Book Club Service
These titles are available from the Gawler Public Library for loan to members of local book clubs. Most titles have 10 copies available.
The book club service lends books to members of groups in the local community to encourage lively literary discussion. Formal and informal groups of all sizes are welcome but those with more than ten members may need to source extra copies through other channels.
All members of a book club must be members of the Gawler Public Library and each club will need to nominate a secretary who can act as a coordinator and contact person. Secretaries will organise meeting times and locations and nominate a list of preferred titles which will then be allocated by the library based on availability.
List of Available titles
The white tiger presents a raw and unromanticised India, both thrilling and shocking - from the desperate, almost lawless villages along the Ganges, to the booming Wild South of Bangalore and its technology and outsourcing centres. The first-person confession of a murderer is as compelling for its subject matter as for the voice of its narrator - amoral, cynical, unrepentant, yet deeply endearing.
Focusing on a cross-section of the Bangladeshi community in Tower Hamlets, a community all but invisible to the rest of London, Ali's novel is warm, shrewd, startling, and hugely readable; the sort of book you race through greedily.
The uncommon reader is none other than HM the Queen who drifts accidentally into reading when her corgis stray into a mobile library parked at Buckingham Palace. Her varied and intelligent reading changes her world view and her relationship with people like the oleaginous prime minister and his repellent advisers. She comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with much that she has to do. In short, her reading is subversive. The consequence is, of course, surprising, mildly shocking and very funny.
There are no clues about the book on the cover so that you begin to read without knowing what it is about. Once you begin to read you will be taken on a journey with a nine-year-old boy called Bruno. And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence. Hopefully you will never have to cross such a fence…
Pickpocket John Jacob Turnstile is on his way to be detained at His Majesty's Pleasure when he is offered a lifeline, what seems like a freedom of sorts - the job of personal valet to a departing naval captain. Little does he realise that it is far from freedom - and by accepting the devil's bargain he will put his life in perilous danger on the last voyage of the HMS Bounty. Walking a dangerous line between an unhappy crew and a captain he comes to admire, he finds himself in a no-man's land where the distinction between friend and foe is increasingly difficult to determine...
The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires, and he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames. He never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid and a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. Guy Montag suddenly realised what he had to do.
When book conservator Hanna Heath gets a call about a medieval manuscript that has been recovered from the ruins of war-torn Sarajevo, she knows she is on the brink of the experience of a lifetime. She must now make her way to Bosnia to work on restoring the Haggadah, a Jewish prayer book. But the trip also threatens to rock her orderly life.
As he flees the police, Ned Kelly scribbles his narrative in semi literate but magically descriptive prose. To his pursuers he is a thief and a murderer. To his own people he's a hero for opposing the English. Ned, who saw his first prison cell at fifteen, has become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over towns and defying authority. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist. There are no sentences like these in all Australian literature and yet they could only have grown from our soil.
Griet, the young daughter of a tile maker in 17th century Holland, obtains her first job as a servant in Vermeer's household. She loves being drawn into his artistic life, but the cost to her own survival may be high.
Dylan Coleman’s novel is a fictionalised account of her mother’s childhood at the Koonibba Lutheran Mission in South Australia during the 1940s and 1950s. With the powerful, rhythmic sounds of Aboriginal English and Kokatha language woven through the narrative, Mazin Grace is the inspirational story of a feisty girl who refuses to be told who she is, determined to uncover the truth for herself. As Grace slowly pieces together clues that might lead to answers, she struggles to find a place in a community that rejects her for reasons she doesn't understand.
Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that tell of her father, Jacob, and his twelve sons.
Told in Dinah's voice, Anita Diamant imagines the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood--the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of the mothers - Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah - the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through childhood, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.
Anh Do almost didn't make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives on the sea as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. But nothing - not murderous pirates, nor the imminent threat of death by hunger, disease or dehydration as they drifted for days - could quench their desire to make a better life in a country where freedom existed.
'Put Les Darcy in a uniform and the men of Australia will march to hell behind him.' That was the message Australia's great 'Blacksmith Boxer' was getting, as debate about conscription raged in the middle of World War I. But Les Darcy didn't want to lead such a procession. He wanted to continue what he had been doing to extraordinary acclaim before the war began - taking on the best boxers the world could throw at him, and lifting his entire family out of poverty as he did so. Torn between the duty he felt he owed his family, and the duty many felt he owed his country, Les made his choice - and faced the consequences. And so unfolds a ballad of love, war, betrayal, mystery, patriotism and heroism; a ballad of a champion whose story still has the power to move the stoniest heart.
In this inspiring, delightful memoir, a young woman decides to escape the daily grind and turn her “what if” fantasy into a reality, only to find work - and a man - she loves in one fell swoop, all in a second-hand bookstore in a quaint Scottish town.
After being misdiagnosed with schizophrenia as a young woman, Janet Frame spent several years in psychiatric institutions. She escaped undergoing a lobotomy when it was discovered that she had just won a national literary prize. She then went on to become New Zealand's most acclaimed writer. As she says more than once in this autobiography: 'My writing saved me.' This edition contains all three volumes of Frame's autobiography: To the Is-Land, An Angel at My Table and An Envoy from Mirror City.
Miles Franklin's 1901 ground-breaking debut, and an instant sensation. Meet Sybylla Melvyn, the young girl hungering for life and love in outback New South Wales.
When Hitler comes to power in 1933, a tight-knit group of friends and lovers become hunted outlaws overnight. United in their resistance to the madness and tyranny of Nazism, they flee the country. Dora, passionate and fearless; her lover, the great playwright Ernst Toller; her younger cousin Ruth; and Ruth's husband Hans find refuge in London. Here they take awe-inspiring risks in order to continue their work in secret. But England is not the safe-haven they think it is, and a single, chilling act of betrayal will tear them apart. Some seventy years later, Ruth is living out her days in Sydney, making an uneasy peace with the ghosts of her past, and a part of history that has all but been forgotten.
Florentino Ariza has never forgotten his first love. He has waited nearly a lifetime in silence since his beloved Fermina married another man. No woman can replace her in his heart. But now her husband is dead. Finally - after fifty-one years, nine months and four days - Florentino has another chance to declare his eternal passion and win her back. Will love that has survived half a century remain unrequited?
In the autumn of 1992, two young women students at Melbourne University went to the police claiming that they had been indecently assaulted at a party by the head of their co-ed residential college. The shock of these charges split the community and painfully focused the debate about sex and power.
A woman, married with three children, is contemplating middle age along with all the constraints of motherhood. Even her husband, whom she loves, has never reached the core of her. Despairing of ever finding her own identity, she returns to the memory of an old love affair - the consequences of which she has never resolved.
Set in a parched Australian farming community within a day’s drive of Melbourne, the novel’s main character, Aaron Falk, is jolted to see that a rushing river he remembers from his youth has all but disappeared.
At 36, Falk has been a pariah in the town, Kiewarra, since his teenage years, when he was forced to leave town. Now he’s back for 18 hours, tops (or so he tells himself). Falk grew up to be a federal agent in Melbourne. He has spent half his life putting his history behind him. The only reason he has returned is a letter from Luke’s father that summoned him in no uncertain terms: “You lied. Luke lied. Be at the funeral.” Falk’s onetime best friend, Luke Hadler, has apparently killed his wife and young son before turning his shotgun on himself. Only a baby girl too young to tell tales survived the family’s slaughter. Now Falk is left trying to work out what they had to lie about.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of today's most admired and controversial political figures. She burst into international headlines following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who threatened she would be next. Her life story, Infidel, shows the coming of age of this elegant, distinguished - and sometimes reviled - political superstar and champion of free speech. Ultimately a celebration of triumph over adversity, Hirsi Ali's story tells how a bright, curious, dutiful little girl evolves into a pioneering freedom fighter..
The lives of four sensuous, bold and remarkable women intersect in the year 70AD, in the desperate days of the siege of Masada, when supplies are dwindling and the Romans are drawing near. All are dovekeepers, and all are keepers of secrets - about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.
Dr Clarence Mnagane is a Zulu exile living in London. For the young Australian woman, Marianne Foley, he weaves an irresistible spell. When he recruits her to deliver money to South Africa's black revolutionaries, she is eager to please.
Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship as strong as the ties between mother and daughter grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.
In 1976 a twenty-eight year-old mother of two and her partner were wrongfully sentenced to death by the Florida courts for the murder of two police officers. Sunny Jacobs would not taste freedom again for seventeen years, by which time her two children were estranged, her parents were dead, and her partner had been executed.
When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife cleaning upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking - to save someone else's life.
In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men. Agnes is sent to wait on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson and his family, who are horrified and avoid Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes's spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her. As the summer months fall away to winter, Agnes's story begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn't she? Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about freedom and the ways we will risk everything for love.
Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, sex reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife. But as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less. A woman who sleeps among garbage she has not put out for forty years. A man who bled quietly to death in his living room. A woman who lives with rats, random debris and terrified delusion. The still life of a home vacated by accidental overdose. Sarah Krasnostein has watched the extraordinary Sandra Pankhurst bring order and care to these, the living and the dead. Not just the compelling story of a fascinating life among lives of desperation, this book is also an affirmation that, as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together.
The boat takes us from a tourist in Tehran to a teenage hit man in Colombia; from an ageing New York artist to a boy coming of age in a small Victorian fishing town; from the city of Hiroshima just before the bomb is dropped to the haunting waste of the South China Sea in the wake of another war. Each story uncovers a raw human truth. Each story is as absorbing and fully realised as a novel. Together, they make up a collection of astonishing diversity and achievement.
Shoot all the Bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' Atticus Finch gives this advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this classic novel - a black man charged with attacking a white girl. Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Lee explores with compassion and humour the issues of race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. She also creates one of the great heroes of literature in their father, whose lone struggle for justice pricks the conscience of a town steeped in prejudice and hypocrisy.
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra with a broken leg, a female orangutan - and a four hundred and fifty pound Royal Bengal tiger.
In this book from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the charming and ever-resourceful Precious Ramotswe finds herself overly beset by problems. She is already busier than usual at the detective agency when added to her concerns are a strange intruder in her house on Zebra Drive and the baffling appearance of a pumpkin. Nor are things running quite as smoothly as they usually do at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. But what finally rattles Mma Ramotswe's normally unshakable composure is a visitor who forces her to confront a secret from her past.
A harrowing story of a war that society wages on itself, an enduring meditation on the ties of love and blood and duty that inform lives and shape destinies, and a novel of extraordinary resonance and power.
It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while... Angela's Ashes is Frank McCourt's sad, funny, bittersweet memoir of growing up in New York in the 1930s and in Ireland in the 1940s. It is a story of extreme hardship and suffering, in Brooklyn tenements and Limerick slums - too many children, too little money, his mother Angela barely coping as his father Malachy's drinking bouts constantly brought the family to the brink of disaster. It is a story of courage and survival against apparently overwhelming odds.
In 1935, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis and her family live a life of wealth and privilege in their enormous mansion. Robbie Turner, the educated son of the family's housekeeper, carries a torch for Briony's headstrong older sister Cecilia. All it will take is one spark for this relationship to combust. When it does, Briony - who has a crush on Robbie - is compelled to interfere. She goes so far as to accuse Robbie of a crime he did not commit. Robbie is arrested, Briony bears false witness and the course of three lives is changed forever. As Briony ages, she seeks forgiveness for her childhood misdeed. Through a terrible and courageous act of imagination, she finds the path to her uncertain atonement, and to an understanding of the power of enduring love.
Sylvie has always been the odd one out in her family. Her mother is a celebrated artist, known for her bohemian lifestyle. Her father, long estranged from the family, is a respected poet and academic. Sylvie’s two beautiful sisters and her big brother are also making their mark in the design world. But Sylvie does not have an artistic bone in her body. On the verge of turning thirty, back living in the family home in Sydney and working for her mother and sisters, she feels stuck in a major rut. Her brother Sebastian has a rescue plan - a room in his Melbourne apartment for as long as she likes, on the condition she follows his instructions and goes exploring in the city. Within days, she’s doing things she’s never done before, going to places she’s never been and beginning to think of ideas for a new career. She is also getting to know a very lovely man. Life is looking up. Then Sebastian reveals one final challenge…
Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies … Six interlocking lives - one amazing adventure. In a narrative that circles the globe and reaches from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future, Cloud Atlas erases the boundaries of time, genre and language to offer an enthralling vision of humanity's will to power, and where it will lead us.
When Charles Arrowby retires from his glittering career in the London theatre, he buys a remote house on the rocks by the sea. He hopes to escape from his tumultuous love affairs but unexpectedly bumps into his childhood sweetheart and sets his heart on destroying her marriage. His equilibrium is further disturbed when his friends all decide to come and keep him company and Charles finds his seaside idyll severely threatened by his obsessions.
Ruth Park's classic novel The Harp in the South is one of Australia's greatest novels. Hugh and Margaret Darcy are raising their family in Sydney amid the brothels, grog shops and run-down boarding houses of Surry Hills, where money is scarce and life is not easy. Filled with beautifully drawn characters that will make you laugh as much as cry, this Australian classic will take you straight back to the colourful slums of Sydney with convincing depth, careful detail and great heart.
The startling and poignant story of the aftermath of a tragic high school shooting. In this emotionally charged novel, Jodi Picoult delves beneath the surface of a small town to explore what it means to be different in our society.
This extraordinary tale of love, friendship and family dares to explore the terrifying secrets that lurk in the hearts of the people we think we know inside and out.
Sami Macbeth is not a master criminal. He's not even a minor one. He's not a jewel thief. He's not a safe-cracker. He's not an expert in explosives. Sami plays guitar and wants to be a rock god but keeps getting side-tracked by unforeseen circumstances. Fast, funny, hip and violent, Bombproof is a non-stop adventure full of unforgettable characters and a heart-warming hero who has the uncanny ability to turn a desperate situation into a hopeless one.
Margaret Rohan Kelly is a mother of eight and a former Miss Australia. In this book, she writes with humour and honesty about the challenges of parenting young adults and the highs and lows of raising a large family in today's world.
A celebration of literature, love, and the power of the human spirit, this warm, funny, tender, and thoroughly entertaining novel is the story of an English author living in the shadow of World War II and the writing project that will dramatically change her life.
Jackson, Mississippi, 1962: a vanished and unjust world where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver... There's Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from College, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared. Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny are friends. Each is in a search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell...
When environmental scientist Laura Alvarado is sent to a remote Antarctic island to report on an abandoned whaling station, she begins to uncover more than she could ever imagine. On a diving expedition, Laura emerges into an ice cave where she is shocked to see an anguished figure, crying for help. But in this freezing, lonely landscape there are ghosts everywhere, and Laura wonders if her own eyes can be trusted. Has she been in the ice too long? Piecing together a past and present of cruelty and vulnerability that can be traced around the world, from Norway, to Nantucket, Europe and Antarctica, Laura will stop at nothing to unearth the truth. As she comes face to face with the dark side of human progress, she also discovers a legacy of love, hope and the meaning of family. If only Laura can now find her way out of the ice ...
Spanning four decades, from 1968 onwards, this is the story of a fabulous but flawed family and the slew of ordinary and extraordinary incidents that shape their everyday lives. It is a story about childhood and growing up, loss of innocence, eccentricity, familial ties and friendships, love and life. Stripped down to its bare bones, it's about the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.
After two separate catastrophes, two very different families leave the country for the bright lights of Perth: the Lambs are industrious, united and religious and the Pickleses are gamblers, boozers, fractious, unlikely landlords. Chance, hardship and the war force them to swallow their dignity and share a great, breathing, shuddering joint called Cloudstreet. Over the next twenty years, they struggle and strive, laugh and curse, come apart and pull together under the same roof, and try as they can to make their lives.
It’s just a small story, really, about a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich and the ability of books to feed the soul.
A diverse collection of funny, poignant, perceptive tales by ten of Australia’s best writers that capture contemporary Australian life in all its variety.