The latest fix of the eclectic tastes, incisive opinions, and trustworthy reviews from your hard-working, hard-playing Cockburn Libraries staff.

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These things happen / Greg Fleet – This comedian’s biography is a funny and open account of his thirty year heroin addiction. His writing style is honest and he takes full responsibility for his (often awful) behaviour. I found this book hilarious, sad and hopeful.

babies dont suck blabey cover

Babies Don’t Suck / Aaron Blabey – An adult alphabet books for expectant first time dads with the humour you expect from Aaron Blabey though a little more grown up. I found this book rather funny – more so because I’ve just gotten to watch new dads freak out from a safe, that-baby-isn’t-mine distance.


Trainwreck [dvd] – Bleeping hilarious! I saw this with my sister and we both laughed until it hurt – just watch it.

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Camp / Elaine Wolf – My sister and I used to be sent off to various camps during school holidays, and just like Amy Becker, the main character in the novel, we both hated going to camp! Set in 1963, Amy is sent to Camp Takawanda for Girls, when she is fourteen years old. Amy does not want to go to camp, and worries about leaving her little brother, her best buddy, alone with their cold and uncaring mother. Camp is a multi-layered story that examines family relationships, bullying, camp culture, friendship and forgiveness. There are also those secrets that keep you engaged and  guessing to the very end.

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The goblin emperor / Katherine Addison – If I could type the unintelligible noises I made upon finishing this book and clasping it lovingly to my chest, I would. Since I can’t, you’ll have to be satisfied with my glowing, dewy-eyed praise instead. A complex, many-layered fantasy story that sees Maia, a backwater half-goblin son of the Emperor, thrust suddenly onto the throne when his father and three older brothers are all mysteriously killed in an airship crash. His time spent learning politics, royalty, subterfuge, and intricate court manners all combine to make this one of the most fascinating and rewarding reading experiences of my year.

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Temeraire / Naomi Novik – I genuinely wanted to hug this book when I finished it. Alternate history! Of the Napoleonic Wars!! With dragons!!! Will Laurence was a captain of his own ship, working his way up the naval ladder, when a captured dragon chose to imprint upon him far from any shore, changing his life irrevocably. The blossoming relationship between Laurence and Temeraire is a thing of beauty, and the dragon-sea battles are as thrilling as any Sharpe novel. If you loved Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, this one’s a safe bet for your new favourite.

blues pills

Blues Pills [CD]/ Blues Pills – I’m just listening to a new CD in our Rock collection. It’s the debut album from a Sweden-based band named Blues Pills. Funnily enough, it’s also called “Blues Pills”. They would best be described as a retro late-60s sounding blues/psychedelic-rock band. One of my favourite tracks is “Little Sun” which you can check out here:


Ilium / Dan Simmons – Dan Simmons is a good writer who writes good books. His best book is Ilium and his second best book is Olympus. They are the only 2 books in the Ilium and Olympus series. They have Robots and Greek gods and Space ships. My favourite bit is where Dan Simmons writes peotry, because his is a good poet. I had fun reading these books and give them 2 thumbs up and one big toe [Adrian chose to write his review in Primary School format, a bold and unusual choice – ed]

north south gaskell

North and South / Elizabeth Gaskell – I’m currently listening to the digital audio version of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, and I’m addicted and loving it! I have become a BorrowBox devotee and it is so easy to use. I have borrowed 3 audio books so far and the drive to work has become calmer. Next up on my reserve list is The Perfumer’s Secret.


Me and Earl and the dying girl / Jesse Andrews – Enjoyed the movie (although it took me until 20 minutes in to warm to it), so ‘borrowed’ the ebook from the library. It’s worth a read if you like a bit of humour, swearing and non-romance in your YA cancer novels.

Want more reviews? Check out the all the previous Short & (sometimes) sweet reviews by library staff