Monday, 5th October 2020
It’s Libraries Week. Every year, libraries around the UK celebrate the best that they have to offer for the communities that they serve. This year’s theme is recognising the part we play in the building of a Nation of Readers, looking at how we celebrate books and how we encourage the pleasure that can be gained from simply picking up a good book. As with a multitude of activities in 2020, Libraries Week will be as much a virtual celebration as a real one for many of us. You can see our own virtual #LibrariesWeek presentation here.
Libraries Week has supported the BBC initiative “Books That Shaped My World’ where readers have been encouraged to share books that have touched them, challenged them or have influenced their ideas and thoughts. One of our library assistants, Sarah asked the rest of us to write about books that shaped our world and she has put together a second presentation to run alongside her superb one for Libraries Week. We’re inviting everyone to share their books on our Twitter page @BCLibraryWA with #mybooklife.
Last week, we mentioned the BAMB (Bookshops are My Bag) Awards and October 1st saw the publication of the shortlists for several categories of books which are chosen by booksellers and are voted for by readers. There’s also a special Readers’ Choice Award where the reader gets to nominate their own entry.
The short list for Fiction includes:
Boy Parts by Eliza Clark – a pitch-black comedy both shocking and hilarious, fearlessly exploring the taboo regions of sexuality and gender roles in the twenty-first century.
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton – murder on the high seas in the 17th with a hint of the supernatural.
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-joo – the life story of a young woman raises questions about endemic misogyny and institutional oppression that are relevant to us all.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – a tale weaving together multiple strands and generations, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s.
Weather by Jenny Offill – a darkly funny and important novel about Lizzie Benson; librarian, unofficial therapist and podcaster who is anxious about climate change. If she can’t save others, then what, or who, might save her? I think this is one for us LRC staff members to read.
However, Alison has read Stuart Turton’s marvellous The Devil and the Dark Water and has reviewed it here.
The YA fiction shortlist includes:
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi – a thrilling West African-inspired fantasy, full of adventure and cinematic action sequences covering themes of oppression and racism in today’s political climate.
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron – an electrifying twist on the classic fairytale that will inspire girls to break out of limiting stereotypes and follow their dreams!
The Crossover: Graphic Novel by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile – an award-winning tale about identical twins and basketball legends is brought to life in graphic novel form and told in different forms including rap, haiku and free verse. One of the titles selected for World Book Night.
Heartstopper Vol 3 by Alice Oseman – an LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between
There are several other categories including Non-Fiction and Children’s Fiction. And of course, the all important Readers’ Choice Award. Winners will be announced on Tuesday November 10th during, yes you’ve guessed it, a virtual ceremony hosted by Grace Dent.
We are getting very good at virtual ceremonies and celebrations.
Banned Books Week
Last week was Banned Books Week in the US. It’s always fascinating to view the literary behaviour of other countries – especially those that share a common language with us – but for a country that has Freedom of Speech embedded in the first amendment of its constitution, it’s all the more interesting to note the books people object to. Banned Books Week doesn’t necessarily focus on the relatively small number of books that have been removed from circulation by the US government over the years – a number not too dissimilar to that of those banned in the UK – but on the vast number of titles that are censored locally by libraries across the country.
Banned Books Week was founded by First Amendment and library activist Judith Krug in 1982 when there was a surge in the number of challenges made about books found in libraries, bookshops and schools, and is sponsored by the American Library Association and other notable US institutions. The idea of the week is to highlight the value of free and open access to information, and the harmful effects of censorship.
The books generally challenged are ones whose themes contradict what are considered, by the complainants at least, to be ‘family values’. In 2019, the top 10 books challenged were Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (facing a resurgence thanks to the power of TV), eight of the books to feature LGBTQ+ characters and viewpoints and, rather bizarrely, the Harry Potter books. Not because of any LGBTQ+ controversy surrounding JK Rowling but because the books contents heavily feature witchcraft and wizardry and actual spells.
It’s rather pleasing to say that we have both the Harry Potter books and The Handmaid’s Tale in our LRC as well as one of the other 8 books – Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin. The LRC also has The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas which was the subject of a challenge in 2017 when just one parent’s complaint led to an entire school district banning it – and this is a book that’s been recommended to be on school reading lists as it promotes a heavy but important discussion topic for today’s teens.
It does appear that the books that people seek to ban are those that would offer up some very good and thought-provoking topics for discussion – except perhaps Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
World Mental Health Day 10th October
Glenn has done this presentation in recognition of World Mental Health Day
Please remember that the College has its own on site counselor who can be contacted at email@example.com.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
A good friend of mine recommended this book to me as a ‘must read’.
The Rosie Project is a 2013 debut novel by Australian writer Graeme Simsion. The narrator of the story is Professor of Genetics Don Tillman, an undiagnosed Asperger’s type. Don is 39, tall and highly intelligent but struggles to form relationships with people and has never had a second date. So he devises the Wife Project, designing a detailed questionnaire that filters out unsuitable candidates. But then he meets Rosie, who fails to fit many of Don’s criteria but throws Don’s safe, ordered life into chaos.
This funny, heart warming story is a light, uplifting but atypical boy-meets-girl tale. Despite his quirks, and there are many, Don Tillman is a lovable character. He is sweet, naïve and amusing (but obviously not on purpose). The plot is predictable but how it is told is not. Simsion’s humorous story telling about Don makes you care about what happens to him and is a real page turner. It’s upbeat and funny and reminds us how much you can learn from someone who is wired differently. It’s a novel about the complexity of human beings, emotions and conversations. It will make you smile and leave you feeling happy! I would recommend it to everyone.
Back in May, the BBC announced that 25 pieces of new artistic work had been commissioned as part of Culture in Quarantine. One of these pieces features 27 elite ballet dancers from a selection of renowned dance companies performing a short modern Swan Lake from the confines of their own home. And not just anywhere in their home but in their water-filled baths The all star Swan Lake Bath Ballet was choreographed by Corey Baker who came up with the idea one morning whilst in the shower.
Watch the video Swan Lake in 27 bath tubs.
Worried about fines? No problem. All loans have been renewed and fines waived while the LRC was closed. Books can now be returned to the College. Please contact the LRC to find out about current procedures.
Access our virtual library online
You can search for e-books on the library catalogue or directly through our e-book providers.. Click on the Shibboleth login if requested and select Brooklands College. If you have any problems please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heritage Online | Proquest
Looking for PSHE resources? Then look no further than Issues Online.
Issues online is an interactive resource containing images, graphs, infographics, videos, glossaries and thousands of articles to help students understand information covering a wide range of PSHE subjects and social issues.
The LRC website contains links to our resources, our online catalogue and is full of information about LRC use, plus there are book reviews, links to our displays and other items of interest. It is only available to College members (sorry) and can be found through links on the LRC Google Classroom, and on the staff and student intranets.
LRC Google Classroom page
Tutors have been invited to join the Classroom and will be passing the joining code on to their students. It’s full of links to resources, and helpful advice and tips.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you need support with e-books, e-resources or anything else.