Feed aggregator

The 5th Wave

Quicksand -

Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}
The 1st wave Took out half a million people The 2nd Wave Put that number to shame The 3rd Wave Lasted a little longer. Twelve weeks…Four billion dead The 4th Wave You can’t trust that people are still people And the 5th Wave? No one knows. But it’s coming…
(Longlisted for the Silver Inky award 2013)
The others have come and if you didn’t die from the electromagnetic storm then you were left to survive the tsunami that destroyed the world’s coastlines. If you lived through that then you had to survive the Red death, a highly contagious bird disease. Next you had to survive being hunted by those who look and act human but are not. Survive all that and your only option…is to wait for what comes next…

Cassie Sullivan has survived all this and now on a lonely stretch of road, armed with a M-16 rifle and her trust no-one mantra, she struggles forward determined to save her little brother Sammy. But when survival becomes dependent on the mysterious and slightly too perfect to be real Evan Walker, Cassie will be forced to choose, between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender and between life and death. Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope but can she trust him…
Not far away Cassie’s high school crush Ben Parrish also survives only to find himself interned in a military camp. Trained to the extreme Ben loses himself in order to survive and fight. But just want is Ben training for and who can and should he trust. The fifth wave is coming…just how will they survive?
First off let me say alien invasion stories are hard to pull off and I didn’t have high expectations for this book. In fact the last alien book I read and loved was the Animorphs series when I was 12, yet Yancey managed to really blow me away because I absolutely LOVED this book. The story is very nicely unravelled with Yancey giving away little pieces of the puzzle the further you read. But what I most loved about this book was how Yancey made me question myself. I thought I had the plot down, but I never did, I thought I knew who they characters were and yet I questioned it. Cassie is just a wonderful character, typical teenage she loses none of her attitude despite all else she loses. Ben is so devastatingly broken that you can’t help but want to piece him back together. Their journeys from crashing to the very depths only to struggle back again makes for a thrilling and highly compelling read. Evan Walker…what can I say you think you know but Yancey still makes you question it. In fact I think that’s the brilliance of the story you not only question what makes us human but also like Cassie and Ben who to trust and how to trust what you know when your gut tells you otherwise.  The writing and plot is superbly delivered and while having only a handful of main characters Yancey manages to give each one soul and depth that reaches out from the pages of the book. The 5th wave is an insanely amazing read and one that will have lasting popularity for years to come. A very intense and violent read this isn’t one for the faint hearted but if you can handle such a dark tale you will become addictively hooked; one of the best reads of 2013. Pick it up…if you dare!!!

  Courtney :)

Squizzy Taylor Myths

Links to our Past - history -

Let me start this by saying that I consider Squizzy Taylor to be nothing more than a common criminal and I think that his criminal lifestyle should not be glamorised, as it seems to be at the moment. However, over the years I have been asked if Taylor ever spent time in this area and have been told of possible sightings - so in this post I intend to try to work out fact from fiction.

First myth: Squizzy Taylor's sister, Mrs Bufford, ran the Hallam Hotel and he was a frequent visitor there. (Click here for an account of this)  According to a report in The Argus of July 12, 1927 Elsie Bufford took over as licensee of the hotel in July 1927. Previous to this she had been at the Commercial Hotel in Yea, and a report in the Alexandra and Yea Standard said Mrs Bufford sold this hotel in  February 1927. Squizzy Taylor died October 27, 1927, so he may have been a frequent visitor for the three months before he died, but she wasn't his sister.  According to the Indexes to the Births, Deaths and Marriages, Leslie 'Squizzy' Taylor had three sisters and four brothers - one of his sisters, Irene,  died as an infant; Gladys married Leslie Mouldey and Alice married Alfred Wiggin. His parents are listed as Benjamin Isaiah Taylor and Rose Jones. Elsie Bufford was born in Corowa in 1892 to Dougal McDonald and Maria Green. She married George William Bufford in 1916, it was obviously not a happy marriage as an article in the The Argus of April 14, 1937 (reproduced below) shows she was granted a divorce from her husband on the grounds of desertion.

Elsie held the Hallam Hotel licence until October 1933. I am not sure where she went after that but she was at the Colbinabbin Hotel from at least 1936 until August 1938.  She married Reginald Skews in 1938 and died in Red Cliffs in 1956. So the myth is that Taylor visited the Hallam Hotel because the licensee, Mrs Bufford, was his sister. Mrs Bufford was not his sister and she only had the Hotel for three months before he was killed, so I am saying that this is a myth and has no basis in fact!

Second myth: Squizzy Taylor attended the races at Nar Nar Goon and Garfield. According to the book by Hugh Anderson The rise and fall of Squizzy Taylor:  a larrikin crook, Taylor was a keen race goer and started his 'legitimate' working  life as a apprentice jockey. Garfield held races from 1902 to 1933 and there were races at Nar Nar Goon until 1942. Both towns were on the train line, so access was easy. So, this myth is plausible.

Third myth: Squizzy Taylor frequented Cannons Creek. Why first reaction to this is 'Why would he bother?' Today, of course, this area is a pleasant town but in the 1920s, and before, it was really nothing but coastal scrub - the first land sales in the area didn't take place (according to the Shire of Cranbourne Rate books) until 1930, three years after Taylor died, so at the time there would have been nothing but a few fishing shacks, the holiday house of Sir Aaron Danks and the house of the fisherman, Nicola Nicolella. There were no shops and no hotel, it was around seventy kilometres from Melbourne and past Cranbourne the roads would have been dirt tracks. It was a long way from the bright lights and social activity of Taylor's inner Melbourne haunts. Anderson has reports of him in Frankston (which was a holiday destination in the 1920s)  and St Kilda, so there were plenty of closer places to go to the beach.  I am saying that, once again, this is a myth and has no basis in fact.

Fourth myth:  Squizzy Taylor had a hide out in North Garfield.  There is a property in North Garfield Road that is currently on the market and this connection is one of the 'selling points'. Once again, my reaction is 'Why would he bother?' In the 1920s North Garfield was pretty remote, the property that is for sale is 5 kilometres north of the highway and about the same distance again into the township and about 85 kilometres from the inner suburbs, Taylor's usual haunts.

Apparently, Taylor was on the run from police from around mid 1921 until September 1922. According to Hugh Anderson it was impossible to say where Leslie Taylor spent all his time during those months, but fantastic stories were current throughout his Pimpernel period of him being seen, here, there and everywhere, in many disguises as a quick change artist. Anderson said he may have spent time  in the cellars beneath the old Bijou Theatre, then a flat in East Melbourne and in the summer he lived in St Kilda. He was also nearly caught during a robbery in Elsternwick during this time. Taylor wrote various letters to the newspapers at the time to taunt the police. It takes both money and connections to be able to hide out from the Police for over  a year and  for Taylor, his sources for both would be found amongst his supporters in the inner city. Garfield was a small town, strangers would have been noticed, and as Taylor carried out at least one robbery during this time, it would seem that he didn't have a years supply of money under the bed to maintain his lifestyle and there are more targets to rob in the city rather then Garfield.

Another rumour I have heard connected to Garfield is that a female acquaintance of his grew marijuana on the hide out property and took the train to town periodically to sell it, on his behalf. It seems like an awfully long supply chain - it was nearly ten kilometres to the Station, along some fairly quiet roads; Taylor had both enemies and the police looking out for him all the time, it just sounds like a woman would be fairly vulnerable to being captured or attacked by either parties. So the myth is that Taylor had a hide out in North Garfield. I am saying that this is just  myth and has no basis in fact.

If you are a Taylor supporter, then I am happy for you to present facts to prove that I am wrong!

Creepy and Maud

Quicksand -

In 'Creepy and Maud', Dianne Touchell will take you on a journey that is not an easy one, and it's certainly not a comfortable ride, either.
Nonetheless, 'Creepy and Maud' is an amazing novel - beautifully written, but also dark.

'Creepy and Maud' has been selected as one of the shortlisted books for the CBC Book Awards for 2013.

The two main characters ('Creepy' and 'Maud' - not their real names) are a teenage boy and girl who live in close enough proximity that they can see into each other's windows.
And that is precisely what they do-largely communicating by writing notes and displaying them on the window.

A range of dysfunctional characters displaying alarming behavioural traits inhabit the world of 'Creepy and Maud'.
Let's begin with Creepy's parents. Creepy's father has actually trained their dog to bite his mother.
And then there is Maud. Maud pulls her hair out - handfuls at a time. Creepy watches her do this from his window.

Dianne Touchell's characters are insightful, often weirdly so.
For instance, Creepy is aware that much of his father's anger is due to a lack of control within his own life.
Then there are Creepy's views on love.
 'Love is sort of creepy. When you fall in love, you presuppose all sorts of things about the person. You superimpose all kinds of ideals and fantasies on them. You create all manner of unrealistic, untenable, unsatisfiable criteria for that person, automatically guaranteeing their failure and your heartbreak.
And what do we call it? Romance.
Now that's creepy.'

I recommend this book to all lovers of good teenage fiction.


A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove

Quicksand -

A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove is a book written by James Molony. He expresses the relationship and raw emotions of a family with many problems in their lives. The “Carl” family slowly breaks up as the mother leaves the older sister to look after two young boys, Carl and Harley Matt. But when the sister abandons the boys for a job overseas, the boys find themselves in a sad situation being left with their Aunt for weeks and weeks to come. Later in the story Carl and Harley will realise that their Mother will never come back and many secrets will be revealed.              
This book is an amazing survival story of two young boys and is a great read for the ages of twelve plus. A Bridge To Wiseman’s Cove is a moving story with sad twists and turns, but as you read on throughout the book all of the problems will turn out just fine. This book is a must-read for all young teenagers.

- Luke Beaumont (Teen Reviewer via Celia)

Between the lives

Quicksand -

800x600 Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life i prefer. And every night when I Cinderlla myself from one life to the next, a very small, but definite piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole. Until now, that is... Normal 0 false false false EN-AU JA X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}

Life has always been complex for Sabine, living two lives where she is physically the same but different in every other way is an exhausting task. But that has always been the way life is for Sabine. As Roxbury Sabine she’s your average teenager, she has hard working parents, a younger sister who worships her, questionable friends and exhibits delinquent behaviour. In direct contrast Wellesley Sabine lives a life of privilege, with annoying older brothers, the perfect boyfriend, great friends and academic success. Life for Sabine is 24 hours in one life before ‘shifting’ to the other for the next 24 hours at midnight. Nothing ever changes…until now. When Sabine breaks her arm in one life she discovers a loophole that sends her into a spiral of dangerous experimentation. Is one life truly better than two? What’s worth risking for happiness we think we want? How does Sabine choose the perfect life, if there is such a thing.
Ok WOW…Between the lives is a clever, genuine and masterfully unique tale that will captivate the reader with the turn of every page. Be warned this book is emotional  Jessica’s writing has a way of pulling the reader in, making them feel everything Sabine feels including her despair, her strength and her confusion as she attempts to navigate the waters of her lives with the new rules in place. Sabine is quite relatable, she’s experiencing all the angst that come with the teenage years, struggling to find her identity and her place in the world, but in a unique way. Ethan as a supporting character is charming and mysterious and an excellent sound bar for Sabine as she struggles to figure out her lives. The writing, the plot and the characters all gel together for an insanely good read.  The storyline is quite heavy, dealing with some serious issues, which takes the reader on one hell of an emotional rollercoaster ride but one that is totally worth the journey. Between the lives is unlike anything I’ve read before, it is touching, honest, intense and heartbreaking all at once. Do not pass on this one….

Courtney :)

Beaconsfield Upper history

Links to our Past - history -

A history of Beaconsfield Upper has just been published. The author, Dr Charles Wilson and his wife, Yvonne, moved to the 'charming, loosely structured hilltop village' as he describes it, in 1977. They lost their house in the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires, but re-built and stayed in the community. Dr Wilson started to research the history of the town and had amassed extensive notes, but sadly passed away in 2010 before he could convert the notes into  a book. His family and the Upper Beaconsfield Association were keen to see a book published and so commissioned Jennifer Coates and Wendy Eldridge to undertake this project, with Jennifer compiling the work and Wendy project managing it. The result is a handsome, well indexed, authoritative work, which predominately looks at the non-indigenous history of the area. It starts with the squatting runs, Panty Gurn Gurn and Mount Misery, then Bowman's Track and the early selectors and land owners. There is a section on local places and properties, local families and chapters on Guys Hill and Dewhurst.  You can purchase a copy of the book from places in the town - more information is available on the Upper Beaconsfield Association website. We also have copies for loan, check here  for availability.

Just a note on names: Beaconsfield Upper is the official  name of the town, although many locals prefer Upper Beaconsfield. It does seem that the two versions of the name have been used interchangeably over the years, in fact a search on Trove reveals around 3,900 uses of the term Upper Beaconsfield from 1880 to 1980 and around 4,100 uses of the term Beaconsfield Upper in the same period.

World's strongest librarian

Reading Rewards - reviews -

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


Reading Rewards - reviews -

Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}
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

Looking for Alibrandi

Quicksand -

Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta introduces us to 17 year old Josephine Alibrandi and the ups and downs of her busy whirlwind life.  In the beginning, we see how she is trying her best to juggle impressing her friends and family at the same time while trying to discover who she really is. Her Italian heritage plays a big role in her life and she begins to wonder about her family’s history and ends up unpacking some family secrets. Josie feels like her past seem to always determine how people see her and when she meets her Dad for the first time it certainly took her by surprise. To add to all the issues she has to face, she meets Jacob Coote who helps make her see things from a different perspective and also helps show her how to value what she has.  Throughout the story, Josie slowly grows maturely and learns more not only from the people around her, but also from herself.

I really enjoyed Looking for Alibrandi because it really captures the dramas and pressures that people go through day to day. It deals with a lot of different issues that are present today such as racism, peer pressure and family issues. Towards the end, I learnt how the title showed how Josie was on a journey to finding out about where she came from, who she is and where she belongs. Those are definitely questions that are common to everyone making it worth a read.

- Davina (Teen Reviewer via Celia)

Check out the trailer to the movie that was released in 2000.

Friday Brown

Quicksand -

Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield.

‘They call me Friday. It has been foretold that on a Saturday I will drown….’
Seventeen year old Friday Brown is trying to escape. Escape her nomadic life, her mother’s death and the family curse that foretells of her own death…death by water.
Not wanting to live with her stern and taciturn grandfather, she finds herself on the streets. There she is befriended by Silence, a boy who due to physical abuse can not speak, and she is introduced to his ‘family.’ An eclectic group of kids living in a squat, under the guidance of the magnetic Arden.
The group leave the city for the ghost town of Murungal Creek, a place which Arden claims as theirs.  There Friday learns that family is more than what you are born with, it is what you create with those you love.  And that sometimes you have to fight for what you believe is right.
Wakefield creates a haunting yet real world, with some of the most broken characters I have yet to meet. Yet you feel for them. Silence, the mute boy with the damaged past is one of the best characters I have met for a long long time.
This book takes you on a journey with a bunch of misfit street kids- and leaves you with a sense of sadness and the understanding that it couldn’t have ended any other way.
I thoroughly recommend this book. Short-listed for the Book of the Year, Older Readers category by the Book Council of Australia 2013.

Vicki @ Pakenham

Brodmaw Bay

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}
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.

Teen Book Group Display

Quicksand -

Hi all!

The next Narre Warren Teen Book Group session will be held on Thursday 11th of July at 4.30pm. We will be discussing Divergent by Veronica Roth. Check out the brilliant display two work experience students made to promote the event:

Thank you Sinead and Charlotte!

Hope to see you all there.

- Celia

To Kill A Mockingbird

Quicksand -

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Outstanding. It may seem to be a bit slow moving in the first half of the book, but if you're appreciative like I am for classic literature, you'll see through it and enjoy it immensely. I love how Harper Lee describes everything so well, and how her descriptions allow you to accurately picture the whole scene of the novel.

You'll never forget this book, it hits you hard, and is one of those books that makes you take a step back and think about what life is like today. It's altered my view of reality, and will be embedded in my mind for infinite years to come. It's a definite must-read, I highly recommend it.

Age: 17

State Library of Victoria

Links to our Past - history -

I am going to tell you today about some of the treasures at the State Library of Victoria. They have lots of treasures, but these ones relate specifically to local history.  Firstly, they have  a huge range of digitised photographs and secondly they have  a great range of digitised historic maps. I did  a search on Gembrook, but could have chosen any other town in Victoria and I found this Real Estate poster, advertising 'Holiday home blocks'. It isn't dated but it is after 1900 when the Ferntree Gully to Gembrook railway line opened on December 19. This railway line is of course the Puffing Billy line.

Gembrook Hills holiday home blocks [cartographic material]. State Library of Victoria collection.
People came to Gembrook for the fresh country air and the spectacular scenery, as shown in these images below.

Fairies Delight, Gembrook 1908.
State Library of Victoria  Image H2009.192/3. Ferns in the Gully, Gembrook.State Library of Victoria Image H32492/2170

If you want to know what resources the State Library of Victoria  have in their collection which relate to your town, then go to their website www.slv.vic.gov.au and just type in  a name.  You can then narrow the search by item type such as Maps or Photographs. Happy searching!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Quicksand -

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin begins with 17 year old Mara Dyer, who wakes up in a hospital with no memory of a tragic accident that took place and killed her friends, with her being the only survivor. As a result of the accident, she is diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and begs her family relocate to Miami, Florida, for a fresh start. But things don’t end there.

Mara starts at a new school and quickly becomes friends with Jamie, who makes her feel at ease with herself and is the only person who doesn’t know about her past. I really liked Jamie’s character, as he was funny and completely at ease. She is also introduced to Noah Shaw, the arrogant English boy who moved to America three years earlier. He is everything she is not asking for.  She steers clear from him with Jamie’s advice, but develops feelings for him as the story unfolds.

Mara slowly begins to remember the events from the building collapse and with it comes some terrifying revelations. She learns that she has the ability to kill with her mind and that she and Noah have a connection that runs deeper than any other relationship.

I really enjoyed reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer because the story is one that stayed with me long after I turned the final page. It was a story about finding a sense of comfort in a world that was chaotic. Noah made Mara believe that he could help her. He also made her believe that she wasn’t a murderer and wasn’t to blame for the deaths of her friends. He made her feel beautiful and cared for and wanted to ‘fix’ her, and he wouldn’t give up on her like her family had by not believing her problems couldn’t be fixed with medicine.

By the end of the book, I learnt that it is more than meets the eye with people. Mara is a shell of her former self, and Noah is the one to complete her. The ending of the book was a complete cliff-hanger, and it made me want to have the second instalment right away. Throughout the book, I was left on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what would happen next. If you enjoy a fantastic, original with a twist read, Michelle Hodkin’s remarkable debut is the perfect novel.

- Charlotte (Teen Reviewer via Celia)

Miles Franklin Winner 2013

Reading Rewards - reviews -

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.

Book Chat - Emerald

Reading Rewards - reviews -

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?  

Dandenong Stock Market

Links to our Past - history -

The Dandenong Market was originally located on the corner of Lonsdale and McCrae Streets and opened in 1866. It moved to its present location on Clow Street around 1926 and in 1958 the stockyards moved to Cheltenham Road.  The Dandenong Stock Market was the last municipal owned and operated facility in Victoria, and closed on December 22, 1998. The stock market site is now Metro Village 3175, a housing estate.

The Market isn't part of the City of Casey or Shire of Cardinia, but  the history of our area is historically linked to Dandenong as it was a service town to the surrounding area. For instance, Dandenong had a large public hospital with specialists. It was also where the local children went to High School (read more about the Dandenong High School here). Dandenong was also the major shopping area for people from the surrounding area  and in the 1970s, when I was at Koo-Wee-Rup High School,  a trip to the Dandenong market to buy clothes and other goods was a ritual for many. Plus, Dandenong also had a Lindsay's store (which became Target) near Vanity Court. I remember both my sisters had a skirt from Lindsays - one had a bias cut, checked 'maxi' skirt and the other a short, checked, almost sun-ray pleated skirt. We were a family of home dress makers so it was quite unusual to buy clothes.

Farmers from the surrounding area also took their produce to the Dandenong market. When my father was fifteen, in 1948, his family purchased a Austin A40 ute from Brenchley's Garage at Garfield. Dad taught himself to drive and although he was underage, he used to drive his parents from Cora Lynn to the Dandenong market where they sold their eggs, chooks and calves (all carried on the back of the ute). Apparently not having a license was no obstacle to driving in those days.

These photographs are of the Dandenong Stock Market at its Cheltenham Road location, and were taken by the City of Berwick on October 27, 1992. They are labelled as 'University site suggested by Dandenong', so I assume it was once considered a possible site for the Monash University campus that was built in Berwick.

Stock pens at the market.

Stock pens.

 With stock markets, come stock crates.  
Loading bays.

Wash down bays for the trucks. What you don't get with these pictures is the stench of  effluent, that was all  pervading.

Poultry sheds.

Get Well Soon

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}
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

Joyous and Moonbeam

Quicksand -

'Joyous and Moonbeam' by Richard Yaxley is a strong and touching Australian teen novel.
The story is essentially that of 33 year old intellectually disabled man, Joyous.

 Life has not been easy for Joyous who has long been the butt of jokes and has encountered many fights.
Whilst his mother is fiercely loving and supportive his father had an untimely death after a 'poorly judged whiparound a bread van'.

Joyous is working in a sheltered workshop when he befriends a 15 year old girl he nicknames 'Moonbeam'. Slowly they begin to form a friendship which blossoms. Their friendship is nurturing and has mutual benefits.

Joyous has a  philosophy of 'working things around a little' and looking for the positives begins to rub off on pessimistic Moonbeam.
The voice of Joyous is fresh and innocent and true.
'Joyous and Moonbeam' is told from the point of view of three people : Joyous, his mother, and Moonbeam.
Each has a compelling story to tell.

Recommended reading.



Subscribe to Casey Cardinia Libraries aggregator