Friday, 24 March 2017

Food for me is gluten free by Sally Leary, Illustrated by Stuart Craven

Children who have a gluten free diet often experience hurdles both physically and emotionally. Food for me is gluten free tries to address these concerns in a simple, yet informative manner and explains what ailments children who have coeliac disease or gluten sensitivities may experience. I like the fact the pictures depict that and the focus is on the children. They can identify with the characters and their difficulties and challenges, such as going to a friend’s birthday party. The focus is on what the children “can do” rather than what they “can’t do”, in a humorous way.
It talks of what they might have felt in the past while they ate gluten and how much better they feel now when eating “Gluten Free”, “because they can’t eat the same food as other people”. The books also explains what needs to be done on a regular basis to avoid gluten, such as reading ingredient labels on food products and eating only from their own lunch boxes. This I thought was a great way to give children some responsibility and independence in managing their condition themselves.
It is a simple and well written book, with bright illustrations that “jump off” the completely white pages. It is classified as a Picture Story book and compared to similar special needs books, it falls in the better category with smaller paragraphs and minimal text to convey this important message.
Food for me is gluten free is also a Victorian Premiers Reading Challenge listed book.


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

New book to film adaptations in 2017

Get a head start on some of 2017's new film releases by reading the book first. Some of the books making their way to the big screen this year are The Circle, The Dinner and Wonder.

The Circle by Dave Eggers

Mae Holland id thrilled when she is hired to work for The Circle, the world's most powerful and innovative Tech company. It controls almost all of the world's internet and collects vast amounts of information about everyone on the planet via social media and apps (sound familiar) ? It's aim is to make the Circle complete and control 100% of the world's search engines to create a transparent world, where everyone is tracked from cradle to grave for the common good. As Mae gets drawn into the world of The Circle, she encounters some strange activities and finds its moralistic teachings have a dark heart. What happen's when the circle is complete, and does Mae want to be part of it ? A thought provoking thriller that looks at what could evolve from our 24/7 connected society.

The Dinner by Herman Koch

Two brothers and their wives go out for dinner. A normal occurrence, except these couples have something very serious to discuss. Through appetizer, main course and dessert we get to digest the lives and relationships of these two couples. One thing is certain, these couples have a terrible secret and who knows what lengths they will go to to stop it from emerging. Often shocking and surprising, The Dinner examines the darker side of human nature, and what people will do to protect their families, their reputations and themselves.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

'My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.'
Auggie is a normal 10 year old boy, and he'd like to be treated that way. Unfortunately, he was born with a severe facial deformity, which means he doesn't look like everyone else and is often treated cruelly as a result. His parents have been home schooling him to protect him from the taunts of others, but now he is about to attend a real school for the first time and he's not looking forward to it. Can Auggie convince his peers he is just like them on the inside?
"Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page."

Wonder is a Victorian Premiers Reading Challenge listed book.

Click on any of the title links or the cover images to reserve your copy via The Vault

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Golden Lion by Wilbur Smith with Giles Kristian

The 'Courtney' novels trace the fortunes and misfortunes of this sprawling, ambitious family, from the dawn of the eighteenth century to the late twentieth century, starting with When the lion feeds. The latest installment - Golden Lion features captain Henry 'Hal' Courtney on his ship The Golden Bough, as he takes you on an incredible journey on the thrashing seas off the coast of Africa in 1670. In a time of brave and brutal adventure, one man will journey across land and sea, to pursue his greatest enemy. The story contains many wonderful scenes and many memorable characters like Hal and his wise and stoic right-hand man, Aboli, an Amadoda warrior, to one of the antagonists named Pett, a psychopathic British East India Company clerk. The story is full of plot twists and turns that will keep you reading to all hours.
Does this feel like Wilbur’s writing ? Yes.
Do I recommend it? Yes
I was skeptical about the story writing quality when reading that Smith has bowed to the pressure of his fans and enlisted a co-author in Giles Kristian. Ghost writing is of course, nothing new – but the concern is always going to be making the book read and feel like the voice of the master whose name is in large print on the cover, and Golden Lion has definitely passed the test.

Friday, 10 March 2017

War Child : survival, betrayal, secrets by Annette Janic

War Child is a deeply moving, incredibly personal, evocative, compelling life story of a German woman, Magdalena (‘Leni’) born into a hopeless situation in 1925 rural Germany pre-World War II. She is an illegitimate child, in a small town steeped in superstition. Spurned by her Catholic grandfather, Leni and her mother live in poverty in a country sliding towards war. At school Leni joins the Hitler Youth, leaving at 14 to work to support her family. A sadistic employer forces her to submit to systematic rape or face having her mother interned.
Fleeing the advance of the Red Army, Leni and her family survive on their wits, and she is transformed from a meek, cowering girl to protector. In the post-war chaos Leni, pregnant to her Yugoslav boyfriend, marries in a bid to avoid the hardship that blighted her childhood. The little family migrates to Australia, crossing the war-torn continent, enduring appalling conditions in Bagnoli Refugee Transit Camp and finally facing the enormous task of beginning a new life in an alien land.
Researching her mother’s life after the death of both parents, Leni’s daughter Annette makes a startling discovery. With her dying breath, Leni’s confidante reveals another secret. A complex search that crosses three continents follows, as Annette gradually unravels the web of intrigue that protects her mother’s ultimate secret.
War Child is a must read book as it not only tells of the life of an ordinary German woman and her family in World War 2 from a viewpoint of the family and the suffering war brought them, but also of a search for identity, and endurance at great costs for the love of family. It also examines moral attitudes at the time and their consequences, mother/daughter relationships and emigration to Australia in the 50's.
It was also one of those books that cannot be put down.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

New fiction for March

Looking for your next great read ? Check out these new release titles
The scent of you Maggie Alderson
Revolution of the moon Andrea Camilleri
Blindness and rage Brian Castro
All by myself alone Mary Higgins Clark
Mississippi blood Greg Iles
Shadow land Elizabeth Kostova
Red sister Mark Lawrence
Finding Hannah Fiona McCallum
War cry Wilbur Smith
Death of a she devil Fay Weldon
Billy Sing Ouyang Yu
Idiot gods David Zindell

Simply click on your chosen title/s and you will be directed to The Vault, where you can place your holds. Can't see anything you like? Ask our friendly staff for a recommendation.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Whole health for happy cats by Sandy Arora

Whole health for happy cats has been written in an accessible and engaging style for both cat lovers and first time owners. It has 184 pages featuring extensive resources, decision-making guides to all things feline and provides such information as basic care, supplies, veterinary care, spaying and neutering, foods, and relationships with other existing animals at home.
This book has a good content divided into six chapters and the conclusion highlights important information for a quick read. I liked chapter one which is talking about cat litter options for the budget conscious describing the pros and cons of the products before buying, as well as some good tips for effective cleaning and inexpensive alternatives to make your own odour and stain remover.
I recommend reading this book first before attempting to buy a cat. If you know what you’re doing your pet will enjoy a better life, it can give a complete picture in taking responsibility to care for your cute kitten or cat. The resources at the end of this book have very useful linked websites as additional information for gaining further knowledge. Enjoy reading Whole health for happy cats and enjoy a long healthy life for both owner and cat.

Monday, 27 February 2017

The boy I love (audio book) by Lynda Bellingham

The talking book The Boy I Love is set in a time when theatres were at the heart of every town. The book is something that I would not normally have listened to. The audio was offered to me by another staff member and I found it most enjoyable.

In Lynda Bellingham's beguiling new novel, we follow the lives and fortunes of a cast of characters performing in the beautiful Victorian theatre in Crewe. Sally Thomas prepares to leave her job at the British Drama League in London and heads off to the North of England for her very first season in repertory as an Assistant Stage Manager. We witness how relationships are formed and broken in equal measure between these intense and committed actors. The royal box with its unique view of the stage is the most privileged place in the theatre itself, harbouring the deepest and darkest secrets of cast, crew and audience alike.

Flung into this new world, Sally soon finds her feet, thanks to her own steady, unspoilt nature and to the company of her best friend, Jeremy. One of the first lessons she learns is that the other actors barely need tuition in the art of stage-fighting, since they are quite adept at stabbing each other in the back. When her best friend Jeremy falls suddenly and dangerously in love, Sally needs to grow up - fast. A shadow is falling over the theatre, sparing no one, and a tragedy is gathering pace in the darkness behind the stage.

The Boy I Love is a beautiful novel from a naturally gifted storyteller, actress Lynda Bellingham. Her acting career spans forty years, with appearances on Strictly Come Dancing, Loose Women and Calendar Girls. It is a superb evocation of theatre and real life that will stay with you long after you have read it. Be warned: it may just break your heart.