Books in the news...19-20 September

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Check out these new fiction and non -fiction titles from 19-20 September Spectrum, you can request them from the Library.


The cat at the wall by Deborah Ellis
On Israel's West Bank, a cat sneaks into a small Palestinian house that has just been commandeered by two Israeli soldiers. The house seems empty, until the cat realises that a little boy is hiding beneath the floorboards.

Should she help him?

After all, she's just a cat.

Or is she?

It turns out that this particular cat is not used to thinking about anyone but herself. She was once a regular North American girl who only had to deal with normal middle-school problems - staying under the teachers' radar, bullying her sister and the uncool kids, outsmarting her clueless parents. But that was before she died and came back to life as a cat, in a place with a whole different set of rules for survival.

When the little boy is discovered, the soldiers don't know what to do with him. Where are the child's parents? Why has he been left alone in the house? It is not long before his teacher and classmates come looking for him, and the house is suddenly surrounded by Palestinian villagers throwing rocks, and the sound of Israeli tanks approaching. Not my business, thinks the cat. Then she sees a photograph, and suddenly understands what happened to the boy's parents, and why they have not returned. As the soldiers begin to panic, disaster seems certain, and she knows that it is up to her to defuse the situation. But what can a cat do? What can any one creature do?

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood
Vân Uoc doesn't believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas - or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when school finishes.

But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight.

Not even Jane Eyre can help her now.

Wishes were not a thing.

They were not.

Correction.

Wishes were a thing.

Wishes that came true were sometimes a thing.

Wishes that came true because of magic were not a thing!

Were they?

From the author of Six Impossible Things and Wildlife, winner of the 2014 CBCA Book of the Year: Older Readers.

Wild man : the true story of a police killing, mental illness and the law by Alecia Simmonds
In April 2012 a man was shot dead by police on a remote farm in New South Wales called the School of Happiness. The victim, who was high on a cocktail of drugs and who suffered from mental illness, had been threatening attendees of a hippie festival with a crossbow and hunting knife. When the police finally arrived, they tried to subdue him but, ultimately, fatal shots were fired.

In Wild Man Alecia Simmonds follows the coronial inquest into the police killing. She reveals what really happened that night and unravels the web of issues entangled in this fascinating, bizarre and, undoubtedly, tragic case: a cultural clash between hippies and hunters; drug use, violence, masculinity and psychosis. She asks how family members, as well as police, came to work on the frontline of mental health. This spectacular book is a clear-eyed look at some of the most pressing problems facing contemporary Australia.

Elvis and me : how a world-weary musician and a broken racehorse rescued each other  by Gillian Wills
A world-weary musician and a broken racehorse rescue each other in this inspirational memoir about second chances. At 56 years of age, Gillian Wills bought her first horse on a whim. Elvis was emaciated, scarred, unruly, saddle-phobic and imbued with attitude. However, she sensed in him the remnants of a fierce pride that resonated with her own almost-lost sense of self-worth, depleted after leaving a high status job as head of a prestigious music conservatorium in Melbourne to move across the country with her partner to Queensland. Owning a horse pushed the need for paddocks to the top of Gillian's wish list. Since her artist partner also craved land on which to build a studio, they bought a dilapidated weatherboard farmhouse on 2.5 acres and swapped city living in Brisbane for the pleasures of semi-rural Ransome. Gillian gave up her lecturing position, weekly spot on radio, and an array of exhausting consultancies to focus on freelance writing. For a year she wore mud-stained boots and dusty jeans by day and shiny heels and black cocktail gear at night to mingle with the art cogniscenti at functions, give pre-concert talks for the Australian Chamber Orchestra and review concerts for the Australian newspaper. And she tried to ride Elvis. Elvis had been pitched to Gillian as a quiet, beginner's 'I'll-do-whatever-you-want-kind-of-horse' that could hardly summon up the energy to trot. the truth was very different.

The Changi book edited by Lachlan Grant
The story of Changi, told by those who lived through it.

In the tradition of The Anzac Book comes this fascinating collection of accounts of life in the notorious Changi prison camp.

Changi is synonymous with suffering, hardship and the Australian prisoner-of-war experience in WWII. It is also a story of ingenuity, resourcefulness and survival.

Containing essays, cartoons, paintings, and photographs created by prisoners of war, The Changi Book provides a unique view of the camp: life-saving medical innovation, machinery and tools created from spare parts and scrap, black-market dealings, sport and gambling, theatre productions, and the creation of a library and university.

Seventy years after its planned publication, material for The Changi Book was rediscovered in the Australian War Memorial archives. It appears here for the first time along with insights from the Memorial’s experts.

Fair food : stories from a movement changing the world  edited by Nick Rose
The groundbreaking Fair Food tells the new story of food: how food and farming in Australia are dramatically transforming at the grassroots level towards reconnection, towards healing – of the land, of each other. It offers a compelling and coherent vision of how our future can be so much better than our present and our past, and how each of us can make a difference.

Told through the experiences of several of the leading figures in Australia's Fair Food movement, this book tells stories of personal change, courage, innovation and food activism, from local food hubs and backyard food forests, to the GE-free movement, urban farming, radical homemaking and regenerative agriculture.

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