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!

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

June Picks! Parra Reads Online Book Club

It was really hard choosing this month’s titles. We have been reading along together now for three months and trying to pick something different that would appeal to the greater reading community was difficult. In the end we decided to go with two titles we all had been wanting to read, ‘Bruny‘ by Heather Rose and ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo‘ by Christy Lefteri.

Heather Rose is the author of ‘The museum of modern love‘, one book which we have all read and enjoyed. Christy Lefteri’s book ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo has continued to be a popular pick among readers since it’s release in 2019; not mention one of our ‘most wanted’ Book Club Kits!

Hopefully they will prove as appealing to everyone reading along with us as they were to us!

Happy Reading!

Jody

Bruny by Heather Rose (2019)

Available in eBook & eAudiobook from our rbDigital Library! Download the FREE rbDigital Library App from the App Store or Goggle Play and start ‘Reading Together’.

Allen & Unwin

Book Summary

Why is a massive bridge being built to connect the sleepy island of Bruny with the mainland of Tasmania? And why have terrorists blown it up?

When the Bruny bridge is bombed, UN troubleshooter Astrid Coleman agrees to return home to help her brother before an upcoming election. But this is no simple task. Her brother and sister are on either side of politics, the community is full of conspiracy theories, her mother is fading and her father is quoting Shakespeare. Only on Bruny does the world seem sane. Until Astrid discovers how far the government is willing to go.

Bruny is a searing, subversive novel about family, love, loyalty and the new world order. It is a gripping thriller with a jaw-dropping twist, a love story, a cry from the heart and a fiercely entertaining and crucial work of imagination that asks the burning question: what would you do to protect the place you love?

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri, (2019)

Available in eBook & eAudiobook from our BorrowBox Library! Download the FREE BorrowBox Library App from the App Store or Goggle Play and start ‘Reading Together’.

Allen & Unwin

Book Summary

In the midst of war, he found love
In the midst of darkness, he found courage
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope

What will you find from his story?

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.

As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.

Book Reviews: The Nowhere Child & The Sunday Story Club

The Nowhere Child

Christian White

I think it is fair to say ‘The Nowhere Child’ was my favourite pick from May’s two titles. If that makes me biased, then so be it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, so much so that I finished it in one sitting. Yep, that’s right. I sat down one Saturday morning and didn’t stop reading until I finished it that night. ‘The Nowhere Child’ not only had suspense,it also provided you with a back story, giving you an invested interest in the characters story and how it would turn out.

I am totally hooked on Christian White now, and have already finished ‘The Wife and the Widow‘ and enjoyed it even more I think. Maybe the setting had something to do with this, I could almost feel the cold while reading.

‘The Nowhere Child’ is a 4/5 stars for me!

The Sunday Story Club

Doris Brett and Kerry Cue

‘The Sunday Story Club’ is full of heartfelt, true stories from regular women who have experienced incredible events in their lifetimes. Doris Brett and Kerry Cue, somehow make you feel like you are actually inviting this group of people into your home becoming a member of their ‘Club’.

You will laugh, and you will cry as you share these women’s stories. A book you will enjoy and want to share with anyone who will listen!

4/5 stars!

Hope you enjoyed May’s picks as much as I did.

Look out for June’s Pick later this week!

Happy Reading!

Jody