Monthly Archives: December 2012

What Library Borrowers were Reading End of the National Year Round Up

Top 20 reads 2012So yesterday we saw What the Library staff have been reading and enjoying in this National Year of Reading. But what about you, dear Borrowers? What were you reading?

These are the top 20 books you read in 2012:

  1. The affair by Lee Child
  2. Caleb’s crossing : a novel by Geraldine Brooks
  3. All that I am : a novel by Anna Funder
  4. Death comes to Pemberley by P D James
  5. Save power kit : find out where you use energy in your home and how you can take simple actions to save power and money
  6. The help by Kathryn Stockett
  7. The sense of an ending by Julian Barnes
  8. Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy
  9. Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville
  10. Believing the lie by Elizabeth George
  11. Lola’s secret by Monica McInerney
  12. The impossible dead by Ian Rankin
  13. The happiest refugee : the extraordinary true story of a boy’s journey from starvation at sea to becoming one of Australia’s best-loved comedians by Anh Do
  14. Flash and bones by Kathy Reichs
  15. This body of death : a novel by Elizabeth George
  16. Betrayal
  17. The reversal by Michael Connelly
  18. The girl with the dragon tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  19. Autumn Laing by Alex Miller
  20. V is for vengeance by Sue Grafton

What do you think? Any surprises there?

These are the top 20 authors you read in 2012 :

  1. James Patterson
  2. Alexander Maccall Smith
  3. Nora Roberts
  4. Kerry Greenwood
  5. Michael Connelly
  6. Clive Cussler
  7. Danielle Steel
  8. Janet Evanovich
  9. Lee Child
  10. JD Robb
  11. Ruth Rendell
  12. Patricia Cornwell
  13. David Baldacci
  14. MC Beaton
  15. Anne Perry (by the number of works by this author I see coming over the circulation desk, I thought she’d rate higher)
  16. Jeffery Deaver
  17. John Grisham
  18. Agatha Christie
  19. Maeve Binchy
  20. Harlan Coben

What Library Staff are Reading End of the National Year Round Up

books-leftimageTaking inspiration from The Broke and the Bookish blog, I asked your Library staff some tough End of the National Year of Reading 2012 questions. I’ve collated their answers for you here.

1. The book I’m currently reading:

  • A Family Romance by John Lanchester – For book group we have to read a biography. This one has more interesting family secrets than most.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. This is one I had to relinquish months ago to a hold, and am finally picking up again.
  • Spook Country (Blue Ant, #2) – William Gibson
  • The street sweeper by Elliott Perlman. I am thoroughly enjoying it and learning a lot along the way.
  • The Shifting Fog by Kate Morton
  • Duchess of Aquitaine: a novel of Eleanor – Margaret Ball
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  • The Mesmerist’s Apprentice by L. M. Jackson. I love those nineteenth century, dark historical novels!
  • The Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison – what a discovery!
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2. The last book I finished:  

  • A Perfectly Good Man by Patrick Gale – Currently doing the rounds at Library HQ.
  • Whatever You Do, Don’t Run by Peter Allison. A collection of amusing anecdotes from an Australian safari guide working in Botswana. Who knew Honey Badgers were so scary?
  • You Said What?: Lies and Propaganda Throughout History – Bill Fawcett
  • The best exotic Marigold Hotel – I read this first, then watched the DVD. The book was really fabulous!!!!! I have to say, that the movie was a lovely little movie if, (and only if) you have not read the book.  The book and the movie were so different that they only seemed to have the basic setting and some of the names of the characters in common.  A very disappointing movie.
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Watching the climbers on the mountain – Alex Miller
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  • Seven Bones: Two Wives, Two Violent Murders, a Fight for Justice by Peter Seymore and Jason Foster
  • I can’t remember, but it was probably Bleak House by Dickens or Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks. The latter was more satisfying than A Year of Wonder in terms of character development.
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – was a good read once I got into it – a bit like Twilight for adults

3. The next book I want to read:

  • Stasiland by Anna Funder or The Fishing Fleets when it comes back to me. I started reading it but had to give it back because it had Holds on it.
  • Monkey Grip by Helen Garner. This is one of those titles that I am familiar with but have never bothered to read, so it’s probably about time!
  • Zero History (Blue Ant, #3) – William Gibson
  • Not sure. I have  few lined up to read but not sure which one I will tackle next.  Maybe something light and fluffy.
  • The Twelve by Justin Cronin
  • Like a House on Fire – Cate Kennedy
  • Zoo Time by Howard Jacobson
  • I’ve already read How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, but have heard it’s amazing to hear the audiobook, read by the author. So in holidays I want to treat myself and download the audio version.
  • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  • The new Marian Keyes

4. The last book I bought:

  • Letters from Hamnavoe by George Mackay Brown
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville. One dollar at a garage sale!
  • Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
  • None – I don’t buy books – I borrow them from the library. (Take note dear Reader!)
  • Seeing the Centre: the Art of Albert Namatjira by Alison French
  • Burnished: Burnside Life Stories – edited by Kate Shayler
  • Let’s Propagate! A Plant Propagation Manual for Australia by Angus Stewart
  • The Great American Novel by Keith Malley
  • A cookbook at a second hand sale
  • Local Heroes – An insiders Guide to the Blue Mountains (for my Dad for Christmas)

5. The last book I was given:

  • Stasiland by Anna Funder – only as a loan from a book group friend.
  • The Ever So Strange Animal Almanac: a Compendium and Bestiary of the Unusual and Bizarre by Sir Pilkington Smythe
  • Go the f*ck to sleep – Adam Mansbach
  • When we have wings by Claire Corbett
  • Caleb’s Crossing – Geraldine Brooks
  • a book on growing clematis – can’t remember the title…
  • Graphic novel From Hell, by writer Alan Moore and artist Eddie Campbell. A birthday present for an amateur Ripperologist.   
  • The Reader by Bernard Schlink  Better than the movie, and the movie was good!
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

6. My favourite book of 2012 :

  • Looking back on LibraryThing,  I gave 5 out of 5 to Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, AA Gill is Further Away : Helping with Enquiries by AA Gill, The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman, Ransom by David Malouf and Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin.
  • I can’t decide between When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman and The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood. Wood’s story is in the same vain as Donna Tartt’s A Secret History, which is one of my favourite books from high school reading, but I did enjoy Winman’s writing style.
  • This is hard! But I think it may be Alison Bechdel’s beautiful and heartbreaking graphic novel, Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama. 
  • I gave 5/5 to Neuromancer by William Gibson, The Walking Dead graphic novels, SuperFreakonomics and Maus by Art Spiegelman.
  • The boy in the striped pyjamas. – the most powerful book I have ever read (and once again, so much better than the movie)
  • I need to keep better records! Maybe Winter of the World by Ken Follett, that was definitely the book I was most looking forward to this year and it didn’t disappoint!
  • No no, I can’t nominate one. This is the short list: Foal’s bread – Gillian Mears; Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert; Mateship with Birds – Carrie Tiffany
  • 1Q84 by by Haruki Murakami
  • We have to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver. “Favourite” is not quite the word, but it moved into so many areas of parenthood and society, and was so brilliantly written – it kept me thinking for ages.
  • Marching Powder by Rusty Young
  • Buying a Piece of Paris by Ellie Nielsen
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  • Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights by Jillian Schedneck
  • The Idea of Home by John Hughes  

What a Year! 2012, The National Year of Reading

flowerlogowithwriting2012 has been a busy year for Library staff. With 2012 having been designated the National Year of Reading we had the impetus to really work hard on bringing you more events than ever before. This year saw the introduction of several events that will continue on a regular basis – Listen In, Reading Hour and Poetry Under the Stars for example as well as more author talks.  We look forward to bringing you these and more next year.

Fun with Books

Bookmans Does Book Dominoes

Created by Bookmans Entertainment Exchange (Arizona) for Ignite Phoenix  8


Wonder how long that took to set up?

What Library Staff are Reading . . .

  • Seven Bones: Two Wives, Two Violent Murders, a Fight for Justice by Peter Seymore and Jason Foster – I wanted to read this before the author talks at Blaxland Library this month. This is the true story of a fight for justice, written by the detective who had been on this Western Sydney murder case and local author Jason Foster. 

Graphic Novels:

  • Dame Darcy’s Meat Cake by Dame Darcy – a compilation of noir, twisted, funny, stream-of-consciousness comics. I love the gothic graphics, inspired by decorative Victorian imagery. 
  • Tyranny by Lesley Fairfield – a semi-autobiographical exploration of overcoming an eating disorder, executed with insight and skill. A brave work.
  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel – after enjoying Bechdel’s Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama, which was done so beautifully, I was very excited to read this graphic novel. And it didn’t disappoint; this cleverly layered autobiographic novel looks deeply and honestly at the author’s troubled relationship with her father, all with a sense of humour.   
  • Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss – How to heal your chakras – got to be a good thing.
  • Mad men, bad girls and the guerilla knitters institute by Maggie Groff – Oh, I so wanted this to be funny – the title is great!  For a storyline plot: It was a bit of a ho hum read but nice characters and easy on the eyes (and brain).
  • Lola’s Secret by Monica McInerny – I love, love Love Monica McInerny and this one did not disappoint:


  • A Perfectly Good Man by Patrick Gale
  • Two Brothers by Ben Elton
  • The Seat in the Hall Stand by Pamela Horne – a ghost story for children by a local author
  • Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
  • Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. This is one I had to relinquish months ago to a hold, and am finally picking up again.
  • Troubled Waters: the Changing Fortunes of Whales and Dolphins by Sarah Lazarus
  • Whatever You Do, Don’t Run by Peter Allison
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – I am a big fan of this author
  • Frankie and Yen magazines
  • The street sweeper by Elliott Perlman – I am thoroughly enjoying it and learning a lot along the way.
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Shifting Fog by Kate Morton
  • The Lighthouse by Alison Moore
  • Watching the climbers on the mountain by Alex Miller
  • Duchess of Aquitaine: a novel of Eleanor by Margaret Ball
  • Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks – I found this more engrossing than A Year of Wonders, I think because she portrayed the inner conflicts of the main female character very effectively. Perhaps Geraldine Brooks had less of a story from history to be faithful to so she had more freedom and used her imagination more.
  • Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerrilla Knitters Institute by Maggie Groff – Set in Byron Bay, loving it so far.
  • Water like a Stone by Deborah Crombie – I’ve read a few of these Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mysteries and really enjoy them.
  • Spook Country (Blue Ant, #2) by William Gibson
  • The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard – A very slow read, I have enjoyed a few of his other books and since this is a classic i thought i would give it a go. A bit too experimental for my tastes. It was an annotated edition and the annotations is what I found to be the most interesting part of the book.
  • Left Behind and Loving it: A Cheeky Look at the End Times by D. Mark Davis -A great book to recommend to someone who is confused or distressed about millennialism type Christian thinking. I read several others last month but can’t recall full titles! I’ll try to be more diligent keeping a record in 2013
  • Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger – When I was growing up there were two kinds of people, those who liked Stallone films and those who liked Schwarzenegger films. I was the latter which made reading this book a neccessity. From his rise in the world of bodybuilding, to his film career and then into politics I found the whole book a great read. A shrewd business man who I never thought about as a young man. You can see why his career took off when those of other action heroes never did. Gave me a whole new perspective on him. It presents itself as a warts and all tale, something that could never have come out while he was a politician. And while it does have lots of warts I can’t help but think there may have been some left out.
  • Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson – A collection of essays from the past 20 years. The longest being a piece on undersea cabling which I surprisingly found fascinating. Just like in his fiction Stephenson has the ability to make the most ordinary and everyday technology very interesting.
  • The Mongoliad: Book Two (Foreworld, #2) by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and friends – I gave the first book of this series a very bad review and after reading this second book I think I know why I didn’t enjoy it so much. It is the story of some crusaders that go on a mission to kill Genghis Khan’s son who is now the leader of the Mongolian empire. The first book I read a chapter a night before bed and it took me a few weeks, this one I read in a few days on the train and the fast-paced read definitely helped. I enjoyed it a lot more and look forward to the next volume.
  • Life After God by Douglas Coupland
  • You Said What?: Lies and Propaganda Throughout History by Bill Fawcett
  • Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution by Doug Fine
  • Pattern Recognition (Blue Ant, #1) by William Gibson
  • Delete This at Your Peril: One Man’s Hilarious Exchanges with Internet Spammers by Bob Servant
  • Crystal Express by Bruce Sterling
  • Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Crosses the Line by Sudhir Venkatesh
  • Snapshots in History’s Glare by Gore Vidal

Graphic Novels

  • The Boys Volume 12: The Bloody Doors Off (The Boys, #12) – Garth Ennis
  • The Boys, Vol. 11: Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men – Garth Ennis
  • The Boys, Vol. 10: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker (The Boys, #10) – Garth Ennis – The final three volumes of this series. There have been many films, TV and comics about what superheroes may be like in the real world recently and this is easily my favourite. The heroes are perfect in the public eye but behind the scenes they are depraved megalomaniacal nutcases. Can’t wait for the movie.  
  • The Sandman: Endless Nights – Neil Gaiman
  • City of Glass – Paul Karasik
  • I Kill Giants – Joe Kelly
  • Explorer: The Mystery Boxes – Kazu Kibuishi
  • Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War – Randy Stradley

Alison’s Picks – December 2012

Alison McQueen : The Secret Children

Cynthia Ozick : Foreign Bodies

Sue Woolfe : The Oldest Song in the World

 John Banville : Ancient Light

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