Books we love

The Dress Circle, by Laurie Graham 

This week, Ron from Pimlico Library will be reviewing The Dress Circle, by Laurie Graham. 

The Dress Circle Book Cover

Over to Ron to tell us more! 

Great read from my favourite author. A middle-aged couple are forced to reassess their relationship when a long-buried secret comes out of the closet with a vengeance. Things have to change in order for their relationship to survive. 

A catastrophic family event gives clarity as to what really is important in life and changes everything, including the way in which the secret is dealt with.  

“And so what if I love with each sparkle and each bangle, 

Why not try to see things from a different angle”. 

Enjoy with an open mind! 

If Ron’s review has your interest piqued, borrow The Dress Circle using Select and Collect.

For a full list of our sites and their opening times, click on the link below:

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/libraries/your-library/library-opening-times

Children’s Book of the Week: The Chocolate Monster by Pip Jones and Laura Hughes

This week’s children’s book of the week is The Chocolate Monster by Pip Jones and Laura Hughes.  The Chunk is a monster who goes around stealing chocolate.  We found five chocolatey things to do online, all inspired by the story.   

1. The Chocolate Monster Read Aloud

Let’s kick off with an awesome read aloud version of the story; watch it here on YouTube.

2. One Minute perfect chocolate mug cake

Here is an extremely simple recipe that makes a delicious chocolate cake in a mug.

3. Monster bookmarks

We love these super-cute monster bookmarks, and kids can make them over and over again.

4. DIY Paper plate monsters

These paper plate monsters are in fact masquerade masks, perfect for Halloween.


5. Paper plate monster craft

And finally, the classic paper plate craft gets a monstrous twist.

Children’s Book of the Week: Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola

This week’s children’s book of the week is the award-winning Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola.  It tells the story of Rocket, a girl who loves astronomy, and her big brother, who prefers his phone.  We found five online things to do that are all inspired by the story.

  1. Look Up! Storytime and draw-along

First up is this reading of the story on YouTube, plus a draw-along feature with illustrator Dapa Adeola.  You might recognise the author Nathan Bryon from his TV sitcom work!

  1. Build a spaceship craft activity

Younger kids can really go to town creating their own spaceship with this fun craft activity.

  1. Mae Jemison colouring sheet

In the story, Rocket is inspired by her hero Dr Mae Jemison.  We found this awesome colouring sheet celebrating the astronaut’s achievements.  

  1. OurShelves: Meet Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola

Check out this YouTube film featuring the author and illustrator talking about how they created the book.

 

  1. Make your own scratch art

Children can create the wonders of space using this amazingly effective scratch art technique.

Recommended Reads

This week, our Book of the Week is the Phantom of the Opera. Because Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical has taken over the public imagination of The Phantom, all of the Recommended Reads this week are books which have been transformed for the stage. Lights, sound…action!

Continue reading “Recommended Reads”

Recommended Reads

This week, our Book of the Week is The Shadow King, by Maaza Mengiste. Set during Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia, The Shadow King is an exhilarating tale of a band of female fighters refusing to submit to European colonisation. If you’ve already been wowed by Mengiste’s novel, we’ve selected some empowering reads for you to enjoy.

 

forna-memory-of-love-coverThe Memory of Love, by Aminatta Forna

Set in Sierra Leone, Forna’s novel explores the physical and psychological impact of warfare alongside the love which endures through horrific circumstances. The Memory of Love follows the lives of three people; Elias Cole, dying and reflecting on his obsessive love for Saffia, Adrian Lockheart, a psychologist new to the country, and Kai Mansaray, a young colleague of Adrian’s. Recording their loves, their friendships and their suffering, Forna’s novel is a poignant reminder of what makes us human and the emotions which bind us all together.

 

broken glass book cover

Broken Glass, by Alain Mabanckou

Broken Glass, frequenter of Congolese bar ‘Credit Gone West’ has been commissioned by the bar’s owner to write an account of the characters who comprise the bar’s patrons. A disgraced alcoholic and former schoolteacher, Broken Glass records his writings in his notebook. The notebook is Glass’s legacy, dedicated to his love of French literature and to his former drinking buddies.

 

 

a tall history of sugar book coverA Tall History of Sugar, by Curdella Forbes

Moshe Fisher has always been treated differently. “Born without skin” and abandoned at birth, Moshe’s appearance defies racial categories. Arrienne Christie is Moshe’s best friend, determined to protect him from the world and its intolerance. A Tall History of Sugar follows Moshe’s life from Jamaica, and the colonial legacy left behind there, to Britain and the looming uncertainty of Brexit. Forbes’ writing is a lyrical blend of Jamaican Englishes, recounting Jamaican histories and stories through Moshe and the people he encounters.

hidden figures book cover

Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly

Now an iconic motion picture, Hidden Figures follows three brilliant African American women whose minds launched America into space. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson initially worked as human computers for NASA. Forced into the background as a part of a female team of calculators, whose job was to solve problems for the male engineers, Dorothy, Katherine, and Mary fought against racial segregation and sexism in an incredibly male-dominated field. Shetterly focusses on Katherine Johnson in particular, and her work calculating rocket trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo missions. Johnson pushed herself forward throughout her career, and, when her abilities were recognised, she could attend all-male meetings within NASA. This is an incredible and insightful biography and well worth a read!

Some of these books are available to download from our cloudLibrary here.  All you need is an RBKC library card and if you are not a member, don’t worry,  just click here – it’s completely free to join and use our resources. 

Recommended Reads

This week’s Book of the Week is A Streetcat Named Bob, by James Bowen. Fittingly, our theme this week is cats, so we have put together a list of feline-centred novels for you to flick through and enjoy!

Continue reading “Recommended Reads”

Recommended Reads

This week’s Book of the Week is The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, which deals with racial abuse and trauma in 1940’s America. We have put together a list of similarly anti-racist titles for you to look through and borrow.

Continue reading “Recommended Reads”

Recommended Reads

Our Book of the Week this week is Call for the Dead by John le Carré, a spy novel introducing the now-infamous George Smiley. We have put together a list of similar spy thrillers and non-fiction exposés for you to enjoy today.

Continue reading “Recommended Reads”

Recommended Reads

Our Book of the Week this week is A House Through Time by David Olusoga and Melanie Backe, which looks at British history through the lens of our homes. We have put together a list of similar non-fiction titles for you to look through and enjoy. Happy reading!

 

black and british book cover

Black and British, by David Olusoga

Published to accompany Olusoga’s BBC 2 series of the same name, Black and British calls for a re-examination of our nation’s history. Olusoga’s work illustrates how Black British history is all around us and has been for thousands of years. From Roman nobility, to medieval courtiers, to modern day street names, black and white Britons’ intertwined past is laid bare for all to read.

 

the anarchy book cover

The Anarchy, by William Dalrymple

In his in-depth examination of the East India Company, Dalrymple charts the transformation of the organisation from multinational trade company to aggressive colonial army. Within 40 years of its inception, the Company had amassed a security force of over 200 000 men, using them to subjugate the entirety of India by 1803. The Anarchy reveals the horrific exploits of the first global corporate power for a chilling account of Victorian colonialism.

 

love in the blitz book coverLove in the Blitz, by  Eileen Alexander

Told in letters, Love in the Blitz illustrates the lives of a couple, Eileen and Gershon, torn apart by war. Although Gershon’s letters have been lost to history, Eileen’s remain as a testament to their love. These letters are an incredibly intimate portrayal of life in London during WW2, particularly as they so eloquently illustrate the lives of women living and working during the Blitz. This is a must-read for any fan of wartime history, providing an inside perspective into the realities of living and loving through war.

 

in the land of men book cover

In the Land of Men, by Adrienne Miller

This fiercely personal memoir is Miller’s account of coming of age as a woman writer in the journalism industry. Miller was hired as an editorial assistant in her early twenties at GQ, dealing with misogyny and the unquestioned authority of powerful male egos on a daily basis. Miller’s book charts her journey to the top of her industry, making it an empowering read for any woman wanting to push the boundaries of her glass ceiling.

 

Some of these books are available to download from our cloudLibrary here.  All you need is an RBKC library card and if you are not a member, don’t worry,  just click here – it’s completely free to join and use our resources. 

Recommended Reads

This week’s Book of the Week is The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. We’ve put together a selection of some historical fiction you may enjoy after reading Gregory’s Tudor romance. Continue reading “Recommended Reads”