Staff's Favourite Reads - July 2021

Our lovely team are back with some more reviews and recommendations! Here’s what kept them all engrossed throughout the month of July.

Click here to see June’s list

My Pear Shaped Life by Carmel Harrington

Chosen by Jenny, Customer Experience Officer

Greta has always been overweight even as a young child. Growing up in a household of fitness fanatics hasn’t helped her self-esteem one bit. Acting has always been her one true love and over the years she has perfected the role of the funny, fat, girl, hiding her shame and insecurities behind a big smile and cheerful laugh. However, as Greta’s addiction to sleeping pills increases her carefully crafted façade begins to slip. She is constantly rejected for acting jobs despite nailing the audition each time and her life begins to spiral out of control. She almost ends up losing everything. Luckily her supportive and non-judgemental Uncle Ray steps up and stages an intervention that will ultimately change and save both of their lives.

I loved this book and read it over the course of one weekend. It’s for anyone who enjoys books about romance, realisation and acceptance as well as addiction and conflict.

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Chosen by Courtney, Branch Manager

Beth O’Leary is the queen of real life romance novels. While there is always a fairytale aspect to her novels there is more importantly a heartbreaking and realistic look at love in real life. And this is no truer than in her new book The Road Trip.

Following the story of Addie and Dylan as they find themselves on a road trip together after a devastating break up 18 months ago. The story not only alternates between the two perspectives but also between the Now and Then. A beautifully crafted story of not only romantic love, but sisterly love and the love of brothers from other mothers. I loved everything about this book. Devoured it in two days, its a must read.

Digging Up Dirt by Pamela Hart

Chosen by Michelle, Information Services Coordinator

Poppy McGowan, a researcher for ABC Children’s TV, is horrified when renovators discover bones under her “fixer-upper” home in Sydney. Things go from bad to worse, when an archaeologist Dr Julianne Weaver, and Poppy’s arch nemesis, called on to assess the bones, is then found murdered on site! Which makes Poppy and Julieanne’s recent boyfriend, the key suspects!

Poppy uses her media savvy and connections to not only help solve the murder but to also expose other criminal activities around the complicated cases of blackmarket relics and political party pre-selection runs, all whilst juggling renovations, unexpected in front of the camera experiences and her usual hectic workload.

“Digging Up Dirt” is the first in a brand-new series, just launched by Pamela Hart, an Australian author who has also written historical fiction – including The Charleston Scandal. No news yet on when book two will be published.

And I hope book two is published soon. This was a delightful read (or in my case, listen). It was amusing, insightful, interesting, you became engaged with the characters, and I was impressed that it didn’t drop into cliché with the side stories of political corruption and black marketeering.
“Digging Up Dirt” is available in print, and in ebook and eaudiobook from Borrowbox and I highly recommend that you check it out soon.

Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan

Chosen by Janine, Customer Experience Officer

It was called “The Titanic of the South.” The luxury steamship Pulaski sank in 1838 with Savannah’s elite on board; through time, their fates were forgotten–until the wreck was found, and now their story is finally being told.

When Everly Winthrop being asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski, she is shocked. The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly cannot resist the opportunity to try to solve some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the devastating night of its sinking.

Everly’s research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together, and the extraordinary stories of two women from this family: a known survivor, Augusta Longstreet, and her niece, Lilly Forsyth, who was never found, along with her child. These aristocratic women were part of Savannah’s society, but when the ship exploded, each was faced with difficult and heartbreaking decisions.

This is a moving and powerful exploration of what women will do to endure in the face of tragedy, the role fate plays, and the myriad ways we survive the surviving.

Fascinating story, my first by this author. It sent me down the Google route to discover more about the Pulaski.It’s a dual timeline novel featuring such strong women fighting against the odds, really enjoyed it and will read more by this author.

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz

Chosen by Sue Walters, Team Leader

A deceptively simple premise – it is not just another novel about a dead girl!

Alice Lee arrives in New York with some cash and a stolen camera looking for a fresh start. One month later she is dead. Ruby Jones is also starting over in New York and if they had met under other circumstances, they may have been friends.

A devastating crime mystery which takes us through the final days of Alice and the time that follows which she shares with Ruby. Sadly realistic and all too common – a powerful and unusual debut novel.