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 2020
The book tells the story of a small Australian rodent known for its fast and prodigious spread after big rains. Tim Bonyhady's account, from the earliest evidence of it, found in caves and overhangs, to its most recent boom triggered by the immense rains across Australia of 2010-11 and current research of its mysterious life presents a fascinating view of Australia's history, illuminating a species, a continent, its climate and its people. (Angus and Robertson)
The Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) is one of the most famous navigators in history. He was the first man to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, and led the first voyage to circumnavigate the globe, although he was killed en route in a battle with natives in the Philippines. In this biography, Zweig brings to life the Age of Discovery by telling the tale of one of the era's most daring adventurers. In typically flowing and elegant prose he takes us on a fascinating journey of discovery ourselves. (Penguin)
A century ago Australia was home to 10 billion rabbits, thriving in their adopted home. Storyteller Bruce Munday finds the rabbit saga irresistible - the naive hopes of the early settlers, the frustration, environmental damage, cost to agriculture, dreams shattered, and the lessons learned and ignored. The book high-lights not only the damage done but also Australia's missed opportunities for real rabbit control. It recognises the bush's paradoxical love affair with an animal that was at one time a significant rural industry and is still recalled with nostalgia. More importantly, it offers hope for a brighter future, making the case for continued research to drive the next rabbit-control miracle, because rabbit plagues of the past will become the future unless we capture the history and embrace the lessons. (Booktopia)
In 1793, William Smith found that by tracing the placement of fossils one could follow layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell … to draw a chart of the hidden underside of the earth. Smith spent 22 years piecing together the fragments of this unseen universe to create an epochal and remarkably beautiful hand-painted map. But in-stead of receiving accolades and hon-ours, he ended up in debtors' prison, the victim of plagiarism, and virtually homeless for ten years more. With a keen eye and thoughtful detail, Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world-changing discovery. (Booktopia)
Thirty years ago, a bomb landed in the field of Australian consciousness of it-self and its land in the form of this book. The ensuing explosion has caused ex-tensive and heated debate ever since amongst historians, ecologists, environ-mentalists, poets and writers. Here is a contentious story of men and their passion for land; of occupation and settlement; of destruction and growth. By following the tracks of these pioneers who crossed the Blue Mountains into northern New South Wales, Eric Rolls has written the history of Europe-an settlement in Australia. He evokes the ruthlessness and determination of the first settlers who worked the land — a land they knew little about. (Goodreads)
Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things – her home-town and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she’s an inch away from the lockup, so she heads south.—Kerry plans to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. Old family wounds open as the Salters fight to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble – but then trouble is Kerry’s middle name.—Gritty and darkly hilarious, Too Much Lip offers redemption and for-giveness where none seems possible. (Booktopia)
When Patrick Durack left Ireland for Australia in 1853, he was to found a pioneering dynasty and build a cattle empire across the great stretches of Australia. With a profound sense of family history, his grand-daughter, Mary Durack reconstructed the Durack saga -- a story of intrepid men and ground-breaking adventure. (Penguin) '... far better than any novel; an incomparable record of a great family and of a series of great actions.' The Bulletin
Off the easternmost corner of India, in the Bay of Bengal, lies the immense labyrinth of tiny islands known as the Sundarbans, where settlers live in fear of drowning tides and man-eating tigers. Piya Roy, a young American marine biologist of Indian descent, arrives in this lush, treacherous landscape in search of a rare species of river dolphin and enlists the aid of a local fisherman and a translator. Together the three of them launch into the elaborate backwaters, drawn unawares into the powerful political undercurrents of this isolated corner of the world that exact a personal toll as fierce as the tides. (Goodreads)
Australian birds have a special place in the evolution of modern birds. They live unusually long lives, form long-lasting bonds and are overall exceptionally intelligent. In this highly compelling book, the author explores the evolution of abilities that make the emotional and sex lives of birds work to their ad-vantage. How Australian birds choose mates makes fascinating reading. The author uncovers motivations and attractions in partner choice, shows how humans and birds may be more alike in attachment and mating behaviour than we think. For birdwatchers, researchers and nature lovers alike, Bird Bonds is a valuable resource and a beguiling insight into the world of the birds around us. (QBD Books)
Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? (goodreads)
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 Les Murray to Oodgeroo Noonuccal, to C.J. Dennis and others, sometimes combined with illustrations, sometimes with music. We expect nothing less during our 2020 November session.