Ten Book Tuesday... life stories

Ten books about ten different people from different walks of life.

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The untold story by Barbara Leaming

For almost six decades, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has fascinated people worldwide. The subject of numerous books and thousands of articles, her life has probably been documented in millions of words. And yet, there has always remained something mysterious, something private about this very public woman.
With extraordinary skill and great sensitivity, Barbara Leaming explores the seemingly magical world of Jackie's youth, her fairy-tale marriage to a wealthy and handsome Senator and Presidential candidate and her astonishing transformation into a deft political wife and unique First Lady. This spirited young woman's rejection of the idea of a "safe marriage" as the wife of some socially prominent but utterly predictable man led her to JFK and international fame. But the trauma of her husband's murder, which left her literally soaked in blood and brains, would damage her far more than has been known. Until now.

Chase Your Shadow: The Trials of Oscar Pistorius by John Carlin
The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius captured world's attention in a way no other case has since OJ Simpson, was tried for the murder of his ex wife in 1994. John Carlin brings his own extensive knowledge of South Africa and unique access to Pistorius himself, to tell the story of the rise and fall of a classically tragic hero.
Before Valentine's Day of 2013, Pistorius was best known as an extraordinary athlete, the 'Blade Runner' who became the first amputee in history to compete in the Olympics. Everything changed after he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead in the early hours of 14 February. Overnight, the Olympian's status as a role model was replaced by tales of erratic behaviour and a violent dark side.
His seven-month trial was broadcast live around the globe, its twists and turns captivating millions. Carlin, who followed the drama inside the courtroom, provides a vivid first-hand account of Pistorius's wrenching emotional breakdowns, the merciless interrogation to which he was submitted by the prosecutor, and the highly controversial judgment.

Updike by Adam Begley
A candid, intimate, and richly detailed look at Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Updike's life and work.
Adam Begley offers an illuminating portrait of John Updike, the acclaimed novelist, poet, short-story writer, and critic who saw himself as a literary spy in small-town and suburban America, who dedicated himself to the task of transcribing “middleness with all its grits, bumps and anonymities.”
Updike explores the stages of the writer’s pilgrim’s progress: his beloved home turf of Berks County, Pennsylvania; his escape to Harvard; his brief, busy working life as the golden boy at The New Yorker; his family years in suburban Ipswich, Massachusetts; his extensive travel abroad; and his retreat to another Massachusetts town, Beverly Farms, where he remained until his death in 2009. Drawing from in-depth research as well as interviews with the writer’s colleagues, friends, and family, Begley explores how Updike’s fiction was shaped by his tumultuous personal life—including his enduring religious faith, his two marriages, and his first-hand experience of the “adulterous society” he was credited with exposing in the bestselling Couples.
With a sharp critical sensibility that lends depth and originality to his analysis, Begley probes Updike’s best-loved works—from Pigeon Feathers to The Witches of Eastwick to the Rabbit tetralogy—and reveals a surprising and deeply complex character fraught with contradictions: a kind man with a vicious wit, a gregarious charmer who was ruthlessly competitive, a private person compelled to spill his secrets on the printed page.

Beethoven : anguish and triumph: a biography by Jan Swafford
Jan Swafford'  a revered music historian, peels away layers of legend to get to Ludwig Beethoven, the living, breathing human being who composed some of the world's most iconic music. Swafford mines sources never before used in English- language biographies to reanimate the revolutionary ferment of Enlightenment-era Bonn, where Beethoven grew up and imbibed the ideas that would shape all of his future work. Swafford then tracks his subject to Vienna, capital of European music, where Beethoven built his career in the face of critical incomprehension, crippling ill health, romantic rejection, and 'fate's hammer', his ever-encroaching deafness. At the time of his death he was so widely celebrated that over ten thousand people attended his funeral.

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose your own biography by Neil Patrick Harris ; as unshredded and pasted back together by David Javerbaum
Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person?  Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the 'u' back in 'aUtobiography'?  Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!  In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based-life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life.  You will be born in New Mexico.  You will get your big break at an acting camp.  You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan.  Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed.  You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D.  you will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality.  You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John's yacht.
Choose incorrectly and you'll find misery, heartbreak, and a hideous death by piranhas.  All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song.

Yes please by Amy Poehler

 In her first book, popular comedian Amy Poehler offers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like "Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend," "Plain Girl Versus the Demon" and "The Robots Will Kill Us All" Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.

Beyond Priscilla : one gay man, one gay truck, one big idea -- the Beyond 'that's so gay' national tour / Daniel Witthaus
266 days driving around rural, regional and urban Australia challenging homophobia. The Beyond 'That's So Gay' National Tour. In a 38 week road trip around Australia, Daniel Witthaus discovered what contemporary life is really like for LGBT people - life beyond the stereotypes, life 'beyond Priscilla'. Daniel's simple aim was to challenge and confront homophobia 'one cuppa at a time'. In doing so he met a wide range of individuals, all with harrowing or uplifting stories to tell of 'pride and prejudice'. Join Daniel as he encounters foul-mouthed police officers, transgender treasures, a billionaire's butler, gay jackaroos and straight lumberjacks looking to change.

So anyway... by John Cleese
John Cleese’s  huge comedic influence has stretched across generations; his sharp irreverent eye and the unique brand of physical comedy he perfected with Monty Python, on Fawlty Towers, and beyond now seem written into comedy’s DNA. In this rollicking memoir, So, Anyway…, Cleese takes readers on a Grand Tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town and his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman), to the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown.
Twisting and turning through surprising stories and hilarious digressions—with some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on what’s funny and why—this story of a young man’s journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.

True love by Jennifer lopez
This a story of love.  It started when love was lost and I felt as if my world had fallen apart.  What followed was a transformative journey, through the process of developing my first world tour, where I faced some of my greatest challenges, overcame some of my biggest fears, and, with the help of my incredible children, emerged a stronger person than I've ever been.
This is the story of how I discovered quite simply the truest love of all.

The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope by  Ivereigh, Austen
A biography of Pope Francis that describes how this revolutionary thinker will use the power of his position to challenge and redirect one of the world's most formidable religions
An expansive and deeply contextual work, at its heart The Great Reformer is about the intersection of faith and politics--the tension between the pope’s innovative vision for the Church and the obstacles he faces in an institution still strongly defined by its conservative past. Based on extensive interviews in Argentina and years of study of the Catholic Church, Ivereigh tells the story not only of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the remarkable man whose background and total commitment to the discernment of God’s will transformed him into Pope Francis--but the story of why the Catholic Church chose him as their leader.
With the Francis Revolution just beginning, this biography will provide never-before-explained context on how one man’s ambitious program began--and how it will likely end--through an investigation of Francis’s youth growing up in Buenos Aires and the dramatic events during the Perón era that shaped his beliefs; his ongoing conflicts and disillusionment with the ensuing doctrines of an authoritarian and militaristic government in the 1970s; how his Jesuit training in Argentina and Chile gave him a unique understanding and advocacy for a "Church of the Poor"; and his rise from Cardinal to the papacy.

Ten book Tuesday...War reads

To mark Remembrance Day 2014 the selection that I have chosen are drawn from different conflicts.
This particular genre is one where many of the fictionalised accounts are based on real life experiences.
Letters from Iwo Jima  by Kumiko Kakehashi
Many of us interested in photography of war history may be familiar with Joe Rosenthal's 1945 Pulitzer Prize winning photo Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima. If you are, maybe you would like to read about the events preceding this historic moment.
This book is the story of the Battle of Iwo Jima told largely from the Japanese point of view. Much of the story is told through letters written home by Japanese soldiers defending the small Pacific Island towards the end of World War II. This island was strategically important to both the Japanese and the US. The main character, General Tadamichi Kuriyabashi was a great commander whose strategy was both brilliant in one way and deadly to his men in another. In civilian life the General had visited the US and would not have been their enemy had the war not occurred. He also understood that the men he commanded had little chance of successfully defending Iwo Jima in the long term.  Out of about 23,000 Japanese soldiers only 216 were taken prisoner. This book jumps between the letters and real events. This book was made also made into a movie.
Gone with the Wind  by Margaret Mitchell
This book won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937. This historically accurate and vivid book is set in Georgia before, during and after the American Civil War. Gone with the Wind tells the story of Scarlett O'Hara, the privileged daughter of a plantation owner. Scarlett is a strong, determined woman prepared to survive the war and to protect her family and their plantation Tara. Scarlett is infatuated by her married neighbour Ashley Wilkes then she meets Rhett Bulter a rich, charming man who challenges Scarlett in many ways. The dialogue between Scarlett and Rhett is well written. Sadly Scarlett does not realise that she and Rhett are the perfect match until it is too late. This book explores issues that dominated society at the time - culture, class, slavery,  racism in language that would be deemed politically incorrect today. This book however remains one of the great classics of all times.  And who can forget the ending scene of the movie?
All Quiet on the Western Front by Enrich Maria Remarque
This is a book that I hadn't read previously. I don't know why it took me so long to get to it.  This book is a well written book about the permanent damage done to those who fight in wars. This book was banned by the Nazis. All Quiet on the Western Front gives a realistic account of the horrors of trench warfare during World War 1 from the perspective of a German infantryman Paul Baumer, an idealistic teacher. All the aspects of trench warfare are there - excitement, terror, boredom, pain, fear, hunger, dirt, disease, loss, alienation, the awareness that you could die at any minute and the futility of it all.  Sutherland Library also have the audiobook and movie versions.
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
In the 1970s reading Catch 22 was as essential as attending a Bob Dylan concert. Set during World War 11 this book is infuriating.  The plot is crazy, the characters are crazy but then war is crazy. This satirical novel is written in the third person and is annoyingly non chronological. It descibes events from the different points of view of different characters. Every argument is carried on to an extreme absurd conclusion and the ongoing banter between characters is full of paradoxes as impossible as Catch 22 itself. Tiring. Still one of a kind today and the source of the phrase 'it is a catch 22'. If it gets too much let someone else do the reading and borrow the audiobook or movie.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flannigan
This book recently won the Man Booker Prize.  The author was the only Australian on the shortlist. It is the story of Dorrigo Evans a surgeon in the prisoner of war camp on the Thai-Burma railway during World War 11. Dorrigo struggles to save his men from starvation, disease and beatings then he receives a letter that changes his life forever.  Dorrigo Evans is not always likable because of aspects of his personal life before and after the war but the strength in the story lies in Dorrigo's heroic efforts to make a difference to the men in the camps.

Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
This book is not about the Vietnam War as such but a book of short interrelated and interwoven stories about people caught in the war. Each short story is about the objects that the characters are carrying. The 'things' are seemingly ordinary but as the stories develop they take on meaning. The author was a soldier in the Vietnam War and wrote this book 20 years later.  Interesting in many ways because his perspective on this time in his life must have changed from when he was a young soldier to a man all those years later.  Multiple prize winning book and often cited as one of the best in this genre.

The Quiet American by Graham Greene
The Quiet American is about Thomas Fowler an ageing, cynical English journalist living in Vietnam during the war.  He lives with a young, beautiful Vietnamese woman named Phuong. His life changes with the arrival of Alden Pyle a young, idealistic CIA agent.  Pyle meets Fowler, falls in love with Phuong and wins her from the journalist.  Fowler is left to deal with this loss. The book focuses strongly on the relationship between Fowler and Pyle as well as Fowler's psychological journey as an ageing man with little to believe in.  There is also a lot of commentary about the Vietnam War and war and life at that time generally. The authors psychological portrayal of Fowler is one of the best features of the book along with his description of the Vietnamese countryside and the life of a journalist in war times.Some may find Greene's view of Americans is pretty obvious.  Sutherland Library also has the movie.
The Eagle had Landed by Jack Higgins
Considered one of Jack Higgin's best books. On 6 November 1943, Berlin gets the coded message 'The Eagle had landed'. The adventure begins.  German commandos are sent to England In 1943 to kidnap or kill Winston Churchill.  A cultured, intelligent  IRA agent Liam Devlin goes ahead to prepare for the mission. Add in a beautiful widow and a twist at the end.  Things of course don't go to plan. If you don't over think the plot and want a more fictional war read this could be just the book for you. Sutherland Library also has the audiobook and DVD.
The Bridge over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle
This French author wrote Planet of the Apes, a book in a vey different genre to Bridge over the River Kwai. Both books were made into very successful films. Bridge over the River Kwai is the story of the British POWs who were forced to build the Burma Railway. It is a story based on Boulle's own experiences as a POW during World War II. Boulle's depiction of the Japanese as culturally inferior barbarians is somewhat understandable given the personal and historical context in which he was writing. The 2 central characters are Colonel Nicholson -  the even tempered British leader and Colonel Saito - the Japanese leader given to violence and fits of rage. The books follows the human cost of the building of the railway but focuses strongly on the war of wills and ideologies between the 2 leaders. One man would rather die that ignor the international rules of war and the other would rather die that lose face. A classic war read.
Sophie's Choice by William Styron
Confessional monologues serving as narrative, flashbacks from a New York boarding house, a tumultuous love triangle, secrets, lies, sex and swear words. This story, set in post-war New York has all these elements and more.  The narrator is a young Southerner named Stingo. While staying at a New York boarding house Stingo meets Nathan, a young Jewish man with many issues and Sophie, a Polish woman who survived Auschwitz. Stingo becomes increasingly drawn into Nathan's and Stingo's passionate and destructive relationship. And Sophie's choice?  Is it the most obvious and memorable choice? What do you think?  The library also have an audiobook version.

Barbara Jefferis Awards 2014

The Barbara Jefferis Award is offered for 'the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society'.
Congratulations to the joint winners of the 2014 Barbara Jefferis Awards: 

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane & Sea Hearts by Margaret Lanagan

 The short list: 

 Sufficient Grace by Amy Espeseth

The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt by Tracy Farr

Pilgrimage by Jacinta Halloran 

 Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

The Night Guest  by Fiona McFarlane

 The First Week  by Margaret Merrilees

 The Mountain by Drusilla Modjeska

Zinio and Overdrive satisfy the need to read...Now!

Have you ever found yourself wishing for a good read at the last minute? Something to take on a weekend away, plane flight, doctor's surgery wait or for the spare 1/2 hour you've found in your day? With a little pre-planning your wish can be fulfilled.

Choose from the 100's of magazines Sutherland Libraries have available for you, supplied online via Zinio, or the 1000's of ebooks and audiobooks supplied online via Overdrive.

Register and set up these two services today, for effortless borrowing in times of desperation! 

Follow the step by step demonstration in the Getting started with Zinio video, and take note of the Before you start with Overdrive information, to ensure a smooth registration experience.

Overdrive titles can be found in Encore or in Overdrive itself, with a great range of Fiction and Non-fiction titles to choose from there is something for everyone.

Overdrive allows you to borrow titles for a 3 week period, (shorter if you wish), renew them and place a hold on them, if they are out on loan. One can have a maximum of 10 titles out at a time, whether that is a mix of eBook or eAudio.

TIP: Overdrive titles do not appear on your regular library online account. A separate Overdrive account is created for each member and loans, returns and holds etc. are managed from there. If you are using a mobile device use an app.

Click here to see what's available in the the following categories right now!

The headphone icon on the top right of a cover denotes an eAudio title, also available from Overdrive, with the titles coming from over 2,000 publishers, (including HarperCollins, Random House & MacMillan) and new ones being added all the time, there is something for everyone.

In a recent update to our Overdrive audiobooks and ebooks service 2 new features were added that users of this service will want to know about. Read the blog post which details these additions to the service..

is a digital magazine service available at Sutherland Shire Libraries as part of its range of online collections.
Browse this list of popular magazine titles that can be downloaded onto many devices including PC, Mac, iPad or Android tablet.  Zinio enables you to move seamlessly between text, graphics, animated illustrations and videos; making reading your favourite titles an interactive experience.

The current issue and back issues (from the start date of the library subscribing to that title) are available for download. Once downloaded to your device they remain yours until you delete them!

Titles cover a wide range of interests and age groups including Elle, Gardening Australia, Harper’s Bazaar,  MacUser, PC & Tech Authority, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Donna Hay, Taste, Star, OK, Vogue Australia, Weight Watchers, Gourmet Traveller, Australian Womans Weekly, New Idea and many more.

You can use Zinio from home on a PC, laptop or mobile device, or on the go using a smart phone or tablet. Get the app that works on your device.

If you wish to know more come in and ask our staff.

Ten Book Tuesday...Recent releases

Rooms by Lauren Oliver
This the adult novel debut by best selling young adult novelist Lauren Oliver. 
Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.
But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.
The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Springtime: a ghost story by Michelle De Krester
A brilliant new ghost story written by the 2013 Miles Franklin Award winner.
Picking up her pace, Frances saw a woman in the leaf-hung depths of the garden. She wore a long pink dress and a wide hat, and her skin was a creamy white. There came upon Frances a sensation that sometimes overtook her when she was looking at a painting: space was foreshortened, time stood still." When Frances met Charlie at a party in Melbourne he was married with a young son. Now she and Charlie live in Sydney with her rescue dog Rod and an unshakeable sense that they have tipped the world on its axis. They are still getting their bearings - of each other and of their adopted city. Everything is alien, unfamiliar, exotic: haunting, even.

Wild things by Brigid Delaney 
This is the debut novel by an Australian author. 
A controversial novel of power, prestige and pack mentality exposes the dark underbelly of college life at a prominent university St Anton's university college is a cradle for privileged young men and women. With its Elysian lush green lawns and buildings of golden sandstone, it seems like a place where nothing bad could ever happen. One weekend, members of the college cricket team go to the mountains for a wild weekend away. Things spiral rapidly out of control, and a young Malaysian student they dragged along with them as part of a cruel prank goes missing. When the boy is found by some bushwalkers on a rock ledge, barely clinging to life, most people think it's because of a fall, but the St Anton's men know better. The stress of keeping their collective secret however becomes harder and harder to bear, and even the heavy wrought-iron fences of the college can't keep out reality... Dark, dangerous, bloody and visceral, this is a story of power, prestige and the pack mentality that forms the underbelly of campus life at a prestigious university. 

Three stories J. Coetzee
As he gets older he finds himself growing more and more crabby about language, about slack usage, falling standards. Falling in love, for instance. ‘We fell in love with the house’, friends of his say. How can you fall in love with a house when the house cannot love you back, he wants to reply? Once you start falling in love with objects, what will be left of real love, love as it used to be? But no one seems to care. People fall in love with tapestries, with old cars.

A man contemplates his deep connection to a house.

The unfathomable idea of threshing wheat points to a life lost.

And a writer ponders the creation of his narrator.

Three Stories—'His Man and He’, written as Coetzee’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for Literature, ‘A House in Spain’ and ‘Nietverloren’—is the work of a master at his peak. These are stories that embody the essence of our existence.

Nightingale by Fiona McIntosh
The bestselling author of popular romantic fiction.  Amidst the carnage of Gallipoli, British nurse Claire Nightingale meets Australian Light Horseman Jamie Wren. Despite all odds, they fall deeply in love. Their flame burns bright and carries them through their darkest hours, even when war tears them apart.  
Jamie's chance meeting with Turkish soldier Açar Shahin on the blood-stained battlefield forges an unforgettable bond between the men. It also leaves a precious clue to Jamie's whereabouts for Claire to follow.
Come peacetime, Claire's desperate search to find Jamie takes her all the way to Istanbul, and deep into the heart of Açar's family, where she attracts the unexpected attention of a charismatic and brooding scholar.
In the name of forgiveness, cultures come together, enemies embrace and forbidden passions ignite – but by the breathtaking conclusion, who will be left standing to capture Nurse Nightingale's heart? 

This is the life by Alex Shearer
An achingly funny and heart wrenching story of two brothers on one final journey together. 

Even when you have received a death sentence, you still have to live…

“Life just seems like a big party sometimes, at which we all gradually get edged to the door, and then we are out in the cold. But the party continues without us…”

This is the story of Louis, who never quite fitted in, and of his younger brother who always tagged along.
Two brothers on one final journey together, wading through the stuff that is thicker than water.

Tender-hearted, at times achingly funny, This is the Life is a moving testimony to both the resilience of the human spirit and to the price of strawberries.

Flying shoes by Lisa Howorth
A bittersweet debut based on  true story. 
Mary Byrd Thornton could understand how a reporter couldn't resist the story: a nine-year-old boy sexually molested and killed on Mother's Day, 1966. A suspect to whom nothing would stick. A neighborhood riddled with secrets. No one, especially the bungling or complicit authorities, had been able to solve the crime. Now, thirty years later, the reporter's call will reel a reluctant Mary Byrd from Mississippi back to Virginia where she must confront her family--and, once again, the murder's irremovable stain of tragedy. Lisa Howorth's remarkable Flying Shoes is a work of fiction, but the murder is based on the still-unsolved case of her stepbrother, a front page story in the Washington Post. And yet this is not a crime novel; it is an honest and luminous story of a particular time and place in the South, where even calamitous weather can be a character, everyone has a story, and all are inextricably entwined. With a flamboyant cast, splendid dark humor, a potent sense of history, and a shocking true story at its heart, Flying Shoes is a rich and candid novel from a fresh new southern voice about family and memory and one woman's flight from a wounded past.

The wrong girl by Zoe Foster
The fourth lighthearted chick lit novel by this Australian author.
Sometimes you don't know what you want until someone else has it.
Lily needs a break. A man break. She hadn't exactly meant to sleep with her friend, Pete, and she certainly hadn't expected him to confess his love - for another girl - the next morning. If men were going to behave like such pigs, well, she'd happily take some time out.
Besides, her TV career requires all her attention right now. Jack Winters - the gorgeous new talent - is definitely proving a distraction, but Lily is determined to maintain her professional distance, even when Jack starts seeing someone completely inappropriate. It's only when Lily accepts that good things don't always come to those who wait and takes a leap into the great unknown that life starts making sense . . . 

The Swimmer by Joakim Zander
A debut thriller that has been published in 27 countries and is already a bestseller in Sweden. 
Klara Walldeen was orphaned as a child and brought up by her grandparents on a remote Swedish archipelago. She is now a political aide in Brussels - and she has just seen something she shouldn't: something people will kill to keep hidden. On the other side of the world, an old spy hides from his past. Once, he was a man of action, so dedicated to the cause that he abandoned his baby daughter to keep his cover. Now the only thing he lives for is swimming in the local pool. Then, on Christmas eve, Klara is thrown into a terrifying chase through Europe. Only the Swimmer can save her. But time is running out...

We are not ourselves by Matthew Thomas
A multigenerational debut novel of an Irish-American family. 

Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.
When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream...

Celebrating 75 Years of NSW Public Libraries

On Monday 3 November Sutherland Shire Libraries will join public libraries across the state to celebrate the birth of free public libraries in New South Wales. 

Sutherland Library will have a display in our foyer area to mark the 75th anniversary of the NSW Library Act, the landmark legislation that led to the provision of free public library services for the people of NSW.

Since the passage of the Act in 1939 the number of public libraries in New South Wales has grown from two – Broken Hill and Sydney – to over 360, with 3.2 million members and more than 35 million people visiting libraries each year.

Sutherland Shire Council adopted the Act in 1952 and its first branch opened in on 30 November 1953. Today the Sutherland Shire Libraries sees over 900,000 through its doors each year, taking part in a range of programs from children’s story and rhymetimes, author, literary, taming technology and sustainable living talks, crossword and craft workshops and much more.

“This November we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NSW Library Act, which led to the network of free public libraries we all enjoy today.

“The Act was supported by both sides of politics, and was passed two months after the outbreak of WWII, which shows just how important the establishment of free public library services was to the people of NSW.  Councils quickly adopted the Act and the number of NSW public libraries has now grown to over 360. 

“Today, public libraries are going strong and play a vital role in their communities.  As State Librarian I have visited many from Waverley to Wentworth and enjoyed seeing them in their diversity, meeting their staff and council colleagues and talking to their readers.  It is striking to see how much they contribute to their communities,” says Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive.

We love reading...Staff picks November 2014

Only the animals by Ceridwen Dovey
 Insightful and poignant, this is a collection of short stories, narrated by ten different animal souls.   Each story is both innovative and memorable, with animals showing humans at their best and worst in well known recognisable situations of human conflict.   Starting with the story of an Afghan camel in the Australian gold rush, this is followed by a cat on the Western front, a Russian tortoise who ends up in a space during the Cold war  and a humorous tale of a mussel at Pearl Harbour - just to name a few. The story of the dolphin betrayed by humans in Iraq particularly stood out for me. Each story pays homage to a different author, often quoting them or using literary allusions to their work.  If interested,  you can find a complete list of resources on the authors website. A fascinating, imaginative and original concept, this book is well worth reading.

~Reviewed by Monique

Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko

Jo Breen a Goorie, orphaned at 10 and 'grown up'' by her Auntie, a wise woman, finds animals especially horses, are easier to love than people. Her daughter Ellen is the one person in her life she would do anything to protect. Having always struggled for a living, she finally realises her dream, when her divorce settlement enables her to buy a small acreage and she sets about restoring it to it's native beauty. Life gets more complicated when a new man appears in town who is there to research for his Native Title claim over the valley. Mutually attracted, Jo and Twoboy link up and Jo struggles to remain outside his passion for his claim, whilst she is being drawn into the ancient life of the land which she cares for. Friction with her adjoining land owner, is ongoing from the minute Ellen was caught riding his thoroughbreds in their first week, and events and chance meetings at odd places only confirm Jo's distrust of him. This novel is about family, obligations, and the desire for a place that is 'home'. The description of landscape and the life within it, is invigorating and brings one into the setting with Jo as she struggles with the demands of a teenage daughter, work, land restoration, ancient ancestors, and her driven lover.

~Reviewed by Jacinta

The hoarder in you: How to live a happier, healthier, uncluttered life by Dr Robin Zasio.
  Why do people hoard? I  wanted to know why, so I found this book interesting.
We all have treasured possessions - few pairs of favourite shoes, collection of loved books, ever-expanding wardrobe, several piles of high school notes...
Will you be anxious when you try to toss an item, even if you never use it or it is broken.  Your reasons for unable to decide what to keep and what to toss are :

"because I'm afraid if I throw it out, I'll need it in the future"
"because if would be wasteful to get rid of something that could still be used"
"I'll dealt with this piles of things at a future time... " -  these piles have been lingering for a few years
"this item was given to me by someone I love, and I don't feel right about throwing it out"

The "growing" collection and the excessive accumulation of objects begin to take over your room...or may affect your daily life activities. Does this sound familiar?
"The Hoarder In You/Dr Robin Zasio" offers insights and solutions to your inner hoarder and is helpful in finding out if you have hoarding tendencies and why this is so.

~Reviewed by Becky

Life of Pee : the Story of How Urine Got Everywhere by Sally Magnusson
This book unveils the secret history of civilisation's most unsavoury and unsung hero, and discovers how our urine footprint is just as indelible as our carbon one. All the Fullers, Tuckers and Walkers in the phonebook owe their names to it; in 1969 four bags of it were left on the surface of the moon; alchemists sought gold in it; in the trenches of Ypres soldiers used it as a gas mask; and some people drink it. Throughout history, bought and sold, traded and transported, even carried to work in jugs, urine has made bread rise, beer foam, given us gunpowder and stained glass, prepared wool and helped dye our clothes. No wonder it gets everywhere. A detailed and humorous collection, in alphabetical order, of all there is to know about wee.

~ Reviewed by Glenn

 Divergent by Veronica Roth
I am not normally one to read a young adult book, however, I found this one very hard to put down.

The story line is based on an alternate world where humans are divided by factions based on their dispositions. Five factions rule the world which is made up of Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave) and Erudite (the intellectual).
On the day of Beatrice’s sixteenth birthday she must decide which faction she will devote the rest of her life to (alongside all the other 16 year olds). However, Beatrice is not a perfect fit for any of these factions and her secret life begins.
She then decides to leave her family, changes her name to Tris and follows the path of the Dauntless. Here she meets new friends, new enemies and a new love.
I found the story quite captivating, often questioning traits of the human race alongside questioning morality.
Fast paced and very interesting. Have you seen the movie?

~ Reviewed by Tynelle