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.

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)

Christmas Cooking!

Not long now until Christmas Day, and for those of you who love nothing better than spending the weeks and days leading up to Christmas in the kitchen preparing yummy food, we have the books to help you along.

Check out our awesome collection of Christmas books & DVDs! Find that special recipe that will have everyone asking for a copy year after year.

I don’t know about everyone else but, I love nothing better than endlessly flipping through Christmas books each year; not to mention my obsession with watching Jamie’s Christmas DVDs each year.

Along with a great list of books, I have also included a couple of our favourite recipes we cook each year.  While we can’t remember where we originally found these ‘well loved’ recipes, we would like to acknowledge the amazing cooks out there who were passionate enough to shared their recipes with us; we are eternally grateful!

Happy Holidays

Jody

Vegan Christmas Feasts: inspired meat-free recipes for the festive season by Jackie Kearney

Festive Table, an Australian Women’s Weekly title.

Christmas Feasts And Treats image 1

Celebrating Christmas, an Australian Women’s Weekly title.

Continue reading

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!

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.