We (Gemma and Dee at Warwick Library) decided to complete our own summer reading challenge. We read three books over the summer holidays, including 1 book in our favourite genre, one book we wouldn’t normally read, and one book that we chose whilst shelving at Warwick Library. We have found this challenge kick started our love for reading again. Although we are surrounded by books all day and people would think library staff read all the time, like you, we do still go through lulls where we don’t read as much as we  would like! The challenge introduced us both to a new author that we now love and want to read more of;  Gemma is now a Deborah Levy fan and Dee now reads Anne Holt.


Gemma

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“I’ve just finished my 1st book, Wilde like me by Louise Pentland a funny and heart warming book with the main character talking to the reader like an old friend. Relatable and honest, I found myself routing for Robin Wilde to succeed. If you are looking for an easy read and a charming story to loose your self in for a bit, I would definitely recommend it. 👍 #whosnext #joinus #summerreadingchallenge #wildelikeme”

 

 


Dee

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“After reading some poor reviews about Harper Lee’s Second book (Go Set a Watchman) about Scout and her family, I decided I needed to read this without too much of a preconceived idea of how I would want it to be.  The book picks up the narrative from To Kill A Mockingbird, with Scout being a 26 year old woman returning home on a visit to her family. The premise that runs through this story of coming of age and understanding relates to all of us when we finally discover we don’t always agree with our parents and significant adults from our childhood and their beliefs. The book powerfully conveys the racial tension that was the back drop in America and the political turmoil of this time reflected in Scout’s own inner turmoil, and beliefs. The language and pace of this novel I found dated this book and it wasn’t the kind of book that gripped me, although I am really pleased I read it, as I truly loved reading To Kill A Mockingbird for my GCSE English.”


Gemma

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“As part of our staff Summer Reading Challenge at Warwick Library I chose Dead man blues by Ray Celestin as my ‘book that I wouldn’t normally pick up’. I started off liking it as he is a very descriptive writer and it did transport me to Chicago in 1928. I chose it as I liked the sound of 3 murders ending up being connected by the end of the book but I struggled with chopping between 3 different sets of characters and story lines. I found I wasn’t getting very far through the book but really wanted to finish it but it just wasn’t for me and I gave up after 200 pages which took 2 weeks! Sometimes you just have to admit defeat and move on to another book, no one book can be for everyone after all. I am in a small minority that didn’t love the book though, as you can see here on Goodreads with it getting 4.2 stars out of 5 overall in the reviews.

If you like a historical crime story set in a gangster ran world of prohibition and jazz, then this could be for you.

Warwick Library #whoisnext #summerreadingchallenge #loveyourlibrary”


Dee

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“I asked my colleague for a recommendation for my second book, as I wanted to try an author that would be new to me during my reading challenge. Having never read any Jonathan Coe I was interested to find out how the story of the main character Thomas Foley (Expo 58) would unfold, the intrigue behind the scenes at the Belgian World fair in the 50’s was enticing. In reality the book and the main character was wishy washy, and I struggled to engage with the main character and his experiences. Maybe this was the basis behind the author’s story, about a young father and his ambitions in a government institution, his personality and behaviour is very human and flawed and this I felt the whole story revolves around. On the whole although interesting and gently entertaining, it is quite a forgettable read.”


Gemma

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“That’s our staff #summerreadingchallenge at Warwick Library complete. Hot milk by Deborah Levy is a quirky story. It’s written beautifully in a dreamy, lyrical style, full of symbolism. So much of her writing could be pulled out as perfect quotes. Like “My love for my Mother is like an axe. It cuts very deep.” It’s an unusual Mother-Daughter story about the damage they inflict on one other. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if Sofia’s thoughts are set in her real world or flights of fancy. This novel is intriguing, sometimes confusing and hypnotic.  📚👍🌟”

 


 

 

Dee

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“I wanted to read for my third book a Scandinavian crime thriller, as I had felt this genre had passed me by and I noticed What Dark Clouds Hide on display in the library. Anne Holt weaves an intriguing dark tale in her final book in the Stubo and Vik series, it is told with the backdrop of a terror attack in Oslo when a young boy has died. The story was fast paced, although the chapters were surprising long for the impact of the different scenes. As I always do with a crime novel I got half way through and was compelled to tease myself with reading just the final page, “why did I do this??” the ending was shocking but did make me want to forge ahead and put all the pieces together. The main story of Johanne Vik investigating the death of her childhood friend’s son, was predictable it was a thoroughly enjoyable read and means I want to read Anne Holt’s back catalogue.”


 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our reviews – why don’t you challenge yourself with a book that takes you out of your comfort zone. For inspiration visit our ‘reading ideas‘ webpage.

Gemma and Dee, Warwick Library