Posts by Sue Lawson

Let's Create!

Posted Tuesday 4 February 2020 by Sue Lawson in Latest Libraries News

On Monday 27 January, the Arts Council launched its new strategy for 2020-2030, Let’s Create.

The strategy has three stated outcomes: Creative People, Creative Communities and a Creative Country. After extensive consultation over the last 18 months across England, the message was very clear: people wanted their creativity and cultural experiences to be rooted in their communities.

Sir Nicholas Serota has spoken of libraries being at the heart of the new strategy. One of the priorities in the Creative Communities outcome is that we will enable public libraries to apply for National Lottery Project Grants to deliver on all four Universal Library Offers. Arts Council England will support applications for projects in support of Health and Wellbeing, and Information and Digital, as well as Reading and Creativity and Culture, which might seem more closely aligned to the more traditional aims and objectives of the Arts Council.

Read more from Sue Willamson, Director Libraries, Arts Council England and download the full report on the Libraries Connected website.

Love Sex and Romance

Posted Tuesday 4 February 2020 by Sue Lawson in Latest Libraries News

How many of the BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World have you read?

February's theme is Love, Sex and Romance - take a look at this month's book list  titles and reserve them at your local library.  February's Novels That Shaped Our World characters range from provincial middle class society of the 19th Century English countryside, in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, to fame-hungry show jumpers in Jilly Cooper's Riders.

Anything missing? Share your favourites on the Novels that Shaped our World Facebook page or use #MyBookLife on Twitter or share your book on Instagram.

The Passion poster

Tying into the BBC’s year-long celebration of literature, a BBC-assembled expert panel of six leading British writers, curators and critics today reveal a list of 100 English language titles that have shaped their world.

The list, which includes contemporary works such as Bridget Jones’s Diary and His Dark Materials series to classics like Pride And Prejudice and Middlemarch, is designed to spark debate about the novels that have had a big impact on us all personally and culturally, and will form the basis of digital reading resources that will be made available on the BBC Arts website from January 2020.

Here's the list month by month:

100 Novels That Shaped Our World

Identity - January

Beloved - Toni Morrison
Days Without End - Sebastian Barry
Fugitive Pieces - Anne Michaels
Half Of A Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
Small Island - Andrea Levy
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
The God Of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
White Teeth - Zadie Smith Love

Sex & Romance - February

Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
Forever - Judy Blume
Giovanni’s Room - James Baldwin
Pride And Prejudice - Jane Austen
Riders - Jilly Cooper
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
The Far Pavilions - M.M. Kaye
The Forty Rules Of Love - Elif Shafak
The Passion - Jeanette Winterson
The Slaves Of Solitude - Patrick Hamilton


Adventure - March
City Of Bohane - Kevin Barry
Eye Of The Needle - Ken Follett
For Whom The Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
His Dark Materials Trilogy - Phillip Pullman
Ivanhoe - Walter Scott
Mr Standfast - John Buchan
The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler
The Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins
The Jack Aubrey Novels - Patrick O’Brian
The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy - J.R.R. Tolkein

Life, Death & Other Worlds - April
A Song Of Ice And Fire (Game Of Thrones Series) - George R.R. Martin
Astonishing The Gods - Ben Okri
Dune Series - Frank Herbert
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Gilead - Marilynne Robinson
The Chronicles Of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
The Discworld Series - Terry Pratchett
The Earthsea Trilogy - Ursula K. Le Guin
The Sandman Series - Neil Gaiman
The Road - Cormac McCarthy

Politics, Power & Protest - May
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie
Lord Of The Flies - William Golding
Noughts & Crosses - Malorie Blackman
Strumpet City - James Plunkett
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
V For Vendetta - Alan Moore
Unless - Carol Shields

Class & Society - June
A House For Mr Biswas - V.S. Naipaul
Cannery Row - John Steinbeck
Disgrace - J.M. Coetzee
Our Mutual Friend - Charles Dickens
Poor Cow - Nell Dunn
Saturday Night And Sunday Morning - Alan Sillitoe
The Lonely Passion Of Judith Hearne - Brian Moore
The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark
The Remains Of The Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys

Coming of Age - July
Emily Of New Moon - L.M. Montgomery
Golden Child - Claire Adam
Oryx And Crake - Margaret Atwood
So Long, See You Tomorrow - William Maxwell
Swami And Friends - R.K. Narayan
The Country Girls - Edna O’Brien
The Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling
The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton
The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ - Sue Townsend
The Twilight Saga - Stephanie Meyer

Family & Friendship - August
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
Ballet Shoes - Noel Streatfeild
Cloudstreet - Tim Winton
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
I Capture The Castle - Dodie Smith
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Tales Of The City - Armistead Maupin
The Shipping News - E. Annie Proulx
The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall - Anne Brontë
The Witches - Roald Dahl

Conflict & Crime - September
American Tabloid - James Ellroy
American War - Omar El Akka
Ice Candy Man - Bapsi Sidhwa
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
Regeneration - Pat Barker
The Children Of Men - P.D. James
The Hound Of The Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle
The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid
The Talented Mr Ripley - Patricia Highsmith
The Quiet American - Graham Greene

Rule Breakers - October
A Confederacy Of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
Bartleby, The Scrivener - Herman Melville
Habibi - Craig Thompson
How To Be Both - Ali Smith
Orlando - Virginia Woolf
Nights At The Circus - Angela Carter
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
Psmith, Journalist - P.G. Wodehouse
The Moor’s Last Sigh - Salman Rushdie
Zami: A New Spelling Of My Name - Audre Lorde

Countdown to Lancaster LitFest

Posted Monday 3 February 2020 by Sue Lawson in Latest Libraries News

This year is the 41st Lancaster Literature Festival running from the 13th March – 22nd March. The festival will be launched on 13th March at the Priory by Professor Robert Barrett, Head of the Eden Project Learning to talk about the exciting plans for Eden North on Morecambe Bay.

Discover two exhibitions during the festival at Lancaster Library.  Migrations features the work of many artists from across the world exploring the subject of migration through illustrations. The second exhibition, In Pursuit of Peace and Hope has been created locally by young refugees covering three countries South Africa, Turkey and Uganda.

You'll find an impressive array of authors and poets too from beginning with best-selling Norwegian author Lars Mytting to A.C. Grayling. Plus Stacey Halls, who will be in conversation about her new book The Foundling which follows her highly successful book The Familiars. The venue will be Lancaster Castle which is highly appropriate as the castle features in her first book.

Lancaster Litfest 2020 also explores the genre of memoir and how we define its boundaries with Jenn Ashworth. Jenn will be accompanied by John Schad and they will be in conversation with Polly Atkin.

The poetry weekend opens with one of Britain’s best loved poets Ian McMillian. Ian will be working with a local school during the day and you will be able to experience his own unique performance at Lancaster University’s Nuffield Theatre in the evening. There's a full day of poetry on Saturday 21st with Baby, Bounce and Rhyme followed by a set of double bills featuring Sean O’Brien and Victoria Adukwei Bulley; Paul Farley and Tara Bergin. Saturday concludes with A New Divan –a lyrical dialogue between East and West.

Throughout March download the Litfest podcast telling the story of The Stone King and interact with our beautiful Williamson Park as you listen to the story of The Stone King walking around the park led by the storyteller.

Visit the Lancaster Litfest website to view the full programme or download your own.

litfest logo

Enter the 2020 Edge Hill Prize

Posted Monday 3 February 2020 by Sue Lawson in Competitions & Prizes

The Edge Hill Prize is awarded annually by Edge Hill University for excellence in a published single author short story collection.

The literary world, particularly fiction, has long been dominated by the novel, with countless awards that exclusively acknowledge authors for their work around this form. Now, in the digital era, literary fiction is under pressure; a faster pace of life and a plethora of distractions threaten to eliminate reading as a form of entertainment.

The concept for the prize was developed by Professor Ailsa Cox following a 2006 short-story conference at Edge Hill. Candidates must be born or normally reside in the British Isles (including Ireland), making the prize the only United Kingdom award to recognize a single author, published short-story collection. Colm Toibin was the first winner of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize in 2007. His winning collection, Mothers and Sons, explores the family relationships of several individuals during significant times in their lives.

Head over to the Edge Hill University website to find out more out this year's prize.

Edge Hill Prize logo

North West Libraries

Librarians in the North West have pioneered partnership working to encourage new readers into libraries. Time To Read is a partnership of librarians engaged in reader development activity in public library authorities in the North West Region. 22 public library authorities in the region currently support Time To Read.

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