Becoming Unbecoming

Becoming Unbecoming.  

Reviewed by Ali.

Becoming unbecoming is a beautiful graphic novel. Through simple beautiful illustrations and moving text it takes the reader on a heartbreaking journey.

‘Becoming Unbecoming explores gender violence, blame, shame, and social responsibility. Through image and text Una asks what it means to grow up in a culture where male violence goes unpunished and unquestioned. With the benefit of hindsight Una explores her experience, wonders if anything has really changed and challenges a global culture that demands that the victims of violence pay its cost’.










This book is available for loan from the Lithgow Library Learning Centre.


Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Reviewed by Kellie

Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible.

This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.


Chronicles Volume One By Bob Dylan

Chronicles Volume One By Bob Dylan 
Book Review by Ali.

If you’ve ever wondered what the big deal is with Bob Dylan then this book is your chance to find out. Written by the man himself; Chronicles is an intimate and intensely personal recollection of his experiences from his earliest days in New York.  Reading this book feels like you are sitting in a bar sharing a gin and tonic and chatting with an old friend. I highly recommend this read to anyone who loves Bob….or anyone who would like to meet him and find out why so many of us love and adore him.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, Reviewed by Kay Shirt

There has been a renewed interest in this and other novels by Margaret Atwood with the release of the MGM-Hulu TV series adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale (created by Bruce Miller) to rave reviews. It is described as a ‘… timely dystopian cautionary tale’ for America’. When I first read this book in the 1980s it was interesting for its speculative dystopian themes that seemed impossible to imagine being a reality. Not anymore! Well worth a read.

From the back cover blurb

‘Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…’

This book is available at the Lithgow Library Learning Centre.

Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies by Jackie French

Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies by Jackie French
Reviewed by Sharon Lewis

Jackie French’s books just keep getting better. I love the Australian content and the depth of history and research that goes into each one. Her characters are believable and draw you into each story, with a different way of looking at our traditional stories and working them into a believable alternate reality. I know that when I start reading one of Jackie’s stories that I am lost until it is finished which, for me, is the sign of a good book.
Jackie has been inspiring readers of all ages and one of the things that I most love about her writing is that it transcends generations. Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies continues this tradition and is inspired by true events. It is the story of how society’s ‘lovely ladies’ won a war.

Taking us from the Australian outback to war torn Europe in 1914 the book is based around Sophie Higgs, the daughter of Australia’s corned beef baron. Because she comes from ‘earned’ money she is not readily accepted into the colonial society. She is sent to Miss Lily at secluded Shillings Hall, in the snow-crisped English countryside, where the mysterious Miss Lily draws around her young women selected from Europe’s royal and most influential families. Her girls are taught how to captivate a man – and find a potential husband – in ways that would surprise outsiders. For in 1914, persuading and charming men is the only true power a woman has. Of all Miss Lily’s lovely ladies, however, she is also the only one who suspects Miss Lily’s true purpose.

As the chaos of war spreads, women across Europe shrug off etiquette. The lovely ladies and their less privileged sisters become the unacknowledged backbone of the war, creating hospitals, canteens and transport systems where bungling officials fail to cope. And when tens of thousands can die in a single day’s battle, Sophie must use the skills Miss Lily taught her to prevent war’s most devastating weapon yet.

This book is available for loan from the Lithgow Library Learning Centre.

Born This Way – Real Stories of Growing Up Gay. Book Review by Ali.

Born This Way- Real Stories of Growing Up Gay.

Book Review by Ali.

This book is a collection of stories from around the world dating from the 1940’s until today. Based on a blog by the same name it contains photographs and memories of members of the diverse LGBTIQ community. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking.

Born This Way is an easy read and shares the triumph of pride, self love and self acceptance.

As we celebrate IDAHOT-the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, it’s an important time to celebrate the joys and struggles of our brothers and sisters in the Rainbow Community.

This book is part of the Lithgow Library’s Rainbow Collection and is available for loan.

Voices from a high valley cover

“Voices from a High Valley” reviewed by Miriam Scott

“Voices from a High Valley” by Alicia Braithwaite, Linda Woods, Mark Lucas, Maryanne Bower, Melody Mandeno, Rosemary Butler and Vaughan Bryers.

Reviewed by Miriam Scott.

This book is the offspring of the “Lithgow Writers’ Group” which has been meeting weekly since March 2015. With a steady membership of seven, the group chooses the week’s topic at random.

This has the twofold advantage of providing external discipline, which encourages writing for an immediate reason and audience, and also allows each member to expand his or her style beyond anything they could achieve alone, by providing cooperation, encouragement and example.

In this offering you will find stories that explore topics as diverse as ‘Tempest’, ‘Blood Moon’, ‘Soap on a Rope’, ‘Tinker’, ‘And then…’, ‘Stardust’, and  ‘Is it safe to tell the truth?’.

Sweet, sour, truth, fiction this work offers something for everyone.

This book is available at the Lithgow Library Learning Centre.


Voices from a high valley cover


“When Michael Met Mina” Reviewed by Kellie Drengenberg

“When Michael Met Mina” By Randa Abdel-Fattah Reviewed by Kellie Drengenberg

When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides. Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre. Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.
They want to stop the boats.
Mina wants to stop the hate.
When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school their lives crash together.
This novel is a really thought provoking read, the political undercurrents making it a valuable read for all ages. The characters are engaging and we are carried along on their journey of self discovery as they develop their own opinions and ideals separate from their parents.

A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice.
This book is available at the Lithgow Library Learning Centre.

James and the Giant Peach – Guest book review by Kayley Winks

Guest Book Review By Kayley Winks

James and The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.

James finds a peach and the peach gets bigger.

James finds lots of magical creatures in the peach and they go on adventures together.

This is a great story.

This book is available for loan from the Lithgow Library Learning Centre.

James and the Giant Peach cover

The Homemade Wedding Cake

The Homemade Wedding Cake by Natasha Collins


Making your own wedding cake is now an easy possibility with Natasha’s new book – The Homemade Wedding Cake.

With projects split into chapters entitled Romantic Beginnings, Putting on the Glitz, Laughing All the Way to the Alter, Home(spun) is Where the Heart Is, and Magic in the Air, Natasha’s recipes cater for all types of personalities and preferences.

Each recipe is accompanied with beautiful photography which guides you through the whole process of choosing a design, baking the cake, embellishing it, transporting it, presenting it and serving it so the experience is as stress-free as possible.

This book is available from Lithgow Library, and you can place a free reservation if it is out on loan.

Library membership is free, just bring some identification to join on the spot.

Contact the library on 6352 9100 for any further information.

The Homemade Wedding Cake