Monday, 31 August 2015

Indelible ink by Fiona McGregor

Indelible ink is a story about a Sydney woman called Marie King who has recently become divorced from her husband David (not a very nice person) and is not handling it very well. On a drunken whim she decides to get a tattoo of a Ghost Moth on one of her shoulders. This leads to a friendship with the tattoo artist Rhys and eventually more tattoos across her body.

When her grown up children Clark, Blanche and Leon find out, they are worried that their mother has finally gone mad. Her children are mortified by their mother's transformation, but have their own life challenges to deal with.

Marie is also a keen gardener and loves her garden at her house in Mosman. She is upset when she has to sell her house and this sets off a whole chain of events that become totally out of her control.

This is a great book to read and I highly recommend it.

Lynda

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Friday, 28 August 2015

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Bianca Piper is not your average seventeen-year-old. Trouble at home has left her too cynical to see the bright side of things. She has not time or patience for self proclaimed player Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca can’t stand him and cringes when he’s anywhere near her or her friends. So much is here hate for him that when he nicknames her “the Duff”, she throws her coke in his face.

It seems that everywhere she turns, Wesley is there and when things at home gets worse Bianca grabs on to the nearest distraction and kisses him. Wesley may be a slimy, narrow minded, one night stand but she can’t help going back for more and thus starts a closeted enemies-with-benefits that she desperately tries to hide from her friends.

But like all closets, this one’s about to be blown wide open and though Bianca tries to fight it, she’s beginning to see that Mr Slimy might not be so slimy after all.

Vanessa

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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Ned Kelly Award for Best Australian Crime Fiction


The 20th anniversary of The Ned Kelly Awards was celebrated at the Melbourne Writers Festival on Saturday night. International crime-writing author, S.J. Watson presented Candice Fox the Best Australian Crime Fiction award for her novel Eden. Her debut novel Hades won last year’s Ned Kelly for Best First Crime Novel.

“I fool myself that Eden has a heart - that she would at least have trouble killing me…” Most police duos run on trust, loyalty, and the desire to see killers in court. But Detective Frank Bennett’s partner, the enigmatic Eden Archer, has nothing to offer him but darkness and danger. She doesn’t mind catching killers - but it’s not the courthouse where her justice is served. And now Eden is about to head undercover to find three missing girls. The only link between the victims is a remote farm where the desperate go to hide and blood falls more often than rain. For Frank, the priority is to keep his partner monitored 24/7 while she’s there - but is it for Eden’s protection, or to protect their suspects from her?

The Ned Kelly Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prize for crime fiction and true crime writing. First established in 1995, the list of previous winners includes, Peter Temple, Shane Maloney, Gabrielle Lord, Garry Disher and Kerry Greenwood.

For more information on the awards, click here.

Leigh

Monday, 24 August 2015

Gannon's law by Peter Wilson

Jim Gannon, a disgruntled town Sheriff who is about to resign from his job, takes his wife-to-be out on a picnic. Kate is gunned down by a sniper and this triggers off a chain of events that brings the lawman into a battle of wits and courage against the bullying Jack Clayton and his murderous sons. Gannon tracks down the outlaws and learns of their secret past. He then realises, perhaps too late, that his life is in danger from friends and foe alike. But does the knowledge come too late?

Peter Wilson writes in an easy to read style and moves the plot at break-neck speed that includes an exciting flashback to events set during the Civil War that provides the backbone to the story. I enjoy reading westerns for the easy reading, style of writing and the simple plots of "good versus evil". Hopefully this story ends with the "good" winning?...

This book is well worth taking home for a read.

Nik

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Friday, 21 August 2015

Spotlight on Mem Fox

Mem Fox is one of Australia’s most celebrated children’s picture book authors, with many international bestselling titles translated into 19 languages. I recently attended a Children’s Literacy Expo where Mem Fox was key speaker – she is hilarious, knowledgeable, and passionate not only about her craft but the importance of reading to children in early childhood.

Mem’s main message was to keep reading fun and make it part of your everyday routine – she recommends just 10 minutes a day is all it takes to start a reading habit and reap the benefits such as; building vocabulary, encouraging imagination, developing listening skills, and boosting self esteem. Her books also contain vital components for young readers such as repetition, easy narrative, and clear illustrations – these elements help children focus on the story. Mem also suggests reading children their favourite books over and over again if they demand it - despite your boredom, multiple literacy skills are being flexed in their busy little brain. Watching a child predict text or simply enjoy an aspect of the book is the result of a positive reading experience.

I highly recommend Mem Fox’s following books for early childhood: Time for Bed, Where is the green sheep?, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Boo to a Goose, The Magic Hat, A Particular Cow, A Giraffe in the Bath, Two Little Monkeys, Possum Magic.

Happy Fun-tastical Reading!

Andrea

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok

Since I hadn’t read the previous bestseller, Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this, her second novel. It’s a delightful story and a nice change to read a novel that makes one feel good.

The plot tends to be a little predictable with undertones of The Ugly Duckling or Cinderella, since it’s about a young Chinese girl named Charlie Wong, who considers herself to be ugly and clumsy. She lives in New York with her younger sister and father and works as a dishwasher in a Chinatown noodle restaurant.

Her father is still set in the cultural ways of old China and much of the novel portrays the struggle between her father’s traditional values and Charlie’s modern aspirations and dreams for her future. Her mother, who was once a professional ballet dancer in China but has passed away, had also hoped for a better life for her daughter.

When she secures a job at a ballroom dance studio she must keep it a secret from her father who would not approve due to his old fashioned beliefs and ideas. The outcomes of this deception along with her future career aspirations can readily be guessed at by the reader.

Charlie’s younger sister becomes gravely ill and harbours a terrible secret from her family. Her father refuses to seek conventional modern treatment for his youngest daughter as he only has faith in traditional Chinese medicines. Meanwhile Charlie enrols in a dance competition and her partner is a man she has romantic inclinations for, all unbeknown to her father.

The personalities of the characters at the dance studio are somewhat reminiscent of those from Strictly Ballroom and there are some similarities in the themes. The storyline is hardly gripping or suspenseful, nor is it a particularly powerful drama. Nevertheless, it is a simple, charming and heartwarming tale where the reader is taken through the story in the eyes of the narrator.

Linton

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Monday, 17 August 2015

Paper Towns by John Green

In 2009 I attended my first youth literature conference called Reading Matters. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Reading Matters is a conference for professionals and your literature enthusiasts. So basically it a place for anyone that loves to read, loves to write and loves to use their imagination. My first introduction to Paper Towns was a re-enactment of Chapter 1 by two RMIT students. Now, if you had being sitting next to me watching Chapter 1 unfold before you, you too would have rushed to get your own copy to find out one very important question...Where is Margo?!

Quentin “Q” Jacobsen has always been in love with his super cool next door neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman. And as much as she’s the love of his life, they don’t actually hang out, they don’t have the same friends and they hardly talk at all. So imagine Q’s surprise when his bedroom is invaded just before midnight by Margo climbing through his window, dressed as a ninja. And what possible answer but yes could Q give, when she asked him to follow her down this crazy campaign of revenge? So begins a series of hilarious events that include three dead catfish, Vaseline and blue spray paint. And as dawn breaks our duo head to their own dwellings to prepare for the fallback of their misadventures will bring, together they’ll face it all. Or so Q thinks, until he arrives at school to discover Margo missing. With nowhere else to turn, Q, along with his friends, Ben, Radar, and Lacey, retrace his steps from the night before to look for clues that will help them find Margo. As the clues begin to unfold, Q learns that the girl he thought he knew could be more of a stranger than he thought.

Paper Towns is a beautiful coming of age story that will have you laughing, crying and frustrated. It redefines our way of looking at the world. It’s truly a beautiful work of art. Read the book or watch the movie, either way it’s an adventure you don’t want to miss.

Vanessa

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

New fiction for August

We have an amazing array of new fiction titles on offer for you this month. Take your time and have a browse. Remember you can place 10 holds per library card and all holds are free.

Wild lands Nicole Alexander
Heart goes last Margaret Atwood
Noonday Pat Barker
Xeelee endurance Stephen Baxter
Killing Titan Greg Bear
Few of the girls Maeve Binchy
Ghost river Tony Birch
Power surge Ben Bova
Sweet caress William Boyd
Now is the time Melvyn Bragg
Secret chord Geraldine Brooks
Iron wolf Dale Brown
Friction Sandra Brown
Aeronaut’s windlass Jim Butcher
Blade of light Andrea Camilleri
Pretending to dance Diane Chamberlain
Make me Lee Child
Moth catcher Ann Cleeves
Get even Martina Cole
Night music John Connolly
Warriors of the storm Bernard Cornwell
Solomon curse Clive Cussler
Herald of hell Paul Doherty
Gilded hour Sara Donati
Nothing ventured Anne Douglas
Scam Janet Evanovich
Where my heart used to beat Sebastian Faulks
Survivor Vince Flynn
Front runner Felix Francis
Purity Jonathan Franzen
Banquet of consequences Elizabeth George
X is for Sue Grafton
Rogue lawyer John Grisham
Woman with a secret Sophie Hannah
Bloodline Conn Iggulden
Time for renewal Anna Jacobs
House on Cold Hill Peter James
Landing Susan Johnson
Fear of dying Erica Jong
Between sisters Cathy Kelly
Last words Michael Koryta
Tennison Lynda La Plante
Patriot attack Robert Ludlum
Silver linings Debbie Macomber
Ash Island Barry Maitland
Tower of thorns Juliet Marillier
Knight of the Seven Kingdoms George R. R. Martin
Chocolate lovers’ Christmas Carole Matthews
Perfumer’s secret Fiona McIntosh
Echoes from afar Tamara McKinley
Point blank Fern Michaels
Songs of love and war Santa Montefiore
After you JoJo Moyes
Arcadia Iain Pears
Treachery at Lancaster Gate Anne Perry
Shepherd’s crown Terry Pratchett
Chasing hope Nora Roberts
Two years eight months and twenty-eight nights Salman Rushdie
Shadows of self Brandon Sanderson
Mystery in the village Rebecca Shaw
Woman who walked in Sunshine Alexander McCall Smith
Golden lion Wilbur Smith
See me Nicholas Sparks
Undercover Danielle Steel
Ransom canyon Jodi Thomas
Internship in murder Margaret Truman
Patriach Martin Walker
Sword of the south David Weber
Who do you love Jennifer Weiner
Starlight on Willow Lake Susan Wiggs
Lure of the moonflower Lauren Willig

Simply click on your chosen title/s and you will be directed to the Vault, where you can place your holds.

Leigh

Monday, 10 August 2015

Working stiff : two years, 262 bodies, and the making of a medical examiner by Dr. Judy Melinek

Were you hooked on CSI and Silent Witness? Did the details of what happens to dead bodies in different conditions fascinate you? Then this is a book for you.

Dr. Judy Melinek writes about her raw experiences as a newly trained forensic pathologist, working as a medical examiner for the City of New York (NYC). She invites you into both her personal and professional lives so that you find yourself empathising with her husband, while riding along on the rollercoaster pace of her confronting working life.

Melinek documents all manner of autopsies, death scenes, counselling difficulties and death investigations in great detail. She also gives a working and personal account of how the forensic pathologists dealt with the tragic aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.

As they say, ‘the body never lies’ and this book certainly lays bare the forensic truth of many of the murders, accidents and suicides that landed on her table.

Nanette

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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Revenge: complete first season - DVD

Emily Thorne comes to the Hamptons, renting a home next to the Grayson family to enjoy a bright summer. However, it is revealed that Emily has been to the Hamptons before as a little girl. In reality, Emily is Amanda Clarke, whose father was framed for a crime he did not commit and was sent to prison for life. She was permanently separated from him and never saw him again. Now, she has returned to the Hamptons, intent on getting revenge against those who wronged her and her father, the top of that list being Victoria Grayson.

As she sets her plan in motion, Emily tries to navigate the upper society to destroy those who betrayed her father. But the further she goes, the more her emotions get involved and the more she questions her motives and the moves she makes.

The first season of Revenge was a non-stop roller coaster ride with so many twists and turns that it was almost unbearable to wait for the next episode to air on TV. Now this won't be a problem as you can borrow the complete first season on DVD from our library.

It's fun to watch and I enjoyed watching it with my daughters. If you are going to watch a season of Revenge, it should be season 1.

Suad

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Monday, 3 August 2015

Four sisters: the lost lives of the Romanov grand duchesses by Helen Rappaport.

After recently watching a documentary about the downfall of the Russian Royal family, we looked to find a book to further our understanding of the lives of the Romanov family during this era. We found Four sisters.

This book describes the life of the Romanovs in the dying days of late Imperial Russia, World War I and the Russian Revolution and focused more on the family, their daily schedules, the people they were in contact with and their individual personalities. The main characters are the four captivating Russian Grand Duchesses, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov. The sisters were the most photographed and talked about young royals of the early twentieth century. The girls were admired for their happy dispositions, their beauty, the stylish clothes they wore and their ultra privileged lifestyle.

Through out the book we learn that they were intelligent, sensitive and perceptive witnesses to the dark turmoil within their immediate family and the ominous approach of the Russian Revolution, the nightmare that would sweep their world away and them along with it. The book gives an in depth view into their lives right up until their final moments in a basement in Ekaterinburg, a large Russian town in 1918.

Rappaport's writing skills, as a biographical and historical works author, draws extensively on previously unseen or unpublished diaries and letters from the grand duchesses to their friends and family along with other archival sources, as well as material from private collections.

This book has surprised many people when published, even aficionados of history, and has given us a clearer understanding and greater sympathy for those living through those turbulent times.

The writing is extremely readable and transports the reader back in time through Russia, Finland and Britain at the turn of the century. Highly recommended reading.

Nik

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