Book Club

DULDIG BOOK CLUB
1st Thursday of the month, 10:30am and 6:30pm
Join us in the new venture and travel with us to the ends of the earth with tales true and bold ... the reading list will be diverse and promises to generate many stimulating conversations.

$20 adults, $18 Duldig Friends & Supporters, $15 Students

OUR FACILITATORS

Fiona Clarke
Fiona Clarke worked for many years as a Social Worker and during this time completed post graduate studies in Fine Arts at University of Melbourne. She later completed her Secondary Teaching Diploma of Education in English and History at Monash University. Fiona recently worked as a sessional teacher at the National Gallery of Victoria for thirteen years. She facilitated the NGV Book club for over three years and curated two NGV Writers Festivals. She has also been a Voluntary guide at the NGV for eighteen years.

Merren Ricketson
Merren is a English/Humanities teacher. She worked as a sessional Educator at the National Gallery of Victoria for over 30 years using the collections to enhance students’ written and oral communication skills. Merren was the Curator of Top Arts for 16 years and managed the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority’s  Season of Excellence, working closely with student artists, designers and performers for over a decade. More recently Merren studied Auslan and currently works with Deaf artists on monthly public tours at the NGV, and as a sessional teacher at the Victorian College for the Deaf. 

THE BOOKS

7 FEBRUARY 2018, 10.30am & 6.30pm
The Stranger in the Woods, The extraordinary story of the last true hermit  
By Michael Finkel

(Facilitated by Merren Ricketson)

Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality--not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own.

In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life--why did he leave? what did he learn?--as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.


7 March 2019 
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
 

By Dominic Smith 
(Facilitated by Fiona Clarke)

In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke's in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain--a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she's curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.


4 April 2019 
The Strays

By Emily Bitto
(Facilitated by Merren Ricketson)

On her first day at a new school, Lily meets Eva, one of the daughters of the infamous avant-garde painter Evan Trentham. He and his wife are attempting to escape the stifling conservatism of 1930s Australia by inviting other like-minded artists to live and work with them at their family home. As Lily’s friendship with Eva grows, she becomes infatuated with this makeshift family and longs to truly be a part of it.

Looking back on those years later in life, Lily realises that this utopian circle involved the same themes as Evan Trentham’s art: Faustian bargains and terrible recompense; spectacular fortunes and falls from grace. Yet it was not Evan, nor the other artists he gathered around him, but his own daughters, who paid the debt that was owing.

The Strays is an engrossing story of ambition, sacrifice and compromised loyalties from an exciting new talent.
 


2 May 2019 
Into Thin Air
 

By Jon Krakauer
(Facilitated by Fiona Clarke)

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster.

 


2 May 2019 
Eleanor Oliphant  is Completely Fine
By Gail Honeyman
(Facilitated by Fiona Clarke)


No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. 

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . 

The only way to survive is to open your heart.