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

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