Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pat's Picks from 2013

Today we are letting you in on a little secret. Pat, our lovely Branch Manager at City Library is a great source of book recommendations. Pat has shared her reading list for 2013, complete with star ratings. I concur with Pat's ratings for The Dunbar Case, Roll With It and The Rosie Project (my favourite of them all!). I'll have to catch up on the rest of the titles.

I've highlighted the titles you can borrow as eBooks from our eCollections. Happy Reading!

Gold Digger    Francis Fyfield ***1/2
The Dunbar case (e)    Peter Corris ****
The Killing 2    David Hewson ****1/2
After wife    Polly Williams ***1/2
Gone girl (e)    Gillian Flynn ***1/2
Bay of fires    Poppy Gee ***1/2
Dead mans land    Robert Ryan ****
Dead girl sing    Tony Cavanaugh ***
A dying fall (e)   Elly Griffiths ***1/2
Cold Red sunrise (e)    Stuart M. Kaminsky ***
Roll with it  (e)  Nick Place ****
The holiday murders (e)   Robert Gott ***1/2
Life, death and vanilla slices    Jenny Eclair ****
Elemental    Amanda Curtin ****
The Rosie project (e)    Graeme Simson ****
The golden calf    Helene Tursten **1/2
Long live the king    Fay Weldon ***1/2
The twelfth department    William Ryan ***1/2
Three graves full    Jamie Mason ***
The cuckoo's calling    Robert Galbraith ***1/2
The red road    Denise Mina ***1/2
The ways of the world    Robert Goddard ***
Standing in another mans grave    Ian Rankin ***1/2
Getting warmer    Alan Carter****
The curiosity    Stephen P Kiernan ***1/2
The ravens eye (e)   Barry Maitland ***1/2
The humans    Matt Haig ***1/2
Night film    Marisha Pessl ****
Fallout    Gary Disher ****
Mr Chen's emporium    Deborah O'Brien ***
My brilliant friend     Elena Ferrante ***1/2
Stasiland  Anna Funder ****1/2
The all-girl filling station's reunion  Fannie Flagg ****

Silent kill    Peter Corris ***1/2

 Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.http://library.ncc.nsw.gov.au:2061/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1105052

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Joining the Shelfie Trend

A few days ago The Guardian told readers to "forget selfies, we want to see your shelfies". We thought we'd join the trend and share a "shelfie" of the reservation shelf at the Information & Research Centre.

To see other people's shelfies search #shelfie in twitter or take a look at the Guardian. Happy reading!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Zinio Magazines now at Newcastle Region Library

Library members can now browse, read and download our collection of digital magazines - anywhere, anytime, with no limits.This means, no holds waiting list, no due date, no limit on the number of issues checked out and you get to keep the e-Magazine for as long as you wish.

Members can choose from over 160 titles including Gardening Australia, Rolling Stone, Peppermint, Total Film, Inked, Yen, Esquire, GQ Style, FineScale Modeler, Homespun and Manspace Magazine.

See the Zinio help page which has FAQs, a user guide, an email for Zinio technical support and a link to a step-by-step tutorial video. 

A copy of the ‘Zinio user guide’ is available under the e-Magazines section of our Help Sheets page.

Zinio will only work to its full capacity or possibly at all on Internet Explorer 9 or higher, and it is advisable –whatever browser you are using- to use the latest version.

For assistance call the library staff on 02 4974 5340.

Monday, December 02, 2013

December/January Good Reading Magazine

The December/January issue of gr is live! Read the chat with historical author Deborah Challinor about convict girls and her new novel, Girl of Shadows. gr also talks to illustrator Robert Ingpen about Looking for Clancy, his new book that explores the myth of Banjo Paterson's 'Clancy of the Overflow'.

Get to know more about trouble-making authors who spent time in jail, debate the pros and cons of e-books, find out about famous phrases that originated from verse, exercise your mind with medieval puzzles and read about words that the English language didn't know it lacked in After Liff

For help with library eResources contact staff on 4974 5340.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Levels of life by Julian Barnes

A review by Jessica Birchall

I read The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes last year. I can’t tell you what it was about (I have a memory like a goldfish) but I remember enjoying it immensely. The writing is very considered and sparse but very beautiful. His work is what writing should be.

On the back cover of this book is what looks like a normal author profile but this one gives us so much more. There is a photograph of Barnes and his blurb says that he is the author of twenty books and he met his wife in 1978. Below is a photograph of Barnes’ wife, Pat Kavanagh, a literary agent and her blurb says that they married in 1979. It also says that she dies in 2008. You immediately know you are in for a very personal story.

This novel is divided into three parts. It begins by exploring man’s obsession with flight and its invention of ballooning as a way to discover the freedom of the sky. This sport gave adventurers the freedom and the danger of being at the mercy of the elements. We are introduced to some of the characters that were involved (obsessed) with ballooning.

The second part of the novel relates the story of Fred Burnaby (not Barnaby), an enthusiastic ballooner and his brief relationship with Sarah Bernhardt, the actress. Bernhardt has bohemian ideals (“I shall love you for as long as I shall love you”) and is on an adventure herself, continually seeking pleasure. Burnaby wants permanence and ultimately leaves with a broken heart. This grief (I use this word deliberately, as you will see) follows him for the rest of his life.

The third part of the novel is from the author’s personal point of view as he describes his torment and grief on the death of his wife. This is heavy stuff. Barnes grapples with the construct of grief: does it leave, does it diminish, should it diminish, does the level of intensity indicate the depth of the relationship, “It hurts exactly as much as it is worth.” Barnes also discusses his frustration and other people’s discomfort when he mentions his wife’s name as if they want her and his grief to simply disappear.

The three parts are woven together with the common theme of love and grief of losing that love. It is an exquisite book that is as delicate and sensitive as the subject matter.

Publisher: Random House, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

November gr Highlights

The November issue of gr is live!  It is free for members of Newcastle Region Library to read. Join gr this month as they chat to writing duo Alan Gold and Mike Jones about their new historical thriller, Bloodline. Read about Sulari Gentill and why she's a story magnet and her new 'Rowland Sinclair' novel.

Take a tour of one of the world's most famous addresses, 221B Baker Street; find the perfect book this Christmas with the gr gift guide; discover the last words of famous authors; read about the charms of Naples; sneak a peek at some of history's most beautiful manuscripts and take the gr quiz on moustachioed writers for Movember

For assistance call library staff on 4974 5340.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The kings and queens of Roam by Daniel Wallace

A review by Jessica Birchall

Anyone remember the movie Big Fish? Tim Burton, Ewan McGregor with a bad Southern accent and Helena Bonham Carter being a freaky witch for a change? Yeah I don’t either. Fantasy with no explanation, legends and folklore with no basis or charm and no real plot. A bit hit or miss. My point? The film was based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and The Kings and Queens of Roam is his latest offering.

It bears the same characteristics, a mysterious small town and the battle between good and evil. This time the battle is between two sisters – one beautiful, innocent and blind (Rachel) and the other ugly enough to buckle railroad tracks (Helen). The homely Helen looks after beautiful blind Rachel in the cruellest way possible. She lies to her about the world around her – she tells her it is a terrible, dangerous place. She also swaps faces with Rachel, telling her that she is the ugly one and that beautiful Helen has sacrificed her happy life to look after Rachel. They both depend on each other to survive. Rachel needs Helen to protect her against Helen’s hideous imagined world and Helen needs Rachel so she can be everything she wants to be – beautiful and needed.

Of course things can never stay the same and Rachel leaves Roam so Helen can have a life on her own. On her own adventure, she discovers that Helen has not been entire truthful to her and she begins to think about revenge.

While the story focuses on the sisters, it also has some great peripheral characters: the lumberjack who has lost his one true love and a very short bartender are some of the kooky residents of Roam that flesh out the book. The author takes us back and forth from the present to the disturbing origins of the town of Roam and another village that is linked to the past. At the end of everyone’s adventures we all discover that we must go back to the beginning – home.

The novel has a nice fairy-tale feel with good, evil, redemption and forgiveness themes throughout. It does end abruptly after the two sisters duke it out which made it a bit anti-climatic but it’s not a bad read. It doesn’t, however, make me want to search for Big Fish or another of Daniel Wallace’s books.

Publisher: Touchstone, 2013

 Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The borrower by Rebecca Makkai

A review by Jessica Birchall 

How many books have you read where the protagonist is a librarian?



 How about a children’s librarian that kidnaps a child? Now, we’re talking!

Ok, so naturally I’m biased towards this one but trust me when I say – it rules. Clever, funny and tragic, ‘The Borrower’ is the debut novel from Rebecca Makkai, a short story writer whose work has featured in several American publications. The novel revolves around the relationship between a children’s librarian and a 10 year old boy whose parents have enrolled him in anti-gay classes favoured by religious fanatics. The boy sees the library as a refuge and the librarian sneaks him books that do not have “the breath of God in them.” When she discovers him sleeping in the library they decide to go on a road trip. Technically it’s kidnapping but Makkai’s characterisation of the relationship between the librarian and the boy ensures us that the child is safe throughout the journey.

The writing is simple, sweet and dotted with clues and literary references to satisfy nostalgic readers. Makkai has a gift for prose and there is a humorous running gag of misheard words throughout the novel: “Had you expected Jesus in a tart?” I found myself relishing the book and did not want it to end. Maybe I enjoyed the fact that the librarian was 26, had a boyfriend and seemed like someone I would be friends with rather than a sour old spinster in a twin set as portrayed in other books.

Long live librarians!

Publisher: Viking Adult, 2011

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton

A review by Jessica Birchall

Now I know the title for this sounds super boring but I urge you to search for one of Alain de Botton’s books if you haven’t read his stuff before. I love him because he is a kind of contemporary philosopher that discusses the idea of modern living through his books. I think his best work is The Consolations of Philosophy because it is a broad view of complex philosophers, their ideas and how we can relate them to our modern ideals of love, happiness, pessimism etc.

In Religion for Atheists de Botton discusses the idea of taking the best parts of a religion and using them for ourselves because what really matters? How you worship or whether or not you were a decent person? De Botton takes us through the idea of community, kindness, education, pessimism, art and architecture and how the better and non-corrupt aspects of religion can help us improve our lives. His chapter on art and architecture, for example, explains how we can still appreciate religious iconography and the beauty of a grand Catholic church and gain solace from these items without attaching the religious dogma normally associated with such items.

De Botton also humorously gives an alternative for our institutions that have lost their way. Fancy a more practical university degree? De Botton discusses John Stuart Mills idea that universities are “...not to make skilful lawyers, physicians or engineers. It is to make capable and cultivated human beings.” Why not teach students how to deal with the emotional impact of love or how to leave the world happier than we found it?

De Botton has the ability to take complex ideas and make them not only simple to read but interesting. There is also a subtle and sweet humour to his work that is endearing and made me search high and low for this book.

Publisher: Hamish Hamilton, 2012

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Monday, July 29, 2013

August Highlights from Good Reading

Welcome to the August issue of gr! Join us this month as we chat with Australian writer Michael Duffy about Drive By, his gritty new crime novel set in gangland Sydney. In this Love2Read issue, check out the importance of reading aloud and why young people still love libraries.

Read about nude novelists, grab your pen and circle presents for Dad in the Fathers' Day Sports Guide, discover books guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye, browse the best eateries with a literary flair, brush up on your famous pen-names and take a trip to the towering summit of Mt Everest.

Good Reading is available online to members of Newcastle Region Library for free. If you need help accessing the site call our staff on 4974 5340.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail

If 'The boy in the stripped pyjamas' left you gasping, then 'The wrong boy' will have you in tears.
From the opening sentence ...They came at midnight, splintering the silence with their fists, pounding at the door until Father let them in... you are taken into the world of Hanna and her family. From the Warsaw ghetto to Auschwitz, this is a heartbreaking tale of a young Jewish girl and her family.

But it is also a story with a more unusual twist where Hanna learns that all Germans are not unfeeling Jew haters. These sparks of goodness in the novel save Hanna, and leave the reader pondering the nature of hate.

Deservedly short listed in the CBCA awards.

Highly recommended for 13-16 year olds.

Category: Young Adult Fiction

Publisher: Black Dog Books, 2012

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

A review of Neil Gaiman’s first adult novel since Anansi Boys; a short and dark tale, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Do you ever recall memories of your childhood so fantastical, so awful, so magnificent that you stop a moment and think, “No! I’ve made that up! It can’t possibly be real! Maybe it never happened; I’ve just imagined it did…”

Because when you are little you know everything, you can see fairies and monsters, you can even fly, and you know so many wonderful things, so many terrible secrets… When you grow up, you forget them all, you can’t fly anymore and the monsters lurking in the shadows aren’t really there…or are they?

A man feeling lost after a funeral finds himself driving back to where he grew up. To the lane, to the farmhouse of the Hempstocks and he starts to remember, to remember everything; when he was seven, when a kitten might save your life, a duck pond might be an ocean, monsters might make your dinner, greed and death might wake ancient creatures from another world and the old lady down the lane may have been present at the Big Bang or even preceded it.

This was an absolutely marvellous story, fast and enthralling, a story I didn’t want to end and a memory I didn’t want to fade or if it must fade then I am glad that I can come back to it sometimes and remember it all, every heart stopping moment, every breath taking delight, every secret of every world that ever was, with a large cup of tea and a kitten to keep me company and maybe even keep me safe….

Category: Adult fiction

Publisher: Headline Review 2013

 Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan

Clay Jannon, 26 and newly employed as a night clerk in a rather odd 24-hour book store, finds himself on a literary and technological adventure. He is determined to solve the "Founder's Puzzle" and its deeper implications.  The story revolves around the quest to explore "Old Knowledge" (stored in books), "Traditional Knowledge" (stored in people's heads) and the internet.  If you are looking for something a little bit different this is the book for you.

Category: Really funny adult fiction for book lovers and technophiles.

Who'll want to read it? Anyone who works in book stores or libraries and those convinced there are timeless secrets and mysteries lurking within them.

Classic line: "He nodded at me and gave me a weak wave. 'What do you seek in these shelves?'
That was a good line and for some reason it made me feel comfortable. I asked, 'Am I speaking to Mr Penumbra?'
'I am Penumbra' - he nodded - 'and I am the custodian of this place.'
I didn't quite realise I was going to say it until I did: 'I'm looking for a job'. pg 13.

Publisher: The Text Publishing Company, 2012

Find the eBook in our EBL Collection:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Python by Christopher Cheng & Mark Jackson

This beautiful picture book has deservedly been shortlisted for this year's Children's Book Week awards. A story with a difference, the life of a jeweled python in the Australian bush is presented as a picture book story with additional snippets of factual information curled around the illustrations. 

The illustrations are vibrant, emotive and with just the right amount of hidden details to spark wonderful discussions. 

Python is sure to be a favourite with children who love learning about animals, but also reads beautifully as a story to share during story times. A real delight!

Category: Junior non-fiction/picture book

Suitable for:  3-8 years

Publisher: Walker Books 2012

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Pennies for Hitler by Jackie French

Jackie French's latest offering is heart wrenching. With characters that you just want to meet, there's young English/German Georg, smuggled out of Germany in 1938 and later evacuated with a boat load of other children to Australia. Mr & Mrs Peaslake, Georg's Australian foster parents who provide a glimpse of war resilience in the face of hardship and uncertainty, and Georg's best friend 'Spud' with her fierce desire to succeed now that her brothers are away fighting.

I loved this book. Not only is the story captivating, but it also provides glimpses at a little known part of Australia's wartime effort. Pennies for Hitler is shortlisted in this year's Children's Book Council of Australia awards.

Category: Junior Fiction

Who'll want to read it?  Perfect for 12-15 year olds.

Publisher: Harper Collins 2012

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Forgotten Pearl by Belinda Murrell

For lovers of historical fiction, this novel provides suspense, war and a little known part of Australian history, all rolled into one very appealing package. Set during the bombing of Darwin, readers become involved in the lives of those fleeing south, those staying to defend and the Japanese/Australians who had called Darwin home. Told through the eyes of 13 year old Poppy you'll meet Edward, her brother who becomes a POW in Changi; Lilly who dies with her whole family in the bombing of Darwin and Shinji, born in Australia but interned in a prison camp during the war.  

Category: Junior Fiction

Who'll want to read it? Perfect for 11-13 year olds, particularly girls

This highly recommended book is written by the sister of well known author Kate Forsyth.  

Publisher: Random House, 2012

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Carter's Price Guide to Antiques

You can now read Carter's Price Guide to Antiques online. This service is available to all members of Newcastle Region Library - just use your membership number and start searching.

Newcastle Region Library branches include City, Adamstown, Berefield, Dungog, Gloucester, Hamilton, Lambton, Mayfield, New Lambton, Raymond Terrace, Stockton, Tomaree and Wallsend.

If you need help with the guide please call
library staff on 02 4974 5340.

Carter's Price Guides to Antiques and Collectables

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Graphic Novels @ your library

 Our graphic novel collection is always growing and evolving to include new and classic manga, comics, graphic novels and picture books for all ages. Here is a small selection of what's new this month with a snappy single sentence sum up!


Kick-Ass 2 by Mark Millar & John Romita Jr
A straight-forward sequel, with everything you've come to expect from the kids who dare to live their superhero fantasies.

Alice in the Country of Clover : Cheshire Cat Waltz vol. 2-3 by Quinrose & Mamenosuke Fujimaru
Alice continues her journey deeper into Wonderland & works on her relationship with the Chesire Cat...a new take on a classic story.

Superman Earth One vol. 2 by J. Michael Straczynski & Shane Davis
"With great power, comes great responsibility"...wait isn't that from Spider-Man?!?...anyway...the world's greatest superhero finds out the realities of the job, love & of course, a super villian, excellent!

Star Wars : The Crimson Empire Saga by Paul Gulacy, P. Craig Russell, Mike Richardson, & Randy Stradley
If you were the last man standing from Emperor Palpatine's Royal Guard what would you do? Here lies the story of Kir Kanos, with everything you love about Star Wars & so much more.

The Sigh by Marjane Satrapi
A merchant's daughter, a blue seed, a promise, a bargain...be careful what you wish for, every debt must be paid & every gift has its price.

Spider-Men by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli
A Spider-Man event like no other, when Spider-Man comes face to face with...Spider-Man! Can Peter & Miles work together to defeat the master of illusions, Mysterio?

Bakuman vol. 15-17 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata
Finally success in the world of manga has arrived for Takagi & Mashiro, but at what cost?

These titles and more can be found on our online catalogue and are available for request now!

HINT: If you are having trouble finding graphic novels on the catalogue, do a 'Power Search' and select 'Graphic Novels' in 'Item Category1'. This will give you a list of all graphic novels in Newcastle Region Library's collection. You can also limit in a Power Search by the year published, author, series, library etc.

Can't find anything you like?

Let us know what YOU want to see in your library's graphic novel collection,
complete an online Purchase Suggestion form here

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Amber Amulet by Craig Silvey a review by The Bookchook

Another wonderful review by The Bookchook, this time of Craig Silvey's latest title, The Amber Amulet.

Dear Ma'am,

Please find enclosed this AMBER AMULET. It will protect you from sadness.
That must sound unusual to a citizen, but you will have to trust me on this count because the science is too detailed for me to outline here. All you need to know is that the AMBER AMULET will eliminate your unhappiness by counteracting it with POSITIVE ENERGY.

Fear not, you're in safe hands now,
Take care,
The Masked Avenger.

The Masked Avenger is the secret identity of twelve-year old Liam MacKenzie. The Masked Avenger derives his powers by harnessing the dormant energy embedded within everyday objects that other citizens overlook. The powers that lay in certain gemstones and minerals can be used for both good and evil and only the Masked Avenger knows how to unlock their properties. Wearing his green supersuit, featuring his Amazing Powerbelt, and accompanied by his Partner in Justice, Richie the Powerbeagle, who is turned out in a monogrammed tartan Thunderjacket, the Masked Avenger patrols peaceful, suburban Franklin Street. He performs various good deeds, from tending to faulty sprinklers and low tyre pressure, ever vigilant for chaos and mayhem. But now the Masked Avenger faces his greatest mission yet - solving the unhappiness of the beautiful neighbour at the end of the street.

As I began reading this novella, I was tempted to stop as I thought it was another boys' own adventure. However, I was soon enthralled by this tale of honesty and truth, of facing our fears openly and having the courage to unlock our feelings. There is a sadness here, for both the Masked Avenger and his “citizens”, as well as a gentle humour. Liam longs to create “an enormous invisible skull that repels all Evil and traps tranquillity.” In seeking to protect and shield the inhabitants of Franklin Street, Liam also exposes their fears and gives them the energy to defeat them.

The Amber Amulet is a visual delight. Part of the joy of reading it lies in the physicality of the book. It is a lovely size and the thick glossy pages are a pleasure to turn. The book is illustrated throughout by Sonia Martinez, with scrapbook-style pictures and handwritten notes by Liam. This reflects the comic books of the 1940s, when superheroes fought the good fight against the forces of evil.

The Amber Amulet is an unusual short read. The author, Craig Silvey, has been the recipent of many awards, winning the Australian Book Industry Award in 2010 for Book of the Year. Liam's efforts to make sense of a world he doesn't fully understand, and the search for truth and justice, are rewards for us all. A gem.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2012

This book is available as an eBook through our EBL eBook collection, login with your library barcode no. and PIN to access this collection here OR you can get the print version from your local library branch.

 Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Get Ready to Celebrate Irish Writing

It's never too early - this month gr magazine are celebrating all things Irish ahead of St Patrick's Day.

gr favourite Cathy Kelly tells readers about her chicken-whispering skills and her nervousness about creating her first Australian character in her new book, The Honey Queen. gr also chats to Irish author Patricia Scanlan about hairy chests and rusty cars and to Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue about her new short story collection.

 Get crafty with Eliza Muldoon, read tales of murder and mutiny in Shipwrecks of Australia's West Coast, immerse yourself in your favourite poetic verse, take the quiz on trusty literary sidekicks and discover buildings from the past that have been given a modern twist.

Members of Newcastle Region Library have free access gr online via our website.
If you need assistance call the library staff on 02 4974 5340.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

"Who Could That Be At This Hour?" by Lemony Snicket

Lemony Snicket returns to tell another tale in his fantastic new series, All the Wrong Questions, a detective story featuring a 12 year old Snicket, apprentice to a fairly rude and large haired woman, S. Theodora Markson, asking a lot of wrong questions and providing a lot of great giggles along the way...

Who'll want to read it? Anyone who likes mysteries, sarcasm, dictionary-themed humour, strange towns and wrong questions.

Point of no return: 
In the second paragraph of Chapter One "The food at the Hemlock was too awful to eat, particularly the eggs, which are probably the worst eggs in the entire city, including those on exhibit at the Museum of Bad Breakfast, where visitors can learn just how badly eggs can be prepared."

Classic line: "They say in every library there is a single book that can answer the question that burns like a fire in the mind" - quote from Dashiell Qwerty Sub-Librarian of Stain'd-by-the-Sea library

What's it all about?
12 year old Snicket is whisked away on an unexpected adventure -he was expecting a different adventure all together- to the odd town of Stain'd-by-the-Sea to solve a mystery. There is a Bombinating Beast, a Sub-Librarian, a forest of seaweed and a lot of questions.

I have only just begun my adventure with Snicket on his curious apprenticeship, but I feel already we shall be great friends, that we shall ask many wrong questions and may never get answers to any of them and that I simply can't wait for my lunch break so I might emerse myself in his world once more...

Category: Fiction - Detective Story - Wonderful reads. I refuse to simply categorise this as a children's book. It is awesome and doesn't deserve pigeon-holing! So there!

Series: All the Wrong Questions vol. 1

Publisher: Hardie Grant Pub Pty Ltd

Publication Date: 2012

This title is available for download as an eBook through our new Baker & Taylor 'Axis 360' collection here

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Holiday Reading - eBooks for Kids

Too hot to visit the library? If you are a member of any of the branches of Newcastle Region Library you can borrow these eBooks at home. Here are just a few of the titles being borrowed this Summer:

Hatched: The Grimstones by Asphyxia

Artemis Fowl: the Ultimate Quiz Book by Frankie Taylor and Jack Goldstein

The Tunnels of Tarcoola by Jennifer Walsh

The Night before Mother's Day by Doug MacLeod

Raven's Mountain by Wendy Orr

Rainbow Street Pets by Wendy Orr

Little Else: On the Run by Julie Hunt

Phyllis Wong and The Forgotten Secrets of My Okyoto by Geoffrey McSkimming

Vinnie's War by David McRobbie

The Storymaze series by Terry Denton

Naughty Stories : That Dirty Dog & Other Naughty Stories for Good Girls and Boys by Christopher Milne

Mr Badger and the Difficult Duchess by Leigh Hobbs

Moonstone Promise by Karen Wood

Darius Bell and the Crystal Bees by Odo Hirsch

NeverSeconds: the Incredible Story of Martha Payne by Martha and Dave Payne

101 Drama Games for children :  Fun and Learning with Acting and Make-believe by Paul Rooyackers and Cecilia Bowman

To borrow these books visit EBL or use the search box below. You will need your library card number and PIN. Contact staff on 4974 5340 if you need help.

For eAudiobooks, eMusic and more visit our eCollections page.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman a review by The Bookchook

The Light Between Oceans  is  a beautifully written novel that tells the story of right and wrong and how sometimes they look the same. It is the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one choice that will ultimately impact on the lives of many others.

In 1918, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia after having survived the horrors of the Western Front. He takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock, off the coast of south-western WA. Tom brings his young wife, Isabel, to the island and their life together seems charmed. Three years later, after two miscarriages and one still-birth, Isabel is tending the grave of her newly lost baby when a small boat drifts ashore, carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Against Tom's judgement, they claim the baby as their own and name her Lucy. A rift between Tom and Isabel grows as Tom struggles with the decision they made. When Lucy is two, they return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world and one of them is desperate to find her lost baby.

The Light Between Oceans is filled with mesmerising images such as the following extract about the death of the town's children -

"The town's cemetary had always recorded this truthfully, and its headstones, some lolling like loose, grimy teeth, told frankly the stories of lives taken early by influenza and drownings, by timber whims and even lightning strikes. But in 1915, it began to lie. Boys and men from across the district were dying by the score, yet the graveywards said nothing."

It also tells of a life 'on the lights' and the dedication and commitment of the lighthouse keeper.

The Light Between Oceans is written with great compassion - all the characters are essentially good people put in an impossible situation. It deals with a complex moral dilemma that leads one to question what is really right and wrong.

The Light Between Oceans was the subject of a nine-way publisher auction in the UK and international rights in seventeen territories. It is a brilliant debut novel for M.L. Stedman and I highly recommend it. But be warned, you may need a few tissues on hand as you read this compelling and beautiful work.

Publication Date: 2012

Publisher: Vintage (Australia)
Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.