January 04th, 2018
Summer holidays are without a doubt the best time of year to take some time for yourself and delve into a new novel.

Be it fictional, inspired by true events or entirely autobiographical, there is no shortage of great reads at your fingertips at the local Adelaide Hills libraries.

“Summer is a time for rest and relaxation which is why reading is a popular activity,” Mount Barker Library librarian Rebecca Jeffree said.

“It’s a time to spend reading things you wouldn’t usually, or read because you’re on holidays or because you’ve made a new year’s resolution to read something different.”

With the boundless genres and reading formats available, there are choices for every taste.
“Personally I like murder mysteries and sagas,” Rebecca said.

“Overall I think books about topics that you don’t know much about are good for summer.

“Nothing too heavy though – you want it to be entertaining.”

Being a librarian, Rebecca gets to see all the latest and greatest reads pass over her desk which also means she’s perfectly positioned to make recommendations to those that don’t yet have their heart set on a particular book.

“In terms of adult fiction, I personally love Peter Watt,” she said.

“The one I’m reading at the moment is the eighth in a fantastic family saga series based on two families and set in the 19th and 20th centuries.

“Fiona McIntosh is especially great in summer, as is Sue Grafton who is up to Y in her alphabet series that’s murder/investigator based.”

There are also some great non-fiction books experiencing a surge in popularity.

“Books on minimalism and de-cluttering are popular especially at this time of year when people have made new year’s resolutions,” Rebecca said.

“The Joy of Less by Francine Jay is a good one, as is Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced Happy Life.”

If biographic picks are more your speed, Rebecca suggests the new one by Greens politician Christine Milne.

For the children, fictional classic Andy Griffiths is still a popular choice.

“Andy’s Treehouse books are up to 91 stories now and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series are always popular too.

“For teenagers there are a lot of good books on how to make decisions and be aware of your place in the world.”

If you’re an author based reader that gravitates to books featuring hidden familiarities, Rebecca has some great tips for authors that are currently popular.

“Di Morrissey, Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark, Lee Child, James Patterson, Robert Crais and David Baldacci books all often have holds on them,” she said.

“Liane Moriarty is extremely popular too – we find we have adapted books like hers and we have to buy more copies because people decide to read the book after they’ve seen the movie or TV show.

“John Grisham has a new book out called The Rooster Bar and Poh Ling Yeow has a new baking cookbook out as well.”
If you’re not traditionally a book reader, summer is the perfect time to start what may well become a lifelong hobby.

“Give something a go that’s about a topic that’s of interest to you,” Rebecca said.

“We have some great gardening books that tell a story and not just the facts, as well as some family history books that build on the author’s own research about their family.

“You don’t always have to read fiction or non-fiction either – you can try different formats like e-books or audio books.”

The idea of a different format is something that people mightn’t have considered before, but with the new e-book service offered by Mount Barker Library it’s easier than ever.

“Our e-book and online magazine service is available 24/7 and can be accessed through the library website or the OverDrive app thast you can download called Libby,” Rebecca said.

“There are a great range of titles and no returning or overdue books – all you need is is your barcode and pin number that you get when you create a library account.”

For those wanting to learn a new skill this summer too, the new online resource Lynda Library offers quick, introductory courses about everything from Microsoft Excel to photography and paypal.

Between all of the literary options and other formats available not only at the library, but in general, it would be easy to become overwhelmed.

Thankfully, our local librarians like Rebecca are always around and happy to help you make a personalised selection.

“We can have a chat to you and find out what topics you’re interested in, if you like fiction or non-fiction,” Rebecca said.

“We also have tools available that allow us to recommend other authors similar to ones you like – and of course we can recommend authors we and others like and are reading too.

“Most of us are very well read and know what’s out and about so we can base recommendations on that experience.”

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