Cooking for Copyright

Cooking for Copyright is tomorrow, Friday 31st July. This is being held to gain support for copyright reform, so that unpublished works are treated the same way as published ones. Currently under Australian law,  while copyright is limited to 70 years after the death of the creator for published works, for unpublished works copyright lasts forever, meaning these items cannot legally be digitised and made accessible to the community, family historians, researchers, and others who would find them a useful and fascinating resource.

Why not cook one of the vintage recipes, photograph the result and share the photo on  Facebook or Twitter this Friday, July 31 using the hashtag #CookingforCopyright.

More information and some great recipes are available on the FAIR Cooking for Copyright webpage. 

Comfort reads..books you return to time and again.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

A lost child:
On the eve of the First World War, a little girl is found abandoned on a ship to Australia. A mysterious woman called the Authoress had promised to look after her – but the Authoress has disappeared without a trace.

A terrible secret:
On the night of her twenty-first birthday, Nell O’Connor learns a secret that will change her life forever. Decades later, she embarks upon a search for the truth that leads her to the windswept Cornish coast and the strange and beautiful Blackhurst Manor, once owned by the aristocratic Mountrachet family.

A mysterious inheritance:
On Nell’s death, her grand-daughter, Cassandra, comes into an unexpected inheritance. Cliff Cottage and its forgotten garden are notorious amongst the Cornish locals for the secrets they hold – secrets about the doomed Mountrachet family and their ward Eliza Makepeace, a writer of dark Victorian fairytales. It is here that Cassandra will finally uncover the truth about the family, and solve the century-old mystery of a little girl lost.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts—The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchman, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she'll meet Vizzini—the criminal philosopher who'll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik—the gentle giant; Inigo—the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen—the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Chocolat begins with the arrival in a tiny French village of Vianne Rocher, a single mother with a young daughter, on Shrove Tuesday. As the inhabitants of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes clear away the remains of the carnival which heralds the beginning of Lent, Vianne moves with her daughter into a disused bakery facing the church, where Francis Reynaud, the young and opinionated curé of the parish, watches her arrival with disapproval and suspicion.

When he realizes that Vianne intends to open a chocolate shop in place of the old bakery, thereby tempting the churchgoers to over-indulgence, Reynaud’s disapproval increases...

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay Gatsby is a self-made man, famed for his decadent champagne-drenched parties. Despite being surrounded by Long Island's bright and beautiful, Gatsby longs only for Daisy Buchanan. In shimmering prose, Fitzgerald shows Gatsby pursue his dream to its tragic conclusion. The Great Gatsby is an elegiac and exquisite portrait of the American Dream.

Bridget Jones Diary: A novel by Helen Fielding
Bridget Jones’s Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud account of a year in the life of a thirty-something Singleton on a permanent doomed quest for self-improvement. Caught between the joys of Singleton fun, and the fear of dying alone and being found three weeks later half eaten by an Alsatian; tortured by Smug Married friends asking, “How’s your love life?” with lascivious, yet patronizing leers, Bridget resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult and learn to program the VCR. With a blend of flighty charm, existential gloom, and endearing self-deprecation, Bridget Jones’s Diary has touched a raw nerve with millions of readers the world round. Read it and laugh—before you cry, “Bridget Jones is me!”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
'Shoot all the Bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a Mockingbird.'A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel - a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Anne Elliot, daughter of the snobbish Sir Walter Elliot, is woman of quiet charm and deep feelings. When she was nineteen she fell in love with—and was engaged to—a naval officer, the fearless and headstrong Captain Wentworth. But the young man had no fortune, and Anne allowed herself to be persuaded to give him up. Now, eight years later, Wentworth has returned to the neighborhood, a rich man and still unwed. Anne’s never-diminished love is muffled by her pride, and he seems cold and unforgiving. What happens as the two are thrown together in the social world of Bath—and as an eager new suitor appears for Anne.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that went wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally endured that fate: As children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their darkened house and their love concoctions and their crowd of black cats. All Gillian and Sally wanted to do was escape. One would do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they shared brought them back to each other, and to the magic they couldn’t escape. A delicious novel about witches and real love, family life and everyday spells. A literary incantation.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
Fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, to the young James Herriot 1930s Yorkshire seems to offers an idyllic pocket of rural life in a rapidly changing world. But from his erratic new colleagues, brothers Siegfried and Tristan Farnon, to incomprehensible farmers, herds of semi-feral cattle, a pig called Nugent and an overweight Pekingese called Tricki Woo, James find he is on a learning curve as steep as the hills around him. And when he meets Helen, the beautiful daughter of a local farmer, all the training and experience in the world can’t help him…

Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G Wodehouse
Follow the adventures of Bertie Wooster and his gentleman’s gentleman, Jeeves, in this, one of the greatest comic novels in the English language. Bertie must deal with the Market Snodsbury Grammar School prize giving, the broken engagement of his cousin Angela, the wooing of Madeline Bassett by Gussie Fink-Nottle, and the resignation of Anatole, the genius chef. Will he prevail? Only with the aid of Jeeves!

First Experiences Collection...

The First Experiences collection in the Children's Library consists of picture books that cover issues that young children may face.  Topics include: starting school, sleeping in a big bed, death of a pet, death of a family member, divorce, and feelings such as anger, anxiety and sadness.  Many issues are covered.

Here are two books are new to our collection and are part of our First Experiences Collection.  You can search for more titles in this collection on our catalogue under ‘first experiences collection.’

Just the way we are by Jessica Shirvington & Claire Robertson

This lovely book is a celebration of the kids who live in the same street.  Anna, Chiara, Henry, Izzy and Jack all have different families but that’s okay, they’re perfect, just the way they are! It celebrates families no matter who is in them and how they live.

Shine by Trace Balla

A moving picture book to share with young children, and a catalyst for discussing big questions.  A story for the very young about loss and the everlasting power of love. This book was written by the author after her sister lost her husband and she saw how her sister and children coped with this terrible loss.

We love reading...staff picks for July.

The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham

Myrtle 'Tilly' Dunnage returns to her home town to care for her elderly mother 'Mad' Molly. Returning many years after being 'sent away' to school in Melbourne, her return shocks the locals.
As they learn of Tilly's audacious return, the reader is introduced to the major personalities in town through the prism of their own foibles, frailities and secrets. Tilly returns as a well travelled and accomplished seamstress, a talent which eventually wins her a grudging place in the fabric of town life...until it appears Ted, the football hero has fallen for her.
The dressmaker is written in a sparse, wonderfully unsentimental style, which delightfully portrays the reality of small town country life in the middle of last century.  It has a bit of everything, pathos, comedy, tragedy and romance, culminating in a truly life changing event.
I enjoyed it immensely.

Walking Home: a pilgrimage from humbled to healed along theCamino de Santiago by  Sonia Choquette
The author’s brother and father die within 6 weeks of each other and she and her husband separate. She feels that she has reached a crisis point in her life and needs to change her life.  This is probably one of the reasons why many people choose to walk the Camino de Santiago which takes you across parts of France and Spain.  With very little preparation Sonia sets off to walk 805 kilometres in 40 days.  In the end you come to realise that this was all part of the experience.  The book consists of constant monologues, conversations in her head and out loud as she struggles with her inner issues and physical pain of the walk.  Who can resist a book about a pilgrimage?  An insightful read recommended by one of the library’s lovely customers.

That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson
Clemency Smittson, "Smitty", was adopted at birth, her only link to her birth family being a cardboard box hand decorated with butterflies that was used as her crib. We meet Smitty as a 37 year old jewellery maker, who has just moved back to Brighton, where she was born, after breaking up with her partner.  Smitty unexpectedly stumbles upon her birth family whom she consciously never looked for. This reunion results in many changes to her life  and a decision she should never have had to make.   This book is more than the story of a woman searching for her birth family and finding her own identity. It is character driven, exploring the complex relationships between  lovers, parents and children , siblings and family.  There are unexpected twists and turns, secrets, intrigue, a mystery and a little romance. This book was really enjoyable, and I will definitely being reading more Dorothy Koomson books!

The children act by Ian McEwan
The children act by Ian McEwan is a novel which explores the ramifications of a British act of parliament of the same name. We become privy to the private thoughts of Fiona Maye, a respected High Court judge in the Family Court. Fiona's  childless marriage is being strained as she is sitting on a case which asks her to decide whether an almost 18 year old can be deemed to be 'adult' enough to choose to refuse life saving treatments on religious grounds.  
Fiona's deliberations on this and the other cases she and her colleagues are attending, are shaped by previous legal argument and the precedence they set. As judges they must be quite dispassionate and detached from the process and personalities involved, if justice is not only to be seen to be done, but actually achieved, with the best interests of all parties at the heart of the decision. However, the impact of the decisions on those affected is far from dispassionate, and can have ramifications beyond what is expected.
A very readable insight into a small, rarefied 'community'.

The strays  by Emily Bitto                                                      
An engaging read . Lily is an only child in a quiet middle class family who becomes best friends with Eva the middle sister of a bohemian arty family.
Emily Bitto beautifully describes these contrasting worlds and the feelings we all have experienced growing up.
After being Eva best friend and coming to envy and love her family and the arty friends who come to live with them, she begins a journal as she watches their dramatic and turbulent lives. Lily's  world is changed forever after her father is injured and she goes to live with the family.The balance of this world tips over when Eva and her younger sister run away with a young artist.    
 The story is fully realized when Lily as an older woman  once again meets Eva at a retrospective for Ethan Eva's father and she looks back at their long ago time together and how it has impacted all their lives since.
An engaging storyteller Emily Bitto has crafted a story of childhood and how it forms who we are and who we become.

New voices in Australian fiction...

Fever of animals by Miles Allinson
'For nearly five years I have wanted to write something about the surrealist painter Emil Bafdescu: about his paintings, one of which hangs in a little restaurant in Melbourne, and about his disappearance, which is still a mystery. But this is probably not going to be the book I imagined. Nothing has quite worked out the way I planned.'

With the inheritance he received upon his father's death, Miles has come to Europe on the trail of the Romanian surrealist, who disappeared into a forest in 1967. But in trying to unravel the mystery of Bafdescu's secret life, Miles must also reckon with his own.

Faced with a language and a landscape that remain stubbornly out of reach, and condemned to wait for someone who may never arrive, Miles is haunted by thoughts of his ex-girlfriend, Alice, and the trip they took to Venice that ended their relationship.

Relativity by Antonia Hayes
Ethan is a bright young boy obsessed with physics and astronomy who lives with his mother, Claire. Claire has been a wonderful parent to Ethan, but he's becoming increasingly curious about his father's absence in his life, wanting to fill in the gaps.

Claire's life is centred on Ethan; she is fiercely protective of her talented, vulnerable son, and of her own feelings. When Ethan falls ill, tied to a tragic event from when he was a baby, Claire's tightly held world is split open.

On the other side of the country, Mark is trying to forget about the events that tore his family apart. Then a sudden and unexpected call home forces him to confront his past, and the hole in his life that was once filled with his wife Claire and his son Ethan.

When Ethan secretly intercepts a letter from Mark to Claire, he unleashes long-suppressed forces that – like gravity – pull the three together again, testing the limits of love and forgiveness.

Black Rock, White City by A.S Patric
During a hot Melbourne summer Jovan’s cleaning work at a bayside hospital is disrupted by acts of graffiti and violence becoming increasingly malevolent. For Jovan the mysterious words that must be cleaned away dislodge the poetry of the past. He and his wife Suzana were forced to flee Sarajevo and the death of their children.

Intensely human, yet majestic in its moral vision, Black Rock White City is an essential story of Australia’s suburbs now, of displacement and immediate threat, and the unexpected responses of two refugees as they try to reclaim their dreams. It is a breathtaking roar of energy that explores the immigrant experience with ferocity, beauty and humour.

Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp
A taut, emotional thriller about biology, ownership and love.

Catriona and James are desperate for children, and embark on an IVF program. After a gruelling round of treatments, Catriona finally falls pregnant, and they donate their remaining embryo anonymously.

Diana and Liam are on a waiting list to receive an embryo. Sooner than expected, they are thrilled to discover one is available.

After a difficult pregnancy, Catriona gives birth to Sebastian. But severe postnatal depression affects her badly, and quickly turns into deadly psychosis. For her protection and her baby’s, she’s admitted into psychiatric care. When she comes home, she again struggles to bond with her baby, but gradually life finds its own rhythm.

Please Don't Leave Me Here by Tania Chandler
Is Brigitte a loving wife and mother, or a cold-blooded killer?

Nobody knows why she was in the east of the city so early on the morning she was left for dead by a hit-and-run driver. It was the Friday before Christmas 1994 - the same day police discovered the body of a man beaten to death in her apartment.

Fourteen years later, Brigitte is married to the detective who investigated the murder, which she claims to have lost her memory of in the car accident. They have young twins, and seem to be a happy family. Until the reopening of the cold case.

In the quiet by Eliza Henry-Jones
A moving, sweet and uplifting novel of love, grief and the heartache of letting go, from a wonderful new Australian author.
Cate Carlton has recently died, yet she is able to linger on, watching her three young children and her husband as they come to terms with their life without her on their rural horse property. As the months pass and her children grow, they cope in different ways, drawn closer and pulled apart by their shared loss. And all Cate can do is watch on helplessly, seeing their grief, how much they miss her and how - heartbreakingly - they begin to heal. Gradually unfolding to reveal Cate's life, her marriage, and the unhappy secret she shared with one of her children, In the Quiet is compelling, simple, tender, true - heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure.

The birds child by Sandra Leigh Child
A novel of magic, birds, lost letters and love.
Sydney, 1929: three people find themselves washed up on the steps of Miss Du Maurier's bohemian boarding house in a once 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 Bird's Child is a feat of sleight-of-hand. Birds speak, keys appear from nowhere, boxes spill secrets and the dead talk. this is a magical, stunningly original, irresistible novel - both an achingly beautiful love story and a slowly unfurling mystery of belonging.

Cartel by Lili St Germaine
How much is a life worth?
Mariana Rodriguez is the eldest daughter of a Colombian drug lord. Growing up in Villanueva, Colombia, she has never wanted for anything. Private schools, a lavish lifestyle, and the safety of the Cartel that her father works for.
At nineteen, she's got her entire life mapped out, and what a good life it's going to be: graduate from college, move to America, and finally be free from the stifling grip of the Cartel.
Only, her father messes up. A shipment of cocaine - a very large, very valuable shipment - is seized by the authorities whilst under his care and he becomes liable for the debt. Half a million dollars' worth of cocaine.
Half a million dollars he does not have.
But he has a daughter, a very smart one, a daughter who would give up her very existence and offer herself as payment for her father's sins, to ensure her family survives.
But falling in love with the man who owned her isn't part of the plan ...

Skin by Ilka Tampke
Southwest Britain, AD 43.

For the people of Caer Cad, ‘skin’ is their totem, their greeting, their ancestors, their land.

Ailia does not have skin. Abandoned at birth, she serves the Tribequeen of her township. Ailia is not permitted to marry, excluded from tribal ceremonies and, most devastatingly, forbidden to learn. But the Mothers, the tribal ancestors, have chosen her for another path.

Lured by the beautiful and enigmatic Taliesin, Ailia embarks on an unsanctioned journey to attain the knowledge that will protect her people from the most terrifying invaders they have ever faced.

Set in Iron-Age Britain on the cusp of Roman invasion, Skin is a thrilling, full-blooded, mesmerising novel about the collision of two worlds, and a young woman torn between two men.

Anchor Point by Alice Robinson
When her mother disappears into the bush, ten-year-old Laura makes an impulsive decision that will haunt her for decades. Despite her anger
and grief, she sets about running the house, taking care of her younger sister, and helping her father clear their wild acreage to carve out a farm.
But gradually they realise that while they may own the land, they cannot tame it – nor can they escape their past.

Anchor Point is an eloquent and arresting Australian novel no reader will easily forget.

2015 Kibble Literary Awards winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Kibble Literary Awards, 2015.

Kibble Literary Award for an established author
Joan London, The Golden Age - Vintage Australia
It is 1954 and thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, refugee from wartime Hungary, is learning to walk again after contracting polio in Australia. At The Golden Age Children's Polio Convalescent Home in Perth, he sees Elsa, a fellow patient, and they form a forbidden, passionate bond. The Golden Age becomes the little world that reflects the larger one, where everything occurs: love and desire, music, death, and poetry. It is a place where children must learn they're alone, even within their families.

Dobbie Literary Award for a first time published author 
Ellen van Neerven, Heat and Light - University of Queensland Press
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.

About the Kibble Awards
Amongst some of Australia's most prestigious awards for women writers, the Nita B Kibble Literary Awards (the Kibble Awards) aim to encourage Australian women writers to improve and advance literature for the benefit of our community.

The Awards recognise the works of women writers of fiction or non-fiction classified as 'life writing'. This includes novels, autobiographies, biographies, literature and any writing with a strong personal element.

Kibble Literary Award for an established author

 Warning: The Story of  Cyclone Tracy by Sophie Cunningham
 This House of Grief by Helen Garner
 The Golden Age by Joan London

Dobbie Literary Award for a first time published author 
The Strays by Emily Bitto
 Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven
 After Darkness by Christine Piper

The 2015 longlist is:

Kibble Literary Award for an established author ($30,000 prize)
Sophie Cunningham Warning: The Story of
Cyclone Tracy Text Publishing
Helen Garner This House of Grief Text Publishing
Elizabeth Harrower In Certain Circles Text Publishing
Joan London The Golden Age Vintage Australia
Favel Parrett When the Night Comes Hachette Australia
Wendy Scarfe Hunger Town Wakefield Press

Dobbie Literary Award for a first time published author ($5,000 prize)
Maxine Beneba Clarke Foreign Soil Hachette Australia
Emily Bitto The Strays Affirm Press
Christine Piper After Darkness Allen & Unwin
Nicole Smith Sideshow Xoum Publishing Miriam Sved Game Day Picador
Ellen van Neerven Heat and Light University of Queensland Press

Feel good fiction for cold winter days...

Colder weather is the perfect time to rug up and get lost in a good book.
All Creatures Great and Small  James Herriot
A classic for animal lovers. This is a book about the many adventures of a newly qualified vet in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s onwards. This book was so successful that there were many sequels as well as a very popular television series based on it. This book offers many insights into the lives of the animals and people of the area. The writing is at times very humorous like the character Mrs Pumphrey and her Pekingese Tricky Woo. The vet is called many times to attend to real or imagined ailments suffered by this little dog and later a pet pig. There are also some very sad parts like the euthanasia of much loved elderly pets and reality of farm life.  Highly recommended.

The Boston Girl  Anita Diamant
Set in Boston in the early 1900s this is the story of Addie a 22 year old Jewish girl who feels that life is passing her by because of her parent's old fashioned ways. Addie convinces her parents to let her go to a holiday lodge.  There she makes  friends and discovers opportunities that her mother could only dream of.  During the years that follow there is some tragedy in Addie's life but despite these setbacks she and her friends take up rewarding careers showing their immigrant parents that it is possible to be successful in a new country. Doesn't sound feel good? The quality of the writing and the glimpses into the lives of immigrants living in per-World War 1 Boston makes for an inspirational read.

The Chocolate Promise  Josephine Moon
Christmas Livingstone left the hectic life of being a PR in Sydney and a broken heart to start a new life making gourmet chocolates in Tasmania. Life is good in Tasmania until her best friend wins a competition to spend a week learning the finer points of chocolate making in France and on the same day Lincoln a lonely botanist comes to Christmas's shop to buy some chocolates for his grandmother. The events that follow are just a bit predictable but everyone knows that the healing power of chocolate makes everything in the world good again.

Little Dress Shop of Dreams  Mena Van Praag
Etta owns a dress shop and has a mystical ability to help women's dreams come true by helping the pick the perfect dress, adding a magical stitch here and there and making them feel fabulous.   Cora, Etta's granddaughter is a scientist who lives an austere life. Cora's parents died when she was a child and as she grows Cora remains determined to solve the mystery of her parent's death. Walt the shy bookseller lives in a world of dreams  has loved the oblivious Cora since childhood. Etta steps in to weave her magic.
Sounds simple? This is a book of magic, romance and mystery with a few twists and turns.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  Mary Ann Shaffer
Juliet spent the war writing light pieces for a women's magazine and now she wants to write something more substantial. When she receives a letter from a man in Guernsey telling her that he has a book that she once owned and that he belonged to the 'Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society' she is intrigued.  She writes back and discovers the story behind this society. Juliet begins writing to the members of the society.  The letters to the delightful assortment of characters are lovely to read. The book is mix of humour and glimpses into what it must have been like to live on an occupied island during a war. You may think this book is a bit contrived or predictable but it may just leave you smiling.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  Rachel Joyce
Harold Fry has always done 'what is expected' for the past 65 years. Retired for the last 6 months, he sits in the same chair everyday watching his wife clean. One day he receives a letter from a woman from his past who tells him that she is dying. Harold decides to put on his shoes and walk a long way to save this woman. Harold starts his journey feeling alone but he soon discovers that like him, there are many people struggling to put one foot in front of the other. This is a book  about a simple man, a stale marriage and fragile souls but it isn't a sad read. Read this book and you will see what I mean.

Three Men in a Boat  Jerome K. Jerome
This book is a late 19th century 'classic'. The author was attempting to write a travel guide about a boat trip down the Thames. He fails. The plot is almost none existent. There are 3 men and a dog in a boat on the Thames. The stories are sometimes related and at other times completely unrelated.  Many of them are funny in a 19th century kind of way. It is interesting that some of the things that were funny in the 19th century are still funny today.  So if you like offbeat humour this could be the book for you if not just for a lesson in the art of verbal banter Victorian England style.

Little Beach Bakery  Jenny Colgan
Little Beach Bakery is a real feel good book about love, life and following your passions. Polly is recovering from a bad relationship and a debt problem.  She is forced to move away to somewhere more affordable. She finds herself living above an abandoned shop and takes the opportunity to indulge in her passion - bread making. Then the locals discover the great bread. The wonderful selection of characters in this book bring it alive. The ultimate girly feel good read.

Lucky Jim  Kingsley Amis
Is Jim Dixon just a cynical, aloof, trouble making buffoon?  This book is a study of British university upper academia in the 1950s.  Some of the humour is still relevant today - the research of minutia, older professors not keeping up with 'the times', an uncertain job market and the social awkwardness of some of the intellectual community.  Jim does a lot of face pulling behind people's backs and engages in a lot of internal banter when he is trying to pay attention. This type of humour may not appeal to everyone but the slightly crazy characters and Kingsley Amis's way with words make this a charming read.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe Fannie Flago
This is the type of book you read when your mind needs to relax. This is the story of Whistle Stop a town in the US Deep South .  Aside from the odd murder this book is set in a perfect community with good food, kind neighbours, and good friends. The story centres on friends Ruth and Idgie in the 1920s- 1940s  and their impact on everyone in their community. The story moves from the past to the present when Mrs Threadgoode relives those events by retelling them to her friend Evelyn Couch in the 1980s. The importance of friendship is the central theme for the whole book along with nostalgia for the cafe, the simple times of the Depression and the sad decline of the Whistle Stop from vibrant village to ghost town.

Books in the news...

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


Freedom Ride by Sue Lawson

There's no hiding from prejudice.

Robbie knows bad things happen in Walgaree. But it's nothing to do with him. That's just the way the Aborigines have always been treated. In the summer of 1965 racial tensions in the town are at boiling point, and something headed Walgaree's way will blow things apart. It's time for Robbie to take a stand. Nothing will ever be the same.

The Grey Raider by John Flanagan
An explosive cat-and-mouse chase and high-stakes adventure across the high seas, set against the backdrop of the American Civil War. 

It is October 1863, and the American Civil War is in full swing. The Union has a preponderance of men, munitions and manufacturing and the pendulum is swinging its way. But the Confederates have a powerful bargaining point in any peace negotiations: the CSS Manassas, commanded by the audacious Captain Pelle.

The Manassas is a commerce raider, searching the seas far and wide for the Union's merchant fleet. And when it finds the enemy, it sends the ships and their million-dollar cargoes straight to the ocean floor.

As the ships go down, insurance rates go sky high, and Abraham Lincoln is under extreme pressure to stop the Manassas dead. But with the Union Navy stretched to breaking point blockading the South's ports, only one ship can be spared to seek out the Confederate raider.

Enter Captain Samuel Stacy and the USS Oswego. Stacy is tenacious and bull-headed and, perhaps more importantly, has a long-standing feud with Pelle.

There is nothing he wants more than to send the ‘grey raider' to a watery grave. After all, the outcome of the war may depend on it

In My House by Alex Hourston
This unsettling debut novel tells the story of an unlikely friendship between two very different women.

In the queue for the toilets at Gatwick, a teenage girl catches 57-year-old Margaret Benson's eye in the mirror and mouths the word help. Margaret's reaction leads to the dramatic rescue of the teenager from her trafficker and Margaret becomes a hero.

But when the story gets picked up by the papers, Margaret is panicked by the publicity, as well as the strange phone calls she begins to receive. Meanwhile Anja makes contact. She wants to thank her rescuer, but she also quickly inserts herself into Margaret's lonely life. As their friendship develops, so do questions: who is Margaret hiding from, and what are Anja's true motives? And what is the cost of living a lie?

Non fiction
The Director is the Commander by Anna Broinowski
'We were all propagandists; the only differences were our goals.'

Looking for respite from her crumbling marriage and determined to stop a coal seam gas mine near her Sydney home, filmmaker Anna Broinowski finds wisdom and inspiration in the strangest of places: North Korea. Guided by the late Dear Leader Kim Jong Il's manifesto The Cinema and Directing, Broinowski, in a world first, travels to Pyongyang to collaborate with North Korea's top directors, composers and movie stars to make a powerful anti-fracking propaganda film.

Return: A Palestinian Memoir by Ghada Karmi
"The journey filled me with bitterness and grief. I remember looking down on a nighttime Tel Aviv from the windows of a place taking me back to London and thinking hopelessly, ‘flotsam and jetsam, that’s what we’ve become, scattered and divided. There’s no room for us or our memories here. And it won’t be reversed."

Having grown up in Britain following her family's exile from Palestine, doctor, author and academic Ghada Karmi leaves her adoptive home in a quest to return to her homeland. She starts work with the Palestinian Authority and gets a firsthand understanding of its bizarre bureaucracy under Israel’s occupation.

In her quest, she takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the heart of one of the world’s most intractable conflict zones and one of the major issues of our time. Visiting places she has not seen since childhood, her unique insights reveal a militarised and barely recognisable homeland, and her home in Jerusalem, like much of the West Bank, occupied by strangers. Her encounters with politicians, fellow Palestinians, and Israeli soldiers cause her to question what role exiles like her have in the future of their country and whether return is truly possible.

First Fleet Surgeon by David Hill
In a single leather-bound volume of 238 unlined pages of parchment, Surgeon Arthur Bowes Smyth describes his two-and-a-half year journey with the First Fleet from Portsmouth in England to the new colony in Australia and back. He is a frank, articulate and observant writer, and his diary, a treasure of the National Library of Australia, covers life at sea, stopovers in the slave port of Rio de Janeiro and the tropical paradise of Tahiti, and three months of early settlement in Australia. 

As surgeon to more than 100 convict women on the Lady Penrhyn, Bowes Smyth gives an insight into the plight of these women, sentenced to transportation, and their children. Their voyage was marked by seasickness, miscarriage, infant deaths, a diet of salted meat and dry hardtack biscuits, and cruel punishment from thumb screws to gagging and flogging with a cat-o’-nine-tails. When they finally set foot on Australian soil, their travails did not end, being set upon by drunken sailors and crew in a ‘scene of debauchery and riot’. 

Rosa Piper and the Cronulla Voluntary Aid Detachment in World War One

The work of women on the home front during World War One cannot be underestimated.  One of the ways help was provided was care for returning wounded soldiers.  Providing them with a healthy and caring environment to recover was one of the roles of the Red Cross.  The first Red Cross convalescent home for returning wounded soldiers in New South Wales was set up in Cronulla and was entirely managed by  Cronulla members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment or VAD.  Rosa Piper a local resident was the commandant when the home was opened on 20 July 1915.

The Voluntary Aid Detachment was part of the Australian Red Cross.  Modelled on the British organization, VADs were formed to provide a way for women who were not trained nurses to work as voluntary labour for the Red Cross.  The women who served were usually of independent means with an enthusiasm to assist in the war effort.  Trained nurses could enlist however the only other way for women to actively participate was to join patriotic organizations which sprang up all over Australia.

Duties in convalescent homes for soldiers included cleaning wards, washing and feeding patients, rolling bandages, sorting linen and essentially anything else the matron or other trained staff required of them.

Rosa Piper was the daughter of James and Elizabeth Piper from Tamworth.  Her home "Calala" was located in Parramatta Street near the corner of Gerrale Street.  It was part of the "Heart o' Cronulla" Estate made available for sale in 1908.

Rosa Piper made her cottage available as a convalescent home due to its location near the sea.  It was described as being "beautifully and conveniently situated" and was in "every sense a home".  In July 1915 sick and wounded soldiers started returning from active service.  Although the cottage was located near the beach not many of the soldiers wanted to go to Cronulla at first.  Six boys were sent initially and within a week the word had passed around the base hospital of how pleasant it was and then all were keen to go to Cronulla.

 The home was only open for a short time closing in December 1916. This was not unusual as most other convalescent homes for soldiers located elsewhere in the state were also closing.  By this time the military were better able to provide the accommodation for soldiers. The service provided by VADs however was invaluable and their work was acknowledged and honoured at the end of the war with such public events as their participation in Peace Marches.

Rosa Piper's cottage was sold in 1923 to Agnes King and Rosa left the district.  Her connection with the Red Cross however continued.  In 1920 she was asked to undertake the task of organizing and conducting after care for soldiers and their dependents.  The services of the department were for those soldiers who did not receive support from other agencies.

Not long after she started in this role it was stated that she had "her organization in working order" and was considering "ways and means of starting an invalids' comforts and children's clothing fund".  She was honoured with an MBE in 1935 for her indefatigable work for the Red Cross.  At that time Rosa had risen in the ranks to senior commandant for the Voluntary Aid Detachments for all of New South Wales.  She spent much of her later years giving talks on the Red Cross to interested groups.  According to one newspaper she "impressed her listeners with a quiet and efficient manner so fitted to her task".  One gathering stated that their meeting was "only representative of all those Voluntary Aides who will keep Miss Piper in their hearts forever".  After moving from Cronulla she lived in Epping for the rest of her days where she died in 1951.  She will always be remembered for her contribution to the local area and the war effort.