Friday, 30 May 2014

Let the land speak by Jackie French

I’ve just finished reading another great book by the highly respected, award-winning Australian author Jackie French called "Let the land speak". It really made me think about what we, as the first white settlers, have done to this beautiful land of Australia since 1788 to the present day. Using European farming techniques that were not suited to this land, the early settlers did not listen to the Indigenous people on how the land should be farmed. The damage that we have created is only now being repaired through conservation and land care organizations to this day.

"Jackie French takes us behind history and the accepted version of events, she also shows us that there's so much we don't understand about our history because we simply don't understand the way life was lived at the time. Eye-opening, refreshing, completely fascinating and unforgettable Let the Land Speak will transform the way we understand the role and influence of the land and provide insight into how it has shaped our nation".

Once again this is another great book on the history of this great land of ours that I believe should be part of every High School or College's curriculum. Click here to reserve your copy.

Lynda G.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Steal my sunshine by Emily Gale - Inky longlist finalist

During a Melbourne heatwave, Hannah's family life begins to distort beyond her deepest fears. It's going to take more than a cool change to fix it, but how can a girl who lives in the shadows take on the task alone?

Feeling powerless and invisible, Hannah seeks refuge in the two anarchists of her life: her wild best friend, Chloe, and her eccentric grandmother, Essie, who look like they know how life really works. But Hannah's loyalty to both is tested, first by her attraction to Chloe's older brother, and then by Essie's devastating secret that sheds new light on how the family has lost its way. Even if Hannah doesn't know what to believe in, she'd better start believing in herself.


Combined with Hannah's contemporary story, at the heart of Steal My Sunshine is the revelation of a shameful aspect of Australia's history and how it affected thousands of girls and women—the forced adoptions that saw 'wayward girls' and single mothers forced to give up their babies by churches and hospitals. The practice endured for decades, and only now are the numbers and the heart-wrenching stories coming to light.

Steal my Sunshine focuses on three generations of women in the Moon family. I loved it was set in Melbourne during a heat wave. Everything about this story made me feel so much and so strongly, from the hot, humid summer, to the tension in Hannah’s house, to the harrowing tale of Essie’s journey. I found the ending bittersweet and so hopeful.

Steal My Sunshine captures the intricacies and secrets that come with family life, in such a realistic and honest way.

Visit our catalogue to reserve your copy. Or, for more information on the Inky Awards, click here.

Fran

Monday, 19 May 2014

First Third by Will Kostakis - Inky longlist finalist

"Life is made up of three parts: in The First Third, you're embarrassed by your family; in the second, you make a family of your own; and in the end, you just embarrass the family you've made. That's how Billy's grandmother explains it, anyway. It's a Greek tragedy waiting to happen."
A painfully funny yet poignant contemporary Australian story for young adults, The First Third is the witty sophomore novel from Will Kostakis, sure to appeal to fans of Nick Earls and Melina Marchetta.

The First Third is a Greek-Australian coming-of-age tale by 24-year-old Sydney writer Will Kostakis. A funny and heart-warming evocation of family and friendship, The First Third centres around 17 year old Billy and his grandmother or Yia Yia. Thinking she might not be around much longer, Yia Yia draws up a "bucket list" for Billy, a list that includes "un-gaying" his brother Simon, cheering-up his reclusive brother Peter, and finding a boyfriend for his divorced mother. That way, when she passes, Yia Yia can rest in peace knowing her family is intact and, according to her logic, happy..

Melina Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi) wrote: 'The relationships in this novel are gems. Funny dialogue, wonderful characters, a story told with so much heart.'

This heartfelt YA novel is slow to start but stick with it and you will thank yourself. It is not surprising this book is a contender for the Victorian State Library Inky Award.

Visit our catalogue to reserve your copy. Or, for more information on the Inky Awards, click here.

Fran

New fiction titles for May

It’s time to reveal the new titles for the month of May. If you can’t find your favourite author, why not try something new this month?

Doctor Who: City of death Douglas Adams & Gareth Roberts
Inheritance Tilly Bagshawe
Let her go Dawn Baker
Wayfaring stranger James Lee Burke
Splintered gods Stephen Deas
For all time Jude Deveraux
Darkest hour Barbara Erskine
Terminal city Linda Fairstein
Good priest Gillian Galbraith
Phantom instinct Meg Gardiner
Corners of the globe Robert Goddard
Testimony of the hanged man Ann Granger
Book of life Deborah Harkness
Goodbye, Piccadilly Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Morbid habit Annie Hauxwell
Born of fury Sherrilyn Kenyon
Summer house with swimming pool Herman Koch
City Dean Koontz
Wrongful death Lynda LaPlante
Prince of fools Mark Lawrence
In love and war Lesley Lokko
Red light Graham Masterton
If you were me Sheila O’Flanagan
Invisible James Patterson
Close call Stella Rimington
Home away from home Nora Roberts
Skylight Jose Saramago
Cop town Karin Slaughter
Perfect life Danielle Steel
England and other stories Graham Swift
Last orders Harry Turtledove
All fall down Jennifer Weiner

Remember all holds are free of charge and can be placed via our online catalogue or by visiting one of our branches and asking for staff assistance.
Happy reading!

Leigh

Monday, 5 May 2014

Inky awards - Longlist reviews

Over the next few weeks Fran will be reviewing titles from the Inky Awards Longlist for 2014. The Inky Awards recognise high-quality young adult literature, with the longlist and shortlist selected by young adults, and the winners voted for online by the teen readers of InsideaDog.com.au. There are two awards: the Gold Inky Award for an Australian book, and the Silver Inky Award for an international book. The longlist was announced on the 19th of March, the shortlist will be announced in August and the winners will be revealed on the 21st of October. Without further ado, here is the first review:


Zac & Mia by AJ Betts
The last person Zac expects in the room next door is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world, he wouldn’t—couldn’t—be friends with her. In hospital different rules apply, and what begins as a knock on the wall leads to a note—then a friendship neither of them sees coming.

You need courage to be in hospital; different courage to be back in the real world. In one of these worlds Zac needs Mia. And in the other Mia needs Zac. Or maybe they both need each other, always

I loved this novel. Once I started reading I didn’t want to put the book down. Zac and Mia felt real- I cared what happened to each of them. I loved the dialogue, the grittiness of cancer, the humour, strengths, frustrations and fragility of all the characters.

The insight Betts displays is to be congratulated; the way people cope in situations they don’t want to face. Bett’s also dodged the clich├ęd story which would have been easier to write. This author succeeded brilliantly in producing a novel I highly recommend.

Fran

Visit our catalogue to reserve your copy. Or, for more information on the Inky Awards, click here.