New Books and Summaries

March 2019

New to the Library March 2019

Hell’s Corner                       David Baldacci                                Thriller

                                         

  Oliver Stone – once the country’s most skilled assassin – stands in front of the White House, perhaps for the last time. The president has personally requested that Stone serve his country again on a high-risk, covert mission. Though he’s fought for decades to leave his past career behind, Stone has no choice but to say yes.

The Suspect                         Fiona Barton                                   Thriller

The suspect

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight desperate, bereft and frantic with worry. Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal. And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think.

The Round Yard                 Alissa Callen                                    Romance

The Round Yard [electronic resource]

A heartfelt story about finding where you belong. A new Woodlea rural romance by bestselling Australian author Alissa Callen. For only child Neve Fitzpatrick, family is everything. When she loses her mother, she heads to the bush to rent a farmhouse near her grandmother’s family home. To keep herself busy and her grief at bay, she offers to look after two little redheaded cowgirls and adopts a sassy pony and shaggy donkey in need of a refuge. Drover and horse trainer Tanner Callahan may have just found his mother, but he’s resolved never to let anyone too close. Abandonment has cursed him all his life, and he won’t let it happen again. Only two things unnerve him: children and small-town matchmaking. Then he meets occupational therapist Neve. Warm-hearted and unforgettable, she represents all that Tanner feels will forever remain out of reach. But when an old iron key unlocks family secrets from the Second World War, Neve needs help only Tanner can give. As the threads of the past unravel, and locusts threaten to suffocate the land, Neve and Tanner must make a choice. Will fear keep them running or is the home each yearns for already within grasp?

The Sixth Day                      Catherine Coulter                          Thriller

The sixth day

Special agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine take on a ruthless mastermind. When several major political figures die mysteriously, officials declare the deaths are from natural causes. Then the German Vice-Chancellor dies on the steps of 10 Downing Street, and a drone is spotted hovering over the scene. The truth becomes clear—these high-profile deaths are well-constructed assassinations, and the Covert Eyes team is tasked to investigate. With the help of Dr. Isabella Marin, a young expert in the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript and cryptophasia (twin language), Nicholas and Michaela home in on Roman Ardelean, a wealthy cybersecurity genius and a descendant of fifteenth century Romanian Vlad the Impaler—often romanticized as Dracula. Ardelean believes the Voynich Manuscript will unlock the secret to curing his severely ill twin brother’s blood disorder and is willing to murder anyone who gets in his way, including Nicholas and Michaela. Along with MI5, the Covert Eyes team must race against the clock to find Ardelean before he unleashes a devastating attack on London intended to destroy those he believes betrayed him.

Sea of Greed                       Clive Cussler                                    Thriller

Sea of greed

After an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico destroys three oil rigs, Kurt Austin and the NUMA Special Projects Team are tapped by the President of the United States to find out what’s gone wrong. The trail leads them to a brilliant billionaire in the alternative energy field. But is she an environmental hero or a rogue genetic engineer?

Gone by Midnight               Candice Fox                         Mystery

Gone by midnight


Crimson Lake is where bad people come to disappear – and where eight-year-old boys vanish into thin air. On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young friends are left alone while their parents dine downstairs. But when Sara Farrow checks on the children at midnight, her son is missing. The boys swear they stayed in their room, and CCTV confirms Richie has not left the building. Despite a thorough search, no trace of the child is found. Distrustful of the police, Sara turns to Crimson Lake’s unlikeliest private investigators: disgraced cop Ted Conkaffey and convicted killer Amanda Pharrell. This case is just the sort of twisted puzzle that gets Amanda’s blood pumping. For Ted, the case couldn’t have come at a worse time. Two years ago a false accusation robbed him of his career, his reputation and most importantly his family. But now Lillian, the daughter he barely knows, is coming to stay in his ramshackle cottage by the lake. Ted must dredge up the area’s worst characters to find a missing boy. And the kind of danger he uncovers could well put his own child in deadly peril.

Crossing the Lines               Sulari Gentill                        Mystery             

Crossing the lines

“When Madeleine d’Leon conjures Ned McGinnity as the hero in her latest crime novel, she makes him a serious writer simply because the irony of a protagonist who’d never lower himself to read the story in which he stars, amuses her. When Ned McGinnity creates Madeleine d’Leon, she is his literary device, a writer of detective fiction who is herself a mystery to be unravelled. As Ned and Madeleine play out their own lives while writing the other’s story, they find themselves crossingthe lines that divide the real and the imagined. This is a story about two people trying to hold onto each other beyond reality.” 

An Anonymous Girl             Hendricks Greer                   Thriller

An Anonymous Girl [text (large print)]

Seeking women ages 18-32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt? But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr Shields may know what she’s thinking … and what she’s hiding. Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about? As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly. Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime? From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion and just how much you can trust someone.

The Homestead on the River    Rosie MacKenzie     Historical Romance

The homestead on the river

In stark contrast to her own childhood during the last days of the Raj in India, the spectacular beauty surrounding their home, Rathgarven in Ireland has proven to be a happy place for Kathleen O’Sullivan and her husband, James, to raise their four children. But Kathleen is no stranger to heartbreak, and when the family is faced with losing everything, she knows they will need to adapt to survive. Even if that means leaving their beloved home and moving to Australia to start afresh. Lillie O’Sullivan knows that her mother and father haven’t been entirely truthful about the reasons for their move to Australia. But as they settle into their new home in rural New South Wales she is willing to give it a chance. That is, until the secrets her parents have kept for so long finally catch up with them. Secrets that have the power to destroy their family and ruin their future. From the vibrant colours of India to the meadows of Ireland to the harsh but beautiful Australian land, a family fight for their future.

Saving You                           Charlotte Nash                     Family

Saving you

In their tiny pale green cottage under the trees, Mallory Cook and her five-year-old son, Harry, are a little family unit who weather the storms of life together. Money is tight after Harry’s father, Duncan, abandoned them to expand his business in New York. So when Duncan fails to return Harry after a visit, Mallory boards a plane to bring her son home any way she can. During the journey, a chance encounter with three retirees on the run from their care home leads Mallory on an unlikely group road trip across the United States. Zadie, Ernie and Jock each have their own reasons for making the journey and along the way the four of them will learn the lengths they will travel to save each other and themselves.

Into the Fire                Sonia Orchard                      Family

Into the fire

A year after her best friend died in a house fire, Lara can’t come to terms with the loss. Logic says there was no more she could have done to save the mercurial and unhappy Alice, but Lara can’t escape the feeling that she is somehow to blame for the tragedy. She spends a weekend at the rebuilt house with Alice’s charismatic widower, Crow, and his three young children. Rummaging through the remains of their shared past, Lara reveals a friendship with Alice that was as troubled as it was intense. But beneath the surface is a darker, more unsettling secret waiting to be exposed.

The Pearl Sister                     Lucinda Riley             Historical Fiction

The pearl sister : CeCe's story

The Pearl Sister is the fourth book in the number one international bestselling Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley. CeCe D’Aplièse has never felt she fitted in anywhere. Following the death of her father, the elusive billionaire Pa Salt – so-called by the six daughters he adopted from around the globe and named after the Seven Sisters star cluster – she finds herself at breaking point. Dropping out of art college, CeCe watches as Star, her beloved sister, distances herself to follow her new love, leaving her completely alone. In desperation, she decides to flee England and discover her past; the only clues she has are a black-and-white photograph and the name of a woman pioneer who lived in Australia over one hundred years ago. En-route to Sydney, CeCe heads to the one place she has ever felt close to being herself: the stunning beaches of Krabi, Thailand. There amongst the backpackers, she meets the mysterious Ace, a man as lonely as she is and whom she subsequently realizes has a secret to hide. A hundred years earlier, Kitty McBride, daughter of an Edinburgh clergyman, is given the opportunity to travel to Australia as the companion of the wealthy Mrs McCrombie. In Adelaide, her fate becomes entwined with Mrs McCrombie’s family, including the identical, yet very different, twin brothers: impetuous Drummond, and ambitious Andrew, the heir to a pearling fortune. When CeCe finally reaches the searing heat and dusty plains of the Red Centre of Australia, she begins the search for her past. As something deep within her responds to the energy of the area and the ancient culture of the Aboriginal people, her creativity reawakens once more. With help from those she meets on her journey, CeCe begins to believe that this wild, vast continent could offer her something she never thought possible: a sense of belonging, and a home

Red Moon                   Kim Stanley Robinson                  Science Fiction

Red moon

It is twenty-five years since China established the first colony on the moon, and the lives of three people are about to collide. American Fred Fredericks is making his first trip there, his purpose to install a communications system for China’s Lunar Science Foundation. But hours after his arrival he witnesses a murder and is forced into hiding. It is also the first visit to the moon for celebrity travel reporter Ta Shu. He has contacts and influence, but he too will find that the moon can be a perilous place for any traveler. Finally, there is Chan Qi. Daughter of the Minister of Finance, and without doubt a person of interest to those in power. She is on the moon for reasons of her own, but when she attempts to return home to China, in secret, the events that unfold will change everything – on the moon, and on Earth.

Easy Keto                    Pete Evans                   non- fiction

Easy keto : 70+ simple and delicious recipes : reclaim your health with a ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet – a style of eating that is low in carbs and rich in healthy fats – is a powerful way to transform your health, lose weight and find relief from common health problems. In this practical, one-stop guide, Pete Evans gives you the essential information you’ll need to transition to this way of eating, including: The benefits of a keto diet; Guidelines on carbohydrates found in common foods; Eating, shopping and pantry tips; More than 70 simple and delicious recipes. As always, Pete’s recipes are quick, easy to make and full of bright, fresh flavours. Easy Keto is for anyone interested in this way of eating who is unsure of how to get started. With some basic guidelines it has never been simpler or more enticing to reclaim your health and go keto!

The Secret Diary of Hendrick Groen                       non-fiction

The secret diary of Hendrik Groen [text (large print)] : 83 1/4 years old

Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn’t planning to be buried any time soon. But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums? Hendrik sets out to write an exposé: a year in the life of his care home in Amsterdam, revealing all its ups and downs, not least his new endeavor, the anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club. And when Eefje moves in, the woman Hendrik has always longed for, he polishes his shoes and his teeth, grooms what’s left of his hair and attempts to make something of the life he has left.

Love Your Sister          Connie & Samuel Johnston          non-fiction

Love your sister : how far would you go for someone you love...on a unicycle?

Born a year apart, Connie and Samuel Johnson have always been close. Faced with the devastating news that they would soon be separated forever, they made a decision. After already surviving cancer twice in her young life, at 33 Connie was diagnosed with breast cancer. But this time it was a whole different ball game. This time she was told she will die, leaving behind her two sons. As a young mum faced with her own death, Connie wanted to make it all less meaningless, and she knew just the way to do it – send her brother, Sam, on a one-wheeled odyssey around Australia.

Becoming                    Michelle Obama                  non-fiction

Becoming [book club]

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America-the first African-American to serve in that role-she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her-from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it-in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations-and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Murder in the Afternoon      Frances Brody           murder mystery

Murder in the afternoon [text (large print)]

Young Harriet and her brother Austin have always been scared of the quarry where their stonemason father works. So when they find him dead on the cold ground, they scarper quick smart and look for help. When help arrives, the quarry is deserted and there is no sign of the body. Were the children mistaken? Is their father not dead? Did he simply get up and run away? It seems like another unusual case requiring the expertise of Kate Shackleton. But for Kate this is one case where surprising family ties makes it her most dangerous – and delicate –  

Murder on a Summer’s Day      Frances Brody                 murder mystery

Murder on a summer's day [text (large print)]

When amateur sleuth detective Kate Shackleton receives a dawn telephone call from her cousin James, his news snaps Kate into wakefulness. The India Office seek her on-the-spot help in finding a Maharajah, last seen on the Bolton Abbey estate. He has with him a hugely valuable diamond. Investigative successes and good family connections put Kate in the highly trusted category… Perceived as ‘establishment’, Kate feels and outsider in her sympathies. One thing she is sure of: her own skills and insights. Qualities that she is sure will help her unravel the latest disappearance on that fateful summer’s day…

Woman Unknown               Frances Brody             murder mystery

A woman unknown

Deirdre Fitzpatrick is married to a man who wants to know where she really goes when supposedly taking care of her sick mother, and calls on the expertise of Kate Shackleton, amateur sleuth extraordinaire, to investigate. Everett Runcie is a banker facing ruin and disgrace. His American heiress wife will no longer tolerate his infidelity, and is seeking divorce. When a chambermaid enters Runcie’s hotel room, she finds herself staring at a dead body. Suddenly Kate is thrown into the depths of an altogether more sinister investigation. Can she uncover the truth of her most complex and personal case to date? �b�\c0�E�

January/February 2019

  1.   ‘The Memories that Make Us’ Vanessa Carnevale Romance


Gracie Ashcroft is supposed to marry Blake Beaumont in three months’ time. The trouble is, she doesn’t know who he is… After an accident leaves Gracie with severe amnesia, she’s forced to decide: live a life that is made up of other people’s memories of who she was, or start a new life on her own. Leaving her fiancé Blake behind, she moves to the country where she takes on the task of reviving her family’s abandoned flower farm. While attempting to restart a business with an uncertain future, she tries to come to terms with the grief of losing a mother she can’t remember and a fiancé she so badly wants to fall in love with again. What she doesn’t count on is developing a deep connection with Flynn, a local vet. Worst of all is having to confront the fact that she might lose either chance at love. Forced to examine the person she has become, Gracie confronts the question: if you had your time over, would you live the same life twice?

2. ‘The Lone child’ Anna George Mystery


Neve Ayres has always been so careful. Since her mother’s death when Neve was seven, she’s learned to look after herself and to keep her cards close. But now her deliberately constructed world has collapsed: her partner left her when she was eight months pregnant. And, so alone with her newborn son, she’s retreated to her cliff-top holiday house in coastal Flinders. There, another child comes into her life. The first time Neve sees Jessie, the small girl is playing on an empty stretch of beach. On the cold autumn day, she is bare-legged and alone, while her mother is distracted by her own troubles. At once, almost despite herself, Neve is intrigued and concerned, and Jessie is drawn to Neve’s kindness – and to her home. To Neve’s surprise, Jessie becomes an unlikely source of much needed care for her and her baby. Having been lost in the sleepless haze of new motherhood, Neve is touched, and finds herself grappling with how to best help the forgotten girl. She has the spacious house, the full pantry, the resources…But how much can you – should you – do for a stranger’s child?

3. ‘After I’ve Gone’ Linda Green Thriller

On a wet Monday in January, Jess Mount checks Facebook and discovers her timeline appears to have skipped forward 18 months, to a day when shocked family and friends are posting heartbreaking tributes to her following her death in an accident. Jess is left scared and confused: is she the target of a cruel online prank or is this a terrifying glimpse of her true fate? Amongst the posts are photos of a gorgeous son she has not yet conceived. But when new posts suggest her death was deliberate, Jess realises that if she changes the future to save her own life, the baby boy she has fallen in love with may never exist.

4. ‘The Perfect Mother’ Aimee Molloy Mystery


We all want different things. Francie wants to be the perfect mother. Nell wants to escape the past. Collette wants to spend more time with her family. All Winnie wants is to have her baby back. When Nell suggests a night out in Brooklyn to her new mums club, the others jump at the chance. But the evening takes a tragic turn when single mother Winnie learns that her six-week-old son Midas has been kidnapped. As the investigation hits a dead end, Nell, Collette and Francie make it their mission to succeed where the police are failing and bring baby Midas home. But as Winnie and those around her come under scrutiny from the media, damaging secrets come to light and friendships are pushed to the limit. Because people will do almost anything to protect the ones they love.

5. ‘The Fifth Letter Nicola Moriarty Family


Four friends … Joni, Deb, Eden, and Trina have been best friends since high school, sharing a bond that has seen them through their teenage years and into adulthood. But now, time and circumstance is starting to pull them apart as careers, husbands, and babies get in the way. As their yearly vacation becomes less of a priority–at least for three of the women–how can Joni find a way to draw the four of them back together? Four secrets … During a laughter and wine-filled night, the women dare one another to write anonymous letters, spilling their deepest, darkest secrets. But the fun game turns devastating, exposing cracks in their lives and the friendship they share. Each letter is a dark confession revealing shocking information. A troubled marriage? A substance abuse problem? A secret pregnancy? A heartbreaking diagnosis? Five letters … Late on one of their last nights together, after the other three have gone to bed, Joni notices something in the fireplace–a burnt, crumpled, nearly destroyed, sheet of paper that holds the most shattering revelation of all. It is a fifth letter–a hate-filled rant that exposes a vicious, deeply hidden grudge that has festered for decades. But who wrote it? Which one of them has seethed with resentment all these years? What should Joni do? Best friends are supposed to keep your darkest secrets. But the revelations Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina have shared will ripple through their lives with unforeseen consequences … And things will never be the same.

6. ‘Those Other Women’ Nicola Moriarty Family

Rivalries and resentments between mums and non-mums spiral wildly out of control in the compelling new book by the bestselling author of The Fifth Letter ‘I devoured it, loved it and totally escaped into it … Fun and topical.’ Marian Keyes ‘Super addictive, cleverly plotted and ridiculously relatable … This is definitely one of those books where the characters begin to feel like your new best friends within the first few chapters’ BooktopiaAn online rivalry between mums and non-mums spills dangerously into the real world Poppy’s world has tipped sideways: the husband who never wanted children has betrayed her with herbroody best friend.At least Annalise is on her side. Poppy’s new friend is determined to celebrate their freedom from kids so together they create a Facebook group to meet up with like-minded women, and perhaps vent a little about smug mums and their privileges at work.Meanwhile Frankie would love a night out, away from her darlings – she’s not had one in years – and she’s sick of being judged by women at the office and stay-at-home mums.When Poppy and Annalise’s group takes off and frustrated members start confronting mums like Frankie in the real world. Cafes become battlegrounds, playgrounds become warzones and officeshave never been so divided.A rivalry that was once harmless fun is spiralling out of control. Because one of their members is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And she has an agenda of her own .’Super addictive, cleverly plotted and ridiculously relatable…thoughtful, whip-smart and emotionally rich contemporary fiction’ – 9Honey Praise for The Fifth Letter:’Dramatic, mysterious andcompelling … it’s easy to read this book in one sitting’ Vogue'[A] pacey, circle-of-friendsthriller, which accelerates in its intensity and sheer originality with every page’ Australian Women’s Weekly’A delightful, heartwarming exploration of the twists and turns of truefriendship, The Fifth Letter was simply delicious from the very first page tothe last. [.

7. ‘The Red Coast’ Di Morrissey Family


After the upheaval which separated Jacqui Bouchard from her beloved son, she has finally settled in Broome, a magical remote town on the northwest coast of Australia. But when a proposed mining development is unveiled, the town begins to tear itself apart. Rifts run deep, as friends, families and lovers are faced with a battle that could change their lives irrevocably. As everyone takes sides, Jacqui confronts her own dilemma: to stay or leave? Who to trust . . . Who to love?

8. Maggie’s Kitchen Caroline Beecham

When the Ministry of Food urgently calls for the opening of British Restaurants to feed tired and hungry Londoners during the Second World War, Maggie Johnson is close to realising a long-held dream. After struggling through government red-tape and triumphantly opening its doors, Maggie’s Kitchen soon encounters a most unexpected problem. Her restaurant has become so popular with London’s exhausted workers, that Maggie simply can’t get enough supplies to keep up with demand for food, without breaking some of the rules.
With the support of locals, and the help of twelve-year-old Robbie, a street urchin, and Janek, a Polish refugee dreaming of returning to his native land, the resourceful Maggie evades the first threats of closure from the Ministry. As she fights to keep her beloved Kitchen open, Maggie also tries desperately to reunite Robbie with his missing father, as well as manage her own family’s expectations. Ultimately, she can no longer ignore the unacknowledged hopes of her own heart, and the discovery that some secrets have the power to change everything. (summary from Allen & Unwin)


9. Time and Time Again Ben Elton


It’s the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be. Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history. Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war. A war that will begin with a single bullet. But can a single bullet truly corrupt an entire century? And, if so, could another single bullet save it?

10. Sapiens : a brief history of human Harari, Yuval Noah 2015


This is The Sunday Times Bestseller. Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going. Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind’s extraordinary history – from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age – and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. “It tackles the biggest questions of history and of the modern world, and it is written in unforgettably vivid language. You will love it!” (Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel).
11. The edge of memory : ancient stories, oral tradition and the post-glacial world Nunn, Patrick D., 1955-2018

In today’s society it is generally the written word that holds the authority. We are more likely to trust the words found in a history textbook over the version of history retold by a friend after all, human memory is unreliable, and how can you be sure your friend hasn’t embellished the facts? But before humans were writing down their knowledge, they were telling it to each other in the form of stories. The Edge of Memory celebrates the predecessor of written information the spoken word, tales from our ancestors that have been passed down, transmitting knowledge from one generation to the next. Among the most extensive and best-analysed of these stories are from native Australian cultures. These stories conveyed both practical information and recorded history, describing a lost landscape, often featuring tales of flooding and submergence. These folk traditions are increasingly supported by hard science. Geologists are starting to corroborate the tales through study of climatic data, sediments and land forms; the evidence was there in the stories, but until recently, nobody was listening. In this book, Patrick Nunn unravels the importance of these tales, exploring the science behind folk history from various places including northwest Europe and India and what it can tell us about environmental phenomena, from coastal drowning to volcanic eruptions. These stories of real events were passed across the generations, and over thousands of years, and they have broad implications for our understanding of how human societies have developed through the millennia, and ultimately how we respond collectively to changes in climate, our surroundings and the environment we live in.
12. Dear Fahrenheit 451 : a librarian’s love letters and break-up notes to her books Spence, Annie 2018

Have you ever wished you could tell your favourite books just what they mean to you? Or wanted to give a piece of your mind to the ‘must-read’ book that you wish you hadn’t? Librarian Annie Spence has done just that, writing letters to the books under her care, from love letters to Matilda and The Goldfinch, to snarky break-up notes to Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hobbit. Annie’s letters will make you laugh, remind you why you love your favourite books, and give you lots of new entries for your reading list. She’s also on-hand to help out with your bookish dilemmas: recommendations for lazy readers; excuses to tell your friends when you’d rather stay home reading; and how to turn your lover into a reader. Hilarious, compassionate and smart, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is the consummate book-lover’s book.

13. March hero : the young pilot who saved a town

Whittington, Dorothy2017

Abstract: In July 1944, a young Air Force pilot from Nambour on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in Australia, instructed his crew to jump for their lives and then stayed at the controls of his burning bomber to push it beyond the town of March in Cambridgeshire in England. In ensuring that the plane with its heavy load of fuel did not destroy the town, he gave his own life and died as it exploded in a nearby field. March Hero tells Jim’s story, from his childhood in Nambour to his final flight over March and how one man’s act of bravery united two districts on opposite sides of the world.

December 2018

  1. ATKINSON, Kate——-‘Transcription’——–Historical Fiction

In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be, by turns, both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.
Ten years later, now a producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence. (summary from Penguin Books Australia website)

2. BALDACCI, David   Long Road to Mercy    Thriller


Atlee Pine is an FBI special agent assigned to the remote wilds of the western United States. Ever since her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer at age five, Atlee has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. And she’s the best at it. Her chosen mission is a lonesome one–but that suits her just fine.
Now, Atlee is called in to investigate the mutilated carcass of a mule found in the Grand Canyon–and hopefully, solve the disappearance of its rider. But this isn’t the only recent disappearance. In fact, it may be just the first clue, the key to unraveling a rash of other similar missing persons cases in the canyon. (summary from Goodreads website)

3.CHILD, Lee            Past Tense    Thriller


The present can be tense . . . Two young Canadians trying to get to New York City are stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. Before long they’re trapped in an ominous game of life and death. But the past can be worse . . .
Meanwhile, Jack Reacher sets out on an epic road trip across America. He doesn’t get far. Deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been – the town where his father was born. But when he arrives he is told no one named Reacher ever lived there. Now he wonders: who’s lying? As the tension ratchets up and these two stories begin to entwine, the stakes have never been higher for Reacher. That’s for damn sure. (summary from Penguin Books Australia)

 4. CHRISTENSEN, Maggie    Isobel’s Promise    Family


Back in S
ydney after her aunt’s death, sixty-five year old Bel Davison is making plans to sell up her home and business and return to Scotland where she has promised to spend the rest of her life with the enigmatic Scotsman with whom she’s found love. But the reappearance of her ex-husband combined with other unexpected drawbacks turns her life into chaos, leading her to have doubts about the wisdom of her promise.
In Scotland, Matt Reid has no such doubts, and although facing challenges of his own, he longs for Bel’s return. But when an unexpected turn of events leads him to question Bel’s sincerity, Matt decides to take a drastic step – the result of which he could never have foreseen. Can this midlife couple find happiness in the face of the challenges life has thrown at them? (summary from author’s website)  

5.    COOPER, Tea    The Naturalist’s Daughter    Historical Fiction

1808 Agnes Banks, NSW: Rose Winton wants nothing more than to work with her father, eminent naturalist Charles Winton, on his groundbreaking study of the platypus. When Charles is unable to make the long sea journey to present his findings to the prestigious Royal Society in England, Rose must venture forth in his stead. What she discovers there will change the lives of future generations.
1908 Sydney, NSW: Tamsin Alleyn has been given a mission: travel to the Hunter Valley and retrieve an old sketchbook of debatable value, gifted to the Mitchell Library by a recluse. But when she gets there, she finds there is more than one interested party. The deeper Alleyn delves, the more intricate the mystery becomes. As the lives of Rose and Alleyn converge, discoveries rise up from the past and reach into the future, with irrevocable consequences… (summary from HarperCollins website)

6. GREENWOOD, Kerry    The Spotted Dog    (Corinna Chapman Series #7) Mystery
Corinna Chapman, baker extraordinaire, talented sleuth, stalwart friend and lover is back! When a distraught Scottish veteran from Afghanistan is knocked unconscious, waking up to find his beloved ex-service dog missing, Corinna and Daniel find themselves drawn into the machinations of a notorious underworld gang of drug runners. Together, they need to pull together all the strings to find the connections between their wandering Scottish veteran, his kidnapped dog, burglaries, and the threatening notes that begin to mysteriously appear in Corinna’s apartment. Between her forays into danger, there is still time in Corinna’s life for tender encounters as the delicious aromas of newly baked breads, muffins and treats waft out of Corinna’s bakery, Earthly Delights. (summary from GoodReads website)

7.             KINGSOLVER, Barbara    Unsheltered    Historical Fiction


How could two hardworking people do everything right in life, a woman asks – and end up destitute? Willa Knox and her husband followed all the rules as responsible parents and professionals but have nothing to show for it but debts and an inherited brick house that is falling apart. When the family’s one success story (an ivy-educated son) is uprooted by tragedy, he seems likely to join them with dark complications of his own.
In another time a troubled husband and public servant asks – How can a man tell the truth, and be reviled for it? A science teacher with a passion for honest investigation, Thatcher Greenwood finds himself under siege. In a village ostensibly founded as a benevolent Utopia, Thatcher wants only to honor his duties, but his friendships with a woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor threaten to draw him into a vendetta with the town’s powerful men. (summary from HarperCollins website)

8.           McDONALD, Fleu r    Where the River Runs    Family 

Ten years ago, thirty-year-old Chelsea Taylor left the small country town of Barker and her family’s property to rise to the top as a concert pianist. With talent, ambition and a determination to show them all at home, Chelsea thought she had it made. Yet here she was, back in Barker, readying herself to face her father, Tom. The father who’d shouted down the phone ten years ago never to come home again.
With an uneasy truce developing, Chelsea settles into the rhythm of life on the land with Tom and Cal, the farmhand, who seems already to have judged Chelsea badly. Until a shocking discovery is made on the riverbed and Detective Dave Burrows, the local copper, has to tear back generations of family stories to reveal the secrets of the past. Chelsea just wants a relationship with her dad, but will he ever want that too? (summary from Allen & Unwin website)

9.           McINTOSH, Fiona    The Pearl Thief    Historical Fiction
Severine Kassel is asked by the Louvre in 1963 to aid the British Museum with curating its antique jewellery, her specialty. It is only when some dramatic Byzantine pearls are loaned to the Museum that Severine’s poise is dashed and the tightly controlled life she’s built around herself is shattered. Her shocking revelation of their provenance sets off a frenzied hunt for Nazi Ruda Mayek.
Mossad’s interest is triggered and one of its most skilled agents comes out of retirement to join the hunt, while the one person who can help Severine – the solicitor handling the pearls – is bound by client confidentiality. As she follows Mayek’s trail, there is still one lifelong secret for her to reveal – and one for her to discover. (summary from Penguin Australia website)

10.                 MORRISSEY, Di    Arcadia    Family 
In the 1930s, in an isolated and beautiful corner of southern Tasmania, a new young wife arrives at her husband’s secluded property – Arcadia. Stella, an artist, falls in love with Arcadia’s wild, ancient forest. When an unknown predator strikes, she is saved by an unusual protector…
Two generations later, Stella’s granddaughter, Sally, and her best friend, Jessica, stumble over Stella’s secret life in the forest and find themselves threatened in turn. What starts as a girls’ adventurous road trip becomes a hunt for the story of the past, to solve the present, and save their future… (summary from Pan MacMillan Australia website)

11.      REILLY, Matthew    The Three Secret Cities    (Jack West Jnr series) Adventure


HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE FOUR KINGDOMS SCORNED. The hunt for Jack West Jnr has begun.
A shadow world behind the real world: When Jack West Jr won the Great Games, he threw the four legendary kingdoms into turmoil. A world with its own history, rules and prisons: Now these dark forces are coming after Jack … in ruthless fashion. A world reaching into our own world, explosively. With the end of all things rapidly approaching, Jack must find the Three Secret Cities, three incredible lost cities of legend. It’s an impossible task by any reckoning, but Jack must do it while he is being hunted … (summary from The Book Depository website)

12.           SPARKS, Nicholas    Every Breath    Family


Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At 36, she’s been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family’s cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.
Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother’s early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When Hope and Tru cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable (summary from author’s website)

13.        WALTERS, Minette    The Turn of Midnight    Series#2 (Black Death series) Historical Fiction


As the year 1349 approaches, the Black Death continues its devastating course across England. In Dorsetshire, the quarantined people of Develish question whether they are the only survivors. Guided by their beloved young mistress, Lady Anne, they wait, knowing that when their dwindling stores are finally gone they will have no choice but to leave. But where will they find safety in the desolate wasteland outside? One man has the courage to find out.
Thaddeus Thurkell, a free-thinking, educated serf, strikes out in search of supplies and news. He and his companions quickly set their minds to ensuring Develish’s future – and freedom for its people. But what use is freedom that cannot be gained lawfully? Lady Anne and Thaddeus conceive an audacious plan to secure her people’s independence … (summary from Allen & Unwin website)

Maxine Jones

BOOK PURCHASES NOV 2018

FICTION

BARRETT, Shirley. The Bus on Thursday. Horror One day she felt a bit of a bump when she was scratching her armpit at work. The next thing she knew, her breast was being removed and dissected by an inappropriately attractive doctor.

Luckily, Eleanor discovers Talbingo, a remote little town looking for a primary-school teacher. Their Miss Barker up and vanished in the night, despite being the most caring teacher ever, according to everyone. Unfortunately, Talbingo is a bit creepy. It’s not just the communion-wine-guzzling friar prone to mad rants about how cancer is caused by demons. Or the unstable, overly sensitive kids, always going on about Miss Barker and her amazing sticker system. It’s living alone in a remote cabin, with no cell or Internet service, wondering why there are so many locks on the front door and who is knocking on it late at night. (summary from Goodreads website)

CUSSLER, Clive. Shadow Tyrants #13 (The Oregon Files). Thriller

Nearly two thousand years ago, an Eastern emperor charged a small group with safeguarding secrets powerful enough to change the history of mankind. They went down in legend as the Nine Unknown Men–and now two rival factions of their descendants are fighting a mighty battle.

Both sides think they are saving the world, but their tactics could very well bring about the end of humankind. Soon, Juan Cabrillo and his team of expert operatives aboard the Oregon find themselves trapped between two power-hungry adversaries, both of whom are willing to use shocking means to accomplish their goals. (summary from Penguin Random House website)

D’HAGE, Adrian. The Russian Affair. Thriller

Russian President Petrov is determined to restore his country’s dominance on the world stage at any price. He recruits Ilana Rabinovich, a beautiful but lethal scientist, to infiltrate the Mossad and steal their research. What no one expects is for the Israelis to then assign her an even more dangerous mission of their own- to penetrate the US nuclear facilities in the deserts of Los Alamos. If the information falls into the wrong hands the results could be devastating. It’s up to CIA agent Curtis O’Connor to stop them before it’s too late. From Russia’s secret nuclear city of Sarov, across the myriad canals of St Petersburg, to an assault on an ancient castle more impenetrable than Colditz, the chase is on. (summary from The Book Depository website)

GALBRAITH, Robert. Lethal White #4 (Cormoran Strike). Thriller

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.

Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. (summary from Hachette Australia website)

HAMMER, Chris. Scrublands. Thriller

In an isolated country town brought to its knees by endless drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot dead himself.

A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and incidents leading up to the shooting don’t fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin can’t ignore his doubts, nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest’s deadly rampage. (summary from Allen & Unwin website)

KOONTZ, Dean. The Forbidden Door #4 (Jane Hawk). Psychological thriller

Rogue FBI agent Jane Hawk is on the trail of the members of a murderous organization who drove her husband – and scores of other fine individuals – to commit suicide for no explicable reason.

After discovering their plan to subjugate the world by means of an insidious new technology, she has been hunting them down one by one. Now she is America’s most wanted fugitive, and the organization is closing in on her beloved five-year-old son, whom she sent into protective hiding with her dearest friends. Faced with insurmountable odds, but armed with a mother’s love for her son, Jane will stop at nothing to save him. (summary from Harper Collins website)

KWAN, Kevin. Crazy Rich Asians. Romantic Comedy

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. (summary from Goodreads website)

DERMOTT, Andy. The Spear of Atlantis #14 (Wilde/Chase). Adventure

World-famous archaeologist Nina Wilde and her husband, ex-SAS bodyguard Eddie Chase, believe their days of danger are behind them. But when Nina is framed for the theft of a priceless artefact in a daring raid on a luxury cruise ship, she has no choice but to flee.

On the run, Nina discovers that a shadowy group is searching for an ancient Atlantean weapon with destructive power beyond comprehension. Eddie – helped by a multi-talented team of friends – must risk his own life to learn who is pulling the strings. Hunted by enemies with deadly ambitions, only Nina and Eddie can unearth the truth before a devastating force is unleashed on the world… (summary from Fantastic Fiction website)

MORIARTY, Liane. 9 Perfect Strangers. Thriller

The retreat at health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises total transformation. Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages.

Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired bodies and minds. These nine perfect strangers have no idea what is about to hit them… (summary from Dymocks’ website)

MORTON, Kate. The Clockmaker’s Daughter. Historical Fiction

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists, led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe, descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. By the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared, a priceless heirloom is missing, and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets? (summary from Simon & Schuster website)

NELL, Joanna. The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village. Relationships

It’s never too late to grow old disgracefully… The life of 79-year-old pensioner Peggy Smart is as beige as the décor in her retirement village. The highlight of Peggy’s day is watching her neighbour Brian head out for his morning swim.

Peggy dreams of inviting the handsome widower – treasurer of the Residents’ Committee and one of the few eligible men in the village – to an intimate dinner. But why would an educated man like Brian, a chartered accountant no less, look twice at Peggy? As a woman of a certain age, she fears she has become invisible, even to men in their eighties. Can she channel her ‘inner Helen Mirren’ and find love and friendship in her twilight years? (summary from Hodder & Stoughton website)

PICOULT, Jodi. A Spark of Light. Literary Fiction

The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic —its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage. After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan. To his horror, he finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

Wren is not alone. She shares the next few hours with an unforgettable cast: a nurse who calms her own panic in order save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard. (summary from author’s website)

RANKIN, Ian. In a House of Lies #22 (Insp Rebus). Thriller

IN A HOUSE OF LIES… Everyone has something to hide: A missing private investigator is found, locked in a car hidden deep in the woods. Worse still – both for his family and the police – is that his body was in an area that had already been searched.

Everyone has secrets: Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is part of a new inquiry, combing through the mistakes of the original case. There were always suspicions over how the investigation was handled and now – after a decade without answers – it’s time for the truth.

Nobody is innocent: Every officer involved must be questioned, and it seems everyone on the case has something to hide, and everything to lose. Only one man knows where the trail may lead – and that it could be the end of him – John Rebus. (summary from author’s website)

ROBB, JD. Leverage in Death #47 (In Death). Mystery

For the airline executives finalizing a merger that would make news in the business world, the nine am meeting would be a major milestone. But after marketing VP Paul Rogan walked into the plush conference room, strapped with explosives, the headlines told of death and destruction instead. The NYPSD’s Eve Dallas confirms that Rogan was cruelly coerced by two masked men holding his family hostage.

Now, with the help of her billionaire husband Roarke, Eve must untangle the reason for an inexplicable act of terror and determine whether the root of this crime lies in simple sabotage, or something far more complex and twisted. (summary from Goodreads website)

SILVA, Daniel. The Other Woman #18 (Gabriel Allon). Spy Fiction

She was his best-kept secret … In an isolated village in the mountains of Andalusia, a mysterious Frenchwoman begins work on a dangerous memoir. It is the story of a man she once loved in the Beirut of old, and a child taken from her in treason’s name. The woman is the keeper of the Kremlin’s most closely guarded secret.

Only one man can unravel the conspiracy: Gabriel Allon, the legendary art restorer and assassin who serves as the chief of Israel’s vaunted secret intelligence service. Gabriel has battled the dark forces of the new Russia before, at great personal cost. Now he and the Russians will engage in a final epic showdown, with the fate of the postwar global order hanging in the balance. (summary from Dymocks website)

St JOHN, Madeline. Ladies in Black (previously published as Women in Black). Relationships

At the very end of the Ladies’ Frocks Departments, past Cocktail Frocks, there was something very special, something quite wonderful; but it wasn’t for everybody: that was the point. Because there, at the very end, there was a lovely arch on which was written in curly letters Model Gowns.

The women in black are run off their feet, what with the Christmas rush and the summer sales that follow. But it’s Sydney in the 1950s, and there’s still just enough time left on a hot and frantic day to dream and scheme… By the time the last marked-down frock has been sold, most of the staff of the Ladies’ Cocktail section at F. G. Goode’s have been launched into slightly different careers. (summary from Text Publishing website)

STRINGER, Tricia. Table for Eight. Romance

Clever, charming dressmaker Ketty Clift is embarking on her final cruise from Sydney before she must make serious changes in her life. Supported by the ship’s all-powerful maître d’ Carlos, she has a mission: transform the lives of those who join her at her dining table every evening. Not only can Ketty turn Cinderellas into princesses with her legendary style-eye, but she has a gift for bringing people together. But this trip is different. As the glamour and indulgence of the cruise takes hold,

It soon becomes clear that her fellow travellers – a troubled family, a grieving widower and an angry divorcee determined to wreak revenge on her ex – are going to be harder work than usual. (summary from Fantastic Fiction website)

NON FICTION

FIELD, Sally. In Pieces. Autobiography

One of the most celebrated and enduring actors of our time, Sally Field has an infectious charm that has captivated the nation for more than five decades, beginning with her first TV role at the age of seventeen. From Gidget’s sweet-faced “girl next door”, to the dazzling complexity of Sybil, to the Academy Award-worthy ferocity and depth of Norma Rae and Mary Todd Lincoln, Field has stunned audiences time and time again with her artistic range and emotional acuity.

With raw honesty and the fresh, pitch-perfect prose of a natural-born writer, and with all the humility and authenticity her fans have come to expect, Field brings readers behind-the-scenes for not only the highs and lows of her star-studded early career in Hollywood, but deep into the truth of her lifelong relationships–including her complicated love for her own mother. (summary from the Amazon website)

Maxine Jones

Maxine Jones