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

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

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

Award Winner The Yield

The Yield, by Tara June winch has swept this year’s NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, claiming three prizes: Book of the Year, Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and People’s Choice Award.

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 the SMH