Seen the movie? Now read the book

'books & projector' by  Sami Keinänen (CC BY-SA 2.0)

‘books & projector’ by Sami Keinänen (CC BY-SA 2.0)

2014 was a big year for turning books into movies and as the year draws to a close, we thought we’d highlight some of them so you can knowingly nod and ask: ‘Ah, but did you read the book?’ and gain some pop-culture/literary cred as you catch up with friends and family over Christmas and New Year.

Gone girl: a novel / Gillian Flynn. On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick’s wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren’t his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?

The fault in our stars / John Green. Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss and life. Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

The Hunger Games / Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games is a trilogy comprising also of  Book One: The Hunger Games (available in print, audiobook and eBook and DVD; Book Two Catching Fire (available to borrow in print, audiobook and the movie on DVD); and Book Three Mockingjay (available to borrow in print and audiobook); and has been made into four movies. The third movie, Mockingjay Part One was released November 22 2014 with the final chapter coming in 2015.

Winter’s tale / Mark Helprin. One winter night, Peter Lake — master mechanic and second-story man — attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks it is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the affair between a middle-aged Irish burglar and Beverly Penn, a young girl dying of consumption. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, then borrow it on DVD from the Library as well.

Divergent / Veronica Roth. Also available as eBook and audio book, Divergent is set in a futuristic Chicago, where sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life. It’s a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

The giver / Lois Lowry. With yet another tale of a dystopian future, there was a definite them in young adult fiction and film this year. In The Giver, the future is a rigidly structured society where weaklings, dissenters and the aged are removed, and stirrings of individuality are nullified with drugs, children undergo special ceremonies annually until, after 11 years, they face the Ceremony of Twelve, when the Community of Elders assigns them the tasks that will take them through their adult life. But when Jonas is selected to be the Receiver of Memory, he discovers that the honor of selection is nothing compared to the loneliness and physical pain he must endure as he searches for a way to free his community from the spiritless life it has developed for its members.

This is where I leave you / Jonathan Tropper. Poor Judd Foxman returns home early to find his wife in bed with his boss–in the act. He now faces the twin threats of both divorce and unemployment. His misery is compounded further with the sudden death of his father. He is then asked to come and ‘sit Shiva’ for his newly deceased parent with his angry, screwed-up and somewhat estranged brothers and sisters in his childhood home. It is there he must confront who he really is and — more importantly — who he can become.

Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day / Judith Viorst; illustrated by Ray Cruz. First published in the 1970s, this classic children’s tale was turned into a movie this year starring Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell. On a day when everything goes wrong for him, Alexander is consoled by the thought that other people have bad days too.





Christmas spirit infusion

'Christmas books Holiday reading' by  Carissa Rogers (CC BY 2.0)

‘Christmas books Holiday reading’ by Carissa Rogers (CC BY 2.0)

To celebrate Christmas week, the QUT Library has lots of Christmas-themed offerings that will be sure to get you all primed and jolly for the season!

So bring some Christmas magic into your life with some books and movies that are all about Christmas.


A Christmas carol / Dickens, Charles. Come spend Christmas with Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge, and all the ghosts of Christmas. A classic Christmas tale.

Letters from Father Christmas / J.R.R. Tolkien ; edited by Baillie Tolkien. This classic festive book of Tolkien’s amazing Father Christmas letters written to his children between the 1920s and the 1940s

The night before Christmas / Clement Clarke Moore The well-known poem about an important Christmas visitor is brought to life in a festive pop-up edition.

How the Grinch stole Christmas No holiday season is complete without the Grinch, Max, Cindy-Lou, and all the residents of Who-ville in this heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit on even the smallest and coldest of hearts. It’s classic Dr Suess.


The polar express  On Christmas Eve, a doubting boy boards a magical train that’s headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus’ home. Based on the Book by Chris Van Allsburg.

Frank Capra’s It’s a wonderful life George Bailey, a desperate and suicidal man, is visited by a guardian angel who shows him how important he has been to those around him in his life

Breakfast at Tiffanys A lonely, struggling writer becomes enchanted with his neighbor: an independent young woman who strives to be a high-climbing socialite with a penchance for high-fashion and wild parties. But, soon he uncovers the vulnerability she has at heart. Based on the novel of the same name by Truman Capotel.

The nutcracker : Ballet On Christmas Eve, a young girl’s nutcracker doll transforms into a prince who battles an evil Mouse King and escorts the girl to the magical Land of Sweets. This recording is of the acclaimed Bolshoi Ballet performing in Moscow


Do you have a favourite Christmas themed book or movie that is integral to your Christmas celebrations?

Can’t keep a good tree down

Christmas tree.2

Photo Courtesy of QUT Library

A casualty from the other week’s superstorm was the Kelvin Grove Library annual ‘Book Christmas Tree’ – this year lovingly decorated in ornaments handmade by staff from out-of-date maps. Alas, water and books don’t mix well and the soggy remnants of what was left post storm have had to be discarded.

But, like a phoenix arising from the ashes, the idea for a new Christmas tree has been coming together and is now complete.

Photo courtesy of QUT Library

Photo courtesy of QUT Library

The Christmas spirit is alive and well at the Kelvin Grove Library Helpdesk – and as a bonus, its dry.


Monkey business encouraged


An argosy of fables; a representative selection from the fable literature of every age and land (1921) By Paul Bransom (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

The 14th of December is Monkey Day.

Monkey Day? Really?

Yeah, I know. There’s a day for pretty much everything now. Some of them raise awareness for genuinely important causes, some of them not so much (that’s right, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I’m looking at you).

The origins of Monkey Day are a bit iffy. Wikipedia tells me it was started in 2000 when an art student scrawled Monkey Day into a friend’s calendar. As the name would suggest, the day is primarily about monkeys, but it also celebrates other (non-human) primates such as apes, lemurs and tarsiers (if you don’t know what a tarsier is look it up, I promise you will not be disappointed).

How does one even celebrate Monkey Day? One of the founders of Monkey Day sends Monkey Day cards to strangers. Others have raised money for primate-related charities with gibbon portrait classes. In 2005, Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong was released on Monkey Day. If that all seems like a bit too much effort, you could always celebrate with a vaguely monkey-related book or movie from the library. There’s Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man, a comic book series in which a mysterious plague kills everything on earth with a Y chromosome, except for an escape artist called Yorick Brown and his pet monkey, Ampersand. If you’re looking for something classic, try out the 16th century Chinese novel, A Journey to the West, which has its roots in Chinese mythology and Taoist and Buddhist philosophy. Or, if you’re after something for the kids, you can’t go wrong with Disney classic, Aladdin.

Human Rights Day

1 November 1949 - United Nations, Lake Success, New York: Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt (USA) holding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a poster in English.

1 November 1949 – United Nations, Lake Success, New York: Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt (USA) holding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a poster in English.

Human Rights Day celebrates the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948. The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and the Nobel Peace Prize are also generally awarded on 10 December.

This video created by the United Nations Development Programme in Rwanda succinctly illustrates the 30 articles of the Universal Deceleration of Human Rights. Check it out if you want to get a handle on human rights but don’t fancy reading the whole document.

[youtube RiPgIUO6jWs]

Connect with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with news and events in the lead up to Human Rights Day.


What’s a sanction and how do I deal with it?

"no access" by  Bob the Lomond (CC BY-NC 2.0)

“no access” by Bob the Lomond (CC BY-NC 2.0)

You thought everything for the semester was done and dusted – but wait, what is that you see in your email inbox? A sanction! In all the rush to meet deadlines you may have forgotten to return some items to the library. We’d like to make sure everything is available and ready for interested users.

So, what is a sanction?

  • When a library item becomes 28 days overdue, an academic sanction will be applied to your student record.
  • Sanctions prevent you from receiving examination results, graduating and obtaining academic transcripts.

What should I do?

  • To remove the sanction, you need to either return the item or pay a replacement cost.
  • Replacement costs can be paid online by credit card via QUTPay, or in person at any QUT Branch Library, excluding the Law Library.

QUT Library is committed to ensuring equitable access to resources and we ask that you return or renew your items by their due date. You can renew them yourself by logging on to your My Library Profile on the QUT Library website.

Full details about overdues, penalties and sanctions are available via the QUT Library website.


Summer Series Two – Summer reading

'2012-205 Reading' by Denise Krebs (CC BY 2.0)

‘2012-205 Reading’ by Denise Krebs (CC BY 2.0)

The QUT Library is ready and willing to enable a Summer spent reading in the hammock or by the pool.

You may be unaware of QUT Library’s extensive holdings of recreational reading material — both fiction and non-fiction — that is yours to borrow. So come and stock up so you can simply move from one book to the next without leaving your comfy spot. Whether it be literary classics, latest award winners or easy reads then the QUT Library has something to suit everyone.

Here are some classic summer-themed books to get you started:

To kill a mockingbird / Harper Lee. A young girl growing up in an Alabama town in the 1930s learns of injustice and violence when her father, a widowed lawyer, defends a black man falsely accused of rape —  from Worldcat. Deceptively simple, this is one of my all time favourite books that I re-read every year!

The great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald which follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession for the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchana. — from Wikipedia.

Let the great world spin / Colum McCann. Award-winner Let the Great World Spin is a novel laced together by several different narratives, spanning from a waspy Park Avenue wife of a judge to a hooker to an Irish immigrant. The common thread? All characters are centered in New York City, summer blazing, while the Vietnam War rages on abroad. Despite the chaos abroad and on US soil, the city comes to a standstill when onlookers spot a man begin to walk on a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers. — from flavourwire

Atonement / Ian McEwan. In 1935, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis and her family live a life of wealth and privilege in their enormous mansion. On the warmest day of the year, the country estate takes on an unsettling hothouse atmosphere, stoking Briony’s vivid imagination. Robbie Turner, the educated son of the family’s housekeeper, carries a torch for Briony’s headstrong older sister Cecilia. He hopes that Cecilia has comparable feelings. All it will take is one spark for this relationship to combust. When it does, Briony — who has a crush on Robbie — is compelled to interfere. She goes so far as to accuse Robbie of a crime he did not commit. Cecilia and Robbie declare their love for each other, but, ultimately, he is arrested. Briony bears false witness and the course of three lives is changed forever. — from Wikipedia

Come and browse the shelves or search for particular titles using the Library catalogue.

And if an eBook reader is on your Christmas list, then you’ll be pleased to know that many titles are available for loan as eBooks, or audiobooks,  downloadable from the Library website. So you don’t even have to interrupt your lolling to restock your reading material!

Let us know your favourite summer-themed book or a book you re-read every year!