If you are like us (and probably one of the many thousands of book lovers across the globe) and have had the misfortune of spending your hard-earned cash on an apparent "best-seller"; you will probably also have experienced the dull thud as you bang your head against the wall, thinking "Why did I listen to the reviews on the back?!" The truth is: reviews found on books are usually self-promoting, PR stunt-type hype and not necessarily a true reflection of the books' quality at all.

It is our aim to tell the truth about books, but don't for one second assume that that is synonymous with us creating a blog to 'diss' authors' work - to the contrary - our intention is to provide an honest appraisal of each and every book we read. If the book is any good - it'll get a good review. If it's awful and a tragedy to the literary world - then it won't. It's that simple.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A Chance To WIN 10 Family Tickets to the London Museum

In association with Ripley's Believe It or Not! 2010, TTAB is proud to announce that it has an incredible Christmas giveaway!

Entering the competition couldn't be easier - you can see full details here. And just to make it that little bit easier; here's a quick hint: the answer is on your face.

You need to hurry though - the competition closes on 1st January 2010!

Some legal bits n pieces: Entrants must be over 18. Multiple entries are permissable. Family tickets are for up to 2 adults and 2 children (worth £63 each). Prize excludes any additional costs incurred such as travel, accommodation and any incidental costs. Tickets will be sent out to winners by Strike Media Ltd. TTAB is not responsible for any delay, loss of or failure of Strike Media Ltd to provide tickets.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

It's been quiet around here lately...

There's not been much happening in recent months due to some unfortunate internal issues, which have now, luckily, been resolved. We know we've been missed by the sheer volume of emails from our members and the general public asking what's going on... We're touched by your concern and can only apologise to those that we weren't able to reply to personally.

It did make us realise how much you guys value honest, independent book reviews - rather than relying solely on booksellers' often-times b.s or the extremity of user reviews. We're just pleased that we are still able to offer you this great service for free!

So, anyway - thank you to everyone who showed support to us and know that we are back and raring to go!

The TTAB Team

Friday, 17 July 2009

Revenants by Ryan Sherwood is OUT NOW!

We don't doubt that it was frustrating for readers to learn about this great new paranormal/ supernatural thriller by self-published author, Ryan Sherwood. We also know that having read our interview with the author can only have whetted your appetite for this book more...

So, we are pleased to announce that this book has now been published for public consumption! Out on 3rd July (as is his previous novel: Hold the Light), all we can say is: it's about time!!!!

Read the book review

Read the author interview

Interview with Stephen Woodworth

The author of Through Violet Eyes agreed to our interview, which was certainly an eye-opener. If you haven't read Through Violet Eyes, then you might want to think about it! The first in his Violets series is a absolute stunner:full to the brim with originality and with just the right amount of conspiracy theory and paranoia to make it a helluva ride.

Read the author interview

Read the book review

Photograph : Prasad Associates

The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan

We knew we had invariable missed some corkers that were published before we got The Truth About Books going, but we were pleasantly surprised by Trudi Canavan's series, which was published back in 2004. We we, in fact, so impressed with The Magician's Guild (Book 1), that we simply had to read the entire series - so we did! You can read our reviews of The Novice and The High Lord as well as book 1. We're also delving into her recently released The Magician's Apprentice - link to follow.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

This is our latest Unmissable Read - set in 1570, Sacred Hearts is the story of a young girl's struggle to come to terms with her new life in Santa Caterina - a convent. It is so much more than that however, it is as provacative as it is pensive. Boys might want to skip over it, but we're willing to bet that girl out there will find something to empathise with in this gorgeously written book... Read the book review

Readers' Choice Winner: Envy the Dead

June's Readers' Choice competition saw us receive over 5700 votes! All we can say is: wow! You guys really love your books - especially if they're free ;-)

In the end, it came down to lord of the midlands crime novels - Iain Mcdowall - to scoop the prize! Envy the Dead is his latest offering. Not only can you read our review but you can also take a peek into the author's inner workings through our interview.

Finally - congrats to our winner: Neil Bramble.

We've updated the link so it takes you straight through to July's Readers' Choice, which is already up and running... we know, we know, we are too generous!! Get your votes in - who knows, it could be you that wins next time!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Douglas Jackson does Roman History

We've just finished reviewing the two-part series about Roman history written by Douglas Jackson; Caligula and Claudius. Both as not emphatically based on their namesakes, but rather focus on a single slave's importance on both Emperors. Obviously, this is pure fiction, but Jackson does manage to shock with Caligula - something that we thought was almost an impossibility with historical roman novels. After Gladiator (the film), it seemed like nothing could shock us about what the Romans got up to... anyway, check out the reviews and if Roman history is your thing, then you can always share your comments on the site.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Author Interview with Iain McDowall

We thought you'd waited long enough - so here is our recent interview with crime author, Iain McDowall.

You will have to register to to read the review (we know, pooh to beaurocracy!), but it is free and pretty painless... plus it means you get extra access to the site's features, so go on - take a look.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

We've interviewed Iain McDowall!

Ok. So Iain McDowall is a huge name in crime fiction in the UK - and we just got an interview with him! One of the girls in the office is positively squealing with delight and sending gushing emails left right and centre! Poor thing! Still, it is a big deal for us, so I can't exactly blame her...

The interview should be loaded on the main website shortly, but in case you've been on a different planet recently, you'll know that all (well, most) hands on deck are involved in the dramatic redesign of the TTAB website. Of course, we'll let you know once it's there.

In the meantime, perhaps you might want to enjoy the interview with Sally Gardner, author of The Red Necklace and The Silver Blade (and no, she isn't a man - we're going to sort out the horrid silhouette as soon as possible!). You will have to register to view the interview, but hey - we've made that easy now and it's still free!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Design Update

Those of you who have visited our main site recently will have already started to notice the changes we are putting in place. You can now see the ten most popular book reviews on our site; we've added more categories to make it easier for you to find books in the genre of your choice; we also have an 'About Us' section so you can find out a little bit more about us (obviously!); an updated Privacy Policy and we've added 'Summer Reads' just in time for summer! There will be loads more being adding in the coming weeks and months and we hope you find the site easier to navigate, more informative and more user-friendly.

We're keen to get some feedback on how the new design is going so far - so if you have any questions, suggestions or comments - just let us know on here!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

PRESS RELEASE: The Truth About Books is getting a design overhaul

The Truth About Books is an independent online book review resource dedicated to providing consumers with an honest appraisal of any and all books.

Unlike many other book review websites, The Truth About Books is not a bookseller and therefore can maintain its unbiased view of the books it reviews. It also boasts quality book reviews provided by a dedicated team of experienced book critics; thereby ensuring its reviews are written to a high standard.

But did you know that The Truth About Books also provides author interviews, author biographies and regular competitions for its users? Well, after several months of design work,

The Truth About Books is pleased to announce official development work on an improved design and layout for its website is now underway. The new-look website is not due to be completed until the end of 2009, but visitors will be able to expect many new features especially tailored towards encouraging customer interaction and improved accessibility to all the sites’ features such as: quick submit book review / author interview suggestions; author snippets; book price comparison and much, much more.

For our members: please bear with us during this transitional period, we hope there will be minimal disruption or inconvenience.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Flabby Cat & Slobby Dog by Jeanne Willis

A wonderful book illustrating the wonders of getting off that sofa!

In a climate where child obesity is such a huge social issue; it was inevitable that a children’s book would be written about it. What I wasn’t expecting was Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog. Despite the fact that book never once mentions the word “fat”, it is by no means politically correct – your child will start pointing to your belly and pronounce you a “flabby cat” or a “slobby dog” - which is all rather wonderful! We need it! Willis also takes a round-about route to educating your child about obesity; instead of simply telling your child that eating too much is not healthy – she shows them. Instead of telling your child that exercising is good for their bodies and their general health – she shows them. The story is much more than the simple words; it is in the (very amusing) illustrations and the good humour and wit. Read our online book reviews>>>

Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton

Hugely intelligent, hypnotic new fantasy...

Fantasy is like Bovril. There are those who will suffer an immediate aversion and yet others who will experience instant bliss; but unlike Marmite – it can be for everyone, in the right doses. With three main plot strands, Nights of Villjamur is a highly complex and intricate plot and hence takes it time in building up sufficient back-story and ensuring adequate depth of characterisation and geographical depiction is created before launching into the real meatiness of the story.... Read full book review>>>>

May Competition Closed & Winner Announcement

Thanks to the thousands of individuals who voted in May's competition - it has proven to be our most popular so far! It was a close call, but The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner won out! You can read our book review or register for free to read our interview with the author (coming soon).

Congratulations to Jennifer Bell - our winning entrant for May's Readers' Choice.

If you would like to win a free book - you simply must enter our monthly competition! It's free to enter, you don't even have to register and unlike some other online competitions, we don't slap you with hidden charges (such as p&p) - when we say it's free - it really is FREE!

PLEASE USE THE UPDATED LINKS ON OUR BLOG OR FROM OUR MAIN SITE'S HOMEPAGE TO ENTER THE CORRECT MONTH'S COMPETITION! We are still receiving votes for closed competitions, which must be very frustrating for you.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Envy the Dead by Iain McDowall

Sixth in the series featuring police duo Jacobson and Kerr...
Envy the Dead plants you in the troubled era of the Miner’s Strike. It’s 1984 and nineteen-year-old Martin Grove has found himself back near his hometown after hitchhiking away from London. When a beautiful woman stops her MG and offers him a lift – and the prospect of a party and a free place to crash – Martin is only too happy to accept. Claire Oldham is a small-time leader of a local group of activists, intent on promoting their anti-nuclear message via fly poster and protest. Myrtle Cottage is their “base of operations”. A love triangle ensues, a protest goes awry, Claire is unceremoniously murdered and Martin Grove is fitted up by the local plod.....Read the review >>>

Thursday, 21 May 2009

The Shark in the Dark by Peter Bently

Pandemonium has broken out on the sea floor as crabs, cod, mackerel and lots of other fish are swimming for their very lives – away from the nasty, terrifying, toothy jaws of a great white shark! It isn’t until they come across a clever squid that makes them work together and put on a united front that the fishes are safe. Funny how even the scariest shark in the whole sea isn’t so big and bold when faced with something bigger than he is.... Read full book review >>>

Stone's Fall by Iain Pears

Stone’s fall is a story of such girth that it is entirely conceivable that its readers are open to numerous interpretations of what lies within its pages. Some will believe it to be a parody; a pastiche of current events that have conspired to up heave the delicate balance of global high finance. Some will consider it a rather humorous and benign account of the industrial age, with rose tinted spectacles firmly in place. Others will contemplate the politico stance of the author as one who is astutely observing the sad decent of the British Government to that of being a mere pawn of financial institutions; for instead of telling the City it must put its own house in order, today’s Government has risked billions in a rather fuddled attempt to bolster a failing banking industry that had grown disproportionately due to its all consuming greed and avarice. Yet others will be assuaged by the deeply moving humanitarian elements of Pears’ tale; that of a young woman of some disrepute having the wherewithal and fortitude to recreate herself into someone of considerable wealth and desirability; or perhaps that of a young man whose actions have far reaching consequences that culminate the death and ruin of many poor souls; then again, maybe it is a unique love story, mixed with reproachable behaviour, unscrupulous decisions and having a disastrous and devastating consequence that one will simply not see coming.... Read full book review >>>

Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Sign by Raymond Khoury

The best thriller of 2009... probably...

It should have been your standard five minutes about the ice shelf in the Arctic breaking off; it should have been a the usual spiel about the effects of global warming on our polar ice caps and its severe consequences for a large portion of the developed world. Reporter, Grace Logan and her small crew did not anticipate the graveness of the situation – Gracie being a self proclaimed cynic where anything remotely passing for hysterical fervour was concerned and there was nothing more fervent than the posturings of environmentalists. It wasn’t the enormity of the piece of ice that was breaking off that stole the show. Something unspeakable, unimaginable and inexplicable appeared in the skies above them – a cloud of light that seemed to swivel and contort, pulsing with energy and life – a sign. Read more of the book review >>>>

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance

Eye-wateringly fast action and heart-stopping moments of seduction await...

Curse the Dawn in the fourth in the ever popular Cassie Palmer series by Karen Chance. Cassie Palmer is an irrepressible and trenchant young woman whose life has been propelled into the limelight of the entire magical world; being the Chief Clairvoyant is not a position to sniff at, nor is becoming the Pythia (an office of extreme political importance that is a lifetime deal). Unfortunately for Cassie, neither the Silver Circle nor its darker counterpart, the Black Circle, seem all that keen on her filling either position and both are hell bent on dislodging her – permanently... Read more of the book review >>>>

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

At The City's Edge by Marcus Sakey

Immediately fogettable police thriller...

Described as “nothing short of brilliant”, Sakey’s latest police thriller clearly aspires to impress its audience, none more so than myself who has a clear penchant for crime novels. It was to my utter despair and incomprehension that At The City’s Edge failed to deliver on many levels.... Read more of the book review >>>>

Education, Edukation, Edukashun by James Rainsford

Parents usually reside in one of two groupings; those that are perceive their children’s education to be of paramount importance and those that see schooling as approximately a six-hour break from their children’s constant demands for attention, money and food. Recognising this, there are also schools that appear to run along similar themes: those that reward academic achievement and good behaviour versus those that babysit their pupils with thinly veiled disdain and dislike. It is almost certain that the more humour set up of the two would be the latter (in both cases) – and so it is that Dave Falconer, nearing retirement age and having the distinctly unrewarding task of attempting to teach unashamedly academically adverse pupils at the welsh secondary school, Gruffud ap Cynan.... Read the full book review >>>>

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Flood and Fang by Marcus Sedgwick

First in the new 'Raven Mysteries'...

It is an unlikely coincidence that Sedgwick chose to name his narrator ‘Edgar’, given that the voice of this children’s book is that of a Raven. And perhaps, the author deemed it fitting that the Raven whose voice of doom is cawed throughout Flood and Fang is named after the illustrious author of an equally doom and gloom poem; that said, Flood and Fang is not all gloom – for there is a certain levity to the dire straits that the Overhand family find themselves in. A peculiar joviality despite the incalculably inhumane explosions of bullfrogs, the gorging on maid servants and the impending drowning of all the inhabitants of the Overhand Castle.... Read the full book review >>>

Monday, 4 May 2009

Problem with Votes

It seems that there are a few old links to our competition lying around the web as we're still getting votes for April's Readers' Choice (and who can blame them, really?!).

It's always best to either come back to this blog and click on the link to the current monthly competition - or indeed - go to the homepage of The Truth About Books first. We don't want people getting annoyed because they aren't entering the right month's competition, nor do we want people wasting their time.

Please make sure you are voting for the current month's competition!

The Littlest Dinosaur's Big Adventure by Michael Foreman

Foreman brings back the Littlest Dinosaur in a new ‘Big Adventure’.

Now that the Littlest Dinosaur is content with his small size, he is happy to play by himself sometimes and take in his exciting surroundings. Despite his small stature, he is open to exploration and discovering new things – and so when a playful frog grabs his attention, he is off! Flipping and flopping, jumping and hopping across the lily pads. On reaching the other side, his adventure continues as he discovers a field full of wild flowers and gorgeous flying insects – butterflies! ... Read the full book review >>>

Saturday, 2 May 2009

The Selected Works of T S Spivet by Reif Larsen

The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet is the brainchild of previously unpublished and complete unknown, Reif Larsen and is an elaborately told, illustrated and imagined story of a 12-year-old boy raised on a ranch in Montana who has a phenomenal skill in cartography. With the normal dysfunctional family around him, perhaps what sets him apart is the fact that his brother, Layton, died at a tender age – and in his presence – with a Winchester shot gun. How this affects T. S is a bit of mystery as he refers to the incident almost offhandedly, even going so far as to say that he felt Layton would have liked being drawn by the Coroner as a face with a bullet hole through his forehead. Suffice it to say that T. S is no ordinary 12-year-old boy.... Read full book review >>>>

Friday, 1 May 2009

A Perfect Death by Kate Ellis

A Wesley Peterson murder mystery...

A Perfect Death is set on the premise that the recent brutal killing of a woman in the same field where a Jeanne de Minerve (a thirteenth century Cathar) was transformed into the legendary ‘Burning Bride’ is in some way, connected. Perhaps, the fact that the victim in question was also burnt alive may have been a coincidence too far... Read the rest of the book review >>>

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

The Red Necklace kicks off the latest children's series from Sally Gardner. Set around the time of French Revolution, there is plenty of history, mystery and not a little magic... read the full book review >>>>

Its sequel, The Silver Blade has also been reviewed on our site. Check out that and all our other book reviews!! It might be worth mentioning that if you can't find a review of a particular book - we'd love for you to let us know and we'll see what we can do. Just drop us an email and we'll do our best.

Readers' Choice Winner: Too Close To Home

Congratulations to April's winner: Anna-Marie Donnelly, she has won a copy of Linwood Barclay's latest thriller - Too Close To Home. You can read the book reviews, or if you're more interested in getting your hands on a free book; try entering our monthly book competition (Readers' Choice)!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Midnight by Lene Kaaberbol

The sequel to the amazing Silverhorse is finally here and we couldn't wait to get our hands on it! Here's a quick peek at the review:

Over a year has passed, and our heroine from Silverhorse, Kat, is back in the saddle as apprentice Bredinari. Owing to her notoriety after the capture and death of the ‘fake maestra’ (Ermine), Kat has been afforded some slack and is now even closer to obtaining her own coveted Hellhorse – but before she can enter the primanotte (the bonding session), she simply has to keep her nose clean – nothing to snort at and certainly not guaranteed as far as Kat is concerned... especially after she breaks one of the most fundamental rules of being a Bredinari courier: you do not, under any circumstances, read the sealed messages you carry. Under duress from the recipient on one such message (Raven), Kat agrees to bend the rules only to instantly regret it as she cannot forget its contents. A wanted list.... read more of the book review >>>

If you can't remember what happened in Silverhorse - brush up with our book review.

Little Gods by Anna Richards

Love can make us all little Gods...

Little Gods is what one would call a fictional autobiography – a synopsis of a fictional character’s lifetime – a literary depository of main events, loves and losses; the centre of which, is Jean. Jean exists despite the precautions of her mother and the dilapidation of her father. She exists despite the wanton destructiveness of the era in which she was born; and in particular and of special note – despite being seen as something grotesque and fearsome. Jean is not deformed per say, nor is she consumed by any apparent mental condition, no, she is merely large... MORE>

Revenants by Ryan Sherwood

Two brothers divided in life will lead the undead into an everlasting war...

From the dawn of time, two brothers were destined for greatness. Their triumphant unification of dissident lands heralded a time of peace and prosperity and yet, each brother yearned to see one another again in the flesh. Such a meeting had to be momentous, but neither brother could have imagined what secret treachery would make them become.... MORE>

Friday, 10 April 2009

TTAB now reviews Little Brown books

From the beginning of April 2009, The Truth About Books is pleased to announce that it will be working in collaboration with Little Brown Book Group to bring even more reviews of some great titles.

Little Brown is twice winner of KPMG publisher of the year award and with good reason - it is home to the likes of: Stephenie Meyer (Twilight series) amongst many other talented authors.

Look out for our reviews of: The Magician's Apprentice by Trudi Canavan, Hand of Isis by Jo Graham and Glasgow Kiss by Alex Gray... plus many more...

Record number of votes in our monthly competition!

We'd just like to thank everyone who voted in our World Book Day competition extraordinaire - we received thousands of votes from our members and the general public! It just goes to show that the nation's love of books is still alive and well.

Also, a general reminder for those of you who did not win last month; there is still the chance to win this and every month - through our monthly competition, you have the opportunity to vote for your favourite title from our shortlist and by doing so you are entered for free into our monthly draw. The winner is picked at random and receives a copy of the winning title.

Keep Voting and Keep Reading!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Surge in great new literature!

We're not being funny, but there have been moments when we've despaired of the literary efforts being put on our bookshelves - but just recently, we've had to pinch ourselves (a few times, and some of us got bruises!) - is it just us, or are there some really cool books out there at the moment???

Think: Who is Charlie Keeper? or how about Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye?
For the more grown-up readers, there's the likes of: When will there be good news? then there's the second in the intriguing Shadows of the Apt series; Dragonfly Falls or perhaps the brusque gangster-thriller Beat the Reaper?

If you're a parent - we've found the ultimate new children's book in Bottoms Up! - and if the title doesn't make you realise what you're in for, you're kids will. Not just funny, but also celebrating the human body in all it's naked glory - especially bums!

We're sure that this month there is a book out there that will appeal to everyone, no matter what it is you're looking for.

Keep on reading!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The Opposite Bastard by Simon Packham

It's not what any of us were expecting, to be honest. I got to write the review and as such, it might not be to everyone's refined tastes or expectations either, but to me, the review had to mirror the humour and nonsense of the book itself. It's rare to find a book that is genuinely funny, without it coming from some Comedian who is selling off parts of his soul for the latest 'autobiography' (and most of them aren't actually that funny anyway). I pushed hard to for it to be our book of the month - I really think this one is worth a read. Push yourself - challenge yourself - dare to do something different today.

For a quick peek - read our book review.

COMING SOON: We hope to have an interview with the author on the main site soon. Check back regularly!

Is there a book out that better than Harry Potter?

The answer in our opinion is: yes!

Who is Charlie Keeper? Read the book review. Finally, we found ourselves a work of fiction that surpasses our expectations and incredibly is not published by one of the mainstream publishing houses! How has this happened?!?

More importantly for us though is the question of Who is Marcus Alexander? We'll let you know if we manage to get hold of him for an interview... we have soooo much we want to ask him!

Friday, 16 January 2009

January's Competition is now GO!!

Thanks to those of you who pointed out that this month's competition wasn't functioning properly - preventing you lot from entering our free draw to win a book. It was a technicality that has now been sorted - phew!

This month you can choose from:-

- The Smiting Texts by Roy Lester Pond (Thriller featuring Egyptology, murder and intrigue)

- The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Award winning drama about the end of the world as we know it from the perspective of a father and son)

- Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier (Fantastic fantasy with lashings of love, magical battles and odd creatures)

We're not sure HOW you are going to make your mind up as to which one should win this month's Reader's Choice - but we're sure you'll have fun deciding!!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

A Case of Wild Justice by Yvonne Jerrold

We just couldn't pass up the opportunity to review A Case of Wild Justice by Yvonne Jerrold - the highly original take on how to tackle crime in these modern times of limited police intervention and ever increasing support for perpetrators - had us hooked before we'd even started. And the concept of the Silver Bees is both extraordinary and entirely believeable - why couldn't the elderly population take matters into their own hands in order to feel safer?

To read the full review and for details of the book - see our book review

Monday, 12 January 2009

NEW Feature available on website!

We've been listening to some of your feedback and we understand that sometimes you just want to have your say on a book, which is fine by us! So, we've added a NEW feature that enables registered users to leave their own comments or feelings about a book - how good of us is that?!?!

As always, if you have a suggestion or a comment to make about The Truth About Books in general, you can always contact us via this blog or via our main website.

All comments are subject to approval prior to being added to the website.