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What will be your favourite #wellread this month? Join the discussion today for #rwpchat

April 24, 2018

What will be your favourite #wellread this month? While you are reading, watching or playing your #wellread, you might like to tweet about it using the tags #wellread and #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you.

There will be a Twitter discussion today, 24 April, starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am BST. Note this is a staggered discussion.

April is the month to focus on #wellread. You can read that in two ways, and read into it many more meanings. How you do it is up to you!

bibliotherapy.jpg

Reading for wellbeing. Image from www.marksdailyapple.com

What does it mean to be well-read? Is it a judgmental or elitist term, designed to exclude those who don’t read the ‘right’ sort of books? Some will feel the need to take the traditional route and make sure they have conquered the big classics – Middlemarch, In Search of Lost Time, Ulysses, and there are lists aplenty to follow the path, or perhaps it is simply having read widely across a broad range of subjects and genres, fiction and non-fiction.

Try the many books, magazines, games and apps designed to make you well. Fitness, health, beauty; financial, emotional, spiritual wellness, there are so many resources to help you on your quest to achieve wellbeing in every corner of your life.

Laughter can be the very best medicine, so read these books, watch a funny movie, or just laugh at your attempts to eat, declutter and exercise yourself well.

Many readers know that the very act of reading contributes to their sense of wellness, and you can do a free, online course to discover how reading can contribute to your wellbeing. Watching nature shows, re-reading your favourites, learning a new skill or about a period of history you are interested in. Lifelong learning can promote wellbeing, so grab a book, show or game that interests you, and work towards your own wellness, your way.

 

never apologise for your reading tastes

April 16, 2018

When anyone is asked what do they associate with Libraries, 9 out 10 people say books. Reading is our business!  So says Becky Spratford, authority on Readers Advisory and author of the blog RA for all.  Becky was also the first of three stellar presenters at The NSW State Library Readers Advisory Seminar 2018. Read on to discover some of the highlights of the day. You can view presentations on the NSW Readers Advisory Wiki.

Rule number One: Never apologise for your reading tastes.  This is the first of Becky Spratford’s ten rules of Basic RA.  These rules were revisited in Becky’s back to basics presentation at this year’s Readers Advisory Seminar, reminding us of why Readers Advisory is a vital service in all libraries. She also shared five resources you can’t live without and reminded us to suggest don’t recommend and that reading about books is just as important as reading books.

Have you ever had a customer come up and say they are looking for a good book- and your mind goes completely blank? Becky shared tips and tricks to improve RA skills and provided a step by step guide to book talking with customers. It’s not as hard as you might think!

Our next presenter was Kat Mayo, an avid fairy killer who runs Bookthingo– a book blog with a focus on romance fiction. Kat offered some insights into the world of social media and the place of books and readers within this. She also shared why readers love social media, as well as useful and popular resources including Goodreads and Amazon.  Kat shared some great tips about how to discover new pages and what to look out for.

20170518_131452According to our third speaker, Novelist founder and general manager, Duncan Smith, readers’ advisory is not just about putting books in people’s hands. It’s all about the conversations. Talking with customers helps us discover what the books they are reading are saying and doing for them. This helps  in changing the focus from a transaction where you hand someone a book, to an embedded relationship with customers in your community.

He told us different readers want different things. Librarians are the perfect people to help readers, we just need to let customers know about our expertise, and share our knowledge – a great example is Multnomah Library’s My Librarian where you can chat with a Librarian and get reading suggestions in  their areas of expertise, ranging from romance to podcasts, craft and more.

To assist you determining which services your library may find useful in helping your readers reach their reading goals, Novelist has a Readers Advisory prescription tool available to assist you.

There were cheers in the room when Duncan announced there will be more Australian content available in Novelist now and in the future!  If you would like some more training in Novelist, you can find a Novelist Plus Overview on the Readers Advisory Wiki.

The ever popular ten slides in five minutes was inspiring and interesting with a diverse range of innovative readers advisory programming and display ideas presented.

literary mocktailsThese included customers reading books to win Book Bingo at Bayside Library and attending Shaken, Stirred, Mixed and Drunk- Famous drinks in literature at Sutherland Library, whilst enjoying complimentary literary inspired mocktails (complete with matching swizzle sticks inspired by the NSW State Library Mocktail recipes).  Northern beaches Libraries shared three of their latest undertakings including learning improvised comedy in theatre sports, going retro with gaming with the installation of a cocktail arcade table, and their Zine collection, fair and workshops.

twitter-292994_1920There is lots of tweeting, pinning and posting in social media from Libraries! Library staff from Riverina Regional, Parramatta, Sutherland and Clarence Regional Libraries shared how and why they are using social media platforms as a readers advisory tool to engage their audience, promote their library programs and events, showcase collections and share news. Check out the presentation to find lots of great examples.

Girl Scouts cookies and romance novels… This blog post was the inspiration behind the final presentation of the afternoon, where attendees were invited to match books with enticing descriptions of beer and other beverages, and  mouth-watering descriptions of cakes and biscuits. Thinking about your local area, are there any local businesses that you could collaborate with to create your own food, drinks and readers advisory promotion?

Don’t forget you can find out more by watching any or all of the presentations from the seminar online at the NSW Readers Advisory Wiki.

[Monique Arkauola]

April is the time for #wellread for #rwpchat

April 1, 2018

April is the month to focus on #wellread. You can read that in two ways, and read into it many more meanings. How you do it is up to you!

bibliotherapy.jpg

Reading for wellbeing. Image from www.marksdailyapple.com

What does it mean to be well-read? Is it a judgmental or elitist term, designed to exclude those who don’t read the ‘right’ sort of books? Some will feel the need to take the traditional route and make sure they have conquered the big classics – Middlemarch, In Search of Lost Time, Ulysses, and there are lists aplenty to follow the path, or perhaps it is simply having read widely across a broad range of subjects and genres, fiction and non-fiction.

Try the many books, magazines, games and apps designed to make you well. Fitness, health, beauty; financial, emotional, spiritual wellness, there are so many resources to help you on your quest to achieve wellbeing in every corner of your life.

Laughter can be the very best medicine, so read these books, watch a funny movie, or just laugh at your attempts to eat, declutter and exercise yourself well.

Many readers know that the very act of reading contributes to their sense of wellness, and you can do a free, online course to discover how reading can contribute to your wellbeing. Watching nature shows, re-reading your favourites, learning a new skill or about a period of history you are interested in. Lifelong learning can promote wellbeing, so grab a book, show or game that interests you, and work towards your own wellness, your way.

What will be your favourite #wellread this month? While you are reading, watching or playing your #wellread, you might like to tweet about it using the tags #wellread and #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you.

There will be a Twitter discussion on the 24th of April, starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am BST. Note this is a staggered discussion.

What red things have you been reading, watching or playing? Join the #redread discussion today for #rwpchat

March 27, 2018

There will be a twitter discussion today,  27 March starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time. 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am BST. Note this is a staggered discussion.

Use the tags #redread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of #redread, so others can join in the conversation too.

 

red ironing board

(c) Nina Hale / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Finding something to read, watch or play this month for #redread can inspire you, could spark your passion or ignite the blood thirsty part of your personality.

Red is a word that brings many things to mind; bloodshed, fire, science, sport, passion, politics, food, drink and things that can make you blush.

It could be that books on design, how to dress for success and looking for the right career for you could start your reading of the colour red. Design with Colour and Style, How to Dress for Success and What Colour is your Parachute?

Music has the famous bands Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Simply Red and popular Red Red Wine by UB40, Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Redneck Woman by Gretchen Wilson and I See Red by Split Endz.

Red haired actors and actresses Damien Lewis, Lucille Ball, Robert Redford, Don Most, Ron Howard, Danny Bonaduce and Julianne Moore. Games of Thrones is one of the most popular television shows at the moment and with the amount of blood shed in each episode it would make a great #redread (the red wedding!). Watch Dr Who wearing a red fez, Red Dawn (the 80s version or the remake?) or get locked in the red room with Jane Eyre.

Shakespeare’s works are often filled with passion and bloodshed – Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Titus Andronicus, A Midsummers Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale – and sometimes the passion and bloodshed is intertwined.

If you would rather avoid the bloodshed, there are always his love sonnets to enjoy.

There have also been many works (books, movies, songs, and plays) inspired by Shakespeare – whether a reworking of an original play or sonnet, or the exploration of a character or idea.

He drank and saw the spider by Alex Bledsoe is a compassionate retelling of The winter’s tale, Wyrd sisters from Terry Pratchett retells Macbeth. Goodreads has a delightful list of Shakespeare retellings, including both romance and horror. Or how about the films West Side Story and Gnomeo and Juliet?

Sports can bring out the passion in people either supporting your favourite team Manchester United, Sydney Swans, Chicago Bulls, Red Bull Racing, Sydney Swifts, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox to mention a few. Read sports biographies such as Alex Ferguson: my autobiography, Thierry Henry: lonely at the top, Brave Heart, Aussie Grit and Michael Jordan.

Romance is a genre that screams red or its younger cousin, pink. You can try classic romance or a hot erotica romance. A Rogue by any Other Name by Sarah MacLean , When He was Wicked by Julia Quinn, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, A Court of Thrones and Roses by Sarah J Maas and Bitten by Kelley Armstrong may ignite your passions. Reading the Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog will help you keep up-to-date with the latest news and reviews in the romance world.

At another end of the scale, horror is a genre that leaves both pages and screens running red with blood. If you especially like your horror in a gothic style why not get involved in the Gothic Novel Jam in July – challenge yourself to create something (it could be a story, game, films, pictures or anything else) inspired by the gothic novel genre.

Will you mix politics and red with all things Julia Gillard, cook some red food or simply read books with red covers? What will have you seeing red this month?

There will be a twitter discussion on 27 March starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time. 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am BST. Note this is a staggered discussion.

Use the tags #redread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of #redread, so others can join in the conversation too.

Get Involved in the July Gothic Novel Jam

March 9, 2018
DG8MRQeXcAQLTja (1)The theme for Read Watch Play this month is #redread, and horror is a genre that leaves both pages and screens running red with blood. If you especially like your horror in a gothic style why not get involved in our Gothic Novel Jam, which is running from 1st to 31st July 2018, and is being hosted on the itch.io website.
 
What is a jam?
The idea of a jam like this is to create something over a set period of time focused on a particular theme. Read on for more context about our own particular Gothic Novel Jam.
 
Why We Chose the Gothic Novel theme
2018 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein and the birth of Emily Bronte, writer of Wuthering Heights. Both novels are key works in the gothic novel genre.  So it’s a perfect opportunity to run a gothic novel themed challenge this year.
 
The Gothic Novel Genre
Gothic novels often feature mystery, terror, supernatural horror and sometimes romance set in old buildings, such as castles or crumbling mansions. As well as Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights, both Dracula and The Hound of the Baskervilles are regarded as gothic novels.
 
If you want to know more about the genre, the Discovering Literature section of the British Library site has plenty of inspirational information, and this GoodReads list of popular gothic novels will introduce you to more classic titles.
 
Thanks also to Australian horror writer Kaaron Warren, who has written a great Read Watch Play blog post for us this month about horror and the supernatural – a fantastical source of inspiration for the Gothic Novel Jam.
 
How to participate
To get involved in Gothic Novel Jam participants need to make something creative inspired by the gothic novel genre. Then by the 31st July upload or share it on the itch.io Gothic Novel Jam site, which we are using to host the online event.
You will need to create an online account on the 
itch.io website. Entries can include stories, poetry, art, games, music, films, pictures, soundscapes, or any other type of media response – it’s only limited by your imagination. All work produced by participants will remain their copyright. Both individuals and teams can get involved.
 
As part of the jam we also want you to use at least one of the out of copyright images on the British Library Flickr account as inspiration for your submission. They’re freely available for anyone to use.  We’ve listed sets of British Library Flickr albums on the Gothic Novel Jam itch.io page which you might find particularly inspiring, including ghoulish scenes, crumbling castles, and stormy landscapes; as well as an atmospheric set of British Library sound files.
 
Though the gothic novel is the main theme, we’ll also be announcing a sub-theme at the launch of the jam on 1st July.
 
If you’re on social media you can also follow the #GothNovJam hashtagto see what others are creating for the jam.
 
Why not run an event for the jam in your venue
The Gothic Novel Jam is intended to be run as an online event, but you could also organise an event in your library or other venue at the start of the jam to encourage participants and help them kick-start their Gothic Novel Jam entries. Why not get local writers, artists, musicians or film makers in to help inspire your local participants. Also think about encouraging your local participants to use resources freely available from your library. You could also follow this initial event up with another event at the end of the month to showcase those local entries.
 
In summary
  • Produce something creative inspired by the gothic novel genre & the sub-theme.
  • Use at least one copyright free image from the British Library Flickr account as inspiration.
  • Upload or share your entry on the itch.io Gothic Novel Jam pageby 31st July 2018.
 
We look forward to seeing your gothic themed creations at the end of July.

 

Kaaron Warren for #redread – a guest post for #rwpchat

March 5, 2018

The best kind of fiction is that in which you care what happens to the characters and the horror genre is no exception. There have always been authors capable of achieving this, from Robert Louis Stephenson (not just Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  His novella “The Bottle Imp” is one of the most frightening I’ve read) to Shirley Jackson (“The Lottery”, Haunting of Hill House), writers have told us stories that frighten us, creep us out and horrifies us, but make us care.

Today, as ever, horror writers explore themes of humanity. They look at how society develops, how we treat each other, and imagine monsters into everyday life, or everyday people into monstrous environments.

There are those who work on the fringes of horror, taking horrific elements and evoking a sense of fear in their stories, but drawing us back from the precipice. L.M. Merrington’s  Greythorne is a gothic novel in the traditional sense, with grand old home and a broody, moody man, but she gives it a modern day twist.

Australian gothic is a creature all its own, using our own locations as characters quite often, from the outback to the crowded city streets. Angela Slatter’s Verity Fassbinder trilogy (Vigil, Corpselight, Restoration) imagines an alternative Brisbane, filled with weyrd, witches, sirens and murder.

There is a wealth of writers working in Australia writing novels and short stories to raise the arm hairs and the goosebumps.

Great novels include Kirstyn McDermott Perfections (evoking the Melbourne art world and irrevocable magic) and Justine Larbalestier’s Liar (which gives us one of the great unreliable narrators). Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels is devastatingly horrifying and heartbreaking, about two sisters protected from the real world until they aren’t any more.

Deborah Biancotti has a chilling (pun intended: mermaid, or is it fish god? Found in the ice) novella for PS Publishing, Waking in Winter PS Publishing are running a series of novellas, many of them from Australian writers, including Alan Baxter’s The Book Club.

I’m a huge fan of the horror short story, and we have some of the best writers in the industry working in Australia. Some of my recent favourite single-author collections are Deb Kalin’s Cherry Crow Children from Twelfth Planet Press (the whole Twelve Planets series is worth checking out),  The Bone Chime Song by Joanne Anderton (Fablecroft Press) and Robert Hood’s  Peripheral Visions (IFWG Publishing, who also published my novel The Grief Hole).

Elsewhere, writers are creating good work, too. I am barely scraping the surface, but here a list of books I’ve enjoyed by some of authors working at the top of their game.

Paul Tremblay Head Full of Ghosts

Susie Maloney’s short story collection Things Withered

Gemma Files Experimental Film which merges dark explorations of something with the experiences of bringing up an autistic child.

Sarah Pinborough Behind Her Eyes

Kanae Minato Confessions

Laird Barron Blood Standard

Jeff Ford’s short story collection A Natural History of Hell

Livia Llewellyn’s short story collection Furnace

Gary McMahon The Concrete Grove novels

David Nickle Eutopia

Russell Banks Lost Memory of Skin

Sheri Holman Witches on the Road

Tade Thompson’s novella The Murders of Molly Southbourne

Check out the various Year’s Best Anthologies for a great reading list. These books collect the best horror and dark fantasy short fiction (sometimes including novellettes and novellas) but are also a great guide to those writing longer fiction.

Editor Ellen Datlow, publishing with Nightshade Books

Editor Stephen Jones, publishing with PS Publishing

Editor Paula Guran, publishing with Prime Books

Editors Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, publishing with Ticonderoga Publications

Red

Red by  fs999

Another great source are the award shortlists, in particular the

Shirley Jackson Awards

Aurealis Awards

Bram Stoker Awards

Online magazines of Horror fiction

SQ Magazine

Nightmare Magazine

Black Static Magazine

Midnight Echo Magazine

Happy reading! Just remember that noise you hear is only your imagination.

Kaaron Warren

share your Gothic and horror reading, watching and playing with #redread #rwpchat

Join us in March for #redread for #rwpchat

March 1, 2018

#redread

red ironing board

(c) Nina Hale / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Finding something to read, watch or play this month for #redread can inspire you, could spark your passion or ignite the blood thirsty part of your personality.

Red is a word that brings many things to mind; bloodshed, fire, science, sport, passion, politics, food, drink and things that can make you blush.

It could be that books on design, how to dress for success and looking for the right career for you could start your reading of the colour red. Design with Colour and Style, How to Dress for Success and What Colour is your Parachute?

Music has the famous bands Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Simply Red and popular Red Red Wine by UB40, Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Redneck Woman by Gretchen Wilson and I See Red by Split Endz.

Red haired actors and actresses Damien Lewis, Lucille Ball, Robert Redford, Don Most, Ron Howard, Danny Bonaduce and Julianne Moore. Games of Thrones is one of the most popular television shows at the moment and with the amount of blood shed in each episode it would make a great #redread (the red wedding!). Watch Dr Who wearing a red fez, Red Dawn (the 80s version or the remake?) or get locked in the red room with Jane Eyre.

Shakespeare’s works are often filled with passion and bloodshed – Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Titus Andronicus, A Midsummers Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale – and sometimes the passion and bloodshed is intertwined.

If you would rather avoid the bloodshed, there are always his love sonnets to enjoy.

There have also been many works (books, movies, songs, and plays) inspired by Shakespeare – whether a reworking of an original play or sonnet, or the exploration of a character or idea.

He drank and saw the spider by Alex Bledsoe is a compassionate retelling of The winter’s tale, Wyrd sisters from Terry Pratchett retells Macbeth. Goodreads has a delightful list of Shakespeare retellings, including both romance and horror. Or how about the films West Side Story and Gnomeo and Juliet?

Sports can bring out the passion in people either supporting your favourite team Manchester United, Sydney Swans, Chicago Bulls, Red Bull Racing, Sydney Swifts, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox to mention a few. Read sports biographies such as Alex Ferguson: my autobiography, Thierry Henry: lonely at the top, Brave Heart, Aussie Grit and Michael Jordan.

Romance is a genre that screams red or its younger cousin, pink. You can try classic romance or a hot erotica romance. A Rogue by any Other Name by Sarah MacLean , When He was Wicked by Julia Quinn, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, A Court of Thrones and Roses by Sarah J Maas and Bitten by Kelley Armstrong may ignite your passions. Reading the Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog will help you keep up-to-date with the latest news and reviews in the romance world.

At another end of the scale, horror is a genre that leaves both pages and screens running red with blood. If you especially like your horror in a gothic style why not get involved in the Gothic Novel Jam in July – challenge yourself to create something (it could be a story, game, films, pictures or anything else) inspired by the gothic novel genre.

Will you mix politics and red with all things Julia Gillard, cook some red food or simply read books with red covers? What will have you seeing red this month?

There will be a twitter discussion on 27 March starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time. 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am BST. Note this is a staggered discussion.

Use the tags #redread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of #redread, so others can join in the conversation too.