Sydney Writers’ Festival 2022

City of Parramatta Libraries is very proud to be hosting two author talk events for the 2022 Sydney Writers’ Festival in May. Bookings are limited for these FREE events so don’t miss seeing these amazing authors in person.

Louisa Lim in conversation
When: Thursday 19 May at 6.30pm.
Where: Wentworth Point Community Centre & Library
What: Join award-winning journalist and podcaster Louisa Lim in conversation with author Linda Jaivin. Louisa will be discussing her fascinating portrait of Hong Kong Indelible City, which mixes memoir and reportage and aims to put Hongkongers at the centre of their own story.
How: For more information and to book click here.

Alicia Jasinska in conversation
When: Sunday 22 May at 3.00pm.
Where: Epping Leisure & Learning Centre
What:  Join Alicia Jasinska as she discusses her latest fantasy The Midnight Girls in conversation with one of our Library staff members. The young adult book is set in a snow-cloaked kingdom where two enchantresses secretly compete for the heart of a prince, only to discover they may be falling for each other.
How: For more information and to book click here.

Book Review Breath by Tim Winton

Breath by Tim Winton

Tim Winton’s Breath, winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, is a story about the wildness of youth and learning to live with its passing.

When paramedic Bruce Pike is called out to deal with another teenage adventure gone wrong, he knows better than his colleague, better than the kid’s parents, what happened and how. Thirty years before, that dead boy could have been him.

A relentlessly gripping and deeply moving novel about the damage you do to yourself when you’re young and think you’re immortal.


We were unanimous in our assessment of this wonderful book by Tim Winton. A vivid depiction of a beautiful and largely unspoilt area of the south-western Australian coastline is the setting for this coming of age story. At first glance this is a novel about two bored young teenage boys in a small town seeking adventure and a hero to emulate. However, their relationship with Sando and Eva, a couple of outsiders new to the town, and the underlying problems in all their lives are the basis for a much darker scenario.

The boys, Pikelet and Loonie, and Sando are all dare devil surfers entranced by the wild danger of this area of the coast. Throughout the book the fear, exhilaration and challenge of surfing in ever more dangerous conditions is ever-present as one of the death-defying activities which induce an adrenaline rush. Other far darker exploits such as auto-erotic asphixiation, Sandos power over the very impressionable boys and Pikelet’s sexual encounters with the emotionally unstable Eva, all contribute to serious problems in later life.

A book which we agreed deserves a second reading just to admire again the wisdom and depth of this wonderful Australian novelist.

Read by Dundas Readers

Book Review Readers of the Broken Wheel Recommend

Readers of the Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Sara has never left Sweden but at the age of 28 she decides it’s time. She cashes in her savings, packs a suitcase full of books and sets off for Broken Wheel, Iowa, a town where she knows nobody.

Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop.

With a little help from the locals, Sara sets up Broken Wheel’s first bookstore. The shop might be a little quirky but then again, so is Sara. And as Broken Wheel’s story begins to take shape, there are some surprises in store for Sara too.


We enjoyed reading The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend and the majority have either read the book twice or intend to read it again. Two people felt reading the book once was enough. The importance of relationships and the power of books to transform lives are explored in depth. Some friendships seem unlikely but lead to powerful and meaningful relationships that transform their lives and those around them. The small, dying community of Broken Wheel in Iowa is actually quite vibrant and embraces change and reveals depth to their commitment to each other that is inspiring. Some characters lack credibility; the affair between God-fearing Caroline and bi-sexual Josh. Amy dominates the book and our readers really looked forward to reading Amy’s letters. Amy reveals the power of the absent character, and she gives background information and shares wisdom.

“I’ve seen people completely caught up in their problems; they practically creep in beneath their skin and eat them up from within.” (p69)

Literature dominates; some characters avoid books whereas reading is Sara’s obsession.  She does not want to be a minor character. A balance is important; reading opens doors, but obsession hinders relationship opportunities. Balance is achieved in the novel, and everyone is enriched. Opening the bookshop revitalises the town and stirs the people to act as a community. Sara can suggest the right book for everyone.

We enjoyed the humour sprinkled throughout the book; Dewey, the library cat; are dreams subject to inflation and discussing the book triggered discussion about many things including how people change, apartheid, cancel culture and Stalin’s wine cellar.

Read by MJ Readers

Book Review Australia Reimagined by Hugh Mackay

Australia Reimagined by Hugh Mackay


Australia’s unprecedented run of economic growth has failed to deliver a more stable or harmonious society. Individualism is rampant. Income inequality is growing. Public education is under-resourced. The gender revolution is stalling. We no longer trust our major institutions or our political leaders. We are more socially fragmented, more anxious, more depressed, more overweight, more medicated, deeper in debt and increasingly addicted – whether to our digital devices, drugs, pornography or ‘stuff’.

Yet esteemed social researcher Hugh Mackay remains optimistic. Twenty-five years ago, he revolutionised Australian social analysis with the publication of Reinventing Australia. Now he takes another unflinching look at us and offers some compelling proposals for a more compassionate and socially cohesive Australia. You might not agree with everything he suggests, but you’ll find it hard to get some of his ideas out of your head.


We found this book thought-provoking and readable.  Book discusses ideas about our society that are important for us to think about and encouraged group conversation.

Develop community and compassion.   Know & help your neighbours, listen to other points of view.  Join book clubs & conversation groups, attend local picnics in parks and local street parties, connect with locals.

Strengthen public education.   Inequity of public money funding private schools.   Offer quality education to all.   Phase out government money for private schools.

Mentor young teachers.  “School-teaching has more impact on the kind of society we will become-more impact on the heart of the nation-than any other profession you can think of.”

Published in 2018.  We would be interested to read what Hugh Mackay would have to say about Australia now, post covid.

Final chapter has a list of wants.  “I want to live in a society where we treat other people as we ourselves would want to be treated.”

We would recommend this book to other bookclubs.   9/10 for provoking thought, discussion & listening. Ready by the MJ Readers

Library Lovers’ Day 2022

To celebrate Library Lovers’ Day the Library is playing Matchmaker!

Going out on a blind date is a lot like opening up a new book – you never know what kind of experience you’re going to have. Hopefully it’s love at first sight!

Borrow one of our special ‘blind date’ books from Friday 11 February to Monday 14 February from any of our library branches.

Take it home and have a read then return your ‘rate the date’ postcard to the library by Monday 7 March for a chance to win a gift card.

For full terms and conditions click here Terms & Conditions.

Library Lovers Day 2022 – Colouring Sheet