Miles Franklin Literary Award, 2014 Winner announced.

Congratulations to Evie Wyld,  the winner of the 2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel, All the Birds, Singing.

This novel was judged as being ‘of the highest literary merit’ and presents ‘Australian Life in any of its phases’ in accordance with Miles Franklin’s guidelines for the Award. 

All the birds singing by Evie Wyld

Who or what is watching Jake Whyte from the woods? 

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 how one woman's present comes from a terrible past. It is the second novel from the award-winning author of After the Fire, A Still Small Voice.

The Shortlist, 2014
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan 
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane  
 My Beautiful Enemy by Cory Taylor 
 Eyrie by Tim Winton 
 The Swan Book by Alexis Wright 
 All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld 

Ten Book Tuesday.. Mystery and detective novels

 Check out some favourite mystery and detective novels. Do you have a favourite? Tell us about it in the comments. 

 An unsuitable job for a woman by P D James
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman introduces bestselling mystery author P.D. James’s courageous but vulnerable young detective, Cordelia Gray, in a “top-rated puzzle of peril that holds you all the way” (The New York Times).
Handsome Cambridge dropout Mark Callender died hanging by the neck with a faint trace of lipstick on his mouth. When the official verdict is suicide, his wealthy father hires fledgling private investigator Cordelia Gray to find out what led him to self-destruction. What she discovers instead is a twisting trail of secrets and sins, and the strong scent of murder. 

 A dark adapted eye by Ruth Rendell
Vera was prim and fastidious. Eden was beautiful and adored. Like most families they had their secrets...and they hid them under a genteelly respectable veneer. Yet their sisterly bond was strained by obsession, manipulation and murderous jealousy. Buried secrets rarely stay buried, and their past still wields the power to tear their family apart.

 The moonstone by Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone, a priceless yellow diamond, is looted from an Indian temple and maliciously bequeathed to Rachel Verinder. On her eighteenth birthday, her friend and suitor Franklin Blake brings the gift to her. That very night, it is stolen again. No one is above suspicion, as the idiosyncratic Sergeant Cuff and the Franklin piece together a puzzling series of events as mystifying as an opium dream and as deceptive as the nearby Shivering Sand. T. S. Eliot famously described THE MOONSTONE as 'the first, the longest and the best of modern English detective novels'.

 Drood by Dan Simmons
On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens -- at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world and perhaps in the history of the world -- hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever. 

Did Dickens begin living a dark double life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London- mere research . . . or something more terrifying? 

 The Ice house by Minette Walters
'It was evident, if there were no other entrance to the ice house, that the body had at some point traversed this thorny barrier ...The big question was, how long ago? How long had that nightmare been there?' The people of Streech village had never trusted the three women living up at the Grange not since Phoebe Maybury's husband suddenly, inexplicably, vanished. Ten years later a corpse is discovered in the grounds and Phoebe's nightmare begins. For once they have identified the body the police are determined to charge her with murder ...

 Body of evidence (sound recording) by Patricia Cornwell
A reclusive writer is dead. And her final manuscript has disappeared ... Someone is stalking Beryl Madison. Someone who spies on her and makes threatening, obscene phone-calls. Terrified, Beryl flees to Key West - but eventually she must return to her Richmond home. The very night she arrives, Beryl inexplicably invites her killer in ... Thus begins for Dr Kay Scarpetta the investigation of a crime that is as convoluted as it is bizarre. Why would Beryl open the door to someone who brutally slashed and then nearly decapitated her? Did she know her killer? Adding to the intrigue is Beryl's enigmatic relationship with a prize-winning author and the disappearance of her own manuscript. As Scarpetta retraces Beryl's footsteps, an investigation that begins in the laboratory with microscopes and lasers leads her deep into a nightmare that soon becomes her own.

 And then there were none (aka Ten little indians) by Agatha Christie
The World's Bestselling Mystery
"Ten . . ."
Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious "U. N. Owen."
"Nine . . ."
At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.
"Eight . . ."
Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . as one by one . . . they begin to die.
"Seven . . ."

Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?

 The skull beneath the skin by P D James
Hired as a bodyguard to faded actress Clarissa Lisle, the recent recipient of numerous death threats, Cordelia Gray accompanies the actress to an island castle, whose owner collects funeral paraphernalia.

 The girl with the dragon tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden, gnaws at her octogenarian uncle, Henrik Vanger. He is determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder. He hires crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, recently at the wrong end of a libel case, to get to the bottom of Harriet's disappearance. Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old, pierced, tattooed genius hacker, possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age--and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness--assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, an astonishing corruption at the highest echelon of Swedish industrialism--and a surprising connection between themselves.

 A great deliverance (sound recording) by Elizabeth George
Three hundred years ago, as legend goes, a frightened Yorkshire villager smothered a crying babe in Keldale Abbey while hiding from Cromwell's raiders. Now Lynley and Havers are sent to Kendale to solve a savage murder that has stunned the peacful countryside.

Know Your Standards Week, 1-5 June 2014

Know Your Standards Week is a week of activities held throughout NSW public libraries aiming to raise awareness about alcohol and standard drinks.

Sutherland Shire Libraries are proud to support Know Your Standards Week by hosting displays providing a range of free information to the community on standard drinks. Displays will include Standard Drinks pocket guides and fridge magnets, various pamphlets and other material. Cronulla, Engadine, Menai and Sutherland Library displays will run from from Monday 23 - Saturday 28 June. Stocks of free material are limited so get in early!

So, how much do you really know about standard drinks? Alcohol concentration varies considerably with the type of drink. In Australia, beer contains 0.9 to 6% alcohol, wine 12 to 14%, fortified wines such as sherry and port around 18 to 20%, and spirits such as scotch, rum, bourbon and vodka 40 to 50%. Why not test yourself with this short quiz:

How many grams of alcohol are there in a standard drink?
  • 8
  • 10
  • 15

What is a standard drink?
  • The glass sizes they serve at the pub
  • 30ml nip of spirits, 100ml of wine, a middy of full-strength beer
  • A glass of wine, a bottle of beer, a nip of spirits

How long does it take the body to process or break down one standard drink?
  • Half an hour
  • One hour
  • Depends on the drink

To check how many standard drinks are in an alcoholic drink in a bottle or a can:
  • Check the label
  • Look under the bottle top or ring-pull
  • The number of standard drinks isn't on the label in Australia

According to the Australian Alcohol Guidelines, what's the maximum number of standard drinks a healthy adult should have in a day?
  • No more than three
  • No more than two on average and no more than four on any one day
  • One a day, but you can save them up for the weekend

(Answers: 10g / A 30ml nip of spirits, 100ml of wine, a middy (285ml) of full-strength beer / One hour although there is considerable variation between individuals / In Australia, all bottles, cans and casks containing alcoholic beverages are required by law to state on the label the approximate number of standard drinks they contain / To reduce the risk of alcohol-related problems over a lifetime a healthy adult should drink no more than two standard drinks a day.) Quiz courtesy of the State Library of NSW.

For additional information on alcohol and other drugs, visit Sutherland Library's drug info @ your library collection for a range of quality pamphlets.

Ten book Tuesday...Nordic Crime Fiction

Do you want to read one of the fastest growing genres of today? Do you want to lose yourself in a revenge fantasy or meet a gloomy new fictional detective with a plethora of health and personal issues? Why not try some Nordic crime fiction?  Not for the faint hearted!
There are many good Nordic crime authors but here is a selection of titles by popular authors.

The Pyramid   Henning Mankell
Henning Mankell is best known for his Kurt Wallander character. The Pyramid is a collection of 5 short stories which gives the reader more insight into the personal life of Kurt Wallander. Kurt first appeared in The Faceless Killers when he was a senior police officer just turned forty with his life in a mess.  His wife had left him, his father barely tolerated him, he ate badly and drank alone at night. We see him in the early years doing long hours on the beat whilst trying to solve a murder off duty, witness the beginnings of his fragile relationship with Mona, the woman he has his heart set on marrying and learn the reasons behind his difficulties with his father.  Some readers may have already be familiar with  Kurt Wallander from the series of telemovies.

The Bat   Jo Nesbo
This book introduces the character of Harry Hole, an alcoholic, disorganised but brilliant detective. It is clear, however that the Harry Hole character was developed in earlier books that have not been translated into English. In this book Harry is sent to Australia to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a Norwegian woman who was briefly famous as a children's TV presenter. Harry is told bluntly by the Australian police chief that he is there as an observer but he soon becomes involved in the case where a serial killer is targeting fair haired girls. In the first half of the book we get a lot of Harry's background that shapes his character in later books. Harry at first tries to remain an observer, only making helpful comments but as events develop Harry's demons re-emerge and we begin to see why Australia  haunts Harry throughout subsequent books.

Missing    Karin Alvtegen
Missing is told through the perspective of the suspect. Sybilla is a homeless woman who has fallen out with her family some time ago. She lives by her wits. Sybilla persuades a wealthy man to buy her dinner and pay for her room in a hotel for the night. When the 2 part company the man ends up being murdered.  Then when murderer leaves a signed confession in Sybilla's name she is forces to go on the run to prove her innocence. Missing is a good psychological thriller that isn't just about the murder.  It is also about what goes on in the head of Sybilla Forsenstrom.  Sybilla is forced to let down her guard and trust someone so that she can prove her innocence.

Ice Princess   Camilla Lackberg
Erica Falck returns to her small, remote hometown after her parents' death only to encounter another tragedy, the suicide of her best friend Alex. Erica finds Alex's body suspended in a bathtub of frozen water, her wrists slashed. The big question is why a beautiful, successful woman take her own life? Teaming up with police detective Patrik Hedstrom, Erica begins to uncover shocking events from Alex's childhood.  As one horrifying fact after another comes to light, Erica and Patrik's curiosity becomes an obsession in more ways that one. Before long it becomes clear that a deadly secret is at stake and that there is someone who will stop at nothing to protect it.

Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow   Peter Hoeg
This cult classic divides opinions.
Smilla is a dark, silent woman who knows a lot about snow. She has a great fondness for Isaiah, a young boy whom life has also wounded. When Isaiah dies after falling several stories from the snow-covered roof of a warehouse and his death is declared an accident, Smilla is forced out of her isolation to ask questions. Why had he climbed the scaffolding to play on the warehouse roof when he was terrified of heights? Isaiah was running when he went over the edge. What begins as a thriller develops into a game of espionage, a game of hide and seek on a ship in the North Atlantic and finally ends on a glacier covered island off the coast of Greenland. The plot may not always be believable but the mix of science, mathematics and philosophy along with the description of the harsh Greenland way of life has enough to interest most readers.

Roseanna: a Martin Beck mystery   Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö
This is a police procedural written decades ago when there were no mobile phones or DNA testing and computers were in their infancy. Martin Beck is a policemen who is refreshingly free of serious personal issues, aside from some marital issues. He's not a drunk, he's not a rogue, and though he works too much, he is reasonably balanced.  The story is fairly straightforward, the body of a young woman is found in a canal with no clues to who she is and where and by whom she was killed. There is a breakthrough when Interpol identifies the woman as an American tourist who was taking a boat trip in Southern Sweden and that she was killed by a fellow passenger.  Beck and his team work the case over the course of months and slowly piece together a solution. No surprise twists or red herrings.  The authors use solid      character development and a realistic depiction of the hard and banal work involved with solving a case.  This book is the first in the Martin Beck series.

The hypnotist Lars Kepler
You may have seen the recent movie of this book. A family is brutally murdered in Stockholm.  There is only one survivor 15 year old Joseph. Joseph is seriously injured in hospital and seemingly unresponsive to questions that may help solve the crime. Detective Inspector Joona Linna is put in charge of the case and in a desperate attempt to solve the crime before Joseph and an older sister who had moved away from home some time earlier are hurt, enlists the help of retired hypnotist Eria Maria Bark.  Bark is very reluctant to return to his profession due to a series of accusations of wrong doings by his patients. When Bark does finally reach the boy the shocking discovery he makes is much worse that he could have imagined.  When Barks own family is threatened Erik is forced to revisit his own dark past to uncover the truth

In the darkness   Karin Fossum
This is the first Inspector Sejer novel by Norweigian write Karin Fossum. Inspector Sejer is a bit different to many of the other Nordic crime fiction detectives. He is polite and doesn’t have a multitude of personal problems and bad habits. His sole vice is a daily single hand-rolled cigarette and whiskey he allows himself at the end of the day as he thinks over a case, his faithful dog at his feet. He spends time off with his daughter and her adopted son from Somalia, but never stops thinking about his cases. Sejer believes in justice and has a need to understand the criminal mind. The story begins with Eva and her six-year-old daughter Emma discovers the body of a man in the river one night. Eva does not call the police but the body is reported by another person. Sejer befriends the widow and young son of the dead man, who has been missing for six months. Unable to progress, but now knowing he has a murder case on his hands, he decides to look into the only other unnatural death that  has been reported to the police in the past year. Sejer’s methodical investigation gradually finds small clues. Whether or not the two cases are linked becomes gradually clear to the reader, but not without some surprises along the way. The book is in two halves. The first half tells the story of the investigation and of Eva’ life from the point of discovery of the man’s body. The second is from Eva’s perspective of previous events depicting a woman struggling to make ends meet without compromising her artistic integrity, and retain her sanity, in the wake of a divorce and some very stressful life-events.

Last rituals   Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
Last Rituals is an 'academic mystery'. The crime takes place in a university department – a history student is murdered and the solution depends on the uncovering and understanding of the victim's research interwoven with religion and witchcraft in medieval Europe. When the book opens, history student Harald Guntlieb is found dead in a small room at the university. Murder is suspected. Halldor a fellow-student who works part-time at the hospital morgue is arrested.  Harald comes from a wealthy family, who are not satisfied that Halldor is the killer. Their lawyer, Matthew, begins to investigate on their behalf, but cannot progress very far because he doesn't speak Icelandic and does not understand the country's legal and police procedures. Matthew, the dead man's mother and a local lawyer       named Thora join together to solve the crime. Last Rituals is a straightforward telling of a macabre tale with intertwining stories, secrets and quite a list of suspects. As Thora and Matthew gradually put together all the threads of these interlocking stories, which all need to be understood before the circumstances of Harald's death and it immediate aftermath are clear.

The Princess of Burundi   Kjell Eriksson
If you like female detectives this author may be the one for you. The Princess of Burundi is the first Inspector Ann Lindell book. Lindell and her team of detectives battle the brutal Swedish winter, bloody murders, complex crimes and unsavoury inhabitants of their cosmopolitan district Uppsala. When the mutilated body of tropical fish collector John Jonsson is discovered in Uppsala the police are baffled.This former troublemaker may have made a few enemies in the past but who would want to kill him in such a brutal way? Inspector Ann Lindell takes on the case and is convinced that the killer has been swiftly identified, but then doubts begin to creep in. What if she’s wrong? As increasingly sinister events begin to unfold, and Jonsson’s family gets further involved, Lindell and her team must unravel the complex                                     clues and stop the killer before it’s too late.

Bailey Women's Prize for fiction, 2014

The winner of the Bailey Women's Prize for fiction is Irish author Eimear McBride  with her astonishing debut, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing.

This incredible debut novel tells, with astonishing insight and in brutal detail, the story of a young woman’s relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour. Not so much a stream of consciousness, as an unconscious railing against a life that makes little sense, and a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and chaotic sexuality of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist.
To read A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing is to plunge inside its narrator’s head, experiencing her world first-hand. This isn’t always comfortable - but it is always a revelation.
Touching on everything from family violence to sexuality and the personal struggle to remain intact in times of intense trauma, McBride writes with singular intensity, acute sensitivity and mordant wit. A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing is moving, funny – and alarming. It is a book you will never forget. Request a copy from the Library. 


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

Burial Rites Hannah Kent 

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri 

The Undertaking by Audrey Magee 

A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The BAILEYS Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded for the best novel of the year written by a woman of any nationality in the English language. Established in 1996, the prize was set up to celebrate excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women throughout the world.

Ten book Tuesday...foodie fiction

Whet your appetite for reading  with some foodie fiction!

Delicious by Ruth Reichl
Billie Breslin has traveled far from her California home to take a job at Delicious!, the most iconic food magazine in New York, and, thus, the world. But Billie’s career has barely started when the publication is summarily shut down—an unseen turn of events leads her to stay behind at an interim job that she expects to be a bore. To her surprise, it turns out to be the portal to a magical, life-changing discovery. 
In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds the letters of Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old who corresponds with the legendary chef James Beard during World Ward II. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a deeper understanding of history—and the history of food. Most important, Lulu’s courage in the face of loss inspires Billes to come to terms with her own truths—about her panic attacks, her adored big sister and her ability to open her heart to love. 
The dinner by Herman Koch
It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.
     Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
     Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.
 Blackberry pie murder by Joanne Fluke
Life is never really quiet for Hannah. After all, her mother's wedding is a little over a month away and guess who Delores put in charge of the planning? Yet just when Hannah believes her biggest challenge will be whether to use buttercream or fondant for the wedding cake, she accidently hits a stranger with her cookie truck while driving down a winding country road in a raging thunderstorm. Hannah is wracked with guilt, and things get even worse when she's arrested...for murder! But an autopsy soon reveals the mystery man, his shirt covered in stains from blackberry pic, would have died even if Hannah didn't hit him. Now, to clear her name, Hannah will have to follow a trail of pie crumbs to track down the identity of the deceased, find a baker who knows more about murder than how to roll out a perfect pic crust - and get herself to the church on time.

John Saturnall's feast by Lawrence Norfolk
Date Palms grew in the First Garden. Bees filled the Combs in the Hives and Crocuses offered their Saffron. Let the first Dish be Spiced Wine, enough for All to dip their Cups. Let the Feast begin... The village of Buckland, 1625. A boy and his mother run for their lives. Behind them a mob chants of witchcraft.

Chocolat by Joanne Harris
When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial.
As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?

The hundred foot journey by Richard. C Morais
Abbas Haji is the proud owner of a modest family restaurant in Mumbai. But when tragedy strikes, Abbas propels his boisterous family into a picaresque journey across Europe, finally settling in the remote French village of Lumiere, where he establishes an Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai.
Much to the horror of their neighbour, a famous chef named Madame Mallory, the Indian establishment opposite her own begins to garner a following. Little does she know that the young Hassan, son of Abbas, has discovered French cuisine and has vowed to become a great French chef. Hassan is a natural whose talents far outweigh Mme. Mallory, but the tough old Frenchwoman will not brook defeat.
Thus ensues an entertaining culinary war pitting Hassan's Mumbai-toughened father against the imperious Mme. Mallory, leading the young Hassan to greatness and his true destiny.
This vivid, hilarious and charming novel - about how just a small distance of a hundred feet can represent the gulf between different cultures, different people, their tastes and their destinies - is simply bursting with eccentric characters, delicious flavours and high emotion.

The cookbook collector by Allegra Goodman
Two sisters, opposite in every way: twenty-eight-year-old Emily is a CFO of an internet start-up, twenty-three-year-old Jess is a graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley, romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily's boyfriend is fantastically successful. Jess's boyfriend is an environmental activist. But the dot-com bubble must burst, while Jess's work on a cache of rare cookbooks uncovers strange erotic drawings and marginalia that bring her closer to their mysterious collector...

The school of essential ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
Once a month on Monday night, eight students gather in Lillian’s restaurant kitchen for a cooking class. They come to learn the art behind Lillian’s dishes, but it soon becomes clear that each one unknowingly seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. One by one, they are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of what they create. Over time, the paths of the students intermingle and intertwine, and the essence of Lillian’s cooking expands beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of their lives, with results that are often unexpected and always delicious.

 Rosewater and soda bread by Marsha Mehran
More than a year has passed since Marjan, Bahar, and Layla, the beautiful Iranian Aminpour sisters, sought refuge in the quaint Irish town of Ballinacroagh. Opening the beguiling Babylon Café, they charmed the locals with their warm hearts and delectable Persian cuisine, bringing a saffron-scented spice to the once-sleepy village.
But when a young woman with a dark secret literally washes up on Clew Bay Beach, the sisters’ world is once again turned upside down. With pale skin and webbed hands, the girl is otherworldly, but her wounds tell a more earthly (and graver) story–one that sends the strict Catholic town into an uproar. The Aminpours rally around the newcomer, but each sister must also contend with her own transformation–Marjan tests her feelings for love with a dashing writer, Bahar takes on a new spiritual commitment with the help of Father Mahoney, and Layla matures into a young woman when she and her boyfriend, Malachy, step up their hot and heavy relationship.
Filled with mouthwatering recipes and enchanting details of life in Ireland, Rosewater and Soda Bread is infused with a lyrical warmth that radiates from the Aminpour family and their big-hearted Italian landlady, Estelle, to the whole of Ballinacroagh–and the world beyond.

In the Kitchen by Monica Ali
At the once-splendid Imperial Hotel, chef Gabriel Lightfoot is trying to run a tight kitchen. But his integrity and his sanity are under constant challenge from an exuberantly multinational staff, a gimlet-eyed hotel management, and business partners with whom he is planning a new venture. Despite the pressure, his hard work looks set to pay off.Until the discovery of a porter's dead body In The Kitchen appears to tip the scales. It is a small death, a lonely death – but it is enough to disturb the tenuous balance of Gabe's life. 

June is for #munchread...and its not all about food! #rwpchat


Klanten bij een haringkar / Eating herring in the traditional Dutch way
Join the discussion this month about #munchread.  We will be focusing on all things related to munching in this discussion.
This is a month we think about munching.  You might even be munching as you read this.  Do you have favourite things to eat and drink while reading, watching and playing?  Does it depend on what you are reading, watching or playing as to what inspires you?  For example do you have second breakfasts when reading The hobbit or feel inspired by pasta when reading about the Mafia?  What is your favourite kind of popcorn to eat while watching a film?  Do you prefer other film snacks?  Do films snacks have to be quiet so the munching does not drown out the soundtrack?  Are there foods which should be avoided when playing games (because they will mess up the game)?
Vampires, zombies and werewolves are characters/species you might encounter in a book, game or film for whom munching is a critical part of their identity.  Kraken seem to munch a lot too, which is why they are scary.  Are there foods you avoid when reading, watching or playing paranormal or horror?  Or are red foods a must?
Folk tales and legends often feature food as part of the story, and munching in the story can cause a lot of problems.  What would Snow White be without an apple?  Hansel and Gretel without gingerbread, Persephone without pomegranates, the three bears without porridge and the Mad Hatter without his tea party.
Are there books, films or games you approach in small bites – maybe because they are short works, or because you want to slowly munch your way through the work?  Are there others you almost binge munch on (almost, because bingeing is not a good thing to do), or really sink your teeth into? I’m thinking most cookbooks are good binge munching, all those delicious photographs but why do I reach for the munchables as soon as I start to watch any healthy lifestyle/ exercise tv or dvds? Do you? Is moderating what we munch made easier with the plethora of diet/exercise/lifestyle information available?
Our lifelong affair with food starts with board books (apple, banana, strawberries etc) for babies, but can you really get the children to eat peas by reading Jasper McFlea will not eat his tea.
They say everything old is new again. Grandma’s recipes are now cool again,  so do you grow your own munchables? The backyard (and paddock) to plate movement is “growing” almost immeasurably. Are you and avid reader or watcher of Gardening AustraliaGourmet farmer, follower of Stephanie Alexander’s kitchen garden scheme, or a member of yourlocal community garden? Do you devour how-to-cook dvds? Do you come to the Library for your latest copy of  Delicious or Australian Gourmet traveller magazines? Do you travel the world through kitchens and restaurants?
Do you love fiction stories that include recipes or stories about food? Do you see food as healing, an essential part of belonging to a community, or lifestyle? So much choice.
What will be your favourite munchable this month?
Oh and don’t forget …while you are reading, playing or watching your #munchread, you might like to tweet about it using #munchread #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you about your #munchread.  You can add to the discussion on Pinterest too. You might like to post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #munchread #rwpchat so others can share in your reading, watching and playing.
There will be a twitter discussion on 24 June 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, 9am – 11am; 2pm – 4pm; 6pm – 8pm BST.  Note this is a staggered discussion.
Use the tags #munchread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of munchread, so others can join in the conversation too.

Greedy reading: More time to read more books!

Its not greedy to want to read more books...its just a challenge finding enough time!  According to Dr Seuss:
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go". 
Don't you agree?

Seven tips to help you read more books:
  1. Get a reading habit. Read for 15 minutes a day. If you find yourself falling asleep over your book at bedtime,  maybe you're more of a morning person. Try to get up a few minutes earlier...or just read at lunchtime :). 
  2. Take a book with you everywhere you go. This way you can read when you find yourself waiting or with an unexpected few minutes to spare. 
  3.  Read more than one book at a time. Although this is not for everyone, its certainly worth consideration. 
  4. Join a book group. This offers an incentive to read at least one book each month, and a great reason to sit and read to ensure its finished in time! 
  5. Read a page turner, or at least books about what you love. If you're enjoying it, you'll keep reading it. 
  6. Keep it short. Read a short book, or short stories.  Don't go for an epic 600 pages plus read (save that challenge for the Gluttony book discussion in July). 
  7. Follow the 50 pages rule. If you don't like it after 50 pages (or 10 or 100, its up to you). Find something else to read  (If you believe you need to complete every book you start, you really need to come along to the Pride book discussion in September). 
Share your tips on how to read more books in the comments. 

Men living well with Consumer Health Complete

This month we celebrate Men’s Health Week (9 – 15 June) and our focus is on the wonderful contribution that men make to daily life. It’s also a great opportunity to reflect on the role good health (in all its aspects) can play on one’s quality of life and how the benefits flow onto family, friends and communities. Sutherland Shire Libraries support men and boys living well with the following online resource.

Consumer Health Complete is your one-stop shop on most matters relating to health and wellbeing. This resource offers a comprehensive collection of quality, up-to-date consumer health information in plain English. It’s available to Sutherland Shire Libraries members through the libraries’ website using your library card barcode number to gain access.


Why not start with a Basic Search? Just click on the Home tab, type your terms into the Find box and hit Search. Results will be retrieved from a wide range of sources including encyclopaedias, reference books, journals, magazines, pamphlets, videos and images.

Prefer to refine your searching? The Advanced Search screen allows you to select relevant document types and apply limiters to your results such as full-text, date range and more.

Additional Features

Consumer Health Complete also offers you the following:
Quick Find - easy access to information on common diseases, conditions, injuries and procedures.
Browse Popular Sources – a selection of reference books and encyclopaedias just a click away.
Health Highlight - current medical information on a variety of popular health topics.
Medical Dictionary - Merriam-Webster’s Medical Desk Dictionary at your fingertips.
The option to print, email or save your search results to a personal folder.
Set up alerts to receive the latest issue of a particular journal or be notified when a new article on a topic of interest is available. 
Online tutorial demonstrates database features.

With topics including men’s health, aging, cancer, diabetes, drugs and alcohol, nutrition, diet, women and children’s health, fitness and more, this resource has something to offer everyone. Its well-rounded approach encompasses mainstream, holistic, complementary and integrated perspectives. Good health starts here.

Contact your Library for further information and start searching today!