Want a career change, but can't take time off to study? Consider learning online.

An information hour on Open Universities Australia, OUA, is being held at Sutherland Library on Tuesday 4th February at 6.30pm.

When studying online you don't need to attend classroom sessions. Instead the university can provide you with the study materials and guidance you need to work through your course, and you can interact with students and tutors in online discussion forums. While you will still have set dates for your assignments and exams, you can structure your study time to fit your commitments. Qualifications which can be attained are the same as those gained via traditional course attendance.

Learn how to start gaining your first or a new qualification through OUA.
Find out more about:
Fields of study available, as well as bridging units and pathways.
How online study can fit into your existing time committments.
Fees & charges and financial assistance available.

Bookings essential. Book Now!
Enquiries Ph. 9710 0351

Ten books: Revisit a favourite. Re-read a classic.

Summer Reading Club finishes this Friday. Challenge yourself to read or re-read one of the Ten Classic book suggestions below. Don't forget to fill in and return your entry form to one of the Summer Reading Club entry form boxes ( located at each branch of the library) for a chance to win an iPad Mini!

To Kill a mockingbird

A classic of modern American Literature, this Pulitzer Prize winner by Harper Lee, has never been out of print. It is a  powerful story examining prejudice, right and wrong, stirring up controversy since it was first published in 1960. 


Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
A lesson before dying by Ernest J Gaines
A time to kill by John Grisham
The secret life of bees by Sophie Monk Kidd

The adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain defined a classic as a book which "people praise and don't read". Not true with his classic adventure story,  The adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This  is one of the most loved and best known American classics.  In addition to entertaining readers for generations, it has defined the first-person novel in America, and continues to demand study, inspire reverence, and stir controversy. 


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Gulliver's travels by Jonathan Swift
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The call of the wild by Jack London

Life of Pi: A novel
The book about a boy and a Bengal tiger trapped in a row boat for 227 days, was the winner of the Manbooker Prize for fiction, 2002.  Read the book, watch the movie and compare!


The god of small things by Arundhati Roy
The white tiger by Aravind Adiga
True history of the Kelly gang by Peter Carey
A fine balance by Rohinton Mistry
The blind assassin by Margaret Atwood

Nineteen Eighty Four
George Orwell presents his dystopian vision of the future in 1984. Spookily accurate...


Brave new world byAldous Huxley
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A clockwork orange by Anthony Burgess
Do androids dream of electric sheep? by Philip K. Dick
The giver by Lois Lowry

The day of the triffids

Set in the cold war era, this classic tale from 1951 is a  post-apocalyptic novel about a plague of blindness which befalls the entire world, allowing the rise of an aggressive species of plant, the valuable human engineered triffids. After reading this book, you may never look at gardening the same way again. 

The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
The death of grass by John Christopher
The war of the worlds by H .G Wells
A canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M.Miller
Blindness: A Novel:  by Jose Saramago

The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy

The first of five books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction "trilogy" by Douglas Adams (with the sixth written by Eoin Colfer). After Earth is demolished to make way for a new hyperspatial expressway, Arthur Dent begins to hitch-hike through space.
Readalike authors:

Jasper Fforde
 Christopher Moore
 Neil Gaiman 
Terry Pratchett
Connie Willis

Murder on the Orient Express
detective novel by Agatha Christie featuring the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.While en route from Syria to Paris, in the middle of a freezing winter's night, the Orient Express is stopped dead in its tracks by a snowdrift. Passengers awake to find the train still stranded and to discover that a wealthy American has been brutally stabbed to death in his private compartment- that is locked from the inside. With no escape into the wintery landscape the killer must still be on board. 
 Readalike authors:
Ruth Rendell
Ngaio Marsh
P.D James
Ellis Peters
Margery Allingham

Rebecca's narrative takes the form of a flashback. The heroine, who remains nameless, lives in Europe with her husband, Maxim de Winter, traveling from hotel to hotel, harboring memories of a beautiful home called Manderley, which, we learn, has been destroyed by fire. The story begins with her memories of how she and Maxim first met, in Monte Carlo, years before.
Haunted ground by Erin Hart

The lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
The secret keeper by Kate Morton
The thirteenth tale by Diane Setterfield
Nine coaches waiting by Mary Stewart
Lord of the flies
This allegorical novel starts as an adventurous tale of a group of boys marooned on an island. The novel depicts human interaction, showing the brutal side of human nature, as the boys recreate a society on the island. As the novel progresses, the boys initial innocence gives way to somrthing much darker...

The hunger games by Suzanne Collins
Gone by Michael Grant
The Outsiders by S. E Hinton
Of mice and men by John Steinbeck
One flew over the cuckoo's nest by Ken Kesy

The catcher in the Rye
Featuring themes of teenage angst and alientation, this is the classic tale of two days in the life of  troubled 16 year old narrator and protagonist,  Holden Caulfield. 

The adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jnr.
The perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
An abundance of Katherines by John Green

Do you have a favourite classic novel? Tell us about this or about other books you have read and re-read,  in the comments.

Toddler Time - New Program for 2014

Toddler Time is a new storytime program for 2014. It fills the gap between our Rhymetime program, for babies, and our  normal storytimes, which cater for 3 years and up.

Age Range: 18 months to 3 years old
Duration: 30 minute sessions (approximately)
Bookings: Just turn up with your toddler
Where: Engadine - Wednesdays at 11am 9548-6003
Cronulla - Thursdays at 11am 9523-4980
Sutherland - Fridays at 11am 9710-0178
Starts: Wednesday 29th January 2014

Why not bring a toddler or two to one of our Toddler Time programs? Sing songs, learn the finger and hand actions to match these classic rhymes and listen to easy flow stories. Help your child to listen, learn and interact in the best way possible - through rhythm, rhyme and song. We hope to see you soon.

Note: Our weekly storytime sessions, including rhymetime, toddler time and storytime, are not held during school holidays.

To read or not to read...Australian psychological suspense...

Celebrate Australia Day by reading a book by an Australian author. This is a psychological thriller for the modern age, one which explores the snares of money and love and the dark side of erotic imagination...

To read or not to read, that is the question!

 Read the opening paragraphs of this book and you decide...

It started with a letter he wrote, sent that April care of my uncle's estate agency. A thick ivory envelope with my name in elegant type. There was always something too formal about his advances, as though this man's intentions were disguised even from himself. He enjoyed the civilities, but they made me uneasy. Wasn't the etiquette of amour to keep him safe while calling me to battle? I read it standing  by the shredder. 

                                   Dear Liese (or whoever you are)
         Before you leave Australia to pursue your travels, I wonder if you might round out your                  experience to see life outside the city? Every visitor should take in the Bush. Warrowill, my sheep and cattle property in western Victoria (itself the third largest volcanic plain in the world), is close to much pristine bushland and any amount of wildlife. 
         I propose you join me on the long weekend of June 11th-14th, and calculate for three days of your time payment would be $xxxx.
        Upon your meeting  me on the Friday afternoon, half this fee will be given to you in cash, the other half transfered to your bank account on Monday afternoon at the end of your stay.
        Kindly consider this proposal and let me know at your earliest convenience if the terms are agreeable.
Alexander Colquhoun

it was a ridiculous amount of money he offered, enough to delay my departure for two months, and so it was a relief when, at the appointed time, Alexander, dresed in a blazer and business shirt still creased from the shop, finally picked me up around the corner from the office. He stepped from his oldish Mercedes without meeting my eye. Taking my small suitcase he opened the passenger door, closing it behind me with a deferential nod. He was nervous. I was brusque, lest this whole weekend alide immediately into farce. The dashboard clock read 3.04.
He handed me an envelope. 'Do you want to count it?'
Inside would be the cash in those bright colours like play dollars. 
'No, I'm sure its in order.'
'Perhaps you can tell by weight?'
'Yes.' Turning, smiling, it was the usual surprise to see his face. He had the kind of looks I regarded as typically Australian; untroubled, slightly sunburnt, slightly elsewhere.

To keep reading this book, request it from the  Library

Ten books: Homegrown talent. Read an Australian author

Australia Day is this coming Sunday. Celebrate by reading a book by an Australian author! 

Jesse Blackadder is an international award-winning author of adult and  children’s fiction.  Her adult novels include After the Party, her  second The Raven’s Heart,  and her third Chasing the Light: A Novel of  Antarctica. A fictional recounting of the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, and her extraordinary fight to get there. Based on the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, Jesse Blackadder has captured the drama, danger and magnetic pull of exploring uncharted places in our world and our minds.

Peter Corris is best known for his detective fiction series featuring Private investigator Cliff Hardy. His latest title, Cliff Hardy's 39th case The Dunbar Case.  Silent Kill is due out in 2014. sees him leaving the mean streets of Sydney for Newcastle, investigating what a famous 19th century shipwreck has to do with a multi-million dollar heist with a cast of characters that shouldn't be trusted.

Liane Moriarty has written five best-selling novels. They’re often funny, sometimes sad, stories about families and relationships and the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Her latest book is The husband's secret. Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .

Chris Womersley is an Australian author of crime fiction, short stories and poetry. He trained as a radio journalist and has travelled extensively to such places as India, South-East Asia, South America, North America, and West Africa. He has written two award winning novels, The low road and Bereft. His latest novel is Cairo,  a novel about growing up, the perils of first love, and finding one’s true place in the world.

Dianne Blacklock is an author of nine books, the latest being The best manWith American fiancé, Henry Darrow, publicist Madeleine has at last found the yin to her yang - or whichever way round it is. The calm to her storm, the stillness to her constant motion. Balance. Her boss, Liv, had to be talked into marriage, which predictably ended in divorce. She's happy for Madeleine, but Liv is firmly of the opinion that she and her twins are better off alone. However, when Madeleine meets Aiden, Henry's choice for best man, and Liv has a spontaneous chat with a stranger, the settled lives these women thought they had finally achieved are thrown into chaos. Aiden brings secrets with him and starts to unravel some of Madeleine's. Liv's growing relationship conjures up possibilities she thought she'd shut away forever. May the best man win.

Chris Muir  is being touted as the Australian Lee Child. His debut novel,  A Savage Garden is a powerful, thought-provoking and action-packed thriller set in the lawless wilds of the Congo. Jack Norton is an ex-Navy Seal who came to Africa to make a difference. Now he's a jaded mercenary who hires himself out to the highest bidder, whether for good or evil, Red Cross or war lord.

Kylie Ladd is a novelist and freelance writer, who holds a Ph.D in neuropsychology. Her latest novel is Into my armsOne day a woman meets a man and falls instantly and irrevocably in love with him. It hits her like a thunderbolt, and she has to have him, has to be with him, regardless of the cost, of the pain of breaking up her existing relationship. She has never felt more in synch-or in love-with anyone in her whole life. So this is how it feels, she thinks to herself, this is what real love feels like. It's like that for him too; he wants her in a way he's never wanted anything or anyone before: obsessively, passionately, all-consumingly. She has found her one true love, her soulmate, and he has found his. What happens next will tear them apart and unleash havoc onto their worlds.

Peter Watt, a prolific author of 26 books, his latest being War clouds gather (The eighth book in the Duffy/Macintosh series)Sean and Tom Duffy continue to oppose the ever-increasing greed and megalomania of George Macintosh while Matthew encounters German spies in Iraq. David Macintosh, now almost twenty-one, experiences just how far George will go to protect his wealth. And Donald and Sarah Macintosh have a lot to learn about life, hopes, dreams and careers and about their father.

Jaye Ford, writes internationally published, adrenaline-charged psychological suspense. Her first novel, Beyond Fear, won numerous awards. It was also the highest selling debut crime novel in Australia in 2011. Her latest novel, Blood secret is a teasingly crafted, nail-biting thriller that's impossible to put down. 

Steve Worland has written two action- adventure novels, Velocity and Combustion, featuring He is currently writing his third book in this series. More about Combustion
Los Angeles. Traffic clogs the streets. Smog chokes the city. And Zac Bunsen is going to burn it all down. On a ruthless quest to save the planet, Bunsen releases the Swarm, an airborne nanotech virus that targets combustion engines and detonates their fuel supply. It is spectacularly, appallingly successful. Terror and chaos reign as the City of Angels explodes. Every vehicle is now a deadly bomb and every freeway a war zone littered with bodies and twisted wrecks. NASA astronaut Judd Bell and his best mate, Aussie chopper pilot Corey Purchase, must navigate the burning city in a desperate mission to stop Bunsen before he can execute the last phase of his horrific plan and send mankind back to the Stone Age. 

Tell us your favourite books by Australian authors in the comments!

To read or not to read...Seven tales in seven chapters

Seven portraits. Seven artists. Seven girls and women reading. A dazzlingly inventive novel that surprises and satisfies,  announcing the career of a brilliant new writer.

To read or not to read...That is the question!

Read the opening paragraphs of this novel and you decide... She arrives glowing from the effort of running, strands of red hair coming loose from her kerchief (she tucks them in), marks on her neck like bruises on fruit. A few minutes late but not enough for anyone to mention it. Is almost surprised to find herself in the wards once more amid illness and suffering (on an evening such as this). Her mind is elsewhere. She accepts a dish, a spoon, instructions to feed a patient who rasps with each breath, whose sores stink, who has for eyes one piercing brown bead and one sagging black hole. Familiar and strange, ordinary and violent.

She does not smile encouragingly at the invalid to finish her meal, does not add to the whispered hubbub of the stone halls. They labor together in silence. The crone chews and swallows slowly despite the impulse of her body to reject what it consumes; the girl holds the spoon out, withdraws it, rests it; the food on the plate scarcely diminishes. Candle flames are skittish in the draft, creating the impression of hasty movement.

The old woman speaks; the girl is roused from her private thoughts. Who are you?

My name is Laura Agnelli.

That is not what I asked.

A patient in a bed farther along screams with pain. There is a disturbance. Some run to her aid, some are disgusted and afraid to be close by.

Laura offers one last mouthful to her charge, wipes the remnants from her bluish lips. I am a daughter of Santa Maria della Scala hospital.

You are a foundling? What is your history?

I have none.

You have a name, though.

The rector himself named me Agnelli. It means “lamb.” He is over there. Laura indicates, without pointing, Rettore Giovanni di Tese Tolomei, a man as wide as he is tall, his thumb tucked into his finery as he makes his inspection of the wards.

The woman swivels her eye toward him, then back to the girl. You were plucked from a crop of innocents by that man?

Want to read more?  Request a copy from the Library. 

Ten books: The never ending story. Read a series

2014 is the time to get reading. A great way to do this is to start reading a series. This the chance to get engaged and distracted for weeks at a time. Spend longer with your favourite characters, get to know them better and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing what you plan to read next.  Here are ten never ending stories (a.k.a current series of books),  that you can  request  from the Library :

  1. George R.R Martin: A song of ice and fire series. Best read in order to keep track of what's going on in this epic, complex series. Start with: Book #1: A game of thrones. Latest release: Book #5:  A dance with dragons.  Coming in 2014?  #6 Winds of winter. 

Terry Pratchett:  Discworld series: It doesn't matter which of these 40 books you read, in or out of numerical order as they are each stand alone stories. Book #1: The colour of magic. The latest is book #40: Raising steam 

Kerry Greenwood: Phryne Fisher series.  A popular cozy mystery series, featuring the delectable and elegant sleuth,  Phryne Fisher. Not only can you can read the books,  enjoy the television series- worth watching
simply for the fabulous 1920 costumes.  Book# 1:  Cocaine Blues Latest release: Book #20: Murder and Mendelssohn. 

Find oout more about Phryne Fisher on her website.

Debbie Macomber: Blossom street series: Prolific and best selling author Debbie Macomber has won the hearts of millions of readers with her moving and inspiring stories. A Seattle knitting store brings together four very different women in this earnest tale about friendship and love.
  Book #1 The shop of Blossom street
Latest release (due out April) Book #10 Blossom Street Brides.

Janet Evanovich: Stephanie Plum series. This witty, fresh  and full of surprises, this series first appeared in 1994,  featuring Stephanie Plum, a New Jersey bounty hunter with attitude.  Follow her comedic adventures right through  from Book #1 One for the money to Book #20: Takedown twenty. 

Sue Grafton: Kinsey Millhone Alphabet series.  Featuring detective Kinsey Millhone. Being an alphabet mystery series-A-Z, it makes it easy to find the next book) Book #1 A is for alibi. The latest, released 2013 is Book #23: W is for wasted, meaning there are only 3 more books to go in this very enjoyable series.

 Dianna Gabaldon: Outlander series. This series includes three different types of books, including sequels, prequels and fill in the gaps-some of which can be read alone.  If you are reading the series in order, it is recommended you follow this detailed chronology, written by the author for the reader's convenience. Book #1: Outlander. Latest book:  Book #8 An echo of the bone. Coming soon: Book #9: Written in my own hearts blood. 

Philippa Gregory: Cousins war series. This latest series delves into the history of the Plantagets. Book #1 The white queen.  Latest release, Book #6 The white princess. Coming in 2014 Book #7: The last rose.  

Clive Cussler: The Oregon Files.  Mercenaries, known as the Corporation, are headquartered on the ship Oregon, a seagoing marvel of science and technology disguised as an ancient, rust-bucket cargo vessel.  Each book in the series is a whole story with a beginning and an ending, however there are references to prior stories in the series. book #1: Golden Buddha. The latest book, # 9 is Mirage

 Jo Nesbo: Harry Hole series. Book #1, The Bat, introduces Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad-  a highly original, believable and likeable protagonist. The novels are complex, ambitious constructions with suspenseful and fast-paced crime plots that reflect our globalized modern world. Latest release is Book # 11: Cockroaches.  Each book in the series is a self contained story, but includes past references to Harry’s life. Best read in order. 

Tell us about your favourite series in the comments.

To read or not to read...a psychological thriller with a difference.

A debut novel by a British born, West Australian author. A mesmerising novel about love, dependence, and the fear that the things you know best can become the things you're least certain about. This is a psychological thriller with a difference. 

To read or not to read that is the question...

Read the opening paragraphs of this novel and you decide!

Today, somehow, I am a smoker.
I did not know this about myself. As far as I remember, I have never smoked before.
It feels unnatural, ill-fitting, for a woman of my age: a wife, a mother with a grown-up son, to sit in the middle of the day with a cigarette between her fingers. Hector hates smoking. He always coughs sharply when we walk behind someone smoking on the street, and I imagine his vocal cords rubbing together, moist and pink like chicken flesh.
I rub the small white face of my watch. Twelve fifteen. By this time, I am usually working on something in the kitchen. I must prepare supper for this evening, the recipe book propped open on the stand that Hector bought me for an early wedding anniversary. I must make bread: mix the ingredients in a large bowl, knead it on the cold wooden worktop, watch it rise in the oven. Hector likes to have fresh bread in the mornings. Make your home a place of peace and order.
The smoke tastes of earth, like the air underground. It moves easily between my mouth and my makeshift ashtray: an antique sugar bowl once given to me by Hector’s mother. The fear of being caught is like a familiar darkness; I breathe it in with the smoke.
I found the cigarette packet in my handbag this morning underneath my purse. It was disorientating, as if it wasn’t my bag after all. There were some cigarettes missing. I wonder if I smoked them. I imagine myself, standing outside the shop in the village, lighting one. It seems ridiculous. I’m vaguely alarmed that I do not know for sure. I know what Hector would say: that I have too much time on my hands, that I need to keep myself busy. That I need to take my medication. Empty nest syndrome, he tells his friends at the pub, his mother. He’s always said I have a vivid imagination.
Outside is a clear circle of light. Hector’s underpants, shirts and trousers move silently in the breeze. Holding the cigarette upright, the glowing tip towards the ceiling, I notice the red-rimmed edges of my fingernails. A shadow shifts across the table. I see a hand, reaching out: the fingers spread open to take it. It is small, with bitten-down nails, a silver ring gleaming on the index finger. Without thinking, I offer the cigarette, but when I look again the hand is gone. The hairs on my arms rise. I turn quickly, my heart beating, but the room is empty.
To read more, request a copy from the library.