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Creative Writing Workshop

‘Essentials of Fiction’ is a dynamic workshop delivered by Keith Whelan for our Mountains of Stories creative writing workshop series. Saturday 14 October at Katoomba Library, 10am to 3pm.


Keith has extensive experience in teaching and practicing Creative Writing and has authored and co-authored books across various genres. Keith believes that the best fiction can create intense experiences for the reader: it makes people cry and laugh out loud, stay up all night reading, lets them escape their daily routine and live other lives, changes the way they see the world and becomes a part of their memories. He believes that you can learn how to write fiction that does all this. ‘Essentials of Fiction’ puts the tools in your hands.

Ages 16+, $25 book and pay at any Library Branch.


Alison’s Picks October 2017

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All Together Now – Gill Hornby

The Woman on the Stairs – Bernhard Schlink

Theft by Finding: Diaries Volume 1 – David Sedaris

First Person – Richard Flanagan

Mysterium – Boardgame Review

Looking for some gaming inspiration? Here is a review of Mysterium by one of our board game enthusiasts.


I’ve had this board game since Christmas and it is still a total joy to play. A cooperative game for 2-7 players it is part Cluedo and part Dixit (if you haven’t heard of it, do yourself a favour). One player is the ghost while the other players are mediums. The ghost is trying to give the mediums clues to guess who has been murdered, in what location and with what weapon. The clues take the form of vision cards which are dreamlike illustrations with which the mediums work together to figure out which suspect, location or weapon the ghost is pointing them to. There are only a limited number of rounds available before the game is lost to the board.

As a cooperative game, it is great if you usually play (or avoid playing) board games with a bad sport.

Since there is no reading involved it’s great to play with children (suggested for 8+) but is just as enjoyable for adults.

It is also a fascinating exploration of the way each player’s brains work, with something seeming entirely obvious to you is missed by everyone else.



Did you know that Katoomba Library has a variety of board games available to play on the weekends? Our titles include:

Citadels * Monstrous *Adventure Time Love Letter * Backgammon * Playing Cards * Memory Match * Sequence * Beetle * Rummikub * Monopoly * Cadoo * Junior Pictionary * Connect 4 * The Logo Game * Trivial Pursuit * Cranium * Scrabble * Ortuga (by local game designer) * Animalacious (by local game designer)

Come and join the fun, and don’t forget to look out for our next special games day, where staff will be hand to help get the games going, and the choices get even greater!



Kids – Learn Illustration from A True Professional!

Cheryl Orsini

Kids! A unique school holidays opportunity – learn illustration tips from a true professional! Cheryl Orsini will be holding two workshops at Katoomba Library on Friday 6th October – she’s one of Australia’s top children’s illustrators and, in these fast-paced, funny and highly interactive workshops, she’ll teach kids to create their own storylines and storybook characters. All materials are provided but children can choose to bring their own sketchbook.

7 – 10 years 10.30am to 11.30am, and 11 – 14 years 12noon to 1.00pm. $10 per child, book and pay at any Library branch.

Librarian’s Choice – September

Have you ever asked your librarian for a book recommendation? Well here are the top 10 favourite books for August as voted by librarians across Australia on the Librarians’s Choice website.

1. The Choke by Sofie Laguna

Abandoned by her mother and only occasionally visited by her secretive father, Justine is raised by her pop, a man tormented by visions of the Burma Railway. Justine finds sanctuary in Pop’s chooks and The Choke, where the banks of the Murray River are so narrow it seems they might touch – a place of staggering natural beauty. But the river can’t protect Justine from danger. Her father is a criminal, and the world he exposes her to can be lethal.
Justine is overlooked and underestimated, a shy and often silent observer of her chaotic world. She learns that she has to make sense of it on her own. She has to find ways to survive so much neglect. She must hang on to friendship when it comes, she must hide when she has to, and ultimately she must fight back.

2. The History of Bees by Maja Lunde

In the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this dazzling and ambitious literary debut follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees—and to their children and one another—against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.

3. City of Crows by Chris Womersley

A woman’s heart contains all things. Her heart is tender and loving, but it has other elements. It contains fire and intrigue and mighty storms. Shipwreck and all that has ever happened in the world. Murder, if need be…

4. The Seagull by Ann Cleeves

A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: John Brace. Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, if she will look out for his daughter and grandchildren. He tells her where Marshall is buried, but when a search team investigates, officers find not one skeleton, but two.

5. Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both.

6. Take Three Girls (Young Adult) by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell & Fiona Wood

When St Hilda’s establishes a Year 10 Wellness Program in response to the era of cyber-bullying, three girls are thrown together and an unlikely friendship is sparked. One thing they have in common: each is targeted by PSST, a site devoted to gossip that must have a source within St Hilda’s. Who can you trust when rumour is the new truth?

7. The Museum of Words by Georgia Blain

In late 2015, Georgia Blain was diagnosed with a tumour sitting right in the language centre of her brain. Prior to this, Georgia’s only warning had been a niggling sense that her speech was slightly awry. She ignored it, and on a bright spring day, as she was mowing the lawn, she collapsed on a bed ofblossoms, blood frothing at her mouth.

8. Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer

Life was about living, experiencing and emotions. The good and the bad. You had to laugh to cry. You had to love to hurt. You had to jump to fall or fly.

9. A New England Affair by Steven Carroll

The latest, immensely moving novel of lost love and missed moments from Steven Carroll, one of Australia’s greatest writers, multi-award winner of the Miles Franklin Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Prime Minister’s Literary Award ‘Why do some nights feels as though they were always waiting to happen?

10. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.
In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America.

Library love letters

A small hand passed a small note across the counter at Blaxland Library. Could there be any better advice for those feeling the pains of boredom?

Library love letters

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