These are the books I read in 2017 with my ratings – 11 fiction and 14 non-fiction:
These are the books I read in 2017 with my ratings – 11 fiction and 14 non-fiction:
|How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease||Michael Greger||★★★★★|
|The Museum of Modern Love||Heather Rose||★★★★★|
|Good Morning Midnight||Lily Brooks-Dalton||★★★★★|
|Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret||Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn||★★★★★|
|Green Kitchen Travels||David Frenkel and Luise Vindahl||★★★★★|
|Life On Earth||Mike Dooley||★★★★|
|Healing from Family Rifts: Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut Off from a Family Member||Mark Sichel||★★★★|
|Beyond the Rock||Janelle McCulloch||★★★|
|The Book of Joy||The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Carlton Abrams||★★★|
|The Whistler||John Grisham||★★★|
|The Desire Map||Danielle LaPorte||★★★|
|The Course of Love||Alain de Botton||★★★|
|How to be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living||Rob Bell||★★★|
|How to Live a Good Life||Jonathan Fields||★★★|
|A Whole Life||Robert Seethaler||★★★|
|The Fast Diet Cookbook||John Chatham||★★★|
|My Italian Bulldozer||Alexander McCall Smith||★★★|
|Hiding in Plain Sight||Susan Lewis||★★|
|Kissed by a Deer||Margi Gibb||★★|
|The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work||Jon Gordon||★★|
|Fight Like a Girl||Clementine Ford||★|
As part of the organising committee for the Public Libraries Victoria Network Special Interest Group LibMark I feel very proud of this year’s annual conference Writing Our Story – a New History. It was a success with smiles all around and interesting speakers inspiring us all towards possibilities for a bright future in public libraries. Key to this success was the hard work, guidance and ideas offered by LibMark convenor Kylie Carlson of Yarra Libraries.
Rosa Serratore of Moonee Valley Libraries set the scene with a short description of library days gone by, then highlighting one particular worldwide promotional initiative Outside The Lines, with a call to action to get involved.
Rebecca Hermann of Bolinda gave an enthusiastic talk about her experience as the successful founder and CEO of the worldwide publisher of digital content. The brand of Bolinda products leads the field with its recognisable green marketing.
The State Library Victoria representatives Debra Rosenfeldt and Michelle Edmunds gave an update about the statewide Advocacy Project about to be put into motion. It is aimed to bring a united voice and promotional message for public libraries. It is much needed.
Ash Davies is the 24 year old CEO of Tablo. HIs online platform for writers and readers is poised for greatness. Ash inspired us all with his youthful charm and energy.
The State Library Victoria and Public Libraries Victoria Network offer a successful and popular shared leadership program. Effective collaborative projects result in very good work emerging. First up to talk about their project were Liam Brandon, Haylee Eagle, and Catherine Mathews. Share Our Stories With the World: Victorian Public Libraries and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals offered practical ideas that links everyday work in public libraries with these lofty goals.
Next up were NatashaSavic and Justine Hanna who talked about Keeping A Lookout: Building Our Brand. This website initiative recognises and investigates innovative library outreach practices.
After a delicious and healthy lunch provided by William Angliss catering, Andrew Powell of Origin Energy and RMIT University spoke to us about developing a meaningful and dynamic library brand and how this forms the foundation for telling our story.
Beth Luppino is the Customer Experience Manager for Casey Cardinia Libraries. The newly opened Bunjil Place offers a new experience for people to engage with Libraries, Arts, Culture, and Council customer services. This model goes beyond the walls of the library space with a promise to “enliven, enrich, surprise, and delight”.
Social Media young guns of the State Library Victoria Sarah Kelly and Cory Zanoni talked about their approach to engaging with people online. They are first to admit they have a treasure trove full of great content to curate and share.
Sarah Ernst of Yarra Libraries told us about a project where people were invited to record their thoughts about their library using a photo booth. ‘In Their Words’ was created.
Nada Stanojlovic of Wavesound talked about their history, products, and new platform called RB Media for all of their digital content. Wavesound were the main sponsor for the conference.
Here is a short video with the photographs of the presenters that I took on the day.
Janelle McCulloch wrote the book, Beyond the rock: the life of Joan Lindsay and the mystery of Picnic at Hanging Rock. While it is a biography about the life of Joan Lindsay, it is also an inquiry into the writing of Joan’s mysterious novel Picnic at hanging rock.
I invited Janelle to be a guest speaker at our library and she gave an energetic and riveting talk about this topic to an audience of spellbound people. From the moment she entered the room, Janelle was talking, and she didn’t pause for an hour and probably could have continued. People were slow to leave, wanting more.
As a perennial mystery embedded in Australian culture, the mystery behind the story of Picnic at Hanging Rock, tantalizes us with the need to be solved. In Joan’s original unpublished forward to the novel:
“…the story is entirely true.”
Janelle teased us who were in the room with the possibility of another book that does indeed reveal the truth. Her journalistic nose having uncovered parts of the story that, according to people who lived and live around Hanging Rock, “everyone knew”. We all responded with enthusiastic urging that she must indeed write it. How often does that happen to authors who are not J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, or George R. R. Martin?
The process of journalistic research is of great interest to me, as I love doing that myself. I know the addiction of a good detective hunt. Genealogists know this well. Janelle prompted us to get to work as:
“Everyone has a story that needs to be told.”
So feeling enthused and having procrastinated long enough about getting my own family story curated, I started. I had already created a storyboard of sorts using PowerPoint. So I purchased a large sketchbook and a scrapbooking kit. I set up a space where I have all the photos nearby in boxes and photo albums and on file.
It is apparent from the moment I begin where the gaps are, so many photos missing. Do they even exist? Does someone have the ones I need? I phoned my husbands aunt not remembering how old she must be. We had a nice conversation and she agreed to look to see what she had. Yesterday I received an envelope with some gorgeous old photos of my mother-in-law and her sister, and their mother, and my husband’s parents. And there was an image of my husband’s late eldest brother as a 3 year old. His family didn’t have photos of themselves or their children; unlike my own father who was a bit of a photography geek.
As thrilled, as I am to receive these photos, there are still gaps. I have not found a photo of my husband’s maternal grandfather – Arthur William Duncalfe. Using the library member’s subscription to Ancestry, I have found the certificates online that give the details of his birth and death, but no photos. I have even located a passport photo of his father Arthur Gregory Duncalfe as he emigrated from the USA to Australia.
So as I restock the glue sticks and refill the printer ink, the hunt continues.
I have been assessing and indexing my blog lately and I realised I had not posted anything for the first six months of this year; and so I looked at my work record and found I was just a little bit busy with organising events at the library.
Here is the incomplete list:
I was about 16 years old when I meditated for the first time. I remember sitting on a chair outside and feeling the stillness, depth and presence. I was inspired by a description in a book by Doctor Ainlsee Meares.
Since then I have dabbled on and off without ever instilling a regular practice for myself, despite knowing and experiencing the benefits. I’ve used the Insight Timer app on my iPod for quite a few years now and find it helpful.
But recently I heard someone say they were enjoying the online community that Insight Timer offers. This was news to me. And since we have recently become more connected with the NBN, I had a closer look.
And behold a whole new community of meditators using this app. You can see how many people are using the app and meditating around the world and how many have meditated that day.
There are a huge variety of meditation soundtracks to select from depending on your own preference. There is music, verbal instructions and visualisations, sounds of nature, chanting, binaural beats, and much more.
You can select the soundtrack depending on the time you wish to spend in meditation. And there are personal statistics to keep you going. You get stars as you reach particular milestones. And when you have finished you can connect with others by saying “thank you for meditating with me today”.
Japanese Art has always been a style I love. The design, composition, colours, graphic style, use of line, and deft touch is to be admired. Who can go past Hokusai?
So not only did I jump at the chance to see the Hokusai exhibition at the NGV; I decided to invite an artist I know, Irene Crusca, to give a talk on the topic at the library where I work. The timing of this was intentionally aimed to be while the exhibition was still on, so that if people felt moved by what they heard, there was still time to go into the city to see the artworks up close.
Irene gave a thoughtful and well-prepared presentation easily filling the hour with commentary on the man and some of his works. She explained about the important contributions he made upon the international art world at that time.
Of course The Great Wave is an iconic image recognized by most. It is simply beautiful. At the exhibition I loved seeing Mt Fuji depicted in so many scenes. I love the waterfalls, and the little human figures everywhere going about their daily activities, sometimes humuorously.
The NGV did a fabulous job displaying many of his sketchbooks under glass protected from willing hands. Then on a screen digital images of his sketches appear in sequential arrays. Who would have the time to sit and admire them all?
I have invited Irene back next year to talk about her work as a portrait artist.
What is it about stories that have music woven into the tale? We can’t actually hear or feel the music, but if we know the pieces mentioned this evokes a mood in harmony with the actual tune.
I hosted another Melbourne Writers Festival at my library and the author was Zoe Morrison who has written one novel Music and Freedom. I have read about a third of the book but had to return the library copy, as the reservation list is long. I was enjoying the tale, which has music at its heart; the main character is a concert pianist.
Listening to Zoe in conversation with a fellow author Lee Kofman I am keen to get hold of another copy and finish reading this book. Zoe gave further depth and context to the tale whetting the appetite of the people in the audience.
I have enjoyed other novels that contain music as a central theme: An equal music by Vikram Seth is one that comes to mind. There is another that I loved but the title and author elude me at the moment. I will do a search and see if I can locate it.
P.S. So I searched and located the book Maestro by Peter Goldsworthy. I have opened the cover and fallen into the magical tale once again.