‘When we are collecting books, we are collecting happiness.’ 
Attributed to Vincent Starrett in On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda (2012) 
Literary News

The Stella Prize longlist was announced on 28th February.   

2022 Stella Prize Longlist was announced on the night of Monday 28 February 2022 live and online at the Wheeler Centre

The Charm of Saint Patrick's Day

It's never a surprise to see a hint of green on March 17. The Irish holiday of Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated all over the world, and has evolved from a religious observance, to a celebration of Irish culture, customs and people.  

So in the spirit of the Irish - pop on something green, drink a Guinness, search for a four-leaf clover and celebrate by reading one of our top 13 books by Irish authors from Dialogue!  

Read the Article
March Feature Book
Book Group Reaction For March From Barwite Bookworms

The author’s descriptive powers were praised, whether highlighting the horrors of war or the pain endured on the cotton plantations and her poetic prose appreciated. We were divided as to whether it was a love story or a war story and some thought the love story was over emphasised and too Mills and Boon but the story had multiple layers. The story was quite bleak, but the characters were strong. It encouraged us to research the history of the American Civil War and the last chapter on how the book was created was welcomed by all. We were all glad we had read this book. 

March Giveaway

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

The Art of More, by Michael Brooks 

You might remember studying geometry, calculus, and algebra at school, but you probably didn’t realise - or weren’t taught - that these are the roots of art, architecture, government, and almost every other aspect of our civilisation. The mathematics of triangles enabled explorers to travel far across the seas and astronomers to map the heavens.

Calculus won the Allies the Second World War and halted the HIV epidemic. And the mysterious Pi is one of the essential building blocks of the 21st century. From ancient Egyptian priests to the Apollo astronauts, and Babylonian tax collectors to the MIT professor who invented juggling robots, Michael Brooks and his extraordinarily eccentric cast of characters discover how maths shaped the world. 

Thanks to Scribe 

The End of the World is a Cul de Sac, by Louise Kennedy 

In these visceral, stunningly crafted stories, people are effortlessly cruel to one another, and the natural world is a primitive salve. Here, women are domestically trapped by predatory men, Ireland’s folklore and politics loom large, and poverty - material, emotional, sexual - seeps through every crack.

A wife is abandoned by her new husband in a ghost estate, with blood on her hands; a young woman is tormented by visions of the man murdered by her brother during the Troubles; a pregnant mother fears the worst as her husband grows illegal cannabis with the help of a vulnerable teenage girl; a woman struggles to forgive herself after an abortion threatens to destroy her marriage. Announcing a major new voice in literary fiction for the twenty-first century, these sharp shocks of stories offer flashes of beauty, and even humour, amidst the harshest of truths. 

Thanks to Bloomsbury 

Devil’s Lair, by Sarah Barrie 

A lonely widow, a sinister act, a remote mansion with a dark past… After the violent death of her husband, Callie Jones retreats to a cottage in the grounds of an old mansion in Tasmania. The relative remoteness of the place and the wild beauty of the Tasmanian landscape are a balm to her shattered nerves and the locals seem friendly, particularly horseman Connor Atherton and his siblings at the nearby property, Calico Lodge.

But all is not well: the old mansion has a sinister past, one associated with witchcraft and murder. As Callie is threatened by odd events in the night and strange dreams overtake her sleep, she begins to doubt her own sanity. What’s really going on beneath the surface of this apparently peaceful town? Are her friends and neighbours really who they seem? As events escalate, Callie starts to realise that the mansion may hold the key to unlocking the mystery, but the truth might have as much power to destroy as it does to save. 

Thanks to Harper Collins 

Radio Girl by David Dufty 

As you climbed the rickety stairs of an old woolshed at Sydney harbour in 1944, you would hear the thrum of clicks and buzzes. Rows of men and women in uniforms and headsets would be tapping away vigorously at small machines, under the careful watch of their young female trainers. Presiding over the cacophony was a tiny woman, known to everyone as ‘Mrs Mac’, one of Australia’s wartime legends.

A smart girl from a poor mining town who loved to play with her father’s tools, Violet McKenzie became an electrical engineer, a pioneer of radio and a successful businesswoman. As the clouds of war gathered in the 1930s, she defied convention and trained young women in Morse code, foreseeing that their services would soon be sorely needed. Always a champion of women, she was instrumental in getting Australian women into the armed forces. Mrs Mac was adored by the thousands of young women and men she trained, and came to be respected by the defence forces and the public too for her vision and contribution to the war effort. David Dufty brings her story to life in this heart-warming and captivating biography.  

Thanks to Allen & Unwin

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 living on the edge. Include your name and postal address. Entries close on Friday April 8th. We will notify the winners and we may use their answers on social media. 

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