All About Books Winter 2021

Welcome to the Winter 2021 edition of All About Books. Once again there is a wonderful range of fiction and non fiction books being published for adults and teens from best selling and debut authors. The always popular Staff Picks make an appearance and news of our upcoming author talks are on page 43. Many of the titles are available as ebooks while those that aren’t can be added to your to be borrowed pile when we re-open. Happy Reading!

Ned Kelly Awards 2021 Shortlist

The Ned Kelly Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious recognition honouring published crime fiction and true crime writing. The categories are Best Crime Fiction, Best Debut Crime Fiction, Best True Crime and Best International Crime Fiction. The shortlist titles have now been announced with the winners for each category announced in October. Why not see if one of your favourites have been selected or read one now.

Big Bang Books!

Titles that have been hugely popular in the last ten to twenty years.

As August fast approaches, I have to admit to being completely behind in my blog posts. Will you accept that the current COVID situation has thrown things in the library world into chaos?

City of Parramatta Libraries is temporary closed and my colleagues and I are busy coming up with ideas to keep you all engaged online; all from the comfort or maybe chaos of our own homes.

As always I am finding it hard to concentrate on one book long enough to finish it and have almost given up hope that I will actually read a title related to our monthly reading themes. I am blaming the fact that I spend way too much time researching great titles to recommend that I overload on them and can’t even think about possibly reading one.

My colleague Michelle and I both failed in our attempts to actually finish ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel for the umpteen time, and lets not even mention July’s ‘memorable memoirs’. I am hoping to have better luck with August’s theme of ‘big bang’ books.

In saying all of that, we have managed to put our heads together and come up with our picks for books that have made a big splash over the last ten years.

Happy reading

Jody

P.S.

If you would like to stay up-to-date with all the books we are reading, why not become our friend on Goodreads.

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Miles Franklin Literary Award Longlist 2021

The Miles Franklin Literary Award was established by feminist and author of My Brilliant Career, Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin. First presented in 1957, the Award celebrates novels of the highest literary merit that tell stories about Australian life, shining a light on some of the country’s most talented writers.

“The 2021 Miles Franklin longlist is a rich mix of well-established, early career and debut novelists whose work ranges from historical fiction to fabulism and psychologism. Through an array of distinctive voices these works invite their readers to engage with questions regarding the natural and animal worlds, asylum, sexual abuse, colonialism, racism and grief. These are stories about trauma and loss, and also about beauty, resilience and hope,” said Richard Neville, State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian.

The shortlisted finalists will be revealed on 16 June 2021 and the winner announced on 15 July 2021. Why not read one, or more, and judge for yourself which one you think deserves to win!

Amnesty by Aravind Adiga
The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott
At the Edge of the Solid World by Daniel David Wood
Our Shadows by Gail Jones
Infinite Splendours by Sofie Laguna
The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey
The Animals in the Country by Laura Jean McKay
Lucky’s by Andrew Pippos
Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe
The Fifth Season by Philip Salom
Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson
The Inland Sea by Madeleine Watts

Thrilling April Reads

Wow! What a month of books. I really enjoyed reading, ‘Peace‘ by Garry Disher, ‘You Don’t Know Me‘ by Sara Foster and ‘The Ruin‘ by Dervla McTiernan. All very different, but great thriller/crime reads.

If you were looking for a light easy read, then my recommendation would be ‘Peace‘ by Garry Disher. Constable Paul ‘Hirsch’ Hirschhausen, was such a likeable character and while this was the second book in a series of books about Paul Hirschhausen, ‘Peace’ can definitely be read as a standalone. The dry Australian outback and the problems that plague that environment and its people, is something I never tire reading about. ‘Peace’ is the second book in the Paul Hirschhausen series of books. ‘Bitter Wash Road‘ (book one), ‘Consolation‘ (book three).

Anyone, who is a regular reader of Parra Reads will know that Sara Foster is one of my all-time favourite writers. All her books seem to have the perfect mix of great settings, likeable characters, and enough mystery to keep you guessing. If you haven’t read any of Sara Foster’s books, ‘You Don’t Know Me’ is a good one to start with.

The Ruin‘ by Dervla McTiernan is an awesome thriller set in Ireland. I don’t know if it was the setting, the characters or the mystery that caught my attention the most. Maybe it was the masterful way in which Dervla McTiernan mixed them together to create a brilliant crime read. I think I might classify this as my first real crime thriller read. The depth the author has devoted to the setting and character building really sets it apart from other books in the same genre. I can’t wait to read the next two books in the series.

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