Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Caitlin Flora and Ulysses

Flora and Ulysses is a book with a capacious heart and a flying squirrel.

Flora Belle Buckman is a natural-born cynic, lover of comics – especially ones that provide practical advice, with titles like ‘Terrible Things Can Happen To You!’.

Told with a sense of humor, this story about a serious kid who finds adventure in the most unlikely way will make you chuckle, and maybe even cry a little bit. But by the end of the story you’ll be glad you were a passenger on the ride. Continue reading

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One hundred days of happiness by Fausto Brizzi

Caitlin one hundred days of happinessWhat would you do in the last one hundred days of your life? That is, in part, the premise of this novel by Italian director and first time novelist Fausto Brizzi.
Lucio Battistini is dying- he has made mistakes (for which he still wants to atone), he has sporting goals (as coach of a water polo team), and his father-in-law bakes him donuts every morning for breakfast – all valid reasons to keep on keeping on. Continue reading

Charlie and the war against the grannies by Alan Brough

charlie-and-the-war-against-the-grannies

What do you do when a Grandma fires rooster brand chilli sauce at your face? You go to war.

Charlie wants a paper round. He has a number of very good reasons to get a paper round, among them being he will get to ride his bike more. What does he need to do to get his paper round? He need to go to war, he just doesn’t realise it yet.

Charlie and his best friend Hils star in this unusual and often eccentric tale about what it is like to go to war against one of the most beloved groups in the community – people’s Grandmas.

Interspersed with fun facts and very cheeky dialogue, this book has great appeal. Want to know how to say ‘fart’ in ten different languages? Read this book! Want to know what a secret language would sound like using only things you find in a public restroom? Read this book!

Will Charlie win the war? Will he get his much-wanted paper round? Read this book!
Alan Brough is probably best known for his TV role on ABCs Spicks and Specks, this is his first book, and a very good one it is too.

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The happiness project by Gretchen Craft Ruben

caitlin-happiness-projectBook lovers – is there anything much more exciting when planning your holiday than deciding what to take to read?
The beginning of a new year brings a mental refresh of your life, a chance to examine the way you are living and the impetus to change it if desired.
Gretchen Rubin’s memoir The Happiness Project provides a thoughtful template for examining your life and inspiration for ways to change it, should you wish.
Rubin is the first to admit she has little to be unhappy about, as such, this book is not directed at overcoming adversity, rather it is about small changes, actions or resolutions you can make and setting yourself a plan to make it happen. Continue reading

Olmec obituary by L.J.M. Owen

caitlin-olmec-obituaryApple tea, a phrenic library and flash backs to Aztec life 3,000 years ago, this debut novel by Australian author LJM Owen is written for those who love crime, history or contemporary literature.

Olmec Obituary is the first in a series about Dr Elizabeth Pimms – Intermillenial Sleuth (the second was released in November 2016). The first few chapters start off slow, but the plot, for me, was promising enough to persevere. Described by the author as a cross between Bones and Midsomer Murders, Elizabeth is an archaeologist and librarian who solves really cold cases.

When Elizabeth moves back to Canberra from her dig in Egypt after her father dies suddenly, she takes up work in the Mahoney Griffin library (a fictional setting). Continue reading