Thursday, 12 April 2018

Books Unlocked April 2018 - Written in the Stars

‘Written in the Stars’


23rd April is World Book Night and to join in with the national celebration of reading for adults we have acquired this year’s World Book Night titles to inspire you to read something new or different this month. Reading is widely accepted as a way to improve mental well-being, so why not escape for an hour or even just a few minutes and choose something from our collection “because everything changes when we read”.
The World Book Night titles are on display for you to borrow at our Bedford, Luton and Aylesbury campuses and you can view them all here http://worldbooknight.org/books
If these books don’t grab you, our libraries have a great selection of other books that can be read for pleasure. The Bedford library has a selection on the 1st floor, showcasing some ‘Quick Reads’ if you are short on time, some other titles similar to the WBN titles, and a selection of Young Adult fiction from our Teaching Practice collection – not just for teaching students or young adults!
Why not share a review of a book you love too and think others would enjoy too? Here are a few reviews of this year’s World Book Night from members of the library staff:


5 High school children get a detention but only 4 leave the detention room.
The book is read from the prospective of 4 different High School students, Bronwyn, Nate, Copper and Addy. This book doesn’t contain chapters but is set out instead as narratives from each different student. Each narrative has the Students name as a heading and the date.  I sometimes over looked this as I was reading, which caused me some confusion and I found this quite difficult to get used too. I enjoyed the book and it did keep me hooked, it is a very good ‘who done it’ with a lot of twists. I found it easy enough to visualise the Characters and surroundings. I thought it was very well written once I got used to the layout of the text. I would recommend this book to young adults and adults.  It isn’t that graphic but it does contain adult themes in places.

The underworld was a man’s game, now its Maura’s.
The book starts in the year 1950 and is based in London. 1950 is the year that Maura Ryan was born.  As the book progresses you follow Maura as she grows up in a poor family of 8 older brothers.  Different trials and tribulations through her life cause her to choose a path which is unthought-of for a woman in the 70’s. I absolutely love this book and have read it twice. It is a really good page turner                 and even when you get to the end of a chapter it is very hard to put down.  I have read all of Martina Cole’s books and think she is an excellent author. This book is defiantly for adults who are not easily offended, it is very graphic and has adult themes and language throughout. I would recommend it and all of her books to those who love a good gangland story.



A moving story of a boy trying to find his way against the odds.

Leon is a boy struggling to come to terms with the constant feeling of not being good enough and the challenges that he faces as a mixed-race, taller than average nine-year-old boy growing up in the care system in the 80’s, who just wants the love and comfort of his family. The book jacket and description didn’t make me instinctively want to read this book but I’m glad I did.  The chapters are short so it was easy to pick up and put down—but I couldn’t put it down!
It’s an incredibly moving story that saddened me but also inspired me and showed the softer side of humanity. I found myself really rooting for Leon and those who had shown him kindness and can truly say it was a page-turner.

You’ve probably heard of Mindfulness—this book really does try to explain it guide you through it


I tried this book after having little success with another Mindfulness title. I found having the CD to help with some of the exercises particularly useful. I think it would be well-worth reading this alongside mindfulness sessions (the University offers these at Bedford campus) as it can be a daunting topic to enter into on its own but has so many uses.

Aylesbury Library

Luton Library
Bedford Library

Bedford Library

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Books Unlocked March 2018 - Fake News



The world of news today is a minefield of fake news, propaganda, and political bias. The rise of news shared on the internet - filtered by algorithms which show you what a website or search engine thinks you want to see - has added an extra layer of complexity to researching current affairs.

As a student, you can use the skills you learn at University to navigate this minefield online - and this month's Books Unlocked display helps you find out how.

Don't forget to look at our guide on fake news on LRWeb, too!


Aylesbury LRC

Bedford Library

Luton Library

Bedford Library


Bedford Library


Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Books Unlocked February 2018 - Graphic Novels

 Every Picture Tells the Story

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
Well, no, but it is ‘Every Picture tells the Story’: a taster of comics and graphic novels, in
UOB Libraries this month.

There is a long history to be discovered; a look at using the medium in non-fiction and academia; new approaches to classic texts – oh, and some Superheroes too.

Whether taking a break or looking for inspiration do seek out the displays in your campus and see what comics and graphic novels may have for you. 




Bedford Library

1st floor Bedford Library

Bedford Library

Bedford Library
Aylesbury LRC



Luton Library

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Mood Boosting for January


We know that University life can sometimes be challenging. That is why we have put together a collection of books on a wide range of topics around personal health and well-being.

Whether you’re interested in managing stress and learning some new relaxation techniques, or having more difficult mental health issues, there are books here that can help.  Why not look at our books on cookery, nutrition and exercise.

There is useful material available on Health and Well-being from Student Support, visit:



Health & Wellbeing 
Campus Centre, Luton campus  Tuesday 23 January, 10am-3pm.

Luton Library

Luton Library

Luton Library


 What can I do if I don’t have a lot of time?​

University can be a busy time, which can make it harder for you to take the time to look after your mental wellbeing. When you’re busy, stresses can mount up and really take their toll - so it’s important to take the time to prioritise your own mental wellbeing. ​If you have:

5 minutes

Make a cup of tea and enjoy it undistracted
Cuddle a pet or soft toy
Write a to-do list
Text a friend

10 minutes

Do a guided meditation
Take a walk
Do a quick tidy and clean of your room/workspace
Listen to your favourite songs

30 minutes

Take exercise - yoga, a run, a brisk walk
Call a friend or family member for a catch-up
Have a nap

1 hour

Watch an episode of your favourite TV show
Go for coffee with a friend
Cook or bake something tasty

Bedford Library


Bedford Library


Bedford Library
Aylesbury LRC


Aylesbury LRC

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Books Unlocked Christmas 2017



CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD



"This year we wanted to focus on how people celebrate Christmas in other countries and get some interesting insights about Christmas traditions and celebrations. More than two billion people celebrate Christmas every year with traditions going further than decorating a Christmas tree or leaving treats out for Santa.

In many European places the festivities begin on the 6th of December with St Nicholas day. In Italy, they exchange presents  on January 6th which is the day of Epiphany. For Christians who live in India, fir trees are not common, they decorate mango trees instead. In Australia due to the weather, Father Christmas swaps his reindeer for ‘six white boomers’ or kangaroos. 


A Christmas tree has been made up on the 1st floor of Bedford Campus Library where you are encouraged to come along and share with us on a note, your own traditions." 




Christmas Tree to add your own tradition
Bedford Library

Teaching Practice Items for Christmas

Luton Library


Aylesbury LRC

Aylesbury Christmas Tree



Friday, 1 December 2017

2017: Waterstones Books of the Year

The full Waterstones Book of the Year shortlist:

  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo
  • A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
  • The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
  • La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One by Philip Pullman
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  • Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense by Jenny Uglow
  • Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalismby Yanis Varoufakis

How many have you read?

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Books Unlocked November 2017 - Gothic Novels






Gothic Fiction
The Gothic genre has been around since the 18th Century although it has been resurrected in the 21st Century with books such as Twilight.  Gothic Fiction delves into the depths of humanity, where the presence of the horrible and the macabre represent ‘the dark side’ of human nature which is portrayed with novels such as Frankenstein and Dracula.  The supernatural monsters are often what people think of when they consider gothic texts.

Please enjoy our Gothic displays in the Libraries this month and feel free to take out anything that interests you.

Bedford Library
Bedford Library

Bedford Library


Bedford Library - Not quite Gothic!
Aylesbury Library

Aylesbury Library

Aylesbury Library
Luton Library


Luton Library