A new perspective on Mata Hari from best-selling author Paulo Coelho

“When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Soon she was feted as the most elegant woman in the city. A dancer who shocked and delighted audiences, as a confidante and courtesan she bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men. But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917 she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees and accused of espionage. Told in Mata Hari’s voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to break the conventions of her time, and paid the price.”

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Out today: The third in Ken Follett’s Pillar’s of Earth series

“The year 1558 will turn Will’s life upside-down and change Europe for ever. The ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn by religious hatred. High principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty and love. Will finds himself on the opposite side from the girl he longs to marry, Margery Fitzgerald. When Elizabeth Tudor becomes queen, all of Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service, to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions and invasion plans. Waiting in Paris is the alluring, headstrong Mary Queen of Scots, part of a brutally ambitious French family. Proclaimed the rightful ruler of England, she has her own supporters scheming to get rid of Elizabeth. Will Willard hunts the slippery, enigmatic Jean Langlais, not knowing that the false name hides a childhood classmate who knows him all too well. Over a turbulent half-century, the love between Will and Margery seems doomed, as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings precariously to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents. The real enemies, then as now, are not the rival religions. The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else – no matter what the cost.”

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Fun Palaces Weekend – events taking place in libraries


Library: Cromer – Thursday 5 October 

Event: Come along for a sing-along and a fun day as Cromer Library turns into a Fun Palace for the morning! 
Time: Seaside Reminiscence
– 10:15am and Sing-Along Choir – 11am

Library: Dersingham – Saturday 7th October, 1–3pm

Event:  Poppies at Dersingham Library – Come along and discovery more about the humble poppy, the work of the Poppy Appeal, poetry from WW1 and those from the village who fought and died in WW1. You can also knit, crochet, paint or craft your own poppy and take part in Norfolk’s 2018 Poppy Appeal to remember the 15500+ people who died as a result of WW1 and are listed on the county’s war memorials.

Library: Downham Market – Saturday 7th October, 2–3.30pm

Event: Dare to Dance – A FREE fun session for families with children aged 3+ to come along and learn a few simple dance moves you can do at home! With Crystal’s Fitness and Wellbeing.  PLUS have a go on a Smoothie bike!

Booking Information: Refreshments will be provided. Booking is essential. For further information or to book please ring Downham Market Library on 01366 383073.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Library: Gaywood – Sunday 8th October, 11am–1pm

Event: An introduction to Reflexology – come along for a talk and demonstration on reflexology, with an opportunity to have a 10 minute taster session afterwards.  

Booking Information – Booking is essential for the 10 minute reflexology taster sessions. For further information or to book please ring Gaywood Library on 01553 768498.

Library: Gaywood – Sunday 8th October, 2-4pm

Event: Come dance with me – Indian and Bollywood! 

Organiser: Mrs Sangeeta De, Taal-Rasa-Bhava Dance Academy, Kings Lynn

Booking Information: Booking is essential. For further information or to book please ring Gaywood Library on 01553 768498

Library: Great Yarmouth – Saturday 7th October 11am until 2pm

Event: Arts and Science in a Community Space – An overlap of medical science, art and surreal humour – all at the cutting edge of pseudo-science. The Three Harley St Medics’ will be on call for check-ups from the team with ‘Non-evasive Stress-exfoliation and Self-esteem Buffing’, Also: make a cast of your thumb, get mucky in the garden and get crafty

Library: Hunstanton – Saturday 7th October, 10.30am-12noon

Event: Shark Fun Palace! Join us for a morning of shark themed events including a Shark Storytime with Veronica, Shark Facts with staff from the Hunstanton Sealife Centre, amazing shark crafts and you can even help make a life sized shark from recycled materials

All children must be accompanied by an adult. There’s no need to book, just come along.

Library: Kings Lynn – Saturday 7th October, 6–8pm

Event: Zombie Apocalypse – Learn how to walk like a zombie, dance the Thriller dance, try Zombie make-up, zombie knitting, learn first aid and survival skills. Bring along an old t-shirt you don’t mind us destroying and you can create a zombie outfit. This is a free event suitable for anyone over 10 years old. For more info contact Alison at the library on 01553 761393

Library: Long Stratton – Saturday 7th October, 9.30am–12.30pm

Event: Discover the past – If you like finding out about things in the past come along to our fun morning where people will be sharing their knowledge. With activities for children too.

Booking information – Free Event, contact the library on 01508 530797 for more details.

Library: Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library – Saturday 7th October, 10.30am–12noon 

Event: Light bulb moments – Shoe Gardening with bulbs. Come along and make your own spring bulb garden in a shoe!

Booking information – This is a free family activity but space is limited so please email: millennium.lib@norfolk.gov.uk or call 01603 774703 to book. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Library: Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library – Saturday 7th October, 1.30–3pm

Event: The Power of Water in science and art – come along and learn just how important water is to both artists and scientists and then have a go at some water colour painting.

Booking Information This activity is suitable for children aged 8+ and their families but space is limited please email: millennium.lib@norfolk.gov.uk or call 01603 774703 to book. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Library: Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library – Saturday 7th October. Demonstrations at 10.30am and 11.30am  followed by public tryouts.

Event: Fencing Fun – Watch members of the Affondo Fencing Club as they demonstrate some fencing moves and then try on some of the kit and try your hand at this sport.  All welcome, no need to book – this activity will take place in the Express area of the library on the ground floor.

Library: Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library  – Saturday 7th October 2:30pm – 3:30pm

Event: Balloon Transport Fun – join us in the Early Years library as we design and test various forms of transport all powered by balloon. This event is free and all are welcome to just drop in. All materials will be provided but please be aware we will be using balloons made from latex

Uplifting and page-turning, The Wild Air is a story about love, loss and following your dreams against all odds…

“In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed.

When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother’s aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her.

But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything – and everyone – Della loves.

Uplifting and page-turning, The Wild Air is a story about love, loss and following your dreams against all odds.” Reserve a copy.

Read an eBook Day

Celebrate Read an eBook Day which is on Monday 18th September.

OverDrive for Libraries has organised it all. They want you to share your own #eBookLove story! Details here

Share your #eBookLove and head to https://norfolk.overdrive.com to start reading free #eBooks. You just need a library card.


“While taking part in The Transition you and your partner will spend six months living under the supervision of your mentors…”

“While taking part in The Transition you and your partner will spend six months living under the supervision of your mentors, two successful adults of a slightly older generation. Freed from your financial responsibilities, you will be coached through the key areas of the scheme – employment, nutrition, responsibility, relationship, finances and self-respect – until you are ready to be reintegrated into adult society. At the end of your six months – who knows what discoveries you’ll have made about yourself? The ‘friends’ you no longer need. The talents you’ll have found time to nurture. The business you might have kick-started. Who knows where you’ll be?”

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Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solint

Check out this review on the 2AD blog.

By Danielle Prostrollo Solnit is perhaps most famous for her book Men Explain Things to Me which birthed the phrase “mansplaining” to describe a man that speaks condescendingly to someone (usually a woman) about a topic he does not necessarily know a great deal about (see: Merriam-Webster’s history of mansplaining). And because of this, I […]

via Book review: Hope in the Dark — 2nd Air Division Memorial Library

New from Elif Shafak- can we ever escape who we once were?

On a spring evening in Istanbul, Peri is on her way to a dinner party – a night of luxury a far cry from her upbringing. But when her handbag is stolen her world shifts violently. She starts to doubt how she got here: a traumatic Istanbul childhood, student years in Oxford, the rebellious professor who led her and best friends Shirin and Mona to question everything – Islam, love, life, even God – and the scandal that tore them all apart. Over one desperate night she tries to make sense of a past she has tried to forget – but can we ever escape who we once were? Shirin, Peri and Mona, they were the most unlikely of friends. They were the Sinner, the Believer and the Confused. ”

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Just two more days to wait for the 5th in Peter May’s China series

“A prodigious Chinese swimmer kills himself on the eve of the Beijing Olympics. Days later, a champion weightlifter suffers a fatal heart attack prior to competition.

Detective Li Yan senses a conspiracy surrounding the fatalities, and finds a female athlete willing to talk. But she will only trust one person: Li’s fiance, Margaret Campbell.

When Campbell’s contact herself vanishes, the gun is fired on a race against time. And Li must now outrun, and outwit, an enemy bent on pushing him beyond endurance.”

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New on our shelves and Booker-longlisted

“Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdom is in pieces, divided by a historic once-in-a-generation summer. Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand in hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever . . .”

A breathtakingly inventive new novel from the Man Booker-shortlisted and Baileys Prize-winning author of How to be both. “In a country apparently divided against itself, a writer such as Smith is more valuable than a whole parliament of politicians” – Financial Times

Find a copy here.

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