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Calibre Audio Library


To celebrate Burns night this Saturday we are highlighting the work of two contemporary Scottish poets Kathleen Jamie and John Burnside. Kathleen...

Find out more about Burns Night: Scottish Poets
Dave Thomas

Working in partnership with the publisher Hornet Books we are delighted to add to the library Guiding Me Home and Away by former footballer Dave...

Find out more about Guiding Me Home and Away: The Autobiography of Former Footballer Dave Thomas
cat in christmas tree

If December is about consuming all things Christmas for you or your child, then we have the reading list for you! Whether it's taking some time out...

Find out more about 10 Christmas books for children and young adults

New Books

New Books for January

New Books January

If your new year resolution is to broaden your learning, then can we recommend three compact books that will give you a taster of a range of topics. The History of Science by Peter Whitfield (13728) gives an overview of the major leaps forward in science across the ages. From the mathematical and medical advances of the ancient world, to the Scientific Revolution in the Renaissance, and the ground breaking developments of the 20th century, he gives a precise chronological account of progress, woven together into an exciting story of intellectual discovery. If music is more to your interest, then how about The History of Classical Music (13729) and The History of Opera (13730) by Richard Fawkes which explore western classical music and its composers and the history of opera up to the present day. These books will give you an introduction to areas that may just spark your interest to find out more.

Comedian Lenny Henry embarked on a tour last year to promote his new autobiography Who Am I Again? (13735) which included reading extracts from it on Radio 4 and we have just added it to the library. His story takes us from his early years to his sudden rise to fame, explaining what 1970s Britain was like for a black teenager and how the ability to make people laugh came in very handy. Narrated by Lenny himself, this book will be littered with laughs along the way and would appeal to fans of Lenny and to those who just like an entertaining story.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (13740) featured on Jo Whiley’s Radio 2 Book Club in Autumn 2019 and is a little different from Jojo’s previous novels, as she turns to historical fiction for her latest offering.  In 1930s England Alice Wright impulsively accepts a marriage proposal from wealthy American Bennett van Cleve and is taken to Kentucky to live. Once there Alice is neglected and longs for something to fill her time. Salvation comes in the form of Margery, who wants to spread the wonder of books and reading to the poor and the lost and is looking for volunteers to assist with her travelling library. A story of respect, friendship and the power of the written word, written by an author who can weave a captivating tale that will keep you enthralled.

Waiting for Godot(13727) is a play written by Samuel Beckett in 1953 which has been adapted many times for stage and screen. At first glance it just appears to be about two characters, Estragon and Vladimir, who are waiting for someone called Godot who never arrives. However, the story it is so much more than that, the narrative and discussions meander through many aspects, including philosophy and religion and all while set in the same location as the characters patiently wait for Godot. If you have never encountered Samuel Beckett before then give this one a try, it is a play that will make you think.

Bernadine Evaristo was joint winner of the Booker Prize in 2019 for her book Girl, Woman, Other and we have just added one of her earlier titles to the library called Mr Loverman (13733). This story is about Barrington Jedidiah Walker who is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born in Antigua, he's lived in Hackney since the sixties. A flamboyant local character, Barrington is a husband, father and grandfather - but he is also secretly the lover of his childhood friend, Morris. When his marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away? This book was described by The Independent as, “A brilliant study of great characters in modern London”.

Many a person will promise among their yearly reading resolutions to “read more classics”. If that is one of yours then how about taking on Charlotte Bronte’s first novel in the form of The Professor (13731). Originally submitted for publication in 1847, it was rejected at first but then published posthumously in 1857. Told from the point of view of William Crimsworth, Bronte's hero escapes from a humiliating clerkship in a Yorkshire mill to find work as a teacher in Belgium, where he falls in love with an impoverished student-teacher. If you want to find out where inspiration for her books Vilette and Jane Eyre came from then this is the one to listen to.

What do London’s East End, music halls and murder have in common? They are all encompassed in Kitty Peck and the Daughter of Sorrow by Kate Griffin (13682). Set in 1880s Limehouse London, this is the third book featuring Kitty Peck, a music hall favourite who suddenly inherits the place she works and must adapt and survive amongst the criminal elements of the area. The author really evokes the sights sounds and smells of Victorian London and what it was like to be involved in the music halls, alongside a compelling mystery to keep you hooked. You can borrow the previous two books in the series from the library and also listen to the author talking about the books and her writing process in the author interviews section of the Calibre website.

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (13738) is something of a cult classic, made into a film in 2008 starring Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones and directed by the legendary Cohen brothers. The story starts with Llewelyn Moss who is hunting antelope near the Texas-Mexico border when he stumbles upon several dead men, a stash of drugs, and two million dollars in cash. He takes off with the money, but when a drug cartel hires a former Special Forces agent to track down the loot, the hunter becomes the hunted. Also looking for Moss is the aging Sheriff Bell, a World War II veteran who may be Moss' only hope for survival. This is a dark tale and if you like gritty, suspenseful stories then this is one for you.

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