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‘The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, and all the sweet serenity of books.’
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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 support in this difficult time for everyone. If you have any queries, please feel free to get in touch with us at
Literary News
Melbourne Writers Festival is back. Melbourne Writers Festival has made the difficult decision to cancel its live events as part of this year’s program, and bring forward MWF Digital. From 3–12 September, over 200 writers, journalists, and activists will feature in a diverse program around the theme Tell Me How it Ends. Guests include Rachel Cusk, Bruce Pascoe, Behrouz Boochani, Helen Garner, Tony Birch, Yves Rees. For details of the program, go to this link.
Book Lovers Day
Even though book lovers day has passed on August 9th, we are not yet ready to let go of the literary love fest and are unofficially declaring August book lovers month!

To honour the occasion, the Book Groups team shared their favourite books from our Dialogue catalogue and why they hold a special place in their hearts. 
Read Full Article
News From Book Groups
This month we heard from the secretary of the Hamilton Book Chooks Elaine Edwards on the fun way her group got their name and their very own logo.
Our CAE Book Group was formed in 1971, making this our fiftieth year.
One evening, about thirteen years ago, the teenage son of our hostess told his mother that we sounded like all the chooks clucking in the hen house. We thought his comment was hilarious but spot on, hence the Hamilton Book Chooks came into being.
Not long after, I found a cute little chook model with a very happy face which reflected the demeanour of our group. My artist son was able to reproduce her perfectly sitting on a book and this has become our logo which is used on letterheads, birthday envelopes, bookmarks and our programme. She is much loved.
She is named Henny Penny for another literary chook known to us all. Her manners are exemplary so she attends all our meetings, allowed to sit on the supper table. As secretary of the group, I have been dubbed Mother Hen.
Supper is often based on some aspect of the book being read and discussed, adding another dimension to our enjoyment and then recipes are exchanged.
The Chooks are all very supportive of each other in times of stress providing food when there is sickness, attending the funeral of a family member and just being a friend when needed. We are so much more than a group of chooks who have read the same book.
Elaine from Book Chooks also provided this lovely poem from Michael Leunig about the joys of winter - it's also very apt for those experiencing lockdown.
The Prayer tree
by Michael Leunig
We give thanks for the blessing of winter:
Season to cherish the heart,
To make warmth and quiet for the heart
To make soups and broth for the heart.
To cook for the heart and read for the heart.
To curl up softly and nestle with the heart
To sleep deeply and gently at one with the heart.
To dream with the heart
To spend time with the heart
A long, long time of peace with the heart.
We give thanks for the blessing of winter:
Season to cherish the heart. Amen.
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 and let us know.
July Giveaway
This month we have 2 x two-book packs to give away.

A Mouthful of Petals by Wendy Scarfe and Allan Scarfe

A firsthand account of living and working in an Indian village: written by two dedicated young Australian teachers, this extraordinary book recounts their efforts to help local children and adults to lead better and fuller lives.

Thanks to Wakefield Press

Siracusa by Delia Ephron

Electrifying novel about marriage and deceit follows two couples on vacation in Siracusa, a town on the coast of Sicily, where their secrets are exposed and relationships unravelled. Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present, with the pacing of a psychological thriller.

Thanks to One World
The Things She Owned by Katherine Tamiko Arguile

Years after the death of her cruel and complicated mother, Erika is still surrounded by things left behind: an onigiri basket, a Wedgwood tea set, a knotted ring from Okinawa. Slowly the things Michiko owned reveal stories of a youth amid the upheaval of Tokyo during and after the Second World War. An exploration of complex lives lived between cultures and cross-generational trauma on a path to forgiveness.

Thanks to Affirm Press
I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

Observations about domestic, professional and creative life, with the conflicting pressures of modern womanhood: humour and thoughtful contemplation in these memoir-essays of home, work and creative life. Identity crises don’t happen just once or in mid-life. You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are and where you belong.

Thanks to Murdoch Books

Anyone is welcome to enter. To go in the draw, simply email us at and let us know your favourite books about visiting unexpected places. Include your name and postal address. Entries close on Friday 3rd September. We will notify the winners and we may use their answers on social media.

Upcoming Courses
German: Elementary 1 (Online)

11 sessions
Wednesday, 6pm-8pm, 15 September to 24 November

$349/$332 (conc.)
Book now
Introduction to Drawing with Charcoal

1 session
Saturday, 10am-3:30pm, 9 October

$189/$180 (conc.)
Book Now
Copywriting Masterclass

2 sessions
Thursday, 9:30am-4:30pm, 23 September - 30 September

$600/$570 (conc.)
Book Now
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