Sunday, 31 October 2010

Halloween Reads

In honour of All Hallows Eve why not pick up something a little creepy, kooky and altogether spooky to read. If you loved series such as Harry Potter by J.K Rowling, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer or Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead check out the following recommendations. All titles listed and more thrilling stories are available from the City of Greater Dandenong Libraries.

From the Young Adult Collection

Beastly by Alex Flinn
This adaption of Beauty and the Beast has been modernised and is predominately told from The Beast's (Kyle's) perspective. Kyle narrates his downfall , summarises why he's been cursed and what he has to achieve to rid himself of 'the beast'. This modern day version of a classic tale is well written and an enjoyable, thrilling read.

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Do you believe in reincarnation? Fallen angels? Imagined falling in love with the same soul over and over again in every life lived? If so, check out Fallen, the first title in a new four book series by Lauren Kate. Whilst the concept of this story captured my attention, I was a little disappointed with the initial slowness and vagueness of the plot. However, I did finish Fallen because the premise of the series was different to other supernatural fiction I'd recently read. The next title in the series, Torment is also available through the library.

Need by Carrie Jones

Zara is living in fear and affiliates everything in life with phobias after the death of her stepfather. Zara's mother sends her to live with Betty, the only Grandmother figure Zara's known. Zara quickly becomes aware of a presence, a Pixie (and not a nice one) tracking and luring her into the neighbouring woods. Zara's unnerved at first, but quickly realises she needs to join with the 'were' creatures in the community who are destined to fight the Pixies. A fast past read followed up by the second book in the series, Captivate.

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Bryn is the main character, a young girl raised by a werewolf pack after her parents are brutally killed by a rouge wolf. Bryn is a terrific character; strong, spunky and determined not to lose her identity within the pack. Bryn is determined to find out why her parents were killed, which leads her into dangerous territory as she contests the very rules that govern the pack. I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to a sequel.

Happy Halloween,

Monday, 25 October 2010

Room by Emma Donoghue

Short listed for The Man Booker Prize 2010, Room by Emma Donoghue is written well, but the story content is, at times, a challenge to read. I continued to read however, because the writing style is captivating given the story is told from the view point of a five year old boy with limited life experience.

Room opens with a young woman, known to the reader as Ma, trapped with her small son, Jack, in a room measuring 11-by-11 foot. (Approximately 3.35 metres by 3.35 metres in metric measurements; very small).

Ma makes Room a safe haven for Jack, who has known no other world; he is happy and content with Ma, loves the activities he does with her and the comfort of their daily routine. Jack also recognises furniture such as Bed and Rug as friends rather than inanimate objects. Meanwhile, Jack becomes anxious when it becomes more apparent that Ma is not happy and is increasingly disheartened with Room.

We get to know the jailer in this story as Old Nick, who has fortified, camouflaged and sound proofed Room to the extent that it is impossible to escape without assistance. Ma, however has decided and is determined to get Outside, much to Jack's confusion.

The plot to escape begins. At this point the reader starts to meet new characters, and we experience different anxious moments with Jack as he continues to narrate this tale.

I don't want to give away too much of the story, but there is one particular thread which is interesting to observe; Jack is still being breast fed at five years of age. The author touches on this issue and different character's reactions to this behaviour between mother and son. A topic which would certainly create conversation in a book club or the like.

Overall, I enjoyed this work, but I did have to be in the right frame of mind when reading this story as I became more emotionally connected to the two main characters and their feelings of anxiety, desperation and hope.


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Nobel Prize in Literature & Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2010

7 October 2010 - The Nobel Prize Winner for Literature was awarded to Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, who has written works such as Lituma en los Andes, La Fiesta del Chivo and Don Rigobertove beleznice, which are all available through CGD Libraries.

For more information on the Nobel Prize in Literature click here to access The Nobel Prize organisation webpage.

12 October 2010 - The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2010 is awarded to London author and columnist Howard Jacobson for The Finkler Question.
Check Catalogue

Click here for more information on The Man Booker Prize.


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Press Display Newspaper Database

If you're interested in current affairs from around the world, or would like to read an online newspaper in a language other than English, take a look at Press Display, a freely available database accessible to all City of Greater Dandenong (CGD) Library members.

Press Display covers material from 90 countries, some of which is available in original languages such as Arabic, Croatian, Hindi and Polish. Material can also be electronically translated into 10 major languages including Simplified Chinese, Spanish and French.

To access Press Display directly click here otherwise link into the database via Research Online under the Library tab and save it as a favourite in your web browser for easy reference. A user guide for this database is also available on the Research Online page otherwise check out the online demo by clicking the Library PressDisplay Demo button as shown.

For FREE database access log in using your CGD Library member user identification number including an A at the beginning of the number. For example A1234567.