Friday, 20 December 2013

Summer Holiday OPENING HOURS 2013-2014

The staff of City of Greater Dandenong Libraries wish you a safe and happy festive season.

Tuesday 24 December

Wednesday 25 December

Thursday 26 December

Friday 27 December

Saturday 28 December

Sunday 29 December

Monday 30 December

Tuesday 31 December

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Thursday 2 January 2014
9am -9pm (Normal hours resume)

Sunday 26 January 2014

Monday 27 January 2014

24 hour returns are available when libraries are closed.

Zinio Magazine of the Month: Vogue Australia

Vogue Australia epitomises the finest in fashion, design and journalism, combining a modern mix of glamour, style and intelligence. It enlightens, entertains and inspires by focusing on its position as the authoritative voice in Australian fashion.

Featured this month is Jessica Hart – Media mogul in the making. With her own natural make-up brand and her trademark gap-toothed grin, Jessica Hart is taking on the fashion world on her own terms.

Also in this month’s issue: Aspen, the swanky ski resort and hangout for the fabulously rich, has a surprising summery side. See it in full bloom.

Download the magazine FREE from Zinio, simply log onto the library website to find out more.

Friday, 13 December 2013

All good things by Sarah Turnbull

Sarah Turnbull’s latest travel memoir, ‘All Good things’, transports her from the Parisian patisseries and boulevards she came to call home in ‘Almost French’ to exotic island living in Tahiti. After finding true love with a French lawyer and surviving the ups and downs of being an outsider in Paris, Sarah’s new book is more personal and reflective than her debut.

Sarah joins her husband Frederic for an adventure when he agrees to set up an office in Papeete, Tahiti for his law firm. She has two aims while there, to write a French historical novel and to have a baby. They set up home with their Scottie dog in an idyllic island setting in a house complete with its own lagoon. Sarah quickly befriends her neighbours and locals while learning about the culture and customs of island life.

While Sarah’s plan to write a novel goes on the back burner, her desire to conceive becomes all encompassing with frustrated visits to doctors and more attempts with IVF. After reading this, I went back to where it all started with ‘Almost French’ and relived Sarah’s first adventure. It will be interesting to see where her next adventure takes her.


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Friday, 6 December 2013

The loveliest chocolate shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

This is a wonderful book that I would recommend for readers who enjoy chick-lit or just love chocolate and Paris. It’s a wonderful romantic story that delves into the lives, the loves and the past of it’s two main characters,thirty-year-old Anna and the older Claire, who years previously was her French teacher.

The story begins when Anna ends up in a hospital following a freak accident at the chocolate factory in which she works. Here, she finds herself reuniting with her old French teacher, Claire, who happens to be on the same ward receiving treatment for cancer. The two women start to bond during their stay and Claire takes it upon herself to push Anna to her full potential, teaching her more French and orchestrating an opportunity of a lifetime for her to work with a famous French chocolatier called Thierry Girard.

The narrative is mostly set in the 21st century, following Anna’s adventure when she sets out into the unknown, and starts to learn some independence. But interleaved throughout is the story of Claire’s own adventures in Paris when she was 17. Although the two women are a generation apart in age, and grew up in completely different circumstances, their stories intertwine beautifully.
The story becomes this amazing adventure in the present day through Anna’s eyes, as well as a beautifully written narrative that takes us on a journey through Claire’s history as an au pair in Paris. Although decades apart, the similarities of the two stories come to life, as we are thrust into both of their wonderful adventures full of love and romance in the beautiful city of Paris. And although the story is overshadowed by Claire’s battle with cancer, as well as being set at different times in their lives, you really experience how both women grow almost identically from being insecure and lost soles, to strong and enviable characters.

The details in this book truly make the story come to life, from the descriptions of Anna and Claire and their adventures, to the mouth-watering chocolate, to the delicious food and to the picturesque setting of Paris. There is a superb mixture of happiness, love, fun, romance and sadness that are all balanced out perfectly together.

There are exquisite descriptions throughout the book with vivid imagery details and the author skilfully describes the tastes of various fine chocolates, chocolate making processes. There’s also lots of descriptions of the French culture and characteristics of Paris, and I thought she captured the city and the lifestyle of Parisian perfectly.

We share Anna’s adventures in Paris and meet her flamboyant flat mate, Sami, as well as the moody chef Laurent, who turns out to be Thierry’s son.

It turns out Thierry was Claire’s old flame and after he suffers a heart attack, Claire goes against her families wishes and travels back to Paris where the two of them meet up again, if only briefly.

I thought this was a lovely story about how Anna, who was in a rut going nowhere in her life, grows into a confident woman and how a young first love can remain a part of people’s lives forever.

I found I couldn’t put this book down and I find Jenny Colgan really captures her characters so that you can’t help but get involved in their stories. I found this with her other novels, The Cupcake café books and the Sweetshop books equally enjoyable.

The book ends with a selection of chocolate recipes as an extra treat.


Place hold

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Retire and live the dream by Annette Edis

I thought – easier said than done!

However Annette gives no excuses for a positive and enthusiastic mindset to live your dream.

Annette and her husband have sold up everything and gone to live in Italy – la Dolce Vita.

This book is a biographical picture of Annette and her husband, Ray’s life with lots of historic memories for anyone who has lived through life in the 1950s and 60s as a young person and also a great travelogue through many adventures experienced by the Edis’.

Even if you are not thinking yet of retiring but love the idea of travel or reading about another Aussie life this book is worth your attention.


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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Zinio magazine of the month: Rolling Stone

Have you signed up to Zinio yet? If not, here’s a taste of what’s on offer:

This month, Rolling Stone remembers an outsider who took rock to the underground. Including tributes from Bono, Michael Stipe, Mick Jagger and more.

This edition also takes a look at Danny Mena, the chef who is making ‘the tastiest tacos you’ve ever had’ and Becky G, Dr. Luke’s latest protégée: a 16 year old Mexican-American rapper who’s huge on YouTube.

Other featured include: Ringo Starr’s life in photos, how Norman Reedus became the breakout star of Walking Dead, why the geeky sisters of Haim are this year’s coolest new band and a review of Eminem’s grown up sequel to The Marshall Mathers LP.

To download this magazine FREE from Zinio, simply click here. If you need further assistance with creating an account, please don’t hesitate to contact library staff for additional help.

OneClickdigital e-Audiobook of the Month: The English Monster by Lloyd Shepherd

Download FREE Audiobooks!

Based on the real-life story of the gruesome Ratcliffe Highway murders, The English Monster takes us on a voyage across centuries.

Non-spoiler alert! There is a dark twist – a spot of black-magical realism, if you like – about halfway through Lloyd Shepherd’s first novel that this reviewer has no desire to ruin for readers.
In fact, so delicious and unexpected is this turn of events that it moves a book that is already part detective fiction, part historical novel and part pirate adventure into entirely new territory, adding themes of natural philosophy and moral turpitude to a story as rich in ideas as it is in intrigue. INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

London, 1811. The twisting streets of Wapping hold many an untold sin. Bounded by the Ratcliffe Highway to the north and the Dock to the south, shameful secrets are largely hidden by the noise of Trade. But two families have fallen victim to foul murder, and a terrified populace calls for justice.

The English Monster is an extraordinarily rich mixture of real and imagined characters spanning some 250 years from 1564, when Billy Ablass, a young Oxfordshire fortune-hunter, joins a fleet of ships in Plymouth commanded by Admiral John Hawkins bound for the new world via west Africa, to 1812, when river constable Charles Horton identifies the Ratcliff Highway murderer. So what’s the connection between Tudor England’s first slave-trading mission and a Georgian London sleuth? To give away any hint of the fantastic plot would ruin the book, and that would be a pity. THE GUARDIAN, Sue Arnold’s Audiobook Choice

Download the e-Audiobook FREE on OneClickdigital. Simply log on to OneClickDigital to find out more.

Monday, 25 November 2013

New fiction titles for December

It’s now time to start stocking up on your Christmas reading. Can we tempt you with any of these new titles?

Liverpool angels Lyn Andrews
Unwelcomed child Virginia Andrews
Liverpool legacy Anne Baker
Catch and release Lawrence Block
Litter of the law Rita Mae Brown
Outlaw knight Elizabeth Chadwick
Silent kill Peter Corris
Merry Christmas, cowboy Janet Dailey
Andrew’s brain E.L. Doctorow
Dark wolf Christine Feehan
Midkemia: chronicles of Pug Raymond E. Feist
Fear nothing Lisa Gardner
Murder on High Holborn Susanna Gregory
After dead Charlaine Harris
Winter William Horwood
As serious as death Quintin Jardine
Silencing Eve Iris Johansen
Invention of wings Sue Monk Kidd
Innocence Dean Koontz
Place to call home Carole Matthews
Blindsided Fern Michaels
Big sky secrets Linda Lael Miller
Silent night Robert B Parker
Private LA James Patterson
Hunted Karen Robards
Most wanted Chris Ryan
Accused Lisa Scottoline
Nantucket Christmas Nancy Thayer
In the blood Lisa Unger
Doing hard time Stuart Woods

You can place your free holds via our online catalogue. If you’re still undecided come into one of our branches and ask our friendly staff for a recommendation. We’re always happy to talk books with you.


Monday, 18 November 2013

The Puppet boy of Warsaw by Eva Weaver

This is a totally different genre to what I normally read as it’s set in Warsaw during World War II and the Holocaust which I normally shy away from. However once I started to read it I couldn’t put it down.

This is a beautifully written and moving story that follows the story of Mika, a Jewish boy who inherits a coat with many secret pockets from his grandfather after he is shot by the Germans in the street for trying to save a young woman in 1938. Inside the pockets he discovers a papier mache head and scraps of cloth which becomes a puppet called “the Prince”. He also discovers a secret room his grandfather kept in his temporary ghetto home where he created other puppets and along with his cousin, Ellie, starts to put on puppet shows for families and children in orphanages and hospitals.

His life changes when his talent is discovered by a German soldier, Max, and he is forced to entertain the occupying German troops instead of his countrymen. While he is allowed outside the Ghetto to entertain the soldiers Mika gets involved in smuggling little children underneath his coat from the ghetto into the other side of the wall to other family members. It is set against the very real and difficult period of World War II at it’s very worst –the creation of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, through the deportations and to the bitter uprising of the last remaining Jews.

The book is told in three parts – Mika’s story, then the story of the German Max after the war, and then a very touching section in modern day America that brings their two stories full circle when the Prince puppet that Mika passed onto Max during the war, survives Siberia and is returned to Mika in New York by Max’s daughter on his dying bed.

Mika is a wonderful character, scared but brave, loyal and caring – and Max, the German who ends up having so much impact on the course of war for Mika, is a complicated and sympathetic villain without whom Mika probably wouldn’t have survived the war. The story is also about a coat that has many stories to tell and finally has a place to rest hanging peacefully in Mika’s daughter’s home.


Place hold

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Thread by Victoria Hislop

Wow! What a fabulous book. Hislop treats us with an excellently woven and absorbing tale of Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki. A heart touching love story with an insight into the lives of a diverse range of people over a large time span. Considerable and accurate research is evidence in the work depicting the devastating conditions of the early 20th century and controversial politics.

The story starts in Thessaloniki, 1917. As Dimitri Komninos is born, a fire sweeps through the thriving multicultural city, where Christians, Jews and Moslems live side by side. It is the first of many catastrophic events that will change this city for ever, as war, fear and persecution begin to divide its people. Five years later, young Katerina escapes to Greece when her home in Asia Minor is destroyed by the Turkish army. Losing her mother in the chaos, she finds herself on a boat to an unknown destination. From that day the lives of Dimitri and Katerina become entwined, with each other and with the story of the city itself.

Thessaloniki, 2007. A young Anglo-Greek hears the life story of his grandparents for the first time and realises he has a decision to make. For many decades, they have looked after the memories and treasures of people who have been forcibly driven from their beloved city. Should he become their new custodian? Should he stay or should he go?

So rich in texture and full of good characters and emotions I found myself really hooked. A really great book.


Check catalogue

Monday, 4 November 2013

Best kept secret by Jeffrey Archer

I have been a fan of Archer for many years with my initiation with Kane and Abel. As usual have finished this latest in the Clifton Chronicles series in two days! Archer is so good at creating a story that flows so well and blending his unique knowledge of the British political, historic and legal cultures into a riveting page turner. Unlike so many authors his style is linguistically flawless and seamless in execution building tension throughout. Archer does not complicate with too many characters at once and it is easy to follow the trail. However it is never obvious what is around the corner.

Best Kept Secret opens a moment after the end of The Sins of the Father, with the resolution of the trial and the triumphant marriage of Harry Clifton and Elizabeth Barrington, finally uniting their family. Harry, now a bestselling novelist, Emma, their son Sebastian, and orphaned Jessica make a new life for themselves, but all is not as happy and secure as it could be. Emma's brother, Giles, is engaged to a woman who may be more interested in Barrington's fortune and title than in a long and happy marriage. And Sebastian, though he is bright, isn't quite the hard worker that his father was at school, and finds a hard time resisting the temptations that his somewhat unsavory friends provide.

It all comes to a head when a new villain is uncovered, a face from the past with grudges against both Harry and Giles—Fisher, who tortured Harry at school and later took credit for Giles' heroics during the war. Fisher teams up with Giles' now ex-wife to wreak havoc on Giles' latest election as well as meddle with affairs inside Barringtons, while Harry and Emma must deal with a new scheme that Sebastian has unwittingly fallen into with a supposed friend. The drama continues for Harry Clifton and his family, bringing this mesmerizing saga into the 1960s.

A thoroughly enjoyable read but of course Archer leaves you pondering and looking forward with bated breath to his next instalment!


Check catalogue

Monday, 28 October 2013

New fiction titles for November

The library has acquired the following titles for your Spring reading pleasure:

King and Maxwell David Baldacci
Strangling on stage Simon Brett
Command authority Tom Clancy
Gods of guilt Michael Connelly
Standing in the shadow Peter Corris
Bombshell Catherine Coulter
Dreams to sell Anne Douglas
Errors of judgement Caro Fraser
Casting the first stone Frances Fyfield
Cry of the children J.M Gregson
Kindred of darkness Barbara Hambly
Hard going Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
All change Elizabeth Jane Howard
In search of hope Anna Jacobs
Summer at the lake Erica James
Bourne retribution Robert Ludlum
Forest ghost Graham Masterton
Sins of the flesh Colleen McCullough
Winter sea Di Morrissey
Cockroaches Jo Nesbo
Tournament Matthew Reilly
Murder at Maddleskirk Abbey Nicholas Rhea
Bellagrand Paullina Simons
Embassy of Cambodia Zadie Smith
Taint in the blood Dana Stabenow
Identical Scott Turow
Asian dawn Michael Wilding
You can place your (free!) hold via our online catalogue or come into one of our branches and ask for a recommendation from our friendly staff. We're always happy to offer suggestions for your next great read.


Monday, 21 October 2013

Death of a neighborhood witch by Laura Levine

This is the 11th installment of the humorous Jaine Austen mystery series revolving around Jaine, a freelance writer with a sweet tooth who lives with her cat Prozac in the less prestigious part of Beverley Hills. She unwittingly gets involved in solving murders or mysteries with her sleuthing skills.

In this episode murder takes precedence when one of her neighbors, Eleanor Jenkins, a cantankerous Hollywood has-been who once played the part of Cryptessa Muldoon, television’s fourth most famous monster mom is stabbed with her own “Do not Trespass” sign on Halloween night. The bitter, paranoid old dame, Cryptessa spent her days making enemies with everyone on the street, including Jaine whose cat unwittingly scares to death her pet parakeet. Everyone becomes a suspect, including Jaine whose ape suit was used by killer to commit the murder during a new neighbor’s Halloween party. Jaine had taken the ape suit off to battle taking off her tortuous Tummy Tamer which causes some hilarious moments in the book along with the decapitation of a Buddha statue.

Along with the murder is the competition Jaine has with her neighbor, Lance, over the affections of an attractive new male neighbor whose sexual preferences are in doubt and the exploits of her elderly parents who live in Tampa, especially her father who enters a Halloween garden competition which results in trouble.

The motives for murder are endless and a few skeletons come out the closest regarding some of her neighbors. There’s the barracuda husband and wife realtors whose landscaping Cryptessa had bulldozed, the seemingly sweet old lady whose beloved dog was the object of Cryptessa’s wrath or even her own nephew who is desperate to get his hands on her money.  

This is a fun, hilarious light read and you can’t help but like Jaine, the strawberry scented bubble bath addict with a sweet tooth who gets herself involved in funny moments but who definitely has a knack for solving mysteries. I found once I had started to read this book I couldn’t put it down.


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