Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Suspect - DVD

This South Korean spy thriller is a very good film. There seems to be a very common theme among Korean spy movies whereby an agent from the North (North Korea) always does battle with an agent from the South (South Korea). Of course, the characters from the North always seem to be the bad guys and the ones from the South are the good ones. Then somewhere in the middle, one or both characters switch sides and are wanted by their respective countries for treason. So I wasn’t surprised to see when this theme continued in this film.

The main character Ji Dong-cheol (played by Yoo Gong) is a field agent from the North who is the best in his field (how often have we heard that?). During one of his missions, he is double crossed and his wife and child end up being murdered. Trying to get his life in order, he takes a job as a driver for a CEO of a very big and powerful corporation. One night, the CEO is assassinated and Ji Dong-cheol is framed for his murder by the country’s chief police officer. At the time of the assassination, the CEO had given Ji Dong-cheol his reading glasses and asked him to “bury them”. Not knowing what he meant by that and not wanting to be caught by the police, Ji Dong-cheol once again is on the run and does everything he can to evade capture. He tries to find out the truth and what is so special about these glasses. He basically is chased by every man and his dog all over the country trying to evade everybody while not knowing who to trust. He is also driven by people telling him that his daughter is still alive. He’s a man on a mission and no one will stop him!

The movie has great action as you would expect from Korean films. Lots of car chases, shootouts, fights, chases on foot, etc. Great cinematography as well. If you don’t mind reading English subtitles while watching a movie, then I would highly recommend this film. This film would blow lots of high-budget Hollywood productions out of the water.


Click on the cover image to place your hold.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Winners of the Indie Book Awards 2016

Each year, independent booksellers from around the country cast their vote for their favourite titles in five different categories, as well as their favourite book overall. Here are the winners for each category.

The fiction winner and the overall Indie Book of the Year winner is…
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood.
Magda Szubanski took home the non fiction award for her autobiography: Reckoning: A Memoir.
The debut fiction winner is Lucy Treloar for her novel Salt Creek.
Fiona Wood won the Young Adult award for Cloudwish.
And finally, the children's award went to Aaron Blabey for The Bad Guys.

You can place holds on all of these winning books by clicking on the title link.

Congratulations to all the winners!


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Sicario - DVD

Great, an amazing movie! In Mexico, Sicario means hitman.

This movie will generate a response from every emotion you have, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat! Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt were perfectly cast for these roles.

Sicario takes the audiences deep into the on-going battle between law enforcement and border-crossing drug smugglers along the Arizona border, following a bust that goes horribly, horribly wrong.

For his part, Brolin pulls out all of the charisma he has and in playing on the opposite side of the spectrum, Del Toro pulls his best enigmatic moves playing Alejandro, and the actor makes the character one that you’re always keeping a sly eye on.

Sicario is well put together, and takes the audience along for the ride, literally, as the camera is inside those black SUV’s as they bump along gravel roads. Seen from above, one of many overhead shots, they look like black snakes on the move.

It delivers the best kind of nail-biting tension, and honestly a worthwhile experience just for the tense and vicious atmosphere. The knotty plot that follows demands close attention but never becomes too difficult to follow.

I highly recommend it!


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Television series breathes new life into historical fantasy series!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

After watching the first season of the television series Outlander on the recommendation of a friend, I was completely hooked. I immediately sought the book to see how they compared and I was not disappointed.

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach, an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743.

When Claire Randall finds herself suddenly in a century she knows about only from history books, she must adapt and improvise in order to survive. As an Englishwoman she is treated with automatic suspicion and she uses her nursing skills and medical knowledge to earn the trust of those around her, including Jamie, a young highlander who was wounded shortly before his group encounters her. Although her initial wish is to escape back to 1945 and the husband she has left there, her priorities change as she develops a relationship with Jamie, and she is torn between the life and love she left on the other side of the stone circle, in 1945, and the life she sees with Jamie in 1743.

Outlander (also published as “Cross Stitch”) is an historical fiction novel that is detailed, but not so much so as to show the inevitable liberties taken to fill the gaps left by history. The details that do appear throughout Gabaldon’s story – in descriptions of clothing, food, and cultural figures – show the breadth of her research and add to the depth of the story. I particularly enjoy the Gaelic interspersed within the text, despite being unable to understand it.

First published in 1991, Outlander has experienced resurgence as a result of the production of the television series of the same name. The story will appeal to anyone who has seen and enjoyed the television series, as well as anyone who enjoys historical fiction and romance with enough adventure and suspense to keep you reading and wanting more.

You can place a free hold on this item by clicking the cover image. Greater Dandenong Libraries also has copies of Season one of the television series (Volume one and Volume two) available on DVD and Blu-ray.


Friday, 11 March 2016

The Stella Prize shortlist 2016

Congratulations to the six authors shortlisted for this year’s Stella Prize!

A Few Days in the Country | Elizabeth Harrower
Hope Farm | Peggy Frew
Six Bedrooms | Tegan Bennett Daylight
Small Acts of Disappearance | Fiona Wright
The Natural Way of Things | Charlotte Wood
The World Without Us | Mireille Juchau

The winner of the $50,000 prize will be announced on 19 April. Each of the six shortlisted writers receives $2,000 as well as a 3 week all expenses paid writing retreat supported by the Trawalla Foundation.

For more information on the awards click here.


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

New fiction for March

Here’s a selection of new and upcoming fiction to add to your autumn reading list. From thrillers to mystery to romance, there's something for everyone this month.

Last mile David Baldacci
Off the grid C.J Box
Visitor C.J Cherryh
Everyone brave is forgiven Chris Cleave
Girl from Summer Hill Jude Deveraux
Fire bound Christine Feehan
Scandal John Grisham
The Pier Falls Mark Haddon
Night shift Charlaine Harris
Little sister David Hewson
Ravenspur Conn Iggulden
Time to rejoice Anna Jacobs
Hide away Iris Johansen
Our tiny, useless hearts Toni Jordan
Children of earth and sky Guy Gavriel Kay
Murder of Mary Russell Laurie R King
Ice child Camilla Lackberg
Silence Mercedes Lackey
Kill switch Jonathan Maberry
Into everywhere Paul McAuley
Standing strong Fiona McCallum
Revenge in a cold river Anne Perry
Extreme prey John Sandford
Predator Wilbur Smith
Property of a noblewoman Danielle Steel
House of Daniel Harry Turtledove
Drawing dead Andrew Vachss
Before the war Fay Weldon
Family jewels Stuart Woods

Click on your chosen title/s to reserve your copy. You may now place up to 20 holds on your borrower card, so don’t be shy. All holds are free of charge.


Monday, 7 March 2016

Read the book before you see the film

Lady in the van | Alan Bennett

The famous and heart warming story from one of the world’s most revered humorists. Bennett has consistently remained one of literature’s most acute observers of Britain and life’s many absurdities. In 1974, the homeless Miss Shepherd moved her broken down van into Alan Bennett’s garden. Deeply eccentric and stubborn to her bones, Miss Shepherd was not an easy tenant. And Bennett, despite inviting her in the first place, was a reluctant landlord. And yet she lived there for fifteen years. This account of those years was first published in 1989 in the London Review of Books.

The play premiered in 1999, directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Dame Maggie Smith, who reprise their roles in this new film adaptation. Shot on location at Bennett’s house, Alex Jennings plays the author, alongside household names including Frances de la Tour, Jim Broadbent and Dominic Cooper.

This title is available in print form and downloadable ebook format


Friday, 4 March 2016

The Fall - DVD

If you like the BBC mystery series genre in the vein of Wire in the blood, but with even more intensity to give you chills, you will love this 5 part DVD series, The Fall.(BBC TV 2014).

Police detective Stella Gibson (played with cool precision by Gillian Anderson of The X-Files fame), is brought in to head a Belfast task force to catch the serial killer, Paul Spector, (played by Jamie Dornan from Fifity Shades of Grey).

From the beginning of the drama we know that Spector is the killer, and it highly suspenseful to see him lead a double life of father/husband/bereavement counsellor and that of deadly serial killer. (When will they catch him, hiding in glare of daylight?)

The atmosphere throughout is chilling, much like a Belfast Winter. The drama had me crying out for more with each episode. The suspense is amazing. I loved every minute. Though some of the killing scenes are not for the faint hearted, the plot satisfies on every level.

Good news is there is a Season 2 available too, and a Season 3 to follow, which I can’t wait to borrow.

Don’t miss it. This is outstanding DVD viewing.


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

BorrowBox eAudiobook Title of the month

At the water’s edge by Sarah Gruen

A gripping and poignant love story set in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands at the end of the Second World War.

After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1944, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already ashamed of his colour-blind son’s inability to serve in WWII.

To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favour (and generosity) is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces.

In January 1945 they hitch a ride on a ship across the Atlantic while the war is still raging all around them. And Maddie, now alone and virtually abandoned in a foreign country, must begin to work out who she is and what she wants – the vacuous life she left behind or something more real?


At the water's edge can be downloaded directly to your mobile device through BorrowBox 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.