Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Brent Book Blog Has Moved

In Miscellaneous on December 17, 2012 at 10:22 am


We have moved home!!
Find us now at:

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Hope to see you soon!!

Books on the Big Screen

In Book Review, Miscellaneous on December 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I can’t wait to see An Unexpected Journey in cinemas on 14 December. Most of all I am intrigued to discover if it can recreate Tolkien’s magic. Here in libraries we hope that you will discover the books behind some of the films that are showing in cinemas now. These books are available to borrow or reserve for free now.

hobbitThe Hobbit

The classic bestseller behind this year’s biggest movie, this film tie-in edition features the complete story of Bilbo Baggins’ adventures in Middle-earth, with a striking cover image from Peter Jackson’s THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and drawings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ‘there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. The prelude to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies since its publication in 1937, establishing itself as one of the most beloved and influential books of the twentieth century.


parades endParade’s End Ford Madox Ford

The Great War changes everything. In this epic tale, spanning over a decade, war turns the world of privileged, English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens upside down. It forces him to question everything he holds dear – social order, morality, marriage and loyalty. And it rocks the very foundations of English society. This is a powerful story about love, betrayal and disillusionment in a time of horror and confusion by one of Britain’s finest novelists. Ford Madox Ford’s monumental novel comes to our screens  as a major BBC adaptation, with a screenplay by the legendary playwright Tom Stoppard and a stellar cast. This edition of the novel includes all four parts, originally published separately between 1924 and 1928.


silverThe Silver Linings Playbook

Pat Peoples has a theory. The theory is this: his life is actually a movie produced by God. And Pat’s God-given mission in life is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure the movie is a romcom, complete with happy ending – which, for Pat, means the return of his estranged wife Nikki, from whom he’s currently having some ‘apart time.’ It might not come as any surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental-health facility. When Pat leaves hospital and goes to live with his parents, however, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki; his old friends now have families; his beloved football team keep losing; his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy. And he’s being haunted by Kenny G. There is a silver lining, however, in the form of tragically widowed, physically fit, and clinically depressed Tiffany, who offers to act as a go-between for Pat and his wife. If only Pat will give up watching football, agree to perform in this year’s Dance Away Depression competition, and promise not to tell anyone about their ‘contract’. Easy, really . .


great exGreat Expectations

Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations – now a major new film from director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter) – charts the course of orphan Pip Pirrip’s life as it is transformed by a vast, mysterious inheritance. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with notes by Charlotte Mitchell, and an introduction by David Trotter. Adapted from Dickens’s novel by bestselling author David Nicholls (One Day), Great Expectations stars Ralph Fiennes (The Reader), Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) and also features Robbie Coltrane, David Walliams and Sally Hawkins. A terrifying encounter with the escaped convict Abel Magwitch in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decrepit Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella at Satis House; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor – these form a series of events that change the orphaned Pip’s life forever, and he eagerly abandons his humble station as an apprentice to blacksmith Joe Gargery, beginning a new life as a gentleman. Charles Dickens’s haunting late novel depicts Pip’s education and development through adversity as he discovers the true nature of his identity, and his ‘great expectations’.


lifeLife of Pi

One boy, one boat, one tiger . . . After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan – and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.

Some of our favourite books of 2012

In Book Review, Miscellaneous on November 24, 2012 at 10:36 pm

2012 was a great year for books. Here are some of our favourites:

We love this bewitching tale of heart break and hope. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on making a fresh start in the raw Alaskan wilderness. In a moment of tenderness, the pair build a snowman – or rather a snow girl – together. The next morning, all trace of her has disappeared. But Jack can’t shake the notion that he glimpsed a small figure running in the trees in the dawn light.



A wonderful, warm novel from a new American voice. Most young men at Westish College know that their 4 years on the baseball diamond are all they have left. Only Henry Skrimshander seems to have a chance of keeping his dream alive. That is, until a routine throw goes astray. 5 lives brought together at Westish are forever changed by Henry’s single error.



Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012 – this is a breathtakingly original rendering of the Trojan War – a devastating love story and a tale of gods and kings, immortal fame and the human heart.




The sort of book that you want to spend the whole day reading. D-Day, 6 June 1944, the turning point of the Second World War, was a victory of arms. But it was also a triumph for a different kind of operation: one of deceit, aimed at convincing the Nazis that Calais and Norway, not Normandy, were the targets of the 150,000-strong invasion force.




Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012. When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else’s life.



This has been a bestseller across Sweden and the rest of Europe and now readers in the UK can find out why. It starts on the 100th birthday of Allan Karlsson: a special party is planned in his old people’s home, but Allan decides he’s not going to be there. He climbs out of the window in his slippers and makes his getaway. It’s the start of a picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we also learn more about Allan’s rather remarkable life. Definitely one to watch.



Tamia Challey is horrified when her husband, Scott, is accused of something terrible – but when she discovers who his accuser is, everything goes into freefall. Backed into a corner and unsure what to think, Tamia is forced to choose whom she instinctively believes.




Summer, 1584. The Protestant Prince William of Orange has been assassinated by a fanatical Catholic, and there are whispers that Queen Elizabeth will be next. Fear haunts the streets of London, and plague is driving citizens away. Giordano Bruno, philosopher and spy, chooses to remain, and finds that someone is following him.




Inspired by his father’s lifelong devotion to Newcastle United, Duncan Hamilton charts the progress of postwar British football to the present day. But at the heart of the book is his exploration of the bond between father and son through the Beautiful Game and how football became the only connection between two people who were totally different from one another.



Be sure to borrow these from Brent Libraries.

Between the sheets

In Book Review, Miscellaneous on October 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm

 Between The Sheets is  a month-long celebration of the erotic treasures that libraries hold within their collections. The collection launches on November 16 in Brent Libraries. Here is a sneak preview of some of our lascivious recommendations. All the books can be reserved for free.

Fifty Shades of Grey – totally liberating and addictive this novel will possess you and stay with you forever.



Librarian Gwendolynne Price finds love notes the suggestion box at work. She finds them both shocking and liberating.




Student by day, hooker by night Sarah’s birthday plans are to taste her first drink and lose her virginity. When her boyfriend lets her doen she goes ahead with the drink, but is mistaken for a call girl ….




Strings free, erotic and witty. Brief encounters in the bar, seductions in the pool or a menage in the elevator – this haven for the hedonistic promises as much heat, steam, lust and excitement as those who pass through it can handle.




Are you suffering from Fifty Shades withdrawal? Then meet Travis….





The story of two voices – his and hers. Two strangers meet on a phone chat line and find it impossible to hang up. Classic erotic reading.




This novel of sex, secrecy, and escape explores the truth about love and sex. Following the sexual awakening of its female protagonist who gradually becomes embroiled in a world of fantasy and recklesness, it will make readers question whether it is ever entirely possible to know another person.


For more novels like this check out Between the Sheets, in libraries from November 16

This month’s best books for cooks

In Miscellaneous on October 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

With the conclusion of The Great British Bake Off and some of the year’s biggest cookbooks publishing recently we thought you might like to borrow some of these………….

In Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi explore  the vibrant cuisine of their home city—with its diverse Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. Both men were born in Jerusalem in the same year—Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west. This stunning cookbook offers 120 recipes from their unique cross-cultural perspective, from inventive vegetable dishes to sweet, rich desserts. With five bustling restaurants in London and two stellar cookbooks, Ottolenghi is one of the most respected chefs in the world; in Jerusalem, he and Tamimi have collaborated to produce their most personal cookbook yet.
Following the record-breaking success of “30-Minute Meals”, Britain’s most-popular cookbook of all time, Jamie Oliver brings us the even-better “15-Minute Meals”. This book is completely devoted to what we are asking for – super quick, tasty, nutritious food that you can eat everyday of the week. In creating these recipes Jamie’s made sure they’re methodical, clever, sociable, fun, with beautiful food full of big flavours. It’s a classic book that will arm you with the skills to create wonderful meals, shockingly fast. He’s taken inspiration from all over the world, embracing the tastes that we all love, playing on classic chicken, steak and pasta dishes, looking at Asian-inspired street food and brilliant Moroccan flavours, putting together great salads and so much more. And these are some of the quickest and easiest meals Jamie’s ever done. These recipes have been tested and tested to ensure that this book is a reliable companion for you and your family. “Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals” is far and away the most balanced and exciting everyday cookbook out there
Bake to impress with over 80 show-stopping recipes from the original boy who bakes, Edd Kimber. What better way to wow your friends and family and save money than by baking your own for special occasions? Impress your partner on Valentine’s Day with Lemon Love Heart Cookies, whip up a White Chocolate Rainbow Cake for your child’s birthday or create an amazing Macaron Tower Wedding Cake. Other inspirational recipes include Triple-layer Tiramisu Cake, Flourless Chocolate and Blackberry Cake, Salted Caramel Truffles, Easter Nest Cupcakes,


Chocolate lovers everywhere can give in to happiness with Gü’s irresistible collection of decadently delightful and joyfully simple desserts, puds, cakes, savoury meals and nibbles.The Gü team will show you how easy it is to create delicious chocolaty goodies at home. They’ll divulge the secrets if a perfect chilli chocolate mousse, amazing brownies and cakes, tortes, chocolate tiramigüs, cheesecakes and many tips to glam up easy homemade puds. From teatime treats and desserts to savoury dishes and midnight feasts, the Gü Chocolate Cookbook includes many easy recipes – all with a gü-ey twist – plus basic tips, down-to-earth advice and cheeky shortcuts for steps you can prep ahead or ready-to-use ingredients.


All these books can be reserved for free from any Brent Library

Word Up! Discover the best in black fiction & poetry

In Miscellaneous on September 26, 2012 at 8:23 am

Brent Libraries invite you to celebrate & discover Black History Month, during October 2012.

We have collected some of the most influential writers and books whose writing reflects the social issues and lifestyles of modern day multicultural Britain and the United States. Remember all books can be reserved for free from us.

Popularly known as Chinua Achebe is a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. Best know for his novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ the most widely read book in African literature.

  • Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie
    One of the most high profile contemporary writers and winner of the orange prize for ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ in 2007, she is said to have attracted a new audience to African writing.
  • John Agard
    An Afro-Guyanese playwright, poet and children’s writer, now living in the United Kingdom, John Agard has been a recipient of the Smarties Prize for ‘We Animals Would Like A Word With You’.
  • Maya Angelou
    Is an American author and poet. She has published six volumes of autobiographies, beginning with ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’, five books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years.
  • James Baldwin
    James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. He is best known for his novel ‘Go Tell It On The Mountain’ published in 1953.
  • Malorie Blackman
    Is an English author of literature and television drama for children and young adults. Her critically and popularly acclaimed ‘Noughts & Crosses’ series uses the setting of a fictional dystopia to explore racism.
  • Mike Gayle
    Is the author of popular fiction bestsellers such as ‘My Legendary Girlfried’ and ‘Mr Commitment’. He also works as a freelance journalist and was once a magazine agony uncle. He lives in Birmingham.
  • Dorothy Koomson
    Is a contemporary English novelist. Koomson has two degrees in Psychology and Journalism when she graduated from Leeds University. Her third novel ‘My Best Friends Girl’ was one of the first runaway successes of the Richard & Judy Book Club.
  • Andrea Levy
    Is a British author, born in London to Jamaican parents who sailed to England on the Empire Windrush in 1948. Levy’s most acclaimed book so far ‘Small Island’ won the Whitbread Book of the Year, The Orange Prize and The Commonwealth Writers Prize.
  • Terry McMillan
    Is an American author. Her interest in books comes from working at a library when she was sixteen. She received her BA in journalism in 1986 at University of California, Berkeley. Her best know book is ‘Waiting To Exhale’
  • Dreda Say Mitchell
    Is a novelist, broadcaster, journalist and freelance education consultant. She is the author of five novels, with her debut ‘Running Hot’ awarded The CWA’s John Creasey Dagger for best first time crime novel in 2005.
  • Toni Morrison
    Is an American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters. One of her best known novels is ‘Beloved’.
  • Couritta Newland
    Newland grew up in Shepherd’s Bush, west London, where he became a rapper and music producer who, together with friends, released a Drum n’ Bass white label. In 1997 he published his first novel, ‘The Scholar’.
  • Ben Okri
    Is a Nigerian poet and novelist. Okri is considered one of the foremost African authors in the post-modern and post-colonial traditions and has been compared favourably with authors such as Salman Rushdie and Gabriel García Márquez. ‘Famished Road’ won the Booker prize in 1991
  • Zadie Smith
    Is a British novelist. As of 2012, she has published four novels, all of which have received substantial critical praise. In 2003, she was included on Granta’s list of 20 best young authors. Orange Prize Winning ‘White Teeth’ was included in Time magazines 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005 list.
  • Alex Wheatle
    Alex Alphonso Wheatle MBE is an award winning black British novelist of Jamaican heritage, sentenced to a term of imprisonment after the Brixton riots. Wheatle spent much of his childhood in a Surrey children’s home. Wheatle’s debut novel, ‘Brixton Rock’, was adapted for the stage and performed at the Young Vic in July 2010. A personal favourite of  Brent Libraries!
  • Alice Walker
    Alice Malsenior Walker is an American author, poet, and activist. She has written both fiction and essays about race and gender. She is best known for the critically acclaimed novel ‘The Color Purple’ for which she won the Pulitzer Prize.
  • Benjamin Zephania
    Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is an English writer and dub poet. He is a well-known figure in contemporary English literature, and was included in The Times list of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers in 2008.

Share your favourite books with us on facebook and twitter

Finished the Fifty shades trilogy and need more?

In Miscellaneous on August 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm

So many people have come to the library this week who have finished Fifty Shades and need their next read. With Christian Grey fever currently sweeping the country we’ve put together a list of the next titles to try.

Caught in a frustrating relationship with a man who can’t accept her for who she is, passionate, flame-haired violinist Summer finds release in her music. Until she meets a man with powerful desires.




Gideon and Eva are two wounded souls who come together in an explosion of lust and passion as intoxicating as it is devastating.




Londoner Natalie Bowen is envied by many, but her personal life is a disaster. Men can’t cope with her career success and Natalie thinks she’ll never find real happiness. Then she hears about an exclusive weekend retreat called The Haven, a place that specialises in introducing you to pleasures you could never have imagined.



Pauline Reage’s celebrated erotic novel is a fantasy about a woman subjected – at the price of the great love of her life – to the gamut of male sado-masochistic urges.




Creating her own ‘language of the senses’, Nin explores an area that was previously the domain of male writers and brings to it her own unique perceptions. Her vibrant prose evokes the essence of female sexuality in a world where only love has meaning.



Clifford Chatterley returns from the First World War as an invalid. Constance nurses him and tries to be the dutiful wife. However, childless and listless she feels oppressed by their marriage and their isolated life. Partly encouraged by Clifford to seek a lover, she embarks on a passionate affair with the gamekeeper, Mellors. Through their liaison Lawrence explores the complications of sex, love and class.




Recommended Olympic Reads

In Book Review, Miscellaneous on July 30, 2012 at 8:56 am

Read about the stories behind the inspirational Olympians and games gone by.  We’ve included some guides to those lucky enough to have Olympic tickets as well. All these books can be reserved for free if they are not available on the shelves.


In pursuit of glory: The autobiography by Bradley Wiggins

The controversial memoir from Britian’s most successful cyclist, published in the aftermath of the Olympic games where he is challenging for three gold medals.

Tom Daley: My Story

Tom Daley had hearts in mouths when he dived at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where he won two gold medals. In this title, Tom offers unprecedented access to the pressures, challenges and fascinating experiences of a world-class Olympian.

London 2012

This guide informs readers about London’s thriving nightlife as well as the classic tourist destinations. It includes hotel and restaurant recommendations for all budgets, practical travel advice and suggested itineraries.

The Dirtiest Race in History

The men’s 100m final at the 1988 Olympics has been described as the dirtiest race ever – but also the greatest. Aside from Ben Johnson’s blistering time, the race is infamous for its athletes’ positive drug tests. This is the story of that race, the rivalry between Johnson and Lewis, and the repercussions still felt in the sport.

Gold Rush: What Makes an Olympic Champion

Michael Johnson is a living icon of the Olympic Games – as both an athlete and now as a BBC broadcaster. This book is his analysis of the fascinating combination of psychological and personal qualities, as well as internal and external factors, that go to create an Olympic champion.
The Fastest Men on Earth: The stories of the men’s 100 metre champions

This title presents the story behind the men’s Olympic 100 metres champions, the fastest men on Earth. It discusses not only the race itself, but also the preliminary rounds, dramas and controversies.

Great Olympic Moments: by  Steve Redgrave

Complete with specially selected photographs, Sir Steve Redgrave recounts his favourite Olympic stories and reveals what it is that makes these moments truly great. All the stars of past and present are here, including Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Nadia Comenech, Mark Spitz, Jesse Owens, Fanny Blankers-Koen, Bob Beamon, Ed Moses, and Flojo.

London Olympics 2012

Fantastic information book for young children.

This series offers up-to-date and comprehensive information specific to the Olympic games in 2012. It looks at new technologies that are making a huge impact in the world of sport and explores the history, present day, and future of the Olympics, incorporating Paralympic and Winter Olympic information.


Richard and Judy’s Summer 2012 Book Club

In Book Review, Miscellaneous, Reading Groups on July 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm


R&J logo & book summer 2012

Richard and Judy have launched this year’s Summer Book Club with ten irresistible titles to complete every reader’s summer book list. They hope they have created the perfect summer read compilation with a mix of debut and more established authors so have a look and see what you think:

The Man Booker Prize 2012 Longlist

In Book Review, Miscellaneous on July 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm

The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is the world’s most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers. Make sure that you borrow these books from us. If any of these books are out on loan you can reserve them for free.

This year’s nominees are:

Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Bring Up the Bodies Book Cover

The sequel to ‘Wolf Hall’, ‘Bring up the Bodies’ explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.

Communion Town by Sam Thompson

Communion town Book Cover

Every city is made of stories: stories that intersect and diverge, stories of the commonplace and the strange, of love and crime, of ghosts and monsters. In this city an asylum seeker struggles to begin a new life, while a folk musician pays with a broken heart for a song and a butcher learns the secrets of the slaughterhouse.

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil

Narcopolis Book Cover

Set in old Bombay and stretching across three decades, ‘Narcopolis’ portrays a city in collision with itself. With a cast of pimps, pushers, poets, gangsters and eunuchs, it is a journey into a sprawling underworld written in electric and utterly original prose.

 Philida by André Brink

Philida Book Cover

Philida is the mother of four children by Francois Brink, the son of her master. The year is 1832 and the Cape is rife with rumours about the liberation of the slaves. Philida decides to risk her whole life by lodging a complaint against Francois, who has reneged on his promise to set her free

Skios by Michael Frayn

Skios: a novel Book Cover

On the Greek island of Skios, the Fred Toppler Foundation’s annual lecture is to be given by the young and charming Dr Norman Wilfred, an authority on science. The Foundation’s guests are soon eating out of his hand. Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island is a balding old gent called Dr Norman Wilfred

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

Swimming home Book Cover

Swimming Home’ is a subversive page-turner, a merciless gaze at the insidiuos harm that depression can have on apparently stable, well-turned-out people. Set in a summer villa, the story is tautly structured, taking place over a week in which a group of beautiful, flawed tourists in the French Riviera come loose at the seams

 The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman

Egon Loeser’s carnal misfortunes will push him from the experimental theatres of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris to the physics laboratories of Los Angeles, trying all the while to solve the mystery of whether it was really a deal with Satan that claimed the life of his hero, Adriano Lavicini.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry Book Cover

When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else’s life

The Yips  by Nicola Barker

Yips Book Cover

2006 is a foreign country; they do things differently there. Tiger Woods’ reputation is entirely untarnished and the English Defence League does not exist yet. Storm-clouds of a different kind are gathering above the bar of Luton’s less than exclusive Thistle Hotel

Umbrella by Will Self

Umbrella Book Cover

A brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella. James Joyce, Ulysses Recently having abandoned his RD Laing-influenced experiment in running a therapeutic community – the so-called Concept House in Willesden – maverick psychiatrist Zack Busner arrives at Friern Hospital, a vast Victorian mental asylum in North London, under a professional and a marital cloud.