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Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

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This is Sophie Kinsella’s first step into the realm of the Young Adult genre.

Finding Audrey is an inspiring story of a teenage girl suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder. Audrey has experienced bullying, and as a result has become a prisoner in her own home. Finding Audrey is the story of her journey to recovery, with the help of a boy named Linus. It’s a little sad in places, sometimes funny and a little romantic too.

The story of Audrey and her chaotic family is a funny and uplifting one.

Audrey is brave, charming and resourceful. You’ll find yourself cheering her on in a bid to overcome her troubles.

Review by Marie Delaney

Written by Team Booko

July 28th, 2015 at 1:56 pm

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Christmas in July Anyone?

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The recent cold snap has brought plunging temperatures and surprise snowfalls to much of the Southern Hemisphere. Here at Team Booko this means a craving for cosiness, open fireplaces and comfort food – the perfect mood for celebrating “Christmas in July”!

Christmas in July is the perfect excuse for enjoying traditional Christmas fare in their rightful wintery setting. It is a great opportunity to spend some indoor time with friends and loved ones and bring some fun to cold dreary days. Here are some books to inspire you in creating your own Christmas in July festivities.

Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson
Nigella’s philosophy of maximum indulgence for minimum fuss just resonates with Christmas in July. Nigella Christmas has a range of traditional and modern recipes including for canapés, drinks, edible gifts, breakfasts and hangover cures. There are also meal plans and schedules to help you get everything ready at the right time. Now in a stylish new edition.




Scandinavian Christmas by Trine Hahnemann
If anyone knows how to make the most of cold weather it would be the Scandinavians. Nordic Christmases have retained many traditional festivities that brighten up the whole of December. This book combines charming folkloric customs with fresh seasonal recipes and Nordic design cool. Christmas with an exotic and elegant twist.


Gluten Free Christmas by Hannah Miles
Those on a gluten-free diet no longer need to feel left out! Hannah Miles is helping more people enjoy Christmas with her recipes for gluten-free treats such as baked goods, desserts and gravies and sauces.




Craft it Up: Christmas Around the World by Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong
Besides delicious food, a Christmas celebration is incomplete without decorations. Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong have collected a range of fun and unusual Christmas craft ideas from around the world, including an Uruguayan crib scene and beautiful Snow Queen dolls. Each project is described step-by-step with illustrations. Perfect for young and old to join in the fun.



How to Drink at Christmas by Victoria Moore
For the more culinarily-challenged, how about a Christmas in July drinks party? This book contains a collection of drinks perfect for chilly days, including mulled wine, spiced coffee, cocktails and even restorative herb infusions. It also provides advice on matching drinks to festive foods. Sure to build atmosphere for a fabulous winter celebration.





Written by Karen Seligman

July 23rd, 2015 at 11:00 am

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The Guardian Children’s fiction award for 2015 – Longlist

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The 8 finalists for the Guardian Children’s fiction award for 2015 are diverse and complex according to Piers Torday (author of ‘The Dark Wild’ and winner of the Guardian Children’s fiction prize in 2014). ‘These books are quite simply some of the best writing for children today, from graphic novels to Victorian sequels, Greek myths to the US civil war. Diverse, complex, accessible experimental, page turning and heart breaking, they bring young readers the world on a single shelf.’


Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders

This book is an incredible, heart-wrenching sequel to E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It, set on the eve of the First World War. The five children have grown up – war will change their lives forever. Cyril is off to fight, Anthea is at Art College, Robert is a Cambridge scholar and Jane is at high school. The Lamb is the grown up age of 11, and he has a little sister, Edith, in tow. The sand fairy has become a creature of stories…until he suddenly reappears.


My Name’s not Friday by Jon Walter

A tale of the American Civil War from the perspective of an educated orphan boy sold into slavery.


An Island of our Own by Sally Nicholls

From one of the brightest talents in children’s fiction and the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book prize comes a new novel about family and friendship. Siblings Jonathan, Holly and Davy have been struggling to survive since the death of their mother, and are determined to avoid being taken into care.


The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Faith’s father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered. The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as the tree bears more and more fruit, she discovers something terrifying – that her lies were closer to the truth than she could ever have imagined.


El Deafo by Cece Bell

The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her “superpower.”


A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond

I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the tale. I knew them both… knew how they lived and how they died. Claire is Ella Grey’s best friend. She’s there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her.


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

The story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.


Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan

When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question – why did you go? And she will have someone who understands what it means to be a teenager – unlike Nana. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bitter sweet, and Apple wonders who is really looking after whom. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see things as they really are.



Written by Team Booko

July 21st, 2015 at 7:52 pm

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City Guide: Rome

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There is an Italian expression, Roma, non basta una vita, which means that for Rome, a lifetime is not enough to really know her. I visited Rome once, for a period of a few days but during that time I fell in love with this beautiful city. Aside from the obligatory touristy things like lining up for the Colosseum and throwing a coin into the Trevi fountain, it was simply walking the streets, gelato in hand that I loved. We are lucky we can bring Rome to life simply by reading a book. Here are our recommendations:


I, Claudius by Robert Graves

The emperor Claudius tells of his life during the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula and the events that led to his rise to power in a classic novel reconstructing ancient Rome.


The Public Image by Muriel Spark

“All homage to Muriel Spark, the coolest writer ever to scald your liver and your lights” (The Washington Post). The Public Image, which the author has called “an ethical shocker,” provides a scalding the reader is unlikely to forget, particularly as it is so enjoyable.


The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Murder and romance, innocence and experience dominate this sinister novel set in mid-19th-century Rome. Three young American artists and their friend, an Italian count, find their lives irrevocably linked when one of them commits a violent crime of passion. Hawthorne’s final novel is “must reading” for its symbolic narrative of the Fall of Man.


Rome Tales by Helen ConstantineHugh Shankland

In ways no guide book can achieve, these twenty absorbing tales by Italian authors ranging from Boccaccio in the Middle Ages to contemporary new writers offer the delight of discovering and exploring one of the world’s most unique cities thorough a wide variety of individual lives and epochs.


Pleasure by Gabrielle D’Annunzio

This new translation of D’Annunzio’s masterpiece, the first in more than one hundred years, restores what was considered too offensive to be included in the 1898 translation—some of the very scenes that are key to the novel’s status as a landmark of literary decadence.


Written by Team Booko

July 18th, 2015 at 3:13 pm

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So you want to be an…..Interior Designer

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Feel you have a knack of creating beautiful spaces or just looking for some inspiration?  Here is a collection of 5 beautiful books to scratch that itch:


An Eye for Design by Allegra Hicks

This work examines textile, interior, and fashion designer Hicks’ approach to design and luxury. The book retraces the genesis of her patterns over the past decades of her work.


The Language of Interior Design by Alexa Hampton

The daughter of a celebrated White House decorator draws on early memories of watching her father and studying art to counsel readers on how to understand design by observing four basic principles, sharing lavish photographs of 18 homes that represent a variety of styles.


A La Carte: The Elements of an elegant home by Sherrill Canet

Choose your style then let Canet guide you through the steps of decorating every room in the house – from the front hall to the master bedroom.


Island Style by India Hicks

India Hicks: Island Style invites readers into the charming world of Hibiscus Hill. Timeless and under-decorated, her designs combine carefree island culture with British colonial form and formality.


Things I love by Megan Morton

A fun, inspiring and practical guide to loveable interiors. In Things I Love, interiors stylist extraordinaire and author of Home Love Megan Morton inspires by example, sharing her infectious enthusiasm for the houses, people and design she loves.





Written by Team Booko

July 14th, 2015 at 9:23 pm

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

by Maria Kondo


Book Review by Marie Delaney


This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to tidying your home is not only a game changer, it’s life changing!


Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo offers readers a step-by-step guide through the KonMari Method enabling an easy way to simplify, organise, and store.


In a nutshell, if an item doesn’t spark joy in your home, it shouldn’t be there – that goes for clothes, trinkets, photos, make up and old copies of bills (but who would want them anyway).


I was hooked from page one, and when I gave it a go at home, I felt lighter, happier and the house was brighter…and we didn’t even have much clutter to begin with! Nevertheless I ended up with 3 car loads of goodies for the charity store, copious bags filled for recycling and a few for the bin man.


Be warned – it’s not for the faint hearted, and once you start you will not want to stop.


I bought the e book – you’ll know why when you have finished it.





Written by Team Booko

July 10th, 2015 at 12:24 pm

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Segment Choice: Crime Fiction

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Whenever you look at any best-seller list, there is going to be at least a few crime novels. More often the crime is murder and the novel is based around the investigation and eventual resolution. Murder is something that fascinates us, you just need to turn on the TV after 8pm to realise that. I think it’s in part due to the mystery: who committed the crime? It’s also the psychological analysis: what drives someone to commit such a crime?


Here are 5 of the best:


The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected that she was being blackmailed. Then came the news that she had taken her own life. But, before he found all the clues, he was murdered.


Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .’ Working as a lady’s companion, our heroine’s outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the forbidding housekeeper Mrs Danvers forever keeps the memory of his dead wife Rebecca alive.


Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg

One snowy day in Copenhagen, six-year-old Isaiah falls to his death from a city rooftop. The police pronounce it an accident. But Isaiah’s neighbour, Smilla, an expert in the ways of snow and ice, suspects murder. She embarks on a dangerous quest to find the truth, following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow.


In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood is both a masterpiece of journalism and a powerful crime thriller. Inspired by a 300-word article in The New York Times, Capote spent six years exploring and writing the story of Kansas farmer Herb Clutter, his family and the two young killers who brutally murdered them.


Misery by Stephen King

Paul Sheldon, author of a series of historical romances, wakes up in a secluded farmhouse in Colorado with broken legs and Annie Wilkes, a disappointed and deranged fan, hovering over him with drugs, an axe, a blowtorch and demanding he bring his fictional heroine back to life.

Written by Team Booko

July 6th, 2015 at 5:06 pm

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Holiday Reading Guide: Our road-tested reads

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When you’re busy packing for holidays, don’t forget to pop a few good reads into your suitcase — ones that you won’t want to put down. The Booko team have road-tested these reads poolside and think they will be the perfect companion to your relaxing break:

The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein
Frances had read of a man who painted with only the colour yellow. He lived in the north of Norway. In the beautiful, barren landscape of the Far North, under the ever- present midnight sun, Frances and Yasha are surprised to find refuge in each other.

The Novel Habits of Happiness (An Isabel Dalhousie novel) by Alexander McCall Smith

Isabel Dalhousie is one of Edinburgh’s most generous (but discreet) philanthropists – but should she be more charitable? She wonders, sometimes, if she is too judgmental about her niece’s amorous exploits, too sharp about her housekeeper’s spiritual beliefs, too ready to bristle in battle against her enemies.

The Insider Threat by Brad Taylor
In the eighth action-packed thriller in the New York Times bestselling Pike Logan series, ISIS, the most maniacal terrorist organization the modern world has ever seen, is poised to make their most audacious strike yet. The United States has anticipated and averted countless attacks from terrorist groups–thanks in large part to the extralegal counterterrorist unit known as the Taskforce. But in The Insider Threat, a much more insidious evil is about to unfold…

Go Set a Watchman by Nellie Harper Lee
Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

The Long Utopia (#4, The Long Earth) by Terry Pratchett
2045-2059. After the cataclysmic upheavals of Step Day and the Yellowstone eruption, humanity is spreading further into the Long Earth, and society, on a battered Datum Earth and beyond, continues to evolve. Now an elderly and cantankerous AI, Lobsang lives in disguise with Agnes in an exotic, far-distant world. He’s convinced they’re leading a normal life in New Springfield – they even adopt a child – but it seems they have been guided there for a reason.

Written by Team Booko

June 30th, 2015 at 1:49 pm

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Top 5 books released this month

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Team Booko are always excited about new releases. The upcoming release schedule for June looks really good. Whether it’s a physical copy or an E book, have a look at what’s on offer this month.  Happy reading!

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims

Your baby’s first word will be Dada by Jimmy Fallon

Tom Clancy Under Fire (Jack Ryan) by Grant Blackwood

Grey (Fifty shades of Grey) as told by Christian by E. L. James


The English Spy by Daniel Silva

Written by Team Booko

June 25th, 2015 at 7:46 pm

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New York: Books to inspire

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Some people feel that they can only truly understand the essence of a city if they walk its streets themselves. This may be true, but you can also get a fantastic insight from books that feature design, history, the food and the people that belong to a particular city. Here is a selection of books that bring on wanderlust for New York (sigh).


Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

New York Sleeps by Christopher Thomas

Gastropolis: Food & New York City by Annie Hauck-Lawson & Jonathon Deutsch

Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

New York In Style: A Guide to the City’s Fashion, Design and Style by Janelle McCulloch

Written by Team Booko

June 23rd, 2015 at 2:18 pm

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