No wait, No fuss – September’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 8 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. The children’s eTitles are perfect for anyone taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge!
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 September.

eBooks and eAudiobooks for children

Marge in Charge
by Isla Fisher

At dinnertime Chef Marge cooks up chocolate soup, and at school Marge the Musician conducts a chaotic concert in the playground!

In these three stories, Jake and Jemima have brilliant fun with their new babysitter, but will they manage to tick off all the jobs on Mummy’s list? The first in a fresh, fun, family – friendly series written by actor and comedian Isla Fisher.

Hold onto your rollerskates because Marge is in charge!

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Isla Fisher
Suitable for ages 5+

The Day the Aliens nearly ate our Brains
by Tom McLaughlin

Best friends Freddy and Sal have accidentally intercepted a message from Alan – a spectacularly grumpy, brain-munching alien from outer space. Alan has only one message. Earth is going to be invaded in exactly ten hours’ time.

Soon the police, NASA and even Presidents from around the world are getting involved – and Freddy is about to become the most famous kid on planet earth for all the wrong reasons. Wolverhampton, we have a problem.

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Helen Monks
Suitable for ages 7+

Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein

Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war.

The story begins in Verity’s own words, as she writes her account for her captors.

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Lucy Gaskell and Morven Christie
Suitable for ages 13+

eBooks and eAudiobooks for adults

Are You Sleeping
by Kathleen Barber

When a family man is killed at point blank range in his home, it shakes a sleepy town to its core. The murder is a strange, horrifying crime but for the authorities it’s an open-and-shut case.

Ten years on, the victim’s daughter, Josie, has started afresh in New York – far from the tragic events that blew her family apart. No-one knows the truth about her previous life, not even her fiancé.

Investigative journalist Poppy is convinced the wrong man is in jail for the murder and she’s determined to prove it. What starts off as a true-crime podcast snowballs into a national phenomenon and everyone has an opinion on the case. Poppy’s relentless pursuit of the truth threatens to expose old secrets. Josie realizes that her father’s murder could have consequences more devastating than she had ever imagined.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Rebekkah Ross
Fiction

The Muse
by Jessie Burton

A picture hides a thousand words …

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn’t know she had, she remains a mystery – no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences …

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Cathy Tyson
Fiction

The Secrets of Primrose Square
by Claudia Carroll

There are so many stories hidden behind closed doors . . .

It’s late at night and the rain is pouring down on the Dublin city streets. A mother is grieving for her dead child. She stands silently outside the home of the teenage boy she believes responsible. She watches . . .

In a kitchen on the same square, a girl waits anxiously for her mum to come home. She knows exactly where she is, but she knows she cannot reach her.
A few doors down, and a widow sits alone in her room. She has just delivered a bombshell to her family during dinner and her life is about to change forever.
And an aspiring theatre director has just moved in to a flat across the street. Her landlord is absent, but there are already things about him that don’t quite add up . . .

Welcome to Primrose Square.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Aoife McMahon
Fiction

The Luminaries
by Eleanor Catton

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Mark Meadows
Fiction

Home
by Harlan Coben

A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend?

Available as an eAudiobook
Narrated by Steven Weber
Fiction

A Thousand Ships
by Natalie Haynes

This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of all of them. . .

In the middle of the night, Creusa wakes to find her beloved Troy engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of brutal conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over, and the Greeks are victorious. Over the next few hours, the only life she has ever known will turn to ash . . .

The devastating consequences of the fall of Troy stretch from Mount Olympus to Mount Ida, from the citadel of Troy to the distant Greek islands, and across oceans and sky in between. These are the stories of the women embroiled in that legendary war and its terrible aftermath, as well as the feud and the fatal decisions that started it all. . .

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Natalie Haynes
Fiction

The Green Pleasant Land
by Ayisha Malik

Timely, humorous and deeply moving. This is the absolute standout new novel by acclaimed author (and 2018 Asian Woman of Achievement nominee) Ayisha Malik

For years Bilal Hasham and his wife Mariam have lived contented, quiet lives in the sleepy rural village of Babbel’s End. Now all that is about to change.

On her deathbed, Bilal’s mother reaches for his hand. Instead of whispering her final prayers, she gives him a task: build a mosque in his country village.

Mariam is horrified by Bilal’s plan. His friends and neighbours are unnerved. As outrage sweeps Babbel’s End, battle lines are drawn. His mother’s dying wish reveals deeper divisions in their village than Bilal had ever imagined.

Soon Bilal is forced to choose between community and identity, between faith and friendship, between honouring his beloved mother’s last wish and preserving what is held dear in the place that he calls home.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Rita Sharma
Fiction

Dear Mrs Bird
by AJ Pearce

London, 1941. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance – but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine.
Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. But as Emmy reads the desperate pleas from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong man, or can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back . . .

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Anna Popplewell
Fiction

My Name is Why
by Lemn Sussay

At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in an fostered family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.

Here Sissay recounts his life story. It is a story of neglect and determination. Misfortune and hope. Cruelty and triumph.

Sissay reflects on a childhood in care, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so explores the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Written with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation’s best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook
Narrated by Zoe Mills, Lemn Sissay and Richard Burnip
Non-Fiction

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

Digital Readers – September 2020

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

My Name is Why by Lemn Sussay

At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in an fostered family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.
Here Sissay recounts his life story. It is a story of neglect and determination. Misfortune and hope. Cruelty and triumph.
Sissay reflects on a childhood in care, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so explores the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Written with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation’s best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.

From 1 September, 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!

Among the Shelves – Contemporary Fiction

One of our key roles, as a library, is to enable access to information. We stock a wide range of materials, do not censor published content, promote understanding and provide good quality information that helps people educate and inform themselves. To challenge prejudice and discrimination we will be celebrating black authors, diversity and cultural role models with a selection of good books – all of which can be found on our shelves.

This will include fictional and factual titles for all ages in three different blogs, in our third blog we’re looking at some amazing contemporary adult fiction titles. These books are all available through the BorrowBox App or if you prefer physical books our new Ready Reads book collection service gives you access to a selection of books – chosen for you by our team.

If you missed our first two blogs, you can find them here with:
Adult Non-Fiction Titles
Children’s Titles

These are just some of the titles in our collection, check out the full collection over on BorrowBox, and find out more about black British authors and their amazing work in our 2019 Black History Month Blog!

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford) was an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.”  She was a multi -award winning author, essayist who spoke up for the rights of others, using her own experiences of racism and oppression to educate the world to be a better place.   

Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best known are her novels The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon , and Beloved , which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. In 2001 she was named one of “The 30 Most Powerful Women in America” by Ladies’ Home Journal. 

 In 1949, Morrison decided to attend a historically black institution for her college education. She moved to Washington, D.C. to attend Howard University. While in college, Morrison experienced racial segregation in a new way. She witnessed how racial hierarchy divided people of color based on their skin tone. However, the community at Howard University also allowed her to make connections with other writers, artists, and activists that influenced her work. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English, Morrison attended Cornell University to earn the Master of Arts in English. When she graduated in 1955, she began teaching English at Texas Southern University but returned to Howard University as a professor. While back at the university, Morrison taught the young civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael. In 2012 President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.   

Morrison wrote children’s books with her son Slade. Morrison had stopped working on Home when he died. She said that afterwards, “I stopped writing until I began to think, He would be really put out if he thought that he had caused me to stop. ‘Please, Mom, I’m dead, could you keep going …?’ She finished Home and dedicated it to Slade. Her other son Harold is an architect. In an interview with Telegraph in 2012, Toni explained what it was like raising her two sons alone. She said, “I don’t think I did any of that very well. I did it ad hoc, like any working mother does.”   

Morrison died in New York City, on August 5, 2019, from complications of pneumonia. She was 88 years old.  

You can find a list of all the awards she won here .  

Her birthday, 18 February is dedicated Toni Morrison day in her hometown Lorain, Ohio 

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.

Toni Morrison

Fiction


The Bluest Eye

Available as a physical book

The Bluest Eye chronicles the tragic, torn lives of a poor black family in 1940s Ohio. Pecola, unlovely and unloved, prays each night for blue eyes like those of her privileged white schoolfellows.

Sula

Available as a physical book, eBook and eAudiobook

This is a novel set in a small town in Ohio, focusing on two girls, Nell and Sula, both black, both poor, who share their dreams until Sula escapes to live a vagrant city life for ten years. When she returns, the bond of their friendship is broken.

Song of Solomon

Available as a physical book, eBook and eAudiobook

This is the story of Macon Dead as he makes a voyage of rediscovery, travelling southwards geographically and inwards spiritually. Through the enlightenment of one man, the novel recapitulates the history of slavery and liberation..

Tar Baby

Available as a physical book, eBook and eAudiobook

Jadine is a graduate of the Sorbonne, art historian, American black living in Paris and Rome. Son is a criminal on the run, uneducated, violent, contemptuous, an American black from small-town Florida. He is a threat to her freedom: she is a threat to his identity.

Beloved

Available as a physical book, eBook and eAudiobook

It’s the mid-1800s. At Sweet Home in Kentucky, an era is ending as slavery comes under attack from the abolitionists. The worlds of Halle & Paul D. are to be destroyed in a cataclysm of agony & torment. The world of Sethe is to turn to violence & death.

Jazz

Available as a physical book, eBook and eAudiobook

Joe Trace shoots his lover, the impetuous 18-year-old Dorcas. At the funeral his determined, hardworking wife Violet tries to disfigure the corpse with a knife. Their story captures the complex humanity of black American urban life at that time.

Paradise

Available as a physical book, eBook and eAudiobook

Following the lives of 4 young women, this novel tells the story of a war (cultural, racial, religious) between two communities, each claiming a patent on the truth, each convinced it is defending Paradise.

Love

Available as a physical book.

Many women are obsessed by Bill Cosey, owner of the Cosey Hotel and resort. More than just the owner he shapes their yearnings for a father, husband, lover, guardian and friend. Even after his death he dominates their lives. Yet he was driven by secret forces – a troubled past and a woman called Celestial.

A Mercy

Available as a physical book and eBook

Set in America in the 1680s, ‘A Mercy’ reveals what lies under the surface of slavery. At its heart, this is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother and a daughter – a mother who cuts off her daughter, to save her, and a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment.

Home

Available as a physical book

A self-loathing veteran of the Korean War, Frank Money finds himself back in racist America after enduring trauma on the front lines that left him with more than just physical scars. But as Frank revisits his memories from childhood and the war, he discovers a profound courage he thought he could never possess again.

God Help the Child

Available as a physical book and eBook

At the centre: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally Sweetness, Bride’s mother herself, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that ‘what you do to children matters.


Non-Fiction


Mouth Full of Blood

Available as a physical book, eBook and eAudiobook

The collection is structured in three parts and these are heart-stoppingly introduced by a prayer for the dead of 9/11, a meditation on Martin Luther King and a eulogy for James Baldwin. Morrison’s Nobel lecture, on the power of language, is accompanied by lectures to Amnesty International and the Newspaper Association of America. She speaks to graduating students and visitors to both the Louvre and America’s Black Holocaust Museum. She revisits The Bluest Eye, Sula and Beloved; reassessing the novels that have become touchstones for generations of readers.

Race

Available as a physical book, eBook and eAudiobook

An exploration of race from one of the twentieth century’s primary chroniclers of the African American experience. Is who we are really only skin deep? In this searing, remonstrative book, Toni Morrison unravels race through the stories of those debased and dehumanised because of it.

Playing in the Dark

Available as a ???

Toni Morrison’s brilliant discussions of the “Africanist” presence in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather, and Hemingway leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition. She shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree–and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires.

The measure of our lives

Available as a ???

This inspirational book juxtaposes quotations, one to a page, drawn from Toni Morrison’s entire body of work, both fiction and nonfiction–from The Bluest Eye to God Help the Child, from Playing in the Dark to The Source of Self-Regard–to tell a story of self-actualization. It aims to evoke the totality of Toni Morrison’s literary vision.

Goodness and the literary imagination

Available as a ???

What exactly is goodness? Where is it found in the literary imagination? Toni Morrison, one of American letters’ greatest voices, pondered these perplexing questions in her celebrated Ingersoll Lecture, delivered at Harvard University in 2012 and published now for the first time in book form. Perhaps because it is overshadowed by the more easily defined evil, goodness often escapes our attention. Recalling many literary examples, from Ahab to Coetzee’s Michael K, Morrison seeks the essence of goodness and ponders its significant place in her writing. She considers the concept in relation to unforgettable characters from her own works of fiction and arrives at conclusions that are both eloquent and edifying.

Birth of a nation-hood

Available as a ???

Toni Morrison contributes an introduction and brings together thirteen essays, all written especially for this book, by distinguished academics – black and white, male and female – on one of the grimmest and most revealing moments of American history: the O J Simpson case.

Death is a sure thing but life is just as certain. Problem is you can’t know in advance.

Toni Morrison, Home