‘Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnished me/ From mine own library with volumes that/ I prize above my dukedom.’

William Shakespeare, The Tempest (c. 1610-1612), Act I, scene 2, line 165.

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National Authors Day: 5 Tips for Creative Writing

The 1st of November was National Authors Day, and we can’t thank them enough! We want to celebrate all the fantastic authors who have provided stories for us to read, share and enjoy year-after-year.

To celebrate this month, we have put together some tips for creative writing plus included some of our favourite works of literary fiction.

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Download the Latest 2023 Dialogue
The 2023 edition of Dialogue is available for digital download and hard copy with new additions to enjoy with your group.

There are hundreds of titles listed in our book catalogue with new ones added frequently. The books in our catalogue have been specially chosen by our passionate Book Groups team for their ability to create a stimulating discussion and for their diversity in theme and genre.
Download the Book Catalogue
Book Group Venue in Park Orchards
CAE has a standing offer from a café in Park Orchards who offer a cosy setting that would suit any Book Group interested in varying their schedule of meeting exclusively in members’ homes. The café can offer supper and drinks to groups at reasonable prices and the group can have the venue to themselves. If anyone is interested, email bookgroups@cae.edu.au and let us know. 
November Featured Book

The Mint Lawn by Gillian Mears [B1332]

Winner of the Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award 1990. North Coast, New South Wales. Clementine is twenty-five and still living in the place where she grew up, rooted there by memories and her own inability to make changes until she has understood her past. The past is dominated by memories of her mother, and her mother, and her mother’s attempts to dramatise and enrich small-town life and the perceptions of her three clever, receptive daughters. But only Clementine has stayed.

Is this out of loyalty to her mother’s memory? Or to comfort her father? Perhaps she wants to find peace with Hugh, her earnest husband in whose house she most uncomfortably lives? Or is the lure Thomas, who alone can appreciate Clementine’s own sensuality, and her humour, but who must remain another of her secrets. In The Mint Lawn, the late Gillian Mears wrote a debut novel to be read with pleasure and remembered with joy.

November Giveaway

This month we have 2 x 2 reading selections to give away. 

Here Goes Nothing, by Steve Toltz

Angus Mooney is in a dark place: the afterlife. His days are spent in aching embarrassment; god, religion, the supernatural - he was wrong about everything. He longs for his audacious, fiery wife, Gracie, but can only watch from the other side as she is seduced by his killer, who has stepped seamlessly into Mooney’s shoes. Meanwhile, life after death isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Another pandemic is sweeping the globe; Mooney’s new home is filling up fast, resources are scarce, infrastructure is crumbling, and he has to share an increasingly cramped existence with a group of people still traumatised by their own deaths. And although he should know better, he remains in the grip of the same fear as when he was alive: the opinions of others. Narrated with the ironic hindsight afforded by life beyond the mortal plane, Here Goes Nothing is a razor-sharp, hilariously entertaining, insightful and moving meditation on our 21st-century world, and the intricate relationship between love and death.

Thanks to Penguin.

Who Needs the ABC?, by Patrick Mullins and Matthew Ricketson

For the past nine years, the ABC has been besieged. Its funding has been slashed. Its staffing levels have been cut. It has been assailed by complaints from ministers and prime ministers. Its board has been stacked with a succession of political appointees. It has been relentlessly attacked by commercial media outlets. And it has suffered crisis after crisis.

This book charts how the best-trusted news organisation in Australia arrived at its current predicament: doing the most it ever has, with less than it needs, under a barrage of constant criticism. This book examines the profound changes that have swept through the Australian media, technology, and political landscapes in the past decade, and explores the tense relationship between the ABC and governments of both stripes over the past 40 years. It dispels any complacency about the ABC’s future by charting the very real threat now posed by the hostility of the Liberal-National Party coalition, and the damage that it has done to the ABC over the past nine years. Amid this, Who Needs the ABC? identifies the vital role that the ABC has played and continues to play in Australia today: in its award-winning journalism, its array of cultural programming on television, radio, and online, and the comprehensive service it provides, geographically and culturally, to people across the country. At a time when the truth has to vie with obfuscation and misinformation, this book offers a rejoinder to the ABC’s critics, points to a way out of the ABC’s current predicament, and answers the question posed by the title. Who Needs the ABC? We do.

Thanks to Scribe   

The Petticoat Parade, by Leigh Straw

A true crime biography and social history of Josie de Bray – also known as Madam Monnier, also known as Marie Louise Monnier, a brothel madam who owned most of Roe Street, Perth from World War One until the 1940s. A returned soldier tried to shoot her dead in her brothel in 1917 and her ‘bungalow’ was at the centre of underworld violence in the 1920s.

She returned to France before the First World War to visit family and was bombed repeatedly out of homes there and captured by the Germans. She was a prisoner of war. One story even has her in a concentration camp. She survived, returned to Perth in 1947, and took up business again in Roe Street, having made a fortune from the rent collected from her brothels while she was a prisoner of war, up until her death in 1953.

Thanks to Fremantle Press

The Invention of Miracles, by Katie Booth

When Alexander Graham Bell first unveiled his telephone to the world, it was considered miraculous. But few people know that it was inspired by another supposed miracle: his work teaching the deaf to speak. The son of one deaf woman and husband to another, he was motivated by a desire to empower deaf people by integrating them into the hearing world, but he ended up becoming their most powerful enemy, waging a war against sign language and deaf culture that still rages today. 

This book tells the dual stories of Bell’s remarkable, world-changing invention and his dangerous ethnocide of deaf culture and language. It also charts the rise of deaf activism and tells the triumphant tale of a community reclaiming a once-forbidden language. Katie Booth has researched this story for over a decade, poring over Bell’s papers, Library of Congress archives, and the records of deaf schools around America. Witnessing the damaging impact of Bell’s legacy on her deaf family set her on a path that upturned everything she thought she knew about language, power, deafness, and technology.

Thanks to Scribe

Anyone is welcome to enter. To go in the draw, simply email us at competition@cae.edu.au and let us know your favourite books about Profound Transformations. Include your name and postal address. Entries close on Friday December 2nd. We will notify the winners and we may use their answers on social media. 

Upcoming Courses

Advanced Smartphone Photography: Masterclass
1 class,
3 Dec
10:30am - 3:30pm 

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Beginning Creative Writing

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17 Jan - 21 Jan 
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Arabic: Elementary 1 (Online)

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Book Groups Update
Please continue to check restrictions in your state or territory so you can meet safely, while practising good hygiene and social distancing. Thank you to all our groups for your ongoing support of the program. If you have any queries, please feel free to get in touch with us at bookgroups@cae.edu.au 
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