Guest post by Tamsyn Sutton, East Sussex Librarian.

It’s May, that magical month with two bank holidays and a half-term – basically designed for reading! And when you’re done reading you can always attend one of our free events in the library this month.

A reminder that 4 May is Free Comic Book Day! But every day is free comic book day at East Sussex Libraries, so come whenever and pick from our vast collection (in libraries and online) of graphics novels for all ages!

Top fiction chosen by Tamsyn

Guest in the house book cover by Emily Carroll

A Guest In The House by Emily Carroll

Abby is settling into married life: making coffee, cooking for David and her stepdaughter Crystal, spending evenings curled up together in front of the TV.

But what really happened to Crystal’s mother, the artist who no-one speaks of? What secrets does their strange house by the water harbour, and what of Abby’s old dreams and fears?

A lush gothic mystery from Eisner-award-winning author Emily Carroll, exploring grief, lies, expectations and the painful and often bloody process of finding yourself.  Literary but deeply unsettling, with flavours of Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. This would be the perfect introduction to graphic novels for fans of Shirley Jackson and Carmen Maria Machado.

Reserve the pBook of ‘A Guest In The House’.



Top non-fiction chosen by Sam

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate BeatonDucks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton

Arriving in Fort McMurray, Katie finds work in the lucrative camps owned and operated by the world’s largest oil companies. Being one of the few women among thousands of men, the culture shock is palpable. It does not hit home until she moves to a spartan, isolated worksite for higher pay. Katie encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet never discussed. Her wounds may never heal.

Kate Beaton spent her early twenties working the oil sands of Alberta in a bid to pay off her student loans. Her beautifully rendered and thought-provoking memoir led me through a hidden industry I had never encountered, and its brutal toll on land and workers alike. It made me think about the compromises we make to survive hard times, and the systems that ensure they never end. Beaton’s journey is harsh and traumatic, but she recalls it in fascinating detail, bringing to life the banality and casual inhumanity of a world that exists everywhere around us, all the time.

Borrow the eBook of  ‘Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands’.

Reserve the pBook of ‘Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands’.

Top audio chosen by Neill

Nimona by ND StevensonNimona by ND Stevenson, performed by a full cast

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, their mission is to prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as her small acts of mischief escalate, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Don’t let the simple, fluid art style and easy humour of Nimona fool you, the story and characters have surprising complexity with themes of lost faith, prejudice, and the mundanity of evil. The audiobook version is delightful, brought to life by a fantastic cast who nail the banter of the original without losing any of the depth. And being able to swap between the book and the audio is great for an adventure as un-put-downable as this one!

Borrow the eAudio of ‘Nimona’.

Reserve the pBook ‘Nimona’.

Borrow the eBook of ‘Nimona’.


Top children’s fiction chosen by Chloe

Groosham Grange by Anthony Horowitz, Maxe L'Hermenier and Clement LefevreGroosham Grange by Anthony Horowitz, Maxe L’Hermenier and Clement Lefevre

When David Elliot is expelled from his boring school, his parents send him to Groosham Grange to knock him into shape. But when he arrives at the gothic castle on remote Skrull Island, he discovers Groosham Grange is an unusual sort of school: from signing the register in blood, to the creepy teachers – pallid Mr Kilgraw, Mrs Pedicure bandaged head to toe, hairy Mr Leloup who disappears every full moon. David teams up with fellow pupils Jeffrey and Jill to plan his escape. But can anyone ever escape Groosham Grange?

A gorgeously illustrated and wickedly funny retelling of Anthony Horowitz’s 1988 series Groosham Grange. Creepy without being too scary, perfect for kids and nostalgic adults alike.

Reserve the pBook of ‘Groosham Grange’.

Top children’s non-fiction chosen by Julia

When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar MohamedWhen Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

Omar and his brother Hassan, two Somali boys, have spent a long time in the Dadaab refugee camp. Separated from their mother, they are looked after by a friendly stranger. Life in the camp isn’t always easy. The hunger is constant…but there’s football to look forward to, and now there’s a chance Omar will get to go to school…

A beautiful and poignant graphic memoir, expertly illustrated by Victoria Jamieson. It expertly weaves the wider refugee story with every-day experiences like homework, friendship, and jealousy.  Although the background of the camp is full of heartbreak and disappointment, Omar Mohamed finds moments of hope and optimism that make this a really accessible read.

Reserve the pBook of ‘When Stars Are Scattered’.
Reserve the eBook ‘When Stars Are Scattered’.



Looking for more book recommendations? Check out our latest Good Book article for April.