The Golden Age of Hollywood in Books

This year, I admit I have become a little obsessed with The Golden Age of Hollywood; in books that is!

This started when I was browsing the newsagency for some light reading, and I came across The Australian Women’s Weekly Special Editions, Icon magazine. Packed full of retro photos, interesting stories and nostalgia, these special edition magazines have become my go-to Sunday morning reading.

I have been filling the gaps between issues reading some biographies & books about the stars who have intrigued me the most, the majority of those being women who found Hollywood at the time anything but golden. While some of their stories proved to be tragic, that didn’t stop their strength and determination from shining through.

Below I have listed a few titles I have browsed over the course of 2020, in the hopes that you might find something interesting to read over the coming summer months.

Happy Reading!

Jody

Judy Garland a Biography by Anne Edwards

Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland by Gerald Clarke

Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews

Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews

Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life by Laurie Wallmark

Elizabeth Taylor: the lady, the lover, the legend-1932-2011 by David Brett

Ava: A Life in Movies by Kendra Bean

Audrey Hepburn: a photographic journey of a beautiful star’s rise to silver-screen icon by Gabrielle Mander.

Katharine Hepburn: a remarkable woman by Anne Edwards

Hollywood love stories: true love stories from the golden days of the silver screen by Gill Paul

In conversation with Sir Peter Cosgrove

Sir Peter Cosgrove will be in conversation with Richard Glover discussing his memoir You Shouldn’t Have Joined, a warm and fascinating memoir of one of Australia’s most popular and prominent public figures,

General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC (Mil) CVO MC (Retd) is one of Australia’s most significant public figures. As a soldier he saw action in Vietnam, winning the Military Cross, and rose to the very top of his profession, becoming Chief of the Defence Force. Soon after his retirement from the Army, he was invited to take charge of the huge relief and rebuilding operation in Queensland after the devastation of Cyclone Larry.

In 2014, Cosgrove became Australia’s Governor-General. As Governor-General he travelled far and wide, supporting Australians in times of crisis, sadness, joy or celebration, representing us on the world stage with humour, intelligence and a force of personal magnetism that was felt by everyone from prime ministers to presidents.

When he retired in July 2019, it was as one of the most beloved and respected governors-general in Australia’s history. Cosgrove embodies the traits we truly value: warmth, humanity, toughness and loyalty. His humour and empathy shone through the pomp and ceremony, and his time as Governor-General will be remembered as much for his laughter as for the usual dignities of the office.

You Shouldn’t Have Joined … (an expression much used during his days as a soldier) is the story of Cosgrove’s extraordinarily full and eventful life. It is also the story of those who have shared it with him, in particular his wife Lynne.  His memoir allows us an incredible insight into the role and world of Australia’s Governor-General. He was there as two prime ministers were toppled by their own party. He was there through disasters both natural and man-made, such as the destruction of MH17. He was there for world leaders, and for ordinary Australians. You Shouldn’t Have Joined … is a true reflection of the man himself, filled with intelligence, forthrightness, compassion and a brilliant eye for a telling anecdote.

This FREE online author talk will be broadcast via Zoom with a Q & A session at the end. Book your place and we’ll send you a Zoom link to join the meeting (download and install from zoom.us if you haven’t already).

This collaborative event is supported by the NSW Public Libraries Association and in association with Allen & Unwin.

October Book Club Pick!

Ok, I can’t believe it is time to pick the next Parra Reads online book club title. No sooner do we pick a title and start reading then it is time to start all over again.

September’s title ‘A Thousand Ships’ by Natalie Haynes ended up being a great read! Being a big fan of historical fiction and having not read any books on ancient Greek mythology ‘A Thousand Ships’ was an enjoyable read for me. I love reading historical fiction told from a female perspective. If you do too then this is a must read for you!

Our October pick is ‘Enid, the scandalous life of a glamorous Australian who dazzled the world’ by Robert Wainwright.

October’s pick happened to come into fruition because of my Mother-in-law. Each year as part of her birthday present I buy some lovely handmade fig jams, fresh tea and a book. The books are always about Australia whether it be fiction or non-fiction. When she was younger my Mother-in-law loved nothing better than hooking the caravan up and setting off on a trip around Australia, in fact given any opportunity now she is always off on the train somewhere for lovely day trips exploring new and old towns.

So searching through new release titles I came across ‘Enid’ by Robert Wainwright and thought it would be perfect pick for her birthday. Then after reading the blurb and a bit of the first chapter I thought it would be a good pick for Book Club and luckily enough our rbDigital Library had it available as both a multicap eAudiobook and eBook title, so we can all ‘read along together’

I hope you enjoy it as much as I already am!

Jody

Continue reading

All About Books Spring 2020

Click here to download all about books Spring 2020 reading suggestions guide.The latest All About Books, our reading suggestions guide to some amazing titles for adults and teens being published this season is now here…better late then never! Another issue jam packed with a wide range of upcoming titles on so many different subjects and in a variety of genres – there is sure to be something for any reader. The always popular Staff Picks is back with reviews of books our staff have been reading lately to inspire you. We are also very pleased to announce the resumption of our author talks via an online platform – now you can listen to wonderful authors from the comfort of home and send in your questions. Pick up your free copy of our guide at any branch of the City of Parramatta Libraries or download now. Don’t forget you can click on any of the covers inside to reserve it before it arrives in the Library.

Parra Reads Book Club August Picks

I can’t believe we are at the end of July already!

How quickly the month has gone, and I must admit to being really behind with my ‘Book Club’ reads for this month. If I am honest this happens to me most months. I am definitely not a person who likes reading to a schedule.

Although July is just about over, I have  just started to read one of our July picks, ‘The Promised Land’ by Barry Maitland. ‘The Promised Land’ seemed the best one to start with, considering I have been on a bit of a ‘Thriller’ binge at the moment. So far, I am enjoying the story and characters and am eager to see how the story ties together.

Fingers crossed I do better with August’s picks.

In August we will be reading, ‘Six Minutes’ by Petronella McGovern and ‘Stranger Country’ by Monica Tan.

Happy Reading,

Jody

Six Minutes by Petronella by McGovern

Published by Allen & Unwin (2019)

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

An unputdownable thriller for fans of Liane Moriarty and Caroline Overington. If you were gripped watching The Cry, you’ll be hooked on Six Minutes.

‘Impossible to put down and full of twists and turns you won’t see coming! I loved this fabulous debut novel.’ Liane Moriarty, bestselling author of Nine Perfect Strangers

‘…a suspenseful suburban thriller that steals your time and won’t give it back.’ Crime Book of the Month, Readings.com


How can a child disappear from under the care of four playgroup mums?

One Thursday morning, Lexie Parker dashes to the shop for biscuits, leaving Bella in the safe care of the other mums in the playgroup.

Six minutes later, Bella is gone.

Police and media descend on the tiny village of Merrigang on the edge of Canberra. Locals unite to search the dense bushland. But as the investigation continues, relationships start to fracture, online hate messages target Lexie, and the community is engulfed by fear.

Is Bella’s disappearance connected to the angry protests at Parliament House? What secrets are the parents hiding? And why does a local teacher keep a photo of Bella in his lounge room?

What happened in those six minutes and where is Bella?

The clock is ticking…

This gripping novel will keep you guessing to the very last twist.

Stranger Country by Monica Tan

Published by Allen & Unwin (2019)

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

Tracks meets Wild in this account of Chinese Australian journalist Monica Tan’s 6 month odyssey though outback Australia.

‘Will I ever really belong to this country? As a Chinese Australian? As a non-Indigenous Australian? . . . I was 32 years old and barely knew the country of my birth. It was time to change that.’

What happens when a 32-year-old first-generation Australian woman decides to chuck in a dream job, pack a sleeping bag and tent, and hit the long, dusty road for six months?

Thirty-thousand kilometres later, Monica Tan has the answer, and it completely surprises her.

In mid-2016, Monica left Sydney, unsure of her place in Australia. As a Chinese Australian city slicker, she couldn’t have felt more distant from powerful mythologies like the Digger, the Drover’s Wife and Clancy of the Overflow. And more importantly, Monica wondered, how could she ever feel she truly belonged to a land that has been the spiritual domain of Indigenous Australians for over 60,000 years?

Stranger Country is the riveting account of the six months Monica drove and camped her way through some of Australia’s most beautiful and remote landscapes. She shared meals, beers and conversations with miners, grey nomads, artists, farmers, community workers and small business owners from across the nation: some Aboriginal, some white, some Asian, and even a few who managed to be all three. The result is an enthralling and entertaining celebration of the spirit of adventure, a thoughtful quest for understanding, and a unique portrait of Australia and all it means to those who live here.