Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Please keep donating (or start your own)

In our last post we featured the marvelous John Reppion, and his tweets about the Little Library... and we noticed that one of them led to the following conversation:

Now, ignoring the aspersions on our size (it's not everything ;-p), we have to admit that the generosity of our wonderful neighbours has ensured that the Little Library is pretty full - but please, please, don't let that put you off making more donations :-) There are a number of reasons for that - neighbourly love and scouse karma, for a start; rampant plans for world domination being another :D

Seriously, though, we're looking to help others to start their own Little Libraries - hopefully more about that 'soon' - so any donations will be put to excellent use!

And remember, if you want a Little Library of your own - please do talk to us about it... we'd love to help you set one up (including helping you to stock it) :-)

Monday, 26 May 2014

Wow - more local talent!

What a great bank-holiday weekend for the Little Library :-) We had a visit from another talented neighbour (we have no idea where he lives, but neighbours is as neighbours does) - the wonderful John Reppion, who not only left us some of his writing, he inscribed it for us as well! He knows the way to our <3 and his stuff looks great - I'd strongly advise you to get in early because we already have our own eyes on reading it (although I'm not sure I trust myself to read the Steampunk stories after the 'Camp Bestival' incident where I wanted to run off with the steampunks rather than coming back home again...)

Not content with his wonderful donation, he's been tweeting about us as well - top fellah!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Something for the kids...

There are two shelves of books for grown-ups in the Little Library, but the bottom shelf is for kids, and we thought it was time to highlight that a bit more.

Regular readers will know that we love it when people leave notes, and the last couple of notes we've had came from kids - thank you so much for taking the time to write! :-)

We've also had a couple of donations of kids' books just recently, including the very impressive pile pictured above, generously provided by our lovely friends the Greenwoods - in particular twins Beth & Emily - who are all keen readers as well as wonderful people. We'll be filtering some of these into the Little Library in the near future...

In many ways it's even harder to cover a good range of books for kids than it is for adults, because of the wide range of reading levels - we're trying hard to have a good selection, but if there's something you think we're missing, please let us know! And, of course, there's no real hard line between books for 'kids' and books for 'adults' - plenty of adults love reading Philip Pullman and J. K. Rowling... and there's no reason why kids can't enjoy Gerald Durrell, Gavin Maxwell or Robert Louis Stevenson. We only have one rule in the Little Library - if you like the look of it, give it a read! :-)

Monday, 19 May 2014

A Visit from the Deputy-Mayor

Much excitement over the weekend as the Little Library got a visit from Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Erica Kemp! She was very positive in her support for the Little Library, and we had an interesting chat - of which more shortly...

Here's Erica's tweet about us:

Sunday, 18 May 2014

The biggest prize of all...

We've highlighted books that have won awards, and books that have had films made out of them in our last two posts, and we thought we'd round that out with books that have won the biggest prize of all - the Nobel Prize for Literature - one of which has been made into a TV series to boot (which also gives us an excuse to post a gratuitous picture of Benedict Cumberbatch :-) ). Yes, folks, that's 3 Nobel Prize winners sitting right there in the Little Library waiting for you..!

The oldest of the three is Hermann Hesse's "The Glass Bead Game" - a deeply thought-through and perceptive meditation on the relationship between the mental and physical, and the proper role of academics, aesthetes and intellectuals in the 'real' world. The Observer said "A massive novel set out to explore the positive side of human nature, the fullness of man's capacity as a thinker and as a prober into scared mysteries...Touching and impressive".

Next up is William Golding's "Rites of Passage" - the first part of his "To the Ends of the Earth" trilogy, which was made into a TV mini-series starring Benedict Cumberbatch by the BBC. To be perfectly honest I haven't read this one myself yet, so I'm just going to steal the Goodreads synopsis: "In the cabin of an ancient, stinking warship bound for Australia, a man writes a journal to entertain his godfather back in England. With wit and disdain he records mounting tensions on board, as an obsequious clergyman attracts the animosity of the tyrannical captain and surly crew."

And finally the most recent of the three - "My Name is Red", by Orhan Pamuk - part historic novel (set in 16th Century Istanbul); part murder mystery (a colleague has disappeared and the main character's own life depends on solving the mystery); and part exploration into the purpose and value of art (the main protagonists are the painters of miniatures). What more could you want?

Amazon review of "The Glass Bead Game" by Hermann Hesse (3.9 stars out of 5)
Goodreads review of "The Glass Bead Game" by Hermann Hesse (4.1 stars out of 5)

Thursday, 1 May 2014

So Good They Made a Film...

Our last post highlighted a couple of award-winning books in the Little Library... one of which was Yann Martel's "Life of Pi", which has recently been made into a film.

That started us thinking - are there other books in the Little Library that people might have seen as films, and would now like to read the book that inspired it..? The answer, of course, is "yes"! (And if you didn't much like the film - try the book, it will be better!)

First up we have "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger - the brilliantly crafted tale of a relationship built around one partner's advance knowledge of its entire trajectory; it's a touching meditation on the way relationships are reshaped through the understanding that time brings.

Next we have "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", part 1 of Stieg Larsson's 'Milennium Trilogy' and a very smart, modern crime thriller which pitches an 'odd-couple' journalist and computer-hacker against a dark and disturbed family with the XL Skeleton Closet from Ikea.

Our third choice is "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold. A novel narrated by a murdered 14 year old sounds like it might be a touch depressing, but this is a beautifully told tale of family and individual redemption which manages never to become mawkish or sentimental. It doesn't shy away from the brutal and harsh realities of the crime and its aftermath, but its carefully traced plot does, ultimately, leave the reader feeling uplifted.

And finally, who remembers John Irving's "The World According to Garp"..? A great rollercoaster of a novel that tells the life story of (fictional) writer T.S. Garp, son of a remarkable mother, and skillfully balances the crazy with the tragic and hilarious, producing one of the finest evocations of late 19th Century American life when it still promised change and social liberation.

The Time Traveler's Wife:
Book Review on Amazon (4.3 out of 5)
Book Review on Goodreads (3.9 out of 5)
Film Review on IMDB (7.1 out of 10)
Film Review on Rotten Tomatoes (3.0 out of 5)

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo:
Book Review on Amazon (4.1 out of 5)
Book Review on Goodreads (4.1 out of 5)
Film Review on IMDB (7.9 out of 10)
Film Review on Rotten Tomatoes (4.1 out of 5)

The Lovely Bones:
Book Review on Amazon (4.0 out of 5)
Book Review on Goodreads (3.7 out of 5)
Film Review on IMDB (6.7 out of 10)
Film Review on Rotten Tomatoes (3.2 out of 5)

The World According to Garp:
Book Review on Amazon (4.4 out of 5)
Book Review on Goodreads (4.0 out of 5)
Film Review on IMDB (7.1 out of 10)
Film Review on Rotten Tomatoes (6.3 out of 10)