National Libraries Week

Libraries Week Image

A week celebrating the resources and activities that libraries have to offer!

I’m so lucky to live on the same street as my local library but I still don’t use it as often as I should.  I had cause to pop in a few Saturday’s ago to take advantage of the computers and more specifically their internet and because I have a library card I got 2 hours free usage!

My local library (Bridgnorth, Shropshire) has a number of events going on during this week to celebrate National Libraries Week; here’s what they’ve got going on:

Book Launch – The Marvellous Marathon Dragon – Saturday October 7th 10:00am
(so not technically during the main week but a great kick off)
You can meet the author, illustrator and the Asthma dragon. The book will also be available to buy on the day.  This is a free event!

An evening with Jenny Blackhurst (the event I’m most excited about) – October 9th 7pm
Shropshire author Jenny Blackhurst visits to celebrate National Libraries Week! Hear about her bestselling novels and her new title The Foster Child.

Bookstart Rhyme Time – October 9th 10:30am
Rhymes, Songs and Stories for under five.

Community directory drop-in session – October 9th 2pm
See a demonstration of the online directory, find a new hobby, exercise class or self-help group or get your organisation added.

Yoga and relaxation session – October 10th 10am
Celebrate National Libraries week, with something different.

Creative writing workshop – October 11th 1pm
£2.50 per person.
I am tempted by this workshop: just to give it a go.  I never liked reading out I’d written in class though so I’m a bit shall I/shan’t I?

On Cloud Nine with Time to Listen – October 11th  11am
To celebrate National Libraries Week with a special feel-good session of Time to Listen! Pull up a chair and relax while we read extracts from fiction and poetry on an uplifting theme.

Will you be attending any of your local library’s National Libraries Week events?

Find out more at >>  Bridgnorth Library Shropshire Libraries National Libraries Week


My holiday reads

I’m off on a week’s holiday at silly o’clock tomorrow morning to the Greek island of Kefalonia so I thought I’d share with you the books I’ll be taking with me.

Although we do like sight seeing and visiting places, we are planning a more chilled out relaxed holiday rather than being full on so they’ll be plenty of reading time for these:

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals, but as a conscientious but far from fanatical soldier, whose main aim is to have a peaceful war, he proves in time to be civilised, humorous – and a consumate musician.

When the local doctor’s daughter’s letters to her fiancé – and members of the underground – go unanswered, the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable. But can this fragile love survive as a war of bestial savagery gets closer and the lines are drawn between invader and defender?

What better place to read the book than in the place that it’s set? Or is that a bit cliché?

The One by John Marr

One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

Recommended by trusted book blogger Claire from Art & Soul, this one has been quite a popular read with other bloggers too so looking forward to this one.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.
Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . .

I absolutely loved Clare’s first novel, I Let You Go, and so have really high expectations for this one.  My daughter and I will have to buddy read so we can discuss it at the same time 🙂

I’ll also be taking my Kindle, just in case, on which I have the new Robert Bryndza and Tom Bale amongst many others. Oh and I have my phone with In Her Wake to finish, The Cows, Into the Water and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine as Audible books so think I’m covered.

Have you planned your holiday reads or read any of mine? How do you decide which ones to take?

Movies I was surprised to find out were based on books

As I was flicking through Netflix looking for a film to watch one genre of suggestions was ‘movies based on books’, so naturally I went scrolling through them and I was actually quite surprised at the amount of them that I didn’t realise were based on or inspired by books.  I have seen all of the movie adaptations, but have not read any of the books.

Here’s a small selection:


The game under the tree looked like a hundred others Peters and Judy had at home. But they were bored and restless and, looking for something interesting to do, thought they’d give Jumanji a try. Little did they know when they unfolded its ordinary-looking playing board that they were about to be plunged into the most exciting and bizare adventure of their lives.

Written by Chris Van Allsburg and originally published in French in  1981.  I love this movie but not sure how I’m feeling about a sequel.


Legally Blonde

Elle Woods, California University senior, seems to have it all. President of Delta Gamma sorority, she’s aced her major–sociopolitical jewellery design-and is on the verge of becoming Mrs. Warner Huntington III. Too bad Warner, bound for Stanford Law, dumps her with the explanation that he now needs a more “serious” woman at his side. Faced with this unexpected reversal of fortune, Woods doesn’t get depressed, she gets busy.

Written by Amanda Brown and originally published in 2001, who doesn’t love a bit of Elle Woods against the world!


Letters to Juliet

The enduring legend of Shakespeare’s pair of star-crossed lovers draws millions of visitors to Verona, Italy, each year. But that is just part of the story. Every day, letters, frequently addressed simply, “Juliet, Verona,” arrive in the city. They come by the truckload, in almost every language imaginable, written by romantics seeking Juliet’s counsel. Most of the missives talk of love, of course —love found and love lost, love sought and love remembered. And, amazingly, not one letter goes unanswered.

This movie was based on a non-fiction book by Lise and Ceil Friedman which was published in 2006.  I want to visit Verona because of this movie!



Imagine a drug that made your brain function to its full potential.

A drug that allowed you pick up a foreign language in a single day.

A drug that helped you process information so fast you could see patterns in the stock market.

Just as his life is fading into mediocrity, Eddie Spinola comes across such a pill: MDT-48 – a sort of Viagra for the brain. But while its benefits materialise quickly, so do certain unwelcome side-effects. And when Eddie decides to track down other users, he soon discovers that they’re all dying, or already dead…

Written by Alan Glynn and originally published in 2011.  I didn’t really understand the movie so not sure how I would get on with reading the book.


Captain Phillips

A Captain’s Duty tells the life-and-death drama of the Vermont native who was held captive on a tiny lifeboat off Somalia’s anarchic, gun-plagued shores. A story of adventure and courage, it provides the intimate details of this high-seas hostage-taking–the unbearable heat, the death threats, the mock executions, and the escape attempt. When the pirates boarded his ship, Captain Phillips put his experience into action, doing everything he could to safeguard his crew. And when he was held captive by the pirates, he marshaled all his resources to ensure his own survival, withstanding intense physical hardship and an escalating battle of wills with the pirates. This was it: the moment where training meets instinct and where character is everything. Richard Phillips was ready.

I loved this movie, firstly Tom Hanks is in it and it’s packed full of tension.  Probably the type of movie you can only watch once though, however I would still be interested to read the book to see how much of the movie was fiction.

So there’s my surprises.  Have you got any movies to share that you were surprised to learn were based on books?

The Bluebell Informant – Guest #Recipe Post by Nick Tingley

Today I’m mixing 2 of my favourite things; books and baking and I’m delighted to welcome Nick Tingley to Bookboodle to share with us his recipe for Maple and Almond Cookies  which features in his novel The Bluebell Informant.  Without further ado, onto Nick to give us a little insight into his character Evelyn’s hobby!  Do read on for cookie recipes, info on the book and where to download for free!


The tiniest details are what makes a truly engaging character. This is particularly true of the main character of my debut crime novel, The Bluebell Informant – Detective Sergeant Evelyn Giles.

It took me a while to realise that Giles was a baker, but when I did it, everything else made total sense. This is a detective who is brilliant and intelligent, moral and incorruptible, and willing to go the extra mile to solve whatever case is put in front of her. So it made sense to me that she would have a hobby that she pursued with the same unshakeable determination – that hobby is baking.

Although we only see Giles baking for a few moments in the opening chapter of The Bluebell Informant (after all, she can’t take a break from fleeing across the countryside with an important witness to stop and whip up a couple of flapjacks, can she?), it is one of the few moments that I feel we see Giles at her happiest.

And it was during my research for Giles that I accidentally created a recipe for some great, chewy, maple and almond cookies (that’s right, I used book research as an excuse to make cookies)! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did “researching” them…

What you will need:

These amounts will make somewhere around three-dozen cookies, depending on how much almond you’d like in the mixture, although they are perfectly good without.

190g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 medium egg
100g margarine
220g dark soft sugar
125ml maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
35g chopped or flaked almonds
50g desiccated coconut

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ Gas Mark 5 and prepare your baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  2. Grab a mixing bowl and cream the margarine and sugar together until it looks airy.
  3. Then beat in the egg, syrup and vanilla extract until it’s all mixed nicely together.
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together and then add it little-by-little to the creamed mixture, giving it a good stir after each addition.
  5. Once all the flour has been added, add the desiccated coconut and almonds. At this point, you can alter the recipe to suit your taste. If you want your cookies to be less chewy, replace the coconut with another 40g of almonds instead – likewise if you don’t want almonds, replace that with an additional 25g of desiccated coconut.
  6. Spoon the mixture on to the baking tray with a tablespoon so that each cookie is roughly 5cm apart.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes and leave on a wire rack to cool.

And that’s it. The whole batch should take about half an hour to make. Have a try yourself and let me know what you think.

Maybe you could bake a batch and enjoy them whilst reading The Bluebell Informant – it’s free to download, so you really have nothing to lose.

You can connect with Nick via his website, Twitter or Facebook

Download The Bluebell Informant for FREE at » Amazon «

About the book

How do you catch a killer who is already dead?

One year ago, the Bluebell Killer killed his last victim. He was shot and killed, leaving behind a legacy of twenty corpses and a name that people will fear for years to come…

A year later, a man is shot in the back of the head and left in a field of bluebells.
Is it a mugging gone wrong? A copycat killer? Or is the Bluebell Killer still out there, waiting to pounce on his next victim?

For DS Evelyn Giles the solution is simple – it’s just another dirty politician caught committing an unforgiveable crime. But with the evidence stacking up against him, Giles’ suspect has one more surprise in store for her…
And his words will throw everything she knows into question…

‘It’s not over yet.’

The past is coming back to haunt DS Giles. She’s already sacrificed much for the lie. The only question is how much more will she suffer for the truth?

Thanks again to Nick for sharing his baking expertise and insight into his character Evelyn Giles.  I’ve downloaded my copy of The Bluebell Informant and look forward to trying the biscuit recipe also!

My earliest memory of books

I made a list quite some time ago of blogging topics I would, at some point, get around to blogging about, you can see that list here.  As I’ve been lacking review motivation recently I went back to my list for a different type of post.

My earliest memory of books is a visit to my primary school by the author Nina Bawden.  I think I was about 7 or 8 so that would have make it the early 80s.  I can vividly remember the school hall, where the table was positioned at the back by the stage, and a lady sat behind the table.

During her career Nina Bawden wrote 20 books for children as well as for adults, I’ve only read a small share of these books, with these being the ones that I’m confident I’ve read:It’s just such a shame that I have no idea what happened to these books or my signed book.  I moved twice between the ages of 9 and 13 so they must have been left behind or disposed of – gutted!

You can read more about Nina Bawden here.

What’s your earliest memory of books?  If you’re of my age group, do you remember these books?