To read or not to read...a Literary spy thriller

A literary spy thriller set in World War II,   this  novel streamlined and tautly paced novel is fascinating blend of fact and fiction.

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

She was sitting in the fuselage, trussed like a piece of baggage, battered by noise. Half an hour earlier they manhandled her up  through the door because she was too encumbered with her parachute to climb the ladder unassisted; now she was just there, with the sound drumming in her ears, the inadequate light and the hard metal and packages all around her.
If only she could sleep, like Benoit. He's sitting opposite, his eyes closed and his head rocking with the movement of the machine. Like a passenger on a train. It's one of the most infuriating things about him, his ability to sleep  whenever and wherever he pleases.
The dispatcher-young, gauche, prominent Adam's apple and slicked hair-stumbles towards her though the racket. He seems a kind of Charon, accompanying the souls of the dead towards Hades. Her father would love that thought. His classical allusions. 'Illusions' she always called them. The airman grins ghoulishly at her and bends to open the hatch in the floor, releasing night and cold into the fuselage like water rushing in from a sprung leak. Looking down she can see the huddled buildings of a town sliding beneath, smudged with cloud and lit by the moon, a mysterious seabed over which their craft floats. Benoit opens one eye to see what's going on, gives her a quick smile and returns to his sleep.
'CAEN!' the dispatcher shouts above the noise. He begins to bundle packets of paper out into the blackness, like a manic delivery boy throwing newspapers to his customers in the darkness of the winter morning. The bundles crack open as they drop into the void. He thrusts one of the leaflets towards her so that she can read the news.

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

Fair Deal for Shire Libraries

Sutherland Shire Mayor Steve Simpson is asking local library users to join a statewide call to stop the ongoing reduction in funding from successive NSW State Governments and protect the future of public libraries.

“Libraries are often the most well-used and valued public facilities in the community but the ability of council to maintain service levels at our eight libraries may be at risk due to deteriorating State funding,” the Mayor said.

You can help by signing a petition, which will be presented to the Honourable Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, at any of our Shire libraries or at council’s Customer Service Centre in Eton Street, Sutherland.

The facts:

  • Library funding was once split 50:50 State and Local Government.
  • The State Government currently puts in only 7 cents out of every dollar and local councils now have to fund 93% of the cost of providing public libraries. The State Government contribution to libraries is the lowest of all states in Australia."
  • In the run up to the last state election, the current State Government said they would increase ongoing funding for public libraries. They have not.
  • Successive NSW State Governments of all political persuasions have put in less and less in real terms every year and we are now at crisis point.

For more information on the campaign, visit or talk to your local library staff.

6th Annual Australian Romance Readers Association Awards

The winners of the 2013 Australian Romance Readers Awards were announced last weekend at the Australian Romance Readers Association’s annual Awards Dinner.

The nominations are open to all romance novels published in 2013, but this year, the member-voted awards proved loyal to local talent, with all but one winner from Australia. 

Winners of the ARRA 6th Annual Awards

Favourite Cover
Half Moon Bay by Helene Young

Favourite Paranormal Romance
Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

Favourite Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance
Allegiance Sworn by Kylie Griffin

Favourite Short Category Romance
 The One that Got Away by Kelly Hunter

Favourite Historical Romance
Untamed by Anna Cowan

Favourite Romantic Suspense
Half Moon Bay by Helene Young

Favourite Continuing Romance Series
Sons of Sin series by Anna Campbell
Book 1- Seven nights in a rogue's bed.

Favourite Contemporary Romance
Holding Out for a Hero by Amy Andrews

Favourite Erotic Romance
Skin by Kylie Scott

Favourite Australian Romance Author for 2013
 Kylie Scott

Sexiest Hero
Daniel Montgomery in Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns

Favourite New Romance Author 2013
Anna Cowan

Congratulations to all the winners.

Colourfest Festival

To celebrate Harmony Day Sutherland Shire Libraries are holding an 'encore performance' of the Colourfest Short Film Festival on Wednesday 26th March between 12noon and 2pm. Bring your lunch and relax whilst you explore the different cultural backgrounds of the people we live and work with.

Colourfest celebrates films about diaspora and migrant experiences. With film making becoming accessible to most, there is an abundance of content to showcase the success, challenges and nuances of migrant communities in Australia and the world.

To be considered for the festival films must be under 20 minutes and made in the last three years. Preference is given to films made by culturally and linguistically diverse filmmakers.

“Diversity in our community makes the Sutherland Shire a more vibrant and connected area,” said Sutherland Shire Mayor, Steve Simpson. 

“With 21 per cent of residents in Sutherland Shire born overseas and 11.5 per cent speaking a language other than English at home, events like this short-film festival help enrich our community by giving us the opportunity to learn about different cultures,” he added. 

“The films share personal stories of people from diverse cultures and captures the message of Harmony Day – that everyone belongs”, said Jenny Grey, GCAIS

Gold coin donations will be collected at the screening to contribute to local multicultural services.

Everyone is welcome, no bookings required.

For enquiries ph. 9710 0351

To read or not to read... about the power of love, family and magic.

Read a charming and enchanting debut novel using magic to solve a decades old mystery. A book sure to warm your heart through the power of love, family and magic.

To read or no to read...that is the question! Read the opening paragraphs of this novel and you decide...

All the Amore siblings had The sight in varying degrees, and its fickleness got us into trouble sometimes. Like the time when I  was young (and still talking) and I called my friends husband to give my condolences about her death in a trolley crash, only my friend was still alive and the trolley wouldn't crash until the next day.
It was hard to explain that one, and harder still to keep my friend off the trolley the following day, even though I knew her life was at stake. Regular peoplehave such a hard time listening to the low hum of instinct. Don't get me wrong, I tire of the magic now that I'm old. But still, if I'd had it all to do over, I'd choose magic ways. Especially now, when another, more precious life is at stake.

She's coming abck now, the girl. She's coming back and bringing my memories with her. Maybe she won't remember anything. Dear God, don't let her remember. If she remembers, she'll land straight back in harms way. If she remembers, my promise will be broken. And that'd be too bad because it's one of my best skills, promise keeping. And secret keeping. And cartwheels too.

I used  to be able to do cartwheels. When we were little, my sisters couldn't but I could. I can still feel how the air shifted as I kicked over my head and moved my hands. I liked to do things upside down. It bothered Mama. "All that blood will rush to your head!" she would yell. Not to mention Papa and my skirts. "Cover yourself child! If I can see your bloomers so can the whole block!"

I cartwheeled through my childhood. We weren't poor, but we lived close together. We lived here on 170th Street in the Bronx for the better portion of our lives. Mama and Papa bought the building when they got married. Well Papa won it. In a fight. They used to fight for money in the streets back then, and one day the wager was a building, and practical Papa, who never fought a day in his life, took off his shirt and threw it in the ring.

When we were very young, in those strange, magnificent years between World War I and World War II, we all lived in apartment 1A. Ten people and two bedrooms. Those were the days. Mama was the magic one. She gave us her abilities to see the future, to grow herbs and flowers that held all sorts of magical preparation, but the most important thing she gave us was the gift if each other.

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

The Stella Prize Shortlist, 2014, has been announced.

 The Stella Prize 2014 shortlist has been announced.  Three works of fiction, three of nonfiction: six great books by Australian women.

 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 illfated 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?

Boy, Lost by Kristina Olsson
A powerful family memoir from the award-winning author of The China Garden Kristina Olsson's mother lost her infant son, Peter, when he was snatched from her arms as she boarded a train in the hot summer of 1950.
 Night Games by Anna Krien
The Pies beat the Saints and the city of Melbourne was still cloaked in black and white crepe paper when the rumour of a pack rape by celebrating footballers began to surface. By morning, the head of the sexual crimes squad confirmed to journalists that they were preparing to question two Collingwood players...And so, as police were confiscating bedsheets from a townhouse in Dorcas Street, South Melbourne, the trial by media began.
 The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane
An elderly Australian woman lets a mysterious and possibly sinister caretaker into her beach-side home and into her life. The debut of a remarkable Australian talent, The Night Guest is a mesmerising novel about trust, love, dependence, and the fear that the things you know best can become the things you're least certain about. One morning Ruth wakes thinking a tiger has been in her seaside house. Later that day a formidable woman called Frida arrives, looking as if she's blown in from the sea, but in fact she's come to care for Ruth. Frida and the tiger: both are here to stay, and neither is what they seem. Which of them can Ruth trust? And, as memories of her childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency, can she even trust herself? The Night Guest introduces a writer who comes to us fully formed, working wonders with language, renewing our faith in the power of fiction to tap the mysterious workings of our minds, and keeping us spellbound.

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright
 The story of the Eureka rebellion may be one of modern Australia's foundation myths, but until now it has been told as though only half the participants were there. As Clare Wright reveals, there were any number of women at large on the goldfields, many of them active in pivotal roles.

The Swan Book by Alexis Wright
This book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. It follows the life of a mute teenager called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans driven from other parts of the country, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city. The Swan Book has all the qualities which made Wright's previous novel, Carpentaria, a prize-winning best-seller. It offers an intimate awareness of the realities facing Aboriginal people; the wild energy and humour in her writing finds hope in the bleakest situations; and the remarkable combination of storytelling elements, drawn from myth and legend and fairy tale.

Congratulations to all those nominated for this prestigious prize. You can read an excerpt from each of these books at the Stella Prize shortlist sampler. You can also request copies of each of these books from the Library.
Who do you think should win?

The 2014 Stella Prize will be awarded in Sydney on the evening of Tuesday 29 April. The winner will receive $50,000.

To read or not to read...London crime

Written by a former writer of Dr Who, This novel is part of a London crime series. It is a unique blend of police procedural, intricate descriptions of London (reflecting the author's fascination with his birthplace) and a dash of the supernatural.

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

At twenty-three minutes past eleven Robert Weil drove his 53 registered Volvo V70 across the bridge that links Pease Pottage, the improbably named English willage, with Pease Pottage, the motorway service station. We know the exact time because the Highway Agency cameras picked him up at this point. Despite the rain and the poor invisibility, image enhancement of key frames clearly show that Robert Weil was alone in the front of the car.
Driving with what looks like, in hindsight, suspiciously deliberate care obert Weil turned left at the roundabout to join the loop of road that curves around the service station and and heads for Crawley proper across the second bridge above the M23. There's a tricky intersection there where traffic coming off the motorway slip road crosses traffic coming across the bridge- its controlled by traffic lights to prevent accidents. We don't know why Robert Weil ran those lights. Some believe that it was a cry for help, an unconscious desire to be caught. Others say he was in a hurry to get home and took a calculated risk-which wouldn't explain the sedate thirty miles an hour he was going when he went through them. I think he was concentrating so hard on keeping his speed legal and avoiding attention that he didn't even  notice the lights- he had a lot on his mind.
We don't know what Allen Frust was thinking as he came up the motorway slip road, at right angles to Robert Weil, at an estimated fifty three miles per hour in his five- year- old Vauxhall Corsa. The light was in his favour and so he continued bearing left and was halfway across the intersection when he hit Robert Weil's Volvo in the side just ahead of the front passenger door. Sussex Police Forensic Collision Investigation team determing later that neither vehicle slowed or took evasive action prior to the crash, leading them to conclude that in the dark and rainy conditions neither driver was consciously aware of the other.

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

To keep reading this novel, request it from the Library.

Ten celebrate Seniors Week

Get ready for Seniors week  15 March - 23 March, by reading some fiction featuring older adults as the main characters.

The best exotic Marigold hotel by Deborah Moggach
When Ravi Kapoor, an overworked London doctor, reaches the breaking point with his difficult father-in-law, he asks his wife: “Can’t we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away.” His prayer is seemingly answered when Ravi’s entrepreneurial cousin sets up a retirement home in India, hoping to re-create in Bangalore an elegant lost corner of England. Several retirees are enticed by the promise of indulgent living at a bargain price, but upon arriving, they are dismayed to find that restoration of the once sophisiticated hotel has stalled, and that such amenities as water and electricity are . . . infrequent. But what their new life lacks in luxury, they come to find, it’s plentiful in adventure, stunning beauty, and unexpected love.

No, I don't need reading glasses by Virginia Ironside
Grace celebrates her 70th birthday by gathering twelve of her friends and family around her table. This moving and often funny novel dissects the lives of women over three generations and celebrates the triumph of endurance.
The last days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley
 At 91, Ptolomey Grey is shutting down and virtually ignored. Then a doctor gives him an experimental drug that will curtail his life but make those last few months really sizzle. After taking it he's clear-headed enough to uncover some shocking truths about his family.

Thursdays in the park by Hilary Boyd
Jeanie has been a loving wife for over thirty years, but every Thursday, Jeanie takes her granddaughter to the park, and there she meets Ray, who performs the same weekly duty for his grandson. Ray seems to be everything George isn't - a listener easy to talk to, open-minded and sexy.

Norwegian by night by Derek Miller
Sheldon Horowitz - 82 years old, impatient and unreasonable - is staying with his granddaughter's family in Norway when he disappears with a stranger's child. To Norway's cops, he is just an old man who is coming undone. But Sheldon is an ex-marine, had heard the boy's eastern European mother being murdered, and is determined to protect the child from the killer and his Balkan gang.

Mr Wigg by Inga Simpson
It's the summer of 1971, not far from the stone-fruit capital of New South Wales, where Mr Wigg lives on what is left of his family farm. Mrs Wigg has been gone a few years now and he thinks about her every day. He misses his daughter, too, and wonders when he ll see her again. He spends his time working in the orchard, cooking and preserving his produce and, when it's on, watching the cricket. It s a full life. Things are changing though, with Australia and England playing a one-day match, and his new neighbours planting grapes for wine. His son is on at him to move into town but Mr Wigg has his fruit trees and his chooks to look after. His grandchildren visit often: to cook, eat and hear his stories. And there's a special project he has to finish. Trouble is, it's a lot of work for an old man with shaking hands, but he ll give it a go, as he always has.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger? Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class": lessons in how to live.

The leisure seeker by Michael Zadoorian
This is the unforgettable cross country journey of a runaway couple in their twilight years determined to meet the end of all roads on their own terms. "The Leisure Seeker" is the story of John and Ella Robina, a couple married 50+ years - she has stopped her cancer treatments, he has Alzheimer's - who kidnap themselves from the adult children and the doctors who seem to run their lives, and steal off on a forbidden vacation. Each battling their own infirmities, John pilots their '78 Leisure Seeker RV (it's the one with the left turn signal blinking) along the forgotten roads of Route 66 on a journey of rediscovery.They're not searching for America, but for a past that they're having a damned hard time remembering these days. Yet Ella is determined to prove that, when it comes to life, you can go back for seconds-sneak a little extra time, grab a small portion more, even when everyone says you can't. It's the story of Ella and John: the people they encounter, the problems they overcome, the lives they have lived , the love they share, and how their heartbreak at watching friends disappear into nursing homes inspired them to face the colossus at the end of all roads on their own terms.

Grace's table by Sally Piper
Grace celebrates her 70th birthday by gathering twelve of her friends and family around her table. This moving and often funny novel dissects the lives of women over three generations and celebrates the triumph of endurance.

 The old man and the sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea revived Ernest Hemingway's career. It also led directly to his receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1954. This tale of an aged Cuban fisherman going head-to-head (or hand-to-fin) with a magnificent marlin encapsulates Hemingway's favorite motifs of physical and moral challenge.

To read or not to internationally celebrated female author

International Womens Day is being celebrated on 8th March. This is the perfect time to read the latest novel by a best selling, award winning, female novelist.

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

There was a  time in Africa the people could fly. Mauma told me this one night when I was ten years old. She sais, "Handful, your granny-mauma saw it for herself. She say they flew over trees and clouds. She say they flew like blackbirds. When we came here, we left that magic behind."

My mauma was shrewd. She didn't get any reading or writing like me. Everything she knew came from living on the scarce side of mercy. She looked at my face, how it flowed with sorrow and doubt, and she said, "You don't believe me? Where do you think these shoulder blades of yours came from, girl?
Those skinny bones stuck out from my back like nubs. She patted them and said, "This all what left of your wings. They nothing but these flat bones now, but one day you gon get 'em back."

I was shrewd like mauma. even at ten I knew this story about people flying was pure malarkey. We weren't some special  people who lost our magic.  We were slave people, and we weren't going anywhere. It was later I saw what she meant. We could fly alright, but here wasn't any magic in it.

The day life turned into nothing this world could fix, I was in the work yard boiling slave bedding, stoking the fire under the wash pot, my eyes burning from specks of lye soap catching on the wind. The morning was a clod one- the sun looked like a little white button stitched tight to the sky. For summers we wore homespun cotton dresses over our drawers, but the Charleston winter showed up like some lazy girl in November or January, we got into our sacks-these thickset coats made of heavy yarns. Just like an old sack with sleeves. Mine was a cast-off and trailed to my ankles. I couldn't say how many unwashed bodies had worn it before me, but hey had all kindly left their scents on it.

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

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

Language Matters

Mango Languages and Road to IELTS - Preparation and Practice, are online tools provided to Sutherland Shire Library members.

As Harmony Day is on March 21st, it seemed a perfect opportunity to highlight our language learning tools, along with our special Multicultural Storytimes. (See details below)

When would you use these language learning tools?

  • To talk to someone you know in their own language.
  • To learn some basic language skills to help with your travels.
  • Improve your fluency if English is your second language
  • If you need certification of your English skills

Then this is when you would use these online tools.

Mango Languages online offers courses in 57 non-English languages.

and English courses designed for speakers of 17 languages, as well as Latin, Greek - Koine, Ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew.

Courses can be used on a PC or a Mango App is available for use on tablet or smartphone, Android or Apple devices.

Mango uses real-life situations and actual conversations to more effectively teach a new language. By
listening to and repeating after material designed from native conversations, users not only learn the individual words and phrases, they will know how they're used in practical situations and conversations.

Everyone is asked to create a profile the first time you use it, from then on each time you return you will be asked to login. This allows for your progress through the course(s) to be tracked so you always know where you are up to and how well you are doing. Lessons are divided into short chunks and do not have to be completed in order. They can be skipped through until you find the situation to match your immediate needs.

The International English Language Testing System, Road to IELTS - Preparation and Practise courses come in two levels, General or Academic.

Road to IELTS - General training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. It includes 120 hours of work on the essential components of the test, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening and speaking. The program simulates the exam itself.

Road to IELTS - Academic training measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and texts are accessible to all test-takers, irrespective of their subject focus. One of the challenges of IELTS preparation is enabling learners to interpret and describe charts and tables. Road to IELTS - Academic includes a wealth of these graphics and more than 70 exercises. The program includes detailed explanations of each question type in each part of the exam, and tips on how best to tackle the tasks.

The distinction between the Academic version and the General Training version lies in the subject matter of the Reading and Writing components.

To be clear, one cannot sit the test, using these library tools. They are designed to prepare learners for what will be expected in the tests, so learners can sit the tests as well prepared as possible.

Multicultural Storytimes

Monday 17 Mar 2014 10:30am Preschool Storytime Miranda
Tuesday 18 Mar 2014 10:30am Preschool Storytime Caringbah 
Wednesday 19 Mar 2014 10:30am Preschool Storytime Menai
Wednesday 19 Mar 2014 10:30am Preschool Storytime Sutherland
Wednesday 19 Mar 2014 10:30am Preschool Storytime Sylvania
Friday 21 Mar 2014 10:30am Preschool Storytime Cronulla
Friday 21 Mar 2014 10:30am Preschool Storytime Engadine

Ten Books...Reel reads

 Reel reads... ten books being made into movies for release in 2014. A cinema inspired book list! Lots of great books are being adapted for the silver screen in 2014. Request your copy of these books to read from the Library,  before you see the movie.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year old Beatrice Prior must choose between five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she live sin  is not perfect after all.

The fault in our stars by John Green
Sixteen year old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis intil a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forced her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss and life.
The hundred foot journey by Richard C. Morais
A middle aged chef, Hassan Haji, recounts his life's journey, from his family's modest restaurant in Mumbai to his elegant restaurant in Paris, where he has conquered the insular world of French haute cuisine. A tragedy at home in Mumbai pushes Hassan's boisterous family into a picaresque journey across Europe, where they ultimately settle opposite a famous chef, Madam Mallory, in the remote French village of Lumiere. After a series of hilarious cultural mishaps, the grand French chef discovers, much to her horror, that the young boy cooking in the cheap Indian restaurant across the way is a chef with natural talents far superior to her own.

The giver by Lois Lowry
 In a utopian community where there are no choices- where everyone has his or her place in the world assigned according to gifts and interests- the time has come for 12 year old Jonas to become the new Receiver of Memory.  He will be the one to bear the collective memories of a society that lives only in the present, where sameness is the rule. But Jonas soon recognises the losses and discovers the lie that supports his community. He decides he will change his world-but he cannot predict how that change will come about, or what the change will mean for himself and the "newchild" Gabriel, whom he has resolved to protect.

The best of me by Nicholas Sparks
This is the story of two small-twon former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they have taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined, and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.

Tracks by Robyn Davidson
This book is about one woman's solo trek across 1,700 miles of Australian Outback. A camel-trek from the heart of Australia, across 17,000 miles of hostile desert, to the sea - with only a dog and four camels for company. Robyn's story beats a track across bush, rock, sand and dust, across magnificent landscapes and through ancient sacred land, through frustrations, triumphs, joy and despair. And as she treks further and further away from civilisation, and ever closer to the burning heart of the world, she realises that this desert will either make her, or break her.

Vampire academy by Richelle Mead.
 Vladimir's academy isn't just any boarding school, its a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they are being dragged back to St Vladimir's -the very place they are in themost danger. Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable night-time rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi-the world's fiercest and mosr dangerous vampires-make Lissa one of them forever.  

The monuments men by Robert M Edsel.   At the same time as Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest treasures in Europe. The Fueher had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised.
In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.
Focusing on the eleven month period between D- Day and V- F Day,this fascinating account follows six monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

Gone girl by Gillian Flynn
What are you thinking. Amy? The question I've asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: what are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do? Just how well can you know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friend reveals that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true.
A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife/ And what was left in that half wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared. Only one crew member survived: a young lieutenant named Louis Zamperini. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World war, as Zamperini is driven to the limits of endurance.

Twitter Reading Group March 2014 #reelread

March 2014

Reel Mosaic by Flickr user Carbon Arc/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Reel Mosaic by Flickr user Carbon Arc/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Join the discussion this month about #reelread.  We will be focusing on all things reel related in this discussion (and it will be great to see what ideas people include).
We have chosen this theme for this month because of the Academy Awards, but that is just the start for thinking about #reelread.  Fishing and sewing are just some of the other reel activities we will be looking at and we hope you can suggest many more.
Reelread brings in many areas.  Films, television and web series are made or inspired from books such as Pride and Prejudice with The Lizzie Bennet DiariesAustenland and film Bride and prejudice, and games  such as Prince of Persia and Doom.  Games are inspired from films (and television series) and books (Lord of the rings) .  Books are written from games like Halo and World of Warcraft, and films or television such as Fleece lightning.  This gives many different ways to explore an idea.
Do you like to read, watch or play the original format first?  Does it matter?  Do you like watching television series live, or do you prefer online or dvd catch up so you can choose when you watch?  Do you watch with your Closed Captions on and do you listen to the director’s commentary? For material in other languages do you prefer subtitles or dubbing?
What kinds of documentaries do you like the most?  Are there subjects such as Egypt or nature or film makers (like Michael Wood and Maeve O’Mara). Who you will watch regardless of the exact subject matter?
Do you like to read about film and television starscelebritiesdirectors and writers
 Do you follow them on twitter, or read about them in the news?  Are you a fan of reality television programs – whether about how people live, cook, renovate, sing or dance?  Do you like the gossip?  Or do you like the how to elements?
After watching films, or television programs do you explore the costuming, find out how they did the special effects, or photography?  Or do you want it to remain a mystery?  Do you want to explore the actual history for series like the Tudors and the Medici?
Do you like animation and anime?  Do you think about reels when reading graphic novels or comics?
 Looking at other kinds of reels such as fishing, the options are vast.  iFishTV, Extreme Fishing with Robson Green, River Monsters, Hook, Line, & Sinker, A river runs through it, Salmon fishing in the YemenThe old man and the sea, and The compleat angler. 
Sewing also involves reels.  Think about quiltingembroidery, or even sewing on a button.  Do you enjoy reading or watching about sewing, or do you take action and sew.  Do heritage quilts interest you or are modern quilts more your style ?
Reels are still used for storing material like optical fibre – so as a stretch anything which you use optical fibre for could be a reelread.  You could even think about farming, as some hay bales look like giant reels.
While you are reading, playing or watching your #reelread, you might like to tweet about it using #reelread #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you about your #reelread.  You can add to the discussion on Pinterest too. You might like to post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #reelread #rwpchat so others can share in your reading, watching and playing.
 There will be a twitter discussion on 25 March starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Summer Time. 9.00pm New Zealand Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 8.00am GMT, 12.00 noon Central European Time. Note: this is a staggered start to the discussion.
Use the tags #reelread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of reelread, so others can join in the conversation too.