What Staff are Reading
Ever wondered what the staff at the Oamaru Library are reading? Check the list below to find out!
Rhoda Newton’s pick is ‘The Secret Diary of Charlotte Gatland’ by Patricia Charlotte Dennis (Adult Fiction, DEN)
The story of Charlotte Gatland – from her coming-of age in London, 1847, and adventures in the California gold rush, through forty years of tragedy, heartbreak, boredom, pioneering, romance, and hard work.
Although ‘The Secret Diary’ is published as fiction, it is written as a diary and based on facts – and perhaps even the lost diary of Charlotte herself.
History came alive for me as I read of society London during Queen Victoria’s reign, and early New Zealand at the time of the Maori wars.
Kerrie Gamble’s pick is ‘Skullsworn’ by Brain Staveley (Adult Fiction Rental, STA)
Pyrre Lakatur doesn't like the description skullsworn. It doesn't capture the beauty of her devotion to Ananshael, God of Death. And she's not an assassin, but a priestess. Or she will be, if she can pass her final trial. The problem isn't killing, as Pyrre has spent her life training for this. The problem is love. To pass the trial, she will have fourteen days to kill seven people detailed in an ancient song, including one true love, 'who will not come again'. However, Pyrre has never been in love, time is short, and if she fails she'll be given to her god. Pyrre's not afraid to die, but she hates to fail. So a month before the trial begins, she returns to the violent city of her birth, where she once offered an abusive father to the god. Here Pyrre hopes to find love - and end it with the edge of her knife.
Highly recommend, especially for fans of tough female characters who don’t always follow the rules.
Maclean Barker’s pick is ‘To the Bright Edge of the World’ by Eowyn Ivey (Adult Fiction Rental, IVE)
Set in Alaska in 1885, an era of explorers and prospectors. The US government has launched a military expedition to explore the upper reaches of the wild Wolverine River.
Meanwhile, left behind in Vancouver, the pregnant wife of the expedition leader explores her own destiny and presses against the rigid boundaries of social norms.
Everyone here carries burdens, both literal and metaphorical, and the story is woven gracefully together with mystical elements again in evidence.
Debbie Price-Ewen’s pick is ‘The Soul of an Octopus: a surprising exploration into the wonder of consciousness’ by Sy Montgomery (Adult Non Fiction/Animals and Pets, 594.56 MON)
Popular naturalist Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus, its intelligence and the remarkable connections it makes with people. Thanks to Sy’s amazing narrative style and the way in which she presents her findings, I read through this this book in next to no time and I’m now hunting around for more of her titles!
Totally compelling from beginning to end
Zuni Steer’s pick is ‘Before we visit the goddess’ by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Adult Fiction, DIV)
The daughter of a poor baker in rural Bengal, India, Sabitri yearns to get an education, but her family’s situation means college is an impossible dream. Then an influential woman from Kolkata takes Sabitri under her wing, but her generosity soon proves dangerous after the girl makes a single, unforgivable misstep. Years later, Sabitri’s own daughter, Bela, haunted by her mother’s choices, flees abroad with her political refugee lover—but the America she finds is vastly different from the country she’d imagined. As the marriage crumbles and Bela is forced to forge her own path, she unwittingly imprints her own child, Tara, with indelible lessons about freedom, heartbreak, and loyalty that will take a lifetime to unravel.
Emotional and inventive, quite a lonely story.
Jean Rivett’s pick is ‘The Summer before the War’ by Helen Simonson (Adult Fiction, SIM)
Set in the small Sussex coastal town of Rye this is a “character-filled” story. Beneath the story of a community leading up to the outbreak of the Great War the author has painted a vivid picture of the prejudices and class hierarchy of the time. Attitudes to anyone bold enough to choose to live, even slightly, outside the bounds of “polite” society struggle against ostracism and to live a life of self-supporting independence is a battle for any woman without private means.
Fiona Kerr’s pick is ‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman (Adult Fiction Rental, ALD)
Imagine that women have the ability to send electricity from their fingers causing pain and even death of men. As a result, the balance of power between genders is shifted. This novel is a cleverly written example of a dystopian world which does not seem far removed from current realities.
Lynley Caldwell’s pick is ‘Cat Shaming’ by Pedro Andrade (Adult Non Fiction/Animals and Pets, 636.8 AND)
What happens when your cat makes a mistake like ruining something valuable or going outside the litter box? You can't ground or take away their allowance when your cat gets in trouble. So what is the next best thing? Cat Shaming! Cat Shaming is a hilarious collection of photos from owners who express their frustration when their furry best friend does something bad.
This is a delightful book of photographs of the many naughty things that cats get up to if given half a chance! A light and funny book which gives a smile!