What Library Staff are Reading Uncovered – June 2014
- Eyrie by Tim Winton – His prose remains gripping and true, the relationships between his characters authentic. But it seems to me he has almost lost hope. I made it to the end because Winton is such a fine writer. But the darkness, the seediness, in this novel is overwhelming. Where can he go from here?
- The Girl on the Landing by Paul Torday – His first novel was Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, a charming and surprising novel, with a light heart. There’s much more menace in this one. The man at its centre goes back to the old castle in rural Scotland he inherited, and is struck by a small picture hanging on the wall of the landing. There is a young girl in it he’d never noticed. Next time he looks, the young girl isn’t there. Torday develops a gripping story from this odd beginning.
- Four Plays by Aristophanes – Three different translators have brought these ancient Greek plays into language modern enough for us to easily grasp their meaning. Lysistrata is probably the most popular: who can resist a storyline like this? The women of Athens are fed up. All the men seem to do is go to war, no fun for anyone. Deciding on direct action, they call in the women of Sparta and the Peleponnese, and suggest that steadfast withdrawing of sexual favours unless the men negotiate a peace is definitely the way to go. Very funny. As is Aristophanes’ satire about Socrates, in The Clouds. Read them aloud to enjoy the verbal jousting.
- Girt: the unauthorised history of Australia by David Hunt. He knows his history, and delivers it in prose liberally larded with jokes and one-liners. They did get a little predictable – but I salute the general principle.
- Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. The sequel to The Devil Wears Prada. Almost a decade has passed since main character, Andy Sachs quit the job “a million girls would die for” working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine—a dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Great chicklit and escapism. And of course FASHION.
- Shall we Dance? by Maggie Alderson. Lovely mother/daughter story set in London. Each alternate chapter is from the other’s point of view. I thought it was very clever and tapped into the language of each character perfectly. Wonderful descriptions and imagery – a joy to read with memorable and loveable characters.
- The House of Memories by Monica McInerney. Not what I expected from Monica, she’s normally an upbeat chick lit writer and I was expecting to hang out with some new friends. This was a story beautifully tackled about what happens to a family when a child dies. I will leave it there as I don’t wish to spoil any of the storyline for you. Hard topic, but well done.
- The Villa by Rosanna Ley – great escapism reading. Who wouldn’t want to inherit a villa in Sicily and all the intrigue that comes with it?
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer – fun, modern steampunk or futuristic variation on the Cinderella story. Book 1 sets up for a sequel. Check out the romantic trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXrMAFGWyuE
- I am Legend by Richard Matheson – I had seen the movie but knew it was based on this novel. Really enjoyed the novel. Yes, it is sci-fi and deals with vampires but the story gave a lot more depth to the characters and made me understand the movie more. Although the book has quite a different ending to the Will Smith film, it is no less gratifying. For more information on the novel and several adaptations into film click on title link.
- Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas. I think he’s fantastic.
- Quarterley Essay 51 The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell by David Marr
- The Rosie Project by Graham C Simsion – for book group. People have told me it’s hilarious, the cover of the book told me it was hilarious but it just didn’t do it for me. I found it a bit tedious and laboured.
- Fair Helen by Andrew Greig – historical fiction from a favourite author of mine, based on a Scottish border ballad – http://www.bartleby.com/106/107.html
- How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier – It’s been a bit more difficult to park around Springwood Library since the temporary closure of the car park at the rear of the building. In the first few days I was very lucky and managed to find a space on Macquarie Road. “You must have a Parking Fairy,” Robyn remarked and did some cunning Readers’ Advisory on me. In this YA book Charlie has a Parking Fairy but as she’s only 14 and doesn’t drive she’s not impressed and is desperately trying to ditch her fairy in the hopes of getting one more useful – like the Clothes Shopping Fairy her friend Rochelle has. A bit of silly fun for teens.
- And now I’m reading City of Thieves by David Benioff which is set, at least as far as I’ve read, during the WWII siege of Leningrad. Going well thus far.
- The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox (audiobook) – a story of epic scope and intricately rich text. Set in Napoleonic France, this is a book about morality and mortality, threaded together by succulent wine and mysterious angelic visitation.
- How to Thrive in the Digital Age by Tom Chatfield – a philosophical discussion about the effects of digital culture on our minds, interactions, humanness and future as a society. Thought-provoking and insightful.
- Zine by Pagan Kennedy (e-book) – a fun chronicle of underground writing and zine culture.
- The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey – Wonderful characters and immersive story.
- 1000 Incredible Costume & Cosplay Ideas by Yaya Han – this book is so packed with creative and colourful photographic Cosplay inspiration, I should be more than ready for Free Comic Book Day 2015!
- Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, A Life Reclaimed by Michelle Knight, with Michelle Burford (e-book
- Divergent, Insurgent & Allegiant all by Veronica Roth, a brilliant series that left me heartbroken.
- Game board of the gods & The Immortal crown by Richelle Mead. A fantastic Fantasy novel that incorporates my love of mythology into a thrilling adventure.
- City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. An awesome conclusion one of my favourite YA series an enthralling read I recommend to all YA lovers.
- Perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, A fantastic coming of age story that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. (this is my second time reading this book and I still love it!)
- I’ve now started reading The fault in our stars and hoping it doesn’t leave me too emotionally unstable after I finish it .
- NW by Zadie Smith
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Dead souls by Nikolai Gogol
- I, Coriander (JF) and Maggot Moon (YA), both by Sally Gardner
- Changing gears: a pedal-powered detour from the rat race (ANF) by Greg Foyster – I really enjoyed this bicycle adventure – what a fantastic achievement to ride from Melbourne to Cairns! This book promotes the idea of simple living and being mindful of our footprint on the planet.
- The girl with all the gifts (AF) by Mike Carey
- Middlemarch (AF) by George Eliot
This month you were asked : “Where do you like to read? Does it change with the seasons?”
Heidi – I like to read in bed – I just can’t get as comfy as I can in bed if I sit anywhere else and the family tend to leave me in peace in my bedroom. Along the length of the couch is second best but only if there’s no one else in the house to pester me.
Naomi – In colder weather I like to read rugged-up in bed, with a hot chocolate on the bedside table – or in a nice warm bath (obviously not with library books or my e-reader!).
Bec – My favourite place to read during the warmer weather is on the veranda on our sun chair & on my beanbag with a blanket in the winter.
Alison likes read lying on the floor in front of the fire (in winter, that is)
Can’t believe I hdn’t thought of hot chocolate! – HC