Thursday, 24 December 2015

Library holiday opening hours

Christmas Eve 24 December - 9am-5pm
Christmas Day 25 December - Closed
Boxing Day 26 December - Closed
Sunday 27 December - Open 12-5pm
Boxing Day Holiday 28 December - Closed
Tuesday 29 December - Open 9-5pm
Wednesday 30 December - Open 9-5pm
Thursday 31 December - Open 9-5pm
New Years Day 1 January - Closed
Saturday 2 January - normal operating hours resume

24 hour returns available when libraries are closed.

Your virtual library - The Vault - is open 24/7 for you to browse eresources, renew items, search the catalogue, place holds and download ebooks.

All the staff at the Greater Dandenong Libraries would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

ABC Radio National summer reading guide for 2015

Looking for something to read over the long hot summer? ABC Radio National has released a list of their presenter’s favourite reads from the past year. From biographies to thrillers, there’s something for everyone on the list.

Click here to view their list. If you see anything that piques your interest simply visit The Vault and reserve a copy for yourself. The library has copies of all listed titles. All holds are free of charge.

Happy reading!


Monday, 21 December 2015

Coming to a cinema near you…

Not interested in the latest Star Wars movie? Well here are 5 book to movie adaptions that are about to hit the cinemas in January. Before you buy your popcorn and hand over your $20 for the movie experience, may I suggest that you read the book first? And if the movie doesn't turn out to be as good as the book... please blame Hollywood, not us.

The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff
Loosely inspired by a true story, this tender portrait of marriage asks: What do you do when the person you love has to change? It starts with a question, a simple favour asked by a wife of her husband while both are painting in their studio, setting off a transformation neither can anticipate. Uniting fact and fiction into an original romantic vision, The Danish Girl eloquently portrays the unique intimacy that defines every marriage and the remarkable story of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in transgender history, and the woman torn between loyalty to her marriage and her own ambitions and desires.

This movie is already garnering some Oscar buzz for actor Eddie Redmayne.

Carol by Patricia Highsmith
A chance encounter between two lonely women leads to a passionate romance in this lesbian cult classic. Therese, a struggling young sales clerk, and Carol, a homemaker in the midst of a bitter divorce, abandon their oppressive daily routines for the freedom of the open road, where their love can blossom. But their newly discovered bliss is shattered when Carol is forced to choose between her child and her lover.

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara shine in their roles of Carol and Therese. Both actresses are generating some serious awards buzz for their portrayals.

Room by Emma Donoghue
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Starring Brie Larson (Ma) and Jacob Tremblay (Jack), Room is another film that has a lot of Oscar buzz swirling around it, despite its dark subject matter.

The Revenant by Michael Punke
Based on a true story, The Revenant is an epic tale of revenge set in the Rocky Mountains. The trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is one of the most respected men in the company, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts Glass face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two men from the company are ordered to remain with him until his inevitable death. But, fearing an imminent attack, they abandon Glass, stripping him of his prized rifle and hatchet. As Glass watches the men flee, he is driven to survive by one all-consuming desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, he sets out on a three-thousand-mile journey across the harsh American frontier, to seek revenge on the men who betrayed him.

Leonardo DiCaprio completely immersed himself in the role of Hugh Glass and actually slept inside animal carcasses and ate raw bison liver for the part. Surely he deserves an Oscar nomination for those feats alone!

The 5th wave by Rick Yancey
The 1st Wave: Took out half a million people. The 2nd Wave: Put that number to shame. The 3rd Wave: Lasted a little longer. Twelve weeks...Four billion dead. In The 4th Wave, You can't trust that people are still people. And The 5th Wave? No one knows. But it's coming. On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs. Runs from the beings that only look human, who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope. Now Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death.

This is the first installment in the young adult sci-fi trilogy and Sony has its fingers crossed that it will become as popular as the Hunger Games and Divergent franchises.

To beat the rush and avoid the queues I recommend that you place a hold now. Simply click on your chosen cover image and you will be transported to The Vault. Remember, all holds are free of charge.


Friday, 18 December 2015

Nona and Me by Clare Atkins

There are a lot of fantastic Australian authors but it’s really exciting to find a new and very talented one. Clare Atkins has worked as a scriptwriter for many successful televisions series including All Saints, Home and Away, Winners and Losers and Wonderland.

I was so impressed with this book I wrote an email to Clare congratulating her on her work. As I told her, I don’t fall into the Young Adult age range (by just a few decades), but this book was just as appealing to me as it might be to a 15 year old. In fact I felt 15 again: briefly, and with some angst.

One of the wonderful benefits of the books was an education of the traditions and the language of the Yolngu people from Arnhem Land. From a non-indigenous background, I found this very powerful as I reflected on my previous lack of knowledge.

Rosie and Nona have grown up together. Rosie is a Nj√§paki (non-indigenous) kid and Nona is Yolngu. They have a wonderful understanding and appreciation of each other’s cultures and family traditions.

When Rosie goes to the High School in town and Nona goes to live in another area they lose touch. When Nona returns, all sorts of conflicts and complications arise for Rosie in her new friendship group. The story examines the pressures for teenagers at school and at home with friends and family. We also get a candid glimpse of the parents: the pressures on them and their attitudes and responses to the difficulties of being a parent.

The book manages to draw attention to quite a range of opinions and attitudes from those who have very prejudiced viewpoint to those who are far more inclusive and open-minded. Clare Atkins manages to be compassionate towards her characters that have racist attitudes or limited understanding of others. They are not conveyed simplistically as evil. She conveys the attitude as negative but the character as complex and flawed: as we all are.

It is a really honest account of life for a girl who is fortunate enough to have been brought up within an indigenous community and to have real insight into the lives of others.


Click on the cover image to place your hold

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

And the winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are…

Adult fiction:
The Golden Age | Joan London

Young Adult fiction:
The Protected | Claire Zorn

Children’s Fiction:
One Minute’s Silence | David Metzenthen

Established in 2008, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are Australia’s richest literary prize with a total prize pool of $600,000. The awards recognise and reward excellence in Australian literature and history.

Visit the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards website to see the full list of winners.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

New fiction for December

It may be a small list this month but there’s plenty to love about December’s crop of new fiction. Whether you’re looking for a chilling thriller, historical mystery or heart warming tale we’ve got you covered for your next great read.

Spider game Christine Feehan
Find her Lisa Gardner
Narrow bed Sophie Hannah
Cinnamon gardens Anna Jacobs
Song of the skylark Erica James
Akin to murder Alanna Knight
You and me, always Jill Mansell
Chance developments Alexander McCall Smith
Queen & country Shirley McKay
Let the good times roll Lynda Page
Brotherhood in death J.D. Robb
Bands of mourning Brandon Sanderson
Calamity Brandon Sanderson
Final seven Erica Spindler
Mothering Sunday Graham Swift
Dragons in the forest Peter Yeldham

Simply click on your chosen title/s and you will be directed to the Vault, where you can place your holds. Remember, all holds are free of charge.


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlist 2016

The shortlist for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2016 has just been announced. Here are the nominees for best Fiction and Non-Fiction:

Fever of animals | Miles Allinson
The other side of the world | Stephanie Bishop
Clade | James Bradley
Forever young | Steven Carroll
The world without us | Mireille Juchau
The natural way of things | Charlotte Wood

Modern love: the lives of John and Sunday Reed | Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan
Thea Astley: inventing her own weather | Karen Lamb
Australia’s second chance | George Megalogenis
Second half first | Drusilla Modjeska
Something for the pain | Gerald Murnane
Mannix | Brenda Niall

In total there are five award categories, including fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry and young adult. The winners of each category will receive $25,000 in prize money, and go on to contest the Victorian Prize for Literature. Worth a further $100,000, the Victorian Prize for Literature is Australia’s single richest literary prize. Click here for a list of all nominated titles in each category.

You can also participate in the awards by voting for your favourite shortlisted title. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will receive $2,000. Click here to cast your vote.

All winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 28 January 2016.


Monday, 7 December 2015

The shepherd’s crown by Terry Pratchett

After hearing the sad news of the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett on March 15th 2015 (after his long battle with rare form of Alzheimer’s disease) I was happy to hear that there would be one final Discworld novel published. Unfortunately (for me) it was going to be a Tiffany Aching and wee free men book, as these were my least favourite Discworld novels.

When I started reading I was pleasantly surprised that it was not a Wee free men book but a Witches series book and that it was a really good read. The shepherd’s crown has Tiffany fighting the old enemy the Elves, who first made an appearance in Lords and Ladies, published in 1992. With the death of Granny Weatherwax the barrier that holds back the Elves from returning to the Discworld has weakened, allowing them to return. It is up to Tiffany and the other Witches to stop them.

In my opinion the most thoughtful part of the book was in the beginning, with the death of Granny Weatherwax. Death’s speech to Granny Weatherwax, which to me seemed that Death was speaking on the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, was very touching. There were also appearances of many familiar Discworld characters, giving you a chance to catch up with them all. This was very well done, and while this book could have easy descended into a who’s who of Discworld, I am thankful to say it didn’t.

This book is a fantastic send off to a much loved author.


Click on the cover image to place your hold.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Top 10 eBooks for November

Its top 10 time again! This time we have the top 10 most downloaded titles in Overdrive and it’s no real surprise that romance novels make up 7 of the top 10 spots.

The list is in reverse order with number 1 being the most popular title.

10. The white rose: Lone City trilogy, Book 2 | Amy Ewing
9. Much ado about Jack: Shakespeare in love series, Book 3 | Christy English
8. The Bollywood bride | Sonali Dev
7. The maze runner complete collection | James Dashner
6. When a Scot ties the knot | Tessa Dare
5. Hidden in the Sheikh’s harem | Michelle Conder
4. Normal | Graeme Cameron
3. First season / Bride to be | Jane Ashford
2. The Duke’s guide to correct behaviour: Dukes behaving badly series, Book 1 | Megan Frampton
1. The Greek commands his mistress: Notorious Greeks series, Book 2 | Lynne Graham

Remember we have 1,000’s of eBooks available for loan to suit a wide range of readers of all ages. All titles can be downloaded directly to your mobile device through Overdrive iTunes & Android App. To download your free App just visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store via this link. If you require help or more information, please speak with our friendly library staff at Dandenong or Springvale Library.


Thursday, 3 December 2015

The Gunman - DVD

A former Special Forces soldier and military contractor suffering from PTSD tries to reconnect with his long time love, but first must go on the run from London to Barcelona and across Europe in order to clear his name.

For his role in The Gunman Sean Penn bulked up and he looks the part. He's a solidly convincing actor whose work I always enjoy. He's good in this action role, looking weathered, tough and professional. The story is reasonably novel and the movie comes off quite well with some good action sequences. I particularly liked the staging of an attempt to kill Penn and his amour Jasmine Trinca while they were inside a fancy isolated mansion-villa in Spain.

Sean Penn wants a piece of Liam Neeson's action, as a lethal senior citizen. Neeson has carved out a lucrative niche since Taken, in which Director Pierre Morel took him into the Paris underworld to find his abducted daughter. Penn, who's 54, has not been very active lately, finally got his piece of action.

Any thriller with Sean Penn and Javier Bardem, shot largely in Barcelona, is going to amuse the eye, right? And it does: the city looks great.

If you want a thriller about architecture, this is the movie for you.


Click on the cover image to place your hold