Author: Leah

Man Booker Prize Winner 2017

George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo has won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for fiction. The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body. From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying.  Saunders is the second American to win the...

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Tax Help at your library

2017 Tax Help Program Tax help sessions are being arranged for 2017 at Spearwood Library, Coolbellup Library and Success Library. Tax Help is a service run by the Australian Taxation Office in many community centres and is staffed entirely by trained volunteers. If you earned around $60,000 in the 2016/17 tax year and meet some other criteria, you will be able to book into a session. To check if you are eligible for the Tax Help program, visit the ATO Tax Help program page. You should also have a MyGov account registered to save time. To find out about and to...

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Cockburn Murder Mystery: Robb’s Jetty Explosion 1903

Fire, sabotage, and death at the turn-of-the-century. Robb’s Jetty Explosives Magazine. At 7pm on the night of Wednesday, 15th July 1903, a terrible explosion ripped through the beachside industrial area at Robb’s Jetty (current day North Coogee). Close beside the abattoirs and cattleyards, and just a few metres from the shore, a privately owned explosives magazine had been blown to pieces – with nightwatchman Thomas Whelan inside.   The magazines, privately leased from the Government, held dynamite and detonators bound for minesites on the Goldfields. At first the explosion was thought to be an accident or a robbery gone...

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Cockburn History: Jandakot Christmas Tree

On Saturday, 22 December 1900, the first annual Jandakot Christmas Tree was held at the newly-built Jandakot Agricultural Hall for the children and families of the young farming district. Mr and Mrs William Bateman and other pioneers of the Jandakot area arranged for a beautifully decorated tree, presents, and games and entertainments for the 45 children and their parents who turned up to celebrate a hot Christmas in an unforgiving district. By 1906, what Mr Bateman had hoped would become ‘an annual institution’ had done just that: the ‘annual Jandakot Christmas Tree festival’ was a wild success, with an...

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Nine novellas to borrow from your library

The novella is making a comeback! Thin enough to slide into your back pocket or handbag and short enough to finish in a couple of hours (or a couple of commutes), why not let yourself off the unfinished-book hook and experience the joy of actually completing a book that you start? Have you encountered novellas? Let me put it this way: do you frequently lament that you don’t have enough time for reading? Is your house full of half-finished books, languishing sadly in neglected piles, their halfway-bookmarks poking dejectedly out of their pages like kitten’s tongues? Do you love...

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Book review: The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs

Gladiator meets Clint Eastwood in an alt-historical world where Rome never fell, religious belief has a lot more at stake, and Europe looks more like the Wild West than you’d expect. In the contested and unexplored territories at the edge of the Empire, a boat is making its laborious way up stream. Riding along the banks are the mercenaries hired to protect it – from raiders, bandits and, most of all, the stretchers, elf-like natives who kill any intruders into their territory. The mercenaries know this is dangerous, deadly work. But it is what they do. In the boat the drunk...

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