Librarian’s Choice -Personal Favourites

This blog is from Alli, a Community Librarian based in the south of the city.

alli-ninth-lifeThe Ninth Life of Louis Drax by Liz Jensen

This unforgettable book took my breath away, literally. The funniest first chapter I’ve ever read and the rest just such a compulsive read. Louis, 9, is on a family holiday in France with his family, when his life changes. A psychological thriller about a child’s connections to his parents. Fabulously written with well-drawn characters, it’s hard to say more about the plot of this book without giving it away. It’s a much bigger book in every way than the slim volume it is physically. Read it – I’d love to hear what you think of it.

alli-memory-gameMemory Game by Nicci French

First novel of the writing duo Nicci Gerard and Sean French in 1997, it’s a crime novel about the nature of memory and about recovered memory syndrome. I found it exciting and compulsive.

alli-pride-and-prejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I studied this for O’Level, but loved it. For me, an unexpected, understated, delight.


alli-the-lion-witch-wardrobeThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis

I read this during a spell in hospital when I was thirteen, having missed it when I was younger. I loved the adventure, the different levels of meaning, the imagination it created in me. I read all the books in the series as soon as I could get them from the library (the Mobile Library the used to visit the bottom of Pool Bank). It was so exciting, waiting to see if they had brought me another one!

alli-devotion-of-suspect-xThe Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

A mystery in which you know “whodunit” from the beginning. I suppose it’s a sort of Police crime thriller in which everything you read is a clue and everything is included to help you find out why. It’s like a literary game of chess and is logical, simple and really different.

alli-woman-in-whiteThe Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

This was the first book that I read when I started work in libraries and for me, it had everything. The cover had an Atkinson Grimshaw painting on the front, which immediately evoked an atmosphere of mystery. I was gripped form the beginning and remember being absorbed by its mystery, love and a touch of the sinister.

alli-elizabeth-is-missingElizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Maud is suffering from loss of memory, but is convinced her best friend Elizabeth is missing and she believes her to be in danger. No one listens (not her daughter, the police etc.), but Maud is determined to find out what has happened to her.

alli-thirteenth-taleThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Novelist Vida Winter wants to get the tale of her life recorded and so she engages biographer Maureen Lea. Maureen also has a story of her own and as she starts work on Vida’s, she starts to find out about her own….

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

Best friends Caddy and Rosie go to different schools. A new girl, Suzanne joins Rosie’s school and the dynamic of Rosie’s and Caddy’s friendship begins to change. It’s clear to Caddy that something has happened to Suzanne before coming to Brighton and she begins to find out what. Caddy’s friendship with Suzanne takes her on a journey that challenges her outlook, her upbringing and all that she has experienced so far. Caddy goes out on midnight walks with Suzanne, during which she learns more about Suzanne’s background and her fragile mental state. Caddy listens to Suzanne’s situation, but who is getting more out of this – Suzanne, or Caddy, who experiences being important to someone? When things go wrong and Caddy suffers serious injuries from an ill-conceived trip to an old building, Suzanne finally gets the professional help she needs, but with the consequence that she will have to move away from her “best friends”.
The way it covered friendships and their importance to individuals, I thought was excellent, making clear there is more than one way to support someone who is having a difficult time and that it’s the support that counts. The book was gripping in an uncomfortable way. It was a compulsive but disturbing read at times, with the feeling that all will not end well pervading whilst I was reading it. I was there in the situations Caddy found herself in and felt uncomfortable for her.

Go Wild in the library or the cinema

Wild: a journey from lost to foundYou can go and see the film ‘Wild’ from next Friday 16th January – it’s adapted from the author’s story by Nick Hornby. If you want to read the book, we have six copies and it’s by Cheryl Strayed.

Wild: a journey from lost to found

At 26, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family disbanded and her marriage crumbled. With nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to walk 1,100 miles of the west coast of America – from the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, and into Washington State – and to do it alone. She had no experience of long-distance hiking and the journey was nothing more than a line on a map. But it held a promise – a promise of piecing together a life that lay in ruins at her feet


Books into film for 2015

The Scorpio Races

Here’s some books that are being made into films, not released till next year so time to read the novel first!

The Spook’s Apprentice”  by Joseph Delaney – The film’s called “Seventh Son” and tells the magical adventures of Tom Ward (Ben Barnes), apprentice to the Spook (Jeff Bridges). Released February 6th.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James – A lot of people have read the book already and you know what it’s about. Stars Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey, Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele. Release is Feb. 13th in time for Valentine’s Day

Insurgent, by Veronica Roth – The sequel to “Divergent”, . “Insurgent” continues the story of Tris Prior and her struggle against the Factions in a post-apocalyptic future. Released on March 20.

 Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs – The eccentric bestseller sees a boy set out to find out whether his grandfather was murdered by a make-believe monster, only to find Miss Peregrine and her home for “peculiar” children with unnatural powers. Tim Burton directs. Released July 31st.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – It’s been adapted before but this version focuses on Igor, Frankenstein’s assistant, (not in the original novel) James McAvoy is Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffeplys Igor. Released on Oct. 2nd.

Mockingjay (Part Two), by Suzanne Collins – “Mockingjay” part 2 completes the “Hunger Games” saga with the final battle of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) against the oppressive Capitol. Released Nov. 20th.

A walk in the woodsInferno by Dan Brown – Tom Hanks is Professor Langdon in this Dante’s Inferno tale, Ron Howard directs. Released Dec. 18th

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini – Acclaimed author of “The Kite Runner,” Afghan-American Khaled Hosseini, tells the story of Mariam, born an illegitimate child in an intolerant society & Lalia, a younger, comparatively privileged woman whose paths cross, changing them both forever. Release date TBC

Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín – 5 star rated historical novel by our readers, Ellis Lacey emigrates to 1950s America after not finding work in Ireland. When tragedy strikes back home, she returns to her old life and finds herself torn between two homes. Saoirse Ronan is Ellis. Release date TBC

Testament of Youth, by Vera Brittain – “Testament of Youth” is a memoir of a young woman’s experiences in World War I and how she deals with loss and disillusionment amid one of the 20thC greatest conflicts. Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington(John Snow) star Release date TBC


A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson – Very popular memoir mixes humorous accounts of Bryson’s attempts to hike the Appalachian trail with his friend Stephen Katz with more serious discussions on the trail itself. Robert Redford as Bryson and Nick NoltePride and prejudice and zombies: the classic regency romance--now with ultraviolent zombie mayhem is Katz Release date TBC


The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling – This version is an action film with Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, and Lupita Nyong’o voicing the animal characters. Drected by Jon Favreau. Release date TBC

The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater – 5 star rated by our readers, it’s adapted from Celtic legends and tells of the relationship between Kate Connelly and Sean Kendrick as they compete against each other in a deadly race of water horses who can kill their riders. Despite all, they fall for each other, but there can only be one winner. Release date TBC

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith –Lily Collins as Elizabeth Bennett, who won’t stand for Mr. Darcy / hordes of zombies encircling  fortress city London. Release date TBC

American Sniper, by Chris Kyle – who was a highly successful sniper during the second Iraq War, this is his memoir. Stars Bradley Cooper as Kyle, Clint Eastwood directs. Release date TBC