We may be in lockdown this month, but that won’t stop our librarians, who still have loads of great reads for you to enjoy using our online library! Drawing on the community spirit that is coming to the fore at the moment, our librarians have made a collective effort and chosen some of their top reads for April. So hunker down, grab your device and enjoy some ebooks and e-audiobooks to while away the time.
Top non-fiction, chosen by Paul:
Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days In August by Oliver Hilmes
Do not be deceived by this book’s categorization under sport, for it does so much more than document the 1936 Olympic Games.
Above all, it is an acutely drawn social history. Day-by-day through August 1936, a rich cast of Berlin personalities are introduced. Particularly well-drawn are the restaurateurs, club owners and frequenters of, in spite of the depredations of Nazism, a still thriving social scene in Berlin.
The sport itself, while well-documented, is secondary to the wider context in which these Olympic Games unfolded. Highly recommended.
Top fiction, chosen by Tania:
The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante
The Neapolitan Novels, comprising four books by Elena Ferrante, follow two girls growing up in Naples during the 1950s.
These are troubling books full of obsession, everyday violence and brutality, with the girls navigating through the realities of poverty and organised crime.
Written beautifully and with intensity that is rare in a novel, it draws the reader into the obsession, making it impossible not to read to the end of these fascinating characters’ lives.
The books in order are: My Brilliant Friend, The Story Of A New Name, Those Who Stay And Those Who Go, and The Story Of The Lost Child.
Top audio book, chosen by Ella:
When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir By Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
A powerful memoir by one of the founders of the Black Lives Matters movement, written alongside journalist, Asha Bandele.
Patrisse grew up in a poor area with a loving family in Los Angles where they were repeatedly terrorised by the police, and her brother was imprisoned in the most unjust and devastating way. I felt extremely naïve to learn of the repeated systemic racism happening in such recent times.
Patrisse, with amazing strength and resilience, goes on to create the BLM movement, alongside other LGBT women, to fight back. As a result, they were labelled terrorists. A tough but essential read.
Top children’s fiction, chosen by Emily and Erin:
The LEGO Adventure Book, Volume 2 by Megan H Rothrock
Great for Lego enthusiasts, you can use the book for its step-by-step instructions. They’re clear and easy to interpret, allowing you to build amazing models.
It’s also brilliant as a book full of inspiration for making your own creations. You can use the instructions to give you an idea of the uses for different bricks and how to put them together to make your designs.
Filled with a variety of projects, from the simple and small to the more complex and large, this fun and imaginative guide to building with Lego is perfect for children.
Top children’s non-fiction, chosen by Dee:
The Self-Esteem Team’s Guide To Sex, Drugs And WTFs?!! by Grace Barrett, Natasha Devon and Nadia Mendoza
This book explores those topics and questions that teenagers may find hard to ask adults and may end up getting the wrong information if they ask their friends!
It is written by three women who share their own personal experiences of growing up and the problems they faced.
The topics covered are quite diverse – from drugs, sex, eating disorders, how to handle bullies, skin issues and how to be confident. It also has helpful links to websites for extra information.
The tone of the book is cool and fun and should appeal to most with its up-to-date references, comic book-style graphics and an introduction by Zoella who describes this book as ‘a survival guide for the modern world’.
Looking for more ways libraries can help during lockdown? We’ve got you covered.
Have you read any of the books featured this month? If so we’d love to hear what you thought! Leave your reviews in the comments below. Missed March’s book reviews? Catch up on them here.
You can find out more about libraries in East Sussex by visiting the East Sussex County Council website.