Reading Rewards - reviews

Manuscript found in Accra

"‘Speak to us..,’ the people call again and again of the Copt. And so the wise man of the city of Jerusalem speaks on the topics they set in the hours before they will all fall at the hands of the Crusaders."
The author creates a premise of a manuscript left undiscovered for 700 years that is found and shared with the world. Though it is a fictional premise it is written as though fact in the introduction of the book.
The people ask the wise man to speak on topics related and seemingly unrelated to the invasion they await, being more an opportunity to reflect upon the questions of life rather than to find some resolution in them.
The topics range from defeat and solitude, beauty, love, sex, elegance, luck and the future. The Copt reflects on each in a sense of spiritual philosophy and gives the answers as he knows them.
The book is very easy to read and takes little time to finish. Some of the images and ideas are very beautiful and clear, while others are less so. Manuscriptfound in Accra, is essentially a dialogue between a philosophical author and his audience; we the reader.
As in many of his other books, Coelho has the talent to make the world appear a much bigger and more beautiful place in all its mystery. There were words written in this book that spoke directly to me and I would expect that anyone with similar philosophical questions, could find on some level the same.
However there were also passages that I found too obscure. The entire chapter on uselessness felt ironically clumsy in its expression and the one on elegance quite irrelevant to the story.
I did not feel that the topics linked as well as they might have but enjoyed greatly the discussion of them and the new ideas to take away with me. This is the gift of Coelho, that he gives a new way to see the world that may lead to new questions of your own and new answers. Sound obscurely philosophical? Well, just ask Copt.
~ Sam

Author Event - Julia Quinn

Award-winning Regency Romance Writer, Julia Quinn, is heading downunder next month.  
 
The American best-selling author is keynote speaker for the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Fremantle, and has agreed to do two events, one in Melbourne, one in Sydney, for the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA).
Julia's Melbourne appearance will be on Monday 19 August at the QV Women's Centre, 210 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne from 5-7pm, where she will chat about her work, hold a Q&A session and follow up with book signing and sales with Rendezvous Books.  
There is an entry charge of $6 but if you're an ARRA member, it's free.  Light refreshments will be served.  Bookings are essential at http://australianromancereaders.wordpress.com/jq-event/
Deb

World's strongest librarian


I came across The World's Strongest Librarian when reading one of the many book/reading related blogs I follow, and it sounded interesting. Immediately went to request it and found it already on order!

It doesn't matter if you do not work at a library, in fact you may look at us in a totally different light once you read some of the situations presented in this book. 

Josh Hanagarne couldn’t be invisible if he tried. Although he wouldn’t officially be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome until his freshman year of high school, Josh was six years old and onstage in a school Thanksgiving play when he first began exhibiting symptoms. By the time he was twenty, the young Mormon had reached his towering adult height of 6’7” when—while serving on a mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints—his Tourette’s tics escalated to nightmarish levels. Determined to conquer his affliction, Josh underwent everything from quack remedies to lethargy-inducing drug regimes to Botox injections that paralyzed his vocal cords and left him voiceless for three years. Undeterred, Josh persevered to marry and earn a degree in Library Science. 

Today, Josh is a librarian in the main branch of Salt Lake City’s public library and founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting—and the proud father of four-year-old Max, who has already started to show his own symptoms of Tourette’s. 

The World’s Strongest Librarian illuminates the mysteries of this little-understood disorder, as well as the very different worlds of strongman training and modern libraries. With humor and candor, this unlikely hero traces his journey to overcome his disability— and navigate his wavering Mormon faith—to find love and create a life worth living. 

This book is written in two narratives, one being his experiences working in a public library, and the other is his story from birth to present and his struggles with his faith and condition which he eventually controls through weightlifting! 

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and apart from the library stuff, it is a great story about life against the odds!! 
~ Janine K

Kokoda


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Kokoda by Peter FitzSimons    a Bolinda e-audiobook narrated by: Lewis Fitz-Gerald
From the cover: For Australians, Kokoda is the iconic battle of World War II, yet few people know the names of the men who fought on the track, or even the details of what happened. More Australians died in the months of fighting in Papua than in any other campaign of World War II.  Now bestselling author Peter FitzSimons tells the Kokoda story in a gripping, and moving, style for all Australians. Kokoda was a defining battle for Australia, where a small force of young, ill-equipped Australians engaged a highly experienced and hitherto unstoppable Japanese force on a narrow, precarious jungle track. Again and again, the outnumbered Australians risked everything to stop the Japanese from advancing along the track towards mainland Australia. Kokoda is a superb blend of authority and gripping storytelling history at its best.
All of the above is true.  It is gripping, this story of unimaginable hardship and horror, ineptitude at the highest military levels and gut-busting fortitude at the front.  It changed the lives of so many Australians and if I could imprison just one foul-mouthed swear-head with his jeans crotch around his knees who goes around king-hitting or glassing innocent people and thinking it fun, I would nail gun them to a chair, rip the doof doof music from their ears and force them to listen to this 17-hour reading.  That one action, in this day and age, could go totally viral and possibly change the lives of a generation, as did World War II to those young men.  A staggering story if you aren’t familiar with it and Peter FitzSimons once again proves his talents at bringing lost or forgotten history to life.  Brilliant - and should be compulsory reading for secondary students! Deb

Brodmaw Bay


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Brodmaw Bay seems to be the perfect refuge for James Greer and his family.  When his young son is the victim of a brutal mugging, Greer wants to leave London, the sooner the better, for the charming old-fashioned fishing port he has just discovered.  But was finding Brodmaw Bay more than a happy accident?  What is the connection between the village and his beautiful wife?  When his friendly new neighbours say they’d welcome some new blood – in a village where the same families seem to have lived for generations – are they telling the whole truth?  Perhaps the village isn’t so much welcoming them as luring them.  To something ancient and evil.  As it has lured others before.
Brodmaw Bay by F.G. Cottam and well narrated by David Rintoul, was thoroughly enjoyable.  It was intelligently written with characters that seem as real as your next door neighbours. The underlying creepiness is stealthy, not in your face like a lot of books, which ups the tense feeling, always a good feature!  The setting was perfect for this type of story; the pace was good too -  I couldn’t wait to get to the next CD, and before I knew it, the final chapter was upon me, dammit.  This was one that I would have been happier to be longer, a fate I usually bemoan.  Ditto for the epilogue, something that can be quite annoying in other books but perfectly right for this one.  A great find on the audiobook shelves at Cranbourne Library!  [And yes, we do have it hard copy.  For both formats, just click on the title in the opening para to go straight to the catalogue.] Deb.

Miles Franklin Winner 2013

At an event held earlier today, Wednesday 19 June 2013, at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, the Miles Franklin Literary Award was presented to Michelle de Kretser for her novel, Questions of Travel.

The Award, recognised as Australia's most prestigious, was established in 1954 through the will of My Brilliant Career author, Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin.  It is presented to the novel of the year which is judged to be of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases.  Ms de Kretser will receive $60,000 in prize money. 

From our catalogue: 
Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events. Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia. Michelle de Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of the way we live now. Wonderfully written, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination - a transformative, very funny and intensely moving novel.

Her other novels are The Lost Dog, The Hamilton Case and The Rose Grower.
Deb.

Book Chat - Emerald

Book Chat is a great time to get together over a cuppa and share what we've been reading.  The group at Emerald Library chats about all kinds of reads, from fiction to non-fiction and biographies.  Some of our staff share a few reviews from their May get-together to titillate your reading taste buds:

Night Games by Anna Krien
In this important book by award winning author Anna Krien (Into the Night) the whole kit and caboodle of sport, women, power and rape is explored. Anna has a fantastic questioning style and as such is able to see many sides of the whole complicated issue. The book follows a particular incident which happened in 2010 in which a young woman was allegedly raped by multiple AFL players. The entire court case, however, focused on the one man who was not in the AFL but was a friend of some of them. The AFL culprits were protected and the other man became a scapegoat. Anna’s writing has been compared to Helen Garner in that her “prose cuts like glass” and her legal research exhaustive. This is essential reading!  (Ali) 

Run to Me by Diane Hester
Shyler O’Neil has become a recluse after the horrific death of her son two years previously - suspected by both her husband and the police of lying because they couldn’t find the people who attacked them.  Three neglected young boys in a dysfunctional foster home witness something which makes them the target of some very evil people.  Zack, the eldest, is injured escaping and ends up at Shyler’s remote cabin.  He can’t understand why she calls him Jesse but goes along with it as he recovers.  They are both in trouble as the crooks keep coming.  This is a really good first novel - set in a beautiful wilderness area – and very hard to put down. (Dot)

The Science Fiction Universe … and beyond – Syfy Channel Book of Sci-Fi  Text by Michael Mallory
This book is a treat for those interested by this genre all the way from the classic old horror/SF authors like Edgar Allan Poe, H.G. Wells, and Jules Verne.  From the silent film monsters and early television superhero series to the continuing epics like Star Wars, Star Trek, Terminator, Avatar, Dr Who, Jurassic Park – too many to list!  It is divided into chapters covering different times and themes: ‘Early dreams and nightmares’; ‘Exploration of space’; ‘Space and relative time’; ‘Alternative times, alternative realities’; and so on.  You can dive into the various sections to follow your own particular favourites (Dr Who, Star Trek), or read it all to see how far we have travelled into the unknown future … or past.  Fascinating!  (Dot)

Ellen: A woman of spirit by Noelene Allen 
Ellen Quinn, mother of Ned Kelly, was born in Ireland in 1832 and died at 91 in Greta, Victoria.  She came to Australia with her family in 1841 as her father wished to escape the ongoing troubles in Ireland but, as this book shows, the troubles came to the new land with them.  Though some tried to leave the past behind, prejudice against the Irish was still strong and some of their behaviour reinforced these prejudices. Ellen outlived seven of her 12 children, Ned and Dan being the most notorious, but the others were equally a cause for grief and sadness.  She lost her husband Red whilst he was still quite young, and was imprisoned on trumped up charges with a newborn baby, yet never lost her fighting spirit and her capacity to endure hardship.  It is very readable – always compassionate and sympathetic to the feelings of the Kelly descendants.  (Fay)


Mateship With Birds by Carrie TiffanySet in Victoria in the 1950s, Mateship With Birds tells the story of the developing relationship between a lonely dairy farmer and a nurse who is raising two children on her own.But it also tells the story of the local flock of kookaburra family through the eyes of the dairy farmer. It has a quintessential innocence of the 1950s Australia.This book resonated with me as my sister lives in Echuca raises her children on her own and works at the local hospital. I have spent time there at her farm and amongst the birds.
This is Tiffany's second novel and it was selected for the $40,000 NSW Premier's Award.The author's success comes soon after also taking out the inaugural Stella Prize for Australian women's writing. The Stella prize for female authors is quite controversial as it was established to recompense the disparity of male winners in the Miles Franklin Award. Ironically Stella is Miles Franklin’s first name- Stella Maria Miles Franklin.Tiffany is an agricultural newspaper writer by trade and has travelled a lot in the country observing the lives of country people.This is a warm easy read, soft gentle and funny. (Sandra)

Forged with Flames by Ann Fogarty.
This is a remarkable story of survival by the woman from St Georges Rd Upper Beaconsfield on Ash Wednesday thirty years ago. On that fateful day Ann faced a wall of flames and in the process of saving her two young daughters suffered burns to 85% of her body. Ann recounts her story and long road back to life with grace and dignity. This is a story about living through hope and pain, facing your worst nightmare and staring it down. (Sandra)

** Special event:  Ann Fogarty, author of the above book, will relate her traumatic story with candour and disarming humour in person at Narre Warren Library.  Get up close and personal with this remarkable Ash Wednesday survivor on Tuesday 25 June, 7-8pm.  No cost, bookings essential at www.tinyurl.com/cclcevents or phone the library on 9704 7696.

The next Emerald Library Book Chat will be on Friday 23 August, 1.30-3pm.  No cost, no bookings necessary - why not bring some friends along?  
Deb.

Get Well Soon


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Get Well Soon: my (un)brilliant career as a nurse 
by Kristy Chambers Abridged from the cover:  After moonlighting as a maid and enduring myriad other unsatisfying positions, I fell into nursing, the way one might fall into a pile of sheep shit at two in the morning (which I have also done). Aged thirty, I was spat out of university with a degree in nursing and a sense of bewilderment.  I was dumb with wonder: I wondered why on earth I hadn’t studied something else, like furniture design.  I like chairs.  My first day at hospital was a baptism of fire, but a pointed reminder that buried beneath my foul mouth was a kind heart and I had been given the opportunity to use it, on a daily basis. Nursing has been both a hellride and a joyride, but brutally educational most of all.
Here are a couple of paragraphs from this book which may help you decide whether to place a hold:
 “My future looked like a giant, gaping chasm of nothingness and I could barely stomach the thought of another shit job, so I was going to have to study something.  Teaching or Nursing? It became a matter of deciding who I least wanted to spend time with – kids or sick people.  Sick people trumped teenagers.  As you can see, nursing was hardly my calling in life.”
“In the last few months of study, I had to come up with my top three preferences for a graduate position.  I was well schooled on where I didn’t want to work, which was pretty much every place I had done a clinical placement or worked a shift as an AIN to date ….”
“After a stressful day, if you were me, one drink usually became 100 drinks, and then you were obliged to attend your next shift despite feeling like you could vomit out of your eyes.  Generally speaking, turning up for work hungover was tolerated, although not appreciated, because it was better than not turning up at all and throwing the staffing completely out of whack.  Being drunk at work is not nearly as much fun as it sounds.”
Always on the lookout for well-written humour, I spotted many reviews raving over this book, but the one I should've taken more notice of came from Bookseller Publisher:  ‘An unsettling account of nursing that is devoid of dramatisation, characterised by cynicism, and delivered in the darkly comic style of Judith Lucy.’  I cannot stand Judith Lucy!   What a dreadful book.  I couldn’t stick with it let alone finish it.  The attitude just beggars belief.   Deb

e-books are here!

We are pleased and proud to announce that we now have e-books available for loan, FREE, using your library card number and PIN.
Over 1,950 titles are available to borrow, across a range of genres and for all ages from Australian and international authors and including bestsellers! You are able to borrow 4 titles for a two-week period. 
Unfortunately, due to Amazon's licensing restrictions, these titles can not be downloaded to Kindle devices, unless you have a Kindle Fire.
To access the titles, on the Library website, mouse over 'Online Resources' and then 'e-books and e-audiobooks', before clicking on 'e-books from Bolinda'. Once there, sign in via the link at the top right of page and then explore the range of titles via the eBooks tab at the left.
If you want to read your e-books on a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet, you can download the free BorrowBox app from the App Store or Google Play.
Some titles will also require you to sign up for Adobe Digital Editions, but you will be instructed on the process when required.
You will also soon be able to discover e-book titles on our catalogue - discover any title in all the formats we have available for loan, with one search.
And more is to come.....   We will soon have more e-books from a different supplier and also e-magazines, both coming soon, so watch this space.
Deb

Michael Robotham

Only 9 sleeps to go until we welcome in person bestselling author, Michael Robotham.   


Please note there's been a change of venue - still 2-3pm on Saturday 15 June but now Cranbourne Library, 65 Berwick-Cranbourne Road, Melway: 134 B6.  If you haven't booked yet for this great FREE event, jump online asap - www.tinyurl.com/cclcevents.  
Deb.

Weird things customers say......

Weird things customers say in bookshops by Jen Campbell is a lovely little read that I picked up last week and finished in two sessions. It was one that I didn't want to put down. :)

The questions and conversations shared in this book are collated from a blog of the same name. The contributions come mainly from two independent bookshops in the UK, with additional contributions from book shops around the world.

Anyone working in customer service would understand that any person to person interaction can end up taking you in interesting directions. This quick read is living proof of that.

A couple of quick examples:

"Do you have any books in this shade of green, to match the wrapping paper I've bought?"

"Do you have any books by Jane Eyre".

Having had many an experience of silly and funny things inadvertently coming out of my own mouth, it was good to read about other people doing the same thing.  Its a good reminder that we are only human and that being able to laugh at ourselves, is good medicine indeed.

~ Michelle

Aus. Book Industry Awards


The Australian Book Industry Awards, which celebrates the achievements of authors, booksellers and publishers over the previous year, have been announced and the winners are:



Book of the Year for Older Children (8-14 years): The 26-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths (come and see Andy in person - we're hosting him at Pakenham Hall on 20 July!)
Book of the Year for Younger Children (0-8 years): The Very Hungry Bear by Nick Bland
Biography of the Year:  Jim Stynes: My Journey by Jim Stynes and Warwick Green
General Fiction Book of the Year: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
General Non-fiction Book of the Year:  QF32: The Captain's Extraordinary Account How One of the World's Worst Air Disasters Was Averted by Richard De Crespigny
Newcomer of the Year: The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
Literary Fiction Book of the Year: The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

Also, congratulations to our e-Audiobook supplier - Bolinda Audio - for winning the Publishing Technology Book Innovation Award for Borrowbox Digital Library Solution.  You can download the BorrowBox app from Google Play or the Apple Store to manage your account, borrow, renew, search, download and play your e-Audiobooks on your Android or Mac devices!
Deb.

Michael Robotham coming soon!

As you've already read here, the State Library of Victoria is presenting free special author events across the state and we're delighted to host Toni Jordan - this Sunday 19 May, 2.30pm at Pakenham Library, and Jane Clifton, 7-8pm on Wednesday 29 May at Narre Warren Library.
To say we're chuffed to host Michael Robotham on Saturday 15 June, 2-3pm at Cranbourne Community Theatre, though, would be an understatement!


Australian Michael Robotham started his career as a journalist but then became a ghostwriter, writing many bestselling autobiographies in collaboration with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and showbusiness personalities. He then turned his hand to novels and these thrillers have been translated into twenty-two languages and published in more than 50 countries.  One of the most brilliant crime writers today, Michael he has twice won Australia's Ned Kelly Award for best crime novel.   Check out the video clip for his latest release, Say You’re Sorry and my review below.  Oh, and make sure you don't miss our fabulous 'get up close and personal' event by booking your seat now!  Book at www.tinyurl.com/cclcevents or phone Cranbourne Library on 03 5990 0150.



Say You're Sorry is my first Robotham and I will definitely be checking out his other seven titles. Though a little slow in starting with quite complex storylines running under it, we are inexorably pulled in as it’s told from two viewpoints – Joe the clinical psychologist, and the one missing girl, Piper. It’s a gripping adult suspense thriller, and the closer the ending gets, the faster the pages turn. It’s not an easy read, quite brutal and sickening in places actually, but once on the path, you can’t turn back, you just have to find out how it all pans out.
Deb.

Black Wattle Creek


Black Wattle Creek by Geoff McGeachin
Narrated by:  Peter Hosking

From the winner of the 2011 Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Novel - The Diggers Rest Hotel - comes a cracking new Charlie Berlin mystery.

From the cover:  It's September 1957, two days before the VFL grand final, and Detective Sergeant Charlie Berlin, former bomber pilot and ex-POW, finally has some time off. But there's no rest for Charlie, a decent but damaged man still troubled by his wartime experiences. A recently widowed friend asks a favour and he's dropped into something a hell of a lot bigger than he bargained for when he discovers a Melbourne funeral parlour has been burying bodies with parts missing. A Hungarian émigré hearse driver points Berlin in the right direction but it quickly becomes obvious anyone asking the wrong questions is in real danger.
    With his offsider beaten and left for dead, witnesses warned off, Special Branch on his case, and people he doesn't know watching his every move, Berlin realises even his young family may be in danger.
    His pursuit of the truth leads him to Black Wattle Creek, once an asylum for the criminally insane and now a foreboding home to even darker evils. And if Berlin thought government machinations during World War II were devious, those of the Cold War leave them for dead.

If this book was any more laid back, it’d be perpetually horizontal!  [Or maybe that’s just the way it is narrated by Peter Hosking – his slow, well-modulated and steady voice is a good take on Charlie’s personality.]  This is my second Charlie Berlin novel – he’s an empathetic character set in an era when the world was very much a different place to the 21st century – bakelite phones, lucky strike cigarettes, men wearing hats when outside, 6 o’clock closing, cracker night, and little girls wearing their party frocks and patent leather shoes to go to ‘town’.  
As banal as that sounds, this is a very dark story that slowly evolves as Charlie becomes enmeshed in something that is way bigger than first thought.  Though it takes time to build the whole picture, it’s one that eventually packs a hefty whallop at the end, leaving you wondering just how much of this is true.  Disturbingly good book. 
Deb. 
PS - For a complete change of pace and some laugh out loud humour, check out McGeachin's hilarious Fat, Fifty and F ***ed [click here to read a review from RR 2009] and D E D Dead!  [click here to read a review from RR 2011].

Storyteller


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From the back cover:- Sage Singer is a baker, a loner, until she befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses—and then he confesses his darkest secret – he deserves to die because he had been a Nazi SS guard. And Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor. How do you react to evil living next door? Can someone who's committed truly heinous acts ever atone with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren't the party who was wronged? And, if Sage even considers the request, is it revenge…or justice? 

Being a fan of Jodi Picoult, I eagerly sat down with her latest offering. This book, I consider one of her best ones. Again, she tackles a controversial issue - should someone be able to decide when they would like to die? 

The writing here is superb, and the story of Sage's grandmother's life during the Holocaust is both amazing and disturbing. Sage herself has her own demons to overcome as well, and a little bit of romance helps with that! 

I found it hard to put down, and of course with most of Jodi's books expect the unexpected!! 

Highly recommended! 

~ Janine

Sean Dooley - event & review

On Tuesday 7 May, 7.00-8.00pm at Emerald Library, author, TV comedy writer, radio presenter and managing editor of Australian Birdlife - Sean ‘The Birdman’ Dooley -  will be chatting about the frequently hilarious and occasionally harrowing hows and whys of becoming a Twitcher Extraordinaire.  He holds the Australian record of seeing the most number of bird species in the one year, and wrote a book about it – The Big Twitch, thereby outing himself as a bird-nerd.  He followed this up in 2007 with another bird book, Anoraks to Zitting Cisticola – a whole lot of stuff about bird watching, then in 2012, the biographical story of his family Cooking With Baz – how I got to know my father.  The title appealed, as did the blurb below, so I borrowed Cooking With Baz and am glad I did. 


From the cover:  It would be hard to find two people more different than Sean Dooley and his old man.  Baz is your typical ocker who loves his beer, footy and the races, while Sean is more of an intellectual, bird-watching type.  But when Sean’s Mum, Di, has to undergo chemotherapy, Baz sets out to restore her appetite by cooking the perfect irresistible meal.  Sean begins to see his father in a new light, so when Baz himself receives a grim diagnosis, it’s the son’s turn to step up to the hotplate.  There’s no denying they’re an odd couple in the kitchen, but these two men come to share a lot more than just recipes.
 
Set in the baby boomer era, it's an easy read that contains a lot of human behaviour I recognised and remembered in my own Mum and Dad. Like Sean himself, I lost my parents pretty much in the same way, so found that rather emotional going at times but thankfully there are many episodes of humour to give light and shade -  I loved Baz and Sean’s big night out at The Flower Drum! There’s not as much cooking in it as I’d hoped, but there is one recipe at the end of the book for Baz’s Tea-Bag Chicken!  This journey of personal discovery was well written - warm, funny and emotional.

He’s quite a character, this Mr Sean Dooley, so if you can get along to the event, I’d say you’re in for a memorable evening. 
Deb.

Miles Franklin shortlist


The Miles Franklin Literary Award was established with proceeds from the estate of My Brilliant Career author, Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, to support and encourage authors of Australian literature. 

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 19 June 2013 in Canberra at the National Library of Australia, and will receive $60,000 for the novel judged to be of the highest literary merit which “must present Australian life in any of its phases” in line with Miles Franklin’s wishes. 

Each of the five shortlisted authors will also receive $5,000 in prize money from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, a long term partner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

The 2013 shortlist is:

Romy Ash - Floundering
Annah Faulkner - The Beloved
Michelle de Kretser - Questions of Travel
Drusilla Modjeska - The Mountain
Carrie Tiffany - Mateship with Birds

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Fractured


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I picked up Fractured by Dawn Barker, as it is a debut novel by an Australian author who is a Psychiatrist. This book kept me fully engaged from the first page to the last and is very well written. The tragedy that happens in this book is told from a number of character's perspectives, and tackles a very common condition and the devastating effect it had. The last 30 or so pages were very sad, so get the tissues ready. If this is an indication of this new writer's work, then I am eagerly awaiting her next novel.

~ Janine

The Stella Prize


The Stella Prize, named after one of Australia’s iconic female authors, Stella Maria ‘Miles’ Franklin,  is a major new literary award commending Australian women’s writing. Celebrating women’s contribution to Australian literature, it has a significant monetary prize of $50,000.

The inaugural winner of the Stella Prize is Carrie Tiffany for her novel Mateship with Birds. 

The other shortlisted titles are:

The Burial
by Courtney Collins
Questions of Travel
by Michelle de Kretser
The Sunlit Zone
by Lisa Jacobson
Like A House on Fire
by Cate Kennedy
and
Sea Hearts
by Margo Lanagan.

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Pulitzer Winners


Awarded last night, 15 April, the Pulitzer Prize is an American award by Columbia University for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition produced in the United States. Among the many categories within each section is the Prize in Letters - books published in the US that are fiction, biography, general non-fiction, history and poetry. And the winners are:


FICTION: The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson 

BIOGRAPHY: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

GENERAL NONFICTION: Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys by Gilbert King

HISTORY: Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam by Fredrik Logevall  

POETRY: Stag’s Leap by Sharon Olds  

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