What’s the Librarian Reading Now? You Are The Music.

Mr Bull is currently reading You Are The Music, by Victoria Williamson.

Dr. Victoria Williamson is a post-doctoral research fellow at Sheffield University and one of the world’s foremost researchers on the Psychology of Music. In this, her first book, she explores the complex relationships between music and our brains. She poses such questions as:

  • Do babies remember music from the womb?
  • Can music help with exercise or recovery from illness?
  • What is going on in your brain when that certain song transports you back to teenage years.

For more Psychology and Music information and latest developments check out Vicky’s Blog here.

For more info on Vicky and her other publications and research interests check out the link below.

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Website of the Week: Book Trailers For Readers

If you frequent book and reading related websites you’ll probably be familiar with book trailers. For the uninitiated book trailers are short films or video clips designed to promote and encourage people to read a particular book, in much the same way that film trailers are used to promote forthcoming films. Check out this excellent site with loads of info and examples of book trailers and a superb ‘how to’ guide on making your own. The next time you have a book talk or book report to do ask your teacher if you can use a book trailer to submit your work. For more great examples of Book Trailers and how to make them visit our Book Trailer Page.

Debate Rages Over Authenticity of “The Hunger Games” Novels


A furious debate has ensued between fans and detractors of Suzanne Collins’ teen dystopian trilogy The Hunger Games. An excellent article entitled, ‘A Battle Royale online over origin of The Hunger Games’ by Arthur Bright from The Christian Science Monitor explores how similarities to a bestselling Japanese novel and subsequent film has tarnished the cinema release of Suzanne Collins’ young adult story. Read the full article to find out just what all the fuss is about. There can be no doubting Koushun Takami‘s Battle Royale came well before  The Hunger Games, but did you know they were both preceded by master storyteller Stephen King’s The Running Man decades earlier? Writing under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King describes a shattered future world where televised fights to the death rule the TV ratings.

So is there nothing new under the sun, perhaps not? Stephen King follows George Orwell and Aldous Huxley in portraying a sinister totalitarian regime intent on crushing the individual. As Arthur Bright’s article reveals the concept of a fight to the death cheered on by vocal crowds goes way back to the Romans and probably well before.

So what does a school librarian make of all this? I tend to side with the authors in question in not caring too much one way or the other. The critical thing for me and other librarians is that all this publicity and controversy serves one important and valuable purpose; that is to encourage reading and debate over books, ideas and the overwhelming power of a good story, no matter whose it may have been in the beginning.

So if you loved The Hunger Games Trilogy (or perhaps if you didn’t but like the ideas) take a look at the following novels for a few like-minded suggestions.

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

The Running Man, by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson

1984 by George Orwell

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Farhenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Noah Barleywater Runs Away

Noah Barleywater Runs Away
is a novel for younger readers (and older) by John Boyne the author of the multi-award winning, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Once again narrated by a young boy (Noah is eight years old to Bruno’s Nine), the story is a  whimsical fairytale with a hard centre. Questions of mortality, duty and love all present themselves once again, deftly combined by this skilful writer. Only his second book aimed at children, Boyne has crafted a gem that operates on several levels. As an adult reader I initially thought I had cleverly worked out his premise early on in the novel, only to be pleasantly surprised and impressed by the overall effect. An excellent book for younger or older readers. His third book for younger readers, The Terrible Thing That Happened To Barnaby Brocket is due out this August. If you like John Boyne why not try the authors below?