New Additions to the Study Skills Collection

Written by Marcus Davenport, a student from Uxbridge College on work placement at the Library.

We’ve assembled this new Study Skills collection of abridged books and short stories for the benefit of students who need to get to know a subject quickly but don’t have time to read longer volumes or are having to work around lectures, study hours and revision. Perhaps English isn’t your first language or you would like to learn or improve your English. If you match any of the above descriptions, then this section is for you, and we hope you will pay the display a visit when you are next on the Learning Commons on the first floor. All these books are conveniently small, so they will take up as little room as possible in your bag.

Among the books we have chosen are works of fiction by such writers as Isaac Asimov, P.G Wodehouse, Bram Stoker, F.Scott Fitzgerald and more. In terms of non-fiction, we have handpicked bite-sized guides to various countries, including China, Brazil, Australia, and England each outlining the history, geography, culture and other noteworthy features of the respective countries. There are also brief summaries of the lives of 20th century Civil Rights leaders Nelson Mandela and Gandhi, both written by Rowena Akinyemi. These volumes provide detailed biographical information about these two incredible men and their achievements and legacies.

These are some books we’ve chosen to tell you more about:
1. Nelson Mandela


Nelson Mandela was South Africa’s first Black President who fought for years to end the rule of Apartheid and achieve justice for his people. He spent much of his life as a prisoner and he is remembered as one of the greatest campaigners for human rights in history. If you are looking for a detailed but concise overview of Mandela and his struggle for peace, freedom and an end to racism and injustice, then look no further.

2. Gandhi (also by Rowena Akinyemi)


Mohandas Gandhi trained as an attorney before leading the campaign against imperialist rule by the British in India. His fundamental beliefs about peace, freedom and justice shaped his use of non-violent methods of protest in the face of injustice. This message of peace remains his greatest legacy. Read this book to find out more about Gandhi, what he did, what he believed and why he is important. As one of the most important figures of the 21st century, Gandhi is remembered as the father of Indian independence and as an icon of peace and justice who is admired throughout the world.

3. China (by Jennifer Gascoigne)


The world’s oldest civilisation and now a rapidly growing economic power, China covers vast territory in Asia and is home to thousands of years of history, culture and traditions, all of which have led to the nation being viewed with interest in the West. If you’d like to understand more about one of the greatest and the oldest nations on earth, and understand more about its history and culture, you’ll find this useful, and reading it shouldn’t take too much time. You’ll find that this book contains detailed and well-presented information about China from its origins right through to the present day.

4. England (by Rachel Bladon)

Throughout its history, England and its people have had a disproportionate influence on the world for such a geographically small nation, producing some of the world’s best known scientists and writers, as well as sports such as Football and Cricket. The English language is also spoken around the globe, including the US. If you are new to this country, then you might want to pick up this book to find out more about this history of this nation and its people. If not, then read it anyway. Who knows, you might even learn more about your own country!

5. Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot (retold by Rowena Akinyemi) – science-fiction

Russian-born Isaac Asimov was one of the best known and most significant Science-Fiction authors of the 20th century, with his writing having a profound influence on the genre and on our perception of robotics (including the Three Laws of Robotics, a recurring theme in the stories). This book is perfect for anyone who likes science fiction but who doesn’t have time to read a longer volume. Akinyemi is successful in providing an overview of Asimov’s work and its themes, written at a time when the idea of robotics was confined to the pages of fiction, a far cry from the technological advances since then.
We hope that you will find this section useful, and will pay it a visit in the Learning Commons when you next have a chance. Good bye, and enjoy reading!

Marcus Davenport


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