Library News

April 2018

Commemorating the centenary of ANZAC Day 

To mark the centenary of ANZAC Day, the Vision Australia Library has drawn together a selection of books to honour the Australian men, women and animals who have served their country over the past 100 years. 

The Library's radio program Hear This will be highlighting a number of books from the collection during April. The program is on air in Melbourne each Friday at 3pm and is also podcast each week here

The following titles as well as many others can be found in the i-access online catalogue.

You can access DAISY audio titles via a rented DAISY player or the free VA Connect App. If you are the holder of a DVA Gold Card the Rental fee will be covered by Veterans Affairs.   

The Commando: The life and death of Cameron Baird, VC, MG by Ben McKelvey (DAISY Audio)

The Battle of Long Tan by David W. Cameron (DAISY Audio)

Lancaster Men: The Aussie Heroes of Bomber Command by Peter Rees (DAISY audio)

Redback One: the True Story of an Australian SAS Hero by Robert Macklin (DAISY audio)

Sandakan: the Untold Story of the Sandakan Death Marches by Paul Ham (DAISY audio)

Monash: The Outsider Who Won a War by Roland Perry (DAISY Audio)

The Battle for Lone Pine: Four Days of Hell at the Heart of Gallipoli by David W. Cameron (DAISY audio)

The Crossroad: a Story of Life, Death and the SAS by Mark Donaldson, VC (DAISY audio)

Crack Hardy by Stephen Dando-Collins (Braille, DAISY audio)

Kitty's War: the remarkable Wartime Experiences of Kitty McNaughton by Janet Butler (DAISY audio)

The Other Anzacs: Nurses at War 1914-1918 by Peter Rees (braille, DAISY audio)


Commemorating the animals

A Centenary of Australian Animals at War by Nigel Allsop (DAISY audio)

The Australian Light Horse by Roland Perry (braille, DAISY audio) 

Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey (braille and DAISY)


Children's and young adult titles

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (DAISY audio)

Animal Heroes by Anthony Hill (DAISY audio) 

Horrie the War Dog by Roland Perry (braille, DAISY Audio)

The Donkey that Carried the Wounded by Jackie French (braille)

Only a Donkey by Celeste Walters (children's print braille picture book) will be added to the collection shortly. 

 

Please contact the library if you would like these or any other books added to your bookshelf.

If you are not already a library member, please contact us and if you have a DVA Gold Card, please let us know. 


March 2018

Easter and Anzac Day opening hours:

The Library will close on Thursday 29 March at 5.00pm and reopen on Tuesday 3 April 2018 at 9.00am.

The library will also be closed for Anzac Day on Wednesday 25 April. We will endeavour to return your calls as soon as possible. 


Brain Awareness Week

To mark Brain Awareness Week (12 to 18 March), this issue we feature books on the brain and mind improvement.
The Human Brain: A Guided Tour, by Susan Greenfield. 
Format: DAISY (AU 109464). 
Subject Interest Codes: Health Care, Science and Technology.  

Summary: Combatting Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases provides the motivation for much of today's progress in brain research.

By exploring different regions of the brain together with their functions, the author examines how drugs can be used to help brain cells communicate with one another.

From a single egg, the brain combines personal experience and memory, to develop into the essence of a unique individual.

This book guides us through some of the latest understanding about the human brain.    

A Better Brain at Any Age: The Holistic Way to Improve Your Memory, Reduce Stress and Sharpen Your Wits, by Sondra Kornblatt.
Format: DAISY (AU 161837). 
Subject Interest Codes: Health Care, Psychology.    

Summary: Sondra Kornblatt, along with the experts she has interviewed, helps readers put their heads on straight through healthy activities for the body (exercise, healthy food consumption and relaxation) and through specific activities to boost brain power like movement, eye rolls, supplements, and making environmental changes.

Each of the seven chapters (Body-Mind Connection; Environmental Support; Food and Supplements; Intelligence and Learning; Memory, Learning Shortcuts, and Brain-Stretchers; Emotions and Decisions; Meditation and Bigger Perspectives) details how that topic impacts the brain, and offers tips and highlights for readers to either delve into the book or peruse it for quick boosts.

Kornblatt teaches readers how to reduce brain stress and optimize mental agility, and shares information on how the brain interacts with the body, what habits impact the brain, positively and negatively, and how to maximise learning.

She provides tips to strengthen memory, cognition and creativity so readers can function better in their active lives.

Doing Up Buttons: A Deeply Personal Yet Practical Account of Understanding Head Injury, by Christine Durham.

Format: DAISY (AU 106789).
Subject Interest Codes: Autobiography, Biography – Australian, Biography – Disabled. 

Summary: The extraordinary, courageous and uplifting story of the realities of coming to terms with the lasting effects of head injury and the grief at the loss of the person the author once was. Her recovery encompasses both deep despair and firm hope as she discovers that recovery is a complex process.

For more information on Brain Awareness Week, please visit the Brain Foundation website here http://brainfoundation.org.au/event/2018-brain-awareness-week 
    


Library Lovers' Day 2018

Library Lovers' Day is celebrated by libraries across Australia on 14 February.

The day helps libraries and their borrowers unite to express their appreciation for the wonderful relationships that exist between libraries and their communities.
 
The Vision Australia Library has more than 15,000 borrowers across Australia, so it is a little difficult to get together for a celebration, but that didn't stop us from celebrating in our own way.

The theme for Library Lovers' Day this year was ‘Love letters to libraries', and some of our borrowers share with us their appreciation for the service and how much they love the books they receive from us. 

The following is a very special open letter we received from Nick Gleeson, who is a long-time library member, motivational speaker and author. 

Nick's letter:

"A book is a new beginning. An opportunity to experience love, fear, sorrow and laughter.
It connects me with the author and the characters, it allows me to disengage from the world around me. It is my way of helping me cope with life. When I was 11 years old, I discovered a braille library, with shelf upon shelf of stories.
My first treasure was The Silver Brumby, published in 1958 and written by Elyne Mitchell.
My fingers flew across the braille pages and I held my breath as the powerful silver stallion named Thowra, stood on top of the world, looking down upon the wonderful high country of the Snowy Mountains. Later, I would read books about life, death and love.  
It was all of these books that showed me that reading is the documentation of a story to be shared.

In 2017, I became an author. This was my opportunity to express in words, many of the stories of my life.

My heart was touched when I received comments that my words helped others to manage their own lives."

The Many Ways of Seeing: A True Story of Blindness, Friendship and Adventure, by Nick Gleeson with Peter Bishop, was published in 2017 by Ventura Press. It is available in DAISY audio from the library (AU 166388). 

Other notes of thanks

"I do not know how to express my gratitude for the help I get from your organisation. Many thanks for brightening my life … your books fill my lonely life. MANY, MANY THANKS!!"

"I want to express my sincere thanks for all your support, especially when it came to identifying and solving the few problems we had with the players. Mum was almost completely blind and loved a good story. You provided a device that allowed her to continue these pleasures right to the end of her 93 years." 


Reader reviews

For All Mankind, by Harry Hurt III; interviews by Al Reinert.
Format: DAISY (AU 129708)

Subject Interest Codes: Adventure Non-Fiction, American History, History, Science and Technology. 

Summary: Between December 1968 and December 1972, 24 men went to the moon; no-one has been there since.

This is a dramatic, engrossing account of the most hazardous, dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked. 'For All Mankind' recounts all the drama and danger of the moon voyages.

Reader comments: "What a great account of the space exploration. Everybody should acclaim those men who took their courage in their hands. What confidence they had! I salute them all." 

Cry Once Alone, by EV Thompson.
Format: DAISY (AU 105258). 

Set in: 19th Century America. 
Subject Interest Codes: Historical Romance Fiction, Indigenous Fiction, Romance Fiction. 

Summary: Texas in 1838 is a wild and lawless country and Adam Rashleigh, sent out there by Lord Palmerston on a secret mission to assess the prospects for the survival of the infant Texan Republic, is drawn into the lives and problems of the Cherokee.

Among them he finds a love for which he is prepared to risk everything, even his mission.

Reader comments: "This would have to be the best talking book I have ever received with you in all my time with blind society. Really, really enjoyed this CD talking book. This has topped every talking book I have ever had in the past."

The Dean's Watch, by Elizabeth Goudge. 
Series: A City of Bells, 3.
Format: DAISY (AU 108109).

Set in: 19th century England. 
Subject Interest Codes: Great Britain Fiction, Historical Fiction.

Summary: Set in the 1870s, this novel centres on the friendship between the formidable dean of the city and a quaint little clockmaker.

The people learn to love the dean, and in the process, grow in love and achievement themselves.

Reader comments: "Excellent … loved it … well worth reading. Beautiful description in passages."

Angels Fall, by Norah Roberts.
Format: DAISY (AU 114319). 

Set in: 21st Century America.
Subject Interest Codes: Romance Fiction, Romance Mystery.

Summary: The sole survivor of a brutal crime, Reece Gilmore has been on the run, desperately fighting the nightmares that haunt her.

She doesn't intend to stay in the sleepy town of Angel's Fall any longer than she needs to, despite its friendly inhabitants and the irresistible attraction of local writer, Brody.

But then she witnesses a couple having a vicious argument that culminates in murder. By the time Reece finds Brody and brings him to the scene, both killer and victim are gone – and Reece finds that very few people in this small community believe her story.

Reader comments: "This is a most exciting thriller – amusing in parts and the narrator was excellent."


VA Connect update

The VA Connect library app was updated to 1.2.6.6 in January, 2018.

The update provides mainly improved performance and bug fixes for both iOS and Android versions.

To check if you have the updated app, search for Vision Australia in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Jamie,
Online Training & Support Officer

Staff book review – Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibin

Brooklyn is set in Brooklyn, NY and Ireland in the early 1950s, when one young woman crosses the ocean to make a new life for herself.

Coming of age in Enniscorthy, a small town in south-east Ireland in the years following World War II, Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who cannot find a job in the miserable economy of the time.

When an Irish priest, Father Flood from Brooklyn, offers to sponsor Eilis to live and work in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis takes up her new life in a crowded Brooklyn boarding house, working in Bartocci's, a department store on Fulton Street, and at night taking book-keeping classes.

Slowly, the pain of parting is buried beneath the rhythms of her new life, until she finds a sort of happiness and, when she least expects it, love with Tony Fiorello, a young Italian plumber. But then, devastating news from home threatens the promise of her future.

Brooklyn focuses on the reflection that death, travel, and romantic love force on people at various times in their lives.
It will be of particular interest to readers to whom immigration and homesickness are pivotal.
Self-discovery is an important theme, which includes the process and progress of Eilis, not only in becoming a stronger and better person emotionally, spiritually and morally, but also in learning more about herself through life experiences.
The novel is also about the choice Eilis has to make between her old life in Enniscorthy and her new life in Brooklyn.
I was attracted to Brooklyn because I have travelled to Ireland and I am keen to visit New York, and I have an interest in Irish immigration to America.

I felt it was believable and it reminded me of my eldest sister who has resided in Ireland for more than 10 years. She is a little torn between life in Tralee, Ireland, and in Melbourne with my elderly mother.

This title is available in DAISY (AU 119914).

If you enjoy Brooklyn, you might like other titles in our collection such as:
Small Island, by Andrea Levy available in DAISY (AU 97533).
Love and Summer, by William Trevor available in DAISY (AU 121775).
A Long Long Way, by Sebastian Barry available in DAISY (AU 95959).
Gael,
Library


Crime collection

Here is a selection of recent additions to the library's crime collection.

First, some true crime.

The Straight Dope: The Inside Story of Sport's Biggest Drug Scandal, by Chip Le Grand.
Format: DAISY (AU 162889).

Summary: The greatest drugs scandal in Australian sport goes well beyond who took what.

What happened at Essendon, what happened at Cronulla, is only part of the story.

From the basement office of a suburban football club to the seedy corners of Peptide Alley to the polished corridors of Parliament House, The Straight Dope is an inside account of the politics, greed and personal feuds that fuelled an extraordinary saga. 

Coverups and Copouts by Tom Lewis.
Format: DAISY (AU 162818).

Summary: Written by a former detective sergeant, this book exposes some of the corruption within the New Zealand Police Force.


Or, some crime fiction.

Black Teeth, by Zane Lovitt.
Formats: DAISY (AU 161206) and braille (AU 164926).

Summary: Jason Ginaff doesn't get out much, partly because of the anxiety, mainly because he works at home, researching people on the internet.

Job candidates doing bucket bongs on Instagram accounts they thought they'd deleted; the prospective new head of sales stripping for a hens' night.

He's been searching for something on his own time, too. Now he's found the phone number of the man he believes to be his father, which is how he gets mixed up with Rudy Alamein. They've been looking for the same man, but Rudy wants to kill him. 

The Night the Rich Men Burned, by Malcolm Mackay. 
Format: DAISY (AU 161244). 

Summary: Two friends, Alex Glass and Oliver Peterkinney, look for work and for escape from their lives spent growing up in Glasgow's most desperate fringes.

Soon they will become involved in one of the city's darkest and most dangerous trades.

But while one rises quickly up the ranks, the other will fall prey to the industry's addictive lifestyle and ever-spiralling debts.

Before long, violence will spill out onto the streets, as those at the top make deadly attempts to out-manoeuvre one another for a bigger share of the spoils. Peterkinney and Glass will find themselves at the very centre of this war.


DECEMBER 2017

Disc magazines

The January 2018 disc magazines will be the last editions on disc.

If you are currently receiving any magazines in disc, and would like to continue receiving magazines beyond the January editions, please phone the Library on 1300 654 656 to discuss transitioning to online delivery.

Cricket fixtures

 

The Library will cease offering the alternative format Cricket Fixture subscription option following the production and distribution of the 2017/2018 Cricket Fixtures.

Cricket Australia has an app called Cricket Live – it is free, accessible and stores all fixtures and lots of other great cricket content.  The app can be downloaded from the app store.

From next season, if you are unable to access the Cricket Live app and require an alternative version of the fixtures, please phone the Cricket Australia help desk on 1800 274 2538.

 

International Day of Disability

To mark International Day of Disability (3 December), we feature biographies and autobiographies of people with disability.
 

When the Dust Settles, by Rob Cook

Formats: DAISY (AU 152590), braille (AU 155118)

Subject Interest Codes: Autobiography, Biography - Australian, Biography - Disabled, Country Life Non-Fiction

Summary: When the Dust Settles is the extraordinary story of cattleman Rob Cook’s journey back to life from a catastrophic helicopter accident that left him paralysed - it is also the story of Suplejack Downs Station and one of Australia's most remarkable and resilient bush dynasties.


Pushing the limits: Life, Marathons and Kokoda, by Kurt Fearnley

Format: DAISY (AU 157202)

Subject Interest Codes: Autobiography, Biography - Australian, Biography - Disabled, Biography – Sports

 

Summary: When Kurt Fearnley was a kid, he would leave his wheelchair at the front gate and go exploring with his brothers and sisters.

“You're going to have to be stronger than we are,” they told him, “and we know you will be.” The boy from Carcoar was raised to believe he could do anything.

At 15, he won his first medal. Then he conquered the world, winning three Paralympic gold medals, seven world championships and 35 marathons.

Inspiring, exhilarating and highly entertaining, Pushing the Limits takes us inside the mind of a kid with a disability growing up in a tiny town, a teenager finding his place in the world, and an elite sportsman who refuses to give up, no matter how extreme the challenge.

Silent Shock: The Men Behind the Thalidomide Scandal and an Australian Family's Long Road to Justice, by Michael Magazanik

Format: DAISY (AU 156970)

Subject Interest Codes: Biography, Biography - Australian, Biography - Disabled

Summary: "The baby started to come out. Head first, everything OK. But then I saw that there were no arms. And then no legs. The little girl had only a torso and a head."

 

Summary: Lyn Rowe was born in Melbourne in 1962, seven months after her mother Wendy was given a new wonder drug for morning sickness called Thalidomide.

For 50 years, the Rowe family cared for Lyn. Decades of exhausting, round-the-clock work.  But then in 2011 Lyn Rowe launched a legal claim against the Thalidomide companies. Against the odds, she won a multi-million dollar settlement.

Former journalist Michael Magazanik is one of the lawyers who ran Lyn’s case. In Silent Shock he exposes a 50-year cover-up concerning history’s most notorious drug, and details the damning case against manufacturers Grünenthal and the moving story of the Rowe family.

Spanning Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Sweden and Germany, Silent Shock is an epic account of corporate wrongdoing against a backdrop of heroic personal struggle and sacrifice.
 

 

Rex: A Mother, Her Autistic Child, and the Music that Transformed Their Lives, by Cathleen Lewis

Format: braille (AU 158083)

Subject Interest Codes: Biography, Biography - Disabled, Inspirational Stories

 

Summary: The inspiring story of Rex, a boy who is blind and autistic – and is a musical savant.

How can an 11-year old boy hear a Mozart piece for the first time and play it back, note-perfect, but struggles to navigate the familiar surroundings of his own home?

Cathleen Lewis says her son Rex's laugh of total abandon is the single most joyous sound anyone could hear, but his tortured aversion to touch and sound breaks her heart and makes her wonder what God could have had in mind.

In this book she shares the mystery of Rex and the highs, lows, hopes, dreams, joy, sorrows, and faith she has journeyed through with him.
 

 

Exploring magazine and journals available in text and audio in MasterFILE Premier

In addition to the magazine and newspaper subscriptions that can be added to your library membership, there are a lot more available online.

A wide range of popular magazines and journals are also available to Library members through MasterFILE Premier.

These are available in a machine-readable format, and in audio.

MasterFILE Premier even allows you to select whether you’d like articles read in an Australian, British or American accent. Once you have located the magazine you want to read, it is also possible to create an alert so that you will be notified via email or RSS feed when new issues are added to the service.

These sources include the follow titles just to name a few.

  • Lifestyle, food and wine magazines such as the Australian Gourmet traveller, Australian House and Garden, Good Health, Harper’s Bazaar, Australian Women’s Weekly, Nature, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone
  • Science journals and magazine like Australian Geographic, Environment, New Scientist, Popular Science and Science weekly
  • Literature and reading magazines like Australian Literary Studies and Literary Review
  • Current affairs and history title include the Australian Quarterly,Foreign Affairs, History Today, New York Times, New Internationalist

 

MasterFILE Premier is available on the Youth Library page and also via the link to the Library online research and research tools on the i-access online catalogue welcome page.

If you’d like further information or help locating these or other magazine please contact the Library on 1300 654 656 or email library@visionaustralia.org.

Katalin Mindum, Reference/Information Librarian


Readers’ Reviews

Mermaids Singing, by Dilly Court

Format: DAISY (AU 114372)

Set in: England

Subject Interest Code: Historical Fiction
 

Summary: A desperate childhood, an uncertain past, one chance at happiness. Born into poverty, young Kitty Cox dreams of working in a dress shop in the West End - a million miles away from the reality of her life as a mudlark, scavenging on the banks of the Thames.

Employed as a skivvy for Sir Desmond and Lady Arabella Mableton, Kitty is taken under Lady Arabella's wing, but Lady 'Bella' has a secret and decides to leave her husband, fighting him for custody of their daughter Leonie.

Kitty's loyalty is severely tested as all their lives are thrown into turmoil and she faces life in the slums once more.


Reader Comments: “Thank you for choosing Mermaids Singing. Having lived in London (Lambeth/Cockney) for two years in early ‘60s, this book really appealed to me – a great story, the narration so true to Londoners. Thanks.”


The Case of the Secret Assassin, by Kel Richards

Series: Ben Bartholomew Mysteries. No. 2

Format: DAISY (AU 118495)

Set in: 1st century Palestine

Subject Interest Codes: CBMI Mystery and Suspense, CBMI Biblical Fiction

Summary: A fast moving biblical whodunnit. Set in AD57 Roman-occupied Palestine, Ben and his son track down a killer with multiple confliction identities.

Reader Comments: “I enjoyed this book, a proper plot but not taken too seriously. With words of wisdom to encourage the reader. A light-hearted novel that was also full of wisdom. Thanks. Most enjoyable.”

 

 

Endless Night, by Agatha Christie

Format: DAISY (AU 102811)

Set in: 20th century England

Subject Interest Code: Detective and Mystery

Summary: Michael Rogers dreamed of a perfectly designed house and a rich, beautiful wife. He found the girl and built the house, but he built it on Gypsy's Acre, a place with a curse on it, where sudden death had already struck.

Reader Comments: “This is the best disc I have ever had. It was so real I could not put it down.”

 

Australian Stories for the Spirit, by John Smith

Format: DAISY (AU 118922)

Subject Interest Codes: CBMI Recreation, CBMI Inspirational

Summary: Sixty short inspirational stories that will bring spiritual refreshment and restores the gift of wonder to our hectic lives.

The treasure includes heartfelt and humourous stories about faith, hope, courage, love and finding God and blessing in everyday life.

Reader Comments: “Thank you for this book. One of the stories reminded me of some of our experiences as we tracked from Alice Springs to Queensland and some others of our movements during the 60 years of being a Christian. God certainly has his ways of helping us.”

 

Elianne, by Judy Nunn.

Format: DAISY (AU 155894)   braille (AU 150794)

Set in: 1960s Queensland

Subject Interest Code: Australian Fiction, Family Stories

Summary: In 1881 ‘Big Jim’ Durham, an English soldier of fortune and profiteer, ruthlessly creates for Elianne Desmarais, his young French wife, the finest of the great sugar mills of the southern Queensland cane fields, and names it in her honour.

The massive estate becomes a self-sufficient fortress, a cane-consuming monster and home to hundreds of workers, but Elianne and its masters, the Durham family, have dark and distant secrets; secrets that surface in the wildest and most inflammatory of times, the 1960s.

For Kate Durham and her brothers Neil and Alan, freedom is the catchword of the decade. Young Australians leap to the barricades of the social revolution. Rock ‘n’ roll, the Pill, the Vietnam War, the rise of feminism, Asian immigration and the Freedom Ride join forces to rattle the chains of traditional values.

The workers leave the great sugar estates as mechanisation lessens the need for labour. And the Durham family, its secrets exposed, begins its fall from grace.

Comments: “I do enjoy Judy Nunn. Thank you for the splendid selections I have such pleasure from the readings. Thanks to the narrators. Thank you.”

Beyond the Last Oasis: A Solo Walk in the Western Sahara, by Ted Edwards

Format: DAISY (AU 81248)

Subject Interest Code: Autobiography, Adventure Non-Fiction, Travel and Culture

Summary: A British honours graduate writes of walking 350 across the waterless, searing Empty Quarter of the Sahara Desert.

Completing his trek in 19 days, despite bandits, an air attack, scorpions, and being hopelessly lost, he made the longest self-sufficient solo camel journey in history.

Reader Comments: “Thank you for the trouble you take to find rich interesting stories for me. This one is formidable. A saga of courage, determination and the will to survive. Having tangled with this kind of terrain, albeit in a very minor way.”

 

Literary Awards – Nobel Prize for Literature

The Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded to an author who is judged to have the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency out of a field of nominees.

The annual Prize recognises authors who have produced writing of high quality over a lifetime.

The Nobel Prizes were established in 1895 according to the will of Alfred Nobel.

The 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature was recently awarded to British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, known for lyrical tales of regret fused with subtle optimism.

The Library holds a number of titles by Kazuo Ishiguro, including:

Never Let Me Go - (DAISY 95212, braille AU 96796). Kathy, Ruth and Tommy were pupils at Hailsham, an idyllic establishment situated deep in the English countryside.

The children there were tenderly sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe they were special, and that their personal welfare was crucial. But for what reason were they really there?

It is only years later that Kathy, now aged thirty-one, finally allows herself to yield to the pull of memory. What unfolds is the haunting story of how Kathy, Ruth and Tommy slowly come to face the truth about their seemingly happy childhoods - and about their futures.

The Remains of the Day - (DAISY AU 94264). Stevens is a perfect English butler who tries to give his narrow existence form and meaning through the self-effacing, almost mystical practice of his profession.

In a career that spans World War II, Stevens is oblivious of the real life that goes on around him, such as the fact his aristocrat employer is a Nazi sympathizer.

In the summer of 1956 he embarks on a rare country motoring holiday, but his travels are disturbed by the memories of a lifetime of service to his late master, and most of all the painful recollection of his friendship with the housekeeper.

Visit www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/ for more information.


June 2017

International Women's Day Quiz

Thank you to everyone who entered the Library’s International Women’s Day quiz. Several prizes were awarded. We hope all winners enjoy their prize!

Quiz Answers:

  1. 1975 was International Women's Year? Answer: true.
  2. New Zealand was the first country to grant equal voting rights to women. True or false? Answer: True
  3. International Women's Day was first celebrated in 1911. True or false? True

Reading Challenges

Are you up for a reading challenge? If so, you might like to try one of these …

Good Reads reading challenge

Better World Books  


NAIDOC Week

To mark NAIDOC Week (2 to 9 July 2017), we feature books on Indigenous Australians and related issues.

The Power of Bones by Keelen Mailman

Format: DAISY disc and download (AU 157854)

Subject Interest Codes: Autobiography, Biography-Australian, Indigenous Non-fiction, Inspirational Stories

Summary: It looked bleak and predictable for little Keelen Mailman: an alcoholic mother, absent father, the horrors of regular sexual and physical assault and the casual racism of a small outback town in the 1960s.

But somehow, despite the pain and deprivation, the lost education, she managed to absorb her mother’s lessons: her Bidjara language and culture, her obligations to Country, and her loyalty to her family.

So it was no surprise to some that a girl who could hide for a year in her own home to keep her family together, run as fast as Raelene Boyle and catch porcupine and goanna, would one day make history.

At just 30, and a single mother, Keelen became the first Aboriginal woman to run a commercial cattle station when she took over Mt Tabor, two hours from Augathella on the black soil plains of western Queensland.

This is the heartland of Bidjara country, after all, the place her mother and grandparents and great-grandparents had camped on and cared for, and where their ancestors left their marks on caves and rock walls more than 10,000 years ago.

In this unflinching memoir, the warmth of Keelen’s personality, her determination and her irresistible humour shine through as she recalls her extraordinary life.

The Little Red Yellow Black Book: an introduction to Indigenous Australia by Bruce Pascoe, with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Formats: DAISY disc and download (AU 128717) and braille and braille download (AU 133832)

Subject Interest Codes: Indigenous Non-fiction, Australian Non-fiction

Summary: An invaluable introduction to Australia's rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture.

If you're an adult wanting to learn what you weren't taught at school, or a student or teacher who wants to hear from and about Indigenous Australians, or if you're a migrant or tourist, or an institution or department with cross-cultural training needs, then The Little Red Yellow Black Book is a very useful and enjoyable resource.

The book takes a non-chronological approach, and is written from an Indigenous viewpoint. The themes that emerge are the importance of identity, adaptation and continuity. The four sections are: Who Are We?; Culture and Sport; Participation and Governance; and Resistance and Reconciliation.

Here are stories the media don't tell you. Mini-essays on famous and everyday people and organisations will give insights into a range of Indigenous experiences.

Blacklines: Contemporary Critical Writing by Indigenous Australians, by Michele Grossman, co-ordinating editor

Formats: DAISY disc and download (AU 107563) and braille and braille download (AU 93355)

Subject Interest Codes: Essays, Indigenous Non-fiction, Language and Cultural Criticism

Summary: This is a ground-breaking volume - the first collection of critical writing by Indigenous Australian intellectuals addressing contemporary cultural issues.

Written by established and emerging Indigenous intellectuals from a variety of positions, perspectives and places, these essays generate new ways of seeing and understanding Indigenous Australian history, culture, identity and knowledge in national and global contexts.

From museums to Mabo, anthropology to art, feminism to film, land rights to literature, the essays offer provocative insights and compelling arguments around the historical and contemporary issues confronting Indigenous Australians today.

If you would like more titles, ask the library to add Indigenous Non-fiction to your favourite book genres, or visit our online catalogue to choose a title yourself.

 

Library resources for homework help and research

Did you know that Vision Australia Library subscribes to online research databases that include up-to-date information on Australian and overseas topics, as well as a wide range of general interest, health and lifestyle magazines?

Topics covered include; current affairs, health, geography and social studies, history, literature, science and gardening to mention just a few.

But why would you want to use these rather than just searching the internet?

Put simply, these sources are freely available to library members, and include articles from authoritative journals, reference books, and encyclopaedias.

Some also include images, maps and videos. They are easy to search and offer the flexibility to limit or expand searches in a way that is not possible in Google.

The content is often available in full text and is easy to save, print, email or download.  In addition to all of this, some of the databases even include an option to search other databases with a single click without having the re-type your search. 

Vision Australia Library databases include the Britannica Online, Australian and New Zealand Reference Centre and Gale Virtual Reference Library and MasterFILE Premier.  As an added bonus if you search Credo Reference you will be offered an option to search Australian and New Zealand Reference Centre and MasterFILE Premier with a single click and without the need to repeat the search in the two databases.

If you’re after lighter reading, Popular Magazines Plus and MasterFILE Premier also include magazines and trade journals, general interest, current events, sports and lifestyle magazines like the Australian Women’s Weekly, Australian Geographic, Nature, Vanity Fair and many others as well as News Limited newspapers.   

Try the online reference and research databases today? There is a link on the Youth library page and also on the i-access online welcome page.

Contact the Library for more details.

- Katalin Mindum, Reference Information Librarian

 

Readers’ reviews

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier

Format: DAISY disc and download (AU 103385)

Set in: 20th century England

Subject Interest Codes: Twentieth Century Literature, Romance Mystery, Suspense Fiction

Summary: A young wife finds her happiness over-shadowed by the memory of her husband's brilliant first wife, Rebecca

Reader Comments: “Classical fiction at its zenith. Not narrated but acted. Not enough superlatives for this one. Amazing narration by Ms Tobin. Hang in there. The finale is worth waiting for.”

Venetia, by Georgette Heyer

Format: DAISY disc and download (AU 103384)

Set in: 19th century (Regency) England

Subject Interest Codes: Romance Fiction, Historical Romance Fiction

Summary: In all her 25 years, lovely Venetia Lanyon has never been further than Harrogate, nor enjoyed the attentions of any but her two wearisomely persistent suitors.

Then, in an extraordinary encounter, she meets a neighbour she knows only by reputation, the infamous Lord Damerel, and before she knows better is egging on a libertine whose way of life has scandalised the North Riding for years.

Reader Comments: “I found this the most entertaining book - a few good laughs. Recommended.”

Private Bill: In Love and War, by Barrie Cassidy

Format: DAISY disc and download (AU 157203)

Subject Interest Codes: Biography, Biography – Australian, Biography – Military, War Non-Fiction

Summary: Barrie Cassidy's dad Bill survived more than four years as a prisoner of war in World War II

He first saw conflict on Crete in May 1941, during the only large-scale parachute invasion in wartime history.

Just four days later, Bill was wounded and eventually captured. Twice he tried to escape his internment with horrific consequences.

He suffered greatly but found courageous support from his fellow prisoners.

His new wife Myra and his large family thought he was dead until news of his capture finally reached them.

Back home, Myra too was a prisoner of sorts, with her own secrets. Then, 50 years after the war, unhealed wounds unexpectedly opened for Bill and Myra, testing them once again.

Reader Comments: “Well written non-fiction. The dark and poignant story tells the story of the subject’s time both as a prisoner of war, and his later life.”

The Eagle Has Landed, by Jack Higgins

Series: Liam Devlin, no. 1

Followed by: Touch the Devil

Format: DAISY disc and download (AU 102664)

Set in: 20th century Europe

Subject Interest Codes: Adventure Fiction, Politics, Spy Fiction, Suspense Fiction

Summary: It was to become known as the most daring enemy mission of the entire war: "Operation Eagle", SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler's audacious plan to kidnap Winston Churchill on British soil in November 1943. But, despite spectacular secrecy, there was to be no surrender without a fight.

Reader Comments: “Highly recommended for the older reader, man or woman, who lived through World War II. An edge-of-your-seat thriller. Fantastic presentation by narrator. I spent many late nights to listen to this one because I didn’t want to wait to hear the next chapter. Volume quality is excellent.”

Maralinga, by Judy Nunn

Format: DAISY disc and download (AU 120682) and braille and braille download (AU 122991)

Set in: 20th century Australia

Subject Interest Codes: Australian Fiction, Outback Australia

Summary: During the darkest days of the Cold War, in the remote wilderness of the South Australian desert, the future of an infant nation is being decided without its people's knowledge.

A British air base in the middle of nowhere; an atomic weapons testing ground; an army of raw youth led by powerful, ambitious men - a cocktail for disaster. Such is Maralinga in the spring of 1956.

This is the story of British Lieutenant Daniel Gardiner, who accepts a 12-month posting to the wilds of South Australia on a promise of rapid promotion; Harold Dartleigh, Deputy Director of MI-6 and his undercover operative Gideon Melbray; Australian Army Colonel Nick Stratton and the enigmatic Petraeus Mitchell, bushman and anthropologist. They all find themselves in a violent and unforgiving landscape, infected with the unique madness and excitement that only nuclear testing creates.

It is also a story of love; a love so strong that it draws the adventurous young English journalist Elizabeth Hoffmann halfway around the world in search of the truth.

Maralinga is a story of heartbreak brought to the innocent First Australians who had walked their land unhindered for 40,000 years.

Reader Comments: “Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Good research of the Atlantic bomb testing at Maralinga gave the book authenticity to a romantic novel.”

To Chase the Storm, by Peter Watt

Series: Cry of the Curlew, no. 4

Sequel to: Flight of the Eagle

Followed by: To Touch the Clouds

Format: DAISY disc and download (AU 139395)

Set in: Various countries, turn of the 20th century

Subject Interest Codes: Australian Fiction, Family Chronicles, Historical Fiction

Summary: Major Patrick Duffy is torn by conflicting duties: his oath to the Queen is unwavering as she gathers her armies together to march on the Boers of southern Africa, but his duty to his family is equally clear.

But when his wife Catherine leaves him for another and returns to Ireland, Patrick's broken heart propels from the Macintosh home in Sydney into another bloody war.

The battlefields of Africa hold more than nightmarish terrors and unspeakable conditions for Patrick - they bring back to one he thought long dead and lost to him.

In Australia, the mysterious Michael O'Flynn mentors Patrick's youngest son, Alex, and at his grandmother's request takes him to their Queensland property, Glen View.

But will the terrible curse that has inextricably linked the Duffys and Macintoshes for generations ensure no true happiness for them? So much seems to depend on Wallarie, the last warrior of the Nerambura tribe, whose name evokes a legend.

Reader Comments: “Another incredible historical story from Peter Watt. He relates as if he lived in that era.”

If you have a book review you would like to share, please email us at library@visionaustralia.org.

 

Staff book review

Palais des Nations or The Edith Trilogy - Grand Days, Dark Palace and Cold Light, by Frank Moorhouse

I read this trilogy two years ago and it was one of the most fluid reads I’ve ever had. I could not wait to pick up the next book. I was fascinated with Edith, a woman well ahead of her time. I found her very real, surprising given the author is a man.

It is also compulsively interesting because it is set in real history with the rise of the League of Nations in Geneva, the attempts to disarm aggressive states in Europe, the construction of Canberra and the early days of the Communist Party in Australia.

A number of our politicians and allusions to other interesting characters in the literary and dramatic world are mentioned, such as Robert Menzies and James Joyce.

For a girl from the Australian bush Edith gets to live a very “Bloomsbury-like” lifestyle. She is intensely stylish. Descriptions of her clothes and life are moreish.

She sets out early to be very independent and ambitious and while she has some setbacks her feistiness stands her in good stead.

Her long-time relationship with Ambrose, her best friend and lover is fascinating. Their escapades in Europe are curious and their group of foreign attaches they work with, give you a glimpse of the power plays and dissolute lifestyles that some lived.

The books in the trilogy are Grand Days, Dark Palace and Cold Light.

Grand Days follows Edith’s rise in the League of Nations and the start of long-term friendships.

Dark Palace follows her during the post-1918 disarmament period and the establishment of her role there.

Cold Light sees her return to Australia and her work in Canberra. The setbacks in the design of Canberra, and the establishment of senior political officials gives one a view of the foibles of the time.

Edith’s brother becomes part of her life again, causing complications. When the League disbands in favour of the UN and Australia is snubbed, Edith is devastated. She maintains her passion for international peace and Australia’s role in it.

Each could be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, but I recommend you read all of them. You can’t help but admire Edith for her zest for life, but mostly for her devotion to her work and world peace.

- Louise, Feelix Library

Grand Days is available in DAISY disc and download (AU 100299), and braille and braille download (AU 138246)

Dark Palace is available in DAISY disc and download (AU 135978) and braille and braille download (AU 138248)

Cold Light is available in DAISY disc and download (AU 136804) and braille, and braille download (AU 138250)