Gus reads Martin Amis #gusreads #growlingwithgus

What is Gus reading now?

Gus has been reading Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres and Yellow Dog by Martin Amis. Yellow Dog was definitely not what he expected. It

explores the complex lives of five very different men, including Xan Meo, a one-time familial paragon who suffers a personality change following a brutal assault, and King Henry IX of England, whose life is complicated by his incapacitated wife…

No, Gus much preferred Red Dog which is about

a West Australian, a lovable friendly red kelpie who found widespread fame as a result of his habit of travelling all over Western Australia, hitching rides over thousands of miles, settling in places for months at a time and adopting new families before heading off again to the next destination and another family – sometimes returning to say hello years later.

Gus wants to know why he can’t judge a book by its cover. Not that he is discouraged from reading – not at all. Gus realises that a healthy diet of books will always contain some less favourable reads. And so he decides on Peter Goldsworthy‘s Three Dog Night to complete his doggy trilogy, showing his dogged determination to be an erudite canine.

Oh dear, all this reading is making Gus sleepy. Until next time, this is Gus saying ‘goodnight’ for now. Woof.

#gusreads #growlingwithgus

Meet Gus. Gus loves to read. #gusreads #growlingwithgus

Meet Gus. Gus reads. He reads a lot because he loves reading. At the moment he’s reading Ruth Ozeki’s My year of meats. According to our borrowing records, Gus is one of the most prolific borrowers from our library – close second to Noah.

Stay tuned for more of Gus. #growlingwithgus

Reading Ambassador #9 – Jonathan LEE

What are you reading at the moment?

At the moment I’m reading The Thief by Clive Cussler. The main character – Isaac Bell – is a spy who is trying to stop Germany from rising to power using a new invention of the time, which was hugely innovative at the time – known to us as a microphone. The Germans believed that they could use it for propaganda, to get the Americans on their side. The story is set in the 19th Century – just after the industrial revolution. This is the fifth of the Isaac Bell series, and this series is more ‘spy’ oriented, where Cussler’s  other books tend to be more action & adventure. It’s the type of book that I enjoy reading. I’m also reading Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Where’s the most enjoyable place that you do read or have read a book?

The most enjoyable place that I read is in bed at night, when everyone has gone to bed. This is usually in the holidays.

What was your first reading memory?

I didn’t do a lot of reading until I got to secondary school & found  books Like the Cherub Series [Robert Muchamore]. I guess the genre of books that I like isn’t really for younger readers. I do remember in Year 3 the teacher reading to us – in the afternoons, especially when it was hot – she read Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

Thank you, Jonathan, for being our Reading Ambassador, and to Denise for the interview and photo.

Reading Ambassador #8 – Long Vu Tran

National Year of Reading – Reading Ambassador #8 – Long VU TRAN



What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading the Raymond E. Feist  series at the moment – I’m up to the Krondor part, which is the fourth series. It’s set in a land called Midkemia. Fantasy & adventure are the genres that I prefer to read. I really like the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan and the Artemis Fowl  [Eoin Colfer] series. In primary school I was recommended Agatha Christie – I liked Ten Little Indians and Death on the Nile. I like books with medieval warfare – Raymond E. Feist writes in this way but he includes magic as well. A lot of authors will take elements of that time period – like the feudal system, for example, – but put them into their own worlds or realms.

Where’s the most unusual place that you’ve ever read a book?
At the start of Year Seven I spent a lot of time reading, but I didn’t go to the library. I used to spend a lot of time reading, standing in this corner outside my lockers. Then eventually I started reading & walking & eating at the same time – but just at school. I don’t do it on the street in case I trip or walk into things. When I read on the train there’s a whistling sound in the tunnel just before Flinders Street Station, but sometimes I’m so immersed in what I’m reading that I hear it but there’s no recognition. I don’t miss my stop on the way home because most of my friends get off at the stop before me.

What book / story has made a lasting impression upon you?
I would have to say the Ranger’s Apprentice [John Flanagan] series because I’ve read the series about five times – this is the kind of book/series that I enjoy the most. It’s set in medieval times & the main character is Will. Will wasn’t born a hero. He was an orphan & he wanted to become a warrior but he was too skinny, so then he became a ranger’s apprentice. Rangers are a kind of spy for the kingdom, they wear cloaks & walk around the forest like scouts. The people believe that the rangers have magical powers – but they don’t, they have just been thoroughly trained to protect the people.

Thank you, Long, for sharing your reading preferences with us, and thanks, as always to Denise for the interview and photo.

Reading Ambassador #7 – Michael Tran

Michael TRAN – NYOR12 Ambassador #7

What are you reading at the moment?

Currently I’m  reading Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets [J.K. Rowling] for about the thousandth time (I’ve read them all before). I haven’t had the time to read much recently, so it’s good to pick up a book that I’ve read before (and one that I like) to get back into the reading routine. When I’m able to read more, I prefer the fantasy / adventure genres. In class – for wider reading – we’ve been reading classics. Recently we read The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare – we read it out aloud as a class. I’m also reading Thursday’s Child by Sonya Hartnett.

Where’s the most enjoyable place that you read? 

When I’m reading I like to get into the atmosphere of the book as well, so I like to go to the park to read – somewhere where there’s nature. Otherwise – when the weather’s not so good – I like to read in bed, with a dimly lit lamp, a cup of hot chocolate and my iPod.

Where’s the most unusual place that you’ve ever read a book? 

As I mentioned before, I like to get into the atmosphere of the book that I’m reading, so when I first read Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone I took it to my auntie’s house. She actually has a cupboard under the stairs. So I thought how – in Harry’s perspective  – would he feel, so I went into the cupboard to read a few chapters of the book. I didn’t stay there for much longer though, I couldn’t handle all the dust!

Thanks to Denise for the interview and photo, and a big thank you to Michael for sharing his reading habits with us!

Reading Ambassador #6 – Nathan Nguyen #nyor12


What are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently reading The Great Gatsby [F. Scott Fitzgerald] – I still haven’t finished it. I like it a lot because it’s really detailed. I like how the author captures how the society is too obsessed with wealth and status. The character detail is really in-depth & I like how the author develops the personalities. I’ve recently started reading classic literature, previously I’ve mostly read fantasy.


What is your first reading memory?

My first reading memory is at primary school where we had library classes. We had yellow library bags & if we had our yellow bags with us we could borrow, but if we didn’t have them we weren’t allowed to borrow – so that was always fun. When I was in Year 1 my teacher would read to us every afternoon. She would read books like The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton. That was the first book I bought for myself. Before I could actually read I remember that my cousins would come over and they liked to read, so they would read to me.


Where’s the most enjoyable place that you read / have read?

In the summer time I like to read outside. At home we have a hammock outside in the back yard under some trees & I would just lie there and read.


Which character has left a lasting impression upon you?

In The Enchanted Wood when the teacher read to us, I really liked the character of Moonface because he was really nice to Fanny and the others, so he’s a book character that I remember.

Thanks to Nathan and Denise for the interview and photo. We look forward to more #nyor interviews; it’s always interesting to peek into people’s reading habits. I think you learn a lot about the person.

Reading Ambassador #5 – Sai Ponnaganti

What are you reading at the moment?

I’ve started The Hunger Games – I’ve read the first one & the third one [Mockingjay] & I’m reading the second one at the moment [Catching Fire] – it’s not really confusing reading them this way, it makes sense – for me. The first one was really involving & engaging; the third one is better, but darker. I’ve also started reading Shiver  [Maggie Stiefvater], it’s about vampires & a bit chick lit, but I like it.

What was you first reading memory?

It  would probably be reading TinTin & Asterix  – I read them all. They’re really funny – I didn’t actually pick up on all the puns in Asterix at the time, but I looked through them again when I was older – all the way through, they’re all puns. They’re so good. I also read Star Wars books & Aussie Bite stuff, too. I remember in kindergarten correcting the teacher for skipping out parts of the stories that were being read to us – that really annoyed me.

Where’s the most unusual place that you’ve ever read a book?

That would probably be while walking – in Year 3 I got into trouble from my parents & teachers because I was walking upstairs reading – I literally was reading while I walked everywhere. I never fell or tripped – you get used to it.

What book / story has made a lasting impression upon you?

The story that has made a really great impression on me because I didn’t like the character was probably Perfume [Patrick Suskind] – it was horrible & I couldn’t get it out of my head. He was a totally psychotic character & his actions were disgusting. I don’t really want to remember it but can’t help it.
There are a few books that I remember in a positive way – Harry Potter, for example, & The Hunger Games will stay with me because it’s so realistic – the third one in particular – and I can really empathize with the characters, especially the main character even though I found her really annoying at the same time. I felt the same with His Dark Materials [Philip Pullman] – I felt a great deal of empathy with the characters & felt quite depressed at the end.

Thanks, Sai, for sharing your reading background with us, and to Denise for the interview and photo.

Reading Ambassador #4 – Christian Albrecht

Presenting our fourth Reading Ambassador in the spirit of the National Year of Reading 2012 – Christian Albrecht.

What are you reading at the moment?

Currently I’m reading 3 books – the first one is The Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust (also known as In Search of Lost Time) It’s considered to be one of the longest books of all time – the English translation is over 4,000 pages long & over 1.5 million words, published in 7 volumes. I’m partway  through the first volume, & the theme of involuntary – or Proustian – memory is a major theme that runs through the story. A major example of this is his having a madeleine in tea which brought back childhood memories. The other book I’m reading is Imajica by Clive Barker – a fantasy / sci-fi story about the reconciling of Earth (the fifth Dominion) with the other Dominions of the Universe; and the third book is the third book of Stephen King’s fantasy series The Dark Tower, called The Waste Lands. Although he’s known for his horror novels, he has written a substantial number of books in other genres that may even be considered better than his horror stories. This series is what he considers to be his magnum opus. He’s recently just finished the 8th book in the series.

Where’s the most enjoyable place that you read / have read?

My grandfather used to own a ski lodge up at Mt Hotham, and I would say that that would be the most enjoyable place that I’ve read –  sitting on the couch in front of the open fire as it was snowing outside. It was a more traditional wooden lodge – like a chalet – and the atmosphere was enjoyable.


What character in a book or story has inspired you the most?

I would probably have to say Pip from Great Expectations [Charles Dickens] – I enjoyed the development of him as a person as he goes from not having much to having great expectations, and then at the end going back to not having as much again. During that time he comes to see that he had great expectations from the beginning. He came to realize what really mattered & I find that admirable, especially from the perspective of being in Year 12 & getting caught up with what really isn’t important. He wasn’t always likeable, but that’s the case with people in real life as well, but we get to know what type of person he becomes at the end.


What book / story has made a lasting impression upon you?

Catcher in the Rye [J.D. Salinger] would be the book that has left the biggest impression, & I would say that it was the age I was had a great deal to do with what an impression it left on me. At that time I hadn’t read a lot of teenage or coming of age stories, so that in itself was a big factor. Then reading it again & studying it in Year 10, and especially Year 10 being my first year at high school it had a much greater impression upon me. There are a lot more worries & things to deal with in secondary school, after the carefree years of primary school, & this is given prominence in this book. I know a lot of people seem to dislike Catcher in the Rye & Holden Caulfield and find him to have a rather whiny character, the feelings that he has are the feelings that most teenagers would have. The way it’s presented may be an exaggeration, but we often find people to be phoney & not genuine. The focus is not on relationships as many teen fiction stories are today, but on his emotions & his feeling of isolation.

Thank you to Denise for the interview and photo.

Reading Ambassador #2 – Padraig Gilligan

I’m happy to feature our second Reading Ambassador – RA#1 was too shy to be featured online. We’re a little late to the party but the party is still going, so why not? In the spirit of the National Year of Reading 2012, I present to you – Padraig Gilligan.

Thanks to Denise for hunting down the Reading Ambassadors, interviewing them, photographing them and creating the display.

Here’s the interview:

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m reading Looking for Alaska by John Green. It’s a teen romance novel that has some very zany, very relatable characters. It’s set in contemporary America, in a boarding school in Alabama.

Where’s the most unusual place you’ve read a book?

I guess it would be The Chronicles of Malus Darkblade [Warhammer, by Dan Abnett] on a cadet exercise, half underground in a machine gun nest. It was pretty dark, I was in my cadet cams & had cam paint on. I had a mock rifle & just a little head torch to read by. I was in that observation nest for about 10 hours, and my partner & I took turns of 2 hours each on lookout. This was in the Rushworth State Forest near Graytown – it’s used for military training.

Where’s the most enjoyable place that you [have] read?

I really enjoy reading on trains because even if you don’t get a seat, which is sometimes not an option, you have these nice little chronological markers – in the form of the stops & stations that you go through – so you know how long you’ve been reading & how long you have left to read. So I have fun reading on a train & I find that I challenge myself to read a certain number of pages between each stop. I really like reading on trains.