Monday, 5 April 2021

Five Recommendations for Garden Inspiration


Easter Monday is upon us and as a nation we are focused and single minded when it comes to a Monday preceded by the words ‘Bank Holiday.’ The weather forecast might not be conducive to a good day in the garden but this is still an opportunity to stand and ponder; Patio or decking, decorative planting or minimal care. Whatever your plans we have plenty of resources to help you create your own little paradise this summer with our Garden Collections. Read on to find out more.

1.    Alan Titchmarsh. No post about gardening could be done without a nod in the direction of Mr Titchmarsh. On our screens for years transforming thinned out grass enclosed with broken fencing into a suburban paradise. We know where are with this TV favourite, once you could collect Alan magazines and gardening cards week by week at the local newsagents. Nowadays you just need to search our catalogue and hey presto a whole array of Alan books.

2.    For some, getting the garden done is about how to style a hanging egg chair and outdoor rugs on the decking. However, there are plenty of keen beans (pun intended) out there who are all about home grown produce and seasonal veg. Look no further, we have a huge selection of stock to help you plan from Spring planting to Autumn harvest. We love this book from Holly Farrell “Grow your own cake: 50 recipes from plot to plate.

3.    We know the weather is about to take a turn for the worst but we have ideas for all occasions.  we have something for all occasions- we are the library service after all! Hang around indoors and check out our gardening courses on Universal Class and The Great Courses.  Work through your chosen course then you are good to go when the sun comes out again. There is even a flower arranging course for after all the hard work of growing is done!

4.    For those of you lucky enough to have your own garden room then we have a fantastic collection of books dedicated to the topic of sheds. For those of us who are not so blessed with a shed, summer house or pergola this collection is still worth a look. Perfect books to peruse with a cup of tea, a biscuit and garden day dreaming. We love Sally Coulthard: Shed decor: how to decorate & furnish your favourite garden room. Special mention also goes to the Ladybird book of garden sheds. Very funny

5.    At the end of all your hard work there has got to be time for a little R&R. This one is a little bit of a cheat but getting out in the garden these days is synonymous with firing up the barbecue. So once you have got the beds weeded, the roses pruned and the tatties planted why not try out some new ideas for the barbecue ready to host some family and friends as soon as garden entertaining is allowed. Psst we also have books on how to make Cocktails too!

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

It's all About the Books!

In Library Services we spend an awful lot of time Tweeting, Facebooking and generally loudly declaring in public “We do more than just books,” That said, we do really love books so we thought you might like to know the most favoured library loans from the last 18 months. We hope this inspires some new reading for you. Books available via click and collect or our eLibrary

Adult Fiction: East Lothian Readers love a good Crime or Thriller novel. Scotland has some of the best in the world with Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Peter May and so many more. We have a fantastic range of adult fiction in all genres. The top five adult fiction books are:

-          Ian Rankin - In a house of lies

-          Ann Cleeves  - The long call

-          Stuart MacBride - All that's dead

-          Ann Cleeves  - Wild fire

-          Peter May - The man with no face

Adult Non-Fiction: During Lockdown 2020 we all headed to the garden, tried our hand at a new hobby and did a lot of baking. So we were surprised when none of these topics appeared in the list of most borrowed non-fiction books! Our top tip for 2021 is non-fiction focusing on the Great Staycation. We will check back in a year and let you know if our prediction was correct. In the meantime, Michelle Obama tops the list of our most read.

-          Michelle Obama - Becoming   

-          Adam Kay - This is going to hurt : secret diaries of a junior doctor  

-          Deborah Orr - Motherwell : a girlhood

-          Raynor Winn - The salt path

-          Sue M Black - All that remains : a life in death

Young Adult (YA) & Teen Fiction: This is the most exciting genre of fiction in recent years. This genre is happier to move out of its comfort zones, explore new worlds, new ways of writing and break down barriers. If you choose just one thing to read from this week’s Take Five do take the opportunity to try YA or Teen fiction. The top five are:

-          Jenny Han - To all the boys I've loved before

-          Philip Pullman - La belle sauvage

-          Robert Muchamore  - Mad dogs

-          Thomas, Angie - On the come up

-          Malorie Blackman - Noughts + Crosses

Children’s: Our local branch staff miss seeing the enthusiasm East Lothian kids have for their reading; whether it is primary school visits, story time in the kid’s library or chatting about their latest AR scores. So it is great to see that kids are still reading and loving it. The top five junior fiction books borrowed are:

-          David Walliams - Awful auntie

-          Pamela Butchart - To wee or not to wee!

-          Roald Dahl - Charlie and the chocolate factory

-          Lynne Rickards - Harris the hero

-          Rowling, J. K. - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Board books: Who can relate to a toddler approaching with a board book in hand requesting it be read for the tenth time in one day?  They say that a child can read a board book again and again and find something new every time.  The top five books are :

-          Mara Alperin - Fireman Sam's animal rescues!

-          Rescue heroes! : a lift-and-look flap book

-          Julia Donaldson - There's an owl in my towel

-          David Walliams - The bear who went boo!

-          Nick Sharratt,  - Octopus socktopus