Book of the week – ‘It can’t happen here’ by Sinclair Lewis

It can't happen here

A vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, fearmongering demagogue runs for President of the United States – and wins. Sinclair Lewis’s chilling 1935 bestseller is the story of Buzz Windrip, ‘Professional Common Man’, who promises poor, angry voters that he will make America proud and prosperous once more, but takes the country down a far darker path. As the new regime slides into authoritarianism, newspaper editor Doremus Jessop can’t believe it will last – but is he right? This cautionary tale of liberal complacency in the face of populist tyranny shows it really can happen here.

‘Eighty years later the novel feels frighteningly contemporary’ 


Connell Guides – we think they are great

Do you need an easy to read but well researched guide to a classic, novel, poem or play?

Then you want a Connell Guide!  We have copies of over 40 short guides in the library – from Animal Farm to Atonement, Emma to Antony and Cleopatra

PLUS the Connell Guides website has even more great content – video interviews with authors and academics and short guides you can download at your leisure.

How do I access the Connell site?

If you are on a school computer you can go straight to it here ; but if you are at home you will need to go via the library resources page on Firefly and use your school login.


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book of the week – “Wolf by Wolf” by Ryan Graudin

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Wolf by Wolf is set in an alternate history timeline where the tides of battle turned the other way, and the axis powers won. It follows the path of a Jewish girl who, due to medical experimentation, has a skill that allows her to circumvent various situations, including the one which the story begins with: a concentration camp run by the SS. She must then take the place of a competitor in one of the most widely-spectated events in the third Reich and complete it to get to her objective – the leader of the Third Reich.

Book Review by Alexander Dayes

Book of the week – The thrilling adventures of Lovelace and Babbage*

*The (mostly) true story of the first computer



The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage presents a delightful alternate reality in which Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage manage to build the Difference Engine and use it to create runaway economic models, battle the scourge of spelling errors, explore the wider realms of mathematics and, of course, fight crime – for the sake of both London and science.

book of the week – “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman

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The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling – from Tolkien, Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics. They are also an inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s own award-bedecked, bestselling fiction. Now he reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales. Gaiman’s gods are thoroughly alive on the page – irascible, visceral, playful, passionate – and the tales carry us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarok and the twilight of the gods. Galvanised by Gaiman’s prose, Thor, Loki, Odin and Freya are irresistible forces for modern readers and the crackling, brilliant writing demands to be read aloud around an open fire on a freezing, starlit night.

book of the week – ‘A monster calls’ by Patrick Ness


The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth

book of the week – the essex serpent by sarah perry


Cora is a well-to-do London widow who moves to the Essex parish of Aldwinter, and Will is the local vicar. They meet as their village is engulfed by rumours that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist is enthralled, convinced the beast may be a real undiscovered species. But Will sees his parishioners’ agitation as a moral panic, a deviation from true faith. Although they can agree on absolutely nothing, as the seasons turn around them in this quiet corner of England, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart.

‘Had Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker come together to write the great Victorian novel, I wonder if it would have surpassed The Essex Serpent? No way of knowing, but with only her second outing, Sarah Perry establishes herself as one of the finest fiction writers working in Britain today. The Essex Serpent is nothing less than an all-out triumph.’

John Burnside

Book of the week – Diamonds are Forever by Ian Fleming


“We’re both travelling bad roads and all bad roads lead to the bad town.”


From the diamond mines of Sierra Leone to the jewellers of Hatton Garden, from race track to casino, James Bond must infiltrate and destroy the criminal network of the Spangled Mob…

This is the fourth 007 adventure – why not also try:

              Image result for casino royale vintage classic       Image result for live and let die vintage classic        Image result for moonraker vintage classic

Book of the week – ‘Ready player one’ by Ernest Cline


In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.