Saturday, 28 June 2014

100 Years Ago Today...

As people around a large part of the world remember Gavrilo Princip's assassination of Archduke Ferdinand a century ago - an act which is generally considered to have been the flapping butterfly which tipped the world over into the hurricane of the First World War - we thought it was time to feature "The Last Fighting Tommy"... yet another book you'll find in our Little Library (if you're quick!).

It's the ghosted autobiography of Harry Patch, who was the last living veteran of those godawful WWI trenches that still have the power to so move us a hundred years later. Sadly Harry died in 2009 (aged 111!), but he left behind this powerful story of an ordinary young man plunged into 4 years of hell - one of the lucky ones who came out of the other side - who later became an outspoken peace campaigner.

"When the war ended, I don't know if I was more relieved that we'd won or that I didn't have to go back. Passchendaele was a disastrous battle – thousands and thousands of young lives were lost. It makes me angry. Earlier this year, I went back to Ypres to shake the hand of Charles Kuentz, Germany's only surviving veteran from the war. It was emotional. He is 107. We've had 87 years to think what war is. To me, it's a licence to go out and murder. Why should the British government call me up and take me out to a battlefield to shoot a man I never knew, whose language I couldn't speak? All those lives lost for a war finished over a table. Now what is the sense in that?"

We don't have that many non-fiction books in the Little Library - there's such a wide range of subjects to cover it's just really hard to know what people might want... if you'd like to see more non-fiction then please let us know what areas you're interested in :-)

Friday, 20 June 2014

Little Library in Bootle!

 Regular readers (of this blog) will know that we get excited quite a lot... and we're bouncing off the walls right now :-)

We've dropped a few hints about hoping to expand... and we have! The intrepid, resourceful and book-loving Phil Elliott has started a Little Library in a block of housing association flats in Bootle.

He wanted a more straightforward book-case, rather than a cabinet, to put in the foyer of the flats, and we were delighted to help him find it and stock it with some books.

Some of our lovely neighbours who have donated books to us may recognise them in the photos - we hope they'll approve of the great home we found for them.

Since these pics were taken, just after we set it up, Phil's neighbours have donated enough additional books to fill it right up, and the whole thing is going gangbusters with people in the block borrowing the books - that's what it's all about, folks :-)

We'd love to see more Little Libraries springing up, so please take us up on our offer to help YOU start one for your neighbourhood... and if you just happen to run a housing association - why not talk to us about setting them up throughout your properties... it's a wonderful way to increase neighbourly feeling and improve people's lives.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Liverpool Stories

We've noticed that one of the things that's very popular in the Little Library, is books based in Liverpool - who'd 'a' thought?!

Obviously it changes, but right now (well, yesterday) we have SIX of these, just awaiting your delectation. I have to confess that I haven't read any of these :-) To be honest, I don't think that people go for these because of the reviews, though - they go for them because they get a good story in a setting that has the added vitatlity of personal familiarity.

Books are a wonderful escape; a chance to step into someone else's world - Carl Sagan said it way better than I ever could, so I've included that below as well - but the additional memories evoked by a shared familiarity with (at least some aspects of) the setting can add an additional layer of richness

Liverpool is a city with a wealth if cultural history that few others can match, so it should come as no surprise that it provides the perfect backdrop for a wide selection of stories - or that there are a number of local writers who specialise, or have done, in exactly that.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Another Mention From the Reader Org

Our friends at the wonderful Reader Org in Calderstones have given us another mention - thanks very much to them for that :-)

It's at the end of an article about Little Free Libraries, and they tweeted about it as well...