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 2021
Wednesday, 20th January 2021
The Language of Butterflies by Wendy Williams
Science journalist Wendy Williams investigates butterflies across the globe. She examines the ancient partnership between butterflies and humans, and the ways we depend on them today from a bellweather of climate change to a source of medical technology. Coupled with years of research and knowledge gained from experts in the field, this accessible "butterfly biography" is touching, eye-opening, and incredibly profound, The Language of Butterflies reveals the critical role they play in our world. (2020, 240pp)
Wednesday, 17th February 2021
The Map that Changed the World by Simon Winchester
In 1793, a canal digger named William Smith found that by tracing the placement of fossils one could follow layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell.... to dra a chart of the hidden underside of the earth. Smith spent 22 yearspiecing together the fragments of this unseen universe to create an epochal and remarkably beautiful hand-painted map....."The Map That Changed the World" is a very human tale of endurance and achievemnent, of one man's dedication in the face of ruin. (2001, 329pp)
Wednesday, 17th March 2021
Battarbee and Namatjira (2014) by Martin Edmond
A biography of two artists Rex Battarbee and Albert Namatjira. Their relationship was to have a decisive impact on Australian art. Some of the book's findings will be controversial. Edmond is able to portray the personal and social complexities the two men faced, while at the same time illuminating larger cultural themes - the treatment of the Arrernte and Indigenous people generally, the influence of the Lutheran church, the developmkent of anthropology, and the evolution of Australian art (Google Books). (2014, 369 pp)
Wednesday, 21st April 2021
Flight LInes by Andrew Darby
The odyssey of two grey plovers migrating from Australia to Arctic breeding grounds, chancing predators, typhoon weather and exhaustion. Their greatest threat is the booming Chinese economy that threatens their staging spots in the Yellow Sea. The story is about the birds, and the people trying to save them.
Wednesday, 19th May 2021
Call of the Reed Warbler: A new Agriculture, A new Earth by Charles Massy
This book will change the way we farm, eat and think about food. In this groundbreaking book Charles Massy explores regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. He shows how innovative farmers are finding a new way, regenerating their land and witnessing astounding transformations. (2020, 528pp)
Wednesday, 15th June 2021
Entangled Life: How fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures by Merlin Sheldrake
A mind-bending journey into the hidden universe of fungi, "one of those rare books that can truly change the way you see the world around you" (Helen Macdonald)..... When we think of fungi, we likely think of mushrooms. But bushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that supports and sustains nearly all living systems. (2020, 267pp)
Wednesday, 21st July 2021
Riding the Black Cockatoo by John Danalis
This is the compelling story of how the skull of an Aboriginal man, found on the banks of the Murray River over 40 y ears ago, came to be returned to his Wamba Wamba descendants. It is a story of awakening, atonement, forgiveness and friendship.....Part history, part detective story, part cultural discovery and emotional journey, this is a book for young and old, showing the transformative and healing power of true reconsiliation. (2009, 270pp)
Wednesday, 18th August 2021
The Untold History of the Potato by John Reader
Reader's geosocial and scientific biography of Solanum tuberosum and all who have eaten.... starts pas, 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 ch chapter is discrete in content and manner, yet denseley connected to the rest. Wonderful to understand the whole world through a single crisp. (The Guardian) (2008; 320pp)
Wednesday, 15th September 2021
The Wasp and the Orchid. The Remarkable life of an Australian Naturalist Edith Coleman by Danielle Clode
Written in electric, hart-stopping prose, Orchid & the Wasp is a novel about gigantic ambitions and social upheaval, chewing through sexuality, class, and politics, and crackling with joyful, anarchic fury. It challenges, bootstraps morality, questioning what we owe one another and what we earn, what makes for a good life, and how events in our lives can turn us into people we never intended be. (Booktopia) (2018, 432pp)
Wednesday, 20th October 2021
Griffith Review 63: Writing the Country
Place. Land. Country. Home. These words frame the settings of our stories, focused 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. How e speak of and to the world we live in requires us to make sense of where we are and where we're go8ing; it requires us to describe, interrogate and analyse our places from the smallest to the grandest of scales. In the second issue of Griffith Review,
published 15 years ago, Melissa Lucashenko wrote of 'earthspeaking, talking about this place, my home'. All these years later, the need to hear all sorts of earthspeak has perhaps never been more urgent. Co-edited by Julianne Schutz and Ashley Hay, this issue features contributions from writers including Tony Birch, Kim Mahood, Jane Gleeson-White and Carles Massy. This edition is supported by The Nature Conservancy.
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 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