Friday, 29 January 2016

Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2016

The winners of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award were announced yesterday.

So without further ado, the winners are…

Fiction: The world without us | Mireille Juchau
Non Fiction: Something for the pain | Gerald Murnane
Young Adult: Welcome to Orphancorp | Marlee Jan Ward
People’s Choice Award: Fever of Animals | Miles Allison

The winner of the poetry prize is Crankhandle by Alan Loney.
The winner of the drama prize is Broken by Mary Anne Butler.

And finally, the winner of the overall Victorian Prize for Literature is Mary Anne Butler for her drama Broken.

The winners of each category received $25,000, with Mary Anne Butler taking home $25,000 as well as the overall prize of $100,000.

Congratulations to all the winners!


Monday, 25 January 2016

Author Spotlight: Stephen King

As a literacy icon, Stephen King needs no introduction, but I’ll give him one using three words “KING of Horror”. He has authored over 50 books and 200 short stories, with many of his writings being made into Hollywood feature films, TV series and comic books. Carrie? The Shawshank Redemption? The Shining? IT? The Mist? The Green Mile? Cell? What do these films all have in common? (No, not all horror!). KING. Enough said.

Despite having had a huge career he is still writing. I have enjoyed his more recent novels, including the first two books of a trilogy Mr Mercedes and Finders Keepers, with the third instalment End of Watch being released midyear 2016. Also, his latest collection of short stories The Bazaar of Bad Dreams had me a little spooked. King’s style of horror is a mix of supernatural/mystery/fantasy with a touch of gore.

If you don’t mind being taunted with uneasy suggestions of what may be lurking just behind the.... then you may want to take up a new hobby and read Stephen King.

Be brave and in his words, “Hang onto my arm...”.


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Top 10 DVDs for December

Looking for a good movie this summer but don’t know what to watch? We’ve compiled a list of our most borrowed DVDs in December, with number one being the most popular.

10. The book thief
9. Predestination
8. Into the storm
7. Guardians of the galaxy
6. Divergent
5. Before I go to sleep
4. Unbroken
3. The rover
2. Gone girl
1. Into the woods

Click on your chosen title to be transported to The Vault where you can place your hold. We have copies of all of these titles in both DVD and Blu-ray formats. Remember all holds are free of charge.


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Red Prince by A. J. Smith

The Red Prince is the third book in the Long War series, which started with the first book The Black Guard and followed with the second book The Dark Blood.

The Red Prince starts by introducing the reader to some new characters, The King’s brother Alexander Tiris, Baron of Ro Haran, the Red Prince of Ro and his wife Gwendolyn of Hunter's Cross, the Lady of Haran. Alexander is angry that his brother the King has allowed the Kingdom of Ro to be controlled by the Seven Sisters and their hounds, so he starts a civil war to reclaim Ro.

After this introduction we are reunited with the characters from the previous books in the series and it was like being reunited with old friends and the memories flooded back. Rham Jas Rami is continuing his quest to rid the world of the Seven Sisters; Utha the Ghost and his Squire Randall of Darkwald banter as they set forth on their quest; and the strength of Halla Summer wolf, Axe-maiden of Tiergarteben. Happily you sit down to another good read from A. J. Smith getting lost within the pages.

This book has many twists and turns, laughs and shocks. For me a major shock came half way through the book and I needed to reread the page a number of times so I could process what I had just read. This is a great read and a fantastic series, I am looking forward to fourth book in the series The World Raven so I can continue on this journey with my old friends.


Friday, 15 January 2016

A Man Apart - DVD

I saw this movie when it was released back in 2003 and I remember I liked it so I wanted to see it again. Vin Diesel is famous for his Fast and Furious movies but he does have some other great movies, which in my opinion go a little unnoticed, and this movie is one of those. He plays a DEA Agent (Sean Vetter) who together with his colleagues just busted one of the biggest drug cartels in Mexico. The cartel is headed by Memo Lucero (Geno Silva) who puts in a great performance as a mafia kingpin who would go to any length to carry out his evil deeds. Memo ends up in jail in the U.S. which allows another drug cartel headed by a guy by the name of “Diablo” to move in and take over Memo’s business in Mexico.

Meanwhile, Sean and his colleagues are partying away at his house after their big bust and all is good and rosy. However, after the party, some guys with balaclavas break into Sean’s house and start shooting at him and his wife Stacy Vetter (Jacqueline Obradors). After all the dust has settled, Sean is injured while Stacy ends up dead. This leaves Sean shattered, broken and seeking revenge at any cost. However, he first needs to find out who ordered the hit on him and his wife. So he goes into prison to speak to Memo who might be able to help him. Slowly, Sean starts to befriend Memo because he is giving him tips and information on the whereabouts of the so called “Diablo” figure.

The rest of the movie is all about Sean trying to avenge the death of his wife. The movie is not all just action. It is also a drama where you see how Sean copes with the death of his wife and how emotional he gets at different moments in the movie. I think Vin Diesel puts in a great performance and this is one of his best movies. I always thought that he has the formula to be an action hero such as the likes of Arnie, Stallone, Jason Statham, etc. but it seems as though he doesn’t want to be associated just with those types of roles. That’s why he makes all sorts of movies, from the Disney movie The Pacifier (2005) to his latest one, The Last Witch Hunter (2015).

If you like a movie with both action and drama or if you’re just a fan of Vin Diesel, then this is a great movie to watch. I really enjoyed it.


Wednesday, 13 January 2016

New fiction for January

Christmas has come and gone, and the New Year is here. It’s now time to relax, unwind and escape with one of our new January reads.

Cometh the hour Jeffrey Archer
Guest Room Chris Bohjalian
Sick bag song Nick Cave
Silent inheritance Joy Dettman
Great revolt Paul Doherty
How to measure a cow Margaret Forster
Drinking gourd Barbara Hambly
Emperor of the Eight Islands Lian Hearn
Breakdown Jonathan Kellerman
Great War, little peace Beryl Kingston
First response Stephen Leather
Jewellers wife Judith Lennox
Girl who came back Susan Lewis
Adam’s image Debbie Macomber
Girls guide to moving on Debbie Macomber
This census taker China Mieville
Man without a shadow Joyce Carol Oates
15th affair James Patterson
Forty thieves Thomas Perry
Darkness Karen Robards
Doom of the dragon Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
Scandalous behaviour Stuart Woods

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.

Happy reading!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Black Venus: a novel by James McManus

I have just read a wonderful book called Black Venus. It is about the life of Charles Baudelaire, a real life French poet who lived in Paris from the 1850s. He wrote the famous book of poems, Les Fleurs du Mal, which was banned in 1857 because the French Government at the time regarded six of his poems as obscene. The poems where written about his love for Jeanne Duval, a Haitian born half-caste who came to Paris to make her fortune but instead ended up singing and performing in a small sleazy theatre called Le Reve in the Latin Quarter of Paris.

Even today some people say that Jeanne Duval was the main reason for his downfall but I disagree. In some respects he was the cause of his own downfall. It was not until May 1949 that the French Government finally lifted the ban on the six poems and his book Les Fleur du Mal was finally published.

This novel is follows their scandalous public trial for obscenity.

I highly recommend this book!


Monday, 4 January 2016

The Imitation Game - DVD

Want to settle down to a good movie – different from the normal thriller but still gripping?

I have just watched The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. A stunning performance from Cumberbatch as is expected. Set in three eras in wartime Britain. This is based on the true story of Alan Turing, a brilliant mathematician and cryptanalyst, very socially inept but a key to Britain winning against Hitler. Whilst being a recognised hero in his role creating what was the first ‘computer’ or digital machine he battles the illegality of homosexuality.
Also revealing is how Keira Knightley plays a brilliant operative but being female is seen as being without a brain and should be in the typing pool!

Absolutely riveting and very well produced. This has an 8.1 star rating on IMBD.

Click on the cover image to place your hold.