Friday, 31 October 2014

Wine trails of....

I happened to accidentally stumble across this series of DVDs and I’m so glad that I did! Each DVD takes you through the major wine producing regions of Italy, France and Australia in entertaining and informative thirty minute episodes. Every episode contains a short interview with a wine maker from the selected region and draws on their methods and experience to explore current wine styles and the wine industry, in general.

Unlike other documentaries and DVDs on the wine industry, these DVDs are extremely accessible – even to those who don’t drink / enjoy wine. Discovering the history behind popular ‘drops’ such as Shiraz and Chardonnay makes this series fascinating, and the tips on pairing wine and food had me thinking about my next dinner party (I couldn’t help but salivate at the dishes in each episode’s cooking demonstrations!).

Although this series of DVDs is essential viewing for any lover of wine, I think most people will find it hard to resist this series’ picturesque landscapes, delectable food and first hand insight into the amazing industry that is wine.


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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

New Adult Graphic Novel collection at Dandenong!

Did you know that graphic novels have become one of the fastest growing collections in libraries in the past 5-10 years? Traditionally considered a genre just for kids and teens, today’s graphic novels are much more sophisticated and varied in content than the comics that preceded them. They now cover every conceivable genre, including fiction, biography, history, crime, horror, fantasy, romance, adventure, humor, politics, and much more. For the uninitiated, graphic novels are simply defined as book-length comics. Sometimes they tell a single, continuous story from first page to last; sometimes they are collections of shorter stories or individual comic strips.

The following titles are just a tiny taste of the numerous titles we have on offer in the new adult graphic novel collection at Dandenong Library. So if you haven’t read a graphic novel in the past, what are you waiting for?

Browse our graphic novel collection here. Remember all holds are FREE!


Monday, 27 October 2014

#Girlboss by Sophie Amoruso

The first thing Sophia Amoruso sold online wasn't fashion - it was a stolen book. She spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and dumpster diving. By age twenty-two, she had resigned herself to employment, but was still broke, directionless, and checking IDs in the lobby of an art school--a job she'd taken for the health insurance. It was in that lobby that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay. Flash forward eight years to today, and she's the Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Nasty Gal, a $100+ million online fashion retailer with over 350 employees. Sophia's never been a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she's written #GIRLBOSS for girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is windy as all hell and lined with naysayers.

I hadn’t heard of Sophie Amoruso before reading this book and I have to admit I only picked it up because I liked the front cover (I know, I know, that’s such a cliché). Anyway, I did a quick google search to see if it was worth reading and discovered it had received fantastic reviews. That definitely got my attention so I decided to give it a go.

Sophie's story is fascinating and inspiring. She has achieved amazing success in such a short amount of time and it wasn’t just handed to her on a silver platter. She had to work very hard for it. She ate, slept, and breathed her company with a passion and it has paid off in spades.

The book is part memoir, part business/career advice and part self help, with lots of inspirational quotes and stories. While I would would have preferred if it was all memoir, I can see its appeal and why it rates so highly with people. If you’re looking for an inspirational book, with some business advice as well as a great story, then this is the book for you.


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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Weight Watchers magazine

Weight Watchers magazine is not only for readers who want to lose weight but also for readers who want to cook healthy food, improve their eating habits and there are even some recommendations for the latest kitchenware, clothes, accessories, and make up.

The July issue has a story about four successful women Lee, Rosemary, Georgina and Donna-Marie who all lost more than 50 kilos in 12 to 18 months. They each share their weight loss story, talking about the kilograms they lost, their feelings, their new lifestyle as well as before and after photos. The story encourages the readers to think about losing weight slowly, living a healthy lifestyle and how you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep the weight off. The magazine also has some easy, effective exercises for the abdominal muscles, and yoga for relaxation.

At the end of the magazine there is a recipe index for sweets, as well as some light savoury meals, which are cooked and tested in both conventional and fan-forced ovens. Also, there are some suggestions for inexpensive places to shop for clothes and make-up. The magazine is entertaining, factual and fun to read.


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Monday, 20 October 2014

Dallas Buyers Club

One of the best films I've seen this year! A raw, gritty, and incredible true story about a HIV diagnosed man who went to extraordinary lengths to survive, at a time when the AIDS epidemic was at its worst.

It contains all the elements of a great movie. It has a strong script, excellent acting, compelling themes and terrific cinematography. This movie is probably Matthew McConaughey's best role yet. He carries the movie. He is in just about every scene. The movie deals with several themes - AIDS, terminal illness, government regulations, response to crisis, change of life issues, homosexuality, promiscuity, personal responsibility, and capitalism. Although the movie touches on themes that have political implications, it is first and foremost a drama.

If you are fan of movies that are based on true stories this one is definitely for you. Add it to your watch list today.


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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize is....

Prominent Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan has won the 2014 Man Booker prize for his wartime novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

Richard is the 3rd Australian to win the award, following in the footsteps of Thomas Keneally (in 1982) and Peter Carey (1988 and 2001). As well as receiving £50,000 in prize money, Richard also receives a designer bound edition of his book, and a further £2,500 for being shortlisted. He can also expect international recognition and a dramatic increase in book sales, which previous winners have all enjoyed in the past.

Synopsis: The Narrow Road to the Deep North is a novel about the cruelty of war, the tenuousness of life and the impossibility of love.
August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever.
This savagely beautiful novel is a story about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.



Monday, 13 October 2014

Champagne Supernovas by Maureen Callahan

The 1950s had rock 'n' roll and the 60s had the Beats. In the 70s and 80s, it was punk rock and modern art. But for the 1990s, it was all about fashion and Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander McQueen were the trio of rebel geniuses who made it great. Each had an amazing talent and each had demons that would jeopardize that same talent and ultimately destroy one of them. Champagne Supernovas gives you front-row tickets to a gloriously debauched soap opera about the losers and freaks who became It Girls and Boys, and changed the world in spite of themselves.

This book is a fascinating read into the lives of three people who effectively changed the fashion industry in the 90’s. The debauched partying, the mental illnesses and crazy amounts of sex, drugs and alcohol all make for fascinating reading. The amount of cocaine they all went through is unbelievable and I’m surprised they were even able to function enough to have any input into this era, let alone change it. It also makes me wonder if their creativity was driven by drugs or genius and would they have had such an impact if they had been sober and sane. Admittedly the book does get a little repetitive towards the end and I found myself completely skipping over the Marc Jacobs chapters, but all in all, it was fun reading about and remembering the major fashion scandals of that era.


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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

New fiction titles for October

It's new fiction time again! Just click on your chosen title and place your hold via our library catalogue.

Year I met you Cecilia Ahern
Great Plains Nicole Alexander
From Liverpool with love Lyn Andrews
Ultima Stephen Baxter
Gossamer ghost Laura Childs
Captivated by you Sylvia Day
Time and time again Ben Elton
Funny girl Nick Hornby
Mathew’s tale Quintin Jardine
January window Philip Kerr
Closer to home Mercedes Lackey
By winter’s light Stephanie Laurens
Peculiar case of Lord Finsbury’s diamonds Stephanie Laurens
Eight curious cases of Inspector Zhang Stephen Leather
Murder Ile Sordou M.L. Longworth
Mr. Miracle Debbie Macomber
World of ice and ice George R.R. Martin
Meant to be Fiona McCallum
Gardener’s son Cormac McCarthy
Eyes only Fern Michaels
Strange library Haruki Murakami
Wyoming strong Diana Palmer
Murder man Tony Parsons
Hope to die James Patterson
Prince Lestat Anne Rice
Hush Karen Robards
Summer days Nora Roberts
Architect’s apprentice Elif Shafak
Pegasus Danielle Steel
American lover Rose Tremain
And fire falls Peter Watt
Call to duty David Weber & Timothy Zahn
Paris match Stuart Woods

Happy reading!

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

“They say one out of every hundred people is a psychopath. You probably passed one on the street today. These are people who have no empathy, who are manipulative, deceitful, charming, seductive, and delusional.
When Jon Ronson is drawn into an elaborate hoax played on some of the world’s top scientists, his investigation leads him, unexpectedly, to psychopaths. He meets an influential psychologist who is convinced that many important business leaders and politicians are in fact high-flying, high-functioning psychopaths, and teaches Ronson how to spot them. Armed with these new abilities, Ronson meets a patient inside an asylum for the criminally insane who insists that he’s sane, a mere run-of-the-mill troubled youth, not a psychopath—a claim that might be only manipulation, and a sign of his psychopathy. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud, and with a legendary CEO who took joy in shutting down factories and firing people. He delves into the fascinating history of psychopathy diagnosis and treatments, from LSD-fuelled days-long naked therapy sessions in prisons to attempts to understand serial killers.”

I loved this book. There is something about Jon Ronson’s storytelling that makes the whole thing seem so beautifully absurd that you can hardly believe that his story is true. Throughout the whole book I had to keep reminding myself that this has actually happened and that the people he interviewed and spoke to are actually real (I did Google quite a few of them to see if they really exist). All this made the book all the more exciting to read.

You are pulled into a world of mystery as you travel form one place to another and sometimes even fear for the author as he deals with psychopaths and all kinds of fanatics and shady characters. What’s more, you sometimes even feel for the “poor” psychopath as he manipulates the author into a sense of empathy.

I am keen to read more of his stuff and even enjoyed the movie they made based on his other book The Men Who Stare at Goats. I have recommended this book to my mum, and she loved it too. Definitely worth checking out.


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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Gone girl by Gillian Flynn

I actually read this book back in 2012 when it was first published but I neglected to write a review on it. Now with the movie being released in cinemas today I thought it was a fitting time to rectify that error and draw your attention to this well crafted thiller.

Gone girl is the psychological thriller by Gillian Flynn. The story is told in two voices, the missing wife, Amy, and the accused husband, Nick. Amy is the vivacious golden girl who everyone loves, and Nick is a guy from Missouri who worked as a magazine journalist in New York. Now they have moved back to his home town and things have been going bad. On the morning of their 5th wedding anniversary Amy disappears and the police immediately suspect Nick. Nick obviously has something to hide but is Amy really as perfect as she seems?

This story takes you on multiple twists and turns and just when you think you have it all figured out, the story veers again and you realise you were on the wrong path. I really enjoyed the highs and lows this book took me on and after I finished reading it I immediately reserved her 2 previous books Sharp objects and Dark places.

Gillian Flynn has also written the screenplay for the movie adaption and, according to early reviews, the story has lost none of it's magic moving from page to screen. I can't wait to see it!


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