We had our usual lively discussion and welcomed Helen Squires into our group. Some members are unwell and some away still. Shirley suggested we have a survey among the group to find everyone’s favourite book of all time and our favourite author, we all have a form to fill in and bring back, it will be fun to read and compare the best books and authors we have enjoyed over many years of reading. Some books read this month were The Dry by Jane Harper a murder/suicide, Heather read Jane Austen The Secret Radical, not a recommended read if you are a Jane Austen fan, she has nothing or prove. Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay and The Child’s Child by Barbara Vine who is Ruth Rendell, I can never work out why authors do that, was enjoyed. Wife, Mother, Spy based on the story of Russia and England and their spies. We look forward to seeing everyone on the 5th September.
On an extremely cold and wet afternoon twelve of our group met and discussed our “doings” for the month.
Some had not picked up a book being busy with their knitting etc. However quite a few books were discussed, The Steady Running of the Hour, Chillway Ladies Choir, Penguin Bloom and Chaucer to name a few.
I have just finished reading a book I consider to be the saddest book I have ever read, and I have to admit that now I think about the riots in our juvenile detention centres in a different way.
On a brighter note our conversation went on to discuss how we learnt to read, and the stories we read, The Hobyards and Three Billy Goats Gruff, were foremost in our minds.
A group of 19 attended at the Library on the June 6 it was lovely to welcome back Margaret Sellars. Some of the books read this month include House for all Seasons by Jenny McLeod –a 'could not put down' read. A Street Cat Named Bob about a cat in a library (appropriate) was enjoyed. Penguin Bloom is the story with great pictures of a woman who became a paraplegic the same time as a magpie fell out of the nest. My Love Must Wait by Ernestine Hill, Mathew Flinders kept very accurate charts, but was treated badly by the Admiralty who would not assist financially. He died at the young age of 28.
As a coincidence, another book, Call of the Outback, the autobiography of Ernestine Hill was read and enjoyed by one of our group. Heather purchased Book of Joy a discussion between Desmond Tutu and the Deli Lama. The Beekeepers Secret was not particularly enjoyed, but Billy Thorpe – Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll provided entertainment. The Extinction Club by Geoffrey Moore was gruesome and horrible, we will stay away from that one. Fay Weldon Letters to Alice provided comments on Literature – how to read and write well, the reader found it extremely useful and a good book. The Glassblower of Murano was set in Venice in 1681, and another book along the same creative lines was The Potters House, set on an island in Greece.
Michael White wrote Soul Catcher a slave recruiter in the 1800s. A comment on The Dressmaker, our reader thought there was more in the book than the film. Author Elizabeth Strout is being revisited and No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay. The Dandelion Years by Erica James was another of those books that could not be put down. I haven’t mentioned all the books read as we would take up the whole page, but it is obvious that a lot of reading is done by this U3A Group. See you all on July 4.
Our group was sorry to hear that Margaret Sellars was sidelined and unable to attend, get well soon Margaret we miss you. Lots of books were read this month with the usual variety of authors and story lines.
No Time for Goodbye written by Linwood Barclay, Patricia Cornwall put in an appearance and also Rosamonde Pilcher. Saltwater by Cathy McLennan a true story about the fight for justice with the High Court Commission for the Torres Strait Islanders. The author lives on Magnetic Island, the book is dedicated to 2 aboriginal children who were badly treated and abused and also won the 2014 Literary Award for best emerging author. A good book to look out for. The Law of Dreams written about Ireland in 1847, the storyline includes the potato Famine, prostitution and Railways – an interesting mix. The Glassblower of Murano was enjoyed. The Silk Weaver written about 18th C Britain – how the silk trade worked. The Secret Son written by jenny Ackland proved a challenge to read, but Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar was well researched, the story moves from Adelaide to the Coorong and was highly recommended. Scandanavian by Alice Munro set in 1950’s Canada drew comparison to some of Somerset Maughan’s work. Call of the Outback by Ernestine Hill and Queen of the Road proved easy reading. Annabel Crabbe author of Canberra Confidential is all about past scandals in Canberra, quite a hotbed of intrigue. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvie has been released as a movie and was showing at BPACC last week. Jane Harper wrote the crime mystery The Dry whilst Jen McLeod gave us a House for all Seasons, old school friends were bequeathed an old house, each girl had to spend a season in the house. Reminiscent of `Are you being served?’ The Store by Alexander Fortune is set in a Department store in London.
Happy reading on these cold nights. See you all in the Library on the 6th June at 2.00 p.m.
Sixteen enthusiastic readers met at the Library for Let’s Talk Books on the 4th April.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith author of 101 Dalmatians, was written from a 17 year old’s Diary entries. Quite an eccentric family from the description. Little Bee written by a Nigerian refugee who was held in detention in England in 2008 for 2 years was compelling reading. She was alone with no family, but renewed a friendship with `Sara’ a magazine editor. Little Bee was sent back to Nigeria eventually, this book led to a discussion on the plight of women in Nigeria.
Alexander McCall Smith wrote The Importance of Being Seven from the series centred around 44 Scotland Street Edinburgh. This is a most enjoyable series, the author also having written the No. 1 Ladies Detective books. Under Milkwood was written in 1954 as a radio drama and later adapted for stage and film, written by Dylan Thomas it made for good reading. Heather was very busy reading this month including Midnight Blue set in the 1600’s in the Art community of Amsterdam author Simone Van Vlugt. Runaway Girl was described as a haunting read and also Wild Island, a good read set in Port Arthur around the settlement of Tasmania.
Three new books were purchased at the Post Office including Call of the Outback and My Love Must Wait written about Mathew Flinders and his long detention on an island. We will have to keep an eye on the post office books.
The Book of Joy were interviews by a Jewish journalist with Desmond Tutu and the Dali Lama (interesting trio), we also spoke about Beyond Religion by the Dali Lama. A beautiful picture and story book of The Secret Garden created by Wendy Whitely in Sydney was displayed.
A book that created discussion was The Hospital by the River, the story of Dr. Catherine Hamill and her husband who have worked as volunteers with women in Ethiopia for many years. Now in her 90’s, Catherine is still there and working.
An enjoyable afternoon was finished off with afternoon tea and we will meet again on the 2nd May.
A large group attended our book discussion in March so a great deal of chatter and laughter kept us entertained. Shirley always entertains us with the variety of books read, Bill the Bastard the true story of a brave Lighthorse in WW1, who won the equivalent of a VC for his heroic deeds in battle. The story has a happy ending, he was given to a village and produced many offspring over the next few years. Two of our members had read and listened to a talking book on Outback Police Stories. Great reading. An article that was enjoyed about a 92 year old lady of Russian descent who with the help of her 21 year grandson feeds up to 500 people in Canberra on Friday and Saturday. They collect food from supermarkets and restaurants and put it to good use. Other books read include Bamboo Heart Island, about prisoners of war, The Secret Son by Jenny Ackland, and the memoirs of Mirka Mora the artist who describes her life as naughty and wicked but lots of fun. Once again Kent Haruf was mentioned as a good author of very enjoyable books. The Italian Detective Inspector Andrea Camilleri, always went home for a delicious lunch as well as solving crimes! We wondered about the lunch. The adventures of Burke and Wills were revisited and a DVD Secrets and Lies was recommended. The Wedding Shawl set in America was the story of family members knitting a piece of a shawl for the bride to wear on her wedding day. Only Saints push Barrows a 1940’s story of 2 Salvation Army officers in the UK delivering a bed on a barrow. Me Before You is a look into the life of a quadriplegic which is a follow up to Me After You. Green Mountain written by Bernard O’Reilly is the true story of the plane that crashed into Mt. Tamborine in Queensland. A text book that received very good reviews was the First 100 years.
We all enjoyed our time together so don’t forget to come on the 4th April at 2.00 p.m. in the Library.
What a lovely gathering for our first Let’s Talk Books for 2017.
It was great to have Louise Doddrell our group and welcome to Rae Jeffers, I hope you enjoy our book chats Rae.
Everyone seems to have done some reading, although Christmas is a busy time and we don’t always have time to indulge in quiet moments for reading.
Our Souls at Night written by Kent Haruf was enjoyed and well known by several members of the group. He has other books in the Library so they might be worth a read. Unlikely Friendships a book about friendships between dogs and other animals/people, and also along the animal line A Cat named Bob, which has been made into a film.
Stephen Fry wrote the mystery The Book of Dead, a good one if you enjoy a murder mystery. Freeing Peter the book written by Peter Greste’s family of the efforts and toll it took on their family to free their son and brother from an Egyptian prison is worth reading. The Good People written by Hannah Kent author of Burial Rites has been read by some of our group, it is a different style of story telling taken from very old Court cases, this one was set in Ireland and revealed the deep superstition that existed in the time the story was written. Wendy Solomon wrote Kitty’s Despair. This was built around characters from Pride and Prejudice, Wendy also wrote Portrait of a Duke. Other books read and enjoyed over the break were Brooklyn now a movie, High and Hidden Place by Michelle Clare Lucas, Working Class Boy Jimmy Barnes biography and Ubuntu, the tale of a motor bike ride from one end of Africa to the other. A lot of interesting African culture appeared throughout the book.
Keep reading and if you haven’t read any books still come along and hear what everyone else is reading and enjoy a cuppa with us. See you on the 7th March.
A small group braved the wind, rain and floods to attend Let’s Talk Books this month. This didn’t diminish the enthusiasm. Alice entertained us with quotes by Poets and a reading of a dream she had many years ago. The books read included A Sweet Obscurity by Patrick Gale a big book, and also Trial by Fury a Penguin Book. Both were enjoyed.
Also on the table was a book by Louis de Bernieres titled The Blue Dog. The same author wrote The Red Dog, of which a film was made. Most interesting. Lorraine had listened to a talking book by David Baldacci. Hazel Hawke’s story was enjoyed but everyone felt a little sad for this intelligent woman.
Dorothy attended the launch of the book with Hazel at the launch and commented on her sense of humour in the face of many challenges.
Philippa Gregory has a new book out Three Sisters, Three Queens. If you have followed the adventures of the Tudor dynasty this goes along the same theme. Liz Byrski has a new book The Woman Next Door. Took a bit of getting into but was worth the patience.
Laurie listened to 2 audio books, Napoleon’s Last Island telling the story of Napoleons stay at St. Helena and the interaction between the soldiers in the Garrison and the civilians. The second book was The Commander by Thomas Kenneally, a story about Soviet aggression very relevant to today’s climate.
The Tall Man a factual story of the first white policeman charged with the murder of an aboriginal on Palm Island. Found not guilty of murder the 3 sisters of the murdered man are taking civil action against the policeman. Some more good reading as follows: Bonchi; The Secrets We Share; Redemption Falls; and also Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson.
Don’t forget our next meeting is listed for Melbourne Cup Day, which we will miss but will meet again on the 6th December for our last gathering for 2016. Lots of time for reading.
A group of 15 U3A members had a very pleasant time at the Library for our September session.
After reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens it was commented on how precise the written language was in that era. The same reader also enjoyed Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali the story of her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia to her journey and life in the Netherlands, to life under guard in the West.
Shirley Roberts enjoyed two books, Ageing with Grace by Kathy Reichs and Jesus and Mohamed two totally different topics. An easy read The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown was enjoyed as was The Ties that Bind and The Last Dance a novel by Fiona MacIntosh, who seems popular at the moment. Rhonda was reading Great Working Dog Stories a book that evoked memories and stories of our own dogs. Twisted by Lynda La Plante always a popular author and The Lakehouse which was an e book.
The Sunday Wife by Cassandra King, a girl with a questionable past who married a Minister, interesting relationships surfaced through this book. It was voted a good read. For history buffs The Romanovs 1613-1918 was heavy reading but most interesting. The Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton rated a mention, although the film of The Potted Gardener was not as good as the book.
An article on what imported books are doing to books in Australia was discussed and from Brains Picking Weekly the question was put, Why do we read? To have something to talk about!!!
Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar was set in the Coorong in the 1840’s and related the story of one of the 1st white families in the area. Home by Larissa Behrendt was written from an aboriginal perspective.
Enjoy your reading, we will meet again on Tuesday 4th October in the Library.
The next meeting of Let’s Talk Books will be at the Benalla library on Tuesday 6th September at 2pm.
A small group attended Let’s Talk Books in July, with many away, a few unwell & miserable weather outside.
What a fun afternoon we had! As usual the discussions went off the track a few times. 84 Charing Cross provided a wonderful recipe for Yorkshire Pudding, this book is still doing the rounds of the group. Dorothy then provided a huge book from 2003 Movie and Video Guide with all details of movies and videos produced from 2003 back.
We then talked about how `Google’ has stopped all those arguments and discussions around the table with everyone having a different answer, now just google and the answer is there.
Australian books mentioned were Out of Alice by Kerry McGuiness; Diamonds and Dust a story of a Northern Territory cattle station, it’s culture and aboriginal heritage and Queen of the Road.
High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel, (author of The Life of Pi) is comprised of 3 stories and like the author’s previous book was a different read. Maxine enjoyed a book of short stories by Canadian writer Alice Munro and also The View from Castle Rock. Back in time we then went to The Alchemist about a shepherd who wanted to see the Pyramids.
We had a very funny discussion about books that come in paper bags!...... and one of our group – no names – had an experience with the hose of the vacuum cleaner at the car wash that was determined to remove her trousers.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 2nd August at 2 p.m.
Ten brave readers descended on the Library for Let’s Talk Books. While it rained and blew we sat in comfortable chairs and chatted on all manner of things, including the Four Corners program highlighting the plight of our Indigenous people. We also did some book talk.
Cheryl Turner found an original book written by Edna Walling in her bookcase, this was handled with care as it was passed around. A novel set in the 1800’s called The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan, the same author who wrote the 100 Year Old Man Who climbed out the Window and Disappeared.
Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy was enjoyed second time around. Another book of interest was Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield, a story of a Japanese mother and daughter living in Los Angeles when Pearl Harbour was bombed. The ever popular Patricia Cornwall was read in Silent Death and a book of short stories by Kate Atkinson, Not the End of the World.
Shirley told us about A Rose for the Anzac Boys by Jackie French, which she felt the younger generation would benefit from reading. The Biography of Charlotte Bronte along with The Alchemist were both bought along by Alice. The books on the table for lending included The Beekeepers Secret by Josephine Moon, The Soldiers Wife and as Rhonda and Dave are moving house a selection of pre loved books were there for the taking.
See you all on the 5th of July at 2.00 pm in the Library.
The highlight of our group this month was Shirley Vickers telling us the story of how she came to have a book of children’s poems written by a friend who had passed away. It was beautifully illustrated and we enjoyed Shirley reading Morning Magpie to us.
We then meandered on through Room by Emma Donohue which was shown as a movie at Swanpool, The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks – a family saga, and The Lucky One a story of Iraq that was also made into a movie. Brooklyn was enjoyed as a film, but our reader enjoyed the book as well along with Ralph the story of a therapy dog at the RCH. Fiona McIntosh’s Perfume Secrets was not enjoyed as much as her previous book The Lavender Keeper. Catherine Cookson made an appearance with Desert Crop. I think we have all read Catherine over the years.
On listening to ABC radio in April, a new biography of Charlotte Bronte was mentioned. This gave rise to much discussion on the Bronte’s and their various skills in writing. All in all a very enjoyable afternoon.
See you all on the 7th June at 2.00pm at the Library.
A few laughs were the order of the day for Let’s Talk Books. Shirley and Dorothy read us some very funny poems and set the mood for a pleasant afternoon.
Three books written by Alan Bennett including The Lady in the Van were lent and then we skipped along through Rebecca Shaw and The Village Series, The Daughter in Time, Richard 111 and the nephews in the Tower, and an interesting History of New York, one of a series of books written by Ed Rutherford. Continuing on the history side The Story of Pearl Wallace who was the inspiration for All the Rivers Run. Quite a few other books were discussed and we finished up with a cuppa and cake.
See you all on the 3rd May at the Library.
At our gathering on Tuesday 1st March the usual books were swapped and exchanged. A feature of our discussion this time was Shirley reading some Chinese poems from a much worn and loved book. Thank you Shirley. Sometimes in discussing books we have read we allow little glimpses of our life to come into our reflections. What diverse and interesting backgrounds we all come from.
Carol by Patricia Highsmith, now a current movie, received good reviews as did The Lie by Helen Dunmore. Rebecca Shaw has written a series of books such as Love in the Country, Country Vet and A Village Deception. A book written by Hazel Hawke – My Own Life was retrieved from a bookshelf and thoroughly enjoyed, what a great lady she was.
Looking forward to catching up on the 5th April in our very comfortable library.
A great roll up of 22 for our first meeting of Let's Talk Books. We welcomed some new members to our group. It is always nice to have some new faces in whatever group is running and they were assured that they didn’t have to read a book during the month to come along. Sometimes it is nice to sit and listen and perhaps take some notes on books others have enjoyed. Laurie Melgaard told us how reading a normal print book is difficult with fading eyesight. Laurie has discovered the `libraries’ available to download on his iPad and the wonderful choice of books from Vision Australia.
A great range of books were discussed. Dave Barry bought along a family book At the Toss of the Coin he came to Australia, a personal story written by his niece. We then ranged from the new J K Rowling novel, Danielle Steel; A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey; The Lie by Helen Dunmore, written about a soldier returning from WW1, to Lilian’s Story by Kate Grenville, which didn’t get a very good review. A reread of Billy Connelly written by his wife Pam Stevenson and Our Souls at Night a book full of love, humour and gentle shocks. Dream Wheeler by Deb Hunt was enjoyed whilst the Bill Bryson book A Walk in the Woods was not too popular.
Others mentioned were South of Darkness by John Marsden, ‘a good read’; Burial Rites by Hanna Kent; Cane River about slavery in Louisianna; The Changeling, a Phillipa Gregory novel; House of the Hanged by Mark Mills; Kingdom of the Brave, by Australian author Tamara McKinley; The Curiosity, a Sci Fi book and lastly Christine Falls an Irish Mystery by John Banville.
Such a nice way to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon! We look forward to seeing you all on March 1st at the Library. Happy reading.
Hello all you great readers. As we missed out in November (Melbourne Cup Day) we will have our last gathering at the Library on December 1st at 2 o’clock with a little celebration for Christmas as well. See you there. Geraldine
Due to the very hot and unpleasant day our group was a little smaller than usual, but the discussion about what we have been reading was lively. One book that took our interest was Who Called the Cook a Bastard’, a little bit of history in that offering. A book that several members had read or heard about Light between the Oceans came highly recommended. For Better For Worse or Lunch by Christina Hindhaugh gave us all a laugh. Books were swapped and given away in the manner of all book lovers, a very enjoyable afternoon.
Our next meeting is on Cup Day so we have cancelled, so we will have our last gathering for the year on the Tuesday 1st December.
Our September meeting held at the Library revealed that many of the books we are reading are not only taken from the Library but sourced from second hand book shops and op shops. So many pre loved treasures are found hidden away on shelves and pounced on when found by our keen readers.
Quite a range of books were discussed from The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; Not Quite Right an autobiography of Jeffrey Smart and Quebec by Louise Penny. Two books relating to Egyptian history were introduced to the group – River God and The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith. Belly Dancing for Beginners by Liz Byrski was also enjoyed as well as other titles by Liz. We also discussed the recently released book, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee of To Kill a Mocking Bird fame. It was recommended we revisit To Kill a Mocking Bird before reading the new release.
We had a visit from a young schoolboy at the end of our session. He'd asked the librarian if he could join our group, explaining he read a lot of books and we seemed to be having a great time! We hope he comes back after school next month. See you all on the 6th October.
Geraldine and Lorraine
A hardy group of 13, with several apologies registered, gathered at the Benalla Library for our August session. Once again the reading range was wide and interesting. Dorothy had borrowed a book from the Library that contained letters written by Queen Elizabeth to her Secretary over the last 20 years, these contained her thoughts about British Prime Ministers and members of the Royal family, good to take a peek inside the walls of Buckingham Palace. Another book of interest `The Price of Life’ was the account of Nigel Brennan who was kidnapped and held for ransom. Heather had read the history of John Gould (of bird fame) - it seems his wife was the artist who created the beautiful drawings. We have Gould books displayed in the library in a glass case. Peter Watts featured and also the Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See was said to be a good read. Once again some books were swapped and lent and a pleasant couple of hours passed very quickly. See you all again in September.
Geraldine and Lorraine
About 'Let's Talk Books'
Have you read a good book you would like to share with others? Bring your book along to the Benalla Library and tell the group about it. This is a casual discussion group about books, papers or magazines we have read and enjoyed. You will hear about books others have read that you may be interested in reading too.
Convenor/s and contact details
Geraldine McCorkell 5762 2134
0408 522 662
Currently: 1st Tuesday 2 - 4 pm at the home of Lorraine Knox, 51 Bridge Street, Benalla, two doors up from the Shell roadhouse
When available: 1st Tuesday 2-4 pm Benalla Library Meeting Room
Developed and maintained by members, this website showcases U3A Benalla & District.
Photographs - acknowledgment to U3A members; Benalla Art Gallery website;
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State Library of Victoria