Asia Bookroom's Book Group

Asia Bookroom runs a Book Group! Join a friendly, informal group of people interested in reading and discussing books of Asian interest.

 
When Does the Group Meet?
Book Group members meet every 6 - 8 weeks at Asia Bookroom's premises in Macquarie in Belconnen. We welcome new members.
 

What Types of Books Does the Group Read?

Asia Book Group reads a wide variety of books on all parts of Asia. The books are chosen by the group and might be fiction or non fiction, literary or popular - all of them have in common interesting Asia related themes and ideas which are ideal for discussion. From time to time we are privileged to have the author present.

The list of the books we are reading this year together with dates of this year's meetings can be found below.

Who Can Join?

Everyone is welcome. We know how daunting it can be to join a new group but rest assured everyone is welcome in our friendly group. We really value everyone's input - the more disparate the views the more interesting. Members come from a variety of different backgrounds and include people who have travelled or lived in Asia, people with an Asian family background, people who have studied an Asian language or culture, as well as people who have never left Australia but are interested in reading and discussing something different! The group size varies from time to time but usually about 15 - 20 people attend a meeting.

Does It Cost to Belong?

No, there is no charge to belong to the group but we do ask that you buy the Book Group book from Asia Bookroom. The good news is that Book Group members receive a 10% discount on all Book Group books.

When Does Asia Book Group Meet?

Our meetings are held between 6pm and 7.30pm on a Thursday every 6 - 8 weeks but can occasionally vary from this. At the foot of this page you will see the names of the forthcoming books and the dates we will be meeting to discuss them.

I Am Not Sure That I Can Attend Every Meeting - Does This Matter? No it doesn't matter, you are welcome to come as regularly or irregularly as you like. We understand that members' lives are busy and we welcome you when you can come but understand when you can't. RSVPs for seating and refreshment purposes are appreciated but not essential.

How Do I Know What Books to Read and the Date of the Next Meeting? Contact Asia Bookroom by email books@AsiaBookroom.com or phone 6251 5191. Our Book Group email list which you are now subscribed to will keep you up-to-date with book details and meeting dates.

 

Amnesty - Aravind Adiga

Thursday September 29, 2022 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

"Danny - Dhananjaya Rajaratnam - is an illegal immigrant in Sydney, denied refugee status after he has fled from his native Sri Lanka. Working as a cleaner, living out of a grocery storeroom, for three years he's been trying to create a new identity for himself. And now, with his beloved vegan girlfriend, Sonja, with his hidden accent and highlights in his hair, he is as close as he has ever come to living a normal Australian life.

But then one morning, Danny learns a female client of his has been murdered. When Danny recognizes a jacket left at the murder scene, he believes it belongs to another of his clients - a doctor with whom he knows the woman was having an affair. Suddenly Danny is confronted with a choice: come forward with his knowledge about the crime and risk being deported, or say nothing, and let justice go undone? Over the course of a single day, evaluating the weight of his past, his dreams for the future, and the unpredictable, often absurd reality of living invisibly and undocumented, he must wrestle with his conscience and decide if a person without rights still has responsibilities." (Publisher's description).

The Island of Missing Trees - Elif Shafak

Thursday November 3, 2022 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

"It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic, chilli peppers and wild herbs. This is where one can find the best food in town, the best music, the best wine. But there is something else to the place- it makes one forget, even if for just a few hours, the world outside and its immoderate sorrows.

In the centre of the tavern, growing through a cavity in the roof, is a fig tree. This tree will witness their hushed, happy meetings, their silent, surreptitious departures; and the tree will be there when the war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to rubble, when the teenagers vanish and break apart.

Decades later in north London, sixteen-year-old Ada Kazantzakis has never visited the island where her parents were born. Desperate for answers, she seeks to untangle years of secrets, separation and silence. The only connection she has to the land of her ancestors is a Ficus Carica growing in the back garden of their home.

In The Island of Missing Trees, prizewinning author Elif Shafak brings us a rich, magical tale of belonging and identity, love and trauma, memory and amnesia, human-induced destruction of nature, and, finally, renewal." (Publisher's description).

Two Afternoons in the Kabul Stadium - Tim Bonyhady

Thursday December 1, 2022 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

"An exciting social history of Afghanistan told through art.

From the complete coverage of chadaris to mini-skirts, and back again. From ancient carpet designs to woven depictions of tanks and Kalashnikovs. From photographs of unveiled women to an image of horror-the execution of a kneeling woman known as Zarmeena, videoed covertly by one of the few watching women. This remarkable book provides a history of Afghanistan through the visual.


The Kabul Stadium looms large because it was there, one afternoon in August 1959, that women first appeared in western dress at a celebration of Afghanistan's independence-a turning point, not only for women in Afghanistan's cities but also for the country itself, symbolising its embrace of the modern. It was also there, one afternoon in November 1999, that the Taliban killed Zarmeena.

Two Afternoons in the Kabul Stadium offers both a new way of seeing Afghanistan and a new way of understanding it." (Publisher's description).

We have read well over 150 books since the book group began.