Shelfie Take-Over


Are you tired of seeing the same recommended books?

Think your favourite reads are better?

Now’s your chance to share what you think people should be reading

Lambeth Libraries invites you to take over a display with your 10 recommended reads. You’ll  get to share with the world your favourite books that you think everyone should read.  They’ll even be copies of your books available for people to take home and (hopefully) fall in love with.

How it works

  • Send us your 10 recommended reads, along with up to 50 words for each title of why you’ve chosen it (titles must be in print and available in paperback)
  • You’ll need to include a picture of yourself, along with your name and location.
  • You can either post a comment below, hand in a paper copy into any Lambeth library or email Zoey at
  • Each month one submission will be chosen to be displayed in Brixton, Clapham and Streatham libraries.
  • All submissions will be posted on this blog page.
  • Join the conversation on twitter @lamlibs #shelfietakeover #LoveLamLibs

5 thoughts on “Shelfie Take-Over

  1. September Take-Over is by Tony

    1) The Painted Man by peter brett
    This is the first, a series of 5 novels set in a world where demons come out at night to prey on mankind. The first volume focuses on Arlen who witnesses his mum been killed decides there has to be a better way.
    An exciting adventure that blows you away fantastic

    2) Daughter Of The Empire by Raymond E Fiest and Janny Wurts
    The first novel in a trilogy in which a young woman Mara living in Kelewan a nation who battles for power against other powerful houses, politics, assassination.
    I love this as you follow a young inexperienced woman take on the Empire and win against impossible odds.

    3) The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever by Stephen Donaldson
    A Tolklen-ist world set in “Land” a leper Thomas Covenant is transported there, but thinks he’s hallucinating, a powerful world full of magic, faith and a fate dependent on the only person who can save it, Thomas the unbeliever.
    A book that made me both laugh and cry

    4)The Atrocity Archives: Book 1 in The Laundry Files by Charles Stross
    Bob Howard is a low level techie working for a super-secret government agency, Bob is up to his neck in spycraft, parallel universes, dimension-hopping terrorists, monstrous elder gods and the end of the world.
    I found this to be a delightfully fun read that makes you want more

    5) Johannes Cabal the Necomancer by Jonathan L Howard first in a series
    Johannes Cabal, a brilliant but reclusive scientist, understandable as he robs graves, gets chases by touch- bearing mobs and sells he soul to the devil, follow his adventures as he tries to get it back.
    I love the humor, the totally unpleasant lead character who you just have to root for!!

    6) The Black Angel by John Connolly – a Charlie Parker Thriller number 5
    A wonderfully constructed PI detective novel entwined with supernatural overtones that keeps you reading from page one, Charlie Parker alongside his friends Louis and Angel investigate solve and make people pay for their crimes.
    The mix of the supernatural and crime makes this series a must for me.

    7) The Final Empire- Mistborn Book One of Three by Brandon Sanderson
    A world ruled by an overlord with absolute power, a thousand years in slavery the Skaa. Hope remains in the underground and the courage of an unlikely heroine who must master the power of Allomancy the power of a mistborn.
    A powerful story , one you can re-read again and again.

    8) The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
    A man crashes his car, ends up in a burns ward, he life is over until he meets Marianne Engel. An amazing love-story spanning the ages sweeping you away
    A powerful novel that grabs you by the throat from page one and won’t let go, it made my cry real tears!

    9) Bryant and May The Victoria Vanishes (book 6) by Christopher Fowler
    The Particular Crimes Unit, run by a pair of ageing detectives Arthur Bryant and John May who’s team solve the crimes the normal police force cannot.
    I love these books as they are always based in London, give educational facts and you go online and follow the detecives routes – great fun!

    10) The Ritual by Adam Nevill
    Four old university friends set off in to the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, soon their lose their way and stumble upon people who worship something ancient.
    A good horror that digs into you subconscious of forgotten horrors a wonderful horrible read.

  2. Other entries – which one will be the October take over?

    My Ten Favourite Books

    The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

    I love a good thriller which keeps me up well past by bedtime totally gripped, and that’s exactly what The Girl in the Ice did. Set in Forest Hill area it also provides a local backdrop. This is a fantastic new series with Erika Foster making her debut.

    The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman

    Rowan writes beautiful books to fall in love with, and move you. The Memory Book will stay with me forever. The sad story of a young woman hit by early onset Alzheimer’s takes us on her journey, and the impact on her family. A remarkable, moving, story of love.

    Beyond Grace’s Rainbow by Carmel Harrington

    Not a household name but this debut by Carmel has become one of recommended ‘must reads’. Deeply moving and inspirational Grace battles cancer with the love of her friends (who are very funny). This is an unforgettable book of love, life and inspiration, with a great cast of characters.

    The Lie by C.L. Taylor

    This book left me literally on the edge of my seat, and with dark circles from an all-night reading session. I simply couldn’t put this addictive psychological thriller down. Dark and twisted characters it had me questioning who you can trust, and how loyal friends really are.

    Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

    This book has caused a real stir amongst readers with rave reviews, all of which I agree with. This is another psychological thriller that delves into what goes on behind closed doors. Like in panto you will boo this baddie and it certainly got under my skin! A must read!

    Ivy Lane by Cathy Bramley

    Does anyone have a favourite piece of clothing or something they turn to to make them feel warm, secure and happy with the world? That is what Cathy’s books, and Ivy Lane do for me. Wonderfully written and great characters, I want to move into their world and be their friend too.

    One Step Closer to You by Alice Peterson

    Alice Peterson writes the most wonderful books that don’t shy away from sensitive subjects. Her books move me, inspire me and make me smile. One Step Closer to You will capture your heart and mind and left me wanting more. Her writing connects me with the characters and I become totally absorbed.

    Making Friends with Anxiety by Sarah Rayner

    This is a non-fiction self-help book that has a powerful effect on helping me understand and become more at ease with my anxiety, and that I am not alone. Beautifully written, with ideas on ways to cope with anxious thoughts and feelings, this is an invaluable support to me.

    The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson

    I read this more than a year ago and I am still raving about it. It had one of the best twists I have read in a long time. So well written, Lucy is a fab women’s fiction author, but this book has so much more than a love story…..

    Recipes for Melissa by Teresa Driscoll

    I cannot believe this is a debut novel as it is so wonderfully written. This is a moving story of losing your Mum when you are young, and years later being presented with a gift that leads you to explore her life, loss, and love. Interspersed with divine recipes this book is gorgeous.

    10x pocket-sized masterpieces #shelfietakeover #lovelamlibs @lamlibs
    ‘Arrow of God’ by Chinua Achebe
    Achebe’s third-novel focuses on the conflict between European Christianity and Igbo tradition. The memorable narrative paints a poignant portrait of a Chief Priest and his world just as it is being turned upside down.

    ‘The Year of the Hare’ by Arto Paasilina
    Fun, playful and infused with Finnish-humour. This is a lively palette-cleanser of a story; it is also a deliciously peculiar page-turner set in the depths of Europe’s northern-most forest. Far from perfect but also far from put-down-able.

    ‘Breathe, Eyes, Memory’ by Edwidge Danticat
    Inter-generational distrust as a daughter leaves home and travels to New York to live with her mother for the very first time. A bittersweet tale from a still surprisingly unknown novelist which bears witness to the obsession with female purity that exists in some Haitian communities.

    ‘Pincher Martin’ by William Golding
    The eponymous unheroic-lead of the title bobs to the surface within a hairs-breadth of drowning: he gasps and gulps-down icy salt-water before scrabbling onto an almost-infinitely isolated island. A fascinatingly tight and concisely wrought novel set entirely on a single rock in the ocean.

    ‘Sula’ by Toni Morrison
    A breathtakingly beautiful insight into human nature and American lives in the twentieth century that reverberates even to this day. Sula’s return to her childhood home brings forth memories she’d long forgotten.

    ‘The Awakening’ by Kate Chopin
    Set in New Orleans and on the Gulf coast where the protagonist’s ‘unorthodox’ views are pitted against traditional society. The stomach-churning struggle to fight for a personality that is frowned-upon by the wider-world has rarely been more accurately portrayed.

    ‘China in 10 Words’ by Yu Hua
    A pithy and refreshingly precise introduction to China. It inspires you to find out more about an often misunderstood part of the world. Seeing with Hua’s unflinching gaze is a hugely rewarding experience.

    ‘Surfacing’ by Margaret Atwood
    Surfacing is an often-overlooked yet spiky and invigorating early novel from Margaret Atwood. Expect self-discovery in the wilderness as well as themes of marginality and disconnection (which seem especially relevant here in post-Brexit Britain).

    ‘A Sunday by the Pool in Kigali’ by Gil Courtemanche
    A painful, anger-fuelled story set during the Rwandan genocide. An undoubtedly challenging but vital, enduring and elegantly written novel. A taut description of catastrophic times.

    ‘The Drowned World’ by JG Ballard
    Imagine a London of the future which has been reduced to a swampy mire. One of the only survivors looks out over a jungle lagoon from the penthouse suite at the Ritz. You’ll need some ice and a fan to keep cool while reading this swelteringly brilliant novel.

    Women through the Wormhole

    Lagoon – Nnedi Okorafor
    Aliens arrive in Nigeria and change forever the lives of a cast of characters including a marine biologist, a soldier, a cross-dressing student, a priest, and a Ghanaian pop star. Lagoon has an epic scale, a wonderful narrative use of new technologies, and a winning sense of optimism.

    Barrayar – Lois McMaster Bujold
    When a war hero marries the leader of the opposition forces and moves to his isolated planet, what then? Bujold’s gift for dialogue and characterisation make this a wonderful book about culture clash and building a new life for yourself in the most difficult of circumstances.

    God’s War – Kameron Hurley
    An utterly distinctive punch in the gut of a novel set in a matriarchal society on a desert planet riven by endless war. You might love or hate the protagonist, Nyx, but you’ll definitely have an opinion about her.

    The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers
    Join the motley crew of the Wayfarer for the most heart-warming, character based science fiction you’ll read this year.

    The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
    A life-changing dystopian exploration of gender and the loss of human rights in a chillingly possible near-future regime.

    The Maker’s Mask – Ankaret Wells
    The Maker’s Mask is an intricate adventure story about far-future court politics and heroic women. Contains characters you will definitely want to go for a drink with!

    Slow River – Nicola Griffith
    A classic cyberpunk thriller where nothing is entirely as it seems. Slow River is an exploration of recovery after trauma, environmentalism, and the costs of denying your past.

    Grimspace – Ann Aguirre
    A punchy space opera told at full tilt, with a world-weary female navigator as narrator. Grimspace is a quick and entertaining read and would be a great book to take on holiday.

    The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin
    Ursula K. Le Guin is a giant of the genre and it’s difficult to pick just one of her books. This novel is a meditation on gender and identity, set in a fascinatingly alien culture.

    Gemsigns – Stephanie Saulter
    Gemsigns is a thoughtful story about genetic engineering and the ‘other.’ A compelling read from first time author Stephanie Saulter.

  3. Tony Dure

    I like Jill’s selection due to the fact her selection covers different subjects from Thrillers to real life, and women’s reading rather than sticking to one subject

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