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 October and November 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!

To see previous book club picks, please click here.

The Books

Books by Australian Women:
The Crying Room by Gretchen Shirm
Fiction, Australian, Contemporary

The Crying Room movingly explores family boundaries and stories, finding original ways to express the contradictory experience of belonging to a family, and being an individual at the same time.

When Bernie Rodgers and her husband move to the coastal town of Ballina, she finds that there is more than a physical distance separating her from her adult daughters. Bernie loves her daughters, but the problem she realises is with the way she loved them.

Bernie’s daughter Susie is professionally successful, but her feelings remain distant, even to herself. When she takes on the responsibility for caring for her niece, the pieces of her life finally snap into place. The inexplicable disappearance of an aeroplane though, plunges her life into mystery once again.

Morally acute and dazzlingly accomplished, this is an affecting novel about loneliness, love, family and the need to feel.

Books by First Nations Authors:
Edenglassie by Melissa Lucashenko
Fiction, Australian Author, Literary Fiction

Two extraordinary Indigenous stories set five generations apart.

When Mulanyin meets the beautiful Nita in Edenglassie, their saltwater people still outnumber the British. As colonial unrest peaks, Mulanyin dreams of taking his bride home to Yugambeh Country, but his plans for independence collide with white justice. Two centuries later, fiery activist Winona meets Dr Johnny. Together they care for obstinate centenarian Granny Eddie, and sparks fly, but not always in the right direction.

What nobody knows is how far the legacies of the past will reach into their modern lives. In this brilliant epic novel, Melissa Lucashenko torches Queensland’ s colonial myths, while reimagining an Australian future.

Books by an SA Woman Member:
Second Chance Love in Point Perry by Joanne Speirs
Romance, Small-town, Fiction, Digital Read

Two broken hearts learning how to live – and love – again.
After a devastating tragedy shakes Erin’s world, she returns to her hometown of Point Perry seeking solace and a fresh start. But just as she begins to find her footing, an unexpected visitor and an old enemy threaten to upend her life once again. Tom, a devoted single father and beloved teacher, is no stranger to turmoil. His ex-wife, now a Hollywood starlet, has descended upon Point Perry for her movie premiere, stirring up trouble and putting Tom’s priorities to the test. As the town buzzes with excitement over the event, Tom must also navigate a strained relationship with his father and protect his son from his ex’s manipulations. Despite their emotional scars and obstacles, Erin and Tom can’t ignore their growing connection. As they begin to explore the chance for a future together, they must confront their past traumas and find a way to move forward.

Will their love be enough to overcome the challenges they face, or will their emotional baggage prove too heavy to bear?

Self-Development Books:
Fair Play by Eve Rodsky
Non-Fiction, Personal Development, Mental Load, Burnout

Tired of being the “she-fault” parent responsible for all aspects of her busy household, Eve Rodsky counted up all the unpaid, invisible work she was doing for her family—and then sent that list to her husband, asking for things to change. His response was . . . underwhelming. Rodsky realized that simply identifying the issue of unequal labor on the home front wasn’t enough: She needed a solution to this universal problem. Her sanity, identity, career, and marriage depended on it.

The result is Fair Play: a time-and anxiety-saving system that offers couples a completely new way to divvy up domestic responsibilities. Rodsky interviewed more than five hundred men and women from all walks of life to figure out what the invisible work in a family actually entails and how to get it all done efficiently. With four easy-to-follow rules, 100 household tasks, and a figurative card game you play with your partner, Fair Play helps you prioritize what’s important to your family and who should take the lead on every chore from laundry to homework to dinner.

“Winning” this game means rebalancing your home life, reigniting your relationship with your significant other, and reclaiming your Unicorn Space— as in, the time to develop the skills and passions that keep you interested and interesting.

Business/Professional Development Books:
SMART Time Investment for Business by Kate Christie
Non-Fiction, Business and Management, Practical Advice

SMART Time Investment for Business provides 128 short, sharp, and practical productivity strategies that you can start implementing today for immediate results, punctuated with tips and anecdotes from leading business people from around the world who share how they use time to their advantage.

Your time is not limitless. Your time is a finite and enormously valuable resource – and, just like your money, if you want to grow your wealth and your success you must invest your time wisely. It’s time to understand:
– the most common time challenges most business people face
– how to invest your time, not manage your time
– the mistakes made and the lessons learned from some of the best in business
– how small changes to your day can reclaim hours of lost time every week.

General Good Reads:
Yellowface by R. F. Kuang
Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Literary Fiction

Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars: same year at Yale, same debut year in publishing. But Athena’s a cross-genre literary darling, and June didn’t even get a paperback release. Nobody wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers to the British and French war efforts during World War I.

So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song–complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

But June can’t get away from Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

With its totally immersive first-person voice, Yellowface takes on questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation not only in the publishing industry but the persistent erasure of Asian-American voices and history by Western white society. R. F. Kuang’s novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable.

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