Crime and Cocktails with Sara Sheridan at Woodley Library

Last Tuesday on the 21st April 2015, Woodley Library was graced with the exciting presence of Sara Sheridan, the Scottish historical crime writer for an evening of travelling back into the 1950s, crime and the odd cheeky cocktail.

Ms Sheridan  entertained the crowd with her anecdotes about how she came across the idea for her female detective, Mirabelle Bevan, growing up the only girl with two brothers in Edinburgh and her trips to the library. The self- confessed swot, Ms Sheridan delighted the audience with the tales of all the research she does for her novels, including trips to museums, archives and all the trips for inspiration.

The evening rounded off with a book signing of Ms Sheridan’s three published Mirabelle Bevan Novels, Brighton Belle, London Calling and England Expects. The fourth book in the series, British Bulldog is due out this month!

Hope you enjoy the pictures from our event.

Photos Copyright Stephanie Woods.


Woodley Library Evening Book Group shadows Baileys Women’s Prize For Fiction

Congratulations to Woodley Library Evening Book Group – privileged to be one of just twelve reading groups chosen to shadow this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize For Fiction.

The group spotted the opportunity to get involved on The Reading Agency’s website  and submitted their application, which had to include a short biography and three reasons why they wanted to shadow the prize, just before Easter.

Two weeks (and several chocolate eggs) later they received the news that they had been successful, this was shortly followed by a box of Baileys goodies and their box of books.

Each group will read one of the six shortlisted titles and getting involved across social media until the winner is announced on 3rd June.

Woodley is reading Outline by Rachel Cusk and hoping to squeeze in one or two of the other titles as well (it’s good to keep an eye on the competition!) Follow their journey here as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

You can also read more about them and the other groups on and why not get involved yourself, have your say, enter competitions at all the usual for Baileys Prize and Reading Agency.


Wokingham Borough Libraries Event News May 2015

Library Fest-Making Connections

Making Connections is an Arts Council funded initiative that sees the library service connecting with its communities through creative activities. We kick off with Library Fest, a programme of events for adults, children and families throughout May 2015. Feel inspired, try something new or learn a skill. You can also check out our blog

Teen Writing Group – Dive Into Young Adult Fiction Write Alongside Author Andy Robb

Aspiring teen writers! Ever wanted to write together with a published author? Special guest Andy Robb, the writer of the critically acclaimed Geekhood series, will be starring in a teen writing session all about young adult fiction. The session will include writing exercises, a full group discussion and the opportunity to ask Andy any writing-related questions on your mind, so don’t miss out on the chance to practice your writing side-by-side with a pro! Wokingham Library, Saturday 2 May, 10.30am to 12noon Places must be booked, call Wokingham Library on (0118) 978 1368

Jewellery Making Workshops

Tutor Lizzie Tailby will be running a series of workshops- making earrings, bracelets and hair pins and stringing beads on Wednesday May 6, 13, 20 and 27. All sessions at Wokingham library 10am to 12noon, £5 plus cost of materials.

Author visit from Geraldine McCaughrean at Bulmershe School

Geraldine is a powerful storyteller and will speak about her latest book The Middle of Nowhere (currently on the Carnegie Shortlist), her writing career, inspiration and love of stories. Her talk will be on Thursday May 7, 2015 at 9.45am. For more information and to book a place contact:

Storytime with Author Tracey Corderoy

Come and hear about Granny’s magic spells and what Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam get up to with Author Tracey Corderoy. Wokingham Library on Friday May 8 at 4pm. For families with children aged 8 and under. Books will be available to purchase courtesy of Chapter One Bookshop, Woodley. For more details call Wokingham Library on (0118) 978 1368

Library Fest-Making Connections-Translation Games

Take part in a workshop to help tap into your creative potential! Working with poetry and images, participants will explore how to translate ideas across different art forms. Wokingham Library Saturday 9 May, 2pm to 3.30pm. £3 charge

Iceland –an illustrated talk with John Harrison

Sitting astride the mid Atlantic ridge just below the Arctic Circle, Iceland has some amazing geology, scenery, wildlife and culture. Take a glimpse into this fascinating and very special country. Wokingham Library, Thursday 14 May, 2pm to 3pm. £3 charge

Jennifer Klinec-author visit

Jennifer Klinec talks about her book, The Temporary Bride, a memoir of love and food in Iran.

Jennifer travelled to countries all over the world in search of ancient recipes, including places that most people would be afraid to visit. Her quest led her to Iran where she lived with a local family who would teach her the secrets of the Persian kitchen and where she would also fall in love. Wokingham Library, Thursday 14 May 6.30pm £3 charge.

Library Fest-Making Connections-Printmaking

Learn a range of printmaking techniques from artist Karen Greville-Smith, using old books and stories as inspiration. For adults. Wokingham Library, Saturday 16 May, 1pm to 3pm. £3 charge.

Library Fest-Making Connections-Life Drawing

Take part in in a life drawing class with a twist from Raven Rouge of Art Macabre. For 18+ of all abilities. Woodley Library, Friday 22 May, 7pm to 9pm. £5 charge

Library Fest-Making Connections- Writing Out Loud

Poetry special hosted by the Emma Press-an open floor event for adults where local writers and poets are invited to read their work aloud plus readings form poets selected by the Emma Press. Woodley Library, Tuesday 26 May, 7.30pm. Just drop in! £3 charge

Bugs Galore

Come and find out about Bugs with rangers from Dinton Pastures providing activities and crafts. Just drop in! As part of Wokingham in Bloom. On Tuesday 26 May at Wokingham Library, 10am to 11.30am.

Illustrator Visit with Adam Stower

Meet the author of Troll and the Oliver and other amazing picture books. Hear the stories and have a go at drawing some of the characters. £2 charge. Places must be booked. On Friday 29 May at Wokingham Library, 10.30am to 11.30am and Woodley Library, 2pm to 3pm.

Manga Drawing Workshop

With comic artist Steph O’Brien. For children aged 8 to 16 years old. Please phone to book a place. £2 charge. Lower Earley Library Friday 29 May 10am to 11.30am

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

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Wokingham Library’s Cribbage Club



Did you know Wokingham Library has a Cribbage Club?  They meet twice a month on the first and the third Fridays at 10:30am.  All abilities are welcome, from experts to people who have played in the past to beginners who have never played before.

What is Cribbage?Anglo-American_card_suits

If you’ve never played cribbage before and are interested in learning, Cribbage is a card game which is very easy to pick up.  It dates back to the 17th century and uses a pack of cards and a cribbage board.  You don’t have to book, just drop in!

The next meeting is Friday 1st May, 10:30am, Wokingham Library

Origami Tulips from the Children’s Origami Club at Wokingham Library

IMG_56581On Tuesday 21 April at Wokingham Library the Children’s Origami Club learned how to create origami tulips. These beautiful tulips will be used for a Wokingham In Bloom display which will be featured during the month of May and June.

Logo_Bloom_flowersWokingham in Bloom is the umbrella group for the town’s entry into the Royal Horticultural Society’s regional Thames and Chilterns in Bloom competition.  For more information about Wokingham in Bloom run by Wokingham Town Council visit the website.

IMG_5660The Origami Club meets once every three weeks in the café area of Wokingham Library.  It’s a club for children aged 7 to 11 years old where they learn how to make lots of different origami.  In the past they have made animals, fruit, dinosaurs and lots more.  There is a 50p charge and booking is essential as places are limited. For more information about the Children’s Origami Club call Wokingham Library on 0118 978 1368.  The next meeting is on Tuesday 12 May from 4pm to 4.45pm.

bugsgaloreWe will also be hosting a Bugs Galore session to support Wokingham in Bloom at Wokingham Library on Tuesday 26 May, 10am to 11.30am. Dinton Pastures Rangers will be coming along to talk about different bugs and their habitats with a fun camouflage craft activity. Just drop in!

Illustrator visit from Steve Antony on Thursday 16 April 2015

IMG_5597Steve visited Wokingham Library and brought along his fantastic Picture Books Please Mr Panda, The Queen’s Hat and Betty goes Bananas.

Steve shared The Queen’s Hat with the children. The children had to find the repeated characters on each page and got to see the new book The Queen’s Handbag.  Steve then shared Betty goes Bananas and the children talked about how Betty must be feeling, we also got a sneak peak at the next Betty book, Betty goes Bananas in her Pyjamas. The last book Steve shared was Please Mr Panda, which was about manners and the children where then given a chance to draw Mr Panda!

IMG_5598 IMG_5605


We had all of Steve’s books for sale, which Steve signed for each child and adult.

We then went to Woodley Library and the children from The Ambleside Centre Nursery came to meet Steve and hear his stories. Everyone was captivated with Betty and thought Mr Panda was a bit grumpy! The children took back some Mr Panda colouring sheets to decorate.

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Steve Antony and Cathy MacLellan at Woodley Library with their books.

All of the children and adults had a lovely time meeting Steve, so many thanks to Steve for coming along, Cathy MacLennan for her suprise visit and Chapter One Bookshop, Woodley for supporting us with Booksales.

Troll Cover Adam StowerLook out for our next Illustrator visit with Adam Stower on Friday May 29 at Wokingham Library, 10.30am and Woodley Library, 2pm.

Library Fest 2015 -Making Connections

Library Fest 2015-Making Connections 

LibraryFest-final-CMYKWe connect with others through the stories we share; the ones we make together and the ones we tell. These stories can be spoken over a cup of tea, they can be written in books, or passed through generations; eventually turning into myths and folklore.  They can be expressed in a poem, a painting or in a dance. The Library acts as a caretaker for these stories, and through this project we celebrate and share them, in all their forms!

Making Connections is an Arts Council funded initiative that sees the Library service connecting with its communities through creative activities. We kick off with Library Fest, a programme of events for adults, children and families throughout May 2015. Feel inspired, try something new or learn a skill.For all you artists and poets who need to break your creative block Translation games will help you think about the story your work tells in new ways We have musician Jo May, leading family percussion workshops . . . be inspired by music from around the world as you have a go at playing the spoons The fantastic Emma Press is hosting a child’s and an adults poetry reading, bringing some of her favourite poets along to inspire you.  Ever fancied trying printmaking? Local artist Karen Granville-Smith will be giving you a chance to try different printing techniques using old books as inspiration.  Love life drawing or never dared try it before? Come to a class with a twist, hosted by the talented Raven Rougue of Art Macarbe The session will explore myths and legends from Britain, India, Russia and more. Or you can make friendship bracelets, drop in for storytime or just take out a book . . . there’s something for everyone.

You can see more about the project, including dates and time of events at

Recommended New Children’s Books – New Children’s Book Highlights from January to March 2015

Recommended book titles for Under 5’s

wWanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar by Emily MacKenzie – Some rabbits dream about lettuces and carrots, others dream of flowering meadows and juicy dandelions, but Ralfy dreams only of books. In fact, he doesn’t just dream about them, he wants to read them ALL THE TIME. Soon his obsession sends him spiralling into a life of crime! A wonderfully funny story from a talented new author/illustrator.

Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle – e Join the very hungry caterpillar for a celebration of love and all the ways to tell that special someone how much you care. This delightful little book features Eric Carle’s bright and distinctive artwork of favourite things, from pretty sweets to sparkling stars, with the very hungry caterpillar making an appearance alongside each one.

Blown Away by Rob Biddulph – rMeet Penguin Blue! It’s a windy day, and he has a brand new kite – but where’s he going on this maiden flight? Penguin Blue and his friends go on a gloriously illustrated adventure full of good ideas, homesickness and the perils of kites.

tThis Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne – Bella is taking her dog for a stroll across the page when something odd happens. Her dog disappears and it becomes apparent to Bella, her friend Ben, and the rescue services that peril lurks in the pages of this book. But where the police and fire brigade fail, you – the reader can help!

The Extraordinary Mr. Qwerty by Karla Strambini – yNorman Qwerty is a man of many ideas, and none of them are the least bit ordinary. He’s quite certain that no one else thinks the way he does, and this makes him keep to himself. But when his ideas get too big to hold in, he builds the most extraordinary thing! Soon the beloved Mr. Qwerty is never alone (unless he wants to be), and the world will never be the same.

Recommended book titles for children aged 5 to 7 

sHoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor – Hoot Owl is no ordinary owl – oh no! – he’s a MASTER OF DISGUISE! And he will use his formidable camouflage powers to trick his unsuspecting prey into succumbing to him! Tiny animals of the night …BEWARE! But, SOMEHOW, Hoot Owl’s prey keeps escaping…Hmmm, perhaps he isn’t quite as masterful as he believes. Will he ever succeed in catching himself some dinner?  Hilarity, ridiculousness and VERY bad costume changes abound in this wildly inventive new title from Sean Taylor and brand new picture book talent, Jean Jullien.

zSquishy McFluff the invisible cat meets mad Nana Dot by Pip Jones – Ava and Squishy are up to their normal no-good when Dad whisks them off to Nana Dot’s – Mum’s got to go to the hospital to bring Ava back a baby sister! But Mad Nana Dot’s lost her glasses so can’t see Squishy McFluff and a trip to the hairdresser’s, the post office, the fishmonger all end in adorable disaster.

vA walk in Paris by Salvatore Rubbino – Paris ‐ the most beautiful city in the world! It’s the perfect place for a girl and her grandad to spend the day. Join them as they explore Paris’s iconic landmarks and experience its culture and style first‐hand: visit a traditional street market, climb to the top of Notre‐Dame, wander through the Tuileries Gardens and gaze up at the Eiffel Tower.

Recommended book titles for children aged 7 to 9 

pThe Toilet Ghost by Pamela Butchart – Wigglesbottom Primary is the school where anything can happen!  For example, Jacob Barry’s stinky shoe can ACTUALLY PREDICT THE FUTURE, the boys’ toilets are HAUNTED, and then there’s the CURSE that lives in the story-time carpet and gives everyone ants in their pants!  With three hilariously-illustrated stories in each book, this new series is perfect for newly-independent readers.

oThe shark-headed bear-thing by Barry Hutchison – In an alternate 15th century, where dragons roam, sailing ships transform into submarines, and blacksmiths build steampunk robots, ten-year-old orphan Benjamin Blank battles monsters, rescues maidens and discovers fantastic new lands, but never quite manages to get his homework handed in on time.

iFizzlebert Stump and The Girl who could lifted quite heavy things by A F Harrold –  It’s the great Circus of Circuses competition, and Fizzlebert Stump has no act. He’s no longer the Boy Who Puts His Head In The Lion’s Mouth (the lion retired) and putting his head in a crocodile’s mouth instead didn’t work out for some reason. Can Fizz find a new act in time? Their new friend Alice, professional flower-arranger and secret Strongwoman, can she find her rightful place in the circus? A story of circus rivalry, learning who you really are, and the problem of oddly-shaped vegetables. Brilliantly bonkers and perfect for fans of Mr Gum and Lemony Snicket.

Recommended book titles for children aged 9 to 11

mSave Rafe by James Patterson – After a rough summer, Rafe is heading back to the dreaded Hills Village Middle School, the site of the very worst years of his life. And as if that’s not bad enough, Rafe’s learned that he’s going to be held back a year unless he can prove himself on an outdoor survival excursion – complete with dangerous white-water rafting, dizzying rock climbing and military style counsellors. Rafe and the rest of the pack of ‘delinquent’ trainees are forced to cooperate as they prepare for the final test: a solo excursion in the deep woods. Can Rafe come out of the experience in one piece? And if he does, will anyone recognise him as the kid they once knew?

nNot As we Know it by Tom Avery – Jamie and Ned are twins. They do everything together: riding their bikes, beachcombing outside their house, watching their favourite episodes of Star Trek. But Ned is sick, and one day, he may leave Jamie behind. When they discover a strange creature on the beach, Ned wants one more adventure and decides to keep him secretly in their garage. But Jamie begins to hope that the creature might bring some miracle, and stop his brother from going where he can no longer follow.

bvCircus of Thieves on the Rampage by William Sutcliffe – Shank’s Impossible Circus is back. There are 7,362 things that Armitage Shank hates and at the top of the list (which includes puppies, rainbows, lifts and flashing trainers) is being made a fool of. So, when he thinks his old nemesis, Queenie Bombazine, ringmaster of Bombazine’s Ecstatic Aquatic Splashtastic Circus, is trying to do just that, he sets out on a revenge rampage! Meanwhile, a HUGE revelation sends Hannah and Granny on their own journey to find Queenie, it’s only a matter of time before they all collide.  Full of fun, adventure and wacky characters, a must for fans of Andy Stanton and Roald Dahl.

Recommended book titles for children aged Teens

qwThere Will be Lies by Nick Lake – Shelby Jane Cooper is 17, pretty and quiet. It’s just Shelby and her mom, Shaylene, a court stenographer who wears pyjama jeans, stitches tapestry, eats ice-cream for dinner and likes to keep Shelby safe. So safe she barely goes out. So safe she doesn’t go to school. Because anything could happen, to a girl like Shelby. When Shelby gets knocked down by a car, it’s not just her leg that’s broken: Shelby’s world is shattered. Her mom turns up to collect her and drives off into the night, like it’s the beginning of a road trip, like two criminals on the run, like Thelma and Louise or Bonnie and Clyde. And somehow, everywhere she looks, there’s a coyote watching her, talking to her, telling her not to believe.

weThe Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson – Two boys. Two secrets. David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year 11 is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

erAll that Glitters by Holly Smale – Harriet Manners has high hopes for the new school year: she’s a Sixth Former now, and things are going to be different. But with Nat busy falling in love at college and Toby preoccupied with a Top Secret project, Harriet soon discovers that’s not necessarily a good thing.

All of the recommended titles can be borrowed from Wokingham Borough Libraries, visit one of our branches or view our library catalogue: