Wednesday, 28 June 2017

XXX: Return of Xander Cage - DVD

Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) must race against time to recover a sinister weapon known as Pandora's Box, a device that controls every military satellite in the world. Recruiting a new group of thrill-seeking guys, Xander finds himself entangled in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of government.…

The cast is surprisingly really good and loaded with talent. Other than Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen is particularly charismatic. It is refreshing to see an international cast with actors of various backgrounds, speaking with different accents. The cast actually resembles the real world.

XXX: Return of Xander Cage is a jam-packed action movie that's filled with crazy stunts, extremely fun action sequences and hilarious one-liners.

Overall, XXX: Return of Xander Cage still manages to send pulses racing with Diesel in it and is a really entertaining action flick.

Monday, 26 June 2017

The eat real food cookbook - David Gillespie

David Gillespie is a lawyer and the best-selling author of the Sweet Poison books, a series about how we are all poisoning ourselves with sugar. He followed those up with Big Fat Lies and Toxic Oil both of which target the dangers of seed oils in our diet. Having upset the dietetics industry by writing about stuff in which he has no qualifications, in Eat real food David returns to the topic of human nutrition and delivers the ultimate practical guide to avoiding the two most toxic substances in the modern food supply - sugar and seed oil.
The Eat real food cookbook helps you to apply the knowledge with the least amount of effort as we are all busy people. I found the book to be the best I have seen on applying the information given. David has put the words and pictures together to show you the differences and why we should eat real food. There is a whole chapter on how to eat real food and most importantly, recipes to show you  how. The book also contains the practicalities of how to read labels and shopping lists for the recipes. I can highly recommend taking this book home.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Busting by Aaron Blabey

Busting is hilarious!
Lou’s problem is one that is sure to evoke empathy. Who hasn’t been ‘busting’ to go? The pictures are so expressive. Lou is ready to explode while every other character in the book is neutral or at the most, annoyed at Lou. Of course it’s the ‘loo’ that Lou needs, but there is a queue, it’s true. But phew, there is finally resolution with a great deal of entertaining rhyme and repetition.
Aaron Blabey is well worth checking out. His books are entertaining and he often explores meaningful themes and subject matters.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

All our wrong todays by Elan Mastai

Every so often I will go through the New Titles section on The Vault to see what new fiction titles are coming out. Sometimes nothing catches my eye, sometimes too many things catch my eye. Normally I just put the titles I want to read in "My Lists" ** to come back to later. But there was one particular line that caught my eye in the summary of All our wrong todays.

The book explores the utopian future we “should’ve had” with flying cars and high rises and technological advances, to the point where “punk rock never existed because it wasn’t necessary”. Until of course, it all goes wrong. This intrigued me and I thought I'd put this one on hold. When it arrived, it turned out it was a pretty bulky 400 page book I didn’t think I’d have time to read. But what do you know; you find time when the book is good.

The story is a “memoir” (as the main character, Tom, likes to reiterate), and it’s his story of how he ruined the techno-utopian society he grew up in by going back in time and changing everything. It explores the concept of time travel, and what the possible repercussions of interacting with the past might bring about. It starts off with Tom telling you his life story up until the point it all went wrong, where you get to know and kind of care for him, but also think he’s a spoilt egoist who just wallows in his own misery and can’t seem to see the bigger picture. You just really want him to get on with the story so you can find out how it is that he ruined this utopia and landed in our present, but in a good, anticipating kind of way.

Tom ends up having to face a very tough choice, choosing between his old broken family, and this new, better version, for the sake of the world he grew up in. It’s a very eloquently and smartly written book that’s highly enjoyable to read. I would definitely recommend All our wrong todays, and I already have.

**Editor's note : You can create lists of items to review at a later time - maybe you don't want to place an item on hold right now, but just keep it in mind for later. When you click on a title heading in The Vault, you will see a menu next to the item details "Select an action". From this drop down menu choose "add to my lists". Lists can be accessed from the My Lists link at the top of the screen, and saved when you log in with your Library card number and pin.

Friday, 16 June 2017

A message of hope

A street cat named Bob by James Bowen is the true story of a busker recovering from homelessness and drug addiction who adopts a homeless cat. I chose to read the book because it is about a cat and because it is a story about hope. I chose to review it because I enjoyed the book and thought that others might also, especially if they like cats. The book was recently made into a film which I also liked. (A street cat named Bob on DVD).

The main theme of the book is how James and Bob help each other. Bob appears to have no owner and needs veterinary treatment. Looking after Bob motivates James to gradually overcome his own difficulties, including drug addiction and getting by financially. Bob follows James when he goes busking, so James starts bringing Bob with him. Bob seems happy to do this, and James finds he is much more successful as a busker as people respond positively to Bob. In this way, Bob helps James re-connect to people and helps him bring his music to more people. This is a positive story which might inspire other people to overcome their own difficulties.

This book should appeal to people who like animals and to people who want to read a real life story about struggle and recovery. Have you had a pet that has helped you through a difficult period in your life? Send us your comments.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Ben Hur - DVD (2016)

Those familiar with the original movie of Ben Hur starring Charlton Heston, may be somewhat surprised – as I was – with the alternative adaptation of the Lew Wallace novel ‘Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ’. While the 1959 original film spanned almost 4 hours, this version of Ben Hur comes in at just shy of 2 hours, resulting in a faster-paced story that sometimes skims over events and moments that need greater exploration. Consequently, instances of emotive importance lost their impact due to the hurried pace of the film.
The portrayal of Jesus in both movies certainly indicates a shift in both political and religious thinking. While the Jesus of the 1959 version remained a peripheral yet supernatural persona, the 2016 version pursued a more political Che Guevara-esque guise, blaming the occupying Roman empire for the evil in their world. But there is merit to this new adaptation, which may appeal to younger viewers less inclined to persevere through the original. Having sat through the horrible travesty of a film that was Noah, Ben Hur was certainly a welcome improvement as modern Biblical films go, indicating a small ray of hope for Hollywood.

Friday, 9 June 2017

New fiction for June - Our bumper list part 2

Get in early to reserve these new titles coming into the library

Murder in July Barbara Hambly
The Susan effect Peter Hoeg
The management style of the supreme beings Tom Holt
Darien : empire of salt C.F. Iggulden
Pussy Howard Jaconson
Dragonsworn Sherrilyn Kenyon
Lockdown Laurie R. King
The silent corner Dean Koontz
Light touch Stephen Leather
Hiding in plain sight Susan Lewis
When the music stopped Beryl Matthews

The trip of a lifetime Monica McInerney
Midnight jewel Richelle Mead
The last secret of the Deverills Santa Montefiore
Refuge Dina Nayeri
Undaunted Diana Palmer
Store James Patterson
Fifty fifty James Patterson & Candice Fox
Woman in the wood Lesley Pearse
The painted queen Elizabeth Peters
The right side Spencer Quinn
Two nights Kathy Reichs
Sleeping in the ground Peter Robinson
The secrets she keeps Michael Robotham

Three minutes Anders Roslund
House of spies Daniel Silva
The good daughter Karin Slaughter
The Duchess Danielle Steel
Night of the lightbringer Peter Tremayne
Everybody's son Thrity Umrigar
Forever and a death Donald E. Westlake
Indecent exposure Stuart Woods

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? Ask our friendly staff for a recommendation.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

New Fiction for June - Our bumper list part 1

So many new titles this month we had to split the list in two !
Get in first for these new release works from popular authors such as Janet Evanovich, Kate Forsyth and Philippa Gregory.

An uncommon woman Nicole Alexander
Anna Niccolo Ammaniti
Last kid left Rosecrans Baldwin
Walk Peter Barry
Common people Tony Birch
Paradise Valley C. J. Box
Blotto, Twinks and the stars of the silver screen Simon Brett
The black elfstone Terry Brooks
The late show Michael Connelly
Just a little Christmas Janet Dailey
Her Garry Disher
Mansions of murder Paul Doherty
Whipbird Robert Drewe
A high mortality of doves Kate Ellis
Danderous minds Janet Evanovich
Deadfall Linda Fairstein
Switch Joseph Finder
Beauty in thorns Kate Forsyth
Seven stones to stand or fall Diana Gabaldon
Unsub Meg Gardiner
Crossing the lines Sulari Gentill
I know a secret Tess Gerritsen
Rooted in evil Ann Granger
Sunshine sisters Jane Green
The last tudor Philippa Gregory

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? Ask our friendly staff for a recommendation.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The ties that bind by Lexi Landsman

From the outset in The ties that bind, the reader is told of two tragedies occurring in both Country Victoria and in Miami, United States. A fictional Victorian town in the Yarra Ranges, the home of Jade Taylor’s family olive grove property, is impacted by devastating bushfires, in the image of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. At the same time Courtney Hamilton and her husband David’s life in Miami is turned upside down when their 10 year old son Matthew is diagnosed with leukaemia. He needs a bone-marrow transplant but with Courtney being adopted, the chances of a family match are next to non-existent. It is no secret that the two stories are linked – it is just a matter of when and how the two will merge.
The preamble on the book cover states ‘A mother would do anything for her child – wouldn’t she?’ the full meaning of which does not become clear until later in the book.
Issues of love, loyalty and the parent-child bond arise and the theme of grief through loss underlies the two concurrent storylines.
I found that I was torn between sympathy and outwardly condemning the choices made by Jade’s mother, Asha with a final realisation that an obsession can take on a life of its own. 
On the whole, The ties that bind,was an engaging and thoughtful read and I look forward to more titles from this new Australian author.
Lauren B