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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 : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 340
Eighteen-year-old Ellie Canning's account of her abduction and escape, garners her instant attention and sympathy. She becomes a media darling, and in the furore that follows her accusing Susannah Wells, a middle-aged teacher and newcomer to the area, of her incarceration, the media can't get enough of the story. But is it possible that the truth could end up being a casualty as much as Ellie was?

Loosely based on the 18th century English Canning affair, this clever Australian thriller with its convincing characters and astute depiction of small-town dynamics, calls attention to the manipulation of public opinion in the age of the social media 'influencer'.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"The narrative moves along at a great pace and there were times I just had to finish the chapter before turning the light out."

"I like the idea of crime thrillers but rarely enjoy read them – I enjoyed this one."

"Good pace, easy read, intriguing premise."

"I think the author captured beautifully the small-minded pettiness of life in a small town."

"A good story made better for discussion by the primary subject matter being very topical."

"Wonderfully well-drawn and utterly believable characters."

"Very well constructed plot, keeps the reader on tenterhooks and thoroughly engaged."

"While I enjoyed the book, I think the ending was a little soft."

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Categories: Fiction, Community, Contemporary, Relationships, Suspense/Thriller, True Crime, Australia, 2022 Titles

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2021
Pages : 320
So much for the oft quoted 'lovely childhood, a house full of books'. In this cathartic memoir, Charlotte Grimshaw, the famous daughter of a famous New Zealand father (C. K. Stead), rips the bandaid off her early memories, to re-examine her place in her literary family. Fuelled by a quest for truth and understanding amidst the shifting sands of disputed memory, this is a thought-provoking expose.

With skill and courage, it reveals the public and private faces of this esteemed New Zealand family in conflict with itself.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I enjoyed the writing style. It's a deceptively easy read and I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened."

"I re-read the book at a more leisurely pace and enjoyed the language and the ideas."

"The matter-of-fact tone is a huge asset to the book. The lack of histrionics makes it believable and enjoyable."

"I can't wait to talk about this book."

"It's so interesting that CK Stead's perception of his family life is so at odds with his daughter's." "I felt really uncomfortable reading this book. It's basically a child 'telling tales' on her parents when they're both still alive."

"I found myself wishing I could talk with my book group to hear their thoughts."

"While I didn't enjoy reading this book, it has made me want to try a book by Charlotte."

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Categories: Non Fiction - New Zealand, Biography, 2022 Titles

Genre : Fiction: New Zealand
Year : 2019
Pages : 323
When Tauk drops his younger brother Ari off at Aunty Kat and Uncle Stu's in Kaikoura, he's free to head off with his surfboard and guitar to ... well, anywhere really. Ari will have the friendship of Beth and her dog Lupo from the farm next door, and Tauk will be able to get away from everything that has happened that left them orphaned. Interwoven with their diverging lives, is the story of their mother Jade and the gang world she was born into.

Raw and moving, this is a story of the graphic realities of gang life, of intergenerational trauma and the unexpected glimmer of hope on Tauk and Ari's horizons.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I really, really loved this book. It was sad, funny, and heart-warming. It made me think of how society needs to improve."

"It is unforgettable and very moving. I wholeheartedly recommend it."

"Very moving."

"It is raw, painful and honest and yet beautiful, lyrical and tender. 10/10 for me. "

"Good character portrayal. I think Beth is a highlight of the story."

"The book depicts gang life graphically as it does domestic violence."

"It was so real to me, so very 'Kiwi' and I was completely invested in the characters and the story."

"There's a plentiful supply of bad language, violence and sexual content."

"Some might find the story depressing, but I think it is probably a very realistic account."

"A slice of life only a middle-class, white woman can only imagine!"

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Categories: Fiction - New Zealand, Award Winner, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Grief/loss, Maori, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, Young narrator, 2022 Titles, Larger font

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 424
Desperation brings fourteen-year-old Sam Watson to the wrong side of a safety rail of a motorway overpass, an act witnessed by Vic, an elderly widower dealing with his own despair. The unlikely bond that forms, and the friendship that develops allows both Vic and Sam to face up to their lives, especially Sam who has many challenges.

Compelling and thought-provoking, this Western Australian story exposes its vivid characters to petty crime, violence and drug taking through to gender conformity and mental health issues, all the while creating a poignant yet ultimately hopeful and satisfying coming-of-age story.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"It's a good story, characters speak in believable dialogue and a lot happens."

"It's an intensely engaging story, and I didn't put it down until I had finished it."

"The story of Sam (later Victoria) ought to be depressing, yet it is not."

"There should be a language warning!"

"Both Sam and Vic are great characters, very real, raw, gritty and very believable. I found myself rooting for them and caring about them."

"There's an Aussieness about the book, which I liked."

"The book is sad but also tender and in places funny."

"It gives a warts-and-all look at the life this troubled boy led, and even his relationship with Vic is uncluttered by a coating of sugar."

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Gender Issues, Grief/loss, Medical/Health, Relationships, Young narrator, Australia, 2022 Titles

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 292
When Calvin and Najin Cho with daughter Miran in tow, migrate to the US in 1948, they have every intention of sending for their second child once they are established. However the advent of the Korean War throws these plans into disarray, and it is not until Inja is a teenager that she is reunited with her parents and sister.

With its basis in the author's family history, this story offers a richly detailed and thoughtful rendering of both the migrant experience and modern Korean history and culture viewed through the lens of its unique sibling narrators.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I loved this book. It isn't fast moving, but every word is important and each page can be savoured."

"It is a love story - and one about family and connections and duties."

"As a cross-cultural novel, it is elegantly handled."

"I enjoyed the book very much and am glad I read it."

"The main characters are well-developed, and their interactions retain the readers' interest throughout."

"Very interesting plot development."

"An interesting topic of Korean history and culture."

"Without gratuitous detail, we learn of the terrible times of the war."

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Categories: Fiction, War theme, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Family Saga, America, Korea, 2022 Titles, South Korea

Genre : Non Fiction: New Zealand
Year : 2020
Pages : 305
The title of this memoir signals the many strands of Golriz Ghahraman's life - knowing her place as a refugee, immigrant, a woman of colour, a human rights lawyer and as a member of parliament.

From her childhood in Iran and arrival in New Zealand aged nine, through to her experiences as an advocate in legal and political spheres, this is a confronting account of a multifaceted life and of the discrimination meted out to those who are perceived to be different.

Knowing one's place and finding one's voice ... in this compelling and inspiring story, the author has found both.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"In a very articulate fashion, Ms Ghahraman explores the ways in which her arrival here at age nine, has shaped her life."

"She does not hold back from exposing the faults she sees in our society, or the ways in which we might improve it."

"Very compelling, thought-provoking and challenging."

"Inspiringly courageous."

"Even if the reader does not share her political views, this would be an inspiring and interesting book."

"An amazing book for discussion."

"This book is potentially contentious, but definitely one that we all should read."

"I don't think anyone will finish it without some uncomfortable looks at the attitudes we hold."

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Categories: Non Fiction - New Zealand, Biography, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Feminism, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Inspirational, Morals/Ethics, Political, Social commentary/perspectives, Iran, 2022 Titles, Larger font

Genre : Fiction: New Zealand
Year : 2020
Pages : 341
What on earth is the matter with her? From childhood through to adulthood, Martha is renowned for her spikiness. To be honest, even though there is wit and charm, she is just plain difficult. Even her husband Patrick, who has loved her since he was fourteen, can't seem to make her happy.

Narrated by Martha and laced with a vein of dark humour, this is a poignant story with clever writing that sensitively handles the complex realities of mental illness, from the sorrow to the bliss and everything in between.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"I loved it."

"Very readable and an important topic done cleverly."

"The characters are wonderfully well-drawn and the reader relates to them as if they're real people."

"I recommend this book very highly."

"There is a lot of humour in the way the book is written, despite the dark spectre of mental illness always there as a saboteur."

"The writing is very clever and engaging."

"The book is about someone suffering from severe intermittent mental illness which may be challenging for some, but it is sensitively dealt with."

"I really enjoyed the story and the writing style and have now sought out the author's first book."

"Lots of f… words."

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Categories: Fiction - New Zealand, Contemporary, Medical/Health, Relationships, England, UK, 2022 Titles

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2020
Pages : 263
Who better to recall the rise and fall of Irish theatre legend Katherine O'Dell, than her daughter Norah. After all, she has been present in the wings for much of this dark and dazzling life. From Hollywood and Dublin to London's West End, Norah bears witness to many of her mother's on and off stage performances.

Lyrical and emotionally insightful, this is a tender portrait of a fictional mother and daughter's intertwined lives, anchored with an enduring love and shaped by cultural expectation and exploitation.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Fabulous and insightful writing."

"A story of grounded, enduring love. I enjoyed the black humour."

"This is the first novel by Enright that I've read. I will certainly read more."

"There is a definite an Irishness to the language of the book, a beautifully lilting quality that often took my breath away."

'I found her other book, 'The Gathering' to be quite dark. There's more hope with this book."

"Some readers could be frustrated by the discursive way the story is told. It's not a novel with a strong narrative line."

"It is a very tender portrait of both mother and daughter. I never lost sympathy for either of them."

"The book is at once tragic, humorous, bleak and realistic."

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Categories: Fiction, Literary, Arts, The, Feminism, Gender Issues, Grief/loss, Relationships, Ireland, England, 2022 Titles, Larger font

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2019
Pages : 339
If the Valentin family had known the Berlin Wall would eventually fall, they may have been able to endure the communist yoke for a little bit longer. Instead, with their attempted escape, tragedy ensues. It is not until years later that remaining siblings Ella and Tobi agree that Ella will return to Germany and the Stasi archives for answers, especially as to the fate of their younger brother Heiko, and above all else, the truth of what really happened.

Moving between their East Berlin childhood and the present-day quest, this is an engrossing and atmospheric story of a family suffering the cost of political dissent, even as the demise of East Germany is nigh.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"The book is historically very interesting. I found it an engaging and engrossing read."

"A new and original look at the last days of communism in East Germany."

"Great characters. The book has heaps of atmosphere."

"I found the beginning of the book rather flat but once it moved to Berlin, the pace moved quickly, and I enjoyed it very much."

"Keeps you guessing right to the end."

"This is a good 'yarn', well-told and easy to read."

"I found the setting and history interesting as it's not an era I knew much about."

"Torture is described, but not explicit."

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Categories: Fiction, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Grief/loss, Historical, Human Rights, Political, Relationships, England, Germany, 2022 Titles, Larger font

Genre : Non Fiction: New Zealand
Year : 2020
Pages : 271
Once upon a time, writer Sarah Quigley was happily married and living in Germany, but there came a time when separation and divorce became inevitable. Recalling these difficult events and their aftermath, this Berlin-based memoir examines with honesty and respect, what came to pass.

Leavened with humour and chronicling the ups and downs of these experiences, this book is distinguished not only by its insightful and relatable moments, but by the ease of its beautiful writing.


Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Quigley's Berlin-flavoured memoir of the highs and lows of a marriage break up is brave, funny, and lingering in its telling - recommended reading."

"Beautiful writing. An honest and real portrayal of abuse and separation and the myriad of issues that arise as a result of a decision to leave."

"Very well-written and readable."

"Beautiful writing and the tension seems very real."

"Some may find it difficult to read."

"A skilled New Zealand author - I think this memoir will have wide appeal."

"She sets the scene comprehensively but without 'damning' her ex-husband."

"The everyday language and experiences could allow readers in similar situations to identify with her."

"It certainly appears to be an honest and sincere account."

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Categories: Non Fiction - New Zealand, Contemporary, Grief/loss, 2022 Titles, Larger font

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