December Book Picnic Recommendations

On the first Wednesday of every month, GWL team members and volunteers share what we’ve read recently at our Book Picnic. In the current climate, our Book Picnic takes place remotely, giving all of us some valuable social interaction and providing us with many excellent book suggestions…

  • Scabby Queen by Kirstin Innes

    Recommended by Pauline, this work of fiction opens with the death of Clio Campbell, minor celebrity and political activist. The story spans across five decades, is told from multiple points of view, and is, in a way, a celebration of her life. It covers where she came from, the mistakes she made along her journey, and how her impact (both positive and negative) continued to be felt by those who crossed her path, even after her death. (CW // Suicide)

  • Gems from a Creative Mind by Doreen Kelly

    Also recommended by Pauline, this is a selection of poems and artwork by our very own Doreen Kelly! This immensely creative work explores her life with dyslexia and its daily challenges through words, pictures, and colors. An insightful and inspirational show of extraordinary talent, it definitely shouldn’t be missed.

  • Unbowed by Wangari Maathai

    Annie has recommended this powerful autobiography by 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai. A recollection of her life and work, it covers her childhood and Kikuyu culture, her scientific education, and her founding of the Green Belt Movement in the 1970s. In enlisting rural communities to plant millions of trees, she stood up to regimes that wanted to plunder Kenya. Ultimately, it is a fascinating story of a woman who decided to make a difference in the fight against deforestation, and an inspiration to all who endure prosecution, discrimination, and face incredible odds. 

  • The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams

    Recommended by Ren, this landmark, but sometimes controversial, text was first published in 1990. An intersection of feminism and animal rights, Adams suggests that to be a better feminist, one must be a vegetarian or vegan. By illuminating the parallels between women and animals in culture and society, Adams provides a unique and though-provoking critique of capitalist and patriarchal systems of oppression.

  • The Wedding Dress by Danielle Steel

    Recommended by Joyce, this novel by Steel follows a couture wedding dress from 1928 as it is worn by four generations of women in the same family through the years. From San Francisco in the 1920s through to the rise of Silicon Valley, each woman wears the dress and then forges their own lives filled with love, loss, motherhood, victories, and tragedies. A fast-paced, escapist, historical read.

  • Devotions by Mary Oliver

    Recommended by our librarian Wendy, this is a beautiful selection of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver’s best work. Arranged and chosen by Oliver herself, and spanning more than five decades, these 200+ poems feature her accessible and insightful observations on the natural world. 


If you’re looking to pick up some interesting reads for yourself, GWL is delighted to offer our ‘Select and Collect’ service.

Request up to 6 books in advance, and we’ll have them ready for you to pick up. Or, if you’re not sure where to start, we can select some titles or make up a “book bundle” for you. Click here to find out more!

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