Books of the Month for March 2015

Each month we will choose two books that we would like to recommend for adults and children and young people. We would be interested to hear you views on the titles so please let us know your thoughts via Facebook or Twitter.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins 9781785170355

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see: she’s much more than just the girl on the train. This novel has been described as Rear Window meets Gone Girl and is a great thriller-compulsive reading!

The Shark-Headed Bear-Thing by Barry Hutchinson and Illustrated by Chris Mouldshbt

Dragons, monsters, steampunk robots, very funny pictures. We’d wrestle sharks for a look. Welcome to an alternate 15th century. A place where dragons roam, sailing ships transform into submarines and blacksmiths build amazing steampunk robots. Here, young orphan Benjamin Blank battles monsters, rescues maidens and discovers fantastic new lands. (But never quite gets his homework handed in on time. Does that sound familiar?) Each quest sees Ben and his brave friends face a new monstrous menace. Fantastic read aimed at children aged 7 to 9 years old.

These books can be borrowed or reserved at your local Wokingham Borough Library

Wokingham Borough Libraries Newsletter March 2015

Activities for Adults

 From Refugee to Evacuee  Margot Harris will be talking about her experience of being a child refugee from Nazi Germany 1930-1939 and being an evacuee in England, 1939-40 and living in London during the Blitz until the end of the war. Margot has recently published her memoir “Vintage 1930-Still Here” which documents her life until the present day. The talk takes place at Wokingham library on Thursday, March 26 at 2pm, charge £3. Call (0118) 9781368 to book a place

Shakespeare Week 2015  Wokingham Library Poetry Group will be presenting an evening with the Bard during Shakespeare week this year. They will be reading from a selection of his work including sonnets, speeches and soliloquies, plus some personal anecdotes and reflections. The event takes place on Thursday March 19, 7pm to 8pm at Wokingham Library. This is a free event. Wokingham Borough Libraries is supporting Shakespeare Week 2015 (16 – 22 March) with special events and activities, for adults, children and families in libraries. There will be Shakespeare activity sheets and a pictures trail for children within all Wokingham Borough Libraries and a short film that can be watched:         Contact your local library to find out more.

Reading Aloud Group  A new reading -aloud group has started at Woodley Library. If you enjoy reading great literature aloud this could be for you. We will be reading and discussing short stories and poems. The next meeting is on Wednesday March 11 at 10.30am. Just drop in or call (0118) 9743712 for more information about this group or other groups meeting in the area.

Electronic Resources Workshops  Did you know that as a member of Wokingham Borough Libraries you have access to E-Books, E-Audio books and E-Magazines that you can access from home? If you would like to find out more or have help with these resources, book a place on our Electronic Resources Workshop.  We have 15 minute workshops running between 10am and 12noon on Saturday 21st March. Please ring Wokingham Library to book a place ( 0118) 9781368.

Book Chat  If you’re looking for something new to read and would like some recommendations, come along to our Book Chat session, meet some book enthusiasts and enjoy a cup of coffee. The event takes place at Wokingham library on Thursday March 19 at 10.30am, just drop-in!

Islamic Art  Tutor Hadil Tamim will be running a workshop for adults based on Islamic Floral Patterns.  The session will run at Woodley Library on Saturday March 14 between 10am and 1pm, charge £7.50. To book a place call Woodley Library on (0118) 9690304.

English Language Circle  Are you a speaker of English as a second language? If you would like the opportunity to meet up and chat with others in English, why not drop into our Language Circle, make new friends and improve your spoken English. The sessions will be led by a native English speaker. Wokingham Library, First Thursday of each month, 6pm to 7pm, next meeting March 5.    For more information contact Katrina Barnes:

Reading Well Books on Prescription to help people with dementia

Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia will be available in public libraries as part of a national library strategy to support the development of dementia-friendly communities and build understanding and awareness of the condition. The 25 titles on the Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia list have been recommended by health experts as well as people with lived experience.

The list includes a range of books offering information and advice about dementia and normal aging, support with living well after diagnosis, practical advice for carers, personal accounts, and suggestions for shared therapeutic activities.  Wokingham Borough Libraries is taking part in this scheme and all libraries will stock recommended books to support members of the community suffering from dementia and other mental health conditions. These books can be prescribed by doctors or health professionals and they are available for library members to borrow or reserve at all branches.

Young People’s Activities

Free Spanish and French taster sessions with Bilinguasing Bilingual English/Spanish/French singing, music and movement, for complete beginners to native speakers, Just drop in!  Wokingham Library on Friday 6th March 2015  2pm – SPANISH Babies (1 month – crawling)  3pm – SPANISH Toddlers & pre-school  4pm – FRENCH Toddlers & pre-school

Igniting Writing – Teen Writing Group – Q&A with a Publishing Expert  The session will include writing exercises, a group discussion and the chance to ask any writing-related questions on your mind with Special guest Amber Caravéo, publishing expert and literary agent for Skylark Literary.  Wokingham Library, Saturday 7th March, 10:30am to 12noon, places must be booked, call (0118) 978 1368.

Baby Signing taster session with Tinytalk – Come along for a free taster session with TinyTalk, for babies from 6 to 24 months. Please call to book a place on (0118) 978 1368  Wokingham Library on Wednesday March 25 at 10.30am to 11am

Our special Little Explorers storytime this march is Springtime Fun  Just drop in and join in with springtime stories, rhymes and craft. £1.50 charge.

  • Spencers Wood Library Thursday March 19 10.15am to 11am
  • Lower Earley Library Monday March 23 10.15am to 11am
  • Finchampstead Library Tuesday March 24 2pm to 2.45pm
  • Twyford Library Friday March 27 10.15am to 11am
  • Wagrave Library Friday March 27 2pm to 2.45pm
  • Woodley Library Tuesday March 31 10.15am to 11am

Why not search our online catalogue from the comfort of your own home to see what’s on offer:

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Love is in the air at your local library!

IMG-20150202-WA000310420074_876637802386919_8872799535053792511_nIMG-20150202-WA0004Pop into Wokingham Library for a blind date. You shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover.  Put your trust in fate and choose a book without knowing the title, maybe you will fall in love? Pick them up and check them out at the main counter.  

There will also be a Love bugs storytime for the under 8’s on Saturday 14 February.

61oDfDcAhXL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Come and hear ‘The Love Bugs’ story by Simon Puttock and make your own ladybird to take home. Just drop in, £1.50 charge to take part in the craft.

Sessions will run on Saturday 14 February at  Woodley and Wokingham Libraries at 10am to 10.30am.


Love Between the Pages: Literature and Valentines  click through here for  a collection of loved-up literature lists from the internet that should warm your heart and perhaps help to woo the (other) book lover in your life…

Why not try some of our Valentine’s Day inspired books?

For adults:

My Sweet Valentine by Annie Groves

First Love by James Patterson and Emily Raymond

The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

Secret Lives by Diane Chamberlain

Truly Madly Deeply, a selection of love stories  by Adele Parks, Katie Fforde and more

For Teens:

Valentine Joe by Rebecca Stevens

Love Hurts compiled by Malorie Blackman

For Children:

Juliet the Valentine Fairy by Daisy Meadows

The Love Bugs by Simon Puttock

Love Always Everywhere by Sarah Massini

Encyclopaedia Britannica Spotlight on Valentines Day 

Yes, 14 February is Valentine’s Day and also the focus for this particular Britannica Spotlight.  Here, you can learn about the history of this day and the Activity Centre is full of crafts including cards to make and other activities that fit with the Valentine theme.

February half term is all about adventures

Next week is Half term in Wokingham Borough and all Wokingham Borough libraries have Adventurous activities and book displays for children to take part in from Monday February 16 to Friday February 21. 

aliceAlice’s Amazing Additional Adventures – Alice in Wonderland inspired creative writing workshop with author Keith Sheppard. £2 charge, books available for sale. For children aged eight and over. Places must be booked. Woodley Library on Tuesday February 17 from 10am to 11am and Winnersh Library on Tuesday February 17 from 2pm to 3pm.

Adventure Time – Love the comic? – Come and create your own two-page comic spread with your own adventure story with comic artist Stef O’Brien. £2 charge for children aged seven years old and over. Places must be booked in advance. Finchampstead Library on Thursday February 19 from 2pm to 2.45pm and at Maiden Erlegh Library on Thursday February 19 from 3.15pm to 4pm.

famous fiveFamous Five – Create a picnic collage and try out our Famous Five treasure hunt and decorate Timmy the dog. For children aged eight and over. £2 charge, Places must be booked. Wokingham Library on Monday February 16 from 9.45am to 10.30am and Lower Earley Library on Monday February 16 from 11am to 11.45am.

Get Arty – Arts and Crafts for children aged four to 11 years old. Just drop in, £1.50. Woodley Library on Thursday February 19 from 10.30am to 11.30am, Lower Earley Library on Thursday February 19 from 2pm to 3pm and Wokingham Library on Friday February 20 from 10.30am to 11.30am.

seawigs_coverOliver and the Seawigs – Come and hear a snippet from Oliver’s story.Create your own Seawig and sea monkey. For children aged six to 11 years old. £1.50 charge, Places must be booked.

  • Twyford Library on Monday February 16 from 2pm to 2.45pm
  • Wargrave Library on Wednesday February 18 from 9.30am to 10.15am
  • Wokingham Library on Wednesday February 18 from 11.15am to 12noon
  • Woodley Library on Wednesday February 18 from 2pm to 2.45pm
  • Spencers Wood Library on Thursday February 19 from 10am to 10.45am

Today is National Libraries Day Saturday February 7, 2015

PrintWe are celebrating National Libraries Day on Saturday 7 February, which is devoted to promoting libraries, library users, staff and supporters across the UK.

There will be special coffee mornings for customers at Wargrave and Lower Earley Library from 10am to 12noon.

Libraries will have information on the events and services they offer. So join in by tweeting with #NLD15 and drop into your local library and see what is on offer today.

Why not try some of our books which are all about Libraries and a love of reading….

For Adults why not try?:

9781781250051The Library Book – From Alan Bennett’s ‘Baffled at a Bookcase’, to Lucy Mangan’s ‘Ten Library Rules’, here famous writers  from Caitlin Moran, Lionel Shriver, Ann Cleeves and more…  tell us all about how libraries are used and why they’re important.


9781846591884Virginia Woolf in Manhattan by Maggie Gee – What if Virginia Woolf came back to life in the twenty-first century? Bestselling author Angela Lamb is going through a mid-life crisis. She dumps her irrepressible daughter Gerda at boarding school and flies to New York to pursue her passion for Woolf, whose manuscripts are held in a private collection.When a bedraggled Virginia Woolf herself materialises among the bookshelves and is promptly evicted, Angela, stunned, rushes after her on to the streets of Manhattan. Soon she is chaperoning her troublesome heroine as Virginia tries to understand the internet and scams bookshops with ‘rare signed editions’.   Virginia Woolf in Manhattan is a witty and profound novel about female rivalry, friendships, mothers and daughters, and the miraculous possibilities of a second chance at life.

By its Cover by Donna Leon 9780099591283When several valuable antiquarian books go missing from a prestigious library in the heart of Venice, Commissario Brunetti is immediately called to the scene. The staff suspect an American researcher has stolen them, but for Brunetti something doesn’t quite add up. Taking on the case, the Commissario begins to seek information about some of the library’s regulars, such as the ex-priest Franchini, a passionate reader of ancient Christian literature, and Contessa Morosini-Albani, the library’s chief donor, and comes to the conclusion that the thief could not have acted alone.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett9781846680496When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library  she feels duty bound to borrow a book. Aided by Norman, a young man from the palace kitchen who frequents the library, Bennett describes the Queen’s transformation as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word.


For Children why not try?:

The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler – 9780552568678Welcome to your new favourite adventure. Late one night Alice Creighton hears her father having an argument with a fairy – a snarling, bald beast with warts and needle-like teeth. It is threatening her father, insisting he accept a mysterious offer, or else. When Alice’s father goes down in a shipwreck, she is sent away to live with distant relative Mr Geryon, owner of a huge, dark library that is off limits to Alice. After meeting a talking cat who is willing to sneak her in, Alice opens a book and suddenly finds herself inside it and the only way out is by conquering the dangerous creatures within.


How the Library (Not the Prince) saved Rapunzel by Wendy Meddour – 9781847804327With the wind in his hair, and blowing his hooter, along came the prince on the back of a scooter. ‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel, please let down your hair!’ Called the prince from down on the bottom stair. But Rapunzel just sat – As still as a wall; She didn’t think much of the prince at all. Rapunzel sits on the 16th floor of an inner city block, bored, dreaming and looking out at the rain. No one can rouse her from her apathy, not the milkman or the postman or the baker or her aunt – or even the prince. But when at last a letter is delivered, it contains news that has Rapunzel on her feet again. She has a new job at the library! And suddenly her life is busy, sparkling, exciting and stimulating.


9781408830031Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Ran Away from the Circus by A.F. Harrold –  Fizzlebert Stump lives in a travelling circus. But although he gets to hang around with acrobats and put his head in a lion’s mouth every night, he’s bored. But then Fizz decides to join a library, and life suddenly gets a lot more exciting, when a simplelibrary card application leads to him being kidnapped by a pair of crazed pensioners!


9781405053624Wolves by Emily Gravett – What if a book could come alive? Rabbit finds out after borrowing a book on wolves from the library. It’s not long before a sinister creature with sharp claws and a bushy tail starts to creep up on Rabbit and the suspenseful book-within-a-book format plays out to surprising effect.

Harry Potter Book Night at Wokingham Borough Libraries

On February 5th 2015 children and adults celebrated the first ever Harry Potter Book Night.

harrypotter new booksWe ran activities at Wokingham, Woodley, Lower Earley, Finchampstead and Winnersh Libraries, young wizards, witches and Muggles were treated to an fun session with crafts, challenges, readings and quizzes all about the wonderful world of Potter.

Lots of children dressed as their favourite character and were given a special certificate for attending and some Gringotts chocolate gold to take away

Photographers from the events across Wokingham Borough Libraries.

IMG_5190  IMG_5189  IMG_0754IMG_0751  IMG_0759

Books of the Month

Each month we will choose two books that we would like to recommend for adults and children and young people. We would be interested to hear you views on the titles so please let us know your thoughts via Facebook or Twitter.

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin9780670918140

Nora Webster is set in a small Irish town in the late 1960s and is about a tough minded Irish widow, a woman who is trying to work out how she will live without the love of her life, Maurice Webster, an Irish schoolmaster.

Nora is stuck in a world of priests, petty small-town rivalries and provincial boredom. Tóibín shows brilliantly how Nora, imprisoned in her grief and her widowhood, becomes maddened by the tyranny of neighbours’ condolences, and is increasingly desperate to escape. Slowly, through the gift of music and the power of friendship, she finds a glimmer of hope and a way of starting again, eventually establishing relationships outside the family and returning to work.

This is a hauntingly beautiful novel with well drawn and believable characters. Fans of Toibin’s previous novel Brooklyn, will enjoy the depiction of a woman attempting to establish her own identity during a difficult period in her life.

The Hueys – None the Number by Oliver Jeffers


The thing about the Hueys was that they loved numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3…Wait! 0? Is ‘none’ a number? Join the Hueys for a counting conundrum! This witty and lively pictorial debate makes numbers interesting and fun!

The Hueys show a unique take on life – with a subtle humour that is guaranteed to be enjoyed by adults as well as children.

These books can be borrowed or reserved at your local Wokingham Borough Library

National Libraries Day Saturday 7 February 2015

National Libraries Day Saturday 7 February 2015

We are celebrating National Libraries Day on Saturday 7 February, which is devoted to promoting libraries, library users, staff and supporters across the UK. There will be coffee mornings at Wargrave and Lower Earley Library from 10am to 12noon. Join in by tweeting with #NLD15 and drop into your local library and see what is on offer today.