Double banner 2022



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.



Wednesday, 19th January 2022
The Great Soul of Siberia: In Search of the Elusive Siberian Tiger by Sooyong Park 
The Great Soul of Siberia is the incredible story of Park's unique obsession with these compelling creatures on the very brink of extinction, and his dangerous quest to seek them out to observe and study them. Eloquently told in Park's distinctive voice. It is a personal account of one of the most extraordinary wildlife studies ever undertaken. (2015, 340pp)
Wednesday, 16th February 2022
The Feather Thief: Beauty Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of Century by Kirk Wallace-Johnson 
The Feather Thief is a riveting read, a fascinating exploration of obsession and man's destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature, and how this can wreak havoc on our scientific heritage. When the author chanced on the story of the 2009 theft of hundreds of priceless exotic bird skins from the British Natural History Museum's ornithological department by a young musisican, he had no idea that he would be swept up into a world of fanatical fly-tyers, crime, and obsession. (2019, 320pp)
Wednesday, 16th March 2022
Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens by Andrea Wulf
In 1761, the first truly international scientific endeavour took place - the quest to observe the transit of Venus and measure the solar system. The book paints a vivid portrait of collaborations around the globe, of rivalries, and of volatile international politics hindering the project progress. It brings to life the astronomers who embarked upon this complex and essential scientific venture. Their achievements would change our conception of the universe and would forever alter the nature of scientific research.  (2012 336 pp)
Wednesday, 20th April 2022
The Edge of the World. How the North Sea made us who we are by Michael Pye
Hugely enjoyable. It is the measure of Pye's achievement that he can breathe life into the traders or seventh-century Frisia of the beguines of late-medieval Flanders as well as into his more celebrated subjects.... Grey the waters of the North Sea may be; but Pye has successfully dyed them with a multitude of rich colours.
(2015, 400pp)
Wednesday, 18th May 2022
The Nurtmeg's Curse. Parables of a Planet in Crisis by Amitav Gosh
Writer Amitav Ghosh finds the origins of our contemporary climate crisis in Western colonialism's violent exploitation of human life and the natural environment. A powerful work of history, essay, testimony, and polemic, the book traces our contemporary planetary crisis back to the discovery of the New World and the sea route to the Indian Ocean. At the centre of Ghosh's narrative is the now-ubiquitous spice nutmeg. (2021, 336pp)
Wednesday, 15th June 2022
A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville
Kate Grenville is a literary alchemist, turning the leaden shadow of the historical Elizabeth Macarthur into a luminescent, golden woman for our times. Intelligent, compassionate, strategic and dead sexy, Grenville's Macarthur is an unforgettable character who makes us question everything we thought we knew about our colonial past. A polished gem of a novel by a writer who is as brave as she is insightful. (2020, 352pp)
Wednesday, 20th July 2022
Position Doubtful: Mapping Landscapes and Memories by Kim Mahood
Kim Mahood writes with profound directness and clarity about her art, and her life, in particular her relationship with the land she grew up in and on, and her relationship to the indigenous people who have lived on that land much longer than she. As she writes of - quite literally - building a map that is both geographic, social and cultural, you feel that she has, ever so gently, shifted your view of the world. Position Doubtful is a remarkable, intelligent and mature work.  (2016, 336pp)
Wednesday, 17th August 2022
The Ways of the Bushwalker: On Foot in Australia by Melissa Harper
An absorbing exploration of the story of bushwalking in Australia, a well researched history, not just of walking, but of our changing relationship to the natural environment, of coming to know its unique beauty and its power to both inspire and restore the body and spirit. A compelling read for anyone who love the Australian Bush (2007; 384pp) 
Wednesday, 21st September 2022
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan
The author demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a resiprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires - weetness, beauty, intoxiation, and control - with the plants that satisfy them. Pollan illustrates how apples, tulips, mrijuana and potatoes have evolved to satisfy humankind's most basic yearnings. And just as we have benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. Who is really domesticating whom? (2002, 304pp)
Wednesday, 19th October 2022
Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane
All Macfarlane's books are urgings to take a closer look at the environment we live in, and at the natural world expecially. They are perception shifters. And with its darker, delving subject matter counter-weighing its lyricism, Underland is a magnificent feat of writing, travelling and thinking that feels genuinely frontier-pushing, unsettling and exploratory (Evening Standard) - Robert Macfarlane is a magician with words. In Underland he shows us how to see in the dark. His writing is like a vortex... Once caught, you're pulled deeper and deeper with each page. (Andrea Wulf)
Wednesday, 17th Nov 2021
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. 


CWCN Book Club Program 2022

CWCN Book Club Program 2021

CWCN Book Club Program 2020

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