Podcast Miles Franklin Shortlist 2019

First awarded in 1957, this year marks the 62nd year of the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Join Katherine & Nisa as they discuss books that have made it on to the 2019 shortlist. The books span genres such as magic realism, autobiography, mystery and dystopia. Some themes found in the novels include: family, the environment, art, masculinity, relationships, race and racism – all against a range of Australian backdrops.

Some of the books discussed in Episode 18 of Parra Pods include:

The Lebs / Michael Mohammed Ahmad. Hatchette, 2018

A stolen season / Rodney Hall. Picador, 2018

The death of Noah Glass / Gail Jones. Text Publishing, 2018

Too much lip / Melissa Lucashenko. University of Queensland Press, 2018

Other books in the Shortlist include:

A sand archive / Gregory Day. Picador, 2018

Dyschronia / Jennifer Mills. Picador, 2018

Feel like exploring some of the AMAZING past winners of the Miles Franklin Award? Or maybe you would like to learn more about the history of the award, check out the Miles Franklin Award website.

Happy Listening!

Katherine & Nisa

Book Review – The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Summary

This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist’s journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, ‘brilliant’ but alcoholic parents.

At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the ‘mundane, middle class existence’ she had always craved. In her apartment, overlooked by ‘a portrait of someone else’s ancestor’ she recounts poignant remembered images of star watching with her father, juxtaposed with recollections of irregular meals, accidents and police-car chases and reveals her complex feelings of shame, guilt, pity and pride toward her parents.

Comments

This was a novel that drew so much discussion. There were so many instances of neglect, abuse and cruelty and yet, at the core, the siblings supported each other showing resilience and intelligence.

It is a real testament to human spirit, family relationships and survival. It also highlights the influence a good teacher can have and the ‘ripple effect’ that positive influence can make.

Read by the MJ Readers 9/10

Book Review – The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

The City Bake’rs Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

Summary

When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country’s longest-running contra dance, and her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts.

Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn’s property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. She soon uncovers the real reason she has been hired—to help Margaret reclaim the inn’s blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest.

With the joys of a fragrant kitchen, the sound of banjos and fiddles being tuned in a barn, and the crisp scent of the orchard just outside the front door, Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. And when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy  comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought.

But then another new arrival takes the community by surprise, and Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee—or stay and finally discover what it means to belong. Olivia Rawlings may finally find out that the life you want may not be the one you expected—it could be even better.

Comments

The City Bakers Guide to Country Living is a window into the life of a small town in North East USA, Livvy, an accomplished pastry chef escapes to Guthrie; Vermont and her high school friend Hannah, after causing a fire during a high profile event at her Boston workplace.

This story of friendship, love, compassion, rivalry and acceptance draws you in with Louise Miller’s great descriptive writing. I laughed out loud in parts. She brought alive the landscape and traditions of the area.

As an ex-caterer I was right there in the kitchen; it was so real. A compelling easy read!

Tina, Dundas Readers 8/10

Podcast – Young Adult Fiction

In Episode 17 of Parra Pods, Katherine & Nisa discuss some of the amazing Young Adult fiction books they have read over the last couple of weeks.

Reading Youth Adult fiction in all its diversity is great way to understand the issues facing the up and coming generation. The books that we review in this episode discuss diverse themes  such as “Black lives matter”, growing up Muslim in Australia, body issues and being young and LGBTQ identified. What these wonderful books have in common is that they are all thought provoking, funny at times, often inspiring and always entertaining. I urge you to grab a YA book now and enjoy!

Some of the books discussed in this podcast include:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, 2017.

How (Not) to Ask a Boy to the Prom by S.J. Goslee, 2019.

You Must Be Layla by Yassmin Abel-Magied, 2019

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

Out of the Box: New Arrival Highlights – June 2019

Another busy month is over and our Library’s shelves are bursting with new arrivals! In fact some titles are so popular we have had to order additional copies.

This month’s snapshot includes, audio books, DVDs, fiction, non-fiction, junior, young adult and eAudio and eBooks.

It is easy to reserve the titles you are interested in; click on the title and have your library card and password/pin ready.

ADULT NON-FICTION

Ditch by Herman Koch

Evvie Drake starts over by Linda Holmes

Frankissstein a love story by Jeanette Winterson

Lady’s guide to etiquette and murder by Dianne Freeman

Lifetime of impossible days by Tabitha Bird

Blood orange by Harriet Tyce

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Conviction by Denise Mina

The Ottoman Secret by Raymond Khoury

Zero sum game by S.L. Huang

A love story for bewildered girls by Emma Morgan

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Fall or dodge in hell by Neal Stephenson

The slipping place by Joanna Baker

The lost queen by Signe Pike

The white girl by Tony Birch

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