How many books will you read in 2017?

How many books do you read in a year?

Some Tea Tree Gully Library staff recently compared their 2016 reading lists. It was interesting to see not just what books people read, but also how many books they got through.

Penny read 24. Hayley got through 25. Rose smashed 69 books – an impressive effort.

But no one had anything on Pixie. The magical Pixie, who read 94 books in 2016. An incredible 1.8 books a week.

Pixie created a reading challenge list at the start of last year and especially focused on reading classics, seeing as they’re not her thing. In the end, she got through nine classics – one short of her goal of 10. Amazing.

Here’s the full list of what Pixie read:

Classics
1. Dracula by Bram Stoker
2. The women in black by Madeleine St John
3. To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee
4. Little men by Louisa Alcott
5. Jo’s boys by Louisa Alcott
6. Good wives by Louisa Alcott
7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
8. One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
9. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D H Lawrence

Non-fiction
10. Quiet by Susan Cain
11. Talking to my country by Stan Grant
12. I, Digital: personal collections in the digital era by Christopher A. Lee (ed)
13. The Life of I: the new culture of narcissism by Anne Manne
14. Shrill: notes from a loud woman by Lindy West
15. The Japanese mind: essentials of Japanese philosophy and culture by Charles Moore (ed)
16. Primates of park avenue by Wednesday Martin
17. Reckoning by Magda Szubanski
18. Love and death in Kathmandu by Amy Willesee & Mark Whittaker
19. Between you and me: Confessions of a comma queen by Mary Norris
20. Yes please by Amy Poehler
21. Bossypants by Tina Fey

Foreign titles
22. The angel’s game Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Spain)
23. My mother’s house by Colette (France)
24. The white tiger by Aravind Adiga (India)
25. Norwegian wood by Haruki Murakami (Japan)
26. The post-office girl by Stefan Zweig (Austria)
27. China Mao’s last dancer by Li Cunxin (China)
28. Breathless by Anne Sward (Sweden)
29. Ines of my soul by Isabel Allende (Peru/Chile)
30. The hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe)
31. Half of a yellow sun  by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)

Fiction
32. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Greene & David Levithan
33. The messenger by Markus Zusak
34. The language of flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
35. The god of small things Arundhati Roy
36. Purple Hibiscus by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie
37. The curious incident of the dog in the night by Mark Haddon
38. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
39. Lost and found by Brooke Davis
40. Witches abroad by Terry Pratchett
41. Odd hours by Dean Koontz

Sci-Fi
42. Some kind of fairytale by Graham Joyce
43. Stardust by Joseph Kanon
44. The prisoner of heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
45. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
46. The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham
47. The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness
48. Mountain shadow by Gregory David Roberts

Quirky
49. Everything is illuminated Jonathan Safran Foer
50. The love song of Johnny valentine by Teddy Wayne
51. Wild abandon by Joe Dunthorne
52. The truth about diamonds by Nicole Richie
53. The woman in the lobby by Lee Tulloch
54. A most immoral woman by Linda Jaivin

Young Adult Fiction
55. March by Geraldine Brooks
56. The bone dragon by Alexia Casale
57. Finding serendipity by Angelica Banks

Horror/crime
58. Wraith by Lee Tulloch
59. The vampire shrink by Lynda Hilburn
60. Career of evil by Robert Galbraith
61. A prick with a fork by Larissa Dubecki

Memoir
62. Bitter is the new black by Jen Lancaster
63. Blood bones and butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
64. Stephanie’s feasts and stories by Stephanie Alexander
65. The devil’s picnic by Taras Grescoe
66. Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
67. Cyndi Lauper: A memoir by Cyndi Lauper
68. Weird Sister by Kate Pullinger
69. The anti cool girl by Rosie Waterland

Other reading
70 + 71. Divergent series (2 books) – Insurgent & Allegiant
72-83 Stackhouse series (11 books ) + The Sookie Stackhouse companion
84. Fun home by Alison Bechdel (graphic novel/ memoir)
85. We need new names by Noviolet Bulowayo
86. Pure by Andrew Miller
87. Japanese mythology by Juliet Piggott
88. Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
89. How to be happy by David Burton
90. Go set a watchman by Harper Lee
91. Candy girl by Diablo Cody
92. Rosewater and soda bread by Marsha Mehran
93. Be different by John Elder Robinson
94. Orange is the new black by Piper Kerman


Rose’s 10 favourite books read in 2016 (in no particular order)

  • The Fifth Season – NK Jemisin
  • The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante:
  • My Brilliant Friend
  • The Story of a New Name
  • Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
  • The Story of the Lost Child
  • Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer
  • The Wrath and The Dawn – Renee Ahdieh
  • Murder Must Advertise – Dorothy L Sayers
  • So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed – Jon Ronson
  • The Monogram Murders – Sophie Hannah

Penny’s 10 favourite books read in 2016 (in no particular order)

  • French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon
  • The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
  • Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
  • Shelter by Kara Rosenlund
  • Love x Style x Life by Garance Doré
  • Eat Real Food by David Gillespie
  • Use Your Words by Catherine Deveny
  • Mastery by Robert Greene (this book is a treasure!) 
  • Norweigan Wood by Haruki Murakami

As for Hayley, she loved ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert, ‘Use Your Words’ by Catherine Deveny and ‘Princess Jellyfish’ by Akiko Higashimura in 2016.

Here’s a pic of her 2017 reading challenge:

hayley-book-list

Many of these books were presents given to Hayley in 2016. All of them are titles she really wants to read but hasn’t gotten around to yet. There are 12 of them – so she is aiming to read one book per month.


Do you set ambitious reading goals each year?

Do you aim to read a book a month, or a book a week? Or one book a year? Let us know.

Our Slouch Hat Soldiers on show

Brothers in Arms

They served the same cause,

Fresh-faced boys departed,a new breed of diggers returned,

toughened by violent events.

They knew what was expected of them,

battle savvy,

they backed each other,

fought off insanity with humour,

got the jobs done.

 

They witnessed events

no one should see,

did things they’d rather not talk of,

fought battles

long after they had ended.

And in this chasm of hell

A special breed of mateship grew.

Second World War 1939 – 1945.  Robert John Jarrad, Page 47, Slouch Hat Soldiers Generations at War, an Echoes Downunder publication, 2014.

Robert John Jarrad speaks about his poety at the Tea Tree Gully Library.

Robert John Jarrad speaks about his poety at the Tea Tree Gully Library.

When local retired engineer, military gunner, artist, didgeridoo player and writer Robert John Jarrad launched his first book of poems Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War at the Tea Tree Gully Library in March 2014, there was standing room only.

Accompanied by illustrations from by internationally acclaimed military artist Barry Spicer, Robert’s collection of poignant war poetry focuses on Australians who enlisted when their country called.  Robert based his poems mainly on the powerful stories and images told to him by his nineteen relatives – including his father and grandfathers – who had enlisted and served in World Wars I and II, and in the Vietnam War. As we hear in his poem Brothers in Arms, Robert’s poems give us an insight into the harsh realities of war, but he also describes the mateship between soldiers and how they used humour to cope with their dire situation.

Robert hopes reading his poems may help a new generation of Australians to understand what it was like to go to war and how those who served were prepared to give their lives for their homeland that they loved. Moreover, they came back forever changed by their experiences.

Since the launch of Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War, Robert Jarrad has toured around Australia, speaking to community groups about his book. He has been invited to several Centenary of Anzac events. In 2015, Robert’s poems, selected from his book Slouch Hat Soldiers-Generations at War, were performed at the Australian War Memorial’s ‘Of Words and War’ Anzac Centenary poetry event.

Now Robert’s literary achievement has been honoured once again. Some of his poems will feature prominently in the upcoming Wish me luck – an Anzac Centenary photographic exhibition, which pays tribute to South Australia’s World War II veterans. The exhibition is showing from 9 July to 11 September, in the Flinders University City Gallery, located within the State Library of South Australia on North Terrace.

Vale Clifford Brice

‘Poster boy’ for the Wish Me Luck exhibition, Vale Clifford (Cliff) Bryce sits aside his portrait.

Curated by Sharon Cleary (Veterans SA) and Louise Bagger (AIPP), the Wish me luck Exhibition has grown out a special nationwide project, which began on Anzac Day 2015. The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) photographed Australia’s surviving World War II veterans, many of whom are now in their late nineties.  In South Australia 1050 portraits were taken over a seven month period.

Veterans SA is partnering with AIPP, Flinders University Art Museum and Atkins Photo Lab to present 100 photographic portraits of those who served in the Navy, Army, Airforce and Medical Corps from SA during WWII. Entry is free.  The Flinders University City Gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 11am – 4pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 4pm.

A series of public talks will accompany the ‘Wish me luck’ exhibition.  Come and hear Robert reading from Slouch Hat Soldiers on Sunday 4 September at 2.00pm at the Flinders University City Gallery.   RSVP essential to 08 8207 7055. Copies of Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War, will be available for sale.  Part proceeds of all book sales will benefit Legacy.

Bob Jarrad Wish Slouch Hat SoldiersYou can also borrow Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War through the One Card Network. Search the online catalogue or enquire next time you visit the Library.

Discover more about Robert Jarrad and his acclaimed book Slouch Hat Soldiers.  You can also explore the 100 Years of Anzac website.  Read more about the Wish me luck exhibition and Robert’s poetry reading.

Book launch

 Book cover 7

‘Erteisia: Ultimate Sacrifice’ by Linda Lofts Wiles

Linda Lofts Wiles will launch the first novel of her new science fiction trilogy ‘Ertesia: Ultimate Sacrifice’ at this special event.

 When:  6.30 – 7.30pm, Wednesday 29 June.

Venue:  Relaxed Reading Area, City of Tea Tree Gully Library.

Cost:  Free.   Bookings are essential.

Copies of ‘Erteisia: Ultimate Sacrifice’ will be available for sale and signing by the author. A wine and cheese supper will be served.

About ‘Erteisia: Ultimate Sacrifice’:

T’Ertesia: Ultimate Sacrifice’ is set in a time of war, where humanity struggles against the dominion of an evil tyrant and eventual extermination.

The people of a distant planet Utopia, seek to intervene by sending Sianna’Q, a newly ordained warrior to Earth. She will journey through time and experience the wonders of space, meeting amazing and unique creatures such as the Time Maestro – the keeper of all that is known and forgotten.

Book online, at the Library or by telephone: 8397 7333.

 

A classic comes of age? Ladybird books for grown-ups

Ladybird books logoThe official Ladybird Classics site http://www.vintageladybird.com/ tells us that the printers Wills & Hepworth, from Loughborough in England, registered the Ladybird trade mark in 1915.  During the First World War, the company started publishing wholesome and healthy literature for children, in an attempt to sustain profits during the war years.

However, it was not until the early 1950s, under the guidance of Douglas Keen, that Ladybird Books established itself as a respected and well known children’s brand. Titles covered a vast range of subjects and interests, including British heritage, history, fairy tales, family stories, travel and pirates! The 1950s to the 1970s are often thought of as Ladybird’s ‘golden age’.

Ladybird books for children were affordable and designed to balance education with entertainment – and words with beautiful, detailed pictures. Distinguished commercial artists, rather than children’s book illustrators, created the artwork for each story, which made them unique. The illustrations in each book were full of light and colour and reflected the optimism of people in post-war Britain. Those books focusing on contemporary Britain depicted a utopian lifestyle, with happy nuclear families spending time together and a society full of new technology and modern conveniences

Now authors J.A. Hazeley and J.P. Morris have created a range of Ladybird books written specifically for adults. Full of tongue-in-cheek humour, Ladybird Books for Grown Ups are neither wholesome nor healthy!

The HangoverThey carry a similar premise to the original children’s books. “This delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books that have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them.” Clear, large script, which is easy for children who are learning to read, is ‘thoughtfully’ placed opposite original vintage illustrations, in the style of the classic editions.  These literary devices are designed so that grown-ups will think that they have taught themsleves to cope!

Much of the humour is achieved by the matter of fact, unemotional nature of the text and its placement alongside a sometimes contradictory, or exaggerated illustration. Quintessentially British and cleverly written, you can hear a voice in your head like somebody reading to children about issues relevant to adults, “What a confusing world it can seem with a hangover. Sit as still as you can. Do not attempt to make any decisions. Look out of the window. Can you recognise simple shapes or colours? Is there a moon or a sun in the sky? What sort of a name might you have? Where might there be bacon?” The Hangover, page 12.

402261-MumOne of my favourite excerpts comes from ‘How it works’ The Mum, page 42, “When she was single, Debbie had nightmares about being left alone and unwanted. For the last three years, someone has called for her every two minutes and watched her every time she has taken a bath or sat on the toilet. Debbie now dreams of being left alone and unwanted, even for just a few minutes”.

 

DatingDating is about everyone’s search to find a partner in life.  This little book will help you to smile and realise that you are not the only one experiencing bad dates, with totally unsuitable people.  Perhaps after reading it you to never look at romance in quite the same way!  On page 46 of Dating, a woman is being served at the counter of a 1950s post office,  “Judith is breaking up with Tony.  She knows a text message can be impersonal so she has come to her local Post Office.  The lady at the counter checks Judith’s envelope is sealed.  If any of the faeces leaks out, the Post Office is not obliged to carry it.  Judith sends her package by recorded delivery.  She can make sure it has reached Tony and know she is single again.”

The ShThe-Sheded explores men’s primal need to have their own space, or rather how use their beloved man cave to escape from family and responsibility, at any given opportunity.

 

 

The Mid Life CrisisThe Mid-Life Crisis makes us laugh by talking about the funny things we do in middle age to try and keep up with the times, relive our youth or just make ourselves feel better about growing older. The book starts with “When we are young, we all dream of doing something wonderful and exciting with our lives. What will we be? A cosmonaut? A detective? A tommy gunner? A groin surgeon? Anything is possible. And then, one day, it isn’t.” The facing page features old fashioned style illustrations of an American astronaut, a deep sea diver, army troops heading into battle and a medical team performing surgery. Where did all that time go?

o-THE-HIPSTER-570

The Hipster uses ridiculous text to make fun of affluent, trendy bearded men and pretentious women.

Other titles which are available in the Ladybird books for grown ups series are Mindfulness, How it works’ : The Wife and  ‘How it works’ : The Husband.   You can borrow Ladybird books for grown ups through the One Card Network. Reserve them online or enquire at the Library.

Thank you for another great summer reading club!

With Summer Reading Club activities now all wrapped up for 2015, it’s time to reflect on the fun we had this summer at the Tea Tree Gully Library.

The Summer Reading Club is held every year and aims to promote a love of reading by encouraging young people and their families to visit the library and discover great authors and illustrators. This year’s theme was ‘Choose your own adventure.’

cropped-summer-reading-club1.jpg

During the school holidays, all participants completed a booklet filled with fun activities requiring them to demonstrate their literacy skills and creativity. They also submitted reading logs and reviews on some of the books they read.

Everyone who participated in the Summer Reading Club received a participation pack that included bookmarks, tattoos, stickers, wrist bands and an invitation to our finale party. All participants were also registered in a  national draw to win  iPods and other great prizes.

Overall we received 180 reading logs and 28 book reviews – giving us a grand total of 1828 books read! The Tea Tree Gully Library’s Children’s and Youth Team found it difficult to decide on a favourite book review, due to the high quality of entries, but in the end we awarded it to the review written by 16 year old Sophie T.

Read Sophie Trenholm’s book review

Participants who submitted the most reading logs or outstanding book reviews were then invited to join the Children’s and Youth Team on a shopping trip to Pegi Williams Book Shop. Families received a $25 gift voucher to help select items for our Library collection, and to recognise their outstanding achievements.

Pegi Williams book shop

Prize winners shopping for new books at the Pegi Williams Book Shop in Walkerville

Pegi Williams

Browsing the aisles – so many books to choose from

At the end of the Summer Reading Club we invited all participants and their families to a finale party at the Library. We were entertained by Professor Flint and his T-Rex adventure; Mr Nifty the twisted balloon performer; face painting, games, self guided craft, door prizes and our energy levels were kept up with yummy drinks and nibbles!

Two pandas

Two pandas at the party, Eve and Tom

Dracula

Count Dracula and his evil eyes spooked a few partygoers

Professor Flint

Professor Flint’s T-Rex Adventure, right before he got everyone up and dancing like a dinosaur

Eating

The food table always draws the crowds….although there is no food to be seen in this picture!

Mr Nifty the Balloon Man

Mr Nifty the Balloon Man!

Do you want to be involved in our next Summer Reading Club? Check our website later in the year for the December/January 2015-16 school holiday brochure or head to the Summer Reading Club website for more information.

Where were you when you read that book you liked so much?

When you remember a book you once read and enjoyed, chances are you will also remember where you were when you were reading it.

Regardless of where your book was read – whether it was from a cosy old bed or an exotic beachside hammock – it’s likely you will remember the surrounds as vividly as the book itself.

reading location

Where you read a book says as much about you as the books you read

Is your favourite book one you read while travelling? Perhaps a crime or thriller you once read had its edges taken off because you read it in a peaceful garden, or maybe your jerky daily bus commute made a humourous piece all the more absurd and enjoyable.

Before I travel to a place I’ve never been to before, I like to purchase a new book to read so I can enter a new fictional world at the same time. It’s an incredible experience to enter two worlds at once!

Some write their name in every book they buy. New York journalist and cultural observer Lesley M.M. Blume does that and always records where and when she reads a book.

She has written:

“..for example, Nancy Cunard: Heiress, Muse, Political Idealist was read on my honeymoon; The Sheltering Sky was read while I was travelling through Morocco, D.V. was first read on the beach in Dubai. Taking these books off the shelves and reading the inscriptions takes me back to these evocative journeys..”

If we are what we read, then perhaps it’s time to record where we read, if only to give ourselves the beauty of more memories.

Why reading to your preschooler is important.

Literacy is a vital skill in our society yet it is a struggle for many children and adults. Reading with your children from birth gives them the best start for their brain development, early language and literacy skills.

Preschooler reading

Parents who regularly read to their preschool aged children are laying the foundations for significant cognitive and learning benefits in their child for schooling and education.

Many studies have shown that reading to children before they start school makes a significant difference in how well they learn at school, protects them from later reading problems, supports their vocabulary and cognitive development, and facilitates bonds between adults and children.

 
Parental reading to children at age 4 to 5 has positive and significant effects on reading skills and the cognitive skills of children aged at least up to age 10 or 11. So a small investment of 3 books a day now can make a big different for many years!
But what books should you read to your child?

 
Preschoolers love books that have humour, adventure and characters they relate to. Your preschooler is growing up and stories will help them understand new experiences and feelings. Be guided by their interests. Stories or factual books are all valid reading material. Books are a great way to discover the world. All children love predictable books, books that have a pattern, a predictable plot and lots of repetition.

Preschoolers playing

Preschoolers love patterns, rhythms and predictability.

When you read to your child, run your finger under the words from time to time as you read them. This will teach them that you read from top to bottom and left to right.

What do preschoolers need to know to help them learn to read?
Early literacy skills include:

  • Being able to recognise and name letters of the alphabet.
  • General knowledge about print, for example, which is the front of the book and which is the back, how to turn pages of the book.
  • The ability to identify and manipulate sounds.

Parents may also stimulate reading by their children through

  • buying children’s books
  • taking them to public libraries
  • talking about reading through the day and in everything you do
  • giving the example of reading yourself.

Some tips for when you are reading aloud:

  • Think about the words the author has chosen, and the rhythm, repetition or fun they have built into the story. Try to emphasise those elements.
  • Sound words – make them ‘sound like the sound’ so “clickety-clack” is sharp and short, emphasising the consonants, or ‘whoooosh’ is a long dynamic word.
  • Take your time, ensure each word is separated and easy to understand. Compared to when a child hears a song and learns the rhythm but can’t always distinguish each word, a child being read to should be able to hear each word in the story.
  • Follow cues from the words ie ‘up’ or ‘down’, ‘quiet’ or ‘loud’. Have your voice do the same.
  • Have fun and enjoy the special time with your child!

 

More online resources:

Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life? Guyonne Kalb and Jan C. von Ours, Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series, Working Paper No. 17/13, 2013

http://www.better-beginnings.com.au/research/research-about-literacy-and-reading#Families as First Teachers

http://www.thelittlebigbookclub.com.au/ages-and-stages/preschoolers

http://www.thelittlebigbookclub.com.au/news/2011/reading-with-preschoolers

www.letsread.com.au/About/Why-Is-Reading-Important