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Showing posts from December, 2017

Fallen Stars' Best Books of the Year, part two

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The teen and YA books can be difficult to chose. But here are some of my choices for these books from the enormous number of great books for older readers (and by 'older readers, I'm referring to 11years+) this year.
(Okay, there is a lot of discussion about what constitutes YA fiction and where you draw that line. Let's not discuss that at this time. I'm just going to say that, for our purposes here, YA books begin at age 14...depending on the reader.)
One of the best additions to this group came later this year with Sheena Wilkinsons' wonderful historical novel, Star By Star. Taking place in 1918, this book covers the end of World War 1, the flu pandemic sweeping the world and, most significantly the moment when women first had been given the right to vote. Though not lengthy, it has a great impact on the reader and is fascinating and inspirational.
Another high impact novel for 12+ is A Dangerous Crossing by Jane Mitchell. This is the extremely realistic and heart…

Fallen Stars' Best Books of the Year; part one

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A week ago, I had the pleasure of being on Galway Bay FM radios' The Arts Show with Vinny Brown. Vinny (from Charlie Byrnes Bookshop, as well as the shows' host), Des Kenny (from the world-famous Kenny's Bookshop) and I spent the hour talking our 'best books' of the season and year...and we could have gone on for another hour!
Now, I thought I'd share my kids highlights from the show, as well as a few others I didn't get to say much about. Books are frequently left to the last minute when buying seasonal gifts, so perhaps this will help.
The first book I talked about is a beautiful book for everyone, young or old. The Lost Words written by Robert MacFarlane with extraordinary illustrations by Jackie Morris was written as a response to the removal of a number of words from the Oxford Childrens' Dictionary. It was claimed these words from the natural world no longer had relevance in childrens' lives.MacFarlanes' response is a series of poems based…

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

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Phew! It's been a busy, busy season!And it's not quite over yet. Still 3 more days of helping people find exactly the right book(s) for their friends and family. I can hardly see straight!
I just want to pop in to give you my seasonal heads-up...yes, as the song says, Santa Claus is coming to town. And if you love the magic and excitement as much as I do, you really need to track him on his once-a-year global journey.
NORAD is all set up to keep an eye on St Nick with their annual 'Santa Tracker' and world-wide, we can watch him travel round the world in his sleigh, stopping off at every house. It's great fun! And it lets you know when all the little ones have to be in bed before he drops off the goodies.
Right now, you can explore the North Pole, play some games, learn about holiday traditions around the world and read the story of how NORAD started tracking Santa...lots to do. There's even a countdown clock so you know exactly how long until Santa starts his…

And the recommendations keep coming!

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The holiday season is rolling on rapidly. In a few short days, the shopping will stop, the presents will be wrapped and we will, hopefully, be cosy and warm at home enjoying the company of family and friends...and for us busy booksellers, getting a few days rest. But that doesn't mean it's time to stop consulting and recommending. Oh no! It's time to pick up the slack to help you create your own personal Jolabokaflod!

At my place of work, I'm busy in the childrens' section; stacking and re-stacking, arranging and rearranging...and replacing. Can't leave any gaps! And I am determined that you, my dear customers, find exactly the right book for the young people in your life.
Have a look at what's under the tree at Charlie Byrnes Bookshop for children and young adults...there is so very much there, chosen with care and attention to cater to your needs and wants.
Very soon, I will be blogging about my top picks of the season...in fact of the year! But if you wan…

Tis the Season...

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Welcome December...welcome lights and trees, hot chocolate and pretty paper and bows. And as I sit here waiting to begin the Late Late Toy Show Bookelves Bonanza (see previous post...we start at 9:30pm....not long now), I also say WELCOME to Mary's Advent Calendar of Books 2017.
Each year, starting December 1st, I open a new page on this blog and begin my Christmas countdown (or is that countup?) Every new day, you will see a new book that I recommend for seasonal reading....some old, some brand new, all favourites of mine. This is something I really love doing every year. Nothing better than digging out the books and talking about them. Some of the books will be specifically Christmas themed, but some are simply 'winter' books. I try to cover all age ranges from 0 to 18. Read them by yourself or share them with friends and family over the season. Oh, and all you grown-ups out there who believe you're too old for childrens' books....don't believe that one seco…