Tuesday, 29 December 2015



Sometimes, a book just grabs hold of your soul and refuses to let go... or at least till you have explored all it has to offer. 

"Grandma Magic" was one such book for me. It has an irresistible title, at least for a grandmother, or Nan, as I am. Sadly for the editor, Janet Hutchinson and the 20 contributors, it came to me in perfect condition, via a charity store, with an unbelievably low price.

Having read the delights within, I wondered about the original recipient...why was the book apparently unread? Was it given to someone who wasn't happy to be a grandmother, or perhaps wasn't a reader... maybe there was something more sad, more meaningful.

I delighted in the individual stories, spending a few content hours, delving into stories of different cultures, different 'social standing', if you believe in such a thing, and definitely filled with varied emotions and connections.

 I laughed at the way such small children take their place in the lives and very souls of their grandparents, whether they want them to or not. I was saddened at the burdens thrust upon the grandmas when they were just relishing their freedom, and then in many cases, in later years, on the grandchildren, as their roles were reversed. 

The wonderful names that children bestow on their grandparents always tickles my heart. My much beloved Aunt was called "Giggi" by her first grandchild and it stayed with her always. My own son called my Dad '"Dandad" and the next four grandchildren followed, at least while they were small..

Grandchildren have a way of releasing our inner child... Who wouldn't want to give up a family yum cha to stay with a delightful little man who wants to pretend to eat multicoloured tinsel stars and decide which is the sweetest, red or Eva Cox did with her Asher?

Anne Deveson's 9 year old Odessa writes about her thoughts on her grandmother, which is followed by Anne's revealing story about her own grandmother, Florence.. all was not what it seemed with this very proper lady.

Shalini Akhil reveals her collection of grandmas... all different and each equally fascinating. 

The book was published by Allen and Unwin, back in 2009, then again in 2010, yet it is still available if you look hard enough. It is worth the search...

Saturday, 14 March 2015



One of the many places to download books for free is the often overlooked 
National Library of Australia...........

You can browse to your hearts delight and download at your will. They are in easily read .pdf format and you can find a range of different subjects.

This is just a small selection...

David Malouf: A Celebration

David Malouf: a Celebration, brings together three essays that pay tribute to one of Australia's leading writers. The engaging voices of David Malouf's friends who are also fellow authors' speak of their varied and unique experiences of Malouf and his art.
Download David Malouf

Taken at Tilba

W.H. Corkhill (1846-1936) documented many aspects of the inhabitants of the tiny twin settlements of Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba,on the south coast of New South Wales— farming, gold mining, shipbuilding and road making — and their rich and varied social life. His rapport with his sitters draws the observer into their world.
Download Taken at Tilba

The Gundagai Album

In 1971 the National Library of Australia was given some 900 glass negatives of Gundagai. Of the collection found by chance, 120 selected plates are reproduced in this book. The photographs were taken at the turn of the century and are believed to be the work of Charles Louis Gabriel, a doctor who added an exotic French flavour to that loyal bastion of the British Empire, Gundagai.

Show Man: The Photography of Frank Hurley

The photographer Frank Hurley (1885-1962) is a legendary figure in Australian cultural history, This book is an account of Hurley's 'showmanship', that is, his professional sense of performance and display, and accompanied an exhibition of his work in 1990.
Download Show Man

The People's Treasures

The People's Treasures provides a tempting insight into the richness of the collections held in the National Library of Australia. While celebrating the collections of the Library, this book pays tribute both directly and indirectly to the many and various ways in which they have been developed and enriched.

Thursday, 12 February 2015



a. A place in which reading materials, such as books, periodicals, 
and newspapers, and often other materials such as musical and video recordings, are kept for use or lending.
b. A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged.
c. A room in a private home for such a collection.
d. An institution or foundation maintaining such a collection.
2. A set of things similar to a library in appearance, function, or organization, especially:
a. A series of books issued by a publisher.
b. A collection of standard routines used in computer programs, usually stored as an executable file.
c. A collection of cloned DNA sequences whose location and identity can be established by mapping the genome of a particular organism.
d. A collection of proteins generated from the collected DNA sequences that express them, used for tracking metabolic functions of proteins in diseases such as cancer, for the synthesis of new drugs, and for other proteomics research.

A reasonable definition, but is that all these magnificent buildings are? What do you think and which is the most appealing? 

I offer you just a few, for the rest, please go to

 Royal Portuguese Reading Room — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil                                                                   

Reading Room at La Sorbonne — Paris, France                                                                                              

Frederick Thompson Memorial Library at Vassar College — Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


Tuesday, 27 January 2015


(c) library wallpaper

How often do we hear that the life of 'real' books is limited and ebooks are the future? It's not something I agree with, I think there is room for both. I'm composing this on my iPad which also serves as my Kindle and my general eReader, but you would never know I read ebooks if you could see my many bookcases and stacks of books.

This article, from Government News details some very exciting changes to the way our libraries are to be shared in the future... Click on the link below, to see why, I, along with many others, am  truly looking forward to this coming to a library nearby. Now, let's hope that the National and State Libraries are also involved.

All access for shared library smartcards