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February: Library Lover's Day: The Gordon Library's Top Picks

by Ashlee Simpson on 2023-02-13T09:12:00+11:00 | 0 Comments

Image ‘assorted-title book lot photo’ by CHUTTERSNAP, via Unsplash, free to use under the Unsplash licence.

            Welcome to the Library Latest: The Gordon staff and student’s monthly one-stop shop for library news and events, hot discussion topics, and recommendations of the best books in our collection.

            February 14, Valentine’s Day, is also celebrated as Library Lovers’ Day in libraries across the globe. It is a day marked to celebrate the importance of our library spaces and resources. This year’s theme, as determined by the Australian Library and Information Association, is ‘Only You’. They write:

‘Has your library enriched your life in big or small ways?
Is there something that your library does that no other public service, or space, can do?
Is your world a better place because of your library?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we encourage you to use this Library Lovers’ Day as an opportunity to tell someone.’
(ALIA 2023).

            So, let us celebrate with open arms, open doors, and (most importantly) open books! Here are some of the most popular good-reads and some of the library staff’s top picks in our collection, our best recommendations to welcome all staff and students into our space! 

The Tragedy of Heterosexuality by Jane Ward

What is right, and what is wrong with heterosexuality? How do we mend a fraught patriarchal system? What does queer culture mean? Jane Ward explores the “crisis” of heterosexuality; amongst reports of sexual harassment, misconduct, the #MeToo movement and the search for happiness in the twenty-first century with clever passion and straight-up critically analysis “’the story of modern heterosexuality as one of heartbreak and repair’ (2020:n.p). From the dedication poetically longing “for straight women. / May you find a way to have / your sexual needs met / without suffering so much’ (2020:n.p), to insightful literary critique, Ward illuminates culture with sharp wit and an informative voice.

Available from the City and East Campus libraries. 



Selected Poems by Sylvia Plath

As one of the most emotion-fuelled and arguably greatest poets of the century, Sylvia Plath’s oeuvre explores the human psyche – the elements that bring us through the dark depths of mental distress and into the light of motherhood – to passively illustrate her lived experiences. A woman whose work was published post-humanly by her oppressive husband, a mother who celebrates her children – ‘O love, how did you get here? / O embryo / … The pain / You wake to is not yours’ (1985:65-66) – and a human whose tragedy ended at her own hands, Plath’s work is an emotional rollercoaster of imagery and enjambed symbolism.


Available from the City Campus library. 




Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen

Paving her way through the Australian literary scene and pioneering the Indigenous voice through prose and poetry, Evelyn Araluen’s collection Dropbear is fierce in confronting ‘the tropes and iconography of an unreconciled nation with biting satire and lyrical fury’ (UQP 2021). Since its recent publication in 2021, Dropbear has featured in 6 literary awards including winner of the 2022 Stella Prize and 2022 Australian Book Industry Awards. Imagery and discursive prose features throughout the collection, where concrete illustrations such as ‘there’s ghosts in the reserve. There’s a rusted windmill and water tank… which swallows the correctional complex to the west… Take forty steps back from where she fell and follow the creek that makes its bed now only in reeds and memory’ (2021:4) bring the reader on the journey through the native lands.

Available from the City Campus library. 


Anna by Niccolò Ammaniti, translated by Jonathan Hunt

A dark horse of the dystopian fiction genre, Anna is a gripping novel that sees protagonist Anna caring for her brother along in a house hidden in the words, keeping him safe from “the Outside”. Anna is set post-apocalyptic virus where adults were wiped out – ‘The virus had reduced [them] to a panting skeleton covered with lumpy dried skin’ (2017:1) – electricity failed, food and water supply dwindled, and fires ravaged the land. First-person narration allows Anna and the reader to connect on an intimate level, where the lives of children and adolescence lay in the hands of fate, time, and a cure.

Available from the East Campus library.




I Give My Marriage A Year by Holly Wainwright

A fictional exploration of marriage and divorce, stakes and decisions, and good versus right, Lou and Josh’s marriage of 14 years, two kids, mortgage, careers, and extensive history is all up in the air when a particularly fraught Christmas forces Lou to question: is this marriage worth hanging on to? Chapters are distinctly separated between Lou and Josh’s and creatively depict the time frame in which the events of the novel progress in. Tense moments between Lou and Josh – ‘Josh’s face immediately fell… Lou flinched. “Shut up, Josh. That’s not what this is about”’ (2020:266) – force readers to logistically and morally question the events of the novel.

Available from the City Campus library. 



Words by Ashlee Simpson, Digital & Library Engagement Officer. 

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