Still Alice

This NY Times bestseller is a thought-provoking novel about Alice Howland, a psychology professor at Harvard who develops early-onset Alzheimer's disease. This book poignantly describes the steady decline of Alice, and brings to life the confronting realities of the disease. The reaction of her family and colleagues, and in particular the contrasting responses of her three children, are key themes. We needed a box of tissues on hand for this book group catch-up - it tugged at the heart strings of those who had witnessed the physical or mental decline of parents or grandparents. A beautifully written book. 

Overall rating 4/5  

Milk the Cow, Carlton

The bustling student scene of Lygon Street, with Melbourne Uni just a stone's throw away, was the perfect location for this discussion - not quite Harvard University, but the next best thing. Milk the Cow is a licensed fromagerie, with an extensive range of over 150 artisan cheeses on offer.  Their Cheese and Booze Flights are great value, and come with your preferred alcoholic beverage - choose from wine, beer, port, sparkling, dessert wine, sake, cider or whiskey. Other firm favourites are the fondue pots and the baked camembert. This venue has a cosy, snug feel, and is perfect for a cold, wintery Melbourne night. Our only advice would be to eat your main course at one of the nearby Italian restaurants, then head to Milk the Cow for your dessert course. It was pretty heavy as a main meal - we were craving a salad! But we'll definitely be back for more cheese. 

Still Alice
By Lisa Genova