Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2021 Winners

The winners of the 2021 Prime Minster’s Literary Awards have been announced at the Sydney Opera House.

The winning books include: a hypnotic fiction story of guilt and denial; a work of rare and assured poetic authority; an account of ancient and modern art worlds that collide; an epic history of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River; an insightful tale of a youth’s journey through loss and despair in search of identity; and two children’s books—an illustrated heartfelt novel and an exceptional picture book that is a meditation on the creative process.

The shortlisted and winning authors have once again shown the creativity and depth of thought our exceptional writers and illustrators are noted for in this country.
Congratulations to each and every author, illustrator, poet and historian selected for this year’s shortlists.

The full media release about the Awards from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher can be found here.

Goodreads Best Books of 2021

Announcing the winners of the 13th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards, a major book award decided by readers. Congratulations to the best books of the year! Why not reserve one or more titles now and see if you agree with the votes. We have all of the winners of the categories below and many of the nominees. With so many titles to choose from you are sure to find something to read this Summer.

Book Review Educated by Tara Westover

Another book reviews by the Dundas Readers, enjoy!

Summary

Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals.

As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it.

Comments

A marvelous autobiography by an amazing young woman. “Educated” is set in Idaho, USA where Tara and her sister and five brothers were brought up by  radical fundamentalist Mormon parents. Her father, who has complete control over the family, makes a living buying and selling scrap metal. Her mother is an untrained midwife who also makes and sells homeopathic herbal remedies. Tara and her siblings don’t attend school and her father forbids contact with doctors and hospitals.

in her early teens Tara begins to wonder and then to question their lifestyle and beliefs. She passes an admission test to attend University at the age of sixteen and begins an agonising search for self-hood. This is summed up in her own words: “what is a person to do, I asked, when their obligations to their family conflict with other obligations – to friends, to society, to themselves”.

A beautifully written and heart rending story of our times.

Read by Dundas Readers, our score – 8.5/10

Best reads of 2021!

As we get closer to Christmas and the end of another year we thought it would be a great time to share our Best Reads of 2021!

2021 might not have been a good year under normal circumstances but it certainly turned out to be a great year for good books and we love nothing better than sharing our love of great books with everyone.

We have listed some of the best books we read in 2021 in the hopes you might find something enjoyable to read over the Christmas and summer break.

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season filled with lots of great reads; which by coincidence can be found at your local City of Parramatta Library!

Happy reading.

Some of the great books we read in 2021….

Asking a librarian to limit their favourite book of the year to just one title is impossible! So we have decided to include every title we loved year. Download the complete uncut list now! Jam packed full of our 5/5 picks. Guaranteed to keep you busy way past Christmas and summer.

Best Reads of 2021 – Staff Picks

Book Review Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Our MJ Readers book club enjoyed reading ‘Force of Nature‘ by Jane Harper this month. Read their thoughts below.

About the Book

Lost, Cold, Desperate … Danger Runs Deep

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.

The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew. (from the publisher)

Comments

As with Jane Harper’s other novels, we felt that the environment was a central ‘character’ in this story. It was a menacing force that emphasised the dysfunctional relationships, frailties, jealousies and paranoia that each character displayed in some degree. We were drawn in by the story and it kept us guessing to the end. The conclusion was cleverly tied up and there was healing and understanding of how regrets from the past impacted each character and their ongoing relationships. Another enjoyable read.

Read by MJ Readers