3rd Wednesday Book Club- August 2013- Furreads

130-22-lLast month’s 3rd Wednesday Book Club followed the Read Watch Play theme of Furreads, which meant we spent lots of time reading and discussing Animal Tales (or Tails?). This reading theme was one of the most successful ones we’ve had this year and was greeted with great enthusiasm by our loyal book clubbers. In short, it was a “roaring” success.

August Reads 

Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres
Leviathan by Philip Hoare
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Every Burnford
The Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell
Trim by Matthew Flinders
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
How Animals Grieve By Barbara J King
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Seabiscuit by Lauren Hillenbrand
Dogs from Riga by Henning Mankell
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Rifling Paradise by Jem Poster
My Place by Sally Morgan
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
The Botticelli Secrets Marina Fiorato
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Wilder Family by Kobie Kruger
The Light Between Oceans by  ML Stedman
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Swords and Crowns and Rings by Ruth Park
A Matter of Hope by Collette Livermore
Why Birds Sing by David Rotenburg
The Secret Life of Wombats by James Woodford
Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend of the World’s Most Famous Dog by Susan Orlean
The Haunted Book by Jeremy Dyson with Aiden Fox
The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro
The Koran
Betrayal of Trust by JA Jance
The Lost Library by AM Dean
The Roswell Conspiracy by Boyd Morrison
Gershwin by Ruth Leon
The Ape House by Sara Gruen
Beauty in the Beasts: True Stories of Animals Who Choose to Do Good by Kristin Von Kreister
In the Presence of Horses by Barabara Dimmick
Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich
The Griffith Review no.40 – Women in Power

Most Talked About Reads 

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Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres

‘In early 1998 I went to Perth in Western Australia in order to attend the literature festival, and part of the arrangement was that I should go to Karratha to do their first ever literary dinner. Karratha is a mining town a long way further north. The landscape is extraordinary, being composed of vast heaps of dark red earth and rock poking out of the never-ending bush. I imagine that Mars must have a similar feel to it.

I went exploring and discovered the bronze statue to Red Dog outside the town of Dampier. I felt straight away that I had to find out more about this splendid dog. A few months later I returned to Western Australia and spent two glorious weeks driving around collecting Red Dog stories and visiting the places that he knew, writing up the text as I went along. I hope my cat never finds out that I have written a story to celebrate the life of a dog.’ – Louis de Bernieres (from goodreads.com)

Reserve a copy of Red Dog at Shoalhaven Libraries now.

Trim by Matthew Flinders

‘Trim was a much-loved cat who accompanied Matthew Flinders on several of his voyages. Trim was to sail on four ships with Flinders, travelling from the Cape of Good Hope to Botany Bay, to England and back to Sydney Town. Flinders wrote Trim’s story whilst being held by the French in Mauritius.’ (from goodreads.com)

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent 

‘Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?’ (from goodreads.com)

Reserve a copy of Burial Rites at Shoalhaven Libraries now.

Read Watch Play 2013 – April is Crime Reads

This month’s Read Watch Play theme is Crime Reads. Crime fiction is a hugely popular genre here at Shoalhaven Libraries, as well as in other libraries, book stores and lounge rooms all over the world. There are just so many good crime reads to choose from!

This month, you might choose to read something from the Detective fiction sub-genre, which focuses on a detective (professional or amateur) who investigates a crime, often murder. The 1920’s and 1930’s were the Golden Age of detective fiction, when authors like Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and Margery Allingham were writing. In Golden Age detective stories, an outsider — sometimes a salaried investigator or a police officer, but often a gifted amateur — investigates a murder committed in a closed environment by one of a limited number of suspects. These days, authors such as Lee Child, Raymond Chandler, P.D James, James Patterson, Ian Rankin and Michael Connolly have taken centre stage.

You might enjoy Police Procedural novels, which portray the activities of the police force – including forensics- as they investigate crime. Police fiction is different to the ‘whodunnit,’ as the identity of the perpetrator is often known early in the story, and the story is often focused more on the techniques and circumstances that lead to their arrest. Popular police procedural authors at Shoalhaven Libraries include Tess Gerritsen, JD Robb, Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwall, Mo Hayder and R.D Wingfield.

Agatha Christie (1890- 1976) crime writer and best-selling novelist of all time.

Agatha Christie (1890- 1976) crime writer and best-selling novelist of all time.

Or Cozy Mysteries-  also referred to simply as “cozies,” might be your cup of tea. This subgenre of crime fiction features crime and detection occurring in small communities with a limited amount of sex, swearing  and violence. The name ‘Cozy Mystery’ was first used in the late 20th century when an attempt was made by various writers to resurrect the Golden Age of detective fiction. The detectives in these stories are almost always amateurs with a close knowledge of the murder-rocked community and its citizens. There is minimal violence and the murderer is seldom a psychopath or a serial killer, but rather a member of the community with motives such as jealousy or revenge. Our library borrowers like to cozy up with Alexander McCall Smith, Donald Bain, Rita Mae Brown and Laura Levine. Interestingly, Agatha Christie is still popular with our borrowers, too!

Psychological Suspense is another popular Crime sub-genre here at Shoalhaven Libraries. Also related to the thriller genre and detective fiction sub-genre, psychological thrillers are mental rather than physical in conflict- that is, the focus is on the process of the minds of the characters, rather than on the plot. Popular authors in this genre include Orson Scott Card, Nicci French, Steig Larsson, Val McDermid and Michael Robotham.

This April, read a work of crime fiction. There’s so much to choose from, and many different sub-genres to explore. There is, quite simply, a dead body for every reader.

And, after you’ve finished reading, why not join the live Twitter discussion on Tuesday April 30 at 8pm AEST.

Use the tags #crimeread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of crimeread, so others can join in the conversation too.

 
http://www.readwatchplay.wordpress.com

Read, Watch, Play 2013 – March is Ecoreads & Dystopian Fiction

6116062998_2d4e533d1bThe Read Watch Play theme for this month is Ecoreads. This is the time to read and discuss books and ideas about ecology, environment, water use and conservation.  2013 is the International Year of Water Cooperation, and it’s a great time to read up on the environmental and sustainability issues we face, and the ways we might improve them.

We’ve embraced Ecoreads this month at Nowra Library, but we’ve also found another way of exploring it- the dark side of conservation and sustainability, if you will. What would happen if none of our plans, ideas, environmental awareness and hard work paid off? What if the world we know …. ended?

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What if we found ourselves in….dystopia?

The Road, based on Cormac McCarthy's novel.

The Road, based on Cormac McCarthy’s novel.

Dystopian fiction is is a branch of Speculative Fiction, and is often closely related to Science Fiction. It is often set in a futuristic,post-apocalyptic or post-cataclysmic society characterised by environmental disaster, totalitarian governments and dehumanisation.  Social issues, as well as those of environment, technology, politics, are often explored. As the name suggests, ‘Dystopia’ is the opposite of ‘Utopia’,  the term first coined by Sir Thomas More in his 1516 work Utopia, which describes an ideal society, perfect and just. The word is similar to the Greek word “outopos ” – “no place”- and “eutopos” – “good place.”  No wonder then that Dystopian fiction is often fraught with sadness, desperation, desolation and struggle.

Katniss in The Hunger Games film.

Katniss in The Hunger Games film.

Famous works of dystopian fiction include Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and George Orwell’s Ninteen Eighty- Four. Recent popular additions to the genre include The Hunger Games  series by Suzanne Collins, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and Lois Lowry’s The Giver.  (You can also view or reserve these items on the Shoalhaven Libraries Catalogue).

This month at Nowra Library our 3rd Wednesday Book Club members will be reading and discussing Ecoreads, but the discussion doesn’t end there. You can join the live Twitter discussion on 26 March starting at 8.00pm EDT, and join readers from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore (and who knows where else!) as they discuss their favourite Ecoreads.

Use the tags #ecoread and #rwpchat as you discuss, so others can join in the conversation too. For more information on how to take part in Twitter book discussions, check out the Read Watch Play blog.  

Happy reading (and tweeting!)

3rd Wednesday Book Club- February 2013- Heartreads

photoWe had a lovely meeting yesterday here at Nowra Library with our 3rd Wednesday Book Club members. The theme for February is Heartreads, which is the second of the Read Play Watch themes for 2013. We’ve added our own flavour to each of the Read Play Watch themes this year, and this month, we focused on broken hearts, bad relationships and unhappily ever afters. It was great to hear everyone’s broken heart reads, and nice to see some happy endings in there as well.

February Reads

The Lovers of Algeria by Anouar Benmalek
This is Where I Am by Karen Campbell 
Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood
Ravenscraig by Sandi Krawchecnko Altner
Klondike House: Memoirs of an Irish Country Childhood by John Dwyer
The Dubar Case by Peter Corris
Murder She Wrote- Domestic Malice (Murder She Wrote #38) by Jessica Fletcher
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This is How by MJ Hyland
Timbuktu by Paul Auster
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Wondrous Times on the Frontier by Dee Brown
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
The Legend of Broken by Caleb Carr
The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
Philida by Andre Brink
The Tapestries by Kien Nguyen
Light Falling on Bamboo by Lawrence Scott
Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman
Poet’s Cottage by Josephine Pennicott
Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Secrets in the Sands by Sara Sheridan
The Kiss by Kate Chopin
Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross King

Most Talked About Books

9781860468681

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Sweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable, David Ebershoff’s The 19th Wife combines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant novel of literary suspense. It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.
Soon after Ann Eliza’s story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds–a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death. And as Ann Eliza’s narrative intertwines with that of Jordan’s search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith. (from www.goodreads.com)

Timbuktu by Paul Auster

‘Magnificent! Outstanding! This is the story of a dog named Mr. Bones and his owner Willy G. Christmas who is dying. Told from the viewpoint of the dog it is a captivating story of love, humour and tragedy that ultimately makes you think about what being human is all about. This book made me laugh and cry all at the same time. It also follows all the ‘rules’ in writing that make up a good book. Put it on your MUST READ list.’ (Elaine, 3rd Wednesday Book Club).

Klondike House: Memoirs of an Irish Country Childhood by John Dwyer

The eldest of six children, John Dwyer recounts his memories of a rural childhood on the remote but beautiful Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland. Complemented by a series of childhood photographs, his stories are told in vivid and colourful prose. He describes the hard but happy work of saving the hay, cutting the turf, shearing the sheep, and digging the potatoes. His humour comes to the fore as he describes a rampaging sheep and an innocent hobby nearly caused a local outcry. His account of his own family connections with America and especially Butte, Montana are a microcosm of all Irish-American stories of immigration. Sprinkled with a selection of fitting works by some of Ireland’s best-known poets such as Seamus Heaney, Patrick Kavanagh and Paul Muldoon, this gem of a book is a chronicle of the simple but happy life of an Irish farmer boy (from www.goodreads.com).

The Lovers of Algeria by Alouar Benmalek

Benmalik is Moroccan born, but as an adult writer, he had to flee to France and now lives there, although he holds both French and Algerian citizenships. The Algeria of this book is unbelievably brutal – someone is killed, tortured in the most horrible way every day, no one fares well.  Anna (a Swiss/German woman working in the circus) and Nassreddine, an Algerian are married and the story opens as they travel to a small village to live in 1955.  A hideous crime occurs and Anna and  Nassreddine are separated.  Forty years later, Anna, now a widow, returns to Algeria to search for Nassreddine.  This is a very dangerous enterprise, because foreigners are being murdered every day.  Anna’s search, with flashbacks to the past make this a stomach-turning read about a country that has been in turmoil for years.  The story covers the years 1928-1997, from the country living under French colonialism, to claiming independence, to falling in the hands of ruthless rulers “The Terrorists” i.e. Islamists. However, I am glad I made the effort to read this wonderful book (Lyn, 3rd Wednesday Book Club).

Read, Watch, Play 2013- February is Heartreads, and we’re reading about broken ones.

Gatsby and Daisy. Cathy & Heathcliff. Scarlett and Rhett.

Literature is full of passionate romances which ended rather badly.

Anna Karenina & Count Vronsky. Lancelot (Arthur) & Guinevere.

When you really think about it, there are a lot of broken and lonely hearts on our library shelves.

Othello killed Desdemona. Medea killed Jason. And Romeo and Juliet may as well have killed each other.

Break your heart with us this February.

We have a range of fiction featuring  broken hearts, just for you.

Here at Nowra library, we have a range of fiction featuring broken hearts, just for you.