Books in the News...

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

Three moments of an explosion by China Mielville
In this extraordinary series of stories, glistening icebergs float above urban horizons; a burning stag runs wild through the city; the ruins of industry emerge unsteadily from the sea; and the abandoned generations in a decayed space-elevator look not up at the stars but down at the Earth. Ranging from portraits of childhood to chilling ghost stories, from dystopian visions to poignant evocations of uncanny love, with beautiful prose and melancholy wit, this breath-taking collection poses searching questions of what it is to be human in an unquiet world. It is a humane and unsentimental investigation of our society, our world, and ourselves.

Make something up : stories you can't unread by Chuck Palahniuk
Stories you'll never forget--just try--from literature's favorite transgressive author. Representing work that spans several years, Make Something Up is a compilation of 21 stories and one novella (some previously published, some not) that will disturb and delight. The absurdity of both life and death are on full display; in Zombies, the best and brightest of a high school prep school become tragically addicted to the latest drug craze: electric shocks from cardiac defibrillators. In Knock, Knock, a son hopes to tell one last off-color joke to a father in his final moments, while in Tunnel of Love, a massage therapist runs the curious practice of providing 'relief' to dying clients. And in Excursion, fans will be thrilled to find to see a side of Tyler Durden never seen before in a precusor story to Fight Club. Funny, caustic, bizarre, poignant; these stories represent everything readers have come to love and expect from Chuck Palahniuk.

The end of plenty : the race to feed a crowded world by Joel K. Bourne Jr
When Malthus famously outlined the brutal relationship between food and population, he never imagined the success of modern agriculture. New seeds, chemicals and irrigation, coupled with free trade, drove the greatest global population boom in history - but left ecological devastation and an unsustainable agro-economic status quo in their wake. Now, with a greater number of mouths to feed than ever before, tightening global food supplies have spurred riots and reform around the world. Joel K. Bourne Jr. takes readers from his family farm to international agricultural hotspots, searching for new solutions that can sustainably feed us all. He visits young corporate farmers trying to restore Ukraine as Europe's breadbasket, a Canadian aquaculturist channelling ancient Chinese traditions, the agronomist behind the world's largest organic sugar-cane plantation, and many other people and groups, large and small, who are racing to stave off a Malthusian catastrophe. Part history, part reportage, part advocacy, The End of Plenty is a wake-up call for anyone concerned with what the coming decades will hold for our planet and its inhabitants if we don't take action.

Here comes the sun by Jeremy Oxley & Mary Oxley Griffiths
Jeremy Oxley was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 22, at the height of his musical career. Terrified, he tried to hide his diagnosis from family and friends, who attributed his erratic behaviour to drug and alcohol abuse. Following harrowing experiences with the hopelessly inadequate mental health services of the day, Jeremy self-medicated with alcohol, gradually alienating friends and family until he became a hermit in a small Queensland town, shut off from any kind of life or support. Mary Griffiths was a nurse who had been widowed for 5 years with young twin boys. She had been a fan of The Sunnyboys. After being shocked and deeply saddened to discover how Jeremy was living, she and her sons tracked him down and tried to help him. At their first meeting, Mary was able to see through the facade of the illness and catch glimpses of the sensitive, beautiful and frightened man inside the hulking shell Jeremy had become. Her boys instantly loved him and he was instantly calm around them. On a mission to bring him back to life and health, Mary and the boys brought Jeremy to live with them. His response was amazing and slowly, together, they reclaimed his life and built a family. This moving and uplifting memoir is the unforgettable story of that remarkable journey from darkness to the light, and from the depths of despair to hope and love.

Condemned to crisis? : a Lowly Institute paper by Ken Ward

It is often said that no country is more important to Australia than Indonesia. Yet the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is just the latest in a long line of crises that have marred relations between Canberra and Jakarta.

Australian governments have been criticised for not doing more to strengthen ties with Indonesia, and even squandering opportunities to improve relations. In this penetrating analysis, Ken Ward argues that Australian governments and their critics need to be realistic about an Australia–Indonesia relationship that risks always being crisis-prone and volatile.

Rising from the shadows : revolution, war and the journey that made me by Saeed Fassaie
Saeed gives a compelling account of his life through revolution and war, love, camaraderie, immigration, the hardships and sacrifices which stretch far back into his past, like footprints on his long and extraordinary journey. After the 1979 Revolution in Iran, as a young political activist campaigning for freedom and democracy, he was hunted mercilessly by the militia and the Islamic Regime. Unable to complete his schooling, his months in exile exposed him to an education of a different kind.

Ultimately though, it was his experience of war which irrevocably changed him as a man. Enlisted to fight in a war he did not believe in, for a government he opposed, the horror and shock of active military service burned away the last vestiges of youthful naievety. Saeed’s ambitions in his home country were blocked at every turn on ideological grounds. Despite the odds, he eventually completed his tertiary education and went on to become a competent engineer in Iran, but his past political involvement continued to undermine his career prospects. Disillusioned with the injustices at home, he turned his attention outward and finally migrated to Australia.