4 Books to Help You Achieve Dry January

How to Quiz Alcohol in 50 Days by Simon Chapple

Do you feel trapped by alcohol? Do you find yourself thinking about drinking too often? Do you put alcohol ahead of the most important things in your life? If so – here’s some good news. You can quit drinking, and it’s not as difficult as you think.

The Alcohol Experiment by Annie Grace

 It’s YOUR body. It’s YOUR mind. It’s YOUR choice. If you’re reading this right now, you’re questioning how much you drink. Maybe you know you drink way too much and you want to quit. Or maybe you’re just curious. No matter where you are on the drinking spectrum, you’re not alone.

This Naked Mind by Annie Grace

Millions of people worry that drinking is affecting their health, yet are unwilling to seek change because of the misery and stigma associated with alcoholism and recovery. They fear drinking less will be boring, difficult and involve deprivation and significant lifestyle changes. ‘This Naked Mind’ offers a new solution.

The 30-Day Sobriety Solution by Jack Canfield and Dave Andrews

‘The 30-Day Sobriety Solution’ offers the answer to anyone who feels their drinking has become unmanageable. Inspired by Canfield’s work in self-esteem and success training and developed into a programme by Dave Andrews, it integrates positive psychology, neurolinguistic programming, cognitive therapy, meditation, positive self-talk and the correction of negative self-perceptions, amongst numerous other techniques.

To reserve these books or search for others visit https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/libraries.

Cosy Christmas Reads for the Festive Season

The gleam of the fireplace, twinkling lights and soft Christmas jumpers…the holiday season is officially here! This year, things are a little different and you might be spending more time at home over Christmas and in the weeks following. Whether you’re busy with family round or keeping things a little quieter, we think everyone should have some time to settle in with a cosy book and a hot drink this festive season. So, here are some fiction titles to keep you warm and jolly over the holiday.

On the beautiful remote island of Mure, The Rock – the rambling, disused hotel on the tip of the island – was Coltan’s passion project before he died. With Flora’s help, Fintan is going to get the hotel up and running in time for Christmas, transforming it into a festive haven of crackling log fires and delicious food. Can they pull it together in time for the big opening and will Flora help her family find happiness this Christmas?

This enchanting mix of historical drama and romance cordially invites you to the wedding of the year! When fiercely independent chambermaid Nancy Nettleton first moved to London and the Buckingham hotel, the last thing on her mind was finding love, let alone falling for the debonair demonstration dancer Raymond de Guise. As the band strikes up in the Grand Ballroom to celebrate Nancy and Raymond’s wedding, one thing is certain – this will be a Christmas to remember.

Britain’s much loved saga author, Rosie Goodwin is back with her signature warmth, wonderful characters and unforgettable drama. When Opal Sharp finds herself and her younger siblings suddenly orphaned and destitute, she thinks things can get no worse. But soon three of them – including Opal – are struck down with the illness that took their father, and her brother Charlie is forced to make an impossible decision.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change. The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

Sally Suggs is working tirelessly to bring in enough money to keep bread on the table especially when her father, a skilled rag-and-bone man, falls ill and Sally takes up his trade. But this is a man’s world and competition is fierce, and Sally’s rival Finn Kelly always seems to be one step ahead. Her family’s one valuable possession is their horse, Flower, yet with no one to protect them, London’s underbelly of black-market traders circle closer. Sally needs to find help in the most unexpected places if they are to survive…

Everly Lancaster always dreamed of leaving behind her hometown in rural Illinois. When a massive snowstorm hits, Everly’s mother urges the workaholic to come home for Christmas, but she hesitates to return to the life that she tried so hard to escape. Searching for other holiday plans, Everly tasks her assistant with booking her a cruise – an ideal escape. She embarks on a week-long tour of the Amazon guided by charming naturalist Asher Adams, but slowly realises just how important her relationships are to her. Can she make it home in time for Christmas Day?

And if you can’t get to your local library, here’s some digital options available to borrow for free with a Hillingdon Library card. Find out more here.

With Christmas coming up, Bo can’t wait to head to the snow-fringed fjords of Norway and the picturesque and remote hillside farmhouse that will be home for the next few weeks, Bo’s determined to enjoy a romantic Christmas under the Northern Lights. Everything should be perfect. But the mountains hold secrets from the past and as temperatures plunge and tensions rise, Bo must face up to the fact that a life which looks perfect to the outside world may not be the life she should be living…

Standing on London’s Victoria docks with the wind biting through her shawl, Rose Munday realises she’s been abandoned by her sweetheart. With no money and no family left in London, Rose must go to work. Finding herself a position as a typist in a slowly modernising London, Rose’s future begins to take shape in ways she would never have foreseen. But London is a treacherous place for a young woman, and what initially seemed a brave decision, might just be a dangerous one…

By Dilinna

5 Horror Comics on RB Digital

With Halloween fast approaching we look at 5 horror comics available on RB Digital.

30 Days of Night

The story of an isolated Alaskan town that is plunged into darkness for a month each year when the sun sinks below the horizon. As the last rays of light fade, the town is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires bent on an uninterrupted orgy of destruction. Only the small town’s husband-and-wife Sheriff team stand between the survivors and certain destruction. 

George R.R. Martin’s Doorways

Dr. Thomas Mason had a regular life, with a regular job, and a regular girlfriend. Until one night, zapped from somewhere else, a mysterious young woman named Cat ends up in his E.R. Pursued by the government and twisted creatures from her own world, Cat inadvertently embroils Tom in her quest for freedom. Which takes him to alternative Earth’s he never imagined – and which he may never get back from!

Remains

When the world goes mad, a blackjack dealer and an exotic dancer are mysteriously spared. But now they’re trapped in Reno, surrounded by a veritable army of the undead – and with no idea what might wait for them beyond the city limits if they can escape. Are they the last man and woman on Earth? And if so, how long can they last?

The Other Dead

The world’s first Zombie Animal epic is here! A deadly hurricane threatens New Orleans just as a frightening and mysterious outbreak hits the animal kingdom!

Night Mary

Meet Mary Specter, a misunderstood teenage girl trained to be a lucid dreamer. Mary’s father runs a sleep disorder clinic where Mary enters the ghastly dreams of severely disturbed people in an attempt to help them. When a patient is revealed to be a serial killer, the nightmare world and the waking one become intertwined, putting Mary in real jeopardy. Set in a world where the boundaries between dreams and reality are tenuous, Night Mary, courtesy of Rick Remender and Kieron Dwyer (Remains), is a very dark and terrifying trip into psychological horror.

Library Memories: Stephen

As long as I can remember I’ve been an information junkie. Whether it was watching the Six AND Nine O’Clock News or reading cover to cover the copies of the New Junior Encyclopedia as they arrived I devoured information. So when the day finally arrived that I was old enough (and, in the view of the librarian, well behaved enough) to be allowed into the adult section of Ealing Road Library it was truly a momentous occasion. Shelves and shelves of books and subjects I had never heard of before. Who was this Hannibal person and why did he march elephants over the Alps? Where, and when as it turned out, was Mesopotamia? And so many Astronomy books!

The other chief advantage of my newfound library liberty was access to the microfiche machine. Very few people were allowed to use it, let alone someone my age. I was always worried that I’d damage it and get into serious trouble but that didn’t discourage me. I spent hours reading through old newspaper articles both local and national, followed stories from references (no hyperlinks in those days) and probably neglected my homework in the process. At the time it never occurred to me to use these nascent research skills to forge a career in investigative journalism but those early days on the fiche machine did instill an early appreciation for technology and computers which has stayed with me ever since.

And no, I’ve never been to Mesopotamia, have read lots of Astronomy books and yes, I still spend way too much time browsing new non-fiction books than is strictly necessary…

Library Memories: Mandy

I grew up in the borough and Hayes End library was my local library. I have fond memories from when I was very young of going every Saturday morning to change my books with my dad and sister. The Librarian used to wear white gloves and you had paper tickets that slipped into the front of the book to say it was out to you that they took ages finding  the right tickets in a long line of paper tickets,no computers and scanner back then. You were only allowed four books each back then not the 15 you are allowed now. 

My favourite thing about the library was the pets. No not books about pets but the library pets. Along the side of the counter used to be a large glass tank with gerbils or mice in it and you could see the burrowing down into the bedding. It was a great treat to visit each week and I can clearly remember those times. 

I then used to visit the same library once I was at secondary school on my way home to do my homework as we had no reference books in my house when I grew up. 

It was also Hayes End library that I shyly asked if they had any Saturday jobs available and was handed a form to fill in to complete for the post of weekend assistant. The rest is history and 30 years later I am still with Libraries.  When I work at Hayes End Library now it feels like home although the library is very different from how it used to be it is with fondness that I look out from the other side of the counter and remember those childhood visits.

Library Memories: Akbar

One of my first memories of going to the library was actually a school trip to the Uxbridge Library. Being the day-dreaming, head-in-the-clouds sort I’m sure I didn’t take in much of the information, such as the difference between non-fiction and fiction for instance. The layout of the library was quite different from what it is now and I remember clearly how we all sat on the neutral brown musty carpet. The person doing all the talking seemed to be standing very far away from the class. The thing that caught my eye and seemed so intriguing was this great big wooden sculpture of the head of a hippo placed against a window. Its mouth wide open ready to engulf anyone who dare go near. It was on a pedestal and was at the perfect height. I didn’t look alive but it certainly had the scare-factor. Once we were allowed to explore the shelves I went straight to the dinosaur books. They seemed so big. I drank in the illustrations as I flicked through the books.

Library Memories: Claire and Elaine

We have a double header of memories today! The first memory is from Claire who remembers joining the Ickenham Library club when she was 5 years old! The second is from current Ickenham staff member, Elaine, who remembers a “wow” moment from 2010.

When I was small, aged about 5, I joined Ickenham Library Club which was an after school club for children. It was held in the tiny back room at Ickenham Library once a week and there must have been about 15 children who turned up every week. We always had lots to cram into our hour  – drawing, paintings, making things and nature walks and obviously lot of stories and books! I thought it was great to be a member of what I considered to be a ‘secret club’ as it was in a room that not everyone could go into and staff often read us the newest books and stories, I loved it. 

As a child it really fuelled my passion for books and libraries and showed me that you could do lots of interesting things in libraries and make new friends, the club only lasted a few years and i was sad when it stopped by my love of libraries has stayed with me for life.

By Claire, West Drayton Library

There are so many memories from my time at Ickenham library, but one fairly recent memory is from 2010 when we had a massive refurbishment. The library was built in 1962 so was ready for some serious updating.

Five months later and after many weeks of hard work, the day of opening arrived and was attended by many local dignitaries, but the most wonderful part was the excitement of our local residents once word got round the village 

I vividly remember a lovely married couple who came rushing into the library, then came up the stairs three at a time and threw their arms around me saying “You’re back! You’re all back!” Also, at the weekend, there were more visitors to the library than I’ve ever known, with every nook and cranny being filled with students, voracious readers, families with their children and elderly residents enjoying a newspaper or two.

I particularly enjoyed seeing a group of teenagers (who probably hadn’t been inside a library since they were toddlers) come in and say “WOW” in unison!

Wow indeed!

By Elaine, Ickenham Library

Library Memories: Darren

As a child, I was taken to Hayes End library – I can’t say how often, but I think pretty frequently as I always had a pile of books on loan. I mostly read about ghosts, mythical creatures, and the Vlad the Drac series of children’s novels. It’s amazing I didn’t become a goth, really.


As a teenager I would visit Uxbridge library most days on my way home from school, using the computer catalogue (black screen with green writing and a flashing cursor) to look for books about David Bowie, experimental cinema and speculative fiction  – stuff that to this day still fascinates me.
When I started working for the library service (a long, long time ago), one of my favourite things was browsing the returns trolley. Some of the best books I’ve ever read have come from seeing what other people had just brought back, and I’m happy to say it expanded my reading well beyond dystopias and art rock. So, I guess I should say thanks to other library users for turning me into the well-rounded individual I am today!

By Darren, Senior Service Manager – Libraries, Museums and Theatres

Books that shaped my world

A few selection of my favourite books —  one is my all time favourite —  but they all have shaped me as a reader, writer and person. They were there when I needed them. 

The Handmaid’s Tale — Margaret Atwood 

I have read this book so many times — for myself, for college and for a 10,000 word essay. Somehow I still love it, though it has left me dreading university deadlines. It is utterly quotable, heartbreaking and brutal. It is a novel that reflects on how history is constructed, which has reflected the way I think about it.

Quiet — Susan Cain

The book for introverts! I feel this book allowed me to accept myself and find a career that allowed me to focus on my positive treats and fit in with my interests. 

Never Let Me Go — Kazuo Ishiguro

It does what science-fiction does well, confronts an idea through metaphor. There’s a subtle argument in it about environmentalism and animal rights, which slowly evolved into my own ethics and values. 

Zadie Smith — N-W 

I did a class on contemporary identities, this was one of the books. We had to complete a creative writing assignment. I chose to do an autobiography short story influenced by NW. I related to one of the central characters’ accounts of childhood, which was written in a fragment and minimalist style. It allowed me to tell my own story. 

By Emma, Botwell Green

Library Memories: Sharon

Chiswick Library was my childhood library , it was very conveniently located between my primary school and the bus stop so it was the perfect place to visit after school. I would have happily spent every afternoon there, but my mum had to limit my visits to once or twice a week. The main library was a huge old building which always seemed really intimidating to me , but the children’s library was bright and cheerful and filled with wonderful books. I can imagine myself back there looking through the shelves of books , discovering new characters and adventures and snuggling into the cosy chairs to read.  As I got older my friends and I used to sneak into the adult library to look at the ‘grown up ‘ books , and see what all the mystery was about. As a young girl I was an avid reader and I imagined how brilliant it would be to work in a library, now I get to do just that every day and watch as other children create their very own library memories.

By Sharon, Ruislip Manor