Book Club

Book Club: The Golden Age

Sep 26, 2016

Book Club: The Golden Age

by Joan London This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. From one of Australia’s most loved novelists. He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home. It is 1954 and thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, refugee from wartime Hungary, is learning to walk again after contracting polio in Australia. At the Golden Age Children’s Polio Convalescent Hospital in Perth, he sees Elsa, a fellow-patient, and they form a forbidden, passionate bond. The Golden Age becomes the little world that reflects the larger one, where everything occurs, love and desire, music, death, and poetry. Where children must learn that they are alone, even within their families. Written in Joan London’s customary clear-eyed prose, The Golden Age evokes a time past and a yearning for deep connection. It is a rare and precious gem of a book from one of Australia’s finest...

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Book Club: A Little Life

Aug 29, 2016

Book Club: A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life...

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Book Club: The Children Act

Jun 27, 2016

Book Club: The Children Act

by Ian McEwan Monday, June 27, 10:30am, Published on 2 September 2014. The title is a reference to the Children Act 1989, a UK Act of Parliament. It has been compared to Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, with its similar settings, and opening lines. Fiona Maye is a respected High Court Judge specializing in Family Law and living in Gray’s Inn Square. Though outwardly successful, in her private life she must contend with the regret of childlessness and the announcement by her husband -jack that he is about to embark on an affair. Meanwhile she is called upon to rule in the case of Adam, a seventeen-year-old boy with leukemia who refuses a blood transfusion as a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Ian McEwan explains his inspiration in an essay he wrote for The Guardian which begins, “Some years ago I found myself at dinner with a handful of judges – a bench is the collective noun. They were talking shop, and I was politely resisting the urge to take notes…How easily, I thought at the time, this bench could be mistaken for a group of novelists discussing each other’s work, reserving harsher strictures for those foolish enough to be absent. At one point, our host, Sir Alan Ward, an appeal court judge, wanting to settle some mild disagreement, got up and reached from a shelf a bound volume of his own judgments. An hour later, when we had left the table for coffee, that book lay open on my lap. It was the prose that struck me first. Clean, precise, delicious. Serious, of course, compassionate at points, but lurking within its intelligence was something like humour, or wit, derived perhaps from its godly distance, which in turn reminded me of a novelist’s...

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Book Club: Cloudstreet

May 30, 2016

Book Club: Cloudstreet

Cloudstreet:  by Tim Winton Cloudstreet is a 1991 novel by Australian writer Tim Winton. It chronicles the lives of two working class Australian families who come to live together at One Cloud Street, in a suburb of Perth. Hailed as a classic, Tim Winton’s masterful family saga is both a paean to working-class Australians and an unflinching examination of the human heart’s capacity for sorrow, joy, and endless gradations in between. An award-winning work,Cloudstreet exemplifies the brilliant ability of fiction to captivate and...

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Book Club: The Secret Chord

May 2, 2016

Book Club: The Secret Chord

by Geraldine Brooks The Secret Chord by Aussie author Geraldine Brooks is a fascinating look into the long ago life of King David; his rise from a lowly young shepherd to eventual King and everything in between. Peeling away the myth to bring the Old Testament’s King David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished...

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Book Club: My First Sony

Apr 4, 2016

Book Club: My First Sony

by Benny Barbash “Funny, bittersweet and often shocking, the story of 10-year-old Yotam’s family unfolds via the recordings Yotam made on a tape recorder he got from his father. For several years, the boy records the goings-on in his family, and through this medium the reader also observes a panorama of Israel in the ‘80s, with all its political extremes… But My First Sony is not simply a mirror of contemporary Israeli society. Yotam’s tapes monitor the gradual dissolution of his parents’ unhappy marriage, and the rhythms of the family dance, carried out over several generations.” “A funny and hyper-realistic chonicle with irresistible scenes of political-familial hysteria… Deliciously precise and mocking.” Liberation “A talented, profound and subtle writer.” Livres...

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