Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Reading: Reading suggestions

News

 

The Smallbone Library is  offering a click and collect service.

If you would like any advice about reading material and cannot find what you want on these pages, please contact us and we'll try to help.

The Cilip Carnegie Medal Shortlist 2021

Why not be a shadower for the Cilip Carnegie Medal Shortlist 2021?

Shadowers will read, review and discuss books on the shortlist and vote for their favourites to win.

If you are interested in taking part or would like more information please email Library

What should I read?

If you are unsure what you could/should read, these tabs and lists will give you some ideas:

  • The Reading Journey Booklist tabs mostly feature fiction titles, divided into different genres. 
  • The Academic Reading Guides offer reading suggestions for different curriculum subjects.
  • The New Books selections showcase new physical items added to the library collection.
  • For staff reading suggestions, the new Professional development LibGuide, brings all our staff Professional Development reading suggestions together.
  • Links to the Love Reading websites are below if you really can't find what you are looking for, or fancy trying something completely different.

Academic Reading

New books in Fiction

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to know

It is August in Paris and budding art historian Khayyam should be having the time of her life - but even in the City of Lights she can't stop worrying about the mess she left back home in Chicago. Only when she meets a cute young Parisian - who happens to be a distant relative of the novelist Alexandre Dumas - do things start to get interesting, as she starts to unveil the story of a 19th century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Dumas, Eugène Delacroix and Lord Byron.

Two hundred years earlier in the Ottoman empire, Leila is the most favoured woman in the Pasha's harem. Her position is meant to be coveted; but she is struggling to survive as she fights to keep her true love hidden from her jealous captor.

Echoing across centuries, as Khayyam uncovers the scintillating truth of Leila's long-forgotten life, her own destiny is transformed forever.

On Borrowed Time

Book two in a stunning new crime series from 2m+ international bestseller Adam Croft. Each morning, the first train of the day leaves Oakham station and thunders through a tunnel under the village of Manton. But today the driver sees something that changes his life: A dead body hangs in the tunnel's exit. DI Caroline Hills knows this isn't a suicide. It's murder. And when a second apparent suicide appears in Rutland, Caroline uncovers a shocking link: the victims knew each other. As Rutland Police fight to catch the killer, a group of friends is left with an even more shocking realisation. One of them is the murderer. And one of them will be the next to die. 'Incredible' - BBC News 'A sensation' - The Guardian

Are you watching?

Ten years ago, Jess's mother was murdered by the Magpie Man.

She was the first of his victims, but not the last.

Now Jess is the star of a YouTube reality series and she's using it to catch the killer once and for all.

The whole world is watching her every move.

And so is the Magpie Man.

Heroes

Join Jason aboard the Argo as he quests for the Golden Fleece. See Atalanta - who was raised by bears - outrun any man before being tricked with golden apples. Witness wily Oedipus solve the riddle of the Sphinx and discover how Bellerophon captures the winged horse Pegasus to help him slay the monster Chimera.

Filled with white-knuckle chases and battles, impossible puzzles and riddles, acts of base cowardice and real bravery, not to mention murders and selfless sacrifices, Heroes is the story of what we mortals are truly capable of - at our worst and our very best.

The Tower of Nero

The battle for Camp Jupiter is over. New Rome is safe. Tarquin and his army of the undead have been defeated. Somehow Apollo has made it out alive, with a little bit of help from the Hunters of Artemis.

But though the battle may have been won, the war is far from over.

Now Apollo and Meg must get ready for the final - and, let's face it, probably fatal - adventure. They must face the last emperor, the terrifying Nero, and destroy him once and for all.

Can Apollo find his godly form again? Will Meg be able to face up to her troubled past? Destiny awaits . . .

V2

Rudi Graf used to dream of sending a rocket to the moon. Instead, he has helped create the world's most sophisticated weapon: the V2 ballistic missile, capable of delivering a one-ton warhead at three times the speed of sound.

In a desperate gamble to avoid defeat in the winter of 1944, Hitler orders ten thousand to be built. Haunted and disillusioned, Graf - who understands the volatile, deadly machine better than anyone - is tasked with firing these lethal 'vengeance weapons' at London.

Kay Caton-Walsh is an officer in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, and a survivor of a V2 strike. As the rockets devastate London, she joins a unit of WAAFs on a mission to newly liberated Belgium. Armed with little more than a slide rule and a few equations, Kay and her colleagues will attempt to locate and destroy the launch sites.

But at this stage in the war it's hard to know who, if anyone, you can trust. As the death toll soars, Graf and Kay fight their grim, invisible war - until one final explosion of violence causes their destinies to collide.

New books in Non-Fiction

The World According to Physics

Quantum physicist, New York Times bestselling author, and BBC host Jim Al-Khalili offers a fascinating and illuminating look at what physics reveals about the world Shining a light on the most profound insights revealed by modern physics, Jim Al-Khalili invites us all to understand what this crucially important science tells us about the universe and the nature of reality itself. Al-Khalili begins by introducing the fundamental concepts of space, time, energy, and matter, and then describes the three pillars of modern physics--quantum theory, relativity, and thermodynamics--showing how all three must come together if we are ever to have a full understanding of reality. Using wonderful examples and thought-provoking analogies, Al-Khalili illuminates the physics of the extreme cosmic and quantum scales, the speculative frontiers of the field, and the physics that underpins our everyday experiences and technologies, bringing the reader up to speed with the biggest ideas in physics in just a few sittings. Physics is revealed as an intrepid human quest for ever more foundational principles that accurately explain the natural world we see around us, an undertaking guided by core values such as honesty and doubt. The knowledge discovered by physics both empowers and humbles us, and still, physics continues to delve valiantly into the unknown. Making even the most enigmatic scientific ideas accessible and captivating, this deeply insightful book illuminates why physics matters to everyone and calls one and all to share in the profound adventure of seeking truth in the world around us.

Black Spartacus : the epic life of Toussaint Louverture

Shortlisted for THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION, 2020

The Haitian Revolution began in the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue with a slave revolt in August 1791, and culminated a dozen years later in the proclamation of the world's first independent black state. After the abolition of slavery in 1793, Toussaint Louverture, himself a former slave, became the leader of the colony's black population, the commander of its republican army and eventually its governor. During the course of his extraordinary life he confronted some of the dominant forces of his age - slavery, settler colonialism, imperialism and racial hierarchy. Treacherously seized by Napoleon's invading army in 1802, this charismatic figure ended his days, in Wordsworth's phrase, 'the most unhappy man of men', imprisoned in a fortress in France.

Black Spartacus draws on a wealth of archival material, much of it overlooked by previous biographers, to follow every step of Louverture's singular journey, from his triumphs against French, Spanish and British troops to his skilful regional diplomacy, his Machiavellian dealings with successive French colonial administrators and his bold promulgation of an autonomous Constitution. Sudhir Hazareesingh shows that Louverture developed his unique vision and leadership not solely in response to imported Enlightenment ideals and revolutionary events in Europe and the Americas, but through a hybrid heritage of fraternal slave organisations, Caribbean mysticism and African political traditions. Above all, Hazareesingh retrieves Louverture's rousing voice and force of personality, making this the most engaging, as well as the most complete, biography to date.

After his death in the French fortress, Louverture became a figure of legend, a beacon for slaves across the Atlantic and for generations of European republicans and progressive figures in the Americas. He inspired the anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass, the most eminent nineteenth-century African-American; his emancipatory struggle was hailed by those who defied imperial and colonial rule well into the twentieth. In the modern era, his life informed the French poet Aimé Césaire's seminal idea of négritude and has been celebrated in a remarkable range of plays, songs, novels and statues. Here, in all its drama, is the epic story of the world's first black superhero.

The idea of the brain : a history

Shortlisted for the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize

This is the story of our quest to understand the most mysterious object in the universe: the human brain.

Today we tend to picture it as a computer. Earlier scientists thought about it in their own technological terms: as a telephone switchboard, or a clock, or all manner of fantastic mechanical or hydraulic devices. Could the right metaphor unlock the its deepest secrets once and for all?

Galloping through centuries of wild speculation and ingenious, sometimes macabre anatomical investigations, scientist and historian Matthew Cobb reveals how we came to our present state of knowledge. Our latest theories allow us to create artificial memories in the brain of a mouse, and to build AI programmes capable of extraordinary cognitive feats. A complete understanding seems within our grasp.

But to make that final breakthrough, we may need a radical new approach. At every step of our quest, Cobb shows that it was new ideas that brought illumination. Where, he asks, might the next one come from? What will it be?

Reactions

The third book in Theodore Gray's bestselling Elements Trilogy, Reactions continues the journey through the world of chemistry that began with his two previous bestselling books The Elements and Molecules. With The Elements, Gray gave us a never-before-seen, mesmerizing photographic view of the 118 elements in the periodic table. In Molecules, he showed us how the elements combine to form the content that makes up our universe. With Reactions Gray once again puts his one-of-a-kind photography and storytelling ability to work demonstrating how molecules interact in ways that are essential to our very existence. The book begins with a brief recap of elements and molecules and then goes on to explain important concepts the characterize a chemical reaction, including Energy, Entropy, and Time. It is then organized by type of reaction including chapters such as "Fantastic Reactions and Where to Find Them," "On the Origin of Light and Color," "The Boring Chapter," in which we learn about reactions such as paint drying, grass growing, and water boiling, and "The Need for Speed," including topics such as weather, ignition, and fire.

Thinking Reading

A thorough, easy-to-use walk-through of the extensive research on reading and its effects on student achievement.

The Amazing discoveries of 100 brilliant scientists

From atoms and X-rays to the Big Bang and the Internet, brilliant breakthroughs by successful scientists have changed the world. Dip inside this intriguing book to read the stories of 100 scientists and their amazing discoveries, including Marie Curie and Albert Einstein.

History! : the World's history as you've never seen it before

This new book in the Knowledge Encyclopedia series will inspire young readers with its vivid depictions of history and its comprehensive and authoritative information on a huge range of topics.
Bringing subjects to life, this groundbreaking children's home reference allows readers to peer inside ancient buildings, marvel at elaborate outfits, and get close to the battles of history. You will discover what everyday life was like in medieval cultures, how inventions such as the printing press changed the world, and so much more. From the lives of ferocious samurai warriors to World War II and contemporary eco-friendly innovations, every historical event is visualized in incredible detail, providing a fascinating introduction to the world through time.
Find yourself transported to the past, from our earliest ancestors right up to the world we live in today.

Our living planet

Did you know that 40% of volcanoes are active and 60% aren't? Find out what causes earthquakes and how they are measured. Habitats, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis and the air we breathe are some of the topics covered in this exciting new way of exploring how our planet works.

And if you still need a bit more inspiration . . .

Love Reading 4 Kids : 'Love Reading 4 Kids' is the UK's biggest book recommendation site with suggestions for children from toddlers to teens.

Love Reading 4 Schools: 'Love Reading 4 Schools' offers support to parents, teachers and school librarians in helping engender a life-long love of reading in children.  This site contains reading lists by school year group (Reception to Year 10) along with lots of other ideas.

Love Reading : 'Love Reading' is the UK’s leading book recommendation website whose mission is to share book love and encourage reading for pleasure by offering the tools, advice and information to help you find your next favourite book.

These are great websites for book recommendations but please be aware that we cannot guarantee that we have copies of all of them in the Smallbone Library.  You can check our catalogue to see whether we have a particular title.  If we have a copy, go ahead and reserve it to collect from the library.  If we don't have a copy, you are very welcome to suggest we buy a copy once we are able to.

 

Normal term-time Library opening hours:
Mon-Fri: 08:30-21:15
Sat: 08:00-16:00
Sun: 14:00-18:00