The CWCN Book Club is very much enjoyed by all who participate. It is for booklovers, bookworms, food for thought gourmets, those who appreciate the natural world, those who enjoy a debate, and those who just love having a good time.
The kettle is on, the biscuits are waiting, and the comfortable chairs are out at the CWCN Centre. Although there are intense debates surrounding each title, the atmosphere is relaxed and lots of laughter is a given part of the afternoon. This year’s program is described below. We welcome title suggestions for future sessions. Please note, libraries are quite happy to source titles should they not be on their shelves.
Like most of our events, the CWCN Book Club is open to everyone. However, due to the nature of the club participation needs to be kept to workable numbers. We kindly ask you RSVP for sessions which take place on the third Wednesday of each month between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. A fee of $5.00 is charged per session.
BOOK CLUB PROGRAM 2018 (last title):
Wednesday, 21st November 2018
Favourite Nature Poetry— Your personal selection
For the last book club session of the year participants are invited to choose and present their personal favourites— individual poems or collections. Previous book club poetry session followed that pattern. They have all been highly enjoyable afternoons with surprising gems from Australia and other countries introduced and (re)discovered ranging from St Anthony’s Sermon to the Fishes to Les Murray to Judith Wright and the Japanese Haiku, sometimes combined with illustrations or even music. We expect nothing less during our 2018 November session.
BOOK CLUB PROGRAM 2019
Wednesday, 16th January 2019
Killers of Eden. The Killer Whales of Twofold Bay (1961) by Tom Mead
For almost a hundred years the same pack of killers returned to Eden assisting local fishermen during the winter whaling season by herding whales into the bay and attracting the attention of the land-based whalers, leading them to where one whale was surrounded by a pack of killer whales. This unusual voluntary behaviour lasted until 1930 when the last killer whale of the pack died and the fishermen lost their most valuable asset. It took Tom Mead 15 years to complete his research and write this absorbing history of whaling at Twofold Bay.
Wednesday, 20th February 2019
For all the Tea in China (2009) by Sarah Rose
A rousing Victorian adventure story chronicling the exploits of Scottish gardener, botanist, plant hunter and industrial spy (or botanical thief) Robert Fortune, who – engaged by the East India Company when losing the monopoly to trade tea from China - nearly single-handedly made the British tea industry possible in India. Sarah Rose has captured the thrill of discovery, the dramatic vistas in the Wuyi Mountains, and the near-disasters involved in Fortune’s exploits. For tea-lovers, history buffs, or anyone who enjoys a ripping good read. (Mark Pendergrast and book depository)
Wednesday, 20th March 2019
Griffith Review 60, First Things First (2018)
Inspired by he Uluru Statement from Heart and featuring outstanding Indigenous writers, First Things First is an urgent, nuanced and robust call to listen and respond to questions of constitutional recognition. More than two centuries after European settlers arrived, the need to find an honourable way to recognise and celebrate the unique history of this country as home to the oldest living civilisation is long overdue. Are we ready to make agreements and enable truth-telling about our history, to make peace and devise firmer ground for laws, policies and outcomes that improve Indigenous and non-Indigenous life in Australia? With this special edition, Griffith Review excavates history and re-imagines the future, while not forgetting the urgencies of the present. (Booktopia)
Wednesday, 17th April 2019
Flight Behaviour (2012) by Barbara Kingsolver
Kingsolver has written one of the more thoughtful novels about the scientific, financial and psychological intricacies of climate change. And her ability to put these silent, breathtakingly beautiful butterflies at the center of this calamitous and noisy debate is nothing short of brilliant (Washington Post) - With her powerful new novel, Kingsolver delivers literary fiction that conveys an urgent social message…. A clarion call about climate change, too lucid and vivid for even skeptics to ignore (Publishers Weekly)
Wednesday, 15th May 2019
The Eternal Frontier (2001) by Tim Flannery
The book relates the story of North America over the last 65 million years, from the arrival of the largest asteroid ever to hit the Earth, through the evolution of North America's landscape, mountains, forests, prairies, volcanoes, and rivers to the arrival of the European invaders. - No one before Flannery, so far as I know, has been brave enough to tackle the whole pageant of North America….to explain America, in the largest sense, to Americans—and to everyone else. (New Work Times Book Review) - Flannery … knows how to make palaeontology, geology, climatology and anthropology accessible to all… Natural history par excellence.(Kirkus Review)
Wednesday, 19h June 2019
The Silk Roads. A New History of the World (2015) by Peter Frankopan
For centuries, fame and fortune were to be found in the west—in the New World of the Americas. Today, it is the east which calls out to those in search of riches and adventure. Sweeping right across Central Asia and deep into China and India, a region that once took centre stage is again rising to dominate global politics, commerse and culture. A major reassessment of world history, The Silk Roads is a dazzling exploration of the forces that have driven the rise and fall of empires, determined the flow of ideas and goods and are now heralding a new dawn in international affairs.—Immensely entertaining. Many books have been written which claim to be ‘A New History of the World”. This one fully deserves the title… So ambitious, so detailed and so fascinating. (The Times)
Wednesday, 17th July 2019
The Snow Leopard (1978) by Peter Matthiessen
One September, the writer and explorer Peter Matthiessen set out with field biologist George Schaller to journey 250 miles through the Himalayas to the Crystal Mountain on the Tibetan plateau. They wanted to study the wild blue sheep, the bharal, but also hoped to see the snow leopard, a creature so rarely spotted as to be nearly mythical. The Snow Leopard is not only an exquisite book of natural history but an extraordinary account of an inner journey ; a 'true pilgrimage, a journey of the heart.' (amazon)
Wednesday, 21st August 2019
The Amazons. Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World (2016) by Adrienne Mayor
Adrienne Mayor has written an ambitious 'Encyclopedia Amazonica' as she calls her book, a kind of compendium of information about the Amazons... Her charming and seamless style can certainly provoke a reader's interest in the still distant and unknown terra incognita of the Black Sea and Caucasus regions and their nomadic life. (Tassos A. Kaplanis, Journal of Historical Geography) - According to the Kirkus Review, this book is a ‘must read’.
Wednesday, 18th September 2019
King of the Wilderness. The Life of Deny King (2002) by Christobel Mattingley
Born in 1909, King made his home at Melaleuca in Tasmania's remote South-West, one of the most spectacular and rugged terrains in the world. By the time of his death in 1991 he was truly the king of his remarkable wilderness, and internationally celebrated for his unique lifestyle. There seemed to be nothing Deny King couldn't do. He was a tin miner, an environmentalist, a painter and a collector who had species named after him. He built his own airstrip and regularly sailed round some of Australia's most treacherous coast. He served in New Guinea in World War II and it was during the war that he met Margaret Cadell, the nurse he would later woo by letter in a courtship as touching as it was unconventional. King of the Wilderness is an inspirational story about a great Australian. (booktopia)
Wednesday, 16th October 2019
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts (2016) by Joshua Hammer
To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven. In the 1980s, the young adventurer and collector for a government library Abdel Kader Haidara travelled across the Sahara and along the Niger River salvaging tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts. In 2012, thousands of Al Qaeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali, including Timbuktu. They imposed Sharia law, chopped off the hands of accused thieves, stoned to death unmarried couples, and threatened to destroy the great manuscripts. As the militants tightened their control over Timbuktu, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali.
Wednesday, 20th Nov 2019
Favourite Nature Poetry—Your personal selection
For the last book club session of the year participants are invited to choose and present their personal favourites—individual poems or collections. Previous book club poetry session followed that pattern. They have all been highly enjoyable afternoons with surprising gems from Australia and other countries introduced and (re)discovered ranging from bush poems to Les Murray to Judith Wright and the works of poets from other countries , sometimes combined with illustrations or even music. We expect nothing less during our 2019 November session.
CWCN Book Club Program 2019
CWCN Book Club Program 2018
CWCN Book Club Program 2017
CWCN Book Club Program 2016
CWCN Book Club Program 2015
CWCN Book Club Program 2014