News and Events from Wokingham Borough Libraries December 2019

News and Events from Wokingham Borough Libraries December 2019

All our libraries will be closed on Wednesday December 25, Thursday December 26 and Wednesday January 1. Libraries will close at 3pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

We wish all of our customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 Festive Events this December

wargrave festive fun gFestive Fun at Wargrave Library – Join us for mince pies and festive refreshments with a special visit from Father Christmas! Father Christmas will arrive at 11.30am, £1 per child.  Just drop in and join the fun!

Wargrave Library Saturday December 21 10.30am to 12.30pm


 What’s On for Children

festive sand art gFestive Sand Art – Just drop in and create a sand art Christmas card with Kids Bee Happy with Maddi. £2.50 per card  for children aged 4 to 11 years old. Just drop in!

Woodley Library Sunday December 1 11am to 1pm


Christmas Tree Fairy with The Enchanted Players at Wokingham Library

The Christmas tree fairy would like to welcome you to Wokingham Library, where you can hear some of the Christmas Trree Fairies all time favourite poems and stories plus sing along to Christmas songs.   At Wokingham Library on Tuesday December 10 at 4pm to 4.30pm.  Just drop in!

 Children’s Winter Reading Mini Challenge 2019

Winter Mini Challenge 2019 - Facebook Cover ImageThis year, our young readers can join in the Winter Reading Mini Challenge. With a virtual badge to unlock, lots of online activities and books to enjoy. The challenge has been inspired by ‘Pugs of the Frozen North’, a frosty adventure which features lots of pugs, written by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre.

The Winter Mini Challenge starts on Monday 2 December 2019 and finishes on Monday 13 January 2020. To take part you need just to visit the Reading Challenge website from Monday 2 December 2019 to sign in or register. Just choice 3 books to read from the library and leave you rating and reviews online, this will unlock a virtual badge and a special Pugs of the Frozen North certificate to print off and keep.

 For inspiration, why not visit your local library to find book displays or check out our libraries blog for book ideas. Audiobooks, e-Books and e-Comics count too.

All libraries will have some Pugs of the Frozen North activity sheets for children to do from December 2, 2019.

Living Advent Calendar

Wokingham’s Living Advent Calendar runs from 1st to 24th December each year.

Each weekday at 6pm and weekends at 4pm from 1st December to Christmas Eve, a venue around the town will host a FREE performance lasting approximately 20 minutes.

This is a community project, where local businesses, charities, performers and individuals work together to present these performances to the public. Each event is paired with a local performer (or group of performers) and a charity who take a collection.

The Living Advent calendar will be at Wokingham Library on Monday December 16 at 6pm.

But you’ll have to wait and see what the evening will bring, performances are secret until the day!

For more information go to

NEW! Comics available free online from Wokingham Libraries

Choose from over 1000 new graphic novel titles, covering Marvel super heroes like Spider Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Iron Man. We also have favourites such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek, Transformers and X-Files. To access the eComics login to the RB Digital service website. Use your library card number to create a free account with a username and password. Titles can be borrowed for 30 days at a time.

Download the RB Digital mobile app and then read comics on your home computer, smartphone or tablet, For more information and FAQs, visit the RB Digital website help section

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

Don’t forget that we have a selection of eBooks, eAudio and eMagazines that you can access with your library card for free.

You can find more about events in libraries via our email newsletter. You can sign up for this at: Or alternatively download this publication at:



New Christmas paperback fiction in libraries

Why not settle down with one of our new Christmassy paperback fiction books? Choose novels from Annie Groves, Sheila Newberry, Sue Moorcroft and Sheila Jeffries.

9780008272272[1]Christmas for the District Nurses by Annie Groves

The East End of London has been devastated by the Blitz and the people are struggling to come to terms with their ravaged city. Rationing bites ever deeper and everything that makes life better is in short supply. For the district nurses, the challenges are tougher than ever. Gladys loves her work in the Civil Nursing Reserve, but just when she needs to rely on her sister at home to help out with the chores, she turns into a handful of trouble. Edith is learning to cope with her boyfriend’s injuries after Dunkirk but will she have to choose between her love for him and her career? With no end in sight, the war reaches its darkest moment. Can the nurses – and the families and patients that rely on them – find the strength to carry on?

A Winter Hope by Sheila Newberry9781785761898[1]

All they want for Christmas is a new home. Number five Kitchener Avenue heralds the start of a new life for the Hope family. For pregnant Miriam it is a warm, safe environment to bring up her child. For her sister, fourteen-year-old Barbara, it means independence – and boys. And for Fred it means the security he craves for his young family. In the lead up to Christmas, the Hopes settle in, and start to make happy memories in their new home. But World War II is round the corner, and this carefree life can’t last. Soon the family are split up. Bar, wanting to do her bit for the war effort, joins the ATS, while Miriam and her children are evacuated to the countryside and away from her husband. As the country is thrown into turmoil, can the Hope family come back together and find the happiness they crave?

9780008321796[1]Let it Snow by Sue Moorcroft

Family means everything to Lily and Zinnia Cortez and, growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer. So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’s always believed. She is in fact the result of her mum’s reckless affair with a married man. Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known – an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a Christmas market or two along the way.

An Orphan’s Winter by Sheila Jeffries9781471165290[1]

Almost a decade after being rescued from a shipwreck by a local Cornish family, sixteen-year-old Lottie is settled in St Ives with her adoptive family. But after a trip to America to meet her birth mother ends badly, Lottie fears her new life might be falling apart. Arriving back in Cornwall, Lottie struggles to adjust to life with her temperamental mother around, and her very arrival shakes up their quiet community. Lottie, too, faces a more difficult problem – she’s hiding the secret of her first love. And soon she is forced to make a choice between her duty to her family and to her heart. As new challenges arrive for Lottie and the community in St Ives, will she and her family be able to overcome their troubles and find their way back to each other?

To reserve any of these titles please visit the Wokingham Libraries website at

Reading Well for Young People – recommended reads


Reading Well for young people provides book-based support for young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

The recommended titles are designed to help young people understand and manage their mental health and wellbeing and build emotional resilience. The scheme provides young people with advice, information and support on a range of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, and difficult experiences like bullying and exam stress.

All books are selected by health professionals and endorsed by leading health organisations including NHS England, Public Health England, the Royal College of GPs, Royal College of Psychiatrists and Royal College of Nursing.

Please see below for the list of suggested titles that can be reserved at your library or via the online catalogue at

General Stuff that Sucks: Accepting what You Can’t Change and Committing to What You Can Ben Sedley
General Mind Your Head James Dawson
General The Self-Esteem Team’s Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs?!! Natasha Devon et al
General Blame My Brain: The Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed Nicola Morgan
General Quiet the Mind Matthew Johnstone
General (fiction) Every Day David Levithan
General (fiction) House of Windows Alexia Casale
General (fiction) Kite Spirit Sita Brahmachari
General (fiction) I’ll Give You the Sun Jandy Nelson
ADHD Putting on the Brakes: Understanding and Taking Control of Your ADD or ADHD Patricia Quinn et al
Anxiety My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic Michael Tompkins et al
Anxiety The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens: CBT Skills to Overcome Fear, Worry and Panic Jennifer Shannon
Anxiety The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens Jennifer Shannon
Anxiety (fiction) The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky
Autism Spectrum Disorder The Reason I Jump: One Boy’s Voice from the Silence of Autism Naoki Higashida
Autism Spectrum Disorder Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User’s Guide to Adolescence Luke Jackson
Autism Spectrum Disorder (fiction) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Mark Haddon
Bullying Teen Life Confidential: Bullies, Cyberbullies and Frenemies Michele Elliott
Bullying Vicious: True Stories by Teens About Bullying Hope Vanderberg
Confidence and self-esteem Banish Your Self-Esteem Thief: A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook on Building Positive Self-esteem for Young People Kate Collins-Donnelly
Confidence and self-esteem Teen Life Confidential: Self-Esteem and Being You Anita Naik
Confidence and self-esteem (fiction) Face Benjamin Zephaniah
Depression Am I Depressed and What Can I Do About it? Shirley Reynolds
Depression I Had a Black Dog Matthew Johnstone
Depression Can I Tell You About Depression? Christopher Dowrick
Body image and eating Banish Your Body Image Thief: A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook on Building Positive Body Image for Young People Kate Collins-Donnelly
Body image and eating Can I Tell You About Eating Disorders? Lucy Watson
Body image and eating (fiction) Tyranny: I Keep You Thin Lesley Fairfield
Mood swings Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens Sheri van Dijk
OCD Touch and Go Joe: An Adolescent’s Experience of OCD Joe Wells
OCD Breaking Free from OCD: A CBT Guide for Young People and their Families Jo Derisley et al
OCD (fiction) The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B Teresa Toten
Self-harm The Truth About Self-Harm Celia Richardson
Stress Fighting Invisible Tigers: A Stress Management Guide for Teens Earl Hipp
Stress The Teenage Guide to Stress Nicola Morgan

Art at Woodley Library-November 2019

Woodley Library November 2019 Exhibits

The Prison Pictures

Heather McAteer and Liz Real

An exhibition of work by two Reading-based artists

presenting responses to a theme.

Heather McAteer

My work considers how the narratives of the past are constructed and presented. The works in this exhibition are inspired by the histories of Reading Jail, as well as two prisons in Northern Ireland: Crumlin Road and The Maze (also know as the H-Blocks).

From 1971 until 2000, The Maze was used to house paramilitary prisoners. It was also the site of the 1981 hunger strike when ten republican prisoners died. Crumlin Road Prison in Belfast, also held paramilitary prisoners, however, it also interned several Ulster suffragettes during 1914.

Reading prison’s most famous resident is Irish author Oscar Wilde who was sentenced to two years hard labour for gross indecency . On his release he published ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ which is a fierce indictment of the death penalty and Victorian penal system. However, lesser known inmates are thirty-seven men who had been involved (either directly or indirectly) in the 1916 Easter Rising and were interned without trial July to November that year.


Instagram: @Heathermcateerart

Twitter: @HeatherMcAteer2

Facebook: @HeatherMcAteerArt

Liz Real

These works were inspired by a series of photographs that I took during the ArtAngel event when Reading Gaol was open to the public in 2016. Apart from being chilled by the whole experience, I was fascinated by the traces of those that had once been incarcerated there – not only Oscar Wilde but other Victorian prisoners – as well as more recent inmates. ‘Free in my dreams’ was scrawled on the interior of a cell, ‘Adults only’ was the trace of a newspaper advert torn out and glued onto another cell wall (the latter somewhat ironic since both in the past and in the prison’s most recent years – just before it closed – both children and young offenders were imprisoned there). The gestural hands are a reference to a Victorian photograph of prisoners’ mugshots where they all held their hands across their chest as their identifying feature – in the days before finger printing was in common usage.


Facebook: @lizrealart

Twitter: @LizReal1

For more information or to exhibit at Woodley Library, please contact Helen Wright on (0118) 969 0304 or check out

Prison Pictures

To War Without Arms- A talk about the Diaries of an army chaplain-November 11 at Wokingham Library

Sign up for our fascinating talk about the D-Day Journals of a military chaplain with military historian Dr Simon Trew. The talk is particularly relevant this year when we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the  D-Day landings.

Among the millions of personnel who served in the north west European campaign of 1944-45 were hundreds of military chaplains who went to the front line unarmed.

Dr Trew, an acknowledged expert on the Normandy campaign, talks about the journal of one such chaplain, the Reverend Alexander Reynolds, which he has expertly edited.

Reynolds’s journal provides some fascinating insights into the everyday experience of military chaplains and is an honest, thoughtful and humane witness account of some of the most dramatic events of the twentieth century and the story of the campaign.

The talk takes place at Wokingham Library on Monday November 11th, 10.30am to 11.30am, £3 charge. To book a space call the library on (0118) 9781368

To War Without Arms - Full Cover.indd

New Christmas books for children

How Winston delivered Christmas by Alex T. Smith

Follow Winston as he sets out to deliver Oliver’s letter to Father Christmas on Christmas Eve. He has a lot of very exciting adventures on this very important mission and makes some wonderful friends along the way. Like an advent calendar counting down to Christmas, each day also features festive things to make and do – you can write a letter to Father Christmas and make mince pies, Christmas cards, presents, and decorations.

One Christmas wish by Katherine Rundell

It’s Christmas Eve and Theo – left at home with a babysitter – sees an odd-looking star out of his window and decides to make a wish. He wishes that he had some friends to keep him company. Moments later the Christmas decorations begin to disentangle themselves from the tree behind him, ready to wreak a little havoc.

Oh, Christmas tree! by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnett

This is a brilliantly funny rhyming story about a rogue Christmas tree who doesn’t want to stand in a pot covered in tinsel; but the decorations are determined to get the tree to fulfil its Christmas destiny!

All I want for Christmas by Roisin Hahessy

All I want for Christmas is you! Tell your little one how much you love them this Christmas.

Busy reindeer

With lots to see in ‘Busy Reindeer‘, children can have fun pulling, pushing, and turning the mechanisms as they read about Ruby Reindeer’s Christmas journey. Join Ruby Reindeer as she flies through the sky and helps Santa deliver Christmas presents.

One Christmas journey by M. Christina Butler

Little Hedgehog and his friends are off to visit Grandpa Squirrel. But he lives high up on Rocky Ridge and there’s a snowstorm on the way! Can the friends deliver their gifts, brave the icy weather and make it home safe in time for Christmas?

The snowiest Christmas ever by Jane Chapman

It’s Christmas time and snowflakes swirl around the bears’ cosy cabin. ‘Yippee!’ cheer the bear cubs. ‘More snow! More snow!’. And sure enough, the snow gets deeper – and deeper. But soon it’s right up to the windows! Will it EVER stop?

The Christmas extravaganza Hotel by Tracy Corderoy

Bear is ready for a calm, cosy Christmas. Frog is ready for a tinsel-tastic Christmas at the Extravaganza Hotel! Neither is ready for what happens next!

Mr Men the night before Christmas

Be enchanted by this magical Christmas story featuring the Mr Men and Little Miss! It’s the night before Christmas and all through the Mr Men houses not a creature is stirring, but in the sky overhead there are some very special visitors on their way.

A Christmas carol by Jean Claude

A Christmas Carol‘ is the perfect introduction for young children to this popular seasonal tale. Push, pull, and turn mechanisms to bring Ebenezer Scrooge to life – and help him finally discover the joy of Christmas!

Reserve your copy via the Wokingham libraries catalogue

Our Book Group Recommendations

We have asked our book groups to recommend or review titles they have discussed in their book groups for a monthly post. If you would like to review one of our book group titles please contact us at

Wild by Cheryl StrayedImage result for wild cheryl strayed

5/5 stars

At 26, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family disbanded and her marriage crumbled. With nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to walk 1,100 miles of the west coast of America – from the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, and into Washington State – and to do it alone. She had no experience of long-distance hiking and the journey was nothing more than a line on a map.

The book follows her trials and tribulations throughout her time on the trail and she nearly comes to grief on many occasions. The difficult physical terrain is described in vivid detail as well as her encounters with many different people on the route. Impressively, the books describes the author’s spiritual and mental growth and how eventually she gains some peace of mind and some insight into her own situation.

This is a very readable and enjoyable memoir and would provoked some interesting discussions in a book group.  Some readers have objected to her selfishness and self absorption, but love or loathe Cheryl, you can’t ignore her!


Image result for the seven deaths of evelyn hardcastleThe Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

3/5 stars

This story is an Agatha Christie style story with a fantasy twist.  Imagine an old manor house, falling into dis-repair, the lady of the house has decided to throw a ballroom party and invites a variety of characters.  However, during the party her daughter dies under suspicious circumstances.

The next day the reader wakes up in the body of one of the party guests and has to relive the day trying to solve the murder.  This continues for seven days, the reader awakes in different bodies experiencing the day from different points of view.  Can you solve the mystery before Evelyn Hardcastle dies seven times?

The reaction from our book group was interesting, it varied from members really enjoying the book enough to want to re-read it again to hunt out the clues.  A couple of members were glad they read it but didn’t enjoy the story as much.  I was one of the latter members but I would definitely recommend it to a book group, it’s full of twists and turns and lots of plot to unpick and discuss.

What’s On for Children in Wokingham Borough Libraries  on Friday November 1, 2019

What’s On for Children in Wokingham Borough Libraries  on Friday November 1, 2019

Get Arty Spooky themed arts and crafts fun on for children aged 4 to 10 years old. Places must be booked, £1.50 charge.  Wokingham Library – Friday November 1 – 10.30am to 11.30am

Wokingham Borough Libraries Contact details

Arborfield Library 0780 1664520

Finchampstead Library (0118) 908 8176

Wargrave Library (0118) 940 4656

Winnersh Library (0118) 979 7519

Lower Earley Library (0118) 931 2150

Spencers Wood Library (0118) 988 4771

Wokingham Library (0118) 978 1368

Woodley Library (0118) 969 0304

Twyford Library (0118) 934 0800