Monday, July 20, 2020

Spotlight 34: Comedy

This week we're highlighting some hilarious reads and comedy classics, along with some great events for families and adults.

Join the Silly Squad!

At this time of year we'd ordinarily be inviting children to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge in our libraries. We miss hearing young readers chat about the books they've enjoyed and giving them their stickers and prizes - and we hope to be welcoming families back soon.

In the meantime, the Summer Reading Challenge is already under way online! There are virtual rewards up for grabs for every child who reads any six books of their choice over summer. Once our libraries reopen, there'll be even more rewards to collect.

In this year's Challenge, children will meet the Silly Squad, a funny gang of animals who love to laugh - along with their dastardly nemesis, Brian the Pony!

Visit the Reading Agency's Summer Reading Challenge website to find out how to take part.

For children looking for something new to read as part of their six-book challenge, our children's eLibrary has loads of great books to enjoy. For example, here are just some of the funny books we have available.

Click on the titles below the covers to go straight to the eLibrary page for each series.

Charlie Turns into a
Chicken (and more!)

Sam Wu
(audiobooks) (eBooks)

Fabulous funny reads
from Pamela Butchart

Diary of an Awesome
Friendly Kid

And the fun doesn't stop there...

Starting this Tuesday, Sheffield Libraries is running lots of online activities to keep children singing, crafting and laughing through the summer!

From now until 26 August, you'll see new events popping up throughout the week on our Facebook page.

What does an anteater eat?

The Little Angel Theatre has recently been sharing some brilliantly inventive puppet performances of funny picture books, including Ross Collins' What Does an Anteater Eat (the answer may not be what you expect!)

You can watch this play and other productions (including great retellings of Jon Klassen's darkly funny I Want My Hat Back picture books), and even learn how to create some of the puppets, on the Little Angel Theatre website.

Don't panic!

2020 marks the all-important 42nd anniversary of the first radio broadcast of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

In this Spectator Book Club podcast, Douglas Adams' friend and collaborator John Lloyd and sci-fi writer Adam Roberts chat about the author, creation and legacy of The Hitchhiker's Guide.

The home of the radio show, BBC Radio 4, has lots of articles, recordings and quizzes about the series, available here.

The original book can also be borrowed from our eLibrary here.

A whole library of laughs

If you're in the mood for a funny read, there's plenty to choose from on our eLibrary - including gems from the BBC's recent 100 Novels That Shaped Our World, like A Confederacy of Dunces and Adrian Mole.

Everything is free to borrow - and now we're offering something extra.

Read any three books in July, August and September, share your opinion on them - and you could win £100 in book tokens!

Our Summer Reading Adult Challenge and prize draw are open to all Sheffield Libraries members aged 11+.

To find out more, and to send in your thoughts on the books you're reading this summer, visit the Sheffield Year of Reading site.

Here are just a few of the humorous reads available in our eLibrary.

Three Men in a Boat
Reasons to be Cheerful
[eBook] [audio]

A Confederacy
of Dunces
In at the Deep End

Let's Explore Diabetes
with Owls
My Sister, the Serial
 [eBook] [audio]
Middle England
[eBook] [audio]

Creativity During Corona
Who are the people in your life who consistently crack you up? Your partner, your best friend, a relative? Write down the top people/person you turn to when you need a good chuckle, and tell a story that illustrates their sense of humour.
Got a funny story to tell? In today's Creativity During Corona post on our Facebook page, Claire from Central Library has some rib-tickling poems and creative writing prompts to try out!

This week Claire is also running a free comedy writing and poetry workshop on Zoom on Friday 24 July. Tickets are now available on our Eventbrite page.

Comedians at the Southbank

In the last few months the Southbank Centre's Book Podcast has been releasing recordings of recent author events.

Their Funny People playlist features conversations with Richard Ayoade, Sara Pascoe, Lenny Henry, Louis Theroux, and Sue Perkins on their latest books (many of which are available in our eLibrary).

Who am I, Again?
[eBook] [audiobook]
East of Croydon
Gotta Get Theroux This
Sara Pascoe books
[eBooks] [audio]

You can also catch Phoebe Waller-Bridge talking about her hit series Fleabag here.

Comic-Con @ Home

Turning to comics of a different kind...

San Diego Comic-Con is the biggest pop culture event of the year, with exclusive panels and sneak peeks at upcoming blockbuster films and TV and, of course, talks about graphic novels from some of the biggest names in comics.

Ordinarily, going to the world's largest comic convention would be pretty expensive - but this year you'll be able to watch the events online for free! Starting this Wednesday, you can catch Comic-Con@Home from 22-26 July.

As the events are scheduled to local San Diego time (eight hours behind British Summer Time), watching most of the panels live will call for a few late nights. However, most panels will be available to watch later on Comic-Con's YouTube channel.

This Radio Times page has a full schedule of all the events and what time they'll be showing in the UK.

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