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Calibre Audio Library

Lego library competition

This year in Libraries Week, CILIP is running a competition in libraries across the UK inviting young people to get creative and build their...

Find out more about Competition: Build your own LEGO library

Let's Get Wizzy

Wizzy the Animal Whisperer

Interview with Author and Calibre Member Anthony Ridgway By Emma Scott Calibre member Anthony Ridgway doesn't just enjoy listening to books he...

Find out more about Let's Get Wizzy
space proms

To mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, this year the BBC Proms has included space amongst the themes of the world-famous classical music...

Find out more about The Sounds of Space

New Books

New Books for August

August 2019

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd (13378) is a real treat of a book. Jess Kidd writes in a way that engages you immediately and immerses you in the story. The Victorian setting really comes alive as the author depicts the superstitions and eccentricities of the age with the tale of the kidnap of Christabel Berwick. The story has everything, it is part mystery, with a strong female character in the form of Bridie Devine and has the odd bit of humour peppered throughout, mostly courtesy of a ghostly presence who follows Bridie around as she is trying to find Christabel. It is just simply a very enjoyable read and if you try this one and like it then why not try Jess Kidd’s other two books The Hoarder (12682) and Himself (11703).

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn (13400) is a true story chronicling what happened when the author discovers her husband is terminally ill and in quick succession they lose their livelihood and their home. What transpires is a tale of human endurance and salvation as they decide to walk the six hundred and thirty miles along the South West Coast Path and describe the healing power of nature and the kindness they were shown along the way. This book was a Sunday Times Bestseller, winner of the Royal Society of Literature Christopher Bland Prize and also shortlisted for the 2018 Costa Biography Award and Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize 2018.

BBC 4 recently broadcast Madame Tussaud: A Legend in Wax, a documentary on the famous lady who made her name in creating waxworks. Coincidentally we have just added to Calibre’s audio library a fictional account of her life in the form of Edward Carey’s Little (13391). From being orphaned at six to finding employment with an eccentric wax sculptor, the story of Marie unfolds as we discover what transpired to make Madame Tussaud a household name. If you are at all curious as to how Madame Tussaud became known and respected in her occupation then this is a good way to introduce yourself to the story.

If you remember being curious as to what all the fuss was about and so listened to Fire and Fury (12451), Michael Wolff’s expose on the Donald Trump administration, then you may want to listen to the author’s follow up book called Siege: Trump Under Fire (13402). Whereas Fire and Fury concentrated on the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, Siege concentrates on the second year, detailing the differences in his actions including how the President now conducts himself in public when responding and retaliating to matters of state. It outlines how some people in his own administration perceive him and questions if the President will run the course or if everything is about to come apart. Is Trump under Fire? You decide.

Author Margaret Dickinson is well-known among the fans of family saga and draws on her Lincolnshire roots to provide a setting for her stories. The Clippie Girls (13375) takes us to Sheffield at the beginning of World War Two and a family of sisters who must face the hardships that the coming war will bring. Older sister Peggy is a Clippie Girl on one of the city’s trams and is caught up in a bomb blast where she meets and begins a romance with a soldier. When he is posted abroad Peggy must face some harsh truths and surrender to her family’s judgement.

If crime stories are your books of choice, it can be hard to know where to go next due to the vast amount available in this genre. So if this is the case can we recommend author Jane Casey as someone you may not have come across yet but who writes a compelling and addictive crime novel. The Burning (13347) introduces us to Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan who is chasing a killer called The Burning Man, a name given to him by the media due to the way that he dispatches his victims. The plot and characters are crafted in such a way to make you keep reading and as author Lee Child says the story is, “Astute, complex, layered - and very twisted. You'll remember this one for a long time”.

Wolves are often much maligned in fables and stories, but in fact these remarkable creatures are far from the monsters they are made out to be in fiction. In The Wisdom of Wolves: How Wolves Can Teach Us to Be More Human (13353) naturalist Elli Radinger documents her twenty five year experience studying the wolves in Yellowstone Park. Through her narrative she recounts how wolves look after their elderly and care for their young, adopt leadership skills when necessary and can die of a broken heart, all traits that we as humans can identify with and possibly learn something from these remarkable animals.

You don’t have to be a classical music buff to be interested in the lives of the composers which were often as dramatic and turbulent as some of the scores they created. This is especially so with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and broadcaster and presenter John Suchet explores this in his book Tchaikovsky: The Man Revealed (13312). Originally earmarked for a career in the civil service by his father, Tchaikovsky embarked on composing at a later stage of his career but he was plagued by self-doubt and could not easily cope with criticism. Haunted by his mother’s death and with a failed marriage behind him he was an intriguing character prone to happiness and despair in equal measures, all of which undoubtedly influenced some of the greatest musical pieces ever written.

You may be familiar with Henning Mankell as the author of the Kurt Wallander detective stories but he wrote many stand-alone novels one of which is The Eye of the Leopard (13372). Hans Olofson is the son of a Swedish lumberjack and after continuing tragedy strikes he decides to go to Africa to fulfil his dead lover’s dream of visiting the grave of a legendary missionary. Once there he becomes enraptured with the environment and stays on to manage a farm. Set in the 1970’s and 80’s this book explores the relationships between white farmers and the native workers and how the different cultures perceive one another.

Amanda Owen’s experiences of life on a farm have already been well documented on a Channel 5 TV series called “Our Yorkshire Farm”. In A Year in the Life of a Yorkshire Shepherdess (13355) Amanda regales us with further tales from the farm including a heart-warming story of a mother sheep determined to find her lamb and Amanda’s nine-year-old son getting charge of his first flock. We come face to face with the stark realities of the bleak Yorkshire landscape and areas that can only be reached on foot, coupled with the changeable weather and general challenges that farming brings. This is an enjoyable insight into one of the most demanding careers that you could wish to have.

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