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.

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.

Refugee Week 2020, Celebrating the Year of Welcome!

Celebrating the Year of Welcome through books!

Not that we need an excuse to talk about books, because frankly it is one of our favourite pastimes.

Because this week is ‘Refugee Week’, we thought we would share with you some stories we have enjoyed reading, in the hope you will find a one that inspires you and at the same time raise awareness to the many issues affecting refugees today.

If you find a book you love among our suggestions; make sure you share it with your reading buddies!

The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do – In this long standing popular memoir Anh Do shares his story. Anh Do, a comedian, artist (see ABC TV ‘Anh’s brush with fame) and a writer has made great contribution to Australia.

Yassmin’s story by Yassimin Abdel-Magied – Sudanese-Australian media presenter and writer, who had an early career as a mechanical engineer. She was named Young Queenslander of the year in 2010 and Queensland Australian of the Year in 2015 for her engagement in community work.

Journey of a Thousands storms by Kooshyar Karimi – The title page states that  “One man’s remarkable story of fleeing persecution in Iran, fighting to keep his young family alive as refugees in Turkey, and becoming a successful doctor in suburban Australia”.

Rescue: refugees and the political crisis of our time by David Miliband – With compassion and clarity, David Miliband shows us why we should care and how we can make a difference. He takes us from war zones in the Middle East to the heart of Europe to explain the crisis and show what can be done, not just by governments with the power to change policy but by citizens with the urge to change lives. A book of a much bigger picture beyond each individual but looks into the humanity and innovation ways to deal with refugee crisis.

Unbreakable Threads: the true story of an Australian mother, a refugee boy and what it really means to be a family by Emma Adams – An extraordinary story of courage and kindness and the ultimate triumph of family over what, at times, seem like insurmountable odds.

http://libcat.parracity.nsw.gov.au/client/en_AU/default/search/results?qu=No+friend+but+the+mountain+behrouz&te=No Friend but the Mountain: writing from Manus Prison by Behrouz Boochani – In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally and indefinitely detained on Manus Island. This book is the result. Written on a smuggled mobile phone and translated from Farsi, it is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric first-hand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through six years of incarceration and exile that – against all the odds – became an award-winning national bestseller.

Happy 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.