We love reading! Staff Picks... September

The bad-ass librarians of Timbuktu and their race to save the world's most precious manuscripts
by Joshua Hammer

Reading a bit like Indiana Jones takes on Islamic State this book recounts how a mild mannered manuscript conservator and his friends and family saved thousands of rare, precarious and historical documents from the hands of fanatics who wished to virtually destroy culture in Mali. Islamic writings came under threat as being borderline idolatrous while treatises on mathematics, philosophy, science and early travel memoirs were also targeted. Using various methods to hide and transport the manuscripts to safety, our hero mostly evades the curfews and religious police of Mali after a fanatical and violent  group took over. But he also has some scary and very threatening encounter. Forget the librarian stereotypes, this is a real bibliothriller.
~ Reviewed by Danny

Blame/Nicole Trope
The lives of two women will never be the same after a shocking accident, but who is to blame?
Two best friends, Caro and Anna find themselves in a relentless cycle of interrogation in their local police station. As the two women tell their versions of stories, the not so perfect lives of both families are revealed. I could not help but sympathise with the issues of mental health, marriage, motherhood, and alcoholism.
After a decade of being best friends, how do they find their way back. Or do they?
The story is fast paced, thought provoking and gripping. I did shed a little tear in the end…
~ Reviewed by Tynelle

Locust Girl by Merlinda Bobis
If you like a clear storyline to follow with all the questions answered at the end of the tale, this story is not for you. We follow Aramantha ‘s journey after she loses her memories, her father and her town to the light and the fires. As she wanders a devastated landscape looking for nourishment and water, she interacts with the inhabitants, as best she can learning about herself as she goes. I found it a very abstract way of questioning our use of resources, especially water and a frightening view of how scarcity can be shared. The language is comforting in it’s richness and evokes a sense of the beauty inherent in the landscape regardless of bleakness.
~Reviewed by Jacinta



The Neapolitan Series by Elena Ferrante

This four-book series is mainly set in a poor neighborhood in Naples and begins with “My brilliant friend” where Ferrante sets the scene for the following 3 books – “The story of a new name”, “Those who leave and those who stay” and finally, “The story of the lost child”.
The story is primarily about the bond two friends share in their long relationship from childhood to adulthood.  There are no rules with these two and jealousy runs rampart throughout.  There are good feelings and bad feelings between them, but overall the endurance and dependence of the relationship is quite mind blowing.
In my opinion each novel only gets better and better.  They are each packed with emotion; they are explosive, rough and raw.  Yes, the first 3 end in a cliffhanger – like that or not – they left me gasping and thinking WOW!!  I didn’t see that coming!
So popular these books have become I believe you can do a guided tour around Italy discovering where they were set and see the backdrop to these books!
Happy reading and perhaps travelling too!
~ Reviewed by Donna

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Fiona Staples (artist)

If you’ve ever doubted that graphic novels (formally known as comic books) are literature, I urge you to read Saga. Saga is the epic ongoing series written by Brian K. Vaughan – a prolific comic book writer (and a writer of the tv series Lost), with stunning art by multi-award winning artist Fiona Staples. Spanning an entire galaxy embroiled in a devastating war, Saga is the story of Hazel, a child born to lovers with far more than Romeo and Juliet ever had against them. These are the ultimate star-crossed lovers. Hazel the narrator, however, is still an infant. Volume one chronicles her birth (literally – the first panel is the jarring, confronting moment when Hazel’s mother Alana gives birth to her) and early days on the run from every imaginable species of alien and mercenary. Saga is an ambitious work full of complex characters whose goals are often at odds with one another, and they are so much more human for it. Hazel’s very existence is a challenge to the political doctrine governing the dominant planets, and triggers complex power plays on par with those of A Games of Thrones (with all the sex and violence – this is not a comic book for children). What are you waiting for? Add it to your read list now!
~Reviewed by Dasha

Roald Dahl... not just for children...

 Roald Dahl wrote more than his well loved children's stories, he was also an accomplished writer of macabre short stories for adults.

Kiss Kiss [audio]/ Roald Dahl
What could go wrong when a wife pawns the mink coat that her lover gave her as a parting gift? What happens when a priceless piece of furniture is the subject of a deceitful bargain? Can a wronged woman take revenge on her dead husband? In these dark, disturbing stories Roald Dahl explores the sinister side of human nature: the cunning, sly, selfish part of each of us that leads us into the territory of the unexpected and unsettling. Stylish, macabre and haunting, these tales will leave you with a delicious feeling of unease.


Skin and other stories / Roald Dahl
Introduces teenagers to the adult short stories of Roald Dahl. Who could imagine that a woman might use a frozen leg of lamb to kill her husband--and then feed it to the investigating police? Or that a greedy group of art dealers would stop at nothing to separate a poor man from a valuable picture--that's tattooed on his back?These thirteen tales will keep readers spellbound from the opening lines until the surprise-twist endings that are always immensely satisfying.

Over to you: ten stories of flyers and flying/ Roald Dahl
Based on his experiences as a wartime fighter pilot, Roald Dahl has written a collection of stories which subtly probe the pyches of the people living with death and tragedy as a daily occurrence.




The great automatic grammatizator and other stories [audio] / Roald Dahl.
A selection of Roald Dahl's short stories, specially chosen for teenagers to introduce them to Dahl's work for adults. The collection brings together 13 of Dahl's most unexpected tales.

More tales of the unexpected
Included short stories: My lady love, my dove -- The landlady -- Poison -- The sound machine -- Georgy Porgy -- Vengeance is mine Inc. -- Mr Botibol -- The hitchhiker.

The complete short stories. Volume one, 1944-1953 / Roald Dahl ; [with an introduction by Charlie Higson].
Collects adult short stories, in which the author begins by using his experiences in the war to write fiction.Collects adult short stories, in which the author begins by using his experiences in the war to write fiction. In 27 stories, written between 1944 and 1953, this title includes tales such as 'Man from the South'; 'Lamb to the Slaughter'; and 'The Sound Machine'.

The complete short stories. Volume two, 1954-1988 / Roald Dahl ; [with an introduction by Anthony Horowitz].
Includes eight tales such as 'Parson's Pleasure', a piece of furniture is the subject of a deceitful bargain; in 'William and Mary', a wife revenges herself on her dead husband; and in 'Royal Jelly' some new parents find an unusual and unsettling way to give their newborn its start in life.

 Look out for these latest editions of Roald Dahl books on order. Request a copy now!
Cruelty
Madness
Lust
Deception







Stories from the stacks...September. It's Tolkien Week!

 It's Tolkien week! 
 "Tolkien Week is observed as the calendar week containing September 22, which is always observed as Hobbit Day"
To celebrate, go barefoot in honour of hobbits, who don't wear shoes, find some books about Tolkien and Middle Earth or start reading Christopher Tolkien's 12-volume series The History of Middle-Earth in which he analyses the unpublished manuscripts of his father J. R. R. Tolkien. 
Start with The book of lost tales, Volume 1.
You can request these books from  the Stack collection. 
While searching the Library catalogue you may have encountered a book listed as available at Sutherland Stack Fiction.

These are a collection of books which are housed behind the scenes at Sutherland Library - items that the Library definitely wants to keep, but for some reason (e.g. older condition, or not in as high demand) the open shelf is not the right place for them. 

Criminally good debut thrillers...September

Some criminally good debut thrillers...
Click on the book covers to find out more!

The trap
 by Melanie Raabe
High Bridge
by Phil Redmond
Harry's World
by A.B Paterson




     
The Good Liar                             Man in the corner
           Nicholas Searle                   by Nathan Besser
The Dry
by Jane Harper
Cambodia Noir
by Nick Selley
The last one
by Alexandra Oliva
The Poison Artist
by Jonathan Moore

 
                                                         
       


















         
                   
                                                           
       
       
         
                                         




                                   
                                                      

September Reads...

Homegoing/ Yaa Gyasi
Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself. Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portraits, Homegoing is a searing and profound debut from a masterly new writer.

Modern lovers/ Emma Straub
Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy property, and start families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch - of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool - to their own teenage offspring. Back in the band's heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her girl-next-door smile, rich-kid Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and beautiful Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same Brooklyn neighbourhood and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose can never be reclaimed. 

We are not such things/ Justine Van Der Leun
Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy property, and start families, allA MAKING A MURDERER' set in South Africa - a gripping true-crime story of murder and the justice system in the shadow of apartheid In 1993, in the final, fiery days of apartheid, a 26-year-old white American activist called Amy Biehl was murdered by a group of young black men in a township near Cape Town.


You will know me/ Megan Abbott
How far will you go to achieve a dream? That's the question a celebrated coach poses to Katie and Eric Knox after he sees their daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful, compete. For the Knoxes there are no limits--until a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community and everything they have worked so hard for is suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself irresistibly drawn to the crime itself. What she uncovers--about her daughter's fears, her own marriage, and herself--forces Katie to consider whether there's any price she isn't willing to pay to achieve Devon's dream.

Here I am/ Jonathan Safran Foer
God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, and Abraham replied obediently, 'Here I am'. This is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. Over the course of three weeks in present-day Washington DC, three sons watch their parents' marriage falter and their family home fall apart.




Autumn/Ali Smith
The novel is a stripped-branches take on popular culture, and a meditation, in a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, what harvest means. Autumn is part of the quartet Seasonal: four stand-alone novels.




The memory stones/ Caroline Brothers
Buenos Aires. 1976. In the heat of summer, the Ferrero family escapes to the lush expanse of Tigre. Osvaldo, a distinguished doctor, and his wife Yolanda, gather with their daughters, sensible Julieta who lives in Miami, and wilful Graciela - nineteen, and madly in love with her fiance, Jose. Those days will be the last the family ever spends together. On their return to Buenos Aires, the Argentine military stages a coup. Friends and colleagues disappear overnight, and Osvaldo is forced to flee to Europe. When Jose is abducted, Graciela goes into hiding, then vanishes in turn. Osvaldo can only witness the disintegration of his family from afar, while Yolanda fights on the ground for some trace of their beloved daughter. Soon she realises they may be fighting for an unknown grandchild as well.

Dear Mr M/ Herman Koch
From various perspectives, Herman Koch tells the dark tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to M's novel, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the 'story' off its rails.



Watershed/ Jane Abbott
Savage and apocalyptic, this is the new world. Devoid of rain, the earth has shrunk to dust and salt, hemmed by a swollen sea. Survivors gather to re-establish order but it's nothing like before. It is Jeremiah's world. Commanded by the cruel Garrick, Jem is a Watchman and hunter of Disses: rebels who dare to challenge the Tower and its ruling Council. Loner by design and killer by nature, he's apologetically part of a cruel regime until a new assignment exposes a web of deceit, and past sins demand their reckoning. When a young boy elicits his sympathy, and an enigmatic woman his interest, Jem is made to question everything he believes before undertaking one last terrifying mission. Now he must do unto others if he's to take care of his own. In this dark and compelling first novel from a stunning new voice in fiction, it is impossible to know who is friend or foe, hero or villain.