FLUDD: Hilary Mantel

FLUDD:  Hilary Mantel.

Guest Book Review By Mike Strange

Hilary Mantel’s novel deals with the consternation of the Roman Catholic Church and the social structure within a rural mining town. The stage is set for a village Parish Priest who has lost his faith to confront his superior and the church in its attempt to modernise outdated religious dictates.

The novel introduces us to the village environment by carrying us through the moors and the community’s growing alienation in its tea swilling obstinance to resisting change. The major characters are very aptly displayed, not only by their appearance but by their gossip, their lively conversation and personal involuntary reactions.

The key to our understanding may be stated as “taken of the divine and made it nearly human”. Is this for the good? Or is the perpetrator merely experimenting and playing with the oncoming change within the Church?

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


A Lady of Expectations cover

A Lady of Expectations: Stephanie Laurens

A Lady of Expectations: Stephanie Laurens
Reviewed by Miriam Scott

Life is a pathway full of negotiations and pitfalls as well as soaring moments of joy. Set in Regency England this book provides a delightful insight into the skills needed to find the right marriage partner in English High Society and the manners and mores of this period.
Sophie Winterton has only ‘expectations’ to bring to a marriage. Jack Lester needs a wife with money. Or so it appears at the beginning of the story. However, Sophie has a backbone and depth of character and Jack is much richer than anyone knows. What Jack really needs is Sophie. He just needs to convince her that that is also what he wants.

This book is available for loan from Lithgow Library Learning Centre
A Lady of Expectations cover

The Dolls’ House by Rumer Godden

by Rumer Godden, Christian Birmingham (Illustrator)

Reviewed By Kay.

Tottie is a loving little wooden doll who lives with her family in a shoebox. The doll family are owned by two sisters, Emily and Charlotte, and are very happy, except for one thing: they long for a proper home. To their delight, their wish comes true when Emily and Charlotte fix up a Victorian dolls’ house – just for them. It’s perfect. But then a new arrival starts to wr Tottie is a loving little wooden doll who lives with her family in a shoebox. The doll family are owned by two sisters, Emily and Charlotte, and are very happy, except for one thing: they long for a proper home. To their delight, their wish comes true when Emily and Charlotte fix up a Victorian dolls’ house – just for them. It’s perfect. But then a new arrival starts to wreak havoc in the dolls’ house. For Marchpane might be a wonderfully beautiful doll but she is also terribly cruel.  And she always gets her own way.

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

The Dolls House by Rumer Godden book review Kay Apr 2016 (2)




Two boys kissing cover

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Book Review by Ali Kim

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

  • Named to the 2013 National Book Award Longlist
  • A 2014 Stonewall Honor Book

In his follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Every Day, David Levithan, co-author of bestsellers Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing (former) couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

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


Two boys kissing cover

Paper daisies /​ Kim Kelly ; read by Rebecca Macauley and Johnny Carr.

A Talking Book review by Scotia Tracey

It’s December, 1900, and Berylda Jones is heading home to Bathurst for Christmas. Tragically, ‘home’ is where she and her beloved sister Greta live in terror, under the control of their sadistic Uncle Alec.

But Berylda has a plan, borne out of desperation, to free herself and Greta from Alec for good, if she can only find the courage to execute it.

Then, on New Year’s Eve, just as Alec tightens his grip on the sisters, a stranger arrives at their gate, Ben Wilberry, a botanist in search of a particular native wildflower, with his friend, the artist Cosmo Thompson. Ben is oblivious to what depravity lies beyond this threshold and what follows is a journey that will take him and Berylda, and Greta and Cosmo, out to the old gold rush town of Hill End in search of a means to cure evil and a solution to what seems an impossible situation.

Against the tumultuous backdrop of Australian Federation and the coming of the Women’s Vote, Paper Daisies is a story of what it means to find moral courage, of a crime that must be committed to see justice done and a sweet love that flourishes against the odds.

Talking book available at Lithgow Library Learning Centre.

Paper DAisies


The things we keep by Sally Hepworth

The things we keep /Sally Hepworth

Book Review By Sharon Lewis

Where do you send a family member with early onset Alzheimer’s disease? Nursing homes are for old people, so how do they cope with someone who should have more than half their life to live?  The things we keep is a thought provoking novel about Anna Forster, 38 years old and in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  Her family arranges for her to move into Rosalind House a small nursing home with another young resident living there.  Anna’s adjustment to living in the nursing home and her interactions with the staff and other residents, but Luke in particular, are beautifully told in a novel that is both unexpected and creative.

I really enjoyed not only the story but the way Sally Hepworth intertwined the stories of the nursing home employee’s lives and their personal histories with the residents of the home.  The story also tackles issues of relationships between residents of the home and the implications of young people in this type of relationship when they do not have full control of their mind.

A very powerful book, that is beautifully written and one that I couldn’t put down.

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

The Things We Keep

FOOL’S QUEST by Robin Hobb.

If you like sword and soimg-Fool's Questrcery fantasy series, this compares with the best.

Published in 2015, this is volume 2 of the “Fitz and the Fool” trilogy.
The previous volume, “Fool’s Assassin”, was published in 2014.
I’m hoping the author brings out the third and final volume before March 2017.

Robin Hobb has been world building for some years with numerous interrelated series taking place on the one alternate world. The Farseer trilogy and the Tawny Man trilogy are the most closely related prequels to this latest thriller.
Publisher’s blurb: “Long ago, Fitz and the Fool changed the world, bringing back the magic of dragons and securing both the Farseer succession and the stability of the kingdom. Or so they thought. But now the Fool is near death, maimed by mysterious pale-skinned figures whose plans for world domination hinge upon the powers the Fool may share with Fitz’s own daughter. Distracted by the Fool’s perilous health, and swept up against his will in the intrigues of the royal court, Fitz lets down his guard . . . and in a horrible instant, his world is undone and his beloved daughter stolen away by those who would use her as they had once sought to use the Fool–as a weapon. But FitzChivalry Farseer is not without weapons of his own. An ancient magic still lives in his veins. And though he may have let his skills as royal assassin diminish over the years, such things, once learned, are not so easily forgotten. Now enemies and friends alike are about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a man who has nothing left to lose”

A great read. ****

Copy available for loan from: Lithgow Library Learning Centre,
In the Fiction section at SF HOB. See: Catalogue Link

A Monster Calls By Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls
By Patrick Ness
Review by Terry

“The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.”

This is a beautifully written book that is remarkable in the way it captures the deeply emotional topic of death and grieving. With atmospheric words and breathtaking illustrations, this Young Adult book is highly recommended for all ages.

Soon to be released as a major movie starring Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver.
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

A spool of blue thread by Anne Tyler

A spool of blue thread by Anne Tyler, reviewed by Robert Lindsay
“A spool of blue thread” is the 20th novel of acclaimed American author Anne Tyler. Anne weaves a potent but amusing tale centred around generations of the Whitshanks family. The central characters are Abby and Red, who fell in love on a day in July 1959. The background story of Red’s parents, who arrived in Baltimore in the 1920’s, and the continuing tale of Abby and Red’s children and grandchildren is anchored around the sprawling Baltimore home that becomes the family’s refuge. A fascinating portrayal of emotional highs and lows, jealousies, disappointments and secrets. You will not be disappointed if you find family sagas intriguing.
This book is available for loan from Lithgow Library and Learning Centre.

Jill Mansell’s “Take a Chance on Me”.

Jill Mansell’s “Take a Chance on Me”.

Reviewed by Miriam Scott.

Cleo Quinn doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to men, but now Will’s come along she’s optimistic: Handsome, attentive and an absolute gentleman when it comes to her questionable cooking skills, he could be her Mr Right. Things are definitely looking up for Cleo… apart from one small problem with a rather large ego. Johnny LaVenture, sculptor extraordinaire and her childhood adversary, is back in Channing’s Hill and tormenting Cleo as if he’d never been away. But life never goes to plan, does it? Johnny isn’t the only one stirring up trouble and, for Cleo’s family and friends, all kinds of sparks are starting to fly. If you think you can put the past behind you, think again.

This book is available at the Lithgow Library Learning Centre.

Take a Chance on Me - Jill Mansell