March Reads & April’s Thriller Picks

After I finished writing the blog post for the February wrap-up, and told you all what I was planning on reading, I literally changed my mind as soon as I clicked post. I blame Kate, one of my reading colleagues here at the library, for filling my head with even more reading suggestions.

The books I read this month were….

A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville (Historical Fiction)

This was such a beautifully written book. Although a fictional take on what Elizabeth Macarthur might have thought and said, I found myself believing whole-heartedly that Elizabeth’s voice was real!

What if Elizabeth Macarthur – wife of the notorious John Macarthur, wool baron in the earliest days of Sydney – had written a shockingly frank secret memoir? And what if novelist Kate Grenville had miraculously found and published it? That’s the starting point for A Room Made of Leaves, a playful dance of possibilities between the real and the invented. Marriage to a ruthless bully, the impulses of her heart, the search for power in a society that gave women none – this Elizabeth Macarthur manages her complicated life with spirit and passion, cunning and sly wit. Her memoir lets us hear – at last! – what one of those seemingly demure women from history might really have thought. At the centre of A Room Made of Leaves is one of the most toxic issues of our own age – the seductive appeal of false stories. This book may be set in the past, but it’s just as much about the present, where secrets and lies have the dangerous power to shape reality.

Normal People by Sally Rooney (Book to Screen)

I am really struggling to write my review for ‘Normal People’, even after discussing the book with my colleague Sarah. Therefore, I will keep it short and to the point. I loved the writing! Just was not interested in the storyline. I am going to watch the screen adaptation and see if this changes my opinion.

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation – awkward but electrifying – something life-changing begins.

One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon (Chicklit)

Once again, Paige Toon managed to keep me glued to the pages until I had finished the whole book. How can one writer manage to write one amazing book, after another? Magic if you ask me! If you enjoy Chick Lit and haven’t read any of Paige Toon’s books give them a try. You will not be disappointed.

Alice is 18 and about to start university while Joe’s life is seemingly going nowhere. A Dorset summer, a chance meeting, and the two of them fall into step as if they have known each other forever. But their idyll is shattered, suddenly, unexpectedly. Alice heads off to Cambridge and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart. Joe is gone; she cannot find him. When she catches the attention of Lukas – gorgeous, gifted, rich boy Lukas – she is carried along by his charm, swept up in his ambitious plans for a future together. Then Joe is there, once more, but out of reach in a way that Alice could never have imagined. Life has moved on, the divide between them is now so great. Surely it is far too late to relive those perfect summer days of long ago?

The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson (General Fiction)

I have not finished this one yet, but I am more than half way through and enjoying it. I like the characters and want to know how their story ends.

What do you get when you cross a painfully awkward son, lofty comedic ambition and a dead best friend? Norman. Norman and Jax are a legendary comedy duo in the making, with a five-year plan to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe by the time they’re fifteen. But then Jax dies before they even turn twelve. Norman’s mum Sadie knows she won’t win Mother of the Year anytime soon, and she really doesn’t know, or care, who Norman’s father is. But her heart is broken when she discovers her grieving son’s revised plan – ‘Find Dad’ and ‘Get to the Edinburgh Fringe’. If meeting his dad and performing at the Festival are the two things that will help Norman through this devastating time, then Sadie is going to make them happen. So, mother and son set off from Cornwall, with their friend Leonard in his vintage Austin Maxi, on a pilgrimage to Edinburgh – to honour Jax and to track down a few maybe-fathers on the way…    

We were lucky enough to host Julietta Henderson in an online author talk. You can check out the recording here at parra.city/nswplevents

Now! Down to the business of April’s to be read, thriller list. I am hoping to read at least one of the books listed below.

Continue reading

Book Review This is Going to Hurt

In January our ‘Cultcha Club’ book club read ‘This is Going to Hurt‘ by Adam Kay. Checkout what they thought below….

Summary

Welcome to 97-hour weeks. Welcome to life and death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter. Wave goodbye to your friends and relationships …
Welcome to the life of a junior doctor.
Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, these diaries are everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward. And yes, it may leave a scar.   

Comments 

Why not try Adam Kay’s other book….

Adam Kay was a junior doctor working for the NHS (British Healthcare) before turning his hand to writing comedy.  The book is full of snippets of diary entries that he kept  from his time working as a junior doctor.  While very British, with a few references some may not understand, this one had us laughing out loud and sharing stories one minute to holding back tear the next.  We thoroughly enjoyed this one.  And being mothers, we enjoyed the insight into an OBGYN ward. Wonderfully written with a new appreciation for all healthcare professionals. 

Cultcha Club rate ‘This is Going to Hurt’ 8/10.

Podcast More Young Adult Reads

YA books can be about love, loss, transitions, first experiences, school, future aspirations… anything experienced by young people. What makes YA literature unique is that the perspective is a teenage one. Back with more YA in 2021, join Nisa and Antonia for the first set of books they’d like to highlight:

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. Walker Books, 2019

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. Electric Monkey, 2019

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. Hot Key Books, 2020

Welcome to the New World: Waking Up in Trump’s America by Jake Halpern and (illustrated by) Michael Sloan. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.

Craving some more YA chat? Checkout our other YA podcast here!

Happy Listening!

Celebrating Women through Books

International Women’s Day celebrated every year on the 8th March is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. #ChooseToChallenge

To celebrate the amazing achievements of women writers around the world, we have put together a list of ‘Must-read’ books by women, as chosen by us!’

Happy Reading!

Jody

Dundas Library’s Great Display of Books!

Get Crafting

Did you know March is known as Craft Month? I didn’t, but what better timing for me to deliver on my promise to write a blog post about all the amazing craft books I keep borrowing from the Library!

If you are a crafter, what type are you? The type that works on one project at a time or the type that switches from one project to another one? Let me tell you, I am the latter, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I am not alone here at the library will my crafting obsession, we Librarians seem to be a creative lot! In fact, there are sometimes disagreements among us to see who gets to tidy the craft section in our shelf checking and tidying rotation.

Listed below are just some of the crafts we have been dabbling in:

Knitting – Crochet – Embroidery – Macramé – Weaving – Clay work – Candle making – Sashiko – Felting – Applique – English paper piecing – Quilting – Jewellery making – Punch Needle.

Last year I finished my first embroidery project, a cushion cover which I am still super excited about. I also managed to finally crochet a straight edge on a scarf, which I think was pretty impressive and earned me a “well done” from Sharni who is our resident crocheting expert.

Whether you are feeling inspired to try something new, or even re-discover an old favourite our extensive collection of craft books will surely keep you up all hours.

Happy Crafting!

Jody

P.S

I can’t wait to try punch needle & sashiko!