July Picks, Parra Reads Online Book Club

With eBooks & eAudiobooks there are so many reading options available to book lovers. Making it even easier to join in and ‘Read Together’ as part of our Parra Reads Online Book Club.

The titles we have chosen to read in July are, author Barry Maitland’s newest ‘Brock & Kolla’ mystery, ‘The Promised Land‘ and ARIA Award-winning singer and actress Clare Bowditch’s no-holds-barred memoir, ‘Your Own Kind of Girl‘.

Something a little different to last month’s, ‘Bruny‘ by Heather Rose and ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo‘ by Christy Lefteri. Both amazing books that we all enjoyed reading and would highly recommend. In fact my colleague Anne can’t seem to stop raving about ‘Bruny’, she even convinced her book club to read along too!

I hope you enjoy reading this months picks!

Happy Reading!

Jody

The Promised Land‘ By Barry Maitland

Available in eBook from our rbDigital library. Download the FREE rbDigital Library App from the App Store or Google Play and start reading!

Published by Allen & Unwin (2019)

Newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Kathy Kolla investigates a series of brutal murders on Hampstead Heath. Under intense pressure to find answers, she arrests the unlikely figure of Charles Pettigrew, a failing London publisher who lives alone on the edge of the Heath.

Pettigrew’s lawyer calls on recently retired David Brock for advice, and soon, unable to resist the pull of investigation, the old colleagues, Brock and Kolla, are at loggerheads.

At the heart of the gripping mystery of the Hampstead murders lies a manuscript of an unknown novel by one of the greatest literary figures of the twentieth century. Brock believes that its story will unlock the puzzle, but how?

Your Own Kind of Girl‘ by Clare Bowditch

Available in eBook from our rbDigital library. Download the FREE rbDigital Library App from the App Store or Google Play and start reading!

Published by Allen & Unwin (2019)

This is the story I promised myself, aged twenty-one, that I would one day be brave enough – and well enough – to write.
Clare Bowditch has always had a knack for telling stories. Through her music and performing, this beloved Australian artist has touched hundreds of thousands of lives. But what of the stories she used to tell herself? That ‘real life’ only begins once you’re thin or beautiful, that good things only happen to other people.

YOUR OWN KIND OF GIRL reveals a childhood punctuated by grief, anxiety and compulsion, and tells how these forces shaped Clare’s life for better and for worse. This is a heartbreaking, wise and at times playful memoir. Clare’s own story told raw and as it happened. A reminder that even on the darkest of nights, victory is closer than it seems.

With startling candour, Clare lays bare her truth in the hope that doing so will inspire anyone who’s ever done battle with their inner critic. This is the work of a woman who has found her true power – and wants to pass it on. Happiness, we discover, is only possible when we take charge of the stories we tell ourselves.

Miles Franklin Shortlist, Our Picks!

Over the last month, myself and my colleague Sarah have been super busy reading!

What have we been reading? Well, as many books on the ‘Miles Franklin’ longlist that we could manage! Not to mention our leisure reading and book club titles. Luckily we both love books and reading; although Sarah is by far the superior reader. I am constantly in awe of her seemingly endless list of books she has finished.

Now back to the ‘Miles Franklin’ longlist. While we didn’t get through the whole longlist, we did manage to read six out of ten titles, which I think is not a bad effort.

We read:

The White Girl by Tony Birch, UQP, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – This made me cry! In a good way. I was totally invested in Odette and Sissy’s story. If I am honest I would have read another two hundred pages. Jody

Room For A Stranger by Melanie Cheng, Text Publishing, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – Meg is an elderly lady living alone in her childhood home. After a break-in she finds a student to share her house. This is Andy, an international student from Hong Kong. Although they are from different backgrounds they develop a friendship as they do have some things in common. Sarah

Islands by Peggy Frew, Allend & Unwin, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – The many different layers/perspectives in this book did confuse me a times; enough so that I did find myself re-reading parts. However, overall I did enjoy the book and after finishing it, felt that on some level the way it was written perfectly matched the disjointed lives of the characters. Jody

Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany, Text Publishing, 2020. eBook – This book had the power to mess with my head! The narrator of this book is a teenage girl living with her mother, brother and a dangerous man. She uses her mechanical skill to fight back. I found this book quite disturbing. Sarah

The Yield by Tara June Winch, Hamish Hamilton, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – Simply a perfect book! I enjoy reading books about Australian History, particularly Indigenous stories. ‘The Yield’ is complex and emotional book, with characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading their story. – Jody

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood, Allen & Unwin, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – Four women in their 70s have been lifelong friends. After the death of one of the group the others spend a weekend at her beach house to clean it out. But there is conflict between the three ladies without the friend that held the group together. This novel looks at growing older and dealing with past regrets. – Sarah

We are crossing our fingers that our three favourite books, ‘The White Girl’ by Tony Birch, ‘The Yield’ by Tara June Winch and ‘Room for a Stranger’ by Melanie Cheng make it onto the 2020 ‘Miles Franklin Shortlist’.

Do you have a favourite? What will be your pick for the 2020 Winner?

Jody

Book Reviews: The Nowhere Child & The Sunday Story Club

The Nowhere Child

Christian White

I think it is fair to say ‘The Nowhere Child’ was my favourite pick from May’s two titles. If that makes me biased, then so be it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, so much so that I finished it in one sitting. Yep, that’s right. I sat down one Saturday morning and didn’t stop reading until I finished it that night. ‘The Nowhere Child’ not only had suspense,it also provided you with a back story, giving you an invested interest in the characters story and how it would turn out.

I am totally hooked on Christian White now, and have already finished ‘The Wife and the Widow‘ and enjoyed it even more I think. Maybe the setting had something to do with this, I could almost feel the cold while reading.

‘The Nowhere Child’ is a 4/5 stars for me!

The Sunday Story Club

Doris Brett and Kerry Cue

‘The Sunday Story Club’ is full of heartfelt, true stories from regular women who have experienced incredible events in their lifetimes. Doris Brett and Kerry Cue, somehow make you feel like you are actually inviting this group of people into your home becoming a member of their ‘Club’.

You will laugh, and you will cry as you share these women’s stories. A book you will enjoy and want to share with anyone who will listen!

4/5 stars!

Hope you enjoyed May’s picks as much as I did.

Look out for June’s Pick later this week!

Happy Reading!

Jody

Ready, Set, Read!

If you, like me are preparing for a long weekend of reading, you might be interested to check out the list of awesome books I will be picking from this June long weekend. You will find some new releases and old favourites.

I might not even finish reading one book, I have an embroidery project to work on too, but I will definitely enjoy browsing through them all! I might even add more to the list, once I start browsing our eBook collection.

I recently discovered, I have become just a little bit addicted to scrolling through all the pretty eBook covers. I discovered two new authors this way, Annie Lyons and Sarah Bennett.

Happy Reading!

Jody

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

The River Home by Hannah Richell

Stella and Margie by Glenna Thompson

Bruny by Heather Rose

The Swtich by Beth O’leary

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Home: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews

The Silence by Susan Allott

The Drop-off by Fiona Harris & Mike McLeish

The Minute I Saw You by Paige Toon, who by the way is holding a live event tonight via Facebook with Dymocks Books.

I’m Reading Again!

Earlier this month I shared my frustrations will you all regarding how difficult I was finding it lately to actually concentrate and finish a book. (If you missed the post you can catch up HERE).

It turns out all I needed was to pick up the right book, a book I had been wanting to read for a while; ‘The Nowhere Child‘ by Christian White.

I listed ‘The Nowhere Child’ on my wish list because since it’s publication by Affirm Press in 2018 continues to be a book everyone recommends as a ‘must read’. That, plus the fact Christian White is an Australian Author made it an automatic choice for me. Not to mention it was chosen as one of our May, Parra Reads Book Club Titles.

My verdict after finishing ‘The Nowhere Child’ is “I loved it!” I literally couldn’t put it down, and I am not just saying that. I picked it up one Saturday morning and didn’t stop until I finished it at 9.30pm that night. It wasn’t one of those book that you just have to keep reading because the suspense of finding out ‘what happens’ is just so intense. It was, more ‘I am invested in these characters and need to know how their story ends.’

I enjoyed Christian White’s writing style so much, I also read his second book ‘The Wife and the Widow’. Funny isn’t it, I went to reading nothing to reading two books in quick session. Just proves you can get out of your reading slump if you find the write book and author.

My tale doesn’t end there! Now I’m reading again I have renewed sense of wanting to talk about books.

Some of the books I have read and thoroughly enjoyed over the last few weeks are:

The White Girl by Tony Birch – This made me cry! In a good way. I was totally invested in Odette and Sissy’s story. If I am honest I would have read another two hundred pages.

The Maker’s Curse by Trudi Canavan – ‘The Maker’s Curse’ in the last book in Trudi Canavan’s ‘Millennium’s Rule Series’. The last time I was in a reading slump, my good friend and colleague Amanda recommended I try Trudi Canavan’s ‘Thief’s Magic’. She guaranteed me the book wouldn’t fail to get me reading again, and it worked! I read my way through all three books in the series then sat back and eagerly awaited the release of the fourth and final book ‘The Maker’s Curse’. If you enjoy reading fantasy novels with amazing world building you should read ‘The Millennium’s Rule Series‘.

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi – I came across this title while browsing through the new eBook releases. An incredible story! With rich and colorful descriptions of the sights and sounds of India.

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed the post and find another couple of books to add to your TBR pile!

Happy Reading

Jody