Parra Reads Online Book Club 2021

Welcome to another year of reading!

2020 was our first year of reading along together in an online environment, while COVID may have been the trigger it was an enjoyable experience for me. The ‘Parra Reads’ online book club proved to be an excellent way for me to connect, collaborate and read with my colleagues. City of Parramatta Libraries operates across seven branches and it is often hard for us book nerds to catch up and talk about books. The online book club has been one way for us to come together and share our love of reading with you all.

After much discussion we have decided to do things a little differently this year, in the hopes we can encourage more of you to read along with us.

So, what will 2021 look like for our ‘Parra Reads’ online book club? Well! For starters there will be more choices in regards to what title you read each month, we will be sharing more online via our blog, podcast, social media and in our Libraries.

If you are reading along with us and would like to participate and share your thoughts on what you have been reading, please do. You can share via Twitter, using the hashtag #parrareadsbookclub, or just comment on one of our tweets. Send an email to parrareads@cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au and I will share any suitable book related comments on our blog and in the library, rest assured I will only share first names. If you are a Goodreads member and would like to join our Parra Reads Virtual Book Club, log in and send us through a request.

We also hope to run a couple of online book club meetings via Zoom throughout the year. I will share more information on this as details are confirmed.

Don’t forget to check out our ePlatform, rbDigital & BorrowBox collections! We have a huge library of both eBooks & eAudiobooks available for you to download.

However you choose to read & share with us this year is up to you, our only wish is that you read!

Each month we will provide some great reading recommendations to help you along your way, look out for these online and at all our Libraries.

Here’s wishing 2021 is a great year for reading!

Jody

Parra Reads Online Book Club – Monthly Reading Themes for 2021

February – A book by an Australian Author – Aussie Authors Rule! Check out our recommended reads below.

March – Books to Screen – Do you prefer to watch then read? Or read then watch? For me it is definitely read first!

April – A Thriller or mystery book.

May – Prize Winners – With so many different book awards each year what better selection could a reader ask for. Personally I will be reading my way through as many of the ‘Miles Franklin’ longlist titles that I can manage before the shortlist is announced in June.

June – Second Chances – Read a book you have tried to read before but couldn’t finish! My nemesis is ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel; I have tired many times and still haven’t managed to get past the first chapter.

July – Memoir – What makes a memoir a great one? Is it the setting, person or subject?

August – Big Bang Books – Books that have made a big splash in the last 10/20 years! Literally an endless supply of choices with this one!

September – Banned Books – One for the rebels!

October – The first book in a series.

November – Hot of the printing press! With so many great books planned for publication in 2021, what better way to end the year.

Extra Reads – December 2020

Looking for even more reads being published this month? These are the titles that didn’t make it into the ‘All About Books‘ Summer 2020/21 edition – we just didn’t have room for them. Why not take a look (we all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover…but we all do!), click on a cover to read more about it and reserve your copy.

Good Reads Choice Awards 2020

Announcing the winners of the 12th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards, a major book award decided by readers. Congratulations to the best books of the year! Did one of your favourites become a winner?  Click on the titles below to reserve your copy now.

Best FictionThe midnight library by Matt Haig
Best Mystery & ThrillerThe guest list by Lucy Foley
Best Historical FictionThe vanishing half by Brit Bennett
Best FantasyThe house of Earth and blood by Sarah J. Maas
Best RomanceFrom blood and ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Best Science FictionTo sleep in a sea of stars by Christopher Paolini
Best HorrorMexican gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia
Best HumourStrange planet by Nathan W. Pyle
Best Non FictionStamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Best Memoir & AutobiographyA promised land by Barack Obama
Best History & BiographyCaste by Isabel Wilkerson
Best Science & TechnologyA life on our planet by David Attenborough
Best Food & CookbooksModern comfort food by Ina Garten
Best Graphic Novels & ComicsHeartstopper: Volume Three by Alice Oseman
Best PoetryDearly by Margaret Atwood
Best Debut NovelSuch a fun age by Kiley Reid
Best Young Adult FictionClap when you land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Best Young Adult FantasyThe queen of nothing by Holly Black
Best Middle Grade & Children’sThe tower of Nero by Rick Riordan
Best PicturebookAntiracist baby by Ibram X. Kendi, Ashley Lukashevsky (Illustrations)

All About Books – Summer 2020/21

It’s that time of year again when the new edition of our reading suggestions guide for adults and teens, ‘All About Books’, is ready to inspire your reading. The Summer 2020/21 edition features a diverse range of titles being published over the next three months – there is a little something for everyone. We may not have as much time during the festive season but hopefully these titles will encourage you to read and relax when you can. Collect your copy at any branch of the City of Parramatta Libraries or download it now, check our website (parra.city/library) for the latest news and opening hours. Don’t forget you can click on any cover to reserve the titles that you would like to borrow, even before they have been published, so as always happy reading!

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