Liam Murray Bell

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Book Tag – Shelfie By Shelfie #2

Published November 12, 2017 by bibliobeth

Image edited from: <a href=””>Frame image created by Jannoon028 –</a>

Hi everyone and welcome to a brand new tag – Shelfie by Shelfie that I was inspired to create late one night when I couldn’t sleep. If you want to join in, you share a picture (or “shelfie”) of one of your shelves i.e. favourites, TBR, however you like to organise them, and then answer ten questions that are based around that particular shelf. I have quite a large collection and am going to do every single bookshelf which comprises both my huge TBR and the books I’ve read and kept but please, don’t feel obliged to do every shelf yourself if you fancy doing this tag. I’d love to see anything and just a snapshot of your collection would be terrific and I’m sure, really interesting for other people to see!

For my very first Shelfie by Shelfie please see my post HERE.

Anyway – on with the tag, here is the second shelf of my first bookshelf:

Back Shelf

Front Shelf

And here are the questions!:

1.) Is there any reason for this shelf being organised the way it is or is it purely random?

There’s kind of a theme going on here. Erm…kind of! The back shelf is mainly crime fiction with a mixture of authors including Thomas Harris, Chelsea Cain, Karen Rose, Cormac McCarthy, Belinda Bauer and a small collection of books by one of my favourite British crime authors, Mark Billingham that I really need to get back to reading! The front of the shelf has a few recent acquisitions like Sugar Money by Jane Harris and The Bright Edge Of The World by Eowyn Ivey which I’m reading very shortly. There’s also my collection of Roald Dahl short stories which all have the most stunning covers. (More on that later!).

2.) Tell us a story about one of the books on this shelf that is special to you i.e. how you got it/ a memory associated with it etc.

After much deliberation, I think I’m going to tell you about 2 A.M. At The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino. My boyfriend and I had recently moved into our new flat in Surrey, finally getting away from the chaos of London. It was nearly Christmas time (our first Christmas in the new flat), I was feeling so much more relaxed and happy and I had recently started getting a book subscription box called Book And A Brew which I highly recommend by the way! Then my second box arrived with this book in it and a wonderful black tea called Baby, It’s Cold Outside by The Teashed, perfect for Christmas with cardamom, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and ginger. I still haven’t read the book (yet!) but it brings back a lovely memory.

3.) Which book from this shelf would you ditch if you were forced to and why?

Ugh. I hate my own question. Okay, I think it would have to be The Busker by Liam Murray Bell. I quite like the look of it but it’s probably the book on this shelf that I’m least excited about out of all of them.

4.) Which book from this shelf would you save in an emergency and why?

This however is a very easy one! It would have to be my Roald Dahl collection of short stories. There were originally only four out and then recently, Penguin brought another four out so obviously I had to have them. The titles of the collections are Deception, Lust, Trickery, Innocence, War, Fear, Cruelty and Madness, the cover art by Charming Baker is completely gorgeous and I just wanted to show you some of my favourites.

5.) Which book has been on this shelf for the longest time?

That would be The Beach by Alex Garland. Can you believe I still haven’t got around to this book?!

6.) Which book is the newest addition to this shelf?

Sugar Money by Jane Harris. I’m a huge fan of her previous novels, The Observations and Gillespie And I and am eagerly anticipating this one.

7.) Which book from this shelf are you most excited to read (or re-read if this is a favourites shelf?)

The Bright Edge Of The World by Eowyn Ivey. I absolutely adored her debut novel, The Snow Child and have been a bit scared about reading this as I’ve got such high expectations. It WILL happen, and soon!

8.) If there is an object on this shelf apart from books, tell us the story behind it.

I have my five year Jane-A-Day diary on this shelf purchased from Waterstones a few years ago. I try to use it to keep track of all the blog tours/reviews I’ve promised to write for a certain time but sadly, don’t make as much use of it as I should. It has a quotation from a Jane Austen novel for each day of the year and I love that it’s five years as well – it’s lasting me so long!

9.) What does this shelf tell us about you as a reader?

I think it shows that l like my crime fiction (or anything else slightly disturbing) and that I’m a sucker for interesting covers.

10.) Choose other bloggers to tag or choose a free question you make up yourself.

Anyone who wants to do this, please feel free, I’d be delighted but please tag me in your post so I can see your shelfie in all its glory. This time round I’m going to choose a question for myself:

Is there a book on this shelf that you’re more intrigued to pick up? Perhaps you’ve forgotten it’s there?

For sure this would be The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer. I had actually forgotten this was on my shelf (it’s so difficult when books are hiding at the back and you can’t see them every day!). I read The Shut Eye by her quite recently and really enjoyed it so keep meaning to pick up some more of her work.


COMING SOON on bibliobeth : Shelfie by Shelfie #3



Ninja Book Box NOVEMBER 2016 Unboxing -“Slightly Surreal”

Published December 18, 2016 by bibliobeth

Hi everyone! This post today will show you my opening of the very first Ninja Book Box which was delivered to me in November. I first talked about The Ninja Book Box a while ago but just to remind you, it’s a quarterly book subscription service that supports independent publishers and includes a whole host of other bookish goodies, usually connected to the book for that month. For more information please go to the official site HERE where you can also sign up to receive the February box, the theme of which is A Shakespearean Mystery. Also, please check out my previous post HERE if you’re interested where I talk about The Ninja Book Box in more detail.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the unboxing!





A box of joy! Ooh, what could be inside?






The first thing I noticed was how nice the box was. I know, sounds silly but just seeing the words Ninja Book Box on the side made me stupidly excited for the contents within! On opening the box, it was a huge surprise. I was expecting a couple of extra goodies for being a funder of the Kickstarter campaign for this project but the amount of goodies that I did receive was incredibly generous and thoughtful. So what was there?


There was a lovely little bookmark (from Skinny Hues), a nifty little keyring which had a brilliant surprise on it – one one side was the words Ninja Book Box (of course!) and the second, the tag-line from my blog main page which had me thoroughly delighted! The green item? A lily pad of course and what should sit on it but a little frog charm, perfect for a bracelet if you have one, if you don’t like me, it’s just a beautiful object.





Close up pic of the keyring and little frog charm







But wait, there’s even more. A card with a street map of Cardiff (by Crafty Bacon Studios) a coaster with a star on (from J Talbot Designs) and a “Starry Skies” tea towel (from Blinkin’ Imp). Can you figure out the theme yet? I’m starting to feel thoroughly spoiled.


I was excited to discover that the book provided with the Slightly Surreal box was Star Shot by Mary-Ann Constantine published by Seren Books (a small Welsh publisher) which looks and sounds fabulous according to the GoodReads synopsis:

“Part fable, part mystery, Star-Shot is a stylish debut novel set in and around Cardiff’s National Museum in a time that is almost, but not quite, our own. As their paths cross in a circumscribed world of benches, parks and galleries, a handful of characters reveal their stories of obsession, loss and recovery, creating a fragile network of relationships which will help to resist the inexorable channels of silence eating into the city.

A brittle young woman sits on a bench in Gorsedd park, conscious of the powerful building behind her; a tall man carries a box full of a strange organic substance up the entrance steps; a young father explains the formation of stars to his tiny son. As university researchers try to map and understand the destructive silence snaking around them, it becomes clear that the linked lives of these and other marginal characters offer ways of countering its effects. Poignant and humorous, Star-Shotis an exploration of how objects and images can focus our grief and desire; it is also a meditation on the regenerative power of garden ponds, and the cosmic significance of frogs.

Beautifully illustrated with woodcut-style motifs by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, this is a subtle urban novel with a supernatural twist.”

Also provided was a great little interview with the author which I’m saving to read after I’ve finished the book for fear of spoilers, a review from Bex (Ninja Book Box developer extraordinaire) and her recommendations for other Cardiff based books/TV series and further books with a similar feel to Star Shot. The second book in this box was Busker by Liam Murray Bell and was an extra reward for funding the Kickstarter campaign. This also looks brilliant and is set in my home country of Scotland, an additional bonus for me!:

“Three cities, two years, one chance: from the author of the critically acclaimed debut So It Is ? shortlisted for best first book at the Scottish Book Awards 2013 ? comes the hard-hitting story of a young man determined to find his voice. Plucked from obscurity in Glasgow, Rab Dillon is about to become the next great protest singer. Seduced by promises of stardom, carrying only the guitar given to him by the girl who broke his heart, he travels down to London. There he records the debut album that will speak to the dispossessed, the disenfranchised and disheartened. One year later, he is sleeping rough on the streets of Brighton. A modern-day ballad set across three cities and two years, The Busker is a richly comic expos(r) of the music industry, the Occupy movement, homelessness, squatting ? and failing to live up to the name you (almost) share with your hero. It is also the story of what survives when the flimsy dreams of fame fall apart.”

One final little surprise, another reward for funding the Kickstarter campaign – an excellent mug which sums up everything I want from life.


Oh yes! So to sum up my first Ninja Book Box I would use two words – ROARING SUCCESS! I loved that there was a mixture of items and that there was a connection to the book from each item. The book itself looks excellent and is one I’m really looking forward to diving into. I’m eagerly anticipating the Shakespearean Mystery Box in February and highly recommend this new book subscription box service to everyone! A huge thank you to Bex and all the companies, publishers involved in this venture for this amazing first box, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

COMING UP IN FEBRUARY: Ninja Book Box Unboxing – A Shakespearean Mystery