Parra Pods
Episode 22 - The Booker Prize 2019

Episode 22 - The Booker Prize 2019

October 14, 2019

In Episode 22 of Parra Pods, Katherine & Nisa discuss some of the great books that had made it on to the 2019 shortlist for the Booker Prize.

Join them as they discuss the books they liked, the books they loved and some they had mixed feelings about…


Books discussed in this episode include:

An Orchestra of Minorities by Obioma Chigozie

Girl, Woman, Other by Evaristo Bernardine

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak

Ducks, newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Episode 21 - HSC Resources

Episode 21 - HSC Resources

October 4, 2019

In Episode 21 of Parra Pods, regular hosts Katherine & Nisa continue their chat with Mohan Dhall our go to person for practical study advice!

Students don’t panic!

Mohan Dhall Educator and CEO of the Australian Tutoring Association, tells you where to find the best HSC resources for all your subjects and how to study effectively.


Katherine & Nisa

Episode 20 - HSC Hacks

Episode 20 - HSC Hacks

September 16, 2019

Episode 20 of Parra Pods HSC Hacks.

HSC is coming up fast!

Students and parents check out these tips and tricks to not just survive, but actually flourish during the HSC season.

All this delivered by the ultimate HSC guru Mohan Dhall, Text book author, CEO of Tutoring Australia and Leader of Potentia Tutoring.

To check out some of the amazing resources City of Parramatta Libraries has for HSC Students, click HERE.

We also have some helpful programs planned in October to support our hardworking students PROGRAMS.



Katherine & Nisa

Episode 19 - Technology & Us

Episode 19 - Technology & Us

August 10, 2019

In this episode of Parra Pods Katherine & Nisa discuss books about the relationship between humans and technology in this IT-saturated world. Join them while they talk about the future of AI, the impact of social media, the relationship between our private selves and our digital avatars and eroding trust in traditional institutions.


Some of the books discussed in this podcast include:


Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark. Penguin Random House, 2017.


Net loss: the inner life in the digital age by Sebastian Smee. Quarterly Essay No. 72, 2018


Who can you trust? How technology brought us together and why it might drive us apart by Rachel Botsman. Public Affairs, 2017


Episode 18 - Miles Franklin Shortlist 2019

Episode 18 - Miles Franklin Shortlist 2019

July 29, 2019


First awarded in 1957, this year marks the 62nd year of the Miles Franklin Literary Award.


Join Katherine & Nisa as they discuss books that have made it on to the 2019 shortlist. The books span genres such as magic realism, autobiography, mystery and dystopia. Some themes found in the novels include: family, the environment, art, masculinity, relationships, race and racism – all against a range of Australian backdrops.


Some of the books discussed in Episode 18 of Parra Pods include:


The Lebs / Michael Mohammed Ahmad. Hatchette, 2018


A stolen season / Rodney Hall. Picador, 2018


The death of Noah Glass / Gail Jones. Text Publishing, 2018


Too much lip / Melissa Lucashenko. University of Queensland Press, 2018


Other books in the Shortlist include:


A sand archive / Gregory Day. Picador, 2018


Dyschronia / Jennifer Mills. Picador, 2018



Do you feel like exploring some of the AMAZING past winners of the Miles Franklin Award? Or maybe you would like to learn more about the history of the award, check out the Miles Franklin Award website.


Happy Listening!


Katherine & Nisa


Episode 17 - YA Reads!

Episode 17 - YA Reads!

July 16, 2019


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.


Episode 16 Age

Episode 16 Age

June 24, 2019

Episode 16 - Ageing Well - the pleasures and the pitfalls 

Is there even such a thing as ageing well?

Apparently so, and the books that we discuss in this podcast make that abundantly clear.

While these books are entertaining and light-hearted they also make some salient points about this stage of life’s journey.


Some of the books discussed in this podcast include:

The single ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell

Fridays with my folks by Amal Awad

Women of a certain age edited by Jodie MoffatMaria Scoda, and Susan Laura Sullivan

Episode 15 - Memorable Memoirs

Episode 15 - Memorable Memoirs

June 10, 2019

In this episode of Parra Pods Katherine & Nisa asked themselves why do some memoirs resonate so much with people?

Michelle Obam's 'Becoming was City of Parramatta Libraries most borrowed non-fiction title so far in 2019. Her spouse Barak Obama was the President of the United States for eight years, yet it is she who has garnered both popular and critical acclaim for this "tell it like it is" memoir.

Sally Fields is a Hollywood legend and, an Oscar recipient, here is her memoir about growing up in a dysfunctional family, overcoming the limitations of  her early career playing the “Flying Nun” & “Gidget”.  Finally forging a career that has afforded her longevity as an actress, but more importantly finding peace with the dark secret that cast a shadow over her life.


Some of the books discussed in this podcast include:

  • Becoming by Michelle Obama. London, Viking, 2018
  • In Pieces by Sally Fields London, Simon & Schuster, 2018




Episode 13 - Up Lit

Episode 13 - Up Lit

May 13, 2019

Parra Pods - Episode 13 Uplit

On this episode of Parra Pods Katerine, Nisa & Yi discuss 'Uplifting Literature'.


You might be asking yourself what is 'Up Lit' well it is described as books with an emphasis on empathy, books that are uplifting and life-affirming.

In this episode of Parra Pods we review four titles that fit this popular newish genre. If you are tired of reading grim True Crime and Scandi Noir, try some of these titles on for size.

Some of the books mentioned in this Podcast include:

Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One - Raphaelle Giordano

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

The Happiness Project or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean my Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun - Gretchen Rubin

My Squirrel Days - Ellie Kemper



Episode 12 - Sydney Writers’ Festival

Episode 12 - Sydney Writers’ Festival

May 1, 2019

Join Katherine & Nisa as they discuss some of the amazing writers appearing at this years Sydney Writers' Festival - Today we discuss four books all of which are the works of vibrant and diverse young voices. These works explore issues such as “black lives matter”, the experience of an elite athlete and addiction, the transgender experience set within re-imagined historical fiction, and the unique perspective of a member of a famous and tragic political family.


Some of the books mentioned in this Podcast include:

Godspeed: A Memoir by Casey Legler

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei- Brenyah

Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg

The Runaways by Fatima Bhutto