Witchy Reads for Halloween

There are only 2 weeks left until Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve on 31 October. To get you in the mood why not check out some of our adult fiction and young adult fiction titles featuring witches of all kinds. They include magical realism, historical fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and more in these witchy tales!

Book Review Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Below is another book review from our amazing, MJ Readers book club.

The MJ Readers are a dedicated group of readers who managed to stay connected and enjoy their books & discussions all the way through COVID lockdown. Well done MJ Readers, thank you for inspiring as all!

Now, down to the important business of learning what the MJ Readers thought about their most recent read ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine‘ by Gail Honeyman.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Comments

Our group thoroughly enjoyed this book. It explored such an array of emotions. At the heart was loneliness and grief but there was also tolerance, understanding, empathy, kindness, love and acceptance. The mystery of Eleanor’s plight was gently unravelled and she grew and developed as her connections to others and their positive examples of family, love and commitment influenced her. The discovery and understanding of her past were devastating but we were left with a sense of hope for her and appreciation of how much loneliness creates a shell that can be so hard to break. It was also food for thought on how loneliness impacts people during these restricted times.

What we’ve been reading September 2021

The inclusion of banned books in our reading themes for 2021 was certainly a good pick. It was the push I needed to finally read, ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald. While I am yet to finish reading, I am finding it to be the perfect book to relax with just before bed; also totally love the language.

Some of the other great books I read included, ‘Apples Never Fall’ Liane Moriarty’s latest book; ‘We Were Never Here’ by Andrea Bartz and ‘The Bluffs’ by Kyle Perry.  

Apples Never Fall’ was released in September and I admit to being super excited to read this one, although I was worried I might be put off by the tennis theme, not being a fan myself. Luckily I found this made no difference what-so-ever and while it wasn’t a book that kept me glued to the pages, I did enjoy reading it. The way in which Liane Moriarty weaves the story and characters together is truly skilful and the family dynamics as always is believable.

We Were Never Here’ by Andrea Bartz, is a must for fans of psychological thrillers. While I didn’t particularly like either of the two main characters, Andrea Bartz skill at weaving the story together, kept me wanting to know how their story would conclude.

The Bluff’s’ by Kyle Perry was one of those books I have been wanting to read since its release in 2020. ‘The Bluff’s’ ended up being my favourite read for September. I sat down and didn’t move until I finished the whole book. Kyle Perry masterfully uses the landscape to create an atmosphere and anticipation that had me holding my breath. Needless to say I can’t wait to read Kyle Perry’s latest book, ‘The Deep’ and then watch his interview about it.

Books my colleagues read this month included….

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October 2021 Author Talks

City of Parramatta Libraries have once again teamed up with Public Libraries NSW to offer our communities the chance to attend FREE online author talks over the coming months.
There are three author talks for the month of October that you can attend from the comfort of home – Judy Nunn, Claire G. Coleman and Costa Georgiadis.

Judy Nunn Presents Showtime!
Wednesday 6 October, 6.30pm

Judy Nunn will be in conversation with Catherine Krause from Central Coast Libraries about her bestselling new novel Showtime! that takes us on a scintillating journey through the golden age of Australian show business.
In the second half of the 19th century, Melbourne is a veritable boom town, as hopefuls from every corner of the globe flock to the gold fields of Victoria. And where people crave gold, they also crave entertainment. Enter stage right: brothers Will and Max Worthing and their wives Mabel and Gertie.
To register book online – parra.city/nunn21

Claire G. Coleman Presents Lies, Damned Lies
Thursday 14 October, 6.30pm

Claire G. Coleman will be in conversation with Torres Strait Islander journalist and broadcaster, Rhianna Patrick, speaking about her non-fiction debut Lies, Damned Lies.
In Lies, Damned Lies, Coleman wields the truths unseen in Australia’s history to highlight the wrongs that underpin the very foundations of this nation. Coleman has long used her writing as a vehicle for truth-telling and Lies, Damned Lies is the ultimate exemplar of this. By layering her experiences against the realities of Australia’s past and present Coleman demonstrates the ongoing impacts of colonisation on the individual, and on Country, to devastating effect. 
To register book online – parra.city/coleman21

Costa Georgiadis Presents Costa’s World
Wednesday 27 October, 6.30pm

Costa Georgiadis will be in conversation with Robyn Syphers from Camden Libraries discussing his new book Costa’s World.
Gardening for the soul, the soil and the suburbs – from the beloved host of ABC TV’s Gardening Australia. A generous, joyous, fully illustrated gardening book, Costa’s World celebrates the life-changing joy of chooks; kids in the garden; big ideas for small spaces; Costa’s favourite plants; growing the right plants for your conditions; biodiversity in the soil and garden; the power of community; the brilliance of bees and pollinators; easy-peasy permaculture; and much, much more. Bringing together all of Costa’s gardening and sustainability knowledge, this is a book for the whole family that reflects Costa’s philosophy and big-hearted sense of fun.
To register book online – parra.city/costa21

Book Club Review The Dictionary of Lost Words

Summary

In 1901, the word bondmaid was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it.

Motherless and irrepressibly curious, Esme spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of lexicographers are gathering words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary.

Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day, she sees a slip containing the word bondmaid flutter to the floor unclaimed. Esme seizes the word and hides  it in an old wooden trunk that belongs to her friend, Lizzie,  a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. They help her make sense of the world.

Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded. She begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.

Comments

Our group thoroughly enjoyed this novel. We loved the descriptive writing, the historical perspective, the believable characters and the gentle, interesting way the emancipation of women was treated. We savoured the warmth of the relationships between families and women. It was a love story that involved people, places and language. The treatment of women’s suffrage ran throughout the story but we weren’t ‘hit over the head’ with it. We were connected to it in a subtle, sympathetic way as we observed it through the life of the main character and her observations of others and understanding of the use and meaning of words. Learning how the dictionary was compiled was also fascinating. A great read.

Read by MJ Readers