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A list of titles most recently added to the Scheme. View the full catalogue or login to add a title to your booklist.

 

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 245
Black Saturday will be remembered for the tragic loss of life that resulted from Victoria's catastrophic bush fires on February 7th, 2009. The question on everybody's lips was 'how did this happen?' Chloe Hooper brings together information about the nature of bush fires along with the details of the investigation into one of the deliberately lit fires and the subsequent prosecution. The outcome - a detailed and well-balanced examination of what took place as well as an objective understanding of the man who contributed to the devastation.

A compelling and comprehensive read.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A very well-written, well-balanced account of a devastating event. The actual victim statements interspersed throughout the story gives it a very personal touch."

"The book will appeal to readers who want to be informed about bush fires."

"I couldn't put the book down. The writer engaged my sympathy towards all of the players in this tragedy."

"With increasingly erratic climatic conditions, this is well worth reading."

"The book has lots to tell us about the effects of struggle, alienation and societal callousness towards those who are different."

"I found the whole story very personal and quite difficult to read in some parts but it made me really consider the arsonist's point of view too."

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Categories: Non fiction, Community, Contemporary, Faction, Grief/loss, Tragedy/disaster, True Crime, Australia, 2021 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 454
Have you ever wondered how far sneeze droplets can travel? (eight metres) What about the strength of our bones? (stronger than reinforced concrete) Brimming with facts and figures and fascinating anecdotes, this quirky and engaging "˜guide for occupants' addresses these questions and many, many more as it reveals both the wonders of the human body, and the history of medicine.

Comprehensive, yet easy to read, this owner's manual requires no prior knowledge beyond the basics for its extraordinary revelations to be appreciated.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Easy to read and understand and presented in a refreshing and informative say."

"I think this is a 'must read' for everybody."

"It's not overly technical so no prior knowledge is required."

"Written in an engaging manner and it's not long as Bryson's 'At Home' was - recommended."

"The reader becomes aware of how amazing the human body is."

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Categories: Non fiction, Historical, Medical/Health, Science & Technology, 2021 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 320
'Bookworm', a peculiar description when you think about it, but nonetheless one many of us would be happy to claim for ourselves. Kindred spirit Lucy Mangan lives up to this sobriquet, passionately chronicling her childhood reading adventures, as well as pondering the history of writing for children.

A delightfully nostalgic memoir recalling past literary encounters and acknowledging the power of books and reading to shape our lives. A must-read for fellow bookworms.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting this book turned out to be."

"The author gives us interesting background to the authors and their writing and looks at the importance of reading to children."

"I enjoyed the potted bios of the authors and reminiscing about books I've read."

"A helpful reading list is provided at the end should the reader wish to revisit some stories."

"A pleasant, enjoyable and easy read through familiar territory but with that little bit of history and background for interest."

"It's an easy read in a chatty 'dear reader' style but I found all the 'you knows' irritating."

"Perhaps one could describe this as a social commentary on middle-class reading habits."

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, Essays/Columns, Literature oriented, Personal Interests, 2021 Titles

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 448
In a dramatic account of violence and espionage, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow exposes serial abusers and a cabal of powerful interests hell-bent on covering up the truth, at any cost.

In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood's most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family.

All the while, Farrow and his producer faced a degree of resistance that could not be explained - until now. And a trail of clues revealed corruption and cover-ups from Hollywood, to Washington, and beyond.

This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability and silence victims of abuse - and it's the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement.

Both a spy thriller and a meticulous work of investigative journalism, 'Catch and Kill' breaks devastating new stories about the rampant abuse of power - and sheds far-reaching light on investigations that shook the culture. [Taken from book blurb, Little Brown Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I was surprised to find the book so hard to put down. It really is like reading a thriller or spy novel."

"It was mind-boggling to see the 'power trip' and entitlement of the wealthy."

"Immensely readable."

"The truth is laid bare with compassion for the victims."

"Farrow has a sure hand and never crosses into sentimentality."

"This book is so well-organised and presented. The author won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his New Yorker article – I can see why."

"I am so pleased I read this book - even the acknowledgements were worth reading!"

"The author does expect the reader to know who the American broadcasters are that's a bit annoying, but the pace and forward momentum of the narrative meant this was easily ignored."

"When I started this book I thought it might be short-lived in its relevance, but no, the concept of abuse of power is recognisable in all our lives."

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Categories: Non fiction, Contemporary, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Journalistic reporting/media, Morals/Ethics, Political, True Crime, America, 2021 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 278
The year is 1942 and Odette Sansom - code name Lise - lands in occupied France to start work as an SOE agent. Hunted relentlessly by the Nazis, Odette completes mission after mission, rapidly becoming Britain's most valuable military asset. Despite being captured, starved and tortured in the horrifying death camps, Odette's iron resilience never yields.

This is the true story of an extraordinary spy, an unbreakable woman, and Britain's most highly decorated agent of the Second World War.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Anyone who has an interest in espionage, biographies or British/European history of the period would find this book fascinating."

"I have read the original biography of Odette and this book elaborates on some aspects of the original due to access to German documents."

"Odette has been an iconic character in British history and this book largely does her justice."

"The author built and maintained tension and suspense well."

"I would have liked to know more about the effects of their mother's choices on her children."

"Despite growing up with tales of this woman, I knew nothing of her vicissitudes after the war or why my mother seemed vaguely disapproving of her."

"This is an interesting and worthwhile account, well worth sharing."

"Anyone who has an interest in espionage, biographies or British/European history of the period would find this book fascinating."

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, War theme, Historical, Morals/Ethics, Europe, England, 2021 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2016
Pages : 391
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 couldn't come fast enough for a family separated by Germany's partition in the wake of WWII. It begins with Hanna's escape to West Germany in 1948, continues with the arrival of her daughter (the author) in Berlin at the height of the Cold War as a US Army Intelligence Officer, and finally resolves with family reunion once the wall is down.

Brimming with photos and other supportive material, this is the graphic but inspiring story of a tenacious family that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and highlights the value of political freedom.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A story about an extraordinary family, told in splendid and graphic detail."

"There's so much to discuss with this book, but the value of freedom is its main them."

"A very revealing story - the family reunion must have been extraordinary."

"This is a piece of history that should be brought to the notice of every person valuing their political freedom."

"The many photographs in the book brought the story alive."

"This is a story that's well-told and it happened not so long ago. It's backed up with detailed facts."

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, Family Saga, Grief/loss, Historical, Human Rights, Political, Relationships, Germany, America, 2021 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 323
This is a memoir about a girl's journey into the heart of a beehive to find herself. When she was five years old, Meredith May was abandoned by both parents. Her father left for the other side of the country. Her mother disappeared into herself. But when Meredith discovered the rusted old bus where her grandpa kept bees, her world changed forever. Family duty. Compassion and sacrifice. Unconditional love. The life of a honeybee displays it all. As her grandpa showed her the sacrifices bees make for their colony and the bonds they form with their keeper, Meredith discovered what family really means.

A rich and lyrical coming-of-age story, combined with spellbinding nature writing, The Honey Bus is the extraordinary story of a girl who journeyed into the hive - and found herself.
[Taken from book blurb - Harper Collins Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I read very little non-fiction, but this one I loved."

"Meredith May is a born storyteller - narrating her story with a refreshing lack of self-pity or drama. A book you can't put down which delivers a truly memorable read."

"It's immediately engaging, is informative and very relevant."

"Well-written and easy to read - very interesting."

"The author writes beautifully about the habits and life cycle of honeybees, engaging the reader as we become aware of the sophistication and importance of these ancient creatures."

"This book is an extraordinary portrayal of family life and the bonds less often explored."

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, Community, Contemporary, Environmental, Grief/loss, Medical/Health, Uplifting, America, 2021 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 316
Husna Ahmed was a victim of the Christchurch mosque terrorist attack on 15 March 2019. She was shot while looking for her husband, who was in a wheelchair.

The couple had been praying when a gunman burst into the mosque. He shot and killed 51 people that day and injured many others. In this book Husna's husband, Farid Ahmed, tells Husna's story, including the day of the attack.

Farid describes the selflessness and bravery with which Husna lived her life. As well as looking after her daughter and paraplegic husband, Husna was an important member of the community, helping women and running classes for children.

Her last selfless act was going back into the mosque to look for her husband on that fateful day, after she had already led other women and children to safety.

Husna's husband, quite remarkably, forgives the alleged killer. Farid's philosophy of forgiveness, peace and love is an example of how faith and humanity can be tools for navigating even the most horrific of tragedies. [Taken from book blurb, Allen & Unwin Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Well-written, easy to read, and a humble account of their lives."

"Fantastic insight into perhaps the best side of Islam."

"While the massacre occurred in Christchurch, I think the author's story will appeal to all New Zealanders."

"A lovely, but sad story of what forgiveness is all about."

"Perhaps an over-glowing story of Husna, who appears to walk on water. But that's understandable."

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Categories: Non Fiction - New Zealand, Biography, Contemporary, Grief/loss, Morals/Ethics, Religion, Social commentary/perspectives, Tragedy/disaster, 2021 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 276
Lie back on the couch, take a deep breath and ready yourself for a session with clinical psychologist Frank Tallis. Based on case studies from his clinical experience, this is a warts and all examination of romance and emotional attachment.

With its easy narrative style and obvious compassion, it is an enlightening read that puts the messy and fascinating business of love (especially when it gets out of control) under the microscope.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Enlightening in so many ways - I learned many aspects of love I hadn't even thought about."

"Easy reading and engaging with an easy movement from case study to background information."

"Once you start, you won't be able to put it down until you've read the very last page."

"Very readable and enlightening."

"It's both captivating and an easy to read book."

"Informative and very relevant to everyone who has been in love or knows someone currently in the throes of love."

"Some of the personal stories are amazing!"

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Categories: Non fiction, Contemporary, Medical/Health, Psychology, Relationships, 2021 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 273
For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, invest in women.

In this candid and inspiring book, Gates traces her awakening to the link between women's empowerment and the health of societies. She shows some of the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to turbo-charge change. And she provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference.

A personal statement of passionate conviction, this book tells of Gates' journey from a partner working behind the scenes to one of the world's foremost advocates for women, driven by the belief that no one should be excluded, all lives have equal value, and gender equity is the lever that lifts everything. [Taken from book cover - Pan MacMillan Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"A well written book."

"This is a remarkable book in the way it is written; in the stories recounted and in its far-reaching range of influences."

"Simply written and very easy to read."

"Inspiring account by a woman who uses her talents and wealth to inform us of women's challenges."

"I was impressed when she referred to Marilyn Waring."

"Very informative and quite encouraging for betterment."

"Gates has the courage to expose the responsibility religions must take for the plight of women."

"While it's very interest, I did find it a little repetitive."

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Categories: Non fiction, Community, Contemporary, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Inspirational, Medical/Health, Social commentary/perspectives, America, 2021 Titles

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