February 2019 at Jeffreys Books
Linda and the Jeffreys Team
If your book club is looking for new members, we're happy to put the word out in our newsletter or on our noticeboard. Also, if your book club would like some recommendations, we're always happy to suggest books that we think suit discussion or books that other clubs are raving about.
Last Tuesday Book Club (Fiction)
White Houses – Amy Bloom
White Houses is a sensuous account of hidden love in the White House in 1930s and 1940s America, from a master storyteller at the height of her powers.
In 1933, President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt took up residence in the White House. With them went celebrated journalist Lorena Hickok – Hick to friends – a straight-talking reporter from South Dakota, whose passionate relationship with the idealistic, patrician first lady would shape their lives.
Told by the indomitable Hick, White Houses is the story of Eleanor and Hick's hidden love, and of Hick's unlikely journey from her dirt-poor childhood to the centre of privilege and power. Filled with fascinating back-room politics, the secrets and scandals of the era, and exploring the potency of enduring love, it is an imaginative tour-de-force from a writer of extraordinary and exuberant talent.
In-store on Tuesday 26 February at 7 pm. Contact us to reserve your place on 9509 5133.
Bridge of Clay – Markus Zusak
The Dunbar boys bring each other up in a house run by their own rules. A family of ramshackle tragedy – their mother is dead, their father gone – they love, fight and learn to reckon with the adult world. It is Clay, the quiet one, who will build a bridge; for his family, for his past, for his sins. He builds a bridge to transcend humanness. To survive. A miracle and nothing less.
Markus Zusak makes his long-awaited return with a profoundly heartfelt and inventive novel about a family held together by stories, and a young life caught in the current: a boy in search of greatness, as a cure for a painful past.
Tuesday 26 February at 10:30 am. Contact us to reserve your place on 9509 5133.
I've started the year working in a new group. I was so excited (imagine a Year 7 student suddenly let loose with the big kids and brimming with enthusiasm). But I now realise there is a whole new language to be learnt. I don't remember it being so hard to communicate before. People don't understand my humour, they seem alarmed each time I open my mouth and simple comments require excessive explanations. Is it me?
Dear Tongue Tied,
I don't know what to say. I fear that whatever I say will be misconstrued, misquoted and potentially used against me (probably in a court of law).
Please don't take this the wrong way (you're already concerned/paranoid enough) but is it a generational thing? ;-) Or maybe you're trying too hard to impress them and that would explain the meerkat looks you're getting each time you open your mouth.
There are sources to help improve communication or there are other book suggestions that I've pictured here and will not discuss (interpret as you wish).
Yours with tongue in cheek,
PS. If this reply has confused, baffled or misled you in any way possible – I'm not responsible. It is you, after all.
At the Wolf's Table – Rosella Postorino
At the Wolf's Table is the internationally bestselling novel based on the untold true story of the women conscripted to be Hitler's food tasters.
"They called it the Wolfsschanze, the Wolf's Lair. 'Wolf' was his nickname. As hapless as Little Red Riding Hood, I had ended up in his belly. A legion of hunters was out looking for him, and to get him in their grips they would gladly slay me as well."
Germany, 1943: Twenty-six-year-old Rosa Sauer's parents are gone, and her husband Gregor is far away, fighting on the front lines of WWII. Impoverished and alone, she makes the fateful decision to leave war-torn Berlin to live with her in-laws in the countryside, thinking she'll find refuge there. But one morning, the SS come to tell her she has been conscripted to be one of Hitler's tasters: twice a day, she and nine other women go to his secret headquarters, the Wolf's Lair, to eat his meals before he does. Forced to eat what might kill them, the tasters begin to divide into The Fanatics, those loyal to Hitler, and the women like Rosa who insist they aren't Nazis, even as they risk their lives every day for Hitler's.
The Rosie Result (Rosie #3) – Graeme Simsion
"I was standing on one leg shucking oysters when the problems began..."
Don and Rosie are back in Melbourne after a decade in New York, and they're about to face their most important project. Their son, Hudson, is having trouble at school – his teachers say he isn't fitting in with the other kids. Meanwhile, Rosie is battling Judas at work, and Don is in hot water after the Genetics Lecture Outrage. The life-contentment graph, recently at its highest point, is curving downwards.
For Don Tillman, geneticist and World's Best Problem-Solver, learning to be a good parent as well as a good partner will require the help of friends old and new. It will mean letting Hudson make his way in the world, and grappling with awkward truths about his own identity. And opening a cocktail bar.
Hilarious and thought-provoking, with a brilliant cast of characters and an ending that will have readers cheering for joy, The Rosie Result is the triumphant final installment of the internationally bestselling series that began with The Rosie Project.
Now a critically acclaimed film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan, co-written by Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan, and directed by Paul Dano. The setting is Great Falls, Montana, where the Rockies end and where, in 1960, the promise of good times seems as limitless as the sweep of the prairies beyond. This is where the Brinson family hopes to find a better life. Instead, sixteen-year-old Joe Brinson watches his parents discover the limits of their marriage and, at the same time, the unexpected depths of dignity and courage that remain even when love dies.
Zebra and Other Stories – Debra Adelaide
"The PM stretched out a hand. The black and white head extended, and as the zebra walked down the ramp and into the morning, her first in her new land, and a particularly bright morning as well, the PM realised that Mr Beamish was a marvel, a genius. A stranger, half a world, a continent, away, and yet he knew that the zebra was exactly what she wanted and needed." Tantalising, poignant, wry and just a little fantastical, this subversive collection of short fiction – and one singular novella – from bestselling author Debra Adelaide reminds us what twists of fate may be lurking just beneath the surface of the everyday.
The Last – Hanna Jameson
"Breaking: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington. Breaking: London hit, thousands feared dead. Breaking: Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm."
Jon Keller was on a trip to Switzerland when the world ended. More than anything, he wishes he hadn't ignored his wife Nadia's last message. Twenty people remain in Jon's hotel. Far from the nearest city, they wait, they survive. Then one day, the body of a girl is found. It's clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer...
As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what happens if the killer doesn't want to be found?
The Fast 800 – Dr Michael Mosley
Six years ago, Dr Michael Mosley started a health revolution with The Fast Diet, telling the world about the incredible power of intermittent fasting. In this book, he brings together all the latest science (including a new approach: Time Restricted Eating) to create an easy-to-follow programme.
Recent studies have shown that 800 calories is the magic number when it comes to successful dieting – it’s an amount high enough to be manageable but low enough to speed weight loss and trigger a range of desirable metabolic changes.
Depending on your goals, you can choose how intensively you want to do the programme: how many 800-calorie days to include each week, and how to adjust these as you progress. Contains delicious, low-carb recipes and menu plans by Dr Clare Bailey.
Troll Hunting – Ginger Gorman
In 2013, journalist Ginger Gorman was trolled online. She received scores of hateful tweets, including a death threat, and a picture of Ginger, heavily pregnant and alongside her husband and two-and-half year old daughter, appeared on a fascist website. Understandably she was terrified, but once the attack subsided, she found herself curious. Who were these trolls? How and why did they coordinate such an attack? And how does someone fight back against a troll? Over the next five years, Gorman spoke to psychologists, trolling victims, law enforcement, academics and, most importantly, the trolls themselves, embedding herself into their online communities and their psyches in ways she had never anticipated. What she discovered was both profoundly shocking and fascinating.
Say Hello – Carly Findlay
A forthright, honest and rousingly brave memoir from a woman who, due to a rare skin condition, has to live with a highly visible different appearance. What she has to live with, and what she confronts on a day-to-day basis, will have you cheering for her and her courage. Say hello to Carly.
"In fairy tales, the characters who look different are often cast as the villain or monsters. It's only when they shed their unconventional skin that they are seen as 'good' or less frightening. There are very few stories where the character that looks different is the hero of the story...I've been the hero of my story – telling it on my own terms, proud about my facial difference and disability, not wanting a cure for my rare, severe and sometimes confronting skin condition, and knowing that I am beautiful even though I don't have beauty privilege." This bold, brave and moving memoir by award-winning writer and appearance activist Carly Findlay will challenge all your assumptions and beliefs about what it is like to have a visibly different appearance. Hers is both a memoir and manifesto on disability and appearance diversity issues.
Gardens of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) – Anne Vale
Anne is a writer, garden historian, garden photographer, public speaker, a past chair of the Australian Garden History Society’s Victorian branch, and a retired university lecturer.
Anne has expertly woven together the stories of Trust gardens in Victoria by using the rich collection of primary sources held by the Trust and by drawing on the wider scholarly community to which she belongs. The narrative of the book makes use of gardens as sites linking people and cultures across various time frames and places. Connections extend out into the community, with public and private plant material and collections shared and celebrated between multiple generations, cultures and locations. The book also draws on the role of our volunteers in the ongoing custodianship of our historic gardens and landscapes.
Advanced Love – Ari Seth Cohen
From the creator of the popular blog Advanced Style, photographer Ari Seth Cohen's Advanced Love collects affectionate portraits of subjects who prove that love is bound by neither the constraints of age or time. The book includes 40 profiles of inspiring couples from around the world, and more than 200 photos. The profiles explore themes of love and companionship through firsthand insight from the subjects; they share their stories of falling in love, what they have learned after decades of partnership and valuable relationship advice. Advanced Love is a touching look at the often-ignored partnerships of the senior set. Filled with couples who have built their lives together, it's an indispensable trove of wisdom on love and the lessons they have learned along the way.
Threads of Life – Clare Hunter
For the mothers of the disappeared in 1970s Argentina, protest was difficult. Every Thursday they marched in front of government buildings wearing headscarves embroidered with the names of their lost children. Through sewing, they found a way to campaign. In Tudor England Mary, Queen of Scots was under house arrest and her letters were censored, so she sewed secret treason into her needlework to communicate with the world outside.
From the political propaganda of the Bayeux Tapestry and First World War soldiers with PTSD, to the maps sewn by schoolgirls in the New World, Threads of Life stretches from medieval France to contemporary Mexico, from a POW camp in Singapore to a family attic in Scotland. It is a chronicle of identity, protest, memory, power and politics told through the stories of the men and women, over centuries and across continents, who have used the language of sewing to make their voices heard, even in the most desperate of circumstances.
In an eloquent blend of history and memoir, Threads of Life is an evocative and moving book about the need we all have to tell our story.
Featured Young Adult
The Dreamers – Karen Thompson Walker
One night in an isolated college town in the hills of southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep – and doesn't wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster.
Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams – but of what?
Written in luminous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking and beautiful novel, startling and provocative, about the possibilities contained within a human life – if only we are awakened to them.
On The Come Up – Angie Thomas
The highly anticipated second novel from one of the literary voices of a generation. The award-winning author of The Hate U Give returns with a powerful story about hip hop, freedom of speech and fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you. Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But when her first song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, Bri finds herself at the centre of controversy and portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. And with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it – she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be. Inspired by Angie’s mom losing her job when Angie was a teenager, On the Come Up sheds light on child poverty in the US.
Highway Bodies – Alison Evans
Bodies on the TV, explosions, barriers and people fleeing. No access to social media. And a dad who'll suddenly bite your head off – literally. These teens have to learn a new resilience...
Members of a band wield weapons instead of instruments. A pair of siblings find there's only so much you can joke about, when the menace is this strong. And a couple find depth among the chaos. Highway Bodies is a unique zombie apocalypse story featuring a range of queer and gender non-conforming teens who have lost their families and friends and can only rely upon each other.
Happy Girl Lucky (The Valentines #1) – Holly Smale
Introducing the Valentines. Fame – it runs in the family! Sisters Hope, Faith and Mercy have everything: fame, success, money and beauty. But what Hope wants most of all is love, and it doesn't matter how far she has to go to find it. Except real-life isn't like the movies. Even if you're a Valentine...Happy Girl Lucky is the first hilarious, heart-warming book in The Valentines series. From Holly Smale, the internationally bestselling author of Geek Girl.
Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott (with Mikki Daughtry & Tobias Iaconis)
In this moving story, perfect for fans of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication – they can't get within five feet of each other without risking their lives. Can you love someone you can never touch?
Stella Grant likes to be in control – even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardise the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.
The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn't care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he'll turn eighteen and then he'll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.
But suddenly six feet doesn't feel like safety. It feels like punishment. Soon to be a major motion picture in March 2019.
Twin Spin – Adam Cece
"It turns out the worst thing about having an identical twin sister is when they swap places with you, also known as stealing your identity. But of course, no one would ever be evil or crazy enough to think they could get away with that. Or so I thought." Anna and Steph couldn't be more different. Anna is a super-organised junior TV reporter, and Steph is an impulsive rap artist, obsessed with boy-band, Odd Socks. But when they're forced to pretend to be each other for a week...EVERYTHING goes into a spin.
Siege (Special Forces Cadets #1) – Chris Ryan
Tough enough? Smart enough? Max Johnson will require all his skills just to stay alive as a Special Forces Cadet...
A top-secret government programme needs a team of undercover military operators. They must have awesome levels of determination, endurance and fitness. They must be able to think on their feet. The recruits undergo the most rigorous and testing selection process the modern military can devise. And in order to operate in circumstances where adult forces would be compromised, the recruits must be under sixteen. Only a few are tough enough and smart enough to make it...And once out in the field, they will require all their skills just to stay alive. Which is what happens when Max, Abby, Lukas, Jack and Sami are sent into an armed siege in an inner-city school...
Dog Runner – Bren MacDibble
From the author of the multi-award-winning and bestselling How To Bee comes an intense and thrilling new adventure.
"'We're gonna starve if we stay here,' Emery said. 'If we're gonna go, best go now.' And he said it like going was something easy. Like all we have to do is walk away."
Ella and her brother Emery are alone in a city that's starving to death. If they are going to survive, they must get away, upcountry, to find Emery's mum. But how can two kids travel such big distances across a dry, barren and dangerous landscape? Well, when you've got five big doggos and a dry-land dogsled, the answer is you go mushing. But when Emery is injured, Ella must find a way to navigate them through rough terrain and even rougher encounters with desperate people...
Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry – Neil deGrasse Tyson; Gregory Mone
Neil deGrasse Tyson has become one of the most recognisable and respected figures in science, beloved to curious kids. In this adaptation of his #1 New York Times-bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Tyson has – for the first time – served up the universe in a handy, portable package designed specifically for young listeners.
From the difference between a star and a supernova to what matter and dark matter really are, Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry will turn busy kids into budding experts on the fundamental rules and unknowns of our universe. Extra explanations make accessible even the trickiest concepts, including questions around the nature of space and time. Along the way, Tyson's characteristic wit ensures a journey packed with fun. Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry introduces young listeners to an exciting field and the principles of scientific inquiry, fostering the cosmic perspective that outer space inspires in all of us.
What's so special about animal skeletons? Find out in Bones, an inside look at the animal kingdom. How are animals able to bite, run, jump and fly? What special adaptions have they developed over time? Bones takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the biological history of the animal kingdom, with sections focusing on different animal abilities – biting, flying, jaws, tails and more – explaining how their amazing bodies allow them to do so many different things.
Stella the Unstoppable and the Talent Show Fiasco – Richard Newsome
Hi! I’m Stella and yes, I’ll admit it. I sprayed the class guinea pig with fire extinguisher foam (who knew those things actually worked?). Now I’ve been forced to enter the school talent show as punishment. You know who usually wins? My arch rival, Ricky-Lee Ventura, who has the voice of an angel. But wait! If I can get help from my (sort of crazy) dog and my (kind of odd) friends, I have a brilliant idea…
Warning: this book is probably going to make you laugh till you cry. Yes. No. Really.
Fish Kid and the Lizard Ninja – Kylie Howarth
There's a new superhero on the block, with super fishy powers. Faster than a speeding mullet...stronger than a bull shark...it's Fish Kid! Slugging down slimy sea cucumbers and jellyfish is enough to make anyone vomit. BLAAGH!! Will Bodhi (aka Fish Kid) sniff out Emely's revolting prank before it's too late? Or will he land himself in deep, shark-infested waters? Be sure to take a deep breath before you dive into this hilarious ocean-packed adventure.
Oops, I've Done It Again (Blabbermouth #1) – Chrissie Perry
Blabbermouth = a person who talks too much = Amelie Anderson. Amelie is a blabbermouth. She's not a bad kid, she's just so bubbly that sometimes words fizz right out of her mouth! And then things go wrong. Terribly wrong. But she's determined to fix all that. It's time for a reputation makeover! This starts a new series for independent readers.
Featured Children's Picture Books
Dippy's Big Day Out – Jackie French; Ben Smith Whatley (Illus.) & Bruce Whatley (Illus.)
The setting is Australia, 100,000 years ago, where a VERY LARGE wombat is seen sleeping and most probably scratching, as well. This is where it all began. Dippy is a sweet, gentle wombat who lived many many thousands of years ago. He also happens to be a BIG wombat, one the size of a minibus; a diprotodon from 100,000 years ago, and his friends include dinosaurs, thylacines and other megafauna. All Dippy wants is to discover a place to sleep where his snoring won't disturb his friends, plus delicious food to eat. But where will he find them?
Lola Dutch When I Grow Up – Kenneth Wright; Sarah Jane Wright (Illus.)
Lola Dutch is always bursting with grand plans – so of course she has many ideas for what she wants to be when she grows up. She could be a magnificent performer...or a daring inventor...or a brilliant botanist...there are exciting ideas all around. But Lola is too excited – she wants to try EVERYTHING. How will she ever decide what she is destined to become? The curious and creative Lola Dutch is inspired to imagine every way to explore the wonder of her world. And she doesn't have to wait until she grows up.
Help a jumpy little tree frog find his way safely through the jungle in this noisy interactive picture book! Felix is lost. The jungle can be a scary place for a tiny tree frog, and all the strange noises are making him just a little bit jumpy...It's time to find Felix a safe place to sleep...and might there be someone special to snuggle him down for the night?
The House on the Mountain – Ella Halcombe; David Cox (Illus.)
The powerful story of a family who lose their home in a bushfire and their journey of recovery – remembering Black Saturday.
"There is a fire coming, and we need to move quickly. Mum and Dad start packing bags, grabbing woollen blankets, the first-aid kit, torches and then the photo albums. Dad puts Ruby on her lead and ties her up near the back door. My chest feels hollow, like a birdcage."
Atmospheric and intensely moving, this is the story of a family experiencing a bushfire, its devastating aftermath and the long process of healing and rebuilding.