Thursday, 18 January 2018

A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French

Book cover image of A Tiny Bit Marvellous
Dawn French's debut novel A Tiny Bit Marvellous is about a dysfunctional modern day family. The narrative of the story is by the three main characters, each chapter in their individual voices, telling their own stories. This style of writing takes a little getting used to, however it did not take long to come to terms with it and you really get to enjoy a deeper insight to each character.

Mo is a child psychiatrist and a mother of two teenagers. Dora is seventeen and is coming to terms with the end of her first relationship along with hating the world and all of those in it. Then there’s Peter, a sixteen year old with an Oscar Wilde obsession who tells his side of the story in a very profound and fascinating way. The husband is ever present in the story but does not speak, he shows great patience and understanding and takes things into his own hands when needed.
The plot is written in a friendly, fun style and deals with the conflicts involved in raising teenagers in a modern day family. Join them in their journey through difficult times- the Battle family has plenty! Mo shares some insight and hints on how to deal with 'teenager issues', for some readers this will strike a chord and may be helpful.
As the story comes to an end there is a poignant moment in the last chapter, when Mo is out walking the dogs and looks at her house from across the road. See if this rings a bell or has some emotional significance for you!
I was genuinely surprised as to how much I enjoyed reading this book! If you loved Dawn in the Vicar of Dibley you will love A Tiny Bit Marvellous. I suggest you borrow it and have a laugh!


Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

Cover image of The Sixth Extinction

The world is currently experiencing an accelerating rate of species extinction due to an onslaught of development, habitat destruction and pollution. What distinguishes this wave of extinctions from those that have gone before is the role that the most destructive of feral creatures, humans, have played in precipitating the crisis.

Elizabeth Kolbert’s Pulitzer Prize winning book The Sixth Extinction looks at previous periods of mass extinction before moving on to current events. The destructive role of industrial agriculture, the devastating impact of the chytrid fungus on amphibians and the looming threat of climate catastrophe are among a range of topics covered in the book. The Sixth Extinction is a book that underscores the vital importance of re-establishing our connection with the natural world and respecting all the plants and animals that are our fellow travellers on this little blue dot.


Thursday, 11 January 2018

Most Borrowed Titles in 2017

You may be curious to know which books have been the most borrowed from libraries in Victoria in the last year.

Here is a list of the Top 5 print titles based on loans in 2017:

1. The barefoot investor : the only money guide you’ll ever need by Scott Pape
2. Night school by Lee Child
3. The wrong side of goodbye by Michael Connelly
4. The dry by Jane Harper
5. Big little lies by Liane Moriarty

Book cover image of The barefoot investor : the only money guide you’ll ever needBook cover image of Night schoolBook cover image of The wrong side of goodbye

Book cover image of The dryBook cover image of Big little lies

Please note that some of these titles are still quite popular. Place a hold on these items now to secure a copy for you to borrow! Simply click on your chosen title/s and you will be directed to The Vault, where you can place your holds.


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Top 5 Most Borrowed Children's Books of 2017

Book cover image of The 65-storey treehouseBook cover image of Diary of a wimpy kid: Old schoolBook cover image of Diary of a wimpy kid: Double Down

Book cover image of The 52-storey treehouseBook cover image of Totally Weird

Looking for a cool summer read for children?

These are the top 5 most borrowed children's books in Victorian libraries in the past year:
  1. The 65-storey treehouse by Andy Griffiths
  2. Diary of a wimpy kid: Old school by Jeff Kinney
  3. Diary of a wimpy kid: Double down by Jeff Kinney
  4. The 52-storey treehouse by Andy Griffiths
  5. Totally Weird by Anh Do
Please note that these items are still popular and it is recommended that you place a hold if you would like to borrow a copy. Simply click on your chosen title/s and you will be directed to The Vault, where you can place your holds.


Thursday, 4 January 2018

While you are waiting...The subtle art of not giving a f*** by Mark Manson.

Each month we will highlight a current popular title - one that everyone wants to read and is hard to get hold of - and give you some suggestions for other great reads you might enjoy while you are waiting in the queue. This month it is Mark Manson's The subtle art of not giving a f*** : a counterintuitive approach to living a good life.
Book cover image of The subtle art of not giving a f***

This book represents a popular trend in self improvement publishing. A no holds barred, in your face look at life which basically says hey, your life is a mess, you've got problems, so has everyone else. Own it, learn how to handle it and get on with life. Manson moves away from positive thinking mantras, instead putting forward " that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to better stomach lemons".
While you are waiting for this title, here are some similar reads you might enjoy.

Book cover image of The life changing magic of not giving a f***
The life changing magic of not giving a f*** : how to stop spending time you don't have with people you don't like doing things you don't want to do Sarah Knight

This funny (and practical) parody of Marie Kondo's bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame and guilt, creating more freedom to spend your time, energy, and money on the people and things that really matter.

Book cover image of Rising Strong
Rising strong Brene Brown

The physics of vulnerability is simple: If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall. Brown includes anecdotes from her own life to explain what it takes to get back up, and how owning our stories of disappointment, failure, and heartbreak gives us the power to write a daring new ending.

Book cover image of The Ark of Asking
The Art of Asking: or, how I learned to stop worrying and let people help Amanda Palmer

In this ground-breaking book, Palmer explores barriers in her own life and in the lives of those around her, and discovers the emotional, philosophical, and practical aspects of The Art Of Asking.
Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century. The Art Of Asking will inspire readers to rethink their own ideas about asking and giving.

Book cover image of the happiness trap
The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living Russ Harris
In this empowering book, and companion pocketbook guide, Russ Harris explains that the way most of us go about trying to find happiness ends up making us miserable, driving the epidemics of stress, anxiety, and depression. He presents the insights and techniques of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) a revolutionary new psychotherapy based on cutting-edge research in behavioural psychology, which aims to help you escape the happiness trap and find true satisfaction in life.

Book cover image of You're not that great
You’re not that great (but neither is anyone else) Elan Gale

The self-help industry tells you that if you're positive, if you put your best foot forward and if you just believe in yourself that you will find happiness. But the truth is most people still don't have the life they want. That's where this book comes in. It will teach you how to harness all the negativity in the world and use it to improve your life, taking everyday feelings like self-loathing, regret and shame and making them work for you.

Book cover image of first we make the beast beautiful
First we make the beast beautiful Sarah Wilson

In her new book, Wilson reflects on a lifetime of anxiety, looking at triggers and treatments and interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts, philosophers, and even the Dalai Lama. This small yet powerful book encourages fellow sufferers of the world's most common mental illness to not only feel better about their condition, but excited by the possibilities it offers for a richer, fuller life.


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Fate of the Furious (Fast and Furious 8) DVD

Cover image of the Fate of the Furious DVD
The Fast & Furious family is back, but this time things will get serious. Dom (Vin Diesel) is going evil and betrays his friends and family to work with Cipher (a.k.a. Charlize Theron), a cyber terrorist who is really evil.
The Rock, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludicrous, Tyrese, Kurt Russell, and Nathalie Emmanuel reprise their roles and they did a good job as well. Scott Eastwood and Helen Mirren are great and a welcome addition to the franchise. There's also some surprise appearances and they are great as well.
The fate of the furious is filled with lots of action, car chases, violence, explosions, shooting, guns, bombs, cars, army tanks, different types of vehicles, motorbikes, jets, airplanes, snow, snowy white landscapes like mountains and glaciers, sunshine, beaches, tall buildings (like tall skyscrapers), loyalty, family, friendship, betrayal, treachery, arguments, falling outs, fights, punch ups, tongue in cheek stuff, some comedy and funny moments, high tech stuff that is incredible, plenty of on the edge of your seat stuff, prisons, prison guards in black suits with shields, all types of people and nationalities, lots of close shaves, near misses and many other things throughout the movie (Whew!)
The fate of the furious is as ridiculously entertaining as you might expect and no eighth movie in any franchise has been in my opinion as fun or effective as ‘Fate’ manages to be.
Real fans of the Furious franchise will absolutely love it, it delivers! This movie is so very clearly made for the fans ! If you're a fan, you know exactly what to do going into this feature, just sit back and enjoy the ride. It's a good one, Enjoy!

Monday, 18 December 2017

Favourite reads of 2017

Book cover image of The last painting of Sara de Vos
As 2017 comes to an end it's nice to reflect on what we have read and enjoyed this year. One of my favourite reads was The last painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith.
It explores the history of a painting and the people involved with it over three different periods in time. In 1631 Sara de Vos paints a landscape picture "At the edge of the wood" in honor of her daughter who has died of fever. Sara is the first woman to be admitted to the Guild of St Luke, an exclusive society of Master painters who control much of the art output in Holland, and profit from it at the expense of their artists. A landscape painting is particularly unusual for a women to paint at that time. Sara has a hard life, eking out a meager living and devastated by the death of her only child.

In the 1950's, the painting is the only one of her works remaining, and it now hangs in the house of one of her descendants Marty De Groot, a wealthy New York businessman. The painting is stolen and replaced with a forgery, which goes unnoticed for some time. When Marty realizes the loss, and the police have no leads, he decides to conduct his own investigation into the whereabouts of the painting. At the same time, Ellie Shipley, a struggling art student is persuaded to paint a forgery of the painting, a decision that will bring her into contact with Marty de Groot and have consequences later in her life when she is co-ordinating an exhibition of Dutch painters in Sydney, and the 2 copies of the work are both set to arrive at her Museum.

A beautifully written work, The last painting of Sara de Vos explores the relationships and emotions between the characters, themes of grief, loss and acceptance, and the effects of the past on our lives. I loved the historical context and it also has some fascinating details of the materials and techniques used to reproduce a 17th century painting.

What was your favourite read of 2017? Please send me your comments by clicking on the comments link below.