August: Books of the month

August 03 2015

Books of the month with staff at Cheltenham Road Library.


Adult Fiction - Read by the Library Reading Group in July, now Book of the Month for August

Love, Nina: Dispatches from Family Life by Nina Stibbe

BLURB: In 1982 Nina Stibbe, a twenty-year-old from Leicester, moved to London to work as a nanny for a very particular family. It was a perfect match: Nina had no idea how to cook, look after children, or who the weirdos who called round were. And the family, busy discussing how to swear in German, or the merits (or otherwise) of turkey mince, were delighted by her lack of skills. Love, Nina is the collection of letters she wrote home gloriously describing her ‘domestic life’, the unpredictable houseguests and the cat everyone loved to hate.

REVIEW: Through a whole series of letters to her sister written in the 1980s, the author gives us an idea of life in North London and Thames Polytechnic. She becomes a nanny for the Deputy Editor of the London Review of Books, where she meets a number of the intelligentsia – provinces meets the cultured elite! Some of us enjoyed it, some didn’t. Some found the style repetitive and the book too long, while others enjoyed the resonance the story gave to their own experience.


Children’s Fiction - Read and enjoyed by Charlotte Parrott (11 years old)

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

BLURB: It is 1910 and Maia, tragically orphaned at thirteen, has been sent from England to start a new life with distant relatives in Manaus, hundreds of miles up the Amazon. She is accompanied by an eccentric and mysterious governess who has secret reasons of her own for making the journey. Both soon discover an exotic world bursting with new experiences in this highly colourful, joyous adventure.

CHARLOTTE’S REVIEW: This book is about a girl called Maia who is an orphan, and she is the main character of the book. She can play the piano and she sings beautifully but is too modest to say so. She had to journey with Miss Minton (who is Maia's governess) for ages before she could arrive in the Amazon to be with her new family. She moved in to a neat little house owned by Mr and Mrs Carter. They had two daughters who are twins called Beatrice and Gwendolyn Carter. She imagined them kind and pretty. They were pretty but not kind. The most exciting bit is when Maia meets a person who never ever wants to return home. I love this book because it is so gripping and you never want to put it down. I recommend this book to confident readers over the age of 9. 

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