Another month is coming to an end ... and not only the month. We have also farewelled summer and daylight savings since the last column. For me personally, that's a good thing. As I have mentioned before, I'm a reader by default and nothing actually beats the feeling of that nice, warm living room with the curtains closed, shutting out the colder or wetter autumn and winter nights and curling up on the couch with a good book and a nice hot cup of tea. It is a completely different feel from the long, balmy summer nights in the garden but I enjoy this just as much.
With the longer, colder evenings, generally the focus shifts a bit more towards the television as well. TV channels seem to be doing their utmost to entertain viewers and a steady stream of new shows are regularly released to find their way to the public. Every once and a while there is something on air that really piques my interest. I recently watched The Bad Seed, based on a series of books by award-winning New Zealand author Charlotte Grimshaw. I confess, I haven't read the books but I have watched the series, spread over five consecutive days, and I did enjoy it. Knowing me, I'll probably compare the series to the books once I've read themand I'm pretty sure you'll find out all about that when it happens.
This brings me to my best read of April. Believe it or not ... it's influenced by television again. It was just a snippet I saw when visiting friends and their television was playing in the background.
The snippet instantly took me back to a series of books that I have truly enjoyed reading — The Neapolitan Novels. I have read reviews saying the storylines are too long and a bit one-dimensional but the portrayal of the friendship between the two girls and their evolution into adulthood really resonated with me. So after seeing the snippet, I borrowed the first book, My Brilliant Friend, from the library and read it again.
And yes, I did enjoy it as much as the first time, over five years ago now. For some reason I can really identify with the main characters, the events in their lives and their living environment. I have just finished book one and I'm now looking forward to reading book two — The Story of a New Name — again.
While reading this book for the second time I couldn't help reflecting on inter-personal relationships and how they evolve. I remember starting my employment at the Gonville Café Library and taking on the role of outreach librarian just a year ago, in April 2018. Fast forward to April 2019 and I can't help noticing how many relationships I have actually established. Not only with customers but also with key people from other community groups and organisations. Partnerships we have developed, initiatives we have undertaken together.
It has been a very interesting year and there are still a lot of interesting plans in the pipeline. At the Gonville library, for example, we are now Spark Jump partners and can take registrations for affordable internet — 30 GB for $10/month — from all families who have children under 18 years old and don't have a broadband connection at home.
We are also working on a Facebook series called People of Gonville, which aims to explore interpersonal links and relationships in the Gonville community. It is a great way to recognise the wonderful people in our Gonville community. We meet such interesting people here at the Gonville library! The idea came about when I was ruminating on how we could showcase our Gonville community and thought of the Humans of New York Facebook page, which features interesting individuals in New York. I thought — how cool this would be for Gonville!
Taking that as inspiration, we are looking for expressions of interest, so if you would like to nominate yourself or someone from Gonville who you know has an interesting story, contact me at the Gonville library on 06 344 5872 from Monday to Wednesday or at the Davis Library on 06 349 3224 on Thursday or Friday. I look forward to receiving all of your stories.