Book Buzz – July.

Mischief Makers at Devon Libraries this Summer.

Our big focus for July is of course the launch of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge on Saturday 14th July during library opening hours. At Bideford Library we will be having a launch party with cake, games, a hunt around the library and the wonderful opportunity of picking up your summer reading challenge starter pack. This year’s theme is Mischief Makers with good old Denis the Menace and friends taking us on an exciting summer long reading adventure. Lots more to come in August.

At Northam

On Saturday 14th July from 2 -4pm we have ‘Really Wild learning’. Also for a taste of things to come during the summer holidays into August, we have ‘Boo to a Goose’ with “The Magic Garden”on Monday 6th Aug at 2.30pm. £3 charge. Thursday 16th Aug Lego Animation.

There will be lots more fun things going on so watch this space!!

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‘The Buried Giant’, by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Discussed by Bideford Library Readers’ Group.

Kazuo Ishiguro is the respected author of ‘Remains of the Day’ and ‘Never Let Me Go’, both of which have been made into films.

However, ‘The Buried Giant’ met with a very mixed response and several of the group found it heavy going to the extent that they didn’t get past the middle of the book. For this reviewer I found it a dense read which I struggled to complete. However, well after completion it stayed with me, thinking about what different elements of symbolism meant. Despite the struggles with the story, what followed was an excellent discussion through which some of the layers were unpeeled to give a greater understanding of the events and provided some possible answers to the questions raised. It has been described as a book full of myths, legends and allegories.

The tale was set in the past, probably in the 6th century and included elements of fantasy: ogres, pixies and a dragon appear at times. It is set in a land where a dragon has cast a spell whereby memories are quickly forgotten, within hours in some cases. The leading characters were all on quests of differing natures: an elderly couple travelling to visit their son who had left home many years before, knights looking to either kill, or defend, the dragon. Through the elderly couple the complexities of long standing marriages are explored. The clash of the knights could be an exploration of war and peace: should the horrors of war be forgotten/hidden or should they be remembered and confronted? The group drew parallels with modern life on this – 1990s Yugoslavia, current Middle East.

Overall, this was a tale that raised more questions than it gave answers, and hence was quite a challenge. For many, the deeper we delved below the surface the more depressing the answers became!

Peter Evans.

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Mobile Library Review.

Do you or a relative or friend use the mobile service? There is currently a consultation service which ask for your views. Do you know any elderly or housebound, or people in remote rural areas, who depend on the mobile as a point of contact?

Filling in the questionnaire could be very important to ensure the survival of the service. The mobile library reaches many people in remote and disadvantaged rural areas and is often a lifeline.

The consultation is available online, and there are paper copies in static and mobile libraries.

If you can’t immediately see a paper copy, and are unable to fill the form in on line , ask the librarian to supply one and make sure your neighbour does too! This is a very important questionnaire and could easily see the end of the road for this wonderful service. Forms should be in by 28th July. You can also Email: jason.allen@devon.gov.uk and take part in the consultation at devon.cc/librariesoutreach.

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