November 22, 2012

Brilliant Biographies

Some great bios up here! Why not click one for more details or come in to Camden and Narellan for your celeb/sport/interest fix.

November 20, 2012

What Remains by Denise Leith

We meet Kate Price as a raw new war correspondent and travel with her as she develops her skills and resilience, witnessing ever more horrific events. She is at Sarajevo and Rwanda to name but two. The tide of media ebbs and flows around the successive war zones and the same journalists and photographers connect and separate endlessly in the waves. How do you build an emotional life when you are in the midst of so much chaos and suffering? We need these events to be witnessed but at what cost? This is a powerful and heartbreaking story.

November 13, 2012

Bryant & May on the Loose by Christopher Fowler

“The inmates at Pentonville prison were fond of inking themselves with fake Russian gang symbols, most of them poorly copied and misspelled. The one on Mac’s arm was actually a produce stamp for a soviet state farm…he.. was advertising turnips.” Mac is a pawn in the game of Mr Fox who may be just a social misfit with a penchant for collecting personal details, or he may be a serial killer or he may be the Horned God haunting the site of a pagan temple. Weaving London’s many layered history into another engaging mystery, Fowler welcomes us to the eclectic, eccentric world of the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Be warned, there are more in the series and you won’t be able to stop at one book!

November 12, 2012

National Year of Reading: Cry

Many of the National Year of Reading themes have been focused on the positives of human life: exploration, adventure, inspiration and joy. But there is something also to be said of those times when we feel down and the lessons we learn when challenges and trials are stacked up against us. For this reason, November's theme is cry, recommending novels that feature sad endings, bittersweet resolutions, challenging themes, and more. We've compiled a few below, but why not suggest some of your own favourites in the comment box at the end of this post? We'd love to hear about them.

November 11, 2012

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Assistant DA, Andy Barber is called to a murder scene of a boy who was stabbed on his way to school. It’s a small town – people know each other. Andy is suspended and his teenage son, Jacob, is charged with murder. The family is isolated as the legal process grinds on. During the trial, Andy is faced with seeing the prosecution unfold from the defendant’s perspective and this is one of the strongest elements of this suspenseful book. The trial might find Jacob guilty. The more horrific question is… what if he is guilty?

November 09, 2012

The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen

CoverEvery now and then you find a new author with an extraordinary voice and heart, who possesses the gift of putting complex ideas into simple language. Judith is 10 years old and grappling with how the world works. She lives a faith based life with her emotionally distant father and although intelligent is socially unaware and excluded. Isolated and lonely, she makes a miniature pretend world in her room and weaves stories about it. Through the power of her imagination and her faith, she causes events in her imaginary world which begin to affect the real world. But with power comes responsibility and who can she turn to for help?

November 05, 2012

Book review: The Season of the Beast

The Season of the Beast (The Agnes De Souarcy Chronicles by Andrea Japp)

This is the first in a series of historical mysteries about a young widow in medieval France. It has been translated from French, but is nevertheless a beautiful book to read if you don’t mind confusing narratives. I confess I skimmed over the many subplots and historical references I wasn’t sure of, because the characters and places described in between were very interesting. In particular Agnes De Souarcy is a strong character partly because she is depicted in such glowing terms as a renaissance woman and partly because she remains vulnerable in spite of her ample ability and intelligence. What was fascinating also were the various social skills and hazards of France in 1304, which are so different to those we use today. The historicity of these I found convincing, and made this book a worthwhile read. I read it very quickly, and due to a cliffhanger ending will now need to read the second and perhaps third in the series.


More Thumbs Up: Recommended Reads

So you want more reads that others have personally picked for you? Check out these great novels and bios that were recommended by your fellow library members through the Camden Reads program. Do you have your own favourites to share? Please post in the comment box at the end of this entry.

Stalked: Every Woman's Nightmare by Chris Smith
Scattered: The Inside Story of Ice in Australia by Malcolm Knox
Sold by Tess Stevens

Saving Cinnamon by Christine Sullivan
The Words Inside by Emmah Money
Live without Limits by Nick Vujicic
Inconceivable by Carolyn and Sean Savage
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
She by H.R. Haggard
Bleed for Me by Michael Robotham