Sunday, 15 December 2013

Library cards for National Libraries Day

Musician One Man and His Beard is looking for library lovers to contribute to his We Need Libraries video for release on National Libraries Day 2014. What he’s after is a photo of you holding your library card(s). Here's my effort - I have cards for Glasgow public libraries, Glasgow Women's Library and the University of Strathclyde. Send your photos to him at or tweet @weneedlibraries by 5th January.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Give the gift of reading this Christmas
Reading is the greatest gift - it opens up so many new worlds. The children in your life probably already have easy access to this gift, but could you help some of the children who don't this Christmas? Here are a few suggestions you could consider.

National Literacy Trust - Gift of Reading

Many children across the UK do not have books of their own, nor are they likely to receive any for Christmas this year. Donating just £7 will buy a book for one such child.

Blackwell's - Children's Giving Tree

Giving Trees in the Children's Departments of a number of Blackwell's shops are adorned with gift tags with requests from children who might not otherwise receive any presents (in association with local charities). Customers choose a tag and the booksellers wrap the requested book and deliver it to the child in time for Christmas. You don't have to live near a shop - gifts can be purchased online for £5.99 or £9.99.

Finally, Playing by the Book lists 125 Literacy / Book charities that you could choose from. Happy giving!          

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Julie Berry: All the truth that's in me

Julie Berry: All the truth that's in me

The place and time of this story are never specified, but I'm guessing colonial era America. After two years missing, Judith comes home with her tongue cut out. Her friend, Lottie, who disappeared around the same time as she did is dead. The villagers of Roswell Station, including her own mother, are ashamed of Judith and she is treated like a pariah. All she can do is silently pour out her heart to Lucas, the boy she has loved since childhood, but he is now engaged to another girl. When the village is attacked by "Homelanders" Judith and Lucas effectively save it, but their actions bring them both into disrepute. What is the mystery surrounding Judith's disappearance? Can she learn to talk again? Will she and Lucas survive their disgrace and end up together? These are the questions that Judith's narrative slowly resolves.

 At first, I found this book a little irritating. It's written in the first-person present tense, and Judith addresses herself to Lucas who is referred to throughout as "you". Some of its chapters, or sections, are only a few lines long. These factors combined to make me feel the book was bitty and difficult to get into. What changed my mind was taking it with me to Glasgow Women's Library's Reading Hour for Book Week Scotland - a whole hour of concentrated reading got me gripped, and I started to care what happened to the characters. The book is more than just a romance or a mystery - it raises important questions of what defines our identity and how we treat those who are different from the norm. I'm glad I persevered.

My thanks to Templar Publishing for supplying me with a copy of this book.