Two weeks ago Paulina and Anna, two of our much cherished volunteers and me, Pauline, the intern, supported by our Volunteer Co-ordinator Gabrielle, decided to set up a new group: the Book Picnic. Once a month at lunchtime this book picnic is a chance for volunteers and staff to share their newest discoveries so that we can share them with the library’s thousands of borrowers. Of course all these titles are part of our library collection and if you are interested by one, just come over and borrow it!
Carol by Patricia Highsmith
Recommended by Paulina
“Carol” is Patricia Highsmith’s second novel, first published in 1952 under the title “The Price of Salt”, was her only novel openly talking about lesbianism. It has recently gained more attention because of its film version in 2015. Set in the conformist 1950s in the United States, it is about a forbidden lesbian relationship between elegant and sometimes unapproachable Carol and timid Therese. Usually known for her crime fiction this story was incredibly popular after its publication and is very worth of its rediscovery!
The Outrun by Amy Liptrot
Recommended by Hannah
“The Outrun” is a very inspiring memoir written by a young woman who describes her ten years of being addicted to alcohol and how she managed to overcome the addiction. The beauty of the book is her quest of identity through meditating on nature. Whether it is her precise reflections, the beautiful descriptions of Orcadian nature or the search for the corncrake, a bird very difficult to trace, this is a moving and important memoir.
Full tilt by Dervla Murphy
Recommended by Jenny
In 1963 Dervla Murphy decided to cycle all the way from Ireland to India. “Full tilt” is the outcome of this adventure. The hospitality she met during her journey, her experience as a woman travelling alone during that time and the difficulties she had to face make it a pioneering piece of travel writing.
Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Recommended by Rachele
The dystopian novel “Handmaid’s Tale” has not been out of print since its first publication in 1985, which confirms its popularity to this day and it has to be mentioned in one breath with “Fahrenheit 451” and “Brave New World”. Before watching the TV series, Rachele highly recommends reading this fascinating novel!
Get me the urgent biscuits by Sweetpea Slight
Recommended by Elaine
In the 1980s Sweetpea Slight came from the English countryside to London with the wish to become an actress. Instead she was to become the Personal Assistant to Thelma Holt for the next 20 years. Now she writes about her experiences in the theatre world. Her passion for this world, the eccentricities of both actors and directors and her sharp and witty style of writing make this book an entertaining journey behind the scenes
Song of the seamaid by Rebecca Mascull
Recommended by Elaine
This novel set in the 18th century is centred on the orphan Dawney Price, who challenges the limitations for women during that period of time. Her character is very well portrayed, and because the novel is written in the first person, the reader is consumed by her world. Since she was a girl she wanted to be a scientist and she manages to travel to faraway places. Moreover it is based on thorough research and some of the characters are based on real persons.
Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky
Recommended by Gabrielle
Set during wintertime of the Post-World War One period in the French countryside this novella wins the reader over with its incredible density and confirms her mastery as a storyteller. The idyll of the calm countryside meets the tragedy of the human heart. The precision of her language and her ability to focus on the essential make this novella as good as her well-known “Suite Française”. Written during the beginning of the Second World War, this story has luckily been rediscovered in the early 2000s.