Skip to main content

Reading Challenge (Guest) Reviews: Pacific Islands and Italian Towns

We've had two of our favourite people send us reviews for the 2019 Reading Challenge! They have used this challenge to read a few books they've had their eye on (which, unfortunately, aren't in our collection), which just goes to show how useful a little challenge can be.

Bethany Keats tackled a book that could have fit into several categories for last year's challenge. We don't have the specific novel she reviewed, but you can find the book in both print and audio formats in the Townsville and Cairns City Libraries. We do have several other novels written by Lloyd Jones, if you are interested in seeing work by this author. Theresa Petray gave us a book of short stories (good job! We love short stories), which can also be borrowed from the local libraries.

Bethany Keats read Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

As a book set in another country, with a film released in 2013 that helped put the Autonomous Region of Bougainville on the tourism map, Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones fits as a Geography and Tourism book.

Set during the Bougainville Civil War, Mister Pip is told from the perspective of teenage Matilda, who is introduced to Pip from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations by her teacher Mr Watts, the only white man in the village. Matilda develops a deep connection with Pip, and she uses this to help navigate her life as the war unfolds around her.

It’s an enjoyable read, moves at a comfortable pace, and having once been a bookish teenage girl myself, I found Matilda to be a believable character. It has some dark parts, but that's to be expected with a civil war backdrop. My only reservation is that the author is not of Bougainvillean origin, and in an ideal world I'd be reading something by a Bougainvillean author.

In Australia, we typically don't know enough about our neighbours in the Pacific, and the setting of Mister Pip is a significant time in our regional history that too many people my age don't know about. Bougainville is scheduled to have a vote on independence from Papua New Guinea this year, therefore it's a good time to start getting acquainted - even if you start with a work of fiction.

Fiction, an author I haven't read before. Check local libraries.

Theresa Petray read The Fireflies of Autumn, and other tales of San Ginese, by Moreno Giovannoni.

Most of the book is told as stories of a small town in Italy, with the familiarity, kind of raucous and sometimes pointless story telling (the stories are the point). The last section changes tone quite dramatically, and that tonal shift really made the book sing. The final section drives home how wistful those stories are and what it means to have a home that you’ve never really lived in:

“She staunched the bleeding of memories with her stories but bequeathed him a deep, slow-burning homesickness that brought an ache into his bones that never eased and the source of which he did not comprehend until he was old.”

Doing both fun, light storytelling and deeply beautiful reflection well, Giovannoni captures something of the experience of migration. Plus, the book has a beautiful map – and who doesn’t love a book with a map?

Fiction. Check local libraries.


Popular Posts

APA 7th: What's new from APA 6th?

APA 7th Edition has a number of changes from the 6th Edition. Here's a quick summary to give you a running start:
Authors APA 7th has changed rules regarding number of authors. If you have three or more authors, ALL in-text citations are First Author et al. – e.g. (Brown et al., 2020). There is no longer a difference between first and subsequent citations You list up to 20 names in a citation in the reference list. If there are more than 20, you list the first 19, use ellipses (…), then the last one.Dates Date of publication: APA 7th now requires a full date if available. The format is YYYY, Month DD, or YYYY, Season. Include however much detail is available. If the date of publication is constantly updated (such as a website that always has this year’s copyright date), use (n.d.) and include a retrieval date.
Date of retrieval: Retrieval dates are required for any work that might be time sensitive, or in which the content is likely to change. This is primarily for social me…

COVID-19 Fact or Fiction

Major publishers are supporting global scientific efforts to understand the Coronovirus or COVID-19 by ensuring research findings are shared openly and as rapidly as possible. JCU library currently has access to over 1500 peer-reviewed articles on the COVID-19 virus many of which have been published as free access articles to ensure the widest dissemination possible. Wiley, SpringerNature, JAMA and BMJ are just a few of the publishers monitoring the outbreak and making the latest information readily available.

From pig farming to diamond mining: The industries predicted to fly and fall in 2020

Thinking about starting your own business or just curious to see how the Australian market is doing?
IBISWorld has just released their annual list of the industries set to fly and fall over the next 12 months, some of which may surprise you.

Some of the industries set to fly in 2020:

The National Disability Insurance Scheme - As government funding rises and more individuals move from other disability support to the NDIS, the industry is expected to grow by 33.3%.

Online food ordering and delivery – With the rise in the use of food delivery apps, such as Ubereats and Deliveroo, this strong industry growth does not come as a shock. The industry is projected to grow by 26.5%.

Pig farming - Who says pigs can't fly? With a rising demand for pig meat from China, the pig farming industry is predicted to rise 13.9%, to a total $1.1 billion.

One major industry set to collapse is diamond and gem stone mining. Due to the closure of the Argyle diamond mine, revenue is expected to drop by 4…