Thursday, February 22, 2018

Australia Day - Winner Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction

Australia Day is a collection of stories by debut author Melanie Cheng.

Melanie writes about the young, old, rich , poor, married, widowed, Chinese, Lebanese, Christian, Muslim. The one thing regardless of where we come from, that we all share, is the need to feel we belong.  These stories look at themes of love, loss, family and identity while also looking at human connection in a globalised world.

  • Winner, Victorian premier's Literary Award for Fiction, 2018
  • Longlisted, Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, 2018
  • Shortlisted, Readings Prize for new Australian Fiction, 2017
  • Winner, Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished manuscript, 2016

What else is new in biographies?

A refugee twice, prodigious talent, steely nerve, huge challenges, poverty, racism, surviving her father, Damir Dokic, the tennis dad from hell, by 18 included in the world's top 10, by 19 she was number 4 and then her heart breaking fall from the top.  Her gusty honest will leave you in awe, her fight back from darkness will uplift you. Most of all her will to survive will inspire you.

Recently retired after 25 years of service with the FBI and expert in criminal profiling and behavioural science, John Douglas can now tell his story as the leader of the Investigative Support Unit, a small and elite group that confronts one of our deepest fears, the fear of evil lurking among us. He has hunted some of the most notorious and sadistic criminals of our time. He has confronted, interviewed and studied dozens of serial killers and assassins for a landmark study to understand their motives, to get inside their minds. Douglas ushered in a new age in criminal profiling and behavioural science.

These are just a couple of the great new titles you can find in our collection.

Let us know what you are currently reading and what you think about it by leaving  a comment below.

Victorian Premier's Literary Award Winner 2018

Sarah Krasnostein has won the prize for Literature for her first book, 

The Trauma Cleaner: One woman's extraordinary life in death decay & disaster.

This is the biography of Sandra Pankhurst, husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife...

Sandra was raised in violence and excluded from the family home but just wanted to belong. Sandra believes her clients deserve no less.  Sarah Krasnostein has watched as Sandra Pankhurst brings order and care to lives of desperation, to the living and the dead. A woman who sleeps among garbage she has not put out for forty years, a man who bled quietly to death in his lounge room, a woman who lives with rats, random debris and terrified delusion.

This is the story of the affirmation that as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together.

  • Winner, Victorian prize for Literature 2018
  • Winner, Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non Fiction 2018
  • Longlisted, Indie Book Award for Non Fiction 2018

You can find this title on our library catalogue.

We'd love to hear about your favourite biography - leave a comment below

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Vinegar Hill Memorial Library Book Club

Is one of your New Year's resolutions to read more widely and to join a book club? You can fulfill that wish by joining the Vinegar Hill Memorial Library Thursday evening Book Club!

The group meets monthly on the second Thursday of the month from 7:30pm. The library is open until 9pm on Thursday evenings, so you can browse the shelves before or after the meeting.
The Book Club is a wonderful way to meet informally and discuss novels.
A different novel is chosen and discussed each month, with a list of upcoming titles provided well in advance.

The first book read this year was The Alice Network by Kate Quinn.

The group have given this novel 4 out of 5 stars ☆★★★★

We asked the Book Club to tell us what The Alice Network was all about, and they provided the following outline-

"The Alice Network is about girl power in early 1900. Women are successful spies and the story tells how the atrocities of war affect them throughout their life"

They also provided us with the following reviews of the novel-

"I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a good commentary on the female spy networks of the World Wars, while still being fictional. It gave you enough teasers of actual events to want to know more. A good read about strong women!"

"I liked the books unexpected outcome. I would recommend it"

A big thank you to our book Club, it does sound like an intriguing read! The novel discussed next month is Ada by Kaz Cooke
We look forward to meeting new members at our next meeting Thursday 8th March 2018.

 Have you read The Alice Network? Leave your review below.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Year One by Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is one of New York's Best selling authors.  Almost anyone who loves to read will know her name.  She has written over 200 novels and also writes under the pen name J.D. Robb in her futuristic suspense series.

New Series: Chronicles of the One

On New Years Eve the sickness came and spread quickly.  Within weeks the electrical grid failed and along with it everything people counted on.  Government and law collapsed and more than half the world's population was decimated.  Magic rose up, some good and some unimaginably evil in the place of science and technology. It lurks anywhere in the city or even in the ones you know and love.

Lana Bingham practices good witchcraft in the apartment she shares with Max and so they decide to leave wrecked New York when word spreads neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the streets.  At the same time other travellers decide to make the journey to a new frontier, a journalist and her young colleague,  a tech genius, a doctor and paramedic.  Every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a saviour and none of them really knows where they are heading or why.  But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

You can find book 1 of her latest new series Chronicles of the One at the library 

Let us know why you love to read Nora Roberts and what you think of her new series

Stella Long list

The Stella Prize celebrates great women writers and below are a few of the titles that appear on this years long list.  The short list will be announced on March 8th so there is no better time to start reading.

No doubt there is something here for everyone, let us know what you thought of one of these titles by leaving a comment below.

Friday, February 2, 2018

A little bit of fun...

If you feel like a bit of a laugh and some fun light reading to pass those hot summer days, then you can't go past one of our new arrivals from one of Britain's Funniest Novelists.

Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings by Wendy Holden.

Book 1 in the Laura Lake Series

Enjoy the antics of hapless would-be journalist Laura Lake as she finally gets her first big break - infiltrate not one but three society weddings and write a juicy expose. As Laura enters her undercover operation, with security tighter than ever, she isn't prepared for disappearing brides, secret royal orgies or a jealous office rival who will do anything to bring her down. Laura longs to be a journalist and leave her unpaid internship with a glossy magazine...will she succeed and get the scoop of the year? 

If you loved Bridget Jones, The Devil Wears Prada and Sophie Kinsella,  then this is one for you.

You can find this title on the library catalogue.

We'd love to hear what you thought of this title, you can leave

Friday, January 12, 2018

Costa Award 2017

The Costa Book Award is an annual book award recognising books by writers based in  Britain and Ireland. 

This years winner in the category of first book went to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

Eleanor Oliphant lives a very simple and ordered life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal for lunch and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.  But all that is about to shatter with one simple act of kindness.  Now Eleanor has to learn how to live in the world that everyone else seems to take for granted and face things she has avoided her whole life.  Whether good or bad, change is surely better than just being fine.

The Costa Novel Award Winner for 2017 went to Jon McGregor for Reservoir 13.

  • Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
  • Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize

It is midwinter in an English village and a teenage girl has gone missing.  Everyone is called upon to join the search across the moors while the police setup road blocks and news reporters descent on the usually quiet village.  As the seasons  unfold and the search continues for the missing girl, the rhythm of life continues, births, deaths, secrets kept and exposed, livelihoods made and lost, small kindnesses and unanticipated betrayals.  Reservoir 13 explores the flow of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding after thirteen years as the aftershocks of a tragedy refuse to subside.

Both these titles are available on our  catalogue, maybe just the perfect holiday read.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Holiday Reads

With the Christmas excitement behind us and the long lazy days of Summer ahead, it's time to turn our thoughts to what we will be reading over the holiday period.
Maybe you have a long block of holidays ahead, or you are heading off on a vacation. Take some time to visit one of our four libraries and browse our shelves, or do the browsing wherever you are with our online collection.

What will you be reading?

Thinking about a healthy start in 2018?

Do you have time for renovating?

Planning on cooking up a storm?

Is Non Fiction your preference?

Considering a  Biography?

  Or just happy to curl up with a great read? 

No matter what leisure time you have,whether you prefer pages or digital, your library has you covered with a variety of new items to select from!


Friday, December 22, 2017

Staff Favourite Reads 2017

It is almost Christmas and the start of a new year is fast approaching!
The staff at Vinegar Hill Memorial Library have been reflecting on their reading over the last year and have provided the following list of their favourite reads!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I was fooled to believe this one was actually about a monster! A creatively written, emotional read that brings together the real and the unreal. It has stayed with me long after I turned the last page.


Girl with a Pearl Earring  by Tracey Chevalier
This book shares the same name as Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer’s well known portrait “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” It is an imagined story centered around the young woman in the painting and how she came to be the subject for the work. Griet is a serious and intelligent young woman who is forced to go to work for the Vermeer family in 1665 to help support her parents. She soon becomes fascinated not only with Vermeer’s paintings, but also the artist himself. Their growing connection begins to cause tension in the household, and for Griet, who is never certain how he really feels about her. Griet is a complex character and I enjoyed reading her shrewd observations of the various characters in the Vermeer household, as well as her descriptions of the paintings. The book is not so much a romance, but more about a young woman growing up – the separateness from her family she experiences when she leaves home, her growing awareness of the feelings she has for Vermeer, and eventual acceptance of those things in her life she can’t control.        
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
This was my read of the year!



Good Omens: the BBC Radio 4 dramatisation
I don’t normally like talking books but this one really made me laugh. Good Omens is about the end of the world  when Good and Evil are amassing. But they’ve mislaid the Antichrist and there are some who are quite happy with living in the whole including angels, both real and fallen. It’s a BBC Radio dramatization so it’s essentially a play so much more enjoyable to listen to.

 On the Java Ridge by Jock Serong
I loved the characters- I really want to see this on the big screen!
Good Aussie book, you can actually see this occurring in real life – politicians overstepping the boundaries and creating a drama that should never have happened.   A change to my usual genre – I’ll be reading Jock’s other two books ASAP (now on my Christmas wish list).


All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

A psychological thriller revolving around a young girl who is given a new drug to erase her memory of a violent, traumatic experience. Unfortunately, it does not remove the emotions that go with the experience and her parents seek help from a psychiatrist to help rebuild her memories. An intriguing story written in the voice of the psychiatrist, with many twists along the way.


Detours by Tim Rogers

Not only is Tim Rogers a musical genius, he can also tell a great story! Definitely my pick for 2017.

What do you think?
Did any of these titles make your favourite read list of 2017?
Leave us a review below of the best title you have read this year!


Staff Discovery- Kate Morton

This year I discovered the author Kate Morton.
Her books would best fit into the historical fiction or family saga genre, usually moving between the past and present times.
The stories centre around family secrets and the lives and relationships of the characters. 
My two favourites were..................


The Shifting Fog

This novel moves between the 1920's and the year 1999. In the 1920's the story revolves around the lives of sisters Hannah and Emmaline Hartford and the events that led them to witness the death of a young poet who took is own life whilst at their home. In 1999 Grace, an elderly lady who was once a housemaid at the Hartford estate, speaks to a director who is making a film about the poet's life. As Grace looks back on her time with the Hartfords she slowly reveals not only the story of her own life, but the events that led to the tragic death of the young poet. This book is perfect for fans of the Downton Abbey series or other historical/family saga dramas. Morton is very talented at drawing the reader into her worlds and the lives of her characters, and the underlying mystery brings a darkness to the story.


The Secret Keeper

This book moves between late 1930's, 1960's and present day. It begins in the 1960's where 16 year old Laurel witnesses her mother kill a man at their home. In the present day, Laurel is still haunted by her memories of that day and begins trying to solve the mystery of her mother's past. In the late 1930's, Laurel's mother is a young woman in wartime London facing her own struggles. Similar to Morton's other books, the plot explores the lives of several characters in different points of time whilst revolving around a mystery. This was one of my favourite books of the year and the twist at the end was particularly clever.  


 Other books in our collection by Kate Morton are.......

The Lake House
The Forgotten Garden
Distant Hours


Have you read any or all of Kate Morton's novels?
Let us know with a review below.