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

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.


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.


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 under “what’s on at the library”.