Welcome to the SA Woman Book Club!

This is a space to explore a range of books – fiction and non-fiction, new and familiar, local and international!

Below are six books selected for the book club to read during August and September 2023. Feel free to read all of the books, or pick and choose the ones that interest you the most. During the reading window, we will have a chance to meet up face-to-face and chat about these and any other books, as well as virtual opportunities to share your thoughts.

If you have books you would like to recommend for the book club, feel free to complete this questionnaire. When you have completed a book from the list, please submit your feedback and rating by completing this short questionnaire. Your reviews will be used to curate a blog post of book recommendations to refer back to by anyone looking for their next great read!

The Books

Books by Australian Women:
Homecoming, by Kate Morton
Fiction, Thriller, Australian Author, Mystery, Historical

Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959: At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek in the grounds of the grand and mysterious mansion, a local delivery man makes a terrible discovery. A police investigation is called and a small town becomes embroiled in one of the most shocking and perplexing murder cases in the history of South Australia.

Sixty years later, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for almost twenty years, she now finds herself laid off from her full-time job and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother, Nora, who raised Jess when her mother could not, has suffered a fall and been raced to the hospital.

Nora has always been a vibrant and strong presence: decisive, encouraging, young despite her years. When Jess visits her in the hospital she is alarmed to find her grandmother frail and confused; it’s even more alarming to hear from Nora’s housekeeper that Nora had been distracted in the weeks before her accident, and that she fell on the steps to the attic – the one place Jess was forbidden from playing when she was small.

At a loose end in Nora’s house, Jess does some digging of her own. In Nora’s bedroom, she discovers a true crime book, chronicling the police investigation into a long-buried tragedy: the Turner Family Tragedy of Christmas Eve, 1959. It is only when Jess skims through the book that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this once-infamous crime – a crime that has never been resolved satisfactorily. And for a journalist without a story, a cold case might be the best distraction she can find…

An epic novel that spans generations, Homecoming asks what we would do for those we love, and how we protect the lies we tell. It explores the power of motherhood, the corrosive effects of tightly held secrets, and the healing nature of truth. Above all, it is a beguiling and immensely satisfying novel from one of the finest writers working today.

Books by First Nations Authors:
After Story, by Larissa Behrend
Fiction, Australian Author, Literary Fiction

When Jasmine and her mother, Della, take the overseas trip of a lifetime, they discover that the past is never quite behind them.

When Indigenous lawyer Jasmine decides to take her mother, Della, on a tour of England’s most revered literary sites, Jasmine hopes it will bring them closer together and help them reconcile the past.

Twenty-five years earlier the disappearance of Jasmine’s older sister devastated their tight-knit community. This tragedy returns to haunt Jasmine and Della when another child mysteriously goes missing on Hampstead Heath. As Jasmine immerses herself in the world of her literary idols – including Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters and Virginia Woolf – Della is inspired to rediscover the wisdom of her own culture and storytelling. But sometimes the stories that are not told can become too great to bear.

Ambitious and engrossing, After Story celebrates the extraordinary power of words and the quiet spaces between. We can be ready to listen, but are we ready to hear?

Books by an SA Woman Member:
Goodbye Money Guilt, by Shona Gates
Non-Fiction, Self-development, Money Mindset, Manifestation

The first step in finding financial freedom is to realize that financial freedom has absolutely nothing to do with how much money you have or make. What? Exactly. Financial freedom is something that goes on inside of you. This is why someone who makes very little can be happy and someone who makes a ton can be extremely stressed out over his or her financial situation. So the first step is to realize that financial freedom is more about our attitudes toward money than about the amount of money.

In this book you will learn: Limiting Beliefs / The Benefit of financial freedom / How to set goals / The right mindset / And much more!!

This book is for women who are curious about mindset work and manifestation but have no idea where to start. The type of women who deeply desires financial freedom and is ready to learn about creating a positive relationship with money.

Shona will teach you the principles of money mindset that will heal and clear your resistance to wealth and show you how to attract more abundance into your life every single day with ease, fun and alignment.

Self-Development Books:
I Didn’t Do The Thing Today, by Madeleine Dore
Non-Fiction, Psychology, Personal Development, Productivity, Australian Author

Madeleine Dore has long felt a pressure to be productive. In the pursuit of getting things done, she tried every way to optimize her day, only to keep falling short and feeling behind. She turned to interviewing hundreds of creative thinkers and experts to find the secret to productivity. What she discovered instead was far more enriching: There is more to value in each day than what we did or didn’t do.

I Didn’t Do the Thing Today is a reprieve from our doing obsession. Designed as a companion for the days that go off track, the book’s chapters explore the various ways we encounter productivity guilt–including comparison to others, striving for perfection, and our great expectations–to point to how a day doesn’t have to be optimized, but simply occupied. When we take away judgment from how moments unfold, we can find our way out of the productivity spiral and step fully into our lives.

For anyone who has struggled with worrying about wasted time or felt caught in the busyness trap or stifled by indecision, I Didn’t Do the Thing Today shares how to take productivity off its pedestal and find more connection, creativity, and curiosity in its place.

Business/Professional Development Books:
Glow in the Dark, by Mark Leruste
Non-Fiction, Business and Management, Practical Advice

Imposter syndrome is a term that all but the most overconfident of us will recognise. Acknowledging self doubt and uncertainty needn’t imply weakness, and the urge to question one’s own position and opinion is a necessary step to being thoughtful and thorough. That said, a lot of people spend a lot of time worrying about being underqualified, unenlightened or just a fraud or phony – when they could otherwise be getting on with doing great work.

This book, by a self-confessed ‘Imposter’- Mark Leruste – is a wake up call for everyone tired of feeling that way and ready stop holding themselves back from creating a positive change in the world. It will show you how to stand out from the crowd if the idea of standing out in the first place terrifies you, and will serve as a constant reminder that you are not alone, have much to offer the world, and can start correcting your negative thought-patterns right away. The louder the world gets, the quieter we become. The quieter we become, the harder it is to make an impact, especially if we have something important to say, sell or share. This book will help readers face down their feelings of being an ‘imposter’ and provide them with a practical guide to becoming more visible, enabling them to overcome their fears and resistance whenever they next arise.

General Good Reads:
Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
Fiction, Romance, Feminism, Historical

Meet Elizabeth Zott: a “formidable, unapologetic and inspiring” (PARADE) scientist in 1960s California whose career takes a detour when she becomes the unlikely star of a beloved TV cooking show.

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

To become an SA Woman Member, check out our Membership Options here.

Follow along on socials! Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn