Friday, 29 April 2016

2016 Australian/Vogel's Literary Award

Katherine Brabon has been awarded this year’s Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award for her book, The Memory Artist.

The Memory Artist tells the story of Pasha Ivanov, a young man in St Petersburg who embarks on a search for meaning that leads him to assemble a fractured story of Russia’s traumatic past.

Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award is one of Australia's richest and the most prestigious awards for an unpublished manuscript by a writer under the age of thirty-five. Along with winning $20,000 in prize money, Katherine’s novel has now been published by Allen & Unwin. Previous winners include notable authors Tim Winton, Kate Grenville and Gillian Mears.

Congratulations Katherine!


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Sing with me! by Carmel Davies and Sharon Duff

Practice your English and have fun at the same time.
Sing with me! is a collection of songs and exercises for early level English students containing grammar, conversation and song. While the book is intended as a teacher resource and therefore is somewhat short on explanation and uses words which may overreach the abilities of the student level it is aimed at, it is still great fun for students and teachers alike.

Sing with me! is a lively resource for mums of younger children to practise their own English while interacting with their children. As a teacher resource, this collection is lively and offers a level-appropriate mixed bag of exercises to follow every song.

The songs have simple, easy to sing tunes and lyrics about everyday activities that can be enjoyed by any age group.


Friday, 22 April 2016

Remembering the Anzacs

The Anzac Book
This amazing book is written and illustrated by the men who fought at Gallipoli, edited by the official war correspondent Charles Bean and gives an insight into the everyday life and feelings of the men who were there during the closing weeks of the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.

In November 1915, a request came to Charles Bean from a British Intelligence Officer to create a publication to increase the moral of the men stuck in the trenches, written and illustrated by these same men.

The end result was The Anzac Book, now in its third publication – even though it was never meant to be reprinted. It is filled with poems, stories and songs, which give a unique firsthand look in the minds of those who were there, and the brutality of the conditions. There is even a complete retelling of the whole campaign, up until November 1915, which is incredibly detailed and very interesting. However, one of the best sections of the whole book is the amusing (and snarky) ‘Anzac Alphabet’, which illustrates exactly the feelings of one J.W.S Henderson, who is a very creative individual.

I would recommend The Anzac Book to anyone who wants to see what it was like to be Gallipoli through the eyes of the men who were there.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

And the winner of the Stella Prize for 2016 is…

Charlotte Wood with her dystopian novel The Natural Way of Things.

The Natural Way of Things explores themes of contemporary misogyny and corporate control through the story of 2 women who wake to find themselves captive in the outback after being kidnapped. The book was also shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary award, has been longlisted for the Miles Franklin award and recently won the Indie Book award.

Described by many reviewers as riveting, extraordinary, powerful, beautiful and brutal, The Natural Way of Things is a worthy winner of the $50,000 prize.


Monday, 18 April 2016

Lest We Forget - Anzac Day 2016

Victoria at War, 1914-1918 by Michael McKernan
This book, which was published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War in Australia, tells the story of Victoria’s involvement in the War effort, the life of the men fighting overseas and the more personal stories of the families left behind.

It opens with a most poignant story, of the Whitelaw Family. Six brothers; Lionel, Robert, Angus, Ivan and Donald, aged between 18-32, signed up and fought in some of the most famous battles of the war, both at Gallipoli and in France. Of these six brothers, only three returned home, with one dying in 1922 due to injuries sustained during the war.

The following chapters look at the war arriving in Victoria, counting the cost of the causalities, war on the Western Font, the issue of conscription and victory. Photographs, letters and maps illustrate the personal stories, bringing them to life in a way words cannot.

Despite being the book predominantly about the State of Victoria during the First World War, it offers another view as well – of the rich history of Melbourne, and of Victoria’s country towns during a time when people’s lives were changing forever, as their sons and husbands marched off to war, many to never return.

This book offers a different perspective to the well known history of the First World War – the one of the Home Front and how the lives of loved ones left behind changed during the war.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a slightly different perspective on the First World War.


Thursday, 14 April 2016

Adventure and Determination

Mud, Sweat and Tears is the autobiography of Edward ‘Bear’ Grylls, star of several television shows including Man versus Wild and The Island. I chose to read this book because I enjoy Bear’s television shows, especially Man versus Wild. I chose to review it because I enjoyed the book and found it inspiring.

The book focuses on his formative years, helping to explain the person he is today. It starts with some stories about his relatives and ancestors with which he seems to identify. He then describes his own life, including his childhood growing up on the Isle of Wight, enjoying the outdoors with his father, boarding school, taking up karate as a teenager, university study, doing the selection course for the British Special Forces, meeting his wife, climbing Mount Everest, and the beginning of his television career.

The book gives me an impression of the kind of person that he is. The main characteristic that stands out is how highly motivated he is. This is demonstrated for example by undergoing the selection for the British Special Forces which is very physically and mentally difficult. Another example is reaching the top of Mount Everest at the age of twenty-three. He appears to enjoy pushing himself to the limit. He demonstrates an ability to overcome obstacles, for example taking up karate to stop people bullying him (it works), and overcoming a back injury which he suffers during a parachuting accident. The book contains many statements of motivational advice from Bear and from other people.

Bear is also a person who values family and friendship. One of the main reasons he likes being in the outdoors and mountaineering is the bonds formed with his companions.

I would recommend this book to adults and teenagers who want an escape from the everyday and want to read about a life of adventure. Do you find this book inspiring? If you do, send us your comments.


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist 2016

The BAILEYS Women’s Prize for Fiction is one of the most respected, celebrated and successful literary awards in the world. Previously known as the Orange prize, the annual award celebrates the best full length fiction written by women throughout the world.

The shortlisted books are as follows:
Ruby Cynthia Bond
The Green Road Anne Enright
The Glorious Heresies Lisa McInerney
The Portable Veblen Elizabeth McKenzie
The Improbability of Love Hannah Rothschild
A Little Life Hanya Yanagihara

Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors. Stay tuned, the winner will be announced on Monday the 8th of June.


Monday, 11 April 2016

Popular Sayings by Betty Kirkpatrick

Popular Sayings contains 40 passages that cover a wide range of text types and different types of saying including cliches, colloquialisms, jargon and idioms. The book provides detailed explanations, example sentences, usage comments and origins as well as suggesting simple alternatives where possible. The author has worked hard to make some of the mysteries of the English language less mysterious.

The style of having sayings first illustrated in a passage then explained works beautifully in this refreshingly easy to use English skills book. There are some brief questions at the end of each passage/explanation set with an answer section in the rear but the focus is on the passages.

Popular Sayings is a great resource for those who want to move their second-language English from book English to a more natural sounding style.


Thursday, 7 April 2016

Money, and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health, and Happiness By Esther and Jerry Hicks.

Money, and the Law of Attraction teaches the principles of learning to attract wealth, health and happiness. This leading edge work by Esther and Jerry Hicks presents words of wisdom for the teachings of the non-physical consciousness of Abraham. The two authors explain that the two most chronically affected subjects by the powerful law of attraction are financial and physical well-being. Not having enough money or not having good health puts you in the perfect position for creating more of that which you do not have. This book will shine a spotlight on each of the most significant aspects of your life experience and then guide you to the conscious creator. There is no doubt that Esther and Jerry Hicks, and Abraham have, over the past twenty years, presented a radical new way of looking at our lives.

The essence of Abraham–Hicks' teachings since 1986 has been presented as follows:
• Individuals are physical extensions of the non-physical.
• People are in their bodies because they chose to be.
• The basis of life is freedom; the purpose of life is joy.
• People are creators; they create with their thoughts.
• Whatever people can imagine totally & completely, by creating a perfect vibrational match, is theirs to be, or do, or have.
• Individuals choose their creations as they choose their thoughts.
• Emotions indicate what people are creating, either consciously or unconsciously.
• The Universe adores people; it knows their broadest intentions.

This book has been written to deliberately align you with the most powerful law in the universe—the Law of Attraction—so that you can make it work specifically for you. Money, and the Law of Attraction is formatted in five vibrant essays:
Part I – Processing of Pivoting and Positive Aspects
Part II – Attracting Money and Manifesting Abundance
Part III – Maintaining Your Physical Well-Being
Part IV – Perspectives of Health, Weight, and Mind
Part V – Careers, as Profitable Sources of Pleasure

The library has other interesting titles which will also guide you in your health and wealth being quest. Think and get slim: natural weight loss [DVD] is one of many.


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

New fiction titles for April

We have a small but varied list of new titles for you to enjoy this month.

Bones of Grace Tahmima Anam
Tall tail Rita Mae Brown
Emperor’s revenge Clive Cussler
Second life of Nick Mason Steve Hamilton
Troublemaker Linda Howard
Love you dead Peter James
Stalker Lars Kepler
Buccaneer at heart Stephanie Laurens
Wilde Lake Laura Lippman
Live the dream Claire Lorrimer
Prayers the devil answers Sharyn McCrumb
One who got away Caroline Overington
Service the dead Candace Robb
Mandibles: a family, 2029-2047 Lionel Shriver
Apartment Danielle Steel
Island house Nancy Thayer
Dead men don’t order flake Sue Williams

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.


Friday, 1 April 2016

Spotlight on eResources

The Greater Dandenong Library’s virtual library, The Vault, provides library users with access to books, magazines, databases and music at the tip of their fingers, anywhere, anytime and in multiple languages!

Keep up with the latest news from within Australia and around the world with Library Press Display. Now also providing users to a selection of magazines in different languages to keep up with the latest gossip overseas. Newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries and in 56 languages, including:
• Arabic
• Bosnian
• Chinese
• Croatian
• French
• Greek
• Italian
• Khmer
• Persian
• Serbian
• Sinhalese
• Spanish
• Tamil
• Vietnamese

All these, easily accessed from a computer or mobile devices via Google Play Store or iTunes. What’s more, see an article that caught your interest and you really want to share with family and friends? Easily done through Library Press Display via Facebook and Twitter.

“Music & Performing Arts combines audio and video that spans all time periods, hundreds of thousands of seminal artists, composers, choreographers, and ensembles to provide an unparalleled learning environment for the teaching of music” (Alexander Street, 2016).

Alexander Street World Music is a database that offer library users to music albums and playlists from around the world ranging from classical, traditional, folk and contemporary. Be it Christmas songs from around the world and in different languages or Chinese opera albums you’re looking for, these can be found in Alexander Street World Music online.

My Van