That’s a Wrap! Parra Reads Online Book Club, February

As we come to the end of February and our first month of Online Book Club, I am feeling super excited & motivated for the months ahead.

A big thank you to every one of you who joined our Goodreads group, I love seeing what you’re reading. Navigate over to the discussion board and share your thoughts on the books you are reading, I don’t want to bore you all with my comments too much, I admit I have a tendency to babble.

I don’t know how you all did reading Australian authors this month, but I loved it! I hope you enjoyed discovering some of our wonderful home grown literature as much as I did. The books I got through this month were, ‘Mr Wigg’ by Inga Simpson, ‘Three Wishes’ by Liane Moriarty and ‘The Yield’ by Tara June Winch all of which were re-reads for me.

‘Mr Wigg’ is one of my all-time favourite reads. This is a beautifully written and gentle book that allows the reader to share the intimate story of Mr Wigg’s life. This book transports you to another time and place, allowing you to soak up the characters and the environment around him. If you enjoy reading a beautifully written book that allows you to share one-persons journey, then this book is a must read.

‘Three Wishes’ is one of Liane Moriarty’s first books and to this day remains one of my favourites. The Prologue reels you in, leaving you no choice but to turn the page to find out what happens. A fast-paced book with characters that draw you into their story, not to mention the hilarious family dynamics. An enjoyable read.

For the second time in less than a year I found myself reading; ‘The Yield’ by Tara June Winch; one of the best books I read in 2020. I loved the language, story and characters. This time I have been reading and listening at the same time. If you have read the book and enjoyed it, you should try the audio version. Hearing the Wiradjuri language pronounced adds such depth to the story.  

As we move forward into March and reading ‘Books to Screen’ I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what I want to read. While I was putting together the monthly list of reading recommendations, I identified a few potential titles to read during March, they are:

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Dry by Jane Harper, another re-read. It has been a while and I want to read it again before I watch the movie.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Whichever book you read in March I hope you enjoy it. I look forward to reading all about it on Goodreads, or share your review via our ‘Read & Review’ form, and I will share it on the blog.

I hope March is a good reading month!

Jody

Podcast John le Carre

One of the greats of espionage fiction – John le Carre – passed away at the end of 2020. Join Nisa and Sandra as they take a quick tour through some of his books and focus on two titles in particular:

Our Kind of Traitor – John le Carre. Viking, 2010

The Night Manager – John le Carre. Hodder and Stoughton, 1993

In conversation with Julietta Henderson

Julietta Henderson will be in conversation with Suzanne Micallef from City of Parramatta Libraries discussing The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman with the support of NSW Public Libraries Association.

Norman and Jax are a quirky pair of pre-teen best friends with a five-year plan to take their comedy act all the way to the Edinburgh Fringe by the time they’re fifteen. When Jax dies suddenly, it’s earth-shattering.

Norman’s mum Sadie knows she won’t win Mother of the Year anytime soon, and she really doesn’t know, or care, who Norman’s father is. But her heart is broken when she discovers her grieving son’s revised plan: ‘Find Dad’ and ‘Get to the Edinburgh Fringe’. If finding his dad and performing at Edinburgh are the two things that will make Norman happy after his devastating loss, Sadie’s going to make it happen.

Norman and Sadie set off from Cornwall, with their friend Leonard in his vintage Austin Maxi, on a pilgrimage to Edinburgh. This is a mother-son road trip that inspires and delights like the best road trip novels and films.

Copies of The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman can be purchased from Booktopia: https://booktopia.kh4ffx.net/mxna1

Numbers are limited for this free virtual event and bookings are essential.

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).

Book Review The Alice Network

Last month our ‘Dundas Readers’ book club read ‘The Alice Network‘ by Kate Quinn and it looks like they enjoyed reading it like most of our other book clubs. This title is definitely a popular pick!

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Summary

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her little problem taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister. 1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, code name Alice, the queen of spies, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose. Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. That is until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth … no matter where it leads.

Continue reading

Uplifting Reads

Can you believe it is February already? Time definitely seems to be moving along quickly in 2021.

Most people are back at work, the kids are back at school, and that relaxing holiday vibe seems like so long ago now. You might even be feeling a bit blah, I know I am missing my extra reading and craft time. Which prompted me to search for a nice uplifting book to read.

This means, I did what I normally do when I am looking for something to read, I asked my colleagues for their suggestions and I am so glad I did because now I have a huge list of books I can turn to when I just want to read something that makes me smile!

If you, like me are finding you need a little lift, why not check out some of the ‘Uplifting Stories’ below.

Happy Reading!

Jody

Keeping Mum by James Gould- Bourn

When We Were Vikings by Andrew MacDonald

The Other Bennett Sister by Janice Hadlow

The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart by Margarita Montimore

The Cake Maker’s Wish by Josephine Moon

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

The Family Holiday by Elizabeth Noble

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Jetsetters by Amanda Ward

Come Again by Robert Webb

Death and Other Happy Endings by Melanie Cantor

Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds

Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Joyful: The Art of Finding Happiness All Around You by Ingrid Fetell

One Day in December by Josie Silver

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Five Steps to Happy by Ella Dove