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Informative, candid and trusted, book reviews by our own book experts are unique to Lovereading. But within our loyal members and browsers of Lovereading are also prolific readers with years of experience and a real passion for sharing their love of books. So, we decided to invite them to join the Lovereading Reader Review Panel. All the titles in this category have been selected and reviewed by our own Lovereading editorial experts but also reviewed by members of our Reader Review Panel, a panel of book lovers across the UK.
This pocket-friendly, practical guidebook makes it easy to discover the delights of the Cotswolds, with eight inspired walking routes to guide you around the region - Gloucester and the Vale of Berkeley, South Cotswolds, Stroud, Cirencester to the Churn Valley, Cheltenham, the North Cotswolds, Stow-on-the-Wold, and the Coln and Windrush Valleys. Each route is clearly mapped, and enhanced by superb colour photography that will make you want to visit right away! There are some great snippets of information about local wildlife, and the Active Pursuits section provides lots of excellent ideas for more energetic travellers, especially those with lively children, including recommended gliding, horse riding, cycling and watersports providers.
First off, if you’re not sure where exactly you want to visit around the stunning region of Snowdonia and North Wales, this guidebook’s Top Ten section is the perfect place to start as it’s packed with inspiring pointers, from classics like Snowdon itself and the picturesque town of Portmeirion, to cultural castles. The main bulk of the book is taken up by nine detailed walking routes covering the region’s most inspiring landscapes, from Wales’s wildest wonders, to charming villages. Throughout, the suggestions for greener activities are great, as are the colour photographs. But that’s not all! The free eBook is a terrific tool when you’re trekking off-the-beaten-track as it allows you to leave the book at home while still having access to the same great maps, recommended routes and information about must-visit sights. A truly great little book, packed with so much useful information.
This great guide to Norfolk and Suffolk is simply perfect for exploring the areas on foot. It features twelve walking routes, including Norwich, the Norfolk Broads, Great Yarmouth, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge and Colchester. Each of these terrific tours comes with clear directions and key landmarks highlighted, making it easy to spot local gems and really enhance your walks. The eating out suggestions are excellent, with a focus on restaurants and pubs serving delicious locally sourced produce and dishes. Tech-savvy travellers will also find the free accompanying eBook handy - it contains the same content as the book so if you’re looking to travel light, you can leave the print edition at home.
With this new edition of The Rough Guide to South Africa Lesotho and Swaziland to hand you’ll feel like you’re taking a trip with your savvy best friend and ultra-informed local guide rolled into one, with every area comprehensively covered. This feat of meticulous research and mapping will help you find perfect places to stay, whether you’re looking to splash out or working to a budget and, since this is a Rough Guide, you can truly trust the recommendations. The wildlife field guide is fabulous, with top quality photographs and notes on where to spot a host of amazing beasts, big and small, in the many reserves. The guidance on getting around will be invaluable to independent travellers, while the extensive Contexts chapter is excellent on history, music, books and language, with truly absorbing background information that will spur you to explore even further. Further Fiction Recommendations; Whiplash by Tracey Farren In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut July’s People by Nadine Gordimer Dance with a Poor Man’s Daughter by Pamela Jooste
Now in its ninth edition, the informative, entertaining Rough Guide to Nepal delivers everything you’d hope for from this outstanding range of travel guides. The introduction includes a handy suggested itineraries section, plus the editor’s top tips for maximising your exploration of Nepal, while the main bulk of the book explores every corner of this fascinating country in detail, with reliable recommendations for places to stay, eat, drink and explore. It seems that no stone has been left unturned! The cultural and historical contexts come as a great addition to the practical advice - not too dense, but providing plenty of food for thought. And the comprehensive coverage of hiking, biking, rafting and kayaking is especially excellent, with clear maps that will serve you well when you’re trekking and travelling off the beaten track. Further Fiction Recommendations; The Tutor of History by Manjushree Thapa Arresting God in Kathmandu by Samrat Upadhyay
This meticulously updated Rough Guide to Bolivia is astoundingly exhaustive - every area is prefaced by regional highlights, while the level of detail in each ensuing chapter is tremendous, featuring reliable recommendations for the likes of accommodation (for every budget), getting around, eating and drinking, shopping, and all the local contacts you’ll need. As well as providing such detailed practical information, the book is peppered with highlights that will really enhance your experiences, including sampling street food in La Paz, learning about Lake Titicaca’s Lady of the Lake, dancing with the devil at Oruro Carnaval, following in Che Guevara’s footsteps, and forest ecology, to name but a few. Special mention must be made of the maps – they appear every few pages and are easy to follow, whether you’re looking for an area overview, or trying to find your way around a village, national park or ancient site. Further Fiction Recommendations;FICTION The Fat Man from La Paz - Rosario Santos (ed) NON FICTONErnesto “Che” Guevara The Motorcycle Diaries
There’s no better way to explore beautiful Bath than on foot and this practical book makes the perfect companion for doing just that, with its richness of wonderful walking routes around the city and beyond. Tour One provides a superbly detailed route around Bath’s ancient centre, with welcome tips on places to stop off for well-earned breaks. Tour Two takes in the splendours of Georgian Bath and recommends visiting the Fashion Museum and the Museum of Asian Art as you meander Queen Square, the Circus, the Royal Crescent and Royal Victoria Park. There are ten inspired tours in total, each of them clearly-mapped and speckled with fascinating facts and local tips. But this isn’t solely limited to Bath itself – this conveniently compact guide also includes walking routes around Bristol, Wells and Glastonbury, Longleat and Stourhead, and the ancient sites of Stonehenge, Avebury and Silbury Hill.
From its opening overview and highlighted Top Ten attractions (including ancient St Peter Port, Castle Cornet, Hautville House and car-free Herm), to the eight wonderful walking tours, this guidebook makes a superb travelling companion to those seeking to explore gorgeous Guernsey independently. The detailed tours section covers St Peter Port, St Peter Port to Moulin Huet Bay, Southern Guernsey, Central Guernsey, Northern Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney, which means travellers will never be short of something to do or see, with must-see sights clearly highlighted, and suggested places to stop off for food and drink along the way. Talking of which, the Food and Drink feature highlights the island’s Gallic-flavoured gastronomic delights and also provides an excellent overview of Guernsey’s great craft ale offerings.
This practical pocket-sized guidebook is perfectfor discovering all York has to offer on foot, with eleven walking routes covering the historic heart of the city, must-see markets and museums, an excursion to the Yorkshire Coast, and an excursion to James Herriot country, to name a few. There’s also a steam train and dinosaur tour! Each is accompanied by a map and clear directions with key landmarks highlighted along the way, which makes it super simple to spot local gems. The eating out suggestions are excellent with a focus on restaurants and pubs serving delicious local dishes you can sample on your stroll stop-offs. In addition to these detailed walks, the book also offers excellent features on the North York Moors National Park, the local art scene and the area’s rich Roman and Viking history, alongside plenty of practical tips on how to get around.
A practical, pocket-sized guidebook that’s perfect for discovering the delights of Devon and Cornwall, with thirteen fabulous walking routes covering the region, from East Devon and the English Riviera, to Dartmoor, North Devon and Lands End. It even includes an excellent walking tour around the stunning Isles of Scilly, with a lovely little overview of local legends and top tips on the main must-see sights. Each of the routes is accompanied by detailed maps, clear directions and gorgeous colour photos. The longer feature on the Eden Project is a great inclusion, and the accompanying eBook is a very welcome free extra.
This stylish guide to Glasgow is a great way to discover the city and, despite its compact size, the 128 pages are packed with pretty much everything you need to know to explore the city’s top sights on foot, while discovering lots of hidden gems and lovely local eateries along the way. The terrific Top Ten section helps travellers focus on the area’s un-missable sights, while the detailed Walks and Tours section takes visitors to the heart of twelve varied places, from following the fascinating MacKintosh tour, to discovering the likes of Loch Lomond further afield. Each of the walks is clearly mapped, with local highlights clearly marked both on the map itself and flagged-up on the page. The succinct cover flap suggestions for green activities, what to do on a rainy day, and ideas for keeping kids entertained are very handy. All in all, this is a convenient practical aid with plenty of inspirational ideas, and the bonus free eBook is a nifty addition too.
With seven inspired, detailed walking tours of this stunning island, plus plenty of practical tips about where to eat, drink and stay, and what to when the weather plays up, or the kids need entertaining, this compact guidebook is a brilliant way to get to the heart of all that Jersey has to offer. Each of the suggested tours – among them St Helier, the North Coast and the Sights of the East – are thoroughly mapped-out, with essential must-see sights clearly signposted. Of particular interest is the delightful Durrell’s Wildlife tour. Alongside fascinating background information about this famed family, this section also details how to get to the Durrell Wildlife Park, and what to look out for while you’re there. Tech-minded-travellers will also love the free accompanying eBook- it contains the same invaluable content as the book so, if you’re looking to travel light, you can leave the print edition at home.
Three young friends set out on a summer road trip, each one carrying secrets and sorrows. Squashed into a battered old car, fuelled by warm beer and pub pies, they bicker and tease, with the ease that only comes from deep familiarity. We know even as they set out that they will never make another trip like this, that it’s the closing moment to one part of their lives. Filled with the sense of hot, dusty days, the lull between end and beginning, this is a classic summertime novel. More than just a coming-of-age story, it perfectly captures a transformative moment in the lives of its three central characters, and turns it into something that rings true for us all. ~ Andrea Reece
This is surely the most incisive and entertaining guidebook to Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei available, whether you’re planning to hike the Taman Negara rainforest, take it easy on the idyllic Perhentian Islands or explore bustling Singapore. It’s packed with all the recommendations you to select the ideal places to sleep, eat, drink, shop and visit, with countless independent reviews and options for every budget. The ‘Things Not to Miss’ section is an excellent way of making those key pre-trip plans, and the detailed regional coverage covers both un-missable top tourist attractions and excellent suggestions for finding off-the-beaten-track experiences. The extensive full-colour maps will help you navigate the backstreets of Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown, Singapore's downtown shopping streets and dozens of sights, while the stunning colour photography provides plenty of inspiration. Further Fiction Recommendations; Passage of Arms by Eric Ambler Shadow Play by Barbara Ismail Evening Is The Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan Iban Dream by Golda Mowe
Whether you’re an art buff, culture vulture, foodie or intrepid explorer of the great outdoors, this fully updated guidebook provides all the information you need for multiple trips around Tuscany and Umbria across 500+ informative, inspiring pages. The extensive introduction includes an excellent section on food and drink, with a great wine guide that almost serves as a fast track to becoming a sommelier! The Florence and Pisa chapters are wonderful, with detailed information covering all the unmissable museums and galleries along with recommendations that will enrich your trips by guiding you to eat and shop like a local. This contains all the maps you’ll need too, from detailed plans of must-see churches and gardens, to comprehensible overviews of wider areas around this stunning part of Italy, while hikers and walkers will love the suggested routes for off-the-beaten track treks. Further Fiction Recommendations; The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
With over 900 pages of detailed practical guidance, this fully updated 16th edition will serve you trip after trip after trip. With a generous sprinkling of colour photography and many maps throughout, you’ll feel fully armed to explore independently. The chapters covering Madrid and Barcelona brim with inspired information about cool cultural highlights you won’t want to miss, and those travelling with a young family will really appreciate the recommended child-friendly activities and sights around the entire country, and beyond - the holiday hotspots of the Balearic Islands are covered here too, with information on what to do and see in Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca. Exhaustively informative, invaluable practical and written with real panache, this is a veritable bible to discovering Spain. Further Fiction Recommendations;Various books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell As I walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee
In a Nutshell: Mystery, memory, manipulation | A feisty thriller that fizzes with intrigue, paranoia and a cast of fascinatingly flawed characters. For Jess “every waking moment is a flashbulb moment. I recall everything from the age of eleven like a never-ending motion picture,” which is why she became part of Professor Coleman’s intensive memory study Programme. Following a family tragedy and sick of Coleman’s invasive methods, Jess fled the study and assumed a new identity. She’s an engaging, refreshingly straight-talking narrator, not always likeable, but consistently clever and ten steps ahead of everyone around her. But further tragedy follows at her new school when Hanna, her roommate, falls to her death. While Jess tries to figure out who’s behind the mysterious postcards she finds in the wake of Hanna’s death, she falls for new boy Dan and confides in him as it emerges that Professor Coleman wants her back. A tangle of questions arise as Jess tries to keep herself safe, and the answers are revealed with terrific tension as a series of damning discoveries set the stage for an explosive showdown. Recommended for YA readers who like their fiction fast-paced and full of psychological thrills and chills. Do you have a memory for faces? Could you be a Super Recogniser? Head over to the University of Greenwich website to take the test… greenwichuniversity.eu.qualtrics.com
Real Reviews from Real Passionate Readers
Since its inception Lovereading has taken a different approach to book reviews relying uniquely on the selection and review of books by editorial experts, all of whom have had many years of experience working within the book trade. They know what makes a good read whatever the genre and actually read the whole book before telling you what they think - radical we know, but sometimes old fashioned ways are the best.
In 2012 however, to complement our expert reviews and human-based Like-for-Like comparisons we decided to invite Lovereading members to join the newly created Lovereading Reader Review Panel. It has been a massive success.
We've now attracted over 1000 and 100's of books have now been read and reviewed by them. Many of them have their own book blogs and help us to spread the word of mouth on a book they've enjoyed. Panel members put themselves forward to read and review a book that we have advance copies of and their reviews are then loaded onto the site and complement those of our own Lovereading editorial experts. We're even now receiving feedback from visitors to Lovereading that the 'Reader Review Panel' reviews are as valued as those of our own Lovereading book experts!
With that in mind we thought it would be very helpful to everyone if we created a category and put all the books that have also been reviewed by some of our Reader Review Panel members, in one easy to find place.
Here are a few testimonials from some of our 'Reader Review Panel' members:
If I can ever do another review for you, it would be my pleasure. Thanks again Josephine S
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to review for Lovereading, it's a great site Lindsay H
Thanks for sending me another fantastic book to review! Emily W
The book reviewing has been a real treat, thank you for a wonderful experience. Tracey U
Just click on any title in this category and you will, in addition to the review from one of Lovereading's editorial experts also see a link through to reviews by members of our Reader Review Panel.