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National Libraries Day

6 February 2015



Tomorrow, 7th February, is National Libraries Day #NLD15 and here at the Health Library it has prompted staff discussion about our favourite books.

Here’s some of our faves:

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien are my favourite books – I first read these books in my teens. I used to read a couple of chapters each night with the Deep Purple in Rock playing in the background. Tolkien had a great imagination, the books are so descriptive you felt you were on the journey with Frodo and friends.  Read the Hobbit after reading the trilogy but wished I had read it first.

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton:

I love(d) this book. Reading it as a child I must’ve had a very vivid imagination as just a quick flick through the pages now and I can still picture my childhood image of Moonface and Saucepan Man in the Land of Topsy-Turvy. I wasn’t a huge Enid Blyton fan as a child; I was more of a Tintin than a Famous Five fan, but The Magic Faraway Tree was an Enid Blyton winner for me.

The little prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

I am currently re- reading a favourite of mine with my son. It is a magical story that advises not to get wrapped up in materialistic values. It’s a good guide for life basically. My favourite quote from it: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood:

I’ve always enjoyed dystopian fiction and this has always stuck out for me within the genre because, despite having a very bleak view of where society is headed, it’s also extremely funny; its exaggerated versions of present-day issues (such as factory farming and the increasing power of big business) are as absurd as they are terrifying. I was thrilled to hear recently that it’s being made into TV series for HBO.

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett

Spending so much time in L-Space, it’s difficult to resist pretty much anything by Terry Pratchett, especially with the frequent references to librarians – mysterious folk about whom it is said they can tell what book you needed just by looking at you, and they can take your voice away with just one word – but probably Soul Music is *a* favourite, with some bitingly accurate depictions of a life in music and the people that inhabit, and are inhabited by, it. Plus, the hero’s almost local – from Llamedos – and looks a bit Elvish (thanguveremush) but really, he’s Imp y Celyn…(It’s the little things…).

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

I bought the Hunger Games box set for my 11 year old son a few Christmasses ago, and think I got a lot more out of them than he did when we started reading them together.  Katniss Everdeen is such a strong character and while her actual situation might not be all that relatable for most teenagers, her independence and her fighting spirit are inspiring – if these books had been around when I was a teenager I probably would have wanted a bow and arrow.  And I love the closing lines of Mockingjay, “You love me. Real or not real?” I tell him, “Real.”

Loving your lib

Coinciding with National Libraries Day and Valentine’s Day, from 11th-15th March the University Library Service will be celebrating with a #LovingYourLibrary theme. When you’re in the Health Library, Dental Library or any University library, look out for the heart-ily decorated stands (and free sweets!) where you can leave us your views on what you love about your library, or what you think we could improve.

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