14th Davitt Awards for Australian Women’s Crime Writing

The winners of the Davitt Awards for Australian Women's crime writing were announced Saturday, 30 August by leading South African crime writer, Lauren Beukes. This year a record 76 books published in 2013 competed for six Davitts. The winners are:

Best Adult Novel
Dark Horse by Honey Brown
t's Christmas morning on the edge of the rugged Mortimer Ranges. Sarah Barnard saddles Tansy, her black mare. She is heading for the bush, escaping the reality of her broken marriage and her bankrupted trail-riding business.
Sarah seeks solace in the ranges. When a flash flood traps her on Devil Mountain, she heads to higher ground, taking shelter in Hangman's Hut.
She settles in to wait out Christmas.
A man, alone bushwalker, arrives. Heath is charming, capable, handsome. But his story doesn't ring true. Why is he deep in the wilderness without any gear? Where is his vehicle? What's driving his resistance towards rescue? The closer they become the more her suspicions grow.
But to get off Devil Mountain alive, Sarah must engage in this secretive stranger's dangerous game of intimacy.

Best Novel: Young Adult 
The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee
When a teenage girl disappears, a small town is awash with rumours: everyone is talking about the dress she wore, a midnight-blue dress made from the remnants of other dresses, a dress of stories ...
For her whole life, Rose Lovell has moved from town to town with her alcoholic father. When they wash up in a coastal sugarcane town, Rose wonders if this time it will be different.
At the local high school, Rose meets Pearl Kelly, who is popular, pretty and intent on tracking down her Russian father. When she convinces Rose to be part of the annual Harvest Parade, Rose must find a special dress for the occasion. She seeks the help of the eccentric Edie Baker, who knows all the town's secrets and whose own family is a rich tapestry of stories. When Rose agrees to let Edie teach her to sew, she doesn't realise that nothing will ever be the same again.

Highly commended in this category were:

 Every breath by Ellie Marney

 A Ring Through Time  by Felicity Pulman

Best True Crime Book
Night Games: Sex, power and sport by Anna Krien
What does a young footballer do to cut loose? At night, some play what they think of as pranks, or games. Night games with women. Sometimes these involve consensual sex, but sometimes they don't, and sometimes they fall into a grey area.
In the tradition of Helen Garner's The First Stone comes a closely observed, controversial book about sex, consent and power. In Night Games, Anna Krien follows the rape trial of an Australian Rules footballer. She also takes a balanced and fearless look at the dark side of footy culture - the world of Sam Newman, Ricky Nixon, Matty Johns and the Cronulla Sharks.
Both a courtroom drama and a riveting piece of first-person narrative journalism, this is a breakthrough book by one of the leading young lights of Australian writing.

Best debut novel and Readers choice
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men. Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jón Jónsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes.
Only Tóti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes’s spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul.
As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’s ill-fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn’t she?
Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love.

Best Childrens Novel
 Truly Tan: Spooked  by Jen Storer
Tan is back in another deliciously spooky adventure! Book 3 in the bestselling series that kids describe as 'seriously hilarious' and 'fabulously funny'. Tan and the Chosen Few have another mystery on their hands... The 'stonies' (stone animal statues) around Peppercorn Valley have been mysteriously disappearing. But who would steal them? What could the thief want with a stone emu or flamingo? This mystery is truly baffling! It's a good thing Tan has the mind of a Great Detective... A brilliant chapter series for fans of Alice-Miranda, Judy Moody and The Famous Five. Ages: 8-12  Congratulations to all the winners. 

Shortlisted titles
Best Adult Novel
Dark Horse by Honey Brown
Nefarious Doings: A Nell Forrest Mystery by Ilsa Evans
A Bitter Taste by Annie Hauxwell
Web of Deceit by Katherine Howell
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
The Dying Beach by Angela Savage

Best Young Adult Novel
The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee
Girl Defective by Simmone Howell
Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane and Marion Roberts
Every Breath by Ellie Marney
A Ring Through Time by Felicity Pulman
Best Children’s Novel
Truly Tan: Jinxed! by Jen Storer
Truly Tan: Spooked! by Jen Storer
Best True Crime Book

Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport by Anna Krien

Deadly Australian Women by Kay Saunders

Best Debut Book (Any category)

A Trifle Dead Livia Day

The Midnight Dress Karen Foxlee

Girl Defective Simmone Howell

Burial Rites Hannah Kent 

Every Breath by Ellie Marney


Overdrive audiobooks and ebooks: new features

In a recent update to our Overdrive audiobooks and ebooks service 2 new features were added that users of this service will want to know about.


Seven Deadly Sins Open Book Discussion: Pride

Join us for the Seven Deadly Sins Book Discussion about Pride. 

“Vanity and pride are different things,” wrote Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice.  “Pride relates more to our option of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

Not only will we be discussing books with themes of pride and vanity, but we will be asking:
Have you read a book  to make yourself look good? Or are you proud of having finished a challenging book? Tell us about it! Does an award nomination makes a book worth reading?

Seven Deadly Sins Book Discussion Group: Pride 

Wednesday, 17 September, 2.00pm-3.30pm
Sutherland Library

Bookings preferred, but not essential. Book online or call Sutherland Library 9710 0351.


International Read an eBook Day

Thursday, September 18, will mark the first International Read an eBook Day, an annual holiday to celebrate and raise awareness for reading on digital devices.

Throughout September 18, OverDrive will be celebrating the holiday by giving away tablets and devices every hour on www.readanebookday.com and through social media to readers who tell their story of what eBooks mean to them. Readers can use the hashtag #eBookDay on Facebook or Twitter to tell their story, or comment directly at www.readanebookday.com.

Sutherland Shire  Library Service members have access to a range of eBooks via Overdrive which can be downloaded to a PC, smart phone or tablet device. You don’t have to worry about overdue items either — when you borrow an eBook, they automatically ‘return’ themselves on the due date!  


We love reading...staff picks August 2014

Montebello by Robert Drewe
Robert Drewe, Australian raconteur par excellence, has always been fascinated by the ocean. This book's title refers to the notorious incident in 1952 when Britain detonated three atomic bombs on the Montebello Islands off the Pilbara coast in WA, with spectators wearing no protective gear, and the fallout drifting across the breadth of the continent as far as islands in the Pacific. The Montebellos were uninhabited by humans, but had a diverse wildlife. Drewe describes how he returns with a group of ecologists to find out whether the wildlife populations have recovered. The book is rich in anecdote and reference, and at the same time is a personal account of the author's past. He goes off on all sorts of tangents, all equally fascinating. A very polished piece of writing worthy of five stars!
Reviewed by Janet

NW by Zadie Smith
Leah, Felix, Natalie and Nathan grew up in the same housing project in New Willesden, London. In Zadie Smith’s latest novel we follow them as adults who have tried to move away from their place of childhood. Natalie is now a lawyer, Felix has found the woman he hopes will change his life, Leah can’t stop thinking about a local heroin addict who comes to her door for help, and Nathan roams the streets. This is a quietly dramatic novel, but funny and engaging too. I liked Zadie Smith’s different slant on life in London.
Reviewed by Neza

The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Found in the Young Adult paperbacks or the Adult paperbacks.
Charlie is 15 and is starting High School. There he meets Sam and Patrick, 2 interesting and peculiar characters who show him how to participate in life as opposed to observing it from the sidelines. Charlie experiences many things, like first dates and learning to drive. Throughout the book, there are hints to Charlie’s history that begin to surface. It causes many problems with his relationships, particularly with his family. We begin to realise that Charlie isn’t a typical teenager, he is a wallflower. This is a fantastic short read. Recommended for Teenagers 15 years and above.
Reviewed by Ali

The first fifteen lives of Harry August by Claire North
If you are interested in reincarnation, this is a brilliant fictional account of Harry August's repeated life after life. Although the concept  may initially seem reminiscent of the movie Groundhog day, it is actually far more complex. Harry is a kalachakra, meaning he is one of a small group of people who are repeatedly reborn at the same point in time. Harry is exceptional in that he is mnemonic, meaning his memories of each past life remain intact as he is reborn into each life.  The flashbacks to his past lives reveal fascinating variations in how both he and other kalachakra choose to live each life- illustrating the freedom of to be able to experiment different ways of living, knowing they will be reborn regardless of what happens.  In Harry's eleventh life, his lives take on a greater purpose. He becomes involved in an intriguing mystery after receiving a warning message from the future, informing him that the world, past, present and future is coming to an end. 
 I enjoyed the premise, (when I stopped thinking too hard about the possible consequences and impact of the different decisions made in each life), and loved the writing style. I initially believed this to be a debut novel, but discovered it is actually written by a well known author of sixteen novels- written under her own name and two pseudonyms.This is a  thought provoking book with a great ending. Well worth a read. 
Reviewed by Monique

 The Harry Curry, Barrister on the loose, legal series by Stuart Littlemore
Ugly. Irascible. Intolerant. Clever. That describes Harry Curry, barrister on the loose, a “blind man with a machine gun” to judges and legal opponents. When Harry's robust advocacy leads to his suspension for professional misconduct, he teams up reluctantly with Arabella Engineer, a beautiful English barrister of Indian descent, struggling for a foothold at the Sydney bar. To Harry’s surprise, Arabella sets her sights on him personally as well as professionally. Harry may not be fated to live and work alone after all. Together, they work on criminal trials involving drug-dealing, terrorism, murder and more, as their relationship slowly develops. Stuart Littlemore opens up the world of the legal profession in NSW. Not quite Rumpole, but full of interesting characters, on both sides of the law, with Sydney and country NSW locations. I’m sure the NSW legal fraternity played “guess the character” with the judges, magistrates and barristers who are described in these books. Littlemore may not have been too popular if some of the descriptions matched anyone too closely in real life. Nothing too heavy and an easy read.
 Reviewed by Glenn

Guest Review

Me before you by Jo Jo Moyes
Initially this book set all my alarm bells ringing: (1) At 480 pages it follows the unfortunate trend to supersize books under the dubious premise that more means better; (2) a red sticker on the cover guaranteeing a great read, plus a money back guarantee inside- is it a book or a refrigerator?; (3) a list of book club questions-I’m always suspicious of books marketed for book clubs; (4) a somewhat cutesy title; (5) a cutesy author’s name –Jojo!! But, I have to say I quickly became engrossed in the story & I wanted to see how it progressed. So I finished it, enjoyed it, and I even had tears in my eyes at the end. The storyline is a little predictable but the characters are interesting & likeable. The writing is OK, and there’s a very nice description of a storm near the end. I didn’t see it so much as a conventional romance as a story of friendship, solidity vs shallowness of people, and facing up to adversity. It’s interesting that it references/borrows from Pride & Prejudice (and also a little bit from Rebecca). Readers might like to identify Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley, Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Collins, and even a few minor characters. Obviously the characters in Me Before You are not clones of those in Pride & Prejudice, but they fulfil similar functions in the story. Note also that the families come from different social strata, and the hero quietly assists the heroine’s family when they are having difficulties. Also, both hero & heroine have sisters with very similar names.
 Reviewed by Mike (Sutherland Library customer)


Seven Deadly Sins Book Discussion...Envy

What are you reading?

Envy is the theme of the August Seven Deadly Sins Book discussion.  Talking about literary envy, books themed envy, books with jealous characters and how and where to discover new  books to read before everyone else! 

There are no set books to read, just bring along a book of your choice relating to the theme of envy to share and discuss. 

Wear something green! 

Caringbah Library
Wednesday 20 August, 2.00pm.

Bookings preferred but not essential. Call Caringbah Library 9524 3803 or book online: http://bit.ly/1sJqoOG

Some envy / jealousy themed books: 

Othello by William Shakespeare
Cinderella by the Brothers Grimm
Beautiful disaster by Jamie McGuire
The other Boleyn girl by Philippa Gregory
The sun also rises by Ernest Hemingway
The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
The light between oceans by M.L Stedman
The end of the affair by Graham Greene


Have you ever wondered if too much sitting down is bad for your health?

Or do just want to read an article in a recent computer magazine?

You could do an Internet search and find an answer but if you need a more scholarly article or want to read a particular magazine Sutherland Libraries can help you to access 1000s of science and technology magazines and other subjects online. Databases are free to use with your library card or at any Sutherland Shire Library. The articles on these databases are text only.

Australia-NZ Reference Centre
Access popular Australian/New Zealand and overseas magazines, reference books and biographies in full text along with an Image Collection of over 510,000 photos, maps and flags.
Some of the more popular magazines and newspapers included on this database - Architecture Australia, Australian Geographic, Australia PC User, Belle, Bulletin, Economist, Motor, New Scientist, The Australian, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald.

Academic Search Elite
This database offers a collection of full-text information from over 2,100 magazine in many subjects such as animal science, anthropology, astronomy, biology, civil engineering, electrical engineering, ethnic and multicultural studies, food science and technology, geography, law, material science, mathematics, mechanical engineering, music, pharmaceutical science, physics, psychology, religion and theology, veterinary science, women's studies and zoology.

MasterFile Premier
Find full-text articles on general reference, business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues and many other subjects.

Science Reference Centre
This database contains full-text articles for hundreds of science encyclopedias, reference books and other sources. Subjects covered include biology, chemistry, earth and space science, health and medicine, history of science, life science, physics, scientists, technology and wildlife.

Getting Started
To access online articles on any subject go to Sutherland Libraries homepage at:

Choose Your Subject
Subjects are grouped under 'Choose a Resource'

The Start Screen
The start screen of a database will include features such as subject, publication and image options.  You can choose to do a basic or advanced search as well as limiting or expanding your search to suit your needs. You will need to sign in using your library card to access the articles.

Enter Your Search Term
Use the basic or advanced Search box. Tick the full text box and enter other limits to suit your needs such as a date range to get the most recent articles.

Result Page
The result page will give a short abstract of the article. The full text link that allows you to read the whole article is in the left hand corner of the screen. The results page has  features such as print, email, save your results and other options to help you manage your articles.

If you need help or would like to know more about online resources available contact Sutherland Library or ask staff at your library.