Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Natasha's picks for November/December 2012

Welcome to one of our NEW regular posts on The Book Crowd!

Every second month one of our staff will share some books that have delighted and intrigued them and you, our dear reader, may discover something new...

Gaysia :  Adventures in the Queer East by Benjamin Law
In his second book Ben takes on a journey to find out what it is like to be LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) in countries throughout Asia. This is a fascinating and enlightening read, taking me from tears to laughter from one line to the next. Ben has a wonderful way of capturing personality and emotions in his writing and you really feel the personal experience in each story. From Ladyboy beauty pageants in Thailand to sham marriage social network sites in China to heartbreaking stories of people who simply want to be themselves without shame and persecution from their families and culture. This is a wonderful read and another brilliant piece from one of my favourite writers.

For more information about Ben, this book and his writing visit his website:

The end of your life book club by Will Schwalbe
This is the wonderful and moving story of Will and his mother Margaret, her battle with cancer, their love of books and their connection through reading and all the knowledge, inspiration and courage it can give us in life. Each time Margaret goes for chemotherapy treatment, Will comes with her and they end up discussing a great many things but most often it is based around the question 'What are you reading?'. Eventually, as Margaret's treatments continue they start to pick the same books to read and use these strange and difficult blocks of time together to discuss them like a book club. I am still reading it and it is lovely...

The Convent by Maureen McCarthy
Maureen McCarthy has been a favourite of mine since I was in my teens. Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude has seen me through countless rainy days and tension filled Easter long weekends! So of course I had to check out her latest YA novel The Convent. This story is based around Peach, a young girl who is taken on a journey of self-discovery when she starts working at a cafe in the Abbotsford Convent. Here she uncovers family secrets and is challenged in ways she never imagined. I confess that I have only just started reading this but I know it will be delightful and very soon it shall consume me completely as Maureen's books always tend to do. I urge anyone to read Maureen McCarthy's writing, remember young adult books are not just for young adults and these days they are some of the best reads out there.

This book is available as an EBL eBook. You can search for it and other wonderful eBooks below:

For an interesting discussion about Young Adult fiction watch this wonderful special episode from Jennifer Byrne of The First Tuesday Book club Jennifer Byrne Presents: The Harry Games here

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

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