Wednesday, 29 June 2016

What color is your parachute? by Richard N. Bolles

Rather than simply being a book about job advice What color is your parachute? is a guide to figuring out who you are and, based on that, helps you to define your career goals. The book has a series of activities that you can work through to help you decide on a career or select a new career if your current one isn’t working for you. Also, if you have no idea what to do with your life, this book can guide you in the right direction.

There are lots of things that I liked about this book, such as the insight into the actual interviewing process and the conversational tips that are given. It also helps you to find a job without depending on agencies, ads, and on line posts. A good activity which you can do is the Flower Diagram. This is a self assessment test to help you figure out what type of work is appropriate for you. The flower has seven petals, including the centre. The reasoning behind this is because there are seven sides to you, or seven ways of thinking about yourself, or seven ways of describing who you are. It is a simple way of learning about yourself and how to shape your career to best suit your personality.

What color is your parachute? is about job-hunting and career-changing, but it’s also about figuring out who you are as a person and what you want out of life. I highly recommend reading this comprehensive, well-written book.


Monday, 27 June 2016

The truth of all things by Kieran Shields

The truth of all things is a story about a grisly murder of a prostitute in the town of Portland, Maine. Set in 1892, Deputy Marshal Archie Lean is asked to investigate the murder and discovers many similarities to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Getting nowhere with the investigation he enlists the brilliant criminologist Percival Grey to help him solve the murder.

More deaths follow before they can unravel what appear to be the ravings of a madman.

The truth of all things is Kieran Shields debut novel and is a highly enjoyable and gripping read.


Friday, 24 June 2016

Principles of reiki by Kajsa Krishni Boräng

Principles of Reiki is an excellent practical introduction to the healing system of Reiki, and is part of the Thorsons Principles of series. It is clear and concise, covering everything from what to expect in a Reiki session to the principles and practise itself. Unlike other books on similar topics it is quite accessible to the novice, using everyday language.

I’d recommend this book to people curious about the system and for anyone who has experienced Reiki (whether as a client or practitioner). There are informative anecdotes about the author’s experience and numerous examples of her clients’ experiences throughout.


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Crafting away the winter months

In my opinion, reading and crafting are two of the cosiest ways to while away the winter months (especially when accompanied by a large hot chocolate). Even better is combining the two activities by reading craft books!

How about knitting or crocheting a snuggly scarf or beanie? Or trying your hand at some embroidery or sewing? The library has many craft books to help inspire you, whether you’re a beginner or an old hand.

To help get you started, here is a list of the most popular crafting books in May, with the most popular title at number one.

10. 200 knitted blocks: for afghans, blankets and throws Jan Eaton
9. Baby knits from around the world : 20 heirloom projects in a variety of styles and techniques Kari A Cornell
8. Printed textile design Amanda Briggs-Goode
7. Hooked on style Catherine N Blythe
6. Crochet Katy Bevan
5. How to knit: techniques and projects for the complete beginner Barrett, Tina
4. The shape of knitting: a master class in increases, decreases, and other forms of shaping with 20 projects Lynne Barr
3. All sewn up: 35 exquisite projects using applique embroidery and more Chloe Owens
2. The needlecraft book Maggi Gordon
1. Stitch-by-stitch Jane Bull

Also, if you enjoy knitting or have always wanted to learn how, you can join our Social Knitwork at Dandenong Library each Wednesday morning from 10.30am. Make new friends while developing new skills, sharing patterns, stories and good times.

All welcome.


Monday, 20 June 2016

More Cat Stories

Dewey by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter, published in 2008, was the true story of a kitten left in a library return chute in the United States. He spent the rest of his life living in the library, and became famous. In 2010, Vicki and Bret published the sequel, Dewey's Nine Lives. They have also published three books about Dewey for children. I chose to read Dewey's Nine Lives because I enjoyed reading Dewey. I chose to review it because I thought it might appeal to readers who liked Dewey, or to readers who will like real-life stories about the bonds between people and cats.

Dewey's Nine Lives contains more stories about Dewey and his carer Vicki. For the most part, however, the book is about other people and the cats in their lives. Many of these stories are about people dealing with life’s challenges, such as illness, poverty, divorce, job loss, injury, loneliness, bullying at school, single motherhood, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These people find that having a pet cat helps them, by providing friendship, amusement, affection and empathy, cheering them up, helping them connect with other people, or being ‘a calming presence in a time of need’ (p. 245).

I liked this book because it reminded me of the cats and other pets I have had in my own life. I also liked reading true stories about people overcoming life’s obstacles.

Have you had a pet that has helped you through a difficult time? Send us your comments.


Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Freedom Ride by Sue Lawson

In 1965 the Freedom Bus ride embarked on an historic trip through northern NSW led by the late Charles Perkins to bring media attention to discrimination against Indigenous Australians. This significant event sets the scene for Sue Lawson’s latest novel Freedom Ride.

Teenage Robbie lives in a rural New South Wales country town with his dysfunctional father and cruel grandmother. Through Robbie’s story the reader experiences bullying, intolerance, bigotry, friendship and personal growth. There’s a lot packed into one novel which Sue Lawson has managed quite effectively.

There were parts of Freedom Ride I found uncomfortable to read. It was hard to be reminded of the racism, social segregation and prejudice which were customary throughout Australia 50 years ago. As a country we have a come a long way but the journey has not yet finished. This young adult novel provides a wonderful platform for discussions regarding modern Australian history.

Freedom Ride is one of the shortlisted titles for the CBCA Book Of The Year for Older Readers.


Thursday, 9 June 2016

The winner of the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction is...

Lisa McInerney with her debut novel The Glorious Heresies.

The Glorious Heresies follows the lives of five misfits from the seedy underbelly of Cork including a prostitute, gangster and a 15-year-old drug dealer in the aftermath of a messy murder. McInerney wrote the novel after being urged by her agent. She had previously published just one short story but was well known for her blog “The Arse End of Ireland”. For her efforts she takes home £30,000 and the ‘Bessie’, a limited edition bronze figurine.

Now in its 21st year, The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction is awarded to the best novel written by a woman from anywhere in the world.

Congratulations Lisa.


Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The Pause by John Larkin

Declan seems to have it all: a loving family, great friends he’s had for years, and a beautiful and amazing girlfriend he would go to the end of the earth for. But there’s something in Declan’s past that’s haunting him. It lies in his sub consciousness and attacks him when he’s most vulnerable. Declan feels as though there’s nothing that will take away the pain that he’s suppressed for so long. So he makes the only decision he thinks he has left – the decision to end it all.

Or does he? As the train approaches and Declan teeters at the ends of the platform, two versions of his life are revealed. In one, Declan watches as his body is destroyed and the lives of those who loved him unravel. In the other, Declan pauses before his jump. And this makes all the difference.

The Pause is raw, it is honest. John Larkin’s words stayed with me long after I closed the book. Not everyone wants a deep or sad story but this book is much more than that. Suicide is a heavy topic and the author brings us along on Declan’s journey weaving laughter, intensity and the gamut of teenage emotions. The reader follows Declan and his family over years, allowing us to connect with the characters and invest ourselves in them.

What would occur if you just stopped for a moment, your next action hanging in suspension? Do you go left or right? The Pause is a thought provoking novel which I highly recommend. It is one of top ten Young Adult novels I have read over the last year and deserves to be listed in the CBCA shortlist.


Monday, 6 June 2016

New fiction titles for June

Keep warm and relax with one of these new winter releases.

Whitefern Virginia Andrews
Cyanide games Richard Beasley
Cavedon luck Barbara Taylor Bradford
Sleeper’s castle Barbara Erskine
Curious minds Janet Evanovich
Killer look Linda Fairstein
Dark carousel Christine Feehan
Guilty minds Joseph Finder
Hell fire Karin Fossum
Trespasser Tana French
Falling Jane Green
Three sisters, three queens Philippa Gregory
Lord of the Darkwood Lian Hearn
Principals Bill James
Night and day Iris Johansen
Dragonmark Sherrilyn Kenyon
Dear Mr M Herman Koch
Dark forces Stephen Leather
Moment she left Susan Lewis
Make me love you Johanna Lindsey
Bourne enigma Eric Van Lustbader
Any minute now Eric Van Lustbader
Sweet tomorrows Debbie Macomber
Last days of new Paris China Mieville
Truly madly guilty Liane Moriarty
Bullseye James Patterson
Never never James Patterson
Long cosmos Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Breaking cover Stella Rimington
Bad soldier Chris Ryan
Black widow Daniel Silva
Kept woman Karin Slaughter
My Italian bulldozer Alexander McCall Smith
Magic Danielle Steel
No man’s land Simon Tolkien
Fallout Harry Turtledove
Vinegar girl Anne Tyler
Singles game Lauren Weisberger

Click on your chosen title/s to reserve your copy. All holds are free of charge.


Thursday, 2 June 2016

Lady Helen and The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

Award winning author Alison Goodman has weaved her magic again.

This Regency adventure is set in London 1812. Eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall is on the eve of her debut presentation at the royal court of George III. Her life should revolve around gowns, dancing, and securing a suitable marriage. Instead, when one of her family’s maids disappears, she is drawn into the shadows of Regency London.

There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few able to stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons that has infiltrated all levels of society. Carlston is not a man she should be anywhere near, especially with the taint of scandal that surrounds him. Yet he offers her help and the possibility of finally discovering the truth about the mysterious deaths of her parents.

Soon the two of them are investigating a terrifying conspiracy that threatens to plunge the newly Enlightened world back into darkness. But can Helen trust a man whose own life is built on lies? And does she have the strength to face the dangers of this hidden world and her family’s legacy? Helen must make a choice: Save her reputation, or save the world.

Alison Goodman’s meticulous attention to detail enhances this wonderfully perilous novel. Fans of historical fiction and fantasy will fully appreciate this one. Lucky for us Lady Helen’s adventure has only begun; this is the first in a trilogy.