Book Club: Wild by Cheryl Strayed


Wild: a journey from lost to found by Cheryl Strayed


At twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s rapid death from cancer, her family disbanded and her marriage crumbled. With nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America – from the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, and into Washington State – and to do it along. She had no experience of long-distance hiking and the journey was nothing more than a line on a map. But it held a promise – a promise of piecing together a life that lay in ruins at her feet.

Off the back of two books that had divided our group, we were hoping this one would reunite and inspire us.. Unfortunately it did not.  We again had 2 distinct groups, those who liked and enjoyed the book and those who did not. For as many of us who liked the main character, finding her journey inspiring and showing us we can all find strength when we need it the most; there were just as many members in our group who found her a little whiny and annoying.

The book was well written, with the flashback scenes breaking up the long hiking sections. For those of us who did like the book, we found it an enjoyable read with enough interesting characters to keep us turning the pages.

Rating – 7/10

Read by Culcha Club


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2016 National Study of Australians, Books and Reading – have your say!

National study 18 August

Places in the focus groups are limited so don’t miss out.
For more details about the study please click here, to register for one of the focus groups email your preferred focus group time, name, email address and contact number to – you will be contacted to confirm your place

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Book Club Wrap Up – June 2016

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Our Book Club’s love to read! Take a look at what they read in June.


First Wednesday Book Club

Book ReadThe Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson


Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.


Thought the novel was about the search for identity. Various characters found their identity as the story progressed, e.g. Comrade Buc being able to speak by the end of the book. Many didn’t have their own names but an assumed identity. Pah Jun Do assumes the identity of Comrade Ya. The characters inner self initially hidden but each found their identity. Enjoyed reading the novel and wanted to know what happened to the characters.

In two minds about the book! Is it American propaganda or is the life in North Korea not as ideal as painted in the book. Needed to skim sections; e.g. loud speaker speech.

Found it exhausting to read. Difficult to engage with characters. It needs to be read in short time frame to follow the change in time and characters. “The story is more important than the person”, is the crux of the story; the person must change.

Found it very bleak as there is no way of finding out the truth. Life so very hard and bleak, with education and freedom not available to people.

Didn’t enjoy reading the novel at all!

Didn’t enjoy it! Even though I thought I was very interested in North Korea. Would prefer a factual account of North Korea rather than a satirical account, such as this novel.


Second Tuesday Evening Book Club

Book ReadLife after Life by Kate Atkinson


What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here she is at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.


Overall, book was good but there were parts in the middle where the story seemed to stop following the pattern.

All agreed it was very well written and found it interesting, how small events may change the lives of one or many; plus therefore history.

Great concept and well done, but could be complex in parts.

Good overview of social and moral values at the times.

Recommend ‘A God in Ruins’ if you enjoyed this book; it follows through one of the characters in this book, Teddy.

Thought the theme was being “beaten into me”!


The Last Thursday Book Group

Book ReadThe husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty


At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that is not meant to be read…

My darling Cecilia,
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive…

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.


Really well written and loved the way all the characters intertwined and created a plot that was very exciting, maintaining interest throughout.

Qualities of each character showed different traits.

Kept reflecting and changing opinion of the characters.

Author displayed a good understanding of people.

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Book Club: I came to say goodbye by Caroline Overington


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train


This was a much anticipated read for our group.  It had been a popular choice when we selected our book titles a few months back.  For some, it more than lived up to expectations, enjoying the plot twists and turns.  While others found it a bit underwhelming.. A bit.. meh?

This was another book that really divided opinions amongst our group, generating lots of discussion.  We all found the book to be well written, with characters that made us feel something.. Whether that be love or hate!  Those who loved it; liked the plot twists and the suspense.  Those who didn’t like it, found it hard to like the main characters.

Rating – 7.5 / 10

Read by Culcha Club


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NEW Book Club Kit Titles Added!

For those already in a Book Club or thinking about starting one – why not check out how the Library can help you! Head to our Book Club Kit page for more details and to look at the variety of  we have for loan – now with even more titles.

new titles June 2016

Posted in Biographies, Book Club Kits, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery & Crime, New Arrivals, Non Fiction, Recommended Reading, Romance, Science Fiction | Comments Off on NEW Book Club Kit Titles Added!