The Australian Book of Heroism: stories of courage and sacrifice by Larry Writer
From explorers, soldiers, doctors and nurses to charity workers, religious figures, and everyday mothers and fathers, the author offers a fascinating look at some truly inspirational Australians. Each chapter focuses on a different hero from the 19th century to the present day, e.g. Matthew Flinders, Don Bradman, Peter Lalor, Dr Fiona Wood, Rev. John Flynn etc.
Dot said: “The thing about this book is that it makes you want to find out more about them all. Sometimes these days, it seems the word ‘hero’ is used too often – but not here!”
The Lady Risks All by Stephanie Laurens
Miranda has spent most of her life taking care of her younger brother Roderick and just when she thinks he is of an age to not need her constant mothering, he disappears. She turns to her illustrious but infamous neighbour, gambling kingpin Roscoe, to help her find him. The pair takes off on a fast-paced rollicking adventure through the English countryside as they search for Roderick and his abductors, discover each other’s secrets, and, of course, fall in love along the way.
Dot said: “This book is good fun, with good characters you’ll enjoy and a few old friends in the mix – the old Stephanie is back! But the sex scenes do waffle on a bit.”
Fallout from Fukushima by Richard Broinowski
In March 2011, Japan experienced a triple disaster: a force 9 earthquake in the Pacific ocean east of the country, a 21 metre tsunami crashed into the coastline and then as a result of the tsunami, explosions and meltdowns in the nuclear power reactors in Fukushima. This book tells the history of the major nuclear accidents of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl and now Fukushima. Richard Broinowski, a former diplomat, travelled to the irradiated zone to speak to people living and working there. The Japanese nuclear power company TEPCO initially failed to notify people of the immense danger unfolding. The book reveals attempts to downplay suppress and obscure the consequences.
Ali said: “There is a fair deal of technical terminology here however this book is a compelling and incredible expose of an industry which, despite some renewed interest from a handful of countries (Australia included) is probably on the decline. Highly recommended for those of you who are interested in what’s really happening globally with the nuclear energy industry."
The Cleaner by Paul Cleave
Joe is a cleaner in a Christchurch, New Zealand, police station. Everybody assumes he is mentally challenged – his nickname is Slow Joe. By day, he can keep an eye on police files and get away with his own crimes by night. When he discovers that an extra murder has been added to his tally, he sets out to find the real killer and mete out his own form of justice – because he knows it wasn’t him.
Dot said: “With each of the characters wrongly assuming something about the other characters, it is surprisingly funny at times. Creepy, horrifying, and with some scenes that really shock you as well, it is a very good read.”
The Legacy: an elder’s vision for a sustainable future by David Suzuki
David Suzuki has written a heartfelt, wise and beautiful book covering what it means to be a part of the human species on an earth which has seen a tripling of the population in just his lifetime alone. Along with the ecological footprint of the 21st century and a huge growth in technology our well-being and the earth’s eco-system is suffering. Where is the precious earth headed? Our population simply cannot increase exponentially and survive.
Ali said: “Suzuki eloquently discusses the importance of the elements (Air, Water, Earth, Fire) along with the web of living things, biodiversity, and our fundamental need for love. Sukuki’s love and respect for his family shines through; his father while dying stated that despite never being wealthy, he was “so rich”; his wealth being family, friends, neighbours and things they’d done together - his memories. Now that David Suzuki is an elder he too has turned his mind to his own mortality and the interconnectedness of us all. He is filled with hope that the world is capable of greater things, to rediscover our home and live in balance. This book is gentle yet powerful in its message. Highly recommended for those who care about life.”
And some titles highly recommended by borrowers:
Todo in Tuscany: the dog at the villa by Louise Badger & Lawrence Kershaw
Todo had been waiting at Poggiolino since his mistress died over two years before. The house lay empty and neglected and yet he wouldn't leave. He seemed to know that someday the right people would come along and make it a home again. Enter Louise and Lawrence. With Todo as their faithful companion they began to restore Poggiolino. A memoir of moving country and starting a new life.
The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans. James Keir, the main character in this book, is such an awful person that you wonder how the author could redeem him. In a case of mistaken identity, he is believed dead and only then finds out how much he is despised. This Scrooge-like tale is a very moving and inspirational story that has just as many laughs as tears.
Marjorie Bligh’s HOME: Hints On Managing Everything Edited by Natalie Wood
This book full of Marjorie’s Hints on Managing Everything is an absolute joy. There are hints on everything from sponge cakes to dog jackets, and though it may not be a book to sit down and read from cover to cover, it is surely one to dip into at random and enjoy what you find.
Emerald Book Chat will return in 2013. There is no cost to attend but bookings are required for catering purposes. Keep an eye peeled early next year for a flyer detailing dates and times.