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The Dry by Jane Harper

dryThe Dry by Jane Harper

Found on the Adult Fiction shelves under HARPER or as a Talking Book shelves under HAR TB

Plot Summary :  A story of desperation, resolution and small-town prejudice played out against the blistering extremes of life on the land.

Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, a farmer turns his gun on his family and then himself. As questions mount and suspicion casts a long shadow over the parched town, specialist investigator Aaron Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him 20 years earlier. (Source: Fantastic Fiction)

In 2015 The Dry was given the Victorian Premier’s Award for an unpublished manuscript.  It has now been sold to 20 publishers worldwide and Reece Witherspoon’s company has optioned it as a film.

Review : I just loved it from the beginning with its crime and mystery, Australian countryside setting, beautiful language and pace.

This is a story about heroism, the sins of the past, and the struggle to atone.

Reviewed by : Carolyn


The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlist for 2016

prime-ministers-literary-awardsThe Prime Minister’s Literary Awards began in 2008 and aim to recognise individual excellence and the contribution Australian authors make to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life.  The panel of judges make recommendations to the Prime Minister for the shortlists and winners across each of the six categories but it is the Prime Minister who makes the final decision (and in 2014 Tony Abbott famously overruled the judges and made his own choice, The Narrow Road to the Deep North  by Richard Flanagan).

The winner of each category — Fiction, Non-fiction, Australian History, Poetry, Young Adult Fiction and Children’s Fiction — is awarded $80,000, with shortlisted entries each awarded $5,000.

The twelve judges over three judging panels for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards include:

  • Fiction and Poetry panel – Louise Adler AM (Chair), Jamie Grant, Dr Robert Gray and Des Cowley
  • Non-fiction and History panel – Gerard Henderson (Chair), Dr Ida Lichter, Peter Coleman and Professor Ross Fitzgerald
  • Children’s and Young Adult fiction panel – Mike Shuttleworth (Chair), Dr Irini Savvides, Ms Kate Colley and Dr Mark MacLeod

And the shortlisted titles for the The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlist for 2016 are:







Australian History


Young Adult fiction


Children’s fiction


The winners will be announced later this year. In the meantime keep up-to-date via the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards  website or Facebook page or

Carolyn’s Books of the Month – April 2016

carolyns-books-of-the-monthBest Read : Tears of the Cheetah by T.M.Clark

Crime : The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman

Australian Author : The Lake House by Kate Morton

General Fiction : Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon

Thrillers : Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid and Think of a Number by John Verdon

Saga/Romance : See Me by Nicholas Sparks

Carolyns books display

Alison’s Picks – February 2016


Debra Adelaide : The Women’s Pages

Mark O’Flynn : The  Soup’s Song: poetry

Elena Ferrante : The Lost Daughter

Carmel Bird : My Hearts are Your Hearts: short stories




Montague Afternoon Tea

The Australian Romance Readers Association will be hosting a Romantic High Tea at the Castlereagh Hotel in Sydney at 11:30am on Saturday 19 March 2016.

We’re taking advantage of romance authors being in Sydney for our Australian Romance Readers Awards Dinner to host a special event just for readers. Five of our fabulous authors—Amy Andrews, Anne Gracie, Cathryn Hein, Kelly Hunter and Rachael Johns—will each be hosting a table at the High Tea.

Tickets are now on sale here.

If you miss out on a ticket, be sure to put your name down on the wait list. We may release more seats, or add more authors, if there is sufficient demand.

Further details are available on the Australian Romance Readers Association blog.


Palace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale

palace of tearsPalace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale

Sydney, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin, 2015. 551 pages.
Found on the Fiction shelves at LEATHERDALE

Plot summary : The dazzling story of family, passion, secrets and vengeance, woven through the hardships of both World Wars, and revealing the intriguing history of the Palace, the opulent Blue Mountains hotel famed for its luxury and mysterious owner.

A sweltering summer’s day, January 1914: the charismatic and ruthless Adam Fox throws a lavish birthday party for his son and heir at his elegant clifftop hotel in the Blue Mountains. Everyone is invited except Angie, the girl from the cottage next door. The day will end in tragedy, a punishment for a family’s secrets and lies.

 In 2013, Fox’s granddaughter Lisa, seeks the truth about the past. Who is this Angie her mother speaks of: ‘the girl who broke all our hearts’? Why do locals call Fox’s hotel the ‘palace of tears’? Behind the grandeur and glamour of its famous guests and glittering parties, Lisa discovers a hidden history of passion and revenge, loyalty and love.

 A grand piano burns in the night, a seance promises death or forgiveness, a fire rages in a snowstorm, a painter’s final masterpiece inspires betrayal, a child is given away. With twist upon twist, this lush, strange mystery withholds its shocking truth to the very end. (Source : Allen and Unwin)

Review : I enjoyed this book so much and would recommend it to anyone living in the Blue Mountains and beyond for its setting in Medlow Bath’s Hydro Majestic Hotel, its Australian history and beautiful descriptions of familiar mountain places and scenery.

This book spans three generations over more than a century and has a twist in the end as well.

Read it soon!

Reviewed by : Carolyn

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