Reading for Pleasure

 

For many, picking up and reading a book may seem daunting. You may not have done much reading other than academic work for years, or maybe it’s just something you’ve never really got into the habit of. With a little more time on our hands, reading can be a great way to spend some of this time. It’s also a great way to escape some of the challenges around us and lose yourself in a different world.

If you haven’t read anything for fun in a while, it may seem difficult to know where to start. Start somewhere easy; choose a book that you know will make you smile, your favourite book as a child, something that you know will keep you reading! GoodReads is a great place to see reader reviews to find books that you might enjoy.

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And of course, you don’t have to pick up a physical book. If e-books and audiobooks work better for you then why not check out what Aberdeen City Libraries have to offer? See what’s available in their collection here.

Read on for some e-book recommendations…

The Secret War: Discovering new outlooks on World War II

75 years ago, the world was looking forward to a vastly different future than many people living then could have imagined 6 years previously. When World War II ended, much like today, everyone wondered what would come next and how and when ‘normality’ would resume. As we have discovered more about this seminal conflict, new and exciting stories have been told.

Aberdeen City Libraries have put together an excellent online collection of Wartime Stories to commemorate this anniversary. Several of the items include uplifting tales of wartime espionage, courage under fire, and dealing with impossible situations. 

Some highlights below: 

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The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero who infiltrated Auschwitz by Jack Fairweather 

The captivating, almost unbelievable true story of Witold Pilecki, an operative with the Polish Resistance, and his two years smuggling information on the Holocaust to Western contacts from inside Auschwitz, alongside saving thousands of fellow prisoners.

The 21 Escapes of Lt Alistair Cram by David Guss 

Another true-life tale, in which you’d be readily forgiven for thinking this man’s middle name was ‘Houdini’. Captured in 1941, Lt Cram was held in 10 different POW camps and prisons and made 21 escape attempts. Courageous and defiant to the end, his partnership with David Stirling led to his last, successful escape and the Military Cross.

Many more wonderful items are available online from Aberdeen City Libraries. Please note that Aberdeen University students and staff can join Aberdeen City Libraries and use their online services immediately. For more information, please see our blog post. Once normal operation resumes, you will also be able to borrow books from the ‘Old Aberdeen Library’ on the Ground Floor of The Sir Duncan Rice Library. 

For further study of the conflict, Primo offers you a gateway into a plethora of information sources. Do get in touch with us if you need help searching Primo or see our Library guides for guidance. 

Harry Potter chapter readings

We may not be able to be back on campus yet but we can go back to Hogwarts. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is being released chapter at a time with a different celebrity reading each chapter; with Daniel Radcliffe himself reading the first chapter. These are available on Spotify and via the Wizarding World website. 

Green lifestyle 

As well as reading purely for pleasure, you may be looking for inspiration on what you can do to improve the world you live in. One aspect of that could be reducing your personal carbon footprint. Here are a couple of easy-to-read e-books from Aberdeen University Library, which might help you find ways to live in a more sustainable manner:

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How bad are bananas: the carbon footprint of everything by Mike Berners-Lee 

Cooler smarter practical steps for low-carbon living: expert advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists by Seth Shulman et al.

To access the above two items, remember to sign in to Primo; then in the ‘View Online’ section in Primo click on the name of the provider (VLeBooks, SpringerLink) to link to the full-text of an e-book. 

Please email us with any questions you may have. Until then, happy reading! 

Laura Bain, Lucy Drysdale and Elaine Fitzgerald

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