Thursday, 29 December 2016

Fast Asleep, Wide Awake by Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan

For anyone who has experienced persistent insomnia, this book may be just what you need. Dr Nerina Ramlakhan has divided the book into four sections:
1. Awareness and background information
2. Getting started with the non-negotiables
3. The Pure Sleep Programme
4. Wide Awake: the big picture
Initially I was sceptical about the first section. It sounded like a ‘big sell’. Not that there aren’t interesting and important points but there’s also a fair bit of self-promotion. Of course other readers may not see it that way. There are certainly interesting opinions about sleeping tablets, the healing properties of sleep and the impact of feeling ‘safe’ on our ability to sleep soundly.
Once I actually tried the ‘non-negotiables’ I was quickly on board. These are specific strategies that seem to have a rapid impact. Almost immediately I was sleeping better.
1. Eat breakfast every day within 30-40 minutes of rising
2. Drink 2 litres of water
3. Reduce your caffeine intake or abolish completely
4. Start an electronic shut-off 1 hour before getting into bed
5. Aim to get at least 4 pre-midnight sleeps per week
The next section outlines some strategies that assist particular problems: not getting to sleep quickly, waking during the night and waking early. Some I found very helpful were:
1. Not referring to the clock when waking during the night because it starts a measuring and comparing stream of thoughts
2. During the day, taking time to be mindful as often as possible including watching the breath for 3 inhalations and following steps towards grounding and being ‘in one’s body’
3. Practising gratitude at intervals during the day
The final section proposes the examination of all aspects of life to determine why sleep is difficult to achieve. There is discussion about personality traits which may impact and the changing tides of stress and anxiety which affect us during different stages of our lives.
I recommend Fast asleep, Wide awake. It has made a real difference to me.


Monday, 19 December 2016

New fiction for December

Summer and holiday time is here - more time for reading and relaxing. Check out these new titles and more available at the library for all your Summer reading needs.
Harvest of Thorns Corban Addison
4 3 2 1 Paul Auster
Massacre of mankind Stephen Baxter
Take back the sky Greg Bear
Egg drop dead Laura Childs
Norse mythology Neil Gaiman
Right behind you Lisa Gardner
Executioner of St Paul's Susannah Gregory
Curtain of death W.E.B. Griffin
Immortal bind Traci Harding
Gifts for our time Anna Jacobs
Close Bill James
My not so perfect life Sophie Kinsella
Lord of the privateers Stephanie Laurens
You said forever Susan Lewis
Last debutante Lesley Lokko
Meet me at Beachcomber Bay Jill Mansell
Dead girls dancing Graham Masterton
Paper hearts and summer kisses Carole Matthews
Cast iron Peter May
Police at the station and they don't look friendly Adrian McKinty
Recluse tales L.E. Modesitt Jr
Those were the days Lynda Page
Wyoming Brave Diana Palmer
Murder on the Serpentine Anne Perry
Echoes in death J.D.Robb
Unexpected Nora Roberts
Crossing Nora Roberts
Shadow kill Chris Ryan
Extreme prey John Sandford
Most wanted Lisa Scottoline
Jericho's war Gerald Seymour
Three daughters of Eve Elif Shafak
City of friends Joanna Trollope
Heart of what was lost Tad Williams
Moshi moshi Banana Yoshimoto

Simply click on your chosen title/s and you will be directed to The Vault, where you can place your holds. Can't see anything you like? Why not ask one of our friendly staff for a reading recommendation.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Between a wolf and a dog by Georgia Blain

I was intrigued by the title of this novel, which describes that particular moment of half-light between day and night, a moment of transition. Set in Sydney, mostly over one very rainy day, this novel by Australian author Georgia Blain explores the relationships of a family coming to terms with their own human frailty, who are caught in a strange moment of transition in their lives. The rain is a constant backdrop for the emotional drama of the story. There is Esther, a counsellor, struggling to get her own life back on track, Lawrence, her ex-husband, grappling with the fallout of his actions, April, Esther’s sister, trying to revive her flagging music career and mother Hilary, a filmmaker who is making her masterpiece, and a life changing decision. Each will make choices that impact on the lives of the others.
Winner of the University of Queensland Fiction book award, and short listed for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards in 2017 Between a wolf and a dog
is a gentle, sometimes heartbreaking and keenly observed examination of the nature of relationships, betrayal, forgiveness and moving on after the rain has stopped. This is not a fast paced novel, but If you like contemporary relationship stories with a melancholy edge and some beautifully elegant writing, you will enjoy this read.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

Chief Inspector Bish Ortley of the London Met, divorced and still grieving the death of his son, has been drowning his anger in Scotch. Something has to give, and he’s no sooner suspended from the force than a busload of British students is subject to a deadly bomb attack across the Channel. Bish’s daughter is one of those on board.
Also on the bus is Violette LeBrac. Raised in Australia, Violette has a troubled background. Thirteen years ago her grandfather bombed a London supermarket, killing dozens of people. Her mother, Noor, is serving a life sentence in connection with the incident. But before Violette’s part in the French tragedy can be established she disappears.
Bish, who was involved in Noor LeBrac’s arrest, is now compelled to question everything that happened back then. And the more he delves into the lives of the family he helped put away, the more he realises that truth wears many colours.

Melina has cemented her place as one of Australia’s masters of storytelling with her new novel Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil. This book is her first adult novel. Melina has twice been awarded the CBCA children’s book award and her best known YA novels are Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca and
On the Jellicoe Road.

This clever detective thriller gripped me from the first chapter and didn’t let go. It is a narrative of one of the uglier turmoil's of today’s society: racism and cultural ignorance blended with courage, family, love and friendship.

I invested myself in each of the book’s multifaceted characters which Melina effortlessly created. The spunk of Violette and the gritty personal and professional struggles of Bish were standouts. The exciting subplots come together as cleverly as a fine spider’s web.

If you are a fan of Melina Marchetta’s you wont be disappointed this book and if you are yet to discover her stories Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is a must read.