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Reading Challenge Week 51 (and 52) - Books from there and here.

This is the last post for the 52 Book Reading Challenge from 2018! My, hasn't the year been action packed? There's nothing quite like a reading challenge to remind you that you don't have time to read anything, don't you think?

Well, the last two weeks for the year have been rolled together for expediency, and so we present our books for the last two challenges. There aren't many of us around at the moment, but we've managed to rustle up a few reviews.

51. A book set in a country you’ve never been to

Louise Cottrell read Alanna: The first adventure (Song of the Lioness) by Tamora Pierce.

A country I’ve never been to? Well, I’ve never been to Tortall. Created by Tamora Pierce way back in 1983, the Tortall Universe has been one of my favourite fantasy realms since I was 12. Alanna: The first adventure was recently named one of the 100 best fantasy novels of all time. This book (C810 PIE) is the beginning of the Tortall universe, following the adventures of Alanna who…

Literary Gifts

It may be a little close to order Christmas gifts online but it's handy to know there are lots of places to find the perfect gift for your literary friends or yourself. Whether you're interested in books and stationery, clothing and accessories, homewares, prints, bags or jewellery, these websites will inspire and delight:

Book Geek
Book Geek is an Australian-based company offering an eclectic, hand-picked range of beautiful gifts for all book-lovers from a variety of sources. You can browse by product type, theme, author or title. Best of all, they are based in Queensland.


Paper Parrot
This site was developed by a retired bookseller (Anne Hutton who owned and ran Electric Shadows Bookshop in Canberra for 24 years). Paper Parrot sells beautiful and unusual stationery books and gifts, with an emphasis on Australian art.

The Literary Gift Company
The Literary Gift Company is a British company, founded in 2009 by Dani Hall, a former bookseller and bookshop manager. You may have to w…

52 Book Challenge - Week 51 (and 52)

Okay, just for expediency (and because we close for the year at 12pm next Monday) we're going to announce the last two weeks' challenges at the same time.

It has been a fun ride, trying to cram 52 books into our year with the aid of this challenge, and we've enjoyed it (we hope you have too), and we have something "interesting" planned for 2019, just to keep the happy reading times going. We'll announce that at the beginning of January.

But, for now, let's take home the year with a matching set:

51. A book set in a country you’ve never been to
52. A book set in the place you live today

Sorry, gang, no advice for how to search for these two. You know where you are, and you know where you've been. At least, we hope so.

But, you know, "country" and "place" can be open for interpretation, so have fun with this. It is the "silly" season after all...


Have you missed out on hearing about the 52 Book Challenge? Catch up here.

Reading Challenge Week 50 - A book by an author you haven’t read before.

The best part of any Reading Challenge or assignment is when you get to discover something new. New genres, new stories, new authors... It's all good.

So this week's challenge (a challenge we think is so good we're going to do something very special with it in 2019) was to read a book by an author you've never read before. We hope you found something new and exciting and different - even if it was something that has been around for ages.


Scott Dale read Carpentaria by Alexis Wright.

With on-and-off-and-on Owen (the tropical cyclone) out there in the Gulf of Carpentaria this week, it seemed a good time to finally take a look at Carpentaria by Alexis Wright (820A WRI(A) 1C CAR). I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time and it’s the first of Alexis Wright’s books that I’ve read. This is an epic book and it does have a cyclone feature in the story.
Set in a fictional town of Desperance on the Gulf of Carpentaria, Wright takes us on an amazing journey and introduces…

Cafe Holiday Hours

The staff at Aroma and D'Lish in Cairns, and Juliette's and Miss Sushi in Townsville are taking a much needed break for the holidays. Their current opening hours are as follows:

Aroma - Closed
Opening hours: 7:30am - 2:30pm
Last day: Friday 14 December
Reopen: 14 January

D'Lish on McGregor
Opening hours: 7:30am - 2:30pm
Last day: Tuesday 18 December
Reopen: 14 January

Juliette's
Opening hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Last day: Friday 21 December
Reopen: 2 January

Miss Sushi - Closed
Opening hours: 7:30am - 3:00pm
Last day: 14 December

Graduating? You don't have to leave us completely.

Well, as 2018 draws to a close, another round of graduands are becoming graduates, and will no longer be able to call themselves "students".

While it's always nice to see our fledglings leave the nest and fly free into the big wide world, we realise that sometimes they like to come back and visit the library. After all, you never stop learning (at least, not if you're any good at your job), and it's always important to be able to keep up with the latest research.

But what can you do after you're no longer a student of JCU?

JCU Alumni can apply for library membership, which enables them to borrow our material (except material with short loan periods), and access a small number of databases (although you might not be able to read the full text of the articles unless you are in the library buildings).

To find out more about borrowing as an alumni, check out this page.

To find out more about Alumni access to databases, see here.

And good luck! We hope you had a …

Flowers of the Sea - Part 2

In comparison with the women featured in our previous post the compiler of the album included in the Sir C.M. Yonge collection was quite a latecomer on the scene. The album is inscribed with the name Annie Slade, but otherwise gives few clues to her identity. Her home “Simla” was in the south Devon coastal town of Paignton and her inscription indicates that she presented the album as a gift to her friends, Mr and Mrs Edmund Slatter, in 1884.

Given that Paignton also lies on the shores of Torbay, it is interesting to speculate whether her interest was sparked by the pioneering work of Amelia Griffiths and Mary Atkins which, as our earlier post reported, had been carried out for so many years right on her doorstep. Could she have visited Mary’s shop as a child or modelled her album on those Amelia produced? Certainly Annie’s album sounds remarkably similar to a recent description of the “slightly-battered leather-bound” Griffiths volume held in Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum, i…

Flowers of the Sea - Part 1

Call us not weeds, we are flowers of the sea 
For lovely and bright and gay tinted are we 
And quite independent of sunshine and showers 
Oh call us not weeds, we are ocean’s gay flowers

In Victorian times an unusual pastime became quite the fashion among women who had time on their hands and who were prevented by the prevailing mores of society from taking part in many other pursuits. The 19th Century saw a growing interest in the natural sciences and the blossoming of many related societies, yet membership was considered inappropriate for women who were expected to develop their skills in music or the decorative arts. But the rise of industrialisation, increasing urban pollution and overcrowding also encouraged an appreciation of the healthy fresh air of the countryside or seaside, with walking and bathing seen as beneficial activities for both sexes.

The above verse, attributed to a Mrs Elizabeth Aveline, gives a clue to an activity which held both scientific and decorative interest a…

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world. - Eleanor Roosevelt

10 December 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the UN's Declaration of Human Rights, which is celebrated annually on Human Rights Day. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.The principles embodied in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others, and promote equality, justice and the dignity of all human beings.

You can explore the many resources on human rights within the library collection or see what our researchers have been producing on this topic via Research Online.




52 Book Challenge - Week 50

Oh, good lord, it's week 50 already! How did that happen? After this week's Reading Challenge we only have two left - and one of them will be during a week we won't even be open (except for Monday morning), so that's just plain awkward.
I suppose we should stop panicking over the inevitable passage of time and get on with issuing the latest challenge, which is:
50. A book by an author you haven’t read before.
Well that sounds easy.
We often try to give you some advice for how to find a book for these weekly challenges, but to be perfectly frank we have no idea which authors you have and haven't read, so um... Pick up a book, look at who wrote it, and ask yourself, "have I read anything by this author before?" and if the answer is "no", then you're good to go.
Oh, and in case you're thinking, "Soon the Reading Challenge will be over, and then what will I read?" we're planning something new and exciting for 2019. Stay tuned.

H…

Reading Challenge Week 49 - A book of non-fiction essays.

Did you take on the challenge of reading a book of non-fiction essays? (Actually, it's very hard to even find a book of fictional essays, so as challenges go this wasn't as challenging as it could have been).

Essays get a bad wrap - probably because generations of people are forced to write them from high school right through university, and after a good decade or so of writing essays without really knowing what they're good for, nobody thinks they can possibly be any good.

But essays aren't just horrible things you're forced to write for an assignment. The essay is to a non-fiction book what a short story is to a novel. It gives you an explanation and exploration of a topic without going on and on about it for chapters on end. The best essays are punchy, witty, well written and very interesting. A collection of essays can take you around the world and cover a wide spread of topics while it's doing it.

If you decided that this week's challenge wasn't fo…

Farewell, Bonita Mabo.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that the following post contains images of deceased persons.

Today, in a state funeral held in Townsville, we bid farewell to a beloved member of the community (not only our local community, but the wider community throughout Queensland): Dr Ernestine ‘Bonita’ Mabo AO.

Dr Mabo was only recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters, in recognition of the decades of service she has given the Aboriginal Australian, Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Islander communities in and around the Townsville and North Queensland regions.

Dr Mabo co-founded the Black Community School, Australia's first Indigenous community school, in Townsville - alongside her husband, Eddie Koiki Mabo. She also worked with Eddie Mabo on the Indigenous Land Rights court case, helping to shape the current political landscape of Australia.

For more than 45 years, Dr Mabo has been a vocal advocate for the Indigenous Australian and Pacific Islander communitie…

Discovering the Yonge Collection - Pontoppidan's 'Natural History of Norway'

Pontoppidan, Erich (1755), The natural history of Norway: containing a particular and accurate account of the temperature of the air, the different soils, waters, vegetables, metals, minerals, stones, beasts, birds, and fishes: together with the dispositions, customs, and manner of living of the inhabitants: interspersed with physiological notes from eminent writers, and transactions of academies : in two parts, A. Linde, London. 

The Natural history of Norway was distinctly modern in its concept, and Pontoppidan was called Norway’s Pliny, often citing Pliny the Elder, the Roman naturalist and scholar. Once published, the book was hugely popular and quickly translated into English and German. Chapters included: geography, climate, weather, geology, fresh and sea water, trees, plants crops, wild and domestic animals, land and sea birds, fish and fisheries, all sorts of creeping and wiggly animals. He also gave over a chapter dedicated to marine monsters, such as the sea serpent,…

52 Book Challenge - Week 49

Now, we realise that, for university students and lecturers, the word "essay" has some unpleasant connotations.

But, believe it or not, "essays" can be very interesting things to read (as long as they weren't written for an assignment, reading those essays usually makes you want to gouge out your eye with a spoon).

An essay is, after all, a short piece of writing in which someone gives some deep thought to a subject. They can be witty, interesting, informative, inspiring and moving - sometimes all at the same time. Once upon a time, people used to buy books of collected essays for their edification and amusement.

And while essays aren't as popular as they used to be (like short stories and poems), they are still being written by some very fine authors who have some very interesting things to say.

So, for your edification and amusement, we present this week's Reading Challenge:

49. A book of non-fiction essays.

Need a handy list of collected essays? Perh…

Reading Challenge Week 48 - A book from another country

Ah, other countries. There are a lot of them, aren't there? So, when someone challenges you to read "a book from another country", it's not really very limiting. I mean, we didn't even limit you to fiction or non-fiction.

Did you find a book from "another country" to read this week? We did.



Brenda Carter read The French Way: Aspects of Behaviour, Attitudes, and Customs of the Frenchby Ross Steele
France’s cities, villages and picturesque countryside, her medieval cathedrals, castles and art museums, her restaurants, high-fashion and luxury goods are well known throughout the world. But who are the French?
The French Way (944 STE)is a handy guide to understanding how people from every region of France think, do business, and act in their daily lives. 85 key traits are organised alphabetically, so it’s easy to dip into the topics you’re most interested in, from bread and pastries, drinking, greetings and farewells, and men and women, to Zut (you’ll need to …