Reviews

If you have read a good book or other publication, email to us mapletonlibrary@gmail.com a quick review or comment for this page with the email Subject: Reviews.

There is also an exercise book titled “Recommended Reading by Borrowers” in the library for you to write any short comments and impressions to share with others.

Recommended Reading by Borrowers

LaBrooy Melanie: Serendipity (F) A light romance with lots of humour.

Mankell, Henning: The Man From Beijing (F) An outstanding novel.

Lloyd, John: The Second Book of General Ignorance (NF) 001.96 So very informative.

Fuller, Andrew: Tricky People 158.96 FUL (PH)  Helps understand a ‘difficult’ relationship.

Kay’s Favourites

Age Of Dinosaurs

My favourite ‘magazine’ is not really a magazines at all, but you will find it on the magazine shelf in our library.

The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History publishes one issue each year.

It is beautifully presented with great photos on glossy paper and full of interesting information on what all of the scientist have been discovering about the history of Australia as they dig around in the Outback.

Issue 12 carries a profile of two brothers from Brisbane, Dr John and Dr Peter Jell who spent their working lives working in museums.  How proud their parents must have been!

I found an article by Dr Stephen McLoughlin  titled “The Landsborough Sandstone, The Sunshine Coast’s Jurassic Park” particularly interesting.

There is just so much reading in these books, it is a good thing they are published only once a year.  Read them all, there’s only about 4 in the library.   You will be captivated and fascinated.  Even if you look only at the photos.  You might even watch David Attenborough with renewed interest.

Autumn 2015 Eric recommends: Lawrence, Starling: The Lightning Keeper (F)

I enjoyed this novel partly because of the technical details. As long as the reader does not get bogged down by some of the jargon there is a good plot: A story of love, passions and greed, on all levels.

There is an underlying love story of the two main characters. Will it be fulfilled?

There is the passion of an inventor for his technical ‘baby’. Who sees the genius of his mind and his inventions at the turn of the twentieth century?

Finally there is the greed of big business, whose only aim is to make a furtune with no conscience for the inventors who they let down and exploit.

Graeme Simsion —  The Rosie Project

Professor Don Tillman is a geneticist. Obviously a brilliant man in his field but socially he feels he is a complete failure . . . and he is: He has never dated a girl who was willing to go out with him a second time.

The Rosie Project tells the story of how this misfit, solved the problem of finding a woman who was suitable and compatible.

There are plenty of laughs in the book but it also provides a glimpse of what it is like to be one who does not fit in with the crowd.

The inside cover is full of praise from several readers. Everyone will enjoy this book. Kay

David Hockings AM — Pests, Diseases and Beneficials, Friends and Foes of Australian Gardens (Non Fiction)

This beautifully illustrated, informative book is published by the CSIRO.

There are five chapters of text before you reach the illustrations, which are divided into twelve sections covering a wide range of potential pest problems. It is all written in straightforward language and is easy to follow.

A large book, which will be useful, and entertaining to everyone not only the gardener and horticulturist.

Do read Mr Hockings acknowledgements at the front of the book. His mentor sounds like there could be a book written about him! Kay

Bailey, John – Mr Stuart’s Track (Non Fiction)

The library was able to increase the collection of books by Australian authors, thanks to a Sunshine Coast Council  National Year of Reading grant.

I was very pleased to find Mr Stuart’s Track (the forgotten life of Australia’s greatest explorer) was one of them. The story of this incredibly tenacious Scot, John McDowell Stuart, as he attempts to cross Australia from south to north in the 1860s should be compulsory reading for anyone who has driven the Stuart Highway – Adelaide to Darwin.
It is well written, so you travel every agonising mile with Stuart’s party as he tries time after time to reach the northern shore.  He was no gentleman explorer and he was an alcoholic. Adelaide society did not welcome him.
I loved this book. It left me with the greatest admiration for Stuart and the wish that he was more lauded in our history books. Kay

2014 Shirley recommends:

Deanna Raybourn – Dark Road to Darjeeling

Lady Jane Grey has now married Nicholas Brisbane, a clever and successful detective. Of course, in England of the 1880s it was considered a marriage below her station, as his family had made their money from “trade”. Shock and horror, they had actually worked for a living!

The setting is in a beautiful secluded valley in the Himalayan foothills of Darjeeling. The heir of a British-owned tea plantation has supposedly been murdered. Lady Jane, her siblings and husband, Brisbane, are all involved in the attempt to solve the mystery.

Nicholas has a strong personality, but then so has Lady Jane, who is no meek English rose content to sit at home with her petit point. She wants to be a co-partner in crime solving at her husband’s side as she tries to prove herself to him.

A story full of surprises and delightful, eccentric characters makes it a good read. Shirley

Summer 2014

*gem’s Fiction: Women in the World

Kaufman, Jennifer and Mack, Karen — Literacy and Longing In L.A.

Set in contemporary Los Angeles, the authors examine the world of books and reading: what we read, how and when we read, and why we read.

The main character unashamedly binges on books: She shares her reading addiction with quotes and references to a wide variety of old and new authors.

A look at books is interwoven with a story of romantic interests for a woman in her thirties, recently separated and considering what she wants. An illustration of the effects on adult life of a common dysfunctional family story. *gem

King, Lily — Euphoria

Set in early twentieth century New Guinea, a young woman anthropologist is striving to be recognised for her work. She is studying tribal customs accompanied by her new husband, a less dedicated anthropologist, who is portrayed as subtly menacing and sabotaging but perhaps in the acceptable way of husbands in those times.

Another male anthropologist completes the triangle and provides tension, as the author examines women in culture and relationship. *gem

Moss, Sarah — Bodies of Light

Set in the mid to late nineteenth century Victorian Britain, this story hinges on the detailed description of some art pieces of Alfred Moberley and Aubrey West.

Each artwork correlates with a part of the story, which is told from the viewpoint of one of Moberley’s daughters. She becomes one of the first female medical practitioners, with a particular interest in disturbed women.

Fanaticism and indifference, the disturbing and disturbed, and women’s roles, are explored within a web of family and other relationships. *gem

Smith, Ali — How to be Both

Set in contemporary England, following the death of her mother, a late teenage young woman finds solace in art.

Particularly in the rare work of a female renaissance painter whose story comes alive within the young woman’s imagination: As a link to the memory of her mother, and also as she looks at culture and gender.

The prose is sparse and conversational: It is worth persisting with the unconventional style and structure. *gem

Summer 2014

*gem’s Fiction: Male Authors

Cormac, James — The Surfacing

Set in the mid 1800s on a naval ship exploring and eventually trapped in the Arctic, the story unfolds from the viewpoint of the second-in-command.

Descriptions of the environment, life aboard ship and human survival in that harsh landscape are powerfully vivid. Whilst the narrative is woven around Morgan’s casual encounter with a Danish woman, the far reaching consequences and the effects upon him of that relationship. *gem

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