Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Mental Health Week 4 - 10 October

The aim of Mental Health Week is to promote social and emotional wellbeing to the community encouraging people to maximise their health potential, enhancing the coping capacity of communities, families, individuals and increasing mental health recovery.

Greater Dandenong Library is committed to promoting mental wellbeing, eliminating stigma surrounding mental illness and fostering knowledge about mental health.

The Library has a number of mental health resources, including books, ebooks, and DVDs. You can find them by searching in The Vault using keywords like ‘mental health’ and ‘Australia'; ‘mental health’ and ‘youth’ etc.

Some suggested titles include:

Happy Pants by Heather Gallagher (picture book)
When Mummy wears her happy pants we build sandcastles, go out for baby cinos and have lots and lots of cuddles. But when she comes home with baby Darcy, her happy pants stay in her wardrobe... Happy Pants is about a young boy grappling with his mum’s post-natal depression.

Go Away Mr Worrythoughts by Nicky Johnston (picture book)
Bayden is an intelligent, confident and courageous boy. Yet, his worry thoughts can be quite unbearable. See how Bayden discovers his superpowers, takes control and is able to live free and happy.

Bully On The Bus by Kathryn Apel (rhymes)
"She's big. She's smart. She's mean. She's the bully on the bus. She picks on me and I don't like it. But I don't know how to make her stop." The bully on the bus taunts seven-year-old Leroy, then silences him with threats of worse to come. To distract him, his teacher introduces him to the adventures in The Big Bad Book of Fairytales. Hidden throughout are the clues that Leroy needs to overcome the bullying taunts once and for all.

Crashing Down by Kate McCaffrey (novel)
Lucy is in Year 12 and under pressure to succeed. The last thing she needs now is an intense boyfriend. Breaking up with Carl feels like the only way to keep her dreams on track. But good decisions can have bad consequences. And leaving Carl is going to be a whole lot harder than Lucy could ever have imagined.

The brain’s way of healing: stories of remarkable recovery and discovery by Norman Doidge (talking book MP3)
For centuries we believed that the price we paid for our brains complexity was that, compared to other organs, it was fixed and unregenerative - unable to recover from damage or illness. In his revolutionary new book, Norman Doidge turns this belief on its head. The brains way of healing explains how mind, brain, and body, and the energies around us, work together in health and healing.

Depression and Other Mood Disorders by Jon Eben Field (non fiction)
Studies indicate that approximately four percent of adolescents experience serious depression. Depression and other mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, occur across all age groups, genders, economic classes, and ethnic groups. This informative book examines the causes and symptoms of depression and other mood disorders and provides information about treatment options.

Just click on your chosen title to place your hold or visit one of our branches and ask staff for assistance or further recommendations. Remember, all holds are free of charge.

There are a number of mental health support services available, these include:

Beyondblue 1300 22 4636
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
Lifeline 13 11 14
Headspace 1800 367 968


Monday, 28 September 2015

Lion vs Rabbit by Alex Latimer

This is a clever and humorous picture storybook about a very mean lion who bullies everyone.

All the other animals are terrified of Lion but no one is brave enough to make him stop. They decide to place an advertisement in the newspaper to hire someone to stop Lion from bullying them. All sorts of animals try but fail to defeat Lion. Finally a tiny rabbit arrives in a big grand ship. None of the animals believe that such a small animal will be brave enough or strong enough to defeat Lion. Will the little rabbit prove them wrong?

This is a funny little story with a wonderful little twist at the end.


Click on the cover image to place your hold.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

A dream honeymoon cruise for Simon and Linnet Doyle turns into a nightmare when Linnet is found shot dead. One of the ship’s passengers is Jacqueline de Bellefort, Simon’s jealous ex-fiance, and she has already confessed to Hercule Poirot that she wants revenge for Linnet stealing Simon from her.

However, when two more murders are committed, Hercule Poirot, with the help of his friend Colonel Race, begins to see that no one on the ship is as straightforward as they first seemed.

Although this book was written a long time ago, Agatha Christie is definitely a writer who needs to be remembered and her books still marvel people today. From page one I was enthralled. Poirot was the detective featured in most of Christie's murder mysteries and if you like to read about crime/detective fiction and like really good plots, then Death on the Nile is perfect for you.

Christie describes her characters brilliantly and with exquisite detail. The cleverness of Agatha Christie is that the reader is given the same clues as the detective, so if you are bright enough, you can discover the identity of the criminal before the detective does. Death on the Nile is not exactly what we would call politically correct, so it really is fascinating to see what sort of language, cultural and social attitudes were deemed acceptable in the 1930s.


Click on the image to place your hold

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Private London by James Patterson & Mark Pearson

A beautiful young American student with a horrendous past comes to London to study and to escape a nightmare she’d rather put behind her. Dan Carter, head of the London office of top international security agency, Private International, is assigned to protect the heiress but her past catches up with her and she goes missing. Meanwhile, in central London, young women are being abducted, their mutilated bodies are turning up days later – can the two cases be linked? Dan reluctantly joins forces with his ex-wife, DI Kirsty Webb in a desperate attempt to find the missing girl.

This is yet another gripping thriller from James Patterson and company with a fast-paced storyline and a surprise ending that leaves you wondering who’s guilty and who’s innocent.


Click on the image to place your hold

Monday, 21 September 2015

Me, Earl and the dying girl is now available on BorrowBox

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Until
Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel. Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed.

When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives. And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

Click on the cover image to place your BorrowBox hold.

This title is also available in print format via The Vault.


Thursday, 17 September 2015

2015 Man Booker Prize shortlist

The shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize has been announced!

The following six titles are in the running for the £50,000 prize money.

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy
The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma
The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

This is the second year that the prize is open to all authors writing in English, regardless of nationality. This year's shortlist features two authors from the UK, two from the US and one each from Jamaica and Nigeria. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 13 October 2015.

Click here for more information on the Man Booker Prize.


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Go Set a Watchman is now available on BorrowBox

We are incredibly excited to announce that the literary event of the century, Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman is now available exclusive to BorrowBox. This is an extraordinary eAudiobook experience, read by Academy award-winner Reese Witherspoon.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. It is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humour and effortless precision - a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to a classic.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout' – returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one's own conscience.

To borrow this title simply click on the cover image.


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington

Do not read this book! Do not, I repeat, do not read this book if you are at all prim and proper, squeamish or prudish, as it is a vulgar, coarse and uncouth piece of work. And do not read this book if you do not understand or dislike British humour.

A film production company decide to send the air-headed buffoon, Karl Pilkington abroad to visit some of the modern wonders of the world along with a film crew to make a series for Sky Television. Karl, never having travelled far from his home in England would probably be best described as a moaning and whining simpleton, who has no understanding whatsoever of different cultures.

The concept of the film company is to place Karl in uncomfortable and often embarrassing or humiliating situations designed to broaden his outlook of people, their customs and places around the world. So this book is no travel guide about fine dining and luxurious resorts. It’s all about getting down and dirty at a grass roots level as he mixes with the locals to experience their traditions first hand.

Being a seasoned traveller myself, I could easily relate to many of the hilarious anecdotes narrated by Karl in his na├»ve but imbecilic style. It’s almost as if you too, the reader, are seeing the world through his juvenile eyes as you discover that there is a “Pizza Hut” overlooking the great pyramids of Egypt which are not in the desert at all, but are surrounded by high rise apartments. And that the Taj Mahal is in the middle of a crowded, impoverished place full of rubbish and litter, and that it should never have been built where it is. This book really tells it like it is, with all the grittiness, grime and filth of such places which would never be mentioned in any glossy travel brochure.

While there are many astounding and curious facts revealed by Karl’s child-like perception and unique logic, it can hardly be considered a travel planner. I read it purely for its entertainment value and couldn’t wait to finish one chapter to find out what bizarre misfortune would befall him in the next; whether it be escaping from a swarm of killer bees in Mexico, or being coerced into eating toad in China. I thoroughly enjoyed it and think you would too. Especially if you don’t mind the language used, are prepared to be shocked, and like the idea of a rollicking tale about the travels abroad of an oxy-moron from England.

Be you horrified and totally disgusted in parts, you just got to love this book!!!!


Simply click on the book cover to place your hold

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The husband's secret by Liane Moriarty

Looking to get back into reading fiction? Time poor? Not sure what to read next? Then this is the book for you!

Inspired by death bed confessions such as the revelation of the infamous Loch Ness monster hoax, The husband's secret is a fast moving and suspenseful novel about family life, set across current day Sydney and Melbourne. The drama begins when our heroine finds a sealed secret letter to herself from her husband in the event of his death – only he isn’t dying at all. Although this novel is a quick read, the author still manages to explore the nuances of family dynamics and creates characters that are highly relatable and very human.

This novel will not challenge you or push you out of your comfort zone but it will have you frantically turning the pages trying to guess not only what the husband’s secret is but also what the inevitable twist in the story will be.


This title is available in normal and large print fiction as well as e-book and e-audiobook formats. Click on the cover image to place your hold.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Daomu Biji by Nanpai Sanshu

Daomu Biji, which can also be translated as The Lost Tomb, Grave Robber’s Chronicle and Grave Robbery Note, by Nanpai Sanshu (pen name) or Kennedy Xu, made its first appearance on the internet in 2006. The first physical volume was published in 2007 and from 2007, Daomu Biji has attracted millions of fans and with a renewed interest in the tomb raiding genre.

Daomu Biji combines the adventures of tomb raiding with supernatural elements and introducing new monsters and creatures in a new perspective. It also explores traditional superstitions, their origins and how is it dealt with.

Reading Daomu Biji is almost like reading a thriller and horror story at the same time. The characters are written in such details that merchandise, fanfictions and online forums, groups and clubs has been formed for them.

The two main characters, Wu Xie and Zhang Qiling (also known as Xiao Ge and Men You Pin), have in the final volume of the series, made a pact to meet again in 10 years time (for what reasons I would not say here, read to find out) and the deadline is 17 August 2015. Already, there has been much discussion online about what is going to happen, whether Kennedy Xu will be writing something or will there be some sort of celebration. To its readers and fans, these characters aren’t just characters, but living humans like you and me.

In the China published version, there are 8 volumes with the last volume being printed as Part 1 and Part 2. There is also a Taiwan published version that has a different number of volumes. There is a manhua (graphic novel) version, however, due to a disagreement between the author and the manhua artist, the manhua version only goes up to volume 5 and has been discontinued. There is a US edition that now has 6 volumes published and ongoing. Daomu Biji has also been translated into an English edition for the YA genre and it has also been recorded as talking books. The manhua version and the talking books (both in Chinese) are available in the library. Besides the main series, Kennedy Xu has written a series of prequel for Zhang Qiling, focusing on his story before meeting Wu Xie and a few other side stories.

My Van

Simply click on the book cover to place your hold

Friday, 4 September 2015

Long war series by A. J. Smith

The Long War series is set in a world divided by three main factions, the people of the Desert of Karesia, the Medieval Europeans Ro and the ice blasted land Vikings of the Ranen, each with their own giant god. Though magic is featured in the world, it is rare and mostly confined to the various priesthoods.

Book 1 The Black Guard.

The Black Guard centres on Bromvy, son of the Baron of Ro Canarn, although there are other characters with their own stories to tell. Bromvy leaves just before the city is assaulted by the Knights of the Red. Amongst them is a Karesian Enchantress of the Seven Sisters, intent on manipulating the men of Ro to her ends. Bromvy undertakes to win back the city with the help of Rham Jas Rami and the secretive outcasts of the Darkwald forest, the Dokkalfar. The story is mainly set in the lands of Ro, whose people are followers of the giant god named The One.

This book starts at run and continues to run at a good pace until the end. The characters are well written and as the story progresses you start to feel for them and want to know where their journey is headed.

Book 2 The Dark Blood.

The Dark Blood mainly centres on the journey of Rham Jas Rami as he accepts a commission from Bromvy Black Guard, traitor duke of Canarn to kill the Karesian Enchantresses.

The Karesian Enchantresses are marching forth with their plan, manipulating the minds of the leaders of other nations to do their bidding. There are still some complications though, the Black priest of The One, Brother Utha the Ghost and his squire Randall of Darkwall, are still on the loose. Dalian Thief Taker, still loyal to Jaa, plots the Sisters downfall. Saara the Mistress of Pain, leader of the Seven Sisters Enchantress, tries to hold it together and finally the other Gods are calling out to their champions.

This book was a great sequel to the first, showing other characters in this world, characters facing a choice that they may not be fully aware they are following. This book had some really great moments which made me cheer and brought a smile to my face. My only disappointment was there was a time difference between the ending first book and the beginning of the second book, and I would have liked to know what happened in that in-between time.

I was drawn to this series as the advertising on the front cover stated ‘Martin meets Lovecraft’ and I can see the elements of both these writer’s (H.P. Lovecraft and George R. R. Martin) in this series.

Near the end of the The Black Guard I was so scared that A.J. Smith was going to go full George R.R. Martin on me that I was scared to turn the page. Thankfully he didn’t and I was able to cheer as the heroes won. I am fondly looking forward to the third book in the series The Red Prince due out this month.


Simply click on the book cover to place your hold

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The Island Nurse by Mary MacLeod - Audio Book

In the 1970s, Nurse Mary MacLeod and her family moved from a busy London life to the island of Papavray, a small community in the remote Scottish Hebrides. Against a background of steep mountain roads, often tumultuous seas and dramatically beautiful countryside, Mary vividly recounts the stories of her patients and her island adventures.

The challenges of island life, isolation and hard physical work, are pitted against the islander’s love of a drop of whiskey, a yarn and a hearty get together. From stories of tragic loss, mental health issues and poverty to triumphs of the human spirit, Mary paints the warm-hearted stories of the islanders and their unique lives in another era.

Beautifully read by Jenny Dunbar, this is a book for those who love true tales of unique places and times gone by.


Simply click on the cover image to place your hold