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Are you looking for something new and different to read?

Miss visiting the library for your next great read? We'll fill that gap for you with this page dedicated to the joy of reading for pleasure. We will be updating it regularly with new reads and virtual events, trying to make life just a little bit more interesting. 

Jane Brierley, our Head of Stock and Reading has highlighted her favourite book picks of the month, online events you might be interested in and invited you to join her new online bookgroup.

What are we reading this month?

The choice for our book group is based on the multi access titles that are available to library members to borrow free on our BorrowBox eBook and eAudio site.  In October we will be reading two books

  • This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik on 14 October, 7pm.
  • My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay on 21 October, at 7pm.


      Book covers

At Nottingham Libraries we love books and reading, and we really like chatting about books with other people.  We know there are a lot of people out there who share our passion so we have created our Nottingham Library Readers’ group.  This is a Facebook group for anyone who would like to talk about books, see what others are reading and share your thoughts about the books you are reading.  

The page is open to all readers aged 18 and over, whatever your taste in books, and we want to cover fiction and non-fiction.

You can share reading recommendations, let us know what you are reading, or even tell us if you get  to the end of a book and think “what on earth was that all about”.  We want the page to be fun, so we will be sharing some light-hearted features and discussions as well.  We have already discussed desert island books and book-to-film adaptations. If you have any book related questions, we’ll also do our best to help you.

One feature we are including is a monthly book club discussion for anyone who wants to join in. We will be choosing a book that is available for multi-access on our BorrowBox site, and where possible we will offer the choice of eBook or eAudio.  

If you haven’t belonged to a book group before, it is about sharing your own experience of reading the book, rather than having to give a detailed review.  If you really don’t like the book, don’t feel you have to read it to the end, just read enough to be able to tell us why you didn’t enjoy it. 

If you want to join the group -and we hope you do then you need to have a Facebook account. You then need to look for Nottingham Library Readers and ask to join.  We have a few rules which you will need to accept, basically keep the discussion about books, no self-promotion and above all treat everyone on the site with respect and courtesy. 

Every year in late September, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and speaks out against censorship.  Banned books week started in America in 1982 in response to increasing challenges to books, and calls for them to be restricted or withdrawn in schools or libraries.

 Reasons for books being banned or censored vary across history and geography, with many previously banned books now being regarded as modern classics.  Banning books often has the opposite effect to the one intended, as it does tend to make people want to read the book and decide for themselves.

Here are just a selection of very familiar books that have censored or banned across the years. How many have you read?


Beloved, Toni Morrison

Published in 1987, winner of the Pulitzer prize in 1988, Morrison’s story of an escaped slave has regularly been challenged as set-reading in schools in the US because of its violence and sexual content.






Animal Farm, George Orwell

Orwell’s satire on Stalinist Russia, was banned in the USSR up until the 1980’s. Unsurprisingly the CIA were much keener on the story, seeing it as a general criticism on socialism, and actually funded a cartoon version in 1955.  Perhaps, more surprisingly, Orwell found it hard to find a publisher in England, as there was a concern about publishing an attack on Britain’s wartime allies.  Four publishers rejected the book before it was published by Secker and Warburg in 1945. 



Ulysses, James Joyce

Published in 1922, the book caused outrage in America and the UK because of its use of explicit language and descriptions of the human body.  It was also heavily criticised for its provocative treatment of the British royal family and the Roman Catholic Church. The book was banned and burnt in the 1920’s but was finally published in America and Britain in the 1930’s.




Not Without My Daughter, Betty Mahmoody

This is the true story of American Betty Mahmoody who travelled to Iran to meet her husband’s family, only to find herself and her daughter trapped with a violent man in a society where she had no rights.The book described her attempts to escape and was banned in Iran for the author’s descriptions of their patriarchal society and treatment of women.





The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

A young adult book, well received by critics which has won several awards for its sensitive but powerful story of black teenager Starr, who is a witness when the police shoot dead her childhood friend. Since its publication, the book has become one of the most challenged books in school libraries across America, with critics citing its use of strong language and depiction of drug use.



Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall

First published in 1928, this semi-autobiographical novel explored the nature of lesbianism and sexual identity. The publishers were charged with obscenity in the UK, despite the book containing no explicit sexual imagery or language. Magistrate Sir Chartres Biron, ruled that the book was liable to corrupt as it presented its protagonists in a sympathetic way that was unacceptable.  The book was published without challenge in the UK in 1949.



Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Alice fell foul of censors in the Huan province of China in the 1930’s, for its depiction of animals as being on the same level as humans.  Alice has also had a chequered history in the US.  New Hampshire banned the books from schools in 1900 for promoting sexual fantasies, and in the 1960’s, the book was challenged again as it was perceived as promoting the use of drugs.


Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H Lawrence

We couldn’t really have a selection of censored books without including probably the most famous or infamous, banned book of the C20th.  The novel, which explicitly portrays a relationship between Lady Chatterley and her gamekeeper Mellors, was originally published in Italy in 1928. The book was banned in Britain, under the Obscene Publications Act but was published legally, by Penguin, in its entirety following a dramatic trial in 1960.  The trial is probably best known for prosecution counsel Mervyn Griffith-Jones asking the jury "Is it a book you would wish your wife or servants to read?"  The book sold 200,000 copies on its first day of publication.


Here is this month’s selection of multi- access eBook and eAudio  titles which will all be available from 1st October to 29th November.  We have a really varied selection of titles available this month: including intrigue in Victorian London, thrillers by T.M Logan and Peter James and the powerful and moving international sensation The Phone Box at the End of the World.


The Catch, T.M Logan (also available as multi  loan a eAudio)

She says he's perfect. I know he's lying . . .

He caught me watching, and our eyes met. That was when it hit me. There was something not quite right about my daughter's new boyfriend. All of Ed's instincts tell him his daughter is in terrible danger - but no-one else can see it. With the wedding date approaching fast, Ed sets out to uncover Ryan's secrets, before it's too late.


The Foundling, Stacey Halls (also available as multi loan eAudio)

London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London's Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst - that Clara has died in care - the last thing she expects to hear is that her daughter has already been reclaimed - by her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl - and why.

Less than a mile away, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow is persuaded  to hire a nursemaid for her daughter.  She is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life, but her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.

Two women from different worlds. And a secret that will change everything



The Phone Box at the Edge of the World, Laura Imai Messina (also available as multi loan eAudio)

When Yui loses her mother and daughter in the tsunami, she wonders how she will ever carry on. Yet, in the face of this unthinkable loss, life must somehow continue.

Then one day she hears about a man who has an old disused telephone box in his garden. There, those who have lost loved ones find the strength to speak to them and begin to come to terms with their grief. As news of the phone box spreads, people travel to it from miles around.

However, Yui cannot bring herself to speak into the receiver; then she meets  Takeshi, a bereaved husband whose own daughter has stopped talking in the wake of their loss.

A moving and powerful novel inspired by true events. 


Absolute Proof,  Peter James

An explosive standalone thriller that will grip you and won't let go until the very last page. Investigative reporter Ross Hunter nearly didn’t answer the phone call that would change his life – and possibly the world – for ever, but he did.  A call from. Dr Harry F. Cook, who claims he has recently been given absolute proof of God’s existence – and wants Ross to help him be taken seriously

What would it take to prove the existence of God? And if you did, what would be the consequences? The false faith of a billionaire evangelist, the life’s work of a famous atheist, and the credibility of each of the world’s major religions are all under threat, if  Ross can survive long enough to present the evidence . . .


The Crimson Petal and the White,  Michel Faber

A voyage into the dark side of Victorian London. Sugar is a young woman trying to drag herself up from the gutter any way she can in a mesmerising tale of passion, intrigue, ambition and revenge.


Young Adult Choice

Artic Zoo, Robert Muchamore

From London . . . Georgia gets straight As at school, has been placed first in twenty-six drone races and has a serious addiction to buying Japanese stationery. She plans to follow her older sister Sophie and become a doctor, but her worldview is shattered when tragedy strikes.

To Akure . . . Julius lives in Ondo, a Nigerian state where half the population lives on less than a dollar a day. But he isn't one of them. His uncle has been state governor for more than a decade and his mother is the power behind that throne. He finds refuge in a derelict zoo with best friend Duke, but as the two of them grow close, the world outside becomes more and more hostile.

Following two teenagers living very different lives, ARCTIC ZOO is an arresting thriller about protest, sexuality, mental heath and flawed leadership, from the bestselling author of CHERUB.


To reserve a copy or search for more items then go to our online catalogue here. Don't forget reservations are free at the moment! 



Free newspapers and magazines from your local area, UK nationals and 1,000s more from around the world with PressReader.

Latest Publications

News from around the World:  
The Guardian | The Daily Express| Evening Standard | The Independent

Hobbies and Interests: PlayStation | Total Film Z| BBC Wildlife | Computer Arts

Lifestyle: Grazia | Health and Fitness  | Bazaar | Closer

With over 7000 items for borrowing-there is sure to be something of interest. Click here to get started.


This months top magazines  from RB Digital include,

Food: Delicious | Good Food | Olive | Easy Cook

Home and Garden: 50+ Decorating Ideas | Gardeners World | Country Life | Elle Decoration

Digital and Hobbies: Amateur Photographer | Android Advisor | Artists & Illustrators.

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Stay connected with...

Useful Websites for Book Groups

If you belong to a reading group, there is no reason why you shouldn’t still meet together, and these websites give ideas on how you can join together with reading friends in the virtual world.

BBC: The BBC has set up a page suggesting ways to meet virtually-whether you already exist as a book group or want to set up a new group. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4d2tfP38MXzZ8bgM7KZ4Wyb/novel-connections-how-to-set-up-your-own-online-book-group

Reading Groups for Everyone: A great site run by the Reading Agency to support reading groups, with suggestions, recommendations and book news.  Currently featuring ways to keep your group going digitally and offering opportunities to win physical and digital copies books for your reading group.  https://readinggroups.org/ 

Nottingham Libraries: Every month we have a selection of eBooks and eAudio titles on our BorrowBox site which are available for simultaneous borrowing and could be used for a book group discussion.

If you want to join the group -and we hope you do then you need to have a Facebook account. You then need to look for Nottingham Library Readers and ask to join.  We have a few rules which you will need to accept, basically keep the discussion about books, no self-promotion and above all treat everyone on the site with respect and courtesy. 



Reading Websites

Good Reads:
Be part of the world's largest community of book lovers on Goodreads. Find and read books you'll love, and keep track of the books you want to read.  Sign up required to interact which is free, though you can browse the site and look at their reading lists without joining if you prefer.  https://www.goodreads.com/

Fantastic Fiction: A great site to find out about new authors and new releases.  Not only does it provide information about new releases, it also has great pages on individual authors, so you can check the order of their books, find out if they are about to release a new novel, and see what their reading recommendations are. https://www.fantasticfiction.com

LoveReading: One of Jane’s (our head of library stock) favourite sites which features reviews, staff picks, features on audio books, new releases, features on genres and authors etc.  Jane says ‘I can’t visit without coming away with a long list of books that I would like to read!’  You can access some content without signing up, but if you sign up (for free) you will get access to all content including competitions http://www.lovereading.co.uk/

The site also features books and activities for children http://www.lovereading4kids.co.uk/

Women’s Prize for Fiction Reading Room: A great page for full of recommendations, author blogs, podcast etc. https://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk/reading-room

Facebook:  A great place to chat about reading, whatever type of books you enjoy you will find a group for you.  Just look under groups in the menu, search for “books” and see if there is a group you would like to join.  You can comment and post if you want to, or just look to see what other people are reading and discussing.  

The BBC: The BBC have selected 100 novels written in the English language from the last 300 years that shaped our world. Here you can explore the 10 themes, each with 10 books, which reflect the ways books help shape and influence our thinking. Everyone is encouraged to share their own stories of the novels that have had the biggest impact on them, using the hashtag #mybooklife.

The first ever Teachers’ Reading Challenge has launched and will run to 31 October. The challenge is a partnership between The Reading Agency and The Open University, aiming to help teachers develop their reading repertoire of children’s texts. The dedicated website has a range of resources, including those from the OU's Reading for Pleasure programme and The Summer Reading Challenge as well as advice on enhancing children’s reading experiences.

Just like the children's Summer Reading Challenge, teachers need to aim to read and review 6 books to complete the challenge. Teachers who sign up to the Challenge will be invited to access a downloadable reading diary, find book recommendations, save books onto their own wish list, take part in discussions with fellow teachers using the message board and leave reviews to help other teachers find their next read.

You can visit the site and sign up here.