Monday, 24 June 2013

Dark Palace by Frank Moorhouse

This novel is the second part of the Edith Trilogy but can be happily read as a separate book and as a winner of the Miles Franklin Award well worth considering.

The story focuses on our heroine, Edith Campbell Berry, a fairly influential member of the League of Nations in Geneva. This was a very interesting part of history from 1938 – 1945 and through Moorhouse’s excellent prose brings to life the political forces of that time. Parallel to the historic aspects and Edith’s part in the League, Moorhouse plays well with Edith’s marriage and unconventional relationship with Ambrose Westwood as well as bringing to the fore the Australian perspective as Edith is from the Wollongong area of New South Wales.

The appeal of this novel is the ability of Moorhouse to write so realistically from a woman’s frame of reference and his skill blending all the layers of a moving, wise and utterly engrossing novel that brings to life an interesting and challenging time in our history.


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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Miles Franklin Award 2013: And the winner is…….

A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events. Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia. Award-winning author Michelle de Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of the way we live now. Wonderfully written, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination - a transformative, very funny and intensely moving novel.

Michelle De Kretser will receive $60,000 (up from $50,000 last year) and each of the shortlisted authors will also receive a cash prize of $5000.

You can read more about the Miles Franklin award on their website.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

2013 Prime Minister's Literary Awards shortlists have been announced!

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Arts Minister Tony Burke have recently announced the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists. From children’s books that excel in the art of storytelling through to revealing works of non-fiction and history, the 29 books on the 2013 shortlists represent the breadth and depth of the Australian story and imagination. Now in their sixth year, the Awards shortlists recognise the best in Australian fiction, poetry, non-fiction, history, young adult and children’s fiction published in 2012.

The 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists are:

Floundering by Romy Ash
The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey
Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser
Lost Voices by Christopher Koch
Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany

Bradman’s War by Malcolm Knox
Uncommon Soldier by Chris Masters
Plein Airs and Graces by Adrian Mitchell
The Australian Moment by George Megalogenis
Bold Palates by Barbara Santich

Prize for Australian History
The Sex Lives of Australians: A History by Frank Bongiorno
Sandakan by Paul Ham
Gough Whitlam by Jenny Hocking
Farewell, dear people by Ross McMullin
The Censor’s Library by Nicole Moore

Burning Rice by Eileen Chong
The Sunlit Zone by Lisa Jacobson
Jam Tree Gully: Poems by John Kinsella
Liquid Nitrogen by Jennifer Maiden
Crimson Crop by Peter Rose

Young adult fiction
Everything left unsaid by Jessica Davidson
The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
Grace Beside Me by Sue McPherson
Fog a Dox by Bruce Pascoe
Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield

Children’s fiction
Red by Libby Gleeson
Today We Have No Plans by Jane Godwin and illustrated by Anna Walker
What’s the Matter, Aunty May? by Peter Friend and illustrated by Andrew Joyner
The Beginner’s Guide to Revenge by Marianne Musgrove

The winners in each of the categories will receive a tax-free cash prize of $80,000, with the shortlisted authors receiving $5000 tax-free. Stay tuned for the announcement of this year’s winner!

More information on the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards can be found here.


Monday, 17 June 2013

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton : e-reader edition

Layer upon layer of truth is revealed in this saga of love, loss, family and intrigue. It is told across the generations, through the eyes of mother and daughter at different stages in their lives. A narrator adds details which intensify the mystery. I enjoyed the unfolding of the story and the complexity of the characters. As the daughter sets out to discover the truth of a childhood tragedy, she also faces the reality of her mother’s imminent death. She examines the ageless issues faced by siblings whether 6 or 60 years old. She is challenged by the sudden uncertainty of relationships which previously seemed very solid.

Kate Morton writes with style. It’s easy to read. Her writing encourages strong visual images and parallels the reader’s own thoughts and dreams through examination of the common themes of life, love and relationships.

This is the first e-book I have borrowed through OverDrive for my new e-reader. When I looked at the book itself, it’s thick! On my e-reader its very thin and manageable. I was thrilled to be able to borrow and read such a fantastic book for free! I love my e-reader; I love OverDrive and I love Kate Morton.


Search for this title or browse through the many other titles we currently have available via Overdrive.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Calling all magazine lovers!

To compliment the huge variety of magazines we already have on offer in our branches, Greater Dandenong Libraries have now subscribed to Zinio, which is an online resource that gives you access to full digital copies of your favourite magazines. We have carefully selected and subscribed to over 80 digital magazines, which you can download and view on your home computer or mobile device such as iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire and Blackberry Playbook. Zinio magazines deliver the exact same content you get in print. Some of the titles we have chosen include: Amateur Photographer, Australian Good Taste, Property Investor, Big League, Bride to Be, F1 Racing, Harvard Business Review, Hello, Practical Parenting, Rolling Stone, Renovate, US and Your Garden.

You can access Zinio magazines here or via our library website. Create an account and enter your library membership number. From there you can enter your details to register for a free Zinio account. If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact library staff for additional help.

Why not make an account today and discover what other titles we have available for you to enjoy.


Monday, 3 June 2013

Suspense fiction to keep you entralled this winter

Cut short by Leigh Russell

Well I was looking for an easy read that I couldn’t put down and found it with Cut short. A debut novel which appears to be the beginning of a good series, similar to those of Lynda La Plant and Frances Fyfield.

This has a good story and the characters are interesting right from the start. Whilst I was fairly sure of the outcome and the identity of the protagonist this did not deter my connection with the novel.

The story introduces DI Geraldine Steel, recently promoted and newly arrived in the town of Woolsmarsh with baggage she would prefer to work through in private. She's straight into a case and it soon becomes obvious that the first strangled victim will not be the last, so it's a race against time. Scenes of investigation are cut through with chapters from the killer's point of view and it is possible to guess early on what the problem is.

For me Leigh Russell has a powerful ability to sweep you up into the story and produce a cast of cameo characters that all feel real. Needless to say I finished it in two days.

Jackal's share by Chris Morgan Jones

I picked this book up as I love thrillers and a good mystery. It was also to try out a new author for me.

While I did end up really enjoying the story it did tend to start out rather slow for a thriller. However before long I really did get hooked. I was intrigued to unravel the whole mystery behind Mr. Qazai, a very well heeled corporate business tycoon.

The story revolves around private spy, Ben Webster, and the request from Mr. Qazai to investigate his personal affairs. Not before long does Webster become convinced that there is something very wrong with his client. What is the real motive and what does he have to hide?

Set for much of the novel around Dubai and with good characterisation and various personalities woven into the narrative this turned out a really good read.

Death in high places by Jo Bannister

I picked this novel up thinking it would be fairly low key – it’s not a long book and not so striking as other thrillers I have read. However, I couldn’t put it down. Read it in two days!

The storyline focuses on a young carpenter whose passion is mountain climbing.
Four years after the ascent of a pristine Alaskan peak claimed the life of his wealthy friend Patrick Hanratty, Nicky Horn is in serious danger of losing his own. Patrick’s father, druglord Tommy Hanratty, has declared a vendetta against the man he’s convinced let his son fall to his death. Nicky eludes Hanratty’s hirelings until the night when he leaves his flat to find a man with a gun standing outside. Luckily, he’s rescued by the timely intervention of a stranger who identifies himself as merchant banker Robert McKendrick, spirits Nicky off to his home and introduces him to his spirited daughter Beth and his brother William, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. This ‘rescue’ is not as it seems and through exploratory dialogue between the three main characters and different story emerges.

Whilst I felt some of the conversations were lacking in depth and sometimes rather staged the book continues to reveal layers of deception and betrayal—and to strip.