the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress
Librarian Top Picks
09 November 2018
Don't know what to read next? Stuck reading the same books over and over? Want a suggestion you can trust? These top picks will include books from all genres, new or old and are hand-picked by the librarian to pique your interest. The best bit is they are all available in the school library.
Ready Player One - by Ernest Cline - suitable for all
‘Ready Player One’ is set in the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS - and his massive fortune - will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation. Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions - and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.
Lullaby - by Leïla Slimani - suitable for Year 9+
‘Lullaby’ is a genius thriller you didn’t know you needed to read. When Myriam, a brilliant lawyer, decides to return to work, she and her husband look for a nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who sings to their children, cleans the family's chic Paris apartment, stays late without complaint and hosts enviable birthday parties. But as the couple and their nanny become more and more dependent on each other, jealousy, resentment and suspicions increase, until Myriam and Paul's idyllic domesticity is shattered…
The Lady in the Van – by Alan Bennett – suitable for all
‘The Lady in the Van’ is a deceptively small book, with so much story inside. In 1974, the homeless Miss Shepherd moved her broken down van into Alan Bennett's garden. Deeply eccentric and stubborn to her bones, Miss Shepherd was not an easy tenant. And Bennett, despite inviting her in the first place, was a reluctant landlord. And yet she lived there for fifteen years. Funny, absurd and at times painful to read.
Nocturnes – by Kazuo Ishiguro – suitable for Year 9+
‘Nocturnes’ is an enchanting novel by Kazuo Ishiguro that explores the ideas of love, music and the passing of time. From the piazzas of Italy to the 'hush-hush floor' of an exclusive Hollywood hotel, the characters we encounter range from young dreamers to café musicians to faded stars, all of them at some moment of reckoning. Gentle, intimate and witty, this quintet is marked by a haunting theme: the struggle to keep alive a sense of life's romance, even as one gets older, relationships founder and youthful hope recedes.