Read, Talk, Share; tackling loneliness and supporting mental health through the proven power of reading.

The Reading Agency have selected us as a partner to help deliver Read, Talk, Share, an initiative to combat loneliness and promote wellbeing through the proven power of reading during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enabled by a £3.5 million award by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Read, Talk, Share will expand The Reading Agency’s ‘Reading Well’ and ‘Reading Friends’ programmes by tackling loneliness and supporting mental health and wellbeing.

As a partner we will be offering the Reading Friends reading befriending programme which starts conversations and connects people who are lonely and isolated to people who live, work or study in Hampshire.

Part of this programme will provide funding to expand our Home Library Service to enable volunteers to make calls to those customers who are members of the service. Our local libraries will also be reaching out to their communities, with trained facilitators running sessions on zoom to initiate conversations about books and reading.

The Digital Friends Facebook book group is now offering members a monthly facilitated call to discuss the book as part of the Read, Talk, Share scheme. In February members discussed City of Spies and were joined by the author Mara Timon. The book choice for March is 29 Seconds by T. M. Logan and he will be attending the zoom call on Wednesday 31 March. To join the group and participate in the discussions, please visit the Hampshire Libraries Facebook page.

We will also have a full set of books from The Reading Agency’s Reading Well booklist available to borrow from your library or download via BorrowBox. You can request books from the Reading Well booklist by reserving a specific book, or making a request through our Ready Reads, We Select, You Collect service.


If you would like to take part in one of the led zoom calls please contact us for more information about Read, Talk, Share and letting us know which is your closest library.

Windrush Day 2020

Following losses in World War II, Britain was in need of labourers, this prompted a campaign to encourage people from other countries in the British Empire and Commonwealth to immigrate to the UK. On 22 June 1948, the first ship carrying immigrants from the Caribbean arrived. This first ship’s name, HMT Empire Windrush , inspired the generation of imigrants to be called ‘The Windrush Generation’.

70+ years later, and 22 June is #WindrushDay in honour of all those who left their homes and, for many, their families to start a new life and help rebuild Britain. It’s a day to celebrate the rich, mixed history that this country has and embrace the wonderful stories, culture and food that has come to shape Britain.
We’ve put together some recommendation for books that’s perfect to read to gain a better understanding of Windrush and the Windrush Generation.


Windrush: a ship through time
by Paul Arnott

Available as physical book

For three decades the Windrush was the maritime Zelig of the twentieth century, playing different roles in the most turbulent years in modern times. Designed in 1930 in the Hamburg boatyard of a Jewish shipbuilder to ferry Germans to a new life in South America, it wasn’t long before Goebbels requisitioned her as one of his ‘Strength Through Joy’ vessels. However, her duties soon darkened: she became a Nazi troop carrier, a support vessel for the pocket battleship Tirpitz and a prison ship transporting Jews to Auschwitz. This is Paul Arnott’s vivid biography of a unique vessel, combining the memories of people who were there with a gripping account of an extraordinary merchant ship at the end of empires.

Surge
by Jay Bernard

Available as eBook and eAudiobook

Dubbed the ‘New Cross Massacre’, the fire was initially believed to be a racist attack, and the indifference with which the tragedy was met by the state triggered a new era of race relations in Britain.Tracing a line from New Cross to the ‘towers of blood’ of the Grenfell fire, this urgent collection speaks with, in and of the voices of the past, brought back by the incantation of dancehall rhythms and the music of Jamaican patois, to form a living presence in the absence of justice. A ground-breaking work of excavation, memory and activism – both political and personal, witness and documentary – Surge shines a much-needed light on an unacknowledged chapter in British history, one that powerfully resonates in our present moment.

Mother Country: real stories of the Windrush children 
edited by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff

Available as physical book

Britain was known as the Mother Country: a home away from home; a place that you would be welcomed with open arms; a land where you were free to build a new life. 70 years on, this remarkable book explores the reality of the Windrush experience. It is an honest, eye-opening, funny, moving and ultimately inspiring celebration of the lives of both ordinary and extraordinary people.

The Windrush Betrayal
by Amelia Gentleman

Available as physical book and coming soon as eBook

Paulette Wilson had always assumed she was British. She had spent most of her life in London working as a cook; she even worked in the House of Commons’ canteen. How could someone who had lived in England since being a primary school pupil suddenly be classified as an illegal immigrant? It was only through Amelia Gentleman’s tenacious investigative and campaigning journalism that it emerged that thousands were in Paulette’s position. What united them was that they had all arrived in the UK from the Commonwealth as children in the 1950s and 1960s. In ‘The Windrush Betrayal’, Gentleman tells the story of the scandal and exposes deeply disturbing truths about modern Britain.

Home Coming
by Colin Grant

Available as eBook, eAudiobook and physical book

When Colin Grant was growing up in Luton in the 1960s, he learned not to ask his Jamaican parents why they had emigrated to Britain. ‘We’re here because we’re here’, his father would say, ‘You have some place else to go?’. But now, seventy years after the arrival of ships such as the Windrush, this generation of pioneers are ready to tell their stories. ‘Homecoming’ draws on over a hundred first-hand interviews, archival recordings and memoirs by the women and men who came to Britain from the West Indies between the late 1940s and the early 1960s.

Familiar Stranger
by Stuart Hall with Bill Schwarz

Available as physical book

Stuart Hall grew up in a middle-class family in 1930s Jamaica, still then a British colony. He found himself caught between two worlds: the stiflingly respectable middle class in Kingston, who, in their habits and ambitions, measured themselves against the white planter elite; and working-class and peasant Jamaica, neglected and grindingly poor, though rich in culture, music and history. But as colonial rule was challenged, things began to change in Kingston and across the world. When, in 1951, a scholarship took him across the Atlantic to Oxford University, Hall encountered other Caribbean writers and thinkers, from Sam Selvon and George Lamming to V.S. Naipaul. He also forged friendships with the likes of Raymond Williams and E.P. Thompson, with whom he worked in the formidable political movement, the New Left.

Voices of the Windrush generation: the real story told by the people themselves 
by David Matthews

Available as eBook and Physical book

With over 20 first-hand accounts from men, women and children of Windrush, this work sheds light on the true impact of one of the most disastrous and damaging scandals in recent memory, and gives a platform to those most affected – those whose voices have yet to be truly heard. Their stories provide intimate, personal and moving perspective on what it means to be black in Britain today, and the heartache the ‘hostile environment policy’ our government has created has meant for those who have called this country home for half a century and more.

Lovers and Strangers
by Clair Wills

Available as physical book

The battered and exhausted Britain of 1945 was desperate for workers – to rebuild, to fill the factories, to make the new NHS work. From all over the world and with many motives, thousands of individuals took the plunge. Most assumed they would spend just three or four years here, sending most of their pay back home, but instead large numbers stayed – and transformed the country. Drawing on an amazing array of unusual and surprising sources, Clair Wills’ book brings to life the incredible diversity and strangeness of the migrant experience.


For more articles and Windrush stories, visit the British Library’s website.

Bumps and Babies

To help support mums-to-be, expectant parents and grandparents we have put together a list of helpful and informative titles to help navigate you through the exhilarating, overwhelming and daunting journey of birth and beyond.  

The 16 titles on offer cover a variety of relevant topics from the traditional week-by-week guides to self-care, diet, health and a good dose of humour! These UK suitable titles are available on BorrowBox now to download for free.  

Hampshire Libraries supports families with babies and young children via a number of channels. Weekly Rhymetime and Baby Bounce sessions, that are currently taking place online during this time, give new parents the opportunity to bond with their young babies through song and rhyme.  

How to Grow a Baby and Push It out

How to Grow a Baby and Push It out

Everything you wanted to know but were too embarrassed to ask – a guide to pregnancy and birth straight from the midwife’s mouth. From how to prevent tearing during birth to what you really need in your labour bag, Clemmie reveals everything pregnant women and new mums need to know with a good dose of humour and wit.

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

Your Baby, Your Birth: Hypnobirthing Skills for Every Birth

Your Baby, Your Birth is a truly modern hypnobirthing book for ALL births. In-demand hypnobirthing coach Hollie de Cruz provides you with the skills and tools to make any birth feel safe, calm, connected and empowering. Drawing on her experience working with new mums, including Fearne Cotton and Giovanna Fletcher, Hollie de Cruz helps you prepare for a positive (not ‘perfect’) birth experience and approach motherhood with confidence in yourself and your instincts. Your Baby, Your Birth will teach you: – That birth is safe – listen to your body, embrace the changes, prepare your mind and relax during pregnancy – Exercises and breathing techniques for labour and birth for you and your birth partner, along with guided meditations to keep you calm and engaged – How to trust your instincts, understand your body and baby, and make informed decisions throughout your pregnancy and beyond

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

Give Birth Like a Feminist

Finally blasting the feminist spotlight into the labour ward, Milli Hill encourages women everywhere to stand and deliver, not lie back and think of England. As women consider anew their personal autonomy through the lens of #metoo, Give Birth Like a Feminist insists that birth is no longer left off the list in discussions about female power, control and agency. Both a thought-provoking guide for pregnant women, and a call to arms, this is a galvanising book that explains why women are the key decision makers in childbirth, why they need to know their rights and take an active role in their choices, and why they must find their voice and have their say in the birth room just as they have already done in the board room and the bedroom. Milli Hill lays bare the modern experience of pregnancy and birth in the developed world through research, personal testament and the accounts of hundreds of mothers. She illustrates how medicalisation and systems laid down by a patriarchal society have developed to disempower, even dehumanise, women at the gateway to motherhood. She then prepares the current generation of women for what to expect, setting out their often overlooked options and rights. This book answers the questions: Why should women, their families and healthcare professionals care about women having a positive birth experience? And why should women expect or demand more from their birth? For too long, women have been told that a healthy baby is ‘all that matters’. Give Birth Like a Feminist dares to say: women matter too.

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

The Unmumsy Mum A-Z

With entries including D is for Desperation, F is for Fish Fingers, S is for Supermum and V is for Vagina, it’s safe to say this is not your average A-Z. This book won’t tell you what sort of parent you should (or shouldn’t) be; instead, it offers a refreshingly honest account of what being a mum to three young children is really like and the surprising lessons that have been learned along the way. If you feel as though you’re not ‘measuring up’ or are struggling to #cherisheverymoment, Sarah’s tales from the thick of it will reassure and resonate with you. Above all, her commitment to telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth will make you laugh out loud and remind you that you are, in fact, doing a great job.

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

The Little Book of Self-Care for New Mums

Read this book for an instant pick-me-up. Whether this is your first or fifth baby, The Little Book of Self-Care for New Mums is your handy survival guide to managing the emotional and physical rollercoaster of becoming a new mum. Bringing together decades of experience from a midwife and a doula, you’ll find invaluable tips and tricks to boost confidence and calm frazzled nerves – plus answers to all those questions you may be too embarrassed to ask. From creating cooling breast pads with chamomile tea and quick stretches to relieve aching muscles, through to easy recipes to nourish your postnatal body and 5-minute fixes to restore your sense of humour, this is the book you can turn to when the overwhelm sets in. Beautifully illustrated in full-colour, it covers everything you need to know about the postnatal period to feel supported, empowered and understood.

Available as an eBook

Your No Guilt Pregnancy Plan

Providing you with everything you’ve ever wanted to know about pregnancy, this is the definitive guide from conception to the first few weeks’ at home with your newborn. Recommendation: This is such an important book. I am going to be prescribing it on the NHS to every pregnant woman I meet.

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook

Now, certified nutritionists and registered dieticians Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh are here to tell them what they should! Featuring recipes for wholesome, unprocessed meals and snacks, accompanied by nutritional breakdowns and tips for the best ways to alleviate pesky pregnancy symptoms, Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook is the go-to guide for new moms throughout pregnancy and after. Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook is the perfect guide for pregnant women. Full of humor, heart, and wisdom, it promotes clean eating and the idea that using food as medicine is the best remedy for dealing with the symptoms that occur most during pregnancy—such as swollen ankles, bloating, and more. Leg cramps? Sit back with an Orange Carrot Cream Smoothie. Constipated? Try a Sweet & Salty Popcorn Trail Mix. Exhausted? Put your partner to work on a 3-Minute Salsa and Cheddar Microwave Egg Sandwich. There are also recipes for nausea, water retention, and heartburn, as well as nibbles sure to satisfy even the most bizarre cravings, prep ahead recipes for after the baby arrives and time is precious, and power meals made for moms who are breastfeeding. Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook will help new parents make smart and satisfying food choices whether dining in or out, before and after the kiddo arrives. The perfect gift for any new parent, it is sure to help make pregnancy healthier, happier, and even more delicious.

Available as an eBook

Mindful Hypnobirthing

Many women are fearful of birth, having been influenced by TV shows and films presenting labour as painful and alarming. However, birth does not have to be this way. The Mindful Hypnobirthing Method will show you how to reduce pain, feel calm and enjoy the most extraordinary experience of your life. This new book takes a refreshingly positive approach to birth, helping mums-to-be look forward to the experience with excitement rather than apprehension. Written by a clinical hypnotherapist and doula, The Mindful Hypnobirthing Method provides practical and reassuring mindfulness techniques to practise throughout pregnancy and labour to ensure you remain relaxed, confident, focussed and in control. There are also downloadable hypnosis and relaxation tracks for you to use and enjoy. With advice from nurses and midwives as well as hypnotherapists and psychologists, this book will answer all your questions, explain your options and teach you to trust your body so you can have the birth that you want.

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

Pilates for Pregnancy

Will give focus not just to first time pregnancies but also second pregnancies and how to survive the toddler implications on your pregnancy posture/energy levels Safe and effective Pilates exercises and bite-sized advice throughout about cardio exercise from pregnancy exercise specialist Advice from a perinatal (weeks before and weeks after birth) mental health-specialist midwife throughout on staying healthy and positive during your pregnancy The pregnancy market is huge. Aimed at pregnant women, but not just first timers. Particularly useful for mums of one (or two) who want hints and advice on how to prioritise their own posture and strength while their focus is on their little one.

Available as an eBook

Postnatal Pilates: A Recovery and Strength Guide for Life

Many mothers are desperate to get back into exercise but don’t know how. Pilates provides the perfect body-conditioning programme for birth and beyond. Anya Hayes has a large following on social media and many influencer contacts who are happy to promote the book and its message. Provides safe and effective Pilates exercises and advice throughout about getting into cardio exercise. Contains advice from perinatal/postnatal mental health specialists and experts throughout on staying healthy and positive in motherhood. This is a straight-talking, woman-to-woman postnatal recovery guide with a difference. These tailored Pilates exercises are safe and effective to build strong foundations, whatever your exercise goals. Clear step-by-step exercises are suitable for the fourth trimester, caesarean recovery and year one and beyond. Take control of your postnatal recovery and feel empowered with this toolkit of resources.

Available as an eBook

Eating for Two

Every mum-to-be wants to know that she’s eating the right things for herself and her baby. Nutrition is vital during pregnancy, and there’s a huge amount of conflicting advice out there. For the first time, child nutrition expert Annabel Karmel brings her food knowledge and experience to expectant mothers, guiding you through each stage of your pregnancy and offering tips and advice on what to eat and avoid. From the best foods to eat to promote conception, through ideas for avoiding morning sickness in the first trimester, to the best nutrition to combat sleeplessness, anaemia and heartburn later on, Annabel leads you through your pregnancy and beyond, even suggesting meals to make and freeze ready for when you have your new baby! With Annabel’s advice and over 90 fabulous recipes, you can be confident that you are eating the best possible diet for you and your developing baby.

Available as an eBook

Winging It!

Joining the parenting club in our thirties and beyond means that we are spinning an extraordinary amount of plates, often including a career at its peak. Most of us co-parent or fly solo in the true sense of the word, relying solely on our partners and/or friends when more often than not, extended family are too far away to help on a regular basis. Our parents could look to their parents for the usual guidance and extra support, but our situation is new, modern and unique. We are winging it! This book isn’t a guide or a parenting manual – it’s more of a support group for parents who are having their children in their thirties and forties to get together, to celebrate, share experiences, laugh and find joy in what is still the biggest life changing experience any of us will ever go through. It’s the book I looked for when I was pregnant, that spoke to me as a working parent and that I couldn’t find so I’ve had a go at writing one myself.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook

Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Practical and Reassuring Advice from Conception to Birth

The wonderful news of a new addition to the family will leave you and your loved ones eager to prepare for their arrival. However, it is you, with the support of your partner, who will experience your child’s first nine months of development during pregnancy. Your Pregnancy Week by Week tells you everything you need to know about your pregnancy. On a week-by-week basis, you can learn how your baby is developing, how and why your body is changing and what you can do to ensure a smooth and comfortable pregnancy, every step of the way. With clear, authoritative advice that demystifies complex medical jargon, this indispensable guide takes you through each stage of pregnancy, addressing common concerns and questions to ensure a healthy start for your baby.

Available as an eBook

Your Baby Week by Week

Finding out what to expect during each week of pregnancy is easy; the shops are heaving with informative guides. Yet when the baby finally arrives and you are left to face the weeks of unpredictability and worry that a newborn baby brings, there are no week-by-week baby manuals to offer the advice, information and reassurance you need. Your Baby Week By Week is the guide you’ve been crying out for. Each chapter covers just one week of a baby’s development, and, ideal for tired and anxious parents, the week is divided into sections so that you can quickly and easily skim the chapter and find the information you’re looking for. It covers the basics – sleep, feeding, crying, washing, play and development – as well as being packed full of vital information and handy tips for checking a baby’s progress, including: – which vaccinations he needs and when – how much milk/feeds he needs – planning ahead – specific problems you may encounter, such as colic, and how to deal with them Clearly laid out and written by two experienced mothers – one a paediatrician, the other the Daily Mirror’s health editor, this is a reassuring and practical guide to help you through the crucial first six months of parenthood.

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook

Best Baby Names 2020

Deciding on a name is one of the most exciting decisions you’ll make ahead of your new arrival but with so much choice it can be daunting to know where to start. Best Baby Names 2020 is full of inspirational names for your new baby. Whether you want a classic or a modern name or you don’t know either way this book will give you an A-Z of 9,000 possibilities. With advice and tips on how to choose the best name for your baby, how to approach relatives and all their opinions and the latest trends, you can find the ideal name and feel confident in your choice.

Available as an eBook

Young Gums: Baby Food with Attitude

A breath of fresh air for new parents’ – Skye Gyngell Award-winning food blogger Beth Bentley makes weaning fun and simple with a combination of baby-led and spoon-fed nutritious, wholesome recipes that are packed full of flavour. Say goodbye to fruit-sweetened, unidentifiable purees and instead make real, delicious food that the whole family can enjoy. Focusing on just a few great ingredients, clever flavour combinations and easy cooking methods, this is food that can be scaled up easily so that the family is able to enjoy the one meal – together; a practice that will help your baby develop good eating and social habits. And even better, the majority can be made using just one hand and just one pan! Including recipes such as Rainbow Ragu, Sweet Potato Cookies, Baby Burrito Bowls and No-roast Chicken Pot Roast, this step-by-step guide will take you from the daunting first stages of weaning right up to one year, with confidence and excitement. Including over 60 meals for both baby and mum, here are healthy, flavoursome recipes for a happy baby.

Available as an eBook

Most libraries have a ‘Parent’ collection covering a huge variety of parent related topics from weaning, sleep deprivation and potty training to toddler tantrums and fussy eaters amongst many other issues. 

When a Book Might Help is a selected list of children’s titles covering everyday challenges and triumphs, as well as more difficult situations. Sharing stories can help put a child’s mind at ease and make transitions and new experiences easy to cope with. 

Windrush Day 2019

Following losses in World War II, Britain was in need of labourers, this prompted a campaign to encourage people from other countries in the British Empire and Commonwealth to immigrate to the UK. On 22 June 1948, the first ship carrying immigrants from the Caribbean arrived. This first ship’s name, HMT Empire Windrush , inspired the generation of imigrants to be called ‘The Windrush Generation’.

70+ years later, and 22 June is #WindrushDay in honour of all those who left their homes and, for many, their families to start a new life and help rebuild Britain. It’s a day to celebrate the rich, mixed history that this country has and embrace the wonderful stories, culture and food that has come to shape Britain.


 

Fictional works:

 


Small island
by Andrea Levy

Returning to England after the war Gilbert Joseph is treated very differently now that he is no longer in an RAF uniform. Joined by his wife Hortense, he rekindles a friendship with Queenie who takes in Jamaican lodgers. Can their dreams of a better life in England overcome the prejudice they face?


In the Falling Snow
by Caryl Phillips
In the Falling Snow

Social worker Keith, separated from his wife and their teenage son, is floundering in a world of fraught sexual politics, parental responsibilities and class expectations. He takes refuge from his domestic problems in a long-cherished writing project and a renewed relationship with his aging father, who came to Britain as part of the windrush generation, but for the first time in his life he begins to feel extremely vulnerable as a black man in English society.


The lonely Londoners
by Samuel Selvon
Image result for the lonely londoners

Looking for a better life a group of West Indians face harsh conditions in London, including racism, bad weather, loneliness, and hard times.


The Empire girls
by Sue Wilsher

Tilbury, 1950s. The Empire is a boarding house run by Vi, Doris’s mother. When Doris becomes pregnant out of marriage, she is kicked out of the house and forced to fend for herself. Desperate to look after her daughter, she takes any job going. She falls in with the Windrush immigrants and finds herself helping one to a new life in Britain.


 

Non-Fictional Work:

 


Windrush: a ship through time
by Paul Arnott

For three decades the Windrush was the maritime Zelig of the twentieth century, playing different roles in the most turbulent years in modern times. Designed in 1930 in the Hamburg boatyard of a Jewish shipbuilder to ferry Germans to a new life in South America, it wasn’t long before Goebbels requisitioned her as one of his ‘Strength Through Joy’ vessels. However, her duties soon darkened: she became a Nazi troop carrier, a support vessel for the pocket battleship Tirpitz and a prison ship transporting Jews to Auschwitz. This is Paul Arnott’s vivid biography of a unique vessel, combining the memories of people who were there with a gripping account of an extraordinary merchant ship at the end of empires.


Mother Country: real stories of the Windrush children 
edited by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff

Britain was known as the Mother Country: a home away from home; a place that you would be welcomed with open arms; a land where you were free to build a new life. 70 years on, this remarkable book explores the reality of the Windrush experience. It is an honest, eye-opening, funny, moving and ultimately inspiring celebration of the lives of both ordinary and extraordinary people.


Voices of the Windrush generation: the real story told by the people themselves 
by David Matthews

With over 20 first-hand accounts from men, women and children of Windrush, this work sheds light on the true impact of one of the most disastrous and damaging scandals in recent memory, and gives a platform to those most affected – those whose voices have yet to be truly heard. Their stories provide intimate, personal and moving perspective on what it means to be black in Britain today, and the heartache the ‘hostile environment policy’ our government has created has meant for those who have called this country home for half a century and more.


Windrush: Irresistible Rise of Multi-racial Britain
by Mike Phillips and Trevor Phillips

Broadcaster Trevor Phillips and his novelist brother retell the very human story of Britain’s first West Indian immigrants and their descendants from the first wave of immigration fifty years ago to the present day.


Lovers and Strangers
by Clair Wills

The battered and exhausted Britain of 1945 was desperate for workers – to rebuild, to fill the factories, to make the new NHS work. From all over the world and with many motives, thousands of individuals took the plunge. Most assumed they would spend just three or four years here, sending most of their pay back home, but instead large numbers stayed – and transformed the country. Drawing on an amazing array of unusual and surprising sources, Clair Wills’ book brings to life the incredible diversity and strangeness of the migrant experience.


For more articles and Windrush stories, visit the British Library’s website.