The U3A Stonnington Book Club

Book Groups

Book Groups have been part of U3A since its beginning. Our group has been together for some time but we welcome new people who enjoy reading as we do.

We read a variety of books including an occasional classic.  Recently we have read books with a background of social conscience from settlement in Australia to the 1930’s depression in the U.S.A.

We each have a chance to choose a book and we take turns in leading the discussion.  We try to read books which are well written and have depth of ideas which gives each of us an opportunity to join in and to agree or disagree which adds to the enjoyment.

Sylvia Ungar

This year our first book was “An Unconventional Wife – Julia Sorrell Arnold” by Melbourne author Mary Hoban.  It was an exceptional and exciting biography based around her 1825 marriage in Hobart. It was followed by “The Invention of Wings”.  By Sue Monk Kidd, it was a marvelous read about a trail blazing feminist of the early 1800s in southern USA describing the background to her beliefs.

During Covid-19 the book club has mostly been meeting via zoom. Although that has been wonderful, we are very happy to have the chance to meet face to face again soon. It has been a good year of reading and discussion. We choose a book from amongst those suggested by members, and rotate leadership of the discussion each month. 

We read “Lioness” by Sue Brierly, the adoptive mother of “Lion” who still lives In Tasmania. A story of amazing fortitude and determination by a couple wanting to provide a better childhood for an orphan from India. Julia Baird wrote “Phosphorescence” out of her experience of life in which pain and grief featured strongly, and it was well worth the read. Then came “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins which was a stunning education in a story straight out of Acapulco, Mexico. 

“The Glass Hotel” was based on the explosion of the Ponzi Scheme in the USA.We had to piece the story together, but it was worth it. “Apeirogon” by Colum McCann was my best book club read for the year, but definitely not every member’s favourite, whereas Melissa Lucashenko’s book, “Too Much Lip” was widely considered a marvelous and important read. “The Color of Water” was our last read for the year –  James McBride’s autobiography and memoir of his Mother and her impact on the lives of his 11 siblings.

We read 9 books a year and enjoy socializing together a little at other times. You would be really welcome to come and join us. Every member brings their different resources to the group and it is a fascinating blend. Come and enlarge our circle.