New Book Club Kits

This month, two of our Dundas book clubs read and reviewed ‘The Things She Owned‘ by Katherine Tamiko Arguille and ‘The Surviors‘ by Jane Harper. Which just happen to be two of our new Book Club Kits; I hope they enjoyed them!

Read what they thought below!

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The Golden Age of Hollywood in Books

This year, I admit I have become a little obsessed with The Golden Age of Hollywood; in books that is!

This started when I was browsing the newsagency for some light reading, and I came across The Australian Women’s Weekly Special Editions, Icon magazine. Packed full of retro photos, interesting stories and nostalgia, these special edition magazines have become my go-to Sunday morning reading.

I have been filling the gaps between issues reading some biographies & books about the stars who have intrigued me the most, the majority of those being women who found Hollywood at the time anything but golden. While some of their stories proved to be tragic, that didn’t stop their strength and determination from shining through.

Below I have listed a few titles I have browsed over the course of 2020, in the hopes that you might find something interesting to read over the coming summer months.

Happy Reading!

Jody

Judy Garland a Biography by Anne Edwards

Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland by Gerald Clarke

Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews

Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews

Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life by Laurie Wallmark

Elizabeth Taylor: the lady, the lover, the legend-1932-2011 by David Brett

Ava: A Life in Movies by Kendra Bean

Audrey Hepburn: a photographic journey of a beautiful star’s rise to silver-screen icon by Gabrielle Mander.

Katharine Hepburn: a remarkable woman by Anne Edwards

Hollywood love stories: true love stories from the golden days of the silver screen by Gill Paul

In conversation with Sir Peter Cosgrove

Sir Peter Cosgrove will be in conversation with Richard Glover discussing his memoir You Shouldn’t Have Joined, a warm and fascinating memoir of one of Australia’s most popular and prominent public figures,

General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC (Mil) CVO MC (Retd) is one of Australia’s most significant public figures. As a soldier he saw action in Vietnam, winning the Military Cross, and rose to the very top of his profession, becoming Chief of the Defence Force. Soon after his retirement from the Army, he was invited to take charge of the huge relief and rebuilding operation in Queensland after the devastation of Cyclone Larry.

In 2014, Cosgrove became Australia’s Governor-General. As Governor-General he travelled far and wide, supporting Australians in times of crisis, sadness, joy or celebration, representing us on the world stage with humour, intelligence and a force of personal magnetism that was felt by everyone from prime ministers to presidents.

When he retired in July 2019, it was as one of the most beloved and respected governors-general in Australia’s history. Cosgrove embodies the traits we truly value: warmth, humanity, toughness and loyalty. His humour and empathy shone through the pomp and ceremony, and his time as Governor-General will be remembered as much for his laughter as for the usual dignities of the office.

You Shouldn’t Have Joined … (an expression much used during his days as a soldier) is the story of Cosgrove’s extraordinarily full and eventful life. It is also the story of those who have shared it with him, in particular his wife Lynne.  His memoir allows us an incredible insight into the role and world of Australia’s Governor-General. He was there as two prime ministers were toppled by their own party. He was there through disasters both natural and man-made, such as the destruction of MH17. He was there for world leaders, and for ordinary Australians. You Shouldn’t Have Joined … is a true reflection of the man himself, filled with intelligence, forthrightness, compassion and a brilliant eye for a telling anecdote.

This FREE online author talk will be broadcast via Zoom with a Q & A session at the end. Book your place and we’ll send you a Zoom link to join the meeting (download and install from zoom.us if you haven’t already).

This collaborative event is supported by the NSW Public Libraries Association and in association with Allen & Unwin.

November Book Club Read

We have reached November and our last title for this year! Even if I am running a few days behind

October’s pick ‘Enid, the scandalous life of a glamorous Australian who dazzled the world’ by Robert Wainwright was a huge hit with both me and my mother-in-law.

With both of us being Australian history buffs it was no surprise that we found Enid’s story intriguing! Robert Wainwright wrote in such a way that Enid jumped to life off the pages of the book. In fact I am going to listen to the eAudiobook version on my daily walk and see if it offers a different perspective to Enid’s character. My fascination with Australian history seems to grow all the time. In fact my mother-in-law recommended I read ‘Kings in Grass Castles‘ by Mary Durack one of her favourite books of all time. ‘True North: the Story of Mary and Elizabeth Durack‘ by Brenda Niall looks like another book for my ever growing TBR pile!

Now down to business! Our last title for this year is ‘The Weekend‘ by one of our go to authors, Charlotte Wood.

Summary

People went on about death bringing friends together, but it wasn’t true. The graveyard, the stony dirt – that’s what it was like now . . . Despite the three women knowing each other better than their own siblings, Sylvie’s death had opened up strange caverns of distance between them.

Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. Can they survive together without her?

They are Jude, a once-famous restaurateur, Wendy, an acclaimed public intellectual, and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. Struggling to recall exactly why they’ve remained close all these years, the grieving women gather for Christmas at Sylvie’s old beach house – not for festivities, but to clean the place out before it is sold.

Without Sylvie to maintain the group’s delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface – and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.

The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we’re forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and excruciatingly funny, this is a jewel of a book: a celebration of tenderness and friendship that is nothing short of a masterpiece.

For those of you who prefer to read or listen online ‘The Weekend‘ is also available to download as a multi-access title in eBook and eAudiobook format from our rbDigital library!

Happy Reading!

Jody

P.S.

Look out for our December Book Club wrap-up when I share our plans for ‘Reading Together’ in 2021!

In conversation with Lauren Chater

Lauren Chater will in conversation with Meg Keneally, author of The Wreck, discussing Lauren’s latest book, Gulliver’s Wife. 

London, 1702. When her husband is lost at sea, Mary Burton Gulliver, midwife and herbalist, is forced to rebuild her life without him. But three years later when Lemuel Gulliver is brought home, fevered and communicating only in riddles, her ordered world is turned upside down.

In a climate of desperate poverty and violence, Mary is caught in a crossfire of suspicion and fear driven by her husband’s outlandish claims, and it is up to her to navigate a passage to safety for herself and her daughter, and the vulnerable women in her care.

When a fellow sailor, a dangerous man with nothing to lose, appears to hold sway over her husband, Mary’s world descends deeper into chaos, and she must set out on her own journey to discover the truth of Gulliver’s travels . . . and the landscape of her own heart.

Numbers are limited for this free virtual event and bookings are essential. 
Copies of the book can be purchased from Booktopia  or from your local bookshop.

This presentation will be broadcast online using Zoom. Book your place and we’ll send you a Zoom link to join the meeting (download and install from zoom.us if you haven’t already).

This collaborative event is supported by the NSW Public Libraries Association and in association with Simon & Schuster.