Category Archives: Books

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You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About

Tim is repeating the HSC, but he can’t focus on his studies when he’s trying to pursue his music career. Mandy is taking a gap year before starting uni, but she has no idea what she wants to do. As the pair drift through Sydney, they meet at a band night at their favourite pub. For Tim, Mandy is the dream girl, the girl he writes songs about. While they try to decide the direction of their lives and futures, they fall in love… You’re The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About is a début novel from a new Australian author, David Herborn. Filled with young romance and music, this is a sweet book to read.

Things I liked about this book – it was witty, cute, and nicely written. David Herborn has amazing talent for driving the narrative along in a laconic, dreamy way. If you’re a fan of music this is the book for you, with indie-alternative bands, bands so hipster they don’t exist yet and the greatest hits of the 1980s all given pride of place and lovingly referenced in this awesome YA novel.

Also, this book is set in Sydney. It’s so exciting to read about the characters hanging out in pubs that actually exist!

As a début novel, it’s a well-written and uplifting book. If you love music and romance then be sure to get You’re The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About when it arrives in-store and online on May 1, 2015.

 

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Miles Franklin Award Longlist

The longlist for the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award has been announced. Congratulations to all ten authors who received this accolade.
The titles are:

In Certain Circles  by Elizabeth Harrower

In Certain Circles

Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett

Golden Boys

The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna

The Golden Age by Joan London
The Golden Age

The Lost Child by Suzanne McCourt
Lost Child The

Here Come the Dogs  by Omar Musa
Here Come the Dogs

When the Night Comes  by Favel Parrett
When the Night Comes

After Darkness  by Christine Piper
After Darkness

Tree Palace by Craig Sherborne

Nest  by Inga Simpson
Nest

The shortlist will be announced on 18 May, with the big winner announced on 23 June, taking home a cool $60,000. This year’s judges are:

– Richard Neville, NSW Mitchell librarian
 Murray Waldren, The Australian journalist
– Lindy Jones, bookseller
– Craig Munro, biographer, book historian, publishing editor and Queensland Writers Centre founding chair
– Susan Sheridan, emeritus professor

Miles Franklin

Stella Miles Franklin – 1902

Want to know more about this year’s longlisted books and authors? Find out more here!

About the Miles Franklin Literary Awards

This annual award was established in honour  of Australian female author, Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin (pen name Miles Franklin), author of  My Brilliant Career. When Miles passed away in 1954, she left money in her will to set up a literary prize in order to advance, improve and better Australian Literature. Stella Miles Franklin devoted her life to the promotion of literature in Australia. Find out more about Miles Franklin here.

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A Thousand Pieces of You

This is my new favourite YA novel. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray is an incredible novel with beautiful, sweeping prose and incredible imagination. This is the kind of book that has to be read, as the plotline is not easy to explain – it’s great science fiction meeting a suspenseful mystery, with plenty of action and romance.

Marguerite Caine is the daughter of two brilliant physicists who have done the impossible and created a device that allows the wearer to jump through dimensions. The Firebird is a brilliant and dangerous piece of technology, and when Maguerite’s father is betrayed and killed for it, she races across dimensions to catch the murderer – Paul Markov, her parents’ brilliant research assistant. Once her friend and now her enemy, Marguerite, with the help of her childhood friend Theo, is determined to find and kill Paul.

As Marguerite jumps dimensions, from a technologically advanced London to Imperial Russia, she uncovers a deadly conspiracy and many plot twists that threaten her and her loved ones. Finding that the reason for her father’s murder is so much more complicated than theft of the Firebird gone wrong, Marguerite finds that she and her friends must stand against a deadly corporation.

Unsure of who to trust or where to turn, Marguerite tries to keep the lines of her life and dimensions straight. But in every jump she meets different versions of both herself and Paul… and finds that love doesn’t stop at the border of another dimension.

A Thousand Pieces of You is brilliant in it’s adventurous plot and swoon-worthy romance. Marguerite is an incredible heroine who is written with depth and wit. I couldn’t put the book down and cannot believe I now have to wait so long for the next book in the series, Ten Thousand Skies Above You.

Imaginative and spectacularly well written, this is not a book to miss.

Also, just look at that divine cover art…

 

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Books Coming To a Screen Near You …

Keen to watch loved and loathed literary characters come to life on the big screen? Head into the cinemas in 2015 and you can do just that – the year is packed with exciting book-to-movie releases! Here’s just a few:

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey – it’s the book that got the hearts of millions beating fast (and made imaginations run wild). Now it’s set to steam up the silver screen! The much-anticipated film is out now!

Fifty Shades of Grey (Film Tie In)

 

 

Insurgent

Insurgent in the second instalment in this film saga, based on Veronica Roth’s epic dystopian Divergent series. It’s out in cinemas on 19 March.

The Longest Ride

Nicholas Sparks’ The Longest Ride has now been made into a film starring Glee star Melissa Benoist and Fury actor (and Clint Eastwood’s offspring) Scott Eastwood. 9 April release date. BYO tissues.

Far From the Madding Crowd
Based on Thomas Hardy’s fourth novel and the first book to gain him widespread popularity, Far From the Madding Crowd is a brilliant story of female independence, the many layers of love and the strength of the human spirit. Starring Juno Temple and Carrie Mulligan, the film hits cinemas on 30 April.

Paper Towns
Based on John Green’s award-winning young adult novel, the film stars Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff (who also starred in the film adaptation of Green’s hit The Fault in Our Stars). In cinemas 4 June.

The Scorch Trials

The follow-up to the hugely successful film The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials is the second in this trilogy. It’s based on James Dashner action-packed Maze Runner trilogy and is out  17 September.

Mockingjay – Part 2

The film adaptation of the second half of Mockingjay – Part 2, the final book in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series. It’s out  19 Nov (and we can’t wait!)

  

 

 

 

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The Buried Giant

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro is set in a time when mythical creatures like ogres and dragons walked the earth. This book by the internationally renowned author tells the tale of an old couple, living in a life they have long forgotten.

The Buried GiantA strange mist envelopes the country of Britain, making people forget memories from a year, a month, a day, or even an hour ago. The old couple can barely remember anything, but they remember their love for each other, and their love for their long-lost son.

The couple embark on a sometimes whimsical journey, that takes them through the Britain of olden times, first to find their forgotten son, and then to uncover the cause of the mist that makes everyone forget.

The Buried Giant starts off slowly, but is so sweet, whimsical and enchanting, that over time you fall into the pages. The story is described as being about lost memories, revenge and war. But most importantly it is about love that cannot be lost or forgotten.

By the end of the book, the story gets more curious and intriguing, and you want to keep turning the pages to find out if it really is a ‘happily-ever-after’ ending.

The Buried Giant is definitely a book you want to try for yourself – don’t get disenchanted by the slow beginning, because by the end of it, you will want to go back and read this beautiful book again.

Be sure to grab a copy of The Buried Giant from The Co-op when it is released in March!

Reviewed by Guest Blogger Michelle, a Co-op Member since 2010.

 

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Book Clubbing with Mark Zuckerberg!

This year, Mark Zuckerberg launched his social media book club, A Year of Books, encouraging others to share his personal challenge for 2015 – to read a new book every other week. Each book would focus on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies. The Facebook community, a Year of Books, aims to invite and inspire discussion and connections between its members.

Famously, the books sold out in days when Zuckerberg announced the first couple he’d read… however, we still have stock and encourage you to expand horizons and be inspired by these two amazing books.

The first book of the year is The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be, by author Moises Naim.

It’s a book that explores how the world is shifting to give individual people more power that was traditionally only held by large governments, militaries and other organizations. The trend towards giving people more power is one I believe in deeply, and I’m looking forward to reading this book and exploring this in more detail.

— Mark Zuckerberg

His second book is Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity, by Steven Pinker.

 It’s a timely book about how and why violence has steadily decreased throughout our history, and how we can continue this trend.

Recent events might make it seem like violence and terrorism are more common than ever, so it’s worth understanding that all violence — even terrorism — is actually decreasing over time. If we understand how we are achieving this, we can continue our path towards peace.

— Mark Zuckerberg

We are looking forward to the next book Zuckerberg reveals and if you too want to join the fun, then head over to the Year of Books’ Facebook group.

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Looking For Alaska 10th Anniversary

First love, last words.

Last week marked the 10-year anniversary of John Green’s heartbreaking novel, Looking for Alaska. It is hard to think it’s been a decade, as it remains just as relevant and tear-jerking to this day. To celebrate, Looking For Alaska is being re-released in a beautiful anniversary edition containing exclusive notes, deleted scenes and an introduction from John Green.

Looking For AlaskaLooking For Alaska is a beautiful, deeply emotional novel about the pain of growing up, first love and dealing with grief for the first time. Miles packs his bags for boarding school, inspired by a need “to seek a great perhaps”. There he meets Alaska, the beautiful and tragic heroine who, while struggling with her own labryinth of demons, helps Miles discover his great perhaps. As the school year progresses, through great pranks and first romance, tragedy strikes the group. John Green delivers a poignant and impactful exploration of love and loss. It’s also one of the most poetically written books that perfectly blends the philosophy and the rawness of being sixteen.

It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed. I feel so lucky that Alaska is still in print and still finding readers (some of whom were in preschool when it was first published). Thanks to everyone who has read it and shared it this past decade, and I hope you enjoy the anniversary edition! — John Green, posted on his tumblr

I am really looking forward to this special edition, especially being able to read more from John Green. I love his books so much, seeing some of the ‘deleted scenes’ of Looking For Alaska will be awesome.

This 10 Year Anniversary edition is available for pre-order online.

 

 

Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye

Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye

Summertime

Who among us can forget the TV footage and news from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? The horrifying stories of people abandoned, slow moving authorities, unwilling or unable to send relief to survivors.

Take these scenes to 1935, add more than 100 veterans from WWI who already felt abandoned by a government that had promised a grant that never eventuated. Their protests had been met with tear gas and bayonets, led by Major Patton. Instead they’d answered a call to build a bridge in a place that no-one wanted, surviving in inadequate accommodation, with inadequate food and in a challenging climate.

The locals, ‘Conchs’, found their presence a threat. Coloured men such as Henry Roberts who had been an officer in the U.S. Army, and had found equality during the war, returned to discover that nothing had changed in the U.S., or in his home town of Heron Keys. This realisation has kept him from returning home, or even informing his family that he is one of the now distrusted veterans. Even the suspicion of a crime could result in lynching by a mob, and Henry finds himself the victim of unfounded suspicion.

There are memorable characters who show compassion, but there are others for whom self interest is their driving force, and his relationship with Missy – the young girl he’d left behind when he signed up, and who has waited patiently for his return – is told with gentleness.

Lafaye has written this novel in order to publicise a shameful event in U.S. history, and as such it is a compelling book, with well drawn characterisation. The author’s notes and list of further reading add to the narrative.

Summertime by Vanessa Lafye is a January 2015 release.

Reviewed by Guest Blogger Barbara, a Co-op Member since 2012.

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The Girl on The Train

I commute to work so this tensely written, observant thriller was a grippingly good read. I could not put it down and this is the only time a lengthy commute is a blessing – it meant more time to read this amazing book! The Girl on The Train is a fast-paced thriller and début novel by Paula Hawkins that will hit shelves this month.

The Girl on the Train is a British crime thriller, with great characters and a good story. It’s tense, enthralling and full of backstabbing and betrayal, detective work and healthy dose of mistrust and uncertainty. It’s a brilliant read.

Rachel is a hot mess… still reeling after her husband left her for a younger woman, she commutes back and forth between London and Easton. She’s not going to work, she’s already lost her job and struggles with alcoholism. Instead she watches the world go by and fantasises about the beautiful couple who live in a townhouse that overlooks the train line. A townhouse on the street she used to live on. Through her imagination, ‘Jess’ and ‘John’ are the golden couple, but when Rachel sees ‘Jess’ in the arms of another man, her fantasy is ruined. Then ‘Jess’, whose real name is Megan, goes missing in suspiscious circumstances.

Megan is found dead and the pool of suspects consists of the neighbours… and Rachel.

There’s a killer on the loose and Rachel has a pretty flaky alibi for the night in question – not to mention that she blacked out and has no memory of the night. Playing amateur detective, she tries to pinpoint who could be Megan’s killer before it’s too late… Going behind the backs of the police, Megan’s husband and her ex-husband, Rachel confronts the dangerous situation she has fallen into and races to solve a murder before her own life is put at risk.

Told from the point of view of three very different and complex women, The Girl on The Train races along plot wise. Compelling and gritty, this is a trio of unlikable but ultimately redeemable heroes, and a thrilling murder mystery that is a true page turner. If you liked S.J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep, then this is an excellent book to read next.

 

 

 

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Most Pirated Movies of 2014

A list of the most pirated movies for 2014 has been released and in the top 20 are 7 films that originated from a book.

The list published in an article from Variety was put together by German internet security company Excipio which specialises in detecting online copyright infringement.

So, what as on the list? Let’s a look:

1.

The Wolf of Wall Street  

30.035 million (Paramount, Dec. 25, 2013).

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By Jordan Belfort

2.

Frozen

29.919 million (Disney, Nov. 27, 2013)

3.

RoboCop

29.879 million (MGM, Feb. 12, 2014; and Orion, July 17, 1987)

A number that combines the downloads for both the original and the ‘reboot’ version.

4.

Gravity

29.357 million (Warner Bros., Oct. 4, 2013)

5.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

27.627 million (Warner Bros., Dec. 13, 2013)

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By J.R.R. Tolkien

6.

The Dark World

25.749 million (Disney/Marvel, Nov. 8, 2013)

7.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

25.628 million (Disney/Marvel, April 4, 2014)

8.

The Legend of Hercules

25.137 million (Summit, Jan. 10, 2014)

9.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

24.380 million (20th Century Fox, May 23, 2014)

10.  

12 Years a Slave

23.653 million (Fox Searchlight, Oct. 18, 2013)

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By Solomon Northup

11.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

23.543 million (Lionsgate, Nov. 22, 2013)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

By Suzanne Collins

12.

American Hustle

23.143 million (Sony/Columbia, Dec. 13, 2013)

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By Robert W. Greene

13.

300: Rise of an Empire

23.096 million (Warner Bros., March 7, 2014)

14.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

21.65 million (Paramount, June 27, 2014)

15.

Godzilla

20.956 million (Warner Bros., May 16, 2014)

16.

Noah

20.334 million (Paramount, March 28, 2014)

17.

Divergent

20.312 million (Lionsgate, March 21, 2014)

Divergent FTI

By Veronica Roth

18.  

Edge of Tomorrow  

20.299 million (Warner Bros., June 6, 2014)

19.

Captain Phillips

19.817 million (Sony/Columbia, Oct. 11, 2013)

20. 

Lone Survivor

19.130 million (Universal, Dec. 25, 2013)

Lone Survivor FTI

By Marcus Luttrell