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 An early draft of this novel won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.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.

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 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

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: 

Available on all podcast platforms #sydneywritersfestival