Galaxy of stars

Listening to storiesGalaxy of Stories is a treat from the Times Online website – famous names tell  favourite children’s stories and bring them to life in their own unique way. Parents can download new stories each week to keep the family entertained at home or in the car …

Coming up this week is Sinbad read by the wonderful Christopher Eccleston (who did a stirling job as Dr Who pre David Tennant). Already on the site are Harry Enfield, Joanna Lumley and Richard E. Grant – reading The Golden Goose, The Snow Queen and The Emperor’s Birthday Suit respectively.

If you like LISTENING to stories for a change from reading, we have a great collection of Talking books on tape or CD. You can restrict your searches of our catalogue to only show results for a talking books by using the material type drop-down box on the catalogue search page.

We also have a service for housebound customers that supplies talking books.

Alternate History

Time travelWriting is an act of imagination, and a whole new universe can be created. Other books are set in a world like our own, but re-imagined – if the Nazis had won the Second World War, if the Romans still ruled …

There are some intriguing new fiction being published in the alternate history arena. One is Resistance by Owen Sheers. This book is set in a 1944 where Russia has fallen to the Nazis and half of Britain is occupied. Read the Independent’s review.

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon has been garnering a great deal of critical attention and acclaim. It is set in a post-World War II in which Alaska has become the homeland for the Jews (as Franklin D. Roosevelt actually proposed).

RomanitasRome Burning, the sequel to Sophia McDougall’s powerful Romanitas is on its way too. It is set in a present day world still under the sway of the Roman Empire.

If you want to do more reading in the area of time travel and alternate history, see our list. It includes fiction and non-fiction titles.

The website UCHRONIA: The alternate history list is an invaluable source of information containing comprehensive lists of authors, series and upcoming publications. You can also use the divergence timeline to select the time period at which you want history to alter (for example, many alternate histories use World War Two or the American Civil War as jumping off points).