>What Library staff are reading . . .


  • Disgrace by J M Coetzee ~ This was a dark read dealing with among other themes, Aparthied issues in South Africa. The subject content wasn’t by any means pleasant, but it was thought provoking and well written and was a Booker prize winner.
  • Currently I’m reading This body of death by Elizabeth George for a book group read. I rarely read crime, so am looking forward to a title by this celebrated author who seems to have a good reputation as a crime writer.
  • The Philanthropist by John Tesarsch ~ Very recognisable Australian setting, wonderful writing.
  • Daughters-in-law by Joanna Trollope ~ She can always be trusted to offer a wry and accurate analysis of family life.
  • Duende: a journey in search of flamenco by Jason Webster ~ Young Englishman leaves dull, predictable life in England to live in Spain and discover the real flamenco, and its practitioners. Compelling reading, very visceral portraits of the gypsy fraternity.
  • A parrot in the pepper tree by Chris Stewart ~ also about foreigners coming to live in Spain, in this case the Alpujarras region in the Southern mountains. (See a theme developing here?)
  • At home by Bill Bryson ~ Wide-ranging research, entertaining as usual.
  • The Creative Life by Julia Cameron~ Nope, this wasn’t interesting. Her past books on this subject have been far better.
  • Kingdom of shadows by Barbara Erskine ~ set in modern day England and 16th century Scotland
  • The Castings trilogy by Pamela Freeman
  • The Island by Victoria Hislop
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo andThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson.
  • Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue ~ I was inspired to read more of Donoghue’s work after reading Room recently, and loving it. Slammerkin is a dramatic shift in genre – it’s historical fiction, set in 18th Century, grimy, fetid old Londontown. A bleak yet exciting story of a young girl who falls into prostitution in order to survive.
  • Life Mask by Emma Donoghue ~ I’ve just started this one. Also set in late 18th Century London, this time focussing on the more glamorous, artistic and aristocratic side of life. The pace is slower than Slammerkin and is a more gentile tale about a theatrical love triangle (so far).
  • The Romantic: Italian days and nights by Kate Holden ~ a lot like In My Skin, quite dark territory but well written and insightful. Narrated in the third person, Holden examines her life after a long period of drug addiction and hard living, by exploring Rome and navigating tumultuous European romances. Ah, the life of a writer…
  • A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French ~– I idolise French and Saunders, so of course I’m going to like this book! Written alternately from the points of view of different members of a family, this is a comic and endearing novel. The teenage daughter’s voice is a little grating and unnatural (lots of ‘like’ and ‘sooo’ peppered within her commentary) but all in all: a gentle, light and fun read.
  • Give Me Your Heart: Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates ~ deliciously dark short stories.
  • Women photography by Annie Leibovitz, essay by Susan Sontag ~ Amazingly powerful images of women from all walks of life.
  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty ~ I read this on a recommendation. I really enjoyed it. The story is based in Sydney and one of the characters even loses a jumper in Katoomba so that was nice to have that connection. Alice has an accident and loses the last 10 years of her memory. She believes she is a happy newly wed about to give birth to their first baby. As the story unfolds, it is hilarious to find Alice horrified that she has 3 children and she doesn’t even know what to feed them. I was happy with how the story ended up too as at one stage I thought it was going in a different direction. And to be honest, I didn’t like the Alice that she had turned into 10 years later – I liked the sweeter, younger Alice. So I wanted her to learn something about herself and become more like she used to be…..anyway, it got me thinking….what would happen if I lost the last 10 years of my memory….my friends would be the same, I am still married to the same person, yes, there are a couple of things that I should change and should not have let happen….I like that you re-evaluate your own life along the way thanks to this story…..
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling ~ last one on talking book by Stephen Fry. Now it will all be fresh in my head for when I see the last instalment at the movies
  • Mr Rosenblums List by Natasha Solomons ~ An odd little story that was recommended to me. Not something that I would normally pick up and read. All about a man’s insistence on fitting into English society after arriving in England as a refugee. I enjoyed the story more once the main characters migrated to the English countryside – the people they met there were much more entertaining
  • The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez ~ Set in war-torn Afghanistan, in a little coffee shop in downtown Kabul brings a very different group of women together.
    SUNNY, the proud proprietor, who needs an ingenious plan – and fast – to keep her café and customers safe…
    YAZMINA, a young pregnant woman stolen from her remote village and now abandoned on Kabul’s violent streets …
    CANDACE, a wealthy American who has finally left her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil …
    ISABEL, a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life…
    and HALAJAN, the sixty-year-old “den” mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules.
    I have heard this story described as if Maeve Binchy wrote The Kite Runner – very good way of putting it.
  • Katherine Parr : a guided tour of the life and thought of a Reformation queen by Brandon G. Withrow ~ dry and dusty Tudors
  • Old Dogs by Donna Moore – Scottish crime novel about the theft of two priceless porcelain dogs from a Glasgow museum – by multiple theives. Reads like one of those old Ealing comedies
  • The Island by Victoria Hislop – novel about a woman sent to live on the island of Spiralonga off Crete – a leper colony
  • I came to say goodbye by Caroline Overington
  • The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry – my first eBook experience
  • Revolting people by Andy Hamilton – hilarious radio play on CD
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