‘A book is like a trunk tightly packed with things. At the customs an official's hand plunges perfunctorily into it, but he who seeks treasures examines every thread.’ 

Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Literature 

Literary News
Miles Franklin Award

The shortlist for the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award was announced on 23rd June. This year's shortlist includes: 

  • One Hundred Days by Alice Pung 

  • The Other Half of You by Michael Mohammed Ahmad 

  • Scary Monsters by Michelle de Kretser 

  • Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down 

  • Grimmish by Michael Winkler 

And the winner, announced on 20 July, is Jennifer Down for Bodies of Light. 

News From Book Groups

Book Club during a Pandemic 

When we did have a book during 2020/21, we used Zoom in the winter months. When restrictions eased and the weather warmed, we met in the local park. Winter 2022 loomed – and what to do? We were all very cautious, doing our bit to limit virus transmission, and we didn’t feel comfortable putting members of nine different households in one lounge room. Central Vic winters can be very wet and cold, so the park was out, and all of us had had enough Zoom. Our COVID-safe solution – ‘glamping’ on the pool deck.

We had a ready-made dry area and my husband added op-shop curtains and blinds to help cut down the wind. He thoughtfully added party lights and a flickering campfire prop to help create an illusion of warmth. So here we are today (13 degrees!) discussing Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. The lengths some members will go to in order to discuss books during a pandemic! Thanks to everyone at CAE who have kept supplying us with great books, particularly over these last few years. You’ve helped to keep us sane in these very strange times.  

Clare Melgaard 

Malmsbury Bookclub  

Top 15 Canadian Books to Read This Canada Day

Celebrated on July 1st annually, Canada Day is the national Holiday of Independence. Formally known as Dominion Day, Canada Day commemorates the amalgamation of the Canadian three territories into self-governing dominion of Great Britain on July 1, 1867.  

As national patriotism grew from the 1960s, many Canadians began to refer to the day as ‘Canada Day’. This July, we celebrate the unique voice of Canadian Authors with our top 15 Canadian picks from Dialogue.   

Read the Article
2022 Dialogue
The 2022 edition of Dialogue is available for digital download and hard copy with new additions to enjoy with your group.  
Download the Book Catalogue
July Giveaway

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

The Bombay Prince, by Sujata Massey 

November, 1921. Edward VIII, Prince of Wales and future ruler of India, is arriving in Bombay to begin a four-month tour. The Indian subcontinent is chafing under British rule, and India's only female lawyer, Perveen Mistry, isn't surprised when local unrest spirals into riots. But she's horrified by the death of Freny Cuttingmaster, an eighteen-year-old student who falls from a second-floor gallery just as the prince's grand procession is passing by her college.

Freny had come for a legal consultation just days before her death, and what she confided makes Perveen suspect that her death was not an accident. When Freny's death is indeed ruled a murder, Perveen knows she can't rest until she sees justice done.  

Thanks to Allen & Unwin 

Bluebird, by Malcolm Knox 

A house perched impossibly on a cliff overlooking the stunning, iconic Bluebird Beach. Prime real estate, yet somehow not real estate at all, The Lodge is, like those who live in it, falling apart.  Gordon Grimes has become the accidental keeper of this last relic of an endangered world.

He lives in The Lodge with his wife Kelly who is trying to leave him, their son Ben who will do anything to save him, his goddaughter Lou who is hiding from her own troubles, and Leonie, the family matriarch who has trapped them here for their own good. But Gordon has no money and is running out of time to conserve his homeland. His love for this way of life will drive him, and everyone around him, to increasingly desperate risks. In the end, what will it cost them to hang onto their past? This is a novel about myths that come to define families and communities, and the lies that uphold them: a certain kind of Australia that we all recognise, and a certain kind of Australian whose currency is running out. Change is coming to Bluebird, whether they like it or not. And the secrets they’ve been keeping and the lies they’ve been telling can’t save them now. 

Thanks to Allen & Unwin 

The Woman They Could Not Silence, by Kate Moore 

Elizabeth Packard was an ordinary Victorian housewife and mother of six. That was, until the first Woman’s Rights Convention was held in 1848, inspiring Elizabeth and many other women to dream of greater freedoms. She began voicing her opinions on politics and religion - opinions that her husband did not share. Incensed and deeply threatened by her growing independence, he had her declared ‘slightly insane’ and committed to an asylum.

Inside the Illinois State Hospital, Elizabeth found many other perfectly lucid women who, like her, had been betrayed by their husbands and incarcerated for daring to have a voice. But just because you are sane, doesn’t mean that you can escape a madhouse… Fighting the stigma of her gender and her supposed madness, Elizabeth embarked on a ceaseless quest for justice. It not only challenged the medical science of the day and saved untold others from suffering her fate, it ultimately led to a giant leap forward in human rights the world over.   

Thanks to Scribe   

The Trivia Night by Ali Lowe 

Question: How long does it take to tear someone’s life apart? Answer: Sometimes just one night. From the outside the parents of the kindergarten class at Darley Heights primary school seem to have it all. Living in the wealthy Sydney suburbs, it’s a community where everyone knows each other - and secrets don’t stay secret for long.

The big date in the calendar is the school’s annual fundraising trivia night, but when the evening gets raucously out of hand, talk turns to partner-swapping. Initially scandalised, it’s not long before a group of parents make a reckless one-night-only pact. But in the harsh light of day, those involved must face the fallout of their behaviour. As they begin to navigate the shady aftermath of their wild night, the truth threatens to rip their perfect lives apart - and revenge turns fatal. THE TRIVIA NIGHT is a gripping, domestic page-turner full of shocking reveals, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Sally Hepworth.  

Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton   

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 keeping secrets. Include your name and postal address. Entries close on Friday August 5th. We will notify the winners and we may use their answers on social media. 

July Featured Book

This month’s feature book: Malinche's Conquest by Anna Lanyon [B1739] 

The gifted young woman who translated for Cortes in his 16th century conquest of Mexico is remembered by the Mexican elites as a traitor but is celebrated in popular legend. Lanyon uncovers her ‘survival amid catastrophe’ to see the luminous traces of a woman who was among the founders of modern Mexico. 

Reaction to Malinche's Conquest – from Canberra 3 

Our group enjoyed reading the book. It was quite different from our usual choices, but extended our interest and understanding of a different culture and its history. 

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