Category Archives: Book News

Reading Well

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A new Reading Well booklist is available in Wakefield Libraries. The Reading Well for long term conditions booklist covers general advice and information about living with a long term condition, common symptoms and titles focused on specific conditions such as arthritis, bowel conditions, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Leaflets and books are available in all Wakefield Council libraries and if you can’t find the book you want on the shelf, it can be ordered in the library or online.

Reading Well for long term conditions joins our existing booklists on Adult mental health, Dementia and Shelf Help (mental health for teenagers)  in providing books chosen and recommended by health professionals  help you manage your health.


August Reads

It’s August and time to relax in the sun with the latest big name best seller. Or perhaps time to distract yourself from the rain showers with a good story! Either way, August’s crop of new novels are on the way to our libraries and you can reserve them in any branch or online.

Aug 9 James Patterson. The Store

Imagine a future of unparalleled convenience. A powerful retailer, The Store, can deliver anything to your door, anticipating the needs and desires you didn’t even know you had. Most people are fine with that, but not Jacob and Megan Brandeis. New York writers whose livelihood is on the brink of extinction, Jacob and Megan are going undercover to dig up The Store‘s secrets in a book that could change the entire American way of life – or put an end to Jacob’s

Aug 8 Val McDermid. Insidious Intent

When charred human remains are discovered in the driver’s seat of a burning car, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill are brought in to investigate. They soon discover that what appeared to be a terrible accident is, in fact, murder. Delving deeper into the case, they begin the dangerous hunt for a most sinister killer with the power to inflict untold fear and pain on their victims.

Aug 7 Susan Lewis. Hiding in Plain Sight

Andee Lawrence is in heaven. Well, the South of France to be exact. Ex-detective Andee has swapped freelance investigation and a broken marriage for two months in Provence, renovating a beautiful villa with the new man in her life. But her world is about to be shattered. Remember me? Two words spoken by a woman from the back of a car that say so much yet reveal so little. As the car drives away Andee is left reeling, overwhelmed by shock, confusion, self-doubt and mounting trepidation. Almost 30 years ago, 14-year-old Penny had disappeared from her family’s life, never to be heard from again. It is the missing child case that has haunted Andee her whole life; And now Penny – Andee’s sister – is back. The question is: why?

Aug 6 Lynda La Plante. Good Friday

During 1974 and 1975 the IRA subjected London to a terrifying bombing campaign. In one day alone, they planted seven bombs at locations across central London. Some were defused – some were not. Jane Tennison is now a fully-fledged detective. On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured. Jane is a key witness, but is adamant that she can’t identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation.

Aug 5 Sophie Hannah. Did you see Melody?

Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can’t afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied – by a man and a teenage girl. A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist – but Cara’s fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can’t possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder. Cara doesn’t know what to trust: everything she’s read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?

Aug 2 Tess Gerritsen. I know a secret

In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death. Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear. Was the wrong person sent to prison? Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets? One woman knows the killer is coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him. But she has a secret that she has to keep

Aug 4 Phillippa Gregory. The Last Tudor

The queen of historical fiction returns to the Tudor court to tell the story of Lady Jane Grey. But this isn’t Jane’s story alone- she had two younger sisters Katherine and Mary who each take up the story in turn. Dominating their lives- and the novel- is the capricious, mercurial Elizabeth I.



Books to watch out for in May

Here are a few of the many books being unpacked in our libraries this month. If you don’t see what you want on the shelves, you can request books at the your library or online through our catalogue.

These two fascinating non-fiction books will be going on my reading list.

AMay Austen Lucy Worsley Jane Austen at Home

This telling of the story of Jane’s life shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the way in which home is used in her novels to mean both a place of pleasure and a prison.

AMay Gray Annie Gray The Greedy Queen

This is both a biography of Britain’s most iconic monarch, and a look at the changing nature of cooking and eating in the Victorian era. From her early years living on milk and bread under the Kensington system, to her constant indigestion and belligerent over-eating as an elderly woman, her diet will be examined, likes and dislikes charted, and the opinions of those around her considered.

Literary event of the month is surely the publication of a new novel by the author of Nora Webster and Brooklyn. Here he turns to Greek tragedy.

AMay Toibin Colm Toibin House of Names

On the day of his daughter’s wedding, Agamemnon orders her sacrifice. His daughter is led to her death, and Agamemnon leads his army into battle, where he is rewarded with glorious victory. Three years later, he returns home and his murderous action has set the entire family – mother, brother, sister – on a path of intimate violence.

We featured Laline Paull’s debut novel The Bees as a Readers Group book. Now it’s time for that difficult second novel.

AMay Paul Laline Paull

It’s the day after tomorrow and the Arctic sea ice has melted. While global business carves up the new frontier, cruise ships race each other to ever-rarer wildlife sightings. The passengers of the Vanir have come seeking a polar bear. What they find is even more astonishing: a dead body. An electrifying story of friendship, power and betrayal

The second novel in the Six Tudor Queens series. Can Alison Weir offer a new take on Anne Boleyn?

AMay Weir Alison Weir Anne Boleyn. A Royal Obsession

An unforgettable portrait of the ambitious woman whose fate we know all too well, but whose true motivations may surprise you. Fresh from the cultivated hothouse of Renaissance France, Anne draws attention at the English court. A nobleman, a poet and a king vie for her love. She has a spirit worthy of a crown – and a crown is what she seeks.

Stories linked to My Name is Lucy Barton but this can be read as a standalone book if you haven’t read it.

AMay Strout Elizabeth Strout Anything is possible

Years ago, Lucy Barton, a successful New York writer, spent time in hospital, with her mother at the foot of her bed to keep her company. Avoiding the distance between them, they spoke at length about people from their home town, the rural, dusty town of Amgash, Illinois. Writing these stories, Lucy imagines the lives of the people that she especially remembers. And the people she has imagined that, in small ways, have remembered her too. For isn’t it true that we all hope to be remembered? Or to think in some way – even fleetingly – that we have been important to someone?

While you wait for Paula Hawkins new book Into the Water, here are two alternative psychological thrillers to try.

AMay Kent Christobel Kent The Day She Disappeared

Have you ever had that sense that you’re being watched? And you turn, suddenly, but it’s just a curtain, blowing in the wind? Or the dress hanging in the doorway? Nat knows something’s wrong. Her best friend, Beth, would never have upped and left without saying goodbye to her. But no one believes that Beth was taken – she is a fly-by-night, a party girl who can’t be trusted. No one’s listening to Nat. But someone is definitely watching her.

AMay Kendall Claire Kendall The Second Sister

Ten years ago, Ella’s sister Miranda vanished without trace. Now thirty, the same age as Miranda when she disappeared, Ella has grown to look dangerously like the missing woman. Ella becomes convinced that the man who took Miranda is watching her family. To Ella, this is an opportunity as much as a prospect of fear. It makes her more determined than ever to find out what happened to the beautiful and mysterious Miranda. Because who better than a sister to see what the police overlooked and to understand the missing woman?

The Hogarth Shakespeare series continues with Tracy Chevalier’s take on Othello.

AMay Chevalier Tracy Chevalier New Boy

Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.

And out in paperback this month:

AMay Ivey Eowyn Ivey To the Bright Edge of the World

Lieutenant Colonel Allen Forrester receives the commission of a lifetime when he is charged to navigate Alaska’s hitherto impassable Wolverine River, with only a small group of men. Forrester leaves behind his young wife, Sophie, newly pregnant with the child he had never expected to have. Adventurous in spirit, Sophie does not relish the prospect of a year in a military barracks while her husband carves a path through the wilderness. What she does not anticipate is that their year apart will demand every ounce of courage and fortitude of her that it does of her husband.

AMay Essex Sarah Perry The Essex Serpent

London 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s controlling husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness. Retreating to the countryside with her son, she encounters rumours of the ‘Essex Serpent‘, a creature of folklore said to have returned to roam the marshes. Setting out on its trail, she collides with local minister William Ransome, who thinks the cure for hysteria lies in faith, while Cora is convinced that science offers the answers. Despite disagreeing on everything, he and Cora find themselves drawn together, changing each other’s lives in unexpected ways.


Not the Booker Prize



The longlist for the Man Booker Prize was recently announced and you can read more about it and find the list at  It’s the leading literary award in the English language of course, but this year I’m finding the Guardian’s Not The Booker Award more exciting. They have an enormous longlist of nearly 100 books which will be whittled down to a shortlist by reader’s votes. The full list is at

Each reader must vote by 14 August for two books, from two different publishers by commenting on the article. Include the word ‘vote’ in the post and a short review of one of the two books. I can see lots of books I want to read on the list and I’m sure as I explore the suggestions I’ll find a few more.

The prize is a little short of the £50,000 that the Man Booker prize winner will get..” The author of the winning book will receive a Guardian mug. They may not want it, but there’s nothing we can do about that. No prizes will be awarded to readers for submitting a nomination, voting or judging, but you will have our undying gratitude for taking part, cracking jokes about the entries or sniping from the sidelines, as you see fit.”

Summer Reading

What could be nicer than sitting in the sun with a good book. And when the sun shines bright, I like to plunge into something really dark. Summer is the ideal time for a good thriller or crime novel  and here are some of summer’s best to look out for.

A13 Claire Mackintosh: I let you go

Winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year

A14 Louise Candlish: The Swimming Pool

Secrets and lies beneath the surface at a London Lido will keep you on the edge of your seat

A15 Elly Griffiths: The Woman in Blue

The murder of women priests in the shrine town of Walsingham sucks Dr Ruth Galloway into an unholy investigation.

A8 Antonia Hodgson: The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins

Not many crime novels start with the hero on his way to the gallows. Back to 1728 and the backstreets of Georgian London for the sequel to  The Devil in the Marshalsea

A9 Peter May: Coffin Road

Coffin Road follows three perilous journeys towards one shocking truth – and the realisation that ignorance can kill us

A12 Lucie Whitehouse: Keep you close

They said it was a tragic accident. She knows better…Is this the new Girl on the Train?

Have you tried any of these books? Perhaps you prefer something sunny and light this summer. Let us know about your summer reading choices.




Bones in the Nest

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Helen Cadbury : Bones in the Nest

Our next Read Regional event will be on Monday 13th June from 7pm at Pontefract Library. You are invited to join the Pontefract Library Reader’s group for an evening with author Helen Cadbury. Helen will be talking about her second crime novel Birds in the Nest, which, like To catch a Rabbit, features PC Sean Denton and is set in Yorkshire.

This should be a great evening, especially as Reader Group members have promised to do some of their famous baking for the event! Call Pontefract Library on 01977 727692 or email to reserve a place.


Here are some of Helen’s comments about her book:

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where an idea first comes from, but when you read Bones in the Nest, you may recognise news stories that fed my imagination both consciously and unconsciously.

During the riots of 2011, I was staying in a cottage with no TV or internet. The only coverage of the riots I had access to was from the radio. The pictures were so vivid in my mind that they demanded to be put on paper. In the narrative, racial tension is rising on the Chasebridge Estate in Doncaster. Although the rioters in Bones in the Nest are doing it for a different reason than in London, I just knew that there was going to be a shop on fire, somewhere in this book.

Another strand in the narrative follows a young woman called Chloe Toms who is piecing her life back together in York after ten years in prison. Chloe is not based on any one person, but is inspired by the time I spent teaching in a women’s resettlement prison. It was a regular experience for me seeing women prepare for life outside, and the challenge of living under a new identity in a world of internet searches and cheque- book journalism.

Something else that’s very important to my writing process is walking. By walking, I don’t mean anything particularly special or energetic, but just walking around the streets where I live. I mentally placed the hostel where Chloe lives not far from my own neighbourhood, with the looming view of York Minster watching her, as it watches me on my walks. Being watched, whether for good or ill, is an underlying theme in the book, as is the family and its various dysfunctions.



The Romantic one..

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It’s all about romance and relationships when authors Hazel Osmond, author of The Mysterious Miss Mayhew and Caroline Roberts, author of The Torn Up Marriage visit  Wakefield Library on Wednesday 18 May, 7- 8pm.

Hazel Osmond is a writer of short stories and romantic comedies. In 2008 she won the Woman & Home short story competition sponsored by Costa and in 2012 her first book, Who’s Afraid of Mr Wolfe? was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Romantic Comedy award. comedy award.

About ‘The Mysterious Miss Mayhew’ Is telling the truth always right—even if someone vulnerable will get hurt? The Mysterious Miss Mayhew is a romantic comedy that takes a look at how slippery a concept honesty can be. Aren’t secrets an essential part of protecting your privacy, especially when you’re living in a small community?

Caroline Roberts enjoys writing about love, loss, betrayal, and family; stories that explore the emotions, showing how complex and yet beautiful our relationships can be. She also likes to write romantic comedy, letting the characters have a bit of fun too! She believes in following your dreams, which after ten years of writing and submitting, finally led her to a publishing deal with Harper Collins.

About ‘The Torn Up Marriage’   is a gritty and emotional read about love, loss, family and betrayal’’

A memory: golden-tipped sand dunes, early June heat-waves blurring the Northumberland coastline. Michael racing towards the shore, Emily on his shoulders, their laughter ringing out against the crash of the rolling waves. A family together.

Two years later, and the landscape of Kate’s marriage has changed irrevocably. When Michael comes home one evening and deals the fateful blow to their marriage, neither could have imagined the heart-wrenching journey stretching before them. Her happy home with Michael and their two beautiful girls is washed away like footprints in the sand.

Read Regional: connecting readers and authors across the North


Wakefield Library and Museum

Wakefield One, Burton St. WF1 2DD

Tel: 01924 305376


Free event but advance booking is requested

Richard and Judy’s Spring titles

I was very pleased to see that Laura Barnett, our guest speaker at last year’s Lit Fest Readers’ Group Day, has had her book ‘The Versions of Us’ chosen by Richard and Judy for their Spring collection. It was a real pleasure to meet and talk to her and it will be good to see her book promoted to a wider audience. We have plenty of copies in stock and a readers group set too! We have also just had delivered a Readers Group set of’ Our endless numbered days’ by Claire Fuller. The book won the Desmond Elliott Prize for New Fiction and I’m looking forward to discussing it with one of my groups. Other familiar authors are Rosamund Lupton (author of ‘Afterwards’) with her new book’ The Quality of silence’ and Sarah Winman whose previous book ‘When God was a rabbit’ has been a popular readers group choice. Will ‘A year of Marvellous Ways ‘ be a Readers Group winner too? There are eight titles to choose from (find out more here)  and you can order them all from your library.

World Book Night 2016

World Book Night will take place on 23 April 2016. The idea behind the celebration is to use the power of an army of book lovers to try to put books into the hands of people who don’t read very often.  Plan who you would like to give books to and how you would do it, then apply to be a Book Night giver on the website Some of the books you could choose are shown and there are books for teenagers and Quick Reads too. The books can be collected from local libraries. Applications close on 29 January so start planning now and good luck!

Star Wars Reads Day


Star Wars Reads Day: Fully Armed and Operational on October 10!

Once again, bookshops, libraries, and retailers are taking part in the fourth annual installment of the global event and it’s even bigger this year as excitement  about the new film builds.  This year children can drop in to Castleford Forum Library 9am-3.30pm, Normanton Library 10-12 am, Pontefract Library 1-3pm and Wakefield Library 9-5 to find a selection of events, activities or things to do as well as a selection of Star Wars themed early readers.

If the Dark Side you would defeat, Read more you must!

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