Happy Shakespeare’s Birthday and Happy World Book Night!

Today is the day Shakespeare was born and died. Here are some interesting videos with more information about the man and his life and work.

 

World Book Night

World Book is a celebration of reading and books which sees tens of thousands of people giving books within their communities to spread a love of reading on April 23rd. These are the 25 titles selected to be given out.

It is being celebrated in the UK, Ireland, Germany and USA.

 

American Digital Library promised for 2013

Guardian Article from 5th April 2012

American Digital Public  Library

Two million books will be available in an online digital library to rival Google’s collection, according to Professor Robert Darnton, who promised the new database would overcome copyright hurdles by next year.

The British Library is constantly digitising its collections. Vast numbers of resources are available online including sounds, images and newspapers. Many are freely available, others are paid for.

Digital collections

Digitised British newspapers

Endangered archives

Festival books (1475-1700)

International Dunhuang Project

Manuscripts

Sounds

Theses

UK Web Archive

 

Orange Prize Shortlist 2012 Announced

Orange Prize Shortlist 2012

The UK’s only annual award for fiction written by women announced the shortlist today.

Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues Serpent’s Tail Canadian 2nd Novel
Anne Enright The Forgotten Waltz Jonathan Cape Irish 5th Novel
Georgina Harding Painter of Silence Bloomsbury British 3rd Novel
Madeline Miller The Song of Achilles Bloomsbury American 1st Novel
Cynthia Ozick Foreign Bodies Atlantic Books American 7th Novel
Ann Patchett State of Wonder Bloomsbury American 6th Novel

Ann Patchett,  won the Orange Prize for Fiction ten years ago for Bel Canto (2002). Bel Canto is a fantastic book – thoroughly recommended read.

Pinterest – Pinboards to promote good books.

Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to their pinboard. A way of grabbing images and websites on themes. It’s also an attractive way to create recommended reading boards.

Here’s a pinboard I created for the Carnegie Children’s Book Award 2012 shortlisted books.

Here are  thematic book boards put together by a school librarian in Kent.

Mashable suggests ways teachers can use pinterest to organise the web.

We will be creating more themed book boards in the near future and welcome suggestions. Next one will be film tie-ins.

 

E-books – the new reading

Here are some interesting articles from The Guardian about how e-books are changing the way we read, how we annotate books and what we read. Self-publishing is on the rise and short books are being written for e-readers – ideal for long haul flights: ebooks-the-new-reading

Includes a fascinating article –  “Digital butchery makes a monster of Frankenstein -Mary Shelley’s classic horror story has been dismembered for the age of the app”

 

The Hunger Games film release – 23rd March

The eagerly awaited Hunger Games film is out on 23rd March 2012. Make sure you read this terrifying, thought-provoking futuristic thriller before seeing the film.

All 3 books in the trilogy  – Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay are available in the Library.

Don’t get left behind – join in the book discussion!

The book Stephen King described as “addictive…I could not stop reading”

Here’s a video trailer

 

Orange Prize Longlist Announced

Orange prize for fiction longlist shows diversity of historical novels

Five debut novelists among 20 vying for prize for women writers 

Orange Prize Longlist – Guardian article

Fittingly, on International Women’s Day, the Orange Prize for Fiction longlist has been announced.

The longlist includes Madeline Miller, a teacher of Latin and Ancient Greek who took 10 years to write her debut, The Song of Achilles.

 London, 08 March 2012: The Orange Prize for Fiction, the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman, today announces the 2012 longlist. Now in its seventeenth year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing throughout the world.

  • Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg (Quercus)– Swedish; 1st Novel
  • On the Floor by Aifric Campbell (Serpent’s Tail)– Irish; 3rd Novel
  • The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (The Clerkenwell Press)– American; 4th Novel
  • The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue (Picador)– Irish; 7th Novel
  • Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (Serpent’s Tail)– Canadian; 2nd Novel
  • The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape)– Irish; 5th Novel
  • The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki (Headline Review)– British; 5th Novel
  • Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (Quercus)– American; 4th Novel
  • Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding (Bloomsbury)– British; 3rd Novel
  • Gillespie and I by Jane Harris (Faber & Faber)– British; 2nd Novel
  • The Translation of the Bones by Francesca Kay (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)– British; 2nd Novel
  • The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy (Jonathan Cape)– British; 6th Novel
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Harvill Secker)– American; 1st Novel
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury)– American; 1st Novel
  • Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick (Atlantic Books)– American; 7th Novel
  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury)– American; 6th Novel
  • There but for the by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)– British; 5th Novel
  • The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard (Alma Books)– British; 2nd Novel
  • Tides of War by Stella Tillyard (Chatto & Windus)– British; 1st Novel
  • The Submission by Amy Waldman (William Heinemann) – American; 1st Novel

The Song of Achilles
Bloomsbury

Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to Phthia to live in the shadow of King Peleus and his strong, beautiful son, Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Madeline Miller has a BA and MAA from Brown University in Latin and Ancient Greek, and has been teaching both for the past nine years. She has also studied at the Yale School of Drama, specialising in adapting classical tales to a modern audience. The Song of Achilles is her first novel.