Bookoccino » 2010 » June

This sunday June 27 Avalon Shopping Village will be having a day of music, buskers, sales, promotions, food tastings and demonstrations to show you all just what a unique place Avalon Shopping Village is.  There will also be a giant raffle with a hugh variety of prizes.  We’re having a craft table outside the store where you and your kids will be able to try your hand at origami and at crayon rubbings.  Do come and be part of what will be an exciting day here in paradise.


jacob-de-zoetThe Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet has finally arrived instore.  Not pointing the finger at a particular distributor, I’m not, but the books have been weeks late in arriving here.  Now we have stock and I can finally tell you what a fabulous book this is.  It’s set in Japan at the turn of the 18th century.  Japan is still a closed off society with virtually no contact with the rest of the world.  Japan has allowed the Dutch owned East India Company to occupy a small island, 120 metre long, in the port of Nagasaki as a trading post.  The Dutch are not allowed off this island, the Japanese are not allowed onto the island except for trading purposes.  And against this background we have a young, naive Dutch clerk who encounters a beautiful, scarred Japanese woman, a midwife who has been exposed to a limited amount of western medicine and who wants to learn more.  This is a love forbidden by culture, tradition and law.  Everything about this book is terrific – the plot, the characters and most importantly the writing.  It’s a must read book.


sex-and-stravinskyBarbara Trapido writes brilliant stories centred around families.  The only bad thing about her is that you have to wait years for a new book.  Good news!  Her new book, Sex and Stravinsky has just arrived.  It’s the story of Caroline, a beautiful tall girl from Melbourne who travels to London in the late 1970s as a student, meets Josh and they marry.  Now it’s twenty years later, their twelve year old daughter Zoe wants to learn ballet, and Caroline’s mother is living nearby.  Nothing Caroline can do is ever good enough for this awful woman and Caroline takes a long time to suspect there is a way to break free.  It’s a lovely story.


betrayalIn 2002 Helen Dunmore published a brilliant book called The Siege, the story of  the Nazi’s winter siege of Leningrad that killed 600,000 people in 1942.  When the novel ended, Anna, a 22 year old woman, was continuing her fight against the cold and starvation.  Dunmore’s new novel, The Betrayal, continues Anna’s story.  It’s 1952, Anna has married Andrei, her doctor love from The Siege, and with her 16 year old brother Kolya, they try to build a new life.  But it is Stalinist Russia.  Andrei is called in to treat the seriously ill son of a senior secret police officer.  His associates have refused to get involved because failure spells doom.  Andrei’s position is heartbreaking.  It’s storytelling on a grand scale.


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