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Harry Potter night 2019

If you took part in our magical quiz last week, here are the answers you have been waiting for! Make a note of your points as you go through and...

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Harry Potter night 7th Feb 2019

To mark Harry Potter night this Thursday 7th February why not prove how much of a fan you are and test your Harry Potter knowledge with this rather...

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This weekend is the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch, where everyone around the country is invited to take part and survey the birds and other...

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New Books

February's New Books

Michelle Obama

If you're a fan of the crime genre then can we suggest giving author Graham Hurley a try? His series of Detective novels featuring DI Joe Faraday are all set in Portsmouth and if you like Michael Connelly, Peter James and Stephen Booth then this might be just what you are looking for as your next read. We have just added Angels Passing (12917) to the library which is the third in the series but if you want to start from the beginning we have the first two in the series which are Turnstone (5739) and The Take (7124).

Stephen Hawking renowned physicist, died in March last year but left us with his final book Brief Answers to the Big Questions (13052). After contracting motor neurone disease in 1963, Stephen was given just two years to live. He defied this prognosis to go on and become Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, along with writing the international bestselling book A Brief History of Time. In Brief Answers to the Big Questions he lays out his final thoughts on questions of the unknown such as is time travel possible and can we predict the future? Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein so why not take this final trip with him and let him expand your horizons.

Pat Barker is not an author who releases a novel very often but when she does you tend to sit up and take note. In The Silence of the Girls (13098), she takes on the retelling of the Illiad from the perspective of Briseis a female slave held by the Greeks. There was some discussion that this book should have made the Man Booker longlist so why not give it a listen and judge for yourself.

Michelle Obama's memoir has been taking the book chart by storm in recent weeks. Heralded as “A genuine page-turner, full of intimacies and reflections” by the Evening Standard, Becoming (13137) is an inspirational story of Michelle’s journey from her upbringing in Chicago to being First Lady of the United States. Known for her powerful advocacy of women and girls this is sure to continue to be a book on people’s reading lists.

Mrs Whistlerby Matthew Plampin (13077) is the fictionalised story of the artist James Whistler's mistress and muse Maud Franklin. Whistler was an American artist known among other things for his paintings of nocturnal London and his portrait's, one of the most famous being that entitled "Whistler's Mother". This story focuses on Whistler's relationship with Maud who was an artist herself and who didn't always fare well in her relationship with Whistler particularly in times of trouble, such as in the period that Whistler was involved in a libel trial with John Ruskin. The Times newspaper calls it "A captivating tale" and if you like your fictional history mixed with factual events then this would be one to take a chance on.

Matt Haig is an excellent author of adult and children’s fiction and has even turned his hand to non-fiction with his book Reasons to Stay Alive, chronicling his experiences suffering from depression, which is a compelling insight into his life. In Notes on a Nervous Planet (13105) he revisits the subject but this time looking at how he finds coping mechanisms and happiness in a world full of anxiety and nerves. Make some time to discover Matt Haig in your reading schedule if you have not done so yet.

Even if you haven't come across author Kate Atkinson you may be aware of her work, as her novels featuring private investigator Jackson Brodie featured in a BBC Television series starring Jason Isaacs, called Case Histories. Her latest book Transcription (13108) is a stand-alone novel set in 1940 and is the story of eighteen-year-old Juliet Armstrong, recruited into MI5 to monitor the movements of British fascist sympathisers. Ten years later, working as a journalist for the BBC, she believes all of these past activities to be behind her until she is confronted with some of the figures from her past. Kate Atkinson is an engaging writer and this story has wide appeal.

If you are a fan of authors like Veronica Henry and Erica James then Katie Fforde should also be on your reading radar. Flora's Lot (12978) finds Flora upping sticks from London to join the family antiques business. What she knows about antiques is gleaned from watching daytime TV shows but she covers up for this with her unrelenting enthusiasm. When she doesn't receive the warm family welcome she expected she wonders if country life is all it is cracked up to be and considers leaving, but then she receives a strange warning and decides she is not going to give in so quickly. Author of twenty-five novels, Kate Fforde's stories are great for devouring on a dreary winter's day or else looking ahead to the summer, a good holiday read!

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