By Trina Garnett, Shooglebox team, 6th June 2022
If, like me, you love reading you'll know the joy of discovering a new book you wouldn't normally pick up without someone recommending it.
Abda Khan runs a book group in the West Midlands for Muslim and Jewish women to discuss books they wouldn't otherwise read or maybe even hear about.
Abda, a writer, mum and lawyer, was the guest speaker at a residential Arvon writing course I attended at The Hurst in Shropshire. It was a wonderful week, tutored by historical crime writer Andrew Taylor and writing coach Janine Giovanni, full of useful, practical, advice as well as inspirational and motivational tips. One of the best things about the week was the chance to meet people from different backgrounds to talk about our shared passion of writing and books – bliss!
Inspired by Abda, at the end of the week we collated our own list of books we'd recommend. Our shared reading list was a beautifully eclectic mix of genres and age ranges. Not something any one of us could have come up with on our own.
Just for fun I decided to turn our handwritten list into a Shooglebox to share with the group. I found the books on Goodreads and dragged the weblinks into Shooglebox to create the cards. Shooglebox automatically pulls in an embedded image and text from the web page that links back to the original site.
On the front of each card I chose the "image-only" view to create a visual, colourful box of books – like a virtual bookshelf. On the back of the cards I added a description of of each book and a note about who'd recommended it.
The cards link through to the Goodreads page where there's more information and reviews on each book and links to buy online. It was a really enjoyable way of browsing the book recommendations and it inspired a few of us to buy some of them too!
Of course you don't have to limit yourself to books – you could create a Shooglebox for any kind of recommendation: things to watch or listen to, clothes or gifts you plan to buy, or recommendations of places to eat or visit. Whatever interests you.