Digital Naturally Mindful

We invite you to seek wellbeing in nature by dipping into our new Naturally Mindful collection of 21 eTitles that explore the benefits of spending time outdoors.

This collection will help you find your way as you start to explore the many, myriad ways of relaxing in nature. Whether you’re keen to try Shinrin-yoku, better known as forest bathing, or simply like to slip off your shoes and connect with the ocean, these non-fiction titles have been chosen to  help you thrive in the busy world we all live in, a collection of non-fiction books designed to reinvigorate your love of nature whilst improving your mental health and general fitness.

This collection of eTitles can be found on BorrowBox, the library’s eBook and eAudiobook provider, to download and enjoy at home on your smartphone or tablet.

Into the forest
by Dr Qing Li

Humans are increasingly becoming an indoor species. We spend 90 per cent of our life indoors. And, on average, we dedicate eight hours a day looking at screens. Our increasingly domestic lives are having huge consequences to our health. In Into the Forest, Immunologist and Forest Medicine expert, Dr Qing Li, examines the unprecedented benefits of the world’s largest natural health resource: the great outdoors.Applying cutting-edge research and emerging science, Dr Li explores the inherent connection between nature and improved wellbeing. This practical guide will help you overcome some of life’s most problematic health issues, including how to: · reduce blood pressure; · lower stress;· improve energy levels;· and boost the immune system.`

A sweet Wild Note, what we hear when birds sing
by Richard Smyth

Birdsong is woven into culture, emotions, and landscape. It is the soundtrack to our world, shaping experiences of place and belonging. We have tried to capture this fleeting, ephemeral beauty, and the feelings it inspires, for millennia. In this rich and insightful account, Richard Smyth asks what it is about birdsong that we so love, exploring the myriad ways in which it has influenced literature, music, and art, our feelings about the natural world, and our very ideas of what it means to be human. Does the song-thrush mean to sing “a full-hearted evensong/Of joy illimited,” as he does in Hardy’s poem “The Darkling Thrush?” Examining his own conflicted love of birdsong, Smyth’s nuanced investigation shows that what we hear says as much about us, our dreams and desires, as it does about the birds and their songs. At a time when birdsong is growing quieter, with fewer voices, more thinly spread, this beautiful book is a celebration of the complex relationships between birds, people, and landscape; it is also a passionate call to arms and an invitation to act lest our trees and hedges fall silent.

Shinrin-Yoku
by Dr Qing Li

Shinrin-Yoku or forest bathing is the practice of spending time in the forest for better health, happiness and a sense of calm. A pillar of Japanese culture for decades, Shinrin-Yoku is a way to reconnect with nature, from walking mindfully in the woods, to a break in your local park, to walking barefoot on your lawn. Forest Medicine expert, Dr Qing Li’s research has proven that spending time around trees (even filling your home with house plants and vaporising essential tree oils) can reduce blood pressure, lower stress, boost energy, boost immune system and even help you to lose weight.

The Natural Navigator
by Tristan Gooley

Starting with a simple question – ‘Which way am I looking?’ – Tristan Gooley blends natural science, myth, folklore and the history of travel to introduce you to the rare and ancient art of finding your way using nature’s own sign-posts, from the feel of a rock to the look of the moon.With Tristan’s help, you’ll learn why some trees grow the way they do and how they can help you find your way in the countryside. You’ll discover how it’s possible to find North simply by looking at a puddle and how natural signs can be used to navigate on the open ocean and in the heart of the city. Wonderfully detailed and full of fascinating stories, this is a glorious exploration of the rediscovered art of natural navigation.

The Seafarers
by Stephen Rutt

The British Isles are remarkable for their extraordinary seabird life: spectacular gatherings of charismatic Arctic terns, elegant fulmars and stoic eiders, to name just a few. Often found in the most remote and dramatic reaches of our shores, these colonies are landscapes shaped not by us but by the birds.In 2015, Stephen Rutt escaped his hectic, anxiety-inducing life in London for the bird observatory on North Ronaldsay, the most northerly of the Orkney Islands. In thrall to these windswept havens and the people and birds that inhabit them, he began a journey to the edges of Britain. From Shetland, to the Farnes of Northumberland, down to the Welsh islands off the Pembrokeshire coast, he explores the part seabirds have played in our history and what they continue to mean to Britain today.The Seafarers is the story of those travels: a love letter, written from the rocks and the edges, for the salt-stained, isolated and ever-changing lives of seabirds. This beguiling book reveals what it feels like to be immersed in a completely wild landscape, examining the allure of the remote in an over-crowded world

Wisdom from a humble jellyfish
by Rani Shah

We could all learn a thing or two about living in balance from our friends in the plant and animal kingdom. Take, for example, the jellyfish, one of the most energy-efficient animals in the world, moving through the ocean by contracting and relaxing, with frequent breaks in between. Or the avocado tree, which can credit its existence to a mutually beneficial relationship with the pre-historic sloth, followed by some hungry, hungry humans and the advent of agriculture. And then there is the oyster, producing a pearl as the result of an immune response when a grain of sand invades her system. What better example exists of how adversity can produce something beautiful?We need look no farther than nature—from the habits of the porcupine to the sunflower to the wombat to the dragonfly—for small and simple things we can do to slow down, recharge, and living more thoughtfully, lovingly, and harmoniously.Wisdom From a Humble Jellyfish . . . is at once charming and scientific, packed with essential wisdom and practical tips worth borrowing from our plant and animal friends for life-changing self-care.

The Old Ways
by Robert Macfarlane

In The Old Ways Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast network of routes criss-crossing the British landscape and its waters, and connecting them to the continents beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, of pilgrimage and ritual, and of songlines and their singers. Above all this is a book about people and place: about walking as a reconnoitre inwards, and the subtle ways in which we are shaped by the landscapes through which we move.Told in Macfarlane’s distinctive and celebrated voice, the book folds together natural history, cartography, geology, archaeology and literature. His tracks take him from the chalk downs of England to the bird-islands of the Scottish northwest, and from the disputed territories of Palestine to the sacred landscapes of Spain and the Himalayas. Along the way he walks stride for stride with a 5000-year-old man near Liverpool, follows the ‘deadliest path in Britain’, sails an open boat out into the Atlantic at night, and crosses paths with walkers of many kinds – wanderers, wayfarers, pilgrims, guides, shamans, poets, trespassers and devouts.

Landmarks
by Robert Macfarlane

Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. Travelling from Cumbria to the Cairngorms, and exploring the landscapes of Roger Deakin, J. A. Baker, Nan Shepherd and others, Robert Macfarlane shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it.

The Garden Jungle
by Dave Coulson

The Garden Jungle is about the wildlife that lives right under our noses, in our gardens and parks, between the gaps in the pavement, and in the soil beneath our feet. Wherever you are right now, the chances are that there are worms, woodlice, centipedes, flies, silverfish, wasps, beetles, mice, shrews and much, much more, quietly living within just a few paces of you.Dave Goulson gives us an insight into the fascinating and sometimes weird lives of these creatures, taking us burrowing into the compost heap, digging under the lawn and diving into the garden pond. He explains how our lives and ultimately the fate of humankind are inextricably intertwined with that of earwigs, bees, lacewings and hoverflies, unappreciated heroes of the natural world.The Garden Jungle is at times an immensely serious book, exploring the environmental harm inadvertently done by gardeners who buy intensively reared plants in disposable plastic pots, sprayed with pesticides and grown in peat cut from the ground. Goulson argues that gardens could become places where we can reconnect with nature and rediscover where food comes from. With just a few small changes, our gardens could become a vast network of tiny nature reserves, where humans and wildlife can thrive together in harmony rather than conflict. For anyone who has a garden, and cares about our planet, this book is essential reading.

Bring the outside in
by Val Bradley

Love plants, but short on outdoor space? Or feeling inspired by striking terrariums and succulent gardens? Keen to create a unique home brimming with greenery? Then this is the book for you. With stunning photography and expert step-by-step tips, Bring The Outside In reveals everything you need to know to help your plants thrive, from dramatic statement foliage and miniature citrus trees to table-top terrariums and hanging planters. With chapters on orchids, cacti, herb gardens and chilli plants, your home will be flourishing in no time.

Gardening in pyjamas
by Helen Yemm

The Daily Telegraph’s much-loved columnist Helen Yemm manages to strike a happy balance between giving you enough information to get you going and not so much that it scares you or puts you off entirely. She dispenses invaluable advice, minus the mumbo jumbo, with refreshing humour and a clear understanding that not everyone has the wherewithal, in terms of time and finances, to spend every possible moment in the garden. So if you find yourself padding about your plot in your nightclothes without really knowing what to do, Gardening in Your Pyjamaswill provide you with all the essential facts to nurture your growing passion.

Mindfulness in the garden
by Murray Zachiah

Mindfulness in the Garden offers simple mindfulness verses (gathas) composed to connect the mind and body and to bring the reader/gardener’s awareness to the details of the present moment as they work in the garden. These gathas are signposts leading to nature, to the present, and ultimately to one’s self through the love and understanding they evoke. The gathas offered with each gardening activity serves to water the seeds of mindfulness within us, and softening and preparing the ground for our ability to be present.Mindfulness in the Garden values weeds as important messengers seeking to bring into close communion our spiritual nature with that of the environment. It likens spiritual practice to cultivating a garden and inspires each person to accept themselves and start where they are, weeds and all. Through the practice of mindful gardening, we invite not only the thriving of the natural world but also the flowering and beauty of the pure land of our true self to emerge.Features black and white botanical illustrations throughout.

The Natural Health Service
by Isobel Hardman

In 2016, Isabel Hardman’s mind, in her own words, ‘stopped working’ as she fell prey to severe depression and anxiety. She took time off on long-term sick leave and despite several relapses has returned to work with a much improved ability to cope. She has since become one of the UK’s most prominent public voices on mental health.

She credits her better health to her passion for exercise, nature and the great outdoors – from horse-riding and botany to cold-water swimming and running. In The Natural Health Service, she draws on her own personal experience, interviews with mental illness sufferers and psychologists, and the latest research to examine what role wildlife and exercise can play in helping anyone cope with mental illness. Straight-talking, thoroughly-researched, and compassionate, this important and often funny book will fascinate anyone touched by a mental health condition, whether themselves or through the experiences of a loved-one.

Walks in the Wild
by Peter Wohlleben

Can you tell the difference between wolf and dog prints? Which trees are best to shelter under a storm? How do you tell a deciduous and coniferous tree apart? Bestselling author of The Hidden Life of trees, Peter Wohlleben, lets you in on the quintessentials of his forestry knowledge. He invites you on an atmospheric journey of discovery. Learn to find your way around the woods without a compass or GPS, which berries and mushrooms are good to eat, how to read animal tracks and what it’s like to spend a night alone in a forest.

The Hidden Life of Trees
by Peter Wohlleben

Research is now suggesting trees are capable of much more than we have ever known. In The Hidden Life of Trees, forester Peter Wohlleben puts groundbreaking scientific discoveries into a language everyone can relate to. In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group. Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth. After a walk through the woods with Wohlleben, you’ll never look at trees the same way again.

Slow
by Jo Peters

Discover ways to slow down time with this invaluable guide to slow living. It will not only boost your physical and mental well-being but enrich your relationships and help you to reconnect with what’s really important.

With practical advice on self-care, breathing techniques, mindfulness, ethical living and eating, and how best to cultivate quiet moments every day, ‘Slow’ is your companion to a happier, calmer you.

Salt on your tongue
by Charlotte Runcie

Charlotte Runcie has always felt pulled to the sea, lured by its soothing, calming qualities but also enlivened and inspired by its salty wildness. When she loses her beloved grandmother, and becomes pregnant with her first child, she feels its pull even more intensely.In Salt On Your Tongue Charlotte explores what the sea means to us, and particularly what it has meant to women through the ages. This book is a walk on the beach with Turner, with Shakespeare, with the Romantic Poets and shanty-singers. It’s an ode to our oceans – to the sailors who brave their treacherous waters, to the women who lost their loved ones to the waves, to the creatures that dwell in their depths, to beach trawlers, swimmers, sea birds and mermaids.In mesmerising prose, Charlotte Runcie explores how the sea has inspired, fascinated and terrified us, and how she herself fell in love with the deep blue. Navigating through ancient Greek myths, poetry, shipwrecks and Scottish folktales, Salt On Your Tongue is about how the wild untameable waves can help us understand what it means to be human.

Down to the river and up to the trees : discover the magic of forest therapy and many more natural wonders
by Sue Belfrage

In a stressful, chaotic world, many of us are turning to nature for a sense of serenity and happiness.This new wellness trend captures the desire to surround ourselves with flora and fauna. While the idea of the wild outdoors is enticing, though, our busy lives and our location can cause us to become detached from nature. Nature Notes will show you how to connect with the natural world around you, whether you live in the city or the countryside.From getting to know the local wildlife, to foraging and creating naturally-sourced masterpieces, Nature Notes is brimming with practical information, intriguing quotes and inspirational ideas. Discover how to carve your own spoon; to be able to tell if the moon is waxing or waning; or try forest bathing (surrounding yourself with trees). Learn how to make yourself at home amongst the animals and plants on your doorstep, in harmony with your surroundings.

Rewild yourself : 23 spellbinding ways to make nature more visible
by Simon Barnes

But we can make hidden things visible, and this book features 23 spells that will bring the magic of nature much closer to home.Mammals you never knew existed will enter your world. Birds hidden in treetops will shed their cloak of anonymity. With a single movement of your hand you can make reptiles appear before you. Butterflies you never saw before will bring joy to every sunny day. Creatures of the darkness will enter your consciousness. And as you take on new techniques and a little new equipment, you will discover new creatures and, with them, new areas of yourself that had gone dormant. Once put to use, they wake up and start working again. You become wilder in your mind and in your heart. Once you know the spells, the wild world begins to appear before you. For anyone who wants to get closer to the nature all around them and bring it back into focus, this is the perfect read.

A breath of fresh air
by Rebecca Frank

This book is about switching off from social media and finding contentment in the here and now – taking time out to enjoy small tasks, connect with other people and enjoy all the beauty of nature throughout the year.A Breath of Fresh Air is structured by seasons, with a focus on finding joy in the natural world. Whether it’s paddling a canoe, spotting swallows on a summer evening, daydreaming on a deckchair, foraging for wild garlic, watching a film at an outdoor cinema or recording the sounds you hear in the forest, there are over 50 creative and imaginative ways to encourage mindfulness and find calm.The book also encourages wellbeing through physical activity, making use of the beautiful places looked after by the National Trust – this ranges from a wander through a bluebell wood, to using nature’s gym to practise yoga or balance on logs, taking up running or playing in the snow. Beautifully illustrated throughout, and with lots of handy tips on where to visit or find ways to wellbeing, this is the perfect book for finding inner contentment in today’s frantic world.

The hedgerow apothecary: recipes, remedies and rituals
by Christine Iverson

Discover how to make delicious preserves, healing balms, soothing toddies and cures for colds with nature’s jewels such as rose hips, elderberries and mugwort. This sustainable and ethical art is also laced with fascinating folklore and steeped in history. With photographs to help you safely identify edible plants, advice on what is available each season and how best to prepare and preserve your finds, this is the essential guide to enjoying the bountiful delights of the hedgerows.

No wait, No fuss – June’s collection

Do you love eBooks or eAudiobooks, but find you have to wait for a copy to become available? Well, you will love this collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks then!
Each month a collection of titles, some in both formats, become available to download. There’s an almost unlimited number of copies of each title, meaning there’s no wait, no fuss or reserving; just download and enjoy right away.

This month we have 5 eBooks and 12 eAudiobook titles available to download without any wait; have a look at the titles available, and find them on the BorrowBox app.
We’ll start with the children’s ones, so keep scrolling if you would like to see the adult titles.
These titles will be available from 1 June.

eBooks and eAudiobooks for children

The Elmer Treasury
by David McKee

A modern classic, Elmer the colourful patchwork elephant has been a nursery favourite since his creation in 1989 and has sold over 4 million copies around the world. Elmer is not your normal grey elephant – his colourful exuberance cannot be contained for long! With his trademark cheeky humour, Elmer shows us that it’s OK to be different.

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Stephen Thorne
Suitable for ages 3+

Moone Boy: the Blunder Years
by Chris O’Dowd and Nick V. Murphy

Martin Moone is fed up with being the only boy in a family of girls. With three elder sisters, he’s desperate for a sidekick to help him fight his corner. When best mate Padraic suggests getting an imaginary friend, he decides to give it a go. His first attempt is Loopy Lou, who loves practical jokes and is a dab hand at balloon-modelling. But Martin soon gets fed up with Lou’s clowning around, so selects Sean ‘Caution’ Murphy instead. Sean is much more up Martin’s street – and full of advice about how Martin should negotiate day-to-day life. But getting rid of Lou is not easy, and TWO imaginary friends is a recipe for trouble!

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Chris O’Dowd and Nick V. Murphy
Suitable for ages 8+

eBooks and eAudiobooks for adults

Queer Intentions
by  Amelia Abraham

Today, the options and freedoms on offer to LGBTQ+ people living in the West are greater than ever before. But is same-sex marriage, improved media visibility and corporate endorsement all it’s cracked up to be? At what cost does this acceptance come? And who is getting left behind, particularly in parts of the world where LGBTQ+ rights aren’t so advanced?

Combining intrepid journalism with her own personal experience, Amelia Abraham searches for the answers to these urgent challenges, as well as the broader question of what it means to be queer in 2019. With curiosity, good humour and disarming openness, Amelia takes the reader on a thought-provoking and entertaining journey. Join her as she cries at the first same-sex marriage in Britain, loses herself in the world’s biggest drag convention in L.A., marches at Pride parades across Europe, visits both a transgender model agency and the Anti-Violence Project in New York to understand the extremes of trans life today, parties in the clubs of Turkey’s underground LGBTQ+ scene, and meets a genderless family in progressive Stockholm.

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by  Amelia Abraham
Non-Fiction

Life After Life
by Kate Atkinson

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Fenella Woolgar
Fiction

City of Bohane
by Kevin Barry

Forty years in the future. The once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines. There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the Northside Rises and on the eerie bogs of Big Nothin’ that Bohane really lives.

For years, the city has been in the cool grip of Logan Hartnett, the dapper godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang. But there’s trouble in the air. They say his old nemesis is back in town; his trusted henchman is getting ambitious; and his missus wants him to give it all up and go straight… and then there’s his mother.

City of Bohane is a unique and visionary novel that blends influence from film and the graphic novel, from Trojan beats and calypso rhythms, from Celtic myth and legend, from fado and the sagas, and from all the great inheritance of Irish literature. A work of mesmerising imagination and vaulting linguistic invention, it is a taste of the startlingly new.

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Kevin Barry
Fiction

Miss You
by Kate Eberlen

Today is the first day of the rest of your life’ is the motto on a plate in the kitchen at home, and Tess can’t get it out of her head, even though she’s in Florence for a final, idyllic holiday before university. Her life is about to change forever – but not in the way she expects. Gus and his parents are also on holiday in Florence.
Their lives have already changed suddenly and dramatically. Gus tries to be a dutiful son, but longs to escape and discover what sort of person he is going to be. For one day, the paths of these two 18-year-olds will criss-cross before they each return to England. Over the course of the next 16 years, life and love will offer them very different challenges. Separated by distance and chance, there’s no way the two of them are ever going to meet each other properly – or is there?

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Anna Acton and Finlay Robertson
Fiction

Little Deaths
by Emma Flint

It’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.

Noting Ruth’s perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation. Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can’t help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press. Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew.
Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive – is she really capable of murder?

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Graham Halstead and Lauren Fortgang
Fiction

Norse Mythology
by Neil Gaiman

The great Norse myths, which have inspired so much of modern fiction, are dazzlingly retold by Neil Gaiman. Tales of dwarfs and frost giants, of treasure and magic, and of Asgard, home to the gods: Odin the all-father, highest and oldest of the Aesir; his mighty son Thor, whose hammer Mjollnir makes the mountain giants tremble; Loki, wily and handsome, reliably unreliable in his lusts; and Freya, more beautiful than the sun or the moon, who spurns those who seek to control her.

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Neil Gaiman
Fiction

The Expert Guide to Sleeping Well
by Chris Idzikowski

Lack of sleep is not just a matter of feeling tired. Recent research has shown that it is associated with serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. The big question is, what can we do to get more sleep? Who can we turn to for a sympathetic and knowledgeable one-to-one consultation? The answer is, to one of the world’s leading sleep experts: Professor Chris Idzikowski, who here reveals his wisdom in a down-to-earth and reassuring way.

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by John Voce
Non-Fiction

Widows’ Revenge
by Lynda La Plante

Against all the odds, Dolly Rawlins and her gangland widows managed the impossible: a heist their husbands had failed to pull off – at the cost of their lives.

But though they may be in the money, they’re far from easy street.

Shocked by her husband’s betrayal, Dolly discovers Harry Rawlins isn’t dead. He knows where the four women are and he wants them to pay. And he doesn’t just mean getting his hands on the money.

The women can’t keep running. They have to get Harry out of their lives for good. But can they outwit a criminal mastermind who won’t hesitate to kill?

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Amanda Donohoe
Fiction

The Wayward Girls
by Amanda Mason

THEN
1976. Loo and her sister Bee live in a run-down cottage in the middle of nowhere, with their artistic parents and wild siblings. Their mother, Cathy, had hoped to escape to a simpler life; instead the family find themselves isolated and shunned by their neighbours. At the height of the stifling summer, unexplained noises and occurences in the house begin to disturb the family, until they intrude on every waking moment . . .

NOW
Loo, now Lucy, is called back to her childhood home. A group of strangers are looking to discover the truth about the house and the people who lived there. But is Lucy ready to confront what really happened all those years ago?

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Kristin Atherton
Fiction

The Heart Broke
by James Meek

Bec Shepherd is a malaria researcher struggling to lead a good life. Ritchie, her reprobate brother, is a rock star turned TV producer. When Bec refuses an offer of marriage from a powerful newspaper editor and Ritchie’s indiscretions catch up with him, brother and sister are forced to choose between loyalty and betrayal.

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by John Rafter Lee
Fiction

Download the BorrowBox app and log in with your Hampshire Library card to enjoy these titles, and thousands of others!

2020 Pride Month

Every year, during the month of June, Pride month is celebrated with various events across the world. Normally it’s a month of parades, street parties, talks, festivals and educational sessions, and whilst this year will be slightly different – it won’t stop the celebrations!
This year might be different, but it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate!
Decorate your gardens, balconies or windows, play music and dance, video call your friends and throw a virtual party!

We were honoured to have had the fabulous MamaG read a special story, explaining these strange times to our young readers.
Sit down and enjoy as she reads Coronavirus: A Book for Children by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts, illustrated by Axel Scheffler and published by Nosy Crow.

How will you celebrate Pride Month this year? Let us know in the comments below!

During this month long celebration of love, acceptance and understanding; why not try one of these LGBT+ themed titles. All of which can be found as eBooks through the BorrowBox app using your Hampshire Library card – many of which are also available as eAudiobooks.


I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.

Rita Mae Brown

Call me by your name
by André Aciman

This is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blooms between 17-year-old Elio and his father’s house guest, Oliver, during a restless summer on the Italian Riviera. What grows from the depths of their souls is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration, and an experience that marks them for a lifetime.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli

16-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. And worse still, so will the privacy of ‘Blue’, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing. With messy dynamics emerging in Simon’s once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s life suddenly becomes just a little complicated. Now Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out – without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Lie with me
by Philippe Besson

Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe, a famous writer, chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back to Philippe’s teenage years, to a winter morning in 1984, a small French high school, and a carefully timed encounter between two seventeen-year-olds. 

Rubyfruit Jungle
by Rita Mae Brown

Beautiful, funny and bright, Molly figures out at a young age that she will have to be tough to stay true to herself in 1950s America. In her dealings with boyfriends and girlfriends, in the rocky relationship with her mother and in her determination to pursue her career, she will fight for her right to happiness. Charming, proud and inspiring, Molly is the girl who refuses to be put in a box.


I just want you to know that you’re very special… and the only reason I’m telling you is that I don’t know if anyone else ever has.

Stephen Chbosky

Queer
by William S. Burroughs

This title is an enigma. It is both an unflinching autobiographical self-portrait and a coruscatingly political novel. Set in Mexico City during the early 50s, the book follows William Lee’s hopeless pursuit of desire from bar to bar in the American expatriate scene.

The Perks of being a Wallflower 
by Stephen Chbosky

Charlie is a shy and introspective boy, a wallflower always standing on the edge of the action. We learn about him through the letters he writes to someone of an undisclosed name, age and gender.

The Hours 
by Michael Cunningham

The Hours is the story of Richard, a famous poet whose life has been shadowed by his talented and troubled mother. His friend Clarissa, who strives to achieve a balanced life, also figures prominently in this story set during World War 2.

Middlesex
by Jeffrey Eugenides

I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974.So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and her truly unique family secret, born on the slopes of Mount Olympus and passed on through three generations.


The realisation of great mutual love can at times be so overwhelming a thing, that even the bravest of hearts may grow fearful.

Radclyffe Hall

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe 
by Fannie Flagg

As 80 year old Mrs Clea Threadgoode tells Evelyn Couch about her life, she escapes her nursing home & returns to Whistle Stop, Alabama in the thirties where the Whistle Stop Cafe provides good barbecue, good coffee, love & even an occasional murder.

George 
by Alex Gino

A bright, bold debut about a girl who happens to have been born a boy but refuses to let that stand in the way of her dream, ‘George’ is a pertinent and poignant middle-grade read for kids of all backgrounds.

The Well of Loneliness 
by Radclyffe Hall

Based on her own life, ‘The Well of Loneliness’ tells the story of Sir Philip and Lady Gordon and their daughter. It becomes apparent that she is not like other girls, and falls in love with another woman.

A Single Man 
by Christopher Isherwood

Christopher Isherwood explores the character of a middle-aged Englishman living in California: a professor alienated from his students by differences in age and nationality and from the rest of society by his homosexuality.


Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility. It has shown me limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion and kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength.

Armistead Maupin

Tales of the City 
by Armistead Maupin

A young secretary forsakes Cleveland for San Francisco, tumbling headlong into a new world of laundromat Lotharios, cut throat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests. The saga that ensues is manic, romantic, and outrageous.

The song of Achilles 
by Madeline Miller

This is a breathtakingly original rendering of the Trojan War – a devastating love story and a tale of gods and kings, immortal fame and the human heart.

The house on Half Moon Street
by Alex Reeve

Leo Stanhope. Avid chess player; assistant to a London coroner; in love with Maria; and hiding a very big secret. For Leo was born Charlotte, the daughter of a respectable reverend. But knowing he was meant to be a man – despite the evidence of his body – and unable to cope with living a lie any longer, he fled his family home at just 15 and has been living as Leo: his secret known to only a few trusted people. But then Maria is found dead and Leo is accused of her murder. Desperate to find her killer and under suspicion from all those around him, he stands to lose not just the woman he loves, but his freedom and, ultimately, his life.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When they meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the two loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special kind of friendship – the kind of friendship that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through their friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves – and about the kind of people they want to be.


Every journey conceals another journey within its lines: the path not taken and the forgotten angle.

Jeanette Winterson

The Color Purple 
by Alice Walker

This compelling and cherished classic tells the story of Celie. Raped by the man she calls father, her two children taken from her and forced into an ugly marriage, she has no one to talk to but God, until she meets a woman who offers love and support.

Tipping the Velvet 
by Sarah Waters

‘Tipping the Velvet’ is a wonderfully lush, sensous and bawdy novel set in the music halls of the late 19th century. Nan gets to meet her heroine, Kitty, a male impersonator. The two begin a double act, and their affection for each other deepens.

The Picture of Dorian Gray 
by Oscar Wilde

Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life, indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence.

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit 
by Jeanette Winterson

This is the story of Jeanette, adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God’s elect. Zealous and passionate, she seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts. At 16, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family for the young woman she loves.

Orlando
by Virginia Woolf

Modelled on her friend Vita Sackville-West’s personality, Virginia Woolf tells the story of Orlando, who chooses her own sexual identity as she lives through 3 centuries as both a man and a woman.


We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.

George Takei

Find these 21 eTitles, and more, in our eLibrary – the BorrowBox app!

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Did you know; when you sign up to a Hampshire Library card we don’t need your title or your assigned gender.

Join it, Use it, Love it!

Empathy Day 2020

Read stories – Build empathy – Make a better world

9 June marks the fourth annual Empathy Day; a day to open up conversations about the benefits that reading can have on a developing mind. Research shows that books are a great way to encourage empathy in children; whilst reading, children learn to identify with characters and see situations from points of view different from their own.

Studies have shown all ages benefit from reading stories, and that everyone can train their brain to be more empathetic. And through stories and characters we began to understand other people’s feelings, and are able to get a glimpse of what others go through. This is especially true in the case of children and teens, and empathy and kindness is a key part of life, and through these two we can create a stronger community and a better world.

We’ve put together collection of etitles, based on the amazing collection done by Empathy Lab, that encourage empathy, as well as being a good read. These are all books that you can find through the BorrowBox app, our eBook and eAudiobook provider. For the full list, visit the Empathy Lab’s website here.
If you’re looking for some books on kindness, check out our kindness blog!

Books perfect for ages 5+

Pie in the Sky
by Remy Lai

Available as an eBook and as an eAudiobook

When Jingwen moves to Australia, he feels like he’s landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible, since he doesn’t speak English, and he’s stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao. To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother’s rule: no using the oven while she’s at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake more elaborate cakes, they’ll have to cook up more elaborate excuses to keep their baking a secret–and continue the dream their father started.

The Last Human
by Lee Bacon

Available as an eAudiobook

An unlikely friendship. A dangerous voyage. A story about what it means to be human.Humans went extinct thirty years ago. Now the world is ruled by machines. And twelve-year-old robot XR_935 is just fine with that. Without humans around, there is no war, no pollution, no crime. Every member of society has a purpose. Everything runs smoothly and efficiently.Until the day XR discovers something impossible.Until the day XR discovers a twelve-year-old human.A funny, adventurous and poignant story set in a world ruled by robots.

Check Mates
by Stewart Foster

Available as an eBook

Felix is struggling at school. His ADHD makes it hard for him to concentrate and his grades are slipping. Everyone keeps telling him to try harder, but no one seems to understand just how hard he finds it. When Mum suggests Felix spends time with his grandfather, Felix can’t think of anything worse. Granddad hasn’t been the same since Grandma died. Plus he’s always trying to teach Felix boring chess. But sometimes the best lessons come in the most unexpected of places, and Granddad soon shows Felix that there’s everything to play for.

Cloud Boy
by Marcia Williams

Available as an eBook

The diary of an irrepressible girl learning to deal with friendship, grief and growing up, perfect for fans of Jacqueline Wilson.Harry Christmas and Angie Moon are best friends and almost-twins. Ever since they were born two days apart they’ve been partners in cloud-spotting, sweet-eating and treehouse-building. But when Harry is taken to hospital for headaches that won’t go away, he needs Angie more than ever. Because when things fall apart, only a best friend can stitch them back together.

Charlie Changes into a Chicken
by Sam Copeland

Available as an eBook

Charlie McGuffin has an incredible secret . . .He can change into animals. All sorts of animals: a flea, a pigeon, even a rhino.Trouble is, he can’t decide when – it only happens when he gets worried. And right now, Charlie has quite a lot to worry about:· His brother (who is in hospital)· His parents (who are panicking about it)· And the school bully (who has Charlie in his sights)And even though every kid wants a superhero power, Charlie isn’t keen on changing into a chicken in the middle of the school play.So with the help of his three best friends, Charlie needs to find a way of dealing with his crazy new power – and fast!

No Ballet Shoes in Syria
by Catherine Bruton

Available as an eBook

When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship. But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves, and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria. With beautiful, captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling – filled with warmth, hope and humanity.

The Afterwards
by Emily Gravett

Available as an eBook

Fact: Ember and Ness are best friends. There’s nothing more to say about it. It is what it is. It is what will always be. Ember and Ness.Then Ness dies. It is sudden and unexpected and leaves Ember completely empty. How can this be?When Ember finds a way into the Afterworld, she determines to bring Ness back. Because that’s what friends do isn’t it? They rescue each other. They help. They never give up. Ember and Ness. That don’t change.

Flight
by Vanessa Harbour

Available as an eBook

Jakob hides from them, but has to watch the officer shoot one of his beloved Lipizzaner horses just for spite. Jakob and his guardian know they must get the other horses away, but is it possible to get them all over the mountains to safety? A fleeing Roma girl, Kizzy, joins them, but they face one gruelling trial after another as they try to cross the Austrian mountains, through Nazi territory. Can they do it, and what will be waiting on the other side?

Books perfect for ages 11+

Somebody give this heart a pen
by Sophia Thakur

Available as an eBook

From acclaimed performance poet Sophia Thakur comes a powerful first collection of poems exploring issues of identity, difference, faith, relationships, fear, loss and joy. Intricate, evocative and dazzling – these are poems that explore the experiences that connect people; they encourage readers to look within and explore the tendencies of the heart.

Furious Thing
by Jenny Downham

Available as an eBook

Furious Thing roars with justifiable anger at an unfair world, as one girl fights to claim back the spaces that belong to her and battles to be heard…Lexi’s angry. And it’s getting worse. If only she could stop losing her temper and behave herself, her step-father would accept her, her mum would love her like she used to and her step-brother would declare his crushing desire to spend the rest of his life with her.She wants these things so badly she determines to swallow her anger and make her family proud.But pushing fury down doesn’t make it disappear. Instead, it simmers below the surface waiting to erupt. There’ll be fireworks when it does.

Toffee
by Sarah Crossan

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

Allison is in danger at home. Her stepmother has run away and her father is getting worse. So she runs away too and with no where to live finds herself hiding out, miles from home, in an elderly woman’s shed. But this woman, Marla, has dementia and doesn’t recognise her as Allison, believing she is an old friend from her past called Toffee. So this is who Allison becomes, morphing into a person Marla usually knows and trusts but sometimes fears and fights. Eventually Allison’s stepmother shows up, armed with a new baby girl, a new sibling. Marla then finds herself, once lonely and vulnerable, the saviour to three desperate women. But Marla’s son is frustrated with his mother, and can be angry and violent. Is there a way for this new family to stay together?

Long Way Down
by Jason Reynolds

Available as an eBook

Everybody ran,ducked, hid, tucked themselves tight. Pressed our lips to the pavement and prayed the boom, followed by the buzz of a bullet,didn’t meet us.After Will’s brother is shot in a gang crime, he knows the next steps. Don’t cry. Don’t snitch. Get revenge. So he gets in the lift with Shawn’s gun, determined to follow The Rules. Only when the lift door opens, Buck walks in, Will’s friend who died years ago. And Dani, who was shot years before that. As more people from his past arrive, Will has to ask himself if he really knows what he’s doing.This haunting, lyrical, powerful verse novel will blow you away.

New Kid
by Jerry Craft

Available as an eBook

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enrol him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of colour in his entire grade.As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighbourhood friends and staying true to himself?

The Deepest Breath
by Meg Grehan

Available as an eBook

Stevie is eleven and loves reading and sea-creatures. She lives with her mum, and she’s been best friends with Andrew since forever. Stevie’s mum teases her that someday they’ll get married, but Stevie knows that won’t ever happen. There’s a girl at school that she likes more. A lot more. Actually, she’s a bit confused about how much she likes her. It’s nothing like the way she likes Andrew. It makes her fizz inside. That’s a new feeling, one she doesn’t understand. Stevie needs to find out if girls can like girls – love them, even – but it’s hard to get any information, and she’s too shy to ask out loud about it. But maybe she can find an answer in a book. With the help of a librarian, Stevie finds stories of girls loving girls, and builds up her courage to share the truth with her mum.

Kick the Moon
by Muhammad Khan

Available as an eBook

Fifteen-year-old Ilyas is under pressure from everyone: GCSE’s are looming and his teachers just won’t let up, his dad wants him to join the family business and his mates don’t care about any of it. There’s no space in Ilyas’ life to just be a teenager.Serving detention one day, Ilyas finds a kindred spirit in Kelly Matthews, who is fed up with being pigeonholed as the good girl, and their friendship blows the social strata of high school wide open. But when Kelly catches the eye of one of the local bad boys, Imran, he decides to seduce her for a bet – and Ilyas is faced with losing the only person who understands him. Standing up to Imran puts Ilyas’ family at risk, but it’s time for him to be the superhero he draws in his comic-books, and go kick the moon.

Frankly in Love
by David Yoon

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

Frank Li is a high school senior living in Southern California. Frank’s parents emigrated from Korea, and have pretty much one big rule for Frank – he must only date Korean girls. But he’s got strong feelings for a girl in his class, Brit – and she’s not Korean. His friend Joy Song is in the same boat and knows her parents will never accept her Chinese American boyfriend, so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks fake-dating is the perfect plan, but it leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love – or himself – at all.

A Country to Call Home
by Lucy Popescu

Available as an eBook

From the editor of A Country of Refuge comes an anthology of writing on one of the defining issues of our time; focusing on the fate of refugee children and young adults, it is aimed at children and adult readers alike.There are tales of home, and missing it; poems about the dangerous journeys undertaken and life in the refugee camps; stories about prejudice, but also stories of children’s fortitude, their dreams and aspirations.A Country to Call Home implores us to build bridges, not walls. It is intended as a reminder of our shared humanity, seeking to challenge the negative narratives that so often cloud our view of these vulnerable young people, and prevent us giving them the empathy they deserve.The book will include stories, flash fiction, poetry and original artwork from some of our finest children’s writers: Michael Morpurgo, David Almond, Chris Riddell, Moniza Alvi, Simon Armitage, Sita Brahmachari, Eoin Colfer, Kit de Waal, Peter Kalu, Judith Kerr, Patrice Lawrence, Anna Perera, the late Christine Pullein-Thompson, Bali Rai and S. F. Said.

Jemima Small Versus the Universe
by Tamsin Winter

Available as an eBook

Jemima Small finds it hard to measure up. Especially because she’s the very opposite of her name. And being forced to join a healthy eating group at school means no one will let her forget that. But if there’s one big thing she has going for her it’s her attitude – and she’s determined to prove that Jemima Small is a Big Deal.

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Digital Readers – June 2020

The book our online reading group will be reading (or listening to) and discussing in June has been decided on through a vote in the group. The results are in and the June book is…

Little Deaths by Emma Flint

It’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.
Noting Ruth’s perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation. Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can’t help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press. Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew.
Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive – is she really capable of murder?

From 1 June, until the end of the month, this book will be available to download through the BorrowBox app without having to wait or having to reserve it. It will be available to simply download right away – as both an eBook and an eAudiobook.

The group is open to anyone above the age of 16, with a Facebook account and a Hampshire Library card. If you would like to join the group; just head over to our Facebook page.

Hang on; how does an online reading group work?

Through the BorrowBox app, using your Hampshire Library Card, you will be able to download an eCopy of the selected title to your tablet or smart phone to read and enjoy. Ther will be hundreds of copies, of both the eBook and the eAudiobook version, available for you to download right away, so no need to reserve it or get it added to a waiting list; just download it right away and get reading!

Throughout the month you will be able to talk about the book with others in the group, and there will be regular discussions happening, so check back in to join in on the conversations as they pop up. As is the case with any reading group, there will be books you love, and books you might wish you had never picked up -and that’s okay!
In the group you will be able to discuss your opinions, feelings and thoughts on the month’s title in a friendly environment. To keep the group friendly, and ensure everyone feels confident expressing their thoughts, we ask that everyone keep the language clean and show respect to one another.

There won’t be a set day or time when you have to be available; this means you can join in the discussions whenever it suits you! There is also not a physical place to meet, as all discussions are taking place in the Facebook group, so you won’t have to leave the house to be part of the reading group!
On the last Friday of each month, the book for the following month will be announced, it will then become available for download on the 1st of each month.

If you don’t have a Hampshire Library card, you can apply for one online. It is completely free to sign up to the library, and as long as any physical items borrowed are returned on time, it will continue to be free.
After you sign up, your library card will be sent to your home and you can then join the reading group using your Facebook account.

If you would like to join the group, then head over to our Facebook page and join the ‘Digital readers’ group, you can find it here!

Audiobook Month 2020

We love books! Reading them, holding them, smelling them – we just love them! But like many others in the 21st Century we sometimes struggle to find the time to sit down with a book. There are just too many things that needs doing; housework, homework, walking the dog, cooking, ensuring the kids attend their zoom meetings – the list goes on!

But don’t despair! We have the solution; audiobooks!
These books on CDs, playaways and downloadable books are the answer to every busy booklover’s book-despair. And in these strange time, when popping down to the local library isn’t possible, then downloading eAudiobooks through the BorrowBox app, straight to your tablet or phone, is a real life saver.

This June, celebrate Audiobook Month by trying one of these amazing audiobooks on BorrowBox – without any of the wait, available from 1 June. Just download them straight to your tablet or phone and begin to listen.

Life After Life
by Kate Atkinson

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Narrated by Fenella Woolgar
Fiction

City of Bohane
by Kevin Barry

Forty years in the future. The once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines. There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the Northside Rises and on the eerie bogs of Big Nothin’ that Bohane really lives.

For years, the city has been in the cool grip of Logan Hartnett, the dapper godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang. But there’s trouble in the air. They say his old nemesis is back in town; his trusted henchman is getting ambitious; and his missus wants him to give it all up and go straight… and then there’s his mother.

Narrated by Kevin Barry
Fiction

Miss You
by Kate Eberlen

Today is the first day of the rest of your life’ is the motto on a plate in the kitchen at home, and Tess can’t get it out of her head, even though she’s in Florence for a final, idyllic holiday before university. Her life is about to change forever – but not in the way she expects. Gus and his parents are also on holiday in Florence. Their lives have already changed suddenly and dramatically. Gus tries to be a dutiful son, but longs to escape and discover what sort of person he is going to be. For one day, the paths of these two 18-year-olds will criss-cross before they each return to England. Over the course of the next 16 years, life and love will offer them very different challenges. Separated by distance and chance, there’s no way the two of them are ever going to meet each other properly – or is there?

Narrated by Anna Acton and Finlay Robertson
Fiction

Little Deaths
by Emma Flint

It’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.

Noting Ruth’s perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation. Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can’t help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press. Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew.
Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive – is she really capable of murder?

Narrated by Graham Halstead and Lauren Fortgang
Fiction

Norse Mythology
by Neil Gaiman

The great Norse myths, which have inspired so much of modern fiction, are dazzlingly retold by Neil Gaiman. Tales of dwarfs and frost giants, of treasure and magic, and of Asgard, home to the gods: Odin the all-father, highest and oldest of the Aesir; his mighty son Thor, whose hammer Mjollnir makes the mountain giants tremble; Loki, wily and handsome, reliably unreliable in his lusts; and Freya, more beautiful than the sun or the moon, who spurns those who seek to control her.

Narrated by Neil Gaiman
Fiction

The Expert Guide to Sleeping Well
by Chris Idzikowski

Lack of sleep is not just a matter of feeling tired. Recent research has shown that it is associated with serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. The big question is, what can we do to get more sleep? Who can we turn to for a sympathetic and knowledgeable one-to-one consultation? The answer is, to one of the world’s leading sleep experts: Professor Chris Idzikowski, who here reveals his wisdom in a down-to-earth and reassuring way.

Narrated by John Voce
Non-Fiction

Widows’ Revenge
by Lynda La Plante

Against all the odds, Dolly Rawlins and her gangland widows managed the impossible: a heist their husbands had failed to pull off – at the cost of their lives.
But though they may be in the money, they’re far from easy street.

Shocked by her husband’s betrayal, Dolly discovers Harry Rawlins isn’t dead. He knows where the four women are and he wants them to pay. And he doesn’t just mean getting his hands on the money.

The women can’t keep running. They have to get Harry out of their lives for good. But can they outwit a criminal mastermind who won’t hesitate to kill?

Narrated by Amanda Donohoe
Fiction

The Wayward Girls
by Amanda Mason

THEN
1976. Loo and her sister Bee live in a run-down cottage in the middle of nowhere, with their artistic parents and wild siblings. Their mother, Cathy, had hoped to escape to a simpler life; instead the family find themselves isolated and shunned by their neighbours. At the height of the stifling summer, unexplained noises and occurences in the house begin to disturb the family, until they intrude on every waking moment . . .

NOW
Loo, now Lucy, is called back to her childhood home. A group of strangers are looking to discover the truth about the house and the people who lived there. But is Lucy ready to confront what really happened all those years ago?

Narrated by Kristin Atherton
Fiction

The Heart Broke
by James Meek

Bec Shepherd is a malaria researcher struggling to lead a good life. Ritchie, her reprobate brother, is a rock star turned TV producer. When Bec refuses an offer of marriage from a powerful newspaper editor and Ritchie’s indiscretions catch up with him, brother and sister are forced to choose between loyalty and betrayal.

Narrated by John Rafter Lee
Fiction

And for the younger readers, check out these eTitles:

The Elmer Treasury
by David McKee

A modern classic, Elmer the colourful patchwork elephant has been a nursery favourite since his creation in 1989 and has sold over 4 million copies around the world. Elmer is not your normal grey elephant – his colourful exuberance cannot be contained for long! With his trademark cheeky humour, Elmer shows us that it’s OK to be different.

Narrated by Stephen Thorne
Suitable for ages 3+

Moone Boy: the Blunder Years
by Chris O’Dowd and Nick V. Murphy

Martin Moone is fed up with being the only boy in a family of girls. With three elder sisters, he’s desperate for a sidekick to help him fight his corner. When best mate Padraic suggests getting an imaginary friend, he decides to give it a go. His first attempt is Loopy Lou, who loves practical jokes and is a dab hand at balloon-modelling. But Martin soon gets fed up with Lou’s clowning around, so selects Sean ‘Caution’ Murphy instead. Sean is much more up Martin’s street – and full of advice about how Martin should negotiate day-to-day life. But getting rid of Lou is not easy, and TWO imaginary friends is a recipe for trouble!

Narrated by Chris O’Dowd and Nick V. Murphy
Suitable for ages 8+

Download the BorrowBox app and log in with your Hampshire Library card to enjoy these titles, and thousands of others!

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 May 2020. This year’s theme is kindness; a perfect theme to help us improve not just our own mental health, but that of those around us.

Why was kindness chosen for this year’s theme? Well, this is what Mark Rowland had to say:

Last week, I waited in a socially distanced queue outside the supermarket as the rain started to fall.
One of the staff noticed we were getting wet. He scurried away to find a pile of umbrellas, carefully disinfected the handles and passed them out with a smile. To my surprise, my eyes started to well up. At a time when I felt alone, I suddenly felt connected.  

Mark Rowland, Chief Executive at Mental Health Foundation

Kindness is what strengthens our bond with others, what unites and brings the community together. It’s a fundamental part of life, not just in humans, but all living things.
And when shown to ourselves and others, increases ones happiness and improves our mental health.

It’s important to show kindness to others, but often we forget to show it to ourselves. We are usually our own biggest critic and many set unreasonable targets for themselves. If this sound like you, why not try and show some self-kindness this week? Give yourself praise and acknowledge how amazing you are – for it’s true. There’s no-one better at being you, then you. Learn more about self-kindness in this article by Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D.

It can be easier said then done, and sometimes we hold back in fear of looking silly, or making a fool of ourselves. It takes courage to give a compliment, to put oneself out there to brighten someone’s day. But together, we can support each other to take that step to spread kindness around us.

With social distancing it can be even harder to find a way to show kindness, so here’s a couple of ideas on how you can spread kindness in your community!

A message in the window

Spread love and kindness by inspirational quotes, or cheerful messages in your windows.

Leave a message in a book

This one will take a bit more time, but write a message on a note and leave it in your library books for the next person to discover.
Once the libraries reopen, and the books have gone through quarantine, they will be loaned out once more. And how nice would it be for the next person to find a happy message when they open that book?

Send a letter

Send a letter to someone in your life, telling them why they are important to you, or just a letter to tell them what a wonderful person they are.
We don’t send many letters these days, which makes receiving one even more special.

Take some ‘me time’!

Showing kindness is important, and showing self-kindness is just as important. Take a few hours, or a day, just for you. If you live with people, explain that you’re taking some ‘me-time’ and would like to not be disturbed for a bit. Take the chance to do something for you – write, read, listen to music, paint or anything else that brings happiness to you.
And whatever you choose to do, be kind to yourself, be proud and find something to praise yourself about.

There are some great books to read about kindness – perfect for those times when you want to relax and recharge your batteries and give your mind a break.
We’ve handpicked 10 that we think are the perfect books to read right now. These can all be found as eBooks, with some also available as eAudiobooks, through the BorrowBox app using your Hampshire Library card.
If you’ve never used our eLibrary, we have two helpful videos, one for iOS devices and the other for android devices.
If you prefer written instructions, you can find those here.

Kindness and Wonder
by Gavin Edwards

Non-Fiction
Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

For more than thirty years, Fred Rogers was a beloved fixture in American homes. Warm and welcoming, he spoke directly to children—and their parents—about the marvels of the world, the things that worried them, and above all, the importance of being themselves. Dressed in his cardigan and sneakers, Fred Rogers offered a wholesome message of generosity and love that changed the landscape of television and shaped a generation of children.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman

Fiction
Available as an eBook

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

The Kindness Method
by Shahroo Izadi

Non-Fiction
Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

Map your habits, set your own goals, and treat yourself with the kindness you truly deserve.
Shahroo Izadi has a revolutionary message: treating yourself kindly is the only way to make changes that last. 

Finding Audrey
by Sophie Kinsella

Young Adult Fiction
Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you . . .

Everything here is Beautiful
by Mira T. Lee

Fiction
Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

Told in alternating points of view, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its heart, the story of a young woman’s quest to find fulfillment and a life unconstrained by her illness. But it’s also an unforgettable, gut-wrenching story of the sacrifices we make to truly love someone—and when loyalty to one’s self must prevail over all.

15 Minutes to Happiness
by Richard Nicholls

Non-Fiction
Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

Would you like to feel happier and more fulfilled…but struggle to find time in your life to focus on yourself? What if, with only a few minutes each day, you could find the secret to happiness?

Radical Kindness
by Angela C. Santomero

Non-Fiction
Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

From the true meaning of self-care and the gift of vulnerability, to the importance of active listening or the magic of asking for help, Radical Kindness goes beyond The Golden Rule and entreaties to “be nice,” contending that kindness is the key to recognizing others, and ourselves, as worthy of love and understanding.

Swing Sideways
by Nanci Turner Steveson

Children’s Fiction
Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

When Annie meets California, who is visiting her grandfather’s farm, it seems she has found the perfect partner for the summer she’s always craved. Especially when California offers Annie a real-life adventure: if she and Annie can find the ponies her mom rode as a girl, surely it will remind her mom how wonderful the farm is—and fix what’s broken between her mom and her grandfather.

Kindness
by Jaime Thurston

Non-Fiction
Available as an eAudiobook

The book is themed around 52 simple actions you can do to spread kindness. Interspersed throughout are nuggets of science explaining the positive effect kindness has on the brain and on the heart. This book is a call to action for people to live a more connected, fulfilling life. With inspirational quotes and personal stories this book will give you all the motivation you need to start spreading a little kindness – it’s free after all!

The Language of Kindness
by Christie Watson

Non-Fiction
Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

In our most extreme moments, when life is lived most intensely, Christie is with us. She is a guide, mentor and friend. And in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages us all to stretch out a hand.

These are all available through the BorrowBox app, along with other similarly wonderful books. Check out the app, and keep an eye out for the special kindness featured books.

If you’re looking to improve your mental health, one way is by taking up a new hobby, whether it’s a sport or craft, staying active and busy can help.
Many of our libraries have regular craft groups that meet in the library, these include knitting, crocheting, sewing, scrap booking and painting groups. With the current situation, these groups are unable to meet in person, but you can find great craft eMagazines through our digital library and helpful craft videos to get you started over on our Facebook page.

Our Learning in Libraries team have been busy planning the courses and workshops coming up, and we’ll share all that with you once it’s ready. In the meantime, why not familiarise yourself with the tutors, and pick up some tips and tricks.
You can find them here!

Kindness, towards yourself and others, will aid in improved mental health for everyone. We hope that this blog has given you some ideas on how you can spread kindness in your life and in the community. And with Empathy Day being only weeks away, 9 June 2020, this is the perfect time to gear up towards it!

We would love to hear what you’ve been, or are doing as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, and how you’ve spread kindness. Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

And remember; even if it’s “only” one person’s life you brighten – that’s enough. For if we all do a little, together we’ll make alot.

Stay safe, take care of yourself and remember; you’re an amazing person!

If you feel affected by what we’ve talked about in this blog, the above three organisations are here to help.

VE Day – 75 years!

Friday 8 May marks 75 years since Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day as it’s better known. The Second World War was finally over as the (slightly modified) act of military surrender was signed on 8 May 1945 in Berlin.

As many others, there had been plans to commemorate this day with street parties, talks and activities in our libraries. But, what better way to remember all those who fought for our freedom, then by showing restraint and do our part in keeping our country safe – and stay home.
It’s a strange time, and whilst it’s not the time to celebrate with neighbours, family and friends, it’s a good time to read about the past, or share stories of why we celebrate VE Day.

Through RBdigital, our eMagazine provider, you can find this month’s issue of BBC History Magazine, which includes a VE Day special! It explores the moment of victory, told through the voices of soldiers and civilians who experienced it.

We’ve also put together a collection of amazing book titles, both fictional and non-fictional, about WWII, that you can download and read and/or listen to through the BorrowBox app – our eBook provider. Featuring such titles as Hampshire at War 1939–45, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Paris Echo, VE Day, Why Britain is at War, The Message Bird, Hitler’s Secret and The Boy in Striped Pyjamas. You can find these, and many more, in the VE Day collection in the BorrowBox app.
Unsure how to download the app? Check out this blog!

Even with our libraries closed, we’ll still be having celebrations happening – just virtually instead of in person. So check out what’s happening at different libraries – and the best part/ It’s online, so even if it’s not your local library you can still tune in!

Over on Facebook Alton library will be celebrating VE day with have a special film review of A Royal Night Out. As well as a general piece about VE Day; what it means and how it was celebrated in Alton, including a recipe for potato scones to wear for your VE Day Virtual Tea Party’ fashion feature!

There will also be a virtual tea party, where everyone is encouraged to share pictures of our tea parties – so head over to their Facebook page to join in this Friday.

Join the staff at Aldershot Library over on their Facebook page as they do a special VE day decoration craft and share printable colouring in sheets.
For adults there will be war poetry recordings, local history link, book readings and book reviews.
Why not share your VE day tea party with them?

Leading up to Friday, you will be able to find some great VE day decoration ideas as well as ideas for creating a ‘stay at home tea-party’.

On the day, you will be able to find some lovely photos of staff’s own decorations, World War Two poetry and book reviews.

Leading up to VE Day, you will find some amazing colouring sheets available to download, all made by a member of staff. Staff will also be taking part in the #GreatBritishBuntingShare – so keep an eye out for different ways of making your own bunting!

On the day, there will be a special guest over one their Facebook page, who will talk about her real-life account of VE Day. If you have any stories to share about VE Day, personal or passed down to you, you’re welcome to share them.

For the younger audience, there will be a special reading from Goodnight Mr Tom, available as both eBook and eAudiobook through the BorrowBox app.

Join the staff of Gosport Discovery Centre over on their Facebook page for some wartime bake off, decorating, bunting making, VE Day stories and a special VE Day craft – ‘How to make a glider’.
Don’t miss the fun!

Leading up to the day, you will be able to find instructions on how to make bunting as well as how to make your windows colourful.
As well as a special VE Day hat craft and a ‘Write a coded message’ activity. Head over to their Facebook page to not miss out on the fun!

Leading up to the day you will be able to find some wonderful craft videos on their Facebook Page, on how to make bunting as well as how to make your own medals.

On the day, at 3pm, there will be a special message from all the staff; so tune in!

On Friday 8 May, Hampshire Archives will be live streaming This is Your Victory on their Facebook page from 11.30am to 12.30pm.
They will also be live streaming Working in the Shadows on their Facebook page – time to be confirmed, so check their events on the day.

And of course we will be sharing as many of these wonderful events, activities and videos over on the Hampshire Libraries Facebook page.

It may not be the VE Day celebration you expected, but with these wonderful books and range of crafts and ideas, we’re sure to all be celebrating together, despite being apart.

Elif Shafak


Elif Shafak was born in France, to Turkish parents, though largely educated in Spain. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, where she now lives.

As well as being a successful writer, she has also presented two TED Global talks which have amassed over 3 millions views.

Why Elif Shafak is our Author of the Month:

  • Elif Shafak is a powerful female writer, an activist for women’s rights, minority rights, and freedom of speech.
  • She writes and speaks about a range of issues including global and cultural politics, the future of Europe, Turkey and the Middle East, democracy, and pluralism.
  • Her books have been nominated for multiple international awards. Ten Minutes and 38 Seconds In This Strange World won Blackwell’s Book of the Year
  • in 2019. It has also been shortlisted for the 2020 RSL Ondaatje Prize. The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by the BBC as one of their 100 Novels which shaped the World.

This is a world of spectacles, About seeing and being seen.

Elif Shafak, The Gaze

Fiction


The Gaze

Available as an eBook

The author explores body image and desirability. An overweight woman and her lover – a dwarf – go out in disguise to avoid being stared at. The book suggests the powerful effects the gaze of a passerby can have on a person.

Ten Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World

Available as an eBook and as an eAudiobook

Our brains stay active for ten minutes after our heart stops beating. For Leila, each minute brings with it a new memory: growing up with her father and his wives in a grand old house in a quiet Turkish town; watching the women gossip and wax their legs while the men went to mosque; sneaking cigarettes and Western magazines on her way home from school; running away to Istanbul to escape an unwelcome marriage; falling in love with a student who seeks shelter from a riot in the brothel where she works. Most importantly, each memory reminds Leila of the five friends she met along the way – friends who are now desperately trying to find her.

Three Daughter’s of Eve

Available as an eBook and as an eAudiobook

Peri, a wealthy Turkish housewife, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground – an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past – and a love – Peri had tried desperately to forget.The photograph takes Peri back to Oxford University, as an 18-year-old sent abroad for the first time; to her dazzling, rebellious Professor and his life-changing course on God; to her home with her two best friends, Shirin and Mona, and their arguments about Islam and femininity; and finally, to the scandal that tore them all apart.

The Architect’s Apprentice

Available as an eBook and as an eAudiobook

When Jahan travels to 16th-century Istanbul as a stowaway, with the gift of a white elephabt for the Sultan, little does he anticipate the journey on which he is about to embark. Whispers in the palace gardens and secret journeys through Istanbul lead him to Mihrimah, the beautiful princess. Still under her spell, he is promoted from simple mahut to apprentice of the royal architect, Sinan – when his fortunes take a mysterious change.

The Flea Palace 

Available as an eBook

Bonbon Palace was once a stately apartment block in Istanbul. Now it is a sadly dilapidated home to ten wildly different individuals and their families. When the rubbish at Bonbon Palace is stolen, a mysterious sequence of events unfolds that result in a soul-searching quest for truth.

The Bastard of Istanbul

Available as an eBook and as an eAudiobook

One rainy afternoon in Istanbul, a woman walks into a doctor’s surgery. ‘I need to have an abortion’, she announces. She is nineteen years old and unmarried. What happens that afternoon will change her life.Twenty years later, Asya Kazanci lives with her extended family in Istanbul. Due to a mysterious family curse, all the Kaznci men die in their early forties, so it is a house of women, among them Asya’s beautiful, rebellious mother Zeliha, who runs a tattoo parlour; Banu, who has newly discovered herself as clairvoyant; and Feride, a hypochondriac obsessed with impending disaster. And when Asya’s Armenian-American cousin Armanoush comes to stay, long hidden family secrets connected with Turkey’s turbulent past begin to emerge.

Honour

Available as an eBook and as an eAudiobook

When Pembe leaves the Kurdish village of her birth, and her twin sister with it, it is for love. She follows her husband, Adem, to London with the hope of making a new life, but the family soon faces a stark choice: to stay loyal to the old traditions or try their best to fit in. When Adem abandons his family, it is Iskender, Pembe’s eldest son, who must step in and prevent shame from falling on the family name. And when Pembe begins a chaste affair with a man named Elias, Iskender will discover that you could love someone with all your heart and yet be ready to hurt them. Trapped by the mistakes of the past, the Toprak children find their lives shattered and transformed by a brutal act of murder.

The Forty Rules of Love

Available as an eBook and as an eAudiobook

Ella Rubinstein has a husband, three teenage children, and a pleasant home. Everything that should make her confident and fulfilled. Yet there is an emptiness at the heart of Ella’s life – an emptiness once filled by love.So when Ella reads a manuscript about the thirteenth-century Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, and his forty rules of life and love, she is shocked out of herself. Turning her back on her family she embarks on a journey to meet the mysterious author of this work.It is a quest infused with Sufi mysticism and verse, taking Ella and us into an exotic world where faith and love are heartbreakingly explored…


Non-Fiction


Black Milk

Available as an eBook

Postpartum depression affects millions of new mothers every year, and- like most of its victims- Elif Shafak never expected to be one of them. But after the birth of her first child in 2006, the internationally bestselling Turkish author remembers how “for the first time my adult life . . . words wouldn’t speak to me”. As her despair finally eased, Shafak sought to resuscitate her writing life by chronicling her own experiences.In her intimate memoir, she reveals how she struggled to overcome her depression and how literature provided the salvation she so desperately needed.

The Happiness of Blond People

Available as an eBook

Written to be read over a long commute or a short journey, they are original and exclusively in digital form. This is Elif Shafak’s examination of national identity.”You know, I never understand. How come their children are so quiet and well disciplined?””Yeah,” said the distressed father, his voice suddenly softer. “Blond children never cry, do they?”As Elif Shafak stands in line at the airport, she overhears a Turkish father expressing to a friend his bewilderment at the cultural differences he’s experienced since immigrating to northern Europe. Is it true, she wonders, that the citizens of these countries are genuinely happier? Why do people leave their homes for other countries? And what lessons can we all learn, for the creation of truly harmonious societies, from the experiences of immigrants?In the light of the recent backlash against multiculturalism and the influx of millions of Muslims into Europe from the east, this powerful and personal essay uses the lived experience of immigrants to examine this most hotly debated subject.

1914-Goodbye to all that

Available as an eBook

In this collection of essays, ten leading writers from different countries, including Elif Shafak, consider the conflicts that have informed their own literary lives. 1914-Goodbye to All That borrows its title from Robert Graves’s “bitter leave-taking of England” in which he writes not only of the First World War but the questions it raised: how to live, how to live with each other, and how to write.Interpreting this title as broadly and ambiguously as Graves intended, these essays mark the War’s centenary by reinvigorating these questions.

Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?

Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love