Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Australian Love stories

With St Valentine's Day in the middle, February is known as the month of love and romance.  To celebrate this I have chosen some recently published love stories by Australian writers.

Set in Australia's tropical far north, this is an explosive story of peril and passion by the author voted by the Romance Writers of Australia as the most popular novelist of the year, and by the Australian Romance Readers Association as the most popular romantic suspense novelist two years running.

Meet Merlin. He's Julia's bright, beautiful son - who just happens to be autistic. Since Merlin's father, the reserved, cerebral workaholic Jeremy, left them in the lurch shortly after Merlin's diagnosis, Julia has made Merlin the centre of her world. Struggling with the joys and tribulations of raising her adorable yet challenging son, Julia doesn't have room for any other man in her life... so why bother trying to find one? When Julia realises she's becoming increasingly cynical about life in general, she finally resolves to dip a toe back into the world of dating. Things don't go quite to plan, yet just as Julia is resolved to a life of singledom once more, the most imperfectly perfect man for her and her son lands on her doorstep. But then, so does Jeremy, begging for forgiveness and a second chance...
Bridie Farrell and Shaun Broderick come from opposite sides of the tracks.  But, unlike Bridie's family who are perennial strugglers, the Brodericks are the wealthy owners of Jinjulu - one of the most prestigious properties in their local district.  From the author of the bestselling rural saga North Star and Morgan's Law, this absorbing novel is about alernative destinies and the power of love.
His is the Pilbara. And it's the Pilbara that makes the rules.  Lena Todd is a city girl who thrives on cocktails and cappuccinos. So when her boss announces he's sending her to the outback to join a construction team, her world is turned upside down. Lena's new accommodation will be an aluminium box called a dongar. Her new social network: three hundred and fifty men. Her daily foot attire: steel-capped boots. Unfortunately, Lena can't refuse. Mistakes of the past are choking her confidence.
Brooke Kingston is smart, capable and strongwilled – some might even say stubborn – and lives in the beautiful Hunter Valley on her family property. More at home on horseback than in heels, her life revolves around her beloved 'boys' – showjumpers Poddy, Oddy and Sod.
Then a tragic accident leaves Brooke a mess. Newcomer Lachie Cambridge is hired to manage the farm, and Brooke finds herself out of a job and out of luck. But she won't go without a fight.  What she doesn't expect is Lachie himself – a handsome, gentle giant with a will to match her own. But with every day that Lachie stays, Brooke's future on the farm is more uncertain.  A vivid, moving and passionate story of love and redemption from the author of Promises.
At nineteen, Molly Jones has the world at her feet. Then one drunken night she falls into bed with Mark, a cowboy just passing through. By the time Molly realises she's pregnant, Mark is long gone. Now, at twenty-six, Molly's life is almost perfect. She's the devoted mother of Rose, and a renowned horse trainer. She lives amid the beauty of Jacaranda Farm, surrounded by family and friends - none closer than hunky stockman Heath. But she's still looking for the love of her life, and a father for Rose.
PR whizz Cassandra Daley isn′t afraid of using all the dirty tricks of the trade to spin a story her way. A glitzy city-slicker, she has never given much thought to wildlife until she loses a PR war with a potoroo. Sacked and disgraced, she flees the city for an anonymous bolt hole. But small-town Beechville has other plans for her. Feral pigs, a snake in the dunny, a philosopher frog and a town with a secret -- could things get worse? Add one man who has the sexiest way with maps she′s ever seen and Cassandra′s really in trouble. Her best friend Jessica thinks she′s been brainwashed by some kind of rural cult, and Jessica could be right. Can Cassandra reinvent herself or will she always be a liar bird?
It had always been Dr Naomi Fontaine's dream to practice small-town medicine - an ambition that has brought her to the quirky, tight-knit community of Cypress Hollow. But no matter how hard she tries, the locals still treat her with suspicion. Then ruggedly handsome Rig Keller walks into town and Naomi's heart stops for all the wrong reasons. For a few months back Rig was a rip-roaring, throw-caution-to-the wind one night stand. Now he's her partner at the practice - and keen to play doctors once more. Will the instantly popular new medic wreck her dreams? Or be the one to help make her wish come true?
Putting Alice back together by Carol Marinelli.

Alice is totally happy, everything is amazing and there is nothing at all to worrry about... The sexiest guy alive doesn't want her - because he's gay. Her credit card bills are under the bed - unopened. And Alice's biggest problem is that she has a secret. A secret so big she can't tell anyone. How do you keep a secret like that when everything is starting to fall apart? And once its out there, how do you ever begin to put yourself back together again?
Lara and Jack have a powerful attraction but are constantly at odds.  Will their love of the same land keep them apart, or grow into a love of a different kind?  From the bestselling author of The Family Farm and Heart of Gold comes a heartwarming novel about finding your true place in the work, and the healing power of the land.
Lyrical, passionate and heartwarming, Under Southern Skies is the uplifting story of a young woman determined to make a life for herself in the sweeping Australian outback.  From the dusty cattle stations of the Northern Territory to the vibrant Tamworth music scene, this lively, engaging novel perfectly captures the spirit of the land.
Peta Wheeler measures time differently now. Before the couch. After the couch. Before the couch, Peta knew who she was. A 34-year-old information-dissemination professional, married to the man of her dreams and thinking about motherhood. She'd never been late for work, drunk beer or kissed a stranger. After the couch, Peta hits a cyclist, tries to get pregnant, tries to make sure she isn't pregnant, avoids her husband and family and friends and colleagues, drinks too much coffee, and falls in love with a girl. And that's just the first week.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Detective and Mystery Stories

Happy New Year!  For 2013 I thought each month I would list some of the latest arrivals in specific genres.  For January I have chosen Detective and Mystery Stories.  If these whet your appetite you can find plenty more by following this heading in our catalogue.

One definition is "The detective story is a genre of fiction in which a detective, either an amateur or a professional, solves a crime or a series of crimes. Because detective stories rely on logic, supernatural elements rarely come into play. The detective may be a private investigator, a policeman, an elderly widow, or a young girl, but he or she generally has nothing material to gain from solving the crime."

There is also a very interesting website titled which not only lists plenty more historical and classic titles but also gives a brief history of the genre.

The following titles are all held by Libraries ACT and have been published in 2012 or 2013.  Descriptions have been provided by the publishers.

All my enemies by Barry Maitland.
In one of the finest and most pivotal books in the critically acclaimed Brock & Kolla series, DS Kathy Kolla reports to New Scotland Yard and to DCI Brock's Serious Crime Division. Just before Kathy is to start her new job, a young woman is found viciously murdered in a leafy, well-heeled suburb, and the grotesque details of the slaughter appear to be well rehearsed, even theatrical. Assigned to the case, Kathy's only improbably lead draws her to a local amateur drama group. Once in their orbit, she is lured into a piece of theatre, over which, increasingly, she has little control.

Bitter water by Gordon Ferris.
Summer in Glasgow. When the tarmac bubbles, and the tenement windows bounce back the light. When lust boils up and tempers fray. When suddenly, it's bring out your dead. Glasgow's melting. The temperature is rising and so is the murder rate. Douglas Brodie, ex-policeman, ex-soldier and the newest reporter on the Glasgow Gazette, has no shortage of material for his column. But even Brodie balks at his latest subject ? a rapist who has been tarred and feathered by a balaclava-clad group. Brodie soon discovers a link between this horrific act and a series of brutal beatings. As violence spreads and the bodies pile up, Brodie and advocate Samantha Campbell are entangled in a web of deception and savagery. Brodie is swamped with stories for the Gazette. But how long before he and Sam become the headline.

Blood on the mink by Robert Silverberg.
"Somewhere in Philadelphia, a master engraver is turning out brilliant forgeries of U.S. currency plates for an organized crime gang - and the government wants to put a stop to it. But how can they get close enough to bring down the criminal enterprise from the inside? By snatching a west coast crime boss' right-hand man and sending a federal agent undercover in the man's place. His assignment: pose as a buyer of counterfeit bills and try to get the engraver out. Which works fine - until he crosses paths with someone who knows the man he replaced"

Bonereapers by Jeanne Matthews.
The Doomsday Seed Vault was designed to safeguard the earth's precious collection of seeds from rising sea levels, hurtling asteroids, nuclear holocaust, and every other conceivable disaster. But no fortress, however remote or carefully constructed, can protect against human corruption and men who have made it their business to gain control of the world's food supply. Dinah Pelerin had no idea when she left sunny Hawaii on an undercover fact-finding mission to the seed vault in Longyearbyen, Norway, that she would get a crash course in the politics of genetic engineering, or that she would become embroiled in the marital troubles of an American presidential candidate and his enigmatic, Norwegian-born wife. Or that a dead body would tumble out of the hotel sauna into her arms. Dinah had better untangle the knot of motives and pretenses fast or suspicion will come crashing downhill like an avalanche and bury her so deep she'll never see daylight again.

Closer to stone by Simon Cleary.
There has never been a deserter in Bas Adams' family-from the Somme to Vietnam. So when his brother, Jack, is reported missing from his peacekeeping contingent in Western Sahara, Bas knows he must be found. Their father demands it. From Queensland's Lockyer Valley to the mountains of southern Algeria, Bas follows Jack's trail deep into the Sahara Desert, and into a world apart. Nothing could prepare him for what he finds.

Darker than any shadow : Tai Randolph mystery by Tina Whittle.
The dog days of summer have arrived, and Tai Randolph is feeling the heat. Running her uncle's gun shop is more demanding than she ever imagined. Her best friend Rico is competing for a national slam poetry title. And Atlanta is overrun with hundreds of fame-hungry performance poets clogging all the good bars. She's also got her brand-new relationship with corporate security agent Trey Seaver to deal with. SWAT-trained and rule-obsessed, Trey has a brain geared for statistics and flow charts, not romance. And while Tai finds him irresistibly fascinating, dating a human lie detector who can kill with his bare hands is a somewhat precarious endeavor. And then just when she thinks she might get a handle on things, one of Rico's fellow poets is murdered ... and Rico becomes the prime suspect. Tai pushes up her sleeves and comes to his defense with every trick in her book a little lying here, a little snooping there. Trey wants her off the case immediately. So does Rico. Every poet in Atlanta has a secret, it seems, and one of them is willing to kill to keep theirs quiet. But someone else wants her on the job, someone dropping anonymous clues and clandestine tip-offs her way. Someone with an agenda that's looking either positively heroic ... or downright deadly. Will Tai's relationship with Trey survive another foray into amateur sleuthing? And even more importantly, will she?

Death of an artist : a mystery by Kate Wilhelm.
A small Oregon town is rocked by a wheels-within-wheels case of art, fraud, and murder.

The midnight promise : a detective's story in ten cases by Zane Lovitt.
John Dorn is a private investigator. Just like his father used to be. It says ‘private inquiry agent’ in John’s yellow pages ad because that’s what his old man called himself, back before his business folded, his wife left him and he drank himself to death.
But John’s not going to end up like his father. He doesn’t have a wife, or much business. He doesn’t really drink, either. Not yet.
In each of these ten delicious stories Zane Lovitt presents an intriguing investigation filled with humour and complex, beautifully observed characters. At their centre is John Dorn, solving not so much crimes as funny human puzzles; but the crimes, and the criminals, are forever lurking nearby, taunting him from the city’s cold underworld. It’s his job to unravel the mystery, or right the wrong, or just do what the client has hired him to do. Somehow, though, there is a misstep at every turn, and John takes another small stumble towards his moment of personal truth. His midnight promise. Perhaps even his redemption.

Protection by G J Moffat.
Could you spot a killer? Logan Finch's life depends on his ability to do just that. He's a bodyguard whose clients rely on his talent to head off trouble before it even starts. Now he's got his toughest job yet - protecting American serial killer Chase Black who has been released from prison on a technicality.

The river of fire by Patrick Easter.
Wapping, London: March 1799. A sunken lugger in the Pool of London at last reveals its shocking secret. River Surveyor Tom Pascoe of the Marine Police finds the bodies of two men entombed in the crew's cabin. Suspicion falls on a third member of the crew seen fleeing the scene. He had a known motive for murder. Against the background of a nation at war with Napoleon, Tom Pascoe finds his own life under threat as he digs deeper into the case. He uncovers the existence of French agents whose task is to undermine England's ability to continue the war. In a race against time, Tom's job is further complicated by the presence of a new member of the police crew with a secret of his own...

Seven days by Deon Meyer ; translated from Afrikaans by K. L. Seegers.
In order to stop a shooting spree against cops, homicide detective Bennie Griessel is given the thankless task of solving a cold case that has no leads.

Silent fear by Katherine Howell.
On a searing summer's day paramedic Holly Garland rushes to an emergency to find a man collapsed with a bullet wound in the back of his head, CPR being performed by two bystanders, and her long-estranged brother Seth watching it all unfold.

Stolen prey by John Sandford.
Lucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes but this has to be one of the worst. In the small Minnesota town of Deephaven, and entire family has been killed -- husband, wife two daughters, even the dogs, all butchered in the most horrific possible way. There?s something about the scene that pokes at Lucas? cop instincts -- it looks an awful lot like the kind of scorched-earth retribution he?s seen in drugs killings sometimes. But this is a seriously upscale town, and the husband was an executive vice president at a big back. It just doesn?t seem to fit -- Until it does. And where it leads Lucas will take him into the darkest nightmare of his life.

A woman of consequence : the investigations of Miss Dido Kent by Anna Dean
Refusing to believe that Penelope Lambe suffered a dangerous fall at an abbey ruin because of a ghost sighting, Miss Dido Kent uncovers a human skeleton at the scene and investigates clues linking the remains to Miss Lambe's accident.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cry : NYR Theme for November 2012

Many emotions make you cry - happiness, sadness, grief, anger...  This month we are looking at books that make you cry - for any or all these reasons.

One book, which I was listening to as an audio as I was driving interstate, made me cry so much I had to pull off the road!  This book, Wandering Girl* by Glenyse Ward, was originally published in 1987 and is the autobiography of a young Aboriginal girl who grew up on a mission and went to work for a white family who treated her like a slave.  What horrified me was that it was not in the early 1900's but in the 1960's.  I couldn't believe how horrible these people were to her, and althought it is more than 20 years since I first read this book I have never forgotten it. 
Injustice makes me cry.

 A book that made me laugh so much that I cried was John Irving's A prayer for Owen Meany.  The scene at the Chrismas Nativity play is especially memorable.

Angela's Ashes:  a memoir by Frank McCourt make you cry with sadness and laughter.   It is a memoir consisting of various stories of Frank's impoverished childhood and early adulthood in both America and Ireland, his struggles with poverty, his father's drinking, and his mother's attempts to keep the family going. Angela's Ashes was the 1997 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography and Autobiography.

Some other books that have caused readers to cry for varying reasons include:

The Alphabet Sisters and other titles by Monica McInerney 
Just about anything by Jodi Picoult
Marley and me by John Grogan
Fugitive Blue by Claire Thomas

Where's Wally books have been know to make people cry from desperation:-)

Good Reads has a list of 100 books that have made people cry. 

*Unfortunately Libraries ACT no longer holds copies but it is available via the Inter-Library Loans Service.  Libraries ACT is trying to obtain new copies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Explore: NYR Theme for October

This month we are looking at EXPLORE and I have selected some publications that explore the local area of the ACT, Australia and the world.

Explore your local area:

This book offers a holiday guide dedicated to travel experiences in and around the ACT.

A guide to the ACT's parks, forests and bushlands.

A full-colour guide to over 40 fantastic walks.

Best of Canberra : the full-colour guide / Christina Zissis.
A guide to over 80 fantastic destinations and activities .

Explore your country:

A travel guide and atlas with information on over 700 towns across Australia.  It includes key attractions to major events, the ‘must sees’ and ‘must dos’ for each holiday region and an overview of Australia covering the country’s history, flora and fauna.

Kayaking around Australia / Andrew Gregory.
The definitive guide to more than 40 of Australia's most beautiful kayaking destinations.

Australia's best short getaways / edited by Jade de Souza.
This book showcases suggestions for those seeking to get away for a few days. It includes the best places to stay and fun things to do in each destination.

Cycling Australia / Lonely Planet.
28 great rides throughout Australia including route descriptions, map and cue sheets for each ride .

Back roads Australia / DK Eyewitness
Back Roads Australia driving holiday guide will take you via scenic routes to discover charming Australian towns, local restaurants and intimate places to stay.

Cool camping Australia : east coast / Kerryn Burgess.
60 of the best  for budget-conscious campers who want to experience something special.

Explore your world:

This book has just been released by Lonely Planet  and is designed for 8-11 year olds.  It is described as an “all-terrain training manual” which will teach you to “cope with searing heat and intense cold; find food and water in the wild; avoid deadly diseases; and fight back against man-eating beasts.
Andrew Blackwell embraces a different kind of travel, taking a jaunt through the most gruesomely polluted places on Earth. From the hidden bars and convenience stores of a radioactive wilderness to the sacred but reeking waters of India, Visit Sunny Chernobyl fuses immersive first-person reporting with satire and analysis, making the case that it's time to start appreciating our planet as it is--not as we wish it would be. Equal parts travelogue, expose, environmental memoir, and faux guidebook, Blackwell careens through a rogue's gallery of environmental disaster areas in search of the worst the world has to offer--and approaches a deeper understanding of what's really happening to our planet in the process.

The Best Travel Writing: v. 9 : true stories from around the world / James O'Reilly, Larry Habegger.
The points of view and perspectives of Best Travel Writing are global, and themes encompass high adventure, spiritual growth, romance, hilarity and misadventure, service to humanity, and encounters with exotic cuisines and cultures.
Travel : a literary history / Peter Whitfield.
No previous generation has ever travelled so energetically or so obsessively as this one, nor has travel writing been so much in fashion as it is now. Behind the self-conscious literary artistry of today's narratives there lies a rich and fascinating history of travel writing, stretching back over several thousand years.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Grow: NYR theme for September

What do you think of when you hear the word 'grow'?  My thoughts immediately go to gardening - growing plants - fruit, vegetables, flowers...and weeds.  Starting out with bulbs:  easy to grow and collectable bulbs for the gardener and bulb enthusiast by David L. Jones.  and Feast:  grow, cook, eat by Gabrielle Chan. are just two examples of the thousand of books held in Libraries ACT on cooking and gardening.

You can also grow taller... or shorter ... depending on your age (as you grow older).  The art of growing old:  again with grace by Marie de Hennezel. or you can grow up When I grow up by Al Yankovic

According to Iain Stewart you can even grow a planet!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Question? National Year of Reading theme for August

Questioning begins very early in life.  Often the first question a child asks is WHY?  Why is the sky blue?  Why is the rain wet?  The Why? questions continue throughout life:  Why can't I go to the party?  Why can't I go into town on my own?  Why do I have to go to bed?  Thankfully many writers have taken the time to answer these questions.  Some of the WHY books contained in our collection include:  Why don't your eyelashes grow? by Beth Ann Ditkoff;  Why don't penguin's feet freeze?  edited by Mick O'Hare; and Why should I go to bed now?  byLouise Spilsbury.   Of course there are also many books for adults which answer the WHY questions too. 

After the WHYs come the WHATs and the HOWs, the WHOs and the WHEREs and WHENs. 

An ambitious WHAT title is What the hell is he thinking?:  all the questions you've ever asked about men answered by Zoe Strimpel.

I am sure you can find the answer to every question ever asked in the library!  Start with an encyclopedia!  As well as the usual general encyclopedias there are specialist encyclopedias on all sort of subjects from gardening to archaeology; coins to science and technology and space...  and if you can't find the answer - ask a Librarian!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Discover: National Year of Reading theme for July

Continual problems with Blogger have resulted in the late publication of Booked-On.  We apologise for any inconvenience.

Do you ever wish you could discover new authors like your favourites, or new titles on a similar theme?  Well Libraries ACT has a number of databases that let you do that!  You can find the list of eresources here.  Please note that you do need to be a member of Libraries ACT to use these databases.

Let me introduce you to some of them:

Books & Authors - Previously known as What Do I Read Next? this is a database full of reading suggestions with genres, authors, titles and subjects.  It has a 'Read-A-Like wizard where you can enter a book that you like, and it will suggest books to read next.

Fiction Connection - Brings together short reviews with a keyword map of related genres, settings and character traits.  It is a good way to discover new titles and authors. The find similar button works well and gives you a myriad of story elements to include or exclude in your search.

Good Reading Online - "everything about books" contains current and past issues of Good Reading Magazine, with thousands of easy to read independent book reviews, Australian and international articles, author profiles, short stories, book trivia, and more.

NextReads - is where you can subscribe to genre newsletters containing new releases and some older items.  Newsletters are emailed to you regularly.

Literary Reference Center - is a comprehensive literary reference database with detailed information on popularly studied authors and their works. It combines information from over 1,000 books, encyclopedias, journals and unique sources.

NovelistPlus - is a database where you can find new fiction and non-fiction titles and authors for various reading abilities, ages and interests.  It can be searched by reading level, series, plot or genre and includes book revies, lists of award winners, discussion guides etc.

There are also many great sites are freely available on the internet.  Some you may find useful are listed below.

Get Reading!  - is the annual campaign developed by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts. It runs in September and is centred around  “50 books You Can’t Put Down”. In addition to the 50 books guide, the website features book news and reviews, and “Find A Book” which enables you browse or search the range of books on the website to read a blurb, download the first chapter for free, and leave your own review.

Good Reads - is a fantastic resource for all book lovers and those looking for the next good read.  It includes an extensive list of genres which enables the user to search and browse titles as well as book reviews and book club suggestions.  If you sign up Good Reads will use your favourite genres to offer book recommendations.
What Should I Read Next? - is a quick and simple site that can help you find your next read.  By entering a favourite author or title this site will provide you with a list of books that you might like to try.  To find more  information you can click on a link to Amazon where there is usually description and reviews of the item.

Literature Map -  here you can enter an author in the search engine which then returns a ‘map’ of similar writers.  By clicking on any of them you can delve wider and wider.  The closer the writer to the original name, the more likely you will like their writings.  Similar authors are also grouped together. 
Which book - a completely unique method of finding new and interesting reads by using 'sliders' to select the sort of read you need.   You can also do a traditional search or select from the unusually titled book lists.  Once you have selected a title Which can connect to to see if your choice is available through your local library or online.  
 Trove - is the search website of the National Library of Australia. It gathers results from a wide variety of sources so that users can find books, pictures, objects, journals, newspapers, music, videos, and more in a single search.  Results can be refined according to several parameters including format and availability.  Trove tells you which libraries in Australia have a copy of the item you’re looking for as well as where a copy can be purchased online.
Australian Book Review -  is a monthly magazine that publishes reviews, essays, commentaries and creative writing.  Its “primary aims are several: to foster high critical standards; to provide an outlet for fine new writing; and to contribute to the preservation of literary values and a full appreciation of Australia's literary heritage.”
nonFiction Connection -  this is the nonfiction version of Fiction Connection where you can search or browse by topic, genre, setting, character, location, and timeframe. 

Reading Group Guides - is a useful website for book clubs members.  It contains articles on how to start and run a club, and how to choose books.  There are helpful lists of  favourites and most requested titles.  For each title, a short introduction, 10-20 discussion questions, an author biography, and an excerpt are provided.  A monthly newsletter and a blog keep users updated on site news and literary happenings.