BBC Get Creative Weekend at Hampshire Libraries

BBC Get Creative Weekend 7-9 April

Friday 7 April

Come along to our FREE crochet group All ages and abilities welcome; exchange tips, learn new techniques and make new friends

  • 3D Colouring using the Quiver App – Winchester Discovery Centre through out the day

Run in association with Sentinel Housing

  • Art Club at Gosport Discovery Centre 10am Meet Fridays fortnightly

Come along to our self led drop in. Fun, free and open to all.

Fancy having a go at rag rugging? Come along and join our group. It is fun and easy to do. Upcycle your old clothes. Materials required: 3.5mm or 4.00mm crochet hook, a range of fabric scraps cut into rectangles (approximately 2 x 1 inches) and upholstery hessian. A small amount of hessian can be purchased from the group to get you started.

An excellent way to relax and calm the mind. Free Friday drop in sessions. All materials provided so just bring yourself.

Colouring can be a great way to relax, unwind and release the tension of the day. Come down to our colouring club, meet some great people and relax.

Do you love making things with Lego/Duplo bricks? Come and join our Construction Club. Free

Saturday 8 April

  • Messy play. Waterlooville                     10am till 12noon.

We will be painting and all joining in to make an Eastery display that we can put up on the wall.

Free weekly themed drop in sessions

  • Coding and Construction at Lymington LIbrary,

Come along and try your hand at coding as part of our existing Construction Club.

Come and make marvellous clay creations

  • Mindfulness Colouring at Romsey Library 12-1pm

Coluring in a calming environment.

  • Try Your Hand at Thread Craft – Romsey Library

Wonderful Weaving & Beautiful Braiding

  • Code Club Drop-In – Romsey Library 10am-12noon

Have a go at Scratch Programming

  • Storytime & Let’s Go Winchester Discovery Centre 11am

A fun weekend storytime aimed at pre-schoolers but all ages welcome.Storytime – Winchester Discovery Centre 11amn

Do you love making things with Lego/Duplo® bricks? Come along to our Construction Clubs to join in the fun.

  • 3D Colouring using the Quiver App – Winchester Discovery Centre through out the day

Run in association with Sentinel Housing

Sun 9 April

  • Crafts for Kids – WInchester Discovery Centre
  • 3D Colouring using the Quiver App – Winchester Discovery Centre through out the day

Run in association with Sentinel Housing



Ellie’s Extraordinary Adventure

Come and join us and watch Ellie’s Extraordinary Adventure, as she makes her way through a thousand stories to get home in time for tea!

The following libraries will be showing Ellie’s Extraordinary Adventure, follow the link for more information about the show.

Please book your tickets through the Berry Theatre.

Eastleigh library – Monday 10 April at 2 pm

Netley library – Tuesday 18 April at 4pm

Chandler’s Ford library – Wednesday 19 April at 11am

Hedge End library – Wednesday 19 April at 4pm

West End library – Thursday 20 April at 11am

Ticket prices:

Under 16 year olds – £4

Students – £4

Over 60 year olds – £4

Full Price – £5


International children’s book day

To celebrate international children’s book day on 2 April, we have put a book list together for different aged children!

Ages 3-5

How to grow a dinosaur, Carly Hart

Albie is a normal little boy who has extraordinary adventures. When he helps his mum in the garden by planting some seeds, he can’t quite believe his eyes the next morning. The garden has grown beyond all belief and these are not just any old plants – oh, no – Albie’s seeds have grown into great big Jurassic jungle! He rushes outside to discover what else has grown – a fantastic mix of real live DINOSAURS!

Maisy goes to London, Lucy Couisins

Maisy and her friends are visiting the big city – and there is so much to see! Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, and even the Globe Theatre. It’s very noisy in the city! Honk! Honk! Honk! What an exciting day!

Ages 5-7

Winnie the witch, under the sea, Valerie Thomas

Winnie and Wilbur are on holiday! With a flick of her magic wand Winnie turns them both into sea creatures so that they can dive beneath the ocean waves. But when Winnie’s wand sinks out of sight, how will they get safely back to shore? It’s a deep-sea Winnie and Wilbur adventure!

The story of the dancing frog, Quentin Blake

Poor Gertrude thinks she’ll never have any love or laughter in life again when she finds out her husband’s naval ship has sunk. But her life is changed when she finds George, the dancing frog.

Ages 7-11

Tales from weird street, Anne Fine

The children of Weird Street are lazing about one sunny day when they challenge each other to tell stories of all the odd goings-on in their neighbourhood. A grandfather’s guilt at the long-ago death of his twin brother, a young waiter whose rude customers get more than they bargain for, and a hard-working boy who finds himself blessed by a golden-haired stranger – the Weird Street tales are full of drama and suspense!

Freddie Mole – Lion tamer, Alexander McCall Smith

Roll up, roll up for a sensational circus story from the bestselling author of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith, with fun, energetic illustrations by Kate Hindley throughout. Join Freddie Mole as he tumbles through the air, flies around the big tent and tames four growling lions! Freddie is an ordinary boy who joins the circus one day. He can’t believe his luck as he is asked to understudy some of the acts. But is he brave enough to go into the lions’ cage?

Ages 11-14

Forever geek, Holly Smale

My name is Harriet Manners and I’ll be a geek forever.The FINAL book in the bestselling, award-winning GEEK GIRL series is here! Harriet Manners knows almost every fact there is. Modelling isn’t a sure-fire route to popularity. Neither is making endless lists. The people you love don’t expect you to transform into someone else. Statistically you are more likely to not meet your Australian ex-boyfriend in Australia than bump into him there. So on the trip of a lifetime Down Under Harriet’s to-do lists are gone and it’s Nat’s time to shine! Yet with nearly-not-quite-boyfriend Jasper back home, Harriet’s completely unprepared to see supermodel ex Nick. Is the fashion world about to turn ugly for GEEK GIRL? It’s time for Harriet to face the future.

Sputnik’s guide to life on earth, Frank Cottrell Boyce

The Blythes are a big, warm, rambunctious family who live on a small farm and sometimes foster children. Now Prez has come to live with them. But, though he seems cheerful and helpful, he never says a word. Then one day Prez answers the door to someone claiming to be his relative. This small, loud stranger carries a backpack, walks with a swagger and goes by the name of Sputnik. As Prez dithers on the doorstep, Sputnik strolls right past him and introduces himself to everyone in the household. Prez is amazed at the response. The family pat Sputnik on the head, call him a good boy and drop food into his mouth. It seems they all think Sputnik is a dog. It’s only Prez who thinks otherwise. But Prez soon finds himself having to defend the family from the chaos and danger unleashed by Sputnik, as household items come to life.

Ages 14-16

Black moon,  L.A.Weatherly

In forgotten tunnels below New Manhattan, a secret network of rebels led by Amity Vancour are plotting to overturn Kay Pierce’s brutal regime. Ingo is by Amity’s side, while vital information comes from Collie, working undercover as Pierce’s right-hand man. Everything rests on one last plan of attack. If it fails, the fallout will be catastrophic.

How not to disappear, Clare Furniss

Our memories are what make us who we are. Some are real. Some are made up. But they are the stories that tell us who we are. Without them we are nobody. Hattie’s summer isn’t going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to ‘find himself” and Kat is in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum’s wedding. Oh, and she’s also just discovered that she’s pregnant with Reuben’s baby. Then Gloria, Hattie’s great-aunt who no one even knew existed, comes crashing into her life. Gloria’s fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia. Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self discovery.


Spring at Hampshire libraries

Don’t miss out on all the great events going on within Hampshire libraries this spring! Come along and join in the fun with us! Follow the links below for more details on the up coming events.

Come and have fun making some woolly sheep friends to take home. Drop in between 9.30am and 12noon, suitable for ages 4 to 8.

Do you enjoy gardening? Sow and Grow is a free club for anyone wishing to start gardening or just to improve their gardening knowledge. From 10am to 12noon and do not forget to book your place!

Come along to New Milton Library for a free, fun children’s Easter craft activity. Suitable for children age 3+. Just drop into the library between 10-11.30am.

Join Suzie Baldwin, a couple of well behaved hens and maybe some chicks for a talk about chickens and how to care for them.

Booking is essential, £3 a ticket (accompanying adults free), for age 4+, starting at 10.30am.

A whole day of FREE activities for all ages: 3D-colouring, craft, Let’sGO Construction and more, no need to book – just drop in from 10am.

Join Suzie Baldwin, a couple of well behaved hens and maybe some chicks for a talk about chickens and how to care for them.

Booking is essential, £3 a ticket (accompanying adults free), for age 4+, starting at 2.30pm.

Design and make your own Easter chicks and other fun Easter related activities Suitable for ages 3+ No need to book, just turn up from 10.30am-12pm.

Petersfield Library has lost some eggs. Can you help find them? Join Petersfield library for stories, crafts and a BIG EGG HUNT from 10.30am to 12noon. Free for 4 to 10 year olds.

Come to our free Easter story time and crafts session, reserve your ticket in advance.

Come along and join in, for stories and free crafts. Drop in between 10.30am and 12.30pm, suitable for 4-8 year olds.

Wear your PJ’s, bring a teddy or bunny and snuggle up for bedtime stories. For children age 3-8 years, from 5.30-6.30pm. Free session, however booking is required.

Come to our free Easter story time and crafts session, reserve your ticket in advance, starting at 11am.

Happy Birthday Dick King-Smith!

To celebrate Dick King-Smith’s birthday on 27 March we have put together 10 of his books, that we love!

The sheep-pig

The Sheep-pig is one of Dick King-Smith’s most famous tales. It shot to further fame when the film adaptation, Babe, was released in 1995. ‘Why can’t I learn to be a Sheep-Pig?’ When Babe, the little orphaned piglet, is won at a fair by Farmer Hogget, he is adopted by Fly, the kind-hearted sheep-dog. Babe is determined to learn everything he can from Fly. He knows he can’t be a sheep-dog. But maybe, just maybe, he might be a sheep-pig.

The hodgeheg

Max is a hedgehog who lives with his family in a nice little home, but unfortunately on the wrong side of the road from the Park, with its beautiful lily pond, and more importantly its juicy slugs, worms and snails! The busy road is a dangerous barrier but Max notices that humans seem to cross it quite easily. If they can, why can’t hedgehogs? So Max sets out on a quest to find a safe way to reach the Park.

The water horse

The story begins with a mysterious egg washed up on a Scottish beach, the morning after a great storm. Kirstie and her brother Angus find the egg and take it home. The next day it has hatched into a tiny greeny-grey creature with a horse’s head, warty skin, four flippers and a crocodile’s tail. The baby sea monster soon becomes the family pet – but the trouble is, it just doesn’t stop growing!

The adventurous snail

Snail on board! Siegfried loves to explore. One day his explorations take him on a big adventure – from his home in the grass, to the airport, on to an aeroplane and all the way to America! There he makes some very important friends, Mr Ambassador and Mr President, finds a new home in a sandwich box – and also meets the lovely Peggy Sue.

Animal tales

Jackson the unusual rabbit, dreams of going to sea and sails to Atlanta in search of a new life. Lady Muriel lives alone with lots and lots of cats. But Muriel’s cats are no ordinary cats – they are people she once knew reincarnated in feline form. A story of a scruffy little mongrel with a grand ambition – to be a guard dog. Hairy Hezekiah – Hezekiah lives a quiet life, and seems to be the only animal in the zoo without a friend. So he decides to escape and go on the run! Horse Pie – Jenny the donkey finds herself unwelcome at the Old Horses’ Home, but when rustlers start looking for horses to make into pies, it’s up to Jenny to save the day.

All pigs are beautiful

Full of facts and feelings about the real world, the picture books in this series encourage children to think, feel, imagine and wonder as they learn.

Billy the bird

When Mary finds her little brother Billy seemingly floating above his bed, with his nose, tummy and toes touching the ceiling, she is astounded. Never before has anyone in Mary’s family been able to fly – even though their name is Bird!

Dinosaur trouble

Nosy, a young pterodactyl makes friends with Banty, a young Apatosaurus, despite the disapproval of their parents. When the pterodactyls save Banty from T-Rex, the adult dinosaurs become great friends as well. Nosy comes up with a plan to teach T-Rex a lesson.

The fox busters

Flightless, helpless and often, frankly, more than a little silly, chickens are no match for the cunning, merciless foxes stalking their coop. Or are they? Thanks to a careless farmer and generations of determined foxes, the chickens on Foxearth Farm have evolved into quick-witted, long-legged, high flying fox dodgers. Then, just a week after a vicious fox ambush in the water trough, three sisters are hatched. And Ransome, Sims and Jefferies are no ordinary chicks: they grow up determined to fight back. They are the legendary Fox Busters.


Aristotle, the witch’s kitten, is so adventurous that it’s just as well cats have nine lives! Luckily the good witch Bella Donna is always on hand to help him out. Follow his fur-raising adventures in this delightful tale.

Books for Mother’s day

Sit back and relax with a good book this mother’s day!

The summer seaside kitchen, Jenny Colgan

Flora is definitely, absolutely sure that escaping from the quiet Scottish island where she grew up to the noise and hustle of the big city was the right choice. What was there for her on Mure? It’s a place where everyone has known her all her life, and no one will let her forget the past. In the city, she can be anonymous, ambitious and indulge herself in her hopeless crush on her gorgeous boss, Joel. When a new client demands Flora’s presence back on Mure, she’s suddenly swept back into life with her brothers (all strapping, loud and seemingly incapable of basic housework) and her father. As Flora indulges her new-found love of cooking and breathes life into the dusty little pink- fronted shop on the harbour, she’s also going to have to come to terms with past mistakes – and work out exactly where her future lies… Let Jenny Colgan make your dreams come true!

The unmumsy mum, Sarah Turner

The Unmumsy Mum writes candidly about motherhood like it really is: the messy, maddening, hilarious reality, how there is no one size fits all’ approach and how it is sometimes absolutely fine to not know what you are doing. The lessons she’s learnt while grappling with two small boys – from birth to teething, 3am night feeds to toddler tantrums, soft play to toilet training – will have you roaring with laughter and taking great comfort in the fact that it’s definitely not just you…

Me before you, Jojo Moyes

Lou knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour.

My former heart, Cressida Connolly

When she grew up, Ruth would say that she could place the day that her mother had decided to go away. She didn’t know the actual date, but she recalled the occasion: it was on the afternoon of a wet day, early in 1942, during a visit to the cinema. She thought she could even pinpoint the exact moment at which Iris had made up her mind to go, leaving her only child behind. Neither of them could have guessed then that they would never live together again. Spanning the second half of the last century, “My Former Heart”, Cressida Connolly’s mesmerising first novel, charts the lives of three generations of Iris’s family, the mother who walked away from her child and the lives of her two children.

Happy mum, happy baby, Giovana Fletcher

Since Giovanna and her husband Tom Fletcher have had their sons Buzz and Buddy, they have been sharing glimpses of their family life. With an infectiously positive outlook and happy take on all things mum-related, Giovanna has developed a following of fellow parents and mums-to-be. This is not a book about how to have the perfect family experience – Giovanna would be the first to admit she is winging it just as much as the rest of us – instead it is an honest, upbeat and incredibly personal account of her own experience of having a family.

In the midst of it all, Jennifer Worth

Just as she was present in the very first moments of life as a midwife, Jennifer Worth also went on to witness the different experiences of patients drawing towards the end of their days. As a nurse and ward sister, she came across stories that were often poignant or touching. There were moments of great warmth, humour and humanity, from the businessman who set up office in a hospital broom cupboard to the family divided by a decision nobody could make. Jennifer began to ask questions about the way we have moved away from a natural acceptance of death and what are we so afraid of?

Make sure you check out all the fun events going on within Hampshire libraries for Mother’s day!

Make a card for Mothers day  at Alresford library on 25 March from 10.30-12.30pm

Mothers day craft at Chandlers Ford library on 25 March from 10.30-3pm

Mothers day story time at Romsey library on 25 March from 11-1pm

Interview with Louise Doughty – author of Apple Tree Yard and Black Water

Louise Doughty, author of Apple Tree Yard joins us at Winchester Discovery Centre on March 29 to discuss her new book Black Water, with fellow authors Kate Hamer, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Girl in the Red Coat and Emma Flint, author of Little DeathsTickets are available now.

Black Water

John Harper is in hiding in a remote hut on a tropical island. As he lies awake at night, listening to the rain on the roof, he believes his life may be in danger. But he is less afraid of what is going to happen than of what he’s already done.

In a nearby town, he meets Rita, a woman with her own tragic history. They begin an affair, but can they offer each other redemption? Or do the ghosts of the past always catch up with us in the end?

Apple Tree Yard

Louise Doughty’s seventh novel Apple Tree Yard is about a woman who makes one rash choice that ends up putting her on trial at the Old Bailey for the most serious of crimes. But what is that choice and what’s the (real) place on the map in central London called ‘Apple Tree Yard’ got to do with it? Part-psychological thriller, part-personal morality tale and part-courtroom drama, Apple Tree Yard really will have you hooked from the very first page. Here to tell us more about it is the author, in conversation recently with her Faber editor, Sarah Savitt.

[SS] The novel’s prologue had me on the edge of my seat. At first Yvonne seems certain that she will be found innocent of murder, but when she realises the barrister knows about Apple Tree Yard, she fears she will lose everything and be sent to prison. Was the prologue the first scene you wrote? Could you talk a bit about how you began to write the novel, what the genesis of it was?

[LD] Yes, in this case, the prologue was the first thing I wrote. It came to me hard and fast, at around 10pm one evening, a time when I normally just want to watch the news with a camomile tea and think about going to bed. I had a sudden idea for a novel opening with a woman being caught out on the witness stand at the Old Bailey – and I went to my computer and wrote the whole scene at once. As soon as the barrister mentions Apple Tree Yard, the woman knows it’s all over; she is about to be exposed and her life will be destroyed.

At the time I wrote that scene, I didn’t know the details of what had let her to court but I did know what had happened in Apple Tree Yard, which is a real place – a small back alley in Westminster. I was actually planning on writing a completely different novel when I wrote that prologue, but once Apple Tree Yard came to me, I was possessed by it and couldn’t write anything else.

Part of your research for the novel involved sitting though a murder trial. Could you tell us a bit more about this experience and how it affected the writing of Apple Tree Yard?

I managed to get special permission from a judge to sit in the well of a court throughout a three-week murder trial at the Old Bailey. I was embedded with the prosecution team and sitting right behind treasury counsel: I had access to all the evidence, including the forensics, and every lunchtime and coffee break I was hanging out with the murder squad who had investigated the case.

At the beginning of the trial, I had the bones of my story and had written quite a lot, so at first I thought I was just after authentic description and detail – but the whole experience was so fascinating, the legal and moral issues involved, that even though I already had my story, much of what happened at the Old Bailey really informed my plot. I also managed to wangle my way into the cell area and the judge’s chambers. I love research and I’ve always enjoyed bluffing myself into areas I’m not supposed to go. I think I’m actually a frustrated spy.

Apple Tree Yard is on one level a novel about an affair – like so many well-loved classic novels, for example Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina. What is your favourite novel of adultery? Does writing about an affair in 21st century Britain, where divorce is so commonplace, have a different charge to it?

Well of course what Emma Bovary and Anna Karenina have in common is they both commit suicide – the classic fate of the adulterous, disturbed or immoral woman – whereas my heroine ends up on trial at the Old Bailey for murder. I guess we can call that progress. I was very keen that Yvonne should not be a victim and not turn her anger in on herself – she’s a grown up woman, highly intelligent and organized, a top scientist. She indulges in one impetuous act and her whole life spins out of control, but she makes her own decisions and some of them are morally dubious. She’s a very 21st century heroine.

Hilary Mantel has said this novel is about ‘the fine line women walk’ and I think that’s very true. Writing about adultery nowadays is certainly different from the nineteenth century. In theory women have much more freedom but with that comes more responsibility – and there is still a strong sense that a woman’s morality is judged in terms of her sexual morality. Yvonne is a good person, who has worked hard at a responsible job and raised a family but that’s not the criteria she gets judged by when she steps out of line.

Yvonne meets X, the man she has an affair with, at the Houses of Parliament, while she is giving evidence to a Select Committee, and much of their relationship is conducted around Westminster. Could you talk about why you set the novel in this part of London?

I really enjoyed setting a novel in the areas of London that people associate with the power structures in our society; the Houses of Parliament and the general Westminster area, the Old Bailey. There does seem to be something about those high octane, self-important jobs that makes people more prone to the drama of an affair. X is a man who needs excitement; he’s addicted to it. Yvonne has been organized and conventional all her life, but when she is offered that kind of thrill, she accepts immediately, in a way that suggests she has always missed it without knowing it. And the environs of Westminster, the parks and cafes and alleyways, are a gift to any novelist – particularly if you’re writing a novel about secrets and power structures of different sorts and how they affect our personal relationships

I love that this novel is both a compulsive thriller and an examination of the values we live by. How important is plot to you as a writer, and as a reader? Where do you start when you’re writing – with theme or plot – or something else?

I always start with plot and that’s something I’m quite unapologetic about, although I occasionally get the feeling that some of our literary critics would like me to apologise for it a bit more. My first drafts are always very sketchy and, to be honest, quite badly written – I’m just getting through the mechanics of the story. But there’s nothing I love more than re-writing, adding layers, complexity, really tinkering with the prose and the imagery, weighing every adjective and comma and licking it into shape. That’s the bit where I feel like a writer.

Thematically, it’s common for me to work out what a novel is really about quite close to the end – sometimes I’ve stopped in the middle of meal with a fork halfway to my mouth (only when I’m on my own, you’ll be pleased to hear) and said to myself, ah, that’s what it’s about. There is also a difference between what a novel is ‘about’ in the public sense, what you’ll admit to, the line you’ll use to intrigue someone into reading it, and what it’s ‘about’ in terms of what was going on in your head and your heart as you were writing it. I rarely admit to the latter.

Yvonne’s experience of the working world and then the criminal justice system is a thought-provoking and sometimes shocking exploration of how women are viewed, valued and judged by our society, what they are allowed and expected to do, and what happens when they break the rules. Do you see Apple Tree Yard as a feminist novel? Do you consider yourself a feminist?

Yes, and yes – of course yes. I actually think all my novels are political with a small p. I hope my viewpoint is hidden well behind character and story, but it’s always there. With Apple Tree Yard, the themes are more overt, because it has a woman character at the mercy of our criminal justice system. The more research I did, the more disheartened I became about how women are viewed within that system, whether as victims, witnesses or defendants. Stereotypical views of what makes a woman reliable, truthful, or conversely ‘bad’ still abound, and a woman is still seen through the distorting prism of her sexual history.

While I was at the Old Bailey, the Millie Dowler trial was going on in the next-door court and I saw her parents in the corridors from time to time. The way that family was treated in the witness box was appalling. The same summer, we had the Dominic Strauss Kahn case in New York and Kenneth Clarke’s comments on sexual assault on Radio Five Live. As Yvonne says in Apple Tree Yard at such times, it can become suddenly difficult to find your way around your own kitchen.

Yvonne was such a powerful character that I almost believed she existed by the end of the novel. How do you approach character when you’re writing a novel?

I tend to home in on the question: what makes this character different from me? That’s where the fertile ground is. In the case of Yvonne, it was important that she’s a scientist, a leading geneticist, a woman who has proved herself in very male, intellectual field. Creating her was something of a challenge when I only just managed to scrape an ‘E’ in O-level chemistry. I visited the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute outside Cambridge and had a tour of the premises and talked to Principal Investigators there, the people who run the labs. I even have a photo of me on the only occasion I will ever wear a lab coat. I took a geneticist involved in protein sequencing – Yvonne’s field – out to dinner, a woman who had been involved in naming genes as they were discovered during the early stages of the Human Genome Project. I read quite a few texts books where I scarcely understood a word.

What intrigued me, of course, was the human application of all this. There is so much about genetics that plugs into issues of personal morality: to what extent are we at the mercy of what we inherit and to what extent are we socially conditioned – and at one point does pure choice enter our lives? This isn’t a novel about science but it was very important to me that the main character was someone who has lived by science almost as a religion, as a way of making sense of her life: then something happens to her, a grand passion, that all her rationalities cannot explain.

I hope that readers will be sympathetic to Yvonne’s plight even as they are disturbed by her choices. In many ways, this novel is a plea for all of us to be less judgmental of other people but particularly of women who don’t necessarily fit the conventional idea of what a woman should be.

Thanks to

To get a copy of the Apple Tree Yard book or DVD from your library, see our catalogue listings.

An evening of science

It’s British Science Week! To celebrate we have lots of events going on, come along to an evening of science at Basingstoke Discovery Centre on 15 March. Check out the event details below!

Danger! High voltage, 7.15pm – £3 per ticket

Introduction to Exoplanets, 7.15pm – £3 per ticket

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death by Frances Glessner Lee, 7.15pm – £5 per ticket

Forensic linguistics, 7.15pm – £5 per ticket

Cake science, 7.30pm – £7.50 per ticket

We hope to see you there!

Fairy tale booklist

To celebrate the release of the new Beauty and the Beast film, we’ve  put together 10 books of retold fairy tales that are a must read!

Beauty: A retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast, Robin McKinley

When the family business collapses, Beauty and her two sisters are forced to leave the city and begin a new life in the countryside. However, when their father accepts hospitality from the elusive and magical Beast, he is forced to make a terrible promise – to send one daughter to the Beast’s castle, with no guarantee that she will be seen again. Beauty accepts the challenge, and there begins an extraordinary story of magic and love that overcomes all boundaries.

The goose girl, Shannon Hale

From the Grimm’s fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become a queen, Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must understand her own incredible talents before she can overcome those who wish her harm. Shannon Hale has drawn on her incredible gift for storytelling to create a powerful and magical grown-up fairytale.

Beastly, Alex Flinn

I am a beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright-a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster. You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever-ruined-unless I can break the spell. Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly

Cinder, Marissa Meyer

A forbidden romance.A deadly plague.Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation. Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

A court of thorns and roses, Sarah J, Maas

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Uprooted, Naomi Novik

Agnieszka loves her village, set deep in a peaceful valley. But the nearby enchanted forest casts a shadow over her home. Many have been lost to the Wood and none return unchanged. The villagers depend on an ageless wizard, the Dragon, to protect them from the forest’s dark magic. However, his help comes at a terrible price. One young village woman must serve him for ten years, leaving all they value behind. Agnieszka fears her dearest friend Kasia will be picked at the next choosing, for she’s everything Agnieszka is not – beautiful, graceful and brave. Yet when the Dragon comes, it’s not Kasia he takes.

The sleeper and the spindle, Neil Gaiman

A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish. On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems.

Cloaked, Alex Flinn

It all started with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission. There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Everglades. Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got cloaked.

Boy, Snow, Bird, Helen Oyeyemi

The Whitman family has been harbouring a secret in Flax Hill for three generations. When Boy brings Bird into their lives, suddenly that secret is out in the wintery New England light. Written with heart-rending vibrancy and eerie beauty, Boy, Snow, Bird is a sinuous story in which a mirror never shows all there is to see . . .

Confessions of an ugly stepsister, Gregory Maguire

We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave amongst the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty … and what curses accompanied Cinderella’s looks? Set against the backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, confessions of an ugly stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who is swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition.

British Science Week – 10-19 March

British Science Week Logo

March 10th to 19th marks British Science Week 2017

Hampshire Library Service love science and we have pulled together some of our favourite science titles into this book list to celebrate British Science Week.

A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history, wrote the modern classic A Brief History of Time to help non-scientists understand fundamental questions of physics and our existence: where did the universe come from? How and why did it begin? Will it come to an end, and if so, how?

The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins

This is that rare thing – a book that changes science and reaches the public. From the moment of its publication 40 years ago, it has been a sparkling best-seller and a scientific game-changer. The gene-centred view of evolution that Dawkins championed and crystallized is now central both to evolutionary theorizing and to lay commentaries on natural history such as wildlife documentaries.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance.

Bad Science and Bad Pharma – Ben Goldacre

Bad Science is a book by British physician and academic Ben Goldacre, criticising mainstream media reporting on health and science issues. It contains extended and revised versions of many of his Guardian columns. Bad Pharma is  about the pharmaceutical industry, its relationship with the medical profession, and the extent to which it controls academic research into its own products.

Forces of Nature Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen

Forces of Nature is a 2016 book that accompanies the BBC One TV series of the same name. The book attempts to provide deep answers to simple questions, ranging from the nature of motion to the uniqueness of a snowflake. It uncovers how some of our planet’s beautiful sights and events are forged by just a handful of natural forces.

A Really Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson

Bill’s own fascination with science began with a battered old schoolbook he had when he was about ten or eleven years old in America. It had an illustration that captivated him – a cutaway diagram showing Earth’s interior as it would look if you cut into it with a large knife and carefully removed about a quarter of its bulk. And he very clearly remembers thinking: “How do they know that?”. This book attempts to answer that question and more!

The Epigenetics Revolution Nessa Carey

Nessa Carey presents a compelling story of the most important revolution in modern biology – and what it could mean for humanity. She concludes by investigating the amazing possibilities for the improvement of humankind that epigenetics offers for the surprisingly near future.