Best reads of 2021!

As we get closer to Christmas and the end of another year we thought it would be a great time to share our Best Reads of 2021!

2021 might not have been a good year under normal circumstances but it certainly turned out to be a great year for good books and we love nothing better than sharing our love of great books with everyone.

We have listed some of the best books we read in 2021 in the hopes you might find something enjoyable to read over the Christmas and summer break.

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season filled with lots of great reads; which by coincidence can be found at your local City of Parramatta Library!

Happy reading.

Some of the great books we read in 2021….

Asking a librarian to limit their favourite book of the year to just one title is impossible! So we have decided to include every title we loved year. Download the complete uncut list now! Jam packed full of our 5/5 picks. Guaranteed to keep you busy way past Christmas and summer.

Best Reads of 2021 – Staff Picks

Book Review Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Our MJ Readers book club enjoyed reading ‘Force of Nature‘ by Jane Harper this month. Read their thoughts below.

About the Book

Lost, Cold, Desperate … Danger Runs Deep

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.

The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew. (from the publisher)

Comments

As with Jane Harper’s other novels, we felt that the environment was a central ‘character’ in this story. It was a menacing force that emphasised the dysfunctional relationships, frailties, jealousies and paranoia that each character displayed in some degree. We were drawn in by the story and it kept us guessing to the end. The conclusion was cleverly tied up and there was healing and understanding of how regrets from the past impacted each character and their ongoing relationships. Another enjoyable read.

Read by MJ Readers

The Hush by Sara Foster

Sara Foster‘s latest novel, ‘The Hush‘ is one I have been eagerly awaiting from the moment it was announced!

After the long months of anticipation I finally got to experience the joy of walking into the book store & picking up my copy of ‘The Hush’. I eagerly read the blurb to find out what Sara Foster had in store for me this time around and boy was I super surprised and excited! I could instantly tell I would be in for a late night of reading.

Set in England, in the not too distant future ‘The Hush’ was action packed from the very start. After months of otherwise healthy babies being stillborn, the British government has introduced new laws which allow them to monitor a persons every move. Wrist watches are used to track peoples locations, pregnant teenage girls are disappearing without a trace and women’s freedoms are quickly becoming non existent.

For those readers who are long time fans of Sara Foster’s books prepare to be blown away! ‘The Hush’ is completely different from any of Sara’s previous books, but is totally brilliant and a story that is very relevant to our times. Who wouldn’t enjoy reading about strong, intelligent women who support each other and join together to stand up for their basic human rights. This is the women’s thriller we didn’t know we needed. I want more!

‘The Hush’ gets a rating of 5/5 from me. My only advice is read it slowly if you can because once you finish it you will wish you hadn’t.

Anyway enough gushing from me now. I am off to purchase some copies of Sara’s previous books to keep me satisfied while I wait the one or two years before I get to read a new one! I know it sounds crazy but re-reading books by authors you enjoy is so relaxing and enjoyable. I only wish I wouldn’t keep giving my copies away because I am so eager to share.

Happy reading,

Jody

P.S.

If you are wondering why I buy my books when I work in a library it is so our library members don’t have to wait longer for our new releases.

Recognising IDPwD

Recognising IDPwD Program3 December is International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD). It is a United Nations observed day aimed at increasing public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.
City of Parramatta has created a program of events and resources in recognition of and to showcase people with a lived experience of a disability. 

  • Learn more about the NDIS with our online information sessions;
  • Unleash your creativity with the art competition (Prizes worth $650/$200/$75);
  • Join the panel of speakers at Riverside Theatres ‘Stages of Change’ event;
  • Watch Kay Kerr in conversation with her new book, Social Queue, a heart-warming autistic story (Register here); and
  • Discover our resources below to help people living with a disability.

In association with City of Parramatta Libraries and Community Capacity Team, Parramatta Artists’ Studios, Riverside Theatres and Text Publishing.

Stories of Disability
Stories of Disability
Disability Books for Adults
Disability Books for Adults & Parents
Disability Books for Young Adult
Disability Books for Young Adults
Disability Books for Children
Disability Books for Children
Disability Books at Home
Disability Books from Home
Disability Videos
Disability Videos (DVDs & Streaming)

November 2021 Author Talks

City of Parramatta Libraries have teamed up with Public Libraries NSW for the final time this year to end our FREE online author talks with a bang! These are the last three author talks for 2021 that you can attend from the comfort of home and we thank you for attending the talks throughout the year. Recordings of our previous talks can be found here and are certainly deserving of a watch or even a re-watch. I think my favourite might be Judy Nunn, she is such an engaging and enthusiastic speaker.

In case you missed it don’t forget tonight is the author talk with the beloved host of ABC Gardening Australia, Costa Georgiadis, with his new book Costa’s World, he is sure to be an entertaining and enlightening speaker.

David Hunt presents Girt Nation in conversation with Wendy Harmer
Friday 5 November, 1.00pm

Noted historian David Hunt will be in conversation with Wendy Harmer, one of Australia’s much loved personalities, speaking about his latest historical work.
David Hunt tramples the tall poppies of the past in charting Australia’s transformation from aspiration to nation – an epic tale of charlatans and costermongers, of bush bards and bushier bastards, of labourers and ladies who weren’t going to take it anymore.Girt Nation introduces Alfred Deakin, the Liberal necromancer whose dead advisors made Australia a better place to live, and Banjo Paterson, the jihadist who called on God and the Prophet to drive the Australian infidels from the Sudan ‘like sand before the gale’. And meet Catherine Helen Spence, the feminist polymath who envisaged a utopian future of free contraceptives, easy divorce and immigration restrictions to prevent the ‘Chinese coming to destroy all we have struggled for!’
To register book online – https://parra.city/hunt21

Michael Connelly presents The Dark Hours in conversation with Ben Hobson
Friday 19 November, 12.00pm

Best selling author Michael Connelly will be in conversation with Australian author Ben Hobson about his latest Ballard & Bosch thriller The Dark Hours, in one of only two live events that Michael will deliver directly to an Australian audience.
A brazen and methodical killer strikes on New Year’s Eve and LAPD Detective Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch must join forces to find justice for the victim in a city scarred by fear and social unrest. There’s chaos in Hollywood at the end of the New Year’s Eve countdown. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD Detective Renée Ballard waits out the traditional rain of lead as hundreds of revellers shoot their guns into the air. Only minutes after midnight, Ballard is called to a scene where a hardworking auto shop owner has been fatally hit by a bullet in the middle of a crowded street party. Ballard quickly concludes that the deadly bullet could not have fallen from the sky and that it is linked to another unsolved murder—a case at one time worked by Detective Harry Bosch.
To register book online – https://parra.city/connelly21

Fiona McIntosh presents The Spy’s Wife
Wednesday 24 November, 1.00pm

Fiona McIntosh will be in conversation with Mel Tong from Macquarie Regional Library chatting about her highly anticipated new historical adventure The Spy’s Wife.
Evie, a widow and stationmaster’s daughter, can’t help but look out for the weekly visit of the handsome man she and her sister call the Southerner on their train platform in the wilds of northern England. When polite salutations shift to friendly conversations, they become captivated by each other. After so much sorrow, the childless Evie can’t believe love and the chance for her own family have come into her life again. With rumours coming out of Germany that Hitler may be stirring up war, local English authorities have warned against spies. Even Evie becomes suspicious of her new suitor, Roger. But all is not what it seems. 
Penguin Random House Australia and Fiona McIntosh are giving one lucky attendee a chance to win a beautiful Hermès silk scarf. To register book online – https://parra.city/mcintosh21