As Russia declares war on Napoleon Bonaparte's French army, the lives of three young people are about to change forever. Pierre Bezukhov is a lost soul, out of place in St Petersburg society as the illegitimate son of a wealthy count who is now close to death. His dearest friend, Andrei Bolkonsky, is a brilliant man, but equally unhappy and eager for the challenge of war. Meanwhile, in Moscow, spirited teenager Natasha Rostova is desperate to experience life and love.
Chaos takes hold as Napoleon marches into Moscow and the Rostovs rush to leave the city. As they hurry away, Natasha is astonished to learn the identity of one of her travelling companions and finds she at last has a chance to make amends. Sonya, meanwhile, comes under pressure from the countess to make a great sacrifice for her family. Half-mad after his experience of battle, Pierre sets out to end Napoleon's onslaught once and for all, but is taken prisoner. As the harsh winter sets in, he witnesses horrors and acts of kindness that change his view of life forever.
Andrei and Nikolai have survived their first encounter with the French, but a terrible new battle looms as the Russian commanders risk stepping into Napoleon's trap. At home in St Petersburg, Pierre wants to put his vast inheritance to good use, but Vassily and Helene are laying a trap of their own for him. Meanwhile, Natasha and Sonya are desperate for news from the front line.
Jennifer Byrne and regular panellists Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger are joined by best-selling author Graeme Simsion and comedian Kitty Flanagan to count down the top 10 viewer-voted classic beach books of all time.
Sydney Writers' Festival headliner Jeanette Winterson joins Jennifer Byrne, Marieke Hardy, Jason Steger and Virginia Gay in the return of The Book Club. Includes exclusive live performance by Paul Kelly.
Michael Williams, Toni Jordan and Gorgi Coghlan join Club regulars to discuss what comes after happily ever after in Alain de Botton's The Course of Love. They tackle Jason's pick, classic outback horror story Wake in Fright.
Prepare for mystery and intrigue as Michael Williams and Rosie Waterland join the team to discuss Noah Hawley's page-turner, Before the Fall. Plus Michael brings his favourite, Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate.
Michael Robotham and Benjamin Law are back again to discuss Ian McGuire's The North Water, a 19th century tale of murder. And for the 'favourite' we turn to Michael's choice, The Other Hand (or Little Bee) by Chris Cleave.
Welcome to the First Tuesday Book Club's annual one-hour summer celebration of books and reading. Joining the club to talk all things summer reading, are special guests, Chair of Sydney Writers' Festival, Sandra Yates, and John Birmingham, the blogger and bestselling Australian author of He Died With A Felafel in his Hand.
Margaret Atwood has a truly stellar literary career. Achieving her first professional publication at just 20, she won her first award at 22. With over 50 titles published, including 13 novels and 10 non-fiction books, as well as poetry, short stories and children's books, Atwood is as prolific as she is venerated. She has accumulated numerous awards and accolades spanning over five decades.
This November, Ben Quilty and Kathryn Heyman join The Book Club to discuss Richard Flanagan's new release The Narrow Road to the Deep North along with Chris Ware's classic graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth.
In August Kate Langbroek, and author Andy Griffiths join The Book Club to discuss Harper Lee's much anticipated second novel Go Set A Watchman, and the 1961 classic This Sweet Sickness by Patricia Highsmith.
Jennifer welcomes book lovers to a special movable feast, as we follow some restless writers, On The Road. From Marco Polo's reports from the mysterious East, Mark Twain's adventures right here in Australia, through to Che Guevara's formative wanderings across South America, travel literature has a long, proud history. Books like Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love - and writers like Bill Bryson - regularly top the bestseller lists, yet there are those who consider the genre a shot duck.
This month on The Book Club, host Jennifer Byrne and panellists Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger are joined by writers Benjamin Law and Carrie Tiffany. The two books being reviewed are Gillian Flynn's debut novel Sharp Objects as well as the classic, Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte.
Guests Ben Quilty and Jane Allen join Jennifer Byrne, Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger to discuss David Grann's exploration into the Osage county murders and much-loved children's classic Watership Down.
Jennifer Byrne, Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger are joined by C.S. Pacat and Zoe Norton Lodge as The Book Club grapples with the ghostly Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders and the timely classic, The Handmaid's Tale.
Jennifer Byrne, Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger are joined by Di Morrissey and Adam Liaw to consider 'Jean Harley Was Here' by Heather Taylor Johnson and a favourite of two Clubbers - 'The Group' by Mary McCarthy.
Joining the program is crime writer Michael Robotham and author Clementine Ford. The group will discuss Kathryn Heyman's thriller Storm and Grace, and JD Vance's Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.
A program hosted by book lover and ABC arts personality Jennifer Byrne. An integral part of the book world it features regular panellists and guests from the world of literature, entertainment, sport or politics.
Sydney Writers' Festival guests Colson Whitehead and Natalie Haynes join Jennifer Byrne, Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger to discuss Arundhati Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and Junot Diaz's Drown.
Welcome to the First Tuesday Book Club. Host Jennifer Byrne, and panellists Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger are back to explore the world of books; from prize winners to blockbusters, hot off the presses new releases to much loved classics. The books for August are: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and In Past The Shallows by Favel Parrett.
The Shakespearean properties preserved by the Shakespeare birthplace trust constitute a unique physical heritage. In addition the trust is the custodian of priceless library, archive and museum collections.
An exploration of the countryside into which Shakespeare was born is essential for an understanding of his life and work. Depicts scenes and places familiar to the poet, illustrating the rich and beautiful countryside surrounding Stratford-on-Avon.
Provides a fascinating and informative account of William Shakespeare’s life and work set against the background of the town in which he was born and died. Skillful filming recreates the charm and atmosphere of the scenes and buildings associated with him.
This is the tragic story of a married aristocrat/socialite and her affair with the affluent Count Vronsky. The story starts when she arrives in the midst of a family broken up by her brother's unbridled womanizing - something that prefigures her own later situation, though she would experience less tolerance by others. A bachelor, Vronsky is eager to marry her if she would agree to leave her husband Alexei Karenin, a government official, but she is vulnerable to the pressures of Russian social norms, her own insecurities, and Karenin's indecision. Although Vronsky and Anna go to Italy, where they can be together, they have trouble making friends. Back in Russia, she is shunned, becoming further isolated and anxious, while Vronsky pursues his social life. Despite Vronsky's reassurances, she grows increasingly possessive and paranoid about his imagined infidelity, fearing loss of control. Music by Rodion Shchedrin and choreography by Alexei Ratmansky.
For many people, the English writer JRR Tolkien (1892-1973) is above all the author of the Lord of the Rings, the films directed and produced by Peter Jackson from 2001 to 2003. But what most people are unaware of is that this immensely successful novel is only the tip of a monumental corpus, started in the 1910s, and which he pursued to the day he died in 1973. Translated to over 60 languages, Tolkien's books have deeply marked the imagination of millions of readers throughout the world. However, in a period of triumphant Hollywood blockbusters, part of the mystery may be fading away, something that is attached to a unique type of literary creativity. This film goes back to the origins of this tremendous creation and, at the same time, it is an opportunity to (re)discover the surprising personality of its author. Who was this quiet and scholarly man who taught languages and old English literature at Oxford? How was this gigantic project born? Going back and forth between ordinary reality and an immaterial and fabulously rich reality, the story offers to reveal the meaning of Tolkien's life as a marvellous adventure of the mind.
After your secondary students have finished reading their recommended texts, encourage them to "compare and contrast" classic and popular books with their movie adaptations from Australia and Hollywood.