#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

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.



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

Learning English and making friends: Tomasz’s story

Hi. My name is Tomasz and I am from Poland. I work in hospitality.

Although I attended college to study English and I have been trying to meet as many native speakers as possible I have not felt satisfied with progress of my English. I was simply not confident. Native speakers talking to me with full speed often made me feel uncomfortable. I did not understand everything they were telling me and often I felt embarrassed to ask for explanation or even repeating.

Then Tomasz joined one of our Chatabout ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Reading Groups. 

Discovering that I am able to read a whole book in English changed things  a lot. Well, books we read at Chatabout group are written in a  simple language, are not too thick, neither scientific. But all in all I read books in English not in my native language, and this is a fact. And even more importantly,  I can talk afterwards about it in English too. The book and discussion are adjusted to our level of English but it builds my self-esteem greatly.

The social aspect is also important

At our monthly meetings we not only chat about a book but also there is a space to learn new words and we are encouraged to ask for meanings of  the difficult ones.

In a friendly atmosphere we also find  time to talk about any interesting topic, and to share our views. For me it is like meetings with friends, a lot of fun and I am assured I will always learn something new and have a great time.


Thansk to Tomasz for sharing his story.

There are three Chatabout Reading Groups where you are most welcome to join us and improve your English, gain confidence and meet new friends: at Fountainbridge Library on the second Tuesday morning of each month, at McDonald Road Library, on the last Thursday morning of each month, and a new group starting at the Central Library, meeting the first Wednesday afternoon of each month. The groups are ideal for those learning English at Intermediate Level. To find out more details please contact Wendy.pearson@edinburgh.gov.uk

esol chatabout

Calling all book groups!

The latest additions to our book group collections are guaranteed to stimulate lots of thought, discussion, and debate.

You can borrow up to 15 copies of any of the titles below for your book group to borrow for up to 6 weeks at a time. Find out how – and download the complete list featuring more than 200 other titles – here.

A Girl is a half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride
Experimental, award-winning insight into a young woman’s relationship with her severely brain-damaged brother.

Look Who’s Back by Timor Vermes
Berlin, 2011. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of ground, alive and well.

The Forgiven by Lawrence Osborne
A Moroccan holiday goes horribly wrong.

Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding
Story of the British War Crimes Investigation Team and the hunt for the senior Nazi officials responsible for the atrocities of Auschwitz.

Longbourn by Jo Baker
Life below stairs in Georgian England.

Elizabeth is missing by Emma Healy
A mystery story with a difference, narrated by a ninety-year old with dementia.

The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh
Desire turns to dangerous obsession during a family holiday.

All the Birds Singing by Evie Wyld
Something is killing the sheep, but what is it? There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and man, and rumours of an obscure, formidable beast.

The Circle by Dave Eggers
Mae Holland is hired to work for the world’s most powerful internet company. But a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public.

World War One Fiction (available from September)
15 individual titles. Choose one each then share your reading experiences with the rest of your group.

World War One Non- Fiction (available from September)
15 individual titles including histories, biographies and classics. Choose one each then share your reading experiences with the rest of your group.