August Pageturners Booked Out

Our return to Pageturners discussion – to be held in the Local Studies Room at Orange City Library on Wednesday 12 August 5.30pm – 7pm – is booked out. We will be discussing the Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist. Please note this event is being run under NSW Health COVID-19 Guidelines and hygiene, social distancing and limited number regulations apply. We look forward to welcoming you.

This Radio National program may interest you. The Book Club No 4: is about Tara June Winch’s The Yield and Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career

‘I was born on Ngurambang – can you hear it? – Ngu-ram-bang. If you say it right it hits the back of your mouth and you should taste blood in your words. Every person around should learn the word for country in the old language, the first language – because that is the way to all time, to time travel! You can go all the way back.’

From Tara June Winch’s The Yield

‘This is not a romance – I have too often faced the music of life to the tune of hardship to waste time in snivelling and gushing over fancies and dreams; neither is it a novel, but simply a yarn – a real yarn.’

From Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career.

Miles Franklin Winner

Wiradjuri author Tara June Winch has won the Miles Franklin Literary Award — Australia’s most prestigious writing prize, and one of its richest at $60,000 — for her novel The Yield.

The yield in English is the reaping, the things that man can take from the land. In the language of the Wiradjuri yield is the things you give to, the movement, the space between things: baayanha.

Knowing that he will soon die, Albert ‘Poppy’ Gondiwindi takes pen to paper. His life has been spent on the banks of the Murrumby River at Prosperous House, on Massacre Plains. Albert is determined to pass on the language of his people and everything that was ever remembered. He finds the words on the wind.

August Gondiwindi has been living on the other side of the world for ten years when she learns of her grandfather’s death. She returns home for his burial, wracked with grief and burdened with all she tried to leave behind. Her homecoming is bittersweet as she confronts the love of her kin and news that Prosperous is to be repossessed by a mining company. Determined to make amends she endeavours to save their land – a quest that leads her to the voice of her grandfather and into the past, the stories of her people, the secrets of the river.

Profoundly moving and exquisitely written, Tara June Winch’s The Yield is the story of a people and a culture dispossessed. But it is as much a celebration of what was and what endures, and a powerful reclaiming of Indigenous language, storytelling and identity.

Read more in this ABC story.

Pageturners Returns

Hello Pageturner,

Pageturners Book Discussion Group returns on Wednesday 12 August at 5.30pm – 7pm to discuss the Miles Franklin Literary Awards shortlist.

It is time for easing of COVID-19 Restrictions Phase III at Central West Libraries. Some events will be returning to the Library under the NSW Public Health Guidelines for the Corona Virus COVID-19 Pandemic.

This means hygiene and social distancing 1.5m rules will apply:

  • please stay home if you are unwell
  • wash hands frequently
  • use hand sanitiser
  • socially distance 1.5m

We will be meeting in the Local Studies Room at Orange City Library and numbers will be restricted to 10 people.

We have set up our booking/reservation system via eventbrite to start at 9am on Monday 13th July. Book here.

If you have any concerns using or accessing eventbrite, please call Jasmine on 6393 8125 to reserve your place.

We have missed our book club discussions and look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Kate Grenville Book Launch

Kate Grenville will be taking questions and launching her new book A Room Made Of Leaves live on Better Reading’s Facebook page. 

What if Elizabeth Macarthur—wife of the notorious John Macarthur, wool baron in the earliest days of Sydney—had written a shockingly frank secret memoir? And what if novelist Kate Grenville had miraculously found and published it? That’s the starting point for A Room Made of Leaves, a playful dance of possibilities between the real and the invented.

Marriage to a ruthless bully, the impulses of her heart, the search for power in a society that gave women none: this Elizabeth Macarthur manages her complicated life with spirit and passion, cunning and sly wit. Her memoir lets us hear—at last!—what one of those seemingly demure women from history might really have thought.

At the centre of A Room Made of Leaves is one of the most toxic issues of our own age: the seductive appeal of false stories. This book may be set in the past, but it’s just as much about the present, where secrets and lies have the dangerous power to shape reality.

Kate Grenville’s return to the territory of The Secret River is historical fiction turned inside out, a stunning sleight of hand by one of our most original writers.

Author Christian White Online

Join us this Wednesday night (24 June) at 8pm AEST, author Christian White will be with the Better Reading team on their facebook page LIVE to talk about The Nowhere Child and The Wife and the Widow. Christian will also be taking questions.

Christian White is an Australian author and screenwriter whose projects include feature film RelicThe Nowhere Child is his first book and one of Australia’s bestselling debut novels ever. An early draft of this novel won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. Since publication The Nowhere Child has been shortlisted for major awards including the Australian Book Industry Awards’ General Fiction Book of the Year and Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year, and the Indie Book Awards’ Debut Fiction Book of the Year. Rights to The Nowhere Child have been sold in 17 international territories, and has been acquired for a major screen deal.

Clickbait, a television series Christian co-created with Tony Ayres (The Slap) is currently in production for Netflix. Christian’s keenly awaited second book, The Wife and the Widow, was published by Affirm Press in 2019 and became an instant bestseller.

Miles Franklin Shortlist

Announcing the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award Shortlist:

The White Girl by Tony Birch (The University of Queensland Press)
Islands by Peggy Frew (Allen & Unwin)
No One by John Hughes (UWA Publishing)
The Returns by Phillip Salom (Transit Lounge)
Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany (Text Publishing)
The Yield by Tara June Winch (Penguin Books Australia)

University of Queensland Press
Allen & Unwin Books
UWA Publishing
Transit Lounge Publishing
Text Publishing
Penguin Books Australia

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Mitchell Librarian of the State Library of NSW and Chair, Richard Neville, said, “The books on this year’s shortlist, diverse in form and tone, all explore the effects of trauma. From familial stories of neglect and abuse to the national story of racial and cultural dispossession, these novels demonstrate powerfully how past trauma continues to inform the present”.

The winner of the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award will be announced on Thursday 16 July.

Let us know which books you have read and which author you think will win.

Fourteen With Shannon Molloy

Fourteen is this generation’s Holding the Man – a moving coming-of-age memoir about a young man’s search for identity and acceptance in the most unforgiving and hostile of places: high school.

This is a story about my fourteenth year of life as a gay kid at an all-boys rugby-mad Catholic school in regional Queensland. It was a year in which I started to discover who I was, and deeply hated what was revealed. It was a year in which I had my first crush and first devastating heartbreak. It was a year of torment, bullying and betrayal – not just at the hands of my peers, but by adults who were meant to protect me.

And it was a year that almost ended tragically.

I found solace in writing and my budding journalism; in a close-knit group of friends, all growing up too quickly together; and in the fierce protection of family and a mother’s unconditional love. These were moments of light and hilarity that kept me going.

As much as Fourteen is a chronicle of the enormous struggle and adversity I endured, and the shocking consequences of it all, it’s also a tale of survival.

Because I did survive.

Shannon Molloy is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience working for major media outlets spanning print and digital, covering business, entertainment, celebrity and human interest. He is based in Sydney.

Join Shannon tonight on the Better Reading Facebook Page for this online author event at 8pm, Wednesday 17 June.

Patrick Mullins Online

Award-winning author Patrick Mullins joins the State Library for a special online edition of Going Places — Authors on Tour, Patrick will talk about his award-winning book, Tiberius with a Telephone: The Life and Stories of William McMahon online Saturday 20 June at 3pm.

Billy McMahon is usually recalled today for his ears and for losing the 1972 election to Gough Whitlam, and for a dress that his glamorous wife Sonia wore to a dinner at the White House. He was disliked by many of his colleagues and despised by the journalists to whom he often leaked. He is widely regarded as Australia’s worst prime minister. Tiberius with a Telephone offers the full story of McMahon’s life and lengthy career and traces his political fortunes through the huge upheavals, contests, and events of Australia in the twentieth century. 

This event is supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. 

Register here

Melina Marchetta Online

Join us tonight Wednesday 10th June at 8pm AEST. Author Melina Marchetta will be LIVE on the Better Reading facebook page talking about the book that changed her life – Looking for Alibrandi.

The Multi-award-winning bestseller was made into an award-winning feature film and has become a modern classic. The film celebrates it’s 20th anniversary this year.

Melina Marchetta’s stunning debut novel Looking for Alibrandi is one girl’s story of her final year at school, a year she sets herself free. Josephine Alibrandi is seventeen and in her final year at a wealthy girls’ school. This is the year she meets her father, the year she falls in love, the year she searches for Alibrandi and finds the real truth about her family – and the identity she has been searching for.

A moving and revealing book, unusual for its honesty and its insight into the life of a young person on the brink of adulthood. Multi-award-winning, a bestseller and made into an award-winning feature film, Looking for Alibrandi has become a modern classic.

Melina Marchetta is a bestselling author in more than twenty countries and eighteen languages. She has published award-winning young adult, fantasy and crime fiction, including her acclaimed crime novel, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil. Her much-loved Australian classic, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards when it was published, and was also released as a film, adapted by Marchetta, winning an AFI Award and an Independent Film Award for best screenplay, as well as the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award. Marchetta’s award-winning Saving Francesca and companion novel The Piper’s Son also received much acclaim in Australia and internationally, and in 2009 Marchetta won the prestigious Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association for Jellicoe Road. She lives in Sydney.