Parra Pods
Thrillers & Crime Fiction

Thrillers & Crime Fiction

April 19, 2021

Thrillers and crime fiction are genres of writing that fascinate the reader through the depiction of danger, of darkness, of suspense and anxiety that surrounds the criminal or crime-related events described in the story.


Join Nisa and Bryony as they discuss some books that fall neatly and not-so-neatly within the overlapping boundaries of these genres:


The Herd by Andrea Bartz, Ballantine Books, 2020


Keeper by Jessica More, Penguin, 2020


Your House Will Pay by Step Cha, Faber & Faber, 2019


The Animals of Lockwood Manor, Mantle, 2020

Fantasy Fiction

Fantasy Fiction

March 31, 2021

Fantasy Fiction

Sitting under the umbrella of ‘speculative’ fiction, Fantasy Fiction pulls the reader into a universe made up of complex relationships, of magical beings, of fascinating creatures and of supernatural elements that are often based on or influenced by existing myths and mythology.

Join Nisa and Rachel as they discussed two novels and two novellas in the genre:


The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart. Orbit, 2020

The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood. Tor, 2020

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo. Tor, 2020

Order of the Pure Moon Reflected by Water by Zen Cho. Tor, 2020

More Young Adult Reads

More Young Adult Reads

March 9, 2021

YA books can be about love, loss, transitions, first experiences, school, future aspirations… anything experienced by young people. What makes YA literature unique is that the perspective is a teenage one. Back with more YA in 2021, join Nisa and Antonia for the first set of books they’d like to highlight:


On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. Walker Books, 2019

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. Electric Monkey, 2019

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. Hot Key Books, 2020

Welcome to the New World: Waking Up in Trump’s America by Jake Halpern and (illustrated by) Michael Sloan. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.


Craving some more YA chat? Checkout our other YA podcast here!



John le Carre

John le Carre

February 23, 2021

One of the greats of espionage fiction – John le Carre – passed away at the end of 2020.

Join Nisa and Sandra as they take a quick tour through some of his books and focus on two titles in particular:



Our Kind of Traitor - John le Carre. Viking, 2010


The Night Manager - John le Carre. Hodder and Stoughton, 1993



Mystery Fiction

Mystery Fiction

February 3, 2021

One of the most popular fiction genres, mysteries take the reader on a journey that involves trying to solve a puzzle, finding clues, engaging in logical deduction, considering (and discarding) red herrings… the who, why and how of a crime that must be solved, an event that must be explained.


Join Nisa and Crystal as they discuss a mix of classics and new books in the genre:

Death in the East - Abir Mukherjee. Penguin Random House, 2019

The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman. Viking Press, 2020

Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie. Collins Crime Club, 1934 and Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie and François Rivière. Harper, 2007

A Study in Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle. Beeton’s Christmas Annual Magazine, 1887

Horror Fiction

Horror Fiction

January 20, 2021

Horror Fiction seeks to thrill, to terrorise, to tap into the dark side of humanity. Sitting under the umbrella of ‘speculative’ fiction, Horror Fiction combines and contrasts the known with the unknown to induce a feeling of dread in the reader.

Join Nisa and Rachel as they discuss a mix of classics and new books in the genre:

  • Bird Box / Josh Malerman. Harper Voyager, 2014 and Malorie: a Bird box novel / Josh Malerman. Orion Fiction, 2020



  • Carrie / Stephen King. New English Library, 1974


  • Frankenstein / Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, 1818






Staff Picks, Yan’s Recommended Reads

Staff Picks, Yan’s Recommended Reads

November 24, 2020

Yan’s Recommended Reads!

Are you wondering what to read next? Well, maybe this episode will give you some ideas.

Happy Listening!

Books mentioned in this podcast include:

Science Fiction

Science Fiction

October 30, 2020

A tricky genre to define, Scifi or ‘Science Fiction’ is more than just space ships and aliens. Scifi is a genre that looks at the world that was and imagines a world that can be. Sitting within the family of what is considered to be ‘speculative’ fiction, Scifi entertains, thrills and makes us consider some important questions about ourselves, our world and the universe(s) beyond us.


Join Nisa and Rachel as they discuss these books: 


Translated Literature

Translated Literature

October 23, 2020

In this episode of Parra Pods Yan shares her love of translated literature with listeners.

Yan is City of Parramatta Libraries resident expert on translated literature and always manages to surprise us with the diverse range of books she gets through!

Below are just a few of the authors & titles Yan talks about in this podcast.

Happy Listening!


Shadow of the Wind’, ‘The Angels Game’, ‘The Prisoner of Heaven’ & ‘The Labyrinth of Sprits’ by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Along the Trenches: a Journey Through Eastern Europe to Isfahan by Navid Kermani

The Name of the Rose’, ‘Foucault’s Pendulum’ & ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ by Umberto Eco

Sapiens’, ‘Home Deus’ & ‘21 lessons for 21st Century’ by Yuval Noah Harari

The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ & Farewell Waltz by Milan Kundera

Norwegian Wood’ & Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Red Sorghum’, ‘The Garlic Ballads’ & ‘Sandalwood Death’ by Mo Yan

Boyhood’, ‘Youth’, ‘Summertime’, ‘Disgrace’, ‘Life & times of Michael K’ by J M Coetzee

Jo Nesbo, Stieg Larsson, Karan Fossum, Arnaldur Indridason, Hakan Nesser, Leila Slimani, Andrea Camilleri

YA Reads!

YA Reads!

September 16, 2020


In this episode of Parra Pods Katherine & Nisa discuss some of the amazing Young Adult fiction they have read over the last couple of weeks.

Reading Youth Adult fiction in all its  diversity is great way to understand the issues facing the up and coming generation.  The books that we review in this episode discuss diverse themes  such as “Black lives matter”, growing up Muslim in Australia, body issues and being young and LGBTQ identified. What these wonderful books have in common is that they are all thought provoking, funny at times, often inspiring and always entertaining. I urge you to grab a YA book now and enjoy!


Some of the books discussed in this podcast include:


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, 2017.


How (Not) to Ask a Boy to the Prom by S.J. Goslee, 2019.


You Must Be Layla by Yassmin Abel-Magied, 2019.


There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon, 2019.


Looking for some more recommendations why not check out our blog post on YA picks of 2020 & some old favourites!


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