Friday, 21 December 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

The staff at Greater Dandenong Libraries would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.

The libraries will be open over the Christmas-New Year break for the following hours:
Monday 24 December: 9am - 5pm
25 December - 26 December: Closed
26 December - 27 December: 9am – 6pm
Saturday 29 December: 10am - 5pm
Sunday 30 December: 12pm - 5pm
Monday 31 December: 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 1 January 2013: Closed
Wednesday 2 January: Normal hours resume

English Language and Literacy Access (ELLA)
Tuesday 25 December - Tuesday 1 January: Closed
Wednesday 2 January: Normal hours resume

Please note: The online catalogue and some library eResources will not be accessible on 25 and 26 December due to a system upgrade.

Leigh

Monday, 17 December 2012

This is me by Ian Thorpe and Robert Wainwright

I picked up Ian Thorpe’s book after reading an extract in the newspaper. I have admired his immense skill and cheered along with millions of others as he has won so many races over the years. When I skimmed through the section of the book which shows a list of Ian’s medals and records I nearly fell off the chair in amazement. His celebrity and profile have certainly matched these achievements but the records demonstrate that Thorpe is nothing short of a phenomenon. And due to his prolific achievements, it was no surprise that there was huge expectation for him to succeed in his attempt to resume his swimming career and qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games.

This book outlines his comeback and each chapter delves into an aspect of Thorpe’s past including the much publicized depression which he has spoken about while promoting this book. Considerably more of his personality, his opinions and his issues are also highlighted through the words of this book. It’s an honest and compelling read.

Cathy

Monday, 10 December 2012

If walls could talk by Lucy Worsley

If you are looking for a light read, yet entertaining and truly witty, this is the book to read.
This is popular history, a cultural kaleidoscope of British private life.
Judy Worsley, who is in her own words “… by day, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity looking after The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace State Apartments”, and “… by night, a writer”, did a wonderful job of bringing light to private life of Britain throughout several centuries.
The bedroom, bathroom, living and kitchen are lenses through which we can view architecture, technology and social history since medieval times, with an abundance of interesting facts and humorous anecdotes. The social history ranges widely over fashion, food, sex, class, hygiene, and etiquette.
Lucy Worsley covers everything, with a naughty twinkle in her eye: Why did the flushing toilet take two centuries to catch on? Why did medieval people sleep sitting up? When were the two 'dirty centuries'? Why did gas lighting cause Victorian ladies to faint? Why, for centuries, did people fear fruit?
It is surprising how many things that we usually take for granted are, in fact, recent innovations.
Particularly interesting is historic background of some popular English phrases, that are explained in their original pragmatic meaning.
This book illuminates many aspects of private life throughout history, bringing freshness and colour to the “interesting bits” that are usually left in dark. And it is seriously funny.

Marijana

Monday, 3 December 2012

New fiction for December


Can we tempt you with one or two of the following new titles?

Robert B. Parker’s lullaby Ace Atkins
Secrets from the past Barbara Taylor Bradford
Legend of Broken Caleb Carr
Last runaway Tracy Chevalier
Dead water Ann Cleeves
Nano Robin Cook
Broken man Josephine Cox
Straw men Paul Doherty
Tenement girl Anne Douglas
Two pints Roddy Doyle
Empire and honor W.E.B Griffin
Good man Friday Barbara Hambly
Killing 2 David Hewson
Place of hope Anna Jacobs
Flight behaviour Barbara Kingsolver
Murders most foul Alanna Knight
Odd interlude Dean Koontz
Crown of vengeance Mercedes Lackey
Unreal and the real Ursula Le Guin
Duchess of Drury Lane Freda Lightfoot
Illusions of happiness Elizabeth Lord
Garden of evil Graham Masterson
Chessmen Peter May
Marseille caper Peter Mayle
Big sky river Linda Lael Miller
Midnight rider Diana Palmer
Fairburn girls Una-May Parker
Private Berlin James Patterson
Shiver Karen Robards
Night strike Chris Ryan
Experiment in murder Margaret Truman
Pow! Mo Yan

Place your hold via our online catalogue or visit one of our branches and ask staff for assistance or recommendations. Remember, all holds are free of charge.

Leigh

Friday, 23 November 2012

Ten books to read before they hit the cinemas this summer….

Are you like me and must read the book before the movie comes out? If your answer is yes, then now is the time to start reading, as there is an abundance of movies being released over the summer holidays that have been adapted from books. Here is a short synopsis of each title. All you need to do is click on the title and you will be taken directly to our catalogue, where you will be able to place a hold. Get in early though as once these movies hit the cinemas everyone will want to read them!

Perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. It’s a moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope –and the unforgettable friends who help us get through life.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo Set in early 18th century France, Jean Valjean, a thief who has turned his life around as the result of an unexpected act of mercy, must overcome the scheming of scoundrels and the pursuit of Inspector Javert in order to protect the illegitimate daughter of a former employee.

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien Bilbo Baggins enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home; then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly and enlist his services -- as a burglar -- on a dangerous expedition to raid the treasure-hoard of Smaug the dragon. Bilbo's life is never to be the same again.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship in the Pacific, one solitary lifeboat remains, carrying a hyena, a zebra, a female orangutang, a Bengal tiger, and a 16 year old Indian boy named Pi. This story is a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure.

Jack Reacher by Lee Child (Based on the novel One Shot) Ex-military investigator Jack Reacher is called in by James Barr, a man accused of a lethal sniper attack that leaves five people dead, and teams up with a young defense attorney to find an unseen enemy who is manipulating events.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina, dutiful wife and doting mother, knows contentment but not passion. That changes when she meets ardent Count Vronsky. For him, she throws away marriage, family, social position and finally her life.

Great Gatsby by Scott F Fitzgerald Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. But beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing for the one thing that will always be out of his reach. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.

Safe haven by Nicholas Sparks When Katie, an enigmatic stranger, shows up out of the blue, the folks of sleepy Southport become suspicious of her past. Katie tries to keep herself from becoming involved with anybody in town, but as time goes on, she slowly falls in love with Alex, a widowed store owner and father of two. However, when her dark past finally catches up with her, Katie must make the painful choice between either fleeing or facing her fears and fighting for her newfound life.

Cloud atlas by David Mitchell Six interlocking lives - one amazing adventure. In a narrative that circles the globe and reaches from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of time, genre and language to offer an enthralling vision of the world and where humanity's will might take us.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer The earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, an invader, has been given Melanie's body but the former tenant is refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Leigh

Monday, 19 November 2012

My week with Marilyn by Colin Clark

This wonderful book is a detailed diary by young Englishman Colin Clark, who worked as an assistant in the 1956 film production of “The Prince and the Showgirl”, starring Marilyn Monroe and Lawrence Olivier.

Clark spends an intimate week with Marilyn, as well as observing her in the making of this film which was problematic due to differences of Marilyn’s American team, and the established English crew.

This book will appeal to Monroe fans as well as lovers of film history, as it details the erratic behavior of Marilyn on set, as well as the controlling tendencies of the Marilyn “team” consisting of business partner Milton Greene, playwright husband Arthur Miller, and New York drama coach Paula Strasberg.

It is clear from Clark’s account that Marilyn was being manipulated for her money-drawing fame, and phenomenal crowd-pleasing ability at the height of her famous career.

Monroe entered this film with the intention of it showing her to be a “serious” actress, as was she was to star alongside British acting great, Lawrence Olivier.

However the role for Monroe was that of a “chorus girl” – similar to so many other of her blonde roles, and the conflict between her and Olivier is palpable on the set in which Olivier had little time for Monroe’s lateness on set and repetitive scene takes.

The production is fraught with tension, and its’ end is welcomed with relief by the cast and crew, however not before the romance between Colin Clark, as detailed in the later, separate part of the book, “My Week with Marilyn”, takes place.

It is whilst Monroe’s husband Arthur Miller is away from London to work in New York that author Clark befriends her and encounters a one-week friendship with the troubled star.

This friendship beautifully allows us to see the human side of Marilyn, and the pressure she is under to be “her” in her Hollywood image, which is not necessarily her true self, who expresses to Clark her longing to be “free” and an ordinary human being.

The book is fascinating for its’ film history and touching account of the friendship between the young film “go-fer” and Monroe, which takes place away from the cameras.

It appealed to me as a fan of Marilyn Monroe, and its’ detailed descriptions of her struggles to measure up to the English film crew whilst retaining her own indisputable originality and alluring appeal.

Fiona

Monday, 12 November 2012

Her father's daughter by Alice Pung


In the four parts of this book, you will discover Alice Pung’s powerful, vivid and clever account of her attempt to search for independence from a loving and overprotective father and to understand her roots.

Parts 1 takes us to China when “the story begins on a bus ……(as it) rolls down dirt roads” and Part 2 to Melbourne, four years before the China trip, when she moved out. Her father had “finally decided that it was safe enough for one of his flock to fly”.

Parts 3 and 4 transport us to Cambodia and its devastating history; revealing her father’s struggles and painful memories and the atrocities and many, many deaths . “Sometimes, the eyes can see too much”. “To kill you is no loss, to keep you is no gain, the Black bandits had told them again and again”.

Her father’s daughter is based on conversations between Alice the daughter and Kuan the father. This memoir is fascinating, even extraordinary as it captures a father-daughter relationship in a poignant and engaging way.

Hanee

Monday, 5 November 2012

Fromelles by Carole Wilkinson

Fromelles by Carole Wilkinson forms part of the Black dog books award-winning Drum history series. The Drum uses first-person accounts and non-fiction to bring history to life. Fromelles is the story of a battle that took place in France from World War 1 and the men who took part in it. It is told with compassion and respect, without glorifying war. It was also a Children’s Book Council of Australia short listed Book of the Year for 2012.


I thought it was appropriate with Remembrance Day just around the corner (11th November) to review this book. A well researched and easy to read book that would appeal to the junior level reader, right through to the adult. It describes both factual events of the time as well as personal letters of soldiers based on true accounts. War stories are not a topic that interests me but I was surprised by how I wanted to know more about the Australians involvement in France and World War 1. Also how now we have learnt so much more about our soldiers than people were not told at the time. I would highly recommend this fascinating and informative book Fromelles to anyone interested in or studying Australian history or involvement in war, especially school students.

To learn more about the author Carole Wilkinson and her other books including the best-selling, award-winning Dragonkeeper and Ramose series visit: her website or Walker Books.

Ngaire

Monday, 29 October 2012

New fiction titles for November


New fiction titles for November include:

Three brothers Peter Ackroyd
Sunlight on the mersey Lyn Andrews
Daughter of light VC Andrews
Blotto, Twinks and the bootlegger’s moll Simon Brett
Fox tracks Rita Mae Brown
Black box Michael Connelly
1356 Bernard Cornwell
Dunbar case Peter Corris
Poseidon’s arrow Clive Cussler & Dirk Cussler
Shadow creek Joy Fielding
Gold digger Frances Fyfield
Dolly Susan Hill
Goldberg variations Susan Isaacs
Hidden cottage Erica James
Sleep no more Iris Johansen
Redoubt Mercedes Lackey
Murder in the Rue Dumas M.L Longworth
Flame of sevenwaters Juliet Marillier
Marseille caper Peter Mayle
Scrivener’s tale Fiona McIntosh
Skeleton key Tara Moss
Merry Christmas, Alex Cross James Patterson
Trains and lovers Alexander McCall Smith

Place your hold via our online catalogue or visit one of our branches and ask staff for assistance or recommendations. Remember, all holds are free of charge.

Happy reading!
Leigh


Monday, 22 October 2012

Softly, as I leave you by Chandani Lokuge

I found this a very poignant and powerful novel that captures the story of a woman's struggle to reconcile the many different aspects of her life. Pulled to her origins as well as her new life in Australia the story will resonate with many migrants here.

Late one spring morning, Uma, a Sri Lankan migrant married to an Australian living in Melbourne, awakens to a life in which her core relationships -to her lover, her husband, and her son seem unbearably tangled. Through the lyrical quality of the writing, the story transcends into a meditation on love and betrayal, grief and redemption.

A good example of a narrative that reflects our society and is a great read in itself.

Jane

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Man Booker Prize Winner for 2012 is…..


Hilary Mantel has won the Man Booker Prize for Bring up the bodies, becoming the first woman and first British author to win the $81,000 (£50,000) fiction award twice. She originally won in 2009 for Wolf Hall, the first installment in her planned trilogy about the life Thomas Cromwell and the court of Henry VIII. She is also the first author to win for two novels in a series.

Bring up the bodies picks up where Wolf Hall left off. In this book, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn. It focuses on the nine months in which Cromwell did the dirty back-room work to allow Hentry VIII to have his sonless second wife Anne Boleyn beheaded for treason so he could marry the young Jane Seymour.


Visit our catalogue to place a free hold on either Bring up the bodies or Wolf Hall.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. For more information visit the Man Booker website.

Leigh

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

And the winner is.....

The winners for the Premier’s 21 literary awards were announced last night by Victorian Premier and Arts Minister, Ted Baillieu, at the Regent Theatre. Bill Gammage won the overall award for the Victorian Prize for Literature, taking home $100,000, for his book The biggest estate on earth. He also won the $25,000 award for non-fiction.

The other awards winners, all taking home $25,000 each, were:
Fiction: Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears
Young Adult: The Shadow Girl by John Larkin
Poetry: Armour by John Kinsella
Drama: A Golem Story by Lally Katz(Play)
People’s Choice Award: National Interest by Aidan Fennessy(Play)

Leigh

Monday, 15 October 2012

All the flowers in Shanghai by Duncan Jepson

An outstanding book that kept me enthralled throughout. I’ve been generally aware of the traditions and history of China for sometime but this novel really brought home to me how powerful and overwhelming this culture has been. The role of the woman is both powerful but equally suppressed.

All the Flowers in Shanghai is Jepson's stunning debut novel. Set in 1930s Shanghai, the Paris of the East, but where following the path of duty still takes precedence over personal desires, a young Chinese woman named Feng finds herself in an arranged marriage to a wealthy businessman. In the enclosed world of her new household-a place of public ceremony and private cruelty-she learns that, above all else, she must bear a male heir. Ruthless and embittered by the life that has been forced on her, Feng seeks revenge by doing the unthinkable. Years later, she must come to a reckoning with the decisions she has made to assure her place in family and society, before the entire country is caught up in the fast-flowing tide of revolution.

A sweeping, historical novel and an intimate portrait of one woman’s struggle against tradition. Duncan Jepson succeeds in bringing a woman’s perspective alive remarkably and marks the debut of a sensitive and revelatory writer

Jane

Monday, 8 October 2012

Come home by Lisa Scottoline

Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, loves her job as a pediatrician and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.
But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own.

Come home is a fast paced thriller which explores the definition of motherhood asking questions such as: Do you ever stop being a mother? Can you ever have an ex-child? What are the limits of love and family? The novel is well written, albeit a little over the top, but full of twists and turns that kept me guessing right to the very end. It’s a very satisfying read.

Leigh

Monday, 1 October 2012

New fiction titles for October


October brings another treasure trove of new fiction titles to choose from!

Everything changes but you Maggie Alderson
Queen’s promise Lyn Andrews
Voyage Murray Bail
Forgotten David Baldacci
Week in winter Maeve Binchy
Lola Bensky Lily Brett
Corpse on the court Simon Brett
Seconds away Harlan Coben
Life Martina Cole
Jack of diamonds Bryce Courtenay
Panther Nelson DeMille
Astray Emma Donoghue
Two brothers Ben Elton
Notorious nineteen Janet Evanovich
Last man Vince Flynn
Trail of fire Diana Gabaldon
Racketeer John Grisham
Question of identity Susan Hill
Flight behaviour Barbara Kingsolver
My lady deceiver Freda Lightfoot
Angels at the table Debbie Macomber
House of memories Monica McInerney
Laughing clowns William McInnes
Golden land Di Morrissey
Secret keeper Kate Morton
Dear life Alice Monro
Eclipse Hilary Norman
Christmas garland Anne Perry
Standing on another man’s grave Ian Rankin
Perfect hope Nora Roberts
Summer lies Bernhard Schlink
Village in jeopardy Rebecca Shaw
Sins of the mother Danielle Steel
Christmas spirits Whitley Strieber
Question of guilt Janet Tanner
Testament of Mary Colm Toibin
Cleaner of Chartres Salley Vickers
Midst toil and tribulation David Weber
Habits of the house Fay Weldon
Back to blood Tom Wolfe

Place your hold via our online catalogue or visit one of our branches and ask staff for assistance or recommendations. Remember, all holds are free of charge.

Leigh

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Wife who ran away by Tess Stimson

Well I read this in a weekend. Could not put it down!

Kate Forrest is invisible… Ned, the husband she adores, doesn’t seem to know she’s alive, and her two charming children have grown into stroppy adolescents. Her boss is suddenly shunting her towards career Siberia, and her demanding mother is never off the phone. With her fortieth birthday fast approaching, all Kate wants to do is run away from the lot of them. And so she does. On impulse, Kate walks out of her job, her family and her life, and gets on a plane to Italy.

When I first looked at it I thought “another Shirley Valentine….!” However whilst similar it is also different. Stimson blends the experiences of all the characters with great skill as she develops the narrative and continues to build suspense right up to the last pages. It is easy to relate to all the personalities with their imperfections as well as attributes which are developed throughout.
A fabulous read for both females and males! No sexism here just great humanity.

Jane

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Premier’s 21: Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

The shortlist for the Premier’s 21 has been announced. There are five award categories: Fiction, Non Fiction, Drama, Poetry and Young Adult each with a prize of $25,000. The winners of each of these categories will also be in the running for the major prize, the 2012 Victorian Prize for Literature, the single most valuable literary award in the country.

The short listed titles for Fiction and Non-Fiction are as follows:

Fiction:
All that I am Anna Funder
The Cook Wayne Macauley
Foal’s bread Gillian Mears
Cold light Frank Moorhouse
A history of books Gerald Murname
Mateship with birds Carrie Tiffany

Non-Fiction:
1835: The founding of Melbourne and the conquest of Australia James Boyce
The biggest estate on earth Bill Gammage
Adelaide Kerryn Goldsworthy
Hall of Uselessness Simon Leys
True North Brenda Niall
Her Father’s daughter Alice Pung

For a full list of all short listed titles in each category visit the Wheeler Centre website. You can also cast your vote for the People’s choice award.
Winners will be announced at an awards dinner on October 16, 2012.

Leigh

Monday, 17 September 2012

The Hunter by Tom Wood

Recommended to me by a borrower, this first novel by Tom Wood is a fast paced, death-defying, bodies galore thriller concerning a lone assassin caught in a web of deceit with CIA factions, French police and other mercenaries. Set in Europe the book opens with the protagonist, Victor executing his victim as per orders. Following which Victor finds himself the target! You are almost led to sympathize with such a flawed and evil man in the situations that Victor finds himself, including the understated love theme. The book ends with a huge fight scene in Africa, which is reminiscent of the genre as portrayed by Matthew Reilly, James Bond and the Bourne series. A must read for all those interested in action thrillers.

Tricia

Monday, 10 September 2012

New fiction titles for September

Once again our favourite authors have been busy writing and we have another long list of new titles for your reading pleasure. You can visit our catalogue to place a hold or come into the library and ask our friendly staff for assistance. Remember, all holds are free of charge.

One hundred names Cecelia Ahern
Finches of Mars Brian Aldiss
Hydrogen sonata Iain M Banks
Iron winter Stephen Baxter
Hiss and hers MC Beaton
Rush of blood Mark Billingham
Philida Andre Brink
Wards of faerie Terry Brooks
Tiger’s claw Dale Brown
Sneaky Pie for president Rita Mae Brown
Low pressure Sandra Brown
In the company of strangers Liz Byrski
Telegraph Avenue Michael Chabon
Wanted man Lee Child
Wrath of angels John Connolly
Bone bed Patricia Cornwell
Tombs Clive Cussler
Stranger in the moonlight Jude Deveraux
Possible life Sebastian Faulks
Dark Storm Christine Feehan
Winter of the world Ken Follett
Love Anthony Lisa Genova
Last to die Tess Gerritsen
Dear Mr Darcy Amanda Grange
Unnatural habits Kerry Greenwood
Cat, a hat, and a piece of string Joanne Harris
An apple for the creature edited by Charlaine Harris
Ash James Herbert
Elephant keepers’ children Peter Hoeg
Haven Kay Hooper
I’ll catch you Jesse Kellerman
Lost voices Christopher Koch
Prophet Michael Koryta
Lost night Jayne Ann Krentz
Lady risks all Stephanie Laurens
Jewels of paradise Donna Leon
And when she was good Laura Lipman
Shadow girls Henning Mankell
Uncommon appeal of clouds Alexander McCall Smith
Vanishing point Val McDermid
Assassin Tara Moss
Bat Jo Nesbo
Munster’s case Hakan Nesser
Fate of worlds Larry Niven
One wish for Christmas Lynda Page
NYPD Red James Patterson
Private Oz James Patterson
Zoo James Patterson
Beautiful mystery Louise Penny
Bones are forever Kathy Reichs
Last victim Karen Robards
Delusion in death JD Robb
Casual vacancy JK Rowling
Children of liberty Paullina Simons
Love for a soldier Mary Jane Staples
Summer breeze Nancy Thayer
Merivel Rose Tremain
Hostage Elie Wiesel
Return to Willow Lake Susan Wiggs
Dirty streets of heaven Tad Williams
Daylight gate Jeanette Winterson
Severe clear Stuart Woods

Enjoy!
Leigh



Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Casual Vacancy is coming...

The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults. Due for worldwide release on September 27, there is a lot of anticipation about this book. As usual her publishers are giving little away, with just small snippets of information being released over the past few months. What we can tell you is that the book is aimed at a grown-up audience, and is set in a seemingly idyllic English town called Pagford.

On their website, Little, Brown Book Group described the plot: "When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?"

The publisher says that The Casual Vacancy will be "blackly comic, thought-provoking, and constantly surprising.

Will J.K. be able to replicate the phenomenal success she achieved with the Harry Potter series? Click here to place your hold on The Casual Vacancy and decide for yourself.

Leigh

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The winners for the Ned Kelly awards 2012 are....

The winners of the 2012 Ned Kelly Awards were announced as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival on 29 August 2012.

The winners are:
Best Fiction: Pig Boy by J C Burke
Best First Fiction: The Cartographer by Peter Twohig
Best True Crime: Sins of the Father by Eamonn Duff

Gabrielle Lord received the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the culture and development of Australian crime writing throughout her career.

The Ned Kelly Awards celebrate the best Australian crime writing. Congratulations to all the winning authors. You can read more about the awards here.

Leigh

Friday, 31 August 2012

Writes of Spring short story competition


Calling all writers! Enter the Writes of Spring short story competition and your story could be published in a keepsake book.

Writes of Spring is a short story competition for all ages. Pick up a Writes of Spring postcard at one of our branches and write a story, inspired by artist Belinda Suzette's vibrant illustration, directly onto the postcard. Your story can be handwritten, printed text, poetry, drawings or collage ... anything you can imagine! The entries will be judged on their creativity and the quality of their story by a panel of Victorian public library staff.

The winning entries will be published, exactly as presented, in a special book that will be held in every public library in Victoria. Winners will also receive a $50 book voucher, a copy of the book and a place in Victoria's literary history. The competition closes at 4pm on Friday 21 September 2012. For full terms and conditions visit Writes of Spring. So let your creativity blossom this spring and good luck!

Writes of Spring is hosted by Victorian public libraries as part of the National Year of Reading.

Leigh

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Get Reading! 2012


The Get Reading! “50 Books you can’t put down” program is a month-long, nationwide campaign focused on inspiring more Australians to discover or rediscover the pleasure of reading. The program was officially launched on Sunday 26th August and will run until Sunday the 30th of September.

This year’s reading guide features an all-Australian line up - the first in the campaign’s history. The guide is made up of 25 adult fiction titles, 9 adult non-fiction books and 16 titles for young readers. Whether you are looking for a rural escape or an inspiring memoir, an epic fantasy or an action-packed blockbuster, a picture book or a new Australian classic, you’re sure to find a book (or 2 or 3) to tempt you this year. Follow this link to our on line catalogue and place a hold on the book that has caught your eye. Alternatively, why not drop into one of our branches and ask one of our friendly staff for help or recommendations on a book to read? We also have copies of the guide for you to take home and keep.

For further information about the program visit the official Get Reading website.

Leigh

Friday, 24 August 2012

Age Book of the Year Winners 2012



The Age Book of the Year winners were announced last night at the opening of the Melbourne Writers Festival.

The winners are as follows:
Non-Fiction & Overall winner: 1835: the founding of Melbourne & the conquest of Australia by James Boyce
Fiction: Foal's bread by Gillian Mears
Poetry: The Brokenness Sonnets I-III and Other Poems by Mal McKimmie

Now in 38th year, the highly regarded awards were presented by Jason Steger. Each category winner receives a $2,500 prize. The overall Book of the Year winner receives an additional $10,000.

Leigh

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Library Fun Day - National Year of Reading

Free family fun day!

When: Saturday 25 August, 10am - 7.30pm
Where: Springvale and Dandenong Libraries

You are invited to come and enjoy a day of free activities in our libraries to celebrate the national year of reading. Both libraries will have extended opening hours for this event.

Family Baby Bounce
10.30am - 11.00am
Springvale and Dandenong Library

Family Storytime
11.30am - 12.00pm
Springvale and Dandenong Library

Giggles the Clown
12.30pm - 1.30pm. Springvale Library
Find Giggles in the library and have some fun with him!

Tall Ted - The big bear with personality
12.30pm - 1.30pm. Dandenong Library
Find Ted the tall bear in the library!

Children's crafts
2pm - 3pm
Springvale and Dandenong Library
Children's area with crafts table full of things to do

Carol Gogonya, Sudanese author
3.15pm - 3.45pm
Dandenong Library

Blaise Van Hecke - Aspiring writers workshop
4pm - 5.30pm. Dandenong Library
Get into Flash Fiction and short story writing
Bookings required.
Book online

Human Library
Launch event: 3pm
Session 1: 4pm - 5.30pm
Session 2: 6pm - 7.30pm
Springvale Library
Borrow a Human Book and have a conversation like no other. If you don't know what to ask - sample questions will be provided on the day.
Bookings required.
More information and 'books' available

Reading Hour - Family storytime
6pm - 7pm
Springvale and Dandenong Library
The Reading Hour is a family storytime session with a difference; aimed at an adult audience, the storytellers entertains the whole family.

Leigh

Monday, 20 August 2012

New fiction titles for August

This month we have a large amount of new fiction to choose from. Scroll through the list to see if your favorite author has released a new title or maybe try something new. Holds can be placed via our online catalogue or come into the library and ask one of our friendly staff for help. Remember, all holds are free of charge.

Proposal Mary Balogh
Toby’s room Pat Barker
Wheel of ice Stephen Baxter
Orion and King Arthur Ben Bova
Creole Belle James Lee Burke
Desire becomes her Shirlee Busbee
Summer seduction Candace Camp
Traitor queen Trudi Canavan
Earth unaware Orson Scott Card
Backfire Catherine Coulter
Hankerchief tree Anne Douglas
Welcome to normal Nick Earls
River of destiny Barbara Erskine
Night watch Linda Fairstein
Stigmata Colin Falconer
Samurai game Christine Feehan
Woman who died a lot Jasper FForde
Sweet talk Julie Garwood
Where we belong Emily Giffin
Governor’s wife Mark Gimenez
Pride & pyramids: Mr Darcy in Egypt Amanda Grange
Kingmaker’s daughter Philippa Gregory
More than meets the eye J.M Gregson
Spymasters W.E.B Griffin
Die a stranger Steve Hamilton
Shadow of night Deborah Harkness
Blood never dies Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Blood of the emperor Tracy Hickman
Softly grow the poppies Audrey Howard
You don’t want to know Lisa Jackson
Yew tree gardens Anna Jacobs
Zoo time Howard Jacobson
Close your eyes Iris Johansen
Nine days Toni Jordan
Fireproof Alex Kava
Time untime Sherrilyn Kenyon
Mystery of Mercy Close Marian Keyes
Odd apocalypse Dean Koontz
False friends Stephen Leather
Turning point Judith Lennox
Inn at Rose Harbor Debbie Macomber
Sky dragons Anne & Todd McCaffrey
Sunshine on Scotland Street Alexander McCall Smith
Sweet tooth Ian McEwan
Tuesday’s child Fern Michaels
Big sky mountain Linda Lael Miller
Summer house Santa Montefiore
Rumours Freya North
Courageous Diana Palmer
Great escape Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Long earth Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter
Saint Zita society Ruth Rendell
Geneva Trap Stella Rimington
Say you’re sorry Michael Robotham
Osama Chris Ryan
Charon’s claw R.A Salvatore
Outsiders Gerald Seymour
Fallen angel Daniel Silva
Criminal Karin Slaughter
NW Zadie Smith
Friends forever Danielle Steel
Seventh trumpet Peter Tremayne
Coup d’etat: the war came early Harry Turtledove
War maid’s choice David Weber
Next best thing Jennifer Weiner

Leigh

Friday, 17 August 2012

Melbourne Writers Festival 2012


The 27th Melbourne Writers Festival opens on Thursday 23 August and runs until Sunday the 2nd of September. This year’s festival features interviews and discussions with a large range of authors - from Australia and around the world - as well as workshops for writers and aspiring writers. With a huge array of events on offer, there will be something to tempt every book lover.

Visit the official website for more information and to download a program.

Leigh

Monday, 13 August 2012

Age of miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

What if our 24-hour day grew longer, first in minutes, then in hours, until day became night and night became day? What effect would this slowing have on the world?

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 11-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the cracks in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behaviour of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloguing his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

Told through the eyes of Julia, this wonderful debut novel shows how easily life can splinter when, without warning, the rhythms of life get thrown out of balance. No one knows why the earth’s rotation has suddenly begun to slow and nobody knows how to deal with it. The Age of Miracles is also a story about coming of age during extraordinary times, about people going on with their lives in an era of extreme uncertainty. I don’t usually read science fiction but the concept intrigued me enough to pick it up. I’m glad I did, as this is a thought provoking but subtle read. It’s beautifully written and kept me engaged right up until the last page.

Leigh



Monday, 6 August 2012

Dead heat by Bronwyn Parry

Bronwyn Parry has quickly become one of my favourite authors and alongside a handful of other Australian authors has also made me fall in love with the romantic suspense crime genre.

Dead Heat is an action packed, suspenseful story set in the wilderness of the north-west region of New South Wales. Jo Lockwood, a scientist and National Parks Ranger, is a woman passionate about nature and takes her job very seriously. When she stumbles across the mutilated dead body of a man in her beloved park lands she is determined to help Detective Nick Matheson in his new position with the local police network to find the killer.

Jo and Nick are intriguing characters who at the outset are distant and detached but actually have many layers of complexities built up over the years with the aim to protect themselves and those they love. Jo has set her heart aside and focused on her work since the death of her fiancé five years prior while Nick has worked undercover for a decade alongside some of the deadliest criminals in the state. He has played so many roles in his life he is not quite sure he knows who the real Nick is anymore.

I was drawn to both characters because Parry provides a delicate insight into the internal and external conflicts of Nick and Jo. Parry’s ability to break down their barriers to find happiness and contentment within themselves is very well executed and had me turning the pages with rapid speed.

A fantastic read.

Jane

Monday, 30 July 2012

All that I am by Anna Funder

Excellent choice for the Miles Franklin 2012 Award. An Australian flavour throughout with the principal character reminiscing from Bondi.
Funder brings to life so eloquently the real life experiences of history between the world wars and the growth of the third Reich denied by the world even though so apparent. Much of Funder’s research has been found in historical documentation and permeates the narrative.

Dora is a passionately political woman. She is the thread that holds together her cousin Ruth, journalist Hans Wesseman, and Ernst Toller, a fellow activist and Dora's lover. The quartet flee Germany in the wake of Hitler's rise to power, but they refuse to be silent about the Nazi threat. Shifting back and forth in time through the framing device of Toller's autobiography, this debut novel by the author of Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall is a spiralling account of political activity and love during World War II. The social aspect of the politics, rather than the war, is the author's main focus in following Dora as she pulls Ruth and Toller along with her.

Very profound and brilliantly written.

Jane


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The winners of the 2012 Prime Minister's Literary Awards are....

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the winners of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards at a ceremony at the National Library of Australia yesterday.

Gillian Mears won the fiction award for her novel Foal's Bread while
Mark McKenna won the non-fiction award for his book An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark. The prize for Australian History was awarded to Bill Gammage for The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia and the award for poetry went to Luke Davies for Interferon Psalms.

The young adult fiction category was won by Robert Newton for When We Were Two and the children’s fiction award went to author Frances Watts and illustrator Judy Watson for Goodnight, Mice!

Now in its fifth year, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards recognise and reward excellence in Australian literature and history. The winner of each category was awarded $80,000 and each shortlisted author received $5000.

For more information and to read samples of all the shortlisted books visit www.arts.gov.au/pmliteraryawards

Leigh

Monday, 23 July 2012

Peaches for Monsieur le Cure by Joanne Harris (Chocolat #3)

It isn't often you receive a letter from the dead.

When Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she has no choice but to follow the wind that blows her back to Lansquenet, the village in south-west France where, eight years ago, she opened up a chocolate shop. But Vianne is completely unprepared for what she finds there. Women veiled in black, the scent of spices and peppermint tea, and there, on the bank of the river Tannes, facing the square little tower of the church of Saint-Jerôme like a piece on a chessboard - slender, bone-white and crowned with a silver crescent moon - a minaret. Nor is it only the incomers from North Africa that have brought big changes to the community. Father Reynaud, Vianne's erstwhile adversary, is now disgraced and under threat. Could it be that Vianne is the only one who can save him?

I really enjoyed my trip back to Lansquenet revisiting old characters from Chocolat. Lansquenet has changed, the river rats (gypsies) have moved on and in their place a growing Muslim community has arrived. Once again, Joanne Harris weaves a spellbinding novel exploring what makes a community tick - our fear of the unknown and how easily prejudices take root spreading unease and tension. In Chocolat, Vianne was the threatening newcomer who shook the foundations of this sleepy village. In this novel new tensions are emerging with the growth of a Muslim community and how they fit in with the locals. What follows is a thrilling narrative with two communities thriving on their own fear and ignorance. It can be read as a simple and enjoyable story but if you delve a little deeper there are lessons here for us all. We all have to live with others and sometimes it is as difficult to understand their ways as it is for them to understand ours.

Even if you haven’t read Chocolat or Lollipop Shoes I would still highly recommend this beautifully written, thought provoking novel.

Leigh

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Annie’s garden to table by Annie Smithers

Annie Smithers began her culinary career by serving an apprenticeship with Stephanie Alexander. In 2005, after working in many of Melbourne and regional Victoria’s top restaurants, Annie opened her own restaurant, Annie Smithers Bistrot, in Kyneton, Victoria. The bulk of the produce for Annie’s French bistro-style food comes from her own garden, and the menu is shaped daily according to which ingredients are at their seasonal best. Annie recently opened a café and foodstore called Du Fermier (from the Farmhouse) in the Trentham which caters to a more casual style of dining along with selling a range of homemade jams, seasonal garden produce and homewares.

Annie’s Garden to Table is part cook book, part gardening guide, part diary. It covers the 18 months it took Annie and her gardening guru Simon to set up her 1 acre plot, which now supplies both the restaurant and the café with up to 90% of their produce at specific times of the year along with many of Annie’s beautiful seasonal jams and preserves. It covers the joys and challenges they encountered, especially in the face of establishing a garden in the lingering drought years.

I loved reading this book and it was comforting to know that I am not the only one who has gardening disasters. With a lot of patience and perseverance Annie proves that you can be rewarded for all your hard work. This book is enough to inspire anyone to convert their backyard into a sustainable kitchen garden.

Leigh

Thursday, 12 July 2012

New fiction titles for July


Place in the country Elizabeth Adler
Disgrace Jussi Adler-Olsen
Ancient light John Banville
Demands Mark Billingham
Third gate Lincoln Child
Honor Janet Dailey
Undead and unstable MaryJanice Davidson
XO Jeffrey Deaver
Tuesday’s gone Nicci French
Ransom river Meg Gardiner
Island house Posie Parker-Evans
15 seconds Andrew Gross
What comes next John Katzenbach
Potboiler Jesse Kellerman
Backlash Lynda La Plante
Home from the sea Mercedes Lackey
Let love find you Johanna Lindsey
Beautiful sacrifice Elizabeth Lowell
Big sky country Linda Lael Miller
Hour of the wolf Hakan Nesser
2312 Kim Stanley Robinson

Place FREE holds through the Catalogue or ask Library Staff about these books.

Leigh

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Download eBooks Anytime, Anywhere


Enjoy 24/7 virtual library access

Greater Dandenong Libraries is proud to offer you a range of eBooks for Adults, Teens & Children; all available 24/7 from the library’s website.

You can browse the collection, check out with your library card, and download titles to PC, Mac® and many mobile devices. To get started, you will need to install free software, Adobe® Digital Editions then you can enjoy selected titles immediately on a computer or transfer to a variety of devices, including iPad®, Sony® Reader™ and many others. Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period. There are no late fees!

With many fiction and non-fiction titles to choose from, the new collection is guaranteed to have something for everyone. You can download popular fiction, well-known classics, self-improvement guides and much more.

This new eBook service, powered by OverDrive, is free with your Greater Dandenong Libraries membership. To get started visit our catalogue or contact the Library’s friendly staff for further assistance.

Susan

Monday, 2 July 2012

After the darkness by Honey Brown

A thriller written from a different perspective –

Trudy and Bruce take a deserved holiday by the Victorian ocean: time for them to relax, their children left behind. Of course, a detour on the way home to a cliff-top gallery seems like the right, spontaneous thing to do. However, their misgivings when they enter the cold, glass-filled home are proven right and the following attack leaves them battered mentally and physically, with more to hide than to reveal -– and someone out there knows about it.

This vivid, taut story of the aftermath of Trudy and Bruce’s experience left me short of breath, as anxious as they were about every moment that followed. After the Darkness, told from Trudy’s point of view, takes many of the male/female clichés of crime and turns them on their head, as she toughs it out through Bruce’s shackling, both literally and metaphorically, during the book’s progress. A story as psychologically chilling as it is physically frightening, it is a dark look into the trauma of violence changing an everyday happy couple into one wracked with paranoia, regret and simmering violence of their own.

Yes, disturbing and close to decisions we might all face. I found myself immersed (sometimes losing track of which station I was at whilst reading on the train). This made me a little uncomfortable which is exactly what a thriller is supposed to do.
A good read from an Australian author placing the plot in Victoria. Good thriller material.

Jane





Monday, 25 June 2012

The winner of the Miles Franklin Award for 2012 is……

Inspired by true events, All That I Am tells the story of an elderly Australian woman and her role in the opposition to the Nazis in the years leading up to World War II.

The judging panel said they admired an "ambitious novel that moves across continents and decades, to remind us that experiences of exile and dislocation have long been part of Australian life."

While All That I Am is Anna's debut novel, she is no stranger to literary success, as her 2004 non-fiction work Stasiland was a best-seller.

Along with the accolades that come with winning Australia’s most prestigious award, Anna also receives $50,000 in prize money.

You can reserve a copy of All that I am via our online
Leigh

A Thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini


Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made "The Kite Runner" a classic, Hosseini’s latest novel is at once an incredible chronicle of 30 years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation found in love.

Having read and grown through my experience with the Kite Runner I was quick to pick up this superb second novel, a searing epic of Afghanistan in turmoil. The story covers three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny through the lives of two women. Mariam is the scorned illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, forced at age 15 into marrying the 40-year-old Rasheed, who grows increasingly brutal as she fails to produce a child. Eighteen years later, Rasheed takes another wife, 14-year-old Laila, a smart and spirited girl whose only other options, after her parents are killed by rocket fire, are prostitution or starvation. Against a backdrop of unending war, Mariam and Laila become allies in an asymmetrical battle with Rasheed.

Ingeniously written from a woman’s perspective this is even more engrossing and a must read by anyone remotely interested in how Afghanistan ticks.

Jane


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

These girls by Sarah Pekkanen

Cate, Renee, and Abby have come to New York for very different reasons, and in a bustling city of millions, they are linked together through circumstance and chance. Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated. Her roommate Renee will do anything to nab the plum job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills—despite the racing heartbeat and trembling hands that signal she’s heading for real danger. Then there’s Abby, whom they take in as a third roommate. Once a joyful graduate student working as a nanny part time, she abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. No one knows what shattered Abby—or why she left everything she once loved behind. Sarah Pekkanen tells the story of three very different women as they navigate the complications of careers and love, and find the lifeline they need in each other.

These Girls is a wonderful story about friendship, love, career, and the pressures of life in general. Sarah has a warm, inviting writing style that pulls you into the story from the first page. It is a great read that addresses serious life decisions but with a touch of humour to avoid it being too serious.

Leigh



Monday, 4 June 2012

High Road to Reading


Author talk with Shane Maloney
Where: Dandenong Library
When: Friday 15 June 2012, 7.30-9pm
Bookings essential

One of Australia’s greatest crime writers is coming to Greater Dandenong and you’re invited to come along.

Shane Maloney, creator of the Murray Whelan series of crime novels, will speak at a special event at Dandenong Library as part of the National Year of Reading celebrations. His novels include: Stiff, The brush-off, Nice try, The big ask, Something fishy and Sucked in. Each novel follows the protagonist, Murray Whelan, as he attempts to uncover the truth behind murders, fraudulent schemes and shady dealings in and around the suburbs of Melbourne.

Shane is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Crime Writers Association of Australia and is a best-selling author. Join Shane as he speaks about his books and his experiences as a writer.

Bookings are essential on 1300 630 920 or online at greaterdandenonglibraries.com under “what’s on at the library”.

Leigh

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Prime Minister's Literary Award 2012

The wait is over! The shortlists for the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have been announced. This year's awards have attracted the highest number of entries since its inception. Entries were received from every state and territory and included books, e-books, websites, documentaries and audiovisual material. The Awards celebrate the contribution of Australian literature and history to the nation's cultural and intellectual life.

In 2012 there are six awards: fiction, poetry, non-fiction, young adult fiction, children’s fiction and Australian history. The winner of each award will receive $80 000 tax-free and the shortlisted entries in each category receive $5000 tax-free. The shortlists include a diverse range of entries from richly illustrated children’s books to powerful documentaries with themes as broad as alienation, family conflict, Indigenous history, memoirs and magical worlds.

The 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists are:

Fiction shortlist:
All That I Am by Anna Funder
Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville
Foal's Bread by Gillian Mears
Autumn Laing by Alex Miller
Forecast: Turbulence by Janette Turner Hospital

Non-fiction shortlist:
A Short History of Christianity by Geoffrey Blainey
Michael Kirby Paradoxes and Principles by A J Brown
When Horse Became Saw: A Family’s Journey Through Autism by Anthony Macris
Kinglake-350 by Adrian Hyland
An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark by Mark McKenna

Young adult fiction shortlist:
A Straight Line to My Heart by Bill Condon
Being Here by Barry Jonsberg
Pan’s Whisper by Sue Lawson
When We Were Two by Robert Newton
Alaska by Sue Saliba

Children’s fiction shortlist:
Evangeline, The Wish Keeper's Helper by Maggie Alderson
The Jewel Fish of Karnak by Graeme Base
Father's Day by Anne Brooksbank
Come Down, Cat! by Sonya Hartnett, illustrated by Lucia Masciullo
Goodnight, Mice! by Frances Watts, illustrated by Judy Watson

Poetry shortlist:
Ashes in the Air by Ali Alizadeh
Interferon Psalms by Luke Davies
Armour by John Kinsella
Southern Barbarians by John Mateer
New and Selected Poems by Gig Ryan

Prize for Australian History shortlist:
1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia by James Boyce
The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia by Bill Gammage
Breaking the Sheep's Back by Charles Massy
Indifferent Inclusion: Aboriginal people and the Australian Nation by Russell McGregor
Immigration Nation: The Secret History of Us by Renegade Films Australia Pty Ltd

All Australians are encouraged to reignite their passion for reading with these imaginative and compelling Australian stories during the National Year of Reading.

To read more about the awards click here

Leigh

Monday, 28 May 2012

Summer Daydreams by Carole Matthews

Summer Daydreams is a lovely warm story about a young woman living in a small English town called Hitchen in the heart of Hertfordshire who has dreams of a better life. At the beginning of the story Nell McMcNamara, a woman is never paid much attention in school and left at sixteen, is quite happy with her life working part time in a fish and chip shop in between looking after her four year old daughter, Petal, and having a boyfriend, Olly, who adores her. Their lives are happy but uneventful and they are just making ends meet although with their work schedules where they are working back to back shifts , Olly and Nell don’t seem to have much time together and their lives don’t seem to be going anywhere.

Nell’s life turns around when she unleashes her creativity and renovates the fish and chip shop for her boss and the business starts blooming. Her boss and her best friends encourage her to start an art course and this leads to Nell exploring her passion for designing handbags. It seems Nell’s dreams are coming true as people love her handbags but Nell discovers that it’s a lot of hard work starting up a business and that her time is taken up with designing and making handbags and getting her bags out to the public which causes her boyfriend to secretly crave the simplicity of their old lives back.

Nell’s determination sees her starting off having a market stall to buying a small shop as well as flying off to attend fashion shows in London and Paris and making her dreams of a better life come true. However along the way she has to deal with the struggles of keeping her relationship on track and looking after her daughter, the guilt of the time she has to spend away from them and learning how the fashion business works.

She faces a few set backs when she discovers that not all the people she meets are genuine like the Frenchman who claims to be an agent but who secretly steals her bag designs and then shows off her handbags in a fashion show passing them off as his own or the American home shopping site which turns out to be a scam. She loses hope when she loses all her money but the story has a happy ending where her dreams do all come true with the help of Olly and her friends who have stood by her and encourage her not to give up hope, even when everything seemed so bad.

This is a wonderful read that you find you can’t put down once you start reading it.

Ros



Monday, 21 May 2012

New fiction titles for June


Proposal Mary Balogh
Storm Clive Cussler
Wicked business Janet Evanovich
Canada Richard Ford
Particular eye for villainy Ann Granger
Kiss the dead Laurell K Hamilton
Peaches for Monsieur le Cure Joanne Harris
Guy Noir and the straight skinny Garrison Keillor
Daughters of Mars Tom Keneally
Absolute deception Lesley Lakko
Turn in the road Debbie Macomber
Red notice Andy McNab
Breaking news Fern Michaels
Princeps L.E Modesitt
I, Michael Bennet James Patterson
Dorchester terrace Anne Perry
Impossible dead Ian Rankin
Lower river Paul Theroux
Woman who went to bed for a year Sue Townsend
Bourne imperative Eric Van Lustbader
Dream of the Celt Mario Vargas Llosa
Unnatural acts Stuart Woods

Place FREE holds through the Catalogue or ask Library Staff about these books.

Leigh

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Miles Franklin Literary Award- shortlist 2012

The shortlist for the 2012 Miles Franklin Award was announced at the State Library of New South Wales on the 3rd of May. The list features five works of fiction and includes a mixture of well-established Australian authors and first time novelists.

Established by writer, Miles Franklin, to support and encourage authors of Australian literature, the Miles Franklin Literary Award is Australia’s oldest and most prestigious literary prize. The winner of the award will receive $50,000 for the novel of the year judged to be of the highest literary merit which “must present Australian life in any of its phases”.

The nominations for the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist are:

Blood by Tony Birch
All That I Am by Anna Funder
Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears
Cold Light by Frank Moorhouse
Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett

The winner will be announced at the State Library of Queensland on the 20 June 2012. Why not judge each book for yourself? You can reserve all 5 titles via our online library catalogue. Will you agree with the judges decision?

For more information about the award or to read a synopsis on the short listed titles click here

Leigh