February 20, 2009

Lars and the Real Girl

I first heard about this movie on the ABC movie show and was intrigued. You would not expect a story about an anatomically correct adult female sized doll to be a gentle, life affirming story about how people in a small town can support and look out for each other. Beautifully cast, acted and directed. There are no murders, no car chases, no real conflict and yet it is a very satisfying exploration of how one man, Lars, finds his way forward. You might find the beginning slow and/or weird - stick with this understated love story and you will be enchanted.

February 11, 2009

Big and Me

A captivating new storybook by award-winning author David Miller, Big and Me captures the dilemmas faced by children dealing with someone in their life having a mental illness. Big and Me are both earth moving machines and Big sometimes 'goes a bit wobbly' and behaves erratically. Me has to find someone to help and maybe sometimes will have to stay with a friend for a while. This book will bring a smile to your face, with some underlying sadness; and it just might help you help a small person who is facing some tough issues. The story is enhanced by David's clever and colourful illustrations. An instant hit with library staff.

February 05, 2009

New Historical Mystery

The Redemption of Alexander Seaton by Shona McLean is not a straight-forward murder mystery. The author lives in the Scottish city of Banff where the book is set in the 1620s and it is obviously well informed by her studies in history. She deftly invokes the social setting of the times, where the town leaders had moral as well as legal authority over the townspeople. I particularly liked the touch where a crucial witness was banished from the town for being a prostitute and the understanding we gain of the effects of these kinds of laws. The protaganist, Alexander Seaton, must find his way to the truth and to an understanding of his own past failings before he can achieve the redemption of the title and it is a fascinating journey. The humanity of the characters coping with what is to us a very unfamiliar world is well drawn and although I found it a little slow to start, if you persevere you will have a very satisfactory read.

Classic fiction at Narellan Library

We are very pleased to announce that our collection of Classics at Narellan Library has recently been improved with many new titles. New copies of titles by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, John Steinbeck, Albert Camus, Alexandre Dumas, George Eliot and Victor Hugo and others joined our existing titles. They are now easier to find as the Fiction collections at Narellan have been separated into genre groupings and therefore the classics have their own area of the shelves.
Another new classic title is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. If you want some background on Mary Shelley, try 'Other People's Daughters: the Life and Times of the Governess' by Ruth Brandon held at Camden Library in the Biography Collection (B 923.7 BRA). both Mary and Claire Clairmont (her step-sister) feature in this exploration of the economic and social history of the governess. It is fortunate that there were some governesses who achieved some celebrity so that their records and papers were kept. Most governesses did not enjoy such a position. The book also includes information on early campaigners for female education and the establishment of the first female colleges at universities in England.