Library Lounge Collection: Library Staff Top Picks 2

Have we inspired you to borrow a book from the Forum Library Lounge yet? Here’s the second part of our series of staff recommendations for books we enjoyed from this diverse and growing recreational reading collection. Perhaps one of these titles will tickle your fancy…


The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

Chosen by Rachel Dawson, Shelving Supervisor

This book was so well written that I ‘had’ to locate the sequel (Tandia) from the public library, and work out if this book was in any way autobiographical, as it was written with such warmth and depth that I was sure it couldn’t be ‘just another novel’. It turns out that the author was born in South Africa, so this is why he is able to write with such understanding of the culture and superstitions of the people there.  A bit like The Kite Runner this book has some disturbing scenes, but they are appropriate and character driven.  Whilst the Kite Runner was made into a film of the same name, The Power of One was made into a film in 2009 and was also used as a basis for ‘Rocky’ – the main character ‘Peekay’ becomes a boxer.  There are plenty of messages the reader can pull out of this book – things like adversity making you stronger, but readers can also pick up some knowledge of South Africa as a country and its history.

Find it in the Library Lounge at 828.9 /COU


Sister by Rosamund Lupton

Chosen by Viki Jones, Shelving Assistant

This is the debut novel from Rosamund Lupton. The story revolves around Bee an English woman living and working in New York, whose sister Tess is missing in London. Bee gets the first flight back to the UK to help in the search.

I found this a compelling read as Bee tries to find out what has happened to her sister. There is an amazing twist that I didn’t see coming! You will have to read the book to find out what it is!

Find it in the Library Lounge at 823.92 LUP



Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Chosen by Anne Dinan, Subject Librarian for Education, Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology

‘Good King Richard’ or an evil usurper? Maligned king or tyrannical monster of Shakespeare’s play?  “Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority” ( Francis Bacon).  An interesting view is provided in this book, written more than 50 years ago, but published here as a reprint. This novel sheds new light on the mystery of the Princes in the tower and on the role of Richard III – particularly topical given the recent discovery of the skeleton in the Leicester car park having been identified beyond reasonable doubt as that of the last of the Plantagenet kings. The novel is written as a detective story, where the clues are discovered and debated, and a conclusion finally reached.  It is written with humour, and is very thought provoking.  I read it years ago and have just re-read it after the recent news story.  I recommend it; it will certainly ask you to re-think your view of history – not just about Richard III.

 Find it in the Library Lounge at 828.9/TEY


I’m not scared by Niccolo Ammaniti

Chosen by Hilary Norris, Information Assistant

An Italian thriller (translated into English by Jonathan Hunt) told through the eyes of a young boy. During a hot summer nine year old Michele stumbles across a secret hidden in a dilapidated farmhouse. What he finds will threaten to destroy his community, his family and his life. I recommend this novel because it is a story that kept me gripped all the way through.

Find it in the Library Lounge at 858.9 /AMM-2



Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Chosen by Imogen Ward-Smith, Information Assistant

Lee Fiora is a girl from small town Indiana who takes up a place at an exclusive finishing school in New England; this story recounts her experience. Curtis Sittenfeld, writing as Lee, describes so accurately how it really feels to be a young adult navigating the social quagmire that is college/university life.

There are elements of how I felt about life and relationships during my years at school and university that I hadn’t even recognised until seeing them mirrored in the main character. Anybody who has ever been socially awkward, felt like an outsider, or simply been through the experience of trying to fit in needs to read this book, whether you are in that place now or if you left it behind many years ago, in which case it will take you back! Prep had me at different times chuckling, cringing and exclaiming “ that’s me! I felt like that!” I’ve read this book twice and I’d read it again. It’s an ‘easy’ read in that it doesn’t require a huge amount of concentration or effort, it’s the perfect distraction and escape.

Find it in the Library Lounge at 818.6 /SITT


Part 1 of our Library Lounge Recommendations can be found here.

The final part in this series will be published on Friday!

Leave a Reply