Sunday, December 28, 2008

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

When a 15th century illuminated Haggadah, which disappeared during the fighting in Sarajevo, turns up during the ceasefire in 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian book conservator, is sent by the UN to document and repair it. Within the pages she finds an insect wing, a wine stain, salt crystals, and a white hair, clues that will unlock the history of the book which has survived centuries of Jewish persecution.

As Hanna crosses the globe to speak with experts in her field pursuing the clues scientifically, the reader is plunged into a journey that will wind through the ages from Nazi Germany to the Spanish Inquisition as people of the book tell their own stories and risk their lives to preserve the book.

Narrated by Edwina Wren, whose authentic mimicry of dialects lends weight and realism to the stories in "People of the Book".

To request a copy from the JCLC catalog, click here!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tales of Beedle the Bard

Our muggle fairy tales like "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty" are like Harry Potter's wizard tales in "Tales of Beedle the Bard". The first story is called the "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot". A cauldron follows a young wizard around and around, clanging loudly, until he makes potions to help the people in the village.

Read the new Harry Potter book! It is very enjoyable.

Written by Ozzie

Click here to request your copy from the JCLC catalog!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Gypsy Crown by Kate Forsyth

17th Century England, Oliver Cromwell and the puritans are in power. Dancing, music and even Christmas has been banned. Times are hard on the gypsy who makes his trade in music, dance and magic.

One gypsy family, the Finches, has been working on an estate, but when the daughters is betrothed, to raise money for the dowry they all decide to go to the town of Kingston on market day and ply their gypsy trade. All goes well until they become involved in an accidental death and only young Emilia and Luka escape being thrown in prison.

With the help of a horse, a monkey, a dancing bear and a fiddle the children make their way across the south of England searching for the five gypsy families to find the charms of power each family owns for legend states when the charms come together the luck of the gypsies will return. But everywhere they go they are pursued by Rom hating Puritans and Cromwell’s spies. The children must give up everything they hold dear and trust to the charms if they are to free their family before they are brought to trial that will lead to a death sentence.

Portrayed with gentle humour to counter loss, this fast paced, historical novel woven with magic and mystery is an enjoyable story. The time period has been well researched and there is extra, easy-to-read information in the back for those wishing to know more. However it isn’t a patch on one of my old standing favourites – Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke

From the author of Inkheart and Dragon Rider comes a tale of magic, humour and the spirit of Christmas. So, sit back with a mug of hot cocoa, some gingerbread and prepare to be entertained!
On the run from Gerold Geronimus Goblynch, the evil new leader of the Santas’ council in Yuleland, Niklas Goodfellow’s wagon comes crashing to earth after a storm and his unreliable, invisible reindeer, Twinklestar, bolts. Now, with the help of two children from the town, Niklas Goodfellow, two angels and a crew of grouchy elves face danger and adventure in an effort to find Twinklestar, rid Yuleland of the wicked tyrant and his nutcrackers and to return the magic and spirit of Christmas.

To request this wonderful Christmas story from our catalog click here!

Monday, December 15, 2008

lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H Lawrence

Written in 1928 and possible the most well known of D H Lawrence novels, this final book shocked the world with its explicit subject matter and was banned until the 1960s.

But for a banned book I was not overly impressed. Perhaps my generation has grown too used to romance being spelled out across movie screens and in books, so this novel is no longer notable for the shockingly detailed affair between an upper class Lady and her husband’s game Keeper.

I found its plot lacking, in originality and substance. The narrator, Margaret Hilton, did nothing to impress me. There was so much politics and philosophy I felt like I was should be back at school studying it (although I don’t think many high schools would teach such a book!). And to be quite honest I have read better sex scenes.

If you still want to read this book,click here to see our catalog.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Patriot (The Motion Picture)

I just recently enjoyed watching The Patriot. This movie, set in the time of America's revolutionary war, tells how one family perseveres through great loss and hardship.

The oldest son, Gabriel Martin, (Heath Ledger) decides to join the Continental Army against the wishes of his father(Mel Gibson). Soon afterward, Gabriel finds that his father has also joined as a result of his youngest brother being killed by the British Army. Father and son fight side by side through many bloody battles until Gabriel is killed by the same soldier who shot Thomas, his youngest brother.

The movie culminates in a vicious battle where the father ultimately gets his revenge. I enjoyed the movie for its authenticity and attention to details of the Revolutionary War.

To request your copy from the JCLC catalog click here

Written by Lisa Keith.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stardust by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess

“There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire. And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel (for every tale about every young man there ever was or will be could start in a similar manner) there was much about this young man and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole tale of it."
So begins Gaiman’s enchantingly beautiful adult fairy tale full of romance, magic and adventure. Every nine years the Victorian town of Wall is disrupted from its sleepy ways by people who come from the ends of the earth to see the fairy market held in a meadow on the other side of the wall. On one such market day, Dunstan Thorn falls in lust with a fairy woman. 

Nine months later a basket is left at the entrance to the meadow containing Tristan Thorn. Now, 17 years later Tristan, knowing nothing of his heritage, has fallen in love with the beautiful and aloof Victoria Forrester. He makes a bargain with her, that if he brings back a falling star that fell that night from the sky into the lands beyond the wall, she will give him his heart’s desire. His quest takes him into adventure and finally to the discovery of who he really is, for in fairy the star is not just a lump of metal, but a beautiful girl named Yvaine, a daughter of the moon. 

Finding her is not difficult, but getting her back to Wall is trickier, for Tristan is not the only one searching for her. The dying Lord of Stormheld knocked Yvaine out of the sky with a gem that one of his sons must retrieve to become the next Lord and an ancient witch is pursuing the star, determined to cut out her heart so she and her sisters can be young again. Enhanced by stunning illustrations from Charles Vess, delicate and yet full of detail that captures the very essence of the tale, Stardust is an entrancing, twisting, magical witty and scary-at-times timeless tale that has unsurprisingly won many awards.

To request a copy from the JCLC catalog click here or find out about the movie (now out on DVD) by clicking here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Here lies the librarian by Richard Peck

From the Newbery award winning author of “A Year Down Under”, comes an uproariously funny tale of classic automobiles, librarians and small town life.
Meet Peewee (Eleanor McGrath) a 14 year old stubborn, courageous and steadfast tomboy. She and her adored brother Jake run a struggling gas station "way out in the weeds." that rivals the bigger, wealthier and underhanded Kirby establishment. All Peewee wants is to work on cars. Jake has big dreams though, and not even a few robberies and set backs, (courtesy of the Kirby’s) will stop him from building a car and racing his name into auto mechanic glory, that is until Irene Ridpath and her sorority sisters come motoring into town with big plans to restore the small town library and in doing so turn Peewee’s and Jake’s lives upside down.
To request you copy from the JCLC catalog, click here!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

From the back of the book:

This work was set in Berlin, 1942. When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But, Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than what meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Librarian’s night before Christmas by David Davis

Having been introduced to the "Cajun Night before Christmas" years ago, I was pleased to come across another in this wonderful series. Brilliantly thought out, smoothly worded and packed with superb illustrations by Jim Harris making this charming book a must have for any library, library goer or librarian!

Our librarian finds herself feeling like “Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol” on a cold yuletide night. Because of lack of funding and low staffing alone she stacks shelves, mends books and wonders if the age of reading has come to an end. Just then St Nick appears driving a bookmobile with six elves to help out. The elves stock the shelves with classics like Hawthorne, Steinbeck and Hemingway, redecorate the library with Christmas cheer, while Santa signs Newbery, stars Caldecott books and tells the children stories. Then with a yell of “Happy Reading, you bibliophiles!”, St Nick is off with one last demand “Have a real merry Christmas--teach someone to read!”

To request your copy from the JCLC catalog just click here!