“The Summit of Her Ambition: The Spirited Life of Marie Byles” by Anne McLeod.

 Book Review by Miriam Scott

 Equal rights for women, is a concept that in our present time and culture is widely accepted, almost taken for granted. However, without past champions would we be where we are today, or have the rights and freedoms we have today?

One such champion is Marie Byles, the first woman lawyer of NSW, who in the worked to change discriminatory laws, was Australia’s fist environmental lawyer, and an explorer-mountaineer who climbed virgin peaks in Canada, NZ and China.

The co-founder of Australia’s first Buddhist society, this intrepid woman amply demonstrates that the only limits to what we can accomplish are those we place on ourselves.

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Doctor Turner’s Casebook: by Stephen McGann

Book Review by Sharon Lewis

Doctor Turner’s Casebook: based on the BBC hit drama Call the Midwife by Stephen McGann

Stephen McGann is the actor who portrays Doctor Turner in the drama series Call the Midwife. This book is written as his medical journal, interspersed with historical and up to date medical information on the diseases and treatments he encountered in the series and those faced by a General Practitioner from the end of World War 2 and into the 1960s.

The book provides a fascinating insight into the advances in medicine that we take for granted today and is an enjoyable way to gain more information on topics covered in the television series.  For anyone who has not seen the series Call the Midwife the book is a great introduction to the advances in medicine and the series. Call the Midwife is based on the trilogy of books by Jennifer Worth who was a midwife during the time and the library holds copies of the books as well as DVD’s of the series.

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


Dr Turners Casebook screensho

Decorating Christmas Cakes

By Paul Bradford and David Brice

Book Review by Ali.

In this step by step guide you will learn how to make the most beautiful and festive cake decorations for the Festive Season.

Everything you could possibly want for a merry Christmas cake… from Santa and his reindeer to shimmery Christmas wedding cakes. This book contains step by step instructions with photographs and templates provided.

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



This day in June Cover

This Day in June by By Gayle E Pitman

This Day in June.

By Gayle E Pitman.

Illustrated by Kristyna Litten.

Book Review by Ali Kim.

This is a deceptively simple picture book from the Lithgow Library’s ‘Rainbow Collection’.  It tells the story of a city’s Pride Parade through simple rhyming couplets. The book is beautifully illustrated and reflects much of the diversity to be found in the LGBTI community.

Included in the book is a Reading Guide which will give parents and carers quite a lot of information about the history and culture surrounding the LGBTI community as well as a Note to Parents and Caregivers with detailed information about how and when to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity.

As well as being a beautiful  and fun read for children, This Day in June is an excellent way to introduce readers of various ages to an understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and to  teach and encourage respect and acceptance for all.

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


This day in June Cover

Hope Farm by Peggy Frew

Hope Farm by Peggy Frew

Review by Kay Shirt

Hope Farm by Peggy Frew was shortlisted for both the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the 2016 Stella Prize. It is a tale of a mother and daughter from both points of view. It is a complex, sad and ultimately predictable glimpse into an alternate way of living. Don’t expect a happily ever after ending – this is a real life win-lose and nothing is perfect type of story. This is such a well written tale. I highly recommend it.



Dark Mirror by Barry Maitland, narrated by Marie-Louise Walker

Talking book review by Scotia Tracey

Dark Mirror by Barry Maitland, narrated by Marie-Louise Walker

Newly promoted to Detective Inspector, Kathy Kolla of the Serious Crimes Unit is called in by the forensic pathologist regarding the recent sudden death of a London student from what he’s determined to be arsenic poisoning. Marion Summers had no reason to be in contact with arsenic and, though once common, arsenic is now very hard to get hold of.

The more Kolla investigates, the more she discovers that certain other things about Summers are also unusual. She moved three months ago without leaving a forwarding address or informing her relatives. And her step-father has a disquieting past and, after attacking a constable in a pub, a not-so-savory present. With each turn in the investigation, it becomes increasingly clear that behind what really happened—and why—lies the most difficult-to-crack case the team has ever faced.

An excellent whoodunnit! I can highly recommend this well narrated talking book.

Available in Talking Book format from the Lithgow Library


The Cruel Victory : the French Resistance, D-Day and the Battle for the Vercors, 1944 by Paddy Ashdown.

Book Review By Bruce Royall

The Cruel Victory : the French Resistance, D-Day and the Battle for the Vercors, 1944

by Paddy Ashdown. Collins paperback, 2015, first published in 2014.

Good quality Second World War history about a battle little known of outside France.

Well researched, with illuminating quotes from eyewitnesses and documents of the Free French in North Africa and London, even radio messages from the BBC and accounts from the German Army and Parachute regiment.

“When resistance units rose to declare the Vercors plateau their stronghold of freedom and independence on 9 June 1944, they expected swift support by the liberating armies. But botched information from the Free French and British forces, along with follies of proud leadership saw their bold gamble soon facing massacre.

What followed was a tragic, brutal annihilation of the first self-liberated area of France by some eight thousand German soldiers. As the most violent crushing of the Resistance in the entire War, the trauma of Vercors continues to reverberate in France that to this day.”

A good read. ***

Print copy available for loan from: Lithgow Library Learning Centre,

In the Non-Fiction section at 940.5486 ASH. See:  Catalogue link



“Blood salt water” by Denise Mina

Book review by Robert Lindsay

“Blood salt water” by Denise Mina

Scottish author Denise Mina produces a fifth tale centred around Detective Inspector Alex Morrow in “Blood salt water.” Much of the story takes place in the sleepy, scenic, Scottish coastal community of Helensburgh in the shadow of the independence referendum. Mina weaves a complex plot as Morrow seeks to find the truth behind the disappearance of a Spanish woman and mother of two, Roxanna Fuentecilla. Morrow discovers a complicated conspiracy that stretches well beyond Helensburgh. Unlike most crime novels, the reader will almost certainly feel sympathy for the perpetrator of the crime. A suspenseful novel of power, vengeance and avarice. Another brilliantly intricate and psychologically challenging plot which will hold you entranced until the end.
This book is available for borrowing from Lithgow Library and Learning Centre.

blood salt water

Piranha’s Don’t Eat Bananas Aaron Blabey

Piranha’s Don’t Eat Bananas
Aaron Blabey
Book Review by Kellie Drengenberg

This is a great fun picture book from the master of fun, Aaron Blabey. Brian loves bananas. Trouble is, Brian is a piranha. And his friends aren’t happy about his fondness for fruit. No, they’re not happy at all…

Also shortlisted for Book Week 2016, this is a great picture book to share with the whole family.
This book is available for loan from the Lithgow Library Learning Centre.


Sinning Across Spain by Ailsa Piper

Sinning Across Spain
by Ailsa Piper
Book Review By Ali Kim.
Sinning Across Spain is the story of Ailsa Piper’s 1300 kilometre walk from the southern city of Granada to Galicia, “the bathtub of Spain”, in the far northwest, carrying an unusual cargo. Aside from 10 kilograms of practicalities, she also lugged a load of sins in her swag.

In the tradition of medieval believers, or scammers, who paid others to carry their sins to holy places, and so buy forgiveness, Ailsa asked her colleagues and friends to donate a sin. She then shouldered them across country, being taunted and tempted by them along the way, and trying to discover the mysteries of faith. What is faith? Did she have it? Could she get it? Would she know it if she saw it?

Sinning across Spain celebrates the call of the road, the possibilities for connection, and the simple act of putting one foot down – and then the other, and repeat – for more than a thousand kilometres of dusty road.

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