Monthly Archives: July 2013

Stanley Library’s New Look

The trades people have gone, the books are back on the shelves and the door is open!   Stanley Library is ready to welcome back visitors following a programme of major refurbishment, including redecoration, new shelves and computers.  Images are below of the new look library, but we’d love you to come along and see the improvements for yourself and tell us what you think.  

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Maria Semple’s ‘Where’d You go Bernadette’ wins 2013 Melissa Nathan Award

The winner of the Melissa Nathan Award 2013 is WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE by Maria Semple, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. This year the Award received a record entry of over 90 books. The judges were unanimous and enthusiastic in declaring WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE by Maria Semple to be the winner, and declared it to be one of the funniest books ever to be submitted. Semple’s novel was also shortlisted for the Womens Prize for Fiction 2013.

The Melissa Nathan Award For Comedy Romance was set up in 2007 – honouring the criteria that Melissa drew up herself very shortly before she died from cancer in 2006 aged just 37. She wanted to encourage and reward writers who can combine in a novel the magical, life-enhancing elements of humour and love. She was a successful journalist who went on to become one of the best-selling comic romantic novelists of her generation. She wrote love stories aimed at young women – she focused on the world of work for the post-feminist generation in the hugely popular novels The Nanny (2002) and The Waitress (2004).

The other shortlisted titles for 2013 award were:

CHARLOTTE STREET by Danny Wallace (Ebury Press)

YOU HAD ME AT HELLO by Mhairi McFarlane (HarperCollins)

SUMMER DAYDREAMS by Carole Matthews (Sphere)

ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell (Orion)

THE WEDDING DIARIES by Sam Binnie (HarperCollins)

ManBooker Prize


This made me smile. It’s a very literary list described by the chair of the judges as “surely the most diverse long list in Man Booker history”. Jim Crace is tipped to win – there could be a surprise but I don’t think this year’s prize will see the big sales and headlines Hilary Mantel did last year. The only ones in library stock at the moment are ‘Harvest’ and ‘Testament of Mary’ but if you’d like to read one, place a request at your local library and we will buy a copy. Will you be adding any of these titles to your reading list? The full list is

Tash Aw (Five Star Billionaire)
NoViolet Bulawayo (We Need New Names)
Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries)
Jim Crace (Harvest)
Eve Harris (The Marrying of Chain Kaufman)
Richard House (The Kills)
Jhumpa Lahiri (The Lowland)
Alison MacLeod (Unexploded)
Colum McCann (Transatlantic)
Charlotte Mendelson (Almost English)
Ruth Ozeki (A Tale for the Time Being)
Donal Ryan (The Spinning Heart)
Colm Toibin (The Testament of Mary)

And the winner is..


Denise Mina was the winner of the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year for her books ‘Gods and Beasts’. The award for Outstanding contribution to fiction went to Ruth Rendell.
Over at the Crime Writer’s Association’s Gala Award dinner, Lee Child was presented with the Diamond Dagger award and the Dagger in the Library award went to Belinda Bauer whose latest novel is ‘Rubbernecker’
Some old friends, some new names to discover – who are your favourite crime writers?

Enter the Creepy House


There’s a spine-tingling adventure waiting in Wakefield Council libraries this summer. Children can discover Creepy House, the Summer Reading Challenge 2013 and join a gang of young explorers as they work their way through three thrilling floors, The Awful Upstairs, The Gruesome Ground Floor and The Spine-tingling Cellar! As they discover the secrets of the house by reading library books and they can collect stickers to add to a special fold-out poster.
Dare them to enter the Creepy House! It’s free to join by visiting any Wakefield Council library from Saturday 13th July. They can choose books for themselves and there will be prizes to win as they read, including a gold medal and certificate if they can read six books. It’s for children aged four and over and it’s a great chance to share books and talk about reading as a family. There will be lots of Creepy House activities in libraries too and there is a special website at

Library Mural



Yesterday a unique and wonderful mural was installed in the children’s section of Wakefield Library and Museum. It all began back in February when illustrator and author Lynne Chapman came to the library to hold an art workshop with children from Flanshaw Junior and Infant School and St Austin’s Catholic Primary School. The children were all given a different animal and shown how to draw them as lively action figures. Then Lynne started to work creating a background and fitting their picures into it, with a few of her own drawings added. Add screenshots of our web pages, some real book spines and the mural was ready to go. We did remove just one thing: one of the librarians was saying Shhh! and we NEVER say that. It was sent to a firm that scaled it up and produced it on sheets of vinyl. Yesterday they came to apply it to the wall just like wallpaper, and here are some pictures of it going up. We now have a very special and original artwork – come along and see it and tell us what you think!

Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year

Billingham Ewan May Mina Neville Sherez
Now in its ninth year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year celebrates the best in crime writing and this shortlist is strong one. The public are invited to vote for their favourite at and the winner will be announced on 12th July
I’ve just started reading and enjoying Mark Billingham’s books and I’ve heard good reports from readers of Peter May’s Lewis trilogy. Who do you think should win?

National Reading Group Day




We celebrated National Reading Group Day on 29th June at Wakefield Library and it was lovely to see people from Readers groups across Wakefield and to share a day with so many poeple who love reading. Our guest author was Christina James, author of crime novels In the Family and Almost Love, literary psychological thrillers set in the Lincolnshire fens.Christina shared in the discussions about her book and spoke about writing and publishing. You can read about her impressions of the day here

I love my Readers groups because they persuade me to try books I wouldn’t have opened, because they make me think about why I loved or hated a book but above all I love the discussion – the different viewpoints, the insights I missed, the chance to have my opinion challenged or defend my point of view. What do you love about your Readers Group?

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