#bookadayuk reading suggestions for September

Last month we blogged about daily book recommendations on a particular theme using the hashtag #bookadayuk.

This month’s themes have been suggested by the people at We Love This Book, and we’ve listed them below if you’d like to join in. Feel free to comment with your suggestions in any of the following categories.

1. Favourite book about books and / or bookshops

2. Favourite book set in a school

3. Best Home Front novel

4. The book you bought for the cover

5. The book you bought despite the cover

6. Favourite book of short stories

7. Favourite fictional monarch

8. Favourite literary dinner party

9. Your literary crush

10. A book that gave you hope

11. Best book recommended by a librarian

12. Favourite Austen character

13. Favourite Roald Dahl character

14. The fictional character who is most like you

15. Favourite Agatha Christie mystery

16. Favourite picture book

17. Favourite literary detective

18. Favourite coming-of-age book

19. Favourite seafaring novel

20. Favourite literary friendship

21. A book to turn someone into a reader

22. Best book recommended by a bookseller

23. Favourite prize-winning book

24. Favourite book set in the 1920s

25. A book recommended to you by your parents

26. Favourite poetry collection

27. A book set in your favourite country to visit

28. Favourite literary troublemaker

29. The book that made you question everything

30. The best book you have read this month

It’s all in the colour

Those following the story of our 18th century Japanese scroll’s journey to Restorient Studios in Leiden might be wondering what’s happening now.

You’ll remember that our 44 foot long painted scroll `Pleasures of the East’ by the Japanese artist Furuyama Moromasa , dating from the early 1700s, secured funding from the Sumitomo Foundation for much needed conservation work.

Conservation work can be a very slow and meticulous process. Each of the colours of the scroll is being tested to make sure that the condition of the pigments is stable before conservation can even begin.

The pigments used are traditionally made in sticks and are called enogu; these are ground with a little water on an ink stone to prepare for use. The binder in the pigment is a deer glue size made by boiling deer skin.

If through age, abrasion or poor storage the binder in the paint layer breaks down the conservators must re-introduce more deer glue size to both strengthen the pigment and so that its bond to the paper surface is re-established.

Fortunately our conservators are reporting that the pigments of the scroll are in relatively good condition.


The photograph shows our conservator applying a 2% solution of deer glue size to vulnerable pigment.

Only then can the long process of removing the scroll’s paper linings begin …

Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve at Leith Library

Author Philip Reeve joined writer and illustrator Sarah McIntyre at Leith Library on Friday.

Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland at Leith Library

They were there to reward young readers who had successfully completed this year’s Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland.

Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland at Leith Library

As well as being responsible for awesome headwear, Sarah is also the artist behind the Mythical Maze characters you can see below. We all had lots of fun – thanks Sarah and Philip!

Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland at Leith Library

The ‘Tedinburgh’ Book Festival sleepover

Lots of young readers brought their special soft toys along to Edinburgh International Book Festival on Friday for our very first teddy bear sleepover. Author Linda Strachan brought Hamish McHaggis!

Teddy Bear Sleepover at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

After some songs and stories the children tucked their toys up and left them to settle down for the night.

Teddy Bear Sleepover at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

Or so they thought. Almost as soon as Linda had left the room the teddies were getting up to all kinds of mischief…

Teddy Bear Sleepover at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

They enjoyed Linda’s story so much they thought they’d sneak a look at her web site.

Teddy Bear Sleepover at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

Snip introduced his new friends to his favourite titles at the bookshop.

Teddy Bear Sleepover at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

Look! Doctor Book! Everyone queued nicely for a reading prescription.

Teddy Bear Sleepover at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

“Antony Beevor? Any relation?”

All this was hungry work. Might there be some food at the authors’ yurt?

Teddy Bear Sleepover at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival


Teddy Bear Sleepover at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

“This is my first trip to the book festival. How about you?”.

Teddy Bear Sleepover at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

And off to bed, although Snip’s snoring made Big Ted wish he’d brought his earplugs.

You can see more of the teddies’ adventures on Flickr.



The Assembly Rooms

Today, we hand over our blog to Russell Clegg, Heritage and Outreach Assistant with Edinburgh Museums and Galleries. We’ve just had a ball working with Russell on a story about the Assembly Rooms for Our Town Stories

‘I love it when a plan comes together!’ – heard that one before?

Well, I am most grateful to have had my own A-Team to work with in the shape of the Libraries’ Digital Team when creating an Assembly Rooms story for www.ourtownstories.co.uk.

As Heritage Assistant for such a prestigious building I have the privilege of tracing the footsteps of many illustrious visitors from the past as well as guiding tour groups and the general public around what they see as a familiar and, for many, an evocative space.

Assembly Rooms, George StreetAs you will read, this iconic Georgian venue has graced the built landscape of the city since 1787 and trying to capture the architectural, social and civic history of the place through stories and pictures has been a fascinating experience.

Whilst working on the heritage project, following the refurbishment of the venue, I have been collecting the many memories and stories that people have donated and this was an aspect of the building’s history which I wanted to include in the story.

I sometimes wonder what the Assembly Rooms itself would say if it could speak and by including these voices, readers get to hear about some of the weird and wonderful events that the Assembly Rooms has witnessed over the years.  The personal testimonies I have received and the interviews I have conducted have revealed that this venue has a very special place in the hearts and minds of those I have spoken to.

My collaboration with Libraries is set to continue over the next few months as I continue to prepare a touring exhibition, charting the social history of the Assembly Rooms, which will be visiting selected Edinburgh Libraries in the autumn.

Please do contact me if you have a story to tell or maybe if you have an object which relates to an event you once attended at ‘The Grande Dame’ of George Street.

Russell Clegg is the Heritage and Outreach Assistant with Edinburgh Museums and Galleries.

You can read more from Russell and keep up with news and events from Museums at the Edinburgh Museums and Galleries Outreach blog.

Tom Palmer: motivating young people to be confident readers

Our Dyslexia Chatterbooks groups are looking forward to Tom Palmer’s visit on 4th September.

Tom is the author of the Football Academy and Football Detective series.

His latest book, Over the Line, is a novel based on a real footballer’s experience in the First World War.

Tom is really enthusiastic about motivating younger people to become confident readers.

So are we. One way we do this is through our Dyslexia Chatterbooks Groups.

Dyslexia Chatterbooks offer an opportunity for exploring words and reading informally, through games, story telling, drama, laughter and lots more for children primary 4 -7.

And it works. In the words of one recent member:

’When I first came two years ago, I was a very shy wee girl…but now I feel I am a lot more confident… I am going to miss you all so much…’

chatterbooks group

We run four groups across the city at Central, Gilmerton, Moredun and Sighthill Libraries.

To find out more email wendy.pearson@edinburgh.gov.uk 

And if you’d like to come along to the Tom Palmer event reserve your place here.


“The Quick” author Lauren Owen at Blackhall Library

“Owen proves a master at anticipating readers’ thoughts about future happenings and then crumbling them into dust”. Booklist

“Macabre and atmospheric” The Sunday Times

“Owen’s sentence-by-sentence prose is extraordinarily polished–a noteworthy feat for a 500-page debut–and she packs many surprises into her tale, making it a book for readers to lose themselves in.” Publishers Weekly

Hot on the heels of our evening with Emma Healey Blackhall Library hosts another rising literary star next month with the visit of Lauren Owen, author of ‘The Quick‘.

Rich in Victorian detail, Lauren’s clever take on the gothic novel travels from the wilds of Yorkshire to London’s mysterious Aegolius Club – a society of the richest and most powerful men in England.

Along the way, there’s romance, adventure, and vampires like you’ve never encountered before.

Book early to ensure your free place at what promises to be a fascinating evening.

Blackhall Library, Wednesday 17th September at 6.30pm, free.

To book a place call 0131 529 5595 or email blackhall.library@edinburgh.gov.uk