Monthly Archives: November 2013

Springwood Library closure

Library Closed (3)

Springwood Library will be closed on Wednesday 4 December, due to demolition work.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

All other branches remain open their usual hours.

Please let others know.


The Bookmans Tale by Charlie Lovett


The Bookmans Tale by Charlie Lovett

Available on the Adult Fiction shelves at LOVETT

Plot: “A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s search–through time andthe works of Shakespeare–for his lost love.Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman’s Tale is aformer bookseller’s sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature’s mosttantalising mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt’s Possession.Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn’t sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Ninemonths earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The youngantiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping torediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening aneighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amandatumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn’t really her. The watercolour is clearly Victorian. Yetthe resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins.As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare’s time, Petercommunes with Amanda’s spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book thatmight definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.”

Review : A fascinating book which tells about how books are bound, special book rooms and a murder. I give it 9 and a half out of 10.

Reviewed by : Lynne

Get your technology solutions @ Tech Connect


Have you heard about the new technology group Tech Connect at Katoomba Library?

Tech Connect meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 5pm-6.30pm to share answers about all things digital.

Our next meeting is in a week, on Wednesday 4 December, 2013.

This club is for you, whether you are a beginner wanting to learn how to use email, or a pro with a new digital device which you want to learn more about, or anything in between!

Come along with your own device (smartphone, e-reader, laptop or tablet) and use the free Wifi, or alternatively you can use the library computers. All tech queries, big or small, will be addressed. Register your name and tech issue at any library branch so that we can provide the answers you need.

Call Katoomba Library on 4780 5750 for more information or to book a spot at our next meeting.

Inky Award winners 2013 announced

The winners of the 2013 Inky Awards, presented by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria, have been announced.

The Inky Awards recognise local and international fiction, poetry, anthologies and graphic novels written for young adults.

File 17763

(This is for an Australian book)

My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg

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The shortlist for the Gold Inky Award included :

Girl Defective by Simmone Howell

My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg

Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane & Marion Roberts

Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil

Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield

Inkys gold 2013

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(For international books)

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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The shortlist for the Silver Inky Award included :

The Diviners by Libba Bray

See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summer

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

silver inkys 2013

You can read reviews of the shortlisted books here and to see the titles longlisted for this year’s awards, click here.

What Library Staff are Reading – November 2013

How did you distract yourself from the heat and fire?

  • I carried a copy of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in my backpack while I was out on the big red truck with my bridgade but didn’t get many pages read. It was good to escape to minus 30C from time to time though!
  • I also read Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid – a body is cast up on a Yorkshire moor after a storm. He’s not recently dead. Is it the body of Fletcher Christian? Did Christian escape from Pitcairn and make it back to England to find succour with his old friend William Wordsworth? An intriguing blend of alternative history and modern detective work.
  • How Animals Grieve by Barbara J King – full of anecdotes that prove that animals, even humble ones, do have feelings.
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – a book group read that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was an absurd escape from the bush fires which were going on as I read it and the meeting was a good debrief for my friends and I.
  • Crown of Thistles : the fatal inheritance of Mary Queen of Scots by Linda Porter – more than just Mary. This book traces the tensions that existed between the Scottish Stuart and EnglishTudor royal families from James IV and Henry VII to the disastrous end with Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots.
  • Then I read, for the second time, Eliot Perlman’s The Street Sweeper – a tangle of stories about the Holocaust and American Civil Rights. Another book group read. It was well recieved by the group, despite the comment you’ll find later in this post.
  • The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry – both funny and instructive, a pleasure to read.
  • Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant – great read, had me riveted.
  • Margaret River by Frances Andrijich- beautiful photography of the Margaret River area. Made me want to visit!
  • Destination Cambodia by Walter Mason- who is visiting Katoomba Library next Sat 16 November. Cheeky and enjoyable. Listen here to him being interviewed for Listeners in the Mist.
  • Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner – amazing! New favourite book. Superb characters.
  • Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner – great read, excellent characters.
  • Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale – interesting format, kept thinking about the story for days afterwards.
  • The Dark Man: Australia’s first serial killer by Jason K. Foster – great true crime read, set in the Blue Mountains. Jason will be speaking at Blaxland Library on Saturday 23 November.
  • The Ten, make that nine, habits of very organised people. Make that ten by Steve Martin – loved it. This is a book recording funny tweets by and to Steve Martin. Very good for a laugh.
  • Travels with My Hat by Christine Osborne – more armchair travel, this is the story of Christine’s travels as a photo-journalist in the Middle East.
  • And currently reading Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.
  • The Dunbar Case by Peter Corris – I was attracted to this title because while I was at Uni,  I did a Art History assignment on gravestone and funereal art in St Stephen’s Cemetery in Newtown.  As part of this, I became very familiar with the Dunbar memorial and surrounding burials from this momentous shipwreck in Sydney Harbour.  I was interested to see how this could be woven into a modern day fictional mystery….. Even though the main character in the story is part of a series, I managed to pick up the story with no previous knowledge.  Corris gave just enough background to the reader on the character and previous adventures to make the story readable and actually want me to explore the character futher.  For more information:
  • Sylvia by Bryce Courtenay – – Epic saga by the storyteller.  Spans medieval Germany and ventures a little bit into Italy.  Great characters and a good all round story.
  • I haven’t been able to read any novels (the ones above were talking books) – always happens when I am super-busy (stressed) at work.  So I have read the latest Marie-Claire magazines and know all about how to make my hair shinier for summer, why Pink is such an awesome Singer and Mom, Why Japan’s matchmakers swear by blood-type dating, why Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t care what people think of her, how Jill Meaghers murder changed the life of women in Australia, and what real life is like for families in Japan two years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  I can recommend Marie-Claires them for a good mix of fluff and information.  I am looking forward to reading December’s issue to learn all about Katy Perry’s new love! (not really).
  • I finally gave in to the hype and joined the queue to read a couple of the high demand library titles – and it was worth it.
  • Burial Rites – Wow! What a tale! What a writer! She writes her characters so carefully and beautifully you feel you’ve really got to know them. But she also captures the harsh Icelandic landscape so well that it’s almost like being there. A fascinating tale of a time and place so different to our own – it is a journey well worth the taking.
  • The Rosie Project – also well worth the journey, but a totally different journey. Again this author has created fabulous characters that you really grow to care about, with beautiful and positive insights into the world of Asperger’s syndrome. It is a delightful, amusing and gentle tale that will make you smile all the way through.
  • Coal Creek, by Alex Miller. Miller returns to the country he loves in Central Queensland, for this one. Young Bobby Blue was raised there, near Mt Hay, working with his father and friend Ben as a stockman/rouseabout, and liking it well enough. But after his father’s death an opportunity comes up for him to work with the newly appointed constable at Mt Hay, and he takes it. It proves to be a fateful decision. The first-person storytelling here is superb, the characters and vernacular style convincing, authentic; the language intense and poetic. Miller, in my view, stands alongside Tim Winton as a preeminent Australian novelist.
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce. I suppose the idea of a pilgrimage is that it takes us out of our present life towards a state of enlightenment. So it was with Harold Fry, whose life in the south of England with his wife Maureen was a fruit withering on the vine. A tragedy years ago had left them both bereft of the vitality that fuels a good life. One day Harold sets off down the street to post a letter – and keeps walking. He takes a journey. It’s a fine hook for a story, and being a walker myself I was riveted, and reminded of that very early novel, Pilgrim’s Progress. There’s hard, painful experience here – but also a sorting-through, a clearing of dross, and forgiveness. Courageous writing.
  • I wallowed in some escapist fiction.
  • The French promise by Fiona McIntosh which jumped from WW2 incarceration under the Germans  and then lavender farming in Tasmania. I was excited to read of a small provincial village called Saignon, in which I stayed for a lovely week’s rental amongst the vineyards, as part of the storyline. A good read.
  • Venetian song by Kay Nolte Smith, another travel destination wallow I’m afraid and this is often the theme in my reading choices. A historical novel set in 16th century Venice detailing the romance and drama of a travelling band of performers. Great to relive the Venetian destination and some of it’s interesting history.
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson- surprisingly readable.
  • Abide with me  by Elizabeth Strout as well as Aunts aren’t gentleman by P.G Wodehouse.
  • Eliot Perlman  The Street sweeper – I really don’t want to read anything more about the holocaust.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the rings trilogy – I needed my biannual fix.  The first volume of my set is now falling apart (I know what to ask for for Christmas).
  • My airport novel for the recent trip was Pompeii by Robert Harris, a kind of vulcanological, historical, thriller and good fun!  “All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman empire’s richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. The world’s largest navy lies peacefully at anchor in Misenum. The tourists are spending their money in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum, and Pompeii.

    But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples.

    Attilius—decent, practical, and incorruptible—promises Pliny, the famous scholar who commands the navy, that he can repair the aqueduct before the reservoir runs dry. His plan is to travel to Pompeii and put together an expedition, then head out to the place where he believes the fault lies. But Pompeii proves to be a corrupt and violent town, and Attilius soon discovers that there are powerful forces at work—both natural and man-made—threatening to destroy him.…”

    It was interesting in that I recently photographed a grave relief belonging to one of the sailors who probably sailed with Pliny on the fateful voyage described in the book, in which Pliny utters the  immortal words, Fortes fortuna juvat – ‘(the goddess) Fortuna favours the brave’. It didn’t help. Overweight and in poor health, Pliny died on the beach, overcome by volcanic fumes –

Springwood Civic Centre Upgrade


Things are changing almost daily in and around the Springwood Civic Centre.  The old Neighbourhood Centre and theatre complex are all but skeletons.

We thought you ought to know :

  • The Library & Council Customer Service Counter will remain open, as normal, as much as possible during construction of the new Springwood facilities but it may be that they will close at short notice occasionally.
  • Signs on the Library door will inform people of when the Library & Council Customer Service Desk will re-open.
  • Keep up to date by “Liking” the Library Facebook page.
  • When the Library is closed the After Hours Return Bin will be open.
  • Renewals can be made over the phone by ringing Springwood Library on 4723 5040 or any of the other Library Branches.
  • Noise, dust and vibration from demolition equipment, drills, large plant and other machinery.
  • Changes to the building entrance and paths leading to the Library.
  • Car parking – access to the car park behind the Library is now via the lane to the east of the Library. This is a one way, shared pedestrian/vehicle lane so please take care when
    using the lane and stay within the 10 km/h speed limit.
  • Be extra vigilant at the entry to the lane where the Disabled Parking is located, allow sufficient space for those with limited mobility to exit their vehicles safely.
  • Please do not block the lane with ‘quick drop offs’.
  • There may be shortage of parking at peak times.
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