Three years ago, 200 valuable books were stolen from a warehouse in London and among these were first editions of Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, and Francisco Goya. Last Wednesday, however, they were found beneath a house in Romania. Read to learn more!
In 2015 a group of friends, all working in the publishing industry, decided to open a bookshop focusing on independent publishing. Dive in with our bookspot for this week.
It’s no secret that books can change a person’s life and growth, and for children this is even more true. The harsh truth is this is a fact that many of us can take for granted without realizing it. Depending on where you live, access to books may be as easy as a click of the mouse. But what about those who have no internet access or even basic necessities? This article is taking a very depressing turn, my apologies, and let me turn this around and say there is hope.
That hope is in a little thing called “mobile libraries.” It’s a new movement occurring in different areas throughout the world, and it brings books, community, and hope to these children looking to shoot for the stars.
Bokbaten Epos (The Library Boat) – Norway
Image via Elite Readers
With humble beginnings in 1959, the idea of a sea borne library was created and pioneered by who else but librarians. Many small communities that live on islands in the Fjords are virtually isolated from the world in Winter. As small communities, they do not have libraries of their own, and that’s how the Library Boat came to be. The purpose and hope of those behind these boats is to enrich the lives of the isolated communities. With the 6,000 print and audio books that the boat brings, culture and entertainment is brought to the people in what is normally a very bleak time for them. The crew behind this noble cause is the captain to navigate the icy seas, a couple of librarians of course, and a cook and two entertainers to boot! Sounds like the perfect way to warm up on a cold day.
Arma de Instruccion Masiva (Weapon of Mass Instruction) – Argentina
Image via Público
The “Weapon of Mass Instruction” is an art/social project created by artist Raúl Lemesoff. The mobile sculpture is a tuned 1979 Ford Falcon shaped in the appearance of a mini-military tank, barrel and all. According to the blog Público, Raúl’s design most likely “mockingly refers to the tanks of the sinister Military Junta that dismissed Isabel Perón in 1976″, which, in short, was a very politically turbulent time for the country. More than making a political statement however, Raúl’s project is a movement, and I’m not talking about the motor function. The idea is what was once a weapon will now be used to donate books. Transporting more than 2,500 books at a time, Raúl travels across the country to bring culture and education to the to the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of Argentine cities. After nine years of book donating, the “Weapon of Mass Instruction” is considered a symbol of protest against actual weapons of mass destruction. The pen is mightier than the sword after all, so rather than being a force of destruction, Raúl Lemesoff’s project is a beacon of peace and reprieve for the youth of Argentina.
Biblioburro (The Donkey Library) – Colombia
Image via PBS
This book donating program was created in La Gloria, Colombia, by Luis Soriano. As a teacher, Luis was concerned that his students had no access to books at home, and decided to do something about it. What he created was a traveling library that distributes books to its patron from the backs of two Donkeys. Rather than packing the saddles with water, Soriano has adapted his two Donkeys’, Alfa and Beto’s, packsaddles to carry books. Luis’ mission is that people will understand the power of reading and that communities can improve with the right support. How right he is. More than 4,000 children have have benefited from Soriano’s program since it began in 1990. In an interview with BBC, Soriano shared his belief in a child’s growth.
“Kids wise up when they pick up a book. Their surprise and imagination meet together, you see them starting to laugh by themselves, just by seeing the book.”
The Kenyan Camel Library – Kenya
Image via Wired
Similar to Luis Soriao’s Biblioburro, The Kenyan Camel Library is a mobile library of camels carrying books. Operated by the Garisa office of the Kenya National Library Service, these camels brings books to children in isolated, poor schools within a 15 kilometer radius of the city. With nine camels and three caravans, lends more than 7,000 books to nomads in Kenya’s impoverished North East Province, trekking across vast desserts for days at a time. In spite of the trials, the service has found huge success, with 3,500 members registered. Every time the Camels travel through a town, they are welcomed with open arms and with the glow of excitement on every child’s face. The service is so popular they can’t meet the demand of books, but with what they can do it has made a world of a difference to these children who otherwise would not have as much opportunity.
Bibliomotocarro (Booktruck) – Italy
Image via giornalemio.it
Retired school teacher Antonio La Cava is the mastermind behind Italy’s booktruck. He put his love of learning and books to use and converted his three-wheeled van into a mobile library with a very homey look to it. The booktruck has a very a welcoming design of a house, complete with a tiled roof, chimney, windows, and a fireplace, but no worry about that last part. The children’s books that Antonio carries are safe from any fire of course. Reaching the most remote places in Italy such as the villages and small towns, Antonio has traveled more than 100,000 kilometers, on three different trucks. For over 16 years he has spread the wonder of reading to children who formerly did not have access to it. Living his retirement to the fullest by continuing his passion as a teacher, Antonio hopes his booktruck brings the message that culture is made by and for everyone, not just a privileged few. In an interview with BBC, Antonio shared his hopes with the world.
“I was strongly worried about growing old in a country of non-readers….carrying out such action has a value, not only social, not only cultural, but has a great ethical meaning.”
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Featured Image via inkefalonia
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These are some pretty awesome libraries! Which one would you visit?
Each week, Bookstr gives you a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list.
Today, we’ll be recommending five of the best fear-inducing Crime and Thrillers that’ll get you in the true October spirit with their scariest horrors, from haunted houses to serial killers.
5-The Secret of Cold Hill by Peter James
Image VIa peterjames
To start off this week’s top picks we are going to talk about the author of bestsellers such as the Roy Grace Books and Match Up, Peter James, who is bringing us a sequel to his spine-chilling The Secret of Cold Hill September 9th.
Image Via Amazon
The infamous Cold Hill House has been demolished to make way for a new housing estate, and now an elderly couple has moved into the new estate. But no one who moves into Cold Hill reaches their fortieth birthday, and this couple’s days are numbered.
Publisher’s Weekly notes that “[a]fter an opening scene of gore, the novel takes time to build to its final unavoidable and understated tragedies” and we here at Bookstr warn you that this novel builds and builds and you’ll forget the chilling conclusion, even though you may want to.
4-The Other End of the Line by Andrea Camilleri
Image Via Segmento
A September 19th release from Andrea Camilleri, this Italian author has written, among many others, the infamous Montalbano mystery series. The Montalbano series, set in nineteenth-century Sicily, has been made into the critical darling Italian TV series.
Image Via Amazon
His newest book follows Inspector Montalbano who, among many others, assist the wave of refugees coming in along the Sicilian coast, but while on duty, traged strikes the docks when Elena Biasini, a charming master seamstress, is found brutally slain.
Now Inspector Montalbano delves into the world of garments, discovering how to weave the loose threads of this case together.
As usual, Camilleri delivers an excellent mystery with a rich plot, made all the more intense by the fact that the aging Montalbano growing age is starting to show. A deeply satisfying police procedural, as well as a feast of satire and playful nonsense, this novel is not only a commentary of our times, but also an astounding feat considering Camilleri was blind when he wrote this book with his assistant.
Image Via Book Riot
Leigh Bardugo is the creator of the Grishaverse—a literary universe that consists of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and King of Scars—and is the author of Wonder Woman: Warbringer.
Her newest novel is much anticipated and, thanks to the wonder of time (it came out October 8th!), is already out!
But what’s the book about?
Image Via Amazon
Raised in Los Angeles by a hippie mom, Galaxy “Alex” Stern dropped out of school early and entered a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse.
By age twenty, Alex is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Now on her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance to rebuild her life and attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride.
What’s the catch?
Well, Alex is tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies and she finds herself in a world of occult magic and…death!
A thrilling ride, this novel has gotten praises from the King of Horror himself, Stephen King, who said that, “Ninth House is the best fantasy novel I’ve read in years, because it’s about real people. Bardugo’s imaginative reach is brilliant, and this story―full of shocks and twists―is impossible to put down.”
2-The Guardians by John Grisham
Image Via NPR
A lawyer for years, John Grisham became an author and his name has become synonymous with the modern legal thriller. So how is this October 15th release different from his other novels? Well…
Image Via Amazon
Twenty-two years ago Quincy Miller, a young black man, was arrested for the shooting of young lawyer Keith Russo. For the two decades, Quincy has maintained his innocence. Desperate, he writes a letter to Guardian Ministries, a small nonprofit run by Cullen Post, a lawyer who is also an Episcopal minister.
Cullen Post takes the case but soon discovers there are people who do not want Quincy exonerated. They killed one lawyer twenty-two years ago, and they will kill another without a second thought.
Gripping, exciting, this book may prove to be one of Grisham’s most thrilling, most heart-pounding novel.
1-Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand
Image Via Twitter
A regular contributor to the Washington Post Book World and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Elizabeth Hand has written Winterlong, Waking the Moon (Tiptree and Mythopoeic Award-Winner), and, among many others, Glimmering. An astounding writer, Elizabeth Hand brings us this October 15th release.
Image Via Amazon
In the summer of 1915, Pin, the fourteen-year-old daughter of a carnival fortune-teller, dresses as a boy and joins a teenage gang that roams the Chicago’s Riverview amusement park, looking for trouble.
She finds it, discovering a ruthless killer who uses the shadows of the dark carnival attractions to conduct his crimes. Witnessing him enter the Hell Gate ride with a young girl, and emerging alone, Pin will be led to iconic outsider artist Henry Darger, a brilliant but seemingly mad man. She’ll have to work with this lunatic to navigate the seedy underbelly of a changing city to uncover a murderer who lurks in the shadow.
Beyond your run-of-the-mill thriller, Kirkus Reviews perfectly notes how “Pin is an engaging, courageous heroine, and her musings on gender identity are both poignant and relevant,” and the novel itself is “Richly imaginative and psychologically complex.”