The National Year of Reading's January theme "Amazing Reads" is nearly over, but this doesn't mean you have to stop reading amazing books! Next time you are in the library looking for an Amazing Read, what could be more amazing than a book that has made it into the "1001 books you must read before you die" collection?
The 1001 books collection includes many well known titles, some being those books that you may feel you really should read...one day. These are classic books that transcend time, each with something to offer the reader-they are all definitely worth reading!
With so many amazing books to choose from in this great collection , how do you decide what to read? Here are some suggestions:
You can google it, or ask a well read friend.
Some people use the alphabetical system, starting at A and working through the collection to Z, or vice-versa.
Others browse the shelves of this collection, serendipitously encountering titles that look vaguely familiar, books they have always planned to read.
Still others do judge a book by its cover, or by the number of pages. (Are you up to the challenge of an epic saga)?
A really great way to read this collection is one used by library staff. As you know, library professionals celebrate everything and anything. So we suggest you try reading a book (or two) each month, in the month of an authors birthday.
To get you started, here’s a list of authors birthdays for every month of the year. Reading one or two books a month will provide you with between 50-100 years of reading celebration!
January: J.R.R Tolkien (3rd), E L. Doctorow, (6th) Edgar Allan Poe (9th), Nevil Shute (17th)
February: James Joyce(2nd), Jules Verne (8th), John Steinbeck (27th), Charles Dickens (7th) (its also Dickens 200th Anniversary this year, so read, or re-read, two of his works and make it a double celebration).
March: Gabriel Garcia Marquez ( 6th) Douglas Adams(11th)
April: Charlotte Bronte (21st), William Shakespeare (23rd).
May: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (22nd), Patrick White(28th).
June: Thomas Hardy (2nd), George Orwell (25th), Salman Rushdie (19th), A.S Byatt (24th).
July: Rohinton Mistry (3rd), Marcel Proust (10th), Aldous Huxley (26th)
August: Sir Walter Scott(15th), Mary Shelley (30th).
September: Leo Tolstoy (9th?), H.G Wells(21st) Truman Capote (30th)
October: Thomas Keneally (7th) Oscar Wilde(16th)
November: Bram Stoker (6th)Kazuo Ishiguro (8th), Robert Louis Stevenson (13th), Voltaire (21st), C.S Lewis(29th), Jonathan Swift (30th), Mark Twain (30th).
December: Joseph Conrad (3rd), Jane Austen (16th), Rudyard Kipling (30th).
photo credit:Flickr user- ailatan
1. Wolf Hall / Hilary Mantel.
Well written, insightful historical novel set in the times of Henry V111. The author presents an interesting depiction of Thomas Cromwell, a key personality of the Tudor period. Along with Cromwell’s relationships with other characters of the period, the author delves into the politics and society of this much written about period of history.
2. A dog's purpose / W. Bruce Cameron.
A good story written through the eyes of a dog who is searching for his purpose in life over the course of several doggy lives.
3. The help / Kathryn Stockett
Somewhat superficial fictional insight into the lives of black maids and their white employers in Southern USA in the 1960s. By superficial, I mean that the some of the really serious issues are secondary to the characters. A mix of humour and heartache. The character construction make this a 4 star read.
4. No country for old men
I like the writing of this author Cormac McCarthy. He uses words sparingly to describe images and characters. This book begins with a drug deal gone wrong. A chance find of a bag of drug cartel cash by a struggling Vietnam veteran is followed by a storm of ensuing violence as the dug cartel hit men try to recover the cash. Then, there is the dead eyed psychopath Anton Chigurh, one of the most memorable baddies that I have ever encountered in a fiction book. The story is narrated by the ageing Sherrif Ed Tom Bell who battles with the increasing violence and wonders about his ability to deal with this new type of brutal criminality. A five star read for me. The Coen brothers film of this book is one of my top pick films. Javier Bardem as Anton was a highlight.
5. The slap / Christos Tsiolkas
A child is slapped at a family barbecue by an adult who is not a parent. This Australian author examines some of the universal themes of the dynamics of family life, relationships, child rearing practices, acceptable behaviour and other dilemmas through a multicultural Australian family. Very readable, provocative, with some unlovely characters.
6. Breath / Tim Winton
Set in a fictional town in the 1970s, this Australian book examines a young man’s coming of age and explores addiction, risk taking and consequences of actions. A surfing environment provides the backdrop for an older surfer with issues of his own to encourage the young man and his friend to take greater risks forcing the 2 young men to take very different paths. Well written, some confronting issues with a slightly abrupt ending.
7. People of the book / Geraldine Brooks
The story of an Australian rare book expert who is offered the job of the analysis and conservation of the famous Sarajavo Haggadad, a priceless illustrated Jewish book rescued from Serbian shelling during the Bosnian War. Through a series of tiny clues she traces the history of the book.
8.The girl with the dragon tattoo / Stieg Larsson ; translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland.
The Millennium Trilogy - This book is the first book of the trilogy. When disgraced journalist Mikael Blomqvist is hired by Henrik Vanger to investigate the disappearance of his great niece Harriett many years ago, he discovers events linked to a series of gory murders. He then crosses paths with Lisbeth Salader an antisocial computer hacker with a difficult past and a desire for revenge.Well written with many gory parts trilogy of thrillers.
9. We need to talk about Kevin : a novel/Lionel Shriver
A novel about a high school massacre told through a series of letters between the teenage killers mother and his estranged father. Eva the reluctant mother faces herfear that her dislike of her difficult son helped to create the killer. Nature vs nurture.
10. The strain / Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
This is the first book in The Strain trilogy. A plane makes a perfect landing but nearly all the passengers are dead. A vampire tale written by movie producer Guillermo del Toro, of Pans Labyrinth fame and Chuck Hogan. Vampires have been somewhat romanticised by Twilight but the vampires in this book are dark, ancient and terrifying. This book is somewhat predicable however an engaging read for those who like this genre. I have finished the trilogy and was disappointed with the ending.
11. The street sweeper : a novel / Elliot Perlman
A well researched book by an Australian author/lawyer. This book is a blend of historical factual events and fiction. This story takes the reader from current day New York and Melbourne back through two of the critical periods in world history.
Photo credit: Flickr user: shawnzrossi -"Girl reading by window book"
We are also building an amazing book shelf here at Sutherland Library full of all your favourite books. On our shelf so far are titles such as:
BFG by Roald Dahl
Rainbow Magic Fairy series by Daisy Meadows
Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
Selby series by Duncan Ball
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Bertie and the Bear by Pamela Allen
Press Here by Herve Tullet
Angel Cake by Cathy Cassidy
and of course the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.
Are we missing any? Post your favourite book titles now and we will add them to our display.
Into thin air / Jon Krakauer A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray.
Breath / Tim Winton Breath is an extraordinary evocation of an adolescence spent resisting complacency, testing one’s limits against nature, finding like-minded souls, and discovering just how far one breath will take you. It’s a story of extremes—extreme sports and extreme emotions.Foucault’s Pendulum / Umberto Eco One for the conspiracy theorists, a literary Da Vinci Code...Bored with their work, three Milanese editors cook up "the Plan," a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indicating the geographical point from which all the powers of the earth can be controlled—a point located in Paris, France, at Foucault’s Pendulum. But in a fateful turn the joke becomes all too real, and when occult groups, including Satanists, get wind of the Plan, they go so far as to kill one of the editors in their quest to gain control of the earth.
Everything is Miscellaneous / David WeinbergerMy favourite book on the impact that new technology is having on our lives. In this book David Weinberger charts the new principles of digital order that are remaking business, education, politics, science, and culture. In his rollicking tour of the rise of the miscellaneous, he examines why the Dewey decimal system is stretched to the breaking point, how Rand McNally decides what information not to include in a physical map (and why Google Earth is winning that battle), how Staples stores emulate online shopping to increase sales, why your children's teachers will stop having them memorize facts, and how the shift to digital music stands as the model for the future in virtually every industry. Finally, he shows how by "going miscellaneous," anyone can reap rewards from the deluge of information in modern work and life.
Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance This book has little to do with eastern philosophy or motorcycle repair. In essence it is an essay on quality. Maybe its resonance had something to do with the time of life that I read it - as a young adult, but it remains for me a though provoking book. Some may find it too pretentious and for that reason I’m too scared to read it again. I do think that everyone should read it at least once.
Bustin’ Down the Door / Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew Most sporting biographies I’ve read are dryer than a Sao biscuit. Rabbit’s story is a rollicking ride that tells the history of professional surfing through the eyes of someone who lived it. He’s a natural raconteur with a thirst for adventure. A must read for any surfers.
Fatal Storm / Rob Mundle
This book is an account of the horrific 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht race in which several lives were lost. While Rob Mundle isn’t the most engaging writer ever to put pen to paper the tragic series of events during the race leave a lasting emotional impact on the reader.
Photo credit: "Bookman" from Flickr user Markhillary.
We really do live in the Lucky country with so many fantastic children's authors and illustrators. To celebrate this Australia Day check out our top Aussie children's picture books available at Sutherland Shire Libraries.
2. Mem Fox - Possum Magic
3. Jenny Wagner - The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek
6. Margaret Wild – Fox
8. Pamela Allen - Grandpa and Thomas
Rediscover your love of reading in this, The National Year of Reading, 2012, and try one of these books that we're sure you will want to keep reading (and reading) until the end of the very last page of the story.
The hunger games by Suzanne Collins
The passage by Justin Cronin
The litigators by John Grisham
The house of silk by Anthony Horowitz
A game of thrones by George R.R Martin
The night circus by Erin Morgenstern
Scarecrow and the army of thieves by Matthew Reilly
The Lord of the rings by J. R. R. Tolkein
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
Choose a book with over 300 pages to ensure the folding creates a full 360 degree shape.
2. Open up your book and fold the top corner into the centre to create a triangle at the top of the page. Repeat this step with the bottom corner to create a large trangle.
3. Repeat these steps till you reach the end of the book.
4. To complete your book folding, trim off the book covers with a Stanley knife – and you’re done!
This is just one example – for more great book folding ideas check out these great books from Shire Libraries or watch this youtube clip which shows you how.
Video sourced through and attributed to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1-CDSZYzYP4
The repurposed library: 33 craft projects that give old books a new
life by Lisa Occhipinti.
Playing with books: upcycling, deconstructing & reimagining the book by
New directions in altered books by Gabe Cyr
Week 4 winner (09/01/2012): Judith of Sylvania, who read “The cold light of mourning” By Elizabeth J. Duncan, a mystery that she rated as 4 out of 5 stars.
Don't forget to fill in an entry form for your chance to win some great prizes in the Summer Reading Club promotion.
1. Oscar and Lucinda / Peter Carey
A sumptuously written novel about the chance meeting of two eccentric gamblers, Oscar and Lucinda. Oscar is a socially awkward Anglican minister and Lucinda owns a glassworks. Carey’s descriptions of the explosion of glass curiosity known as a Prince Rupert’s Drop and the glass church the pair create for a bet are images that are burnt in my mind forever.
2. Water for Elephants / Sara Gruen
Although this book is being sold as a romance (especially since it has been made into a film), it is the history of the train circuses during the Great Depression that I found most fascinating aspect of this story. The humans and animals were all quite desperate often leading to disastrous consequences. Regardless of the cruelty and misery in this book I found it compelling.
3. The Corrections / Jonathan Franzen
While the family patriarch, Alfred Lambert increasingly struggles with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia his wife Enid hopes for one last family Christmas with her three grown children. The black humour Franzen uses to describe this dysfunctional family and their tortured interrelationships goes some way to lighten his very accurate portrayal of the way people behave.
4. Dirt Music / Tim Winton
Georgie Jutland is married to Jim Buckridge, a successful fisherman in the small West Australian town of White Point. She falls for a troubled poacher and former musician, Luther Fox. Tim Winton uses evocative language to describe the Australian landscape which in turn helps to progress the story.
5. The Great Gatsby / F.Scott Fitzgerald
Sure to be popular again once the new movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio is released The Great Gatsby is a classic that readers can revisit and still be amazed. It paints a fabulous picture of life in the “roaring twenties” in America but does not fail to expose the reality behind the glamorous facade.
6. 44 Scotland Street / Alexander McCall Smith
This is the first book in a charming series about the residents of an Edinburgh apartment building. It was originally serialised in “The Scotsman” newspaper and therefore is an entertaining read that it divided into satisfying chunks making it easy to put down and pick up again. The characters include Pat, a 20-year-old student on her second gap year, a narcissistic surveyor, Bruce, widow Domenica, artist Angus and his dog Cyril and my favourite character 5-year-old Bertie whose ambitious and overbearing mother Irene micromanages his education when all he wants is to be a normal child.
7. Tales of the City / Armistead Maupin
Tales of the City is another serialised newspaper column this time for the San Fransisco Chronicle converted into a novel. It focuses on the residents of an apartment house in Barbury Lane. Mary Ann Singleton is naive young woman from Cleveland who befriends Michael “Mouse” Tolliver, a homosexual and so begins a very funny novel that captures the spirit of San Fransisco in the 1970s and in later novels, the 1980s.
8. Open: an autobiography / Andre Agassi
I am not an avid tennis fan but I found this biography to be very surprising revelation of how Andre Agassi became a champion. Agassi repeatedly states throughout the book that he hated tennis and admits that he and his wife former tennis star Steffi Graf do not have a tennis court at their home.
9. A Thousand Splendid Suns / Khaled Hosseini
Although the author Khaled Hosseini is better known for his second novel The Kite Runner, I enjoyed A Thousand Splendid Suns more because it is told from a female point of view. The two main characters are Mariam a poor traditional woman and Laila a younger, more modern and educated female. Set in Afghanistan the story spans 40 years of conflict between warlords, Soviets, Mujahideen, Taliban and Americans and the consequent effects of life for all but particularly the women.
10. Jasper Jones / Craig Silvey
A remarkable story about life as an “outsider” in a mining town in Australia. The main character Charlie is drawn into hiding the body of girl by Jasper Jones, an Aboriginal boy who they assume would be blamed for her death. Charlie is also best friends with Jeffrey, a Vietnamese-Australian and their light-hearted banter gives some relief to the dark undertones of the book.
One simple strategy to help ease first day fears is to read aloud books about starting school to your child. Stories about school can introduce them to the school day, answer some questions they may have and help ease any first day fears.
- I'm not ready by Jonathan Allen
- Jessica's box by Peter Carnavas
- There's a hippopotamus in the playground eating cake by Hazel Edwards
- Charlie & Lola - I am too absolutely small for school by Lauren Child
- First Day by Margaret Wild
- Just Jack by Jane Tanner
- Dinosaur Starts School by Pamela Duncan Edwards
- Spot loves school by Eric Hill
- Do I have to go to school? by Pat Thomas
- The first day at school by Yvonne Jagtenberg
Then there are the re-readers. These are the readers in agreement with the esteemed Oscar Wilde who was quoted as saying “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all”. These readers re-read their favourite books for a variety of reasons. It may be that these books transcend time, resonating with the reader, sometimes providing a different perspective of the story when it is re-read at a different stage of life. Much loved characters have often become much loved friends and the experience of re- reading a particular book evokes feelings of warmth, familiarity and even comfort. The quality of prose may hold the appeal, or the fact that re reading a book captures details missed or not quite understood the first time around.
Obviously not all books make the grade as a re-read. There are particular books though, with the power to entice people to want to re -read them over and over again. These books would surely be considered amazing reads.
The list of books below is probably familiar, and may even include some books you have already read. Why don’t you try re-reading one or more of them, or maybe even read them for the first time, and discover why they have been deemed as not only amazing reads, but worthy of being re-read.
Great expectations by Charles Dickens
Pride and prejudice by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
The great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
The Lord of the flies by William Golding
Brave new world by Aldous Huxley
The adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee
Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery
Little women by Louisa May Alcott
1984 by George Orwell
The catcher in the rye by J.D Salinger
Lord of the rings by J.R.R Tolkien
Treasure island by Robert Louis Stevens
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Belgariad by David Eddings
The Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Dracula by Bram Stoker
What are you reading right now?
"Yes Man: The amazing tale of what happens when you decide to say...Yes" by Danny Wallace.
What do you like most about it?
I read it a few years ago and have gone back to it again. I am a big fan of Danny Wallace’s commitment to drastically changing his life. He is a bit of a kindred spirit, he came up with one of those crazy ideas and actually did it.
What is your favourite book?
Tough question, there are a lot of books that I really like. If I had to pick one I would say “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I read it at school and it left a big impression on a young mind.
What do you like to do when you are not writing unbelievable true stories about loopholes in Australian sport?
Life has been action packed over the last couple of years. I work at the airport and have a young family that I try and spend as much time with as possible, which isn’t always easy to juggle with the demands of being a self-selected semi-professional athlete.
If you could have dinner with two famous people (dead or alive) who would they be and why?
Given that I have spent the last couple of years riding on the coat tails of Australia’s great sporting heroes, I probably owe Don Bradman and Cathy Freeman a dinner to say thank you.
Burt Sigsworth will be appearing at Engadine Library for a book signing /author talk on 19th January, 2012 at 6.30pm. Everyone is welcome to join us as Burt tells us more about his journey to becoming a part of Australia's first National Dodgeball Team. His book "Fly like an emu" will be available for sale and signing on the night. Bookings are essential as space is limited. Book online, or call 9548 6003.
Amazing Monday offers you the opportunity to learn about yourself, through a Palm or Numerology reading, as well as encountering new authors and genres.
Visit the Information Desk where staff will help you 'Seek An Amazing Read', using databases packed full of suggestions which can be tailored to your preferences.
So visit Sutherland Library on Amazing Monday, to find a 'read' tailored just to you!
Rosemary Dawson, comes from a large Irish family where ghostly encounters and paranormal activity were considered the norm. Rosemary decided to embrace her Psychic gifts through her studies and acquired a Post Grad degree as well as a Masters of Applied Science at University. She has taught English and Religious Studies in High School over a period of 25 years.
Rosemary gives Psychic Readings at the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival at Darling Harbour each year and runs the Red Dragon Coaching Service in Cronulla.
To raise awareness of Australia's Healthy Weight Week 2012, Shire Libraries has invitied health professional and author Sandy Bröcking to deliver two free health information sessions in the libraries.
Sandy Bröcking’s inspiring story and passion to use her experiences to help others has resulted in her innovative and highly motivating health plan for those who want to lose weight on a daily basis without being forced into a rigorous, radical or expensive diet regime.
The talk includes:
- Learn about diet and lifestyle related diseases and find out how to prevent them
- Learn about reasons why losing weight seems to be difficult for so many of us
- Learn to lose weight the healthy way
- Learn why diets don’t work for most people
- Learn how to lose weight for good
- Learn how every day food affects our health and our weight
What is an Amazing Read?
Amazing Reads might be books that have been recommended by someone else, those books that have touched your heart and stayed with you, and could be your favourite books that are re-read every year and continue to be enjoyed.
Are you looking for your next Amazing Read? Why not try one the books from the weekly lists of top ten amazing reads compiled by Sutherland Library’s Reference team, find them posted on the Sutherland Library News each Monday throughout the month of January. Don't forget to fill in an entry form when you return your books to the library, there's still time to go into the draw for a chance to win an e-reader and great weekly prizes as part of the Adult Summer Reading club!