Fiction that explores mental health issues...

The silver linings playbook by Matthew Quick
Pat Peoples knows that life doesn’t always go according to plan, but he’s determined to get his back on track. After a stint in a psychiatric hospital, Pat is staying with his parents and trying to live according to his new philosophy: get fit, be nice and always look for the silver lining. Most importantly, Pat is determined to be reconciled with his wife Nikki.
Pat’s parents just want to protect him so he can get back on his feet, but when Pat befriends the mysterious Tiffany, the secrets they’ve been keeping from him threaten to come out . . .

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

All the bright places by Jennifer Niven
Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. I'm broken, and no one can fix it.
Violet Markey is devastated by her sister's death. In that instant we went plowing through the guardrail, my words died too.
They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins.
It's only together they can be themselves . . .
I send a message to Violet: 'You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.'
You're so weird, Finch. But that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me.
But, as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?
Still Alice by Lisa Genova

An accomplished professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease learns that her worth is comprised of more than her ability to remember. Now a major motion picture from Sony Pictures Classics starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart! Look for Lisa Genova's next novel Inside the O’Briens.

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life—and her relationship with her family and the world—forever.

The Rosie Project by Graham Simsion
The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.
Rosie Jarman possesses all these qualities. Don easily disqualifies her as a candidate for The Wife Project (even if she is “quite intelligent for a barmaid”). But Don is intrigued by Rosie’s own quest to identify her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on The Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie―and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.

Wintergirls by Laurie Hals Anderson
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.

Lia and Cassie were best friends.  But something went wrong and Cassie changed.  Now Cassie is dead and Lia has thirty-three unanswered calls on her phone, thirty-three messages from her ex-best friend, all sent the day she died.
How did she die?  Why did she cut herself off?
While Lia searches for answers, she drives herself relentlessly on her own path to destruction - to be thin, strong, in control.  And completely empty.

Thirteen reasons why by Jay Asher
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah-s voice explains that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a first-hand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself--a truth he never wanted to face.

The rest of just just live here by Patrick Ness
Award-winning writer Patrick Ness's bold and irreverent novel powerfully asks what if you weren't the Chosen One? The one who's supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week's end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend might just be the God of mountain lions...

The impossible knife of memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
For the past five years Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq.
Now they are back in town where he grew up so Hayley can go to a proper school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.
Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over?

Paper swans by Jessica Thompson
Ben Lawrence seems to have it all - the hot job, the flashy car, the luxurious apartment. But one tragic day in his past marrs his future. Since the events of that day he hasn't truly got close to anyone. He made a promise that love was the price he would pay for his mistakes. When Effy Jones - a bright, ambitious charity founder - walks into the PR firm where Ben works, neither realise that their lives are about to be turned upside down. Paper Swans tells of how love can conquer all, and how when everything is broken one person can help to put the pieces together...

 One flew over the cuckoo's nest by Ken Kesey
Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the seminal novel of the 1960s that has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the awesome powers that keep them all imprisoned.

Books in the news... 10-11 October

Check out these new fiction and non -fiction titles from 10-11 October Spectrum, you can request them from the Library.

The River and the Book / Croggon, Alison
Combining magical realism and fable, this lyrical tale is the story of a landscape and community destroyed by Western greed.
Endorsed by Amnesty International as contributing to a better understanding of human rights, this poetic coming of age story combines magical realism and fable, featuring beautiful black and white illustrations. Simbala's village has two treasures: the River, their road and their god; and the Book, their history, their oracle and their soul. Simbala is a Keeper of the Book, the latest in a long line of women who can use it to find answers to the villagers' questions. As developers begin to poison the River on which the villagers rely, the Book predicts change. But this does not come in the form they expect; it is the sympathetic foreigner who comes to the village who inflicts the greatest damage of all.

The woman who walked in sunshine / Alexander McCall Smith
 In this latest installment of the beloved and best selling series, Mma Ramotswe must contend with her greatest challenge yet- a vacation!
Business is slow at the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, so slow in fact that for the first time in her estimable career Precious Ramotswe has reluctantly agreed to take a holiday. The promise of a week of uninterrupted peace is short lived, however, when she meets a young boy named Samuel. a troublemaker who is himself in some trouble. Once she learns more about Samuel's sad story. Mma Ramotswe feels compelled to step in and help him find his way out of a bad situation.

The bird's child / Sandra Leigh Price
A novel of magic, birds, lost letters and love.
Sydeny, 1929: three people find themselves washed up on the steps of Miss Du Maurier's bohemian boarding house in a one grand terrace in Newtown.
Ari is a young Jewish man, a pogrom orphan, who lives under the stern rule of his rabbi uncle, but dreams his father is Houdini. Upon his hand he bears a forbidden mark - a tattoo - and has a secret ambition to be a magician. Finding an injured parrot one day on the street, Ari is unsure of how to care for it, until he meets young runaway Lily, a glimmering girl after his own abracadabra heart. together they form a magical act, but their lives take a strange twist when wild card Billy, a charming and dangerous drifter twisted by the war, can no longer harbour secret desires of his own.

The Outsider: ; My Life in Intrigue by Forsyth, Frederick
Frederick Forsyth has seen it all. And lived to tell the tale.
Trained first as a pilot, then as a journalist, Frederick Forsyth finally turned to fiction and became one of the most lauded thriller writers of our time. As exciting as his novels, Forsyth's autobiography is a candid look at an extraordinary life, lived to the full, a life whose unique experiences have provided rich inspiration for thirteen internationally bestselling thrillers.

Kissed by a deer : a Tibetan odyssey / Margi Gibb
Prepare to be swept away by a story that is intimate, true, and utterly compelling. Margi Gibb's much-loved father dies and, with her immediate family largely gone, her life is changed irrevocably. Immersing herself more deeply in art and music, she travels to America to study the sacred art of the mandala, exploring the wisdom traditions of Indigenous Indian peoples in the process. Then after a serendipitous encounter back in Australia she travels to Dharamsala to care for children in an after school program at a Tibetan women's handicraft cooperative. Her underlying passion is to initiate guitar lessons for Tibetan refugees. What follows is unexpected. Margi,s developing bonds with two very different Tibetan men, Tenzin and Yonten, change her life in complex and enduring ways. Eventually she journeys to Tibet.
Kissed by a Deer is a book about East and West. It is a passionate quest for the personal and intellectual truth that only comes through lived experience. Gibb's story gives us amazing places, and wonderful characters, people we come to love and care about despite their failings. In its pages, wisdom searchingly finds its humble roots in the connections of heart, imagination and mind; in the midst of the act of living.

The bastard from the bush : an Australian life / John Jarratt
John Jarratt, cult icon and one of Australia’s best-loved screen actors, spent a bucolic boyhood in the lush countryside of Wongawilli, and his youth in the Snowy Mountains, Townsville and Aramac, with sojourns in the tropical splendour of Magnetic Island. These were years filled with boisterous outdoor adventures, a rollicking extended family and a collection of true friends, clouded only by his father’s violent rages.
After an unlikely apprenticeship at NIDA he launched a career that took him to the peaks of the film industry, from a featured role as Albert in Picnic at Hanging Rock to his career-defining embodiment of Ned Kelly. For years he was a laconic TV home improvement co-host, before reviving his film career with a nightmare-inducing performance as Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek. Along the way he fathered six children in a series of tumultuous relationships, as he struggled with the dual addiction of alcohol and house building.

October reads...

A line of blood by Ben McPherson
A chilling psychological thriller about family - the ties that bind us, and the lies that destroy us. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl. You find your neighbour dead in his bath.Your son is with you. He sees everything.You discover your wife has been in the man's house.It seems she knew him.Now the police need to speak to you.One night turns Alex Mercer's life upside down. He loves his family and he wants to protect them, but there is too much he doesn't know.He doesn't know how the cracks in his and Millicent's marriage have affected their son, Max. Or how Millicent's bracelet came to be under the neighbour's bed. He doesn't know how to be a father to Max when his own world is shattering into pieces.Then the murder investigation begins…

American Blood by Ben Sanders
A former undercover cop now in witness protection finds himself pulled into the search for a missing woman. An explosive, unputdownable work of suspense from a fresh voice in crime fiction.
After a botched undercover operation, ex-NYPD officer Marshall Grade is living in witness protection in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Marshall's instructions are to keep a low profile: the mob wants him dead, and a contract killer known as the Dallas Man has been hired to track him down. Racked with guilt over wrongs committed during his undercover work, and seeking atonement, Marshall investigates the disappearance of a local woman named Alyce Ray.

Members of a drug ring seem to hold clues to Ray's whereabouts, but hunting traffickers is no quiet task. Word of Marshall's efforts spreads, and soon the worst elements of his former life, including the Dallas Man, are coming for him.

Tightrope by Simon Mawers

An historical thriller that brings back Marian Sutro, ex-Special Operations agent, and traces her romantic and political exploits in post-World War II London, where the Cold War is about to reshape old loyalties.
Marian Sutro has survived Ravensbruck and is now back in dreary 1950s London trying to pick up the pieces of her pre-war life. De-briefed by the same shadowy branch of the secret service that sent her to Paris to extract a French atomic scientist, Marian is now plunged into the cold war. Simon Mawer's sense of time and place is perfect and this is another compelling novel about identity and deception which constantly surprises the reader.

Noonday by Pat Barker
Paul Tarrant, Elinor Brooke and Kit Neville first met in 1914 at the Slade School of Art, before their generation lost hope, faith and much else besides on the battlefields of Ypres and the Somme. Now it is 1940, they are middle-aged, and another war has begun. London is a haunted city. Some have even turned to seances in an attempt to contact lost loved ones. As the bombs fall and Elinor and the others struggle to survive, old temptations and obsessions return, and all of them are forced to make choices about what they really want...

The tea planters wife by Dinah Jefferies
Two newlyweds: practically strangers, deeply in love, and each hiding a secret from the other . . . 

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper steps off a steamship in Ceylon eager to begin her new life as a married woman. But the husband who greets her is distant, secretive and brooding. Laurence is forever away working, leaving his young English bride to explore the vast tea plantation alone. Wandering into forbidden places, Gwen finds locked doors, trunks filled with dusty dresses, a tiny overgrown grave - clues to a hidden, unspeakable past.
Gwen soon falls pregnant and her husband is overjoyed, but in the delivery room she is faced with a terrible choice - one she must hide from Laurence at all costs. When the time comes to reveal the truth, how will he ever forgive what she has done?

Don't get me wrong by Marianne Kavanagh
Londoners Kim and Harry can’t see eye to eye…until the life of the person they both love most hangs in the balance.
Kim has never grasped what her free-spirited big sister Eva sees in a stuck-up banker like Harry and has spent her childhood trying to keep him out, while Harry’s favourite occupation is winding Kim up.
Both Harry and Kim are too trapped in their prejudices to care about what’s really going on beneath the surface of each other’s lives. They’ll never understand each other—until the worst of all tragedy strikes.
Faced with the possibility of losing the person they both love most, long-buried secrets come to a head in ways that will change both Harry and Kim forever.

The heart goes last by Margaret Atwood
 Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around—and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in . . . for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their “civilian” homes.
     At first, this doesn’t seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one’s head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan’s life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.

After you by JoJo Moyes
Lou Clark has lots of questions.
Like how it is she's ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.
Or why the flat she's owned for a year still doesn't feel like home.
Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.
And will she ever get over the love of her life.
What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.
Then, one night, it does.
But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for – or just more questions?
Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.
Open it and she risks everything.
But Lou once made a promise to live.  And if she's going to keep it, she has to invite them in. . .

The blue between sky and water by Susan Abulhawa
It is 1947, and Beit Daras, a quiet village in Palestine surrounded by olive groves, is home to the Baraka family. Eldest daughter Nazmiyeh looks after her widowed mother, prone to wandering and strange outbursts, while her brother Mamdouh tends to the village bees. Their younger sister, Mariam, with her striking mismatched eyes, spends her days talking to imaginary friends and writing.
When Israeli forces gather outside the town's borders, nobody suspects the terror that is about to descend. Soon the village is burning and, amidst smoke and ash, the family must take the long road to Gaza, in a walk that will test them to their limits.
Sixty years later, Mamdouh's granddaughter Nur is living in America. She falls in love with a married man, a doctor who works in Palestine, and follows him to Gaza. There she meets Alwan, the mother of Khaled – a boy trapped in his own body, unable to wake up from a deep blue dream. It is through her that Nur will at last discover the ties of kinship that transcend distance – and even death.

This is your life Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison
With Bernard, her husband of fifty-five years, now in the grave, seventy-eight-year-old Harriet Chance impulsively sets sail on an ill-conceived Alaskan cruise that her late husband had planned. But what she hoped would be a voyage leading to a new lease on life becomes a surprising and revelatory journey into Harriet’s past.
There, amid the overwhelming buffets and the incessant lounge singers, between the imagined appearances of her late husband and the very real arrival of her estranged daughter midway through the cruise, Harriet is forced to take a long look back, confronting the truth about pivotal events that changed the course of her life. And in the process she discovers that she’s been living the better part of that life under entirely false assumptions.

We Love Reading...staff picks for October

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I was prepared to be unimpressed with 'The Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins because I have some sort of built in distrust for things that everyone tells me are great.  Well, I haven't stayed up late to finish a book in a long time, but this week I did. I did find it odd that I was so taken in because I don't think that any of the characters are particularly sympathetic.  Rachel, the girl on the train of the title, finds her life spiralling out of control since her marriage broke up and she is drinking heavily. Every day she travels back and forth to London on the train and passes the couple she names Jess and Jason having breakfast on their deck, and invents a life for them. One day she sees 'Jess' kissing another man and soon after she is reported missing and then found dead. Nothing is as it seems as the plot twists and turns and Rachel's blackouts make her doubt everything she thinks she saw. This book has a long reserve queue, but it is well worth the wait.
~ Deb H

Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I was looking forward to reading this book touted as the new Gone Girl. Rachel is the woman who has lost it all and has become a drunken embarrassment who can't let go of her former husband who has moved on with a new wife and baby.  From her daily train she sees a couple who seem perfect but when the wife goes missing she feels caught in the mystery and the story races along to an unexpected ending. I found myself changing my mind about who had done it and why as Rachel, Tom her ex husband ,his new wife anna and the missing wife Megan  and her husband Scott are all flawed characters with secrets to hide.

Master and God by Lindsey Davis
Lindsey Davis's meticulously researched epic novel of the life and times surrounding the last and least known of the Flavian dynasty of Roman emperors, the unstable and brutal Domitian. Gaius Vinius is a former soldier and Vigil, recruited into the Praetorians - the Emperor's personal guard - and a man with a disastrous marriage history. Flavia Lucilla is the imperial court hair stylist, responsible not only for creating the ridiculous hairstyles worn by the imperial ladies but also for making wigs for the balding and increasingly paranoid emperor. They are brought together by a devastating fire in Rome - which leads to a lifelong relationship. They then find themselves part of Domitian's court as his once talented rule begins to unravel into madness and cruelty, and eventual involvement in the conspiracy to remove the Emperor from power and history. Davis is well known for her Falco detective novels set in Flavian Rome, and she is expert in recreating the period. This is a novel of adventure and romance, set in exotic ancient Rome, but also historically accurate and very compelling.

 Past the shallows by Favel Parrett
Set on the East coast of Tasmania, Past the shallows is the story of three brothers and their violent father, an abalone fisherman with unpredictable moods and a terrible secret. This haunting novel has a deep sense of foreboding throughout. There are very few light moments in the story but despite that I found it thoroughly engaging with a reality that rings true. As a surfer I was drawn to this book by the Australian coastal landscape, which the author has captured beautifully. Indeed, the landscape, and the ocean in particular, is a significant character in the book; one moment providing safety and comfort to the boys and the next becoming wild, angry and threatening; oscillating between representing the boys father and their dead mother. It is the landscape that lets this books sit alongside Robert Drewe, Tim Winton's Dirt Music and Breath, the Broken Shore by Peter Temple and Quota by Jock Serong. It is interesting to note that there are almost no female characters in this story, despite it being the debut novel of a female author. Favel Parrett has captured the 'maleness' of the characters exceptionally well.

This is the third book of short stories by this interesting author.  An anthology of horror, ghost, science fiction and fairytales that explores the many faces that people wear and what really lies beneath.  If you haven’t tried short stories before and like something a bit different this may be the book for you.

A man called Ove by Fredrik Backman
You will love or hate this book. This was a deceptively simple story about a miserable, quirky 59 year old man named Ove. He is a quirky character with strict principles and old fashioned values- you may recognise aspects of Ove's character in some grumpy old man you know! Behind his curmudgeon exterior, lies a man who has experienced sadness and tragedy in his life. Ove is struggling to continue living after forced retirement and the death of his wife, Sonja, after forty years of happy marriage. Sonja was, he believes, the only person who ever truly understood him.  Ove's back story is told through a series of flashbacks offering insights into his character and glimpses of his compassion and kindness. A poignant, moving and often humorous story. Highly recommended.

Online Computer Training

Need to upgrade your job skills? Your library card is all you need to access online resources that will enhance your existing work-related skills, or help you acquire new ones.

Learn a variety of computing skills with this self-paced and interactive program. Courses include Windows 8, Microsoft Office 2010 and social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Blogger)

Create a new account to start Computer Training Online and keep track of your progress through the different lessons. Spend 10 minutes or 10 hours at a time. Take one week or the rest of the year to complete the tasks. It's entirely self-paced so the time you devote is up to you. Your progression through the sessions will be recorded so you always know where to take it up again.

Once you have entered your library card number, New Users of Computer Training Online will need to Create an Account. Just fill in this basic form:

Decide which course you'd like to start with...

Pick the version you wish to know more about..

Launch whichever lesson you want .....

Each task provides an estimated time, and the number of steps, for completion. But there is no actual time limit...take as little or as much time as required.

Once complete, restart the task again and again until you've got it!

Each session is interactive, requiring you to participate in the learning process, so you are actually completing the tasks you are being taught about. The training screens replicate exactly what you will be seeing when you attempt the same process 'live' on your computer.

This suite of courses, if completed, will go a long way in providing the knowledge required in computer skills to get that first job, or get back into the workforce after a break.