Here are the Library team’s top recommendations
You need to know by Nicola Moriarty
I read this crime/mystery thriller in one sitting which is no mean feat when you are feverish and feeling like you’ve been hit by a Lindsay Fox truck post AstraZeneca vaccine. This page turner kept me guessing and interested til the final page.
It is essentially a family drama about the secrets we keep, the lies we tell and the truths that cannot be kept hidden.
The holidays are here. The extended family has gathered. The cars are packed and the convoy sets off. The family cottage is a few hours’ drive – but not everyone will live to see it …
For Jill, her three sons, their wives and children, a terrifying road crash will tear apart their family.
The crash will be an accident but the shattering that follows is even more explosive than the crash itself. Secrets will be exposed and loyalties tested.
Will any of them survive it?
Library Call Number: CRI F MORI
The girl in the walls by A.J Gnuse
A suspenseful coming-of-age novel about an orphan hiding within the walls of her former family home—and about what it means to be truly seen after becoming lost in life.
Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her, before they were taken from her in a car crash. And home is where you stay, no matter what.
Eddie is a teenager trying to forget about the girl he sometimes sees out of the corner of his eye. But when his impulsive older brother also senses her, they are faced with the question of how to get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists. And as they try to cast her out, they unwittingly bring an unexpected and far more real threat to their doorstep.
Girl in the Walls is a novel about carrying on through grief, forging unconventional friendships, and realising, little by little, that we don’t need to fear what we do not understand.
Library Call Number: CRI F GNUS
Lines to the horizon by various Australian writers
From Gold Coast surf culture to the life and death relationships of humans to the sea; from surf travel in Mexico to Taj Burrow’s final campaign in Fiji, this collection features six authors writing about surf, and the ocean, in six very different ways.
Their stories are reverential, energetic and mystical and between them cover thousands of kilometres of coastline, at home and away.
Tim Winton says, ‘Surfing is not just a subculture, it is culture, and here’s proof’.
Library Call number SHO F AUS
The code breaker by Walter Isaacson
The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.
When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback titled The Double Helix on her bed. She put it aside, thinking it was one of those detective tales she loved. When she read it on a rainy Saturday, she discovered she was right, in a way. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the code of life. Even though her high school counsellor told her girls didn’t become scientists, she decided she would.
Driven to understand how nature works and to turn discoveries into inventions, she would help to make what the book’s author, James Watson, told her was the most important biological advance since his co-discovery of the structure of DNA. She and her collaborators turned a curiosity of nature into an invention that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions.
The development of CRISPR and the race to create vaccines for coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation revolution. The past half-century has been a digital age, based on the microchip, computer, and internet. Now we are entering a life-science revolution. Children who study digital coding will be joined by those who study genetic code.
Should we use our new evolution-hacking powers to make us less susceptible to viruses? What a wonderful boon that would be! And what about preventing depression? Hmmm…Should we allow parents, if they can afford it, to enhance the height or muscles or IQ of their kids?
After helping to discover CRISPR, Doudna became a leader in wrestling with these moral issues and, with her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in 2020. Her story is a thrilling detective tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species.
Library Call number 576.5 ISA
Return to Uluru – by Mark McKenna
When Mark McKenna set out to write a history of the centre of Australia, he had no idea what he would discover. One event in 1934 – the shooting at Uluru of Aboriginal man Yokunnuna by white policeman Bill McKinnon, and subsequent Commonwealth inquiry – stood out as a mirror of racial politics in the Northern Territory at the time.
But then, through speaking with the families of both killer and victim, McKenna unearthed new evidence that transformed the historical record and the meaning of the event for today. As he explains, ‘Every thread of the story connected to the present in surprising ways.’ In a sequence of powerful revelations, McKenna explores what truth-telling and reconciliation look like in practice.
Return to Uluru brings a cold case to life. It speaks directly to the Black Lives Matter movement, but is completely Australian. Recalling Chloe Hooper’s The Tall Man, it is superbly written, moving, and full of astonishing, unexpected twists. Ultimately it is a story of recognition and return, which goes to the very heart of the country. At the centre of it all is Uluru, the sacred site where paths fatefully converged.
Library Call number 305.8 MCK
Moxie – by Jennifer Mathieu
A timely book that looks at sexism, consent and the power of revolution. A highly recommended read for boys, girls and adults.
When an unlikely teenager stands up to sexism in her high school she unwittingly starts a feminist revolution that shakes her whole town. It’s time to fight like a girl!
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her high school teachers who think the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv’s mum was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates Moxie, a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates.
She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond and spread the Moxie message. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realises that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
Library Call number F MATH
Car Crash – by Lech Blaine
My pick of the month.
What is it like to survive a crash that kills your best friends? How do you move on and deal with the grief and the aftermath when you are just 17 years old?
From an exceptional debut writer comes a stunning memoir about grief, perseverance and courage.
Lech Blaine was in Year 12 when he walked away without a scratch from a car crash that killed three of his friends and left two in comas.
On a May night in 2009, seven boys in Toowoomba, Queensland, piled into a car. Five were inside the car, two in the boot. They never arrived at their intended destination only a 10 minute drive away. The driver made a routine error, leading to a head-on collision.
In the aftermath, rumours spread about the cause of the crash including talk of speeding, drink-driving and drugs. There was intense scrutiny from the media and police. Lech used alcohol to numb his grief and social media to show stoicism, while secretly spiralling towards depression and disgrace.
Car Crash is a riveting account of family, friendship, grief and love after tragedy. In a country where class and sport dominate, and car crashes compete with floods and pandemics for headlines, our connection with others is what propels us on.
Heartbreaking and darkly hilarious, Car Crash is a story for everyone. I would encourage every student of driving age and every parent to read this book.
Library Call number BIO 363.125 BL