Spotlight on Books for Dyslexia – Published by Barrington Stoke

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Barrington Stoke publishes super-readable children’s books that break down barriers that can stop kids getting into reading. The short fiction books bring together the best of children’s authors and illustrators in the UK with a host of unique accessibility features for children who have dyslexia or visual stress.

The books are high-low, which means that the content is appropriate to the actual age of the readers but the text has been edited to suit a lower reading age. The reading ages (RA) are 6, 6.5, 7 and 8, and 8+, and the interest ages (IA) range from 3-5 to teen. These can be found on the back of the books by the barcode.

Here at Wokingham Libraries, we have lots of these excellent books on our shelves. In order for you to find them easily, we have placed blue dots on the spines. Please ask any member of staff for help in locating these books.

We are always adding to our collection. These titles have just come in…

The Ghost Tower by Gillian Cross
Laura Norder, Sheriff of Butts Canyon by Guy Bass
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Recommended Books for children in support of LGBT History Month 2019

Recommended Books for children in support of LGBT History Month 2019

Heather has two mummies by Lesléa Newman – Heather’s favourite number is two – she has two arms, two legs, two pets and two lovely mummies. But when Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy – and Heather doesn’t have a daddy! But then the class all draw portraits of their families, and not one single drawing is the same. Heather and her classmates realise – it doesn’t matter who makes up a family, the most important thing is that all the people in it love one another very much.

Josh and Jaz have three mums by Hedi Argent ; illustrations by Amanda Wood – This illustrated book for children aged five to eight helps to explain the diversity and ‘difference’ of family groups, and encourages an understanding and appreciation of same sex parents

And Tango makes three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell ; illustrated by Henry Cole. – The heartwarming true story of two penguins that create a nontraditional family.
At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.

This is my family : a first look at same-sex parents by Pat Thomas and illustrated by Lesley Harker This text introduces children to families that have parents of the same sex. Whether a family has a mum and a dad, or two mums or two dads, this book shows that all parents love, care, and support their children in the same way.

 

My princess boy by Cheryl Kilodavis and illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone.  A heart-warming true story of love and acceptance A nonfiction picture book about acceptance. With words and illustrations even the youngest of children can understand, My Princess Boy tells the tale of a four-year-old boy who happily expresses his authentic self by dressing up in dresses, and enjoying traditional girl things such as jewelry and anything pink or sparkly. The book is from a mom’s point of view, sharing both good and bad observations and experiences with friends and family, at school and in shopping stores.

Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton  Errol and his teddy, Thomas, are best friends who do everything together. Whether it’s riding a bike, playing in the tree house, having a tea party or all of the above, every day holds something fun to do together. One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas the Teddy is sad, and Errol can’t figure out why. Then Thomas the Teddy finally tells Errol what Teddy has been afraid to say: ‘In my heart, I’ve always known that I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly.’ And Errol says, ‘I don’t care if you’re a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend.’ A sweet and gentle story about being true to yourself and being a good friend, Introducing Teddy can also help children understand gender identity.

Baking with dad by Aurora Cacciapuoti  When dad decides it’s baking day, be prepared for creative chaos! From choosing the recipe and sorting the ingredients, to storing the mix and baking in the oven, each moment is full of surprises! Follow this comical, culinary adventure to discover what they are baking and who will be there to eat it!

We are family by Patricia Hegarty and illustrated by Ryan Wheatcroft All families are different – and yet in many ways the same! This book uses a gentle rhyming text to follow eight different families, celebrating their everyday differences as well as the similarities they share.

The same inside : poems about empathy and friendship by Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens. A sweet and thoughtful collection of poems about friendship, diversity, empathy and respect. These poems deal sensitively with tolerance for differences (including race, religion and gender identity), feelings, empathy, respect, courtesy, bullying, disability and responsibility. They are the perfect springboard to start conversations.

Understanding transgender by Honor Head Exploring the issue of people who feel they do belong to the gender they were born with, this sensitive book looks at what this means for the person and their family, issues around school policy, bullying and discrimination and explores the journey of transitioning.

I’m a girl! By Yasmeen Ismail I’m supposed to be made of sugar and spice and all things nice. But I’m sweet and sour and not a little flower. I am a girl! I am a girl! I am a girl! The girl in this book likes to win, she likes to be spontaneous, fast and strong, and because she also likes to dress in t-shirt and shorts, she is forever getting mistaken for a boy. And when she meets a boy who likes wearing princess dresses and playing dolls, they both quickly discover that they share interests that are wide and varied.

This day in June by Gayle E. Pitman ; illustrated by Kristyna Litten  In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, this title welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united. Also included is a reading guide chock-full of facts about LGBT history and culture, as well as a ‘Note to Parents and Caregivers’ with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways.

Donovan’s big day by Leslea Newman ; illustrations by Mike Dutton  Donovan’s two moms are getting married, and he can’t wait for the celebration to begin. After all, as ringbearer, he has a very important job to do. Any boy or girl with same-sex parents will appreciate this picture book about love, family, and marriage.

Mommy, mama, and me by Leslea Newman ; illustrated by Carol Thompson  Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with its mommies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there’s no limit to what a loving family can do together.

Under the love umbrella by Davina Bell ; illustrations by Allison Colpoys. Whatever you fear, come close my dear, you’re tucked in safe for always here, and I will never not be near. Because of our love umbrella. A celebration of the joy and comfort that is always with us, wherever we roam in the big, wild world.

Made by Raffi by Craig Pomranz ; illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain. Raffi is a shy boy who doesn’t like noisy games and is often teased at school. But when he gets the idea of making a scarf for his dad’s birthday he is full of enthusiasm, even though the other children think it is girly to knit. Then the day draws near for the school pageant, and there is one big problem – no costume for the prince. And that’s when Raffi has his most brilliant idea of all – to make a prince’s cape. On the day of the pageant, Raffi’s cape is the star of the show.

King and King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland.  When the queen insists that the prince get married and take over as king, the search for a suitable mate does not turn out as expected.

The great big book of families by Mary Hoffman ; illustrated by Ros Asquith. What is a family? Once, it was said to be a father, mother, boy, girl, cat and dog living in a house with a garden. But as times have changed, families have changed too. Mary Hoffman takes a look through children’s eyes at the wide varieties of family life, from homes, food and schools to holidays, jobs and housework.

Worm loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, Mike Curato. This picture book is a celebration of love in all its splendid forms from debut author J.J. Austrian and the acclaimed author-illustrator of ‘Little Elliot, Big City’, Mike Curato. You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of a worm and a worm. When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: they get married! But their friends want to know who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux? The answer is: it doesn’t matter. Because Worm loves Worm.

Julian is a mermaid by Jessica Love While riding the subway home with his Nana one day, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train carriage. When Julian gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies and making his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Nana think about the mess he makes – and even more importantly – what will she think about how Julian sees himself?

All of the recommended titles can be borrowed from Wokingham Borough Libraries https://wokingham.spydus.co.uk or visit www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries

Recommended Books for Adults in support of LGBT History Month 2019

Recommended Books for Adults in support of LGBT History Month 2019

Adult Fiction

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Like most people I lived for a long time with my mother and father. My father liked to watch the wrestling, my mother liked to wrestle; it didn’t matter what.” — Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit This is the story of Jeanette, adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God’s elect. Zealous and passionate, she seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts. At sixteen, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves. Innovative, punchy and tender, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a few days ride into the bizarre outposts of religious excess and human obsession.

The Hours by Michael Cunningham
The Hours is a daring and deeply affecting novel inspired by the life and work of Virginia Woolf. In 1920s London, Virginia Woolf is fighting against her rebellious spirit as she attempts to make a start on her new novel. A young wife and mother, broiling in a suburb of 1940s Los Angeles, yearns to escape and read her precious copy of Mrs Dalloway’. And Clarissa Vaughan steps out of her smart Greenwich village apartment in 1990s New York to buy flowers for a party she is hosting for a dying friend. Moving effortlessly across the decades and between England and America, this exquisite novel intertwines the stories of three unforgettable women.

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Written at the end of the World War II, this novel mourns the passing of the aristocratic world which Waugh knew in his youth and recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by the austerities of war. In so doing, it provides a study of the conflict between the demands of religion and of the flesh.

Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
Death in Venice tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment that instead leads to his erotic doom. In the decaying city, besieged by an unnamed epidemic, he becomes obsessed with an exquisite Polish boy, Tadzio. “It is a story of the voluptuousness of doom,” Mann wrote. “But the problem I had especially in mind was that of the artist’s dignity

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers. As passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

 

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg
The day Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison opened the Whistle Stop Cafe, the town took a turn for the better. It was the Depression and that cafe was a home from home for many of us. You could get eggs, grits, bacon, ham, coffee and a smile for 25 cents. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a mouth-watering tale of love, laughter and mystery.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller  Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

 

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt There’s only one person who has ever truly understood 14-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter, Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her once inseparable older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confident, and best friend.

 

Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss   Teenage Silvie is living in a remote Northumberland camp as an exercise in experimental archaeology. Her father is an abusive man, obsessed with recreating the discomfort, brutality and harshness of Iron Age life. Behind and ahead of Silvie’s narrative is a story of a bog girl, a sacrifice, a woman killed by those closes to her, and as the hot summer builds to a terrifying climax, Silvie and the Bog girl are in ever more terrifying proximity.

 

Call me By Your Name by Andre AcimanThis is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blooms between 17-year-old Elio and his father’s house guest, Oliver, during a restless summer on the Italian Riviera. What grows from the depths of their souls is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration, and an experience that marks them for a lifetime.

This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel  Rosie and Penn always wanted a daughter. Four sons later, they decide to try one last time – and their beautiful little boy Claude is born. Life continues happily for this big, loving family until the day when Claude says that, when he grows up, he wants to be a girl. As far as Rosie and Penn are concerned, bright, funny and wonderful Claude can be whoever he or she wants. But as problems begin at school and in the community, the family faces a seemingly impossible dilemma: should Claude change, or should they and Claude try to change the world?

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne  A psychological drama of cat and mouse, ‘A Ladder to the Sky’ shows how easy it is to achieve the world if you are prepared to sacrifice your soul. If you look hard enough, you can find stories pretty much anywhere. They don’t even have to be your own. Or so would-be writer Maurice Swift decides very early on in his career. A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann gives him an opportunity to ingratiate himself with someone more powerful than him. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell. Whether or not he should do so is another matter entirely. Once Maurice has made his name, he sets off in pursuit of other people’s stories. He doesn’t care where he finds them – or to whom they belong – as long as they help him rise to the top.

Adult NonFiction

Inseparable: Desire between Women in Literature by Emma Donoghue
Love between women crops up throughout literature: from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Charlotte Bronte, Agatha Christie, and many more. In ‘Inseparable’, Emma Donoghue examines how desire between women in literature has been portrayed, from schoolgirls and vampires to runaway wives, from cross-dressing knights to contemporary murder stories.

Proud by Gareth Thomas  The autobiography of former Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, who represented Wales in both rugby union and rugby league. Thomas announced publicly he was gay in 2009, making him the first openly gay professional rugby union player.

Good as You by Paul Flynn  ‘Good As You’ is the 30 year history of British gay culture – from the identification of the HIV virus in 1984, through Manchester’s self-selection as Britain’s gay capital, to Eastenders’ Colin and Barry’s first primetime televised gay kiss and the real-time romance of Elton John and David Furnish’s eventual marriage. Including candid interviews from major protagonists such as Kylie, Russell T. Davies and Holly Johnson, as well as the relative unknowns crucial to the gay community, Flynn charts the fight for equality both front of stage and in the wings.

Pride and Joy by Sarah and Rachel Hagger-Holt  ‘Pride and Joy’ is a practical, positive guide for lesbian, gay, bi and trans parents. It draws on experiences and advice from a diverse range of LGBT parents and their children.

The Oldest Gay in the Village by George Montague  Born in 1923, George Montague has seen many changes in his lifetime, few greater than the attitude towards being gay – attitudes that saw him criminalised for the sin of loving another man. This charming, funny book is a unique social history from a truly remarkable man.

Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nut  This is the inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all.

Philomena by Martin Sixsmith  ‘Philomena’ is the tale of a mother and a son whose lives were scarred by the forces of hypocrisy on both sides of the Atlantic and of the secrets they were forced to keep. A compelling narrative of human love and loss, Martin Sixsmith’s moving account is both heartbreaking yet ultimately redemptive.

Trans Britain edited by Christine Burns  Over the last five years, transgender people have seemed to burst into the public eye. From our television screens to the ballot box, transgender had suddenly become part of the zeitgeist. This apparently overnight emergence, though, is just the latest stage in a long and varied history. The renown of Paris Lees and Hari Nef has its roots in the efforts of those who fought for equality before them, but were met with apathy and often outright hostility from mainstream society. ‘Trans Britain’ chronicles this journey in the words of those who were there to witness a once invisible community grow into the powerful movement we recognise today.

Somebody to Love-The Life, Death and legacy of Freddie Mercury by Matt Richards  Including interviews from Freddie Mercury’s closest friends in the last years of his life, along with personal photographs, ‘Somebody to Love’ is an authoritative and humane biography of the great man.

Theft by Finding: Diaries Volume 1 by David Sedaris  The point is to find out who you are and to be true to that person. Because so often you can’t. Won’t people turn away if they know the real me? You wonder. The me that hates my own child, that put my perfectly healthy dog to sleep? The me who thinks, deep down, that maybe The Wire was overrated? For nearly four decades, David Sedaris has faithfully kept a diary in which he records his thoughts and observations on the odd and funny events he witnesses.

Gentleman Jack-the biography of Anne Lister by Angela Steidele  Anne Lister was a wealthy Yorkshire heiress, a world traveller and an out lesbian during the Regency era – a time when it was difficult simply to be female. She wrote her diary in code derived from Ancient Greek, including details of her liaisons with women. Liberated by her money, she remained unmarried, opened a colliery and chose to dress all in black. On inheriting Shibden Hall, Anne chose to travel abroad, before returning to Halifax and courting Ann Walker, another wealthy heiress twelve years her junior. They renovated Shibden Hall together and considered themselves married, to the horror of Walker’s relatives. The biography combines excerpts of Lister’s own diaries with Angela Steidele’s erudite and lively commentary.

Finding Stevie by Cathy Glass  When Stevie’s social worker tells Cathy, an experienced foster carer, that Stevie, 14, is gender fluid she isn’t sure what that term means and looks it up. Stevie, together with his younger brother and sister, have been brought up by their grandparents as their mother is in prison. But the grandparents can no longer cope with Stevie’s behaviour so they place him in care. Stevie is exploring his gender identity, and like many young people he spends time online. Cathy warns him about the dangers of talking to strangers online and advises him how to stay safe. When his younger siblings tell their grandmother that they have a secret they can’t tell, Cathy is worried. However, nothing could have prepared her for the truth when Stevie finally breaks down and confesses what he’s done.

All of the recommended titles can be borrowed from Wokingham Borough Libraries https://wokingham.spydus.co.uk or visit http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries

Richard and Judy Book Club – Winter Reads

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Discover the new selection of reads from the Richard and Judy Book Club for Winter. All the books are available to reserve from Wokingham Borough Libraries or via the website www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries/library-services/search-renew-and-reserve-items/

The House on Half Moon Street by Alex Reeve

9781408892718[1]Leo Stanhope. Avid chess player; assistant to a London coroner; in love with Maria; and hiding a very big secret. For Leo was born Charlotte, the daughter of a respectable reverend. But knowing he was meant to be a man – despite the evidence of his body – and unable to cope with living a lie any longer, he fled his family home at just 15 and has been living as Leo: his secret known to only a few trusted people. But then Maria is found dead and Leo is accused of her murder. Desperate to find her killer and under suspicion from all those around him, he stands to lose not just the woman he loves, but his freedom and, ultimately, his life.

Dear Mrs Bird by A.J Pearce9781509853922[1]

London, 1941. Amid the falling bombs Emmeline Lake dreams of becoming a fearless Lady War Correspondent. Unfortunately, Emmy instead finds herself employed as a typist for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt at Woman’s Friend magazine. Mrs Bird refuses to read, let alone answer, letters containing any form of Unpleasantness, and definitely not those from the lovelorn, grief-stricken or morally conflicted. But the thought of these desperate women waiting for an answer at this most desperate of times becomes impossible for Emmy to ignore. She decides she simply must help and secretly starts to write back – after all, what harm could that possibly do?

Love, Iris by Elizabeth Noble

image[1]Gigi is a grandmother, Tess is pregnant for the first time. But when they meet, each one is coping with their own secret sadness. Tess is writing letters to her unborn baby with no one else to turn to, and Gigi has reached breaking point in her marriage. Little do they know how much they will come to mean to one another as both of their lives are turned upside-down.Their story is about love in all its forms: the love between a mother and her unborn child, between a grandmother and her granddaughter, between spouses and between friends. Tess and Gigi will find what they need most in the place they least expect, and learn to understand the future by unlocking the past.

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh9780751564884[1]

The police say it was suicide. Anna says it was murder. They’re both wrong. One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with her loss ever since. Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie.

The Woman In the Window by A.J. Finn

9780008234188[1]It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside. Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers. But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris9780008256395[1]

Jasper is not ordinary. In fact, he would say he is extraordinary. Synaesthesia paints the sounds of his world in a kaleidoscope of colours that no one else can see. But on Friday, he discovered a new colourthe colour of murder. He’s sure something has happened to his neighbour, Bee Larkham, but no-one else seems to be taking it as seriously as they should be. The knife and the screams are all mixed up in his head and he’s scared that he can’t quite remember anything clearly. But where is Bee? Why hasn’t she come home yet? Jasper must uncover the truth about that night – including his own role in what happened.

 

 

November is National Non-Fiction month

National Non-Fiction November is a celebration of all things factual. Join in by borrowing one of our brand new non-fiction books, including biographies, cookbooks and travel guides.

9781911600893[1]My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen

 

“In a series of essays exploring her life, thoughts and opinions, this is the first time Lily has laid bare everything. ‘My Thoughts Exactly‘ is an epic exploration of a messed up mind and a complex life. Beginning with her childhood isolation, to finding huge success in her career but ending up as alone as she once was, Lily questions everything she knew about herself, probing her life for answers to the question she has forever been trying to answer: Who Am I?”

Together: Our Community Cookbook 9781529102925[1]

“In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, a group of local women gathered together to cook fresh food for their families and neighbours. Over the chatter and aromas of the kitchen they discovered the power of cooking and eating together to create connections, restore hope and normality, and provide a sense of home. This was the start of the Hubb Community Kitchen. ‘Together’ is a storybook of this West London community, showcasing over 50 delicious recipes from the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen and including a foreword by HRH The Duchess of Sussex.”

9781786572820[1]Lonely Planet Guide to Paris

“This guide provides accommodation options for all budgets, details on where and how to see the sights of the city, advice on using public transport, advice on shopping and information on the history of the city.”

 

 

9781786571809[1]Lonely Planet Guide to South Africa

“This guide provides practical information on every aspect of travel, with transport and accommodation options to suit any budget. There are also details on national parks and game reserves.”

 

 

9781788700283[1]Thanks A Lot Mr Kibblewhite: My Story by Roger Daltrey

“Roger Daltrey is the voice of a generation. That generation was the first to rebel, to step out of the shadows of the Second World War – to invent the concept of the teenager. This is his story, from his birth at the height of the Blitz, through tempestuous school days to his expulsion, age 15, for a crime he did not commit (though he was guilty of many other misdemeanours he’d got away with). Thanks to Mr Kibblewhite, his draconian headmaster, it could all have ended there. The life of a factory worker beckoned. But then came rock and roll. He made his first guitar from factory off-cuts. He formed a band. The band became The Who – Maximum R&B – and, by luck and by sheer bloody-mindedness, Roger Daltrey became the frontman of one of the biggest rock bands on the planet.”

New Christmas Children’s books in libraries now

 

Choose a new children’s Christmassy book from our wonderful new range of titles available in Wokingham Libraries now. Visit the online catalogue to reserve your copy www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries/library-services/search-renew-and-reserve-items/

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Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig

“It isn’t always easy, growing up as a human in Elfhelm, even if your adoptive parents are the newly married Father Christmas and Mary Christmas.”

 

 

9780552576703[1]Hetty Feather’s Christmas by Jacqueline Wilson

“An unexpected gift leads to trouble for Hetty on Christmas Day at the Foundling Hospital, and the dreaded Matron Bottomly is delighted to have an excuse to exclude Hetty from the festive celebrations. Poor Hetty is distraught – but just when it seems that all is lost, a dear friend arrives to whisk her away for a Christmas unlike any other.”

 

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Father Christmas’s Fake Beard by Terry Pratchett

“Have you ever wanted Christmas to be different? Turkey and carols, presents and crackers – they all start to feel a bit samey. How about a huge exploding mince pie, a pet abominable snowman, or a very helpful partridge in a pear tree? What if Father Christmas went to work at a zoo, or caused chaos in a toy store or, was even, arrested for burglary!? Dive into the fantastically funny world of Terry Pratchett, for a festive treat like no other. These ten stories will have you laughing, gasping and crying (with laughter) – you’ll never see Christmas in the same way again.”

 

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The Dog that Saved Christmas by Nicola Davies

“Jake is different from the other kids at school. He struggles when routines change and people’s emotions are so hard to understand. Christmas can be even worse and often the festivities are just too much to bear. But when Jake finds a little dog lost in the street he unlocks a connection he’s never had before.”

 

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Snowball by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

“A lonely young snowball, stuck at the top of a mountain, decides to visit the local town for a bit of fun – but on his way he trips, falls, and starts to roll – and when a snowball rolls through snow, we all know what happens! This snowball picks up not only snow, but a myriad of other crazy things on his way down – a sheep, a line of washing and even a bear on a bike.”

Meg’s Christmas by Jan Pienkowski and David Walser9780241357071[1]

“Oh no! A flood means that Christmas is looking doomed! Enter a spell, a surprise stay in a castle and a party to plan for – will Meg, Mog and Owl make it home for a very special Christmas Day? Jan Pienkowski’s bold, colourful artwork and instantly recognisable characters make this festive adventure for our favourite witch into a fun and satisfying read for the very young onwards.”

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The Three Little Snowmen by Georgie Adams and Emily Bolam

“Three little snowmen, Frosty, Freezy and Boots, are on a quest to find Father Christmas. Along with their pets, Poppet the Penguin, Henry the Husky and Samba the Seal, the intrepid friends go on a journey to the North Pole. But before long they get lost in a blizzard! Can the friends get to the North Pole in time to see Father Christmas?”

Mince Spies by Mark Sperring and Sophie Corrigan9781408893463[1]

“Who or what is destroying all the Christmas treats in the supermarkets? Santa sends his Mince Spies on a secret mission to uncover the culprits. With puff-pastry jetpacks, shortcrust walkie-talkies and squirty whipped cream they foil the villains – with a bit of help from Santa. A hilarious rhyming romp of a story with a festive message for all baddies: it’s better when you’re nice!”

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The Night I Met Father Christmas

“Jackson has always wanted to meet Father Christmas. He knows all about the reindeer, he knows about the elves and the secret North Pole workshop, he knows about the magic that allows Father Christmas to deliver presents around the world in just one night, but there’s one question he wants answered – how did Father Christmas become Father Christmas? One Christmas Eve, Jackson’s wish comes true and not only does he get to meet Father Christmas but he also hears his incredible story.”

The Snowman by Michael Morpurgo and Robin Shaw9780241352410[1]

A re-imagining of Raymond Briggs’ classic for a new generation of readers…

“When James wakes to see snow falling one December morning, he is delighted and rushes outside to make a snowman. With coal eyes, an old green hat and scarf and a tangerine nose, he is perfect and James can hardly bear to go inside and leave him. In the middle of the night, he wakes and creeps out to see his snowman again – and to his amazement, the snowman comes to life!”

New Adult Christmas Books in libraries now

Get into the Christmas spirit by borrowing one of these fantastically Christmassy new titles available now from Wokingham libraries. Visit the online catalogue to reserve your copy www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries/library-services/search-renew-and-reserve-items/

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An Island Christmas by Jenny Colgan

“Christmas on the remote Scottish island of Mure is bleak, stark – and incredibly beautiful. It’s a time for hunkering down, getting cosy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram with the people you love – unless, of course, you’re accidentally pregnant to your ex-boss, and don’t know how to tell him. In what should be the season of peace and goodwill on earth, will Joel think Flora is a bearer of glad tidings? Meanwhile Saif, the doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons – but without his missing wife. Can the little family possibly find comfort and joy?”

A Christmas Return by Anne Perry9781472234254[1]

“As the festive season approaches, Charlotte Pitt’s grandmamma, Mariah Ellison, is facing Christmas alone. When she receives an unexpected gift, memories are sparked of a Christmas in Haslemere long ago, when her beloved friend Cullen Wesley died and a local villager was brutally murdered, with no killer brought to justice. The unsolved case has resurfaced and Cullen’s grandson, Peter, begs for Mariah’s help to solve the crime that led to his grandfather’s death. Mariah can’t resist a friend in need and she returns to Haslemere to investigate the murder and heal old wounds. But evil still lurks in the picturesque village and she’ll need all her wits about her to see that justice is done.”

9781472257369[1]A Christmas Revelation by Anne Perry

“Christmas is coming and the streets of London are full of festive cheer. As young Worm returns to his home at the Portpool Lane clinic, he encounters the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and, spellbound, he follows her until she is dragged away by two evil-looking men. Convinced that she is in grave danger, Worm begs Squeaky Robinson to help him track her down. But Elouise is embroiled with dangerous criminals who want information that only she can tell. They will stop at nothing to get what they want and, with Christmas day fast approaching, Worm and Squeaky must conjure up a daring plan to help Elouise before it is too late.”

A Christmas Wish for the Land Girls by Jenny Holmes9780552175814[1]

“Winter, 1942. Land Girls Brenda and Joyce have relocated higher up the Yorkshire Dales, to work on the remote hillside farms. Despite the bitter cold, there’s warmth to be found in old friends and new faces – and plans for a cosy Christmas are afoot. But then a child evacuee goes missing in the snow, and everyone must rally round to find the boy before it’s too late.”

 

 

The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan9781509838080[1]

“Set on the scenic fjords of Norway, ‘The Christmas Lights‘ by internationally bestselling author Karen Swan is a moving Christmas tale of love and heartbreak.”

 

 

 

The Magic of Christmas by Nora Roberts9780263267273[1]

 

“‘The most successful novelist on Planet Earth’ Washington Post Spend a glittering Christmas with New York Times bestselling sensation Nora Roberts!”

 

 

The Christmas Rose by Dilly Court9780008199678[1]

“As the ship glided into the harbour, guided by the cold, winter waters of the Thames, Rose took a deep breath. Had she done the right thing? Leaving everything behind her to follow the man she loved? But as London refused to appear through the thick fog that engulfed it, Rose felt more lonely than ever. Raised in Australia, Rose Munday is on the way back to the city she was born in. But, expecting to be met by her sweetheart, she is left alone on the waterfront, surrounded by whistles and scornful glances, chilled by the east wind coming off the docks. How could Max have abandoned her? With no money and no family left in London, Rose must go to work. Finding herself a position as a typist in a slowly modernising London, Rose‘s future begins to take shape in ways she would never have foreseen.”

Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson9781784709020[1]

“For years Jeanette Winterson has written a new story at Christmas time and here she brings together twelve of her brilliantly imaginative, funny, and bold tales, along with twelve delicious recipes for the twelve days of Christmas.”

 

 

9781471174360[1]Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland by Heidi Swain

“After calling off her engagement, Hayley, the Wynthorpe Hall housekeeper, wants nothing more than to return to her no-strings fun-loving self, avoiding any chance of future heartbreak. Little does she know, Wynbridge’s latest arrival is about to throw her plan entirely off course.”

 

 

 

Spotlight on Michelle Obama’s autobiography “Becoming”

Michelle Obama’s autobiography “Becoming” is published on 13 November.

becoming-michelle-obama-memoir-cover_[1]“In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America – the first African-American to serve in that role – she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world.”

In the run up to the publication, Michelle Obama has been speaking to the American Library Association about her and her family’s love of books.

“We are readers, the Obamas…I love stories. I love to escape for a moment. I needed that escape over the past ten years. I needed to get out of my own story and get into someone else’s story for a minute.”
Michelle Obama speaking at the American Library Association Conference in June 2018

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Read the books loved by Michelle Obama:

  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I love all of her stuff“.

The book tells the moving story of two Nigerian teenagers, forced by military dictatorship to leave their country and make their separate ways in the West. Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, this is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalised world.

  • Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

It is 1964: Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited and notices a heart stoppingly beautiful woman. When he kisses Beverly Keating, his host’s wife, he sets in motion the joining of two families, whose shared fate will be defined on a day 7 years later. In 1988, Franny Keating, now 24, is working as a cocktail waitress in Chicago. When she meets the famous author Leon Posen one night at the bar, and tells him about her family, she unwittingly relinquishes control over their story.

  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith

I love a good story that takes me outside of myself. I love everything that Zadie Smith has done…I love her story telling, her characters…White Teeth was just so good.” Michelle Obama speaking at the ALA Conference in June 2018.

White Teeth is a comic epic of multicultural Britain, and was the first publishing sensation of the new millenium when it hit the shelves in 2000. It tells the story of immigrants in England over a period of 40 years, dealing with friendship, love, war, three cultures, three families, and three generations.

  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

I just finished reading Exit West which was very good, very powerful.” Michelle Obama speaking at the ALA Conference in June 2018.

The novel tells the story of Nadia and Saeed, two young people who fall in love in a city swollen by refugees. Forced from their homeland, running for their lives, searching for their place in the world, will their love endure the unimaginable? Exit West is a novel to restore your faith in humanity and in the power of imagination.

Competition to win a signed copy of Becoming from The Reading Agency

Simply leave a review on the Reading Groups For Everyone website https://readinggroups.org/find-a-book for one of the books loved by Michelle Obama, tweet or email a link to your review, and you could be the lucky reader chosen as a winner!

Becoming will be available to borrow in Wokingham Borough Libraries, reserve your copy via the online catalogue www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries/library-services/search-renew-and-reserve-items/

 

Richard and Judy Book Club Autumn 2018 Reads

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There is a new selection of reads from Richard and Judy for this Autumn. Why not cozy up with a cracking good read, all available to reserve from Wokingham libraries.

Choose from these 6 books…

9781784759438[1]Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

“A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor. A hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends. A World War II veteran dealing with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket. A small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighbourhood after her divorce. Four friends going to the moon and back in a rocket ship constructed in the backyard. A teenage surfer stumbling into his father’s secret life. These are just some of the people and situations that Tom Hanks explores in his first work of fiction, a collection of stories that dissects, with great affection, humour and insight, the human condition and all its foibles.”

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

9781473660632[1]“People aren’t sure what to make of Susan Green – family and colleagues find her prickly and hard to understand, but Susan makes perfect sense to herself. At 45, she thinks her life is perfect, as long as she avoids her feckless brother, Edward. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits. Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan’s greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control. When she discovers that her mother’s will inexplicably favours her brother, Susan sets out to prove that Edward and his equally feckless friend Rob somehow coerced this dubious outcome. But when problems closer to home become increasingly hard to ignore, she finds help in the most unlikely of places.”

The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd

9781784757106[1]

“20 years ago, Dennis Danson was arrested for the brutal murder of Holly Michaels, which occurred 10 miles from her home in Red River county, Florida. Now, the accused is at the centre of a true crime documentary that is taking the world by storm – its one goal being the desire for the truth, to free the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice. Sam is a viewer obsessed with the documentary, and starts to write to Dennis in prison. Soon she sets up a meeting and finds she has fallen for him. But how can she know for sure that he’s innocent?”

 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris9781785763670[1]

“This novel is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews, who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.”

 

 

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin

9781509855605[1]

“Huddled in a cloakroom with his classmates and teacher, six-year-old Zach can hear shots ringing through the corridors of his school. A gunman has entered the building and, in a matter of minutes, will have taken 19 lives. In the aftermath of the shooting, the close knit community and its families are devastated. Everyone deals with the tragedy differently. Zach’s father absents himself; his mother pursues a quest for justice – while Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and drawing. Ultimately though, it is Zach who will show the adults in his life the way forward as, sometimes, only a child can.”

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

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“‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ centres on a high-profile marriage that begins to unravel when the husband is accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is sure her husband, James, is innocent and desperately hopes to protect her precious family from the lies which might ruin them. Kate is the barrister who will prosecute the case – she is equally certain that James is guilty and determined he will pay for his crimes. A high-profile marriage thrust into the spotlight. A wife, determined to keep her family safe, must face a prosecutor who believes justice has been a long time coming. A scandal that will rock Westminster. And the women caught at the heart of it.”

Spotlight on The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters – now a major motion picture

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The long-awaited film adaption of Sarah Waters’ horror novel The Little Stranger is due to be released on September 21. The film is set in a declining country house after the second world war. Domhnall Gleeson plays country doctor Faraday, who is called to care for the inhabitants. Charlotte Rampling stars as the matriarch, Ruth Wilson as her daughter, and Will Poulter as the son physically and psychologically damaged after combat. But are the family haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life?

The Little Stranger is directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Room). Having watched the film, Sarah Waters commented, “The moment The Little Stranger finished, I wanted to watch it again. The product of a perfect combination of things – genius direction, a great script, masterly acting, lush cinematography – it’s a complex, poignant, terrifically unsettling film. I couldn’t wish for a better adaptation of the novel.”

Wokingham Borough Libraries have lots of copies of the novel if you are inspired to read it – either before or after watching the film! Reserve your copy via the online catalogue http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries/library-services/search-renew-and-reserve-items/

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