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All the light we cannot see / by Doerr, Anthony,

Publication: London : Fourth Estate, 2014 . 496 pages ; 24 cm. Date: 2014

This book is really two parallel stories set during World War II, about two children, growing up in two different countries. In Nazi Germany, a young orphan boy named Werner lives in a children’s home with his young sister. He is exceptionally bright and curious with a knack for fixing radios. His talents in math and science win him a spot in a Youth Academy. This is his only chance of escape from a grim life working in a coal mine. In Paris, France there is a shy redhead named Marie-Laure who lives with her locksmith father who works at a museum. When she goes blind from a degenerative disease at the age of six, her father builds a detailed miniature model of their neighborhood, so she can memorize every street, building and corner by tracing the model with her nimble fingers. When the Germans attack Paris she and her father must flee to the coastal town of Saint-Malo. Added 14/09/2015 by Heather

Knooking : 19 projects to knit with a crochet hook / by Hug, Veronica,

Publication: . 46 pages : 24 cm.

I was really looking forward to this book. A whole different way to use my crohet hook. But it its not. It is a book about tuscian crochet. I found the pictures too small, and I already knew what I was looking at. It was good to have a book with patterns for that style of crochet though. They are nice quick patterns. Added 01/09/2015 by Sharon

Valley of hope / by Price, Sarah,

Publication: Morristown, N.J. : Price Publishing, 2012 . 258 p. ; 23 cm. Date: 2012

I found this book had a very slow start to it. It was interesting to me for the way it showed how pressure can effect people. The continued stress Samuel Lapp is under and how those effects spread through the whole community was quite illuminating. Added 01/09/2015 by Sharon

Polymer clay in a day : over 15 exciting projects, from gifts to accessories for the home / by Ralph, Emma.

Publication: London : New Holland. 2004 . 80 p.; 28 cm Date: 2004

Having never worked with polymer clay before, I found this book very interesting. I was surprised at the bright colours you can get. I found some of the projects quite interesting looking, but my favourite by far was the fluorite mokume eggs on page 48. A good read Added 01/09/2015 by Sharon

The rake's challenge / Adult. by Elliott, Beth.

Publication: Leicester : Thorpe, 2012 . 321 p. (large print) ; 24 cm. Date: 2012

I'm a fan of Regency romances with Georgette Heyer as my all time favourite author. This book is not as good as Heyer but a very entertaining and good read nevertheless. The heroine and hero have believable problems and the sense of period is well drawn. The little asides of humour add to the pleasure of this book. I would like to see more from Beth Elliott. Recommended.

Rose River / by Osborn, Margareta,

Publication: . 351 pages ; 24 cm.

This is a light weight, somewhat humorous, romance set in the Australian outback. There are lots of this sort of book being published these days and most are a fairly good read. This book is no exception with the plus of the gentle (mostly) humour. Despite its literary lightweight and the reasonably predictable outcome, I like this book as a good, easy, escapist read. The main characters are a city girl and a backblocks 'macho' guy and both are pretty well drawn and understandable. Not bad at all and I'll read more from this author.

What tomorrow brings / Adult. by Fitzgerald, Mary,

Publication: Long Preston : Magna, 2015 . 585 p. (large print) ; 23 cm. Date: 2015

This is a great story which covers the build up to the Second World War and then the war. The main characters are well drawn and you connect with them. The author appears to have done a lot of historical research and the flavour of the time , the British NAZI supporters , those going to the Spanish Civil war and the atmosphere of Berlin prior to WW[[ being declared are very well described. This is the second novel by Mary Fitzgerald that I have read it is a large print but this did not detract from my enjoyment reading it. The main heroine is Seffy Blake an independent -minded journalist and the two men in her life, Amyas an enigmatic lover with no morals and Charlie the steady fellow journalist who stands along side Steffy in their endeavours . Highly recommend this book Lynne W. Added 13/08/2015 by Lynne

The Ballymara road / by Dorries, Nadine,

Publication: . 367 pages ; 24 cm.

Expecting just a romance, I discovered a story whose main theme is child abuse, especially by the Catholic Church. No punches are pulled but the subject is very sensitively treated with sympathy and understanding. Set in Liverpool and Ireland in the 1960s, it tells the story of a group of Irish, Catholic families living in near poverty in the back streets of Liverpool and their connection with a home in Ireland for 'penitents', expectant mothers and orphans which is run by a very fundamental, bigoted group of nuns. Despite its desperate theme, the book contains much humour. Very well written with characters you can believe in, this novel is the third in a trilogy but stands easily on its own. I thoroughly recommend this book and I will be looking for others by the same author.

Life after life / by Atkinson, Kate,

Publication: London : Doubleday, 2013 . 477 p. ; 24 cm. Date: 2013

A great book, beautifully written. A real page turner yet gentle. Can't wait to read her next book which follows the same family but in a different style. Added 01/08/2015 by Kaye

The invention of fire / by Holsinger, Bruce W.,

Publication: . 459 pages ; 23 cm.

This is a big book (459 pages) but the pace never slackens not the interest dwindle. Set in London during the reign of King Richard (fourteenth century) it features John Gower, a man who holds and sells secrets for a living. Also a poet and a friend of Geoffrey Chaucer. Asked to investigate an especially gory and different series of murders, he runs up against the politics of the day, much more personal and nasty than they are now. Dealing with the invention of a new 'handgonne' (handgun) and the uses to which it may be put proves to be dangerous and very, very devious. The author obviously know his history and brings out the flavour of medieval London, warts and all, until you are almost walking the streets with John. The characters are given to us with all their qualities and their imperfections and the story unfolds in a logical manner, even if this isn't always immediately apparent. This is Bruce Holsinger's second book and I hope the library has, or will obtain, his first one. A really good historical mystery and highly recommended.

A woman's sphere / by Adams, Audrey,

Publication: . iv, 216 pages ; 21 cm

This lovely book chronicles the story of Florence, the daughter of a very early settler in Tasmania, and her marriage to the son of a convict, Charles, who resents his parentage. The marriage gets off to a rocky start when the first child, a son, is born with a slight hare lip. The father can't, or won't, accept this and the boy is brought up by his in-laws. Eventually, Florence and Charles move to Masterton in the Wairarapa where the marriage becomes merely a partnership of convenience. Sustained by her two children, a dog, a very good friend and her art, Florence makes a good life in her new country. The book concludes with release for Florence and a forward look of great hope. Quietly but very skilfully written, I really felt that I got to know and appreciate the characters. The setting was well drawn and it was easy to appreciate the difficulties that faced those early settlers. I believe this is Ms Adams first novel and I certainly hope it is not her last as I am looking forward to reading more from this top New Zealand author.

The bookseller / by Pryor, Mark,

Publication: Amherst, N.Y. : Seventh Street Books, 2012 . 303 p. ; 21 cm. Date: 2012

A first book by this author and what a great start to his career. Set in Paris with an American hero and a French heroine, this is a murder mystery and thriller combined with a low key romance. Easy to read, it evokes the feel of Paris brilliantly, especially the café scene which is the life blood of that great city. Interesting characters come to life and you get quite carried away (well, I did!) by the twists and turns of the story which covers drugs, book sellers and Parisians who collaborated with the Nazis during WW2. For a change, our hero and heroine (a journalist) both have a conscience but this doesn't stop the guy making a mess of some of the villains! Highly recommended.

Chasing the dead / by Weaver, Tim,

Publication: . 452 pages (large print) ; 24 cm.

A very involved and, ultimately, unbelievable story line; but don't give up on this author. He goes on to write some excellent books. Added 06/07/2015 by Kath

Orphan train : a novel / by Kline, Christina Baker, 1964-

Publication: New York : William Morrow, 2012 . 278, 16 p. 21 cm. 28 Date: 2012

A novel which is well written and explores a chapter of American history when thousands of children who were abandoned by their parent or orphaned in New York were sent by train into the Midwest for other families to claim / adopt/ or use as free labour . Families were split up, babies and younger children were chosen first. The story follows one girl and the impact it had on her life. Running parallel is another story of a modern teenager also abandoned by her mother after the father died. When these two meet the first child is 92 years old. In telling her story she helps the other girl. I really enjoyed this story. Lynne Added 03/07/2015 by Lynne

A match for Marcus Cynster / by Laurens, Stephanie,

Publication: . 392 pages ; 24 cm.

Stephanie Lauren's never fails me for pure excellent escapism on a wet Friday . Once again she is adding to the Cynster clan tales this time with Marcus up in Scotland . His destiny is calling and the Lady Niniver his nemesis . she has been given the heavy mantle of Lady of the Carrick Clan and sworn not to marry as she is scared that she would loose her power and not be able to fulfil her promise to her father. Great story Added 03/07/2015 by Lynne

Fragments / by Foot, Sarah.

Publication: . 393 pages ; 24 cm.

I recommend this debut novel by Sarah Foot . It grabbed me from the first few lines and as it started from a funeral scene but gave no clue about who it he funeral was for you just had to keep reading. A contemporary novel showing modern dilemmas felt by families , solo parents and successful people. The main character is a very successful business man who sells up and wants to give back to his community. This giving back starts a series of other consequences which makes a great story line. Do read this. Lynne Added 03/07/2015 by Lynne

The Darling Dahlias and the silver dollar bush / by Albert, Susan Wittig,

Publication: . 443 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.

I'm not sure why I chose this book. It is set in the South of the USA, usually enough to put me right off. However, I'm glad I did choose it as I found it a thoroughly entertaining read. Set, as I said, in the southern states of America (Alabama?) it chronicles the story of a small town and its citizens doing their best to cope with the big Depression in the 1930s. Prohibition is still in force and bootleg whiskey is on the edge of the tale but the main problem for the good folk of Darling is the closure of 'their' bank. The book tells how they go about coping with this and, at the same time, there are one or two quiet romances having their ups and downs In the background. The setting and the period are brought cleverly to life and the characters are all (almost all) likeable and believable. I thoroughly recommend this book if like mysteries with a romantic overtone. I will be reading more by this author, that's for sure.

The dwarf who moved : and other remarkable tales from a life in the law / by Williams, Peter

Publication: . 304 pages ; 24 cm.

This book is a reminder of events that carried headlines in NZ news in their times. Peter Williams was involved as a lawyer and his comments and insights stir memories and offer explanations that are valuable as well as interesting. Added 06/06/2015 by Heather

The secret life of Luke Livingstone / by Norman, Charity,

Publication: . 374 pages ; 24 cm.

I am very glad I pick books by the author not the content, otherwise I would have missed this one. It's one of those books that everyone should read for the good of mankind. If you have ever sniggered at the thought of cross-dressers or transgender people you will find this book sobering and moving and a thoroughly good read. Added 04/06/2015 by Kath

The anchoress / by Cadwallader, Robyn,

Publication: . 314 pages ; 24 cm

This is a well-researched book about a way of life long forgotten. It is fascinating in its detail, becoming more engrossing the further you read. The heroine and narrator is a 17-year-old girl living in an English village in 1255, locked in the room where she is to remain for the rest of her life. She is an anchoress, a holy woman maintained by the lord of the manor in a small stone hermitage attached to the village church, where she spends her days and nights in prayer for her community. . She has two servants, who bring their own stories and those of the village as well as food and embroidery to pass the time between prayers. Priests come to hear her confession once a week, although a curtain veils her from the gaze of men. The book is not about exciting events but absorbing in its exploration of a world so different from our own. Added 11/05/2015 by Heather

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