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.

Book Reviews Alice to Prague and The Mother-in-Law

Alice to Prague

Tanya Heaslip

A Parra Reads Book Club title for May 2020. ‘Alice to Prague’ was one of two titles picked for our newly established online book club and it was an enjoyable read!  

In it, Tanya shares her personal experiences as she leaves behind her life as a lawyer in Alice Springs to teach English in the Czech Republic. With no prior teaching experience or grasp of the language, Tanya certainly shows us she is a person of considerable determination with an unstoppable strength of spirit.

Alice to Prague is a well-rounded read with a good balance of ‘something for everyone’ through the story. History and travel, a life adventure and even love.

Well worth a read!

Keep an eye out for Tanya’s new book ‘An Alice Girl’

Jody

The Mother-in-Law

Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth’s ‘The Mother-in-Law’ is one of those reads that grabs you from the first page, and doesn’t let go. Told from two points of view, daughter-in-law Lucy, and mother-in-law Diana, and spanning alternate timelines, it is fast-paced and engaging.

From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is extremely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying her son Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been hoping for. Diana is picture perfect. The pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. And yet, while Lucy tries time and again to please her, Diana remains cold and distant.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something…

Creating a character that you both love and hate is never an easy feat, but Sally Hepworth manages to do just that. I found myself conflicted, changing my opinion of Diana constantly between chapters, which is refreshing. In fact, I liked the nuanced character of Diana more than I did Lucy. As Sally Hepworth peeled back the details of the experiences that shaped her personality I wanted more. She seemed very reflective of the time in which she was born, and recognisable.

While people expecting to read a thriller might find themselves disappointed, I found the book to be an ideal mix of thriller and domestic drama.

A must read!

Jody

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.