Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Favourites from Pat

Our "Pat's Picks from 2013" post proved so popular Pat has given us an extended list complete with star ratings. Once again I have highlighted titles you can access freely as eBooks from our eCollections. For assistance with eBooks call 4974 5340 or see our help sheets.

The amateur science of love Craig Sherborne ***1/2
Blackout and All Clear (e) Connie Willis ****
The troubled man Henning Mankell ***
The unknown terrorist Richard Flanagan ***1/2
Wanting  Richard Flanagan ****
People of the book Geraldine Brooks ****1/2
Millenium trilogy (e) Stieg Larrson***** (all 3 books)
The beauty of humanity movement Camilla Gibb ***
Whispering Death (e) Gary Disher ****
The Blasphemer Nigel Farndale ****
Flock Lyn Hughes ***
Exposed Liza Marklund ***
End of the wasp season Denise Mina ****
One summer David Baldacci **1/2
The school of essential ingredients Erica Bauemeister ****
The revisionist Thomas Mullen ****
The hand that trembles Kjell Eriksson **1/2
The secret river Kate Grenville ***1/3
The colour of tea Hamnah Tunnicliffe **1/2
The keeper of lost causes Jussi Adler-Olsen ****
The dovekeepers Alice Hoffman *****
The vault Ruth Rendell ****
Still riding on the storm Robert E Barrett ****
A room full of bones Elly Griffiths ***1/2
Before ever after Samantha Sotto ***1/2
All that I am Anna Funder **** 1/2
The fine colour of rust P.A O'Rielly ****
The Key Simon Toyne ***1/2
The woman who went to bed for a year Sue Townsend ****
The best exotic Marigold Hotel Deborah Maggoch ***
Zero Option (e) David Rollins ****
The killing (e)  David Hewson ****1/2
The light between oceans M L Stedman****1/2
The Boundary (e) Nicole Watson ***
The midnight promise (e) Zane Lovitt ****
All my enemies (e) Barry Maitland ***1/2
The first cut Ali Knight ****
The casual vacancy J K Rowling *
The tour Denise Scott ***
Port Villa Blues Gary Disher ***1/2
Bill the Bastard Roland Perry ****
Habits of the house Fay Weldon ****
Two Brothers Ben Elton ****1/2
Munster's case (e) Hakan Nesser ***1/2

The laughing clowns William MacGinnes ****

Friday, January 17, 2014

Seven Flowers and How They Shaped the World by Jennifer Potter

I believe I have stumbled upon both a book and an author who is going to send me off reading at tangents for some time to come. Jennifer Potter writes fiction and non-fiction - I want to track down everything she has written. One of Jennifer's previous works was The Rose - a result of five years tracking "the rose's evolution as a flower and as an idea, struck by how central it has been to so many cultures." She concluded that "who you are dictates how you see the rose; and that each age and each society has reinvented the rose in its own image. Through the rose we tell our stories, both personal and collective... if the rose can do this, what about other flowers?" Her new book looks at the lotus, lily, sunflower, opium poppy, rose, tulip and orchid - untangling the botanical and cultural evolution of each one - "Here are the flowers of healing, delirium and death; of purity and passion; of greed,envy and virtue; of hope and consolation; of the beauty that drives men wild."

Classic line: "I remember a field of sunflowers ... deep in rural France. Whenever you stepped outside you felt they were watching you. 'Do you know what faces they have?' asked the painter Edward Burre-Jones, 'how they peep and peer, and look arch and winning, or bold and a little insolent sometimes?' Some people find this creepy: 'They got Van Gogh and now they're after you ..." pg 99

Seven flowers.. is available from the library as an eBook and can be accessed via our EBL Collection.

Published in 2013 by Atlantic Books, this title will appeal to lovers of words, flowers and history. And if you enjoy this you may want to read The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, reviewed by Natasha on this blog in 2012.

As a special treat you could follow up some of our other titles, including The Language of Flowers, illustrated by Kate Greenaway, published in 1940. It's a little gem from our stack, or "the vaults" as we sometimes say. Being such an old book, it is not for loan but can be viewed by request - just phone 4974 5340, or drop into the Information & Research Centre on the First Floor at Newcastle Library.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

December Diversion - Summer of '63

Library staff in '60s apparell
To some, it was history; to others, it was a mystery. 1963 was a year of momentous change. Kennedy died, Tim Tams appeared on the shelves, Dr Who whirled onto our screens, The Beatles and Bob Dylan hit the music scene.

Wallsend District Library's annual December Diversion celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Summer of '63, with lots of colour and laughter. With the tables decorated with leis, beach buckets filled with Minties and Fantales, and placemats made by staff members, 40 people gathered to test their memories of all manner of things from the 1960s.

The room decorations
Photo courtesy of Linda

Photos by Ron Morrison graced the walls, from the Local Studies Collection. Dresses from the era were on display, along with an impressive picnic set, a 50 year old teddy bear, and other quintessentially '60s items.

Picnic set, in pristine condition
Photo courtesy of Linda
Our writing competition (I didn't have a yellow polka dot bikini, but I did have...) attracted some very interesting entries, including nudists, but the clear winner was a touching story of young romance.

For those wishing to further indulge their nostalgia, there is a fantastic exhibition at the Lovett Gallery until Saturday 8th February 2014: Those were the days - Australia in the sixties