Staff's Favourite Reads - June 2021

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

Click here to see May’s list.

The 24 Hour Cafe by Libby Page

Chosen by Jenny, Customer Experience Officer

This story all unfolds all in the space of 24 hours at Stella’s, the café that never sleeps. Mona and Hannah are best friends who waitress at the café. Mona is a talented dancer and Hannah a singer. Both are still looking for their big break but as both are approaching 30 are starting to believe it may never come.

They both love their job at Stella’s, the people they meet and the small kindnesses exchanged but they also know it can’t be forever.

We learn little bit about the customers coming into the café over the 24 hours, the heartbroken, the lost and the lonely. The night owls, the early risers and the workaholics. Also just people who want to escape their lives for a moment or two. We also learn how the once unbreakable bond between the two friends has been sorely tested over the last year and now threatens to derail their friendship.

Can their friendship, the one thing both girls have depended on for so long survive or will it be lost forever?

This is a terrific story of female friendship and kindness. I can’t wait to read more from her, next on my list will be her debut novel ‘The Lido”. I also love Libby Page because at 16 she wrote and illustrated a book calle ‘Love Pink” to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.

I give this one 5 stars!

Leonard And Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession

Chosen by Michelle, Information Services Coordinator

Leonard and Hungry Paul are two everyday men in their thirties, navigating the world of family, work, relationships and their futures, whilst playing board games and living with their parents.  They work hard, are kind and considerate, although social awkward, they are well intentioned.  Life is average, but is about to change for them both.

The author has done an excellent job of making average people both interesting and appealing. As a reader, you want them to be happy and they generally are, but you want good things for the good people they are. The writing is honest, and the internal commentary is insightful and often dry and witty.

It was an easy read and engaging in a low-key way.  It is available in print and in e-audiobook from Borrowbox.

Falling by T.J. Newman

Chosen by Janine, Customer Experience Officer

You just boarded a flight to New York. There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard. What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die. The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane. Enjoy the flight.

This book had me totally hooked from beginning to end! Imagine that poor pilot being given the choice of crashing the plane or seeing his family killed – an impossible choice. The details regarding the flight crew and their protocols were very informative and I read this book like I was watching a movie in my head. If you like edge of your seat thrillers you will really enjoy this book.

Not surprisingly the film rights have already been acquired! Can’t wait to see it.

One Hundred Days by Alice Pung

Chosen by Sue, Team Leader

This is the latest book by award winning Melbourne writer, Alice Pung. It is a tense and claustrophobic journey from the perspective of Karuna, a naïve sixteen-year-old Chinese Filipino Australian girl. Despite her overprotective mother’s best efforts, Karuna falls pregnant and finds herself trapped in their home on the 14th floor of a housing commission building.  As she is unable to support herself, she has no alternative but to continue living with the suffocating love and superstitions of her single mother.

We share in her joy and see the strength she develops with new motherhood and cheer her on as she battles to keep her baby and challenge her mother’s outdated cultural beliefs. I found the mothers behaviour appalling and I worried about Karuna’s ability to cope with all the pressures she faced.

A powerful story of love and control.

Women And Leadership by Julia Gillard & Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Chosen by Amy, Customer Experience Officer

A really interesting take on leadership from a range of female leaders from around the world, all with varying stories, experiences, political opinions and roles. It presents an intriguing and easily understood analysis of the influence of gender on women’s access to positions of leadership, alongside detailing examples of lived experience. It is a “roadmap of essential knowledge to inspire us all, and an action agenda for change that allows women to take control and combat gender bias” – Goodreads

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Chosen by Jess, Customer Experience Officer

This book follows the story of a woman named Nora who is stuck pondering on all of the regrets and missed opportunities she ignored in her life. Nora finds herself in the Midnight Library which is a special library housing all of her parallel lives in the form of books. Through each book she is able to experience a different reality had she made different decisions throughout life. Through her experiences Nora realises the importance of the choices we make in our day to day lives.

I love stories of alternate universes and parallel dimensions. I enjoyed this book because I myself have often wondered “what if?” many times.