Welcome to My New Book Club!

I love chatting to people about books. And I’m sure most of you love chatting about books too. So, brand new for this year, I’ve created a Video Book Club! Each month I’ll record a short video where I talk about the books I’ve been reading over the past 4 weeks. I think this will be a much more engaging way of letting you know about the fabulous and not-so fabulous books I’ve read rather than trying to summarise them into a short, written blog post.

This month I’m chatting about some historical fiction in The Tailor’s Girl by Fiona McIntosh and The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan, some historical/murder-mystery fiction in the form of one of Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher books and some contemporary Australian fiction with Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett. Some of these books I loved, some not so much. To find out more about the books, please click on the video above.

iisly-smallLet me know what you thought of the books if you’ve read them or, if you haven’t read them, have I enticed you to give any of them a try? And please also let me know if you like the video book club format. Happy reading!

PS – My second book, If I Should Lose You has been described as a great book for book clubs. It tackles the subject of organ donation through the eyes of a nurse who works as an organ donor coordinator, and through the eyes of a female heart transplant surgeon. Both of these women are used to dealing with the issues around organ donation in their jobs, but not so used to dealing with the same issues in their personal lives. If I Should Lose You is a story about motherhood, love, and hope. You can buy it now through Australia’s biggest online bookstore, Booktopia.


  1. Wow! Love this idea. You have definitely inspired me to read Past the Shallows. I also have the Luminaries next to my bed waiting for me to crack the spine. I might try and read it before the next book club too, so I can comment. Thanks for this Natasha. It is wonderful how you have embraced social media and are experimenting with new mediums. Move over Jennifer Byrne, there’s a new book worm in town!

    • Thank you Tabetha! I hope you enjoy, if that’s even the right word, Past the Shallows. And while I don’t think I’ll ever have as many viewers as Jennifer Byrne, it’s so nice that you are comparing me to her. And yes, I would love it if you read The Luminaries before next month so we can chat about it in the comments. (not to put the pressure on or anything like that!)

  2. Beautifully done, Natasha! Past the Shallows was one of my favourites from last year’s reading. Such a stunning debut novel, and I think her second is due out this year. Something to look forward to.

  3. This is a great segment although I’m not in love with that camera angle. I have to admit, I finished The Engagements before I passed it on to you, but I didn’t love it. I thought it was a bit done- like you said with Fiona McIntosh, too many coincidences. I think I’ll be reading The Tailor’s Girl and Past the Shallows now!

    Give The Luminaries a chance, because I think it’s my new favourite book.

    Also, you should totally send this video to ABC’s The Book Show as your application to be on it.


    • Haha! I don’t think Jennifer Byrne has too much to worry about. Although now I’m worried about camera angles! I just put the laptop down on the footstool and sat down in the chair and didn’t really consider anything anything too technical like that. Is my right side or my left side letting me down!

      Looking forward to reading The Luminaries now after reading your blog too.

  4. Fantastic, Natasha! Great idea and loved the chatty style. You can certainly say a lot more and say it more quickly than you can when writing a review. You also look good on video and speak well! You should send it to the ABC!

    • Thanks Louise. I was hoping to be able to say a bit more about each of the books than I can in a written blog as I always find myself with lots more to say. I’m really glad you enjoyed it and thanks for letting me know.

  5. Love it Natasha! Such a great idea. Helps me tap back into my creative space too 🙂

  6. M

    Thank you thank you Natasha! Yep love this format and am looking forward to next month’s! Feels more like a conversation. I will be reading Past the Shallows and hopefully start on it after the Perth writers fest this weekend… also The Luminaries…. ah such little time!

    I would love to hear a little more about aspects of the books that you discuss, eg – if you were discussing this particular book in a book club what 1-2 points etc would you definitely be discussing or things that jumped out out at you (plot, ideas, deed, characters, further thoughts on writing style, characters, i liked the chat around feelings that the book evokes etc, how to discuss these – anything that will deepen the conversations/reflections around the books (what ever your time permits for of course).

    What a great idea re being on the ABC’s Book Club, you’d be fantastic!

    • Thank you so much for your feedback. And what a great idea too! When I watched the video back I thought about a couple of things I could do next month with the books I talk about and I like your suggestion as well, and that will certainly make it more like a book club. I look forward to hearing what you think next month and happy reading!

  7. marlish glorie

    Fantastic video Natasha! I think when you initially came up this idea I was hesitant, but now I’m definitely a big fan. With so much reading to do already, it’s great to watch and listen for a change especially as you express such enthusiasm for books in a very articulate way. And yep, I’m with Emily i.e. sending your video to the A.B. C. or better still, I’d give the commercial networks a try. As you just never know your luck, Natasha.

    • Thank you Marlish! I know you’re a big fan of the written word, as am I, but you’re right, we already have so much to read that sometimes it’s nice to find things out in a different way. So glad you liked it – I’m sure it will be a bit more refined as I get better at it!

  8. Hi Natasha, what a great idea! You are a natural. I loved spending ten minutes with you and hearing your thoughts. I’ve read most of the Phryne Fisher books (got sick of them eventually) and agree that her character leaps off the page, as do the plots (something I felt got lost in the second of the television series. I was lucky enough to see Favel Parrett at Adelaide Writers Week a couple of years ago – no surprise that she is an intelligent and thoughtful woman with great insights.

  9. Hi Rowena, thanks so much for you comment! I would love to see Favel speak now that I’ve read her book, glad to hear she didn’t disappoint. And I think you’re right re the plots in the Phryne FisherTV series – it’s a bit more character/romance focussed than the books, isn’t it?

  10. Pingback: Review: If I Should Lose You – Natasha Lester | All The Books I Can Read

  11. I’m only pages away from finishing The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowlings which I have very much enjoyed. Having lived and worked in the UK for a substantial part of my life, I related to the typically English setting and the the small-minded characters with their wart’n’all grittiness. It has taken me the entire month of February to read however, as it was a BIG book. I almost feel like I moved into the village of Pagford (the fictitious village and centric setting of the books plot) for a period and now I’m moving on to somewhere new. Wherever the next book takes me, I guess. I’m really hoping to have started The Luminaries before the start of your next book club instalment.
    I’m excited about doing the Scrivener course you are running and have diarised the 21st June for it. I have already purchased the program for my Mac and have been using it do some planning and writing. I have started about four novels on it and finished a childrens book. I have a friend looking into doing some illustrations for me. I’ll keep you posted on that one. My novel writing is not going well. My other writing however is going really well. I’ve now created a blog site for Little Black Dress Productions http://www.lbd-productions.org and am in the process of writing a script for the next LBD production, Decades of Divas.
    Not sure why I felt the urge to tell you all that. I guess, I see you as my writing conscience. The unseen ghost asking me…’have you written anything today? You’ll never write a novel if you don’t sit down and write it.’ That is meant with the kindest of sentiments. But any writing is good writing, right? The more I write, the better I feel I am getting at it.

    • Yay for you! That’s fantastic, you’ve done so much. I wouldn’t worry too much about not having made much progress on novel writing because you’ve been doing so much other writing, which is great. I’m looking forward to checking out your blog too!

      • Not sure if you saw my blog on http://www.perthculture.com about the Opening of the Perth Writers Festival, but I had the pleasure of meeting Lionel Shriver, Hannah Kent and Chris Womersley at the after opening address party. Such a thrill. I was so disappointed you weren’t there that night. I think you would have enjoyed Lionel’s speech. I would have been interested in your thoughts. I saw Amanda there, but as I don’t actually know her, I chose not to gush all over her! ha ha ha I’m such a wannabe!

  12. Pingback: Welcome Book Clubbers! We’re Discussing 2 Big Books This Month … | While the kids are sleeping

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