In Conversation with Belinda Alexandra

Public Libraries NSW and City of Parramatta Libraries presents Melanie Mutch, from Hornsby Library, chatting with Australian author Belinda Alexandra as she talks about her new book ‘The Mystery Woman’.

In a small town, everyone is watching … Secrets, scandal and betrayal in 1950s small town Australia: the stunning new novel from bestseller Belinda Alexandra.
She had thought Shipwreck Bay was simply a remote town where people were bored senseless with their little lives. Now she saw its virtuous facade hid something darker, more sinister. Rebecca Wood is ready for a quiet life as the new postmistress of a sleepy seaside town. Fleeing a scandal and haunted by her past, Rebecca is now determined to make different choices. Soon she is being courted by the dashing local doctor and a bright future beckons. But in such a small community, there is nowhere to hide from prying eyes. And before long she is caught up in the dangerous mysteries that hide behind Shipwreck Bay’s respectable net curtains.

This novel is a new direction for Belinda Alexandra. Expect the unexpected: a heroine with an unsavoury past and a remote coastal town setting with the backdrop of the cruel whaling industry. Belinda will be discussing the novel’s many riveting themes including the dichotomy of societal expectations of women in the 1950s, and the often covert nature of domestic violence.

This free online author talk will be presented via Zoom with a Q & A session at the end.
Book now or click on the image above.
This event is a collaboration between multiple NSW Public Libraries’ and in association with Harper Collins Australia.

June Picks! Parra Reads Online Book Club

It was really hard choosing this month’s titles. We have been reading along together now for three months and trying to pick something different that would appeal to the greater reading community was difficult. In the end we decided to go with two titles we all had been wanting to read, ‘Bruny‘ by Heather Rose and ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo‘ by Christy Lefteri.

Heather Rose is the author of ‘The museum of modern love‘, one book which we have all read and enjoyed. Christy Lefteri’s book ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo has continued to be a popular pick among readers since it’s release in 2019; not mention one of our ‘most wanted’ Book Club Kits!

Hopefully they will prove as appealing to everyone reading along with us as they were to us!

Happy Reading!

Jody

Bruny by Heather Rose (2019)

Available in eBook & eAudiobook from our rbDigital Library! Download the FREE rbDigital Library App from the App Store or Goggle Play and start ‘Reading Together’.

Allen & Unwin

Book Summary

Why is a massive bridge being built to connect the sleepy island of Bruny with the mainland of Tasmania? And why have terrorists blown it up?

When the Bruny bridge is bombed, UN troubleshooter Astrid Coleman agrees to return home to help her brother before an upcoming election. But this is no simple task. Her brother and sister are on either side of politics, the community is full of conspiracy theories, her mother is fading and her father is quoting Shakespeare. Only on Bruny does the world seem sane. Until Astrid discovers how far the government is willing to go.

Bruny is a searing, subversive novel about family, love, loyalty and the new world order. It is a gripping thriller with a jaw-dropping twist, a love story, a cry from the heart and a fiercely entertaining and crucial work of imagination that asks the burning question: what would you do to protect the place you love?

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri, (2019)

Available in eBook & eAudiobook from our BorrowBox Library! Download the FREE BorrowBox Library App from the App Store or Goggle Play and start ‘Reading Together’.

Allen & Unwin

Book Summary

In the midst of war, he found love
In the midst of darkness, he found courage
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope

What will you find from his story?

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.

As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.

Podcast Episode 34 Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction as a genre is fascinating for the window it provides to the past, to characters and events both real and imagined, to lives in a time so different to our own.

Historical Fiction is one of my favourite genres that I have been reading for so long. This is purely because I love escaping my reality for a while and getting sucked into the past. While it may not always be pleasant, I find it fascinating.

Because I have been reading Historical Fiction for a long time there are literally hundreds of titles that I could add to the books Nisa and Antonia discussed in the podcast. However, I think my ‘Top Six’ might have to do for this post; after all I am supposed to be promoting our latest episode of Parra Pods!

Needless to say the podcast as always was interesting to listen to and when I say listen, I mean it! When you edit a podcast you have to listen through at least three times or at least I normally do.

Anyway enjoy our ‘Historical Fiction’ podcast. And if you are looking for some more recommendations checkout the recommendations below.

Happy Reading & Listening!

Continue reading

All About Books Autumn 2020

The new All About Books for Autumn 2020 can be downloaded above. 

The new reading suggestions guide has been revamped after survey results from readers in our last Summer edition, there is more short descriptions of books, more young adult and more pages. There are so many amazing books coming out this March, April and May for adults and young adults in a diverse range of genres and subjects – there is sure to be something for everyone.

There are two books in particular that I want to mention as they were left out of the guide when our author talk program was suspended recently.

The Coconut Children by Vivian Pham (March 3) is a moving debut by a talented new storyteller.

Growing up can feel like a death sentence.
Life in a troubled neighbourhood demands too much too young. But Sonny wouldn’t really know.
Watching the world from her bedroom window, she exists only in second-hand romance novels and falls for any fast-food employee who happens to spare her a glance.
Everything changes with the return of Vince, a boy who became a legend after he was hauled away in handcuffs at fourteen.
Sonny and Vince used to be childhood friends. But with all that happened in-between, childhood seems so long ago. It will take two years of juvie, an inebriated grandmother and a porn stash for them to meet again.

Gathering Dark by Candice Fox (March 31) is her new thriller, set in Los Angeles, introducing a new – and decidedly unconventional – team of ‘detectives’.

A convicted killer. A gifted thief. A vicious crime boss. A disillusioned cop.
Together they’re a missing girl’s only hope.
Blair Harbour, once a wealthy, respected surgeon in Los Angeles, is now an ex-con down on her luck. She’s determined to keep her nose clean to win back custody of her son. But when her former cellmate begs for help to find her missing daughter, Blair is compelled to put her new-found freedom on the line.
Joined by LA’s most feared underworld figure, the crew of criminals bring outlaw tactics to the search. Detective Jessica Sanchez has always had a difficult relationship with the LAPD. 
It’s been ten years since Jessica arrested Blair for the cold-blooded murder of her neighbour. So when Jessica opens the door to the disgraced doctor and her friends early one morning she expects abuse, maybe even violence.
What comes instead is a plea for help.

All About Books – Summer 2020

The latest edition of our reading suggestions guide for adults and teens is now out for Summer 2020. It has an amazing array of books that are being published over the next 3 months in a variety of genres and subjects – there is sure to be something for everyone. Pick up your FREE copy at any of our Library branches or click the cover to download. Each book cover in the guide contains a one-click link to our Library Catalogue for easy reservations. Why not quick link your copy even before it is published!

We are also asking for feedback about the format and contents of All About Books via a short survey in order to help us make the booklet even better. You have until Sunday 15 March 2020 to complete the survey and you can go into the draw for a chance to win a $30 book pack prize – just for having your say. The survey can be completed here or ask Library Staff for a paper copy.

Don’t forget that the All About Books – Kids edition for 0-5 year olds is also out and available at any of our Libraries. It has a range of suggested books to read as well as many fun puzzles.