Adult Summer Reading Club: Books that make you think...thought provoking reads

These books will stay with you, long after you finish the book.


The book of strange new things by Michael Faber
It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC.   His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter’s teachings—his Bible is their “book of strange new things.” But Peter is rattled when Bea’s letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling.  Bea’s faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.
Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable.  While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival.  Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us.

 J by Howard Jacobson
Set in the future - a world where the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited - J is a love story of incomparable strangeness, both tender and terrifying. Howard Jacobson, one of Britain's greatest novelists and winner of the 2010 Man Booker prize, has written a novel which 'may well come to be seen as the dystopian British novel of its times'. (John Burnside, Guardian)
Two people fall in love, not yet knowing where they have come from or where they are going. Kevern doesn't know why his father always drew two fingers across his lips when he said a word starting with a J. It wasn't then, and isn't now, the time or place to be asking questions. Ailinn too has grown up in the dark about who she was or where she came from. On their first date Kevern kisses the bruises under her eyes. He doesn't ask who hurt her. Brutality has grown commonplace. They aren't sure if they have fallen in love of their own accord, or whether they've been pushed into each other's arms. But who would have pushed them, and why?

 Tampa by Alissa Nutting
 In Alissa Nutting’s novel Tampa, Celeste Price, a smoldering 26-year-old middle-school teacher in Florida, unrepentantly recounts her elaborate and sociopathically determined seduction of a 14-year-old student.
 Celeste has chosen and lured the charmingly modest Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his eighth-grade teacher, and, most importantly, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after dark, rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works the late shift, and body-slamming erotic encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress of pure motivation. She deceives everyone, is close to no one, and cares little for anything but her pleasure.

 The zone of interest by Martin Amis
 Once upon a time there was a king, and the king commissioned his favorite wizard to create a magic mirror. This mirror didn’t show you your reflection. It showed you your soul—it showed you who you really were.
The wizard couldn’t look at it without turning away. The king couldn’t look at it. The courtiers couldn’t look at it. A chestful of treasure was offered to anyone who could look at it for sixty seconds without turning away. And no one could.
 The Zone of Interest is a love story with a violently unromantic setting. Can love survive the mirror? Can we even meet each other’s eye, after we have seen who we really are?
Powered by both wit and compassion, and in characteristically vivid prose, Martin Amis’s unforgettable new novel excavates the depths and contradictions of the human soul.

The children act by Ian McEwan
Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now, her marriage of thirty years is in crisis.
At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely held faith? In the course of reaching a decision Fiona visits Adam in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.


The hunger angel by Herta Muller

'I know you'll return'. These are his grandmother's last words to him. He has them in his head as he boards the truck at 3am on a freezing mid-January morning in 1945. They keep him company during the long journey to Russia. They keep him alive - through hunger, pain, and despair - during his time in the brutal Soviet labour camps. And, eventually, they bring him back home. But when he does return, he finds that an embarrassed, traumatised silence hangs over his harrowing experiences. Even with his two friends, fellow Romanian-Germans who survived the camps with him, the memories that have branded them so indelibly seem impossible to put into words.


**Don't forget to to fill in an entry form and drop it into an entry box at any of the library branches for your chance to win an Adult Summer Reading Club weekly prize.

Share/Bookmark

We love reading...staff picks January 2015.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
When Diana Gabaldon wrote this book she had no intention of publishing it but just wanted to practice writing a book. Her readers are quite happy she decided to do this as it has become a bestseller all around the world. It is a book that defies genre so it appeals to many different types of readers. It is part historical fiction; the setting changes from Scotland at the end of World War 2, before heading back to the 1740’s a few years before Bonnie Prince Charlie’s ill-fated attempt to win back the British throne. It has a fantastical or magic aspect due to the main character Claire, an ex army nurse, falling back through time after an encounter with a mysterious stone circle in the highlands. There is plenty of adventure, as you might imagine, with much of the story focusing on Claire’s time with the Scottish highland clans. It is also a classic fish out of water story; Claire an independent 20th century English woman stuck in Scotland in a time where women were meant to be meek and submissive. There is romance as well in both times and Scotland itself is a character of the story. The reader is carried on a journey through time and country as Claire attempts to adjust to this new world she finds herself in; while desperately trying to find her way home.
~Reviewed by Debbie


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.
 ~Reviewed by Glenn


The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman
A previous reader said she could not finish this novel, as it was so tragic and she could see where it was heading.
The story of a lighthouse keeper off the WA coast at the beginning of the 20th century. Isabel falls in love with him and they have an idyllic existence in solitude on Janus Rock. She loses three babies and can no longer conceive. Quite understandably, when an infant girl is washed up on the island in a small boat together with a dead man, they adopt her as their own. The implications of this unravel after four years, when Tom the lighthouse keeper can no longer live the lie, and in an innocent attempt to console the mother on shore (whom he meets when on leave) the secret is betrayed.
The reader empathises with all three protagonists on such a deep level, but there seems no solution. They seem to be innocent victims of the events of Anzac Day 1926, when a mob of townsfolk, hating the baby's father because he is Austrian (not even German), chase him onto the boat and out to sea. World War I is still fresh in their memory. The reader is drawn into the web of right and wrong and human mistakes. Janus Rock where the lighthouse stands is named after the god Janus who looks in two opposing directions. The lighthouse stands between two oceans - the Indian and Great Southern. The silver rattle and the scorpion are also symbolic.
This is a complex novel, and perfect for book club discussion because of the intricate moral questions raised.
~Reviewed by Janet


A mad and wonderful thing by Mark Mulholland
I was recommended this book with the words, ‘worth reading, it’s a light little Irish tale’, however I did not find it so.
Johnny Donnelly is a young man of Ireland in the 1990’s, passionate about his new girl, Cora, his country and it’s divisions, as well as it’s poetry, prose and song. Johnny is Catholic and lives just on the southern edge of the border with Northern Ireland, and so has had the consequences of the divided Ireland at the forefront of his conscienciousness from a very young age.
In a primary school history essay, Johnny passionately argues that the 12 who died on a hunger strike for recognition as being political prisioners wasted their lives. He argues had they bided their time then killed, even one, English soldier each, after their release it would have been of more use to ‘the Irish cause’. This brings him to the attention of a teacher, who takes him under his wing, and gives him special training. He becomes a sniper for the IRA.
The Johnny’s tale is told, woven amongst his intimate relationships, which softens the reality for the reader a little, but can also emphasise how insidious this role is. Johnny must keep his true feelings about Ireland’s troubles and his own role in them, secret from family and friends, as one never knows where others allegiances lie.
This is a beautifully written, easy to read book. The various passions, along with, the descriptions of the Irish landscape, sweep you up and deposit you right in it. Light however, is not a word I’d use for a tale, which for me highlighted the personal tragedy of conflicts which never end, and the wide resonance of each ‘routine’ encounter.
~!Reviewed by Jacinta


Yes Please by Amy Poehler
When I first heard of this book, I instantly went straight to the Sutherland Shire Libraries Catalogue and put a hold on it. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and it has exceeded my expectations. When I first excited grasped that gem of a book, I quickly had a flick through. What I saw I could not unsee – Amy Poehler in 80’s leotard and tights complete with leg warmers sitting in a chair raising her left leg awkwardly with a full head of old lady white permed hair with the caption “do whatever you like.” Yes, Amy, I’ve always wanted to look like an old lady from the 80’s doing stretches.
The difference between this celebrity autobiography and other celebrity biographies is that this one has genuine photos of Amy Poehler that are often not staged or even flattering. She also includes cute things from her childhood, like her report card from school, a song that she wrote  and found years later and a poem that she wrote about her parents. Ms Poehler seems to be genuinely nice and will share her flaws and regrets with you as well as her loves and accomplishments. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, but doesn’t put herself down either. She shares some of her wisdom too, even if it is a bit cheeky. I found after reading this book, that I admire Amy Poehler even more, but also found that I want to just be a bit easier on myself and not take myself too seriously.
~Reviewed by Ali

Share/Bookmark

Adult Summer Reading Club...Books that take you to another place...

A different world, a different time, another continent...


The Blind Man's Garden by Nadeem Aslam
Growing up as brothers in a small town in Pakistan, Jeo and Mikal were inseparable; however as adults their paths have diverged sharply. Jeo is newly married and a dedicated medical student, while Mikal, in love with a woman he can’t have, has adopted the life of a vagabond. Nonetheless, when Jeo decides to slip across the border into Afghanistan to help civilians caught in the post-9/11 clash between American and Taliban forces, Mikal goes with him. But their good intentions cannot keep them out of harm’s way. A piercing portrayal of lives upended by war, The Blind Man’s Garden is an unflinching look at a world in which the line between enemy and ally is indistinct, and the desire to return home burns brightest of all.

In her masterful new novel, Nancy Horan has recreated a love story that is as unique, passionate, and overwhelmingly powerful as the one between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney depicted so memorably in Loving Frank. Under the Wide and Starry Sky chronicles the unconventional love affair of Scottish literary giant Robert Louis Stevenson, author of classics including Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and American divorcee Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. They meet in rural France in 1875, when Fanny, having run away from her philandering husband back in California, takes refuge there with her children.

It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter's teachings--his Bible is their "book of strange new things." But Peter is rattled when Bea's letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea's faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter. Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable. While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival. Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us.

 Archipelago by Monique Roffey
When a flood destroys Gavin Weald's home, tearing apart his family and his way of life, he doesn't know how to continue. A year later, he returns to his rebuilt home and tries to start again, but when the new rainy season arrives, so do his daughter's nightmares about the torrents, and life there becomes unbearable. So father and daughter and their dog - embark upon a voyage to make peace with the waters. Their journey will take them far from their Caribbean island home, into other unknown harbours and eventually across a massive ocean. They will sail through archipelagos, encounter the grandeur of the sea, meet with the challenges and surprises of the natural world. A miraculous future lies ahead of them, unknown territories await to be discovered. But it will take more than an ocean to put the memory of the flood behind them.

 The circle by Dave Eggers
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can't believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world--even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman's ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge

Paris in the 1920s shimmers with excitement, dissipation, and freedom. It is a place of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves. Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian, finds refuge with rising Hungarian photographer Gabor Tsenyi, socialite and art patron Baroness Lily de Rossignol; and caustic American writer Lionel Maine. As the years pass, their fortunes-- and the world itself-- evolve. Lou falls desperately in love and finds success as a race car driver. Gabor builds his reputation with startlingly vivid and imaginative photographs, including a haunting portrait of Lou and her lover, which will resonate through all their lives. As the exuberant twenties give way to darker times, Lou experiences another metamorphosis - sparked by tumultuous events - that will warp her earnest desire for love and approval into something far more.

The diving bell and the butterfly / Jean-Dominique Bauby ; translated from the French by Jeremy Leggatt
In 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby was the editor-in-chief of French Elle, the father of two young childen, a 44-year-old man known and loved for his wit, his style, and his impassioned approach to life. By the end of the year he was also the victim of a rare kind of stroke to the brainstem.  After 20 days in a coma, Bauby awoke into a body which had all but stopped working: only his left eye functioned, allowing him to see and, by blinking it, to make clear that his mind was unimpaired. Almost miraculously, he was soon able to express himself in the richest detail: dictating a word at a time, blinking to select each letter as the alphabet was recited to him slowly, over and over again. In the same way, he was able eventually to compose this extraordinary book.
By turns wistful, mischievous, angry, and witty, Bauby bears witness to his determination to live as fully in his mind as he had been able to do in his body. He explains the joy, and deep sadness, of seeing his children and of hearing his aged father's voice on the phone. In magical sequences, he imagines traveling to other places and times and of lying next to the woman he loves. Fed only intravenously, he imagines preparing and tasting the full flavor of delectable dishes. Again and again he returns to an "inexhaustible reservoir of sensations," keeping in touch with himself and the life around him.

**Don't forget to to fill in an entry form and drop it into an entry box at any of the library branches for your chance to win an Adult Summer Reading Club weekly prize.

Share/Bookmark

Travel tales...

Travel tales of adventure to inspire and motivate you. Enjoy some amusing, sad, sometimes thought provoking travel anecdotes. Discover some new exotic locations, both near and far, to visit. 

Travellers tales: stories from the ABC's foreign correspondents / compiled by Trevor Bormann
The ABC's foreign correspondents around the world report on global events - from war zones and areas of famine, flood and disaster - natural and man-made - they bring an incisive and objective perspective to an Australian audience. Just as 'Foreign Correspondent' gives correspondents latitude to cover stories not normally given news and current affairs air-time, as well as room to report in greater depth, the pieces in Travellers' Tales allow the journalists to write about events and places they know well from a personal point of view. From September 11 in New York to the siege of the Church of the Nativity in Jerusalem, from mercenaries in Sierra Leone to Princess Anne on a camel in Mongolia, whether they are amusing anecdotes or provide a new angle on an already famous international event, Travellers' Tales showcases the talents of the ABC's renowned foreign correspondents, past and present.
The further adventures of an idiot abroad  / Karl Pilkington ; photography by Freddie Claire; illustrations by Dominic Trevett
Our favourite idiot is back. Safely home from his latest travels, Karl has decided it is time to share his hard-earned wisdom of the world. Taking the Bucket List of '100 Things to Do Before You Die' as his starting point, Karl combines brilliant stories from his recent adventures to Alaska, Siberia and beyond with entertaining, highly-opinionated views on what other people aspire to do with their lives.

Why on earth would anybody want to run with the bulls in Pamplona, go 'storm chasing' through Tornado Alley, have lunch with the Queen, or touch hands with the Pope?

The last train to Zona Verde : overland from Cape Town to Angola / Paul Theroux
'Happy again, back in the kingdom of light,' writes Paul Theroux as he sets out on a new journey though the continent he knows and loves best.
Having travelled down the right-hand side of Africa in Dark Star Safari, he sets out this time from Cape Town, heading northwards in a new direction, up the left-hand side, through South Africa and Namibia, to Botswana, then on into Angola, heading for the Congo, in search of the end of the line. Journeying alone through the greenest continent in what he feels will be his last African journey, Theroux encounters a world increasingly removed from both the intineraries of tourists and the hopes of post-colonial independence movements. Leaving the Cape Town townships, traversing the Namibian bush, passing the browsing cattle of the great sunbaked heartland of the savannah, Theroux crosses 'the Red Line' into a different Africa: 'the improvised, slapped-together Africa of tumbled fences and cooking fires, of mud and thatch', of heat and poverty, and of roadblocks, mobs and anarchy.

Phaic Tan : sunstroke on a shoestring / [Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner & Rob Sitch]Hot on the success of 'Molvania', Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch have written the definitive travel guide to the beautiful South East Asian country of Phaic Tan. Encompassing everything we love about Asia, 'Phaic Tan' is a hilarious travel guide.






Life is a wheel : love, death, etc., and a bike ride across America / Bruce Weber
Based on his popular series in the New York Times chronicling his cross-country bicycle trip, bestselling author Bruce Weber shares his adventures from his solo ride across the USA. Riding a bicycle across the US is one of those bucket-list goals that many dream about but few achieve. Bestselling author and New York Times reporter Bruce Weber made the trip, solo, over the summer and fall of 2011--at the age of fifty-seven. Expanding upon his popular series published in The New York Times, Life Is a Wheel is the witty and inspiring account of his journey, where he extols the pleasures of cycling and reflects on what happened on his adventure, in the world, in the country, and in his life. The story begins on the Oregon coast with a middle-aged man wondering what he's gotten himself into and ends in triumph on the George Washington Bridge, wondering how soon he might try it again. Part travelogue, part memoir, part paean to the bicycle as a simple and elegant mode of both mobility and self-expression--and part wry and panicky account of a fifty-seven-year-old man's attempt to stave off mortality.


The global suitcase : inspiring stories of adventure from 25 interpid travel writers / [compiled by] Mary J 
Dinan
A compilation of interviews with everyday people and well-known personalities who have travelled extraordinary journeys or lived unusual lives, often guided by a cause, in the name of work, or in pursuit of adventure. It also includes interviews with people who have risked their lives for a cause or found a new cause through their travels.



The motorcycle diaries : notes on a Latin American journey / Ernesto Che Guevara ; preface by Aleida Guevara ; introduction by Cintio Vitier
These travel diaries capture the essence and exuberance of the young legend, Che Guevara. In January 1952, Che set out from Buenos Aires to explore South America on an ancient Norton motorcycle. He encounters an extraordinary range of people, from native Indians to copper miners, lepers and tourists, experiencing hardships and adventures that informed much of his later life. This expanded, new edition from Ocean Press, published with exclusive access to the Che Guevara Archives held in Havana, includes a preface by Che's daughter, Aleida Guevara. It also features previously unpublished photos (taken by Che on his travels), as well as new, unpublished parts of the diaries, poems and letters.


Consolation of the forest: alone in a cabin the middle taiga / by Sylvain Tesson ; translated from the French by Linda Coverdale
French publishing sensation, this is a haunting memoir of a man who decides to live like a hermit in Siberia for 6 months. Tapping into our fascination with escaping civilisation, Tesson records his struggle to survive, his times of despair but also moments of ecstasy, inner peace and harmony with nature.
From February to July 2010, he lived in silence, solitude, and cold. His cabin, built by Soviet geologists in the Brezhnev years, is a cube of logs three meters by three meters, heated by a cast iron skillet, six-day walk from the nearest village and hundreds of miles of track.



Never mind the bullocks : one girl's 10,000 km adventure around India in the world's cheapest car / Vanessa Able
Behind the wheel of a yellow Tata Nano (the world's cheapest car), Vanessa steers the reader through a hilarious, high-octane adventure. Taking any help she can get from loopy spiritual gurus to professional driving instructors, and even a divine insurance policy she drives her way around an alien road network through India's white-knuckle traffic where vehicle size, full-beam lights and roads that simply disappear seem to trump all common sense. Narrowly escaping death by truck, she learns the real rules of the road, the vehicle pecking order, and to appreciate the true kings of the dusty tarmac: the bullocks. En route, she falls hopelessly in love with a mathematician named Thor who might be, ironically, the worst driver she s ever met. Their romance does not start promisingly the first rendezvous is interrupted by that universal passion-killer, Delhi belly but will they survive unexpected sheep-jams, a car full of elephant slime, and the endless cacophony of horns?

Slow train to Guantamano / Peter Millar

In this rambling odyssey set in the later days of the Castro regime, award-winning journalist Peter Millar jumps on board the Cuban railway system, once the pride of Latin America - now a crippled casualty case - to undertake a railway odyssey the length of Cuba in the dying days of the Castro regime. This is a journey everyone will want to read about but no one in their right mind would want to follow!

Share/Bookmark

Zinio Digital Magazine of the Month - Inside Out

One of Australia's best interiors magazine, Inside Out delivers inspiring homes, clever design ideas and practical decorating solutions. Discover the latest homewares trends, stunning outdoor spaces, and what's new for the living room, kitchen, bathroom and garden.

January’s edition of Inside Out includes an exciting 38 page feature, room to grow, looking after ‘before’ and ‘after’ projects, including dream kitchens and quick fix transformations. Also, get the latest tips on how to create the ideal outdoor space for entertaining guest, as well as the latest colour combinations for the summer season. Plus, don’t miss out on how to brighten up your workspace for 2015!

Library members can download the magazine FREE from Zinio.

Share/Bookmark

Adult Summer Reading Club...Books to read over Summer




We are called to rise by Laura McBride 
In the predawn hours, a woman's marriage crumbles with a single confession. Across town, an immigrant family struggles to get by in the land of opportunity. Three thousand miles away, a soldier wakes up in hospital with the vague feeling he's done something awful. In a single moment, these disparate lives intersect. Faced with seemingly insurmountable loss, each person must decide whether to give in to despair, or to find the courage and resilience to rise. We are called to rise is a story about a child's fate. It is a story about families - the ones we have and the ones we make. It challenges us to think about our responsibilities to each other while reminding us that compassion and charity can rescue even our darkest moments.


In the light of what we know by Zia Haider Rahman
 One September morning in 2008, an investment banker approaching forty, his career in collapse and his marriage unravelling, receives a surprise visitor at his West London home. He struggles to place the dishevelled figure carrying a backpack, until he recognizes a friend from his student days, a brilliant man who disappeared years earlier under mysterious circumstances. The friend has resurfaced to make a confession of unsettling power.
The lives of others by Neel Mukherjee
Calcutta, 1967. Unnoticed by his family, Supratik has become dangerously involved in extremist political activism. Compelled by an idealistic desire to change his life and the world around him, all he leaves behind before disappearing is this note …The ageing patriarch and matriarch of his family, the Ghoshes, preside over their large household, unaware that beneath the barely ruffled surface of their lives the sands are shifting. More than poisonous rivalries among sisters-in-law, destructive secrets, and the implosion of the family business, this is a family unravelling as the society around it fractures. For this is a moment of turbulence, of inevitable and unstoppable change: the chasm between the generations, and between those who have and those who have not, has never been wider. 

The emperor waltz by Philip Hensher
An astonishing novel, ‘The Emperor Waltz’ draws together various narrative strands into a compelling symphonic whole. In a third-century desert settlement on the fringes of the Roman Empire, a new wife becomes fascinated by a cult that is persecuted by the Emperor Diocletian. In 1922, Christian, a young artist, travels to Weimar to begin his studies at the Bauhaus, where the avant-garde confronts conservative elements around it. With postwar Germany in turmoil, while the Bauhaus attempts to explore radical ways of thinking and living, Christian finds that love will change him for ever. And in 1970s London Duncan uses his inheritance to establish the country’s first gay bookshop in the face of opposition from the neighbours and victimisation by the police.

A god in every stone by Kamila Shamsie
July 1914. Young Englishwoman Vivian Rose Spencer is running up a mountainside in an ancient land, surrounded by figs and cypresses. Soon she will discover the Temple of Zeus, the call of adventure, and the ecstasy of love.                                 Thousands of miles away a twenty-year old Pathan, Qayyum Gul, is learning about brotherhood and loyalty in the British Indian army. July, 1915. Qayyum Gul is returning home after losing an eye at Ypres, his allegiances in tatters. Viv is following the mysterious trail of her beloved. They meet on a train to Peshawar, unaware that a connection is about to be forged between their lives – one that will reveal itself fifteen years later, on the Street of Storytellers, when a brutal fight for freedom, an ancient artefact and a mysterious green-eyed woman will bring them together again.                

Sussex, 1912.
In a churchyard, villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will die in the coming year are thought to walk. Here, where the estuary leads out to the sea, superstitions still hold sway.Standing alone is the taxidermist's daughter. At twenty-two, Constantia Gifford lives with her father in a decaying house: it contains all that is left of Gifford's once world-famous museum of taxidermy. The stuffed birds that used to grace every parlour are out of fashion, leaving Gifford a disgraced and bitter man. The string of events that led to the museum's closure are never spoken of and an accident has robbed Connie of any memory of those days.  The bell begins to toll and all eyes are fixed on the church. No one sees the gloved hands holding a garotte. As the last notes fade into the dark, a woman lies dead.While the village braces itself against rising waters and the highest tide of the season, Connie struggles to discover who is responsible - and why the incident is causing memories to surface from her own vanished years. Does she know the figure she sees watching from the marshes? Who is the mysterious caller that leaves a note without being seen? And what is the secret that lies at the heart of Blackthorn House, hidden among the bell jars of her father's workshop?

Funny girl by Nick Hornby
Barbara Parker is Miss Blackpool of 1964, but she doesn't want to be a beauty queen. She wants to make people laugh, like her heroine Lucille Ball. So she leaves Blackpool and her family behind, takes herself off to London, and gets a job behind the cosmetics counter of a Kensington department store, while trying to work out how she can get herself noticed. A chance meeting with an agent results in a new name and an audition for a new BBC comedy series. Sophie Straw's time has come.   Funny Girl is the story of a television programme, and the people responsible for it: the writers, Tony and Bill, friends since National Service and comedy obsessives; producer Dennis, Oxbridge- educated, clever, mild and devoted to his team in general and Sophie in particular; and Sophie's good-enough looking co-star Clive, who feels that he's destined for better things.                                                                                                                                                                                        

**Don't forget to to fill in an entry form and drop it into an entry box at any of the library branches for your chance to win an Adult Summer Reading Club weekly prize.

Share/Bookmark

Crime Fiction Open Book Group starting February at Menai Library



Do you love reading crime fiction? Join our Crime Open Book Group at Menai Library, investigating a different crime novel each month. Reading everything from classics to contemporary, mysteries, thrillers and more. Starting Thursday 12 February 2.00pm at Menai Library. Call  9543 5747 for further details. Book online: http://bit.ly/14N35tB

Looking for some crime fiction to read over the holidays? Try the top ten Australian crime fiction titles of 2014 as selected by Angela Savage.

Sweet One by Peter Docker 
When a senior Aboriginal war veteran dies horribly at the hands of state government authorities, Izzy, a journalist and daughter of a war veteran herself, flies to the goldfields of Western Australia to cover his death. But Izzy is about to learn that for every action there is an equal and bloody reaction. On the trail of the vigilantes, she finds herself embedded in a secret war that is finally, irrevocably, going to explode to the surface.




What Came Before by Anna George 
My name is David James Forrester. I'm a solicitor. Tonight, at 6.10, I killed my wife. This is my statement.

In Melbourne's inner west, David sits in his car, dictaphone in hand. He's sick to his stomach but determined to record his version of events. His wife Elle hovers over her own lifeless body as it lies in the laundry of the house they shared. David thinks back on their relationship – intimate, passionate, intense – and what led to this terrible night.
From her eerie vantage point, Elle traces the sweep of their shared past too. Before David, she'd enjoyed a contented life – as a successful filmmaker, a much-loved aunt and friend. But in the course of two years, she was captivated and then undone by him. Not once in those turbulent times did she imagine that her alluring, complex husband was capable of this.

In The Morning I'll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty
Sean Duffy's got nothing. And when you've got nothing to lose, you have everything to gain. So when MI5 come knocking, Sean knows exactly what they want, and what he'll want in return, but he hasn't got the first idea how to get it.
Of course he's heard about the spectacular escape of IRA man Dermot McCann from Her Majesty's Maze prison. And he knew, with chilly certainty, that their paths would cross. But finding Dermot leads Sean to an old locked room mystery, and into the kind of danger where you can lose as easily as winning.
From old betrayals and ancient history to 1984's most infamous crime, Sean tries not to fall behind in the race to annihilation. Can he outrun the most skilled terrorist the IRA ever created? And will the past catch him first?


Beams Falling by PM Newton 
On the inside, Detective Nhu 'Ned' Kelly is a mess. Stitched up after being shot, her brain's taking even longer to heal than her body. On the outside, though, she's perfect, at least as far as the top brass are concerned. Cabramatta is riding high on the new 'Asian crime wave', a nightmare of heroin, home invasions, and hits of all kinds, and the cops need a way into the world of teenaged dealers and assassins.
They think Ned's Vietnamese heritage is the right fit but nothing in Cabra can be taken at face value. Ned doesn't speak the language and the ra choi – the lawless kids who have 'gone out to play' – are just running rings around her. The next blow could come from anywhere, or anyone. And beyond the headlines and hysteria, Ned is itching to make a play for the kingpin, the person behind it all with the money and the plan and the power.


Life or Death by Michael Robotham
Why would a man serving a long prison sentence escape the day before he's due to be released?

Audie Palmer has spent ten years in a Texas prison after pleading guilty to a robbery in which four people died and seven million dollars went missing. During that time he has suffered repeated beatings, stabbings and threats by inmates and guards, all desperate to answer the same question: where's the money?
On the day before Audie is due to be released, he suddenly vanishes. Now everybody is searching for him - the police, FBI, gangsters and other powerful figures - but Audie isn't running to save his own life. Instead, he's trying to save someone else's.

Through the Cracks by Honey Brown
A leafy street. A quiet neighbour. The darkest of crimes.

Adam Vander has grown tall enough and strong enough to escape his abusive and controlling father. Emerging from behind the locked door of their rambling suburban home, Adam steps into a world he's been kept isolated from. 
In the days that follow, with the charismatic and streetwise Billy as his guide, Adam begins to experience all that he's missed out on. As the bond between the boys grows, questions begin to surface.  Who is Adam really? Why did his father keep him so hidden? Was it just luck that Billy found him, or an unsettling kind of fate?  And how dangerous is revealing the shocking truth of Adam's identity?
It's a treacherous climb from the darkness. For one boy to make it, the other might have to fall through the cracks.  


A Murder Unmentioned by Sulari Gentill 
The black sheep of a wealthy 1930s grazier dynasty, gentleman artist Rowland Sinclair often takes matters into his own hands. When the matter is murder, there are consequences.
For nearly fourteen years, Rowland has tried to forget, but now the past has returned.
A newly-discovered gun casts light on a family secret long kept... a murder the Sinclairs would prefer stayed unsolved.
As old wounds tear open, the dogged loyalty of Rowland's inappropriate companions is all that stands between him and the consequences of a brutal murder... one he simply failed to mention.

A Morbid Habit by Annie Hauxwell
A midnight delivery. A sole eyewitness. No loose ends.

Christmas is looming, and investigator Catherine Berlin is out of a job. Broke, and with a drug habit that's only just under control, she quickly agrees when an old friend offers her work. It's a simple investigation with a generous fee, looking into the dealings of a small-time entrepreneur. The only catch? It's in Russia.
But when Berlin arrives in Moscow, things are not so straightforward. Shadowy figures stalk her through the frozen streets. She's kicked out of her hotel, her all-important medication confiscated by police. Strung out and alone, Berlin turns to her interpreter, an eccentric Brit named Charlie. But Charlie's past is as murky as Berlin's own, and when the subject of the investigation disappears, Berlin realises Charlie may be part of the web. The only way out is to hunt down the truth, even if it kills her.

The Lost Girls by Wendy James
Curl Curl, Sydney, January 1978.

Angie's a looker. Or she's going to be. She's only fourteen, but already, heads turn wherever she goes. Male heads, mainly . . .
Jane worships her older cousin Angie. She spends her summer vying for Angie's attention. Then Angie is murdered. Jane and her family are shattered. They withdraw into themselves, casting a veil of silence over Angie's death.
Thirty years later, a journalist arrives with questions about the tragic event. Jane is relieved to finally talk about her adored cousin. And so is her family. But whose version of Angie's story – whose version of Angie herself – is the real one? And can past wrongs ever be made right?
The shocking truth of Angie's last days will force Jane to question everything she once believed. Because nothing – not the past or even the present –

is as she once imagined.


Quota by Jock Serong

Charlie Jardim has just trashed his legal career in a spectacular courtroom meltdown, and his girlfriend has finally left him. So when a charitable colleague slings him a prosecution brief that will take him to the remote coastal town of Dauphin, Charlie reluctantly agrees that the sea air might be good for him.
The case is a murder. The victim was involved in the illegal abalone trade and the even more illegal drug trade. and the witnesses aren’t talking.
And as Dauphin closes ranks around him, Charlie is about to find his interest in the law powerfully reignited.  

Share/Bookmark