Man Booker Prize 2018 Shortlist announced


On Thursday 20 September the Man Booker Shortlist 2018 was announced. The six shortlisted titles are:

  • Milkman by Ann Burns UK
  • Washington Black by Esi Edugyan Canada
  • Everything Under by Daisy Johnson UK
  • The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner USA
  • The Overstory by Richard Powers USA
  • The Long Take by Robin Robertson UK

Kwame Anthony Appiah, chair of the judging panel, said

“All of our six finalists are miracles of stylistic invention. In each of them the language takes centre stage. And yet in every other respect they are remarkably diverse, exploring a multitude of subjects ranging across space and time. From Ireland to California, in Barbados and the Arctic, they inhabit worlds that not everyone will have been to, but which we can all be enriched by getting to know. Each one explores the anatomy of pain — among the incarcerated and on a slave plantation, in a society fractured by sectarian violence, and even in the natural world. But there are also in each of them moments of hope.

These books speak very much to our moment, but we believe that they will endure. And we look forward to re-reading all of them as we make our way towards what will inevitably be the very difficult choice of only one of these brilliantly imaginative works as this year’s winner of the Man Booker Prize.”large_180919_For_Website_newsletter__2_[1]


Milkman by Ann Burns

“In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.”

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan9781846689598[1]

“When two English brothers take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, nervousness and fear run high. Washington Black – an eleven year-old field slave who has known no other life – is aghast to find himself selected as personal servant to one of these men. His new master is the eccentric Christopher Wilde – naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor and abolitionist – whose single-minded pursuit of the perfect aerial machine mystifies all around him. Through Wilde, Washington is initiated into a world of wonder: a world where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning.”


Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

“Words are important to Gretel, always have been. As a child, she lived on a canal boat with her mother, and together they invented a language that was just their own. She hasn’t seen her mother since the age of sixteen, though – almost a lifetime ago – and those memories have faded. Now she works as a lexicographer, updating dictionary entries, which suits her solitary nature. A phone call from the hospital interrupts Gretel’s isolation and throws up questions from long ago. She begins to remember the private vocabulary of her childhood. She remembers other things, too: the wild years spent on the river; the strange, lonely boy who came to stay on the boat one winter; and the creature in the water – a canal thief? – swimming upstream, getting ever closer. In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but go back.”

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner9781910702673[1]

“Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences, plus six years, at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility. Outside is the world from which she has been permanently severed: the San Francisco of her youth, changed almost beyond recognition. The Mars Room strip club where she once gave lap dances for a living. And her seven-year-old son, Jackson, now in the care of Romy’s estranged mother. Inside is a new reality to adapt to: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive. These are the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner details with humour and precision.”

The Overstory by Richard Powers9781785151637[1]

“Nine strangers, each in different ways, become summoned by trees, brought together in a last stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest. ‘The Overstory’ unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fable, ranging from antebellum New York to the late-20th-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, revealing a world alongside our own – vast, slow, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world, and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.”

The Long Take by Robin Robertson9781509846887[1]

“Walker is a D-Day veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder; he can’t return home to rural Nova Scotia, and looks instead to the city for freedom, anonymity and repair. As he moves from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco we witness a crucial period of fracture in American history, one that also allowed film noir to flourish. The Dream had gone sour but – as those dark, classic movies made clear – the country needed outsiders to study and dramatise its new anxieties.”

The winner of the 2018 prize will be announced on Tuesday 16 October at a formal dinner at London’s Guildhall. The ceremony will be aired by the BBC.

All titles are available from Wokingham Borough Libraries. To reserve your copy, either pop in to your local library or visit the library website at



Wonderful new Picture books to try!

story of.jpgWonderful new Picture books to try

The story of Tantrum O’Furrily by Cressida Cowell and illustrated by Mark Nicholas

Tantrum O’Furrily‘s kittens are hungry and doubt that a story can ease a stray cat’s rumbling stomach. However, they soon learn that stories are powerful, and that if you’re courageous you might find a saucer of milk at the end of that story.


Big Bunny by Rowboat watkins

big bunnyOnce upon a time there was a book about monsters! No. Space aliens? Nope – a bunny! A giant scary truck-eating bunny?!? Um, well, maybe it was a tiny bit big. From the curious mind of Rowboat Watkins comes a ginormously imaginative story that is as funny as it is philosophical. How big is Big Bunny? And how will this story end?



All of the recommended titles can be borrowed from Wokingham Borough Libraries  or visit

Gemstone Cabochon Necklace Workshop at Wokingham Library-Saturday October 6

Gemstone Cabochon Necklace Workshop

Tutor: Rachel Freegard

Learn how to use gemstone cabochons & twisted wire to create beautiful pendant necklaces.

Wokingham Library

Saturday October 6

10am to 1pm

This is a FREE Fun Palace event but there is a £3.50 charge for the cost of materials.

Please pay the tutor on the day.

To book a place please call the library on (0118) 9781368Cabochon Workshop 1

Hear My Voice: a working woman’s fight for the vote. A costume presentation with Meredith Towne at Wokingham Library on Wednesday October 10

“To Fight! To Struggle! To Right the Wrong!

Join Meridith Towne, Costume Historian as she takes you on the journey of women’s suffrage through the eyes, and clothes, of working women. From the textile workers of Yorkshire and fish wives of the North East to the factory workers of the East End and laundry workers of all large towns, hear the voices of these women and find out what they wore when joining the marches on Parliament to demand their right to an equal voice and an equal vote!

Wokingham Library

Wednesday October 10

2.30pm to 4pm

£7 charge

To book a place call Wokingham Library on (0118) 9781368

Suffragettes 2

Join the Little Explorers Book Club Library Challenge!

Join the Little Explorers Book Club Library Challenge!

The Little Explorers Book Club Library Challenge is a great way for young children to discover their local library.  It is open to library members aged 7 and under.

  • Each child needs to have their own library card
  • Children collect a stamp each time they borrow books
  • Collect six stamps to get a certificate
  • Ten certificates to collect

Contact your local library branch for more information.



Manga Drawing Workshops at Wokingham Library in September and October 2018

Manga Drawing Workshops at Wokingham Library in September and October 2018

create a comic logo

Do you love comics, drawing, or creating characters? Why not come and join us on a weekly comic making ARTventure!

Every Saturday will take you step by step through easy to follow lessons, helping you create your very own short comic.

Materials will be provided but feel free to bring your own if you prefer.

All sessions run 1pm to 2pm

 Facial expressions and storyboarding Saturday September 15

 Recap on basics, and dynamic poses Saturday September 22

Pencilling pages. Basics for newcomers Saturday September 29

Filling in blank spaces and pesky backgrounds Saturday October 6

Finishing pages, textures and tones. Saturday October 13

To book call Wokingham Library on 0118 978 1368

£3 charge per session, run by Create a Comic Workshops.

Summer Reading Challenge, Mischief Makers finishes this Sunday September 16, 2018

Summer Reading Challenge, Mischief Makers finishes this Sunday September 16, 2018

Don’t forget that if you have started the Mischief Makers, Summer Reading Challenge you have until Sunday 16 September to complete.

Make sure you come back to the library with your library card, to finish the Challenge and collect your Medal and Certificate.

Congratulations to those who have already completed the Challenge. It is great to see so many of you reading through the holidays.

Keep up the good work!

What’s On in Wargrave Library September 2018

What’s On for Adults

Monday Bookworms* – Book group for adults meets to discuss new books, favourites and best-sellers.  Monday September 3 2pm to 3pm

Crafts and Laughs – Drop in for a chat and some crafts.  Wednesday September 5  2pm to 4pm

Coffee Morning – Drop in and see what the library has to offer.  Wednesday September 12   10am to 12noon

Knit Wits Knitting Group – Knit or crochet items and enjoy a chat.  Wednesday September 19  2pm to 4pm

ihelp Support Group – Technical support for adults with an iphone or ipad.  Wednesday September 26  2pm to 4pm 

What’s On for Children and Families 

Storytime – Garden Creatures theme. For children aged 7 and under.  Saturday September 1 10.30am to 11am

* For events marked with asterisk please call the library on 0118 940 4656 to book a place.

To renew your books online visit:

Pirate Storytime’s for International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Wednesday September 19, 2018

Pirate Storytime’s for International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Wednesday September 19, 2018

Come a celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day at Wokingham and Woodley Libraries.

Come dressed as a pirate and join in with some fun stories, songs and colouring activities.

  • Wokingham Library Wednesday September 19 3.30pm to 4pm
  • Woodley Library Wednesday September 19 3.30pm to 4pm

Suitable for the under 8’s, Just drop in!