Lost and Found by Brooke Davis

This week’s mini book review is courtesy of the First Tuesday Book Club. ‘Lost and lostbrookeFound’ by Brooke Davis has three main characters: a 7 year-old girl with red, curly hair and gumboots, an 82 year-old widow who stays home and yells at passersby, and an 87 year-old man who escapes from a nursing home. An certain event brings them altogether, and their unusual collaboration has some surprising and poignant effects. The Book Club gave this debut novel 7 out of 10, and found the representation of the different age groups and the way grief is dealt with interesting. All the readers liked the ending, although some found it “a bit over the top” in parts. Not everyone liked the book as a whole, but most did. http://ow.ly/i/vDLG9

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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant – mini-review

Monday’s mini-review by Mundaring School for Seniors Book Club is on ‘The Red Tent’ redteby Anita Diamant. This has been around since 1997 but is continually being borrowed, so much so that we have had to replace our copies more than once. The book is loosely based on the story of Dinah in the book of Genesis. Members of the book club enjoyed the “brilliant historical research”, and that it was an “easy read’ which provided a wonderful insight into women’s lives in biblical times. Not all members of the book club were impressed however, with scoring out of ten ranging from 0 to 8.5! Perhaps you have read it yourself? What did you think? http://ow.ly/i/vbZFO

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For children under 6, a special book rea

For children under 6, a special book reading and illustration activity with Gabriel Evans, artist and illustrator. Gabriel has illustrated over 15 children’s books. Check out his blog at http://ow.ly/bQT030c3Ef4 to view some of his wonderful work. As part of the heARTlines public program, Gabriel will read through his most recent publication, ‘Captain Sneer the Buccaneer’, and after the interactive reading session will invite children to draw the captain and other images from this book. This free event is on Tuesday 6 June from 10am to 11.30am and is for children aged under six. Bookings can be made at http://www.mundaringartscentre.com.au, or call the library on 9290 6755. A fantastic opportunity not to be missed! http://ow.ly/i/vc0yG

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What’s on next week! Tuesday 10.30am –

What’s on next week!

Tuesday 10.30am – 1,2 Pirate Stew author Kylie Howarth reading and art class at Boya Library
Wednesday 1.00pm Mundaring Library – National Simultaneous Storytime and craft – Same story, same time all over Australia! http://ow.ly/i/uYgTv http://ow.ly/i/uYgX3

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‘After’ by Nikki Gemmell
You will be walked through an experience many Australian families have been struck by, one that is particular to this time of medical miracles and extended life expectancy which, for some, means extended suffering.after ng
Gemmell knew her mother had chronic pain, she was aware that her mother had views about her right to choose death, but she had no idea that the ‘conversation’ was over, until she met two police constables at her gate.
The ensuing period is awash with intense shock, loss and anger; with all exposed because Gemmell’s voice has a public platform and because this kind of death is underscored with all of the cultural stigmas of suicide.
Anyone who has family should read this book. Illness strikes every life at some point and knowing the options might mean the difference between managing the last stages of life, connected with loved ones and at peace with a chosen course; or dying, desperate and alone. The latter has irrevocable consequences for loved ones left behind, who will always regret being unable to support a better choice. http://ow.ly/i/uYfAw

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‘Lucie Aubrac: The French Resistance Heroine who Defied the Gestapo’ by Sian Rees

Rees brings to vivid life the story of Lucie Aubrac and her husband, a couple in the lucy bookFrench Resistance. The story shows how truth can be so much stranger than fiction. From the very beginning of her life, Lucie shows herself to be a fighter, courageous, a woman who cannot be pigeon-holed or labelled. Aubrac says, “Refusal has been a principle all my life”, and  that the idea of “Liberty” was directly linked to the principle of refusal and refusal was linked to disobedience. It seemed inevitable that she would be drawn to “refuse” the invasion of her beloved country, and that her husband, with whom she shared a passionate, enduring love, would also be drawn to the French Resistance.

The book recounts her many exploits, the most famous one being how she brazenly engineered and secured the escape of her husband from Klaus Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyon”. She organised a second rescue when he was again captured by ambushing the prison van convoy he was being transported in. No less brave, was her husband, Raymond, but her bravery had an element of audacious recklessness and an ability to quash fear that astonishes.

l aubracThe book is also useful for the way it paints the background to the French Resistance, and dispels the myth that it was one united force. The Aubracs both faced scrutiny thirty years after the war when faced with Barbie’s claim that they were informants for the Gestapo.

Sian Rees is not afraid to not only present Lucie Aubrac, the brilliant French Resistance mastermind, but also Lucie’s storytelling about herself and lifelong flirtation with the truth. Rees writes that this flaw is “a flaw rooted not in actions, but in character – the individual, unrepeatable blend of circumstance, childhood, chance and neuropsychology which created the person who became ‘Lucy Aubrac’”.

The book is well-researched, and although packed with historical information, it is written in a lively, articulate way. A life to marvel at, and a book to learn by.


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Hester and Harriet by Hilary Spiers

Hester and Harriet are two elderly widowed sisters who move in together in a comfortable cottage in an English village. Their lives are also comfortable – predictable and safe. The novel HandHopens with them both contemplating the yearly dreaded family Christmas lunch with their well-meaning, but annoying cousins. Which all sounds a bit ho-hum, but their lives are turned upside down when they stop to pick up a young, refugee mother with a baby sitting at a bus stop. Then their cousin’s rebellious fifteen-year old son also arrives on their doorstep seeking sanctuary. It turns out Daria is being hunted by others, and her story is rather more complicated than at first appears. Daria’s story is gradually revealed, and the sisters and their nephew, find themselves in a cat-and-mouse chase to outwit those who are seeking Daria.

This is a cosy English mystery, but is in no way bland or over-sweet, saved by its drama and comedy, wonderful language, and idiosyncratic characters. There are some standout lines delivered by the articulate, intelligent, eccentric Finbar, who also happens to be the village tramp. The sisters are very different to each other, and we learn a little more about them as the novel progresses. The novel touches on some serious issues, enough to raise them without belabouring them.

An enjoyable, funny and charming read. You may find yourself reaching for your dictionary every now and then.


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Monday mini book review by Mundaring School for Seniors

turningMonday mini book review by Mundaring School for Seniors is about ‘The Turning’ by Tim Winton. The book club gave it a 9 out of 10. It’s a book that has been published for a while, but still very popular. Book club members found the writing evocative, descriptive and beautiful. Readers identified with localities described, and loved that the characters and language were very ‘real’. Someone said they learnt a lot about boys growing up! ‘The Turning’ is a book of short stories with a distinct Australian flavour, and has also been made into a film. http://ow.ly/i/tpZLn

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‘Mathilda the Karak’ – her story

Mathilda is a Forest Red-Tailed Parrot currently on display at Boya Library. We have had IMG_5177lots of questions about her, so here is her story:


There are several threatened species of Black-Cockatoo that can be seen around the Perth Hills. One of the reasons they are threatened is the loss of large old trees, with hollows big enough for nesting and raising their chicks.

There are two white tailed species with different shaped beaks.

The Forest Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo is called ‘Karak’ in the Noongar language. The name relates to the feather colours and can also sound like a call they make.  Males and females have different coloured beaks and feather patterns.

This Black-Cockatoo was found injured on the side of a road. Local residents Fred and Irene Casotti were taking her to the vet when she died.  After arranging for her preservation, they have named her Mathilda and generously loaned her for library visitors to enjoy in early 2017.

All native animals are protected in Western Australia and authorisation is required from the Department of Parks and Wildlife to have native animals professionally preserved for display.

If you find injured native fauna phone:

Wildcare Helpline – 9474 9055

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’50 Ways to Grieve Your Lover’ by Glennys Marsdon – author talk review

IMG_5180Glennys Marsdon has only ever paid attention to her nails once in her life.  For ninety days her nails were perfectly polished and manicured, the first ninety days after her husband’s death.  Glennys said in her talk last night that this small task was one she could manage perfectly in that traumatic time and so it meant a great deal to her.  She also spoke about a bereaved partner’s private right to communicate (or not) with their lost loved one in any way that belonged between them.  It was described as a deeply personal right that was nobody else’s business.  The beauty of Glenys’s talk is that it was pragmatically rich.  In the first ninety days expect to be dissolute, ninety to 365 days small steps take you somewhere – and she IMG_517950waysdescribed ways to take those steps.

Many in our audience clearly were experiencing or had experienced similar loss and so the appreciation for Glennys Marsdon’s talk ran very deep indeed.  The libraries have purchased copies of her book ’Fifty Ways to Grieve Your Lover’, a gift of her wisdom and experience.



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