National Book Lover’s Day

On Wednesday 9th August 2017 come one, come all, come lovers of books! Let’s celebrate one of our favourite days of the year – National Book Lover’s Day! It falls on the ninth of every August and is filled with adventurous novels, newly discovered authors, and old favourites. So feel free to participate and spread the word and the love!

The occasion for expressing a love of reading and of books themselves. Whether it be their practical significance in history, or the stories and ideas that they bring to our lives, this is something worth celebrating.

Click above: Discover how books have shaped history!

But it is also a day to share publicly your favourite reads to promote to others, a sociable community event, bringing people together through their love of reading. A great time to consider joining a book groups. Get involved with a group at your local library or find one in your area that suits your tastes or offers something completely new and different! Better still, if you’ve got a great idea for a book group and would like to reach out to others, read our guide on setting up your group.  

You can also find communal enjoyment of books through our library events, such at our weekly Storytimes and author talks in library and Discovery Centre branches.

Above: Library Storytime, Claire Fuller author talk and Veronica Cossanteli with her reptile friends!

However in order to appreciate Book Lovers Day, one needs only to find a story and read it. Maybe you wish to dive into the unknown with a good mystery, or see magic in a high fantasy setting, or be enthralled in a steamy romance. The individual genre of your reading is not the big piece of this, just that you do read is. Maybe a visit to your local library is in order? Our staff will gladly help you find a title to read, giving a brief explanation on what it is about if they have read it, or giving it a little flip and reading about it quickly in the synopsis.

Click, borrow and share a classic!

But no matter your preference, if you read it at home with a cup of tea, share a book meeting with friends or go to the library and make use of the wonderful pieces on those shelves, just enjoy your reading, revel in the book and find a way to read during Book Lovers Day!

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

About the book

Set in the deep American South between the wars, THE COLOR PURPLE is the classic tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.

Reviewed by Perspectives

A very readable book with many different themes all woven together. A book about relationships, hardship overcome and a happy ending”

star rating ****

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Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

About the book

Jane Austen in the hands of queen of crime, Val McDermid. Get ready for a very different Northanger Abbey.

For Cat Morland life being home-schooled in Dorset is unendurably ordinary. To cope, she devours as many novels as possible, especially anything supernatural. But if Cat can tear her eyes away from the page, she’s in for a shock: the very stuff of her dreams is about to come true.

An invite to the Edinburgh Festival from some wealthy neighbours throws her in the way of a mysterious young man, Henry Tilney; a like-minded friend, Isabella Thorpe; and her odious brother, who threatens to ruin Cat’s chances of adventure. But this heroine is not so easily deterred, especially when she’s singled out by the Tilney family to stay with them at their imposing gothic castle, Northanger Abbey.

Turrets and creaking doors there may be, but in the depths of the Scottish Borders Cat is isolated from the outside world, with no phone signal and no internet. She’s all alone in an ancient abbey alive with old secrets and a family who are not quite as they seem. Is real life about to become more terrifying than the world of her imagination?

Reviewed by The Democrats

“While we thought many aspects of Val McDermid’s reworking of Jane Austen’s novels to adapt it to a contemporary context were clever – setting it in Edinburgh during the Festival, reference to the ‘Twilight’ novels rather than the Gothic novels Austen parodies, we were somewhat underwhelmed by this version. The repeated use of text speak, teen slang and a questionable twist at the end proved unappealing. Some critics have suggested it should be aimed at a young adult audience but we are not sure that they would then go on to read Austen’s original. A comparison of the two novels made for interesting discussion, however other groups may, of course, act differently!”

star rating **

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The Junior Officer’s Reading Club by Patrick Hennessey

About the book

Patrick Hennessey is pretty much like any other member of Generation X: he spent the first half of the noughties reading books at university, going out, listening to early-90s house on his iPod and watching war films. He also, as an officer in the Grenadier guards, fought in some of the most violent combat the British army has seen in decades.

Telling the story of how a modern soldier is made, from the testosterone-heavy breeding ground of Sandhurst to the nightmare of Iraq and Afghanistan, The Junior Officers’ Reading Club is already being hailed as a modern classic.

 

Reviewed by Between the Leaves

“Not an easy read, but an interesting insight to the psychology of those involved in warfare

star rating ***

 

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Saturday night and Sunday morning by Alan Sillitoe

About the book

Working all day at a lathe leaves Arthur Seaton with energy to spare in the evenings. A hard-drinking, hard-fighting young rebel of a man, he knows what he wants and he’s sharp enough to get it.

Reviewed by Tadley Reading Group

Seemed outdated to us all having seen the film so long ago yet it was worth reading and we were able to look beyond the obvious storyline and could see how the main character was drawn from real life.

Star rating ***

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Of mice and men by John Steinbeck

About the book

The childlike Lennie is lost without his guardian, George, who feels his slow-witted friend has been delivered into his keeping. Bound by their fragile dream of owning land where they will ‘belong’, their paradisial future is soon shattered

Reviewed by The Accidental Book Group

This book proved a great trigger to discussing social problems which are still relevant today.

Star rating: ****

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The Grapes of wrath by John Steinbeck

About the book

Shocking and controversial when it was first published in 1939, Steinbeck‘s Pulitzer prize-winning epic remains his undisputed masterpiece. It tells of the Joad family who travel West in search of the promised land, and find only broken dreams.

Reviewed by U3A Book Circle 3

Brilliantly written – wonderful description of characters, gripping and very human. Enjoyed by the whole group without exception.

Star rating: ****

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The Catcher in the rye by John Salinger

About the book

A 16-year-old American boy relates in his own words the experiences he goes through at school and after, and reveals with unusual candour the workings of his own mind. What does a boy in his teens think and feel about his teachers, parents, friends and acquaintances?

Reviewed by Hawkley Book Group

An intriguing description of two days in the life of a 16 year old boy. A crisis in his life told from his point of view and in retrospect. The reader may empathise with the character or find him really irritating. Timeless teenage angst.

Star rating: ***

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Sleeping Arrangements by Laura Shaine Cunningham

About the book

This is the magical memoir of Lily Shaine, an orphan brought up by her two eccentric bachelor uncles in New York in the 1950s. Uncle Len is a six-foot-six-inch private investigator, a trench-coated cross between Abraham Lincoln and Sam Spade. Uncle Gabe, a librarian, is a confirmed dreamer who writes gospel songs in his spare time. With these two men as mentors, the human jungle of the Bronx as her playground, the schoolroom as her torture chamber and very knowing little girls as her playmates, Lily learns the secrets of life, sex, death and, above all, family love. A wry, funny and deeply affectionate portrait of the most unlikely of happy families, “Sleeping Arrangements” is a modern classic.

Reviewed by Biscuits, Books and Banter reading group:

This book was well received by all members. We all enjoyed the story of this girls weird but loving childhood. The shock value of the difference between hers and ours was commented on. A good read with wonderful descriptions.

Star rating: ***

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A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

About the book

A vicious fifteen-year-old “droog” is the central character of this 1963 classic, whose stark terror was captured in Stanley Kubrick’s magnificent film of the same title. In Anthony Burgess’s nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends’ social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. When the state undertakes to reform Alex—to “redeem” him—the novel asks, “At what cost?”

Reviewed by Kalooki Club Reading Group:

Not an easy or enjoyable read, but those who finished reading found this a rewarding book. The introduction was very helpful in giving discussion points.

Star rating: ***

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