The songs of our lives

I’m really looking forward to seeing Max Cryer talk about his book Love Me Tender at South Library on Monday. Looking at the stories behind the songs that form the soundtrack of our lives is a brilliant idea and Cryer is the man to do it justice, combining an encyclopaedic knowledge of popular song with a genuine love of the form and his own collection of musical manuscripts to create a thoroughly enjoyable book.

Cryer’s Hear Our Voices We Entreat was an entertaining look at the national anthem, full of intriguing snippets, and the  pieces of trivia in Love Me Tender are even more fascinating. I’ve always been a huge fan of Dusty Springfield (the hair! the mascara!) so I was interested to learn that the lyrics to her 60 million-seller “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” were written in the back of a taxi by a bon vivant who then decided to give up lyric writing due to the unacceptable delay dashing off this particular set had caused to his night out.

Max Cryer will be sharing some of the world’s most popular songs, and the stories behind them, at South Library at 12 noon on Monday 20th October.

Man Booker Prize winner announced

The White Tiger
The White Tiger

Our intrepid blogger, ‘tewp’ who picked The White Tiger as a possible Booker winner certainly had his finger on the pulse of the Booker Judges, who have agreed with him and declared it to be this year’s winner

If book sales were anything to go by then Linda Grant’s The Clothes on their backs would have been a sure winner with 3,074 copies sold in English bookshops compared to White Tigers that sold 2,588 copies, and Ladbrooks had Sebastian Barrys’ The Secret scripture as a 2/1 winner.  Interestingly word on the ground was that the reason that Linda Grant’s book sold so well because it was considerably thinner than some of the heftier tomes that were nominated this year!

However White Tiger won in the end with the Judges saying that it “shocked and entertained” in equal measure.  Perhaps Tewp should be on the judging panel next year, he obviously has a good take on what makes a great read!

Paddington Bear is 50


Paddington Bear is celebrating his 50th birthday this year (twice)! Paddington has two birthdays a year (like the queen) June 25 and December 25. I wonder if this means he is actually celebrating his 100th birthday? You can check out his different incarnations on his website, or check out our books about him.

If you come into the Central Library next week you might see some books you remember from your childhood. Centre for the Child is having a display of children’s books of the past for Heritage Week. What books from your childhood have you been hankering after?