Book of the week – The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock


This novel is a moving portrait of growing up in Alaska. From coastal rainforests to the salmon fishing grounds and on to the vast interior of Alaska, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock follows the lives of teenagers who struggle against great odds to believe in themselves, redefine their ideas of family, and find each other.

Book of the week – ‘How to develop a brilliant memory week by week’ by Dominic O’Brien

How to develop a brilliant memory

Follow in the footsteps of the memory Master to make your memory bigger, better and sharper week by week.

Eight times World Memory Champion Dominic O’Brien offers his complete course in memory enhancement – taking you step by step through an ingenious programme of skills. Dominic shares all his tried and tested techniques on which he has built his triumphant championship performances.

Book of the week – Hidden Figures

hidden figures




The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in Space.

Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as ‘Human Computers’, calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these ‘coloured computers’ used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women’s rights movement, ‘Hidden Figures’ interweaves a rich history of mankind’s greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.

Book of the Week – ‘Utopia for Realists’ by Rutger Bregman

utopia for realists


Two-thirds of Americans report that they would take two extra weeks of vacation above two extra weeks of salary, and half of all business professionals report that their jobs offer no “meaning or significance.” And after working all day at jobs we hate, we buy things we don’t need. In ‘Utopia for realists’, Dutch historian and journalist Rutger Bregman reminds us it needn’t be this way. A manifesto full of intentionality and pragmatism, Bregman’s book centers on three central utopic ideas: a 15-hour workweek, a “universal basic income”, no strings attached, and open borders throughout the globe. Though the claims might seem fanciful at first, UTOPIA FOR REALISTS provides numerous examples of successful experiments with “free money”, such as Mincome in 1970s Canada, and experiments in giving homeless people a financial foundation. The theory among detractors is that free money will make people be lazy and work less. But in fact, employment is necessary for virtually everyone’s happiness.


‘Bregman combines deep research with wit, challenging us to think anew ablut how we want to live and who we want to be

Philipp Blomm author of The Vertigo Years 

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.


Connell Guides-page-001

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

Image result for wolf by wolf

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.