Category Archives: Book themes

Reading Well

Reading Agency-87-LowRes

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.


Hints and tips for storytellers | Bookstart blog

Storytelling can be a scary business. A bit of planning, plenty of practice and bucketloads of enthusiasm can make all the difference, says Simon Bond, Library Assistant at Pontefract Library, guesting at Bookstart blog

See more here: Hints and tips for storytellers | Bookstart



This year’s Dementia Awareness Week, 15 – 21 May, will encourage people who are worried about dementia to confront their worries by looking for support and information.  Dementia can be scary and many people don’t know where to turn, but the Alzheimer’s Society is there for anyone affected and there are lots of ways they can help. You can find some help in your library too. Pick up our Reading Well Books on Prescription: Dementia leaflet which has a list of books which will give you information and help find out about people’s experiences. (See the blog page for a full list.)

There are lots of activities taking place at Sandal Library for Dementia Awareness Week:

Monday 16th May

Active minds session – carpet bowls 11-12 pm,  open for all

Friends of Sandal library Fund raising day 10-4 : all funds raised towards developing the Dementia Friendly Garden. (Ask at the library for details and news of the garden and how to join the Friends Group)

Tuesday 17th May

Active mind session – music bingo 2.00-3.00pm,  open for all

Friends of Sandal library Fund raising day 10-4 : all funds raised towards developing the Dementia Friendly Garden

Friday 19th May

Dementia Awareness training 10.30-11.30, open to all. Booking essential

Friends of Sandal Library coffee morning from 10 am: all funds raised towards developing

The Dementia Friendly Garden


If you, or someone you know, is worried about dementia, Call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or email


Reading Well: Shelf Help


There’s a new addition to our Reading Well booklists. Shelf Help has books to help young people cope with difficult feelings and experiences. The titles have been chosen by young people themselves as well as medical experts. The books have information and advice as well as personal stories about dealing with feelings such as anxiety, depression or stress and experiences such as bullying. Reading about other people’s experiences and feelings can sometimes help with understanding your own.  Pick up the leaflet and the books in your local library – they’re free to borrow.


If you need more help, your GP will be able to offer help and advice. has information and short films on mental health services or visit

You can get support and counselling 24/7 from

Childline  Tel 0800 1111

The Samaritans Tel 116 123



It’s National Libraries Day this Saturday 6 February and #libraryletters is a campaign to share what libraries mean.

‘In 1971 a new library opened in Troy, Michigan, USA. To mark the occasion dozens of people across the world were invited to write a letter to the children and young people of Troy about the importance of libraries and reading. Forty-four years later, as Chief Executive of the Arts Council (the national development agency for libraries in England), I’m inviting you to mark National Libraries Day 2016 by sending your own message to the children of your city, town or village, telling them what you think your local library will mean for their future.’ Darren Henley.

Dear children of Wakefield,

When you open the door to your library, you are starting a special adventure. It’s like a door to your very own Tardis and your library card is the key to take you to whole new worlds. You can lose yourself in great stories. You will meet new people (story characters or real ones) who will inspire you and live in your imagination. You can find out what it feels like to be somebody else and live a different life. You can explore the world and how things work. The books you discover (paper or digital ones) can help you find the imagination and knowledge you will need to live the life you want to have.

And it’s YOUR adventure. You are in charge. You can choose the books that you want to explore every time you come. It’s free and fun and you will be very welcome. The libraries belong to you and to all the people in Wakefield so please come in and see what you can discover.

– See more at:

A book for everything that ails us … why bibliotherapy could be just the medicine we’re looking for

The Knowledge Exchange Blog

platform reading Image: Moriza (CC BY 2.0)

By Morwen Johnson

Many of us will have received books as Christmas presents last month – and the bestseller lists testify to their continuing popularity despite regular doom-mongering. The benefits of books go much further though than keeping your brain active and passing the time. Reading involves ‘emotional thinking’ and in the words of The Reader, books “are full of the stuff that makes us human”. That means that they can actually be a powerful resource for improving mental health.

“I felt better than before … I felt understood”

Last year we wrote on our blog about social prescribing – and how the NHS is recognising that non-medical treatments such as arts activities or exercise can improve patient’s mental and physical health. This is partly linked to the emphasis on enabling self-management support to be given to people with long-term or chronic health…

View original post 810 more words

Exploring with books

It’s a big publishing time for non-fiction books as every publisher hopes for a win on the Christmas gift market. There are lots of sport books and celebrity autobiographies of course, but here are some of the non-fiction titles that have caught my attention this autumn.

NF7 Mary Beard S.P.Q.R: a history of Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome is a fascinating period of history and is a part of the history of this area too- do visit Castleford Forum Museum to find out more. This title from one of the world’s foremost classicists explores how Rome grew from an small village to a great Empire and looks at how the Romans thought about themselves and their achievements.

NF1 Edmund De Waal The White Road: a pilgrimage of sorts

The Hare with amber eyes was a fascinating read. In this new book, Edmund De Waal tells the story of ‘white gold’, the porcelain he has worked with for over 45 years. It’s both an intimate memoir of his life as a potter and a quest that spans a thousand years of history and travels the globe from China to Versailles and Cornwall.

NF5 Stuart Maconie The Pie at Night: in search of the North at play

The North has always known how to get dressed up, take itself out n the town and have a good time. I enjoyed Stuart Maconie’s sharp and witty account of his travels in Pies and Prejudice and Adventures on the High Teas and I want to find out what he made of his visit to Wakefield!

NF6  Andrew Marr We British: the poetry of a people

On National Poetry Day, poetry took over Radio 4 for the day as poets told the story of Britain and its people through their poetry. I only managed to listen to a few short extracts so I must dip into this volume to find out the whole story.

NF3 Dominic Sandbrook The Great British Dream Factory: the strange story of our national imagination

In one area, Britain is still a superpower. The creations of British imaginations from the Sherlock Holmes tHarry Potter, from James Bond to Doctor Who are known and followed the world over. Author and TV presenter Dominic Sandbrook takes a look at the meaning and success of British popular culture.

NF2 Nigel Slater A year of good eating

Even if I never cook a single recipe from it, I will still enjoy this book from one of the best food writers around and put my feet up to revel in his loving descriptions of good food and good eating.

NF8 Paul Theroux Deep South: four seasons on back roads

Winter is the best time to snuggle down in the warm and read about somebody else’s travels. Paul Theroux has been to and written about all corners of the globe but this is the first time he has written about America.  He explores the fascinations and contradictions of America’s Deep South and finds a profoundly foreign country n his own native land.

Which non-fiction books have you enjoyed or put on your Christmas list this year?



Mood-boosting books



As the days get shorter and the weather gets wetter, we all need something to boost our mood. The Reading Agency have worked with Macmillan Cancer Support to create a new list of Mood-boosting Books.  Most of the books have been recommended by people who have been diagnosed with cancer. In general the books are not specifically about cancer but have been recommended as books that people found mood-boosting before or after treatment.

You will find copies of the list in libraries and online here and all the books are in stock to borrow or request.

There is a varied selection of poetry, novels and non-fiction. Paris for One, The Green Road into the Trees, Ode to Didcot Power Station, The Humans, The Stories and A Man Called Ove are all general mood-boosting suggestions. If you’d like to recommend your own uplifting read, add a comment to tell us the books that lift your spirits?

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!

War on Weight

Buchan Chase Eating Frontline

Spuds spam Stitch Thrifty tips Victory

Food rationing started in 1940 – how would you cope with feeding a family with such a limited supply of meat, fat and sugar? We would all be a lot healthier..people in this country ended the war healthier than they had ever been or have been since. Now you can find tips to try a healthy wartime diet today with our new War on Weight collection. There are books on wartime cookery and growing your own food as well as recreating that wartime spirit with books about using up leftovers, saving money and making over clothing. You can make a start with this recipie for the famous Woolton Pie
The books are all in stock in all our libraries so ask staff about the collection and invite Dr. Carrot and Potato Pete home with you!

Dig Dr Carrot Mrs sew Potato pete

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