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International Women’s Day Book Recs!

#BEBOLDFORCHANGE

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange – to help women and girls achieve their ambitions; challenge conscious and unconscious bias; call for gender-balanced leadership; value women and men’s contributions equally; and create inclusive flexible cultures.

The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. This is too long to wait. Around the world, IWD can be an important catalyst and vehicle for driving greater change for women and moving closer to gender parity. Check out the official IWD Videos.

International Women’s Day Non-Fiction Recs

International Womens Day NonFiction Books

  • Bad Feminist (4.5/5*) – I read this book a couple of years ago, and it awakened my inner feminist! Fantastic, accessible read. Full review of Bad Feminist.
  • Hot Feminist (4/5*) – Polly Vernon tackles the difficult questions surrounding modern-day feminism with sarcasm, insight, and wit. Full review of Hot Feminist
  • The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success (4/5*) – While not marketed directly to women, this book touches on many of the qualities deemed necessary to get-ahead, that women tend to struggle with, in their battle to be assertive and remain “liked” in the workplace. Full review of The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success.
  • I Call Myself A Feminist (3.5/5*) – Is “feminism” still a dirty word? This book contains short essays from 25 women under thirty, dissecting what feminism means to them.
  • Full Frontal Feminism (3/5*) – While this isn’t a favourite of mine, there are interesting and useful nuggets of information in this text. A good introduction or all-rounder, it wouldn’t be my go-to recommendation, but it does add to the conversation.
  • Lean In – I shamefully started, but have yet to finish this one. From what I’ve read it’s full of eye-opening anecdotes and facts, and it’s definitely the kind of book you need to read with a pen and paper handy to take notes!
  • Why Women Don’t Ask – I’m in the middle of this read, and it’s another great one that looks at the innate differences between genders, and how these can be overcome, as well as how to work within the constraints of societal perception, for women to succeed in the workplace!
  • I Am Malala – One that is on my bookshelf, and I have yet to get to. If ever there was an inspirational woman, Malala Yousafzai is she.
  • Everyday Sexism – Another I have on my TBR, what started as a TED Talk and anonymous online forum, has now become a phenomenon, and published text. This book argues that sexism has been normalised. And it’s time for change.

International Women’s Day Fiction Recs

International Womens Day Fiction Books

  • The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh (5/5*) – One of my favourite books of 2016, this novel is based on the true story of Mother Ross, a brave and fierce Irish woman. When her husband is taken as a soldier, Kit enlists in the Duke of Marlborough’s regiment, disguised as a man, to follow him across war-torn Italy. And that’s just the beginning! Full review of The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh.
  • Through the Barricades (4.5/5*) – This is a story of friendship, love, war and revolution. She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country. He was willing to sacrifice everything for her. Full review of Through the Barricades.
  • Asking For It (4.5/5*) – A brutal, important, relevant, and emotional novel, based on true events. A book all ages and genders should read. I was compelled to write #NotAskingForIt upon finishing the book. Full review of Asking For It
  • Only Ever Yours (4/5*) – Suppoesedly reminiscint of The Handmaid’s Tale, this debut novel will make you stop and question the society around you. eves are designed, not made. The School trains them to be pretty. The School trains them to be good. The School trains them to Always be Willing. Full review of Only Ever Yours.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – I recently purchased a copy of this, and have heard nothing but good things about it. A dystopian novel where women’s rights are completely revoked. Is the truth stranger than fiction?

Check out Wordery’s top picks with up to 33% off RRP, and FREE delivery!

Do you have any recommendations to add to this list? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add them in to make one super list of recommended reads!

Author Spotlight: Interview with Denise Deegan, and Giveaway!

Through the Barricades Book CoverI recently took part in the blog tour for Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I LOVED it. I reached out to the author to ask if she would like to be interviewed on my blog, and she said yes!

Check out the GIVEAWAY for a chance to WIN a paperback copy of the book (open INT!). Enter HERE!

The Through the Barricades ebook is just 99p on Amazon! Or pick up the paperback on Wordery for £12 with FREE international shipping.

Now, on to the interview!

R: Hi Denise, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing?

D: Hello, Book Geek readers! I’m an Irish writer of adult and young adult fiction. When not writing, I like to dream, read, watch movies, walk in nature with my dog (Homer), chat with my family, and eat out as often as possible. I’m a big fan of weddings! We won’t talk about the time I spend on social media.

R: I think we all spend a silly amount of time on social media! Writing can be a very difficult profession, so what made you want to become a writer?

D: I was doing a literature review for a Masters in PR. A book didn’t exist that should have. So I wrote it. As soon as it was published, I was struck by an overwhelming, inexplicable urge to write fiction. Without an agent, publisher or even an idea for a book, I gave up my business to follow my dream.

R: Wow! That was such a risk, but I’m do glad you did! Through the Barricades tells the story of Maggie and Daniel’s relationship, set during the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916. Where did the inspiration come from for this story, and what made you want to tell it?

D: I’m a bit of a rebel at heart. I am also very proud of my Irish heritage. The centenary of the 1916 Rising was approaching and I wanted to write a story of a girl rebel who was prepared to sacrifice everything for what she believed in. And I wanted her to fall in love with a pacifist!

R: This novel has romance and the compulsory (and fantastic) Irish sense of humour, but it also has more serious scenes, including chapters set during the First World War, as well as the Easter Rising. How much research did you have to do for this novel, and how historically accurate are the events you include?

D: I spent two years researching this book. There were three big areas to cover:

  1. The Lockout of 1913 (Dublin workers were locked out of their jobs when they dared to strike),
  2. A specific Irish regiment fighting in Gallipoli during WW1
  3. The Easter Rising of 1916 (a rebellion that changed Irish history).

The research was both challenging and fascinating. I discovered that historical reports are subject to interpretation. As such, they vary. The secret was to find as much information from primary sources, such as witness statements of people who were actually there. Events included in the book are as accurate as they could possibly be. I wanted readers to be able to rely on what they were reading.
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Author Spotlight: Interview with Stella Newman, and Giveaway!

seven-steps-to-happiness-book-coverI recently read and LOVED Seven Steps to Happiness by Stella Newman, so I’m delighted to interview her today on Confessions of a Book Geek, AND host a giveaway for FIVE copies of the book (UK only). I’m also offering one eBook copy for all of my INT readers!

Seven Steps to Happiness is currently available on Amazon for £3.99 for the eBook, and the paperback is just £6.15 on Wordery with FREE international shipping. Who can say no to that? 😉 

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

R: Hi Stella, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing/blogging?

S: Hello fellow book lovers, and thank you, Rachel for having me. I’m Stella Newman, author of four novels including the best seller Pear-Shaped (woo hoo!) and two novellas.

I used to work in advertising, then at the BBC, then at The Observer newspaper; then I became a professional food taster and was paid to eat spaghetti (best job in the world, ever) and now I’m a full time novelist. When I’m not writing, I’m eating, reading or sleeping.

R: All my favourite things to do! So, what made you want to become a writer?

S: My grandma was a writer – not a famous one, but she instilled in me a deep love of books, as did my father. I grew up loving reading, writing and telling stories but never thought I could make a living as a writer, so instead pursued various alternative careers – some fun, some less so (looking after turkeys for a supermarket in the run up to Christmas being one of the latter.)

As I went through my thirties, I couldn’t shake the fear that if I never even tried to write a novel I’d regret it. So I tried, failed, tried again a little harder, and eventually signed my first book deal with Harper Collins.

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Exclusive Wordery Discount Code!

This week, I posted my annual Bookish Gift Guide, with 22 amazing and exclusive discount codes. You may know if you follow me on Twitter, I recently won £100 of books from Wordery. I know what you’re thinking, how are these two things connected, right?

Bear with me, they are. Because shortly after these arrived:

I decided to reach out to the friendly people at Wordery to see if they would like to offer a discount code to Confessions of a Book Geek readers, and amazingly, they said yes!


Gifts for a Bookish Christmas Collection

The Collection was created especially for the Confessions of a Book Geek Bookish Gift Guide, and includes a range of tote bags, book box sets, notebooks, and stocking fillers.

Get 10% off when you buy any 2 items from the collection with the discount code BOOKGEEK!

Discount code expires 18th December 2016. Click here to browse the collection.

I’ve gathered together some of my handpicked favourites to give you a taste of the collection! Click on an item below to open the gallery, and then click through to the website.

 Let me know if you pick anything up, I have my eye on a couple of box sets, the Talk Wordy To Me tote, and those bookmarks! Happy shopping, Book Geeks!

*Note* Affiliate Links are used in this blog post

2016 Bookish Gift Guide with Exclusive Discounts!

book-gift-guide-discount-code

I know today is Halloween, but I was so excited, I couldn’t put this post off for any longer!

For the past two years I’ve brought you a Bookish Gift Guide with Exclusive Discount codes. It’s a post I love to put together because I get to give my loyal readers something that I adore… a bargain! Each year the guide has gotten bigger and better, and this year is no exception!

There are 22 stores taking part in this year’s Gift Guide, all with Exclusive Discount Codes!

I’ve hand-picked a selection of items from each store below, and linked to them in the image caption. All prices are listed in GBP for simplicity. They all ship Internationally (beware of delivery dates if you’re ordering pressies!), and many of them also offer customised options – if you have any questions, just reach out and ask, I can guarantee that they’re all lovely! 🙂


Wordery

Wordery have created a Bookish Christmas Collection just for this Gift Guide!

Get 10% off when you buy any 2 items with discount code BOOKGEEK!

Discount code expires 18th December 2016. Click here to browse the collection.

Wordery have over 10 million books available for free delivery to over 100 countries. As well as books, they also sell tote bags, notebooks, bookmarks, and more.


Novelly Yours

Prices start at £3.34 BUT discount code BOOKGEEK gets you 10% off any order.

Discount Code expires 25th December 2016. Click here to be taken to the store.

Gorgeous handmade candles from our very own Book Blogger, Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide! I’m sure many of these names are recognisable to Book Geeks, and they’re in such cute tins!


The Blind Date Book Company

Prices start at £5.00 BUT discount code #BOOKGEEK10 gets you 10% off!

Discount code expires 5th January 2017. Click here to be taken to the store.

Have you heard of the Blind Date With A Book trend? This Etsy store offers a Blind Date with a preloved book, a Blind Date with a new book, a Blind Date Gift Box, and a special Christmas themed Gift Box! Spoil the Book Geek in your life (or yourself!) with this great surprise gift.

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Book Release: A Boy Made of Blocks

A Boy Made of Blocks Book CoverA Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stewart, published September 2016, by Little Brown Book Group.

Add to GoodreadsGoodreads Synopsis: Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world’s most uncomfortable blow-up bed.

As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam’s imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one.

Inspired by the author’s own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most, of all true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy. Fans of About a Boy, Us and The Rosie Project will love this heart-warming, heart-breaking & wonderfully funny debut from an exceptionally talented new writer.

Life is built on the little things image

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Author Spotlight: Interview with Marina Fiorato & Giveaway!

The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh Book Cover

I recently read and reviewed The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh, and I LOVED it, giving it 5/5* (which everyone knows is a rating that I rarely give!). I contacted the author, Marina Fiorato, who kindly agreed to be interviewed, and her Publisher has also offered a copy of the book for me to give away (see below – open to UK & Ireland residents only)! 

The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh is currently on Amazon for £4.99 for the eBook, and the physical copy is on both Amazon and The Book Depository for £7.99. Get your hands on a copy now!

Enter GIVEAWAY to win a paperback of The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh!

R: Hi Marina, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing/blogging?

Marina Fiorato PhotoM: Hi! I’m Marina Fiorato, and I’m the author of 7 historical novels, mostly set in Renaissance Italy. When I’m not writing – and even when I am – I’m a mum of two so you’ll find me doing the school-run or cooking dinners in which I try to conceal the presence of vegetables.

R: What made you want to become a writer?

M: I wrote a lot at school – I even wrote my school’s Nativity play when I was ten years old and the school actually humored me and used my script! I wrote a kid’s novel about Vikings when I was fourteen, then at Uni I wrote another play, which went to the Edinburgh Fringe. That one wasn’t an unqualified success – once, I remember, there were more people in the cast than the audience! It was when I had my son that I really began thinking about writing seriously; I wanted to explore my heritage (my father was Venetian) a heritage that was now my child’s too. And that’s how I began what was to become The Glassblower of Murano, my first novel.

R: The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh is based on the true story of Mother Ross. How did you hear about Mother Ross, and what was it about her story that inspired you to tell it? 

M: I love watching history documentaries on iPlayer, and I think it was on one presented by Simon Scharma that I first heard about Kit. I then tracked down her biography, which was written by Daniel Defoe, and found it incredible reading. I felt like if she was a man we’d all be learning about her in school. Kit didn’t just dress as a man, but she fought as a soldier in four bitter and bloody campaigns. Even then, she didn’t just scrape by and keep her head down; she fought so well she was actually decorated by the Duke of Marlborough himself. Then when a desperate rape victim claimed Kit was the father of her child, Kit not only defended the woman’s honour, but she agreed to support the child financially. I wish every girl in every school knew about Kit.

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Author Spotlight: Interview with Victoria Walters!

The Second Love of My Life Book CoverI recently read and reviewed The Second Love of My Life, and reached out to its debut author, Victoria Walters, to see if she would like to be interviewed on my blog. The Second Love of My Life is currently on Amazon for £2.99 for the eBook, and the physical copy is on both Amazon and The Book Depository for just £3.85. So, what are you waiting for? Go grab a copy! 🙂

R: Hi Victoria, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing/blogging?

V: Hi everyone! My name is Victoria Walters and my debut novel The Second Love Of My Life was published in April this year. When I’m not writing, I work as a bookseller for Waterstones and always have my head stuck in a book!

R: I would love to work surrounded by books! So, what made you want to become a writer?

V: I have always written stories. Maybe because I’m an only child, I have always had an overactive imagination and was always a massive bookworm so I think it was inevitable that I’d end up writing one day really.

R: In The Second Love of My Life, many of the characters deal with loss and grief, what made you want to tackle these emotions, or was there a specific inspiration for your story? 

V: I lost my father when I was nine, so grief is a subject I’ve thought a lot about, and when my main character Rose came into my head, I knew instantly that she had lost someone close to her and was struggling to move on. I also had read a lot of stories where the love interest died at the end and I thought it would be interesting to mix it up and have him have met his demise at the start of the story instead.

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