Book Review – The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

the light between oceansThis book was one of our readers group collections that was read by a number of our readers groups across our libraries in the city. Halton Readers group were the last group to read it, and I received a number of reviews from them this week.

Here’s what they thought of it:-

“I loved this book. I ended up reading until late to find out the ending. I must admit I cried at the last chapter – it was beautifully written and the characters made your heart go out to all of them. You wondered what you would do in such a dilemma. I also found the description of the island and  the working of the lighthouse intriguing. The soldiers stories on their return from the war was so sad.”

If you are intrigued and want to read The Light Between the Oceans yourself we have a number of copies of the book available to borrow.

If you are interested in coming along to one of our readers groups a full list can be found on our website.


New Year’s resolution – join a readers’ group

????????????????????????????We love discussing books, having a chat and meeting new people! if you do too, why not join a readers’ group – great places to meet other people who love to read, talk about books and discover new authors that you may not have thought of trying.

Here’s a list of our groups across libraries in Leeds. They’re local, friendly and informal and new members are always welcome.

You can find out about all reading related events in libraries by browsing the Leeds City Council events page – there’s a books and storytime section
If you’re already part of a readers’ group which meets in a non library venue, you can become an affiliated member and benefit from free reserves when you choose from our library stock. Have a look at our ‘Lets Talk Books’ leaflet to find out more.
If you fancy setting up a new readers’ group but you’re not sure how to go about it, read our top tips for setting up and running a group. We would also love to hear about books that you have read-  submit a review right here on Leeds Reads

Leeds Central Library Crime Club

drowThe Crime Club at Leeds Central Library (next to the Town Hall and Art Gallery in Leeds) has been running since February 2012  and we have had a good following from the first meeting. We are a friendly, well mannered and very talkative group of people who love an honest and open debate about the characters, motives and stories we read.

I’m open to any suggestions from the group and change the reading lists accordingly, we always mix the styles up so one month we might read a Stephen Booth title and next a Stieg Larsson book.

All are welcome, the next meeting is Monday 5th August and we meet in the Art Library at 6.30 pm. The group runs for 45 minutes and the latest title is “The Drowning” by Camila Lackberg which is available from the ground floor counter in Central Library.

Please ring me on 0113 2476016 if you want to chat about the group or check future dates

John Audsley

Crime Scene Leeds

crimesceneleeds_landscapeWe have been celebrating National Crime Writing month in Leeds Libraries and so far have enjoyed a number of author events in various different libraries.

The month kicked off with the Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival Big Read event at Central Library. The author David Mark joined our readers groups to discuss Casino Royale. There was a lively discussion about the evolution of Bond and his character over the years. I’m not sure that Casino Royale Bond was very popular with many of the women in our audience! If you are interested in reading the book, we have plenty of copies in our libraries, see what you think.

We followed that with a event at Halton Library with Tom Harper. Tom talked about his new book The Orpheus Descent and the massive amount of research that he does for his books, which are time slip thriller novels.

This week has seen events at Bramley library with Helen Cadbury on Monday and Steve Mosby at Moor Allerton on Tuesday. Helen discussed her debut Novel; To Catch a Rabbit and read excerpts of the book to the crowd. The readers group had read the book prior to the event so there was a really interesting discussion about Helen’s ideas and themes in the book. The readers group loved it so I would heartily recommend you give it a go, in fact we were urging Helen to get the second book written quickly!
Steve Mosby amused us all at Moor Allerton with an insight into how the mind of a crime writer works. His honesty about how difficult situations in his life have inspired his novels had the crowd listening in fascination.

And we still have more to come! On Monday night Stephen Booth is joining us at Central Library to talk about his latest Already Dead. Stephen is an accomplished best selling author and this event should be a real treat. The event is free but places are limited so ring 0113 247 6016 to book your place.

Plus, hot off the press we have just confirmed that Michael Robotham will be with us at Headingley Library on 23rd July at 7.00pm. Michael is over in the UK for the Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival and is fitting in a visit to us in Leeds. Michael is the bestselling author of various crime thriller novels as well as an ex ghost writer and journalist. Michael did an event with us last year that was fabulous (with a few scandalous secrets revealed!) so I can highly recommend coming along to hear him talk. He will be discussing his latest novel, just out in paperback; Say You’re Sorry.

Book Review – The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior Weddings

Wilfred Price CoverOur readers group at Wetherby Library recently read this interestingly titled book. Here are some of their comments:-

“The book is written in a gentle way, it completely reflects the behaviours and feelings of the characters. This quiet welsh town where people are very careful of the way they act and speak and emotions and secrets are kept very much to themselves.”

“This book made me laugh and made me sad. I thought the depiction of lifestyle and social thinking of the 1920s was well done. All the characters were well described. There are several beautifully written descriptive passages”

“At first I thought that this a nicely written but slow story. Then I realised this is to balance the second half of the book which moves more quickly – we know the characters well and are emotionally involved with them. Very much a story of its time and setting. The events wouldn’t occur now because society thinks differently. An intense thought provoking tale.”

“My thoughts having read thirty pages were “what a load of nothing, rubbish”. I was so glad that I read on. Within another thirty pages I was won over. The ending was a complete surprise. A lovely read. Let’s have more of this authors work.”

For further details of Wetherby’s and other library readers group, click here. If this has whetted your appetite you can reserve The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price online and pick it up from your nearest library.

Book Review – Room by Emma Donoghue

Some of the newspaper comments put me off – I don’t want my heart broken or my gut wrenched. However having got into the book I found it very well written, very clever in giving everything from a child’s view, and absorbing.

 There is no cloying sentimentality, and no dwelling on sensational aspects. I admired ‘Ma’ for her dedication in shielding him from the dreadfulness of their situation, she made a positive out of the most awful circumstances.

 Whether a ‘real life’ mother could have coped so well – I doubt. Her behaviour after thir release – more erratic, occasionally losing her temper – did show her returning to the world and to ‘normality’.  A really good read.

 A Halton Library Readers Group Member

You can reserve a copy of Room online and pick up from your nearest library.

Reading for Wellbeing

Did you know that reading can cut stress levels by 68%?*

At Leeds Reads we’re celebrating Leeds City Council’s Wellbeing Week by relaxing with a good book, so why not join us? We’ve chosen The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.

Nominated for the Man Booker prize in 2009, it is essentially a ghost story, set in 1940s England. Its main focus is the relationship between a country doctor and a family who live in the faded grandeur of an estate that they are no longer able to maintain. The book examines the social upheaval in post-war Britain, and its impact on the lives of those affected.

Visit our online catalogue to reserve a copy, and collect from your local library.

If you’d like to share your thoughts as you read, we’ve set up an online book group at

You’ll need to sign up to Good Reads, then search for the group ‘Leeds Reads for Wellbeing’. You’ll find a discussion thread already running, or you can start your own.

*University of Sussex, 2009