In 2023 the CWCN Book Club will be in its tenth year celebrating environmental literature.
Since its inception it has been very much enjoyed by all who participate. Our book club 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.
We are thrilled about the success. Regular participants are looking forward to the third Wednesday of each month (except December). Two hours of informal, wide ranging and lively discussions are combined with loads of fun. A cup of coffee/tea and refreshments contribute to the atmosphere.
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 at the CWCN Centre, 47 Hepworth St, Chapel Hill on the third Wednesday of each month (except December) between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. A fee of $5.00 is charged per session.
We are pleased to offer another varied and interesting program for 2023 and hope you will find the chosen titles to your liking. They can usually be obtained through your library.
BOOK CLUB PROGRAM 2023
Wednesday, 18th January 2023
Curlews on Vulture Street by Darryl Jones
What happens when nature comes to town? Darryl Jones has written a witty, rollicking account of encounters with the ingenious creatures that make our urban homestheir own. A wild, wonderful journey in the spirit of Gerald Durrell, unexpected and delightful, full of insight, humour and humility. Anyone who loves birds, nature and superb storytelling will love this book (J. Ackerman) (2022, 320pp)
Wednesday, 15th February 2023
How to speak Whale by Tom Mustill
Developments in natural science and AI mean that we are closer than ever to genuinely talking to animals. Scientists and start-ups across Silicon Valley and beyond are working to turn the fantasy of Dr Doolittle into a reality, using powerful new technologies to try to decode the languages of animals. Whales, with their giant mammalian brains and sophisticated languages, offer one of the most realistic opportunities for us to do so. (2022, 288pp)
Wednesday, 15th March 2023
Griffith Review 63: Writing the Country
Place. Land. Country. Home. These words frame the settings of the stories. Griffith Review 63: Writing the Country focuses on Australia’s vast raft of environments to investigate how these places are changing and what they might become; what is flourishing and what is at risk.—The environmental vocabulary of our times requires dramatic terms: extinctions and endings; tipping points and collapses; bottlenecks and cascade effects. Whatever the labels or language, how we speak of and to the world we live in requires us to make sense of where we are and where we’re going, describing, interrogating and analysing from the smallest to the grandest of scales. (2019, 264pp)
Wednesday, 19th April 2023
Dead in the Water. The Death of the Murray Darling Basin by Richard Beasley
Richard Beasley is fed up with vested interests killing off Australia’s most precious water resource, fed up with vested interests killing off Australia’s most precious water resource. He’s fed up with the cowardice and negligence that have allowed Big Agriculture and irrigators to destroy a river system that can sustain both the environment and the communities that depend on it. He’s fed up that a noble plan to save Murray Darling based on the ‘best scientific knowledge’ has instead been corroded by lies, the denial of climate change, pseudoscience and political expediency. Dead in the Water would be political satire of the highest order… if it weren’t so tragically true. (2021, 296pp)
Wednesday, 17th May 2023
The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane
Following the tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast ancient network of routes criss-crossing the British Isles and beyond, Robert Macfarlane discovers a lost world—a landscape of the feet and the mind, of prilgrimage and ritual, of stories and ghosts, above all of the places and journeys which inspire and inhabit our imaginations.—’Sublime writing … sets the imagination tingling … Macfarlane’s way of writing [is] ...laying an irresistible trail for readers to follow’ (Sunday Times) . (213, 448pp)
Wednesday, 21st June 2023
Gum by Ashley Hay
No matter where you look in Australia, you’re more than likely to see a eucalyptus tree. Scrawny or majestic, smooth as pearl or rough as guts, they have defined a continent for millennia, and shaped the possibilities and imaginations of those who live among them. This new edition of IGum, from award-winning author Ashley Hay, is a powerful and lyrical exploration of these transformative and still transforming trees. It’s a story of unique landscapes, curious people, and very big ideas. (2021, 320pp)
Wednesday, 19th July 2023
Magnificient Rebels. The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self by Andrea Wulf
In the 1790s an extraordinary group of friends changed the world. Disappointed by the French Revolution's rapid collapse into tyranny, they wanted a revolution of the mind. Through poetry, drama, philosophy and science, they transformed the way we think about ourselves and the world around us. We still think with their minds, see with their imagination, walk the same tightrope between meaningful self-fulfilment and destructive narcissism, between the rights of the individual and our role as a member of our community and our responsibilities towards future generations who will inhabit this planet. (2022, 512pp)
Wednesday, 16th August 2023
A River with a City Problem. A History of Brisbane Floods by Margaret Cook
This publication provides a compelling history of floods in the Brisbane River catchment, especially those in 1893, 1974 and 2011. Extensively researched, it highlights the force of nature, the vagaries of politics and the power of community. With many river cities facing urban development challenges, Cook makes a convincing argument for what must change to prevent further tragedy. (2019, 304pp)
Wednesday, 20st September 2023
Mountains by Alasdair McGregor
True to the diversity of the Australian continent, our mountains are home to natural habitats of both exquisite beauty and astonishing variety as well as, sadly, rapidly increasing rarity. Our First Nations People have an enduring spiritual connection to many of these sites, and they have been a rich source of inspiration for many painters, poets, photographers and writers. An expansive contemplation of natural, geological and social history, an account defying Australia’s reputation as the flattest continent on earth, illuminating the landscape in all its breathtaking height and glory. (2021, 280pp)
Wednesday, 18th October 2023
Toxic. The Rotting Underbelly of the Tasmanian Salmon Industry by Richard Flanagan
The Tasmanian salmon industry has for decades succeeded in presenting itself as world’s best practice and its product as healthy and clean, grown in environmentally pristine conditions. What could be more appealing than the idea of Atlantic salmon sustainably harvested in some of the world’s purest waters? But what are we eating when we eat Tasmanian salmon? - Richard Flanagan’s exposé of the salmon farming industry in Tasmania is chilling. In the way that Rachel Carson took on the pesticide industry in her ground-breaking book Silent Spring, Flanagan tears open an industry that is as secretive as its practices are destructive and its product disturbing. If you care about what you eat, if you care about the environment, this is a book you need to read. Toxic is set to become a landmark book of the twenty-first century. (2021, 240pp)
Wednesday, 15th Nov 2023
Your own choice of Nature Poetry
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 sessions followed that pattern, often with surprising gems from Australia and other countries, introduced and (re)discovered, and inspiring everyone present. The choices are wide and may range from well know classic Australian poems to more contemporary selections, may focus on an individual flora or fauna species, the bush in general, or the life and experiences of individuals. Past end of year book club sessions enjoyed poetry by Les Murray, Judith Wright, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, to name just a few.
CWCN Book Club Program 2023
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