Book Review – The Choke by Sofie Laguna

The Choke by Sofie Laguna

Published by Allen & Unwin, 2017.

About the Book

I never had words to ask anybody the questions, so I never had the answers.
Abandoned by her mother and only occasionally visited by her secretive father, Justine is raised by her pop, a man tormented by visions of the Burma Railway. Justine finds sanctuary in Pop’s chooks and The Choke, where the banks of the Murray River are so narrow it seems they might touch – a place of staggering natural beauty. But the river can’t protect Justine from danger. Her father is a criminal, and the world he exposes her to can be lethal.

Justine is overlooked and underestimated, a shy and often silent observer of her chaotic world. She learns that she has to make sense of it on her own. She has to find ways to survive so much neglect. She must hang on to friendship when it comes, she must hide when she has to, and ultimately she must fight back.

The Choke is a brilliant, haunting novel about a child navigating an often dark and uncaring world of male power and violence, in which grown-ups can’t be trusted and comfort can only be found in nature. This compassionate and claustrophobic vision of a child in danger and a society in trouble celebrates above all the indomitable nature of the human spirit.

Sofie Laguna, winner of the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award for The Eye of the Sheep, once again shows she is a writer of rare empathy, originality and blazing talent.

From Allen & Unwin


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Book Review – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Last Month our Cultcha Club Book Club read ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman.

Read what they thought of it below.

This was a highly anticipated read for our book club.. and it did not disappoint!! What a great read!!  We absolutely loved it!!  Brilliant characters and wonderfully written.  While some of our readers found it a little slow to start, as more of Eleanor’s story was revealed, they soon fell in love.  We liked the way the author took a heavy subject, and turned it into a warm, and funny story, yet never making light of Eleanor’s past.  A perfect holiday read.  Can’t compliment this one enough!!


Reading & Puzzle Competition Wrap-Up

Our Summer ‘Reading & Puzzle’ competition has now finished. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Eligible entries were placed in a draw and the winners randomly drawn by the Manager Libraries, on Wednesday 19 February. The three lucky winners have notified and will soon be enjoying their ‘bag full of books’.

Participation certificates (for those who elected to receive one), will be available for collection from nominated libraries from Wednesday 27 February 2020. Any certificates not collected by 20 March 2020 will be confidentially destroyed.

If you would like to check your answers, you can do so below or at any of our libraries.

Reading & Puzzle – Answers

We hope you enjoyed participating in this years Summer ‘Reading & Puzzle’ competition and will join in again next Summer!


We have already started discussing ideas for next Summer and we hope to present a bigger and better program for all our members to enjoy!

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Parra Pods – Non Fiction Reads for Summer

Episode 28: Non-fiction Australian Reads for Summer

This summer has been a particularly challenging one for the Australian landscape and with Australia Day upon us, there are a number of great books that demonstrate just how vast this land is, how diverse and rich is its history.

Join Katherine and Nisa for the third and final episode of the ‘Summer’ series of podcasts.

Books mentioned in this episode include:

Buckley’s chance: the incredible true story of William Buckley and how he conquered a new world / Garry Linnell. Penguin Random House, October 2019.

Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the birth of agriculture / Bruce Pascoe. Magabala Books, June 2018 [earlier published as Dark Emu:  Black Seeds: Agriculture or accident in 2014]

Young Dark Emu: a truer history / Bruce Pascoe. Magabala Books, June 2019

Tracks / Robyn Davidson. Bloomsbury, November 2019.

Macquarie Atlas of Indigenous Australia / Bill Arthur and Frances Morphy. ANU, ABS and Macquarie Dictionary, August 2019.

Uncover Something New Library Lovers Day 2020

Uncover Something New, Library Lovers Day 2020

Help City of Parramatta Libraries celebrated ‘Library Lovers Day’ on Friday on 14th February 2020 and ‘Uncover Something New!’

Participating is simple! Borrow one of our specially wrapped books on the day. Find a SILVER ticket inside to win one of seven $30 Dymocks gift cards. Find the lucky GOLDEN ticket to win a $50 Dymocks gift card.

Each ‘Blind Book’ will come with an ‘Uncover Something New’ bookmark, plus a book themed trivia sheet.

Trivia answers will be available from Library branches from Tuesday 18 February 2020 and online at Parra Reads.

Lucky winners can present their tickets at any of our libraries between Tuesday 18 February & Friday 21 February to claim their prize.

Drop in to any of our Libraries on Friday 14 February to borrow a book. Available while stocks last.

Open to adults aged 18+. You must me a library member to participate. A total of two books per person can be borrowed.

Library Lovers Day – Terms & Conditions