Summer has started

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On a sunny day like this it’s nice to contemplate the holidays.

This blog is taking a break (well earned of course) until September when we’ll be back with our usual mix of stuff.

Have a great summer.

Wodehouse Library team


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The recent hot weather* has prompted thoughts of the long summer break.

With a week to go, it is not too soon to be thinking about your #summerreading and here are some thoughts to help.

Our first suggestions come from Mr Cleary. Andrew Rawnsley is the author of both The End of the Party : the rise and fall of New Labour and Servants of the People : the inside story of New Labour. Given recent comment on the style of our current Prime Minister, it is interesting to read of Tony Blair that:

“He was the most accomplished communicator of his era, a talent not to be dismissed in the age of 24/7 media where a leader is constantly on show. At times of national drama or international crisis, he displayed a high facility for capturing public sentiment and weaving it into the political narrative.”

The End of the Party : the rise and fall of New Labour

Stepping away from politics and into the realm of magical reality we suggest Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. This is a beautiful story featuring characters one can empathize with, just the right amount of magic, some funny bits and a Dog That Sleeps in the Lane:

“…Finn turned down the lane to Petey’s house, expecting to see the Dog That Sleeps in the Lane, but it seemed that the Dog also had other business, because the lane was empty.”

Bone Gap

Also recommended is The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. This historical novel has appeared on a number of book prize lists and won at the Nibbies (British Book Awards) this year.

“In a Circle Line carriage, westbound, fitful lights showed The Times had nothing happy to report, and in the aisle a bag spilled damaged fruit. There was the scent of rain on raincoats, and among the passengers, sunk in his upturned collar, Dr Luke Garrett was reciting the parts of the human heart.”

The Essex Serpent

Mr Fletcher offers this:

My recommendation for a great summer read is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It’s the story of Theo who, aged thirteen, loses his mother in an explosion in an art gallery in New York. As he escapes from the smoke and confusion he impulsively steals a painting, The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius. He keeps the stolen painting secret whilst growing up but gradually as he gets older the theft sees him drawn into a series of encounters with the criminal underworld. This is a lengthy novel but is gripping from the start and is great to read whilst sitting on a beach or by a pool on a long summer’s day.

Here’s the Trinity Schools Book Award shortlist for 2018 video for more ideas:

*Obvs the warm weather has not lasted but you can read come rain or shine.


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The Erasmus Essay Prize 2017 reading list is now available in the Wodehouse Library.

We are happy to order on demand any of the titles from the list that are not currently available in the Wodehouse collection. Below you will find links to the web based material:

The Concept of Evil

The Logical Problem & Responses

The Evidential Problem & Responses

Can Our Use of Language Solve the Problem of Evil?




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The winner is Lois and Clark!

Second was Captain America and third Shuriken and Pleats.

JABBICA went to Audubon.

Currently Lois and Clark and Captain America are out on loan but the other two books are on display in the Graphic Novels section.

Winner 2017
JABBICA Winner 2017

Reading for pleasure

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He’s back! Dr Hulls shares some thoughts on reading for pleasure…

There is one serious limitation to becoming a father. I can stand the sleepless nights and, horrible though they are, the endless nappy changes. I have learned to divide my waking hours into strictly regimented three-hour slots. I have even, grudgingly, been able to tolerate singing endless songs about wheels on buses and ducks not drinking lemonade. The problem is that I can’t read any more.
This came up in discussion in the pub the other night; a friend who has, like me, become a father in the last year started talking about the enormous stack of books that has accumulated since the birth of his son. I have had the same problem.
I remember that, on the day before my son was born, I sat in the hospital and read two novels cover to cover (birth shares many characteristics with war, one being that there is a long and boring bit before the terrifying stuff begins). Since you ask: a James Ellroy (LA Confidential?) and David Peace’s Tokyo Year Zero – both excellent preparations for fatherhood. On our return home, I picked up Gore Vidal’s Empire (I’ve been working my way through the series steadily for a while. They’re great – you should read them – especially Lincoln). It’s a chunky book, about 600 pages. In the next six months I managed about 200 of them.
Sure, I read other things. I read lots of Mr Men books, books about tigers and little blue trucks and surprisingly spacious brooms and gruffalos. I read the side of formula packets and books about baby-led weaning. But these didn’t really give me the hit I was looking for. I tend to ignore the Callimachean maxim of mega biblon, mega kakon (‘A big book is a great evil’) and go for thicker tomes. My tastes are parochial – I rarely deviate from historical fiction, straight history, natural history or literary criticism. Currently, I am enjoying Bettany Hughes’s breeze block-sized history of Istanbul (new to your library and well worth the effort). I need time to read!
My God, I missed the sheer, self-indulgent pleasure of being able to sit quietly for most of the day with a good book or two. In the heat wave of the last week, I really can’t think of anything I’d rather have done than gasp in the shade with a stack of books, occasionally disappearing to the fridge for refreshment and to the pub when the sun goes down, day after day after day. I still don’t really get to read at home very much. I desperately miss that opportunity to read in bed at night. Instead, I try and find excuses to go on long and boring train rides on my own, just so I can read a good book.
Read this

Study leavers

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Today our Y11s will start their study leave period ahead of their GCSEs.

To send them on their way we are offering this link to the Student Minds Exam Stress page.

Good luck everyone, be kind to yourselves.

Big Shift

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Look out for the Big Shift Pledges in the Wodehouse Library.

We’ll be adding all the pledges to the noticeboard by the printer in the Reference Section so you can see who is setting themselves a Small Step, Big Stride or Giant Leap target for next week’s Sustrans Big Shift challenge to travel between school and home more actively and sustainably.