May’s Reads: Book Clubs & Reading Groups

As usual it has been a busy month for all of City of Parramatta Libraries Book Clubs and Reading Groups.

The month of May saw twenty seven Book Club Kits delivered to our Library Branches, making it simple for our wider reading community to pick up their Book Club Kits. Thanks to the Library’s wonderful courier, Vic who never gets upset when each day he arrives and there are more Book Club Kits waiting for him to deliver.

This month Book Clubs and Reading Groups read a wide range of titles, including both fiction and non fiction. Popular titles this month included ‘Bridge of Clay’ by Markus Zusak, and First Person by Richard Flanagan; both of which were read by four clubs.

Miles Franklin Literary Award Longlist 2019

The most prestigious literary award, Miles Franklin, has announced it longlist. The longlisted 10 titles areas following and you can reserve a copy on City of Parramatta Libraries.

This year’s longlist, again, showcases the diversity of writers, of its fiction genres, and the capacity in reflecting what is very unique to Australia, but at the same time it is also very universal in contents.

  • The Lebs (Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Hachette) – A book about a Lebanese boy grows in Western Sydney
  • Flames (Robbie Arnott, Text) – – A new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…
  • Boy Swallows Universe (Trent Dalton, Fourth Estate) – already a winner of some awards, it is a book sets in Brisbane, 1985: A lost father, a mute brother, a junkie mum, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter.
  • A Sand Archive (Gregory Day, Picador) – stories of Australia’s Great Ocean Road, a young writer stumbles across a manual from a minor player in the road’s history, FB Herschell.
  • Inappropriation (Lexi Freiman, A&U) – a prestigious private Australian girls’ school, fifteen-year-old Ziggy Klein is confronted with an alienating social hierarchy that hurls her into the arms of her grade’s most radical feminists.
  • A Stolen Season (Rodney Hall, Picador) – Adam’s life has been ruined by war… A veteran of the Iraq conflict who has suffered such extensive bodily trauma that he can only really survive by means of a mechanical skeleton.
  • The Death of Noah Glass (Gail Jones, Text) – The art historian Noah Glass, having just returned from a trip to Sicily, is discovered floating face down in the swimming pool at his Sydney apartment block.
  • Too Much Lip (Melissa Lucashenko, UQP) – A dark and funny new novel from the multi-award-winning author of Mullumbimby.
  • Dyschronia (Jennifer Mills, Picador) – A small town. And the end of the world as we know it…One morning, the residents of a small coastal town somewhere in Australia wake to discover the sea has disappeared.
  • The Lucky Galah (Tracy Sorensen, Picador) – It’s 1969 and a remote coastal town in Western Australia is poised to play a pivotal part in the moon landing.

Book Review: Salt Creek

Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar

Book Summary

Some things collapse slow, and cannot always be rebuilt, and even if a thing can be remade it will never be as it was. 

Salt Creek, 1855, lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester Finch. 

Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can: with the few travellers that pass along the nearby stock route – among them a young artist, Charles – and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed. Over the years that pass, and Aboriginal boy, Tully, at first a friend, becomes part of the family. 

Stanton’s attempts to tame the harsh landscape bring ruin to the Ngarrindjeri people’s homes and livelihoods, and unleash a chain of events that will tear the family asunder. As Hester witnesses the destruction of the Ngarrindjeri’s subtle culture and the ideals that her family once held so close, she begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated? 

Continue reading

Podcast Sydney Writers’ Festival

Parra Pods – Episode 12 Sydney Writer’s Festival

Join Katherine & Nisa as they discuss some amazing books and writers featured at this years Sydney Writers’ Festival.

All of the titles are the works of vibrant and diverse young voices. These works explore issues such as “black lives matter”, the experience of an elite athlete and addiction, the transgender experience set within re-imagined historical fiction, and the unique perspective of a member of a famous and tragic political family.

Happy Listening

 

Some of the books discussed Podcast include:

Godspeed: A Memoir by Casey Legler

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei- Brenyah

Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg

The Runaways by Fatima Bhutto

Book Review: Nine Perfect Strangers

Nine Perfect Strangers

Liane Moriarty

Summary

The retreat at health and wellness resort Tranquillum House promises total transformation. Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage, and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages.

Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired bodies and minds. 

These nine perfect strangers have no idea what is about to hit them.

With her wit, compassion and uncanny understanding of human behaviour, Liane Moriarty explores the depth of connection that can be formed when people are thrown together in… unconventional circumstances. 

Comments

While some of our readers liked this book, the majority felt this one fell a little flat unfortunately. 

We were looking forward to this read, considering we loved ‘Big Little Lies’ and ‘The Husband’s Secret’ amongst her others, but were left a little disappointed.

We found it a very slow start and a bit repetitive with some characters hard to engage. 

For those of us who did enjoy this book,  they likened it to a good holiday, on-the-beach read.

Read By

Cultcha Club 6/10