Top Staff Picks - June 2021

Looking for something new to read/watch/listen? Get inspired with our Team Picks!

Each month we choose just six of our many new arrivals to share with you all. We'll let you know what we think is hot across Fiction, Non-Fiction, DVDs and Kids.

Remember, if you can’t regularly make it into the library to take a look around, you can use your library card to reserve items to pick up across our 15 fifteen branches or you can take a look at our online eResources that enable you to read, watch or listen at your leisure. Find out more about our eResources under our Library Online section. 


Non-Fiction Picks

Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy by Philippa Perry & Flo Perry

Originally published in 2010, the wonderfully entertaining ‘Couch Fiction’ has been reimagined with new illustrations provided by author Philippa Perry’s daughter Flo (increasingly well-known in her own right). Together they manage to find the balance between witty humour and real-life relatability giving us a graphic novel that is both entertaining and informative. The book follows the relationship between down to earth psychotherapist Pat, and her new client James; a high-flying lawyer with some unexpected habits, both conscious and unconscious. In sharing the highs and lows of their journey from start to finish Perry demystifies and humanises the process. Footnotes explain therapeutic terms and techniques and when combined with each characters’ thought bubbles we’re given real insight into the inner workings of psychotherapy - from both sides of the couch.

Ms. Gloria Steinem – A Life by Winifred Conkling

Throughout the years, Gloria Steinem continues to be recognised as one of the most iconic figures in feminism. In this biography, Winifred Conkling explores the injustices in Steinem’s life that shaped her attitude towards society and women.

At a young age, Gloria’s mother Ruth suffered a mental breakdown and spent the majority of her childhood in and out of mental health facilities. When Gloria was 10, her father filed for divorce and left for California, no longer able to cope with the pressure. Due to her mental state, Ruth was unable to hold down a job to support them both, but Gloria never blamed her mother, rather recognised and questioned society’s hostility towards women.

It was this that fueled Gloria’s lifetime of work fighting for women’s equality and social justice. 


Fiction Picks

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian

This book is a historical novel set in the year 1662 in the Puritan society of the new colony of Boston. Mary Deerfield has been married to a cruel and powerful man, a drunk who physically abuses her. She fears he might eventually kill her so she gains a petition for divorce. She becomes the subject of gossip and finger pointing at a time when every neighbour is watching for signs of the devil and women could be hung as witches. Insinuations of witchcraft come with planted mysterious items in her garden and a message carved on a door frame. Suspicion and rumor is used to counter Mary's compelling but unwitnessed claims of cruelty. Can Mary stand up for herself and break free? Part courtroom drama, history lesson and phychological thriller. This Bohjalian novel is a real page turner which illustrates how rough justice can get when religion and institutional sexism are in the mix.


The Quiet People by Paul Cleave

An ordinary day becomes the worst day of their lives when Cameron and Lisa Murdoch wake one morning to find their 7-year-old son Zach, is missing from his bed. In those horrific first few minutes Cameron’s mind instantly goes into “What if?” mode –he has seen this scenario many times before, he has written about it in detail, because Cameron and Lisa are successful crime writers. They have also often joked that they know how to get away with the perfect crime.

Over the next few days, Cameron and Lisa experience a terrifying backlash from their own neighbours as the case captures the world’s attention and the death treats start rolling in. People believe they have committed the perfect crime.

Narrated from both Cameron’s perspective as a panicked father, and Rebecca Kent’s as a straight talking detective, this is a gripping page-turner from the outset with a well-planned and unique plotline. A must read for all crime novel fans.

Film Pick

Nomadland Directed by Chloé Zhao

Hollywood’s hottest new director, Chloé Zhao has taken tinsel town by storm. Her Nomadland has collected a barrowload of awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress at the Academy Awards. Based on Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century, it tells the story of Fern, played by Frances McDormand. Fern joins a group of itinerant workers living and travelling across America in campers and mobile homes looking for seasonal work. Employers in the US today have now discovered this new, low-cost labour pool made up mostly of transient older adults and are more than happy to exploit it. This is only Zhao’s third Indie release but already she has a recognisable style of filmmaking, most notably her use of non-professionals as actors. As in Zhao’s second feature, The Rider, her characters essentially just play themselves. It was a first for Zhao to cast a recognisable name like McDormand into this world of real-life wanderers, but it worked beautifully.



Teen Pick

Runaways Vol. 2: Teenage Wasteland. Written by Brian K. Vaughan. Illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Takeshi Miyazawa.

Not the song by the ultimate band, The Who, rather it is the long awaited (to us) Volume 2 to super cool, YA graphic novel, The Runaways!  Yes, fans, we have it!!  Being a teenager can be difficult, but if you think you have it bad, at least your parents aren’t part of a super evil crime syndicate controlling the city … or are they?!!?  Follow along as the teens fight bad guys, discover their powerful potential all while saving humankind!!