We had a full house on December 23. I couldn’t believe how keen we all were to meet up, wish each other a Merry Christmas, and talk about William McInnes as a writer.

We each chose a different book, some of us choosing to read a work of fiction, and others delving into his humorous, yet often bittersweet memoirs. Through this selection of books, we were able to have an in-depth, yet laid back and easy discussion about McInnes – from his childhood years, to the tragic loss of his wife through to his wonderful imagination.

Not everyone was a fan of the books, feeling that they were not always as engaging as they would like, but we did agree that it is wonderful holiday reading, and many of us were interested in reading more of his books in the future.

In the New Year, we will be meeting to discuss Jane Smiley’s ‘Some Luck’.

On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different yet equally remarkable children: Frank, the brilliant, stubborn first-born; Joe, whose love of animals makes him the natural heir to his family’s land; Lillian, an angelic child who enters a fairy-tale marriage with a man only she will fully know; Henry, the bookworm who’s not afraid to be different; and Claire, who earns the highest place in her father’s heart. Moving from post-World War I America through the early 1950s, Some Luck gives us an intimate look at this family’s triumphs and tragedies, zooming in on the realities of farm life, while casting-as the children grow up and scatter to New York, California, and everywhere in between-a panoramic eye on the monumental changes that marked the first half of the twentieth century. Rich with humor and wisdom, twists and surprises, Some Luck takes us through deeply emotional cycles of births and deaths, passions, and betrayals, displaying Smiley’s dazzling virtuosity, compassion, and understanding of human nature and the nature of history, never discounting the role of fate and chance. This potent conjuring of many lives across generations is a stunning tour de force.

If you are interested in reserving any of the titles that appear in the Book Club blog, please feel free to search our catalogue at

If you are interested in joining A Novel Idea, call Lisa at Dapto library on 4227 8555.

Happy New Year, and Happy Reading!