From Winchester to Barchester: Anthony Trollope’s links with Hampshire

Anthony Trollope was one of the most popular authors of the 19th century, and his novels, including the Barchester and Palliser series, continue to attract new fans. This talk will explore Anthony Trollope’s links with Hampshire including family connections with Heckfield and Winchester, and some Hampshire locations that may have inspired places in Barchester.

The event also marks the 150th anniversary in 2021 of the publication of Ralph the Heir, much of which is undisguisedly set in northern Hampshire.

This is an online talk using Zoom. Participants will be required to download and use Zoom.

Previous knowledge/experience required: All you need to attend a talk on Zoom is some basic computer skills and experience in using the internet. Don’t worry if you have not used it before as we will send you some basic guidance when you book.

Book your tickets

Join Hampshire Record Office for this fantastic talk on Monday 27 September at 6pm. Tickets are just £5 and can be booked by clicking the ‘Book Now’ image.

Barchester Towers, which was published in 1857, as the sequel to The Warden wryly chronicles the struggle for control of the English diocese of Barchester. It opens with the Bishop of Barchester lying on his death bed; soon a battle begins over who will take over power, with key players including the rather incompetent Dr Proudie, his fiendishly unpleasant wife and his slippery curate, Slope. This is a wonderfully rich novel, in which men and women are too shy to tell each other of their love; misunderstandings abound; and Church of England officials are only too willing to undermine each other in the battle for power.

The only autobiography by a major Victorian novelist, Trollope’s account offers a fascinating insight into his literary life and opinions. After a miserable childhood and misspent youth, Trollope turned his life around at the age of twenty-six. By 1860 the ‘hobbledehoy’ had become both a senior civil servant and a best-selling novelist. He worked for the Post Office for many years and stood unsuccessfully for Parliament. Best-known for the two series of novels grouped loosely around the clerical and political professions, the Barsetshire and Palliser series, in his Autobiography Trollope frankly describes his writing habits. His apparent preoccupation with contracts, deadlines, and earnings, and his account of the remorseless regularity with which he produced his daily quota of words, has divided opinion ever since.

Winchester offers a veritable feast of history, much of it unrecognised by twenty-first century visitors. This history of the Saxon capital of Wessex is told through evocative photographs of its buildings and intricate nooks and crannies. Brought to life with intriguing accounts are: St Catherine’s Hill, the site of a hill fort in 150 BC; the Peninsula Barracks, once a military establishment and now home to a range of museums; Winchester College, built in 1352, and its fourteenth-century gothic chapel; Winchester Cathedral, parts of which date from 1079; the resting place of novelist Jane Austen; the working water mill, still on its original medieval site; and King Arthur’s Round Table. Featuring a map showing points of interest, this is a must-read for locals and visitors alike.

To reserve ‘Heckfield: A Village History’ by Gordon Timmins, click here: https://bit.ly/3iH69AB.

To reserve ‘History of a Hampshire Parish – Heckfield and Mattingley: https://bit.ly/2UcWI2w.

What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?…Was ever anything so civil?”

Anthony Trollope

Library backgrounds for virtual meetings

Don’t be worrying about how your room looks, improve that meeting with our background of books!


Are you tired of hiding your laundry pile before a virtual call?
Does the fuzzing out button give you an empty feeling inside?
Is your curling wallpaper letting you down?

We’ve got you covered…now you can impress your friends and work colleagues with your very own dream bookcase background, hand-crafted by your experts and friends at Hampshire Libraries!

Pick your favourite background and impress friends, colleagues and classmates at your next virtual meeting. Pick the background you like and click on it to download, and don’t forget to donate!

All donations are welcomed and goes to supporting the running of events and activities in Hampshire Libraries.

We have four different backgrounds with Adult non-fiction books:

For the art lovers…

A backdrop for anyone who loves a crime novel…

And another for Sc-Fi and fantasy fanatics…

Two monochrome bookshelves

A book heart bookshelves

Download the backgrounds today by clicking on your favourite bookshelf above.

The menopause – a library blog

Menopause – that time in a middle aged woman’s life when her period stops, she can no longer become pregnant naturally and hot flushes are a regular thing; right?
Not quite. There are four big misconceptions about the menopause, in this blog we’ll have a closer look at them and we’ll also show you how Hampshire Libraries can support those going through “The Change” through books
To mark ‘World Menopause Day’ on Friday 18 October, Hampshire Libraries have been working to enable open discussion on this subject, a subject which will affect everyone; either directly or indirectly in their lives. For books about the menopause, keep on reading!


The menopause is something that only happens to women between 45 and 55 years of age.


The menopause is a natural part of life, and happens when a woman’s oestrogen levels begin to decline. Whilst mostly common in women aged 45-55, this can happen at any point in a woman’s life. 1 in 100 women will see their oestrogen levels beginning to decline before age 40 – resulting in these women going through the menopause in their forties, thirties, twenties or even their teens.


At least there’s no more periods!



It’s the mantra, isn’t it? That women tell themselves when thinking about what lays ahead. Sadly, it’s not 100% true.
As mentioned, you enter the menopause when your oestrogen levels begin to decline, this doesn’t automatically mean your period stops. Many women will continue to experience bleeding or spotting for a few more years.
Some woman will experience longer and heavier periods, followed by shorter and lighter ones for up to five years before they finally cease.
Some women will experience irregular periods, periods that last for just a couple of days, while some will experience longer ones, with just a week or two in between the bleeding.
What’s true is that a woman who’s gone through the menopause will no longer have periods – but while going through it, you might continue to have periods.


Hot flushes are just that; a moment of feeling warm, then it goes away.


The name itself aids this misconception. The name makes this sound like those experiencing it will all of a sudden feel very hot, then it goes away as quickly as it came. If only it was that simple.
A hot flush will come over the woman suddenly and without little to no warning, it will raise her body temperature significantly and can cause her face and neck to turn red or break out in red blotches. A hot flush can last from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Hot flushes can also cause dizziness, heart palpitations and irregular heart beats.
For many women hot flushes are a nuisance, and can cause great discomfort, but luckily hot flushes only happen occasionally. Unless you belong to the unlucky 20% of women that will have hot flushes on a regular basis, and/or have them severe enough to disrupt their day to day life and even sleep.
Hot flushes usually last for two years, but can also last longer or shorter – 10% will experience hot flushes for up to 15 years.


But there’s not really any real health problems linked to the menopause.


The low levels of the hormone estrogen in women can cause weight gain, which in turn increases the risks of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, high cholesterol and diabetes
As well as the increased risk of the above, the dizziness, heart irregularities and heart palpitations that can be experienced during hot flushes, women can also experience the following health problems during or after the menopause:
Lead poisoning: After menopause, women’s bones start breaking down quicker, making the bones more fragile as well as releasing the lead that’s stored in them. 30% of women have a higher blood lead level then before the menopause.
High blood pressure and atherosclerosis: Because of the bones breaking down faster and the increase in lead levels, women are more likely to have high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (this is when their arteries hardens) after they’ve gone through the menopause.
Urinary incontinence: About half of women who’ve gone through the menopause have trouble holding their urine. This is due to the low level of estrogen weakening the urethra.
Oral problems: This one might be rather surprising, but both a dry mouth and an increased risk for cavities are very common in women after the menopause.
Height loss: As women’s bones start to break down faster, they are also likely to shrink, which in turn can cause back, hip and joint pain and problems.
– Pelvic organ prolapse: The lack of estrogen after menopause thins the support structures and tissue that hold pelvic organs ( bladder, uterus, urethra, vagina, small bowel or rectum ) in place, causing one or more of them to drop out of place or fall.
– Reduced sex drive (libido) and vaginal dryness: As women’s estrogen levels drop, so can their sex drive. It is also common for women who’ve gone through the menopause to experience vaginal dryness, making sexual intercourse painful.
Memory and concentration: Some women will experience problems with their memory as they go through the menopause, and can continue afterwards. Some will also experience problems with concentrating on tasks or conversations.

As a society, we don’t talk much about the menopause, its symptoms or health problems associated with it. Even in school, menopause is wrapped up quickly at the end of learning about periods.

Your periods will continue until you reach the menopause, which usually happens when you are in your late 40s to mid-50s.

It’s easy to see why we have gained the misconceptions around the menopause, and why so many women don’t realise how long symptoms last, what the health risks and issues are and what they can expect.
In Hampshire Libraries we’re working to spread awareness of the menopause, its symptoms and how we can support those going through it.

One way we’re doing this is by running ‘Managing Your Menopause‘ courses, these are non-clinical, discussion group to learn about the menopause, speak with other women in a relaxed environment and develop your own plan to manage your menopause in the way which suits you. At the end of the course you’ll:
– Understand what’s happening to your body and hormones;
– Identify your symptoms and how they are affecting you;
– Consider treatments, lifestyle choices and coping strategies;
– Prepare to speak to others about the impact of your menopause;
– Plan how you would like to manage your own menopause.
These courses are free, but spaces have to be booked in advance. These courses are still relatively new, we’ve been able to run seven of them so far, and are looking forward to be running another four next term.

I attended the ‘Managing Your Menopause’ course and after speaking to the tutor, they suggested I speak to my GP about one of my symptoms. I made an appointment and it turned out I needed a visit to the hospital.
If it hadn’t been for this course, I might have ignored it and it could have turned into something more serious.

‘Managing Your Menopause’ feedback

If you would like to meet others going through the menopause, but can’t commit to a full course. Then the Menopause café at Farnborough Library might be the thing for you.
Meeting once a month, it’s a friendly drop in where you can meet others, have a chat and a cup of tea.

Next meeting is on Saturday 16 November, 10am – 12pm

Another way Hampshire Libraries support women going through the menopause, as well as their families and friends, is through the amazing books you can borrow.
There are books to help, support and guide you through the menopause, but also books for those who would like to support a family member or friend who’s going through it, or would just like to know more about it.
Whatever the reason, we have some amazing books that you can borrow from our libraries. Below are 14 of the books we have available, but you can find all the books we have on the menopause here!

Menopause: the one-stop guide : a practical guide to understanding and living with the menopause
by Kathy Abernethy


The menopause is a natural event, but for many women it represents a time of hormonal upheaval and uncomfortable symptoms. It can happen at any age, and the journey through it may feel a bit rocky. ‘Menopause’ explains the changes which are occurring and advises on steps one can take to make life easier during this time of change.

What we’re told not to talk about (but we’re going to anyway): women’s voices from East London to Ethiopia
by Nimko Ali

‘What We’re Told Not to Talk About (But We’re Going to Anyway)’ is an important, taboo-breaking book that shares the stories of pregnancy and periods, orgasms and the menopause, from women from all walks of life. From refugee camps in Calais to Oscar-winning actresses, to Nimko’s own story of living with FGM, each woman shares their own relationship with their vagina and its impact on their life.

Health revolution: finding happiness and health through an anti-inflammatory lifestyle: wholeness, food, research, exercise, beauty, insight 
by Maria Borelius

At the age of 52, I was experiencing menopause symptoms, back pain, fatigue, and a general feeling of melancholy about my life. I felt that everything was beginning to go downhill. But after just a few months with a new lifestyle, my life had changed. I was happier, stronger, and pain-free – what had happened? Through a series of remarkable coincidences, I realised that I had stumbled on something completely new – anti-inflammatory food – that could cure and prevent illness, and even put the brakes on ageing. That’s how my journey of research began and the contours of a whole new lifestyle emerged. This is my story, and I’m sharing it with you in the hope that you will find inspiration, healing, and strength.

The hormone fix: the natural way to balance your hormones and alleviate the symptoms of the perimenopause, the menopause and beyond
by Dr. Anna Cabeca

As women approach menopause, many start to experience the physical and emotional indignities of hormonal fluctuation: metabolic stall and weight gain, hot flashes and night sweats, insomnia, memory loss or brain fog, irritability, low libido, and painful sex. Too often, doctors say that these discomforts are to be expected, but Dr Anna Cabeca’s research and experience with thousands of her patients show that there is a fast-acting and non-pharmaceutical way to dramatically and permanently alleviate these symptoms. ‘The Hormone Fix’ introduces Dr Cabeca’s unique plan that pairs the hallmarks of ketogenic (low-carb/high fat) eating with diet and lifestyle changes that bring the body’s cellular pH to a healthy alkaline level.

Men… let’s talk menopause: what’s going on and what you can do about it
by Ruth Devlin

Image result for 9781788600804

A comprehensive guide to the female menopause, written for men to help them understand this often perplexing topic. It addresses all the important aspects of the menopause, including the physical, psychological, genito-urinary and long term symptoms that can occur. It gives essential information on options available to cope with those symptoms plus good advice for men (and women!) on practical lifestyle choices. Short and easy to dip in and out of, with humorous illustrations and practical tips for what you can do (and what NOT to say), this is your essential handbook for surviving the change in YOUR life.

Healthy menopause: how to best manage your symptoms and feel better than ever
by Liz Earle


Liz Earle provides a complete guide to the changes that occur during menopause and explains how problems can be managed using supplements, HRT and alternative therapies.

Feel Good Guide to Menopause
by Dr Nicola Gates


How understanding the brain-hormone connection can help women to navigate menopause. Menopause can impact a woman’s health, relationships, daily functioning, career, mood and emotions, and can profoundly impair her quality of life. Understanding the connection between hormonal changes in the female body, the brain and, indeed, the gut provides us with the fundamentals for transitioning through what can be a challenging – if not overwhelming – time for many women.

The change: women, ageing and the menopause
by Germaine Greer


Now more than ever, the individual woman has to manage her passage through menopause for herself. Germaine Greer provides a commonsense guide to a very interesting and important stage of women’s lives.

Menopause breakthroughs
by Grace Johnston


Menopause can be a challenging time not just for women but for their partners and families. For women it’s the end of their potential to be mothers and, while for some that’s a relief, for others it can be a time of considerable sadness. Self-image changes and the view in the mirror may come to differ markedly from how women still feel inside. But menopause is a natural part of ageing and one of life’s major times of transition for women. Many simply pass through it with few symptoms but for those who don’t there are many options. This book looks at both traditional Western medicine and alternative therapies, providing a wide-ranging overview of available treatments to ease the symptoms of menopause and ensure a smoother transition.

Confessions of a menopausal woman
by Andrea McLean

The menopause. There – we’ve said it. It’s a huge part of every woman’s life and yet it remains one of society’s last taboos. An emotionally complex issue that can trigger a whole host of physical and mental side effects, it’s a big deal. So why aren’t we talking about it? Talking about stuff is what women do best; we share and offload, we laugh and we bond over the ridiculous and incredible things our bodies go through. Hearing other people’s experiences is what makes our own so much more bearable – because we know that we aren’t alone.

Menopause: All you need to know in one concise manual
by Louise Newson

Image result for 9781785216428


Written by a menopause specialist, this will give women and their families the facts for stages and symptoms and details for safe and effective treatments for their particular needs.

The second half of your life
by Jill Shaw Ruddock


The Second Half of Your Life is a groundbreaking book which offers advice and answers to women in the second half of their life. Using the hormonal changes that occur around menopause as a springboard to transition from a woman’s reproductive years to her self-productive years, Shaw Ruddock gives positive, life-affirming guidance on how to make the second half of life, the best half. Drawing on extensive experience, research and interviews, Jill Shaw Ruddock explores what can hold women back at this important stage in their lives, and how to harness the new-found focus this stage in life brings i.e. the rest of your life.

Flash count diary: a new story about the menopause
by Darcey Steinke

Menopause hit Darcey Steinke hard. First came hot flushes. Then insomnia. Then depression. As she struggled to understand what was happening to her, she slammed up against a culture of silence and sexism. Some promoted hormone replacement therapy, others encouraged acceptance, but there was little that offered a path to understanding menopause in an engaged way. Flash Count Diary is a powerful exploration into aspects of menopause that have rarely been written about, including the changing gender landscape that reduced levels of hormones brings, the actualities of transforming desires, and the realities of prejudice against older women.

The menopause book: the complete guide – hormones, hot flashes, health, moods, sleep, sex
by Pat Wingert and Barbara Kantrowitz


Expertly separating fact from fiction in the latest “breakthrough” medical studies, it shows you what to pay attention to, and what you can ignore. Learn about the role of hormones and the latest advances in hormone therapy. The truth about hot flashes and how to deal with getting one at work. The impact of menopause on sexuality and how to manage an up-and-down libido. There are chapters on heart health (how to protect it), moods (how to ride them out), and exercise (how to stretch without strain). And finally, why this period of life can be a natural springboard to staying healthy, feeling great, and looking beautiful for the next act of your life.

Above all, be the heroine of your life,
not the victim.

Nora Ephron

If you prefer digital sources to reading books, these are all great website to learn more about the menopause, the symptoms and helpful tips and suggestions on how to deal with “The Change”:

NHS
Wellbeing of Women
Menopause doctor
British Menopause Society
Daisy Network

Remember: if you’re worried about the menopause or any of your symptoms; talk to your GP.

Digital Readers – October book

Digital Readers is an online reading group for everyone who’s older than 16 and has both a Hampshire Library card and a Facebook account.

We’re happy to announce October’s book, the book we’ll read or listen to and discuss in our Online Reading group Digital Readers in the weeks to come!
And the book is…

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold!

In heaven, Susie Salmon can have whatever she wishes for – except what she most wants, which is to be back with the people she loved on earth. In the wake of her murder, Susie watches as her happy suburban family is torn apart by grief; as her friends grow up, fall in love, and do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But as Susie will come to realize, even in death, life is not quite out of reach . . .

This book will be available to download through the BorrowBox app using your Hampshire Library Card from 1 October. There’s no waiting list; just search for The Lovely Bones, download and start reading!
Both the eBook and the eAudiobook version will be available – so if you prefer to listen to books you can still join in the discussions over on Facebook.

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!

Events during Libraries Week

7 – 13 October 2019

Events at Winchester Discovery Centre

Vesper Sky concert of poetry and songs – Stewart & Carol Henderson and Yvonne Lyon Thursday 10 October, 7.30pm. Tickets: £10 in advance/ £12 on the night.

Vesper Sky is a stunning and unique collection of songs and poems, written and performed by poet, broadcaster and songwriter Stewart Henderson, renowned Scottish singer songwriter Yvonne Lyon and storyteller and broadcaster Carol Henderson. The songs and poems cover a wide-range of contemporary topics and tempos and the event is an engrossing and plaintive ‘journal of our times’. An inspirational evening not to be missed.

Book your tickets here.

Winchester Poetry Day: Close Encounters with Poets and Other Animals. Saturday 12th October, all day

Join us for a stimulating day of poetry readings, discussions, prize givings and workshops at the Winchester Discovery Centre. Tickets for some events are free, but booking is still recommended. We look forward to seeing you! https://www.winchesterpoetryfestival.org/

Events including:

Dramatising the Animal Encounter in Poetry. A poetry workshop with Elisabeth Sennitt Clough10:30am – 12:30pm. Tickets: £24

Transform your everyday encounters with animals: bats, badgers, foxes, horses etc into poems with agency. Drawing on the toolkit of the dramatist, we’ll explore ways in which we can push our poems far beyond a flat recalling of events.

My Favourite Poem: A short talk by Jon Sayers, 12:40pm – 1:05pm. Free (but tickets should be booked)

Short talks about favourite poems have proved a popular and engaging feature of Winchester Poetry Festival. In this session, poet Jon Sayers will explore Sharon Olds’s powerful poem ‘After 37 Years My Mother Apologizes for My Childhood’ and discuss what it means to him.

Loose Muse Showcase1:15pm– 2:15pm. Tickets: £6 / Students £3

Organised and presented by poet Sue Wrinch, Loose Muse Winchester has been running for four years. In this event, several of the regular open mic poets will present their work.

Winchester Poetry Prize: Announcement and Reading of the Winning Poems. Judge Helen Mort announces 2019 winners2:30pm – 3:30pm Free (but tickets should be booked)

Now in its fourth year, Winchester Poetry Prize has gone from strength to strength, attracting thousands of entries. Come along and hear the winning poems. There’s also a prize for the best poem by a Hampshire-based poet.

Meet the Artistic Directors: Sasha Dugdale & Sarah Hesketh – 4:45pm – 5:15pm. Free (but tickets should be booked)

The festival’s artistic co-directors, Sasha Dugdale and Sarah Hesketh, discuss how their plans are shaping up for the 2020 festival and share poems from the confirmed poets for next year’s festival.

Early Evening Reading: With Helen Mort & Elisabeth Sennitt Clough. 5:30pm – 6:30pm Tickets: £12 / Students £6

Our Winchester Poetry Day Poets, Helen Mort and Elisabeth Sennitt Clough, will introduce us to some of their own latest work, including some where the ink is still wet.

Poetry Café: Open mic poetry reading6:45pm– 8:00pm. Tickets: £6 / Students £3

Join us for an open mic session to hear local poets. Places for poets are limited so if you’d like to read, please reserve a slot by emailing hello@winchesterpoetryfestival.org

Autumn Dance Party, Saturday 12th October 2019, 7.30pm, Tickets: £12

Bring some Sunshine into this Autumn with a Dance Party filled with all the Dancing Fun you could wish for! Join Silvia & DJ Max for Salsa, West Coast Swing, Party Group Dances, Jive, Cha Cha, Rumba, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Kizomba, Club Classics and more! Whether you have been dancing for years or are a novice – we’ll get everyone dancing! Licensed Bar open all night! Music with DJ Max! www.salsaysol.co.uk www.dancingwinchester.co.uk

Book your tickets at Winchester Discovery Centre.

Events around Hampshire

Lovecraft After Dark at Gosport Discovery Centre

Victorian Theatre with Bite! 8 October 2019. 7:30pm to 10:30am. Tickets: £10.

Allow the cosmic horror of Howard Philip Lovecraft to envelop your senses and blast your imagination! At any moment, the terrors of the Ancient Ones may be unleashed upon the world. The Elder Gods scrutinise our every deed, awaiting their opportunity to reclaim what was once theirs. Madness will be a blessing to those mere mortals who witness the crawling chaos soon to be released upon mankind!

Book your tickets here.

Thomas Forrester (previously Thomas Plant) at Andover Library

Join antiques expert and TV personality for an entertaining talk. 9 October 2019. 10am to 11am. Tickets: £7.50.

An entertaining talk about antiques with British TV personality Thomas Forrester.  (Previously known as Thomas Plant) Do you have treasures hiding in your home, gathering dust that you knew nothing about? Ticket holders may bring an item they would like to learn more about.

Thomas has appeared on TV shows such as Bargain Hunt, Flog it! and Antiques Road Trip.  He is co-owner of Special Auction Services in Newbury and when he is not busy with clients, Thomas fundraises for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice.

Book your tickets here.

Strictly Sherlock at Totton Library

Victorian Theatre with Bite! 10 October 2019. 7pm to 10pm.

Join the king of the detectives as he brings to life startling cases in this theatre production by Don’t Go into the Cellar.

The greatest fictional sleuth of all time springs back to life in these stirring adaptations of the Conan Doyle Classics. A high-energy on-man show, featuring a plethora of dashing heroes, villainous rogues and vintage thrills!

There are moments when you could swear you were watching Jeremy Brett or Roger Llewellyn, but this impressive interpretation of Holmes is very much Jonathan Goodwin’s own – not really surprising as Mr Goodwin is also responsible for the witty, suspenseful scripts.”  Roger Johnson, BSI, Editor: The Sherlock Holmes Journal

Book your tickets here.

5 banned books you can find in Hampshire Libraries.

At one time or another, there’s been books deemed inappropriate, blasphemous or even considered dangerous. Even our ancestors, before the printed word, those who would pass stories on through songs and retelling, even they must have had stories that were not allowed to be shared. Forbidden stories that were whispered to one another when no-one else was around.

Throughout history, there has been different reasons societies have decided to ban a book or series. Even here in the UK there has been times when books have been deemed inappropriate and banned for a period of time. Such as The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, which was banned 1928-1949, Ulysses by James Joyce which was banned 1922-1936, and Lord Horror by David Britton which was banned 1991-1992.

Today, there are no banned books in the UK, this isn’t the case in some other parts of the world though. We’ve put together a list of 5 books which are currently banned somewhere in the world today, 5 books that you can find on the shelves at Hampshire Libraries.

There has been more banned books then we can fit in this blog, but have a look at these 5 banned books – all of which you can find and borrow from Hampshire Libraries.

Beijing Coma by Ma Jian
Banned in: China, 2008

This 2009 Man Booker nominated book, first published in 2008, has since been banned by the Chinese government.

Fifty Shades trilogy by E L James
Banned in: Malaysia, 2015

Three years after the first book was published, the trilogy as a whole was banned in Malaysia, as was deemed a “threat to morality” and for its “sadistic” material.
It’s not just the book that’s banned, the ban includes the printing, publication and ownership of the book.
So if you’re planning to visit Malaysia on holiday, maybe leave these books at home.

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Banned in: some schools in the US and in all schools in the United Arab Emirate

The Harry Potter series has been banned in a number of schools across the US and in all school in the United Arab Emirate due to its magical themes, pagan themes and for religious reasons.

The Da Vinci code by Dan Brown
Banned in: Lebanon, 2004

The Da Vinci code was banned in Lebanon when it was first published in 2004, as it was deemed offensive to Christianity.

Animal Farm by George Orwell
Banned in: North Korea, date unknown and schools in United Arab Emirates, 2002

When Animal Farm was first published in 1943 it was quickly banned in both the Soviet Union and other communistic countries for portraying communism in a negative light. Though it’s no longer banned in Russia, or countries that were part of the Soviet Union, it’s still banned in North Korea for the same reason.
In 2002, this book was banned in schools across United Arab Emirates for going against Islamic values.

Tell us in the comments if any of the books on this list surprised you, or if there’s one you think should have been on the list!

Digital Readers

Digital Readers is an online reading group for everyone who’s older than 16 and has both a Hampshire Library card and a Facebook account.

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. There 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.

The first book will be available to download through the BorrowBox app on Sunday 1 September, and it will be….

Life of Pi by Yann Martel!

Pi lives in Pondicherry, India, where his father owns the city’s zoo. The family decides to immigrate to Canada, but tragedy strikes at sea. In the lifeboat are five survivors: Pi, a hyena, a zebra, a female orang-utan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.”

This 2002 Man Booker Prize winner is a story about survival, life and one boy’s incredible journey. We’re delighted this will be our first book in our new reading group and hope you will join us in our discussions over on Facebook.

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!