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The last post… love2read2012

December 24, 2012




Well it’s the end of the National Year of Reading. We’ve celebrated reading, read a LOT, put many more on our to-read lists, tweeted about what we’ve read and then read some more. Now it’s the end of 2012, but NOT the end of reading. Before we get to that though…

To those who contributed to the love2read blog, we send you all a big thank you for your contributions, your personal insights, suggestions and humour.

To those of you who supported the love2read blog by reading it, using it in your library and recommending it to others to read, we also send you a very big thank you and hope you enjoyed our monthly offerings.

To everyone who tweeted and followed the NSW Readers Advisory Working Groups’ journey through the twitterscape this year, we hope you have enjoyed our endeavours.

We have absolutely loved the friendships we’ve made, the collaborations we have worked on and the fun we’ve had doing it all. We have travelled NSW physically, and the world (and further even) online.

Christmas came early to my house today and my daughter gave me a small pottery disc with these words of Cicero stamped onto it:

“If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need.”

I do and I do. Well, I’m still arguing with the (no longer baby) rabbits about ownership of the lettuce and herbs, but as a garden it will do, and I will share. As for a library, I’m just spoilt for choice. I mean there were over 80 suggestions of books, authors, films and websites just on last month’s twitter conversation stream. My only constraint is lack of time.

So as the National Year of Reading winds down, and the holiday season starts, we hope you are also spoilt for choice, and partly because of us. The NSW Readers Advisory blog will continue enthusiastically in 2013 at We invite you to join us as we read, watch, play, blog, tweet and share our way through another year.

The January theme for our new blog for 2013 is Re Read. Why not plan to re-vist some old favourites, or introduce them to others. I’m considering my list, I’m on holidays, oh joy of joys, more time to read and I’ll even give the rabbits a reprieve, no time to waste arguing with them!

Wishing you peace, joy and happiness this Christmas. We’ll see you in 2013 at our new address

Until then, Happy reading, watching and playing from us all,

Helen, Jenn, Ellen, Vassiliki, Cathy, Amy, Monique and Therese

Love2Read Wrap up-Twitterchat recommendations

December 21, 2012

Tuesday evening was the National Year of Reading finale chat, discussing what you Love2Read. You can read the  twitterchat on Readwatchplay storify.

So much reading, so little time. In 2013 join the Twitterchat,  and talk about what you enjoy reading, watching and playing. Use #rwp to connect with the conversation. You can check out the themes here.

Remember, next year, we are changing to #rwpchat to include reading, watching and playing.

Twitter reading group participants really do Love2Read:

  •  Reading challenges “I set myself a 366 books for 366 days reading challenge this year. I both loved and hated it! Vassiliki Veros.

Vassiliki is up to 331 books!

  • Lots of picture books
  • Reinforced love of Sci Fi, and a new love of Crime fiction for the @opinion chair
  • @Sharonu discovered a love of romance:

“I have developed my love of romance this year” Sharonu

“also became a member of Australian Romance Readers Association and have got many great recommendations/ freebies via them”. Sharonu

  • And a love of e-readers:

“Also discovered a love of ebooks but yet to takeover my reading of physical books” Sharonu

  • Newspapers online, newspapers in print, news sources on twitter.
  • We love twitter! “I love2read tweets too-anyone else, some because they are news, others a conversation, laugh out loud ones too” Ellen Forsyth
  • Fanfiction inspired by “The Outsiders” “it allows characters to live on-I can’t let go” Sharonu
  • Weekend comics in the newspaper
  • e-mags through zinio.
  • Children’s books
  • 10 Aussie Books to read before you die -who made it and suggestions of who should have made it, what about- Matthew Reilly and Nick Earls?
  • Interior decorating

Christmas Greetings

  • Christmas greetings from Denmark: “It is 4 degrees C here-Still hope for a white Christmas 🙂 I wish you all good xmas bathing and BBQ” Jan Holmquist.

Great quotes

“Thanks to all the wonderful people who have taken part in the #NYR12 twitter chat. What a year! More next year with @readwatchplay :)” Vassiliki Veros

“International Reading Test results… & Why we needed#NYR12 & every year to be supporting #literacy#libraries #austral… ” Sue Hutley

“Mem Fox says parents key to children’s literacy…via @couriermail #reading #nyr12” ALIACYS

“Had to buy a new bookcase for all the books recommended via twitter” L.I.T Ladies

” Think one of the things I’ve discovered this year is how important it is to engage with characters in a novel in any genre” love2read


“Fishing for tigers” by E.M Maguire  “Honest, perceptive, moving. Read it in one go” Vassiliki Veros

The lost thing by Shaun Tan

Scared Yet? by Jaye Ford

Beyond Fear by Jaye Ford

Playful home by Andrew Weaving

A story a day for xmas by Arnold Busck  (Posted in Danish) “a Danish classic” Jan Holmquist

My name is Elizabeth by Annika Dunklee

The dreadful fluff by Aaron Blabley

The aunties three by Nick Bland

Prof Yish Kabibble in the curse of the Scruttles by Jacque Delaney

Family Forest by Kim Kane

Ella Kazoo will not brush her hair by Lee Fox

Soup for one by Ethan Long

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Good Oil by Laura Buzo

The slap by Christos Tsiolkas

Belly dancing for beginners by Liz Byrski

Rotten Gods by Greg Barron

The Outsiders by S.E Hinton

The blinding knife by Brent Weeks

The fault in our stars by John Green

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Twelve by Justin Cronin

The passage by Justin Cronin

Matched (series) by Allie Condie

Trash by Andy Mulligan

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Book thief by Markus Zusak

Room by Emma Donaghue

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Feed by M.T Anderson

The convent by Maureen McCarthy

Addition by Toni Jordan

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

The song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The silent hour byMichael Koryta

The siren by Tiffany Reiz

Codex Alera books by Jim Butcher

Gone away world by Nick Harkaway

Smalltown photoessay by Tim Winton

Alera by Jim Butcher

Stardust by Neal Stephenson

A Readers guide to life by Ramona Koval

Singing my sister down by Margo Lanagan

Chefs & Cookbooks

Jamie Oliver ” I am a huge fan of @jamieoliver love his writing style, stories, and that the recipes always work”. Ellen Forsyth

Margaret Fulton

Bill Granger


Avengers prequel series  ( a movie tie in).


E.L Doctorow “You know there will be gutsy writing and really interesting ideas” Ellen Forsyth

Cassandra Claire

Matthew Reilly  “Love the inclusion of maps and diagrams-adds to the story” sharonu

Nick Earls

Margo Lanagan

Neal Stephenson

Clive Cussler

Mem Fox

Romance authors

Cathryn Hein

Loretta Hill

Rachael Johns

Karly Lane

Charlotte Lamb

Sara Craven

Cecilia Grant


Sunday Telegraph

Movies and Actors

The outsiders

Rob Lowe

Patrick Swayze

Twitter / webpages/ blogs

State Library NSW Electronic Newspapers

Press Display

Australian Romance Readers convention

Zinio (emagazine app)

Ten Aussie books to read before you die ABC First Tuesday Book Club.

Anna Cowan’s blog “diary of a(n accidental) housewife. “Can’t wait to read her cross-dressing duke” Vassiliki Veros (Fanfiction- The Outsiders)  (Fanfiction-The Outsiders)   ( Fanfiction-The Outsiders)…..(Fanfiction -Anne of Green Gables)


Librarian’s video episode Do you believe in reading?

Love to read TV

International Reading Test results

Bell tolls for classroom reform as primary students hit low in international reading tests-The Australian

Librarians the original search engine!


Merry Christmas to all, hoping you receive the gift of time these holidays, to relax – read, watch and play, of course!


come along to the twitter reading group tonight to talk about what you love to read

December 18, 2012

Where do you love2read? What do you love2read?

READ - Week 8 Weekday Shot (15/104) - 52 Week Project

There will be a live twitter discussion tonight, 18 December, starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time.

Key facilitators of the monthly discussions include @wateryone @ellenforsyth @vaveros @13helenc.

To participate , or follow along, simply use the tag #NYR12 as you discuss your reading loves. You can also add the tag #love2read. We look forward to talking to you tonight.

And don’t worry the twitter reading group will continue in 2013. There’s plenty more reading to be done. You can check out the Read Watch Play blog to find out more, and follow @readwatchplay on twitter.

we #love2read with new partners in 2013

December 10, 2012
tags: ,

words / palabras / 言葉As you know the twitter reading group will continue in 2013.  This will be its third year!

As well as public libraries across New South Wales brought together by the New South Wales Readers Advisory Group, using the twitter handle readwatchplay, we are joined by

Guldborgsund-Libraries, Denmark, who tweet at @guldborgsundbib


Make sure you are following readwatchplay on twitter.  You might like to follow the partners as well.  Having libraries from other countries involved will be really exciting as readers from around the world can share what they have been reading, watching and playing by using #rwpchat when they tweet.  If you live in another country, please add your tweets to the discussion too  – it is an inclusive rather than an exclusive reading group.




what books did you love to read as a child/teenager?

December 6, 2012

We’ve made it to the final theme of the year, “Love2read”.

This week we’re asking you for your childhood memories – what books did you love to read as a child/teenager?

How many times did you read these books over and over again? Have you suggested them to children or even your own kids? What is it about your favourite book that struck a chord with you and made it special? Perhaps you discovered your favourite children’s book as an adult and wished you had read it as a child. List below the titles and authors you loved to share with the community and take a trip down memory lane. WARNING: may cause nostalgia!

Here are some of our favourites to get you thinking. Will they make your favourites list?
Winnie the Pooh
Possum Magic
Spot series
The Balloon Tree
Don’t Pat The Wombat!
Mr Men series
I Hate Fridays!
Tomorrow When The War Began
Anne of Green Gables
Deltora Quest series
Snugglepot & Cuddlepie
The Julia Tapes
Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late!

Share your favourites by telling us about them in the blog comments.

Remember, this is not the end of your reading journey, you will love2read for the rest of your life!

Jenny Allen (Auburn Library)
Sue Rein (Blue Mountains Library)
Margaret Gibson (Blue Mountains Library)
Anne Sullivan (Campsie Library)
Stephanie Botterill (Campbelltown Library)

What do you love to read?

December 1, 2012

What do you love to read?

Is it

  • devouring a book cover to cover, and then starting at the beginning again
  • poring through each recipe, and the stories in between
  • exploring the repair manual so you can fix your car
  • discovering the story in the game so you understand the game
  • watching the episodic movie breaks between one game level and the next to experience the story
  • tweets
  • blogs
  • signs
  • information to get stuff done
  • information for fun
  • in any format any time
  • facts and figures
  • lifesaving or death defying
  • therapeutic
  • relaxing
  • searching flickr images
  • flicking through pages, just reading a few words
  • watching the faces in the crowd as an author/storyteller engages the audience in their story
  • reading in games

Is it

  • fun, sad, traumatic, confusing, fast, slow, episodic, continual
  • collaborative
  • participatory
  • exclusive
  • inclusive

I’m reading when I check my email, I’m reading while I download songs, I’m reading when I sort my bills from the ones I must pay now to the ones that can wait a little longer. The act of reading is an everyday activity. The act of taking time out to read the story behind the recipe, the description of the engine space, the context of the game (eg, in Alan Wake you collect manuscript pages and reading them enhances the context of the game, and may also provide hints as to what may be coming up shortly in the game-play).

I read while I’m driving, not just street signs and maps but also the behaviour of the cars/drivers around me – are they going to pass or not? I’m also reading fuel gauges and speedos to provide added context to my driving.

Is is reading on paper, on a screen (computer, e-book reader, tablet, phone), on t-shirts, signs, buildings. What do you love2read?

Where do you love2read? What do you love2read?

READ - Week 8 Weekday Shot (15/104) - 52 Week Project

When you are reading what you love2read, you might like to tweet using #NYR12 so that other people can have a conversation with you about your reading.

As well there will be a live twitter discussion 18 December starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time. Use the tag #NYR12 as you discuss what you have loved reading this year.

And don’t worry the twitter reading group will continue in 2013. Head over to the Read Watch Play blog to see what is happening. There’s plenty more reading to be done.

Cry Reads wrap up-Twitterchat recommendations

December 1, 2012

This month the talk was about reading which made you cry- for happiness, sorrow, anguish. You can read the whole discussion on ReadWatchPlay Storify.

Sad books, and books that made us laugh so hard that we cried were discussed.

  • Books which make us cry varies for each of us.
  • Books that make us cry because they are sad, and books which made us cry with laughter are mentioned.
  • Sad moments in books…

“are there moments like when Dumbledore did #spoiler that made you #cry?” Ellen Forsyth

  • Books that have made you cry in public.
  • Non-fiction. “Non-fiction can be sad, with tales of destruction, death and suffering” Ellen Forsyth
  • Characters can make a story sad.

“I am such a character reader that  for me it depends on how connected to the characters I feel and how invested” Jenn Martin

“Some books you never want to finish because you don’t want to say goodbye to the characters”

  • Feeling manipulated into crying.

“I don’t like feeling manipulated into crying into my reading, but am fine when it happens, and can be surprised when it does” Ellen Forsyth

  • Middlemarch caused controversy, to cry or not to cry…

“Middlemarch is very sad in places and wise always. even the most unlikeable characters can redeem themselves. Casaubon etc” Judy Martin

  • Writing styles can make you cry with their perfection.

” sometimes the way that an author writes can be so beautiful it makes you cry…” Jenn Martin.

  • Crying on public transport…

“With some books just clutching the book and smiling through your tears at other readers in the know is enough” Jenn Martin.

  • Crying on the bus because you are reading aka “bus saltwater biblioparty”  a new catchphrase coined by Ellen Forsyth!
  • Kids crying at stories can be a good thing…

“crying at stories can be a good way for kids to deal with emotion. Crying through a book can be a very private but also shared thing” Jenn Martin

  • Unexpected moments in a story can make you cry.
  • Teachers crying.

“I remember our male primary teacher having tears in his eyes reading to us about Scott’s last voyage. 1st time I had seen a man cry” Judy Martin

  • Romance can be sad.

“Romances can be devastatingly sad 2/3rds into the book. This is called “the point of ritual death”.I have often sobbed my way to an HEA.” Vassiliki Veers

  • On a brighter note, comedic tears for “Bugs bunny outsmarting Elmer Fudd & Woody Allen playing in the marching band in Take the money and run.” Vassiliki Veros.

“I love a sad book, one that lets you have a good cathartic wail/sobfest-I know some people don’t like sad themes in books though” Jenn Martin

Talking tears; books which made us cry. Sad books

The thread of Grace by Maria Doria Russel “It’s an incredibly sad book…but so are all holocaust stories-such an unsurpassable grief” Jenn Martin

The time travellers wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Little Women by Louise May Alcott. “When I first read Little Women, my mum and sister smiled knowingly as I emerged. Did you cry when Beth died, they asked?” Judy Martin.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Possession by A. S Byatt. “The epilogue to Possession always gets me , especially the last few sentences” Judy Martin.

The English patient by Michael Ondaatje

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Lions of Al Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay

The Lion, witch and the wardrobe by C.S Lewis

A summer to die by Lois Lowry

Angela’s ashes by Frank Mc Court

The bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Jacob I  have loved by Katherine Paterson

Kenny’s Window by Morris Sendak

Atonement by Ian McEwan

P.S. I love you by Barbara Conklin

One day by David Nicholls

The bible “The shortest sentence in the bible. ‘Jesus wept’ ” Vassiliki Veros

Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

Anne’s house of dreams by L.M Montgomery

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M Montgomery.

The natural history of the romance novel by Pamela Regis

Velveteen rabbit by Margery Williams & illustrated by William Nicholson

The Blue Castle by L.M Montgomery

Harry Potter series “I had to go and have a little lie -down to recover after my fave character died in last Harry Potter book” Sally Cummings

Judas’s death in Lamb by Christopher Moore

“The age of El Magnifico by Doris Lessing

John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner

Call the midwife series by Jennifer Worth

Leonardo the terrible monster by Mo Willems

The happy prince by Oscar Wilde

Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

The outsiders by S.E Hinton

Rumble fish by S.E Hinton


Matthew Reilly

Judy Blume

Joan Didion

Pod casts

This American life

The Moth

On the bright side….

“I usually avoid sad-inducing books though. Reading is my happy place” Sally Cummings

Books which made us laugh so hard we  cried…  and to end the discussion on a good note!

“Why did the chicken cross the road” by Tedd Arnold

My family and other animals by Gerald Durrell

Three Men in a boat by Jerome K. Jerome

Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

To say nothing of the dog by Connie Willis

Carnegie hall by David Sedaris

French revolutions by Tim Moore “practically gave me a seizure-laughed so hard I could barely breath. Tears too.” Sally Cummings

You gotta have balls by Lilly Brett

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson

Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett


Terry Pratchett “Usually brings on tears of hysteria” Rachel Neumann


Night of the Reading Dead

November 28, 2012

A youth event with a difference highlights the community value of libraries

There is no-one in the library when the children arrive.

Jagged letters are chalked across the door: SAVE YOURSELVES.

Blood is pooled on the front step.  Within, bookshelves have been knocked to the ground, their contents spilled across the carpet.

The air is thick with summer heat and silence.

The children suspect a prank.  They’re quick to investigate, eagerly picking over the vandalised interior, quizzing their teachers:

“Is it a murder mystery game?”

“Did you fake a burglary?”

Before the adults have time to answer, a terrible cry comes from the street outside.

The children run to the library doors.

They see figures approaching: gruesome, deformed individuals from the ranks of the walking dead. Zombies attack!  The children scream as the teachers hurry them inside and barricade the doors.

Only the library can save them now… Read more…

Join the twitter reading group tonight to talk about the reading which makes you cry

November 27, 2012

Cry Baby :(

There will be a live twitter discussion tonight, 27 November, starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time.

Key facilitators of the monthly discussions include @wateryone @ellenforsyth @vaveros @13helenc.

To participate , or follow along, simply use the tag #NYR12 as you discuss your #cry reading. We look forward to talking to you tonight.

Can I have a romance that won’t make me cry

November 22, 2012

One of the hardest requests I’ve had was to recommend romance fiction that was not going to make my reader cry.

Several years ago, I had two requests for romance fiction that was only happy. One was from a borrower and the other was from a friend (who was also a borrower at another branch in my library network) both of whom were having chemotherapy for breast cancer. Both of them had said “I just don’t want to cry. I need to stay positive and I really want to read some happy romance”.

Now this may seem to be a simple task for the non-romance reader for romance is perceived as pleasurable reading, it is light, it has a happy ending. But to achieve a happy ending and to keep the reader engaged most romances delve into some dark emotions and unbelievable sadness and betrayal. These obstacles can seem insurmountable, heartbreaking, tear-jerking and emotionally distressing so much so that the reader is left exhausted before the author brings the feeling up again.

Photograph from Flickr user PinkSherbet/original owner “D Sharon Pruitt” Creative Commons License

I could never recommend Sherry Thomas’s Not Quite a Husband with the heart-wrenching lack of communication between Leo and Bryony to these women – yet it is a brilliant romance. I have read many Julia Quinn novels that are light and fun Regency romances yet to blithely recommend any of her books would mean I could inadvertently have a reader crying their eyes out over the Michael’s unrequited love for Francesca in When He was Wicked.

Book reviewers are always keen to tell you if a book is a tear-jerker but they rarely indicate when a book has brought a tear to their eye, particularly if the protagonists overcome their sad situation to have a happy ending. If I had not been asked for romances, I think I would have been more successful in finding books that were not sad. Any fiction that is based on characterisation and relationships has the potential to make the reader cry whereas I feel that this is less likely in reading an action adventure tale.

Knowing this, I felt that I needed to have read the books that I was recommending to both my borrower and my friend. I gave them both Rachel Gibson’s See Jane Score and Susan Elizabeth Philips’s Match Me if you Can. Both came back happy with those books and asked for more. I gave them Jennifer Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation but I made note to not give them The Cinderella Deal. We seemed to do the loops with these three authors with me carefully vetting each book recommendation first. After a while my borrower made her own way with her choices and we would chat at the circulation desk. Since I finished at my previous workplace I have not heard from her or how she has been.

I started lending my own books to my friend and though we didn’t get to see each other as much as I would have liked, our rotation of happy reads (delivered through another friend) continued. Sadly, a year and a half after I was first asked to recommend romances that would not make her cry my friend passed away. About two months later I received a small bag with the last four books I had lent her, one still had her bookmark left in it. As much as Rachel Gibson used to make me laugh with her wry observations and her funny dialogue, I can no longer read her books without have a cry first.