December 17, 2010

A little landscaping for Christmas?

The most popular magazine for the entire year is ....(drumroll please)...


Did you know that you can reserve magazines? So if you want to catch up on that issue you missed, or someone else has the latest, you can make sure you're the next in line!

December 15, 2010

Can Your Fines! Library Fines Amnesty

Running from Tuesday the 4th of January to the 29th, Camden Council Library Services will be holding their annual fines amnesty.

This is a great opportunity to clear any outstanding overdue library fines. Just return your overdue items along with an item of non-perishable food, including packages or canned goods to Camden or Narellan branches.

These donations will be distributed to local young adults by Vinnies Youth Housing Macarthur.

Questions? For more information please contact Camden Council Library Services:

Camden Ph: 46457951
Narellan Ph: 46455039

December 06, 2010

Do you want to win a great prize? Join our summer reading program!

Would you like the chance to win a pass to the Zoo? Perhaps you'd like to win a double pass to climb the Harbour Bridge? Or maybe a book or movie voucher is more your thing? These and other great prizes are up for grabs in Camden Libraries "Camden Reads: Summer reading program" Open to all ages, all you need to do to enter is come to Camden or Narellan Library and fill in a registration form then get reading. When you've read some books come to the library and we'll give you a ticket for every book you've read, so the more you read the more tickets you'll have in the draw. This is something the whole family can participate in this summer and it's not only books that can give you a chance of winning - talking books and magazines count to! So come and register and have a great summer reading.

November 24, 2010

A Big Little Life - by Dean Koontz

I knew I needed to read this biography when I read a review of it in a magazine. The book, which focuses on Author Dean Koontz's life after he adopts a former assistance dog called Trixie, was described as an uplifting book and very different to Koontz's fictional works. I haven't read many of his novels, but I always find it interesting when an artist of any kind produces multiple works of different tones. For the most part, I wasn't disappointed. A Big Little Life takes you through Trixie's life and the effect she has on the Koontz household, with particular emphasis on the inspiration she becomes for Dean's writing. Infact, the book probably tells us as much about Dean Koontz as it does about Trixie. Partly humorous, partly serious, and very philosophical about dogs and life in general, the only flaw I could see was that as the work was written thematically it was sometimes difficult to keep track of the order of events. All-in-all this was an interesting book filled wonder and instances that demonstrate how important animals are to the humans that care for them.

This book is available from Camden and Narellan Libraries.


November 09, 2010

Because of Winn-Dixie: a treat for the whole family

Many films claim to be something the whole family can enjoy but in truth really only appeal to a portion of your family. This IS a film that is multigenerational. Because of Winn-Dixie is a film based on the book of the same title by Kate DiCamillo and follows the story of a lonely misfit named Opal and her new dog Winn-Dixie (named after the supermarket she finds him in). It is with Winn-Dixie's friendship that Opal is able to heal her relationship with her father, ask questions about her mother and get to know other isolated and eccentric individuals in the town.

This film has many layers and can be enjoyed as a simple story about a girl and her dog. For those who want more, it's a story about family, forgiveness, acceptance, and the power of friendship. Both the dvd and book are available from Camden or Narellan Libraries.


September 18, 2010

I don't know about the people of Chester's Mill, but I really enjoyed my time Under the Dome

I decided to read this book after being told it was "classic Stephen King, back to his original greatness" - and I wasn't disappointed. I loved his early books, Salem's Lot, Carrie, The Dead Zone, Pet Cemetary, Different Seasons... the list goes on. But somewhere along the way I stopped reading King, and now after the pleasure of Under the Dome I can't imagine why. It reminded me why I loved his books so much. He has an effortless talent of drawing you into his fictionalised small towns in Maine, making you feel like you've known the characters all your life and despite all the strange things going on there, you kinda wish you lived there too. From the very beginning when the mysterious invisible 'dome' comes down, isolating the town of Chester's Mill from the rest of the world, you're hooked, you're trapped there too, rooting for the good guys, booing the bad guys and struggling to figure the whole thing out. His characterisation is delightful, and the richness of these 'small town folks' stuck in this crazy situation carries the story along at a great pace. At around 1000 pages it's fair to call the book 'epic', but it feels far shorter than that, I guess because time flies when you're having a great time.

Looking for a great page-turning escape? This could be the book for you.


September 03, 2010

Get Reading: 50 Books You Can't Put Down

Come to the Library in September and get your free guide to "50 Books You Can't Put Down". It contains something for everyone with contemporary Australian and international great-reads like:

Still Alice (Lisa Genova)

Tickled Onions (Morris Gleitzman)

Truth (Peter Temple)

Marked/ House of Night Series (PC Cast & Kristin Cast)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Steig Larsson)

So come into the Library, collect your free guide and borrow a copy of some of these titles today!

August 27, 2010

Love In The Age Of Drought: a career girl, a cotton farmer and an unlikely romance

Though the relationship between Fiona Higgins and her husband Stuart is the basis of this biography, there are many other issues presented here that will keep the unromantic at heart interested. Following Fiona from her first meeting with Stuart in Sydney through to married life it covers other interesting issues like eco-farming, drought, life on the land, moving to the country as a city girl and trying to fit into a new community. Filled with insight and humour (think frogs hiding in the toilet bowl) this is an eye opening book to a place that not everyone will have the opportunity to experience.

August 20, 2010

Surviving With Wolves - not for the faint hearted!

Imagine this: You're seven years old; your Jewish parents are taken away by the Nazis, and all you know is that they've gone east. You desperately want to find them so you embark on a journey that leads you through Belgium, Germany, Poland, and the Ukraine. On foot.

Impossible right?
The book "Surviving With Wolves" is the account of Misha Defonseca's journey across Europe during World War ll to find her parents. Filled with horror and inspiration, ignorance and understanding, cruelty and love, this is a confronting book about the atrocities one little girl experiences and about the connection and sanctuary she finds with packs of wolves along the way.
For it's inspiration or for it's brutality this book will stay with you long after you've read it.

August 19, 2010

Spring into Spring

It's time to dust off the lawn mower, sharpen up the pruning shears and dig up the pesky weeds that have appeared in the lawn. Spring is here and if your backyard resembles a jungle rather than a garden you may be in need of gardening tips or advice. We have the magazines that will answer your
questions and help transform messy into dressy!
Reserve the latest copy of Burke's Backyard, Gardening
Australia, Organic Gardener, House & Garden or Better
Homes & Gardens today.

July 22, 2010

The Time of My Life - more than your usual Hollywood biography

Narrated in Swayze's voice, The Time of My Life by Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi is an easy read in which Swayze tells of his life, career and marriage with stirring honesty. Swayze reveals himself to be a passionate and driven man who had more talents than his movies revealed. From football to gymnastics to dancing, singing and acting Swayze always strove to be the best and this determination, along with his relationship with his wife, is what kept him going through serious physical injuries and battles with alcohol and depression. This determination is evident throughout the book as right up to the last page he is still passionately declaring that he will continue to fight for his life after his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. Sadly Swayze died shortly after completing the book. Reading the book I was glad that Swayze and Niemi took the time to write it before his death as it would have been a great shame if this amazing story was never written in Swayze's own voice, as it has accurately captured a real piece of him for all time.

You can read the book and check out the DVD North and South, the American civil war drama that shot Swayze to fame, at the library.

July 06, 2010

Can't decide what to read next?

Maybe you're looking for a book on a particular subject or you can't decide what to read next and want some inspiration. Perhaps the kids have a assignment and have been told to read a "crime" book or perhaps you want to dig deeper and read some literary criticim. We have the tools to help!


This great resource allows you to find suggestions for authors based on genre and includes reviews, feature articles and book discussion guides. You can access it (and some other great resources) from our website under literature.

Good Reading Magazine

The library subscribes to this great magazine. New books, old books, meet the author this magazine has it all. Best of all its available to library members online ! Access via the "What to read" tab on our website.

Need books for the kids?

Magpies is a fantastic website that allows you to search for books for kids and young people by subject. Access to this site is only from within the library. If you can't get to our libraries the Department of Education WA has a similar site called CMIS Evaluation it is searchable by topic and age, great for those school assignments or for finding books on sensitive topics at age appropriate levels.


June 30, 2010


Are you like everyone else in the library and addicted to Masterchef? Or would you like to become a "Master Chef" at home? If so the June edition of the magazine is available at Narellan Library. It contains recipes for an amazing chocolate cake, scrumptious Maggie Beer pies and delectable Donna Hay pasta - yum! This will help solve the dilemma of "what's for dinner?"
Watch out for the July edition which features Curtis Stone's banana bread, George's carrot cake and Adriano Zumbo's macaron tower.

June 17, 2010

Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor E. Frankl

I finally got around to reading this very popular book, and while it wasn't exactly what I expected, it was very interesting and I suggest, an important book that I'd highly recommend you read. The first part of the book is Frankl's recount of his five year imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps. In this section he not only describes what he endured, but considers how he and other prisoners survived their horrific experiences (both mentally and physically) by focusing on reasons they had to live. This leads into the second part of the book where Frankl discusses his theory of Logotherapy - basically that man's greatest need is to find meaning and purpose for his life, and through doing so he will find peace and happiness. Very interesting food for thought - without meaning in your life, what joy can you have? Frankl suggests it is up to us create our own meaning in our lives... and he aptly poses this thought: "For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best". Hopefully reading this book will inspire you too to do your best.


New titles by Bestselling Authors

Here we've created a list of new titles, just released or soon-to-be-released, by our most popular bestselling authors, keep coming back because we'll post updated lists regularly:

ARCHER, Jeffrey - And thereby hangs a tale
BALDACCI, DAVID - Deliver us from evil
BRENNAN, Alison - Carnal sin (July)
BROWN, Sandra - Tough customer (Sept)
COBEN, Harlan - Play dead (July)
CABOT, Meg - Insatiable (July)
DEAVER, Jeffery - The burning wire
EVANOVICH, Janet - Sizzling 16 (Aug)
FRANZEN, Jonathan - Freedom
GERRITSEN, Tess - Ice cold (July)
GRISHAM, John - Theodore Boone
HARRIS, Charlaine - Dead in the family
KAVA, Alex - Damaged (Aug)
KELLERMAN, Faye - Hangman (Aug)
KELLY, Cathy - Homecoming (Sept)
LA PLANTE, Linda - Blind fury
LUDLUM, Robert - The Bourne objective
McBRIDE, Stuart - Dark Blood
MCCARTHY, Cormac - Sunset Unlimited (July)
MCDERMID, Val - Trick of the dark (Sept)
PARK, Tony - The Delta (July)
PATTERSON, James - Private
PATTERSON, Richard North - In the name of honour
PICOULT, Jodi - House rules
SLAUGHTER, Karin - Broken (July)
STEEL, Danielle - Family ties (July)
TUROW, Scott - Innocent

Keep an eye out for them at the library or reserve yourself a copy today!

May 31, 2010

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

A quaint, wonderful tale about a boy born mute who communicates in his own sign language, and helps his parents raise dogs on their farm in Wisconsin. The Sawtelle's have bred and trained a very special breed of dog for generations and appear to have an idyllic farm life. Edgar, unable to communicate like other children, has a special bond with his dog, Almondine, who was the first to discover his disability and alert his parents to the boy's silent cries on his first night home. Then sadness strikes when Edgar's father dies suddenly and all that once seemed certain is turned upside down as Edgar and his mother struggle to keep the farm going without him, and Edgar's father's brother Claude moves in, upsetting the family balance and causing Edgar to question Claude's motives, and the circumstances surrounding his father's death.

Part mystery, part family saga... I loved the journey of this story. The life, the setting, the wonderful descriptions of the farm, the dogs and Edgar's special connection with them. I really enjoyed reading this book. A beautifully written story that will draw you in to a place you'll want to stay...


May 11, 2010

What Alice Forgot Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forget is a wonderful jigsaw of a read. Alice has an accident at the gym and forgets the last 10 years of her life.

This is a story of how people change and Alice's amnesia is the tool that Moriarty uses the unravel the family dynamic and the friendships in Alice's life. Some darker themes are tackled; Alice's sister's infertility and the erosion of love between Alice and her husband Nick.

A great read!

Three's a Crowd Dianne Blacklock

I always enjoy Dianne Blacklock and Three's a Crowd was no exception.

A little more complex than some of her earlier work Blacklock writes with real warmth and humour. Three's a Crowd is a story about relationships and how they change, their fragility and strength. It also had me questioning some judgements I may have made about people and their relationships.

A very enjoyable weekend read.

The Better Woman

I am a self confessed chick lit fan so after meeting Ber Carroll, Dianne Blacklock and Liane Moriarty at Narellan Library in early May of course I hurried home with copies of their latest books to devour!

The Better Woman follows the lives of two women Sarah and Jodi living in Sydney and Ireland their lives running in parallel. I couldn't help but get caught up in their lives, as Ber Carroll writes with both empathy and humour and never did decide who I liked most!

A must read for fans of the genre.

May 10, 2010

More Horse Tales

After reading Deadfall I jumped at the chance to enjoy another Lyndon Stacey novel but I was bitterly disappointed by Outside Chance. I couldn't warm to the main character Ben Copperfield (and not just because he was a journalist!) and I found that the setting of the circus just couldn't replace the action of the racetrack.

However, my faith in Stacey was restored when I read the next novel Six to One Against. Another fast-paced easy read with a likeable hero in Gideon Blake. Plus a good romance as well! I'm glad I didn't give up on this author.


March 31, 2010

Not Just Another Horse Story

If you've read all the Dick Francis and John Francome stories and you're looking for another great fast-paced mystery, try Deadfall by Lyndon Stacey. This story has just the right combination of twists and turns and the character Lincoln Tremayne is a likeable well-intentioned hero.
I'll be looking for more of Lyndon Stacey's adventures and will keep you posted!

January 13, 2010

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

I wanted to write about this book because it is such an incredible read that I felt I needed to contribute to spreading the word about it - if you haven't heard about it or read it then it's time you did. However, in trying to write the review I can't seem to find the words to do it justice. So I'll be brief. Firstly, it's pertinent to note that this irreverent dark comedy was published 11 years after the author's suicide. Toole was also posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for the novel in 1981.

It's set in New Orleans in the 1960s. The main character is Ignatius J. Reilly - a 30 year-old overweight, hilariously revolting and well-educated man who lives with his mother and finds it difficult to function in a world filled with people he finds far inferior to himself. Of course the author describes him best: "A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once. Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs."

After an incident early on in the book Ignatius is forced to get a job and an uproarious comedy of errors ensues. Some readers struggle with Ignatius' absurd self-indulgent ramblings, his arrogance bordering on delusions of grandeur, but I could not get enough. He's been described as the hero you love to hate, but I just thought he was great. Whilst reading this book I was always smiling, often chuckling and frequently laughing out loud. I can't wait to read it again.

January 08, 2010

New art magazine

Australian Artist is a magazine that
demonstrates popular techniques
in a variety of mediums including
oil, pastel, watercolour and charcoal.
It provides advice from leading
Australian artists who reveal
what makes their art successful.

January 07, 2010

Kerstin Ekman provides literary nourishment - Swedish style

I read Ekman's Blackwater after reading The Dog - a beautifully written story of a puppy lost in the woods and struggling to survive. The seemingly simple tale offers a more complex exploration of trust and friendship and the relationship between man and dog. I enjoyed her writing style so much that I looked for more of her books and ordered Blackwater on Inter-library-loan through Camden Library - and I was glad I did. I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time.

Blackwater is a literary thriller set in the far northern forests of Sweden. The story spans 20 years and centres around Annie Raft and her involvement in an unsolved double murder of two tourists one midsummer's eve in 1974. The description of the long-lit midsummer nights creates an eerie atmosphere and Ekman brilliantly sets the scene of Swedish life and draws the reader in with a complex, intricately woven plot and realistic interesting characters. I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. For me, it was one of those books that reminds us why we love reading.

January 04, 2010

Hungry Woman in Paris Josefina Lopez

Playwright and poet Josefina Lopez is best known for her play Real Women Have Curves and Hungry Woman in Paris is her first novel.

Written from a feminist perspective, Mexican born American Canela escapes her impending wedding, and her cousins death by travelling to Paris where she enrols in Le Coq Rouge to study the fine art of French cuisine. The backdrop aromas of sauces, broths and purees made me hungry and the backdrop of a city where I ate some of the most memorable meals I have eaten was a pleasure. Just a warning, Canela's... friends, sensual awakenings and sexual activity at times made me blush.