As the temperatures drop outside, keep yourself toasty with these top-notch reads from our librarian Michele. Whether it’s life challenges, lingering nostalgia or lost letters that take your fancy, get in our good books this November.
Top non-fiction: Why Running Matters: Lessons In Life, Pain And Exhilaration From 5K To The Marathon by Ian Mortimer
Historian Ian Mortimer considers the meaning of running as he approaches his 50th birthday. He looks at why people run but he also equates running to life in general. How running is about the challenges we face in life, and how we measure up to them. How it is about companionship, endurance, ambition, hope, conviction, determination, self-respect and inspiration.
As I embark on training for my first half marathon I was interested to read this book. I’m not sure it would encourage a non-runner to give it a go and, having been feeling quite optimistic about training, I’m now veering more towards apprehension, but it was a good read.
Top fiction: The Lost Letters Of William Woolf by Helen Cullen
A debut novel from Helen Cullen. William Woolf is a letter detective at the Dead Letters Depot, where he spends his days reuniting lost mail with its intended recipient.
But when he discovers a series of letters addressed simply to ‘My Great Love’ everything changes. Written by a woman to a soulmate she hasn’t yet met, her heartfelt words stir William in ways he has long forgotten.
I’d like to think that Cullen’s book has produced a million suitors writing to vague, unknown addressees that are then ending up on a post office administration desk for a romantic member of staff to sort out. This is a book for all of us eternal optimists.
Top audio book: Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls
In 1997 things have not gone brilliantly for Charlie Lewis, but then he meets Fran Fisher and he begins to hope. However, if Charlie wants to be with Fran he must join the acting company that she is part of and appear in Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet, which will push him way out of his comfort zone and risk the mockery of his friends.
Nobody captures the teenage angst of those final school days better than David Nicholls: the not quite fitting in, the dreaded O’Levels, the end of term school disco.
I loved the nostalgia of Sweet Sorrow and I love David Nicholls.
Top children’s fiction: We Won An Island by Charlotte Lo
When Luna’s family win an island, Luna thinks it will solve everything AND she can finally get a donkey! But things don’t go entirely to plan – no one expects Luna’s younger brother to win a sheep pageant, for example – and the secret festival they hold soon spirals out of control. But the island is beautiful, and the family are happy, and maybe Luna will get her donkey after all.
This is Charlotte Lo’s first novel. It is a fun, quirky read and a rollicking adventure. Strong values of family and community are embedded within the story to give the inevitable feel-good ending.
Top children’s non-fiction: Sportopedia – illustrated by Mark Long; written by Adam Skinner
Sportopedia is an ultimate guide to the diverse world of sport. From the best known to the most obscure, this guide showcases team sports, target sports, as well as track and field, aquatic sports and much more. Fully illustrated throughout, this is a core reference book that crosses culture and continent for the whole family to share (7+).
It is a perfect introduction to new and unknown sports. A comprehensive collection of a wide range of sports and pastimes which cover enough facts, rules and useful information to keep children entertained for hours.
Have you read any of the books featured this month? We’d love to hear what you thought! Leave your reviews in the comments below. Missed last month’s top five? Catch up on them here.
You can find out more about libraries in East Sussex by visiting the East Sussex County Council website.