I have been able to use the extra non-weeding time to acquire a few recommended books for your library pleasure.

I suggest more use of the library during COVID-19—there are fantastic books there. We all have a bit more time for catching up with books missed, learning something extra, reading for delight. The catalogue is available on the ANGAIR website—write down the Dewey number of the book listed there and call me anytime to open up the library for you if needed. The following new books might not be on the website yet but the books are available in the library.

We were touched and very grateful to receive a generous donation to the library to buy a book or books to commemorate the life of Margie Morgan—a stalwart supporter of ANGAIR and of Marg MacDonald in her orchid work. The donors are Margie’s work friends at Presence of IT. Ruth Hurst has hand painted beautiful book plates for each of the books to indicate that.

The first listed of the books is not available yet but will be a valuable and appropriate book in Margie’s memory and will be in the library as soon as we can get it.

More Soon: Bush Beauties - the Wild Orchids of Victoria by Gary Backhouse, published in 2019. 584.409945 BAC

I haven’t seen the book so I can’t review it for you but I believe both Marg and Margie saw it before COVID-19 made it inaccessible, and found it excellent. The blurb says ’covers 410 species of orchid occurring in the wild in Victoria…’

Habitat : a practical guide to creating a wildlife-friendly Australian garden by A B Bishop published by Murdock Books in 2018. 635.95194 BIS

This is not just another ’how to attract birds to your garden’ book although that is part of the message. It is thoughtful, beautifully illustrated, a well-presented deep look at biodiversity, case studies, and how to build ecosystems—and as well it contains an illustrated list of plants by height and colour, chapters on earthworms and insects, frogs, reptiles, birds and animals. It also includes lists of further reading and a useful index. It is a book that you will want to own once you have seen it. And it is hard to describe its charm and fascinating content!

My Country all gone the White Men have stolen it: the Invasion of Wadawurrung Country 1800-1870 by Dr Fred Cahir, published by Australian History Matters in 2019 994 CAH

The author has spent his career working in many capacities with Aboriginal people. He lives in Ballarat on Wadawurrung Country and is now Assoc. Professor of Aboriginal History at Federation University. This book is an extension of his PhD work. I found it engaging because about a third of the content is direct quotations from contemporary commentators, their diaries, newspapers, etc. It covers just 70 years—from initial contact, sealers, whalers and convict settlements, to the pastoralist takeover of the land and finally to the gold rush from 1851. I find firsthand accounts and observations chillingly compelling and, although the book walks carefully between castigation and whitewashing, the remarkable changes in just two or three generations speak for themselves.

As in The Biggest Estate on Earth by Bill Gammage (also in our Library), the firsthand account of the sights and observations of the earliest white people is so revealing of the state of the land, the changing attitudes of the white men and in some cases the thoughts of the First People themselves—it makes a deep impact.

Mandy Mitchell -Taverner

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