Adult Summer Reading Club Weekly Draw 2

We have another winner! In the second weekly draw of the Adult Summer Reading Club, we would like to congratulate Lorraine from Sutherland on winning the weekly prize of a gift bag of reading. Lorraine read "The second last woman in England", by Maggie Joel, a book she had originally read for the first time in her book group. Lorraine borrowed the book again after the book group discussion, to re-read it and try and capture some more insights into this very detailed story. She tells us in her brief review of the book:

"Good characterisations, so much detail of the setting and era. Suspenseful, captivating in its class structure and the dialogue of 1952". (rated five stars).

Everyone is welcome to join the Summer Reading Club. Its easy, kids can register at any branch of the library and teens and adults can simply borrow books from any Sutherland Shire Library over the summer break, read it, and when you return it, fill in an entry form for a chance to win. Get the whole family into reading this summer, because the more you read, the more chances you have to win!

Christmas Storytime at Cronulla Mall

Bells were ringing and we were singing at Cronulla Library's Xmas Beach storytime on Friday 16th December. Our special storytime in the Mall attracted 60 people who were happy to enjoy Christmas and seaside themed stories and songs.

'Maudie and Bear' from Bookweek 2011, and our enthusiastic singing attracted the attention of Santa who came to say hello.

Bookatoo also visited much to the delight of the crowd most of whom were our regular Storytime and Rhymetime customers. So a very Merry Christmas to you all and we hope to see you at Cronulla library in the new year.

Film Celebrities Spotted at Engadine Library

A surprise guest appearance yesterday by two popular movie buffs at Engadine Library delighted the Film Discussion Group.

This friendly group meet on the third Tuesday of each month at Engadine Library to view and then discuss the merits (or otherwise) of a particular movie. The title of the film is kept "under wraps" until the day it is presented, which adds to the suspense.

Yesterday, 20th December, marked the 65th Anniversary of the release of the perennial Christmas favourite "It's a Wonderful Life", (the movie selected for Tuesday's screening and discussion).

Movies presented during 2011 have ranged across various genres and styles have included "Lars and the Real Girl", "The Lemon Tree", "Pleasantville" and "Twelve Angry Men".

The sessions have been so popular that from January 2012, there will be a choice of two dates offered for the SAME film - from 9.30am sharp till midday (17th and 24th January).

Bookings are required and can be made by contacting Engadine Library on 9548 6003. New participants are very welcome. Book now to secure your seat!

Adult Summer Reading Club Weekly Draw

Congratulations to Rosalie from Sylvania, our first winner of the Adult Summer Reading Club weekly prize, drawn 19 December, 2011. She has won a lovely gift pack including a book, candle, chocolates and more. After going to the movies and seeing "Midnight in Paris", Rosalie was inspired to read "The old man and the sea" by Ernest Hemmingway. Upon returning the book, (borrowed from the 1001 collection at the library) Rosalie simply filled in an entry form and entered into the Adult Summer Reading competition.
Here's her short review of "The old man and the sea".

"Such a detailed description of one man's fishing expedition and his emotional and physical struggles. I found this man's 'aloneness' and conversations with himself quite thought provoking." (Rated 4 stars).

Why not borrow a book (or audiobook) from the library and fill in an Adult Summer Reading Club entry form for your chance to win one of the great weekly prizes, and the chance to win an e-reader. The more you read, the more chances you have to win. Everyone in the whole family is invited to get reading this summer by joining our Summer Reading Clubs.

Amazing Mondays; Amazing Reads!

It's Amazing Monday! Here is a list of amazing reads created by Sutherland Library Service Outreach Team Leader, Jacinta Craine. Don't forget to fill in your Summer Reading Club entry form for each book you have borrowed and read from the library, for your chance to win some great prizes.

1. Weaveworld by Clive Barker. If you are after a truly amazing read then this is the novel for you. It revolves around the world of the Fugue, a magical world which lies woven within a rug. It is a mix of fantasy, horror, erotica, mythology and spirituality. One is thrown from the imaginary world to the real and back until the two are impossible to unweave.

2. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett Set in 12th century England it is a grand scale story of the building a of Cathedral. Based around three men and their family’s fortunes. It details the minutiae of daily life and the influence of the church over the general population. One gets caught up in the magnificence of the building and the methods employed to do it, which are truly amazing.

3. Mordants Need by Stephen Donaldson It tells the story of a woman named Terisa who travels from our modern world to a medieval setting where political and military struggles are entwined with the power of Imagery, a form of magic based on mirrors. The books deal with themes of reality, power, inaction and love in the context of a fantasy adventure.

4. The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood The image from this book which stays with me is the birthing of a child by the ‘handmaid’. I t typifies the extraordinary lengths to which the society has gone to try and normalise a very abnormal situation. It awakened me to the way those in power will rationalise what they do to others in order to save themselves.

5. Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card This is an alternative history/fantasy story set in the US where everyone has an ‘knack’, everyone is good at something, even if they don’t know it. Seventh sons have strong knacks, but Alvin is the seventh son of a seventh son and this means he is a Maker. There has only ever been one other and it’s a long time since He walked on water. This is the beginning of a great series, for those who like their stories to (almost) never end.

6. The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield The Celestine Prophecy is not a literary masterpiece by any measure, but it does offer a number of interesting (and sometimes common-sense) insights into how people think. A bestseller in the seventies it is an entertaining, easy read peppered with observations that caused me to pause and think about my actions toward others, and myself. As Redfield states, it's meant to be more of a parable, a thought-jogger for readers of all ilks to take in and use in their own lives.

7. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller This story is about an American pilot in WWII and his attempts to finish his service and get back home. It is not an easy read, but has some very funny moments and it gave me an insight into the arbitrariness of military life. It also very clearly explained the phrase, ‘it’s a Catch-22 “ used when an impossible situation reared it’s head, where no matter what you do, the outcome can’t be changed.

8. The Dark Tower (series of 7) by Stephen KingFans of Stephen King would know him as a horror writer and so may be caught by surprise with this one. It fits more into the fantasy genre than any of his others, but to fully appreciate it one should really have read most of his other works. It weaves a tale full of suspense which incorporates elements form his other stories and even features himself. This tale is his only series, which he wrote sporadically and so it was many long years before it came to a conclusion. But the ending was well worth the wait. It tells of the need to do the right thing at the right time.

9. The Lord of the Rings by JRR TolkeinI nearly wasn’t going to put this one in, as I thought everyone knows it from the movies, if they haven’t already read the book. Then I started to think about it and realised some of my favourite bits were left out of the movies as they were not central to the story. It is often the small inconsequential parts of a story that did not ‘need’ to be told that make the tale a truly amazing read. Therefore, if you enjoyed the movies and have not read the books, you really should take the time to do so.

10. The Circle and the Cross by Caiseal Mor I have read many fantasy stories loosely based on Celtic mythologies and practices. This is the best!! The author has extensively researched his base material, written histories and oral traditions to produce a story which feels like it accurately describes the peaceful coming of Christianity to Ireland and then the violent beginnings of ‘The Church’, leading to the demise of the druid culture. Much of what is described fits in with

11.The Life And Death Of A Druid Prince : The Story Of An Archaeological Sensation Anne Ross And Don Robins which is my bonus amazing read. What the forensic scientists were able to piece together about the person who’s body had been preserved in the bog and marry with the knowledge of the historians, was truly amazing!

Get into the Christmas reading spirit, 2011

This year, give yourself the gift of time, to relax and read some of the books on your Christmas reading wish list! To help you get into the spirit of Christmas (and reading), here’s a list of Christmas themed fiction to get you started:

A Classic tale.

"A Christmas carol” by Charles Dickens.
With Charles Dickens 200th Anniversary coming up in 2012, now is the perfect time to revisit Dickens immortal tale of mean spirited and miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. Try the Aussie bush yarn version, “An Aussie Christmas carol: Charles Dickens immortal tale retold as an Aussie bush yarn" by Kel Richards.

Family Stories:

"The Christmas angel" by Marcia Willett
"Lola’s Secret" by Monica Mc Inerney
"A gift for my sister" by Anne Pearlman

Chick lit:

"The night before Christmas” by Scarlett Bailey
"Wrapped up in you” by Carole Matthews

Murder mysteries

"Fear not" by Anne Holt
"Winter of the lions" by Jan Costin Wagner
"A Christmas homecoming" by Anne Perry

Short stories :
Christmas magic” by Cathy Kelly

Vampires and paranormal romance:
"The bite before Christmas " by Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost

Romance and happy endings:
"1225 Christmas Tree Lane" by Debbie Macomber
The Christmas wedding” by James Patterson and Richard Di Lallo

Summer Reading Club 2012, The amazing read!

The Christmas holidays are just around the corner, meaning the Summer Reading Club is about to start, running from 12th December, 2011 to 3rd February, 2012. This year the theme is Amazing reads. For the first time, adults are invited to participate, because why should kids and teens have all the fun? Everyone is welcome to get reading, with the chance to win some great prizes including a major prize of an e-reader in both the adult and teen sections.

It’s easy to participate. For children under 12, just come into any Sutherland Library branch to register your interest and pick up a reading log. Every five books read gives you an incentive prize and an entry into the major draw.

Adults and teens don’t need to register, just simply read a book that has been borrowed from the library, fill in an entry form with your personal details, rate the book (from one to five stars) and place it in an entry box. These are located in each of the Sutherland Library branches. You are welcome to write a short book review if you like. One book equals one entry into a weekly draw as well as one entry into the major draw. The more you read the more chances of winning!

So why not get the whole family involved this year, and make some time to relax and read.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The Children's Library is busy preparing for Santa's visit to Sutherland on Wednesday 14th December. He has already visited Menai and will be around the Shire over the coming days.
Monday 12th December is a day for your diaries! The annual Summer Reading Club starts and this year there are 3 different programs one for kids, one for teens and one for adults. Keep reading over the December and January holidays and be in the running for some great prizes.

Five questions in Five minutes with Diane Armstrong

Award winning journalist and author of "Empire Day" joins us for five questions in five minutes...

What are you reading right now?
At the moment I’m reading Cutting For Stone, a novel by Abraham Verghese.

What do you like about it?

I’m enjoying the exotic setting in Ethiopia, the detailed medical information, unusual story, and excellent writing.

What's your favourite book?

My favourite book? It’s hard to choose just one! One of my all-time favourites is Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. I’m in awe of his descriptive powers, vivid imagination, and larger-than-life characters. I love the skillful way he weaves the various strands of the plot together with such delicious irony. One of my more recent favourites is Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s brilliant novel The First Circle, a chilling story in which he evokes the effect on ordinary people, of living in a totalitarian state.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing I love spending time with my family and my friends, playing with my little grand-daughters, walking along the beach, playing tennis, and doing yoga. I also enjoy playing bridge which I find frustrating and challenging, but fascinating.

Can you give us a clue about your next (highly anticipated) book?
My next novel will be a wartime story of passion and betrayal set in the Channel Islands.

Everyone is welcome to come along to Cronulla Library for an author talk /book signing with Diane Armstrong on Tuesday, 6th December at 6.30pm. You can book online or by calling the library on 95234980.

Sutherland Shire Libraries Top Ten Christmas Books for Children

Nothing quite celebrates the feeling of Christmas like engrossing in a wonderful book with your child. Here are our top ten Christmas books this year – More children’s Christmas books are available at all Shire Libraries from the December 1st.

1. Raymond Briggs - The Snowman
2. Mem Fox - Wombat Divine
3. Rolf Harris - Six white boomers
4. Rod Campbell - Dear Santa
5. Clement Clark Moore – The night before Christmas
6. Terry Deary - Horrible Christmas
7. Colin Buchanan - Santa Koala
8. Brian Wildsmith - A Christmas story
9. Laura Rader – Santa’s new suit
10. Glenda Millard - Applesauce and the Christmas Miracle

Merry Christmas!

Lisa Heidke's Talk at Cronulla Library

We were lucky enough to host Sydney author Lisa Heidke at Cronulla Library in October.

In case you missed Lisa, we filmed her talk and it is available to view below or through the library's Vimeo site.

Lisa Heidke Author Talk from Sutherland Shire Libraries on Vimeo.

Look out for upcoming author talks through the What's On page. You can also subscribe to receive regular 'What's On' emails from the library.

Five questions in five minutes with Karina Machado

Karina Machado is bestselling author of "Spirit sisters:Australian women reveal true-life stories of the paranormal " and had just released a new book, "Where spirits dwell". Karina joins us for five questions in five minutes...

What are you reading right now, and what do you like/dislike about it?
I am a historical fiction buff so am currently losing myself in a classic of the genre: Sharon Penman's The Sunne in Splendour. What I enjoy the most about historical fiction, and about this book in particular, is the way it transports me. If life is getting overwhelming and I need an escape, hopping into bed with a wonderful story from the past is the best way, I find, to clear my mind. Suddenly, I'm projected out of the everyday and into a setting that, for all its brutality and discomforts, was in many ways a far simpler time. I find that soothing. Penman is incredible. The way she takes you back to England in the 1400s is uncanny, more like time travel than fiction writing. In that sense, it reminds me a bit of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall.

Could you tell us a bit about your favourite book?
Oh, a tough one—to narrow it to just one, I mean! Truman Capote's In Cold Blood comes straight to mind. It introduced me, many years ago, to the possibilities available within non-fiction. Actually, I'm due a re-read. I don't re-read books very often and I've read that one twice, as I have Wuthering Heights—Emily Brontë's classic, in all its stark and eerie beauty, is up there with my all-time favourites. I am also in awe of The Great Gatsby, and I could not answer this question without mentioning Enid Blyton's The Magic Faraway Tree series, which I read as a child and have re-read to my children. What a way to open up the imagination.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love reading (see above), baking and cooking and enjoy being outside in the garden, though I claim no expertise there. Given that we're moving house next week, I have also acquired an obsession with home-decorating magazines.

What’s next for Karina Machado?
Apart from packing and unpacking boxes? Well, I am keen to do lots of decorating, baking and gardening at our new family home. And then? Who knows? I'm sure it won't be long until my fingers are itching to fly over the keyboard again (learning to touch-type was one of the best things I ever did!) I'm also hoping to head interstate for library talks to promote "Where spirits dwell"

If you could have dinner with two famous people, who would they be, and why?
I'd love to meet Stephen King, though I'd surely be dumbstruck by his genius. And Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's ill-fated second wife. She had an amazing mind, which I'm not sure enough people know about. I'd serve them my famous orange-and-choc chip muffins with their coffee!

Everyone is welcome to come along and join Karina Machado for an author talk/book signing at Cronulla Library on Tuesday, 15 November, at 6.30pm. You can book online or by calling the library.

Movember, 2011

November is also Movember, the month when men are encouraged to “grow a mo” and raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men. An important part of maintaining health is to relax, and what better way to relax than by reading? This month try reading something by or about men with moustaches.

Mark Twain. Besides his impressive moustache, he is most noted for his novels “The adventures of Tom Sawyer” and its sequel, “The adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, which has been described by William Faulkner, (a fellow moustached author of American literature), as “the great American novel”.

Bram Stoker: Best known for his gothic novel “Dracula”, this author was such a fan of the moustache that he gave Count Dracula one as well. He describes Count Dracula as “a tall man, clean shaven, save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot”.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the moustached creator of the perennial favourite fictional detective ‘Sherlock Holmes’. Although the famous character was not bestowed with a moustache, his esteemed assistant and first person narrator in the all but four of the books, Dr John.H. Watson is described in the books as wearing a moustache.

Poirot. One of Agatha Christie’s most famous and long lived characters, he is famous for his distinctive moustache as much as for his "little grey cells". As his clean shaven colleague Captain Arthur Hastings tells us, Poirot is "very stiff and military. Even if everything on his face was covered, the tips of his moustache and pink tipped nose would be visible.”

Russell Brand. A moustached English radio and television personality, comedian, actor and author. Read his autobiography “My booky wook”. If you enjoy this, read the follow up “My booky wook 2: This time its personal”.

Here are three famous Aussie sporting icons turned authors who each sport trademark mo’s.
Merv Hughes. Read his biography, "Merv: The full story" by Patrick Keane, pick up some killer lines in his latest book, "Merv Hughes' best sporting insults" or read about another great way to relax, fishing! "Merv: Caught in the deep" by Merv Hughes.
Max Walker, also famous for his sporting exploits on the cricket pitch, has written 14 books, seven of them becoming best sellers.
John Newcombe. The former tennis great has written two autobiographies about his life, on and off the tennis court.

Finally we can’t forget the most influential author of all time, Shakespeare. The bard himself was a mo bro.

Taming The Next Wild Frontier: Technology

Here at the library we’re taming the next wild frontier – technology. Through a series of informative talks presented by a variety of tech-savvy speakers, you can learn more about the ever shifting and often disorienting landscape of technology and information tools.

If you are an older adult who already has an interest and basic knowledge on gadgets and technology and want to keep abreast of what's out here, the Sutherland Library will be running monthly ‘Taming Technology’ information sessions on the first Thursday of the month at 10.30am to discuss and provide information on a variety of technological topics including smartphones, e-readers, buying and selling online, digital cameras, flatscreen TV types and much more.

Guest speakers with experience on the topic of the month will share their knowledge and answer questions. Come along to these free sessions for an educational and interesting morning out.

The November topic - 'iPhones, iPads, iPods' will be presented by an ex-Apple Genius and will give and overview of these popular Apple products and the different applications that may benefit you. Book Online for a spot or call Sutherland Library on 9710 0351.

What: Taming Technology

Where: Sutherland Library
30-36 Belmont St Sutherland
When: 10.30am, 2nd Thursday of every month
Who: All are welcome to attend, disabled access is available.
Cost: Free!
Refreshments provided.

Please Note: These sessions are held with the aim to provide introductory information only. Sutherland Shire Council does not promote any products or brands over others nor does it receive incentives from presenters. Please use your own discretion and seek expert advice before purchasing any products that may have been presented on during a Taming Technology session.

Knit Two

The Engadine Knitting Group members have been enjoying their monthly get togethers so much that they have added an extra monthly meeting day. They now meet on the 1st Tuesday and the 3rd Thursday of each month 10.30 am to 12.00 noon.

The group will be celebrating Christmas with special morning teas during their December meetings. Their next meeting will be on Thursday 17th November and new members are always very welcome!

Melbourne Cup Day 2011

The race that stops a nation is on today. There’s no need to spend your Melbourne Cup winnings on your next read, just borrow them for free from the library. Why not take a chance on one of the books in our guide to top racing fiction.
Dick Francis: Leading the pack is Dick Francis. Sadly missed, this former jockey has written numerous bestselling mystery tales set in the racing world.
Felix Francis: Taking up the reins from his father, Felix Francis has recently released “Gamble”, reminiscent of a Dick Francis mystery.
John Francome: A seven times Champion jockey, this bestselling author may well be your favourite.
Mark Daniel: Author of “Pity the sinner” odds are if you like racing thrillers, you’ll enjoy this.
Kentucky Rich by Fern Michaels: The first in a romance series of three books that follows Nealy Coleman’s amazing journey as she makes a place for herself in the dynamic and demanding world of horse racing. A banker trifecta.
Enid Bagnold: "National Velvet", a perennial favourite that you may have read before. Its worth re-reading, or, if you haven’t read it take a chance on this classic tale.
Lyndon Stacey: This author has more than an outside chance of offering a great read. Murder, and mystery in the racing world- it’s a winning combination.
Goulburn's deliverance” by Grant Rodwell. Feeling patriotic? Try this champion tale set in Sydney and Melbourne, featuring the Melbourne Cup.
Peter Klein: “Ring of fire” is his latest racing-related crime thriller. A fast paced and exciting read, it’s tipped to be a winner.
"Princess: the Miss Andretti story", by John Hunt: Are true stories a sure thing for you? This is the true rags-to-riches story of Miss Andretti, the horse from nowhere, bred from nothing, who cost nothing, was originally trained by a nobody and yet conquered the racing world.
"Lord of Misrule", by Jaimy Gordon: At the rock bottom end of the sports of kings is cheap horse racing. Try your luck and read about this often violent and ruthless world.

Catherine Murphy Paintings at Sutherland Library

Catherine Murphy is a Member of the Friends of Hazelhurst, Continuum Art Society and Millhouse Art Society. She attended Life Drawing and Water Colour classes at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea and has studied oils under the tuition of Archibald, Wynne and Blake finalist Alexander McKenzie.

Catherine is a resident of the Sutherland Shire and has regular excursions to Berrara on the South Coast of NSW. She has successfully exhibited at the Millhouse Art Society in Milton, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea and annual art shows in the Shoalhaven. Catherine won awards at the Millhouse Exhibition in Ulladulla in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Catherine held a successful first exhibition in Darlinghurst in 2008.

Catherine has written and illustrated books and individualises cards and invitations. Catherine's work is influenced by Asian Art and the Impressionists and includes whimsical children's paintings and cartoons. Her work is held in a number of private collections and is featured in Zushi Japanese Restaurants in Darlinghurst and Surry Hills.

Catherine works part time as an Occupational Therapist but her current career goal is to develop as a successful artist and illustrator.

Come and see some of Catherine's eye catching paintings in the Southern Lounge area at Sutherland Shire Library. The paintings will be on display throughout November and December 2011.

National Year of Reading, 2012 "Our Story"

As part of the National Year of Reading 2012, the first national campaign "Our Story" has been launched. "Our Story" is a search to find the eight books (one from each state/territory) that best represents that part of Australia. For New South Wales, a shortlist of six titles, both fiction and non fiction, have been chosen by a panel of judges for you to read and vote upon. The titles to choose from are:

Bereft, by Chris Womersley

The idea of home, by John Hughes

Lilians story, by Kate Grenville

Harp in the south, by Ruth Park

Torn apart, by Peter Corris

You can find out more about the shortlisted titles here.

The eight winning titles will be used to create a national recommended reading list. This list in turn, will be used as the basis for the start of Australia's biggest book group. Book groups and individual readers will be able to go online and register as members of "Our story" and discuss the winning titles.

Everyone is invited to vote for the book they think best represents our state of New South Wales. Take this opportunity to read these books and vote for your favourite book online, at any branch of the library, or at book stores. Voting opens 1 November and closes 6 January, 2012. The winners will be announced at the official launch of the National Year of Reading on 14 February, 2012. You can reserve copies of each of these titles from the library.

All Hallows Eve - or Read?

Halloween (Oct 31st), traditionally a Celtic festival to honour the dead has become increasingly popular in Australia over the years, particularly with kids and 'trick or treat'.

It's also a good time to remind people about the library's wide-ranging horror and supernatural collections.

Books, films and graphic novels all fall under these genres, which have a huge and passionate following from people of all ages.

To the many horror fans out there, why not use Halloween to share your love of the mysterious and goulish, the zombified, the un-dead, the eternal and the ghostly with others?

One way to do this has been thought up by one of the best supernatural writers around - Neil Gaiman. Gaiman has written a number of fantasy and horror stories and is now asking everyone to take part in 'All Hallow's Read', as opposed to All Hallow's Eve (another name for Halloween)

'All Hallow's Read' asks people to share a scary book with someone else, be it one you buy or one you borrow from the library, tell others about why these genres are so popular. Gaiman explains in the clip below:

A great idea and one we'll be looking at participating in for the National Year of Reading in 2012.

On a similar note, we're excited to be holding an author talk for Paranormal Writer Karina Machado at Cronulla Library on Tuesday, November 15th.

For all the details on Karina's upcoming talk and to book a spot visit the library's event page.

Happy Halloween, have a great All Hallow's Read!

Quick Reads. Great stories, great writers, great entertainment

Sutherland Library Service now has a Quick Reads collection of books available for loan. These are a series of original short story length books written by well known authors and celebrities from the UK. Starting in 2006, Quick Reads were developed as part of an initiative by the United Kingdom to increase literacy levels.

Why check out Quick Reads?

Are you too busy to read?
Or you are an avid, yet time poor reader, looking for something short and fast to read?
With no more than 128 pages, these bite sized books are fast to read. They are complete, original short stories (they are not abridged versions of longer works), that take only a little time to read.

Do you find reading difficult or dull?
Quick Reads are perfect for emergent readers, for those of you whom English is a second language and those who don’t really enjoy reading. They are fast paced and engaging and a great way to improve your reading skills!

Have you lost your reading habit?
Rediscover the joys of reading with Quick Reads, written by best- selling authors. Just try reading for ten minutes a day…

Want to try new authors?
Have you always wondered about those authors you have heard about, but never read? Sample some different authors with Quick Reads. Who knows, you may discover a new favourite and read some other books they have written.

Do you commute, or are you travelling somewhere?
Quick Reads are a great way to pass the time on your daily commute, or while you wait for your plane, train or bus to whisk you away on your travels. They are light to pack and don’t take up much room!

Man Booker Prize winner, 2011.

The Man Booker Prize winner for 2011 was announced yesterday. Congratulations to Julian Barnes, author of the winning title " The Sense of an Ending". Barnes has been shortlisted three time previously for this prize, in 1984 with Flaubert's Parrot , in 1998 with England, England, and with Arthur & George in 2005. According to Dame Stella Rimmington, Chair of this years judging panel, this book has "the markings of a classic of English Literature. It is exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each readings". You can reserve a copy at the library.

Face your fears

Did you know that the second Tuesday of October is Face your Fears day? What are you afraid of? Don’t be a scaredy cat, read on to find out how the library can help you to face seven fears (its lucky seven actually, just in case you’re superstitious as well).

Bibliphobia. This is a fear of books. Whether books are too challenging, too intellectual, or just too big, face your fear and come into the library. Where else can you find so many books?

Arachnophobia This is one of the most common fears of all… of spiders. The best way to overcome this irrational fear is to educate yourself. Come into the library and borrow some spider books with big glossy pictures of these clever and cute, web spinning weavers.

Thanatophobia If you are one of the many people who spend too much time pondering on one of the two certainties in life (the other one is taxes), the library can at least offer the diversion of reading. Set yourself a goal of reading as many books as you can from the 1001 books you must read before you die collection!

Glossophobia Are you scared speechless? Another common fear is that of public speaking. The library has a solution. Start small and join a library book group. You can face your fear by expressing your opinions of the book in front of up to nine other people. Just try it, you might just find other people actually listening to you!

Do you suffer from Metathesiophobia?
This is a fear of change. Face your fear by reading from a book from a genre outside your comfort zone. Do you love to read romance? Read a thriller. Or do you enjoy reading adventure stories? Then try reading a fantasy. You might just surprise yourself and enjoy it! Check out our readers guides to help you make a choice.

Fragapanephobia (Fear of birthdays)
In an effort to help library staff face any possible fear they may harbour of this yearly celebration, we have started interviewing the birthday person on or around their birthday, asking “What are you reading?”. Their replies are posted on Facebook on Fridays. Join in the celebrations and share your current reads-every Friday on Facebook.

Phonophobia Face your fear of LOUD noise at the library. The myth of silence in the library is just that. A myth. There’s not a lot of sshhing going on here. There is discussion, conversation, music and laughter. However, if it all gets too much, you can beat a hasty retreat upstairs to the reference section, where silence still rules...

Five questions in five minutes with Lisa Heidke

What are you reading right now, and are you enjoying it?
Non fiction – I am re-reading Stephen King’s On Writing.
When I first read this book which is part memoir, part tutorial, on the craft of writing, it all clicked for me. I’ve always loved story writing but King’s book really opened my eyes to the craft. His anecdotes and personal struggles as well as his practical advice on writing have been invaluable to me. At least once a year, I’ll go back and re-read On Writing and I always learn something new. Stephen King is an inspiration.
Fiction – Rancid Pansies by James Hamilton-Paterson.
Very witty. I love British humour but James Hamilton-Paterson is bordering on insane. He has a wicked and biting sense of humour and I am enjoying the story very much.

Could you tell us a bit about your favourite book?
Rather than my favourite book, I’ll tell you about my favourite author, Marian Keyes.
Watermelon is Keyes first book and when I discovered it, I devoured it in one sitting. I love Keye’s sense of humour, her take on modern life and her first person confessional tone of writing. I think she is a very funny and clever writer. I have read all of Keye’s books and admire her down to earth nature and generosity in talking about her setbacks and personal demons she’s had to conquer during her life. I also admire her ability not to take herself too seriously. I think she’s fabulous.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I try to keep up with my three children Mia 11, Noah, 14 and Josh, 15. I like gardening, especially in Spring and I love hanging out at the beach and reading while listening to the waves crashing on the shore.

What's next for Lisa Heidke...(could you give us a clue about your next book?).
My next book, Stella Makes Good, a novel about love, friendship and the quest for happiness, will be out next January.

The back cover blurb reads:
Stella Sparks is on good terms with her ex-husband, Terry, despite the fact he left her for another woman. Stella’s philosophical – the marriage had run its course, they remain friends and the wellbeing of their kids is central to both of them.

Stella’s two closest friends, Carly and Jesse, envy her togetherness and wish they could emulate it. Jesse’s husband, Steve, is a control freak who’s driving her crazy, but she has two small children and can’t see a way out. Carly, meanwhile, suspects her husband is having an affair and isn’t sure what to do about it.

Stella’s life takes a distinctly upward turn when she meets a handsome, apparently single – no ring, anyway – father at her son’s school speech night. For Carly and Jesse, however, the search for happiness and fulfilment proves more elusive…

With a healthy dose of humour and romance, Stella Makes Good is about the games we play, the secrets we keep, the unpredictable nature of life and the importance of female friendship.
If you could have dinner with two famous people, who would they be and why?
It would be easy to say Colin Firth and Rob Lowe but that’s too obvious so I’m going for creative types, Stephen King, because I think he’s extraordinarily brilliant, and Tina Fey because she’s funny, talented and a great writer. I would spend the dinner gleaning as much information as I could from them in the hope that some of their creative genius would be passed on to me.

Lisa Heidke will be appearing at Cronulla Library, Thursday, 20 October at 6.30pm. You can can book a spot online or by calling Cronulla on Ph:9523 4980.