Author Lean Swann Online

Leah Swann is an award-winning fiction author, journalist and speechwriter. Her debut novel Sheerwater was published by Harper Collins in 2020. Join us for a night with Leah Swann and Better Reading. Leah will be live – Wednesday 3 June at 8pm – on the Better Reading facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BetterReadingAu/ talking about her emotional and powerful new book Sheerwater.

​​Swann was the inaugural first place winner of the Overland Story Wine Prize for her story That Inward Eye. Her literary fiction and essays have been published in MeanjinThe Best Australian StoriesThe World To Come, Australian Love Stories, Award Winning Australian Writingpage seventeenReview of Australian Fiction, Australian Country Style, Reflecting on MelbourneThe Herald, The Daily Liberal and Masthead. 

Her critically acclaimed collection of stories, Bearings, was published by Affirm Press in 2011 and praised by author Amanda Lohrey as ‘masterly.

Her much-loved fantasy series for middle grade readers, Irina: The Trilogy, was published by XOUM between 2012 and 2015, with some young readers calling it ‘the best book since Harry Potter.”

Kelly Rimmer Next Author

Kelly Rimmer is the New York TimesWall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of ten novels, including The Secret Daughter and The Things We Cannot Say. She’s sold more than one million books, and her novels have been translated into more than 20 languages. Kelly lives in the Central West with her family and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil.

Join Kelly when she talks about her latest book Truths I Never Told You on the Better Reading facebook page on Wednesday 27 May at 8pm. Enjoy catching up with this local author!!!

Library Re-Opens 1st Stage

Central West Libraries is planning a staged re-opening, with the NSW Government easing COVID-19 restrictions. Libraries in Blayney, Canowindra, Cowra, Forbes, Manildra, Molong and Orange will re-open from Monday 1 June 2020 with limited services available.

The first thing we will be offering is lending and returning of items.

However research, study, newspapers, computers, printing and photocopying services will not be available in this first stage.

Groups like Pageturners, that usually meet in the Library, will be able to meet hopefully at a later stage.

Please note social distancing & hygiene rules will apply.

We will continue to monitor the situation and review restrictions to keep everyone safe as COVID-19 rules ease.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time and hopefully we will see you all soon.

Our online services – ebooks, audiobooks, online magazines, streaming movies from Kanopy and Beamafilms will continue 24/7 via www.cwl.nsw.gov.au.

Cassie Hamer Online Author Event

Cassie Hamer is the guest author Wednesday night 20 May at 8pm. She’ll be chatting about neighbours, community and her new book The End of Cuthbert Close. Head to the Better Reading facebook page.

From bestselling author Cassie Hamer, comes a hilarious tale of warring neighbours in Australian suburbia, with a mystery at its heart.

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your neighbours. (Trad. proverb, origin: Australian suburbia)

Food stylist Cara, corporate lawyer Alex and stay-at-home mum Beth couldn’t be more different. If it wasn’t for the fact they live next door to each other in Cuthbert Close, they’d never have met and bonded over Bundt cake. The Close is an oasis of calm and kindness. The kind of street where kids play cricket together and neighbours pitch in each year for an end of summer party.

But no one’s told Charlie Devine, glamorous wife of online lifestyle guru, The Primal Guy. When she roars straight into the party with her huge removal truck and her teenage daughter with no care or regard for decades-old tradition, the guacamole really hits the fan.

Cara thinks the family just needs time to get used to the village-like atmosphere. Beth wants to give them home cooked meals to help them settle in. Alex, says it’s an act of war. But which one of them is right? Dead guinea pigs, cruelly discarded quiches, missing jewellery, commercial sabotage and errant husbands are just the beginning of a train of disturbing and rapidly escalating events that lead to a shocking climax.

When the truth comes out, will it be the end of Cuthbert Close?

Sydney Writers’ Festival Podcast

Sydney Writers’ Festival has launched its 2020 podcast program and are delighted to unveil the first six conversations and readings.

Hear an Opening Address by Gomeroi poet, essayist and legal scholar Alison Whittaker, and discussions with 2020 Stella Prize-winning author Jess Hill; internationally acclaimed American novelists Ann Patchett and Kevin Wilson; award-winning essayist and author Rebecca Giggs; and actress, film writer and memoirist Miranda Tapsell. The second issue of Sweatshop: Western Sydney’s literary journal, Sweatshop Women, is introduced by anthology editor and Sweatshop general manager Winnie Dunn alongside readings from its contributors Phoebe Grainer, Sara Saleh, Sydnye Allen, Janette Chen and Maryam Azam.

Listen now: https://bit.ly/3aNK508 

Available on all podcast platforms #sydneywritersfestival

Miles Franklin Longlist

The longlist for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award, worth $60,000, has been announced.

The 10 longlisted novels are:

The shortlist will be announced on Wednesday 17 June, with the winner announcement to follow on Thursday 16 July.

‘This year’s Miles Franklin longlist is a mix of established and newer Australian authors,’ said State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian Richard Neville on behalf of the judges. ‘Their novels give voice to a diversity of Australian characters whose common feature is their location on the margins, whether geographical, familial or societal. They explore the ripples and repercussions of childhood trauma, the healing power of friendship, and the unshakeable presence of the past.’

For Pageturners we would usually read a book from this longlist. So if you have read one of these longlisted books, please let us know your thoughts by adding a comment or two.

Better Reading Author Talk Wed 8pm

A wardrobe of Dior gowns, a secret kept for sixty-five years, and the three women bound forever by war… from the New York Times bestselling author of The French Photographer.

England, 1939
 Talented pilot Skye Penrose joins the British war effort where she encounters her estranged sister, Liberty, and childhood soulmate Nicholas Crawford, now engaged to enigmatic Frenchwoman Margaux Jourdan.

Paris, 1947 Designer Christian Dior unveils his extravagant first collection to a world weary of war and grief. He names his debut fragrance, Miss Dior, in tribute to his sister, Catherine, who worked for the French Resistance.

Present day Australian fashion conservator Kat Jourdan discovers a secret wardrobe filled with priceless Dior gowns in her grandmother’s vacant cottage. As she delves into the mystery, Kat begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about her beloved grandmother.

An unspeakable betrayal will entwine all of their fates.

The Paris Secret is an unforgettable story about the lengths people go to protect one another, and a love that, despite everything, lasts a lifetime.

Enjoy a chat with author of The Paris Secret, Natasha Lester, and Better Reading tonight Wednesday 13 May at 8pm on the Better Reading Facebook Page. Enjoy!

May Read The Convert

Before the Corona Virus COVID-19 Lockdown our Pageturners Book Discussion Group were to chat about The Convert by Stefan Hertmans and translated by David McKay. If you have read this book please let us know your thoughts by adding your comments to this post or email Jasmine at  jvidler@cwl.nsw.gov.au.

Set at the time of the Crusades and based on historical events, The Convert is the story of a strong-willed young woman who sacrifices everything in the name of love.

When Stefan Hertmans learns that Monieux, the small Provençal village in which he lives, was the scene of a pogrom a thousand years ago and that a treasure may be hidden there, he goes in search of clues. The first is a letter, written in Hebrew nearly a thousand years ago, originally discovered among a startling collection of Jewish documents in the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo in the late nineteenth century.

This letter sets Hertmans off on the trail of a young woman who fled her powerful Christian family to marry the love of her life, the son of the chief rabbi of France, for whom she renounced her own faith. Originally known as Vigdis, the young woman changed her name to Hamoutal upon converting to Judaism. Her father offered a large sum to anyone who could bring her back, but the lovers managed to escape to Monieux. They were not safe for long, though: Monieux bore witness to a bloody pogrom, after which Hamoutal found herself alone and once again having to flee.

Hertmans retraces Hamoutal’s footsteps—first through the French cities of Rouen, Narbonne and Marseille, as she makes her way south, fleeing her family, and then on to Sicily and ultimately to Cairo, where she sought asylum. It is a dizzying, often terrifying journey, full of hardships, that unfolds against the backdrop of the death and destruction of the Crusades.

The Convert is both an epic love story and a harrowing portrait of the havoc wrought by holy war. It is a tale of flight, and fear, a story that seeks to answer a pivotal question: What does it mean to change your identity?

New York Times Book Review:

Introducing Indyreads

WooHoo!! We have topped up digital content for you. You can now access more than 11,000 new ebooks and audiobooks at home for free. Indyreads  includes books from independent Australian and international publishers as well as the best examples of self-publishing, offering communities a greater diversity of stories.

Developed by the State Library of NSW, indyreads gives CWL members 24/7 access to a range of ebooks including fiction titles by well-known and popular authors, poetry collections, cookbooks, educational books, local studies resources and much more.

To log onto indyreads you will need to:

  • Download the app from the App Store or Google Play to use on your phone or tablet.
  • Choose ‘Central West Libraries’ from the drop down list
  • Type in your library card number
  • Type in the password or PIN number associated with your library. card.

We hope you love it as much as we do!

Pulitzer Prize Winner

US author Colson Whitehead has become only the fourth writer ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction twice.

The African-American author was honoured for The Nickel Boys, which chronicles the abuse of black boys at a juvenile reform school in Florida.

Whitehead, a 50-year-old New Yorker, won the 2017 prize in the same category for his book The Underground Railroad.

Before him, only Booth Tarkington, William Faulkner and John Updike had won the Pulitzer for fiction twice.

BBC News Pulitzer Prize