Miles Franklin Award Longlist 2015

Ten books have been longlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Award. Three debut novelists and eight women are on the list, including award - winning authors Sonya Hartnett and Joan London.

The shortlist will be released on Monday May 18 and the winner will be announced on June 23.

 Miles Franklin Literary Award Longlist, 2015.

 Golden Boys  
by Sonya Hartnett

 In Certain Circles 
by Elizabeth Harrower


The Golden Age
by Joan London
        The Eye of the Sheep 
by Sofie Laguna


The Lost Child
by  Suzanne McCourt

     Here Come the Dogs
by Omar Musa


When the night comes
 by Favel Parrett
After darkness 
by Christine Piper

 Tree Palaceby Craig Sherborne
by Inga Simpson


Earth Hour 2015: Make it a reading hour!

This Saturday 28 March, 8.30pm marks Earth Hour, when everyone is encouraged to switch of the lights for an hour as a symbol of your commitment to the planet.
Why not spend the hour reading by candlelight! It's the perfect time to borrow something from the Library you can read in an hour- a short story!
Hover over the book covers below to find out more more about each book.

The scent of almonds and other stories
by Camilla Lackberg

by Phil Klay

The boy who could see death 
by Sally Vickers
Stone Mattress
by Margaret Atwood

Trigger Warning
by Neil Gaiman

   Dancing in the Dark
           by Karl Ove Knausgaard





Eco reads for Earth Hour 2015

The year of the flood by Margaret Atwood
Although this is the second book in the MaddAdam trilogy, each one is a standalone read. This is really a companion read to the first book, Oryx and Crake. It is told from the viewpoint God's gardeners, a religious group who are devoted to preserving all plant and animal life.  They are surviving in a bioengineered future world, predicting the the long feared waterless flood will decimate the Earth.  Described as a dystopic masterpiece, this is an epic read.

Flight behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver
Taking on climate change in her seventh novel, this is the story of global warming set in fictional Fetherston Tennessee. The battle to save a flaming forest of Monarch butterflies is interwoven with the coming of age story of Dellarobia Turnbow

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
A thought provoking sci fi novel telling the story of a catastrophic event rendering the Earth, asking what would happen if the world was ending. The moon mysteriously explodes, giving Earth about two years to ensure the survival of the human race in outer space. An epic read, this novel spans five thousand years, a narrative about an all too possible the future of  Earth. This one is so new, Library copies are on order. Place your request now!

The last Pulse by Anson Cameron
A novel set on the drought stricken town of Bartel in South Australia. Showcasing the current issues of water and farming, Australian politics and climate change, this is an amusing and irreverent story where the underdog wins the battle.

Drought by Graham Masterton
A Californian environmental disaster thriller. What would happen if the water ran out? It hasn't rained for months and the taps run dry at the height of summer. It wasn't an accident...  This is a page turner you will find hard to put down.

Black Horizon by James Grippando
Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swytek is back in the eleventh book of this series. A legal thriller, this story is focusing on a contemporary environmental  issue, a devastating oil spill in Cuban waters, which is threatening the United States. Was it an accident, or not ?

A fear of dark Water by Craig Russell
The sixth book in the Jan Fabel series, this police procedural starts with a focus on environmental politics,  cyber crime and cultism. The book starts with an environmental summit about to begin when a massive storm hits the city. When the flood waters recede, a  headless torso is discovered washed up...

Rock Bottom by Erin Brockovich with CJ Lyons
This is the debut thriller by Erin Brockovich, well known advocate of environmental issues. Writing about what she knows, her story showcases the environmental issue of mountain top removal mining. If you enjoy this, read more about her main character, environmental activist A J Palladino in her second book,  Hot Water.

Solar by Ian McEwan
A story of global warming. The main character, Nobel Laureate in Physics Michael Beard, is a completely unlikeable character, who is ambitious, greedy and deluded. on his fifth marriage, he has built up a reputation as a champion of solar energy, based on research he has passed off as his own. Then his past begins to catch up with him. Despite being very well written, this book received mixed reviews. Read it and decide for yourself what you think. 

The hammer of Eden by Ken Follet
Time is running out for California.
An extreme group of eco terrorists are threatening to set off an earthquake of epic proportions unless their demands are met.  They have the know how and means to do it. FBI agent Judy Maddox is the only one who can stop them. The villian of the piece, Priest is not above murder or mayhem to achieve what he wants.
 Full of twists and turns, this suspenseful thriller is worth a read. Hard to put down. 


Readalikes...Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

If you liked...

Girl on the train by Paula Hawkins is the literary sensation of 2015. It seems everyone is reading and talking about this debut psychological thriller... 

Rachel is a washed-up thirty-something who creates a fantasy about the seemingly perfect couple she sees during her daily train ride into London. When the woman goes missing, Rachel manages to insert herself into the investigation of the woman’s disappearance. In the vein of Gone Girl, this dark psychological thriller is fast-paced and features some very unreliable narrators.

Why not try...

The kind worth killing by Peter Swanson

Don't try to find me by Holly Brown

Unbecoming: a novel by Rebecca Scherm

The good girl by Mary Kubica

What Alice forgot by Liane Moriarty

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberley McCreight

Looking for more books like this? Find them on the Library catalogue.


We love reading...staff picks March, 2015.

Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne
This is the true story of one of the most famous Indian chiefs in the history of the American West, Quanah Parker. But it is also the story of the rise and fall of the Comanche, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history, and the final settlement of the American West by Europeans under the United States Government. This book details the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker, kidnapped by Comanche, who became a Comanche, married to a warrior-chief, and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanche tribe. Although readers may be more familiar with tribes like the Apache and Sioux, and the names of chiefs such as Geronimo, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanche that determined just how and when the American West opened up. Taught to ride before they could walk, Comanche warriors were considered the greatest light horsemen who ever rode. And they proved it for 150 years against all comers in defence of their home. This is a very readable book, which has a great deal of thorough research behind it. A must read for those interested in the history of the American West.

~Reviewed by Glenn

Dark Emu: black seeds: agriculture or accident by Bruce Pascoe
This very readable slim book is an eye opener! It takes the reader on a whirlwind tour through the written observations of the early European explorers of Australia. By viewing what was written at the time (first impressions) and taking those observations at face value (not filtered by the official myth of Terra Nullis), an alternate view of pre invasion, indigenous culture is presented.
Taking an anthropological stance, the evidence is used to demonstrate cultural practices, which had all the elements required to judge Australia’s indigenous peoples as sedentary and farmers; sewing, agriculture, storage, architecture etc. This book requires one to think that the popularist hunter/gatherer categorisation needs to be overturned.

~Reviewed by Jacinta

The Other by David Guterson
The Other follows two friends, Neil Countryman and John William Barry, as they grow from teenagers into young men in 1970s Seattle. The interest here lies in the differences between the two men; Neil leads an average life, landing a solid job after college and marrying. John William, however, starts questioning the materialistic and wasteful society he was born to and becomes an eccentric recluse. Though their lives are far from parallel, the friendship between the two men bind them together until the tragic end. This book makes you toy with  the idea of being the 'other,' someone who rejects modern day ideals and embraces a simpler, less harmful way of life.

~ Reviewed by Kat

A fig at the Gate by Kate Llewellyn.
It is a lovely gentle read - a diary of gardening, family, friends and ageing.  The author obviously loves gardens and had established gardens at her homes is the Blue Mountains and Wollongong so when she moved to Adelaide she set about planting a garden with fruit trees.  She also learnt to care for chickens and ducks. The book lets you see the beauty of the seasons and the value of good friends, food and life generally.
Lovely change from Nordic crime!
~Reviewed by Angela

Afternoons in Ithaka by Spiradoula Tsintziras
Fantastic book! The Author is a Greek Australian woman who writes about her life, trips to visit her extended family in Greece, her Mother and how she was like the Greek community's therapist, her Father's passion for growing tomatoes, travelling with her friends, meeting the love of her life and building a pizza oven in her backyard. So easy to read and at the end of each chapter is a delicious recipe! Best book I've read in a while.


Parking at Miranda Library has never been easier.

Have you been to Miranda Library?

Miranda Library is one of the hidden gems of the Sutherland Shire Libraries network. It is a lovely quiet space with lots of natural light, a leafy outlook, friendly and helpful staff, many wonderful books and resources and a spacious and serene study area.

Now that the recent stage of Westfield is complete, parking for the library has never been easier, and you get 3 hours for free! (Longer stays incur fees payable to Westfield at the pay machines located inside Westfield.)

Bring your kids to our weekly Rhymetime or Storytime sessions (during school terms) or if knitting is more your style, drop-in to our drop-in knitting group which meets at 10am on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month.

We are located between the Westfield carpark and Miranda Public School on Wandella Road and you access us via the Westfield car park.

*If your GPS directs you towards Coles/Seymour Shaw Park on Wandella Road, ignore it and turn around, you are heading the wrong way.

To get to Miranda Library by Car

From President Avenue:

Turn up Wandella Road, at top of hill, enter Westfield carpark and park on ground floor.
In the car park, walk north (towards Kingsway) and out through exits near the carpark stairs.
The library is the building next to the M.O.O.S.H day care centre.

From the Kingsway:

Turn up Wandella Road, towards Westfield, continue past Westfield and down the hill to the roundabout.
At the roundabout, turn around 360 degrees and head back up the hill, at top of hill, enter Westfield car park and park on ground floor.
In the carpark, walk north (towards Kingsway) and out through exits near the carpark stairs.
The library is the building next to the M.O.O.S.H day care centre.

To get to Miranda Library on Foot

From within Westfield:

Exit Westfield through either Myer or Rebel Sport exits to Purple level 4 parking.
Follow marked pathway across footbridge that crosses Wandella Road and down the first set of stairs on your right.
As you exit the carpark building the library is the first building on your left.


Stella Prize Shortlist 2015

Congratulations to the six novelists who have been shortlisted for the Stella Prize, 2015. The 2015 Stella Prize will be awarded in Melbourne on the evening of Tuesday 21 April. Who do you think should win? 
The Strays by Emily Bitto
In The Strays, Evan Trentham is the wild child of the Melbourne art world of the 1930s. He and his captivating wife, Helena, attempt to carve out their own small niche, to escape the stifling conservatism they see around them, by gathering together other like-minded artists. They create a utopian circle within their family home, offering these young artists a place to live and work, and the mixed benefits of being associated with the infamous Evan. At the periphery of this circle is Lily Struthers, the best friend of Evan and Helena's daughter Eva. Lily is infatuated by the world she bears witness to, and longs to be part of this enthralling makeshift family. As Lily observes years later, looking back on events that she still carries painfully within her, the story of this groundbreaking circle involved the same themes as Evan Trentham's art: Faustian bargains and terrible recompense; spectacular fortunes and falls from grace. Yet it was not Evan, nor the other artists he gathered around him, but his own daughters, who paid the debt that was owing.

The Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Kenneally
We are doomed to repeat history if we fail to learn from it, but how are we affected by the forces that are invisible to us? In The Invisible History of the Human Race Christine Kenneally draws on cutting-edge research to reveal how both historical artifacts and DNA tell us where we come from and where we may be going. While some books explore our genetic inheritance and popular television shows celebrate ancestry, this is the first book to explore how everything from DNA to emotions to names and the stories that form our lives are all part of our human legacy. Kenneally shows how trust is inherited in Africa, silence is passed down in Tasmania, and how the history of nations is written in our DNA. From fateful, ancient encounters to modern mass migrations and medical diagnoses, Kenneally explains how the forces that shaped the history of the world ultimately shape each human who inhabits it.The word 'brilliant' gets thrown around a lot, but it should be saved for Christine Kenneally and her book The Invisible History of the Human Race.

The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna
'Ned was beside me, his messages running easily through him, with space between each one, coming through him like water. He was the go-between, going between the animal kingdom and this one. I watched the waves as they rolled and crashed towards us, one after another, never stopping, always changing. I knew what was making them come, I had been there and I would always know.' Meet Jimmy Flick. He's not like other kids - he's both too fast and too slow. He sees too much, and too little. Jimmy's mother Paula is the only one who can manage him. She teaches him how to count sheep so that he can fall asleep. She holds him tight enough to stop his cells spinning. It is only Paula who can keep Jimmy out of his father's way. But when Jimmy's world falls apart, he has to navigate the unfathomable world on his own, and make things right.

The Golden Age by Joan London
This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. From one of Australia's most loved novelists. He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home. Perth, 1954.

Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven
Winner of the 2013 David Unaipon Award. In this award-winning work of fiction, Ellen van Neerven takes her readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical and still achingly real. Over three parts, she takes traditional storytelling and gives it a unique, contemporary twist. In 'Heat', we meet several generations of the Kresinger family and the legacy left by the mysterious Pearl. In 'Water', van Neerven offers a futuristic imagining of a people whose existence is under threat. While in 'Light', familial ties are challenged and characters are caught between a desire for freedom and a sense of belonging. Heat and Light presents a surprising and unexpected narrative journey while heralding the arrival of an exciting new talent in Australian writing.

Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba-Clarke
The book is called Foreign Soil. Inside its covers, a desperate asylum seeker is pacing the hallways of Sydney's notorious Villawood detention centre, a seven-year-old Sudanese boy has found solace in a patchwork bike, an enraged black militant is on the warpath through the rebel squats of 1960s Brixton, a Mississippi housewife decides to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her son from small-town ignorance, a young woman leaves rural Jamaica in search of her destiny, and a Sydney schoolgirl loses her way.

Stella Prize Longlist 2015: 

Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey 
This House of Grief by Helen Garner 
Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett
Nest by Inga Simpson
In My Mother’s Hands by Biff Ward
Laurinda by Alice Pung
Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba-Clarke
Heat and Light by Ellen Van Neerven
The Golden Age by Joan London
The Eye of the Sheep by Sophie Laguna
The Strays by Emily Bitto
The Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Keneally