Ten books: Book endings

Pride and Prejudice by
Jane Austen
Gone with the wind
by Margaret Mitchell

The end of another year. As 2013 draws to a close, this reminds us of one of the most important aspects of reading a book, the ending. This is what stays with you and leaves the reader with something to think about. Click on the images to read why these books made the list.  There are no spoilers in this list, just ten books with memorable endings that you may like to read, or re-read.

The fault in our stars by
John Green

Gone girl by
Gillian Flynn
 Have you ever found yourself near the end of a story, and dreading reaching the last page? Do you find yourself reading it more and more slowly so as to savour those last pages of text, hoping that this is the first book in a never ending series, or at the very least has a good ending?
Having finished the story, do you sometimes find yourself unable to move onto reading another book?
The road by
Cormac McCarthy
Of mice and men by
John Steinbeck

Conversely, have you ever been reading a book and been unable to resist reading the last few pages, just to find out what happens (or maybe to see if it's worth all the effort)!   The ending, whether powerful, poignant,  happy or sad,  it just needs to be right. The ending of a book can make or break the story; it's the author's last chance to impress the reader!

The remains of the day
by Kazuo Ishiguro
by Ian Mc Ewan

 Different types of books suit different endings. Mystery and crime require resolution,  happily ever after best suits romance and cliffhangers are great to set up the next book in a series. Some books offer resolution, with all the loose ends tied up neatly, with all questions answered using plausible explanations.  Sometimes books finish abruptly or unexpectedly. They may be left open to interpretation by the reader who may imagine or sometimes just simply wonder what happened next...
What kind of book endings do you prefer?

Mrs Dalloway by
Virginia Woolf
To kill a mockingbird by
Harper Lee
This summer, as you finish each book you are reading, don't forget the Adult Summer Reading Club! For each book you borrow from the Library, pick up an entry form, read your book, rate it out of five stars and write a short review for your chance to win an ipad mini with retina display. Each entry provides one chance in the competition to win this great prize. Entry forms are available from all branches of the Sutherland Shire Library Service. 

Do you have a favourite book with a memorable ending? Tell us about it in the comments.

Ten books: In for the long haul? Read a "Doorstopper"

 The Christmas break is a great time to relax and read a big, lengthy book. A doorstopper! Wallow in the descriptions, the details, intricate plots and long time spans. 
Are you ready to commit to a book of 500 pages or so? Challenge yourself! Here are a list of ten book suggestions that are well worth the investment.

 Don't forget to fill in an Adult Summer Reading Club entry form for your chance to win an ipad mini with retina display. Entry forms available at all Sutherland Library branches.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. (832 pages)
 Winner of the Man Booker prize 2013, this is a breathtaking feat of storytelling where everything is connected but nothing is how it seems...
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

The children's book by A.S Byatt (617 pages.)
A tale spanning the end of the Victorian era through WWI.
When children’s book author Olive Wellwood’s oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of a museum, she takes him into the storybook world of her family and friends. But the joyful bacchanals Olive hosts at her rambling country house—and the separate, private books she writes for each of her seven children—conceal more treachery and darkness than Philip has ever imagined. The Wellwoods’ personal struggles and hidden desires unravel against a breathtaking backdrop of the cliff-lined shores of England to Paris, Munich, and the trenches of the Somme.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel ( 651 pages)
Winner of the Man Booker prize 2009, this is the first of a planned trilogy of three books, with the second, Bring up the bodies winning the 2012 Man Booker Prize. A historical story, it offers a detailed look into the life and times of Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII in the 1520s, in particular the events leading up to the King's marriage to Anne Boleyn and the role Cromwell played in those events.

The art of fielding by Chad Harbach (512 pages)
 A relatively short read at just over 500 pages! A baseball star at a small college near Lake Michigan launches a routine throw that goes disastrously off course and inadvertently changes the lives of five people, including the college president, a gay teammate, and the president's daughter.

IQ84 by Haruki Murakami
Ok, its three books in one, but once you start this, there's a good chance you won't want to put it down.  An ode to George Orwell's "1984"  the story is set in Tokyo, in 1984. Told in alternating male and female voices, it relates the stories of Aomame, an assassin for a secret organization who discovers that she has been transported to an alternate reality, and Tengo, a mathematics lecturer and novice writer.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace 
Part of the 1001 books you must read collection, this is the story of an intelligent but zany dysfunctional family is set in a drug-and-alcohol addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy and follows such themes as heartbreak, philosophy, and advertising. Darkly humorous, this is not for the faint hearted, (or faint wristed at a whopping 981 pages). 

A fraction of the whole by Steve Toltz (710 pages)
After his father's death, Jasper reflects on Martin Dean, the man who had raised him in intellectual captivity and who had spent his entire life analyzing absolutely everything, and describes his unusual boyhood, his colorful family members, his father's failed battle to make a lasting impression on the world, and their many adventures together.

The passage by Justin Cronin (790 pages)
 An epic story of enraged creatures roaming a post-apocalyptic America, hunting down the few remaining uninfected humans. A military virus experiment goes wrong and spreads across the country at a ferocious pace. The resulting ‘virals’ have the speed and stealth of vampires combined with the merciless hunger of zombies. They hunt at night, travel through the trees and attack from above. The mysterious Amy - a.k.a. ‘the girl who survived’ - may hold the key to the human race’s salvation.


2666 by Roberto Bolāno (898 pages)
 Published posthumously in Spain in 2004, withe English translation being published four years later, this epic and complex tale is told in five parts. The story is about an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student who interact in an urban community on the U.S.-Mexico border where hundreds of young factory workers have disappeared.

11/22/63 by Stephen King (740 pages)
Certainly not the only doorstopper novel by Stephen King...
On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? The author's new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination. In this novel that is a tribute to a simpler era, he sweeps readers back in time to another moment, a real life moment, when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history. Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program.

Looking for something shorter to read? Don't forget to check out the Summer Reading book shelf for more reading suggestions!

Ten Books: If you only have time to read one book....

Join the 
Adult Summer ReadingClub

          Read a book
Rate it
     Review it

  Fill in the entry form for your chance to win an ipad Mini with retina display. 
Entry forms are available from all Sutherland Shire Libraries. 

 If you only have time to read one book this summer, here are a selection of  ten must read books of 2013...

The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance. 

Longbourn: pride and prejudice the servants story by Jo Baker
If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah thought, she would be more careful not to trudge through muddy fields. It is wash-day for the housemaids at Longbourn House, and Sarah's hands are chapped and bleeding.

The light between oceans by M. L Stedman
1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia, and lives there with his wife. One April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and an infant. Years later Tom and his wife discover the consequences of the decision they made that day - as the baby's real story unfolds.
Burial rites by Hannah Kent
Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonssonm, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes's spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul. As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes's ill fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn't she?

And the mountains echoed by Khaled Hosseini

So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one...Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters.Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. Then a chance encounter gives him an idea. He will design a questionnaire-a sixteen-page, scientifically researched document-to find the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker or a late-arriver. Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is strangely beguiling, fiery and intelligent. And she is also on a quest of her own. She's looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might just be able to help her with-even if he does wear quick-dry clothes and eat lobster every single Tuesday night.

The yellow eyes of crocodiles by Katherine Pancol ; translated by William Rodarmor and Helen Dickinson. 
When her chronically unemployed husband runs off to start a crocodile farm in Kenya with his mistress, Josephine Cortes is left in an unhappy state of affairs. The mother of two-confident, beautiful teenage Hortense and shy, babyish Zoe;-is forced to maintain a stable family life while making ends meet on her meager salary as a medieval history scholar. Meanwhile, Josephine's charismatic sister Iris seems to have it all-a wealthy husband, gorgeous looks, and a tres chic Paris address-but she dreams of bringing meaning back into her life. When Iris charms a famous publisher into offering her a lucrative deal for a twelfth-century romance, she offers her sister a deal of her own: Josephine will write the novel and pocket all the proceeds, but the book will be published under Iris's name. All is well-that is, until the book becomes the literary sensation of the season.

The goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Author of the Secret History and The Little Friend returns with a brilliant, highly anticipated new novel. A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend's family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few things that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld. 


Vampires in the lemon grove by Karen Russell

Six short stories with subjects ranging from a dejected teenager who discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left behind in a seagull's nest to two vampires in a sun-drenched lemon grove who try helplessly to slake their thirst for blood.

Life after life by Kate Atkinson
What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can -- will she?

Are you a passionate cook and food lover?

Are you a passionate cook? Would you like to meet other local food lovers to swap recipes and cooking advice? Then join the recipe club at Cronulla Library.

There is a different theme for each meeting eg.  mocktails, chilled soups, diabetic cooking, Indian food and tapas.  Each meeting 2 or 3 volunteers bring tasting plates to share.

During December the club had a delicious celebratory high tea.

The club usually meets from 2pm on the first Thursday of the month.  However because of the holiday season the January meeting will be on the second Thursday, 9 January at 2pm.

If you are interested in attending call Cronulla Library on 9523 4980 for more information and registration.

Ten books Tuesday: Short of time? Read something short.

Adult Summer Reading Club 9th December, 2013- 31st January, 2014

Ten Books...
Short novels of 200 pages or so. You may read them in one sitting or read them ten minutes at a time- these are short, (but not always sweet) novels for everyone and anyone who doesn't have much time to read!

Blood and circuses by Kerry Greenwood

The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher is feeling dull. But is she bored enough to leave her identity, her home and family behind and join Farrell's Circus and Wild Beast Show? There have been strange things happening at the circus. And when Phryne is asked by her friends Samson the Strong Man, Alan the carousel operator and Doreen the Snake Woman to help them, curiosity gets the better of her. 

Readalike authors: 
Agatha Christie
M.C. Beaton- Agatha Raisin mysteries
Janet Evanovich
Mary Daheim
 Susan Wittig Albert

The ocean at the end of the lane by Neil Gaiman
A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror. This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real... 

Readalike books:
The coldest girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
River of stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
Terry Pratchett
Raymond E. Feist

The sense of an ending by Julian Barnes

  • Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove.

    Readalike books:
    The remains of the day by Kazuo Ishiguro
    On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
    The sea by John Banville
    Telegraph Avenue: a novel  by Michael Chabon
     Of mice and men by John Steinbeck

The Testament of Mary  by Colm Toibin

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall-Smith

Precious Ramotswe is asked to discover who is spreading vicious rumors about a new beauty salon. Meanwhile, her assistant, Grace Makutsi, is adjusting to the news that she is expecting her first child. 

 Readalike books:
Killed at the whim of a hat by Colin Cotterill
The hard way by Carol Lea Benjamin
The murder at the vicarage by Agatha Christie
The spellman files by Lisa Lutz
The mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

The Turning  by Tim Winton
  • A collection of stories set in western Australia includes the stories of brothers who shun one another, ex-lovers who reunite to remember their incompatibility, and a man who returns to the site of a frightening childhood event.

    Readalike books: 
    Now showing by Ron Elliot
     The secret lives of men by Georgia Blain
    Transactions by Ali Alizadeh

The uncommon reader by Alan Bennett

 Obliged to borrow a book when her corgis stray into a mobile library, the Queen discovers a passion for reading, setting the palace upon its head and causing the royal head of Great Britain to question her role in the monarchy.

Readalike books:
White teeth by Zadie Smith
The unlikely pilgrimmage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
Fool by Christopher Moore
Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger

On Chesil Beach by Ian Mc Ewan

  • On their wedding day, a young couple--Florence, daughter of an Oxford academic and a successful businessman, and Edward, an earnest history student with little experience of women--looks forward to the future while worrying about their upcoming wedding night.

Readalike books:
Eleven minutes by Paulo Coehlo
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Women in love by D. H. Lawrence
The French Lieutenant's woman  by John Fowles
North and south by Elizabeth Gaskell

This is how you lose her  byJunot Diaz

The housekeeper and the professor by Yoko Ogawa]
  • A relationship blossoms between a brilliant math professor suffering from short-term memory problems following a traumatic head injury and the young housekeeper, the mother of a ten-year-old son, hired to care for him.

    Readalike books:

    The space between us by Anna McPartlin

    Veronica by Mary Gaitskill

    The grass is singing by Doris Lessing

    Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan
    Paula Spencer by Roddy Doyle