Top 10 Tuesday: Children’s stand-alone novels

Last Sunday was International Children’s Book Day, so this week’s Top 10 Tuesday is, of course, about children’s books. There are lots of excellent series out there for children but sometimes stand-alone novels get left in the dust. Several publishers and editors have commented on the difficulty of selling a stand-alone novel due to lack of ‘shelf-presence’, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less worthwhile.

Here are ten of my stand-alone recommendations for children: Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Heroines in Children’s Fiction

It’s International Women’s Day on the 8th March, so today’s Top 10 Tuesday is all about female inspirations in fiction. I’m a big believer in children’s fiction setting an example for developing girls and young women, and seeing strong, independent female characters is a huge part of that representation in literature. Here are a few of the characters who inspired me when growing up.


10 – The Wrestling Princess – The Wrestling Princess by Judy Corbalis


wrestlingI remember the Wrestling Princess as my earliest fictional role model. This was in the very early nineties, when I was just starting to read by myself and I wanted something a bit meatier to sink my teeth into. Cinderella and the other Disney princesses (with the exception of Belle) never really caught my interest as a youngster, but this princess did.

She’s smart, and strong, and she doesn’t like being ladylike or proper, and she has absolutely no interest in finding a handsome prince to settle down and marry. She loves dirty engines, and fixing things, and wrestling, and all the things that princess shouldn’t like at all. Exasperated by her behaviour, her parents decree that if someone can beat their daughter in a wrestling match, then she will have to marry them. Many try, many fail, until the Wrestling Princess finds and chooses her own husband: someone who she can respect exactly the way he is, and who respects her, exactly how she is.

Also she could throw grown men over her head. What’s not to like? Continue reading

Top Ten 2017 Releases I can’t wait to buy

My book addiction is well documented and, this year, there are a few titles I can’t wait to get my hands on. Some have (just) come out in 2017, others won’t be here until 2018 is nearly knocking on our door… but here’s my top ten.


1 – A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab


conjuring-of-lightAs this blog post is published, I should be receiving my copy of Conjuring, the much anticipated third book in Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy. This author came out of nowhere for me and I immediately fell in love.

The first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, introduced me to the enticing worlds of a royal magician (Kell) and a cross-dressing pirate (Lila) and the sequel, A Gathering of Shadows, ending with me whimpering in utmost terror for their fates.

In order to stay sane, I pre-ordered my copy and I am hastily finishing my current read so I can be sure I can start on Conjuring of Light as soon as the post hits my doormat today.

Due date: 21st February 2017


2 – Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb


assassins-fateMere words cannot express what this book means to me. I’ve been a huge fan of Robin Hobb since first reading her Liveship Traders trilogy (I should have technically read the Assassin’s trilogy first but I didn’t because I’m a maverick, just deal) and I have shed actual. blubbering. tears. over the Realm of the Elderlings books.

The Fitz and the Fool trilogy was an installment I never expected after Fool’s Fate left me an emotional, gibbering wreck. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the first two books, Fool’s Assassin and Fool’s Quest and since became addicted to any snippets I can find about the last of the series [link].

I already know Assassin’s Fate will utterly destroy me, because that’s simply what Robin Hobb does. She takes my heart, she makes me love like I’ve never loved before, and then she crushes my heart into itty bitty pieces. And then, I’m pretty sure, she laughs manically. But you know what? I can’t wait to let her do it again.

Due date: 4th May 2017 Continue reading

Give me Goosebumps: Happy birthday, R L Stine

With the impending release of the new film Goosebumps, I’ve started down a 90’s nostalgia path from which I have yet to return. So, with that in mind – a big Happy Birthday wish to R.L. Stine, who thoroughly creeped me during my childhood and adolescence.

To celebrate the birth anniversary of the Point Horror Master himself, I’ve gathered a list of my favourite Stine titles. I spent many happy hours in the library thanks to this man, so picking just ten was really difficult. If you’re not familiar with any of these books, I suggest you check him out for a spine-tingle of your very own.


R. L. Stine’s Top Ten Terrors


Continue reading