Staff Reviews


Read about the latest items the library has added to its collections.


To place any of these items on hold, click on the book cover image next to the review.  Login to the catalogue with your library card and PIN. 

Not a library member?  Click here, join online and place your holds. 

Sunraysia Daily Library Column - 13 July 2024

The last of the apple blossom  

Upcycled beauty by Anna Brightman

Available in print

This beautiful hardback book is filled with creative ways to make your own zero-waste and all-natural skincare, haircare, makeup, cleaning products and home essentials.

Featuring 50+ recipes, covering Masks, Balms, Butters + Bars, Scrubs, Oils + Mists, Ices, Beauty, Bath Bits, Home. Enjoy the best DIY beauty recipes in the comfort of your own home!


The dark  

Vintage crochet from the National Library Australia

Available in print

This book features vintage patterns from Australian publications such as the Australian Women's Weekly and the Australian Woman's Mirror. The book presents a curated selection of patterns from these publications from as early as 1888, tried and tested to suit the needs of the modern day crocheter. It contains instructions for a variety of vintage garments, accessories, toys and homewares, including a flapper unisex waistcoat from 1928, a shopping bag from 1950 and a granny-square playsuit from 1970. Each pattern will be accompanied by illustrations from the original publication and modern photographs of the newly crochet piece.

Tapping into the trend for everything vintage, as well as handmade and resurgence of crochet, this book will bring style and joy to any modern crocheter. 


Wrapped in rain  

Sweet home macrame by Casey Alberti

Available in print

This book features step-by-step instructions for making wall hangings, jewelry, home decor, and more from macrame.

Whether you’re a beginner to soft crafts, looking to try a new craft, hoping to improve upon your existing macrame techniques, or a DIYer, Sweet Home Macrame: A Beginner’s Guide to Macrame offers the instruction and inspiration you need to succeed.
Top seller Casey Alberti is the founder of Sweet Home Alberti, a small business selling macrame items and knotting lessons. In this complete guide to working with macrame, Alberti shares her techniques and showcases her fresh, vibrant macrame art.


Wrapped in rain



Grow to eat by Rob Smith

Available in print and eBook

Grow to Eat gives you the guidance to successfully grow veg that are bursting with flavour.

We know fresh vegetables are good for us and there's no better feeling than harvesting your own homegrown produce, but Rob Smith wants to upgrade your gardening experience. From stripey aubergines and super sweet beetroot to elephant garlic and purple tomatoes, growing your own food allows you to tap into a treasure trove of different vegetables that you won't find in the shops. And with colour and flavour (and pests and diseases) always in mind, Rob advises on how to grow, when to grow and which varieties to grow to best complement your gardening space.

Whether you have a balcony, allotment or garden, with Rob's gardening expertise and practical tips and techniques, you'll be growing an abundance of gourmet veg with ease.

Mildura Rural City Council Libraries has a Seed Library at each branch that offers a selection of vegetable seeds for people to take home and grow.


Sunraysia Daily Library Column - 6 July 2024

The last of the apple blossom  

My Mother and I by Ingrid Seward

Available in print 

The relationship between the late monarch and her son, the King, has long been a subject of fascination. The upbringing of an heir is especially important, since the demands placed on the monarch are unique – and no one understood this better than the late Queen. Princess Elizabeth made it a point of maternal honour to try to build her routine around her young son while doing her duty – something that became an even more delicate and difficult balance when she ascended to the throne.

This is the story of how Charles was shaped and moulded by his heritage. Acclaimed royal biographer Ingrid Seward sheds new light on their relationship and its impact on their family and on the nation. My Mother and I reveals the challenges faced by Prince Charles as he remained in his mother’s shadow for most of his life and offers insight into how their relationship operated behind closed doors.

Charting Charles’ colourful life through many personal anecdotes from his family and his friends – from the moment the guns saluted his birth to the day he was officially declared King at his coronation – My Mother and I is not only a vivid portrait of a complex relationship; it is also a celebration of the power of family.


The dark  

Justice in Kelly Country by Lachlan Strahan

Available in print, large print and eBook

Partway through the Jerilderie Letter, Ned Kelly accused Senior Constable Anthony Strahan of threatening to shoot him ‘like a dog’. Those few fateful words have ricocheted through Australian history. Many have blamed Anthony Strahan for the turmoil and bloodshed that unfolded during the Kelly Outbreak. For, two days after Anthony reputedly made his threat, Ned and his gang shot dead three policemen at Stringybark Creek. Ned’s reason for opening fire? He thought one of the cops was Anthony.

Lachlan Strahan, Anthony’s great-great-grandson, grew up believing Ned Kelly was a heroic outlaw and Anthony the ruthless cop who pursued him. Yet as he combed through letters, police reports, court transcripts, newspaper articles and family histories, Lachlan pieced together a different story about the life of his ancestor – a fiery Irish immigrant who embodied the thin blue line in the bush for 32 years. Bent on justice, Anthony Strahan apprehended all manner of criminals, from brazen fraudsters and wily horse thieves to murderous husbands and the bushrangers who perpetrated the Wooragee Outrage. Yet his legacy was forever ensnared in the Kelly legend. Did Anthony utter those incendiary words about Ned? Whose version of history do we believe?

This is a tale about justice and retribution, morality and character, and making a life against the odds in a frontier society. It is also a story of inheritance: of the words passed from father to son, and the tales we choose to preserve and retell.


Wrapped in rain  

Living The Beatles legend by Mal Evans with Kenneth Womack

Available in print and eAudiobook

The first full-length biography of Mal Evans, the Beatles’ beloved roadie, assistant, confidant and friend

A towering figure in horn-rimmed glasses, Malcolm ‘Mal’ Evans was an invaluable member of the Beatles’ inner circle. Serving as their long-time roadie, personal assistant and protector, he was a sometime lyricist, occasional performer and regular fixer at the height of the group’s fame and beyond.

But Mal’s dedication to his beloved ‘boys’ and his own desire for stardom took its toll, leading to the dissolution of his marriage and his untimely death in January 1976.

Until now, Mal’s extraordinary life has remained shrouded in mystery. Drawing on hundreds of exclusive interviews and with full access to Mal’s unpublished archives – including his personal diaries, manuscripts and memorabilia – renowned Beatles scholar Kenneth Womack paints the first complete portrait of this complicated figure at the heart of the Beatles’ story.

Living the Beatles Legend is a fascinating but ultimately tragic tale about life at the edges of superstardom.


Wrapped in rain



My My!: ABBA through the ages by Giles Smith

Available in print

My My! The story of ABBA told through a selection of their greatest hits.

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of Waterloo (the song, not the battle) – a seminal moment in pop history which saw Swedish sensation ABBA burst on to the international music scene. How is it that half a century later this seventies Eurovision act is bigger than ever – reaching listeners of all ages and spinning off into musicals, museums and holograms? Giles Smith, writer and music fan, sets out to find out why.

My My! is a celebration of ABBA through the ages. It’s one fan’s way of saying: thank you for the music.


Wrapped in rain



Novak Djokovic by Dominic Bliss

Available in print

Novak Djokovic - the greatest of all time follows the life of the record-breaking champion, from winning his first European Championships at the age of fourteen to celebrating his historic 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2023.

Explore the incredible life of Novak Djokovic - from his boyhood in war-torn Serbia to his reign as the world's #1 male tennis player - in this stunningly illustrated biography. Join expert tennis journalist Dominic Bliss, for an up-close look at the unbelievable talent of a player destined for greatness. Djokovic's extraordinary achievements, include iconic moments such as becoming the first man in the Open Era to achieve a double Career Grand Slam in singles, and the only man in tennis history to be the reigning champion of the four majors at once across three different surfaces.

Novak Djokovic: the greatest of all time recounts the tennis legend's remarkable ascent to sporting glory with a riveting account of Djokovic's life and career, from his childhood in Serbia, when his unparalleled talent was recognised, to being the biggest name in tennis with a fan base of over 10 million.

With this captivating biography, find inspiration in the exceptional spirit and determination that led Djokovic to go on to win 23 Grand Slam mens singles titles, 91 ATP singles titles and a record breaking 373 weeks ranking as No.1.


Sunraysia Daily Library Column - 29 June 2024

The last of the apple blossom  

Tokyo by Lonely Planet

Available in print

Discover Tokyo's most popular experiences and best kept secrets - neighbourhood by neighbourhood - from chowing down sushi at Toyosu Market to visiting Tokyo's oldest temple, build a trip to remember with Lonely Planet's Tokyo travel guide.

Create your ideal trip with exciting Perfect Day itineraries with suggestions of unmissable attractions and activities to match your passions. Plus, day trips from Tokyo so you can explore the surrounding areas and essential information containing tips on arriving; transport; making the most of your time and money; LGBTIQ+ travel advice; useful words and phrases; accessibility; and responsible travel. With a full-sized pull-out map included. This guide to Tokyo will be your best friend in organising that special trip. 


The dark  

Hidden Japan by Chiara Terzuolo

Available in print

Chiara Terzuolu takes us on a journey through Tokyo and its surrounding cities, uncovering the hidden treasures that lie beneath the well-trodden hustle and bustle of one of the world’s most-travelled destinations.

This kawaii book takes us into the world of tucked-away bars, quirky vending machines and themed walks to secret tea houses.  With chapters on Nature, Food, History, Art, Late-Night destinations and places you’ll find only in Tokyo, Hidden Japan has detailed recommendations for every kind of traveller.


Wrapped in rain  

Budget travel by Geoffrey Morrison

Available in print

Tips and tricks for stretching your travel budget all the way around the world.

Not just focused on finances, Budget Travel for Dummies has hints and tips for every aspect of travel. How to pack, hotel etiquette and staying safe are all covered in this concise and to the point handbook. For the adventurer, this guide is full of tips on traveling without a plan, living for months with just carry-on luggage, and staying flexible in case you need to change your plans.

Yes, you can afford that bucket-list trip.


Wrapped in rain



Be More Japan – The art of Japanese living

Available in print

In love with all things Japan or looking to absorb a little Japanese wisdom into your daily life? From the philosophies of ikigai and wabi sabi to kitsch karaoke nights and futuristic robot restaurants, learn about all things Japan from traditional tea ceremonies and tranquil onsen dwellings, to cosplay culture and J-Pop megastars.

Japan is renowned for its ultramodern capital Tokyo - a sprawling neon-lit metropolis straight from the pages of a science fiction novel. However, Japan is still deeply rooted in ancient tradition, with traditional crafts such as ceramics, calligraphy, origami and wood block prints still as important as ever. 


Sunraysia Daily Library Column - 22 June 2024

The last of the apple blossom  

All you need is love: the end of The Beatles by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines

Available in print 

From 1980 to 1981, Beatles insider Peter Brown and author Steve Gaines conducted interviews with everyone in the Beatles’ inner circle for the book The Love You Make.  They used a small portion of the interviews in the book and kept the rest locked in a bank vault, a closely held secret.  That is until now.

All you need is love is a ground-breaking oral history of the Beatles and how it all came to an end, drawing on over 100 hours of intimate never before published or heard interviews with the band and their inner circle – all except John, who was killed while the book was being written including observations and anecdotes from Yoko Ono, Alexis Mardas, Brian Epstein, Alistair Taylor, Neil Aspinall, Cynthia Lenon, Pattie Boyd Harrison, Maureen Starkey and many, many others, the interviews are utterly candid and offer unprecedented insights into the psyche of the band in the decade after they split.  This was an opportunity that could and would never be repeated.


The dark  

The dog behaviour problem solver by Teoti Anderson

Available in print

A happy, loving dog will be a friend for life.  But coping with a dog with behaviour issues can be frustrating and at times, dangerous.  If you are concerned about your dog’s behaviour, you need reliable help – fast.  This book is the key to resolving many of the most common behavioural concerns found in dogs. 

This is a must-have resource which is packed with sound, down-to-earth advice, and above all, effective instructions that will turn your problem pooch into a well-behaved member of the family.  You’ll find a wealth of positive training techniques that will help you eliminate undesirable behaviour while strengthening your bond. 


Wrapped in rain  

Under the stars camping Australia & New Zealand : the best campsites, huts, glamping and bush camping (Lonely Planet)

Available in print

From rugged camping in the bush to curling up in a cosy cabin, discover the most amazing locations to sleep under the stars in Australia and New Zealand.  Lonely Planet’s experts recommend 200 places, from the best campgrounds in national parks and peaceful high-country to deluxe cabins and glamping sites.

Regional introductions provide practical information on local dos and don’ts, the best times to visit and the top destinations to explore.

A dozen guides to outdoor interests, including cycling, hiking, wine tasting, wildflowers, rock art and surfing, will inspire you to spend more time under the stars.


Sunraysia Daily Library Column - 15 June 2024

The last of the apple blossom  

Feline fatale by Rita Mae Brown

Available in print 

Politicians fight like cats and dogs, but when things take a deadly turn at the Virginia House of Delegates, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen calls on her beloved pets to help her crack the case and stop the fur from flying in this latest mystery from Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown.

Spring flowers may be about to bloom in Crozet, Virginia, but Harry is thinking about snow. Her dear friend Ned Tucker is in the House of Delegates, advocating for a bill to improve road clearing during bad weather, and Harry and Ned’s wife, Susan, have gone down to the statehouse to support him. Tensions are high between political parties, and no one can agree on anything for long enough to get something done.

The bill’s chief detractor is the glamorous Amanda Fields, a former newscaster turned delegate whose flair for the dramatic has earned her a formidable reputation—and made her more than a few enemies. Amanda’s claws-out approach to politics might have some of her colleagues wishing she was dead, but the statehouse is rocked when one of the young pages who assists the delegates dies under mysterious circumstances.

Could his death be related to the political infighting?  Or is something even more sinister threatening the lives of Virginia’s finest representatives?  With help from her feline sidekicks, and canine buddies, Harry is determined to find the answers and restore order once more.


The dark  

Break by Kayla Miller

Available in eBook and graphic novel

Spring break is full of possibilities… but not for Olive.

This year, Olive is leaving her friends and all of their exciting vacation plans behind to visit her dad at his new apartment in the city. Goober is thrilled to spend a whole week with their father and has a long list of activities for their time together. Olive, on the other hand, still remembers the hurt of their dad moving halfway across the world. She would rather spend time with her friend Bree or scrolling through her new phone to keep up with everything she’s missing back home, than catch up with him.

As the week winds on, the normally easy-going Olive finds feelings of loneliness and resentment throwing her out of whack. Is there any hope of salvaging the visit – or will Olive’s Spring break be a Spring bust?


Wrapped in rain  

Maisy loves bees by Lucy Cousins

Available in board book

Learn all about bees with Maisy in this brand-new series celebrating our planet!
Maisy is finding out about the bees in her garden and learning why they are so important for our planet. What do bees do all day? Where do they live? Little ones will discover the answers to these questions and many more in this colourful board book. Open out the final scene to see Maisy and the busy bees at work!

Maisy loves bees, is part of the Maisy’s Planet books. They are perfect for little nature-lovers aged from 18 months. This sturdy, toddler-friendly board book features bright colours, simple language and a fun open-out spread.


Sunraysia Daily Library Column - 8 June 2024

The last of the apple blossom  

The Jam Queens by Josephine Moon

Available in print 

Award-winning jam maker Aggie is determined to take her Barossa Valley cafe to new heights. She has put the pain of unsuccessful IVF treatments and a broken relationship behind her and is focused on the many wonderful possibilities life still holds in store.

When an invitation to travel across Australia on the Ghan for her mother’s seventieth birthday comes her way, she is at first apprehensive. But the trip offers a precious opportunity to spend some quality time with the other women in her family – all four generations of them. 


The dark  

Rewilding the Urban Soul by Claire Dunn

Available in print, large print, CD and eAudiobook

We’re a famously nature-loving nation, yet 86 per cent of Australians call the city home. Amid the concrete and the busyness, how can we also answer the call of the wild?

Once upon a time, a burnt-out Claire Dunn spent a year living off the grid in a wilderness survival program. Yet love and the possibilities of human connection drew her back to the city, where she soon found herself as overscheduled, addicted to her phone, and lost in IKEA as the rest of us. Given all the city offers — comfort, convenience, community, and opportunity — she wants to stay. But to do so, she’ll have to learn how to rewild her own urban soul.


Wrapped in rain  

Wake by Shelley Burr

Available in print, large print, CD and eAudiobook

The small town of Nannine lies in the harsh red interior of New South Wales. Once a thriving outback centre, this ghost town now has one sinister claim to fame: the still-unsolved disappearance of Evelyn McCreery nineteen years ago from the bedroom she shared with her twin sister.

Mina McCreery's life has been defined by the intense and ongoing public interest in her sister's case. Now a reclusive adult, Mina lives alone on her family's sunbaked, destocked sheep farm. The million-dollar reward her mother established to solve the disappearance has never been paid out. Enter Lane Holland, a private investigator who dropped out of the police academy to earn a living cracking cold cases. Lane has his eye on the unclaimed money, but he also has darker motivations.


Wrapped in rain



Taste by Stanley Tucci

Available in large print

Before Stanley Tucci became a household name with The Devil Wears PradaThe Hunger Games, and the perfect Negroni, he grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table.

Taste is an intimate reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about growing up in Westchester, NY, preparing for and filming the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia, falling in love over dinner, and teaming up with his wife to create conversation-starting meals for their children.

Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burnt dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last. Written with Stanley's signature wry humour and nostalgia, Taste is a heartwarming read for anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.


Wrapped in rain



The hummingbird effect by Kate Mildenhall

Available in print and eBook

One of the lucky few with a job during the Depression, Peggy’s just starting out in life. She’s a bagging girl at the Angliss meatworks in Footscray, a place buzzing with life as well as death, where the gun slaughterman Jack has caught her eye – and she his.

How is her life connected to Hilda’s, almost a hundred years later, locked inside during a plague, or La’s, further on again, a singer working shifts in a warehouse as her eggs are frozen and her voice is used by AI bots? Let alone Maz, far removed in time, diving for remnants of a past that must be destroyed?

Is it by the river that runs through their stories, eternal yet constantly changing – or by the mysterious Hummingbird Project and the great question of whether the march of progress can ever be reversed?