To read or not to read...

The author of this much read (and studied) classic novel would be 216 years old today. A chilling gothic tale, this is the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity.

Read the opening paragraphs of this book and you decide whether to read or not to read the rest of the book!

I am by birth a Genevese; and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. My ancestors had been for many years counsellors and syndics; and my father had filled several public situations with honour and reputation. He was respected by all who knew him for his integrity and indefatigable attention to public business. He passed his younger days perpetually occupied by the affairs of his country; a variety of circumstances had prevented his marrying early, nor was it until the decline of life that he became a husband and the father of a family.

As the circumstances of his marriage illustrate his character, I cannot refrain from relating them. One of his most intimate friends was a merchant, who, from a flourishing state, fell, through numerous mischances, into poverty. This man, whose name was Beaufort, was of a proud and unbending disposition, and could not bear to live in poverty and oblivion in the same country where he had formerly been distinguished for his rank and magnificence. Having paid his debts, therefore, in the most honourable manner, he retreated with his daughter to the town of Lucerne, where he lived unknown and in wretchedness. My father loved Beaufort with the truest friendship, and was deeply grieved by his retreat in these unfortunate circumstances. He bitterly deplored the false pride which led his friend to a conduct so little worthy of the affection that united them. He lost no time in endeavouring to seek him out, with the hope of persuading him to begin the world again through his credit and assistance.

Beaufort had taken effectual measures to conceal himself; and it was ten months before my father discovered his abode. Overjoyed at this discovery, he hastened to the house, which was situated in a mean street, near the Reuss. But when he entered, misery and despair alone welcomed him. Beaufort had saved but a very small sum of money from the wreck of his fortunes; but it was sufficient to provide him with sustenance for some months, and in the meantime he hoped to procure some respectable employment in a merchant's house. The interval was, consequently, spent in inaction; his grief only became more deep and rankling when he had leisure for reflection; and at length it took so fast hold of his mind that at the end of three months he lay on a bed of sickness, incapable of any exertion.

 To keep reading  this book, you can request it from the Library. 

Make a bid for Indigenous Literacy

To support the Indigenous Literacy Day, Sutherland Shire Libraries are having a silent auction featuring a beautiful piece of artwork donated by a local indigenous artist. Deanna Schreiber is a Sutherland Shire resident, having made the Shire her adopted country. She was born in Gadigal country, Redfern, her mother was Wonnarua of the Riverina district and her father from Wiradjuri.

She is currently Chairperson of the Kurranulla Aboriginal Corporation. The corporation, at Jannali, acts as an information & referral centre for local Aboriginal people and offers advice on social support, educational, housing and health services. Kurranulla also auspices the Gnarra HACC Project and has a variety of authentic Aboriginal arts & crafts for sale all done by local Aboriginal artists.

Deanna is a well-respected artist who has been painting for over 40 years.

Her vibrant work, portrays people moving through the landscape, past an elder camp (bottom right), beside loosely connected communities and on towards a group of very closely knit communities (top right). The various textures indicate the variety of landscapes through which the travellers pass.

To have this unique artwork in your home, or workplace, make a bid in an online silent auction, by 4pm on 13 September 2013. To bid you will be required to create an account (a short online form) with a valid email address and be over 18 years of age.

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) coordinates Indigenous Literacy Day with the aim to help raise funds to increase literacy levels and improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Australians living in remote and isolated regions. Funds raised will be used to buy books and literacy resources for children in these communities. Check out the other activities being held around Australia, or purchase a book on 4 September from a participating bookstore and know that 5% of the purchase price will be donated back to the ILF. 

Max Harrison Author Talk

Max Dulumunmun Harrison will be talking at Sutherland Library on Thursday 5th September at 7pm, presented by the Sutherland Shire Citizens for Native Title and Reconciliation. Book here.

Max is an initiated man of theYuin Nation. He grew up as part of a close community on the South Coast of NSW where some boys and young men were still selected for initiation into ancient ways. Now an elder and seeing the widespread marginalisation of his people and lack of acceptance of traditional teachings, he began what has become his life’s work – providing a way for others to understand Aboriginal culture.

Over the past three decades, he has taken thousands of people onto country – teaching international students, architects, environmentalists, government ministers and advisers, medical practitioners and researchers his traditional culture. He has been consulted by government on land rights issues and shared the podium at major events with spiritual leaders from around the world, including the Dalai Lama. In 2009 he presented at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne.

Copies of his book "My people's dreaming: an Aboriginal elder speaks on, life, land, spirit and forgiveness", will be available for purchase on the night. Cash only.

The Sutherland Shire Citizens for Native Title and Reconciliation have as their primary aim; to generate, in Australia, a moral and legal recognition of, and respect for, the distinctive status of Indigenous Australians as first peoples.  Towards this aim they provide opportunities for education and "Journey into Understandings" courses at various times throughout the year.

Indigenous Literacy Day is Wednesday the 4th September. This day is to highlight the need for resources to help encourage and support reading in indigenous communities, both in  traditional languages and English. It is coordinated by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

A gold coin donation for this worthy cause will be appreciated.

Updated App for Overdrive audiobook and ebook downloads

Library members who access Overdrive Audiobook and eBook downloads via  tablet or mobile device (think iPad, iPhone, Android) will need to update their Media Console App.

Overdrive has released a new version of the Overdrive Media Console app for iOS and Android devices.  The app is available now in the respective app stores.  Returning users will be prompted to update to the latest version on next time they access the app.

What’s New 

OMC v3.0 has been completely redesigned with a focus on making the user experience more intuitive. The Next Generation of OMC features:
  • A redesigned user interface with an all-new look, streamlined navigation and a one-stop reorganized menu. App functions are just a swipe and tap away.
  • Users can sync bookmarks and reading progress across multiple devices using a free, opt-in registration service called OverDrive One.
  • Variable speed playback for iOS - Audiobook users’ most requested feature.
  • First run tutorial screens. The app now prompts first-time users to add libraries and get books. 

System Requirements: OMC v3.0 for Android users requires Android OS v4.0 (or newer). OMC for Android v2.6.5 will remain available for download. OMC for iOS requires iOS 6 (or newer).

AUGUST - FurReads for Teens

Quote: 'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.'  ~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

Lone Wolf by Kathryn Lasky
A wolf mother has given birth, but the warm bundle snuffling next to her brings only anguish. The pup, otherwise healthy, has a twisted paw, and the mother knows what the harsh code of the pack demands. Her pup will be taken from her and abandoned on a desolate hill. The pack cannot have weakness - the wolf mother knows that her pup is condemned to die.
But alone in the wilderness, the pup, Faolan, does not perish. This his story - a story of survival, of courage, and of love triumphant. This is Faolan's story, the wolf pup who rose up to change forevever the Wolves of the Beyond.

Black Beauty by Anna SewellA horse is a horse of course unless of course the horse is Black Beauty. Animal-loving children have been devoted to Black Beauty throughout this century, and no doubt will continue through the next. Although Anna Sewell's classic paints a clear picture of turn-of-the-century London, its message is universal and timeless: animals will serve humans well if they are treated with consideration and kindness.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateIvan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.  Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Call of the Wild  by Jack London
This book was written in 1903, brought Jack London to the world's attention. It is the story of Buck, part St. Bernard and part Scotch shepherd dog, who shows the strengths of both breeds when he is stolen and sold off as a sled dog in the Yukon during the gold rush. His description of the Alaskan terrain is incredible. I have never been to Alaska but when I read this book I could picture it in my head very clearly. This is a heartfelt story that appeals to both children and adults, 'The Call of the Wild' remains a timeless classic.

Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O'Dell
In the Pacific, there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea birds abound. Karana is the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Hers is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery. It's a short first person read that draws in the reader and gives you an idea what it really might have been like to live alone on a deserted island. ( And yes, there's a faithful dog called Rontu )

Classics Open Book Groups

Do you enjoy reading and discussing classic literature? If so, join one of our new Classics Open Book Groups, being held the 1st Tuesday of each month. You can attend the group every month, or just come along when suits.

What is a classic novel? According to Mark Twain, it's  "A book people praise but don't read".  This is not always the case!  

What is deemed a classic novel varies according to different people. Just as no-one reads the same book, everyone defines a classic differently. Despite there being no set of rules defining what makes a classic novel,  it is agreed that these books do share some qualities. They are of literary significance, having stood the test of time, and are often be regarded as representative of the period in which the book was written.  They usually express some artistic quality- be it a brilliant story line or an engaging writing style, that sets it apart from other works of literature. Classics have universal appeal, integrating global themes that are understood by readers from a wide range of backgrounds and  varying life experiences. Themes such as life, death, faith,  love and hate touch upon some of our most basic emotional responses.
A classic makes connections.

The book group discussions will be based on classic novels chosen by the group, and may include classics from the beginnings of literature right up to the essential modern 20th century classics.

* Please note, although the library holds copies of many classic books, it is the  individual's  responsibility to obtain a copy of the chosen text to read. 

1st Tuesday of each month.

Daytime Group:
Caringbah Library @ 2.00pm.
376-378 Port Hacking Road
Tel: 9524 3803

Evening Group:
Sutherland Library @ 6.30pm.
30-36 Belmont Street
Tel: 9710 0351

The Reading Hour

Share a book with your child for ten minutes a day, an hour a week. 

The countdown is on! Its only 8 days until The Reading Hour, 2013,  being held on Saturday, 24 August, from 5.00pm-6.00pm.  This the time to talk about and celebrate the importance of reading. 

The Reading Hour is for everyone, from babies to adults. The idea is to spend the hour reading, with your kids (if you have any), read with friends and family, or  take this opportunity to enjoy an uninterrupted hour of reading by yourself. It doesn't matter what you read, as long as you read something.

Sharing a book with your child for 10 minutes a day, an hour a week is the aim for The Reading Hour, 2013. Although it's not always possible for parents to share a book at bedtime with their children, if you can manage 10 minutes most nights, your child will have the best chance of becoming a good reader, with all the social and educational benefits that brings.

Most of our brain development happens between birth and three years of age, so it's not enough to assume that your children will learn to read when they get to school. Parents need to share stories and rhymes right from day one.

For adults, reading a book is a great way to restore work-life balance, to keep your mind sharp, improve analytical thinking and writing skills, and increase your vocabulary.

Check out Sutherland Shire Libraries Facebook page for reading tips-these are being posted daily as we countdown to this reading celebration.  Share what you are reading in the comments. 

Children's Book Week 2013

Book Week theme 2013
Each year, many schools and public libraries from all over Australia spend a week celebrating books and Australian authors and illustrators. Classroom teachers, teacher librarians and public librarians develop activities, offer competitions and tell stories relating to a theme to highlight the importance of reading.

The Short List in each of the categories is decided at the Judges' Conference after extensive discussion and by secret ballot by the Judges. The Short List usually has six titles in each category. 

And the Winners Are...

Early Childhood Picture books

WINNER - Early Childhood
Honour Book - Early Childhood

Picture Books for Older Readers

WINNER - Picture Book
Honour Book - Picture Book

Honour Book - Picture Book

Shortlisted 2013

Shortlisted 2013

Shortlisted 2013
Younger Readers Fiction

Honour Book - Younger readers

Shortlisted 2013

Shortlisted 2013
Shortlisted 2013
Older Readers Fiction (for mature readers)

      WINNER - Older Readers
Honour Book - Older readers
Honour Book - Older readers
Shortlisted 2013
Shortlisted 2013
Shortlisted 2013
Eve Pownell Award for Information Books

WINNER - Information Books
Honour - Information Book
               Shortlisted 2013
Shortlisted 2013

To read or not to read... about the life of a famous Australian

In the words of the author, "I hope my cat never finds out  that I have written a story to celebrate the life of a dog".   Based on a true story, this is one of two books written about a dog with monikers including Tally Ho and Bluey. Using a distinctly Australian  voice,  the story is of this dog's many adventures and most interesting life. It has been made in to a critically acclaimed and much loved film that you may have already watched.  

Read the opening paragraphs of this book and you decide whether to read or not to read the rest of the book!

'Strewth!' exclaimed Jack Collins, 'that dogs a real stinker! I don't know how he puts up with himself. If I dropped bombs like that, I'd walk around with my head in a paper bag, just to protect myself. 
'Everyone likes their own smells,' said Mrs Collins. Jack raised his eyebrows and smirked at her, so she added, 'Or so they say.'
'Well its too much for me, Maureen. He's going to have to go out in the yard.'
'It's his diet', said Maureen, 'eating what he eats, it's going to make smells. And he gulps it down so fast, he must be swallowing air.' 

'Tally would let off even if you fed him on roses,' said her husband, shaking his head, half in wonder.'Shame it's a talent you can't be paid for. We'd all be millionaires. You know what I think? We should hire him out to the airforce. You could drop him in enemy territory, he'd neutralise it for three days, more or less, and then you could send in the paratroops. It'd be a new era in airborne warfare.' 
Don't light any matches, he's done it again,' said Maureen, holding her nose with her left hand, and waving her right hand back and forth across her face. 'Tally you're a bad dog'.

Tally Ho looked up at her with one yellow eye, keeping the other one closed for the sake of economy, and thumped his tail on the floor a couple of times. He had noted the affectionate tone of her voice, and took her words for praise. He was lying on his side, a little bit bloated after gnawing on one of his oldest bones. He was only a year old, so his oldest bone was not too old, but it certainly had plenty of flavours and all the wind-creating properties of which Tally was particularly fond. 

Tally was the most notorious canine dustbin in the whole neighbourhood, and people delighted in presenting him with unlikely objects and encouraging him to eat them. With apparent relish he ate paper bags, sticks dead rats, butterflies, feathers, apple peel, eggshells, used tissues and socks. On top of that, Tally ate the same food as the rest of the family, and at this moment carried in his stomach a goodly load of mashed potato, gravy and steak and kidney pie. 

This is not to say that Tally ever raided dustbins or browsed on garbage. This would have been very much beneath his dignity, and in any case, he had never found it necessary. He had never lacked success in obtaining perfectly good food from human beings, and ate odd things in good faith, just because human beings offered them to him. He made up his own mind as to what was eating again, and whilst he would probably be happy to eat more eggshells, as long as they stil had some traces of egg in them, he probably wouldn't try another feather. 

 To keep reading this book, you can request it from the Library. 

AUGUST - FurReads for Kids

Quote: 'Each an every animal on Earth has as much right to be here as you and me.'
~ Anthony Douglas Williams ~

Watership Down by Richard Adams
One of the most beloved novels of our time, Richard Adams's Watership Down takes us to a world we have never truly seen: to the remarkable life that teems in the fields, forests and riverbanks far beyond our cities and towns. It is a powerful saga of courage, leadership and survival; an epic tale of a hardy band of adventurers forced to flee the destruction of their fragile community . . . and their trials and triumphs in the face of extraordinary adversity as they pursue a glorious dream called 'home.'

Redwall  by Brian Jacques
Redwall Abbey, tranquil home to a community of peace-loving mice is threatened by Cluny the Scourge - the evil-one-eyed rat warlord - and his battle-hardened horde of predators. Cluny is certain that Redwall will fall easily to his fearsome army but he hasn't bargained for the courage and strength of the combined forces of the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends.

Tale of Despereaux  by Kate DiCamillo
Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other's lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

Stuart Little  by E. B. White
Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he's shy and thoughtful, he's also a true lover of adventure. Stuart's greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

Bindi (Wildlife Adventures) series for young Aussies who love animals. As the co-creator of the 'Bindi Wildlife Adventures' series and 'Bindi Behind the Scenes', Bindi Irwin has achieved a remarkable amount in her 14 years. As the daughter of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, she has been involved with caring for wildlife and promoting conservation since she was tiny. She has hosted the Emmy-award-winning TV program Bindi: The Jungle Girl series and Bindi's Bootcamp, she sings, she dances, she acts in movies, all while helping her mum run Australia Zoo. 

To read or not to read...a #Furread!

The Readwatchplay theme for August reading is #furreads,  a theme that includes books about animals! This classic book  is one you are sure to have heard of, it may well be one of your favourite reads! 

To read or not to read... that is the question! Read the opening paragraphs of this book and you decide!

The primroses were over. Towards the edge of the wood, where the ground became open and sloped down to an old fence and a brambly ditch beyond, only a few fading patches of pale yellow still showed among the dog's mercury and oak-tree roots. On the other side of the fence, the upper part of the field was full of rabbit-holes. In places the grass was gone altogether and everywhere there were clusters of dry droppings, through which nothing but the ragwort would grow. A hundred yards away, at the bottom of the slope, ran the brook, no more than three feet wide, half-choked with king-cups, water-cress and blue brook-lime. The cart-track crossed by a brick culvert and climbed the opposite slope to a five-barred gate in the thorn hedge. The gate led into the lane.

The May sunset was red in clouds, and there was still half an hour to twilight. The dry slope was dotted with rabbits-some nibbling at the thin grass near their holes, others pushing further down to look for dandelions or perhaps a cowslip that the rest had missed. Here and there one sat upright on an ant heap and looked about, with ears erect and nose in the wind. But a blackbird singing undisturbed on the outskirts of the wood, showed that there was nothing alarming there, and in the other direction along the brook, all was plain to be seen, empty and quiet. The warren was at peace.
At the top of the bank, close to the wild cherry where the blackbird sang, was a little group of holes almost hidden by brambles. In the green half-light, at the mouth of one of these holes, two rabbits were sitting together side by side. At length the larger of the two came out, slipped along the bank under cover of the brambles and so down into the ditch and up into the field. A few moments later the other followed. 
 The first rabbit stopped at a sunny patch and scratched his ear with rapid movements of his hind leg. Although he was a yearly and still below full weight, he had not the harassed look of most “outskirters”-that is the rank and file of ordinary rabbits in their first year, who lacking either aristocratic parentage or unusual size and strength, get sat on by their elders and live as best they can-often in the open-on the edge of their warren. He looked as though he knew how to take care of himself. There was a shrewd, buoyant air about him as he sat up, looked around and rubbed both front paws over his nose. As soon as he was satisfied that all was well, he laid back his ears and set to work on the grass. 

To keep reading this book, request it from the Library!

AUGUST - FurReads for Kiddies

HOOT : Talk to the night animals with Alison Lester
HOOT is part of a delightful series by bestselling author-illustrator Alison Lester, designed especially for 0-3 year olds. Babies will respond to the rhyming text and the simple, colourful images, while toddlers will love joining in to make their own animal sounds. These bright, engaging board books are perfect for little hands.

SNORE : Talk to the Australian animals with Alison Lester
SNORE is part of a delightful series by bestselling author-illustrator Alison Lester, designed especially for 0-3 year olds. Babies will respond to the rhyming text and the simple, colourful images, while toddlers will love joining  in to make their own animal sounds. These bright, engaging board books are perfect for little hands.

by Mark and Rowan Sommerset
Little Baa Baa is so bored. When Quirky Turkey comes along, the opportunity to make some mischief proves too hard to resist. With snappy dialogue and hilarious illustrations, Baa Baa Smart Sheep is a laugh-out-loud story that will leave you thinking sheep aren't as stupid as we might think. (and I'd stay away from those smarty tablets/pellets, if I were you!)

by Margaret Wild & Michelle Dawson
Hush! All over the world, in deserts and jungles, in woodlands and seas, little ones everywhere are going to sleep. Margaret Wild's soft, lilting text and Michelle Dawson's exquisitely delicate illustrations make Let's Go To Sleep the perfect bedtime book for reading aloud. Guaranteed to give all small readers the sweetest of dreams.
Quote by Joaquin Phoenix