To mark International Women’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of the most-borrowed books by female authors for children, young adults and adults in our libraries from the past month.
Zog, The Scarecrows’ Wedding, Monkey Puzzle, Tabby McTat The Gruffalo and Sugarlump and the Unicorn by Julia Donaldson
This host of titles for babies and young children covers a range of animals and situations.
“‘Who’s in the loo? There’s a very long queue. Is it an elephant doing a poo?’
“If your house has many occupants, then this rhyme from the irreverent and observant pen of Jeanne Willis will interest you.”
“Alan the bear has a problem. He needs a wee! But there are so many things he would rather do first. Will he make it to the loo on time? And when he gets there, will there be a queue?”
The above two titles suggest our youngest customers have very particular reading preferences. Perhaps we should order some more toilet-related books to keep up with demand!
“Ben and Bella are having such a lovely, splashy time in the big, red bath that soon everybody wants to join in the fun! But will there be room for all the animals - even Hippopotamus?”
“Look out! Tom, Delia, and the whole Gates family (Fossils included) are going on holiday. How will Tom manage to keep himself busy on the most boring campsite ever? By doodling, of course!”
Young Adult books
Girl Online On Tour and Girl Online Going Solo, by Zoe Sugg
The second and third titles in Zoe Sugg aka Zoella’s Girl Online series. On Tour sees blogger Penny dealing with the demands of a world tour with her rock star boyfriend, Noah, while in Going Solo, Noah is off the radar and Penny finds a new love interest on a visit to her friend’s performing arts school.
“Faith’s father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered. The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as the tree bears more and more fruit, she discovers something terrifying - that her lies were closer to the truth than she could ever have imagined.”
“Sephy is a Cross – a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a nought – a ‘colourless’ member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood. But that’s as far as it can go. Until the first steps are taken towards more social equality and a limited number of Noughts are allowed into Cross schools…
“Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity by Noughts, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum – a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger.”
The first in a trilogy, Noughts and Crosses is still issuing well 16 years after it was first published.
“Grace and Tippi are twins - conjoined twins. And their lives are about to change. No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world - a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. But can they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love?
“Just as Tippi and Grace have begun to live like normal teenagers, Grace gets sick, so separation might be the only option left open to them. But separation could mean spending the rest of their lives in wheelchairs. Separation could mean death. And whatever happens, it means being torn apart.”
“Audrey can’t leave the house. She can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house. Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again - well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.
“Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you.”
Adult fiction books
“Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
“And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see: she’s much more than just the girl on the train.”
Another title that continues to issue well long after it hit the shelves.
“Ashcombe was the most beautiful house Saskia had ever seen as a little girl. A rambling pink cottage on the edge of the Suffolk village of Melbury Green, its enchanting garden provided a fairy-tale playground of seclusion, a perfect sanctuary to hide from the tragedy which shattered her childhood.
“Now an adult, Saskia is still living at Ashcombe and as a book restorer devotes her days tending to the broken, battered books that find their way to her, daydreaming about the people who had once turned their pages. When she discovers a notebook carefully concealed in an old Bible - and realising someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to hide a story of their own - Saskia finds herself drawn into a heart-rending tale of wartime love.”
We suspect the local setting, as well as Erica’s general popularity, has drawn a lot of our readers to this book.
“Why has Justine Cantrell suddenly changed her name, abandoned the husband and family she loves and a successful business to start a new life in a place many thousands of miles away? There isn’t a man involved, but there is a terrible secret that she must hide from her new friends and neighbours as securely as she needs to hide herself from those she’s left behind. What is Justine’s secret?”
“When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality. With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them.”
We’re sure we don’t need to explain that we haven’t erroneously included a man on our list, as it’s a very open secret that Robert Galbraith is J. K. Rowling writing under a pseudonym.
“Week after week, the postcards arrive, addressed to a name Ellie does not know, with no return address, each signed with an initial: A. With their bright skies, blue seas and alluring images of Greece, these cartes postales brighten her life. After six months, to her disappointment, they cease. But the montage she has created on the wall of her flat has cast a spell. She must see this country for herself.
“On the morning Ellie leaves for Athens, a notebook arrives. Its pages tell the story of a man’s odyssey through Greece. Moving, surprising and sometimes dark, A’s tale unfolds with the discovery not only of a culture but also of a desire to live life to the full once more.”