13 memories

It’s Friday the 13th.  I’m celebrating with 13 Library memories:

  1. The blue library van
  2. Pretending to study in the old Shetland room
  3. Moments of silence
  4. Old swimming pool – museum – library (annual school trips)
  5. Kathleen Tait recommending I read Charlotte’s Web
  6. People watching with a coffee
  7. The old office on St Olaf Street
  8. Smells of books
  9. Knitting a car
  10. Discovering poetry with Kathleen Jamie
  11. Using it as an office when I was unemployed
  12. Rehearsing plays in the old library with the late Tommy Watt
  13. Always being made to feel welcome with smiles from friendly staff

What’s your memories?  Email me at jacqui.clark@shetland.org

Reading locations

I’ve been spending time over the last few weeks reading lots of local books and poems to help me think about an exciting project we have planned.

Shetland’s literature features some wonderful locations and I think it would be really great to develop a series of local walks that celebrate some of these places which writers have written about.

Maybe you have some ideas?  Why don’t you write me a little note and leave it with the friendly staff in Shetland Library.

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I’ll also be based in Mareel during Wordplay so come and chat with me there.

Just try me…

This week I needed something gentle and easy to read.

I was escorted by Michaela, a Library Assistant, to a section of the Library laden with books of love and romance.  She helped me understand the secret of the colours.

“Brown is the racy ones” she said through a big grin.

I reached out slightly nervously and opted for the title that made sense to me at that point of no return.  At that point of a true first in my reading journey:

Just try me…


It was everything I expected it to be.

Just try me.jpg

Oh, and it made me blush lots.

I can’t do gluffsome

I’ve been reading I am Legend by Richard Matheson.  Some points to note:

  1. Last week when selecting my book from the Sci-Fi section at Shetland Library I deliberately opted for a brightly coloured yellow book.  I like bright yellow shiny things
  2. I didn’t read the back.  My ignorance led to quite a gluffsome shock – poor Robert Neville is surrounded by vampires and I’m terrified of vampires and zombies and all things gluffsome
  3. I’ve not finished I am Legend as I’ve run out of onions and garlic to protect myself with.  I will go buy more and read in the bright sun.


“The cookies are cold now, Mommy”

Return of the banditThis week has seen me persevere with  The Return of the Bandit by Roy Patterson.

Gun fights, goodies, baddies and the wife of our Texan hero who has to handle the real crisis – her daughter has made cookies for Pa, they’ve gone cold and they might have to make some more.  When should they make them and will Pa make it home safely?   Oh, the drama!

The theme tune to the High Chaparral was on loop in my head throughout.

Meanwhile, I’m delighted that Jackie Kay has been appointed Makar and I’ve enjoyed conversations about dialect, healthy walking and classic cars.


Liz, Gary and a cat

It was truly wonderful to see Liz Lochhead at the Library on Tuesday evening.  As she nears the end of time as Scotland’s Makar it was great to see a crowd in the Library to hear her read from her vast works.  Read Photograph, Art Student, Female, Working Class.

Jacqui and Liz Lochhead

Meanwhile, I read Tobermory Cat which was great fun and I’ve started on a Western about some guy called Crazy Crawford.  More on that next time.

Shetland Library have been busy tweeting.  There may be no Gary but there is a nomination for Library of the Year.  Wow!  Well done to everyone.

The first words

I’ve set a few challenges for the months ahead.  The first is to write a weekly blog of exactly 101 words.

Each week I’ll also read a book I’ve never read before.  Having wandered through the vast array of books at Shetland Library I decided that I’ve been stuck in a reading void.  It’s time to read the books I would never pick.

It’s time to be an experimental reader!

This week I grabbed a book by Debi Gliori.  I thought “why no start we a bairns book?”  The Tobermory Cat will be read tonight with my cat Maggie on my lap.