Saturday, 31 March 2012

Book Club Update

Last month we read Catch 22 and Pigeon English for our book club reads. Well actually I didn't get round to reading all of Catch 22 but have brought it home from work to read over the holidays. Most people in Book Club didn't read it all because it didn't appeal as much as we thought it would, and interestingly people who had read it before e.g. as teenagers or in 20s didn't find it as appealing now. We have found this with some books and I think it is because our expectations are higher as we get older i.e. more fussy, less time and also because there is a great choice of books available so reluctant to spend time on non enjoyable reads. We all read Pigeon English and enjoyed it although didn't think it was absolutely fantastic. There is a difficulty with an adult writing as a child as sometimes it doesn't ring true. I wish it hadn't been so closely related to the real life happening as that made it difficult to consider. I really liked the relationship between the main character and his sisters and with his friends - that was the best and most interesting part. I wanted to read more about them and how they interacted. The more I've thought about the book the more I've liked it - the characters have stayed with me but I would have liked those characters in a different story line......

This month we are reading The Flamboya Tree: Memories of a Family's War Time Courage by
Clara Olink Kelly. I haven't started it yet but have a copy to read over the holidays and am looking forward to it.

We are also reading The Warden by Anthony Trollope. This was my suggestion as I have been meaning to read Barchester Towers for ages and didn't know that The Warden was the prologue to it so we are reading that. I've started to read it on my Kindle and it is a little dull. I'm hoping it will improve otherwise there will be complaints at the next meeting :))

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Friday, 23 March 2012

Newnham College Cambridge Library

A quick look round the library at Newnham College.
It is a really beautiful library, a brilliant mixture of new and old buildings that works perfectly. It would be an ideal place to study and while a way the hours. It didn't feel fusty like some academic libraries but was quiet and peaceful and very nice indeed.

More Cambridge Libraries - Central Library

Yet another visit to Cambridge -to pick up Joe (and all his stuff) for the Easter holidays. The nice part was that my friend Kate was going to Cambridge too to pick up her daughter Charlotte so we decided to have an extra day there.
Kate is not keen on visiting libraries which is fine so it meant that I had to use some shopping time for a quick visit to Cambridge Central Library. It is in the main shopping centre, conveniently between John Lewis and the Apple Store.

It was very busy even for a Saturday afternoon in a busy city. The children's library was packed out with lots of conscientious dads reading stories out loud to their kids.
There were many DVDs.

There were many people on task - working on computers or sat at tables doing work or reading. The book collection was excellent and I wish that I had had longer to look round. It is obviously a very vibrant and successful library - but so it should be - the environment and users are all conducive to it being so.

I noticed a sign above the enquiry desk - it said 'Help' rather than 'Enquiries'. I asked if I could take a photo of it and whether it deliberately said Help. The two library assistants said they hadn't really noticed but assumed it was to be more appealing and more approachable.
They were helpful and approachable. As I went I heard them say it could be Help with a ! as in a plea for help - witty library assistants too.