Pick of the month
Each month we make our selection from new releases on DVD and CD and highlight the best new books or may select books on a theme.
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Endeavour, bravery and sacrifice.
May sees the 60th anniversary climb of Everest in 1953.
George Lowe - -Letters from Everest
60 years after the first ascent of Mount Everest, this book of letters celebrates, in a very personal way, this most majestic of mountains. With exclusive access to the private archives of pioneering New Zealand climber George Lowe, this is a welcome tribute to an unsung hero. Lowe was the expedition’s official photographer.
Alexa Johnston - Sir Edmund Hillary: an extraordinary life
Climber, adventurer, explorer and philanthropist - this is the first fully illustrated biography of one of the great heroic figures of modern time - Sir Edmund Hillary. It is written by his personal friend and published with the endorsement of Hillary and his family.
Tanis Rideout - Above all things
'Above All Things' is a romantic historical novel by Tanis Rideout and is based on British mountaineer George Mallory's fatal attempt to climb Everest, and his wife Ruth, who is left at home, waiting for him to return to her.
Peter and Leni Gillman - The wildest dream : Mallory, his life and conflicting passions
Peter and Leni Gillman assess the goals and motives of George Mallory, whose life was dominated by two conflicting passions: his love for his wife Ruth and Everest, the highest mountain in the world. The choice he made turned out to be fatal.
Mick Conefrey - Everest 1953 : the epic story of the first ascent
Mick Conefrey tells the real story of Everest 1953, revealing that what has gone down in history as a supremely well-planned attempt was in fact beset by crises - both on and off the mountain. To succeed team leader Colonel John Hunt and his team had to draw on unimaginable skill and determination, as well as sheer British ingenuity.
In this work of history and adventure Wade Davis asks not whether George Mallory was the first to reach the summit of Everest, but rather why he kept on climbing on that fateful day. His answer lies in a single phrase uttered by one of the survivors as they retreated from the mountain: 'The price of life is death'. Won the Samuel Johnson book award 2012.
Stephen Venables - Higher than an eagle soars: a path to Everest
In his autobiography, Stephen Venables explores how - and more importantly why - he became a mountaineer, and reveals a series of never-recorded adventures on several continents.
Ed Douglas - Tenzing: hero of Everest
In 1953, Tenzing Norgay became, with Edmund Hillary, the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. As climbing sirdar, in charge of the sherpas who provided the backbone of the expedition, Tenzing's contribution to the triumph was immense. However, his personal story has remained little explored.
Other mountains . . .
Jim Perrin - Snowdon: a biography of a mountain
Jim Perrin and Ray Wood present a striking view of Snowdon, one of Wales's greatest icons, afresh to those who love landscape and literature, mountaineering and myth.
Joe Simpon - The Sound of gravity
Patrick and his girlfriend are climbing in the Alps. She loses her footing and he manages to catch her hand but as it slips from his grip, Patrick's life is shattered, forever changed. This is a harrowing, dramatic and powerful tale of love, loss and redemption as that haunting split-second memory changes the course of a lifetime.
eBook of the month
Tony Hawks - A piano in the Pyrenees
Inspired by breathtaking views and romantically dreaming of finding love in the mountains, Tony Hawks buys a house in the Pyrenees. And here, he imagines, he will finally fulfil his childhood fantasy of mastering the piano, all the while overlooking spectacular views as the troubles of the world pass by unnoticed.
May Book Choice
The summer term is a time when many children are preparing to make the change from home to school, or to a different school. Look out in your library for our booklists to help children with the transition and stimulate their reading. Here are a few of the highlighted books.
Ready for School: great books to read before starting school
Margaret Mayo "Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp!"
A colourful book which encourages everyone to join in the story..
Andrew Weale "A Quiet Day in the Jungle"
Enjoy counting all the creatures in the jungle.
Moving Up : great books to read before Year 3
Giles Andreae "Not My Pants!"
Billy Bonkers has to wear his sister’s pants! A fun read which will appeal to boys.
Julia Donaldson "The Snake who came to stay"
Doris the snake is on the loose…can Polly find her before she eats the other pets?
Moving On: great books to read before secondary school
Chris Higgins "Alice in the Spotlight
Alice is nervous about starting at Riverside Academy. Will anyone guess her secret?
Simon Mayo "Itch"
Itch is a science geek, but he soon finds this gets him into big trouble. Check out both the book of the adventure…and the website
Relax and Read: great books to read before Year 10
Sophia Bennett "The look"
15 year old Ted has the opportunity to be a supermodel. Should she let her family get in the way?
Tom Easton "HAV3N"
When the new disease comes, the village is decimated. A gritty story of survival against the odds.
May Music Choice
Greatest hits album from Scottish rock band Simple Minds. This 2CD version features 36 tracks from across the band's 13 albums. The album also includes two brand new tracks, 'Blood Diamonds' and 'Broken Glass Park'.
Cole Porter and Noël Coward were born on opposite sides of the Atlantic, but both won renown for their wit, sophistication, and memorable melodies. Noel and Cole cleverly alternates songs by these two musical-theatre masters, as it compares and contrasts their views on show business, high society, civic pride, and of course, love and loss.
Without doubt, Monteverdi was the greatest of the early baroque European composers. He revolutionised the music of the theatre and the church by his dramatic and imaginative use of voices and instruments and by his daring harmonies and rhythms. Next to his Vespers of 1610, the Selva morale e spirituale of 1641 is his most significant and virtuosic collection of sacred music.
May Film Choice
Hitchcock. Cert 12.
Anthony Hopkins plays the legendary director in this biopic that chronicles the personal and professional relationship between Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville (Helen Mirren) during the making of his 1960 classic 'Psycho'.
Lincoln. Cert 12.
Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-winning political biopic stars Daniel Day-Lewis as America's 16th president Abraham Lincoln. The film focuses on the last few months of Lincoln's life, which not only saw the ending of slavery despite dogged opposition from many inside Lincoln's own cabinet, but also the Union victory in the American Civil War.
Song for Marion Cert. 12
Music-based family comedy starring Terrence Stamp, who plays Arthur, a grumpy old codger whose wife, Marion (Vanessa Redgrave), is terminally ill and is keen to spend her last days singing in an unconventional OAP's choir. Although Arthur disapproves of this behaviour, when Marion is no longer able to make practice he is compelled to take her place. As he meets his fellow singers he begins a voyage of self-discovery which will help him mend his relationship with his son, James (Christopher Eccleston), and begin preparing for a life without Marion.
Zero Dark Thirty. Cert 15
Kathryn Bigelow directs this military action thriller about the mission by American special operations forces to capture or kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Shining a light on the secretive processes behind the world's greatest manhunt, the film details the work done by the intelligence team responsible for finally tracking down bin Laden, graphically documenting the unfolding ten-year intelligence hunt through the eyes of CIA analyst Maya (Jessica Chastain), whose initial minor role assumes ever-greater importance as a crack US Navy Seal team readies itself for its most important mission ever.