A story about love and innocence, joy and discovery, the grip of the past and the struggle to be new again; set across the bedsits and squats of mid-90s north London

Set across the bedsits and squats of mid-90s north London, ‘The Lesser Bohemians’ is a story about love and innocence, joy and discovery, the grip of the past and the struggle to be new again.

An eighteen-year-old Irish girl arrives in London to study drama and falls violently in love with an older actor. While she is naive and thrilled by life in the big city, he is haunted by demons, and the clamorous relationship that ensues risks undoing them both. At once epic and exquisitely intimate, The Lesser Bohemians is a celebration of the dark and the light in love.

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“…a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.”

An eleven-year-old girl stops eating, but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse, sent to investigate whether she is a fraud, meets a journalist hungry for a story. Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder – inspired by numerous European and North American cases of ‘fasting girls’ between the sixteenth century and the twentieth – is a psychological thriller about a child’s murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes. Pitting all the seductions of fundamentalism against sense and love, it is a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.

Pick up a copy in the library

Grab & Go Bags

There’s something NEW & exciting in Norfolk Libraries – Grab & Go Bags

In a hurry?

Favourite author not writing quickly enough?

Struggling to find something new to read? or Simply spoilt for choice?

Why not pick up a Grab & Go bag. Bags of themed books chosen by staff for your enjoyment.

Choose your bag then just issue it through the self-service machine [3 week loan].

Grab & Go bags are available to suit all ages; Adult, Teen, Junior & Child (picture books).

Adult and Child bags contain 6 books and Teen and Junior bags contain 4 books.

Look out for the coloured labels, Adult/Blue; Teen/Purple; Junior/Yellow and Child/Red.

You are welcome to renew any or all of the books and just return the bag to the library.

Now available from: Dersingham, Downham Market, Gaywood, Hunstanton, Kings Lynn and North Walsham Libraries.

Happy reading #GrabAndGo

                

Notes from the 2017 Bailey’s Prize Ambassador: Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan

From a short book to an epic – my fourth Bailey’s Prize read was the massive tome Sport of Kings. 500+ pages set in and around a ranch in Kentucky which raises race horses.  The book covers many themes including (but not limited to) racism, sexism, evolution, horse breeding and slavery. The prose is dense, rich and flowery. It is being billed as a modern American classic.

For me it felt a bit of a slog to get through. The basic story lines were all great and I wanted to know more about all of the characters but the language and the style just kept bogging me down and disappointingly the slow build was ruined by a too fast ending. I also just didn’t quite buy the main twist.

I admire this book without loving it, the racism and sexism alienated me and I never felt close to the characters – it was like they were all behind a pane of glass. I’m glad that the Bailey’s Prize introduced me to this book, I’d never have read it otherwise and there is much to admire.

Sarah

Out today: The final episode in Jeffrey Archer’s Clifton Chronicles

This Was a Man is the captivating final instalment of the Clifton Chronicles, a series of seven novels that has topped the bestseller lists around the world, and enhanced Jeffrey Archer’s reputation as a master storyteller.

This Was a Man opens with a shot being fired, but who pulled the trigger, and who lives and who dies? In Whitehall, Giles Barrington discovers the truth about his wife Karin from the Cabinet Secretary. Is she a spy or a pawn in a larger game? Harry Clifton sets out to write his magnum opus, while his wife Emma completes her ten years as Chairman of the Bristol Royal Infirmary, and receives an unexpected call from Margaret Thatcher offering her a job. Sebastian Clifton becomes chairman of Farthings Kaufman bank, but only after Hakim Bishara has to resign for personal reasons. Sebastian and Samantha’s talented daughter, Jessica, is expelled from the Slade School of Fine Art, but her aunt Grace comes to her rescue. Meanwhile, Lady Virginia is about to flee the country to avoid her creditors when the Duchess of Hertford dies, and she sees another opportunity to clear her debts and finally trump the Cliftons and Barringtons. In a devastating twist, tragedy engulfs the Clifton family when one of them receives a shocking diagnosis that will throw all their lives into turmoil…

Reserve a copy…

Notes from the 2017 Bailey’s Prize Ambassador: First Love by Gwendoline Riley

This was a real pace change from the first two books sent to me by the Reading Agency, it is a slender book with lots of white spaces – both on the cover and surrounding the text. I changed my reading style for this book by instinct. Usually I am a fast reader, swallowing books whole but something in this one made me slow down, to read each section then take a pause and I think that this made the book better.

The story is slight, it is about Neve and her relationship with her husband. On a quick read it seems that she is in a bad relationship – one that borders on being abusive and your sympathy is all with her. As you read on however you see that in this case the situation is quite as black and white as you’d think, Neve does come with her own baggage.

On the whole I admire this book without loving it. It doesn’t excuse domestic abuse but in some ways it does apologise for it – and I don’t like this.  For a small book this packs a deceptive punch and while it isn’t one that I’ll return to I think that it does deserve its place on the Bailey’s Shortlist as it is fresh and different.

Sarah

Notes from the 2017 Bailey’s Prize Ambassador: The Power – Naomi Alderman

My Bailey’s Book Prize reading as a 2017 Library Ambassador continued with The Power by Naomi Alderman and this was possibly this one I was looking forward to reading the most. For a start I’d heard about it and it was also about turning the world as we know it on its head without being an obvious dystopian/post-apocalyptic tale.

Sadly the book didn’t live up to my expectations – and even a week on I can’t quite explain why, it really should have ticked all my reading boxes. Strong women characters, alternative history…what’s not to like?

That I am still thinking so hard about this book must mean something but I think deep down I think that this would have made a brilliant short story or novella but that it was just a little too stretched into novel form.  The framing device also didn’t quite work for me, although it did deliver up the best last line of a book I think I’ve ever read.

When I read and then reviewed the book straight after finishing it I was possibly more ambivalent than I am now. I’ve chatted about it with more people, in the real world and online, and while this is never going to be my favourite book I think I can cope if it wins – I think the problem is with me. I wanted the book to be more than it was.

Sarah

Dementia Awareness Week – Book Collections in Libraries

Dementia Awareness Week takes place between the 14th and 20th May and is an Alzheimer’s Society Initiative. 

Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia recommends
books you might find useful if you have dementia, are caring for someone with dementia, or want to find out more about the condition. The books include information and advice, help after diagnosis, practical support for carers and personal stories.

The books are free to reserve and can be borrowed for up to 6 weeks. Browse and reserve the books for free here

Check them out on Pinterest here

Reminiscence kits and packs are available to borrow from the library for free, just like a book. The Reminiscence Kits contain
books and objects linked to a theme and are designed for working with individuals at various stages of memory loss.

Browse and reserve the Reminiscence Kits on the library
catalogue here

Find out more about Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia on the Reading Well website here

Check out our Healthy Libraries catalogue here

Have you met the Morse of Istanbul?

THE HOUSE OF FOUR is the brand new Istanbul crime thriller featuring Inspector Ikmen, ‘the Morse of Istanbul’ ( Daily Telegraph ) from Barbara Nadel. Perfect for fans of Donna Leon!

Everyone in the Istanbul neighbourhood of Moda knows the Devil’s House. A crumbling Ottoman mansion, and once the home of a princess, it is a place associated with ill fortune. The princess’s four children, now in old age, still live in separate apartments on different floors and are rumoured never to speak to each other. Then one of them is found dead, stabbed through the heart, and it is discovered that the other three siblings have met an identical fate. There is no sign of forced entry or burglary, and all evidence must be gained from letters and diaries, but as Inspector Ikmen digs into their past it becomes clear they have been harbouring a secret…

Coming soon: reserve a copy

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

This is the latest in the Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson series.

To be honest I didn’t find this book as interesting or exciting as the others. Not sure why as all the usual ingredients are included, bones found, crimes committed, fast action, interaction between Ruth & Harry. Perhaps it’s just me.

It all starts with a rough sleeper in King’s Lynn going missing, has she just moved away or has something happened to her? The word Underground keeps cropping up but what does it mean.

Some of the action is set in the chalk tunnels under Norwich, including the Guildhall. I wouldn’t want to go in them, and Ruth isn’t keen either!

Tracey

Reserve The Chalk Pit

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