Bookends Beach Party | Which of your characters would you go on holiday with?

Bookends Beach Party | Which of your characters would you go on holiday with?

Each week we’ll be asking some of our favourite authors to share their summer essentials – from holiday routines to travel bucket lists. This week we asked Deborah Moggach, Ruth Hogan and Rosanna Ley, if you had to holiday with one of the characters from your book, who would it be and where would you go?

Deborah Moggach, author of The Carer

I’d go with Buffy. He’s the boozy, charming and chatty old actor from “the Ex-Wives” and “Heartbreak Hotel”. He adores women and loves talking about relationships. He also has some good jokes. We’d go to Lisbon because I’ve never been.

Ruth Hogan, author of Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel

I’m torn between Queenie and Joseph Geronimo Heathcliffe O’Shea. I fell more than a little in love with Joseph when I was writing about him! But I think it would have to be Queenie – she’d be an absolute riot and we’d get up to all sorts of mischief on an American trip. We would spend a couple of days in New York and then head off to Los Angeles. I think Queenie would very much like to go shopping in Beverley Hills!

Rosanna Ley, author of The Lemon Tree Hotel

It would have to be Dante from The Lemon Tree Hotel because he’s passionate, interesting and funny and he makes the best gelato in Italy. We’d go to the Italian Riviera, maybe down to Tellaro in the romantic Bay of Poets. I wouldn’t want to come home…

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The Switch

The Switch

The funny and uplifting new novel from the bestselling author of The Flatshare.

The Switch

Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

About the author

Beth O'Leary

Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being in reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work. 

She is now writing novels full time, and if she’s not at her desk, you’ll usually find her curled up somewhere with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).

The Switch publishes spring 2020 and available to pre-order here!

Escape to the French Farmhouse by Victoria Brownlee

Escape to the French Farmhouse by Victoria Brownlee

The heartwarming sequel to Escape to the Paris Cheese Shop. Will Ella and Serge’s relationship survive an unplanned pregnancy and a move to the depths of the French countryside?

Ella moved to Paris on a whim – and found happily ever after.

But after six months of romantic bliss, living with her French boyfriend, cheesemonger Serge, Ella’s new life is thrown off course. An unplanned pregnancy doesn’t seem too bad, until Serge unexpectedly decides to move their growing family to a goat farm in the Loire Valley, without consulting Ella.

Can Ella and Serge’s relationship survive their relocation to the depths of the French countryside?

A heart-warming and joyful romance, for fans of Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Sophie Kinsella.

Escape to the French Farmhouse is available to pre-order as an
e-book here.

The Lost Son by Prue Leith

The Lost Son by Prue Leith

Gripping family drama from household name Prue Leith. Perfect for fans of Penny Vincenzi and Barbara Taylor Bradford.

The Angelotti family reels when the lost son, given up for adoption in the war, traces his birth family and returns to the fold, with devastating consequences.  

As poverty-stricken newlyweds, Laura and Giovanni Angelotti were forced to put their first child – a boy – up for adoption. They have had other children since, and their first little Italian cafe has become a restaurant empire, but Laura is still haunted by thoughts of the baby she lost.

Tom is a successful businessman enjoying the fast-paced City lifestyle – until his best friend and business partner is killed in the 9/11 attacks and his world turns upside down. Searching for meaning in his life, he decides to track down his birth family: the Angelottis.

But Laura has been keeping an explosive secret about Tom’s parentage that means his reappearance in her life is bittersweet. She may have found her son, but will it be at the cost of everything it has taken her fifty years to build?

The Lost Son is available to buy here and to pre-order in paperback here.

Love Audio Week

Love Audio Week

This week is Love Audio week and we’ve been celebrating the world of audio books. Team Bookends are huge audio book listeners! They’re perfect listening for your commute, for the multi-tasker who wants to read but has to make dinner and also because you can access them on most devices audio books are one of the most convenient ways to keep up with your reading pile!

Here are our top audio book recommendations to get you started!

Half a World Away by Mike Gayle

Strangers living worlds apart.
Strangers with nothing in common.
But it wasn’t always that way…

Kerry Hayes is a single mum, living on a tough south London estate. She provides for her son by cleaning houses she could never hope to afford. Taken into care as a child, Kerry cannot ever forget her past.

Noah Martineau is a successful barrister with a beautiful wife, daughter and home in fashionable Primrose Hill. Adopted as a child, Noah always looks forward, never back.

When Kerry reaches out to the sibling she lost on the day they were torn apart as children, she sets in motion a chain of events that will have life-changing consequences for them both.

 By turns funny and moving, Half a World Away is a story that will stay with you long after you read its powerfully emotional, heartbreaking final page.

You can download Half a World Away from Audible here.

Till the Cows Come Home by Sara Cox

Till the Cows Come Home is DJ and TV presenter Sara Cox’s wonderfully written, funny coming-of-age memoir of growing up in 1980s Lancashire.

The youngest of five siblings, Sara grew up on her father’s cattle farm surrounded by dogs, cows, horses, fields and lots of ‘cack’. The lanky kid sister – half girl, half forehead – a nuisance to the older kids, the farm was her very own dangerous adventure playground, ‘a Bolton version of Narnia’. 

Her writing conjures up a time of wagon rides and haymaking and agricultural shows,  alongside chain smoking pensioners, cabaret nights at the Conservative club and benign parenting. Sara’s love of family, of the animals and the people around them shines through on every page. Unforgettable characters are lovingly and expertly drawn bringing to life a time and place. 

You can download Till the Cows Come Home from Audible from here and from Apple books here.

Her Husband’s Mistake by Sheila O’Flanagan

Her Husband's Mistake

Should a woman be ready to forgive and forget to save her marriage? Roxy’s not so sure….

The riveting new novel from number one best-selling author Sheila O’Flanagan. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Kerry Fisher.

When Roxy comes home unexpectedly one day to give her husband, Dave, a lovely surprise, it’s Roxy who gets shock of her life. And all she wants to do is run away.

Roxy knows she has to face up to what’s happened and decide: forgive and forget, or bring an end to a decade-long marriage. Surely the right thing is to get over it – that’s what Dave thinks. After all, it’s just one mistake….

But Roxy finds it’s not so simple. Especially when another secret starts to emerge. Her friends and family all know what they’d do – but they’re not Roxy….

Listen to an extract of Her Husband’s Mistake on Soundcloud.

You can download Her Husband’s Mistake from Audible here.

Her Last Promise by Kathryn Hughes

Her Last Promise

A mysterious letter from Spain. A surprising new beginning…

Fall in love this summer with Her Last Promise, a gripping, heart-rending story of how hope can blossom in the ruins of tragedy and of the redeeming power of love. From number one best-selling author Kathryn Hughes.

Tara Richards was just a girl when she lost her mother. Years later, when Tara receives a letter from a London solicitor, its contents shake her to the core. Someone has left her a key to a safe deposit box.

In the box lies an object that will change everything Tara thought she knew and lead her on a journey to deepest Spain in search of the answers that have haunted her for 40 years.  

Violet Skye regrets her decision to travel abroad leaving her young daughter behind. As the sun dips below the mountains, she reminds herself she is doing this for their future. Tonight, 4th June 1978, will be the start of a new life for them. This night will indeed change Violet’s destiny, in the most unexpected of ways….

You can download Her Last Promise from Audible here.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. 

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

You can download The Flatshare from Audible here.

The Lemon Tree Hotel by Rosanna Ley

A story about love, family secrets, and a little piece of heaven . . .

In the beautiful village of Vernazza, the Mazzone family have transformed an old convent overlooking the glamorous Italian Riviera into the elegant Lemon Tree Hotel. For Chiara, her daughter Elene and her granddaughter Isabella, the running of their hotel is the driving force in their lives. 

One day, two unexpected guests check in. The first, Dante, is a face from Chiara’s past, but what exactly happened between them all those years ago, Elene wonders. Meanwhile, Isabella is preoccupied with the second guest, a mysterious young man who seems to know a lot about the history of the old convent and the people who live there. Isabella is determined to find out his true intentions and discover the secret past of the Lemon Tree Hotel.

You can download The Lemon Tree Hotel from Audible here.

Friend of Bookends Angela recommends The Paper Wasp…

Friend of Bookends Angela recommends The Paper Wasp…

The summer is hotting up and if you’re searching for your summer reading recommendations look no further! The Paper Wasp by Lauren Acampora is an electrifying debut novel of two women’s friendship, a haunting obsession and twisted ambition, set against the feverish backdrop of contemporary Hollywood. A book that you’re guaranteed to get wrapped up in this summer!

Angela N

Abby and Elise are childhood friends – destined not to fit into their provincial small-town lives: Elise because she is destined to become a film star, and Abby due to her vivid imagination. Escape is easier for Elise, as she segues naturally into a life in Los Angeles. For Abby however, the path is much longer, more twisted and circuitous. Eventually the two women’s lives reconnect in LA, creating a stirring and complex story.

“Lauren Acampora’s prose is poetic, with descriptions and imagery akin to a fever-dream … the LA setting and first-person narrative of the intense Abby paint a vivid and at times almost stifling picture. ”

Once Abby reconnects with Elise and moves to LA, the reader is acutely aware that Abby’s intense attachment to Elise and the pair’s unconventional life will lead to less-than-favourable consequences.

“The slow burning and languid story Acampora weaves stretches this sense of foreboding to just the right length before the satisfyingly dark ending.”

I was pleasantly surprised by this book as I do not tend to enjoy more poetic prose, usually just wanting the author to ‘get on with it!’ It’s credit to Lauren Acampora that my interest level remained high for the duration of the book.

The Paper Wasp is out now – click here to buy!

The best books to gift this Father’s Day

The best books to gift this Father’s Day

With Father’s Day coming up, we’ve put together a list of 6 books we think would make the perfect gift for all Dads everywhere. Take a look below!

Man vs Toddler by Matt Coyne

More inept, more clueless and more exhausted than ever, the man behind the blogging phenomenon Man vs Baby is back with the latest instalment in his (and his son Charlie’s) journey through the chaos and comedy of parenting

In the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Sunday Times bestseller Dummy comes Man vs. Toddler – the story of what happens when your little one is transformed from an innocent bundle of joy into a creature that walks, talks… and craps in a plastic bucket in the middle of your living room.

Man vs Toddler exposes the lie that, that when it comes to parenting ‘it gets easier’. But it is just as honest, foul-mouthed and heart-warming as Matt’s first book, and will have you laughing and crying with recognition as he shares his observations and advice on everything from tantrums to the horrors of soft-play.

Buy Man vs. Toddler here!

The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book by Neil Gaiman

The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book contains much that is new and revelatory and even several scenes that are not actually in the final television series.

‘One of the most hotly anticipated TV shows of the year’ Independent

Neil Gaiman’s glorious reinvention of the iconic bestseller Good Omens is adapted from the internationally beloved novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and is soon to be a massive new TV launch on Amazon Prime Video and the BBC. The series is written and show-run by Neil himself and stars David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm and Miranda Richardson, to name but a few.

Buy The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book here!

Dadlife by Simon Hooper

Sunday Times top ten bestseller Dadlife is real life parenting through the eyes of a modern day dad by Simon Hooper, aka Instagram’s Father of Daughters.

From uninitiated parents-to-be to those who know the ropes in families large or small, everyone will find something to relate to in Simon’s hilarious and chaotic tales of his own home life. His observations of being a father have delighted his hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram: before now dads are often the forgotten ones who carry the luggage, open stiff jars, take photos on holiday, fix broken bikes, go back to work, do the night feeds and make a mean beans on toast with melted cheese without so much as a pat on the back. All too often dads shrink into the background. But not in this book.

Dadlife is an incredibly funny yet emotionally heartfelt ode to modern family life.

Buy Dadlife here!

Blowing The Bloody Doors Off by Michael Caine

Hollywood legend and British national treasure Michael Caine shares the wisdom, stories, insight and skills that life has taught him in his remarkable career – and now his 85th year.

One of our best-loved actors, Michael Caine has starred in a huge range of films – from the classic British movies Alfie, Zulu and The Italian Job to the Hollywood blockbusting Dark Knight trilogy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hannah and Her Sisters and Cider House Rules. Caine has excelled in every kind of role with a skill that has made it look easy.

He knows what success takes – he has made it to the top of his profession from the toughest beginning. But, as he says: ‘Small parts can lead to big things. And if you keep doing things right, the stars will align when you least expect it.’  Now, in his 85th year, he wants to share everything he has learned. With brilliant new insight into his life and work and with his wonderful gift for story, this is Caine at his wise and entertaining best.

Buy Blowing the Bloody Doors Off here!

The Tour According to G: My Journey to the Yellow Jersey by Geraint Thomas

The inspirational inside story from the 2018 Tour de France and Sports Personality of the Year winner.

For years Geraint Thomas appeared blessed with extraordinary talent but jinxed at the greatest bike race in the world: twice an Olympic gold medallist on the track, Commonwealth champion, yet at the Tour de France a victim of crashes, bad luck and his willingness to sacrifice himself for his team-mates. 

In the summer of 2018, that curse was blown away in spectacular fashion – from the cobbles of the north and the iconic mountain climbs of the Alps to the brutal slopes of the Pyrenees and, finally, the Champs-Elysees in Paris. As a boy, G had run home from school on summer afternoons to watch the Tour on television. This July, across twenty-one stages and three weeks, and under constant attack from his rivals, he made the race his own.

With insight from the key characters around Geraint, this is the inside story of one of the most thrilling and heart-warming tales in sport. 

Not only can nice guys come first – they can win the biggest prize of all.

Buy The Tour According to G here!

SAS Italian Job: The Secret Mission to Storm a Forbidden Nazi Fortress by Damien Lewis

An impossible mission in wartime Italy: the next explosive bestseller from Damien Lewis.

In the hard-fought winter of 1944 the Allies advanced northwards through Italy, but stalled on the fearsome mountainous defences of the Gothic Line. Two men were parachuted in, in an effort to break the deadlock. Their mission: to penetrate deep into enemy territory and lay waste to the Germans’ impregnable headquarters.

At the eleventh hour mission commanders radioed for David ‘The Mad Piper’ Kilpatrick to be flown in, resplendent in his tartan kilt. They wanted this fearless war hero to lead the assault, piping Highland Laddie as he went – so leaving an indelible British signature to deter Nazi reprisals.

As the column of raiders formed up, there was shocking news. High command radioed through an order to stand down, having assessed the chances of success at little more than zero. But in defiance of orders, and come hell or high-water, they were going in.

Buy SAS Italian Job here!

All Summer With You by Beth Good

All Summer With You by Beth Good

A summer romance for fans of Heidi Swain, Daisy James and Sarah Morgan.

There’s no place like home…

Nursing a broken heart, Jennifer Bolitho retreats to Pixie Cottage. Her new landlord – a former soldier turned movie heartthrob – has grounds so large, she’s sure the little house nestled in the woods will bring her solitude.

Alex Delgardo also has reasons to hide away. Seeking refuge after a tragic incident turned his world upside down, he knows that the most important thing now is to care for his ailing family. 

But when Jennifer enters their lives, that changes. Because, as they both learn, you can’t heal others until you learn to heal yourself…

All Summer With You is out on 27th June and available to pre-order today.

Still Lives by Maria Hummel

Still Lives by Maria Hummel





As the party of the year gets underway, celebrities and patrons pour into the Rocque Museum to see Kim Lord – L.A.’s artist of the moment – stabbed, strangled, shot, and beaten. It’s the opening night of ‘Still Lives’, Kim’s new collection of shockingly graphic self-portraits, in which she impersonates the victims of America’s most famous homicides, from Nicole Brown Simpson to the Black Dahlia.

Among those gathered is Maggie Richter, a museum editor whose ex, Greg Shaw Ferguson, is in a relationship with Kim. When Kim fails to appear at the party and is declared officially missing, Greg is arrested on suspicion of murder. Suddenly, Maggie finds herself drawn into an investigation of her own, haunted by the thought that Kim has suffered the same terrible fate as the women in her paintings. 

Perfect for fans of The GirlsGone Girl and Big Little Lies.

Still Lives by Maria Hummel is out now in paperback.

The Travelling Book of Wonders

The Travelling Book of Wonders

Julien Sandrel’s upcoming book The Book of Wonders is a life-affirming and uplifting novel about Thelma and Louis. It’s always just been the two of the, Thelma and her beloved son, Louis.

But when Louis is involved in an accident, their lives are turned upside down, as Louis falls into a coma. Feeling lost without him by her side, Thelma finds Louis’ book of wonders – a bucket list of all the things he wants to accomplish in his life. She suddenly sees a way to feel close to him: she will fulfil Louis’ dreams, living them out for him, in the hope that it will inspire him to survive.

Inspired by this heart warming story about making every day count and finding joy in every moment of life, we decided to send our own Book of Wonders to book lovers and find out what would be on their bucket lists!

Our travelling Moleskine journal has been far and wide collecting the hopes and dream of book bloggers and each page is as beautiful as the last! Take a look below.

Thank you to all our wonderful book bloggers who took part and helped make our travelling Moleskine so beautiful! What would be on your bucket list?

The Book of Wonders is out now!