Really Relating – How to build an enduring relationship

Book Review by Elizabeth Peters

Another self-help book you may be thinking, but this book is really quite good, it gets you think about yourself and how you react to others in your life and then offers skills to help work through any problems with how you are feeling  for relating to the people in your life, unlike other self- help books this book helps you to work through issues and be more self-aware about how certain situations may make you feel, to write down your thoughts, and helps you understand the difference between what you think and how you feel.  It helps you to really look at yourself and your relationship with both your partner and others around you.   The important thing to remember when working through this that it all takes time,” it won’t happen overnight but it will happen”.


Really Relating

Tunnel Rats – The larrikin Aussie legends who discovered the Vietcong’s secret weapon

Tunnel Rats – The larrikin Aussie legends who discovered the Vietcong’s secret weapon

By Jimmy Thomson with Sandy MacGregor

Book review by Robert Lindsay

At a time when we remember the bravery of our World War I soldiers, it’s important to recognise the courage of our armed forces in other conflicts. Amongst our bravest soldiers were the men of 3 Filed Troop, who fought the Vietcong in Vietnam. These men were sappers (engineers) who were sent, with other Australian soldiers to Ho Bo woods, north of Saigon, an area believed to contain the Southern Command Headquarters of the enemy. Air strikes and artillery bombardments failed to dislodge the enemy, who remarkably regrouped every time. It was then that the men discovered the Vietcong had excavated an immense labyrinth of tunnels that spread for kilometres in all directions. The men of 3 Filed Troop penetrated these tunnels, going further than any western troops had previously gone, thus earning the title of Tunnel Rats. Imagine their predicament in entering confined, dark, booby-trapped tunnels, edging their way forward with battery powered lamps, a revolver in one hand and a bayonet in the other. They displayed unparalleled valour. This is their story.


Tunnel Rats

I carried the teapot my sister carried the cat

‘I carried the Teapot My sister carried the Cat: A Collection of Women’s stories, poems & artwork’

‘I carried the Teapot My sister carried the Cat: A Collection of Women’s stories, poems & artwork’ 

Book review submitted by Kay Shirt

Complied by Louise Dean and published by Lithgow Community Projects

This is another gem from the library’s Local History section, well worth a look and a read. This book is beautifully illustrated with photographs and artwork. The collection of writings varied in style and with a full range of emotions and experiences recounted. The library has two copies available for borrowing at Lithgow and one copy at both Portland and Wallerawang branches.

In the words of the complier

These are the stories of ‘ordinary women’. Ordinary women who contribute so much to our society, often with little or no recognition. Here are expressions of strength, courage, love, sadness, heartache, triumph and joy.

The talent of everyone of these women is incredible.

We are honoured that everyone who contributed to this book had enough faith in us that they were prepared to share their heartfelt and innermost thoughts, and trusted us to treat their work with the regard and respect it so rightly deserves.

Without trust there would be no book. Thank you

I carried the teapot my sister carried the cat



Top Secret 21

Top Secret Twenty-one – by Janet Evanovich

“Top Secret Twenty-one” – by Janet Evanovich

Reviewed by Miriam Scott

Have you ever felt as though ‘klutz’ is your middle name, your diet doesn’t include the word healthy and your life is a disorganized and uncontrollable mess? Then you need a dose of Stephanie Plum!

Janet Evanovich’s heroine will put your life into perspective. Stephanie attracts disasters, rockets and bad guys like burly attracts sharks. Her solution and solace in almost every situation is donuts, pizza or peanut butter and olive sandwiches. Her cars are destined to be destroyed and her relatives, friends and workmates make the Adam’s Family look like the epitome of ‘functional’. Her hamster has more lives than a dozen cats.

In “Top Secret Twenty-one” Stephanie tracks down fugitives with her sidekick Lula, an ex-ho, tackles a horde of Chihuahua minions, thwarts the polonium poisoning of a trade show of Vodka salesmen and watches her grandmother erode her mother’s sanity and sobriety on a daily basis.

This babe juggles the dangerous and mysterious Ranger and the equally dangerous and smouldering Morelli; and gets away with it!

Chance an adventure with Stephanie Plum and you will find yourself cringing at the sheer political incorrectness of her characters and laughing out loud at the same.

Top Secret 21

An Australian in China

An Australian In China: Being The Narrative Of A Quiet Journey Across China To British Burma

An Australian In China: Being The Narrative Of A Quiet Journey Across China To British Burma

By George Ernest Morrison (1862-1920)

Originally published in 1895

Book review (submitted by Bruce Royall)

As a youth of 17, Morrison was already famous for walking from Queenscliff to Adelaide (960 km).

In 1893, he started on the epic walk across China (3000 km) which he recounts in this book. He wore out a pair of woven bamboo shoes a day, buying a fresh pair at the end of each day’s stage.

He adopted Chinese clothing: dressed as a teacher, he attached a pigtail to the back of his hat, rather than dress in a European suit and ride. This provoked amusement and some small respect, instead of the incomprehension, animosity or contempt which greeted the grand tour style of most European travellers.

He is observant, amusing and critical of European assumptions about China and the efforts of numerous Christian missions. It was his comments about local engineering and medical practices which I found particularly interesting.

After publishing this book he became a special correspondent in Asia for 20 years for the London Times. His papers and diaries are now held in the Mitchell Library in Sydney.

I agree with Peter Macinnis‘s review in Google books: ****  “A brilliant read by a marvellously eccentric and clever man”

I borrowed this travelogue after reading the library’s copy of “The reporter and the warlords” by Craig Collie (Allen & Unwin, 2013), which is about William Henry Donald (1875-1946) who once worked at the Lithgow Mercury.

Download  Authors route from Shanghai to Rangoon

You can reserve the Library’s copy from the catalogue.




An Australian in China

The Little Veggie Patch Co’s guide to backyard farming by Fabian Capomolla and Mat Pember

Book review – submitted by Scotia Tracey

The Little Veggie Patch Co’s guide to backyard farming by Fabian Capomolla and Mat Pember

Backyard farming is fabulous. It’s amazing what you can achieve in even the smallest spaces. This Australian book discusses vertical veggie gardens, foraging for food from local streets and even how to create an edible garden on your nature strip.

Each chapter in this practical guide covers a month of the year and includes advice on what is happening in the garden at that time, and which veggies, fruit and herbs you should be planting and harvesting. It even includes some delicious seasonal recipes using fresh produce.

This book is fun, and packed with easy to follow activities such as keeping chickens, making cider, making your own preserves and jams. There are also activities that are perfect for kids, like sowing seeds, planting seedlings and making lemon cordial.

I highly recommend this book!




These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars By Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars – read by Kellie

By Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars is the first of the Starbound trilogy; a trilogy with a difference. Each story is virtually a stand-alone story about new characters trying to survive in the same broken world.

This story is sci-fi meets dystopia; a love story in space with elements of mystery, survival and fighting for freedom. It has a little something for everyone. Lilac is, at first glance, a spoiled princess. Daughter of the richest man in the universe she has everything; or so it seems. Tarver has nothing, he has worked his way through the ranks; as a war hero he is invited to fancy parties and dinners but expected to know his place. When the space cruise ship they are on crashes Lilac and Tarver are the only survivors on a vast and mysterious planet. They must find a way to work together in order to survive.

As they get to know each other, and knowing that they can never be together back in the real world, they begin to wonder if staying on the strange planet with whispers following them might be their best, and only, option. But what are the whispers, why is the planet terra-formed yet doesn’t seem to have any signs that people have ever lived there, and what does Lilac’s father have to do with it all?

A great dystopian YA read, for those who love the genre. The mystery surrounding the whispers and the planet itself is really well developed, and the twists in the story make it a great read. The second book in the trilogy, This Shattered World, continues the story of the broken world with a new pair of central characters trying to survive. Lilac and Tarver make an appearance to tie the story lines together, which I really enjoyed. The third and final book will be released this year! Read the books before they start making the TV series based on the trilogy…

These Broken Stars and This Shattered World are available for borrowing from Lithgow Library now!

These Broken Stars

The Shower the course and the thought bubble

The shower, the course and the thought bubble by Rum Charles

“The shower, the course and the thought bubble” by Rum Charles Book Review by Robert Lindsay, Wallerawang Library Branch Officer

This book provides information about effective communication. The author teaches five basic strategies for developing good communication. These strategies are applicable, not only in the workplace, but also in our daily relationships, including with our family. Rum Charles’ presentation is engaging and thought provoking. You will look at communication differently after reading this book and you will be eager to apply the principles to your own circumstances. An essential resource for those seeking to improve their communication skills.

Available from Wallerawang, Lithgow and Portland Libraries – NF650.13CHA


The Shower the course and the thought bubble



A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knaussgaard

A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knaussgaard


Submitted by library staff member – what.


Karl Ove Knausgaard’s A Death in the Family is book one of his six volume memoir, My Struggle.  The cycle, four of which are now translated into English from Norwegian has been contentious due to the author’s positioning of the work as fiction.  Chronicling his earliest memories up until the present using the real names of his characters, Knausgaard relies upon an exact recollection which when detailed exquisitely, enables a memoir to transcend its form and read as a more imagined and spontaneous literary equivalent.  This leads to many Knausgaards.  The Knausgaard who is living in the World before the next Knausgaard transcribes to realise the Knausgaard portrayed in the novel.  The separation of the artist from their work has long since led to two very distinct creatures.  Joseph Beuys statement that every human being is an artist and Martin Kippenberger’s excellent response in continuing this investigation, that, every artist is a human being, is somewhere along the way to finding our numerous Knausgaards, at once trying to be a human being and an artist and how each occupation can eliminate the other.

Let’s hope the loop continues.

One of my favourite contemporary writers – highly recommended.

Lithgow Library Learning Centre have 2 new copies.

Fiction or Biography?



A Death in the Family





















The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon (review submitted by Liz)

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time is a compelling and funny story of a young boy named Christopher Boone who has a different outlook on life, is different from everyone and just cannot fit in, with everything in life taken literally, not understanding human emotion and hating to be touched. After learning of his mother’s death and then finding the neighbour’s, Mr’s Shears, dog murdered on their front lawn he embarks on a journey to solve the mystery on his own, facing his fears at every turn with surprising twists and turns right up until the very end.

This book is available to borrow from Lithgow Library and Learning Centre from the Young Adult section. The book is written by Mark Haddon.

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time