In conversation with Chris Hammer

Public Libraries NSW and City of Parramatta Libraries presents Jenn Martin from City of Sydney Library, chatting with bestselling Australian author Chris Hammer – author of Scrublands and Silver –  as he talks about his new crime novel ‘Trust’.

Martin Scarsden’s new life seems perfect, right up until the moment it’s shattered by a voicemail: a single scream, abruptly cut off, from his partner Mandalay Blonde.  Set in a Sydney riven with corruption and nepotism, privilege and power, so starts a twisting tale of intrigue and danger, as Martin probes the past of the woman he loves, a woman who has buried her former life so deep she has never mentioned it.

This FREE online author talk will be presented via Zoom with a Q & A session at the end.

This event is a collaboration between multiple NSW Public Libraries’ and in association with Allen & Unwin Australia. Copies of the book can be purchased online from Booktopia or from your local bookshop. Book your ticket now by clicking on the image or here.

Best YA Reads of 2020 so Far!

2020 might not have been the best year so far, but the positive side of things it has been a great year for Young Adult fiction.

I don’t know about most people but I enjoy reading YA fiction; in particular YA fantasy novels and this year there has been some great titles already released and more still to come.

So in the interest of spreading the word about great YA fantasy reads I thought I would share with you some of the new releases I have read and the ones I can’t wait to read and not forgetting my all-time-favourites!

I hope you discover something great to read!

Jody

2020 Releases

The Shadows Between Us by Trivia Levenseller

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

Sisters of the Sword by Rebecca Ross, paperback edition released October 2020.

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Coming Soon

Lightbringer, book three in the Empirium series by Claire Legrand released November 2020. Book one – Furyborn and Book two – Kingsbane

Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke, released February 2021. I forget where I even came across this title but is sounds great. However thanks to the COVID the publishing date has been pushed back to February 2021.

The Silvered Serpents, book two in The Gilded Wolves series by Roshani Chokshi. Book one – The Gilded Wolves.

All Time Favourties

The Tiger at Midnight, book one Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala Look out for book two ‘The Archer at Dawn’.

La Belle Sauvage, book one of The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman. Book two – The Secret Commonwealth

The Red Queen, book one of The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. Book two – Glass Sword, book three – King’s Cage, book four War Storm.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

The Kiss of Deception, book one of the Ramnant series by Mary E. Pearson. Book two – The Heart of Betrayal, book three – The Beauty of Darkness

P.S

Just in case you missed it you, might want to back-track and listen to the Podcast we did on YA Reads to check out some more recommendations!

Book Club Reviews

As most of our book clubs have started to meet again in some capacity, either online, in cafes or in their homes I thought it would be nice to share with you some of their book reviews.

The Cultcha Club book club recently read ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo‘ by Christy Lefteri and rated it a solid 6/10.

Our Dundas Readers just finished reading ‘The Umbrian Supper Club‘ by Marlena de Blasi which they rated 5/10.

You can read both clubs comments below.

Enjoy!

Jody

Cultcha Club – ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo‘ by Christy Lefteri

Nuri, a beekeeper, struggling to hold onto hope as he leaves war torn Syria, with his wife, Afra, blind from the horrors she has seen.  We follow their journey as refugees as they attempt to make their way to England, seeking asylum, hoping to reunite with his cousin. 

This book is beautifully written despite its tragedy.  Hauntingly beautiful, at times blurring the lines of reality.  While this book is fiction, it felt incredibly real and as if we were reading a personal account.  We watch the couple not only struggle with the physical journey, but also their relationship and finding hope and happiness after all they have endured due to things beyond their control.  While the writing is lovely, and the writer knows her subject well, we felt the story lost its way a little in the middle. 

Dundas Readers – ‘The Umbrian Supper Club‘ by Marlena de Blasi

Our library book club choice. A small group of mainly elderly Italians meet each Thursday night for supper. Previously their leader Miranda has cooked for them but as she is aging they begin sharing the meal preparations. Food is the predominant obsession for these people and it is an inextricable element of their culture and everyday lives. Over food and wine, in seemingly endless quantities, five of the women in particular share intimate life stories.

The book is well written but the enormous amount of often repetitive details about food began to be quite nauseating. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in Italian food and culture I think you’d enjoy it and might even be tempted to try making one of the many recipes at the back of the book.

In Conversation with Monica McInerney

Public Libraries NSW and City of Parramatta Libraries presents Monique Akauola from Sutherland Libraries, chatting with bestselling Australian author Monica McInerney as she talks about her new family drama ‘The Godmothers’.

‘I don’t want two wishy-washy godmothers,’ Jeannie had said that afternoon in the country hospital when Eliza was only a day old. ‘No dolls. No pink dresses. Just lots of adventures. Lots of spoiling. The pair of you like two mighty warriors protecting her at every step.’

Eliza Miller grew up in Australia as the only daughter of a troubled young mother, but with the constant support of two watchful godmothers, Olivia and Maxie. Despite her tricky childhood, she always felt loved and secure. Until, just before her eighteenth birthday, a tragic event changed her life.

Thirteen years on, Eliza is deliberately living as safely as possible, avoiding close relationships and devoting herself to her job. Out of the blue, an enticing invitation from one of her godmothers prompts a leap into the unknown.

Within a fortnight, Eliza finds herself in the middle of a complicated family in Edinburgh. There’s no such thing as an ordinary day any more. Yet, amidst the chaos, Eliza begins to blossom. She finds herself not only hopeful about the future, but ready to explore her past, including the biggest mystery of all – who is her father?

Set in Australia, Scotland, Ireland and England, The Godmothers is a great big hug of a book that will fill your heart to bursting. It is a moving and perceptive story about love, lies, hope and sorrow, about the families we are born into and the families we make for ourselves.

This FREE online author talk will be presented via Zoom with a Q & A session at the end.
Book now or click on the image above.
This event is a collaboration between multiple NSW Public Libraries’ and in association with Penguin Books Australia.
Copies of the book can be purchased online from Booktopia or from your local bookshop.

Parra Reads Book Club Wrap-Up & September Pick!

I made it! Finally managed to finish one book club title for August just before we reach the end of the month. I am so happy with myself. I literally just finished reading ‘Six Minutes‘ by Petronella McGovern and thought to my self I had to hop straight onto Parra Reads and write about it.

If you haven’t already guessed by the tone of my writing, I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact there wasn’t one section through the whole flow of the book that I did not enjoy. Sometimes when I finish a book and even though I have enjoyed it there are often some characters or story lines that I am not interested in. This wasn’t the case with ‘Six Minutes’, every character and every story line interested me and was relevant to the whole story.

On the cover of ‘Six Minutes’ best selling author Liane Moriarty describes the book as, ‘Impossible to put down. Full of twists and turns you won’t see coming! I loved this fabulous debut novel.’ I would have to agree with that description but I also think it is also so much more.

The setting, characters and their lives felt so real, like you are a part of the story watching the news or browsing through your Facebook feed. I haven’t experienced that with a book in a long time. Halfway through ‘Six Minutes’, I jumped online and ordered a copy of Petronella’s new book ‘The Good Teacher’, don’t worry we have ordered library copies too.

I am still reading our second August title, ‘Stranger Country‘ by Monica Tan. So far I am finding it an interesting and enjoyable read. I especially like reading about the Australian landscape.

To read something totally different in September we have chosen ‘A Thousand Ships‘ by Natalie Hayes which is a retelling of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective. And this month to take the pressure off everyone we will only be reading one book.

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