Monday, 30 June 2014

Tragedy at Pike River Mine: How and Why 29 Men Died By Rebecca MacFie

This eminently readable book outlines the story of the doomed New Zealand Coal Mine at Pike River, in the wild and misty South Island of New Zealand. The story illustrates the failed management decisions, inadequate geological research (due to lack of funding), the lack of Occupational Health and Safety, and the woefully inadequate regulatory response in ‘clean’, free, de-unionized New Zealand.

This was the explosion that was inevitable after the multiple failures at all levels. It also illustrates the impact a big development has on a small, failing rural town in the West Coast where jobs have been lost for generations.

Australian miners feature in this book as well. It’s a complex and heart rending story, without a good ending. The men, or what’s left after multiple explosions of methane, may never be recovered and Royal Commissions and legal proceedings may never fully bring those responsible to account.
So those who champion free, unregulated businesses and markets need to read this. It left me angry and concerned for our future.


Place hold

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Expo files and other articles by Stieg Larsson

Larsson’s successful Millennium Trilogy has largely overtaken his previous notoriety as a journalist and activist. The Expo Files contains a variety of Larsson’s previous journal articles, published during the mid 90s up to 2003, ending shortly before his death in 2004.

The articles contained in this small novel-sized book vary in their intensity, scathing in their judgement of what Larsson saw as the increasingly right-wing fascist political parties taking power in Sweden. He questioned various aspects of Swedish society and politics, including addressing issues of race, gender and inequality. In the introduction, Tariq Ali makes mention of Larsson jokingly referring to his Millennium trilogy novels as his retirement nest egg. While his passion for equality and a more egalitarian society seeps through his Millennium novels, it’s truly in his journal articles that Larsson found his most spirited voice.


Click here to place a hold.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

All this could end by Steph Bowe & These broken stars by Amie Kaufman - Inky longlist finalists

All this could end by Steph Bowe

What’s the craziest thing your mum has asked you to do?
Nina doesn’t have a conventional family. Her family robs banks—even she and her twelve-year-old brother Tom are in on the act now. Sophia, Nina’s mother, keeps chasing the thrill: ‘Anyway, their money’s insured!’ she says.

After yet another move and another new school, Nina is fed up and wants things to change. This time she’s made a friend she’s determined to keep: Spencer loves weird words and will talk to her about almost anything. His mother has just left home with a man who looks like a body-builder vampire, and his father and sister have stopped talking.

Spencer and Nina both need each other as their families fall apart, but Nina is on the run and doesn’t know if she will ever see Spencer again. Steph Bowe, author of Girl Saves Boy, once again explores the hearts and minds of teenagers in a novel full of drama, laughter and characters with strange and wonderful ways.

The original premise (a family of bank robbers) of All This Could End is much more of a character driven than plot driven novel. I found it so easy to engage with both Nina and Spencer, but at times wished there was a bit more of a tug in the plot, that little bit of something that would keep me sitting a little bit tighter, keep me a little more glued to the pages.

Another Aussie YA novel full of great – and not so great- characters. Worth a read.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Sci-fi, action, romance, survival and great dialogue; these are a few words which come to mind describing this novel. These Broken Stars has been compared with Titanic based in space. Rich girl and a soldier- not an original duo however this book drew me into its pages, I found it hard to put down.

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner transport us into space, aboard a luxury spaceship the “Icarus”. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux, the daughter of the richest man in the universe, and Tarver Merendsen, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilace are more trouble than they’re worth, must rely on each other to make a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help and survive.

Click on the links to reserve a copy of either (or both!) of these titles:
All this could end or These broken stars. Or, for more information on the Inky Awards, click here.


Friday, 20 June 2014

New magazines on Zinio

Have you visited Zinio recently? If you haven’t, we invite you to take another look. You’ll discover popular titles like Hello, Better Homes & Garden & New Scientist have returned and we’ve added over 20 new titles for you to enjoy. New titles include Australian Home Beautiful, Grand Designs Australia, Inside Cricket, Marie Claire, SBS Feast, Scrapbook Creations, Slam Skateboard and many, many more.
To download any of these magazines or FREE from Zinio, simply click here.

For those of you who have yet to sign up, Zinio gives you free access to full digital copies of your favourite magazines which can be viewed on your computer or mobile devices, such as an iPad, iPhone, Android, or Blackberry Playbook. You will need to create two accounts, one to access Greater Dandenong Libraries Zinio collection and a separate Zinio account to be able to view your magazines.

As always, if you need further assistance with creating an account, please don’t hesitate to contact library staff for additional help.


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Lennon: the man, the myth, the music by Tim Riley AND Paul McCartney: a life by Peter Carlin

June 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles concert tour of Australia. It’s a good time to reflect on the songwriting duo that revolutionised popular music in the twentieth century. Lennon and McCartney bonded over their love of rock and roll and the grief they felt from the loss of their mothers. Both these biographies chart the Beatles’ meteoric rise from their early days playing the red light district of Hamburg though the insanity of Beatlemania to the genius of their albums they created after retiring from live performance.

Tim Riley’s book depicts John Lennon as an extremely complex individual. Lennon could be violent and acerbic and was an iconoclast who despised being pigeonholed by others. Later he morphs into routine domesticity having lost some of his creative edge. Riley can be quite dismissive of Paul McCartney’s role in the two Beatles’ creative partnership but its quite clear from their musical output after the demise of the group that the Beatles as a whole were much greater than the sum of their parts.

Peter A Carlin’s shows McCartney as a charming man clearly driven by his love of music but whose art was erratic in quality once could no longer bounce off and respond to his former songwriting partner. Always partial to a joint or two McCartney found a sort of bucolic bliss in his marriage to Linda but the book also documents some of his trials and tribulations.

These books are both must reads for Beatles fans.


Click on the links to reserve a copy of either (or both!) of these titles:
Lennon: the man, the myth, the music.
Paul McCartney: a life.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Divergent by Veronica Roth is now available on BorrowBox

The popular young adult dystopian novel Divergent is now available on BorrowBox.

In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Divergent is the first book of the trilogy. The other 2 titles in the series are Insurgent and Allegiant.

To borrow this title, please visit BorrowBox.


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

New fiction titles for June

As the weather begins to get colder, now is the perfect time to stockpile your winter reading selections. Here is a list of upcoming releases to help get you started:

With a friend like you Fanny Blake
Borderline Lawrence Block
Rescue mode Ben Bova
Men of violence Bill Brooks
Starfire Dale Brown
Nine lives to die Rita Mae Brown
Air bound Christine Feehan
Suspicion Joseph Finder
In the wolf’s mouth Adam Foulds
One & only Emily Giffin
Devil’s workshop Alex Grecian
King’s curse Philippa Gregory
Vertigo 42 Martha Grimes
Problems with people David Guterson
Cold, cold heart Tami Hoag
Deserves to die Lisa Jackson
Research Philip Kerr
Blood red Mercedes Lackey
Loving rose Stephanie Laurens
White lies Stephen Leather
Stormy persuasion Johanna Lindsey
Corsican caper Peter Mayle
Sun is god Adrian McKinty
Cyador’s heirs L.E. Modesitt
Beekeeper’s daughter Santa Montefiore
Big little lies Liane Moriarty
Abattoir blues Peter Robinson
Life or death Michael Robotham
Hunter-killer Chris Ryan
Vagabond Gerald Seymour
Heist Daniel Silva
Nantucket sisters Nancy Thayer
Devil’s seal Peter Tremayne
Shockwave Andrew Vachss
That summer Lauren Willig

You can place a hold via our online catalogue or come into one of our branches and ask for a recommendation from our friendly staff.

Happy winter reading!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Transhuman by Ben Bova

A really good, fun read. Interesting characters, situations, compelling, and well-paced. A medical science thriller set in the near future about a scientist trying to save his granddaughter from cancer while testing his cure for both cancer and old age and the government and business forces hunting him down to either stop him or interfere. Luke Abramson will do anything to save his eight-year-old granddaughter from the inoperable brain cancer that she has, even kidnap her from the hospital when her parents refuse to let "grandpa" perform his experimental injections. Somewhat of a Science Fiction book because it was dealing with the future development of gene therapy.

Luke Abramson, a brilliant cellular biologist who is battling lung cancer, has one joy in life, his granddaughter, Angela. When he learns that Angela has an inoperable brain tumour and is given less than six months to live, Abramson wants to try a new enzyme, Mortality Factor 4 (MORF4), that he believes will kill Angela’s tumour.

Her parents object and the hospital bureaucracy blocks the experimental procedure because it has not been approved by the FDA. Knowing that Angela will die before he can get approval, Abramson abducts Angela from the hospital. He plans to take her to a private research laboratory in Oregon.

Luke has turned his old SUV into a makeshift medical facility, treating Angela as best he can while they are on the road, desperately trying to keep his granddaughter alive long enough to give her the treatment he believes will save her life.

Abramson realizes that he’s too old and decrepit to flee across the country with his sick granddaughter, so he injects himself with a genetic factor that has successfully reversed aging in animal tests.

As the chase weaves across the country from one research facility to another, Luke begins to grow physically younger, stronger. He looks and feels the way he did thirty or forty years ago.

But will he be able to save Angela?

I enjoy reading this, because of the characters are interesting and well-developed. The story itself is loaded with twists and turns.
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy good, plausible science with fiction added in.


Place hold