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Darlington Library

Hard hat? Check. High Vis? Check. Steel capped boots? Check.

Still elated from climbing my first scaffolding summit (is that a thing?) I grabbed site manager Alan and asked him for a tour of the roof space.
I'd heard many tales about low ceilings, dusty crawl space, narrow walkways, and stuffy confined spaces so I was prepared for the worst.
Luckily it turned out that I'm a lot smaller than most of the previous visitors to the roof space, so I found it a walk in the park.


Bravado aside, seeing the space with my own eyes really brought it home how much planning and skill is required to fix this intricate roof. The library team have got to know the construction team, and we are quite fond of them now, so I was relieved to hear Alan’s plans for keeping them safe whilst they work in the void.


I'll be sure to make them a brew once they have finished.

11th March 2022

Our majestic Library has stood tall on Crown Street for over 136 years, and I couldn't wait to see the view from the top of it.

Once the external scaffolding went up, (and I'd let a few of the contractors test it out), I asked site manager Alan to give me the grand tour.

The roof tiles appeared to be in remarkably good condition, and Alan estimates that around 80% of these will be re-laid once the specialist roofing felt has been installed.

It was great to see the detailing of the brickwork close up; the windows, crests and original carved wording.

The glass externally to the roof is all due to be replaced and I couldn't help but feel daunted by the obvious difficulty and complexity of this work. I also thought I'd better organise a sun dance over the summer to keep the rain at bay for them!

We've got your next week's TV viewing sorted!

This week our library blogger looks at the some of the best TV shows based on novels around at the moment!

We've done all of the hard work for you, so sit back, relax pick something to watch and if you fancy reading the book click on the links to find them on our library catalogue.

 

Friday 04th March 2022, Channel 5, 9pm - The Holiday  Current Image

Take a holiday you won't forget!

We're loving The Holiday at the moment based on the bestselling book by T. M. Logan.

When three families go away on a Mediterranean holiday together, Kate isn't prepared for the betrayal, danger and heartbreak in store. Convinced her husband is cheating on her, things take a deadly turn when it seems someone is prepared to do anything to keep the truth from her... 

 

Saturday 05th March 2022,  Amazon Prime - Reacher  Current Image

A tough ex-military cop of no fixed abode: a righter of wrongs, the perfect action hero. The Jack Reacher books by Lee Child are incredibly popular here at the library and it's definitely one to read before you see. Based on the first Reacher book Killing Floor the first season is available to download on Prime now - perfect for a Saturday night in!

 

Sunday 06th March 2022,  ITV, 9pm - Ipcress File  Current Image

A brand new version of spy thriller starring Joe Cole, Tom Hollander and Lucy Boynton. A high-ranking scientist has been kidnapped. A secret British intelligence agency must find out why. But as the quarry is pursued from grimy Soho to the other side of the world, what seemed a straightforward mission turns into something far more sinister.

Len Deighton's debut novel rewrote the rules for the spy thriller and became the defining novel of 1960's London. There are 6 episodes to get through, don't miss if you're a spy genre fan.

 

Monday 07th March 2022,  ITV, 9pm & ITV Hub - Our House Current Image

A four parter inspired by the award winning book of the same name by Louise Candlish. On a bright morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought on Trinity Avenue. Nothing strange about that. Except it's your house. And you didn’t sell it. 

This edge of your seat drame will air nightly, with the fourth and final episode airing on Thursday, March 10. 

 

Tuesday 08th March 2022, Amazon Prime - Wheel of Time  Current Image

The lives of five young villagers change forever when a strange and powerful woman arrives, claiming one of them is the child of an ancient prophecy with the power to tip the balance between Light and Dark forever. They must choose whether to trust this stranger – and each other – with the fate of the world before the Dark One breaks out of His prison, and the Last Battle begins.  

The Wheel of Time is based on Robert Jordan’s best-selling series of the same name and is available for download now.

 

Wednesday 09th March 2022,  Netflix - Pieces of Her  Current Image

A shooting at a diner soon reveals to Andy that her mum has a secret life – unleashing a thoroughly entertaining torrent of twists, turns, murder and mayhem. What if the person you think you know the best you don't really know at all!

The new Netflix thriller is based on the 2018 Karin Slaughter bestseller and is available now, enjoy.

 

Thursday 10th March 2022,  Netflix - Harlan Coben Thrillers  Current Image

Harlan Coben's Netflix shows always leave us wanting more. There are 14 miniseries to watch at the moment with more to come. Choose from titles like Gone for Good, No Second Chance and The Stranger. If you love mysteries, murders and multiple narratives, these are the series to watch, just keep an eye on the time - it's easy to stay up all night watching these!

 

Friday 11th March 2022 ITV, 9pm & ITV Hub - Grantchester  Current Image

We're big fans of this Drama series set in the 1950s, in the Cambridgeshire village named Grantchester. Now in series 7 Tom Brittney and Robson Green reprise their roles as Reverend Will Davenport and his crime-solving partner DI Geordie Keating. Adapted from the fictional Grantchester Mysteries novels by James Runcie, the seventh series is set in 1959, just before the Swinging Sixties take off, and will see the duo as busy as ever investigating a range of mysterious murder cases.

It’s come to pass that this will be the final entry on the Darlington library page and I’d like to make my final piece all about the places a library will take a person.

I have worked here at the library for more than a decade and in this time have met some wonderful people and escaped on some fantastic adventures through my love of books. It has been amazing to meet lots of like minded customers and talk to each other about what exciting books we’ve read lately and I have been glad to be part of the library story (no pun intended!)

Throughout the years I have seen much change to the service, but one thing remains our library team is like a family. We help people from all walks of life in many different situations and in order for our work to continue it is so important to keep promoting the wonderful service through an ever changing new digital age. I will miss welcoming children into story club on a Saturday morning and the happiest look on a child’s face as they receive their very own shiny library card in their hand when they join. I’ll remember organizing sensory sessions for babies with lots of glitter, shaving foam and general chaos but seeing parents and babies make the most wonderful memories. I will always remember every word of the songs sung during rhyme time and miss seeing how big the children have grown when they come in to borrow books through the years.

I have always loved the fact that when you set foot in the library your horizons can expand, you can learn something new, find a new job, research a new hobby or discover a new author you’d never found before. The possibilities of a library are endless and I know going forward I will miss my unique job very much but sometimes one learns and expands and has to travel onwards onto new adventures in their own life just like in stories. The blog has helped me navigate through very different times, through a global pandemic and I have been proud to serve the public of Darlington during this unique period of history. I will as I move onto pastures new hope that Darlington continue showing their love of reading and support our lovely library who stands firm after all these years.

I attach a poem I submitted to Creative Darlington for a competition in pre-covid times. Every word still rings true and always will.

 

Our crown in crown street…

Upon some land where a mill once stood, where a local man left in his will the promise of a free library to its people, our majestic lady resides.

Her ornate stonework is envied, she dominates the street with her radiating presence, but emits a warmth and kindness in her shiny window eyes. She welcomes all inside. Since 1885 she has given her service to the people of Darlington, provided a place to work, to read, to create, to explore her shelves. How many people have been inspired by her, have found comfort, solitude, knowledge….

The weatherworn dovecot is gazed at by small children waiting for their mum to come out of the shop nearby, what secrets does she hide? What sights has she seen? What changes has she been part of?

Inside the depths, through dark corridors amidst shelves swept from dust, with pride, her faithful servants scurry to bring new generations stories of old, holding capture her town’s history with wonder and astonishment, so one day those who still visit her may see what joy she brought. Everyone who has been hypnotized by her beauty have left their mark here somehow, a painting, a novel, a poem, some Victorian cursive handwriting on yellowed paper, a bookmark found in pages. The unmistakable scent of history ( that only a library somehow conveys, old papers, a little musty but uncapturable anywhere else)

The pages of a book are happily discovered within these walls, the companionship of others, the enchantment of escaping from the outside to new intriguing lands and places. To finding new experiences and widening horizons, tell me who can put a price on this?

Our jewel in the crown she is. Our lady, our library.

Are you anticipating some new reads this year? Is there a particular author you know won’t disappoint, or do you take a lucky dip whenever you visit the library? Whatever your literary tastes we have something for you, remember if you see a book you like the look of online we can order you a copy or reserve if it's already in stock. Just call us on 01325 349610 and we will do our very best to help.

Project hail Mary by Andy Weir (4th May)

The Martian author’s third adventure in space follows Ryland Grace, the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission. Grace doesn’t remember his own name, his assignment or how to complete it, and he definitely doesn’t know that if he fails, humanity and the earth will perish. A gripping tale of survival. 

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead (4th May)

Great Circle is the story of two women: Marian Graves and Hadley Baxter. In 1950, Marian embarks on her life’s dream, to fly around the globe. But after a crash landing, she writes one last entry in her logbook. Half a century later, troubled Hollywood starlet Hadley Baxter is irresistibly drawn to pay Marian in a film, a role that will lead her to the deepest mysteries in the vanished pilot’s life.

China room by Sunjeev Sahota (6th May)

Sunjeev Sahota, who was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2015 with his novel The Year of the Runaways, tells a multigenerational story of love, trauma and the search for freedom in his new book. China Room follows Mehar, a young bride in rural India in 1929, trying to discover the identity of her husband while sequestered from contact with men in her family’s ‘china room’, and a young man in 1999 who travels from England to the now-deserted farm where Mehar lived.

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon (6th May)

Rivers Solomon’s extraordinary gothic tale of metamorphosis has already received praise from Marlon James, who called it “fantastical and frightening”. At the book’s centre is Vern, a Black woman with albinism who escapes a religious compound, and discovered that her body is changing and she developing extra-sensory powers. Alone in the woods and having given birth to twins, Vern must investigate the secluded compound she fled and the violent history of dehumanisation, medical experimentation, and genocide that produced it in order to understand why she is changing.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (27th May)

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s first novel Daisy Jones & The Six was a tale of the rise and fall of a singer and her band. In Malibu Rising Reid takes another look at fame, fortune and family. Siblings Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit are adored and the source of much fascination in Malibu and the world, thanks to their father, legendary singer Mick Riva. In 1983, Nina holds her annual end-of-summer party, but by morning the Riva mansion has gone up in flames. What happened at the party? And what secrets are the party’s hosts and guests hiding?
For fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid this new title looks like one not to be missed!

The Waiter by Ajay Chowdhury (27 May)

Ajay Chowdhury won the inaugural Harvill Secker and Bloody Scotland BAME crime competition with The Waiter. The novel follows disgraced detective Kamil Rahman, who moves from Kolkata to London to start afresh as a waiter in an Indian restaurant. But while catering a birthday birth for his boss’ rich friend, host Rakesh is found dead and suspension falls on his new wife, Neha. Kamil finds himself drawn back into his old life, as he investigates what happened to Rakesh, with the help of his boss’ daughter Anjoli. 

Assembly by Natasha Brown (3rd June)

Natasha Brown’s debut novel is set in the competitive world of investment banking, and follows an unnamed Black British woman trying to navigate friendship, love and work. "I was trying to capture the claustrophobia of the narrator’s world, and the hostility of it – how it felt for her to exist, and to succeed, as a Black woman working in the City,” said Brown of the novel.

The mismatch by Sara Jafari (24th June)

Soraya wants to belong, but at 21 still hasn’t been kissed. When she meets Magnus, the last person she expected to fall for, she confronts her past and is able to work out her next steps. At the same time, Soraya’s mother Neda, who left Iran in the wake of the revolution, is also striving to belong. A story of romantic love, The Mismatch is also the touching tale of a mother and daughter and the sacrifices family makes. 

Any of the above taken your fancy? Get in touch for some fabulous reads!

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