Recent Posts

May 18, 2017

Book Review: 'Sitting still like a frog: mindfulness exercises for kids (and their parents)' By Eline Snel.


Mindfulness is about being present; it focuses on breathing, relaxing, paying attention. In this sense, mindfulness is becoming a powerful tool to support mental health. This book discusses a variety of ways that mindfulness benefits kids and their parents, as well as providing short and easy activities to help parents guide and assist children.  

Author, Eline Snel, is a therapist that has spent the last 20 years working on mindfulness programs for kids. Snel also draws upon personal experiences raising her own children, and how mindfulness worked for her situation. In this way, the book is very open and sharing, providing personal experiences that support the exercises.

The book explains what mindfulness is in an easy to understand tone. The strategies provided will help kids to learn to be more calm and focused, fall asleep, manage anger and other difficult feelings, and become more aware of what’s going on around them. There is a CD in the book that will help to complete the exercises.  
Reserve a copy here.

May 08, 2017

Movie Club - 'The Usual Suspects'


When a man by the name of Verbal is brought in for questioning, he tells an almost unbelievable story. Verbal recounts the story in flashback, of five criminals who meet in a police line-up who decide to band together to perform a vengeful heist, which leads them further into crime.
The Usual Suspects is an intricate film of intense, sometimes superfluous, editing that reveals a plot of mystery and revelations. It is part crime, part mystery part film-noir and relies on plot and post-editing to grip the viewer to the very end.
Full of violent twists, and the mysterious Keyser Soze, the film requires the viewer to watch closely, almost demanding it to be watched a second time over. However the acting is fluid, the plot crafted meticulously and the script witty.
The film won two Academy Awards, one of which was for ‘Best Original Screenplay’,  it also won two BAFTAs for ‘Best Original Screenplay’ and ‘Best Editing’. The film’s intense editing and intense plot will keep you on your toes.
The Movie Club will be screening 'The Usual Suspects' on Wednesday 10 May, 6pm sharp at Narellan Library. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, BYO snacks are more than welcome. Stay after the screening for a short discussion about the film. See the discussion questions to get some ideas.

May 04, 2017

Book Review: 'The Little Book of Hygge' By Meik Wiking.


A small book full of big ideas, ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ is all about finding happiness and cosiness to support your wellbeing. Hygge is a Danish term that roughly means to create an atmosphere or sense of cosiness.
‘You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right’ (‘The Little Book of Hygge’, Meik Wiking).


Author, Meik Wiking, is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark, which is commonly known as the happiest country in the world. In his book, Meik shares the knowledge he has learnt about happiness. He believes the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ is the key to leading a happier life.
Full of interesting facts, including a Hygge Manifesto, the book covers everything from using lighting to create a more ‘hyggelig’ atmosphere, to the importance of hot drinks and pillows. However, it also discusses the integral role of family and friends and securing a good work/life balance.
Reserve a copy here.

April 21, 2017

Book Review - 'Seven walks: Cape Leeuwin to Bundeena' By Tom Carment; photography by Michael Wee.


Photographer Michael Wee and painter/writer Tom Carment, have chronicled their experience of some great walks of Australia.
Combining photographs, paintings and words, the book provides anecdotal experience along with the history of the places traversed.  It is nostalgic and full of awe for the wild and varied landscapes that are distinctly Australian.
 

The book has a bit of everything: history, humour and art. You may find things you are familiar with, such as the Coast Walk in NSW, or unfamiliar things such as The Overland Track of Cradle Mountain in Tasmania.
Available here.

April 05, 2017

Movie Club - 'The Artist'

This month the Movie Club will be screening 'The Artist'. A 2011 film made in the style of the silent-era: black-and-white and no talking (in this case, minimal talking). The film traverses many genres – comedy, romance, tragedy and melodrama – to form a coherent story of George Valentin.

George is at the top of his game as a silent film actor, he is famous and in-demand. He meets Peppy at a film premiere, and again later when she begins working as a film extra. There is chemistry between the two and Peppy continues to get work as an actor. When talking movies become popular, George refuses to perform in them, insisting silent film is an art form unlike the ‘talkies’. As a consequence of this George loses his career, wife and money, while Peppy becomes a star of the new talking films.


 
The film is entertaining from the  start, with a tight opening scene of a ‘film-within-a-film’, to George and Peppy shooting a dance sequence over and over while slowly and beautifully realising they are falling in love, to George firing his chauffeur because he hasn’t paid him in a year.
 
There is no need for talking in this film, the actions speak clearly for themselves, and they are beautiful. It is clear the film is a ‘love letter to cinema’, as director Michel Hazanavicius intended. 

'The Artist' will be showing on Wednesday 12 April, 6pm sharp at Narellan Library. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, BYO snacks are more than welcome. Stay after the screening for a short discussion about the film. See the discussion questions to get some ideas.