Monday, 26 March 2012

New fiction titles for April

Sins of the father Jeffrey Archer
Stonemouth Iain Banks
Death of a kingfisher MC Beaton
Murder unleashed Rita Mae Brown
Stay close Harlan Coben
Wind in the wires Joy Dettman
Dark divide Jennifer Fallon
Bitter Greens Kate Forsyth
Fault line Robert Goddard
Calico Joe John Grisham
Magistrates of hell Barbara Hambly
Country plot Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Cutting edge Linda Howard
Winds of change Anna Jacobs
House on Willow Street Cathy Kelly
Deadly legacy Alanna Knight
Beastly things Donna Leon
Armageddon rag George RR Martin
Lavender keeper Fiona McIntosh
Better together Sheila O’Flanagan
Isabel’s wedding Pamela Oldfield
Guilty wives James Patterson
Fall from grace Richard North Patterson
Lone wolf Jodi Picoult
Witness Nora Roberts
New republic Lionel Shriver
Beginner’s goodbye Anne Tyler

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


Monday, 19 March 2012

To touch the stars by Jessica Ruston

This book would appeal to anyone who likes dramatic family sagas that are set in the modern age and which contains addiction and revenge in a world set in glamour, wealth and scandal.

The book is very similar to Danielle Steel, Barbara Bradford Taylor and other authors who write about family relationships and the secrets each family member holds. The main character in the book, Violet Cavalley is a famous milliner who creates the most luxurious millinery in the world. It doesn't contain too much sex like the Jackie Collins novels but because of the dramatic story line you can't help but get caught up in the saga. The story revolves around Violet, who came from a poor gypsy background and had a difficult upbringing but who, after her father killed the father of her first born son, went on to build a multi million pound business in London and around the world. However, she has never forgotten her roots, and lived with her father’s curse of "blood betraying blood begets blood" when she had him convicted of the murder. The story begins with Violet's sixtieth birthday where everyone finds out she is dying from cancer and it then goes through flashbacks to Violet's childhood, the different men who fathered her five children and the secrecy of her affairs and decisions which has an impact on all her children's lives as well as to the final twist of who inherits her empire.

It's the type of read that does capture the reader as you get caught up in each family member’s saga and the tragedies that befalls the family and also the secret vendettas. Once you start reading the story you will find it hard to put down. I know I did.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

A little bird told me by Kasey Chambers

Raised on the Nullarbor by their free-spirited parents, young Kasey Chambers and brother Nash would sometimes go for months without encountering another human being. Then, as The Dead Ringer Band, the family would perform in the rough-and-tumble outback pubs, playing for little more than petrol money and sleeping in swags by the highway under the stars. Along the way, Kasey was honing the unique talent that led to hit songs like ‘Not pretty enough’ and multi award-winning albums like Barricades & Brickwalls and Little Bird.

With her trademark down-to-earth honesty and humour, Kasey shares the highs and lows of her far from ordinary life, from her idyllic gypsy childhood to confronting the personal demons that threatened much more than her career. From the Australian outback to the word stage, A little bird told me is the moving, revealing and powerful story of a true original.

I saw this book listed in the 2011 50 books you can’t put down promotion and wondered why Kasey was already writing a biography at the grand old age 34. I am a big fan of her music and have seen her perform a few times but I quickly discovered that what I knew about her private life barely scratched the surface. Kasey writes about her childhood, getting started in the music industry, falling in love for the first time, suffering a miscarriage, a broken relationship, anorexia, and then a breakdown, which contributed to her taking time off from music. After forming a small band, The Lost Dogs, with her husband, Shane Nicholson and her Dad, Bill Chambers, she tells us how performing cover songs in her local pub helped her rediscover herself and her love for music. This is an open, honest account of Kasey’s life and I really enjoyed being welcomed into it.


Monday, 5 March 2012

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

This is the first epic (some 900 pages) I have read for a long time. Recommended, fervently, by a close friend. Well I read it in a week! Completely engrossing.

Shantaram is a love story from start to finish: love of mankind, love of friends, love of a woman, love of a country, love of a city, love of an adversary, love of a way of life, love of a people, love of adventure, love of a father, and, most apparent, love for the reader.

The protagonist (based on the writer himself) is a complex adventurer with a deep soul and a past which, though you and I can never fully appreciate it unless we have done similar things (highly unlikely...few of us have ever been tortured, for example, or kicked a heroin habit twice) is made accessible to us, complete with its feelings and lessons.

The writing is superb, the characters have depth, the setting descriptions place you right there, the plots are intriguing, and the emotions, including much humour.
The opening sentence of the book: "It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured". And the last line of the first page: "So it begins, this story, like everything else - with a woman, a city, and a little bit of luck."

Along with the engrossing complexities of the novel a significant achievement of this book, for me, was actually not its vivid description of Bombay, but the fact that it actually made me nostalgic for a city I have never wished to visit. When was the last time a book made you feel like that?