Our Shelf


June was the perfect month for grabbing a hot drink and curling up with a good book.     So that’s what a few of us did last month and these are the books we enjoyed.


I finished one book this month, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and have nearly finished Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins.


Little WomenLouisa May Alcott

I could not put Little Women down. I started off listening to the audio book which was so soothing and enjoyable. But because I couldn’t listen to it all the time I decided I had to read it as well. Needless to say Little Women was all I thought about for two weeks. I savoured every moment I spent reading and listening. The language and story are beautiful. I read it when I was young but I know I never enjoyed it as much as I have this time. I am spoilt now and want my next book to consume me as much as Little Women did.
A classic beautiful, beautiful, book that I will definitely be reading again and again. If you haven’t read it, treat yourself to a great read. Sit back relax and enjoy the language, story and loveable characters.

5/5 stars.



Stay With MeMaureen McCarthy
I have read and loved Maureen McCarthy’s books since I was a teenager and this one was no different. The main character Tess is running from a violent partner and Maureen’s writing really draws you in so you feel as though you are taking that journey right beside her. I only wish the ending hadn’t wrapped up quite so quickly, it felt like it was all over before you had a chance to take a breath!

4/5 stars


The Bellwether Revivals – Benjamin Wood

This book has been compared to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisted and I’d say that’s a fair comparison. Oscar is a quiet, bookish character who is drawn into a group of wealthy, privileged students from King’s College when he falls in love with Iris, a medical student. Iris’s brother, Eden, is a charismatic musical prodigy who believes that music, and his music in particular, has the power to heal. The book really captures you from the first moment and it is gently suspenseful right to the end. Benjamin Wood’s writing is quite beautiful, descriptive without being overbearing. He makes you question the relationship between genius and madness and whether they always go hand in hand. I have had this one on my to-read pile for so long, and I’m so glad I picked it up this time!

5/5 stars



I just finished reading two books, both of which could probably be called romance novels, not the usual sort of book I would read, so I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed them both.


The country practice by Meredith Appleyard

Recommended to me by a friend who lives in rural South Australia. This is the first book published by this Australian author. An enjoyable read, set in rural South Australia, tells the story of Meghan, who returns to Australia from London after breaking up with her fiance. She takes up a job as a locum doctor in Magpie Creek and grows to love this little town and it’s community. Wonderful depiction of life in rural Australia. Great setting and likeable characters. I would recommend it to any rural romance readers.

3/5 stars


I picked up Lovesong by Alex Miller from our book sale table after remembering a recommendation  from a reader at our Constitution Hill Branch. Her enthusiasm for the book encouraged me to give it a go. What an enthralling read. On a rainy summer afternoon in Paris, John an Australian  takes shelter in the cafe run by Houria and her niece Sabiha, and so begins the story of John and the exotic and mysterious Sabiha. The story is told by a writer who regularly meets up with John and becomes this friend later in his life. I really loved this book, great characters, great story, great settling and quiet moving. Highly recommended.

5/5 stars


If you would like to reserve your copy of our picks for June, click on the images below.








Hopefully July will be an even better month for reading some great books.


1st Wednesday Book Group

Book TitleLove Song by Alex Miller


Book Summary

Seeking shelter in a Parisian cafe from a sudden rainstorm, John Patterner meets the exotic Sabiha and his carefully mapped life changes forever. Resonant of the bestselling Conditions of Faith, Alex Miller’s brilliantly realised novel tells the deeply moving story of their lives together, and of how each came undone by desire. Strangers did not, as a rule, find their way to Chez Dom, a small Tunisian cafe in Paris. Run by the widow Houria and her young niece, Sabiha, the cafe offers a home away from home for the North African immigrant workers at the great abattoirs of Vaugirard who, as with Houria and Sabiha themselves, have grown used to the smell of blood in the air. When one day a lost Australian tourist, John Patterner, seeks shelter in the cafe from a sudden Parisian rainstorm, a tragic love story begins to unfold. Years later, while living a quiet life in suburban Melbourne, John Patterner is haunted by what happened to him and Sabiha at Vaugirard. He confides his story to Ken, an ageing writer, who sees in John’s account the possibility for one last simple love story. When Ken tells his daughter this she reminds him, ‘Love is never simple, Dad. You should know that.’ He does know it. But being the writer he is, he cannot resist the lure of the story. Told with all Miller’s distinctive clarity, intelligence and compassion, Lovesong is a pitch-perfect novel, a tender and enthralling story about the intimate lives of ordinary people. Like the truly great novelist he is, Miller locates the heart of his story in the moral frailties and secret passions of his all-too-human characters.

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