Book of the Month December 2017-Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

Each month we recommend a book from our library stock for adults. Please let us know your thoughts about the book via Facebook or Twitter.

Uncommon Type By Tom Hanks9781785151514

This is a collection of seventeen short stories by two times Oscar winner Tom Hanks. 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 stories are linked by one thing: in each of them, a typewriter plays a part, sometimes minor, sometimes central. To many, typewriters represent a level of craftsmanship, beauty and individuality that is harder and harder to find in the modern world. This collection establishes him as a welcome  new voice in contemporary fiction, a voice that perceptively delves beneath the surface of friendships, families, love and normal, everyday behaviour.

You can borrow or reserve the book at your local Wokingham Borough Library





Lower Earley Library 30th Birthday Coffee Morning Celebration

Staff and customers enjoyed a special coffee morning today to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the library opening in Lower Earley. The opening was on this day, November 23 in 1987. Customers were invited to join with staff to enjoy home made cakes and coffee in aid of the Children in Need Appeal.

Local author Christine Dodsworth also came along the library to launch her new book “Shandy on Sunday” which describes life in Yorkshire in the 1950s and 1960s and is of special interest to baby boomers!

Cllr Michael Firmager, the Mayor of Earley  and deputy executive member for Wokingham Borough Council visited the library  to cut the 30th Birthday Cake which was made for the library celebration by our star baker Claire Groves. Susan Brickell, who was one of the library’s original customers on our opening day in 1987 also visited the library today-pictured below with Sue Hawkins who was a library supervisor at Lower Earley for many years.

Low Coffee5Low Coffee 2Low Coffee1Low Coffee3Low Coffee4low6low7

Events for Adults at Wokingham Library November 2017

Gibraltar- An illustrated talk by Roy and Lesley Adkins about the greatest siege in British History.

Wednesday November 8 2pm to 3pm   £5 charge

Roy and Lesley Adkins’s bestselling books include Trafalgar and Jack Tar. Their new book is Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History. From 1779 to 1783 Gibraltar was besieged and blockaded, on land and at sea, by massive forces from Spain and France. Thousands of soldiers, civilians and their families withstood terrifying bombardments, starvation and disease, with very ordinary people enduring extraordinary events. The action includes an attempted invasion of England, naval battles, shipwrecks, fantastic floating batteries and the creation of Gibraltar’s first tunnels. This is military, naval and social history woven together, with soldiers, sailors and civilians, royalty and rank-and-file, workmen and engineers, deserters and spies, all caught up in an epic struggle.

Book Chat- Join us for book recommendations and coffee, just drop-in.Thursday November 16 10.30am to 11.30am

Printmaking Workshop- Have fun learning printmaking techniques from artist Karen Greville-Smith in a relaxed session of creative fun using Fireworks and Bonfire Night as inspiration. £5 charge

Saturday November 4     1pm to 3pm

Thames Crossings- A talk with Tony Weston. From a ford to a flight – 2000 years of getting to the other side across, under and over the River Thames.  £5 charge

Thursday November 9  5.45pm to 7pm

Festive Origami- Learn origami techniques to make Christmas decorations. £2 charge

Tuesday November 21 10.30am to 12noon

Festive Wireworking – Decorations Workshop with Rachel Freegard. Learn beading and wirework techniques to make beautiful, individual creations for Christmas.

Saturday November 25 10am to 1pm


Printmaking poster

Book of the Month October 2017- House of Fiction: from Pemberley to Brideshead, great British Houses in Literature and Life by Phyllis Richardson

Each month we choose a book  that we would like to recommend for adults. if you have any views on the title please let us know via our Facebook or Twitter sites.

Discover how authors’ personal experiences in their homes shaped the iconic imaginative dwellings of English literature: Virginia Woolf’s love of Talland House is palpable in To the Lighthouse, just as London’s Bloomsbury is ever-present in Mrs. Dalloway. E.M. Forster’s childhood home at Rook’s Nest mirrors the idyllic charm of Howards End. And Horace Walpole’s “little Gothic castle” in Twickenham inspired him to write the first English Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto. The English country house is also viewed through a modern lens-Kazuo Ishiguro’s Darlington Hall, Ian McEwan’s Tallis House, and Alan Hollinghurst’s Two Acres. Using historic sources, biographies, letters, and the novels themselves, this book presents some of the most influential houses in Britain through the stories they inspired.

The book can be borrowed or reserved from your Wokingham Borough Library

House of Fiction

Gibraltar: the Greatest Siege in British History

Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British HistoryAdkinsbookjacket

An illustrated talk with Roy and Lesley Adkins at Wokingham Library, Wednesday November 8, 2pm

Roy and Lesley Adkins are husband-and-wife historians, whose bestselling books include Trafalgar and Jack Tar. Their new book is Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History. From 1779 to 1783 Gibraltar was besieged and blockaded, on land and at sea, by massive forces from Spain and France. It became the longest siege in British history. Thousands of soldiers, civilians and their families withstood terrifying bombardments, starvation and disease, with very ordinary people enduring extraordinary events. Rich in dramatic human detail, the action included an attempted invasion of England, naval battles, shipwrecks, fantastic floating batteries and the creation of Gibraltar’s first tunnels. This is military, naval and social history woven together, with soldiers, sailors and civilians, royalty and rank-and-file, workmen and engineers, deserters, prisoners-of-war, spies and surgeons, all caught up in an epic struggle.

The talk will take place at Wokingham Library on Wednesday November 8, 2pm to 3pm, £5 charge. To book a place call the library on (0118) 9781368


Reading Well Books on Prescription and other services to support mental health and well-being in Wokingham Borough Libraries

small_ReadingWell_bookpanel_BOPWokingham Borough Libraries supports the Reading Well Books on Prescription Scheme which helps people manage their well-being using self-help reading. The scheme is endorsed by health professionals.

The books provide helpful information and step-by-step self-help techniques for managing common conditions, including depression and anxiety. The books are available for anyone to borrow from the library, they may have been recommended by a GP, psychological well-being practitioner or another health professional.

Books are free to borrow or they can be reserved. They may also be available in different formats See

There is good evidence from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
that self-help books can help people understand and manage common conditions, including anxiety and depression.  Although books can sometimes work on their own, research has shown that self-help approaches work best when there is support from a health professional. If you have been referred to an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service, you might be seen by a pscychological well-being practitioner, who can guide you through the information. The books have been recommended by experts. They have been tried and tested an found to be useful.

The full list of books is available at

There is also a similar list to support young people called The Reading Well for Young People Scheme. Reading Well for young people recommends expert endorsed books about mental health, providing 13 to 18 year olds with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams. More information is available at

Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia recommends books you might find helpful if you have dementia, are caring for someone with dementia or would like to find out more about the condition

To mark World Mental Health Day on October 10 2017 Wokingham Library has a range of books from the Books on Prescription schemes on display, please visit the library to see what’s on offer. The books are also available throughout the other 9 libraries in the borough.

Talking Therapies  will also be at Wokingham Library on Tuesday October 10, 2017 to promote World Mental Health Day. Just drop in and find out what they do!

Wokingham Borough Libraries host a range of activities for people in the community including book groups, creative writing groups, reading aloud groups, reminiscence groups and craft groups. These groups meet throughout the year and they are a great way to meet like minded people and make friends. If you or anyone you know would be interested in finding out more about a group in your area please go to or call (0118) 9781368










Book of the Month August 2017- Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett

Each month we choose a book for adults that we would like to recommend. Please let us know if you have enjoyed the book via Facebook or Twitter.

Greatest Hits by Laura BarnettGreatestHits-350

Cass Wheeler – a British singer-songwriter, hugely successful since the early 70s, whose sudden disappearance from the music world three decades later has been the subject of intense speculation among her fans – is in the studio that adjoins her home, taking a journey back into her past. Her task is to choose 16 from among the hundreds she has written since her early teens, for a uniquely personal Greatest Hits record, describing the arc of her life through song. It has been over a decade since Cass last put out an album; ten years since a tragedy catapulted her into a breakdown. In the course of this one day – both ordinary and extraordinary – each song Cass plays sets off a chain of memories, leading us deep into her past, and into the creative impulse that has underpinned her work.

Fans of Laura Barnett’s debut novel “The Versions of Us” will  welcome her second novel which is a very enjoyable read. However I did feel there are too many characters  in the book which leads to the narrative feeling a bit muddled in places, particularly as it hops backwards and forward in time.

An audio book read by Imogen Church will also be available shortly and this features  extracts from the album Songs from the Novel Greatest Hits by Kathryn Williams. Songs from the Novel Greatest Hits is available from One Little Indian Records.











Book of the Month April 2016

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.

One Life by Kate Grenville9781782116875

When Kate Grenville’s mother died she left behind many fragments of memoir. These were the starting point for ‘One Life,’ the story of a woman whose life spanned a century of tumult and change. In many ways Nance’s story echoes that of many mothers and grandmothers, for whom the spectacular shifts of the 20th century offered a path to new freedoms and choices. In other ways Nance was exceptional. In an era when women were expected to have no ambitions beyond the domestic, she ran successful businesses as a registered pharmacist, laid the bricks for the family home, and discovered her husband’s secret life as a revolutionary. ‘One Life’ is an act of great imaginative sympathy, a daughter’s intimate account of the patterns in her mother’s life.

Kate Grenville is an award winning Australian author whose books include “The Idea of Perfection” and “The Secret River”.


beetle boyBeetle Boy by M G Leonard

Darkus is miserable. His dad has disappeared, and now he is living next door to the most disgusting neighbours ever.

A giant beetle called Baxter comes to his rescue. But can the two solve the mystery of his dad’s disappearance, especially when links emerge to cruel Lucretia Cutter and her penchant for beetle jewellery? A coffee-mug mountain, home to a million insects, could provide the answer – if Darkus and Baxter are brave enough to find it …

‘Beetle Boy’ made us laugh from the very first sentence and this exciting new series is suitable for anyone who likes quirky, fun, slightly odd stories about courage, determination and winning through against the odds.

M.G. Leonard has a first-class honours degree in English Literature and an MA in Shakespeare Studies from Kings College London. She works in London as the Senior Digital Media Producer for the National Theatre, and previously worked at the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe. Leonard spent her early career in the music industry running Setanta Records, an independent record label, and managing bands, most notably The Divine Comedy. After leaving the music industry, she trained as an actor, dabbling in directing and producing as well as performing, before deciding to write her stories down.


To borrow these books, check out our catalogue to see if it’s in a library near you:



Carnegie Longlisted Books to explore

We are posting book reviews about all of the long listed books over the next couple of weeks, let us know your thoughts on each of these amazing titles.


bookBook by John Agard

Quirky and humorous, part poetry, part reflection, this is the story of the book told by none other than Book himself! This extraordinary character begins by reminding us of his origins in oral story and clay tablets, then ponders on papyrus, parchment and paper, and on being a scroll who finally gets a spine. We see him lovingly illuminated by monks in medieval monasteries, then witness the massive changes brought about by the invention of the printing press, and the coming of paperbacks and e-books in the 20th century.

a song for ella greyA Song For Ella Grey by David Almond

I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the tale. I knew them both…knew how they lived and how they died. Claire is Ella Grey‘s best friend. She’s there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her. But the loss of her friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world. This is her story – as she bears witness to a love so complete; so sure, that not even death can prove final.

oneOne 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. Will 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.

the earth is singingThe Earth Is Singing by Vanessa Curtis

My name is Hanna. I am 15. I am Latvian. I live with my mother and grandmother. My father is missing, taken by the Russians. I have a boyfriend and I’m training to be a dancer. But none of that is important any more. Because the Nazis have arrived, and I am a Jew. And as far as they are concerned, that is all that matters. This is my story.


You can borrow these books from our libraries, so check out our catalogue to see if it’s in a library near you:

Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Longlist 2016

PrintNominations have been published for two of the most prestigious prizes in writing and illustrating for children. The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book for children and young people while the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people.

93 books have been nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and 69 nominated for the Kate Greenaway medal. The official long and shortlists identify a range of outstanding books for children and young people of all ages and interests and from new and established authors and illustrators. Our Reader Development Officer for Children, Elizabeth McDonald is currently judging this year’s prize, along with 12 other judges from around the United Kingdom.

The books long listed for the 2016 CILIP Carnegie Medal are:
  • Book by John Agard
  • A Song For Ella Grey by David Almond
  • One by Sarah Crossan
  • The Earth Is Singing by Vanessa Curtis
  • The Door That Led To Where by Sally Gardner
  • The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
  • The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold
  • There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake
  • We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Neilsen
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  • Jessica’s Ghost by Andrew Norriss
  • Panther by David Owen
  • The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
  • Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders
  • The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
  • Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton
  • Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
  • Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine
  • My Name’s Not Friday by Jon Walter
  • Liccle Bit by Alex Wheatle
The books longlisted for the 2016 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal are:
  • Please Mr Panda illustrated and written by Steve Antony
  • Where’s the Elephant? illustrated and written by Barroux
  • Willy’s Stories illustrated and written by Anthony Browne
  • This Book Just Ate My Dog! illustrated and written by Richard Byrne
  • Wall illustrated and written by Tom Clohosy Cole
  • There’s a Bear on My Chair illustrated and written by Ross Collins
  • Grandad’s Island illustrated and written by Benji Davies
  • How the Sun Got to Coco’s House illustrated and written by Bob Graham
  • The Imaginary illustrated by Emily Gravett, written by A.F Harrold
  • Once Upon an Alphabet illustrated and written by Oliver Jeffers
  • The Day the Crayons Came Home illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, written by Drew Daywalt
  • Sam and Dave Dig a Hole illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett
  • Something About a Bear illustrated and written by Jackie Morris
  • Captain Jack and the Pirates illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, written by Peter Bently
  • Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death illustrated and written by Chris Riddell
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle illustrated by Chris Riddell, written by Neil Gaiman
  • The Bolds illustrated by David Roberts, written by Julian Clary
  • Animalium illustrated by Katie Scott, written by Jenny Broom
  • Footpath Flowers illustrated by Sydney Smith, written by Jon Arno Lawson
  • Lili illustrated and written by Wen Dee Tan

We will be posting book reviews about all of the long listed books over the next couple of weeks, let us know your thoughts.  You can borrow these books from our libraries, so check out our catalogue to see if it’s in a library near you: