Australian Book Industry Award Winners, 2014

The winners of the 14th Australian Book Industry Awards  were announced in Sydney last Friday night, 23 May.
 General Fiction book of the Year
The Rosie Project
Don Tillman is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet.
But he has designed the Wife Project, using a sixteen-page questionnaire to help him 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 also fiery and intelligent and beautiful. And on a quest of her own to find her biological father—a search that Don, a professor of genetics, might just be able to help her with.
The Wife Project teaches Don some unexpected things. Why earlobe length is an inadequate predictor of sexual attraction. Why quick-dry clothes aren’t appropriate attire in New York. Why he’s never been on a second date. And why, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love: love finds you.

Literary fiction book of the year
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.
Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, 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?
Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland's formidable landscape, where every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

General non fiction book of the year
The stalking of Julia Gillard by Kerry Anne Walsh

This is the story about one of the most extraordinary episodes in recent Australian political history. It focuses on Team Rudd and the media's treatment of its slow-death campaign of destabilisation, with its disastrous effect on Gillard and the government's functioning. It is about a politician who was never given a fair go; not in the media, not by Rudd, not by some in caucus.

Illustrated book of the year

I quit sugar by Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson was a self-confessed sugar addict, eating the equivalent of 25 teaspoons of sugar every day, before making the link between her sugar consumption and a lifetime of mood disorders, fluctuating weight issues, sleep problems and thyroid disease. She knew she had to make a change.
What started as an experiment soon became a way of life, then a campaign to alert others to the health damages of sugar.

Biography of the year

The crossroad by Mark Donaldson VC
On 2 September 2008, in a valley in eastern Afghanistan, Trooper Mark Donaldson made a split-second decision that would change his life. His display of extraordinary courage that day saw him awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, making him the first Australian to receive our highest award for bravery in wartime since Keith Payne in 1969.
Yet Mark's journey to those crucial moments in Afghanistan was almost as exceptional as the acts that led to his VC.
He was a rebellious child and teenager, even before the death of his father - a Vietnam veteran - when Mark and his brother were in their mid-teens. A few years later, their mother disappeared, presumed murdered. Her body has never been found.
Mark's decisions could have easily led him down another path, to a life of self-destructiveness and petty crime. But he chose a different road: the army. It proved to be his salvation and he found himself a natural soldier, progressing unerringly to the SAS, the peak of the Australian military.
From his turbulent early years to the stark realities of combat in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan, Mark's book is the frank and compelling story of a man who turned his life around by sheer determination and strength of mind.

Book of the year for younger children
The 39 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

Join Andy and Terry in their astonishing 39-storey treehouse! Jump on the world's highest trampoline, toast marshmallows in an active volcano, swim in the chocolate waterfall, pat baby dinosaurs, go head-to-trunk with the Trunkinator, break out your best moves on the dance floor, fly in a jet-propelled swivel chair, ride a terrifying rollercoaster and meet Professor Stupido, the world's greatest UN-inventor. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up! 

Book of the year for older children 
Weir Do by Anh Do
My parents could have given me any first name at all, like John, Kevin, Shmevin . . . ANYTHING. Instead I’m stuck with the worst name since Mrs Face called her son Bum.
Meet Weir Do. No, that’s not a typo, that’s his name! Weir Do’s the new kid in school. With an unforgettable name, a crazy family and some seriously weird habits, fitting in won’t be easy . . . but it will be funny!

International book of the year
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields.  On 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.

Book of the year 
The Rosie Project by Graham Simsion
The feel-good novel of 2013. If you loved The Rosie Project, be charmed all over again by The Rosie Effect, due October 2014.

Ten book Tuesday...Reconciliation Week

 Its Reconciliation week 27 May-3 June. The theme for 2014 is Lets walk the talk.
What is National Reconciliation week?  
"a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort" NWA website
Check out these ten books,  written by indigenous authors, all available from the Library. 

Grace beside me by Sue Mc Pherson
Life is not ordinary for Fuzzy Mac, but it should be. What could possibly be exciting about growing up with her nan and pop in a small country town? Rivalry, romance, Nan's mysterious premonitions, an encounter with a particularly unusual kind of ghost and the mix of characters who live in this high-country town make Fuzzy's life far from boring.

A most peculiar act by Marie Munkara
The story follows the trials and tribulations of Sugar, a 16 year-old Aboriginal fringe-camp dweller. Set in Darwin during the Japanese bombing raids, we meet characters such as: Horatio Humphris (Horrid Hump), Chief Protector of Aborigines, teetotaller and 42 year old virgin; Ralphie Brown, who has the unedifying honour of being the only public servant to ever be sacked; Drew Hepplewaite, redneck racist and female patrol officer armed with balls of steel; and the Administrator's wife, Penelope, who has a fetish for anything oriental. Then there's Sugar's mate Nig Nog, who teaches Sugar a few useful tricks of the "trade" while they do time at the Half-Caste Compound; Fuel Drum's suspicious death at the hands of his six-month-old granddaughter, Honey; and Horseshoe with his wayward and slutty wife, Brumby. With the Aboriginal Ordinances Act and the 'White Australia' policy set as a backdrop, Sugar's resistance to assimilation and the attempts by Horrid Hump and his henchmen to enforce it becomes a protracted battle that ends at the Christmas party from Hell. Interspersed with illicit affairs, stolen children, leprosy and "fucking foreigners," this story sees Sugar and her oppressors finally meet on a level playing field that none of them ever expected - a Japanese bombing raid. 

Calypso Summer by Jared Thomas
 Calypso Summer is a story told by Calypso, a young Nukunu man, fresh out of high school in Rastafarian guise. After failing to secure employment in sports retail, his dream occupation, Calypso finds work at the Henley Beach Health Food shop where his boss pressures him to gather Aboriginal plants for natural remedies. Growing up in urban Adelaide and with little understanding of his mother's traditional background, Calypso endeavours to find the appropriate native plants. This leads him to his Nukunu family in Port Augusta and the discovery of a world steeped in cultural knowledge.

Ruby Moonlight by Ali Cobby Eckermann
Ruby Moonlight, a novel of the impact of colonisation in mid north South Australia around 1880. The main character, Ruby, refugee of a massacre, shelters in the woods where she befriends an Irishman trapper. The poems convey how fear of discovery is overcome by the need for human contact, which, in a tense unravelling of events, is forcibly challenged by an Aboriginal lawman. The natural world is richly observed and Ruby's courtship is measured by the turning of the seasons.   

Us mob Walawurru by David Spillman and Lisa Wilyuka
 Us Mob Walawurru takes place in the 1960s in an Aboriginal community in Central Australia. Told through the eyes of Ruby, a Luritja girl, the story revolves around the new zsilver bullety school and the cultural challenges faced by both the community members and the well-meaning schoolteacher. Ruby tells of her own awakening and she experiences some of the momentous events of the time, including the 1967 Aboriginal citizenship referendum and the buy-back of pastoral leases. With perception and humor, this ground-breaking novel deals with issues of culture, ownership, and reconciliation that are just as pertinent today, while providing insight into the cultural challenges faced by Aboriginal communities and their non-Aboriginal people.

Infamy by Lenny Bartulin

 Taking a Deadwood meets Cormac McCarthy-style approach to recreating history, Alluvium tells the story of William Burr, former English soldier of fortune who is lured to the colony of Tasmania by Lieutenant Arthur Phillip as a bounty hunter, charged to find and capture a notorious escaped felon, Brown George Coyne, who has established a camp in the bush populated with desperates, renegade Aborigines and other escaped convicts. As Burr ventures further into the wilderness on his trail, Coyne grows increasingly mad in a Colonel Kurtz kind of way and declares himself king of the frontier, growing wealthier by the day from ambushes and raiding party forays into Hobart. With most of the armed forces concerned with clearing the land of its aboriginal population, Coyne's influence spreads and threatens to destabilise the entire colony. Coyne's men take a wounded Burr hostage, along with the wife of a corrupt army officer, and together they must try to escape the heart of darkness and warn Phillip that is colony is on the brink of anarchy. A steamy love story, breathtaking action, cut-throat villains and corrupt and deadly officials galore, this is a brilliant and hugely enjoyable recreation of Tasmanian history by a local who is not only a terrific storyteller but also a skilled and evocative writer. It's Kate Grenville meets Cormac McCarthy in a rollicking, galloping tale that's also sensitive and faithful to history. 

Yira Boornak Nyining by an old story retold by Kim Scott, Hazel Brown Roma Winmar and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project with artwork by by Anthony (Troy) Roberts.
 Presented bilingually in English and Aboriginal Noongar language text, Yira Boornak Nyininy is an Indigenous Australian story about forgiveness and friendship. Left stranded in a tree by his wife, a Noongar man has to rely on his Wadjela friend to help him back down. Yira Boornak Nyininy came from the wise and ancient language of the First People of the Western Australian south coast - the Noongar people. Inspired by a story told to the American linguist Gerhardt Laves around 1931, Yira Boornak Nyininy has been workshopped in a series of community meetings as a part of the "Wirlomin Noongar Language & Stories Project" to revitalize an endangered language. This story is written in old Noongar, along with a literal English translation, as well as English prose styled by Kim Scott. 

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. 

Dark Emu: Black seeds: Agriculture or accident? by Bruce Pascoe
Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for precolonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing-behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.

Tiddas by Anita Heiss
 Five women, best friends for decades, meet once a month to talk about books … and life, love and the jagged bits in between. Dissecting each other’s lives seems the most natural thing in the world – and honesty, no matter how brutal, is something they treasure. Best friends tell each other everything, don’t they? But each woman carries a complex secret and one weekend, without warning, everything comes unstuck. Izzy, soon to be the first Black woman with her own television show, has to make a decision that will change everything. Veronica, recently divorced and dedicated to raising the best sons in the world, has forgotten who she is. Xanthe, desperate for a baby, can think of nothing else, even at the expense of her marriage. Nerida, so successful at writing other people’s stories, is determined to blot out her own. Ellen, footloose by choice, begins to question all that she’s fought for. When their circle begins to fracture and the old childhood ways don’t work anymore, is their sense of sistahood enough to keep it intact? How well do these tiddas really know each other?  

Greedy reading- How many books do you read at once?

Do you regard it as greedy to read more than one book at once?
Do you believe books should be given the respect they deserve, to be savoured, with your entire focus on the story at hand. For you, is it all about quality over quantity? (Or maybe you're just reading a book you simply can't put down!).
When it comes to reading, maybe greed is good. So many books, so little time. You get to read lots of books at once! Granted, it may take you longer to get through each individual book, but overall you will probably get through more of that ever growing TBR pile of books more quickly. Really, its all about options.  Having multiple books on the go is very practical, as this ensures you have something to read no matter where you are and how much time you have. You may have an e-book on your phone, a lightweight paperback tucked in your bag and a weightier tome at your bedside.  Reading more than one book at once also means you never get bored and you can switch books to suit your every mood.  It's flexible and efficient. Or is it? Could this potentially cause confusion with the fiction characters meshing together or the storylines becoming entangled?  Could one of the less engaging books get overlooked and remain unread?
What is your viewpoint on this? Do you enjoy reading multiple books simultaneously? Or do you faithfully read one book at a time?

 Join us for our Seven deadly sins discussion about GREED.
Wednesday, 18 June, 2.00pm
Engadine Library
Book online or call 9548 6003.

Seven deadly sins: Greed. books, books and more books...

When it comes to reading, greed is good, right? 

Books, books and more books...

There's nothing wrong with having a stack of books on your bed side table, the absolute maximum of  30 books checked out on your library card (along with some requests awaiting collection from the library hold shelves), not to mention  your TBR (to be read) list growing longer every day… 

Are you the kind of person who devours the works of favourite authors greedily, always waiting impatiently for their next book?  Do you prefer to read a series simply because that means the story doesn’t end after merely one book, there’s more (and more, depending on the series)  to keep reading?  Do you ever find yourself up to the early hours of the morning reading just one more page, one more chapter? If you answered yes to these questions,  come along to Engadine Library to share and discover lots of books. Old books, new books, more books! Challenge yourself to read as many books as you can before this event. The more books, the better! Bring along as many reading suggestions as you can! 

Miles Franklin Shortlist, 2014

The Miles Franklin shortlist has been announced. This year, the list includes a debut novelist, along with well established authors. Judge Richard Neville tells us, "all these novels explore fascinating and varies facets of Australian life and experience." The winner of this most prestigious and iconic literary award will be announced at an event in Sydney on Thursday 26 June 2014. 

 The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan 
A novel of the cruelty of war, and tenuousness of life and the impossibility of love.
August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever. 
This savagely beautiful novel is a story about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane  
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. 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 is a mesmerising novel about love, dependence, and the fear that the things you know best can become the things you're least certain about. It 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.

 My Beautiful Enemy by Cory Taylor 
I was blinded by his beauty. In the one or two photographs I’ve kept of him I can still see it. He stares out of them almost miserably, as if his loveliness is an affliction. Not that I saw it that way, at least not in the beginning. In the beginning I thought it was a kind of miracle. 
Arthur Wheeler is haunted by his infatuation with a Japanese youth he encountered in the enemy alien camp where he worked as a guard during WW2. Abandoning his wife and baby son, Arthur sets out on a doomed mission to rescue his lover from forced deportation back to Japan, a country in ruins. 
Thus begins the secret history of a soldier at war with his own sexuality and dangerously at odds with the racism that underpins the crumbling British Empire. 
Four decades later Arthur is still obsessed with the traumatic events of his youth. He proposes a last reunion with his lost lover, in the hope of laying his ghosts to rest, but this mission too seems doomed to failure. 

 Eyrie by Tim Winton 
Tom Keely's reputation is in ruins. And that's the upside.
Divorced and unemployed, he's lost faith in everything precious to him. Holed up in a grim highrise, cultivating his newfound isolation, Keely looks down at a society from which he's retired hurt and angry. He's done fighting the good fight, and well past caring.
But even in his seedy flat, ducking the neighbours, he's not safe from entanglement. All it takes is an awkward encounter in the lobby. A woman from his past, a boy the likes of which he's never met before. Two strangers leading a life beyond his experience and into whose orbit he falls despite himself.
What follows is a heart-stopping, groundbreaking novel for our times – funny, confronting, exhilarating and haunting. Inhabited by unforgettable characters, Eyrie asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing.

 The Swan Book by Alexis Wright 
The Swan 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 young woman 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, 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.

 All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld 
Jake Whyte is the sole resident of an old farmhouse on an unnamed island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. It's just her, her untamed companion, Dog, and a flock of sheep. Which is how she wanted it to be. But something is coming for the sheep – every few nights it picks one off, leaves it in rags.
It could be anything. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumours of an obscure, formidable beast. And there is Jake's unknown past, perhaps breaking into the present, a story hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, in a landscape of different colour and sound, a story held in the scars that stripe her back.
Set between Australia and a remote English island, All the Birds, Singing is the story of one how one woman's present comes from a terrible past. 


Ten book lust.

Ten book Tuesday... ten books themed with everyone's favourite of the seven deadly sins, Lust!
Discover more at the Seven Deadly Sins Lust book discussion, it's all about book lust, of course. 

Seven Deadly Sins: Lust book discussion
Wednesday, 21 May 2.00pm
Caringbah Library.
All welcome. 

Dracula by Bram Stoker
When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client and his castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck; and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his 'Master'. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.
The great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
'There was music from my neighbour's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.'
Everybody who is anybody is seen at the glittering parties held in millionaire Jay Gatsby's mansion in West Egg, east of New York. The riotous throng congregates in his sumptuous garden, coolly debating Gatsby's origins and mysterious past. None of the frivolous socialites understands him, and among various rumours is the conviction that 'he killed a man'. A detached onlooker, Gatsby is oblivious to the speculation he creates, though always seems to be watching and waiting, but what for no one knows.
As the tragic story unfolds, Gatsby's destructive dreams and passions are revealed, leading to disturbing consequences. A brilliant evocation of 1920s high society, The Great Gatsby peels away the layers of this glamorous world to display the coldness and cruelty at its heart.

Lady Chatterley's lover by D. H. Lawrence (audiobook).
Constance Chatterley feels trapped in her sexless marriage to the invalid Sir Clifford. Unable to fulfil his wife emotionally or physically, Clifford encourages her to have a liaison with a man of their own class. But Connie is attracted instead to her husband's gamekeeper and embarks on a passionate affair that brings new life to her stifled existence. Can she find a true equality with Mellors, despite the vast gulf between their positions in society? One of the most controversial novels in English literature, Lady Chatterley's Lover is an erotically charged and psychologically powerful depiction of adult relationships.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Humbert Humbert – scholar, aesthete and romantic – has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady's gum-snapping, silky-skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers viciously in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross-country misadventure, all in the name of Love.

Savagely hilarious, flamboyant, heart-breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust.

Love in the time of cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Florentino Ariza has never forgotten his first love. He has waited nearly a lifetime in silence since his beloved Fermina married another man. No woman can replace her in his heart. But now her husband is dead. Finally – after fifty-one years, nine months and four days – Florentino has another chance to declare his eternal passion and win her back. Will love that has survived half a century remain unrequited?

Disgrace by J. M Coetzee
David Lurie, a middle-aged divorcee lecturing at the Technical University of Cape Town, has an impulsive affair with a student. When the passion sours and he is denounced, he resigns and retreats to his daughter Lucy's isolated smallholding. For a time, he finds calm in the routine of farm life, but the balance of power in the country is shifting. When he and Lucy become victims of a savage and disturbing attack, all the faultlines in their relationship are revealed.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D'Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her 'cousin' Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future. With its sensitive depiction of the wronged Tess and with its powerful criticism of social convention, Tess of the D'Urbervilles is one of the most moving and poetic of Hardy's novels.

Perfume: The story of a murderer by Patrick Suskind
Patrick Süskind's Perfume follows the life of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, abandoned at birth in the slums of eighteenth-century Paris, but blessed with an outstanding sense of smell. This gift enables Jean-Baptiste to master the art of perfume making, but one scent evades him: that of a virgin, whom he must possess to ensure her innocence and beauty are preserved. Laced with sense and suspense, this is a beguiling tale of lust, desire and deadly obsession.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina seems to have everything – beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their subsequent affair scandalizes society and family alike, and soon brings jealousy and bitterness in its wake. Contrasting with this tale of love and self-destruction is the vividly observed story of Levin, a man striving to find contentment and a meaning to his life – and also a self-portrait of Tolstoy himself.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before: of the intense passion between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and her betrayal of him. As Heathcliff's bitterness and vengeance is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.

Seven Deadly Sins Open Book Group: May theme: Lust

Seven deadly sins book discussion groups
May theme: Lust

For the month of May we are talking about LUST.  Book lust, that is.  

Where: Caringbah Library
When: Wednesday, 21 May 2.00pm
All welcome, bookings preferred, but not essential. Book online or call 9710 0351. 

Do you lust after particular genres of books? Which genres of books make your heart race, and which characters make your heart swoon? Do you love romance, crime or science fiction? Do you have a favourite author, who never lets you down (but just doesn't write fast enough, so you re- read older works as you wait for their next book to be published...). Is it the writing style, the storyline, the settings or the characters that entice you?

Come along to Caringbah Library and indulge in an afternoon of book lust discussion. Tell us about your favourite books, share your character crushes and maybe even discover some new intensely desirable books to read!

Indigenous Literacy Foundation- Get Caught Reading Campaign, 2014.

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation have just launched  'What my mum taught me about reading' campaign.
They are aiming to raise $5,000 (1000 people at $5 or 100 people at $50).

You can help this worthy cause by:

  • Making a donation
  • Uploading a photo
  • Tell your friends and family what your mum taught you about reading!
 Further details available at Indigenous Literacy Foundation's Get Caught Reading. 

Family (Online) Reading Fun!

Family reading time now has no limits! If you have internet access then these interactive books and games can be enjoyed together, from the convenient location of home, the park or anywhere...any time! Library members have exclusive use of these great online activities.

Literacy levels can be raised whilst playing the library's selection of online educational games for preliterate and developing readers.

Heads Up: Most of these require Adobe Flash player to open the books. To be able to use them on iPhones, Androids and all tablets, install the browser called Puffin and use that to access. This browser bypasses the need for Adobe Flash player.

In2Era—Picture Books Online 

Develop a love of books here. These interactive books, are divided into categories and graded for reading levels. So choice is up to you. Pick from Eerie Tales, Picture Books, Readalong, and Traditional Tales.

Read the story or listen while it is read you and have fun with the activities associated with each story, drawing and picture creation as well as quizzes.

A tantiliser of each title is provided, as well as a reading age. 

Books look like books and each 'page' needs to be turned using the controls at the bottom. General navigation is easy.


Focused on literacy, primary education, games and ‘edutainment’, Ziptales helps to improve reading ability whilst enjoying the experience. Learn a love of reading.

A library of educational stories, games, videos, comics, jokes, poems, puzzles and activities for readers at the 6 - 12 level. It is fully aligned to the Australian Curriculum (English), all primary levels.

Developing Literacy: there are190 texts, divided amoungst 12 different catagories eg. puppet plays, make & do, Australian Curriculum English. Caters for the Preschool to Year 2 reading level.

Extending Literacy: there are 400 texts, divided into 23 categories eg. choose your own adventure, skill builder, myths and legends, yucky! caters for Year 3 - Year 6 reading levels.

Easy to access, just type in your barcode and you are away!

The books are developed for the online environment. Pictures appear as one reads the story or they 'do' what the text is talking about

Busy Things

Over 120 online learning games for 3-6 year olds. Children, parents and teachers can access fun yet educational activities and games. The activities range across literacy, numeracy and problem solving that promise to educate whilst entertaining beginning readers.

This is learning, well disguised as fun. Quickly and simply give small children an interactive online game to occupy them. The bonus is they are learning the basics without a whiff of it seeming educational.

Behind these "Buttons" are subdivisions...Letters - Shapes & Sounds, Phonics, Numbers, Basic calculation, Shapes, Maze games, Cause and effect games, Mouse Skills.

It is bright and exciting from the first minute, even waiting for the games to load is designed to keep a small person interested.

BusyThings works on iPhone and Android without the Puffin browser, the view is different and there are fewer 'games', but is essentially the same

There are very few written instructions, it waits for the user to click on something to see what happens, or uses spoken instructions.
Does not require Puffin

Literacy Planet

Very much a teaching 'English' and a remedial tool, good for tracking progress. Develop English literacy skills while playing games. There are over 10,000 exercises  to make literacy fun. 
Parents need to be involved especially at the lower levels.

Progress can be tracked and 'free' games can only be played once enough credit points are earned.
Literacy Planet covers key areas of English literacy: Pre-Reading, Phonics, Reading, Vocabulary, Spelling, Grammar & Comprehension very comprehensively. 

To begin using Literacy Planet you will need to create a student account for each child. 
This account allows you to track progress and receive motivational rewards. 
Once the student accounts have been created you will be emailed a unique login for one.

On return to Literacy Planet students can log in to their personal account and continue from where they left off.

 There are many levels in each Learning area...see screen shot. 
Under each final level is a game, puzzle, activity etc. which helps develop the particular skill selected.

To play in the Arcade, one needs to earn credits.

So don't forget the books, they can be enjoyed without having to do any work.!!!
Competitive children will love this.

Requires Puffin

World Book - Early World of Learning

Early World of Learning is a fun site for pre-school to year 2 students. It contains three learning environments, each targeting a critical area of the development of young learners in early elementary grades.

Trek’s Travels offers narrated stories, interactive games, and original videos that teach critical early childhood themes, including numbers, shapes, colours, opposites, and more.

Welcome to Reading provides graded reading practice to develop and strengthen phonics, vocabulary, phonemic awareness, and comprehension skills.

Know It is a first online encyclopedia. Know It provides a richly visual interactive encyclopedia that will captivate early learners with nonfiction topics of interest and importance to them.

As well as books there are songs, videos, games and activities, all graded by reading level.
Programmed to read aloud the various options as the mouse runs over them, so it is easier for non-readers to use.
Requires Puffin.

Happy Reading!!

ReadWatchPlay Twitterchat for May is #fanread

May 2014

Mercy Me by Flickr user: susieq3c (CC BY 2.0)
Mercy Me by Flickr user: susieq3c (CC BY 2.0)


Join the discussion this month about #fanread.  We will be focusing on all things about fans and fandom in this discussion (and it will be great to see what ideas people include).
Is there anything more exciting than becoming so immersed in your favourite book series, animes, TV series, games and music stars that you become their champion. Are you writing your own fanfiction? Or discover authors who started out in fanfiction. Is Fan Art more your thing? Do you enjoy memes or do you like cosplaying?
Which cult movies are your favourite? Do you know Ferris Bueller’s Day Off off by heart? Do you have the Pulp Fiction screenplay downloaded on your phone? Do you have Disney Princess debates? Do you celebrate Star Wars Day and is Dr Who your favourite science fiction show? Or maybe WWE thrills you more – theatrics and fighting can be exciting.
Have you ever watched a Literary Fight Club? Are authors able to slay one another in a ring? Did Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club start something different altogether? Have you read other cult reads such as Jack Kerouac’s On the Road or Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar? Are you part of the the Jane Austen fandom? Are you in love with Diana Gabaldon’s  Outlander
Do biographies of your favourite movie stars, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy or Shirley Temple fill your mind of Hollywood lives? What of the rock stars that have filled your life with music? Does Mozart, Wagner, The Andrews Sisters and Duke Ellington share your bookshelves with Keith Richards, Pink! and One Direction?
Are you a fan of comic books? Do you read about superheroes? Do DC Comics trump Marvel? Do you like Library comics with Dewey or are you deeply enamoured with XKCD? You may like Archie comics and Mad Magazines? Are you a comic book collector?
Was your childhood filled with Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels and racing tracks? Did you plaster your wall with posters of Ferraris, Bugattis and Porsches? Was it your dream to go to a Grand Prix or watch V-8 super cars and NASCAR races? Or maybe you simply knew how to change spark plugs and a fan belt?
Perhaps your idea of Fan means something made of paper, metal or palm leaves? Is there a certain charm in unfolding a paper fan? Do you collect antique Chinese fans, Regency era  or Art Deco, fans,  or do you lean more towards electric fans, or ceiling fans?
While you are reading, playing or watching your #fanread, you might like to tweet about it using #fanread #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you about your #fanread.  You can add to the discussion on Pinterest too. You might like to post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #fanread #rwpchat so others can share in your reading, watching and playing.
There will be a twitter discussion on 27 May starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.   9.00pm New Zealand  Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 8am – 10.30am, 2pm – 4pm, 6pm – 8pm GMT.  Note this is a staggered discussion.
Use the tags #fanread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of fanread, so others can join in the conversation too.