Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Father's Day Storytime

Preschoolers and their families are invited to a special Father's Day Story Time
at Rockdale Library, 444 - 446 Princes Highway Rockdale
Saturday 3 September 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sans Souci Knitting Group - 5 September 2016

Come to the next meeting of the Sans Souci Knitting Group
All levels are welcome  
Please bring your own needles and wool

When: 5 September 2016

Time: 11.30am – 1 pm
Where: Sans Souci Branch Library
104 Russell Avenue (Cnr Russell and Clareville Avenue)

The next meeting will be on Monday 10 October 2016. This is a week later than usual due to the October Long Weekend

Please phone Amy for more information on 9562 1817 or email sanssoucilibrary@rockdale.nsw.gov.au

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

1st Wednesday Book Group - 7 September 2016

Join us for the September meeting of the 1st Wednesday Book Group on 
7 September 2016 at 10.30am 

Rockdale City Library
444 - 446 Princes Highway

The group will be discussing Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
If you have read this book please come along and join in the discussion

The book for October is Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
For more information or to join the group please call Natalie on 9562 1824

Friday, August 19, 2016

When is a zombie story not a zombie story? or: When books don’t live up to expectations. Book Review by David Hall

World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z (WWZ) is a zombie apocalypse novel with a twist. Written in a journalistic style, the author has put together an eclectic bunch of interviews from survivors of a zombie invasion that wipes out quite a huge chunk of the world population. This is a particularly well written book and you get a good sense of what the many and varied characters are like and their experiences. Survivor stories run the full range of society, from a blind man in Japan to a European religious figure to high ranking military officials.

WARNING: The following will contain spoilers!

My boss liked this book and gave it a rave review. My wife loved it and waxed lyrical on its many virtues. I saw the movie quite some time ago and thought it wasn’t too bad… and so armed with this I felt somewhat obliged to dive head first into WWZ.

Now I am a big horror fan and there is nothing I love more than a good zombie flick! But the disturbing lack of actual zombies featuring in the story left me feeling a little blah (flat). There is no gore, no beheadings, no guts, but plenty of glory. It took me quite a while to get into the book and resign myself to the fact that no walking dead would be present. Not all interviews are created equal with some more interesting than others and while I felt in no way obliged to read the less interesting ones, I did anyhow.

Don’t be dissuaded by my review though, this is a very well written and thought out book! It’s just not what I expected.

Happy reading!
David Hall (Team leader Bexley North Library)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#geekread - Magazines

With people everywhere embracing their inner geekdom as part of #geekread this month, we decided to feature our top 3 geek magazines today. The best part of these is that they will continue long after August, providing regular nourishment for your newly found geekosity. 

There are plenty to choose from, with something to entice everyone's the inner nerd. Given how many, this was a tough list to create. With candidates like the World of Knowledge magazine, the "new monthly magazine crammed full of amazing stuff about the world we live in", geekdom is certainly in a golden age of periodicals. But, although embracing your nerdhood is about acquiring knowledge, this is not simply a case of knowing stuff for the sake of knowing stuff. It's about passion, about absorption in a topic that goes beyond what people would classify normal limits. So, as amazing as the magazine is, we thought it wasn't ideal. So we have searched our catalogue and given you three recommendations, each cover a different variety of publication, which we consider the best geekzines. 

Best Speciality Geekzine: Aero Australia

This is a large category, so a lot had to be excluded. Our architecture magazines, Architectural Review and Architecture Australia, although fulfilling the speciality category were a little less geeky than we would have liked, with architects having their geek-cool air while sipping their macchiatos at trendy cafes. Digital Photography was a strong choice, covering all your camera needs. And their were really strong runner ups for this category with Inside History and the Smithsonian Magazine, both fascinating magazines for any history lover. But Aero had something a little bit more...geeky. With its focus exclusively on all things aeronautical, it swoops to the lead with its unfaltering devotion to its subject, something that reveals the best in all geeks.

Best Science Geekzine: New Scientist

This was an especially competitive field. Science has long been the domain of the geek herd, and so choosing between the best science magazine that would both cheer the long established geeks as well as the new converts is a tough call. Astronomy would be a fine choice, its content, much like the best of the geekosphere, is not concerned with the terrestrial, but with the galactic. But, we did give our top biography spot to physicist Brian Cox, and it could seem like bias if we were to give the top spot of this category to an equally physics-centric choice. For those whose geekdom is more of the terrestrial kind, we have Australian Geographic and National Geographic Magazines. Discover takes a broader approach, and in its pages it "shares new findings and shows you what makes our universe tick". Science Illustrated does an equally marvellous job at delivering "natural science, break through discoveries and an understanding of the world for the entire family." But in the end it came down to two: New Scientist and Popular Science. Like Popular Mechanics in the next category, these magazines have been staples of the nerd community for generations. Choosing between these two was not easy, and frankly, we ended up letting a coin flip decide. And it went to New Scientist. (Although we have to say we are more than a little happy about thatthe word 'popular' for a geekzine seems a little out of place.)

Best Tech Geekzine: RasPi Magazine

As with the number two slot, this was an equally tough field. With more tech focused magazines than you could throw a virtual spanner at, we had our work cut out for us trying to find the best one for your #geekread needs. We started by looking at Macworld and Android Magazine. While both are informative, we thought giving it to either would severely limit the geekarama that a new reader would be able to experience (not to mention our desire to remain neutral in the Apple v. Android war that still rages in many domains). Gizmos and Gadgets made a valiant effort, with it giving those inclined a great many toys to drool over.  How it Works came in with a more practical edge, which gave it a great deal of tech-geek cred. But then we remembered the leader of the tech mags, known for its combination of unbridled nerdery yet still having some larger appeal. It is, of course, Popular Mechanics. We're talking geek pedigree here, an institution that has been around since 1902. How many magazines claim to help "the reader master the modern world". As close as a nerd ever came to world domination. And although that would be the obvious choice, it is, well, the obvious choice. It has a popularity that makes us feel a little weird giving it the top spot. So we decided instead to go for RasPi, for its singular focus on making to most of your Rasberry Pi credit-card sized computer. This is not world domination (unless RasPi does an A.I. issue sometime in the future) but a full-on geekfest on a single device. Surely the best display of geekism.

Not your idea of a #geekread magazine? Check out the rest of our magazines and emagazines to find one that speaks to your own geekdom.  

Disagree with our list? What #geekread magazines fulfil your geek needs? Let us know in the comments below.

Monday, August 15, 2016

#geekread - Biography

With August being the time for #geekread, we think it is only fitting to begin with three real life tales of fellow geeks to get you really inspired. 

3. Remembering Richie: Richie Benaud & friends (foreword by Michael Parkinson)

At number three we have an unliky candidate, Remembering Richie: Richie Benaud & friends. Now most of us don't think about sportsman when we think geeks, or vice versa. If anything, they are antigeeks, those whose prowess is physical, action based, and who know how to play it cool. But Richie Benaud was a man who was both a geek and a sportsman. The latter is easy to understand; he was one of the greatest cricket all rounders of his generation. But the geek part, that might surprise you. After all, what is being a geek if not being completely and totally passionate about something? And that, through the writings collected here, is the reason Richie Benaud is as much as geek as a sportsman. 

2. Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee and Peter David and Colleen Doran

A more expected recommendation. Stan Lee is perhaps the most famous comic book nerd in the world, who just so happens to run one of the largest comic publishers and created many of the best know characters. In this volume Lee shares his iconic legacy and the story of how modern comics came to be. In Amazing Fantastic Incredible he shares how he began life impoverished in Manhattan, through to his early days writing comics to his taking the helm of Marvel in the 1960s.

1. Brian Cox: The Unauthorised Biography of the Man who Brought Science to the Nation by Ben Falk

Okay, so this is a safe choice. But what can we say, we are suckers for real life rock star geeks. Amoung the best know physicists in the world, Professor Brian Cox wasn't always the brain box icon he is now. He was a capable student but did not excel at school, but got a new lease when at Manchester University, gaining a first-class honours degree and then gaining his PhD in particle physics. All the while, he played keyboards in the band D:Ream (and you thought us calling him a 'rock star' geek was an exercise in hyperbole). He may not be everyone's image of a nerd (he's just too damn handsome!), but his charm, wit and infectious enthusiasm make him the Über geek of the decade.

Not the type of geek to get you excited? Check out the rest of our biographies about all manner of people cool and geeky to find a life story that will inspire you.

Disagree with our list? What #geekread biographies have given you the courage to embrace geek life? Let us know in the comments below.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Read Watch Play #geekread

In August the theme for Read Watch Play is #geekread. Given that the new Rockdale Library is operating for the first full month in August, we felt it was more than appropriate that we get as involved as we can in this campaign. That's right, libraries are hubs of geekdom (mind blown!).

So to help release your inner geek, for the rest of August we will be giving you recommendations on this blog. We will be featuring biographies, fantasy, sci-fi, adult lit, magazines, and films that will get you reaching for your black rimmed glasses and pocket protectors.

But what exactly does it mean to be a geek, a nerd?  Zachery Levi put it nicely: 
Nerd. One whose unbridled passion for something defines who they are as a person, without fear of other people’s judgement.
To put it simply it means to fall childlike for something, to let your passions run no matter how absurd you may look. Its about being a lover. A lover of games, books, films, whatever it is doesn't matter. What matters is having no fear when going on your flights of fantastical fancy. Be inspired by the words of Mandy Hale:
So you’re a little weird? Work it! Different? Own it! Better to be a nerd than one of the herd!.
We begin our embrace of our weirdness on Monday with our first category: biography. Got a hankering to read about some famous fellow geeks? Tune in Monday to get some recommendations.

Got any geek favourites you like to nominate? Just leave us a comment down below. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Reading Hour with Jeff Apter

Rockdale City Library presents

The Reading Hour with

Jeff Apter introducing

Playing To Win: The definitive biography of John Farnham

In an exclusive pre-release event Jeff Apter, author and music industry insider, talks about Playing To Win: The Definitive Biography of John Farnham, his deeply personal and insightful biography of John Farnham. He provides a rare glimpse inside Farnsie’s world, looking at how John Farnham went from being an apprentice to music legend and the struggles that he overcame.

16 August 2016

6pm – 7pm

Rockdale City Library
444 -446 Princes Highway

The Constant Reader will provide advance copies of the book for sale and signing.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Rockdale Readers Book Group - 19 August 2016

Join us for the August meeting of the Rockdale Readers Book Group on 
19 August 2016 at 5.30 pm 

Council Chamber
1st Floor
Rockdale Town Hall
448 Princes Highway 

The group will be discussing Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
If you have read this book please come along and join in the discussion

The book for September is Little Big Lies by Liane Moriarty
For more information or to join the group in 2016 please call Natalie on 9562 1824 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sans Souci Book Club - 11 August 2016

Come to the next meeting of the Sans Souci Book Club

Please bring the current book you are reading.

Date: 11 August 2016
Time: 10.30am
Venue/ address: Sans Souci Library, 104 Russell Ave, Sans Souci

If you have any queries please contact Fiona or Sue on 9562 1817