Congratulations Anna Funder: Miles Franklin Award Winner 2012

Anna Funder has won the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel All That I Am.

The award, recognised as Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, was established in 1954 through the Will of My Brilliant Career author, Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, to encourage and support writers of Australian literature. The annual Award is presented to the novel of the year which is judged to be of the highest literary merit and “presents Australian Life in any of its phases.” Funder will receive $50,000 in prize money.

Anna Funder is the author of the international bestseller Stasiland, which won the 2004 Samuel Johnson Prize and was published in 20 countries and translated into 16 languages. She is the recipient of numerous awards, and a former DAAD and Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. Anna Funder grew up in Melbourne and Paris and lives in Sydney with her husband and family.

 Based on a true story, All That I Am is moving and beautifully written, equal parts a love story, thriller and testament to individual heroism. It evokes books like Irene Nemirovsky’s Suite Francaise, Bernard Schlink’s The Reader and William Boyd’s Restless – intelligent, powerful novels that appeal to a wide audience.

‘When Hitler came to power I was in the bath. The wireless in the living room was turned up loud, but all that drifted down to me were waves of happy cheering, like a football match. It was Monday afternoon . . . ‘

Ruth Becker, defiant and cantankerous, is living out her days in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. She has made an uneasy peace with the ghosts of her past – and a part of history that has been all but forgotten.

Another lifetime away, it’s 1939 and the world is going to war. Ernst Toller, self-doubting revolutionary and poet, sits in a New York hotel room settling up the account of his life.

When Toller’s story arrives on Ruth’s doorstep their shared past slips under her defences, and she’s right back among them – those friends who predicted the brutality of the Nazis and gave everything they had to stop them. Those who were tested – and in some cases found wanting – in the face of hatred, of art, of love, and of history.

Based on real people and events, All That I Am is a masterful and exhilarating exploration of bravery and betrayal, of the risks and sacrifices some people make for their beliefs, and of heroism hidden in the most unexpected places. Anna Funder confirms her place as one of our finest writers with this gripping, compassionate, inspiring first novel.
(Author bio, synopsis and Miles Franklin information sourced from  

Congratulations, Anna!!!

Click here to reserve a copy of All That I Am today.



Winter Festival @ Your Library

Shoalhaven libraries invite you to get on board the activities that are being held over the winter season.

The Adult Winter Reading Club has kicked off and will run until the end of August. The reading club invites you to submit a short review of a book you have read. All the reviews will go into a draw to win prizes. There will be 3 draws during the program and forms are available at the Nowra Library.

 To compliment the Winter Reading Club, the library will also hold a scarf knitting competition that will see the entries donated to a local charity. Anyone can enter their home made scarves which will be displayed until the end  of August when they will be judged and prizes awarded.                                                                   

This is a chance for you to let your imagination take hold and dream up some wonderful colours and patterns for your entry. There will also be a communal scarf knitting project in the library where everyone is invited to come in and spend some time knitting a section of the library scarf.

 As usual, the library will also host its famous Knit in that will take place on the 7th of August and feature the expert craftswomen from Nowra’s Wrap with Love group. Get out of the cold and join us from 10am for morning tea and bring your knitting along to help create squares for the homeless.

Two ladies laughing and knitting

Forms for the scarf knitting competition can be found at Nowra library or downloaded from the library webpage.

For more information on any of these events please contact Robin on 4429 3710 or



Author visit @ Nowra Library: Thomas Keneally

Shoalhaven Libraries and Dean Swift Book Store present author Thomas Kenneally speaking about his new book, The Daughters of Mars, in which the inveterate storyteller turns his attention to The Great War. Nurses, rather than soldiers are his focus and in his hands the day-to-day life of a nurse on the frontline comes alive in glorious colour. Hitherto litte known facets of their lives are brought expertly into our collective consciousness.

As with Tom Keneally’s previous works, his research is meticulous and here the journals of Australian nursing sisters have provided inspiration for his fiction. The Daughter of Mars is destined to reign alongside other WW1 works and shows clearlywhy Tom Keneally is the master of Australian fiction.

Thomas Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler’s Ark, later made into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg.

His non-fiction includes the memoir Searching for Schindler and Three Famines, an LA Times Book of the Year, and the histories The Commonwealth of Thieves, The Great Shame and American Scoundrel. His fiction, includes TheWidow and Her Hero (shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award), An Angel in Australia and Bettany’s Book. His novels The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest and Confederates were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. The People’s Train was long listed for theMiles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division.

Saturday 30th June at 12pm at Nowra Library

 $2.00 entry with proceeds going to charity

Tom is happy to sign his books that will be available for purchase at $32.99

 BOOK NOW on 4429 3710 or email


2012 Winter Reading Challenge @ Nowra Library

                                                     2012 Winter Reading Challenge @ Nowra Library
                                                                   12th June – 31st August 2012 

Books with snow and coffe cup

This lovely pic came from the Literary Musings blog-

Brrrr, it’s nice and cold outside, isn’t it? Perfect time to join Nowra Library’s Winter Reading Challenge. Yes, that’s right- Winter Reading Challenge! Our Summer Reading Challenge went so well, we’re doing it again. And this time, you can snuggle up with layers of wintery goodness while you read.  It’s just too exciting!

If you took part in our 2011/2012 Summer Reading Club, you’ll already know how the challenge operates, but for those new people who didn’t, here’s how it works:

1. Read (or listen) to a book of your choice between 12th June and 31st August.

2. Fill out a review form: author, title and a sentence or two about the book and place it in the entry box at the library. You can also send reviews to, or post them to our Facebook page.

Each review earns you a chance to win. Prizes include a $25 book voucher (from local bookstores) in each of the first two months of the competition and a $50 book voucher in the final month. Winners will be drawn randomly from the entry box- the more you read and review, the better your chances of winning!

Reviews must be submitted to Nowra Library by 4pm on 4th July, 1st August and 31st August to be eligible for each consecutive prize draw.

You must be 18 years or older to participate.

The books or audiobooks you read must be borrowed from Shoalhaven Libraries.

Winners must be contacted after each prize draw.

Be sure to tick the permission box on your review slip allowing us to display your reviews in the library and also on our Facebook and  Twitter accounts, as well as here at the Readers’ Haven.

Happy Winter Reading!!!!  

Science fiction master Ray Bradbury dies

The literary world is mourning the loss of author Ray Bradbury, who died on Tuesday at his southern California home at the age of 91.

Bradbury wrote a plethora of works, including horror, mystery and humour in the form of novels, screenplays, plays and poetry, but it was his works of science fiction which truly define him. His 1953 release Fahrenheit 451 remains Bradbury’s most celebrated work and a science fiction classic to this day. Inspired by the Cold War, the rising popularity of television and Bradbury’s own love of libraries, the novel creates a frightening, technology-obsessed and Apocalyptic future in which books are banned and burned (I know, I know… it’s the stuff of nightmare, isn’t it?). The novel was made into a successful film in 1966.

Fahrenheit 451 predicted ideas and technologies which have now come to pass, including iPods, interactive television and electronic surveillance, and it is interesting that Bradbury himself resisted the release of the novel in e-book form for years. He claimed e-book readers smelled ‘like burned fuel,’ called the Internet a ‘big distraction’ and encouraged readers to return to the traditional and well loved reading materials of ink and paper. In 2011, when rights to the novel were renewed and could not go ahead without e-book rights as well, he relented, but not before receiving a special promise from his publisher, Simon & Schuster: that the e-book would be available in libraries. The promise was honoured, and Fahrenheit 451 was the only Simon & Schuster e-book available for download by library users at that time.

After an amazing career stretching back to the 1940’s, Ray Bradbury will be remembered as a prolific and masterful writer.

“He was my muse for the better part of my sci-fi career,” director Steven Spielberg said in a statement. “He lives on through his legion of fans. In the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination, he is immortal.”

Ray Bradbury August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012