Book reviews from Attic Window Cellar Door

Posted 5 Feb 2018 by Guest blog writer in Book Bloggers

Between social media, the public libraries movement, book shops, big publishers and a sharp rise in the number of small, independent niche publishers – books are everywhere, from posters of the latest must-read bestsellers in tube stations, to telephone boxes in remote rural areas turned into book exchanges. Publishers throw book launch parties to show off their authors (sign up to your favourite publishers’ newsletters and follow them on social media to hear about these events) and libraries are becoming hives of activity, hosting anything from mini plays and author Q&As, book readings to children’s story-time afternoons, and book discussion groups.

Attic Window authorAs a lifelong book lover, in the midst of this groundswell I became one of the hundreds, and maybe thousands of readers who stared a book blog. I started my blog (Attic Window, Cellar Door), because posting to a blog is a nice way to keep track of and give a bit more thought to the books I'm reading, and blogs are a good way to recommend books to other people with similar bookish tastes, and I get some great recommendations from other people’s blogs in return. Social Media is also fabulous for competitions and giveaways of books – follow bloggers, book shops, and publishers to spot these.

Some really good books I've read lately that have recently been released or are due to be released very soon are:

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Iraqi author Ahmed Saadawi – ordinary people living in a war zone. It has some arrestingly bitter-sweet moments among a backdrop of Gothic horror. Surreal with a compelling story, this is magic realism in the heart of contemporary war-torn Iraq.

In Our Mad and Furious City will be out in early May this year. It's contemporary fiction by debut author Guy Gunaratne, recounting 24 hours on a London housing estate. It's very up close and personal, and the writing is edge-of-the-seat tense from start to finish.

A really brilliant ghost story if you like something a bit more cosy and spine-tingling, is The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements, which is set on the Yorkshire Moors and is very atmospheric.

A book that's only just been released, and which is one of my favourites of the moment is The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn – a slow-building murder mystery thriller that evokes everything that is great about Hitchcock. It's very dark and claustrophobic noir but also very cosy, and I really recommend it to any murder mystery fans or black-and-white movie buffs.

The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow by Danny Denton, which is another of my current favourites, is a perfect piece of Irish dystopian fiction set in a near-future Ireland where an eerie rain never stops falling. It's a dark and earthy tale, and written in the very best tradition of off-kilter Irish story telling.

And a book coming in May that I can't wait to get my hands on is a contemporary retelling, in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, of MacBeth by Jo Nesbo."

North West Libraries

Librarians in the North West have pioneered partnership working to encourage new readers into libraries. Time To Read is a partnership of librarians engaged in reader development activity in public library authorities in the North West Region. 22 public library authorities in the region currently support Time To Read.

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