Hello, hello, hello!

The Booker shortlist is out. We've reviewed them all, so if you've missed any, now's your chance to catch up. We think it's too close to call the eventual winner. What do you think? Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh writes his novels in between making television series. We managed to catch him for a chat on the day that his latest book was published. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Man Booker Prize 2011

Thirteen books on the longlist with the shortlist announced on 6 September and the winner declared on 18 October. Who's your money on? Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Hayley Long

Here at Bookbag we're really enjoying Hayley Long's Lottie Biggs books, so we couldn't pass up the chance to ask her a few questions. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Martin King

We were rather taken by Martin King's debut novel Jack Hunter - Secret of the King and the opportunity to chat to him was too good to miss. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg August 2011 Newsletter

Hello fellow bibliophiles!

It hasn't been a very nice month, has it? Global financial meltdown. Again. London burning. Real life has just been too depressing for words. Thank heavens for books and a bit of escapism. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Lydia Ola Taiwo

We were shocked to read about how little Ola's childhood was literally broken as she moved from a happy foster home to live with her abusive and neglectful bioloigical parents. She's now an amazingly balanced person and we were delighted to take the opportunity to find out how she came through her experiences with so little bitterness. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Jackie Martin

Here at Bookbag we enjoyed Burglar Boy, a positive and uplifting story about a boy with a good heart but in the worst of circumstances. It was good to have the opportunit to talk to Jackie Martin. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Alex Woolf

The second volume of the futuristic Chronoshpere series sees the heroes learn more of where they're spending their time-suspended lives. We were keen to take the opportunity to ask Alex Woolf a few questions. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Carnegie Medal 2011

A worthy winner this year, in Patrick Ness, but are our thoughts on White Crow on the money? The Carnegie judges disagreed! Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Mary Hoffman on the inspiration for David

As part of her very busy blog tour, Mary Hoffman dropped by Bookbag Towers to tell us all about how she was inspired to write David, the story of the creation of the famous statue by Michelangelo. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg July 2011 Newsletter

Buongiorno! Even though Jill is not going this year, she wants you to know that she's still practising her Italian. In fact, she's practising so hard that she's even finished reading the wondrous Skellig in a language that isn't her own. We're only telling you this in our newsletter in the hopes that it will confer sufficient kudos for her to stop boasting. It's a long shot, but worth taking. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Angel's Fury and the Easter Egg Giveaway

Bryony Pearce popped into Bookbag Towers and told us about a few things that we hadn't spotted in Angel's Fury. We were fascinated. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg It Takes A Library... by Michael Brooks

We loved Free Radicals by Michael Brooks, and were delighted to hear about the research process, including Michael's love of libraries and admiration of JBS Haldane. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Charlotte Frost

An up-to-date biography of Sir William Knighton has been long-overdue and we're delighted to have been able to chat to Charlotte Frost about the work that went into writing her book. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Richard Byrne

This Book Belongs To Aye-Aye by Richard Byrne is quirky and amusing tale of Miss Deer's Academy For Aspiring Picture-Book Animals. With its smart plot, intriguing mystery, useful lessons and zingy illustrations, there's plenty to enjoy. We leapt at the chance to interview Richard Byrne. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To John Dickie

Here at Bookbag we were impressed by Professor John Dickie's latest book about the Italian mafias - this time looking at their history. The chance to chat to him was an offer we couldn't refuse. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Anna Burley

In Bipolar Parent Anna Burley bravely told us about her childhood. We were delighted when she agreed to tell us a little more about the background to the book. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg The Bedtime Picture Book I've Been Trying To Write for Years by David Bedford

We loved Bouncy Bouncy Bedtime and it was fascinating to hear that there was a bit of a story behind the book. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Elizabeth Speller

We've been impressed by Elizabeth Speller as a writer of fiction and non-fiction so the opportunity to ask her a few questions was really too good to miss. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg June 2011 Newsletter

Well, summer is coming and your thoughts are probably turning to holidays - and books to take with you. We're busily reviewing away and we think you'll have plenty to choose from over your 2011 sojourn, wherever you're going. Make sure you have a super and relaxing time whatever you read, but if you're looking for some inspiration, you can check out our reviews of the books on Richard and Judy's Summer Reading List.

The Guardian Children's Fiction Prize longlist has been published and there are some corkers on there. We've a sneaky feeling My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher will win, but each book on the list is wonderful and has a good shot. Which one would you vote for if you were on the panel? Leave a prediction on our list! Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Ian A Griffiths

DMD Life Art and Me is one of the most moving autobiographies we've read in a while. Ian was happy to talk to us and it was just too good an opportunity to miss. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Alison Murray

One Two That's My Shoe by Alison Murray is a wonderful counting book, continuing the adventures of Grace and her scampish dog Georgie. One Two That's My Shoe tweaks the familiar rhyme and tells a fresh story through its outstanding illustrations. We were delighted to interview Alison Murray. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Richard and Judy's Summer Reading List 2011

Eight books to take to the beach or settle down with in a shady spot in the garden and all recommended by Richard and Judy Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Glenn Dakin

The Candle Man returns in a second volume about a British - yes, British! - teen superhero. Pacy and packed with rather marvellous villains, this steampunk and comic book-inspired series will be a big hit with tween readers. We asked Glenn Dakin all about it. Read more...

Booklists.jpg Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2011

Following hot on the footsteps of last year's winner, Ghost Hunter by Michelle Paver, comes another wonderful selection of children's books in the 2011 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Caroline Lawrence's top 5 Western films for kids (and adults!)

It is always a little worrying when an author finishes a popular and well-loved series to start something new. Will the new characters be as interesting as the old, familiar ones? Will the books just be a pale retelling of the plots in a new context? But fans of Caroline Lawrence's Roman Mysteries need not worry. She's gone Western! To introduce us to the genre, and her new series, Caroline called into Bookbag Towers to tell us all about her favourite Western movies. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Should we popularise mathematics? If so, how? by Ian Stewart

In support of his book Mathematics of Life, Ian Stewart looks at the pros and cons popularising mathematics, through books and other means. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Bali Rai

Killing Honour is an honest and hard-hitting look at a controversial issue by one of Bookbag's most trusted teen authors. We were delighted to interview Bali Rai. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Stephanie Pain

Farmer Buckley's Exploding Trousers is another fantastic book from New Scientist, this time looking at odd events on the way to scientific discovery. It's brilliantly written and compiled, and endlessly fascinating. We leapt at the chance to interview editor Stephanie Pain. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg May 2011 Newsletter

We keep thinking that we really must update our list of most-read reviews on the site. We are good at thinking. But thinking isn't doing and since we are are also good at forgetting, we haven't done it yet. It's on the to-do list, though. Last time we did this exercise the redoubtable Delia Smith was in pole position, with her Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course. Some might laugh at the sucking/scrambling eggs episode, but an awful lot more type her name into Google, it's clear. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Hilary Freeman

We really loved the way that Hilary Freeman's Don't Ask looks at the way a lie can spiral and deals with some tough questions. We couldn't wait to ask her a few questions. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Paul Bress

We were intriqued by The Dysfunctional Family by Paul Bress written as a diary kept by four members of the titular dysfunctional family and we couldn't resist the temptation of asking him a few questions. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Work At Home or Work Away From Home? Helen Black helps us to decide.

It's very tempting to think that someone else's grass is greener than your own, but in the matter of working at home or commuting to your job Helen Black has experienced both and wants us to know that there are a few things you need to consider, not least the fluff in the tumble drier. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To The Anonymous Editor

Clients From Hell offers a hilarious collection of user-submitted stories from designers dealing with rude, clueless and demanding clients. We were delighted to interview its Anonymous Editor. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Jenn Ashworth

Sue loved Jenn's latest book, Cold Light. She met Jenn a few months ago and really wanted to know how a nice girl like Jenn could think up a plot like that. Thankfully, Jenn was ready to talk to us... Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Peter Gill

We enjoyed Peter Gill's riff on the number 42 - 42 - Douglas Adams' Amazingly Accurate Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything and the chance to ask him some questions was too good to miss. Read more...

Booknewsletters.jpg April 2011 Newsletter

Do you buy books from Tesco? Is your favourite author to be found on the best-selling lists or do you like to search out a wider range of reading matter? In Selling Well Is The Best Revenge, Linda Gillard tells Bookbag why being dropped by her publisher two years ago has turned out to be a positive event. How so? you ask. Well, she published her fourth novel on Amazon for Kindle all by herself - and at a selling price of £1.90 per copy, she is making more than she did from her previous dead tree books. And her book is selling well. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Ali McNamara

It takes real skill to write a book like From Notting Hill with Love... Actually that's packed with fun and provides comfortable, easy reading, so the opportunity to ask Ali McNamara a few qestions was too good to miss. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Why is it important to have good and challenging fiction for teens? by Gillian Philip

Gillian Philip is one of Bookbag's favourite authors for teens. She can write in any genre and even blends them together sometimes. And she's always real, even when she's writing fantasy. Her latest book, The Opposite of Amber is a chilling thriller that blends with a realistic story of relationship breakdown and social issues. If anyone can tell us why teens need books to challenge them, it's Gillian. So we thank her for passing by to give us her view - and promise you she is nothing like as gnarled as Charlie Sheen! Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Selling Well Is The Best Revenge by Linda Gillard

We fell in love with Linda Gillard when we read Star Gazing. Sue described it as intelligent women's fiction and since then we've searched out and read her back catalogue, but we were getting worried that there wasn't another book for us to read! Then Linda told us that she was publishing House of Silence as an ebook and she was publishing it herself. And she's agreed to explain why. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Anne O'Brien

We've really enjoyed both Virgin Widow and Devil's Consort so the opportunity to ask Anne O'Brien a few qestions was too good to miss. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Celia Rees tells us about the inspiration for The Fool's Girl

The Fool's Girl is a truly enjoyable mix of Shakespearean characters and historical people and a novel for teens and adults to savour. Here, Celia Rees tells us all about how she came to write it. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Natasha Solomons

We were really impressed by The Novel in the Viola, published in May 2011, which took us back to Dorset in the war years and we couldn't pass the opportunity to ask author Natasha Solomons a few questions. Read more...

Bookcomments.jpg Research? But it's Only a Romantic Novel! by Sophie Page

When we finished reading To Marry A Prince we started wondering exactly how you did the research for a book like that. I mean - you can't just tag along for a couple of week's work experience, can you? The book gives a real feel for what the life is like so we asked Sophie to tell us how she did it. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Stephen Mark Norman

Stephen Mark Norman is the author of Meklyan and the Fourth Piece of the Artefact. We realised that there was more to the book than met the eye and we couldn't refuse the opportunity to ask him a few questions. Read more...

Bookinterviews.jpg The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Annette Hart

Annette Hart is a teacher, mother of four children and the author of Blood and Allegiance, the first of a series of books. We couldn't resist asking her how she managed to pack so much in to her busy life. Read more...

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