Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Volunteer Loads 100,000th Book

Roy has been with Brotherhood Books for just over a year now and still loves every day of his volunteering.

We sat down with Roy to find out a bit more about him, his love for books and his time as a Brotherhood volunteer.

How did you original find out about Brotherhood Books?Looking for books I came across the Brotherhood website where they were looking for book sorter
What made you want to join the team?
My love of books and the opportunity to contribute to a worthwhile project

How have things changed in your time with Brotherhood Books?
More helpers have come on board, processes have been streamlined and the project itself has grown enormously

What is your favourite part about volunteering with the Brotherhood?
Getting to handle so many interesting books – books that will hopefully find a new home

Have you made great friendships in your time at Brotherhood Books?
With such a large group, with varied backgrounds, age and what not, I like to think so

Do you feel you have learnt a lot?
Yes particularly with books, but I have also learnt that people can be as varied as books
You uploaded the 100,00th book, what was it? And how did it feel?
Elizabeth Jolley – The Well. It was a nice feeling. Yet today I notice the number is getting close to 110,000. It is amazing just how many we are getting up onto the site now with more hands on board.

We are always looking for more volunteers, so if you would like to volunteer your time, even if it is just a few hours per week, we would love for you to register your interest by emailing

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (Hyperion publishers)

Review by Michelle Hamer, journalist and author.

When I saw this book at my local op shop for $2 I was hesitant about buying it. I had heard about the story, and knew it was written by a US professor who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given just a few months to live. The last thing I wanted to read was a depressing tear-jerker. But I read the blurb and it actually sounded upbeat and positive so I decided to give it a try.

When the author Randy Pausch was told that he was dying from cancer he wanted to leave a legacy for his three young children. The book has lots of stories from his childhood and career, as well as advice for his kids (and all of us) to have fun and make our lives as enjoyable as possible.

The book is based on a ‘last lecture’ which Pausch gave at the Carnegie Mellon University in 2007. Every year professors at the university were asked to imagine what they would say to their students and peers if they really were giving their last lecture. Pausch was invited to give the lecture before he knew of his terminal diagnosis – afterwards it seemed like an ideal end to his academic career. In his lecture, titled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams Pausch talked about the importance of holding onto the hopes, dreams and passions that fire our imaginations and working to make them a reality – even in some small way.

In his book, Pausch maintains a very healthy and impressive perspective on his final days and is very inspiring in his efforts to make the most of every minute he has left.

Despite my concerns there was nothing depressing about Pausch’s story and I managed to read it almost till the end before I got a bit teary.

The book was on the New York Times’s bestseller list for 102 weeks from 2008 to 2010 and is definitely worth a read.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ahh Summer..

The beach. The food. The long, lazy afternoons. What is better than a summer holiday? Nothing – except a summer holiday with a good book.

Summer holidays provide a chance to relax and enjoy. What is more indulgent than lying on the beach all day reading an un-put-down-able, utterly engrossing novel breaking only to dip in the water or to reapply sun screen?

With this blessed and much loved time of the year approaching, Brotherhood Books is on hand to ensure that your summer holiday will be as fulfilling and as enjoyable as possible with literally hundreds of good reads available – most of them for only a few dollars each.

Summer reading requires stories escapist and engrossing, but not too difficult to follow – especially if being enjoyed with a few glasses of wine. The following is a list of authors whose books reliably fall into the category of a good holiday read and a link to their novels that Brotherhood Books has in stock.

A popular choice for many readers on their summer holiday is a good, detective mystery. Brotherhood Books is choc-a-bloc with books from canonical mystery writers such a P.D James (books available) and Lynda La Plante (books available). When checking these out, don’t forget the woman who started it all Agatha Christie. With an incredible 80+ novels to her name, there’s sure to be one you’ve not yet read: (books available).

If you like a bit of a thrill, but would rather not spend the season of good cheer reading about murder mysteries, then why not catch up on Sir A. Conan Doyle’s perennial gift to the world: Sherlock Holmes (books available). If you’ve not read them, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

If you’ve read all the Sherlock Holmes books, perhaps you would prefer to read a novel from former head of MI5, Stella Rimington - (books available) Rimington’s novels draw upon her experience as a woman in the predominantly male dominated espionage world. They follow the career of Liz Carlyle – a young, upwardly mobile spy. Whilst the novels do follow one another in chronological order, each book is a self-contained, utterly absorbing read.

Alternatively, you may like to read a John Grisham novel (books available) or his earlier, English counter-part Jeffery Archer (books available). Both authors’ books can be relied upon to deliver an enjoyable, but not too challenging read.

If you want something slightly more challenging, but equally as thrilling, what about a Robert Harris novel? (books available) Harris’ novels are thrillers based during well known, historical moments in time such as; WW2 London, or Pompei just before Mt. Vesuvius made the town famous for all the wrong reasons.

If historical fiction appeals, then surely you cannot go past Sarah Watters (books available) whose books, based in London, at different times throughout history are filled with characters that will live in your memory well after you’ve finished her books.

After something closer to home? What about a Tim Winton novel- (books available)
Reading his book The Riders will ensure you’re never short of a conversation starter. Everyone who reads it has a different take on the ending. If you’ve caught up on your Tim Winton, what about Nevil Shute (books available) the prolific author of several “quintessential” Australian stories published in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Unfortunately Shute’s work hasn’t stood the test of time the way that Agatha Christie’s or Sir A. Conan Doyle’s have. The racist and sexist undertones that haunt the pages of A Town Like Alice will make the modern day reader cringe. However, overall they are still good yarns that will not tax your little grey cells too much. However it has been argued that Shute’s On The Beach is Australia's most important novel – EVER! – so surely that makes it worth a read? (By the way: Gideon Haigh’s article in The Monthly in 2007 made this proposition about On The Beach because of the wide readership it had among US politicians at the time it was published).

If thrillers and mystery all sound a bit much, then what about reading an Alexander McCall Smith book? (books available) His gentle and endearing prose will keep you turning the pages without raising your heat beat. Similarly Anne Tyler's books will amaze with their ability to make ordinary characters and events quite extraordinary. (books available)

Finally, there’s always Maeve Binchy (books available) and Marion Keyes (books available). Firmly ensconced in the “Chic Lit” genre, these books will deliver a read as enjoyable and unchallenging as a Lemonade Icy Pole on a summer’s day.

So instead of forking out $20 at the local bookstore or at the airport, why not stock up from Brotherhood Books before embarking on your summer holidays?

Everyone loves a good book, but is especially nice when you know the proceeds of your book purchases go towards helping those less fortunate get closer to their own happy ending.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence is a community-based not-for-profit organisation working for an Australia free of poverty.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

[Book Review] Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer

Written by Bernadette Chandrasegaram

Jeffrey Archer’s first novel “Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less” firmly established him as one of the most popular authors of the 1980s. If you missed this Jeffery Archer can be described as being a 1980s, English John Grisham.

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less is a thriller. Its engaging premise is quickly and skillfully established in the first few chapters: the heroes four nice fellows are each swindled out every cent they have. The swindle has devastating implications for each of the characters and the reader cannot help but identify with their plight and to hope against hope that they will somehow get their money back.

Meanwhile the swindler, Harvey Metcalf, is the sort of anti-hero the reader loves to hate: unapologetically awful and confident of getting away with his never-ending litany of dirty tricks.

The four hapless heroes band together and, having nothing to loose, each hatch an outrageous strategy to swindle their money back from Harvey Metcalf. The book revolves around their trials and tribulations in executing these strategies. Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less delivers surprising and satisfying twists and turns right up until the very last sentence.

If somehow you have not read this book and you are looking for a good book for an upcoming train or plane journey, I couldn’t recommend this book highly enough.

Find the copy from Brotherhood Books

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

[Book Review] The Don Camillo Omnibus by Giovanni Guareschi

Written by Bernadette Chandrasegaram

The Don Camillo books are a series of hilarious short stories that are equal parts heart warming and heart wrenching.

Don Camillo set in an Italy still reeling from WW2. Don Camillo is a Catholic priest in a poor, little town on the edges of the River Po. Don Camillo likes being a Catholic priest and he likes his parishioners. Don Camillo also likes pasta, gambling, poaching and boxing. Don Camillo doesn’t like anyone knowing he likes poaching, gambling and boxing. More than that, Don Camillo does not like Communism.

Enter Don Camillo’s nemesis and main contender for the Hearts and Minds of the town’s people: Peppone. Peppone is the town’s Communist mayor. Mayor Peppone likes Communism and he like the people of the town. Mayor Peppone also likes pasta, gambling, poaching and boxing.

Each Don Camillo story centres around a stouch between the two protagonists who are inevitably pitted against each other for the town’s affections due to their diametrically opposed religious and political outlooks. The magic in these stories, however, is that as they unfold it becomes apparent that underneath their differences in dogmas, Don Camillo and Peppone have a lot in common. A grudging respect – even care – that each has for the other becomes apparent to the reader.

Don Camillo is everything a good book should be: a comical and entertaining read; comfort food for the soul and; imbued with a deeper meaning. It’s deeper meaning is a message of hope that people who believe in different things can still find common ground. 

Find the copy from Brotherhood Books HERE

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Site down for maintenance

Brotherhood Books is currently down for site maintenance and going to have a new look soon.
Please bear with us for a moment, we will be back next week!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Great Food for a Great Cause.

Food brings people together and encourages sharing of new experiences.  



With recipes and tips from some of Australia’s best known chefs, such as Guy Grossi, HEAT cookbook will not only help you reach your full potential in the kitchen, it will help positively shape the future of young lives.
Brotherhood Books proudly supports HEAT and 100% of the profit from sales goes to HEAT and Brotherhood of St Laurence to continue supporting young people succeed in life.

The way forward is good food – buy your copy now!