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.
It’s a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it’s not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front. It’s a potent economic asset on the work front. And it’s an advantage enjoyed – even in our modern society – by vastly more men than women.
Working women are in an advanced, sustained, and chronically under-reported state of wife drought, and there is no sign of rain.
But why is the work-and-family debate always about women? Why don’t men get the same flexibility that women do? In our fixation on the barriers that face women on the way into the workplace, do we forget about the barriers that – for men – still block the exits?
The Wife Drought is about women, men, family and work. Written in Annabel Crabb’s inimitable style, it’s full of candid and funny stories from the author’s work in and around politics and the media, historical nuggets about the role of ‘The Wife’ in Australia, and intriguing research about the attitudes that pulse beneath the surface of egalitarian Australia.
Crabb’s call is for a ceasefire in the gender wars. Rather than a shout of rage, The Wife Drought is the thoughtful, engaging catalyst for a conversation that’s long overdue.
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?
‘Up Lit’ can be described as books with an emphasis on empathy, books that are uplifting and life-affirming and in our latest episode of Parra Pods Katherine, Nisa & Yi discuss and review four titles in this popular newish genre.
If you are tired of reading grim true crime and Scandi Noir, try some of these titles on for size:
Some of the books discussed in the Podcast include:
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.
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.