Staff Picks

If you have read something you've really enjoyed, no doubt others will too. Please share your review with us - we'd love to pass it on as a recommendation.

Email us the book title, author, short story outline and what you loved about it.

All reviews will be read by the library, and edited if necessary, before being published.

FB FSP American dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they'll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia's husband's tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier's reach doesn't extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?


FB FSP Thousand doors of January by Alix Harrow 

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Read an excerpt


FB FSP Old bones Nora Kelly, a young, successful curator at the Santa Fe Archaeological Institute, is approached by historian Clive Benton with the opportunity to lead an expedition unlike any other. It begins with the story of the ill-fated Donner Party, who became permanently lodged in the American consciousness in the winter of 1847, when the first skeletonized survivors of the party stumbled out of the California mountains, replete with tales of courage, resourcefulness, bad luck, murder, and barbarism. Nora agrees to lead the expedition, and with her group, venture into the Sierra Nevada in search of the camp. Soon, they learn that the discovery of the camp is just the tip of the iceberg.
"An easy but chilling read which left me wanting to research the ill-fated Donner Party and their incredible story"--Penelope


FB FSP Two girls down

Jamie Brandt was not a bad mother. Later she would tell that to anyone who would listen: police, reporters, lawyers, her parents, her boyfriend, her dealer, the new bartender with the knuckle tattoos at Schultz’s, the investigator from California and her partner, and her own reflection in the bathroom mirror, right before cracking her forehead on the sink’s edge and passing out from the cocktail of pain, grief, and fear.

When two sisters disappear from a parking lot while their mother is in Kmart, the devastated family hires bounty hunter Alice Vega, who then enlists the help of disgraced former cop, Max Caplan. With little to go on, Vega and Cap will go to extraordinary lengths to untangle a dangerous web of lies, false leads, and complex relationships before time runs out.


FB FSP When all is said

If you had to pick five people to sum up your life, who would they be? If you were to raise a glass to each of them, what would you say? And what would you learn about yourself, when all is said and done?

This is the story of Maurice Hannigan, who, over the course of a Saturday night in June, orders five different drinks at the Rainford House Hotel. With each he toasts a person vital to him. And through these people, the ones who left him behind, he tells the story of his own life, with all its regrets and feuds, loves and triumphs.

"An emotional but heartwarming story"--Julie.


FB post FSP The Nancys A schoolgirl, her uncle and his boyfriend have two weeks to solve a murder in a small town style forgot…
Tippy is in love with her uncle's old Nancy Drew books, especially the early ones where Nancy was sixteen and did whatever she wanted. She wants to be Nancy and is desperate to solve a real mystery. When her teacher's body is found beside Riverstone's only traffic light, Tippy's moment has arrived. She and her minders form The Nancys, a secret amateur detective club.


FB FSP The Homestead girls After her teenage daughter Mia falls in with the wrong crowd, Dr Billie Green decides it's time to return home to far western NSW. When an opportunity to join the Flying Doctor Service comes along, she jumps at the chance.

Just out of town, grazier Soretta Byrnes has been struggling to make ends meet and has opened her homestead to boarders. Billie, Mia and Daphne decide to move in and are soon joined by eccentric eighty-year-old Lorna Lamerton.

The unlikely housemates are soon offering each other frank advice and staunch support as they tackle medical emergencies, romantic adventures and the challenges of growing up and getting older. But when one of their lives is threatened, the strong friendship they have forged will face the ultimate test...

Cilkas journey4

The sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, based on a true story of love and resilience.
In 1942 Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival. The novel is based on the testimony of Lale Sokolov, the Auschwitz tattooist, who called Cilka ‘the bravest person I ever met’.

"Cilka's journey is it's own story and another enjoyable novel by Heather Morris. To have these stories told in such an easily read format is so valuable."--Julie



More than just another example of cute kittens on camera, this documentary about the cats of Istanbul and the people who watch out for them exudes charm and insight that a million YouTube videos cannot match. (NZIFF)

For thousands of years they’ve wandered in and out of people’s lives, becoming an essential part of the communities that make the city so rich. Claiming no owners, these animals live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame – and they bring joy and purpose to those people they choose to adopt.

"About cats and people and beautiful scenery of Istanbul - a delight"--Lorraine, library manager.


FB FSP How to make...

"This is a teen book any adult will enjoy. Heartbreaking but stunning, and beautifully written"--Julie (Youth Librarian)

Here is what happens when your mother dies.
It’s the brightest day of summer and it’s dark outside. It’s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart. 
That’s how it feels for Tiger. It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger’s mother dies. And now it’s Tiger, alone.
Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.


The testaments by Margaret Atwood More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.
"This will not ruin your TV series experience! An excellent sequel"--Julie.


FSP TVDisplay Lock every door

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents. These are the only rules for Jules Larson's new job as apartment sitter for an elusive resident of the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan's most high-profile private buildings and home to the super rich and famous. Recently heartbroken and practically homeless, Jules accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind. The catch: she may not live long enough to enjoy it…

"Loved it - an easy read that kept me intrigued and had me guessing at plausible reasons for strange going ons!"--Penelope


The Shlley Bay ladies swimming circle Sophie Green2 In the waters of Shelly Bay, four women find each other. They will survive bluebottle stings and heartbreak; they will laugh so hard they swallow water, and they will plunge their tears into the ocean's salt. They will find solace and companionship, and learn that love takes many forms. Most of all, they will cherish their friendship, each and every day.


Hello my name is May by Rosalind Stopps May is in a care home after her stroke. She can’t speak and if she tries to point, her arms swing in wild directions. She is sharp, quick and funny but only her daughter Jenny sees this, and Jackie, a new friend at the home. When May discovers that someone very familiar, from long ago, is living in the room opposite hers she's haunted by scenes from her earlier life, when she was a prisoner of her husband’s unpredictable rages. And as Bill charms his way through the nursing home, he focuses his romantic attention on Jackie, while all May can do is watch.


Sleeping beauties Stephen King In a future so real, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they awaken, and the gauze wrapping their bodies disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. Mysterious Evie, however, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping she a medical anomaly, or something worse?
"A horror-tinged realistic fantasy that imagines what could happen if most of the women of the world fell asleep, leaving men to run amok on their own!"


One way by S J Morden


It's the dawn of a new era - and we're ready to colonize Mars. But the company that's been contracted to construct a new Mars base, has made promises they can't fulfill and is desperate enough to cut corners. The first thing to go is the automation. Then they'll have to deal with is the eight killer, eight possible victims, no way home!
"A book that keeps you thinking long after you have closed the cover"--Tania.


FB Tattooist of Auschwitz 23 August
After many positive recommendations from our public, the staff all read The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, and were not disappointed. Despite the subject for this novel, this is an engaging story that softens the harsh reality of its setting for anyone to read. Heather's follow up novel 'Cilka's Journey' is due out soon - email us your name to reserve it.


FB My sister the serial killer

16 August
Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. When Ayoola sets her sights on a doctor Korede likes and works with at the hospital, she must decide just how willing she is to protect her sister... 

Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, deadly debut is as fun as it is frightening!


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