Friday, July 3, 2020

Spotlight 30: Change and Transformation

We've all had to adapt to some dramatic changes this year. With more on the way soon, we've chosen to focus on the theme of Transformation.

Outside of items on dealing with current changes, today's Library Spotlight also features magical metamorphoses, butterflies, coming-of-age stories - and zombies.

This too shall pass

In this Waterstones podcast, psychotherapist Julia Samuel discusses how we can develop healthy ways of coping with change against the backdrop of coronavirus.

The interview includes many helpful suggestions for responding to uncertainty emotionally, socially and creatively, along with recognising the opportunities that it presents.

One of Julia Samuel's suggestions for working through our thoughts and feelings at times of change and crisis is to start a journal.

If you're curious about finding out more about journaling and giving it a go, this article has some great tips on getting started. There's also advice on writing a "gratitude journal" during uncertain times here.

Discover something new with our Adventure Book Festival

As covered in the podcast, lockdown has offered the opportunity to reflect on ourselves and what changes we might like to make to our lives in the future. We may be thinking about trying out different outward-bound hobbies, or striking out on new adventures once things are safer.

Tickets are now available for our Adventure Book Festival - a series of fantastic free online events, running from 13 - 23 July. From talks on fell running, mountaineering, and wild swimming, to creative writing workshops for adults and young people, there'll be lots to inspire and explore!

Visit our Eventbrite page to see the full programme and to book your place on these live events.

Creativity During Corona
Write about a change in your life that affected you. Perhaps try writing in the 3rd person (he/she rather than I) - it could make you look at the situation differently. Turn it into a poem or a short story, the beginning of a novel or your memoirs.
In this week's final Creativity During Corona post, Claire from Central Library shares some poems and writing prompts on the theme of metamorphosis.

Visit our Facebook page to try out today's creative writing activities and read some "Instructions for Not Becoming a Werewolf"...

Create a caterpillar collage

Naturally, one of our favourite stories about metamorphosis is The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Hear Eric Carle read his classic picture book and learn how to create a colourful butterfly in the style of the original illustrations in this video from the Puffin Festival of Big Dreams.

Theatrical transformations

In the mood for some theatre this weekend? Here are two experimental takes on classic stories featuring magical and monstrous transformations.

An ingenious theatrical "remake" of George Romero's 1968 horror film, imitating the dog's
 Night of the Living Dead REMIX won rave reviews when it toured the UK earlier this yearBlending theatre, film, archive footage and Barbie dolls, this is a unique, often entertainingly weird play.

Against a backdrop of political turbulence, a group of strangers are forced to take shelter in an isolated farmhouse during a zombie apocalypse. But the living can be just as big a threat as the undead.

Aimed at audiences aged 15+, Night of the Living Dead REMIX is available to watch online here.

Also free to watch now, a recent acclaimed production of A Midsummer's Night Dream is currently available on iPlayer as part of the BBC's "Culture in Quarantine" programme.

Performed at the Globe in 2016, Emma Rice's production shakes up Shakespeare's magical comedy, switching character genders and bringing in touches of Bollywood and bawdy cabaret.

Watch this modern take on A Midsummer Night's Dream here.

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a giant insect.” Who wrote this famous opening line? 
What words are written on the label of the shrinking potion in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?
Fancy testing your book smarts? For the latest Friday Book Quiz we've conjured up some questions on magical metamorphoses in fiction.

You can find the full quiz on our Twitter page. The answers and a new quiz will be revealed next week.

Festival of Debate

Sheffield's Festival of Debate is coming to close with a "Question Time"-style event tonight (Friday 3 July). But you can still catch up with this year's free online talks.

The 2020 festival has featured many thought-provoking discussions on achieving social change and adapting to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 epidemic.

This year's events are available to watch on the Festival of Debate website.

Now in the eLibrary

We're currently planning how to reopen our services in a way that is safe for all.

In the meantime, our eLibrary is available 24/7, with thousands of eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and comics for readers of all ages to enjoy for free. Find out how to join the library and access the eLibrary on our website.

Today we're highlighting some great YA novels. Click the titles to discover recent bestsellers and stories of self-discovery with the power to change perceptions and perspectives.

One of Us...
Discover Karen McManus's
thrilling bestselling series
A "Catcher in the Rye
for the digital age"

The Conference of the Birds
Miss Peregrine's
Peculiar Children
Read Becky Albertalli's
Love, Simon novels


Browse our full collection of eBooks for teenagers here (audiobooks can be found here).

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