25 Must-Haves for every book lover!

Interested in literary merchandise and JK Rowling? Look no further, tonight on The Writing Garnet we have a truly wonderful guest post from the people at Readers Legacy and Next Century Publishing. Take a look and support the good cause!

Literary Must-Haves for Book Lovers
Do you read past your bed time? 
Find yourself begging, “Just one more chapter!”? 
Have an emotional break down when your favourite character dies?

Then say it loud and say it proud: I LIKE BIG BOOKS AND I CANNOT LIE!

Here is a list of must-have pieces for every literature lover.

1.    Harry Potter

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Represent your Potter pride with this tank.

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Cosy up with your favourite Quidditch player. Pillows here.

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Just in case Hogwarts starts delivering their acceptance letters via text. Here

***Attention Harry Potter Lovers: In honor of J.K. Rowling being named the Top Followed Author on Reader’s Legacy in 2015 we’re holding a 1 week sale on ALL of her books. From April 25th-30th, 2016 any Rowling book is 20% off AND double the LitCoins will be loaded into your account just for purchasing. Click the link to check out this limited time offer! ReadersLegacy.com/JKRowling***

 

2. The Hunger Games

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If you get a set of these bracelets you’ll know it’s real. See what I did there? Click here.

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Let’s be honest, Seneca Crane’s beard is the real winner of the Hunger Games. Mug here.

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But what do we do about the tracker jackers? Tank here.

 

3. Lord of the Rings

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The one fire pit to rule them all here.

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You’ll love these leggings like a hobbit loves second breakfast.

 

4. Alice in Wonderland

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Now you can go to Wonderland every night. Bedspread here.

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“I’m not crazy. My reality is just different from yours.” -Cheshire Cat Here

 

5. To Kill a Mockingbird

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…and stick it in my awesome tote, thanks.

 

6. Sherlock Holmes

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Nothing says ‘high-functioning sociopath’ like these Baker St. cuff links

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*ring ring* Detective Holmes, is that you? Phone case here.

 

7. The Great Gatsby

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Why Daisy Buchanan, you are simply radiant tonight! Headband here.

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Ain’t no party like a Gatsby party because a Gatsby party don’t stop until two people are dead and everyone is disillusioned with the jazz age as a whole. Gatsby envelopes here.

 

8. The Chronicles of Narnia

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So how does it work if you keep your map of Narnia in your wardrobe? Do you fall into Narnia when you go to put it on? Narnia-ception. Scarf here.

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Three cheers for The Great Lion! Necklace here.

 

9. Pride and Prejudice

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Is it just us, or did Mr. Darcy give you unrealistic expectations of love too? Printable here.

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Never leave home without your Jane Austen! Bag here.

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This wisdom from the 18th century still holds. Pillow here.

 

10. Where the Wild Things Are

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I think they’re hiding in your hair! Bow here.

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Capture the wild side of parenting with this matching set.

And for all of the book lovers that can’t choose just one novel to rep!
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How’s THAT for a full-fandom? Shirt here.

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You other readers can’t deny; when a book walks in with a good plot base and a big spine in your face you get sprung! Tote here.

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Deep breathe in. Ahhhhh books! Candle here.

As an added perk of Reader’s Legacy’s Rowling celebration, we will be holding a special 20% off sale for each of her novels from April 25th to April 30th – ReadersLegacy.com/JKRowling.

The sale not only celebrates J.K. Rowling, but was also brings attention for a special grant program we have created in order to give away 1 million physical books in support of literacy programs! Spreading a love of books, and ending illiteracy around the world is 100% possible, and with the help of readers on the site, we believe will be one step closer to achieving that goal! Get in on this sale HERE

 

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Meet me at the Cupcake Café.

Meet me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan.
Published: 14th April 2011 by Sphere.
ISBN: 978-0-7515-4449-7.
Available on Amazon in multiple formats including paperback and kindle.

‘Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that – Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe’s bakery, she has undoubtedly inherited his talent.

When she’s made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment. Armed with recipes from Grampa, and with her best friends and local bank manager fighting her corner, The Cupcake Café opens its doors. But Issy has absolutely no idea what she’s let herself in for. It will take all the courage – and confectionary – to avert disaster….’

Picking just one of Jenny Colgan’s novels to review first was incredibly difficult, especially as I have several to choose from. It reminded me of when I open my Cookie Monster biscuit tin and try to choose a biscuit; I have a collection of those too so I’m sure you can see the similarities….

I chose the book because it’s about cake, and I like cake…chocolate cake mmmm. Plus, I had the pleasure of reading a couple of Jenny’s books before I got to read this one, she is an incredible writer.

Time to meet Issy. Issy is passionate about all things baking, and thanks to watching her Grampa at work when she was a child; creating delicious treats is all that she has ever known. So instead of fulfilling her dream and following in her Grampa’s footsteps, she became an office worker. However, the city job comes to an end and Issy gets made redundant. Will this be the perfect opportunity for Issy to finally fulfil her dream, or does she come up against yet more obstacles?
After her redundancy, Issy spends time thinking and baking….constantly baking. To see if her dream is actually realistic, she does some research. Along the way she meets a lot of different personalities. Some of those people are more than willing to help her succeed, and the others are quite happy to put up a tent and block her path. Will her Grampa’s advice give her fire to go for it? Or will there be more tents blocking the path? (I’m sure there is a law against that though?)

Do not, under any circumstances, read this book when you’re hungry. Unless of course you have cake, obviously. The amount of delicious treats that Jenny has Issy making is unbelievable. I was salivating. Not on the book, that would be a sacrilege! As always, Jenny Colgan brings you a warm, laugh out loud book that by the end, will make you want to work in The Cupcake Café. Well, I did! Poor Issy goes through a rough time, some of it being quite emotional. You might even end up with something in your eye. Sniff. Despite the humour in the story, it is very heart warming and moving. A story of people joining together for someone they love. Moments of unity. For me personally, having that unity in a story as well as emotion, humour, and cake, it ticked the boxes. With Jenny’s style of writing, she captures the true essence of every individual character and their lives. Because of that, Jenny Colgan makes their lives somewhat relatable to your own life. I found myself getting lost in the book because I felt cosy reading it, and hopefully you will too. It is a brilliant read. Jenny Colgan, you have written yet another smashing novel. It is a pleasure to have you on my shelf! (I’ll give you a cushion, honestly!)

The years of loving you – Review

The years of loving you –  by Ella Harper.
Published
19th November 2015 by Harper Collins Publishers (Avon books)
ISBN: 978-0-00-758184-9
Available on Amazon in multiple formats (paperback and kindle).

‘What if your first love was your only love?

When Molly is diagnosed with a life-changing illness, it feels like her whole world has come crashing down. She hopes the news will make her marriage to Sam stronger. But why does Molly always call Ed in a crisis?

Ed, the very same Ed that Molly fell in love with at a party when they were teenagers, underneath a star-filled sky. Then life took them in different directions.

Molly starts to question every decision she has ever made. What if they could turn back the clock? When the only certainty they shared was each other….’

Stop for a moment and think about YOUR life. Have you ever had to break devastating news about yourself to any of your loved ones? Or have you been the one to receive the terrible news, getting told that lives will never be the same again? Yes? Thought so. Me too, except that I was the one breaking the horrible news…..multiple times. So was Molly…
The story begins in the present, lots of laughing, drinks and a hint of tension. Throughout the story you not only follow Molly’s life, you follow Ed’s life as well. Ed and Molly have known each other for many years, they share a history and a connection so deep that they have remained friends right into their adulthood. Ed has had a troubled life with secrets and problems he is too embarrassed to tell anyone, even Molly. Unfortunately for Ed, his life comes crashing down and he ends up making one of the biggest mistakes of his life….
Molly is married to Sam, a man who has his eyes firmly focused on the prize….his business. Molly has to compete with it, even when she has to sit down and break the news to him that she has a chronic illness. An illness that will not only change her life, but her loved ones lives too. They will see her grieving over a life she has lost, whilst also trying to adapt to a life that is unpredictable…very unpredictable. Unfortunately, Molly finds herself battling with extra problems and becomes lonelier than ever.
Who will come through for Molly in her darkest times? Sam, or Ed? Or nobody?
The book stood out for me because of the illness situation. I had to find out how other people reacted to life changing news. Why? Because I relate to it in more ways than one. I have multiple chronic illnesses. Reading about what Molly went through and how other people reacted to the news, had me in tears. It’s a topic that people don’t want to talk about and I am very pleased to find Ella Harper putting it in her story. It is real life. People go through it every single day. Personally I found that to be my connection to the storyline and to the characters. Also, I was hooked on finding out whether the girl got the guy, or the guy got the girl!
In every chapter there is something that will grab your attention, whether it’s something funny, or sad. Ella Harper’s style of writing is very engaging and I found myself in the story like I was someone watching everything unfold right in front of me. Depending on your beliefs about certain situations within the story, you might find yourself siding with a certain character and their own decisions. I know I did. ‘The years of loving you’ is an emotional rollercoaster of a book because it takes you on a journey of love, life and self discovery. Personally, I found the ending to just appear, like it was too short, and I think that is because I was incredibly engrossed in the gripping story that I didn’t realise it was coming up!
Ella Harper has managed to capture the soul of each character, bringing them to life in a way that I have never experienced before. A wonderful book that will bring out every emotion possible. A book that will open your eyes to different eventualities, good or bad. A book that will make you think anything is possible. Ella Harper, thank you. It has been an absolute pleasure to read and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

Life Swap by Carol Wyer.

Life Swap by Carol Wyer.
Published by
Bookouture on 22nd April 2016.
Available on Kindle at Amazon

*Advanced preview copy given by Bookouture/Netgalley.*

‘All Polly has to her name is a string of failed relationships and a mountain of debt. She sees herself as a hopeless case and would do anything to change her luck.

So when she’s given the opportunity to swap all she’s ever known for a life of luxury, Polly jumps at the chance. Soon, it’s all diamonds, spa days and celebrity parties. Now all that’s missing from her life is a bit of romance. Will hunky Matt be the man to heal her broken heart?

But money can’t always buy you happiness. Can the life she’s always dreamed of get in the way of true love? ‘

Prepare yourself for a book that you will probably remember the day after you read it. Prepare yourself for a book that will have you wondering ‘what the fried eggs is going on?’. Prepare yourself for a book that will leave you that puzzled to the point of being unable to put it down. But more importantly, prepare yourself to be transported into a story that will make you look at your own life a little bit differently….

Before reading the Life Swap, I did the unthinkable. I didn’t read what it was about so I took it by its lively and bright looking cover and title. I straight away assumed that it was going to be about one person wanting a better life for themselves. Ever seen ‘The Holiday’ with Kate Winslet? I thought it was going to be similar to that. I know it is wrong to assume, however, it makes a much better surprise if you do in the book world. Brace yourselves, it’s not often I admit this so I am just telling you, you can keep a secret right? I was wrong, completely wrong. It was nothing like ‘The Holiday’. Lives were swapped, but not in the way that you might think.
Life Swap starts by the hunger inducing, wonderful thoughts of…..marshmallows. Yes, the book begins with marshmallows! If you’re not a fan of them, don’t let it put you off the book though, I mean, it’s not like it’s a talking marshmallow! No really, it’s not! At the beginning you’re introduced to Mr Simon Green, a car salesman with a wife and two children. Oh, and a cat. I won’t mention the cat too much, not that I have anything against cats, but, oh you’ll see! Mr Green is unhappy in his current life and wishes for his troubles to disappear (don’t we all). He wishes for the typical thing, happiness. Luckily for him, strangers come to the ‘rescue’ and promise him that things will change for the better and that a happier life is before him. Or is it?
Meet Polly MacGregor. An unlucky in love sports therapist that adores spending money on things she doesn’t really need. Polly is also unhappy in her life because of problems facing her that could ruin everything. She could lose everything. No wonder she wants a new life, a life full of luxury and without problems. Unexpectedly, Polly gets promised the world also, beckoning her into a life that she desires. A life swap. But is it really what she desires?
Throughout the story you will swap between the two main characters, their lives and their ‘new’ lives, with every chapter leaving you will something to think about and laugh about. Go with the story, because you’ll be truly kicking yourself at the end. Don’t blame me if you hurt yourself though!
I finished the book in five and a half hours. I was hooked on the bizarreness of what I was reading. Many, many times I did say out loud ‘what the fried eggs is going on?’ but I HAD to finish it. It is definitely an unpredictable story, however, it has the most incredible conclusion. This was the first book by Carol Wyers I had read, I didn’t know what her style was like, but I laughed, I laughed a lot. The things you will come across in the book are actually relatable to an extent because of the real life worries that do occur. Not everyone is happy in their lives, people do want things to change, but I would suggest not going down the route that Simon and Polly did!
If you’re into weird and wonderful humour, then expect the unexpected because you’re in for an absolute treat. It’s so bizarre and hilarious to the point that you will be guaranteed to remember it. Lose yourself in the joys of what unfolds before your very eyes. Laugh out loud. This is definitely a book for relaxing and to not take things so seriously. It’s my feel good book of 2016 so far!

The Letter by Kathryn Hughes – Book Review

The Letter by Kathryn Hughes
ISBN: 978-1-4722-2995-3

Published: 8th October 2015 by Headline
Available to buy on Amazon in multiple formats (e-book/paperback).

‘Discover the novel that has broken a thousand hearts…
Tina Craig works all the hours she can and volunteers in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home. Going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and un-franked. Tina opens the letter and reads it – a decision that will alter the course of her life forever.

Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but he hopes he can put things right. On 4th September 1939 he sits down to write the letter he hopes will change his future. It does…in more ways than he can imagine.’

This book chose me. For those who live and breathe books, I’m sure you can relate to the moment a book cover stands out to you. Even though many other books may catch your eye, there is always one you cannot forget. The chosen book.
The blurb will leave you wondering right away. Why does Tina Craig have an unhappy home? What was so life changing in that letter? I had high expectations for Kathryn Hughes debut novel, and all my fingers were crossed that I wasn’t going to be disappointed…..
‘The Letter’ is a story that goes through many twists and turns and heart breaking moments. Tina Craig is one of the main characters whose life you follow. She lives with her alcoholic husband and unfortunately has to walk on egg shells because of his explosive behaviours. The charity shop Tina works in is her only means of escape…somewhere she can breath without wondering if she’s making too much noise. She is trapped in her situation. A situation that leaves her wondering what will happen, when it will happen…
Although, thanks to the letter she finds, her thoughts are taken up by going back in time. Tina gives herself the challenge of finding the history of the letter, and it sends her searching. But will she find anything, or anyone?
In chapter four you will find yourself getting introduced to more of the main characters who’s lives you will follow too, but from the past. Billy Stirling was a young jack the lad that had the girls wrapped around his little finger, especially Chrissie. Both Billy’s and Chrissie’s lives were already hard because of their upbringings, but because of one rainy night, their lives become a whole lot harder.
The story goes between 1939 (the year of the letter) and 1973 (Tina’s present day). Usually time swapping in a book can be quite confusing, however, it is a vital part of this story because it holds most of the important events leading to the present. In 1939, it wasn’t just Billy’s and Chrissie’s lives that changed, lives of their loved ones also changed because of their actions. They all loved, and they all lost. Half way through the book, personally, had me sitting with my mouth open and shocked at the events that were unfolding before my very eyes. Kathryn Hughes description of events will leave you wanting to keep hold of the book until the very end because of how real the story becomes. I certainly found that happening.
Once again the story is back in 1973, now this is where Kathryn Hughes’ writing shines even more. Tina is faced with more horrendous problems, with one of those being extremely heart wrenching. I’m not embarrassed to say that I cried, a lot. The raw emotion that is in those black words in front of you is gripping. Part of you will want to put it down because of that reason, but the book is so good you know you will regret it if you didn’t finish it. I know that is certainly how I felt when I was reading it! After Tina takes some time out for herself, her letter mission resumes, and she finds herself involved deeper in the situation than what she originally thought. A mission she sees through right until the end, but the outcome will leave you guessing right the way through.
After reading Kathryn Hughes debut novel, my face was tear – stained and I thought ‘wow’. The story had me hooked from the very beginning, even the switching between times was easy to follow which sometimes it isn’t. I thought the book was an incredible read, so raw, historic and extremely emotional. The events that were written opened my eyes to what may have happened in the past, some of which were extremely shocking yet very well describe. Usually when reading books I hope I can’t predict what will happen, I want to read a book that has me guessing all the way through. This book does exactly that. It’s unpredictable, you’re in for plenty of shocks, emotion, arguments, and true love.  I saw the characters grow (in my mind), like I was following them on their journey and some of the scenarios were happening to me. It is that raw.  Kathryn Hughes, what an outstanding way to debut. Such a powerful read and I cannot wait to see what you have in store for the next book. I most certainly was not disappointed.