This is a wonderfully funny, wonderfully clever social-political satire that takes a swipe, albeit not a vicious one, at almost every aspect of contemporary life.
Former diplomat Peter Rodgers aimed to write a book with a laugh on every page, and he has succeeded. There is a serious intent and much research in this work, but the humour is what the reader carries away, demonstrating that a skilled hand has directed it.
This debut novel set in Brisbane in the 1890s provides the perfect vehicle for an author with the twin passions of history and social justice.
Joanna Beresford chooses for her heroine Lilian, a young working class woman from an immigrant background, who is forced to fend for herself in the quest for education and improved social standing – and often merely to survive.
The Charleston Scandal is Pamela Hart’s 37th book, an absorbing and highly readable historical fiction that dives into the issue of class and privilege in British society in the 1920s, particularly in the royal and sub-royal echelons. It is also a delightful glimpse into the life of the theatre at that time.
Siblings is a story told from two points of view and the book itself reflects this. Read from one end, the book is in the voice of the sister, while from the other end it is in the voice of the brother. The stories meet in the middle with the same dilemma.
Bungendore Fine Art 5 December 2020 to 25 January 2021
Depicting birds from the inland to the coast, this exhibition celebrates the diversity of birdlife inhabiting and visiting South Eastern Australia. These recent works are watercolour, gouache and mixed media.
Lesley Wallington is a professional award-winning artist and tutor. Lesley is a keen bird watcher who volunteers for the South Coast Shorebird Recovery program. She currently paints in her home studio and conducts classes and workshops for Nature Art Lab in Canberra.
Described as a memoir, Son of the Brush does indeed introduce us to some of the key figures of the art world in Australia in the 20th and 21st century, in the context of the life of the author, son of painter John Olsen.
Tim Olsen grew up surrounded by people we now consider luminaries, but it is the personal, the candid appraisal of self and family that touched me most deeply in this book.
Alchemy Chorus brings together people living with dementia, their relative or close friend, volunteer musicians and singers for a morning of music-making, story-sharing, laughter and fun.
The choir normally meets from 10am to 12noon on Thursdays at the Hughes Community Centre but COVID restrictions have meant a temporary relocation to the park opposite. Under the shade of an oak, the group works on its extensive repertoire under the leadership of Brian Triglone.
Barbie spoke to Alchemy Choir organisers and participants
Alchemy Chorus was founded in 2016 and provides not only the benefits of music but also of social interaction for both carers and dementia sufferers. The socialising with people who understand their situation is cited by carers as a major plus for the group. A third of the group is made up of volunteers, allowing for smooth administration and the organisation of regular concert performances.
We enjoyed a morning with the choir and found it to be a welcoming and well organised group, coping magnificently with the difficulties of the time, enjoying a great range of familiar songs and a healthy dose of laughter. Some excellent voices are members of the choir and these people are often soloists in the concerts.
New members are always welcome. It is advised to contact the choir organisers before attending. Contact details are on the Alchemy Chorus website.
(A Chic Lady’s Guide to Woman’s Best Friend) Murdoch Books, Australia, 2020
This is a book that has enjoyed sumptuous production treatment with its striking fashion illustration style hard cover and velvety velour spine with cursive gold font. It is indeed an object of desire and worthy of its subject, the mystique of the cat.