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!

Miles Franklin Shortlist, Our Picks!

Over the last month, myself and my colleague Sarah have been super busy reading!

What have we been reading? Well, as many books on the ‘Miles Franklin’ longlist that we could manage! Not to mention our leisure reading and book club titles. Luckily we both love books and reading; although Sarah is by far the superior reader. I am constantly in awe of her seemingly endless list of books she has finished.

Now back to the ‘Miles Franklin’ longlist. While we didn’t get through the whole longlist, we did manage to read six out of ten titles, which I think is not a bad effort.

We read:

The White Girl by Tony Birch, UQP, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – This made me cry! In a good way. I was totally invested in Odette and Sissy’s story. If I am honest I would have read another two hundred pages. Jody

Room For A Stranger by Melanie Cheng, Text Publishing, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – Meg is an elderly lady living alone in her childhood home. After a break-in she finds a student to share her house. This is Andy, an international student from Hong Kong. Although they are from different backgrounds they develop a friendship as they do have some things in common. Sarah

Islands by Peggy Frew, Allend & Unwin, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – The many different layers/perspectives in this book did confuse me a times; enough so that I did find myself re-reading parts. However, overall I did enjoy the book and after finishing it, felt that on some level the way it was written perfectly matched the disjointed lives of the characters. Jody

Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany, Text Publishing, 2020. eBook – This book had the power to mess with my head! The narrator of this book is a teenage girl living with her mother, brother and a dangerous man. She uses her mechanical skill to fight back. I found this book quite disturbing. Sarah

The Yield by Tara June Winch, Hamish Hamilton, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – Simply a perfect book! I enjoy reading books about Australian History, particularly Indigenous stories. ‘The Yield’ is complex and emotional book, with characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading their story. – Jody

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood, Allen & Unwin, 2019. eBook – eAudiobook – Four women in their 70s have been lifelong friends. After the death of one of the group the others spend a weekend at her beach house to clean it out. But there is conflict between the three ladies without the friend that held the group together. This novel looks at growing older and dealing with past regrets. – Sarah

We are crossing our fingers that our three favourite books, ‘The White Girl’ by Tony Birch, ‘The Yield’ by Tara June Winch and ‘Room for a Stranger’ by Melanie Cheng make it onto the 2020 ‘Miles Franklin Shortlist’.

Do you have a favourite? What will be your pick for the 2020 Winner?

Jody

Ready, Set, Read!

If you, like me are preparing for a long weekend of reading, you might be interested to check out the list of awesome books I will be picking from this June long weekend. You will find some new releases and old favourites.

I might not even finish reading one book, I have an embroidery project to work on too, but I will definitely enjoy browsing through them all! I might even add more to the list, once I start browsing our eBook collection.

I recently discovered, I have become just a little bit addicted to scrolling through all the pretty eBook covers. I discovered two new authors this way, Annie Lyons and Sarah Bennett.

Happy Reading!

Jody

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

The River Home by Hannah Richell

Stella and Margie by Glenna Thompson

Bruny by Heather Rose

The Swtich by Beth O’leary

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Home: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews

The Silence by Susan Allott

The Drop-off by Fiona Harris & Mike McLeish

The Minute I Saw You by Paige Toon, who by the way is holding a live event tonight via Facebook with Dymocks Books.

Introducing Click & Read

City of Parramatta Libraries are proud to introduce a new series of promotional material to help our community connect with books 24/7, especially while we are closed. We have been very busy behind the scenes producing online content and purchasing additional Online Library items. Our ever popular eBooks, eAudio & eMagazines have been getting a real workout.

‘Click & Read’ postcards are an alternative to our in-library bookmarks and are designed to make it a little easier to find authors in your favourite genre. Each postcard lists a number of great authors who write eBooks/eAudio in popular genres or subjects. Simply click on the author name to display a listing of available titles via our library catalogue, choose a title you wish to read and borrow it via our Wheelers ePlatform or Bolinda BorrowBox apps.
Why not download the first set of ‘Click & Read’ postcards by clicking on a genre now?

Miles Franklin Literary Award 2020 Longlist

On Tuesday 12 May 2020 the ‘Miles Franklin Literary Award 2020 longlist was announced. This is something I look forward to each year, as one of my passions is to read books written by Australian Authors.

I didn’t realise it was a passion until I looked back over my ‘Books Read’ list and noticed there was a distinct pattern, 97% were written by Australian Authors. At the time my choices were unconscious; I always picked the books I read by the cover, and I still do to this day, although I now actively look for books written by Australian Authors.

Needless to say each year I eagerly await all the title announcements of the different Australian Literary Awards, of which there are so many. I won’t list them all here, rather I will tell you my top three which are: ‘The Miles Franklin‘, ‘The Stella Prize‘ and the ‘Australian Book Industry Awards‘. I will just quickly mention I love checking out the State Literary Awards too.

Anyway, I can see I am about to lose focus again so returning to ‘The Miles Franklin Award’. Each year I try to read as many of the titles on the longlist as I can, pick my favourites then eagerly await the shortlist announcement, then the winner. Most years my colleague Katherine manages to read all the titles, because she is a reading machine, literally I think she might be a robot, no human can read that many books! Oh, then again my other colleagues Kate, Amanda and Sarah seem to read non stop too, hmm makes you wonder doesn’t it! Oh I did it again didn’t I, went off on a tangent. Right back on topic.

Normally, Katherine & Nisa our resident Podcasting Librarians discuss some of the ‘Miles Franklin’ titles on our Parra Pods podcast. This year, to make things a little different I was thinking to ask more of my book loving colleagues to get involved and see if we can manage to get through the whole longlist and vote for our favourites before the shortlist is announced on 17 June 2020.

Sounds like fun to me. Hopefully I get some takers otherwise I will be very busy reading. Contrary to belief Librarian’s do not spend all day reading! Although maybe I can get special permission just this once, you never know!

I will keep you all updated on my progress via our Twitter account. If you feel like reading along and sharing your thoughts with us that would be great. We have most of the longlist available via our online Library platforms, and quite a few are ‘MULTICAP’. Which means we have multiple copies so we can all read along together.

Happy Reading!

I look forward to seeing how many titles everyone manages to read.

Jody

Miles Franklin Longlist 2020

The White Girl by Tony Birch, UQP, 2019. eBookeAudiobook

Room For A Stranger by Melanie Cheng, Text Publishing, 2019. eBook eAudiobook

Islands by Peggy Frew, Allend & Unwin, 2019. eBookeAudiobook

No One by John Hughes, UWA Publishing, 2019.

Act of Grace by Anna Krien, Black Inc. 2019. eBookeAudiobook

A Season on Earth by Gerald Murnane, Text Publishing, 2019. eBook

The Returns by Philip Salom, Transit Lounge, 2019. eBook

Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany, Text Publishing, 2020. eBook

The Yield by Tara June Winch, Hamish Hamilton, 2019. eBookeAudiobook

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood, Allen & Unwin, 2019. eBookeAudiobook