October’s Book of the Month

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

The Queen’s Handbag by Steve Antony9781444925524

In the follow up to ‘The Queen’s Hat‘, ‘The Queen’s Handbag‘ is another wonderful tale.  This time it incorporates a number of iconic British landmarks and archetypal images, this is a humorous tale about a naughty swan who steals the Queen’s handbag, so naturally, the Queen races after it, to single-handedly get it back!

The Queen give chase in all around Great Britain in various modes of transport, including an Aston Martin car, a motorbike, a Red Arrow plane, a speedboat, a train, and a horse in pursuit of the sneaky swan.

The Great British back drop is wonderfully drawn in this tale of cat and mouse which includes instantly recognisable scenery such as Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Giant’s Causeway and Edinburgh Castle.

With stunning monochromatic illustrations, packed with visual humour and minimal text, this is a fun and engaging read for all.

Filled with lots and lots of police officers, you will have fun finding the sneaky swan, the Queen and her corgi and the Queen’s loyal butler on every page.

9781445645759[1]Living in Squares, Loving in Triangles: The lives and loves of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group by Amy Licence

Anyone who is interested in the lives of Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell will enjoy this book upon which the recent BBC2 series was based. The lives of the sisters have long been celebrated for their central roles in the development of modernism in art and literature. Inspired by European post-impressionism, Vanessa’s experimental work places her at the vanguard of early twentieth-century art, as does her role in helping introduce many key names – Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso – to an unsuspecting public in 1910.

Virginia took these artistic innovations and applied them to literature, pushing the boundaries of form, narrative and language to find a voice uniquely her own. Yet their private lives were just as experimental. Forming the core of the Bloomsbury Group, they welcomed into their London and Sussex homes a host of their talented peers and followed their hearts in the pursuit of love.

What led the sisters to make the choices they did? How did they reconcile life and art? How did it feel, in early modern Britain, to live outside the social box? The sisters lived bravely, passionately and innovatively; where did this strength and talent come from?

Many well known figures appear within the pages of the book, including Clive Bell, Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant, Roger Fry, Leonard Woolf and John Maynard Keynes and although the author is unable to go into great detail about all the characters, this book provides a good over view and introduction to the Bloomsbury group and the period.

To borrow these books, check out our catalogue to see if it’s in a library near you: http://bit.ly/1zSCJlf

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October Newsletter from Wokingham Borough Libraries

Adult Events

Harry Dunn – Author visit and book signing

Local author Harry Dunn will be at Woodley Library on Saturday October 3 between 11am and 12 noon to sign copies of his new book, “Forever Evil”, the second in the Jack Barclay crime series. Just drop-in!

Art History Talks

Dalila Castelijn will be talking about Bosch, Bellini, Goya and Highlights of the National Portrait Gallery at 4 sessions at Wokingham Library on October 1, 8, 15 and 22, 2pm to 4pm, £5 charge per session.

 First Steps in Drawing

Lyn Ebbett will be running 4 new classes in her First Steps in Drawing Series at Wokingham Library on October 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2pm to 4pm, £5 per session.

Confessions of an Edwardian Shop-o-holic

Join an Edwardian lady as she delights in the new shopping emporiums in London. From Harrods to Selfridges, she will shop till she drops, taking in all the latest fashions and allowing you to take a sneak peek into her bulging bags of original dresses and accessories for you to admire. Meredith Towne returns to Wokingham Library on October 14 with her new costume presentation, 2pm to 3pm, charge £6, Please call to book a place.

Colouring for Adults

Relax and enjoy some creative colouring-in at our free sessions at Wokingham Library, Finchampstead Library and Winnersh Library. Contact individual libraries for details of dates and times.

Creative Writing Seminar

Author Sara Sheridan will be running a seminar on narrative Drive and Publication at Wokingham Library on Saturday October 31 10.30am to 12noon, charge £10. Please call to book a place.

National Poetry Day Celebration

Wokingham Library Poetry Group will be reading poems on the theme of “Light” to celebrate National Poetry Day on October 8, 6.45pm to 8pm. Local author and poet Claire Dyer will also be reading from her work and announcing the results of our Wokingham Libraries Poetry Competition. This is a free event but please call to book a place.

Black History Month Celebrations for Adults and Families

The Maasai of South Western Kenya and Northern Tanzania

Maasai warrior Boniface Mpario will be talking about the Maasai tribe, its history and culture on Saturday October 24 11am to 12noon. This free event is part of Wokingham Borough’s Black History month programme. Please call to book a place.

Maasai Warrior Storytelling – Come and hear some traditional animal stories from Boniface Mpario, a Maasai Warrior. Free session for families. Please call to book a place. Wokingham Library Saturday October 24 10am to 10.30am

An Evening with Jamila Gavin at Woodley Library

Come along on Thursday October 15 at 6.30pm and hear the author of Coram Boy – Jamila Gavin talk about her written work and how multiculturalism has influenced her work. There will be an opportunity for Questions, to buy some of Jamila’s books and have them signed, courtesy of Chapter One Bookshop

This event is free of charge, as it is part of Wokingham Borough Council’s Black History Month 2015 celebrations.

To book a place for the talk please call Woodley Library on 0118 969 0304.

These events are part of Wokingham Borough Council’s Black History Month 2015 celebrations.

To book for events at Wokingham Library call (0118) 9781368, for Woodley Library call (0118) 9690304

Young People and Children Activities

October Half Term activities for children

All libraries will have a Big Draw Book Wall to decorate between Monday October 26 and Saturday October 31.

Mad Hats and Alice

Hear Alice’s story and create your own Alice in Wonderland themed head band and pop up tea cup. For children aged 4 to 12 years old. Just drop in! £1.50 charge.

Spencers Wood Library Monday October 26, 2015 4pm to 5pm

Wokingham Library Tuesday October 27, 2015 10.30am to 11.30am

Finchampstead Library Tuesday October 27, 2015 2.15pm to 3.15pm

Woodley Library Wednesday October 28, 2015 10.30am to 11.30am

Lower Earley Library Thursday October 29, 2015 2.30pm to 3.30pm

Children’s Events at Wokingham Library

Explore Learning will be running some free sessions on Thursday 29th October. 9.45am to 10.45am Winnie the Witch for children aged 5 to 7 years old. 11am to 12noon Doctor Who for children aged 8 to 11 years old

Mini Animal Models – Come and create some Plasticine animals in this fun modelling session for children aged 8 and over, £2 charge.

Thursday October 29, 2pm to 3pm

Flash Fiction Writing workshop – Flash fiction is a complete short story expressed within a strictly limited word count. In this workshop we will attempt to write a story in no more than 500 words. Taking a story from the What If idea then constructing a beginning, middle and an end within the word count limit. For ages 8 to 12 years old. Monday October 26, 10am to 11am.  Places must be booked on the above events, so just call Wokingham Library on 0118 978 1368 to book a place.

Facebook, Twitter and Blog

Wokingham Borough Libraries can be found on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wokinghamboroughlibraries or Twitter: @WBC_Libraries or follow our blog on https://wokinghamboroughlibraries.wordpress.com/

Children’s New Book Highlights for September to December 2015

Recommended book titles for Under 5’s

The Day the Crayons Came Home Written by Drew Daywalt and Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers Watch out, the crayons are back – and they’re crosser than ever! One day, Duncan receives a set of postcards from his crayons, who’ve been lost, forgotten, broken – even melted in a clothes dryer and stuck to a pair of underpants! They may just be crayons but crayons have feelings too.

Grandads Island by Benji Davies  A beautifully realised, delicately handled story about a little boy coming to terms with the loss of his much-loved grandfather.

The Mouse Who Reached the Sky by Petr Horacek   What is that beautiful red, shiny thing hanging from the tree? Little Mouse thinks it’s a marble, but Mole is sure it’s a balloon and Rabbit says it’s a ball. None of them can reach it by themselves, so how will they discover what it really is? Enjoy lifting the flap to reveal the tasty surprise at the end.

Grrrrr! By Rob Biddulph  Come join Fred the Bear on a stunningly illustrated journey to be crowned the best bear in the wood and, just maybe, learn that there might be more to life than training. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood. And Fred is the champion. Until a new bear moves to town, and Fred’s champion GRRRRR goes missing. How will he ever win now?

I wish I had a pirate hat Written by Roger Stevens and Illustrated by Lorna Scobie  Would you rather have a pirate hat or a football? Would you like to have tea with a rabbit, bring home a pussy cat or go in a big red pedal car? And are you a good pirate or a bad pirate? This book features fifty fantastic poems for young children from top performance poet Roger Stevens.

Recommended book titles for Children aged 5 to 7 years old.

Mary’s Hair by Eoin Colfer Mary loathes her big, curly, bushy hair and so she chops it all off – and she looks fantastic! Well, at least she thinks so. But her mammy is not convinced and forbids her from ever cutting her own hair again. But she didn’t say anything about anyone else.

Ted rules the world Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce with illustrations by Cate James and Chris Riddell Ted thinks there’s something fishy going on. Ever since his birthday when he got a special loyalty card at the local shop, all his great ideas are being thought of by the new Prime Minister too. Now there’s laws about walking to school and everyone has Monday’s off. Could the shop’s market research lady have anything to do with it? And if Ted has become a Leader, shouldn’t he start thinking up proper laws to save the world?

The 39-Storey Treehouse  Written by Andy Griffiths and Illustrated by Terry Denton  Andy and Terry’s amazing treehouse has 13 new levels! They’ve added a chocolate waterfall you can swim in, a volcano for toasting marshmallows, a bulldozer-battling level, a baby-dinosaur-petting zoo, a not-very-merry merry-go-round, a boxing elephant called the Trunkinator, an X-ray room, a disco with light-up dance floor, the world’s scariest roller coaster and a top-secret 39th level which hasn’t even been finished yet!

The wacky winter wonderland by Tracey Corderoy and Illustrated by Joe Berger Another adventure in the Hubble Bubble series – Find out what happens when a naughty toddler waves Granny’s wand in a posh shop. Can Granny build a raft that doesn’t sink? And enjoy a visit to Winter Wonderland with some surprises in store.

Meteor Madness by Frank Lampard Frankie and his team love playing football. There’s always time for a game – especially in space! When Frankie and his friends climb into a broken Galaxy Quest ride, the shuttle sends them flying beyond the stars! Can Frankie and his team win a game against aliens, and save their new friends from a meteor? Frankie needs to win like never before!

Recommended book titles for children aged 7 to 9

The Super amazing adventures of me, Pig by Emer Stamp Pig couldn’t be happier. Life with the vegetarian farmers is perfect, and best of all, he has a new friend, Kitty. Kitty is a fellow vegetarian, she purrs over Pig’s every move, laughing at his jokes and encouraging him to fart as much as he can. She even gave him his new diary! Of course, only Duck can see Kitty for the cunning, jealous, killing car she is. Pig won’t believe she’s up to something until he’s eaten the entirety of the farmers’ prize crop and is half way to the pie factory.

Dragon White by Shoo Rayner  Ryan’s dad is out for revenge. He knows there is a secret about Tan, Harri’s supposedly ‘toy’ dragon. Ryan, Harri’s new best friend knows Tan is real and his dad forces him to give the secret away, testing Harri and Ryan’s friendship to the limit. Ryan’s dad is now obsessed with getting his own dragon in time for the May Parade.

The no. 1 car spotter and the broken road written by Atinuke and Illustrated by Warwick Johnson-Cadwell – The road through No. 1’s village is full of holes. There are no cars for No. 1 to spot and no customers for Mama Coca-Cola’s roadside cafe. Mama Coca-Cola tries to get the road fixed but she fails. Grandfather says, ‘No. 1, you have a No. 1 brain. Use it to fix the road’. What can a small boy do? On Cousin Homework’s wedding day, No. 1 still hasn’t come up with a solution, but he does figure out a way to get everyone to the wedding. And when Mama Coca-Cola asks him to sell her goat at market, he returns home with two goats instead. Finally he has a brilliant idea – one he is sure will get the road through his village mended.

How to fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell It is the Doomsday of Yule. At the end of this day, either the humans or the dragons will face extinction. Alvin the Treacherous is about to be crowned the King of the Wilderwest on the island of Tomorrow. His reign of terror will begin with the destruction of dragons everywhere. The fate of the dragon world lies in the hands of one young boy as he stands on the nearby isle of Hero’s End with nothing to show, but everything to fight for.

Recommended book titles for children aged 9 to 11

How Harry Riddles Got Nearly Almost Famous – Shouty Kid Series Written by Simon Mayle             Hi there, My name is Harry Riddles, and I live with my mum, my dad, my EVIL sister and my twin baby brothers in our house in Cornwall. But if my dad has his way we might not live here much longer. He’s got this crazy idea to take us all sailing round the world for like, two years! I’m not sure about it, I guess the swimming with dolphins, learning to scuba dive and climbing volcanoes would be pretty cool but how am I meant to win the school Battle of the Bands competition and get Jess to go out with me if I’m stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean? I’ve written to a load of famous people who might be able to help me sort out my problems who knows if they will write back. Good luck and have fun.

Scratch and Python: the basics by Hywel Carver ‘Coding Unlocked’ is a fun and accessible coding book, guiding children through simple coding concepts and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to become active participants and makers in a digital world. These are illustrated with a narrative-driven problem to solve using Python, and a fun project to create using Scratch. It guides the reader through the learning process, building skills and understanding gradually, and providing lots of practical examples to try out and consolidate new ideas. Exciting context and adventures adds fun to the exercises, and helps readers understand the point of coding and the ways coding could be useful to them in their real lives.

The Jam Doughnut that ruined my life by Mark Lowery Roman Garstang is obsessed with food – particularly Squidgy Splodge raspberry-jam doughnuts – but he is about to learn that things are not always as sugar-coated as they might seem. Because of his Monday-morning jam doughnut, Roman’s week takes a very sticky turn. By Friday Roman has been banned from eating for 24hrs, narrowly avoided a faceful of warm toddler-wee, accidentally shoplifted, been given a lift in a getaway van, styled his teacher’s guinea pig with a blue mohawk, started an OAP riot and still barely managed to scoff a crumb – or lick – of a single doughnut. Who knew jam could be so deadly?

Return to the secret garden by Holly Webb Return to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s timeless classic, ‘The Secret Garden’ in this magical sequel by bestselling author Holly Webb. It’s 1939 and a group of children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Hall. Emmie is far from happy to have been separated from her cat and sent to a huge mansion. But soon she starts discovering the secrets of the house – a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary and a garden. A very secret garden.

Recommended book titles for Teens

One by Sarah Crossan Grace and Tippi are twins – conjoined twins. And their lives are about to change. No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world – a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. But can they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love? Just as Tippi and Grace have begun to live like normal teenagers, Grace gets sick, so sick separation might be the only option left open to them. But separation could mean spending the rest of their lives in wheelchairs. Separation could mean death. And whatever happens, it means being torn apart.

Demon Road by Derek Landy This thriller about an epic road-trip across the supernatural landscape of America features killer cars, vampires, and undead serial killers. And the demons? Well, that’s where Amber comes in. 16 years old, smart and spirited, she’s just a normal American teenager – until the lies are torn away and the demons reveal themselves. Forced to go on the run, she hurtles from one threat to another, revealing a tapestry of terror woven into the very fabric of her life. Her only chance rests with her fellow travelers. But they are not at all what they appear to be!

The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength. This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad. As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land. There will be a reckoning.

Rail head by Philip Reeve Zen Starling is a petty thief. A nobody. Destined to ride the rails to nowhere special. That is until Raven, a strange and mysterious figure, enlists him for one small job. One small job that might just bring everything in this galaxy, and the next, to the end of the line.

Teen Book Group

Wokingham Library’s Teen Book Group will be meeting on  Thursday 17th September at 4.30pm.  This group is for teenagers aged 11-18 years old.

We talk about books, get recommendations, check out new teen stock that the library has to offer, and do fun games and quizzes. At the last session the teens created some incredible ‘shape poetry’, each shape is based on a book or character,  all of the books can be borrowed from your local library.

The Fault in Our Stars    Stargirl            Opal Plumstead

Fault in our Stars by John Green     Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli            Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson

Matilda              All the Bright Places                                  Cuckoo Song

Matilda by Roald Dahl                 All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven         Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

This summer, the borough’s teenagers can take part in the Teen Reading Challenge at Wokingham Borough libraries.   To complete the challenge, teenagers need to borrow and read six books during the summer holidays.  The challenge ends on 22 September.   Any young person who completes the challenge will be entered into a prize draw for an eBook reader and two teen book stuffed goody bags.

There is also a poetry and short story competition for young people, we would like teenagers to write a poem or short story in less than 500 words on the theme of Record Breakers. Just pick up an entry form, and hand them both into your local library by Saturday 19 September. There are some amazing signed books as prizes this year.

Harry Dunn -Author profile and book launch

6.3.15 harryHarry was born and brought up in Aberdeen where he attended Robert Gordon’s College. He had a variety of jobs on leaving school including the buying of cod and haddock on Aberdeen’s fish market!

In 1963 he joined the Thomson Organisation and worked on various newspapers around the UK including the newly formed Reading Evening Post.

The BBC was fast becoming a major book publisher and in 1965 Harry joined BBC Publications and was involved in press and promotion of their fast developing business. During this time he travelled in the UK with the likes of Delia Smith, Keith Floyd and Ken Hom to help promote their books. It was the many hours spent on the road and in hotels which drew Harry to reading and his genre of choice was usually crime fiction.

Keith Floyd once said to him, ‘You know enough about it. You should write your own you know.’ Harry always had an idea of who his fictional hero would be. Thus was born Jack Barclay the London based private investigator who features in his debut novel, Smile of the Viper and again in his latest thriller Forever Evil. Jack is a charismatic guy who is not afraid to seek justice on the mean streets. Harry carried this idea with him over the years and retirement gave him the time to settle down and begin his first novel.

Harry is married with two grown up children and three grandchildren and enjoys writing, cooking with a glass of wine  and a round of golf (although his handicap remains stubbornly in the high twenties!)

Harry will be visiting Wokingham Library on Thursday September 24th, 6.45pm to 8pm and Woodley Library on Saturday October 3rd,11am to 12 noon to launch his new book “Forever Evil” .

Royalties from book sales at the events will be donated to the Ollie Young Foundation.

For more information about Harry’s book launch please call Heather Dyson on (0118) 9743712 or email heather.dyson@wokingham.gov.uk

Wokingham Borough Libraries Event News September 2015

Poetry Competition

To mark this year’s National Poetry Day, which will be celebrating its 21st birthday, on Thursday 8 October, we are running a poetry competition for adults. Write a poem on the theme of ”Light”, which is this year’s theme. There will be a first, second and third prize available.

Poems should be no more than 40 lines (excluding title) and entries are limited to six per person. The competition will be judged by local author and poet Claire Dyer who will present the prizes on our National Poetry Day Celebration evening on Thursday 8 October at Wokingham Library. The competition is free to enter.

Entries should be emailed to libraries@wokingham.gov.uk or posted to Heather Dyson at Wokingham Library, Denmark Street, Wokingham RG40 2BB. Closing Date Thursday 24 September. Entrants should be 18 or over.

Lacemaking Demonstration

Members of Wokingham Lacemakers will be demonstrating bobbin lacemaking in the Wokingham Library cafe on Saturday 12 September between 10am and 3pm. Just drop-in!

Harry Dunn – Author visits

Local author Harry Dunn will be visiting Wokingham Library on Thursday 24 September, 6.45pm to 8pm to talk about his new novel, Forever Evil, the second in the Jack Barclay crime series.

Take this great opportunity to meet Harry and hear about his writing career and enjoy a glass of wine! Book signing and refreshments available.

Harry will also be at Woodley Library on Saturday 3 October between 11am and 12noon to sign copies of the book. Just drop-in!

Read-Aloud groups at Wokingham Library

A new Read-Aloud group will be starting at Wokingham Library this month so come along and enjoy reading some great literature aloud: short stories, novels and poems. The group will be meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month, 10.30am to 11.30am first meeting Wednesday 23 September, Just drop-in!

The Link Visitor’s Reading for Fun Group also meets at Wokingham Library every Tuesday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm. For information contact Sue Higgins on (0118) 3278065.

Performing Protest: Riots against technological change in the 19th century

The Museum of English Rural life will be presenting the  true story of William Winterbourne who was accused of leading the rioters, in what became known as the Swing Riots. Volunteers from the museum  will play characters that bore witness during this tumultuous period, telling the audience stories of life and work in the countryside at the time.  The performance takes place at Wokingham Library on Wednesday 30 September, 2.30pm, £3 charge. To book a place call the library on (118) 9781368.

Record Breakers – Children’s Summer Reading Challenge

Go for a personal best this summer. Sign up to Record Breakers, the Summer Reading Challenge 2015. Record Breakers brings together fact and fiction, challenging young readers to explore astonishing real-life achievements and world records. Simply read any 6 books from the Library before the 13 September. If you complete your challenge you will win a medal and a certificate. For primary aged children. We are running a host of different activities to support Record Breakers, so check out our listings for more details.

Poetry and short story competition for children and young people

Write a poem or short story in less than, 500 words on the theme of Record Breakers. Fill out the entry form and hand them both into your local library, with book themed prizes. Closing date Saturday 19 September.

Teen Reading Challenge and Events

Borrow 6 books across the summer holidays (runs until 21 September). We have various groups for teenagers details are available on the libraries website.

Little Explorers Book Club

The Little Explorers book club library challenge is for children aged 7 and under. Children collect a stamp each time they visit the library and borrow books. When they have collected 6 stamps they receive a certificate. We also run rhymetimes and storytimes at our libraries.

Author Suzanne Barton will be coming to run a special storytime around her book The Dawn Chorus at Wokingham Library on Tuesday 29 September at 2pm, Just drop in!

Why not search our online catalogue from the comfort of your own home to see what’s on offer: http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries

If you would like to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.  Please visit: http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/contact-us/sign-up-manage-text-and-email-alerts/

Click on sign up here and create a username and password and select Libraries and save.  If you are already registered for e-mail updates with other council departments, then please log in and select the Libraries option.

Wokingham Borough Libraries can be found on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/wokinghamboroughlibraries or Twitter: @WBC_Libraries or follow our blog on https://wokinghamboroughlibraries.wordpress.com/

Art in the Library September 2015

Woodley’s Art in the Library

Bookface chapter 6 (sml) (2)Throughout September Art in the Library features a preview of artists who will be taking part in the Rising Sun Arts centre Bookface exhibition. Bookface will run on Sunday 11 October, 11am – 5pm at Rising Sun Arts Centre, 30 Silver Street, Reading RG1 2ST.  For more details please visit the Rising Sun Arts Centre’s website.  

Browse stalls and share ideas at this once a year artists’ book fair.  Handmade books, small press, experimental and altered books, illustrators, sculptures and exhibition pieces. Poetry readings, story telling, workshops and more. Relax in our cafe with homemade snacks and organic beers. It’s a wonderful day!Mary Riley - Bookface (300dpi) sml (2)

If you are interested in taking part please email Neile at neilenwright@hotmail.co.uk, please put ‘Bookface’ in the subject line.

For more information or to exhibit at Woodley Library, please contact Laura Doggett on (0118) 969 0304 or check out http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries

Wokingham Library

IMG_00041Throughout September and October work will be on display by local artist Paul Woolley. His present series of paintings has been inspired by images and photographs taken during his travels in Corsica, Egypt and India. He is particularly interested in how abstract shapes in landscape can be linked to more figurative ones and how they can form a developing thread in my future practice.

Paul’s painting are for sale and he can be contacted through Wokingham Library on 0118 978 1368IMG_0005

Art in the library

‘Art in the Library’ gives local artists, art students and craftspeople a platform to exhibit their work and ideas. As most pieces are for sale, it is an ideal opportunity to buy or commission unique, crafted pieces and gifts.

Display your work

For information about exhibiting at Woodley Library, call Laura Doggett on 0118 969 0304.

For information about exhibiting at Wokingham Library, call Heather Dyson on 0118 974 3712.

Classics Book Group: Anna Karenina, or why you never read the same book twice!

photoThere was another good meeting of the Wokingham Library Classics Book Group this month, with the novel under the microscope being Tolstoy’s ‘Anna Karenina’. Two new members joined us for the discussion.

For some of us, this was a debut read; for others, another outing with a well-loved story. What struck those who’d read it before was how their opinion of the major characters had changed over time, as we viewed them through the prism of our own life experience.

Some of us loved the rural episodes, showing Russia moving slowly away from feudalism; for others it was the spot-on petty snobberies and interplay of high society that were most striking. All were agreed that Tolstoy was very bold to publish such a controversial story at that time (1873-1877), almost two decades before ‘Tess of the D’Urbevilles’, which also tells of a ‘fallen woman’, received a brutally hostile reception in Britain.

As so often happens in reading the classics, we mused on how restricted the lives of women were: not just in being economically dependent on their fathers or husbands, but in having no rights at all to their own children if they strayed off the straight and narrow of society’s expectations.

Looking ahead…

As the days begin draw in, the line-up for the next few meetings is very appealing:

  • September 17th: Graham Greene – ‘The Quiet American’
  • October 15th: Edith Wharton – ‘Ethan Frome’ and/or ‘The Age of Innocence’
  • November 19th: Rosamund Lehmann – ‘The Weather in the Streets’
  • December 17th: Harper Lee – ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

All gatherings are on a Thursday evening and are from 18.30 till the library closes at 20.00 (with the debate often being carried on in the car park!).

We’ll soon be starting to plan our reading list for 2016. Why not come and share a well-loved classic with us?

Classics Bookgroup member