Harper Lee’s novel, ‘Go Set a Watchman’ Divides Opinion


go set banner

Sequel, prequel but not equal? The companion novel to Harper Lee’s beloved classic To Kill a Mockingbird has hit the shelves in the last month and caused a popular and critical storm. It became the most pre-ordered book in Harper Collins’ history. No surprise given the now elderly author’s only previous novel has sold more than 40 million copies to date.

Set after, but written before the events in To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman follows the story of Jean Louise (Scout) Finch returning home to Maycomb from New York. She is shocked and confused by the changes she finds and the brewing discontent between White and Black amid the Civil Rights protests that swept the country in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Told in the third person this is no “unfinished novel” or even “first draft of Mockingbird” as some have suggested. Rather it stands alone and in some ways outside the orbit of its more famous relative.

I have curated a selection of reviews, background and info about the book below. Some positive, some negative. The only way to really understand any of this of course is to read both books yourself. We have added several copies of “Watchman” to our collection and have multiple “Mockingbirds” for your reading pleasure.

Read a selection of reviews and info below:

wash postBackground to the publishing of Go Set a Watchman.

guardian banner ‘more complex but less compelling.”

NYT bannerGo Set a Watchman gives Atticus Finch a Dark Side.

New Republic review

New Republic Review

Loads more reviews here.

 

Big Book Sale Starts Today


You want our books sign  book sale

Our Big Bring and Buy Book Sale Starts Today.

All Books $1.

Senior Library – Recess and Lunch times

If you have any books, CDs or DVDs to donate you can still bring them in tomorrow.

Proceeds to the Caritas Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

Like what you read, read what you like.

Terry Pratchett 1948-2015.


terry pratchett mice Acclaimed British author Terry Pratchett has died aged 66, eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. A giant of Fantasy Literature his legacy will be felt for decades to come. A snapshot of his career from BBC article below.

Pratchet facts

Check out this bunch of great Terry Pratchett links below:

ISFDB Internet Speculative Fiction Database.

rising shadowpratchett Rising Shadow Pratchett Book Reviews

Neil Gaiman Message from Neil Gaiman

tP Bib Terry Pratchett Bibliography

sf pratchettSF Site Pratchett Entry

Falling for Books. World Record Breaking Book Domino Chains.


Check out this amazing world-record breaking Book Domino Chain. 5337 books were used in this record breaking attempt.

Filmed in 2013 at the amazing Seattle Public Library in Washington, USA, over 2000 library books were used to create this fantastic visual spectacle.

Click here for details of the successful attempt.

See below for more cool Book Domino Chain Reactions.

Here’s What We Know About Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’


“Sequel” to To Kill a Mockingbird to be published by Harper Lee!

Flavorwire

News this morning that Harper Lee will publish Go Set a Watchman, a sequel (of sorts) to her beloved 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, was met with thoroughgoing cheer and goodwill. It is certainly an unexpected development: it was long thought that the 88-year-old Lee would never produce another book, much less a continuation (of sorts) of the original story. Here is what we know about Go Set a Watchman so far:

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NaNoWriMo 2014: So You Want to Write a Novel?


nanowrimoOK, now less than a week till National Novel Writing Month kicks off for 2014. NaNoWriMo is a way of offering support and encouragement to start and complete a novel in 30 days.There is even a special website for younger writers keen to take up the challenge.   I will offer $50 book vouchers for anyone who reaches the goal, that’s 50 000 words remember. I’ll also offer 3 prizes for the best effort, best individual chapter and best novel idea.

Banned Books Week. 21-27 September.


“[I]t’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.”Judy Blume

banned books week 2014 2

This week is Banned Books Week.  Initiated by the American Library Association, it is a chance to celebrate the freedom to read each September by drawing attention to the issue of censorship. Many public and school libraries in the US (and elsewhere) champion the vast range of literature that has been banned and/or challenged by over-eager legislators and officials.

30 years of banned books timeline

banned books week 2014 6

The situation in Australia has thankfully been much more liberal with many fewer instances of this kind of attempted thought control. The last literary work to be actually banned in Australia was American Psycho, by Brett Easton Ellis way back in 1990. It is only available to over 18s in most states and still effectively banned in Queensland. Click on the links below for a story about the history of Literary Censorship in Australia and elsewhere.

Aussie banned books  UniMelb Banned Books Ex

In the U.S. Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2014 celebration will be held September 21-27.

airship  144 books banned and the reasons why

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported. The 10 most challenged titles of 2013 were:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

banned books week 2014 5  banned books week 2014 3

For more information on Banned Books Week, click here.

For some excellent quotes about Censorship click on the links below:

censorship goodreads  brainy quotes

 

The Things We Leave Behind, in Books.


I read a really interesting article from AbeBooks.com recently about the strange, touching and sometimes valuable things booksellers have found wedged between the pages of books. These often mundane objects used as bookmarks, but long forgotten shed an eerie light on the lives and hopes of the book’s previous owners.

found

Adam Tobin, owner of Unnameable Books in Brooklyn, New York, has created a display inside his bookstore dedicated to objects discovered in books.

“It’s a motley assortment,” he said. “We’ve been doing it for about two years since opening the store. The display quickly took over the back wall and now it’s spreading to other places, and there’s a backlog of stuff that we haven’t put up yet. There are postcards, shopping lists, and concert tickets but my favorites are the cryptic notes. They are often deeply personal and can be very moving.”

Read the full article here.

As a school librarian this article prompted me to recall the strange (and sometimes gross) objects that I and my colleagues have found in books that have been returned to us. If anyone else has a story of strange objects found in books please let us know via the comments page below.

 

Big Book Sale Continues Today


Students are spoilt for choice at this year's big book sale.

Students are spoilt for choice at this year’s big book sale.

Our Big Bring and Buy Book Sale is on again today. After a huge first day we still have a great selection of quality fiction and non-fiction titles for your reading pleasure. If you forgot your cash, don’t fear. Just select the books you want and we will hold them till tomorrow for you. Remember all proceeds split between Cabra Libraries and our selected Cabra Missions. All unsold books will be donated to local charities like Rotary who will send the most useful titles to needy schools in the South pacific region. We aim to let nothing go to landfill.

Used Book Facts:

Did You Know that The Lifeline Bookfest held twice yearly in Brisbane is widely regarded as the world’s largest second hand book sale. The last Bookfest, held from January 18-27, raised an incredible $1.18m! That’s an $80,000 increase on the previous year. The next Lifeline Bookfest will be held at the Brisbane Convention Centre from June 7-10, 2014. Lifeline is a Uniting Church Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention Service.