Not that we need an excuse to talk about books, because frankly it is one of our favourite pastimes.
Because this week is ‘Refugee Week’, we thought we would share with you some stories we have enjoyed reading, in the hope you will find a one that inspires you and at the same time raise awareness to the many issues affecting refugees today.
If you find a book you love among our suggestions; make sure you share it with your reading buddies!
The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do – In this long standing popular memoir Anh Do shares his story. Anh Do, a comedian, artist (see ABC TV ‘Anh’s brush with fame) and a writer has made great contribution to Australia.
Yassmin’s story by Yassimin Abdel-Magied – Sudanese-Australian media presenter and writer, who had an early career as a mechanical engineer. She was named Young Queenslander of the year in 2010 and Queensland Australian of the Year in 2015 for her engagement in community work.
Journey of a Thousands storms by Kooshyar Karimi – The title page states that “One man’s remarkable story of fleeing persecution in Iran, fighting to keep his young family alive as refugees in Turkey, and becoming a successful doctor in suburban Australia”.
Rescue: refugees and the political crisis of our time by David Miliband – With compassion and clarity, David Miliband shows us why we should care and how we can make a difference. He takes us from war zones in the Middle East to the heart of Europe to explain the crisis and show what can be done, not just by governments with the power to change policy but by citizens with the urge to change lives. A book of a much bigger picture beyond each individual but looks into the humanity and innovation ways to deal with refugee crisis.
http://libcat.parracity.nsw.gov.au/client/en_AU/default/search/results?qu=No+friend+but+the+mountain+behrouz&te=No Friend but the Mountain: writing from Manus Prison by Behrouz Boochani – In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally and indefinitely detained on Manus Island. This book is the result. Written on a smuggled mobile phone and translated from Farsi, it is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric first-hand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through six years of incarceration and exile that – against all the odds – became an award-winning national bestseller.
Over the last month, myself and my colleague Sarah have been super busy reading!
What have we been reading? Well, as many books on the ‘Miles Franklin’ longlist that we could manage! Not to mention our leisure reading and book club titles. Luckily we both love books and reading; although Sarah is by far the superior reader. I am constantly in awe of her seemingly endless list of books she has finished.
Now back to the ‘Miles Franklin’ longlist. While we didn’t get through the whole longlist, we did manage to read six out of ten titles, which I think is not a bad effort.
The White Girl by Tony Birch, UQP, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – This made me cry! In a good way. I was totally invested in Odette and Sissy’s story. If I am honest I would have read another two hundred pages. Jody
Room For A Stranger by Melanie Cheng, Text Publishing, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – Meg is an elderly lady living alone in her childhood home. After a break-in she finds a student to share her house. This is Andy, an international student from Hong Kong. Although they are from different backgrounds they develop a friendship as they do have some things in common. Sarah
Islands by Peggy Frew, Allend & Unwin, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – The many different layers/perspectives in this book did confuse me a times; enough so that I did find myself re-reading parts. However, overall I did enjoy the book and after finishing it, felt that on some level the way it was written perfectly matched the disjointed lives of the characters. Jody
Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany, Text Publishing, 2020. eBook – This book had the power to mess with my head! The narrator of this book is a teenage girl living with her mother, brother and a dangerous man. She uses her mechanical skill to fight back. I found this book quite disturbing. Sarah
The Yield by Tara June Winch, Hamish Hamilton, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – Simply a perfect book! I enjoy reading books about Australian History, particularly Indigenous stories. ‘The Yield’ is complex and emotional book, with characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading their story. – Jody
The Weekend by Charlotte Wood, Allen & Unwin, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – Four women in their 70s have been lifelong friends. After the death of one of the group the others spend a weekend at her beach house to clean it out. But there is conflict between the three ladies without the friend that held the group together. This novel looks at growing older and dealing with past regrets. – Sarah
We are crossing our fingers that our three favourite books, ‘The White Girl’ by Tony Birch, ‘The Yield’ by Tara June Winch and ‘Room for a Stranger’ by Melanie Cheng make it onto the 2020 ‘Miles Franklin Shortlist’.
Do you have a favourite? What will be your pick for the 2020 Winner?
Fiction that can be read in one sitting, short stories are a great way book lovers can explore a wide range of narrative content. In this episode, Nisa and Sandra explore short stories that span genres such as sci-fi and crime, original languages such as Japanese and Chinese and settings as diverse as the fictional city of Maardam and the outer reaches of the galaxy.
It was really hard choosing this month’s titles. We have been reading along together now for three months and trying to pick something different that would appeal to the greater reading community was difficult. In the end we decided to go with two titles we all had been wanting to read, ‘Bruny‘ by Heather Rose and ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo‘ by Christy Lefteri.
Heather Rose is the author of ‘The museum of modern love‘, one book which we have all read and enjoyed. Christy Lefteri’s book ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo has continued to be a popular pick among readers since it’s release in 2019; not mention one of our ‘most wanted’ Book Club Kits!
Hopefully they will prove as appealing to everyone reading along with us as they were to us!
Why is a massive bridge being built to connect the sleepy island of Bruny with the mainland of Tasmania? And why have terrorists blown it up?
When the Bruny bridge is bombed, UN troubleshooter Astrid Coleman agrees to return home to help her brother before an upcoming election. But this is no simple task. Her brother and sister are on either side of politics, the community is full of conspiracy theories, her mother is fading and her father is quoting Shakespeare. Only on Bruny does the world seem sane. Until Astrid discovers how far the government is willing to go.
Bruny is a searing, subversive novel about family, love, loyalty and the new world order. It is a gripping thriller with a jaw-dropping twist, a love story, a cry from the heart and a fiercely entertaining and crucial work of imagination that asks the burning question: what would you do to protect the place you love?
In the midst of war, he found love In the midst of darkness, he found courage In the midst of tragedy, he found hope
What will you find from his story?
Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.
As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.