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Home Office

Going Paperless: From Start to Finish

Go paperless! Reduce your paper use and make sure all of the information you need is immediately available via a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. Suzanna Kaye outlines new ways of thinking about the information you print and save, shows how to handle papers until they are scanned, and introduces the software and apps you can use to manage your information and keep it secure. Going Paperless; From Start to Finish

Setting up your Mobile Office to Work from Anywhere 

Workers today are not just confined to a cube or an office—they can work anywhere and anytime. All you need are the right productivity tools and an Internet connection. In this course, Jess Stratton shows you how to set up your own mobile office. Decide what devices are right for you, and then learn how to get connected with mobile hotspots and public Wi-Fi. Setting up your Mobile Office to Work from Anywhere

 

 

Career Development

Career Advice from Some of the Biggest Names in Business 

What if you could get career advice from the world's most influential thinkers, leaders, and innovators? People who have run the top companies, created the most beloved brands, transformed industries, and changed the world? This course brings together the best insights from our collection of interviews with LinkedIn Influencers. CEOs such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Indra Nooyi, and Meg Whitman reveal what it takes to get your foot in the door and then work your way up.  Career Advice from Some of the Biggest Names in Business

Creating a Career Plan 

An effective career plan includes knowing how to determine, articulate, and sell your personal brand. In this course, Dr. Chaz Austin guides you through the key steps of career planning, from identifying your dream job and your monetizeable passion to branding and networking, so you can be sure to land that next opportunity. Creating a Career Plan

 

 

Online Jigsaw Puzzle from Our Shire's History

Check out our amazing online jigsaw puzzles from the Mornington Peninsula Shire archives. You can make them as hard or as easy as you like. 

The Front Beach, Sorrento Jigsaw Puzzle

  Rose Series P.14193 - along Front Beach, Sorrento.jpg

Rose Series P.14193 - along Front Beach, Sorrento

The Steam Tram, Back Beach Jigsaw puzzle

Rose Series P.298 - The Steam Tram, Back Beach, Sorrento-colourised.jpg

 Rose Series P.298 - The Steam Tram, Back Beach, Sorrento-colourised

 Point Nepean Rd, Dromana-colourised Jigsaw Puzzle 

 Rose Series P.532 - Point Nepean Rd, Dromana-colourised.jpg

P.532 - Point Nepean Rd, Dromana-colourised

 

 

 

Wellness and Productivity

Recharge Your Energy for Peak Performance 

Our ability to be productive and perform at work is not based on the time we spend on each task, but the energy we bring to the time we have. In this course, learn how to boost your productivity by managing your energy more effectively. Recharge Your Energy for Peak Performance

Sleep is Your Superpower 

Sleep is mandatory. You can't outsource it and you can't negotiate it—and it has a powerful impact on everything you do while you're awake. So why not build habits to optimize your sleep and live your best life? Learn how to make sleep a priority and take steps to achieve sleep wellness. The Sleep Ambassador®, Nancy Rothstein, shares tips for optimizing sleep and performing at your best in work and life. Sleep is Your Superpower

Mindful Meditations for Work and Life 

You can be successful at work while maintaining a calm, Zen-like approach to your daily decisions and routines. Meditation and mental exercises like visualization can help you manage stress and create the life you want. This audio course led by Scott Shute, head of the Mindfulness and Compassion program at LinkedIn, offers a practical and easy approach to meditation, including simple, short exercises that you can build into a regular practice—even in the minutes before a meeting. Mindful Meditations for Work and Life

 

 

 

eBooks

eBook Foundations 

Want to make your own ebooks? Get a basic introduction to the exciting and evolving world of digital books. In this beginner-level course, Anne-Marie Concepción explains how to use, create, and sell ebooks, including reflowable, fixed-layout, Kindle, PDF, and multitouch ebooks. Anne-Marie's tips can help you choose the right format and the best tools to build your ebook. eBook Foundations

Learning eBook Publishing

Learn how to self-publish your ebook successfully and give it the best chance of being read. Taught by Jason Matthews, an ebook publishing consultant who has self-published 10 books, the course first explores the major outlets, including Amazon, and discusses how to best format Microsoft Word files or EPUB files to retailer requirements. Learning eBook Publishing

Content Marketing: eBooks 

Learn how to leverage ebooks as content marketing materials. Ebooks can be a compelling tool to reach new audiences, whether your goal is sales or email signups. Online marketing strategist Megan Adams shows you the ins and outs of using ebooks for marketing. Learn how to choose the right topic, write and format your ebook, price it correctly, and promote it to your target audience. Finally, find out how to incorporate your ebook into your content marketing strategy, to promote your business, brand, and credibility in your market. Content Marketing: eBooks

 

 

 

 

Get arty and crafty

You're more creative than you think.

CreativeBug has thousands of classes, with new courses being updated every day. Whether you are an artistic novice wanting a meditative outlet or creative genius hungry for inspiration and challenge, CreativeBug can help. You can use CreativeBug to upskill or create an artistic side hustle. Whatever you want to do, CreativeBug can help develop your knowledge and nurture your creativity. Let us know what you’ve made with CreativeBug on Instagram by using the #morningtonpeninsulalibraries.  

Login to Creativebug with your library barcode number and start creating today.  We recommend the following courses once you have logged in.

Make a Classic Macramé Plant Hanger 

Learn how to create the most iconic of all macramé projects: the Plant Hanger. Emily Katz shows you how to create a hanger out of cotton rope tied into simple square knots and half square knots. This project is totally customizable and can work with planters of any size. Emily will show you how to calculate the proportions of your planter and construct a hanger that will hold the pot perfectly.  

Leather Wrap Bracelet 

A stack of these bracelets adds understated glamour to any outfit. Melanie Falick guides you through the range of supplies and how to vary the look depending on your design choices. You will learn the mechanics of stringing the bracelet, as well as how to add more thread and make the bracelet long enough to wrap around your wrist several times.  

Painting Abstract Florals 

Dive into colour with artist Pam Garrison as she shows you her favourite techniques for painting abstract florals. Starting with a real bouquet, Pam will guide you through designing a flat-lay to set up your composition, doodling with pen to create dynamic lines, and completing your painting with Acryla Gouache. By bridging the gap between real and abstract, Pam gives you a simple and fun approach to painting beautiful blooms. 

Crochet a Rag Rug 

Learn how to make a traditional crocheted rag rug with Cal Patch. Rag rugs are a great opportunity to use up recycled fabrics like old bed sheets and T-shirts. In this class, Cal shares expert tips on how to shred the fabric intro strips and connect them to make one continuous “yarn” for crocheting. Once you’ve learned the chain stitch and single crochet stitch, you’ll work in spirals to create a round or oval rug. 

DIY Flower Bouquets 

In this colourful class, the wedding experts at 100 Layer Cake demonstrate how to make perfect bouquets with help from Emily of Shotgun Floral. Learn how to make a gorgeous composition using lots of different varietals, and the best strategy for working with colour. Once you’ve combined your favourite flowers into a stunning bouquet, you’ll learn how to secure the arrangement with tape, ribbon and pins. 

Creative Gift Wrapping 

It's surprisingly easy to expand your gift wrapping techniques beyond a standard roll of printed wrapping paper. Megumi shows you how to give every gift a personalized and creative touch with three unique gift wrapping styles: Kaleidoscope Wrap, Sewing Paper Wrap and Furoshiki Tin Wrap.  

Sew Embellished Photo Pillows 

Learn how to print your favourite image onto fabric and transform it into a personalized pillow. Annabel shares lots of ideas for embellishing your pillow with embroidery and pompoms to add colour, texture, and fun. These customizable pillows make wonderful keepsake gifts, perfect for celebrating anything from a special moment to a favourite person or pet.  

DIY Yarn Banners 

Add colour and texture to any space with these simple, decorative yarn banners. Courtney will show you two ways to make these vibrant banners: with knots for a textured look or with glue for a seamless look. This class is a perfect way for anyone to get crafty with yarn, both knitters and non-knitters alike. 

Bubble Mania: Fairy Wands 

Every kid loves bubbles, and most adults do too. Learn how to make several easy bubble wands and Rad Megan's secret family recipe for bubble juice. What are you waiting for? Get crafty with bubbles and enjoy a fun day outside! 

 

 

The Walkley Foundation presents a digital photojournalism exhibition

"The summer Australia burned, 2019-2020” showcases the exceptional work produced by Australian photojournalists during the 2019-2020 bushfire season. The exhibition, curated by industry photo editors to represent a diversity of photographers, documents the scale of the tragedy and its impact on affected communities, as much as it captures the communal spirit and resolve that came out of the worst fires in recent Australian history.

Exhibition

Video Montage

 

Networking

Professional Networking 

You don’t have to be an extrovert to be good at networking. Learn networking strategies to network authentically and connect with people you actually like. Professional Networking

Growing your Small Business with LinkedIn 

Learn how to harness the power of LinkedIn to build your brand and grow your company as a small business owner. Growing your Small Business with LinkedIn

Job Hunters' Networking Masterclass 

Get practical networking tips to build connections with people who can impact your career. Learn what to do – and what not to do – at actual networking events. Job Hunters' Networking Masterclass

 

 

Public Speaking

Public Speaking Foundations

Learn practical strategies that can help you confidently deliver an outstanding speech or presentation. Public Speaking Foundations

Impromptu Speaking

Explore practical techniques and ideas that can help you build your impromptu speaking skills. Impromptu Speaking

Presenting Technical Information with Stories

Make complex material more memorable and engaging. Learn how to use storytelling to transform technical talks into dynamic and energizing presentations. Presenting Technical Information with Stories

 

 

 

Become an Artist: Online Art Classes for All Abilities

How to Draw 

These beginner classes will take you step-by-step through the drawing process. Ideal for beginners, this course is a comprehensive overview of everything you need to get started. It includes a full list of materials you will need and guides you through basic drawing techniques. There are 36 sessions available as well as a detailed downloadable guidebook (PDF). How to Draw

How to Paint

Award winning artist Ricky Allman will teach you the basics of painting in 24 sessions. With hands on demonstrations Ricky will take you step-by-step through key painting techniques which will enable you to produce your own stunning masterpiece. How to Paint

The Foundations of Drawing 

This beginner drawing class breaks down the fundamentals of drawing into three simple and easy to follow principles: shape, simplicity, and structure. Build your confidence with drawing by mastering these three principles and applying them to your own drawings. The Foundations of Drawing

Explore Graphic Design 

Lynda.com has many learning path playlists available which combine multiple courses. This one is idea for the budding graphic designer. If you have ever been curious about what being a graphic designer involves and want to explore this career, then this is a good place to get started. Explore Graphic Design

Foundations of Colour

A class for the beginner to intermediate level artist, the focus here is on colour and how it can be applied to various visual medium to enhance the impact of a work of art. Foundations of Colour

Learning 2D Animation Principles

This beginner animation class will show you how to use CGI and Adobe Flash to create a short animation scene and is one of the many animation classes by Dormot O’Conner available on Lynda.com. Learning 2D Animation Principles

Typography 

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make type stand out and look beautiful? Whether you want to add interesting typography to your website, create an eye-catching logo for your business, or just learn how to make professional typography this is the course for you. Typography

Using Adobe Draw 

This course takes you through the process of taking a simple drawing, drawing it out and colouring it using Adobe draw on an iPad and then transferring it to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create a finished, professional digital drawing. Using Adobe Draw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking and Baking at Home

The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts 

Would you like to make your very own cakes, creamy custard pastries, delicious cookies, fluffy chocolate mousses, and other sweet treats in your own home? Then this is the course for you! Join professional chief Steven L. Durfee over six lessons as he takes you though all the tips and tricks to making wonderful pastries and desserts. The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts

The Everyday Gourmet: The Joy of Mediterranean Cooking 

Considered by many nutritionists as one of the healthiest diets in the world, Mediterranean cooking has many health benefits. By learning the art of making Mediterranean dishes, you can incorporate more of these fresh, delicious, and healthy ingredients into your everyday diet. The Everyday Gourmet: The Joy of Mediterranean Cooking 

The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking 

Learn to draw greater satisfaction from the simple art of cooking. This course offers over 12 hours of content exploring the fundamentals of great cooking. Learn from professional chief Bill Briwa, Chief instructor at the Culinary Institute of America, as he explains cooking techniques which will allow you to open a broader range of home cooked meals for your enjoyment. The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking

 

 

 

 

Photography and Video

Creating Online Video with Android Phones

Learn the fundamentals of shooting great-looking video with your Android mobile device. Creating Online Video with Android Phones

Creating Online Video with the iPhone 

Learn how to shoot and edit great-looking video with an iPhone. Creating Online Video with the iPhone

Learning Video Live Streaming 

Learn strategies and techniques for live streaming video content on the internet. Discover how to set up and start a live webcase using a variety of inexpensive software solutions, and explore best practices for both mobile and desktop streaming. Learning Video Live Streaming

Photography Foundations: Mobile Photography 

Learn how to achieve professional-looking results with a mobile phone camera, using built-in features, optional accessories, and additional apps. Photography Foundations: Mobile Photography

iPhone and iPad Photography with iOS 8 (tutorial) 

Shoot and edit photography with your iPhone or iPad? See how to get the most out of the enhanced camera, photo-management, and photo-editing features in iOS 8. In these tutorials, Seán Duggan introduces the much improved Camera app, which allows you to adjust exposure, shoot panoramas and time-lapse video, and, with the iPhone 6 or 6+, create super slow-motion video. iPhone and iPad Photography

Photography: Exploring Composition 

An illustrated guide to improving the composition of your photos and making them more powerful. Photography: Exploring Composition

 

 

 

 

Keeping the kids busy

Cooking with the Kids

Gastro Blast: Let's Make Stuffed Baked Potatoes 

Did you know that some potatoes are better suited to baking than others? What happens when you use the wrong kind of potato? Will we see any explosions? Find out in this fun instructional video. Gastro Blast: Let's Make Stuffed Baked Potatoes 

Gastro Blast: Let's Make Macaroni and Cheese 

Cheesy cheese and comforting carbs. Some things are just meant to go together. Learn how to make this classic dish for the whole family with this cast of quirky and lovable characters. Gastro Blast: Let's Make Macaroni and Cheese 

Gastro Blast: Let's Make Pancakes 

Enjoy cooking? Love pancakes? Who doesn’t! Learn the science of pancake making and make your very own delicious apple oatmeal pancakes at home. Gastro Blast: Let's Make Pancakes 

Our Library Lego Challenge

Does your child enjoy playing with Lego?

Join our library Lego challenge and your child can go in a draw to win some great Lego books.  The challenge will run over four weeks, but you may join in at any time you wish. We will be posting a new challenge each week and children will need to complete the challenges using their own Lego at home. Once they have finished making their creation for the week, simply take a picture of their work and send it to askalibrarian@mornpen.vic.gov.au by 8pm each Friday.

Week 1 Lego challenge: April 18 -24 LEGO challenge: Using you own LEGO from home, construct a LEGO bridge.

Please also include either your library card or your child’s library card number and age.  Each child who sends a photo will go in the draw to win a prize so if they complete all four challenges, they will have more chances of winning!

Not a member? Get a web membership today which will also give you free access to our online resources.

Become a Member

No Bookings Required

Educational game for kids aged 3-11

Busythings breaks games up for each age group it's fun and colourful and easy for the kids to navigate and get learning while having fun. Logon with their library barcode number.

  • Practice computer skills with the online colouring worksheets (art and music/art)
  • Learn handwriting using the alphabet tracing, messy letter and write now (English handwriting)
  • Get older kids involved with Fashion designing (Design and technology)
  • Turn learning to cook into a fun game of identifying vegetables
  •  and many more activities

Get busy now with Busythings

Teenagers need help with their homework questions

With distance learning are you being asked to help your teenagers for help with difficult maths, science, economics questions? Sunday to Friday between 3pm and 10pm your teenagers can access to live tutors online.  This service is safe, interactive and free with your library membership

Get help now

Play School Story Time

Watch on demand a delightful new Play School series featuring some of Australia's most loved celebrities as they snuggle up on the Story Time couch and read entertaining picture books written by Australian authors. Start watching now

Hoot, Hoot, Go!

Watch on demand a comical pre-school adventure series that takes place in the land of Giggle and Hoot. It features owl pals Hoot and Hootabelle as they work together to solve all missions big and small. Start watching now

Kids Can Save the Planet

Dylan is a young filmmaker who took on a journey to learn all about plastic pollution and how it affects the planet. The success of his first film led him to create a series from a kid's perspective about environmental issues our planet is facing. Start watching now

 

Podcasts

Tired of watching TV during lockdown?

Looking for something to listen to whilst working from home, exercising or cooking?

Why not try listening Podcasts?

Podcasts offer an escape, can be informative, stimulate your mind, or maybe just alleviate boredom.  Here are some recommendations to help you through this period of isolation.

Click on the link or Search and Subscribe on the Podcast app on your phone or tablet.

Books

Bookshelf

What are you reading, loving or being challenged by? We review the latest in fiction for dedicated readers and for those who wish they read more. With hosts Kate Evans and Cassie McCullagh.

The Book Show

Hosted by Claire Nicholas who brings in-depth conversations with the best fiction writers from Australia and around the world.

Wheeler Centre

Full recording of talks held by the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, featuring the best in books, writing and ideas.  Great time to catch up on an extensive back catalogue of Australian and International guests.

Sydney Writers Festival

Over the coming months, many of the writers who were on the 2020 Festival program will now contribute their stories, perspectives and ideas. You can also listen to recordings of events from previous Festivals.

Boredom Busters

Conversations 

ABC Podcast hosted by Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski. Interviews with interesting people which draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may have heard of or someone unknown who has seen and done amazing things. 

Wilosophy

Comedian Wil Anderson has lengthy, but informal chats with well-known identities and tries to find out the meaning of life.

Imagined Life

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to walk in the shoes of a legend and not even realize it? Each episode guides listeners on an immersive journey through the surprising moments and challenges that shaped someone’s life before they were famous. Clues about “your” identity are dropped along the way, Can you guess who the celebrity is?

A Podcast of One's Own

Former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard presents a podcast in her role as Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership. In each episode leads a thoughtful, but fun discussion with well-known female (and some male) leaders from the world of business, entertainment, media, sport and many more. 

Dolly Parton's America

A deeply personal, historical and musical rethinking of one of America’s great icons. This is a nine part journey into Dolly’s upbringing to becoming one of America’s great icons. 

Cooking

Home Cooking

A new podcast from Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway, who want to help you figure out what to cook (and keep you company) during quarantine. 

Crime

Australian True Crime

Presented by Meshel Laurie and Emily Webb go beyond the news cycle to find out how people become killers, how people become victims, and what happens next. 

The Shrink Next Door

Podcast by Wondery (Dirty John) this seven episode podcast tells the story of Isaac Herschkopf (Ike), a psychiatrist who controls his patient’s lives for personal gain. An extraordinary story focusing on the patient Marty, a therapy patient of Ike’s, who after 29 years, finally had broken free from Ike’s psychological domination. 

Bird's Eye View

What’s it like to be a woman in a man’s prison. Find out with the first podcast made by women in the Darwin Correctional Centre. 

Cold

A truly astonishing true crime story that investigates the disappearance and likely murder of Susan Powell by her husband, Josh Powell. What sets Cold apart are the recordings made by Susan’s father-in-law, Steve Powell that are dispersed throughout the podcast and give insight into his sick and twisted obsession with his daughter-in-law. This is a podcast that we could not recommend highly enough and is an unmissable discussion of domestic violence.

Bearbrook

The story of Bearbrook seems almost too gruesome to be real. This investigation follows the decades long mystery of the identity of bodies found in barrels at a national park in New Hampshire. What makes this true crime podcast riveting is the fascinating discussion of forensic technology and how it can be utilised to solve murders previously thought unsolvable.

Man in the Window

Produced by Wondery (Dr Death and Dirty John). It is the grim story of the East Area Rapist (EAR) also commonly referred to as the Original Night Stalker. What makes this podcast fascinating is the way in which the offender was charged, more than thirty years after his last offence. Examines the crimes of the EAR/ONS and is truly unique in how it gives a platform and voice to the victims who have suffered in silence and discusses how long held beliefs regarding sexual assault and shame contributed to the EAR/ONS’s long reign of terror. 

Medical 

Coronacast

A daily show that’s all about the coronavirus, its spread and what we can do to keep safe. ABC’s resident medical expert Dr Norman Swan co-hosts and dispels just about every COVID-19 myth with clear, concise information.

Music

Strong Songs

On each episode of Strong Songs, host Kirk Hamilton takes listeners inside a piece of music, breaking it down and figuring out what makes it work.

Classic Flow 

Yoga and meditation set to classical music, rolled into one. In each episode, local Australian musicians perform an intimate concert of beautiful music, with meditative effects to enhance your practice. Each bespoke playlist has been carefully curated so the music fits snugly alongside the yoga sequence, resulting in a deeply immersive, sensory experience.

Self Help

 Mindfully

Presented by Sydney Swans legend Brett Kirk who will give you tips and tricks from mindfulness experts, as well as meditations that’ll change you and your family’s life.

Unlocking Us

Brene Brown is a best-selling author who has spent more than twenty years studying the emotions and experiences that bring meaning and purpose to our lives. This podcast unpacks and explores ideas, stories, experiences, books, films and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most broken.  

Sugar Calling

A new podcast from Cheryl Strayed, also known as Sugar, wrote the book Wild which was made into a film starring Reece Witherspoon. In this moment of uncertainty, she’s setting aside advice-giving in favour of wisdom-seeking and turning to the writers who have long inspired her for courage and insight. Highly recommended are the episodes with Margaret Atwood and George Saunders.  

Parenting

Two Peas in a Podcast

Listen to Mandy and Kate laugh (a lot) and cry as they chat to each other and friends about parenting multiples with disabilities and special needs.

Politics

The Eleventh

How much do you really know about the 11th of November 1975?
It was the day the Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam made his famous “Well may we say” speech on the day he was sacked by the Queen’s representative. This podcast explores the extraordinary events leading up to the most dramatic day in Australian political history and asks how did the dismissal actually happen?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Conferencing: Microsoft Teams and Zoom

Microsoft Teams Essential Training 

Learn how to use Microsoft Teams, the collaboration workspace app in Office 365. Microsoft Teams Essential Training

Microsoft Teams Quick Tips 

Work smarter with Microsoft Teams. Get bite-sized tips for setting up notifications, working with messages and teams, running meetings, and more. Microsoft Teams Quick Tips

Learning Zoom 

Learn how to schedule, moderate, and participate in meetings using Zoom, the popular video conferencing tool. Learning Zoom 

 

 

 

Be Inspired - Books to read during social distancing

eBooks 

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twang Eng. 2012

Teoh Yun Ling, a retired judge, was a sole survivor of a brutal Japanese camp during World War, where her sister perished. Aritomo was a charismatic former gardener to the Emperor of Japan. Together they set to build the garden in memory of Teoh Yun’s sister, in Cameron Highlands of Malaya. As the story slowly progresses, the reader starts to wonder why only Teoh Yung Ling survived the camp and what Aritomo was doing in Malayan Highlands during the war. Beautifully written, one of the most memorable books one can read. 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, 2017

The heroine of the book title is a 29-year-old social misfit with a traumatic past. Eleanor is a profoundly lonely young woman, who leaves work on Friday and doesn’t have any human contact until Monday.  As the story unfolds, Eleanor comes out of the shadows and...is completely fine. Unpredictable, funny, delightful read. 

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, 2019

Hailed a modern masterpiece from one of Japan’s greatest writers, this novel is perfect for our social distancing times. It is set on an island where objects keep disappearing and people memories of those objects disappear too. Unforgettable read. 

Severance by Ling Ma, 2018 

Candace Chen works for a publishing company in a Manhattan tower. A workaholic, devoted to office routine, she barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Soon she becomes one of the last people in Manhattan left alive, before fleeing New York and joining another group of survivors. A sharp and hilarious satire on office routines, rituals and missed opportunities of the modern world but also a tribute to the human drive for survival. 

Here We Are by Graham Swift, 2019

Brighton in the 50’s sets the stage for this bitter-sweet story of a young magician and his fiancé-assistant. It goes back to the early years of the war when the main character, Ronnie, was evacuated to Oxfordshire. Another great read from Swift, a wonderful tale of magic, love and loss, spanning over decades and mapping life of suburban England. 

eAudio Books

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel, 2014 

Once you have read Station Eleven, you won’t be able to stop thinking  about it. The novel moves back and forth between the first days of a pandemic that ends civilization, and the long aftermath. A small group of survivors try to rebuild their life, roaming the desolate landscapes or clustering in pocket settlements. What is touching about the world of Station Eleven is its ode to what survived, in particular music and plays performed for wasteland communities by a roving Shakespeare troupe. 

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, 2019

After the Russian Revolution, an aristocrat is sentenced to serve a life sentence under house arrest in the attic of the luxurious Metoprolol hotel. The story begins in 1922 and spans decades, depicting the world which he can view only from within the hotel’s walls. The book, which sold over 1.5 million copies, is a remarkable portrait of one man’s reliance on memory and imagination to maintain his resilience in isolation.

The Power by Naomi Alderman, 2016 

This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writers is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also bravely exposes the sinister sides of contemporary world. 

World War Z by Max Brooks, 2014

This gripping thriller is a sweeping look at the socio-political response to a pandemic. Brooks describes how different countries reacted to the major virus: in just the first few chapters, the Chinese government tries to cover up the virus’ spread, and the U.S. government, in the midst of an election year, is too slow to react to the impending catastrophe. (The book was banned in China). Brooks’ profound insight: the real treat isn’t the virus or even the zombies – it is our psychological response, namely denial and panic.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christi Lefteri, 2019 

The book maps the journey of refugees from Aleppo in Syria to Europe during the Syrian Civil War. While a work of fiction, it is based on the author’s experience volunteering in Athens at a refuge. A profound and moving story.