I’m Alive!!! (An Update) #IRL

Hi Everyone!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since May! I really didn’t mean to fall off the face of the earth but that’s kinda what happened.

Basically, work went completely crazy because my colleague left and what was already a very hectic job turned into an impossible task. And then – unrelated to my job woes as I had been looking for new opportunities before the madness started – I got an interview for a new job, and I got it!

So I recently left the prison library (at a terrible time that made me feel very guilty), to become Library Manager of a local public library. Hurrah!

While all of this was going on, my landlord sold his/my house, so I had to start looking for somewhere to live. So yeah, it’s all been a bit mad and this blog was the last thing on my mind.

But things are starting to calm down. The first week as a Library Manager has been good, if not slightly overwhelming in terms of having so much to learn. And I move house next weekend. The end is in sight.

Overall, I’m really happy with the big life changes so far, and hope everything settles down enough for me to decide on whether to keep this blog going, or to maybe start a new one to promote my library? I’m not sure of the rules on that yet (as I was never allowed to do one for the prison library for obvious reasons), but it would be nice to carry on book blogging and be able to promote what we do at the same time.

I will keep you posted. I’ve really missed being part of the book blogging community – I feel so out of touch – so I hope to be back soon in some way or another.

Keep reading!!

Lipsy xx

 

 

New(ish)Picture Books: Mini Reviews #PictureBookReviews

I’ve recently started paying attention to picture book releases, and existing picture books because I’m trying my hand at writing a couple. I requested the following books on Netgalley so I thought I had better write reviews for them, albeit very teeny ones 🙂

Pirates in the Library ~ Nadia Ali & Jake Tebbits

 

piratesHardcover, 40 pages
Published October 15th 2016 by Star Bright Books

Prepare to set sail for the adventure of a lifetime with fierce Captain Jake when he discovers a treasure map that leads him, his crew (and a parrot, too), right to the library. Ms. Benitez, the librarian, welcomes them—as long as they behave! The pirates’ search is on! 

Soon they discover—with the aid of Dread Pirate Dewey’s map—treasures galore on the shelves. Now the dilemma: Can they keep these treasures? Ms. Benitez has the answer.

Pirates in the Library is a lovely little story to introduce the wonder of libraries and books to children. They will be sure to love Captain Jake and his parrot too!
The text is nicely rhythmic and repetitive so that children can recite it with glee. The illustrations are bright and simple with a nice warmth and humour to them. I really liked the balance of fun and learning in this story, and the important message of supporting your local library because they really are full of the best kind of treasure – stories and knowledge.
unicorn rating 4

Princess Lemonella ~  Saarein te Brake & Sassafras De Bruyn

princesslemonella

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Clavis
Princess Lemonella is born angry. She always looks sour and never smiles.
When the king and queen try to find a prince for her, she sends all the candidates away.
Until one prince just rides past her …
 

A funny and romantic fairy tale about how love can make you smile. 


For princes and princesses aged 5 years and older.

 

I was torn by this one. On one hand I loved the beautiful illustrations and some of the themes of the story such as that everyone is different and that there is someone for everyone.

However, I’m not a huge fan of modern children’s stories that are based solely on a princess having to find a prince. I love fairy tales but I do think that they need to be modernised to reflect and embrace diversity. I’m not sure how healthy it is for little girls to constantly read about the need for a Prince Charming, or in this case, a Prince Grumpy!
unicorn rating 3

10 Things about… Prague

As some of you may know, I went on a little break to Prague earlier this month. It was beautiful, and I thought I’d do this little post as a way of sharing some of my holiday photos 🙂

IMG_8615Its nickname, The City of a Hundred Spires’ is pretty apt. And it’s epic.

 

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IMG_8724It’s a little bit creepy. In the best way.

 

IMG_8687Cobblestones are pretty, but perilous. Go easy on the Czech Beer (that’s my mum, she went easy on the Czech beer but not the gin. Never the gin).

 

IMG_8613The Old Town Square is the place to be. It’s also the place you’ll keep returning to when you get lost in the labyrinthine side streets.

 

The castle isn’t your traditional Disney-style castle and will make you rethink your whole idea of what a castle is. And it’s epic.

 

IMG_8584Clocks. There are a lot. Nice ones. With stories.

 

IMG_8685It’s always Christmas in Prague

 

IMG_8610.JPGThis sweet cinnamon pastry thing found on every street corner and market is a delight!

 

The views from Pétrín hill are off the scale. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a mountain when you’re scrambling up it…but it’s worth it.

 

IMG_8700There are ancient libraries that will make you want to weep but be warned – you can only look from afar. Apart from these people who seem to be VIPs. 😦

 

It’s such a beautiful city, I’d love to go back!

Geeking Out: The Library of Birmingham, UK.

On Friday I took a trip to Birmingham to visit a friend and Europe’s second largest Christmas market (expect more from that on this week’s Festive Thursday post). And what kind of Book Geek would I be if I didn’t visit their brand spanking new (and massive) Library?

I was thoroughly impressed, amazed, and just a bit jealous.

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The Library of Birmingham provides a showcase for the city’s internationally important collections of archives, photography and rare books. New facilities including state-of-the-art gallery space open up public access to the collections for the first time. It is also home to a BFI Mediatheque, providing free access to the National Film Archive.

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Spread over 10 levels of varying size and usage, the building comprises a spacious entrance and foyer with mezzanine, two outdoor garden terraces, a ‘golden box’ of secure archive storage occupying two levels, and at the very top of the building a rotunda feature housing the Shakespeare Memorial Room.

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The large windows and roof gardens overlook Birmingham’s big wheel, and the ice rink at this time of year.

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Here is my friend Laura who was promised a Christmas sausage but got Shakespeare instead. I don’t think she minded too much, they seemed to get on well.

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I wasn’t as miserable as I look, honest.

Info taken from http://www.libraryofbirmingham.com