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!